Venice: August 1536

Pages 47-49

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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August 1536

August 4. Despatches. Venetian Archives, File no. 4 B. 115. Lorenzo Bragadino, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Signory.
The King of England has sent the Duke of Norfolk to declare war on the Emperor, in case he invade France, and has already commenced monthly contributions. The King of France has as many Switzers as he wants, and it is also said that in Picardy, Mons. de Vendome had routed the Imperial troops, commanded by Mons. de Roeux, in such wise that Mons. de Nassau, who was on the way to succour him, had halted.
Rome, 4th August.
Aug. 10. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. No date. Printed in vol. i. pp. 477–479. “Epistolarum Reginaldi Poli.” Date 10th Aug. 1536, but see Beccatello, Life of Pole, p. 363, where the date is 1535. 116. Reginald Pole to Giovanni Matteo Giberti, Bishop of Verona.
Had not he (Giberti) at this season been visiting his diocese, would have gone to him at Verona, wishing to regain the time lost by his departure thence owing to the unexpected coming of that messenger from England; for he is much hampered by these affairs, and many others threaten him (turn vero ea me circumstant negotia, et plura impendent), so that he longs for nothing more than to discuss them with him (Giberti), whom he ranks among his chief friends.
Some ten days ago, another courier was sent to him express (per equos dispositos), with letters, whereby Cromwell, by whose will the King now reigns, (cujus arbitrio Rex nunc regnat) [query, who now rules the King] writes to him in the King's name, sending also a letter from Tunstall, Bishop of Durham, (fn. 1) a person well known (he believes) to Giberti, and who is now considered the greatest of English scholars (nunc in Anglia primas in literis tribuunt), assigning this letter as the cause for despatching the courier with such speed; Tunstall's object being, by the arguments and reasons stated in his letter, to convert Pole from the opinion maintained in his books, concluding with impassionate entreaties, beseeching him for the honour of his family, for the love of his country, lest England, lately rescued from the yoke of servitude (such being the title given by him to the obedience which she rendered to the Roman Pontiff), be again replaced by him in slavery, and under the same yoke. Tunstall alleges many things to this effect, expecting him (Pole) to be greatly moved by them, but all their projects (cogitationes) were anticipated by God, who the more they study to turn him aside from the known truth, the more they confirm him in it. Therefore, answered Tunstall's letter immediately the courier came express, and by express sent the reply, and whilst writing it, he received letters from Rome, whereby the Pope ordered him to go thither. It seems that the Pope wishes to try whether he (Pole) will maintain by deed, what he so strongly asserted in words, concerning his authority, and the tie of their obedience. Wrote this immediately to the Catholics (ad nostros) in England, sending them a copy of the Papal letter, and also of his reply, whereby he promised, in a cause so great and important (in tam gravi et amplâ causâ), not to fail in his duty, and at any rate to go as the Pope commanded him. From his Holiness's letter, learns that during this winter the Pope will hold in Rome a meeting of Theologians (doctorum hominum), summoned by him to discuss those matters which will be hereafter treated in the yet more august Council which will be attended by Legates of all the provinces. Knows himself unworthy to appear in such an assembly, but being called for such a cause he must obey. He wrote against this sentence [the Act of Supremacy?], which he knows will displease the King. (fn. 2) But what could he do? “Si hominibus placerem” etc. Hears that he (Giberti) also, has been called to Rome, which pleases him greatly, and yet more would it please him, if, after being called thither, matters should not only be decreed, but moreover executed, according to the advice of him (Giberti) and those who resemble him; but these things depend on the will of God. Should he (Giberti) have determined to go, wishes to know the time of his departure, and if a little delayed, he might perhaps accompany him. The Abbot of San Giorgio Maggiore [Gregorio Cortese], is also summoned, and invited him (Pole) to accompany him, but he purposes departing sooner than he (Pole) can be ready, as he will set out at the end of August, having arranged to pass some days with the Archbishop of Salerno, whereas he (Pole) does not purpose quitting Rovelona and its neighbourhood until the end of September. Requests him (Giberti) to acquaint him with his intentions. “Farewell. From our Paradise: for such, in truth, may I call this place where I now reside, both on account of the pleasant country and most delightful hills, and yet more by reason of the companions whose society I enjoy here; for Marco Monaco brought me hither a good twenty days ago, and most willingly do I listen to his discourse on the divine word, as on no subject does he speak more willingly; so what with his own words and those of his companions who are imbued with the same spirit, I hear nothing but the praise of God; and in this delicious spot, I fancy myself with my Maker in Paradise. Again, farewell.”
Rovelona, in the Euganæan Hills, 10th August 1536.
[Latin, 64 lines.]
August 11. Parti Comuni, Consiglio X., v. lviii, p. 145. 117. Maphio Bernardo.
Motion made in the Council of Ten.
That considering the importance of the law-suit between the nobleman Ser Maphio Bernardo and those individuals Di Scudi, it be carried that after the despatch of the Vincentini cause, which is now being tried in the Criminal Court of the Forty, the said cause of Bernardo and Scudi be immediately brought before the said court and despatched.
Ayes, 12. No, 1. Neutrals, 3.
August 14. Despatches, Venetian Archives, File no. 4 B. 118. Lorenzo Bragadino, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to to the Signory.
King Francis is in very close negotiation with the King of England, who is well inclined to form an alliance with him, but solely for the defence of the kingdom of France.
News have been received here of the death of the English King's natural son.
Rome, 14th August.
August 16. Despatches, Venetian Archives. File no. 4 B. 119. The Same to the Same.
With regard to the King of England, he has sent a herald to the Emperor, but does not act sincerely, giving words to one party and the other, thinking that the war between these Princes adds to his repute, and that both will be compelled to pay him great respect; nor does the Emperor fail to make him very large offers of giving him any part of France he pleases; and according to appearances the King of England would wish the Emperor and King of France to appoint him sole mediator for the peace between them.
Rome, 16th August.
August 23. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), v. lvii. p. 52. 120. The Doge and Senate to the Bailo at Constantinople.
Concerning the King of England, it is said that he has written to the Emperor offering himself as mediator for the disputes between his Imperial Majesty and the most Christian King, and awaits a reply.
Ayes, 192. Noes, 5. Neutrals, 6.
August 26. Despatches, Venetian Archives, File no. 4 B. 121. Lorenzo Bragadino, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to to the Signory.
By a letter from the Right Rev. Triultio, in France, dated the 12th, it is heard that since the death of the Dauphin, the King inclines towards peace, and continues to affirm that England will be in his favour with regard to defence,
Rome, 26 th August.


  • 1. Letter dated 13th of July 1536. (Cotton MSS., Cleop. E. VI. p. 385.)
  • 2. “In hanc sententiam ad eos nonnulla scripsi que scio illi minime placitura. Sed quid agam?” Pole is probably alluding to some passage in his book entitled, “De ecclesiasticæ unitatis defensione libri quatucr ad Henricum Octavum Britanniæ Regem.” (See Epist. Vol. I. p. 478.)