Venice: February 1522

Pages 204-210

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 3, 1520-1526. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1869.

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February 1522

Feb. 3. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiii. p. 45. 403. Antonio Surian to the Council of Ten.
Cardinal Wolsey, talking with him about the King of France, said: “The Signory leagued with France for the defence of her territory, and to be enabled to retain it; but it would be better for her to effect this through another channel, and make a league thus—the Emperor, the King of England, the King of Hungary, and the Signory, together with the future Pope; and be he who he may their Majesties will promise to make him join it.” This league, however, was not to be against France, but for the [mutual] defence of territories.
Note by Sanuto, that a motion was made by the Sages, and carried, to answer Surian, sending him the clause in the league with France stipulating the mutual defence of the territories, and desiring him to show it to Cardinal Wolsey.
Three letters, dated 14th and 23rd January and 3rd February. Registered by Sanuto 11th March.
Feb. 3. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxii. p. 320. 404. Gasparo Contarini, to his Brother-in-law, Matteo Dandolo.
Supposes that through his (Contarini's) letters to the Senate, Dandolo will have heard that the new Pope was of the lowest parentage. His father was a carpenter, who from poverty abandoned him, and thus the future Pope was compelled to beg his bread from door to door. He was adopted by a person, whom he ever after called father, and at whose cost he obtained his first education. Subsequently he was instructed at the charge of the consort of Charles Duke of Burgundy.' (fn. 1) She was in the habit of defraying the expenses of certain students in the university of Louvain. As one of them, he made considerable progress in philosophy and divinity, but was above all renowned for his morality and virtue. On this account, when the present Emperor had passed from childhood to youth, the late Emperor “Maximilian summoned Adrian to Brussels, and appointed him tutor to the Archduke Charles. The probity of Adrian was already remarkable, and the Archduke named him secretary and privy councillor, and gave him a provostship in the cathedral of Louvain. He afterwards went ambassador to the Archduke's grandfather, Ferdinand of Spain, who made him Bishop of Tortosa, and obtained for him the cardinal's hat from Leo X., and finally, to the surprise of everybody, he has been created Pope.
Luther's sect gains strength in Saxony. This internal malady will be very prejudicial to the interests of Christendom.
Brussels, 3rd February 1522. Registered by Sanuto, 18th February.
Feb. 3. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 128. St. Mark's Library. 405. The Same to the Signory.
When speaking about the mission of Dom. Philiberto [Naturelli ?] (fn. 2) to Cambrai with the Hungarian ambassador [Azalino], was told by him that it concerned private business, as the Emperor would never negotiate any agreement with France, save through the King of England.
Brussels, 3rd February 1522.
[Italian, 1½ pages.]
Feb. 4. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter do. 129. St. Mark's Library. 406. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
Transmits letters from the Ambassador Surian in England, stating that Cardinal Wolsey had promised Surian that the King of England would give security for the Donata galley and the ship detained in Biscay. The Emperor required this security to be available either here in Flanders or in Biscay, and the Cardinal has given instructions accordingly to the new English ambassador now on his way to the Imperial Court. Understands he has already crossed the Channel, and will be at Brussels in two days, together with the English ambassador accredited to the Switzers.
Brussels, 4th February 1522.
[Italian, 1 page.]
Feb. 10. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 130. St. Mark's Library. 407. The Same to the Same.
On the evening before last two English ambassadors arrived at Brussels. One of them [Sir Robert Wyngfeld], destined to reside at the Imperial Court, is the brother of the ambassador who departed thence lately [Sir Richard Wyngfeld], and the other [Dr. William Knight] is on his way to the Switzers.
Yesterday sent them a message, announcing his wish to visit them as usual with regard to new ambassadors on their arrival at the Court, and also for the sake of learning what orders they had received from the King and Cardinal about “the Donata,” one of the Flanders galleys now detained in Biscay. Although they refused to receive any visits until after their audience of the Emperor, sent his secretary today to the new ambassador resident, who said he had received no instructions respecting the galleys. Has not yet received the letter from Cardinal Wolsey alluded to in the accompanying despatch from Surian, and does not believe the Imperialists will be satisfied with the Cardinal's security.
The Emperor's voyage to Spain seems to have been procrastinated, owing to the present disturbances in Italy. Many are of opinion that he is attending their result.
