Venice: January 1537

Pages 52-55

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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January 1537

1537. Jan. 3. Despatches, Venetian Archives, File No. 4 B. 132. Lorenzo Bragadino, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Signory.
In a long conversation held by me with the Pope he expressed his wish that your Serenity should use your good offices with the Emperor and the King of France that they may aid his Holiness in the Turkish expedition, on which he is intent, and has summoned the congregation of Cardinals appointed for this purpose to send nuncios and to decide on the mode of raising money. The Pope said that he would give both money, the popedom, and his own life, adding, “Thus stricken in years as you see us we will go in person; never was Christendom in greater peril, or easier the remedy, were it not for the mischievous operations of two men, namely, the Emperor and the most Christian King, who both hold a matter of very little importance in greater account than the Almighty and the whole world, obstinately persisting in a war against each other which must bring the entire Christian faith to ruin. We are in despair; if we speak to the Emperor about the Turk, he replies that we must declare ourselves against France and excommunicate King Francis, who has an understanding with the Turk. This is not the way to resist Sultan Solyman, separating Christendom from France, who has so much power and authority, and military forces and money, which are needed for this undertaking, unless it be that the Emperor would fain effect our total overthrow, for he it was who has been the cause of our losing England, as had he not promised to attack King Henry, Clement would not have published the sentence. And to tell you the truth, the Emperor caused us the loss of Germany likewise, and all this increase of the Lutherans; for at the time of his election at Worms, when the sect was in the beginning, he ought to have extinguished it, and not allowed all men to live after their own fashion; and subsequently he did the like at Augsburg. We do not indeed believe that he thus chose to keep his foot upon the throat either of Italy or of the Church, saying, 'It will he thus at my option, whenever I please, to let the Lutherans enter Italy for their ruin and that of the Church, to which they are most hostile, and they, with the hope of plundering the Church property and that of the clergy, will exempt me from any expense.'
The Pope then spoke to me about the affairs of England, which he said were going quite against the King, and that he had seen trustworthy advices from a great personage that there was no hope whatever of an agreement, and that well nigh the whole Island had rebelled, the insurgents requiring that at any rate Cromwell and four others should be placed in their hands; and with the insurgents there were the Archbishop of York and many noblemen and gentry (nobili et signori). His Holiness had no further recollection of their names, and merely mentioned a Mylord (uno miglior), showing that he had very sure hope of a speedy and favourable result, on which I congratulated his Holiness, telling him, that when not expected, Providence and the goodness of God had found means to make that Island return to the bosom of the Catholic Church, so that we must not despair of his giving light, whereby to find the road to concord between these Princes, on which the maintenance of his Holy See depended.
The Signor Pietro Alvise [Farnese] has of late been very ill of colic; this morning he took oil of bitter almonds and is much better, the spasms which troubled him much (but without fever) having greatly diminished.
Encloses a news-letter from Brussels concerning English affairs.
Rome, 3rd January. (fn. 1)
Jan. 5. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), v. lvii. p. 93. 133. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador and Bailo at Constantinople.
The most Christian King was going to Paris and re-enforcing his army in Picardy, where it was said he would continue the war.
His Majesty has married his daughter Madame Madelaine to the King of Scotland, who came to France for this purpose, and was at the Court, the marriage having been concluded and solemnized, with the consent, it is said, of the King of England.
To communicate these advices as usual to the magnificoes the Bashaws.
Jan. 15. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), v. lvii. p. 94. 134. Commission to Marc' Antonio Contarini, knight, Ambassador on his way to the Pope.
Is to visit in the Signory's name the ambassadors from the Emperor, from the most Christian King, from the Kings of the Romans and of England, and from such other Princes at the Court as may seem fit to him.
Ayes, 140. Noes, 5. Neutrals, 2.
Jan. 30. Mantuan Archives. 135. Mattheo dell' Agnella, surnamed “El Barba,” to the Duke of Mantua.
Heard by his son, Giovan Mattheo, the bearer of the present letter, that the Duke wished for an English bred hobby (fn. 2). Was very anxious to serve his Excellency, but could not succeed, though he made a circuit of many miles round London, nor could he find anything worthy of the Duke. For this he is very sorry, but prefers letting his son go back without the hobby rather than send his Excellency what would not suit him; and truly, as the Duke may hear more in full from Agnella's son and his companion, it is very difficult at present, owing to the late wars and insurrections, to find anything worth having here. Humbly prays the Duke to excuse him if unable to serve his Excellency, whose very devoted servant he is. Should he find anything which may seem suitable, will do his utmost to gratify the Duke's wish by the first good opportunity. Prays God to grant the Duke perpetual prosperity, humbly requesting his Excellency to include him and his son amongst his menial servants, and to hold them as recommended.
London, 30th January 1537.
Signed: Mattheo dell' Agnella ditto El Barba.
[Original, Italian.]
January? MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod. xxiv. Cl. x, No date. Printed in vol. 2 pp. 2–4. “Epistolarum,” &c. 136. Cardinal Pole to Andrea Griti, Doge of Venice.
Amongst the many congratulations received by him on his exaltation to the Cardinalate, the omission of any from his own country pained him, but when those of the Doge and Senate were presented to him by their Ambassador, Lorenzo Bragadino, the announcement seemed to him well nigh the voice desired by him from England, which is not surprising, as during his long residence at Venice he received so many favours, that he cannot in reason consider them less than those for which he is debtor to his birthplace. At Venice he had facilities for study such as he certainly could not have found at home, and he moreover enjoyed the friendship of most eminent men. On this account he had already written a letter with the news for transmission to the Doge, instead of which he receives from Venice congratulations, calling to mind the new duties imposed on him, which are certainly great and serious (magna et gravid). It is his intention to fulfil them, provided God grant him the necessary strength. The Doge and Senate may consider him on every occasion their most devoted citizen.
Rome, January 1537?
[Latin, 51 lines.]
January? MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. No date. Printed in vol. 2. pp. 2–4. “Epistolarum,” &c. 137. The Same to Cardinal Guido Antonio Sforza, Legate of Bologna.
Thanks him for his congratulations on the Cardinalate, which prove Sforza's good will. The kindness of Sforza's cousin, the most illustrious Farnese, will also certainly have contributed to the Legate's good opinion of him. Wishes him success in his legation, and promises him his prayers for its attainment.
Rome, January 1537?
[Latin, 43 lines.]
January? MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. No date. Printed in vol. 2. pp. 8, 9. “Epistolarum,” &c. 138. The Same to Cosimo Gerio, Bishop of Fano.
Answers his congratulations. Pays his own compliments to Gerio on the great abilities displayed by him in the letter.
Rome, January 1537?
[Latin, 39 lines.]


  • 1. According to the letterbook from which I inscribed the despatches of Lorenzo Bragadino, he entered Rome on the 22nd October 1535, and his successor arrived there
  • 2. “Uno obyno da razza di questo paese.”