Milan
1499

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1912

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364-381

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'Milan: 1499', Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts in the Archives and Collections of Milan: 1385-1618 (1912), pp. 364-381. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=92281 Date accessed: 31 July 2014.


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1499

1499.
Jan. 26.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
601. Raymondo de Raimundi of Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan.
I have not written to your Excellency since the 12th ult., as I had no messenger. There is nothing fresh here or in Scotland. The king here enjoys good fortune, and has nothing to do but to guard and accumulate his own immense treasure. The King of Scotland is making every effort to induce his Majesty to give him his eldest daughter, who is nine years old, but the king here will not make up his mind. The friendship pleases him on every account, except that the poverty of the country seems to him too hard. I have heard this fully from his Majesty, with whom I have been riding and conversing lately for about four miles. As the conversation started by his Highness was always about various things, I put my hand on a topic to which I have always attached importance since I came to England for the second time, to wit, that in his Highness's opinion he has need of no one, while every one needs him, and although he clearly sees what may happen to the world, yet he considers it so unlikely as to be practically impossible. In the midst of all this, his Majesty can stand like one at the top of a tower looking on at what is passing in the plain. He also seems to believe that even if the King of France became master of Italy, which he would not like, he would be so distracted in ruling it that no harm would ensue either to his Majesty or to his heirs. Although I may answer this and similar propositions with all diligence, he always seemed to hold to his opinion. He always speaks to me of your Excellency in the most honourable fashion, and I understand that he invariably does the same with everybody.
By a duplicate of your Excellency, written on the 12th November I have heard of the excellent letter written to the archduke for the safety of my return. I thank your Excellency, and if care avails I shall not fall into the hands of enemies.
Yesterday a courier arrived from the King of France, and to-day two gentlemen, ambassadors of Britanny, have arrived. It is supposed that they have come to notify the marriage. I hope to gather what it is about and what the courier brought through M. Petro Penech, who commends himself to your Excellency.
I beg your Excellency to see that I have provision of food.
London, the 26th January, 1499.
[Italian.]
Jan. 28.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
602. Raimondo de' Raimondi di Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 1)
By my letter of the 26th inst. your Excellency will have learned that an ambassador has come from the King of France and two from Britanny. To-day his Majesty has been riding, and Don Petro and I accompanied him a while. His Majesty told me that the courier had brought him a letter in which the King of France announces that the apostolic delegates, having carefully investigated the form of the marriage contracted between him and Madame Giana, of France, have stated that that marriage is null and void, and declared that the King of France is free to take any lady he pleases.
The Breton ambassadors have stated that the King of France, being free, is making the utmost efforts to have their duchess as his wife, and as they consider the king here as their father they do not wish to do anything without his advice or hearing his opinion.
The King of England had been previously advised that on the 17th inst. a marriage was concluded between the King of France and the said duchess. And now it is said that the King of England is constrained to advise the duchess to do that which is already accomplished, although by several messengers he had privily given the opposite advice (ben che per piu messi secretamente li haveno recordato el contrario).
In a long conversation, his Majesty has gathered from these ambassadors that the King of France is disposed to have peace with every one, and even if he sends troops to Italy he will not himself leave the kingdom on any account.
London, the 28th January, 1499.
[Italian.]
Feb. 16.603. Raimondo de' Raimondi di Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 2)
Announces the arrival in London of Christoforo de' Carbonari on the 10th inst. from Holland.
With the intention of taking leave of the king, filled up a blank sheet bearing the duke's signature, to the effect that the duke, answering his letter of the 17th November, took all the replies of the king in good part.
On the 3rd inst., in the packet of the Spinolas from Bruges, received a letter from the duke, dated the 9th January, expressing satisfaction with the reply given by the king last November, and at Raimondo's proposed return. Went therefore on the 15th to Greenwich, where the king was residing, who, after reading the whole letter, said he was much pleased at the duke's satisfaction, and added that he should have liked Raimondo to remain; he consented, however, to his returning, but desired him so to contrive that Agostino Spinula might have letters from the duke, and thus give news.
Should the duke not desire his return, ten days will amply suffice for the receipt of letters, and on the expiration of that term, he will set out.