On the 9th visited the Emperor's confessor (a Franciscan friar) and discussed the beneficial effects of peace between the Emperor and France. The confessor remarked that it occasionally happens after all human hope of some desired object is at an end, that the Almighty then effects it through some unexpected channel. Leaves the State to draw its own conclusions from these words.
Brussels, 10th February 1522.
[Italian, 4 pages.]
Feb. 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiii. p. 15. 408. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Announces the death of the French ambassador [De la Bâtie ?] No honours were paid him at his funeral, which was attended solely by Surian. A new French ambassador has arrived. (fn. 3) He had audience of King Henry, and said he was going to Scotland to protest that unless the Duke of Albany departed thence he would be in disgrace with the Crown of France. He thus convinced the King and Cardinal of the goodwill of his most Christian Majesty towards England with regard to the affairs of Scotland.
Has received the Emperor's letter to the Governors of Biscay about the release of the Flanders galley, and sent it to the captain, by whom it was forwarded to the master. The Cardinal declined to send the letter he (Surian) had written to the Emperor about this release, saying he would first of all see the result of the Emperor's own letter. Combated this resolve strongly, but in vain.
London, 8th and 11th February. Registered by Sanuto, 15th March.
Feb. 13. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxii. p. 308. 409. Pope Adrian VI.
News from Trent, that on the 18th ultimo the Emperor, being at Brussels, heard of the election of Pope Adrian VI., and that he made great signs of rejoicing for this auspicious event. He immediately despatched a messenger to Spain. Subsequently a decision was formed in his Council for his voyage to Spain as soon as the weather served. He will leave a powerful army in Flanders, sufficient both for defensive and offensive operations against France, under the command of Madame Margaret and his brother Ferdinand. The latter is to be Vicar-General and Imperial Lieutenant of all Germany, the Emperor having resigned to him the duchy of Wurtemburg and county of Tyrol, besides the five provinces of Austria already given. It is certain the Emperor has made a good final arrangement with the King of England, and renewed the matrimonial alliance with him, all for the destruction of France. With the same object the King of England has sent an envoy to the Switzers, exhorting them not to stir at the request of any one, either in Italy or elsewhere, and assigning as a reason that he means to concert an adjustment in order to attack the Turk.
Feb. 13. Contarini's Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. Letter no. 131. 410. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
Visited the new English ambassador [Sir Robert Wyngfeld], who said he had no instructions concerning the galley and ship detained in Biscay.
The English ambassador destined for Switzerland [Knight] departed on the 11th instant.
Brussels, 13th February 1522.
[Italian, 6 pages.]
Feb. 14. Contarini's Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. Letter no. 132. 411. The Same to the Same.
Ths Bishop of Palencia told him that the Emperor firmly intended to go to Spain, either by way of England or Italy. Inquired which of the two passages he would take, as opinions thereon varied. The Bishop made answer, “Should he not change his mind, according to what has been settled hitherto, he will go by way of England; and let others say what they please.”
Brussels, 14th February 1522.
[Italian, 7 pages.]
Feb. 14. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlix. p. 67, tergo. 412. The Doge and Senate to Vincenzo Priuli, Captain of the Flanders Galleys.
As his consort, the Donata galley, has been detained in the waters of Biscay, while he proceeded on his voyage with the other two galleys, desire him on his arrival at Hampton, should he not have been joined by the Donata galley, to commence notwithstanding the period of demurrage, according to the form of his auction contract.
On the expiration of the period of demurrage, should the third galley not be already released, or its arrival be delayed, he is then to remain at Hampton until the receipt of further orders.
Ayes, 182. Noes, 10. Neutrals, 3.
[Italian, 12 lines.]
Feb. 17. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxii. p. 318. 413. Visit of Charles V. to England.
Advices from Brescia, transmitted on 16th February by Hironimo da Chà da Pesaro, Proveditor-General for the Mainland.
The brother of the Bishop of Trent writes from the castle of Stenech, in date of 13th February, that several letters from the Imperial Court announce that the Emperor and his brother Don Ferdinand are of one mind. The Emperor has given Don Ferdinand all the countries (paesi) of Austria, all the countries (parsi) of the lake of Constance, the duchy of Brandenburg (sic), and the county of the Tyrol; and by consent of the Electors and Princes of Germany, the Emperor leaves him as Vicar and Imperial Lieutenant there.
In March the Emperor is going by sea to Spain. The ships have already arrived. A fleet for the voyage having been prepared in England, the King of France sent six persons to burn it, but they were taken beforehand and hanged.
