Venice: March 1523

Pages 303-310

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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March 1523

[March.] Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 20. 632. The Same to the Same.
Fonterabia has apparently been succoured by the King of France. The Spaniards have retreated.
An English ship has been captured by the French. On board of it was much merchandise belonging to Venetian merchants in England.
Sent therefore to the King of France, requesting him to give orders for the safe custody of the effects of the Signory's merchants. The King did as requested, and also wrote letters directing that should other vessels be captured containing Venetian property, it was to Le preserved.
Undated (fn. 1) Registered by Sanuto, 18th March.
March 7. Original Letter Book, Letter no. 200, St. Mark's Library. 633. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
By the post from Flanders the Emperor has received news of a monster born in Saxony. A cow calved a calf with a man's head and broad shoulders, over which was a friar's hood. This is compared by the people here to Luther. Supposes the State will have received intelligence of this through another channel.
Valladolid, 7th March 1523.
[Italian, 1¼ page.]
March 7. Original Letter Book, Letter no. 201, St. Mark's Library. 634. The Same to the Chiefs of the Ten.
Sebastian Cabot, with whom you desired me to speak on matters connected with the spice trade, has subsequently been to see me several times, always telling me how much disposed he is to come to Venice for the purpose of carrying into effect his schemes for the Signory's benefit.
This day he informed me that he could not ask leave at present, lest they suspect him of intending to go to England, and that he must, therefore, serve for three months longer, on the expiration of which he would place himself at the feet of the Signory. Prays you to write him a second letter, urging him to come to Venice for the despatch of his affairs.
I write all that Sebastian has stated to me, and what he requires; your Highness will act as you may please.
Valladolid, 7th March 1523.
[Italian, ½ page.]
March 10. Original Letter Book, Letter no. 202, St. Mark's Library. 635. The Same to the Signory.
The ambassador from Portugal departed on Monday. Has been told by the Chancellor that he went away dissatisfied. He had requested the Emperor to make a compromise with his King about the spice trade, or at least that they should mutually relinquish these voyages until it was ascertained to which of them the Moluccas appertained. The Emperor rejected both demands, not choosing to resign the possession of these places, which belong to him.
Valladolid, 10th March 1523.
[Italian, 1 page.]
March 10. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 27. 636. Zuan Badoer to the Signory.
King Francis has embarked 500 spears and 10,000 Switzers for England in aid of Scotland. He says the Signory ought not to ratify the agreement now negotiating with the Emperor, as the latter would not abide by it, and immediately on its formation would league with France against Venice. He promised that he would never desert the Signory, and that he would make war in Italy. The King knows the agreement is not yet concluded, but he considers it settled.
Poissy, 10th March. Registered by Sanuto, 22nd March.
March 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 39. 637. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
The King has released the galleys, but retains six pieces of artillery. The galleys are being repaired; the mischief is less than was supposed, but there will be no crews, many having departed. The galleys are forbidden to load merchandise belonging either to the Florentines or the Genoese. This last intelligence was contained in letters from the masters of the galleys.
Went to see 20 ships which the King means to fit out against Scotland, whither he has already sent commanders and troops.
Some Frenchmen went disguised to Calais, bearing the red cross, and attacked the English, carrying off six gunners into France.
The King of England sends Richard Pace, the ambassador at Venice, to Milan, and then to the Switzers, to persuade them not to join France against England and the Emperor.
Dated, 22nd of February and 6th and 11th March. Registered by Sanuto, 29th March.
March 12. Commemoriale, v. xx. p. 177. 638. Richard Pace.
Letters patent from Henry VIII., authorizing him to settle all disputes between the Emperor and the Signory of Venice. London, 12th March, 14 Hen. VIII.
Signed: Henry. Countersigned: Clerke.
[Contemporary transcript. Latin, 39 lines.]
March 12. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 74. 639. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
The King of France is making great preparations against the King of England by sea and land. He is expecting the Great Bastard [and means] to send him with “White Rose,” [Richard de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk,] against the King of England.
Fonterabia has been succoured, and the ambassadors from the Grisons are expected, so that the King of France will have all the Switzers, except Zurich, but for this he cares not. He intends to undertake the Italian expedition and recover the Milanese.
Poissy, 12th March. Registered by Sanuto, 7th April.
March 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 17. 640. News from England and France.
Report heard through the German Factory in Venice, that the King of France had been very ill, and, although young, had fallen apoplectic; but it was not true. He is preparing a large army against England, meaning to place White Rose [Richard de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk] on the throne, saying that the kingdom belongs to him.
Note by Sanuto.—Several Venetian noblemen who went to England on board the Flanders galleys have arrived in Venice by land, being unable to come by the galleys, as the King chose to keep them for himself. These noblemen say that the Scots were raising a great army against England, and the King of England was preparing a fleet and army against France; so that the war over there was proceeding more briskly than ever.