There is no disturbance, and, as frequently written, none seems likely during the lifetime of the present king.
London, the 16th February, 1499.
[Italian.]
[1499.]
March.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
604. Pedro de Ayala, Protonotary of the Apostolic See and Ambassador of the King and Queen of Spain, to Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 3)
I have received the letters of your Excellency, from which I learn that you consider me among the number of your servants. This is most gratifying to me, and if, while I am staying in these parts by the command of my princes, I can ever do anything to serve your Highness, without prejudice to what your ambassador, Dom. Raimondo, is doing, I will strive to do it with all my might. I communicate to Dom. Raimondo anything that concerns your Excellency, and I doubt not but that he makes it known to you. As your Excellency knows all about the events in this kingdom and elsewhere from your said ambassador, I need not write at any length. The king here increases daily in his love and good will towards your Excellency, and is especially pleased at hearing of the great friendship existing between my sovereigns and your Excellency, and I have no doubt that my masters will follow you in everything, whatever happens. I hope that your Excellency will continue to command me, as nothing will give me greater satisfaction. May the Most High protect you.
London.
[Signed:] P. de Ayala, protonotarius.
[Latin.]
1499.
March 18.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
605. Raimondo de' Raimondi of Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 4)
M. Cipriano de Fornari, citizen of Genoa, has been ceaseless in his attentions to me this year and last, offering me all his goods and money. I feel sure he would show equal devotion at Genoa. I beg your Excellency to afford him some recognition, so that the other Genoese may see that they do not honour you in vain.
London, the 18th March, 1499.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
606. Raimondo de Raimundi of Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 5)
In the letters received by the courier were some confirming my leave, but the two last of the 22nd and 23rd January command me to keep your Excellency well advised, inferring that I must not leave yet. If I had not already taken leave, I should not have received the fine present from his Majesty, according to his custom with every ambassador, and should have quietly continued my embassy, but as it is, I am much perplexed. Agustino Spinula and Antonio Salvatico were of opinion that I should leave, saying that to remain was no longer honourable to your Excellency. As I did not know what to decide, I went to his Majesty and told him all my orders, asking what honourable course I could take. No one could be kinder or more clement than his Highness, and he said that since I was to leave he would not fail to give all the news and particulars to Agustino Spinula in the matters of your Excellency, so that you might know that he looked with favour on Cosimo and his brother. I sought a good reason for staying, and said that if his Highness commanded me to stay, I would do so gladly, as that was certain to please your Excellency. He said he would not take the responsibility. Accordingly I left with the idea that I could not honourably remain in England any longer.
However, having learned in another way that his Majesty would be glad for me to stay on for some days (I believe for these French ambassadors who are expected), and reflecting that I was more likely to do wrong by starting than remaining, I visited Don Petro de Ayala, the Spanish ambassador, who greatly esteems your Excellency, and after we had discussed a good deal together, we agreed that Don Pedro, in your interests, should sound the king about my remaining, contriving to let him know that I should be glad to remain some days longer in England if his Majesty did not think otherwise. His Majesty expressed his entire satisfaction, speaking kindly of me and with more honour than I deserve, and so I shall not leave yet, but wait to hear what I must do.
London, the 20th March, 1499.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
607. Raimondo de' Raimundi of Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 6)
His Majesty is well pleased with what your Excellency wrote and I said about Antonio Spinola, who is in his good graces. Antonio is not one to lose, as he works willingly, and I will keep him well disposed.
English affairs do not need him so much, because he stays little in London, and Augustino Spinola and Antonio Salvatico are always here. There is at present with his Majesty a Genoese physician, recently arrived, named Maestro Zoane Battista de Tabia, who has a good repute for his abilities and will serve your Excellency where he can. One of his brothers is ducal vicar at Genoa. To encourage the Genoese it will not be bad to caress one who has been a merchant at London more than thirty years, named M. Cipriano de Fornari, who although naturally of the other side, has always been deeply attached to your Excellency. He is also very well informed upon English affairs; he will soon be at Milan.
M. Petro Penech has left here to stay at the Court of Rome. His Majesty has given him letters procuratorial for that Court. I have heard that he takes letters on the road to various persons, the archduke, the emperor, I believe to Sig. Constantino Cominato; to your Excellency for certain, because he told me; to M. Zoane Bentivolio, and I fancy to the Venetians, as many priests of the West do when they go to Rome, to advance their affairs, presenting the letters afterwards, just as it may suit them.
