Venice: May 1523

Pages 315-320

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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May 1523

May 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 182. 671. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
A week ago the galleys commenced lading. Details his conversations about them with the Cardinal and the King. Made application for the six pieces of artillery belonging to the galleys. He was referred to the Master of the Ordnance, and Cardinal Wolsey said he wished the Signory to accommodate him with six guns, to be conveyed by the galleys. When conversing with the King, elicited that he is not on good terms with the Emperor. The King blamed the Emperor's Chancellor [Gattinara] who counsels him, and who caused the transfer from England of the negotiations for the agreement with the Signory which were current in London. Details other conversations held with Wolsey during the course of two days.
London,—to 4th May. Registered by Sanuto, 28th May.
May 4. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 209. 672. Gasparo Contarini to the Council of Ten.
The Bishop of Badajoz has arrived at the Court. Sir Thomas Boleyn will depart in two days.
Valladolid, 4th May 1523.
[Italian, 1 page.]
May 6. Senato Mar, v. xx. p. 66. 673. The Venetian Factory in London.
Motion in the Senate.
The proveditors for the London factory duty are unable to examine the accounts in order that the debts, amounting to 3,000 ducats, may be liquidated, because in their office at Venice, of all the books of the factory from 1510 to 1520, they have only those of the years 1515 and 1518. It is requisite therefore to make provision that the costs of bills of exchange and their renewal, amounting to upwards of 1,000 ducats, as stated in the consul's letters from London dated 7th January, may not continue. But the consul has failed to send the books.
Put to the ballot—That the consul in London be charged to send to Venice to the proveditors for the factory (fn. 1) all the missing books from 1510 to 1520, and all the Acts passed in the Council of XII., together with the estimates, from 1510 to the present day. The present consul and his successors henceforth to send all writings relating to their office whenever required so to do by the proveditors.
The consul and his successors to keep this order exactly under penalty of 200 golden ducats, to be levied on their personal property for every omission; the fine to be paid within six months after their return to Venice. Should payment not be made on the expiration of that term, the scribes for the quota, under pain of loss of place, to proclaim them debtors at the palace; and they are to be ineligible to any appointment until they shall have paid in full the arrears due to the office for the quota.
The consul of the London factory, under the like penalty, to be forbidden ever again to raise any money by bills of exchange save by express order from the proveditors for the quota.
Ayes, 161. Noes, 5. Neutrals, 9.
[Italian, 34 lines.]
May 8. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 102. 674. Change of Domicile of Richard Pace.
In the morning the Signory and College, having assembled in the palace, determined to have the bells tolled, and to notify to all, the death of the Doge [Antonio Grimani].
Double peals were tolled at St. Mark's and at all the churches in Venice; the office and masses were ordained as usual. Briefs were addressed to every place under the seal of the senior counsellor, Andrea Magno, announcing the demise, and the noblemen abroad all received notice to come and elect the future Doge.
The Signory remained to dine in the palace on the upper story, as the [late Doge's ?] furniture had not yet been removed.
The corpse, clad in the mantle, was in the “Portego.”
The Doge's grand-daughters, wives of the two procurators, went to reside in Ca Guerrozi, the abode of the Doge's son, the Cardinal who is at Rome, as their own house at Sta. Maria Formosa is inhabited by the English ambassador Pace, who will quit it. The said procurators, Marco and Vetor, the Doge's grandsons, betook themselves to San Vido, to the house of their uncle, Vicenzo Grimani, to receive those who may go to condole with them; so thither people went accordingly.
May 13. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. pp. 147, 148. 675. — to the Marquis of Mantua.
This morning a post from Wittemberg brought news that Francesco Sickingen, who retreated to a castle on the borders of Lorraine, had surrendered to the Elector of Treves, the Count Palatine, and the Landgrave of Hesse. The forces of the Archduke [Ferdinand] are not supposed to have arrived in time for the victory, as it was only a week ago that they left Stutgard, from which place the camp was four miles distant. The reason of so speedy a surrender of the castle, which was said to be impregnable, is that the garrison commenced vacillating, as they knew not why they should run the risk of death and trouble. Some are of opinion that Sickingen was not there in person, but a gentleman of his sect [a Lutheran?], who was captured shortly before by the Count Palatine, affirms positively that he was there.
The Diet [of Inspruck] was to have closed today. The natives who sit therein wished to depart yesterday, but his Serenity the Prince [Ferdinand] sent them word to wait until today, as there was still business to be done. What it may be is not yet known; but of the two demands made by the Prince, namely, 6,000 infantry, paid for six months, and 150,000 florins, they will at any rate grant him one, at his Serenity's option.