March 15. Misti Consiglio X., v. xlvi. p. 7. 641. Statement made by the Ambassadors of the Archduke [Ferdinand] of Austria.
As the Signory refuses to surrender the places demanded at first, the Archduke now requires the restitution of Pordenone, Piamonte (sic), Castel Novo, and Belgrado, together with the other places taken in the late war.
The dispute with regard to Treviso and other places demanded, which are now in possession of the Signory, and which were held by them before the war, to be referred to the Pope alone, or in conjunction with the ambassadors from England, Hungary, Poland, and Portugal resident at Rome, for his or their decision.
In the meanwhile, until the case be decided, the Signory to pay the Archduke annually 60,000 ducats, after which peace and confederacy to be negotiated.
[Italian, 13 lines.]
March 16. Misti Consiglio X., v. xlvi. p. 7. 642. Reply to the Austrian Ambassadors.
* * * In accordance with the promise given by the Pope and the reverend English ambassador, the Signory will be content to surrender the places now held by them, although of greater profit to their subjects than those to be given in exchange.
Ayes, 23. Noes, 1. Neutrals, 0.
[Latin, 29 lines.]
March 17. Mantuan Archives. 643. Angelo and Giovanni Battista, Falconers, to Federigo Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua.
Arrived safe in England with nine falcons. On the 12th of March presented them to the King, who was beyond measure pleased with them, and received the bearers most graciously. The falcons are still in their hands, because they could not be tried on account of the bad weather. The King is most impatient to see them fly. Have no doubt but that they will do their duty, as they are in excellent condition. Do not know when they shall depart, as they depend on the King, who is going tomorrow to Portsmouth to inspect his fleet, and chooses them to accompany him to fly the falcons.
Richmond, 17th March 1523.
Signed: Angelo et Zambaptista.
[Original. Italian.]
March 18. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. 1. p. 3. 644. The Doge and Senate to Francis I.
Believe that he is thoroughly acquainted with the Causes of the many and heavy losses incurred by the noblemen, citizens, and merchants of Venice owing to the prolonged detention in England of the Signory's galleys and ships.
For this reason, the merchants, unable to obtain their property by other means, adopted the following expedient.
They sought and are still seeking to ship what they could save in English or other vessels under the names of Ragusans, Florentines, Genoese, &c.
In this manner they loaded six vessels, of which two foundered at sea, two ran aground and were wrecked, the fifth put back into Hampton from stress of weather, and the other, on arriving in Britanny, was detained, apparently by Captain Antonio [Anthoine de la Fayette ?] and other captains in the King's service.
Thank him very affectionately, because, immediately on hearing this, he wrote to his Governor General in Britanny, desiring him to take good care of all the property, so that nothing should be damaged, for the purpose (as the State is very certain) of restoring to their subjects all their goods thus embarked,—a truly beneficent proceeding on the part of his Majesty.
[Italian, 43 lines.]
March 18. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. 1. p. 3. 645. The Doge and Senate to Giovanni Badoee, Venetian Ambassador in France.
Enclose copy of the Signory's letter to the King concerning the effects of the Venetian noblemen and merchants detained in Britanny by Captain Antonio and others, together with the English ship.
Ayes, 191. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 20 lines.]
March 18. Original Letter Book, Letter no. 203, St. Mark's Library. 646. Gasparo Contarini to the Council of Ten.
Through Hieronimo Adorno the Emperor has heard of the capture of Rhodes by Sultan Solyman, (fn. 2) Adorno having received the news from the Viceroy of Naples, who sent him a letter dated Gallipoli in Puglia, 14th January, from Gabriel di Martinengo, giving an account of the surrender.
Valladolid, 18th March 1523.
[Italian, 2 pages.]
March 19. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 23. 647. The Flanders Galleys.
The secretary of the English ambassador came and told the Doge that he, Pace, had received letters from England to the effect that the King has given leave to the Signory's Flanders galleys to depart at their pleasure.
March 19. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. pp. 23–24. 648. Last Illness of Adorno.
Hironimo Adorno is very ill. He confessed and communicated, and settled his affairs during the past night. He is expected to die.
March 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 24. 649. Death of Adorno.
It was heard in the morning that the Imperial ambassador, Hironimo Adorno, died at the seventeenth hour. In the afternoon the bell of Sto. Mark's tolled double peals six times, and stately obsequies will be performed in his honour at St. Stefano, where he resided. He was 33 years of age. He seemed well inclined towards the Signory. (fn. 3)
March 28. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 88. 650. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
The galleys have been repaired and will set sail after Easter, but the crews are wanting. When asked for their guns, Cardinal Wolsey said, “Go and take them, they are distant three miles from the galleys.” (fn. 4) The captain and masters are unable to obtain from him the grant of any of their demands, however small.