M. Petro told me that he would like to be under the protection of the vice-chancellor; he seems really to have wished this, but would like to be asked. He would like to have taken letters from me, but I hear he gave up the idea, as he might travel through France. He also understands English affairs, and has always sought your Excellency's honour. He told me he wanted to take some good horses for your Excellency as a present, but I am sure he hopes to be paid for them. There can be no harm in caressing him because he is an enemy of the French, and if he hears anything in Rome he will always advise your Excellency.
London, the 20th March, 1499.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
608. Raimondo de' Raimondi de Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 7)
Ambrosio de la Chiesia, your Excellency's courier, arrived here on the 10th inst. with letters of the 25th, 28th and 31st December, and of the 12th, 22nd and 23rd January. As all had good news, I asked audience of his Majesty, who was very pleased that matters were going so well, and I am sure he would like them even more prosperous; and though he had heard everything by way of Rome, Florence and Paris, he was pleased to be specially informed. Whether your Excellency keeps me here or recalls me, it will not be beside the point to give his Highness frequent information about events, and no great trouble, as couriers reach Bruges every day from the Imperial Court, and messengers are always passing from Bruges to England, and your Excellency may be sure that matters are never so prosperous but Italian enemies will put the worst face upon them, and if the truth comes from Rome it is as diluted as if it had passed through an alembic; but his Highness always believes what your Excellency imparts to him.
London, the 20th March, 1499.
[Italian.]
March 22.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
609. Raymundus de Raymundis of Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 8)
The passage of the courier of Bruges permits me to advise your Excellency that I shall despatch in four days at latest Ambrosio de la Chiesia, a courier of your Excellency, who arrived here twelve days ago, and by him I will send word of what is taking place, although I fancy he will reach Milan before this letter.
The ambassadors of France, who are two, came to London on the 20th inst., and had audience of his Majesty yesterday. The English envoys who were at the Imperial Court are expected hourly. I will write more fully by Ambrogio.
London, the 22nd March, 1499.
[Italian.]
April 1. Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
610. Extracts from the cipher of Raimondo de' Raimondi de Soncino to the Duke of Milan. (fn. 9)
I do not send the courier, because the king here is detaining him. His ambassadors have returned from the King of the Roman who went to speak fair words, to renew the friendship strained by the peace of Picardy and the favours to Perkin, and to gather if the King of the Romans was really acting against the King of France. His Majesty is glad he sent them, because they bring back word that the King of the Romans desires to be his Majesty's good friend. A secretary of the King of the Romans has since arrived with whom I have spoken at length. I see he has come for…. (fn. 10)
This king is really inclined to that friendship and to do things of importance, because they think that the King of England means to feed his lords with hope, obtain money from the kingdom, and keep the King of France alarmed, but to do nothing really. The secretary will only make a short stay here. I only wish to know what he has operated.
This king is very dissatisfied, especially with Spain, though he is more enthusiastic than is usual with him, and is detaining the courier to speak about it at leisure, because there is an ambassador of the King of France here also, and the king told me that he is here for fresh matters.
London, the 1st April, 1499.
[Italian.]
April 9.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
611. Extracts from the cipher of Raimondo de' Raimondi of Soncino to the Duke of Milan. (fn. 11)
In my conversation with the king here at the coming of the courier, setting forth what your Excellency wrote to me in cipher, it seemed to me that his Majesty was more warm about your affairs than in the past. Among other things he said to me that he did not believe the sovereigns of Spain would suffer the King of France to make himself greater, and I felt sure myself that his Majesty also was of the same opinion. However, thinking these were mere generalities, I thought no more about it.
Subsequently, having decided not to leave England yet, I went on Holy Tuesday to his Majesty, who welcomed me with more affection than usual, and told me that his ambassadors just arrived from the emperor brought good news that his Imperial Majesty wished to be his friend and play the part of a good ally and brother. When I said I would despatch the courier if his Majesty wished, he replied that he advised me to wait, as he would speak to me at leisure. I returned on Holy Thursday at his washing of the feet of the poor, and he made me great cheer. When I commended your Excellency to him, he answered in Latin: Habeo.