The relationship (parentela) (fn. 4) has been concluded between the Emperor and the King of England, who, during the Emperor's absence, has undertaken to sustain the war against France in the Low Countries. The King of England has let the Switzers know that any affront (dlspiacere) offered by them to the Emperor will be taken by him (the King) as a personal injury. The Emperor has sent ambassadors of rank to the Switzers to persuade them to desert France, but there is great dissension among them.
In Flanders a very small measure (muid) of wine costs 15 “gro.” The mother of the King of France sent 50 carts of good wine as a present to Madame Margaret, requesting her to reconcile the Emperor to her son, and offering to do the like on her own part, but they have effected nothing whatever.
Feb. 18. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiii. p. 106. 414. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
The Emperor is content to make a truce with the King of France. King Henry and Cardinal Wolsey are therefore endeavouring to effect it, and the ambassadors are in London, but the King of France insists on having his duchy of Milan.
Dated from the 11th to the 18th February. Registered by Sanuto, 4th April.
Feb. 18. Contarini's Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 133. 415. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
The Emperor has determined on going to England. Last Sunday the Count of Nassau, in his Majesty's name, announced this journey to all the gentlemen when at mass, and that it would be commenced on the 15th proximo, requiring all those who wish to follow his Majesty to look to their arms and horses. The Emperor promised to give them two quarters' salary, (fn. 5) of which they have not received one penny during the last nine months; and the third rate is to be paid them in England.
This journey of the Emperor's is supposed to be for the purpose of forming some alliance with the King of England, and obtaining money from him, there being, moreover, a report of the marriage of the King's daughter with the Emperor.
Some persons are of opinion that the Emperor will return to Flanders and go to Spain by way of Italy, but those of sounder judgment consider it certain that having gone so far as England he will continue his voyage from thence to Spain. This agrees with statements made by the Bishop of Palencia.
Brussels, 18th February 1522.
[Italian, 2 pages.]
Feb. 24. Contarini's Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 134. 416. The Same to the Same.
Yesterday the Emperor, together with his Spanish gentlemen, played at the cane game, in which his brother the Infant likewise took part. They were dressed in the Moorish fashion, and tilted first in the park, and then on the town square. It was a delightful sight. (fn. 6)
The preparations for the Emperor's journey to England seem to proceed slowly.
Brussels, 24th February 1522.
[Italian, 2½ pages.]
Feb. 28. Misti Consiglio X. v. xliii. p. 122, tergo. 417. The Council of Ten and Junta to Giovanni Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France.
Have this morning received letters from the Signory's ambassador in England, dated the 18th and 24th ult. By the former he announces a proposal made to him by Cardinal Wolsey for a league between the future Pope, (fn. 7) the Emperor, the King of England, the Signory, and others, no mention being made of France. In his second letter he writes that at another conference on the same subject, Wolsey told him he did not mean the league to be against any one, not even against the King of France, on whom he said the King of England did not intend to wage war, nor would the Cardinal ever counsel him to do so, unless compelled by extreme necessity; so that his intention was to form this league solely for the security and preservation of the confederates' dominions.
As this proposal is worthy of the knowledge of King Francis, desire the ambassador to impart it to the King and Madame, praying his Majesty to keep the whole very secret. The Signory's reply shall in like manner be communicated to the King, with whom they intend to maintain their alliance.
Ayes, 23. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 0.
Memorandum.—The letter was written on the 24th instant, a duplicate being sent, and it was in cipher.
[Italian, 19 lines.]


  • 1. Charles the Bold took for his third wife Margaret of York, who died at Mechlin in 1503. The marriage ceremony of the sister of Edward IV. to the Duke of Burgundy was performed on the 3rd of July 1468, when the future Adrian VI. was nine years old: so the English princess may be said to have commenced her reign in Flanders with befriending one of the most virtuous individuals that ever ruled the Apostolic See. I believe this fact has not been recorded by any popular historian.
  • 2. Provost of Utrecht.
  • 3. Qu. Mons. de Neufuy (or Neufville ?). See Mr. Brewer's Calendar, Vol. III., Nos. 1998–1999.
  • 4. The marriage of the Princess Mary to the Emperor.
  • 5. “Due page a conto della lor provisione.”
  • 6. “Fu delectevel spectaculo.” An account of the cane game at Madrid, in 1649 is given in Lord Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, p. 729, ed. Oxford, 1843.
  • 7. Adrian VI. was elected Pope, the 9th of January 1522.