Venice: November 1535

Pages 32-34

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 5, 1534-1554. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1873.

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November 1535

Nov. 2. Original Letter Book of Francesco Contarini in St. Mark's Library. 74. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador with the King of the Romans, to the Doge and Signory.
Although I went with the King to meet and pay my respects to the Elector, the Duke of Saxony, on the day of his arrival, I thought it my duty to go and see him at his house, paying due compliments, and reminding him of the close friendship between the Republic and all his predecessors, especially since the visit to Venice in 1493 of his late father's brother the Elector Frederick.
His Excellency caused me to be graciously answered by Dom. Francesco Vinacense, a very learned man, but the disciple and pupil of Melancthon.
This Duke of Saxony is 32 years old, and has to wife the daughter of the Duke of Cleves and Juliers, who bore him two sons. Besides all his other titles of Elector, Lord Marshal, &c., he is now head of the whole Lutheran sect. Every morning as soon as he is dressed he hears the sermon in his public eating room; (fn. 1) he does not hear Mass, save when he communicates, and the Mass is ordained after the manner of his own doctors of divinity, who are Martin [Luther], Melancthon, and his companions, who however are not here, but there are here five others, Agricola (and he is the one who preaches at present), Spalatin (sic), the aforesaid Francesco (Vinacense), and two others. Martin has remained at home with his wife, who was a nun, and according to their account is a very handsome and virtuous young woman, (fn. 2) and has borne him two sons; and when talking with this identical Spalatin, with whom it behoved me to contract a slight intimacy, to try if through his means I could ascertain anything about the cession of Belgrade and Castlenovo, I told him that one of these two sons of Martin would by rights be Antichrist, being born of a friar and a nun, and having such a father as Martin.
The motto of the Duke of Saxony, and of the Dukes of Luxemburg and Mecklenburg, and of other lords who have accompanied him, is still—
“Verbum Domini manet in sternum,”
and round his coins (one of which I enclose that your Serenity may see his effigy) are the words—
“Spes mea in Deo est.”
Vienna, 2nd November 1535.
Nov. 7. Despatches, Venetian Archives, File no. 4 B. 75. Lorenzo Bragadino, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Signory.
The right reverend Cardinals appointed for the affair of the King of England (sopra la cosa del Rè d' Ingeltera) assembled on the 4th and drew up the minute of a bull against the said King, depriving him of his kingdom and interdicting trade. It is true that they will grant a suitable term (which as yet, however, has not been specified) to the merchants to wind up their affairs on that island, which it will be endeavoured to prolong as much as possible.
The despatch of this business is much urged by the Imperial Ambassador, so that the Signory's merchants who have dealings in England must see to their affairs quickly.
Rome, 7th November 1535.
Nov. 8. Despatches, Venetian Archives, File do. 4 B. 76. Lorenzo Bragadino, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Signory.
This morning in Consistory some churches in France were conferred, the Bull against the King of England being also discussed, but as it had not been seen by all the Cardinals, the matter will be despatched at the next consistory.
Rome, 8th November 1535.
Nov. 16. Despatches, Venetian Archives, File no. 4 B. 77. The Same to the Same.
The Bull against the most Serene King of England has not yet been seen by all the Cardinals, and this very day it was presented to Cardinal Pisani.
Rome, 16th November 1535.
Nov. 20. Senato Mar, v. xxiii. p. 109. 78. Importation of English Wool.
Put to the ballot,—
All persons Venetian citizens, as also aliens, to be empowered to export wools to our city, from England, Flanders, and Brabant, during one year from this present time, whether by land or sea, by any ship or vessels, Venetian or foreign, including those already on the way [home?], as likewise such as have departed [on the way out?]; they are to pay one third to our arsenal, as the year during which the freights were pledged to the Flanders Galleys of the last voyage has expired. (fn. 3)
Ayes, 158. Noes, 5. Neutrals, 8.
Nov. 27. Despatches, Venetian Archives, File No. 4 B. 79. Lorenzo Bragadino, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Signory.
The Cardinals of the French faction have so opposed the Bull against England that it has not yet been read in Consistory; the Emperor's sister, the Queen Maria, governess of the Low Countries, also discounsels its publication by reason of the great profit derived by the Flemings from the trade with England.
Rome, 27th November 1535.


  • 1. In the original, “in la sua stua” “Stua “ signifies a stove.
  • 2. In the Report of Borne (Paul III., 1535) by Antonio Surian (Series 2, vol. iii. p. 317,) it is stated that she was the sister of the famous diplomatist Nicholas Schomberg, Cardinal of Capua. According to the biographical dictionaries the name of Luther's wife was Catharine de Bora, and her marriage took place on the 11th June 1525.
  • 3. It has been mentioned elsewhere in these Calendars, that to secure the carrying trade for the Flanders galleys English merchandize, brought to Venice during their voyages, paid to the masters of the galleys one third of the freight to which they would have been entitled for conveyance of the goods; and it is now seen that when the Flanders galleys renounced their voyages, the tax was claimed by the arsenal.