On Holy Saturday the secretary of the King of the Romans was here. I have spoken with him every day. I find that he was alone, as I wrote, and he had no letters of credit, but was only to speak with the English ambassadors returned from the emperor. The secretary has always believed that these ambassadors brought back fables. On the 6th inst. his Majesty sent for him, and he came away very pleased, and said he was quite satisfied. I have made every effort to discover how this was possible. I asked him if he thought the friendship between the King of the Romans and his Majesty here would grow. He said, Yes, and so he left on the 7th. On that day I went to Court with Dom Pedro, the Spanish ambassador. In our presence the French ambassador was despatched, and the king said that he did not go very well pleased, because they gave him no reply, but he sent a man of his to France to answer. I was already informed by this ambassador of the King of the Romans that the king's ambassadors had told them how the French ambassador had asked for things not to be done. Dom Pedro believes, and so do I, that they wanted some additional guarantee. (Volevano qualche multiplicatione d'obligo.) The king here wishes to stand on his dignity (vole stare in reputatione), and it suffices him to have his pension.
I think his Majesty has been deceived, because he thought an ambassador was coming from the King of the Romans, not some obscure individual, because he looks keenly after such honours (molto cerca tali honori), and if an ambassador had come he might have done some good; but the King of the Romans does not condescend so far, and has treated the English ambassadors with scant respect (ha male honorato li oratori d'Anglitera.) Nor did he speak them fair, from what the messenger of the King of the Romans said to me, and I observed this, because the last time when I asked him to command what I should write by the courier, he said that there was nothing to write except recommendation; and he did not believe that the King of France would leave his realm, but that he might send troops to Italy.
In many conversations I have impressed upon the king here that the great distance between him and your Excellency does not matter at all. He afterwards suggested to me that he had some idea of drawing close to the King of the Romans, in which case he might have thought of something else, but now I fancy all dealings with the King of the Romans are broken off, and he will join himself thoroughly with France, and the secretary of the King of the Romans will either be deceived or he has deceived me. If the king here draws close to the King of the Romans, which I do not anticipate, your Excellency might profit by this friendship, but only if you also had a close friendship with the King of the Romans and not otherwise.
London, the 9th April, 1499.
[Italian.]
April 9.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
612. Agostino Spinula to Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 12)
Since the arrival of M. Raymondo, your Excellency's ambassador to the king here, I have written once to you, and have received from you four letters from Milan dated the 12th November to the same effect and requiring no reply, especially as M. Raymondo did what was necessary in this and every other respect. However, I have not failed to keep him advised. Subsequently the letter came by Christoforo de Carbonariis about his return. We both thought that it was because his operations in this kingdom being fulfilled for which he was sent, it would be the proper course for him to leave. Accordingly he took leave of his Majesty, who gave him a notable present. When he was about to start the present courier arrived with various letters from your Excellency for M. Raymondo. I understood that their tenor was that it would be neither advantageous nor honourable for him to stay on here after completing his operations, and as he had already taken leave of the king I was of opinion that he had no reason whatever to delay his departure. He has apparently decided to do so until he can freely learn your Excellency's wishes, alleging that he would more likely be wrong in going than in staying, and he will wait to hear from your Excellency what he ought to do. I cannot see that at present anything is likely to happen in this kingdom which your Excellency could not learn as well from Antonio and your other servants residing in this city. You would probably be more highly appreciated by his Majesty if you occasionally sent a courier than by keeping a permanent ambassador, so that you may not appear in dire straits. I have thought it my duty to notify this for the advantage of your Excellency and your state, and I hope you will not consider it presumption but rather singular affection that I and all my house have always borne for your Excellency. If you will entrust to me any operations I will try to prove myself a good servant.
London, the 9th April, 1499.
[Italian.]
April 9.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
613. Raimondo de' Raimondi di Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Ludovico Maria Sforza. Duke of Milan. (fn. 13)
I told Ambrosio de la Chiesia, your Excellency's courier, to travel with diligence, promising him 10 ducats if he reached Milan in 18 days from Calais, and if the Basel road is blocked, and he went by Savoy in 20 days. I beg you to see that he is paid.