The messenger of the Emperor's ambassador, who is at Venice to negotiate peace, has again returned; and whereas his Serenity [the Archduke] would fain have a truce for some years, and not peace, yet the Venetians prefer war to truce, as they suspect that his Serenity [the Archduke], after establishing himself, will then attack them.
An ambassador from England, by name Dr. Clerk, is expected here today on his way to Rome to the Pope.
At the commencement of next month the League of Swabia will attack the nobility of Franconia, who are for the most part highwaymen, and hostile to the Empire; so it has been determined to punish them, and the commander of the army is already here, negotiating with his Serenity.
It seems that a tenth is to be exacted from all the ecclesiastics at Inspruck in the Pope's name, to be expended against the Turks. This measure does not much please the churchmen.
The most serene Prince [the Archduke] has caused all Luther's books to be burnt, and some days afterwards the bookseller who sold them was banished this town for a year. There are many in this country who would be Lutherans were they not afraid of his Lordship.
Inspruck, 13th May. Registered by Sanuto, 25th May.
May 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. pp. 189, 190. 676. Antonio Surian to —.
“White Rose” will cross over to England, because a battle has been fought between the Scots and English, in which the latter were worsted.
Dated 14th May. Registered by Sanuto, 5th June.
May 15. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 113. 677. Pace's Negotiations.
The Imperial and English ambassadors came into the College. They inquired whether the Signory had anything to negotiate, as Pace was obliged to depart. It was determined that the commissioners should go today to the Imperial ambassador; but they did not go, because the Procurator Zorzi Cornaro chose to attend the Grand Council.
May 28. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 194. 678. Zuam Badoer to the Signory.
Has held several conversations with the King of France. The Duke of Albany, “White Rose,” and Lautrec have been sent with troops to cross over to England because
Blois,—to 28th May. Registered by Sanuto, 10th June.
May 29. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 183. 679. The Black Parliament.
Note by Sanuto.—In the letters from England account is given of the second sitting of Parliament, at which it was determined to elect four individuals, one for each of the ecclesiastical orders, with authority from them to assemble and decide. Cardinal Wolsey caused the election to be made of four individuals who are all his own creatures; so he can dispose of them. He will make them give two-thirds of the [ecclesiastical ?] revenues. The Lords and others [the Commons ?], likewise, will impose a tax of 300,000 ducats, but it will be [in fact?] 100,000.
Sixteen ships have arrived in Scotland with the King of Denmark, his wife, and children. The cause is not known. Some say that he wants to obtain a stipend from the Scots; others that the Danes have expelled him from his kingdom. He would not disembark, and remained out at sea.
May 29. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiv. p. 183. 680. Note by Sanuto.
Three letters from England were read [today in the Senate], as written above, with this in addition, that the Queen widow of Portugal, the Emperor's sister, and step-mother of the present King, seems to be pregnant by her said step-son.
The King of England had written to Pace, his ambassador at Venice, desiring him to go on a certain mission. He now desires him to remain where he is, and to continue negotiating the agreement between the Emperor and the Signory. The King and Cardinal are dissatisfied with the Emperor. They say, “double-tongued”(bislinguæ), &c.
May 31. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 212. 681. Gasparo Contarini to the Council of Ten.
It is said that on Tuesday next the Emperor will go to Medina, to meet his sister the Queen of Portugal, who has arrived there. He will accompany her to Tordesillas, and then return hither.
Valladolid, 31st May 1523.
[Italian, ¾ page.]
May 31. Mantuan Archives, 682. Gregorio Casale to Federigo Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua.
The falconers will have informed him how much his falcons pleased the King, and how much obliged he is to him.
Sends the Marquis the horses which ought to have been sent last winter, but Baptista, who had brought some from Italy, would not venture to take them at that season. Delayed moreover because he could find none to satisfy him, or that seemed worthy of the Marquis, as is the case at present, although he and the Master of the Horse have made very diligent search; but, unluckily for him (Casale), he could not find better or handsomer hobbies (chinee) either in London or in the country. Thinks there were never fewer. Beseeches the Marquis to pardon him, and to excuse the King, who wishes very much to get something worthy of his Excellency, towards whom he bears very great affection.
The King does not choose to send him greyhounds, as he has none suitable at present, suspecting that the English hounds would be disgraced by those of the Marquis. Now that the hunting season is commencing, there will be packs of hounds, and some choice ones, on a par perhaps with the Marquis's hounds, may be found; and should he deign to tell Baptista what sort he prefers, they shall be sent. Beseeches him also to order anything in England which he desires.
London, last day of May 1523.
Signed: Gregorio Gasale.
[Original. Italian.]


  • 1. In the original “cottimo,” which I have invariably translated “factory,” although the word signifies literally “quota,” or amount of duties exacted by the State from Venetian merchants in foreign countries.