London, 28th March. Registered by Sanuto, 24th April.
[March.] Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 90. 651. The Same to the Same.
A Bishop [Bernard de Mesa, Bishop of Badajoz], whose see was saddled with a pension of 2,000 ducats for Cardinal Wolsey, has been resident in England as ambassador from the Emperor. When the Emperor went to England, he requested the King to remit (levare) the pension, and the King promised to pay it himself. The ambassador being now about to return to Spain, Wolsey demanded the pension, saying he chose to receive it from the Bishop, who has been compelled to give security, &c. There is, therefore, no longer the same good understanding as at first between the Emperor and England; and it seems that Madame Margaret, the governess of Flanders, allows Frenchmen passage on their way to Scotland.
The King is sending an ambassador to Rome, called the Elect -[Dr. John Clerk, Bishop elect of Bath], who is entirely the creature of Wolsey, both that he may aid him to obtain the popedom should Adrian VI. die, and also for the transaction of other necessary business. The King wanted to recall Pace from Venice [to England], but the Cardinal did not choose it; so the King is sending him to the Switzers, and he is to confer with this envoy on his way to Rome at Milan.
Undated. Registered by Sanuto, 27th April.
March 80. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 39. 652. Illness of Pace.
The English ambassador, Richard Pace, has been ill of late; he therefore was not present at the obsequies of Adorno. This day he came to the College, and communicated the advices received by him from England concerning the release of the galleys.
March 31. Misti Consiglio X., v. xlvi. p. 13. 653. The Flanders Galleys.
Motion made in the Senate for letters of thanks to be written to Henry VIII. and Cardinal Wolsey.
March 31. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File no. 7, 654. Doge Leonardo Loredano to King Henry VIII.
Letter of thanks for the release of the Flanders galleys, announced by Richard Pace, the English ambassador in Venice, and by the Venetian ambassador in England.
March 31. Ib. 655. The Same to Cardinal Wolsey.
Of the same tenor.
March 31. Misti Consiglio X., v. xlvi. p. 13. 656. The Council of Ten and Junta to Antonio Surian, Ambassador in England.
The Reverend Richard Pace having suddenly informed them that a courier is to leave Venice for England this evening, will not allow him to depart without letters from them. Commend the ambassador for his zealous and indefatigable exertions, whereby he has at length effected the release of the Signory's galleys, and of the goods belonging to her merchants. To thank the King and Cardinal.
Enclose letters for the King and Cardinal.
Approve of the ambassador's gentle hint to the King that he should grant reparation to the poor masters and mariners for all they have suffered, without any fault of theirs.
As the ambassador writes of his Majesty's great wish to have six of the Signory's bronze guns—two from each galley—the like demand having been made by the Reverend Richard Pace, desire him, although it subjects the galleys to great peril, by reason of the corsairs in the German Ocean, and of the pirate vessels of the Turks and other rovers in the Mediterranean, to announce the State's willingness to comply with his Majesty's desire, as by so doing they think to gratify themselves. Is therefore to consign the cannon at the King's pleasure; but in order that the return voyage may be made in safety, is to request the Cardinal to accommodate them with other guns, promising to return them by the next fleet destined for the Flanders voyage, which will set sail immediately on the arrival at Venice of the galleys now in England.
March 31. Misti Consiglio X., v. xlvi. p. 13. 657. The Council of Ten and Junta to Antonio Surian.
By the accompanying letter desire him to satisfy the King with regard to the six bronze guns belonging to the Signory, and to request that the galleys may be accommodated with other cannon for their safe return.
By this separate letter inform him that if unable to obtain cannon for the galleys from the King, he is to arrange with the captain and masters, and procure other guns in the best manner possible, so that the galleys may make their voyage in safety.
March 31. Misti Consiglio X., v. xlvi. p. 13. 658. The Council of Ten and Junta to Antonio Surian.
A few days ago the Reverend Richard Pace gave them to understand that amongst his other friends with whom he corresponds in England are the Bishop of London [Cuthbert Tunstall] and Sir Henry Marney, who (he says) have great authority and credit with the King; and he assured the Council that they will use their good offices with his Majesty in favour of the Signory on every occasion. Think fit therefore to give the ambassador notice of this, so that should he deem it advisable he may visit these personages apart one from the other, and request their favour. Should they have rendered any already, he is to express the Signory's thankfulness.
Of the receipt of this letter he is to give notice to the Chiefs of the Ten.
Ayes, 20. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 0.


  • 1. No date, but written probably at the beginning of March. The paragraph commences thus, “Fo continuato a lezer le lettere. In quelle di Franza par Fonterabia,” etc.
  • 2. On the 22nd of December 1522.
  • 3. Pace's negotiations were affected by this catastrophe,
  • 4. Qu. at Calshot Castle ?