London, the 9th April, 1499.
[Italian.]
April 9.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
614. Raimondo de' Raimondi di Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to the Duke of Milan. (fn. 14)
About the 16th ult. an ambassador came here from France named M. Petro Loise, a Catalan, who had been a soldier both by sea and land, but now wears the clerical dress. I have never discovered the reason for his coming, but it cannot have been a small matter because the Bishop of Durham (M. de Durame), his Majesty's privy seal (corniola secreta), was several times at the ambassador's house and afterwards M. Carlo de Somerset, a close relation of the king, (fn. 15) and the Dukes of Buckingham and Suffolk, entertained him at a state banquet. And although there is a statute of the realm that no ship may take wine or woad (gualdo) from France to England, unless it is English, without paying a noble the cask to the crown, they granted to this ambassador that all French and Gascon ships might bring wine and woad at pleasure, though this was not conceded to Bretons. In any case his Majesty showed great favour to the ambassador, who was despatched on the 7th inst.
London, the 9th April, 1499.
[Italian.]
April 28.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
615. Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Reymundo de' Reymundis of Soncino, his Ambassador in England.
M. Reymundo: You will see by the enclosed what further advices we can report of events here, and also the enclosed advices from Venice of the 15th, 17th, 18th and 19th. You will impart the whole to his Majesty and afterwards inform him that the wife of King Federico gave birth to a son on the 8th inst.
Milan, the 28th April, 1499.
[Italian.]
May 9.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
616. Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, to D. Raymundo de Raymundis di Soncino, his Ambassador in England.
The last letters to you were of the 19th March last with advices. On the 6th ult. the Doge of Venice pronounced the laudo and his sentence according to the enclosed articles. On the 24th the Venetian troops were withdrawn and Bibiena restored to Florence. The Pisans have so far shown a reluctance to observe the laudo, but representations will be made to them pointing out that it is to their advantage to accept without being compelled.
The pope continues in the same disposition and opposed to France. France is very threatening, but has her hands full.
The King of the Romans with the princes of the empire has gone to Berburg near Constance and seems disposed for active war against the Sienese if they move together with the Pisans this winter to do anything against the imperial dominions. He is said to have more than 60,000 men under arms; in any case his force will be very large, one of the largest ever raised in the empire. His Imperial Majesty recently asked us to send him M. Marchesino Sturga for something he wished to impart. We complied and he should be there now. It is impossible to show greater honour.
We hear that the Turk is preparing to come out in great force. The Venetians are very anxious and have got ready a big fleet. We enclose letters of the 15th, 17th, 18th, 27th, 28th and 29th ult. from those parts, so that you may inform his Majesty and at the same time we send you a memorandum of our advices from Savoy.
[Italian; draft.]
May 17.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
617. Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, to D. Raymundo de Raymundis di Soncino, his Ambassador in England.
After we had decided upon your return home, Ambrosio de la Chiesa the courier arrived with your letters of the 18th, 19th and 20th March and the 9th April. What you wrote therein only confirmed our decision. Wherefore we praise your diligent service and prudent conduct, which has entirely satisfied us, and direct you to take leave of the king in such manner as to leave him well disposed to us and confirm his friendly disposition, assuring him of our cordiality and high esteem, adding that if necessary you will return, but it is not necessary for you to remain longer, though we shall not fail to communicate to him the principal events through Augustino Spinola or Antonio Salunnio in his absence, begging his Majesty to inform us of the events of those parts, as it will give us great pleasure.
As you took part at the christening of the king's son, (fn. 16) you did what was proper and we commend you. You will congratulate his Majesty on our behalf and the queen also, taking leave of her and of her first-born, performing the proper offices with her and other friends so as to leave them all well disposed towards us. For this purpose we send you sealed sheets to write letters thereon of a general friendly tenor. We also wish you to write in our name to the archduke about your passage. We are content that you have accepted the present given by his Majesty. We have directed Augustino Spinula in our name to thank him suitably.
We are glad you have confirmed Antonio Spinula in his good disposition and we shall do all we can for his benefit. We have written the enclosed to M. Zoane Battista de Tabia, which we send to you open. If he returns here we will show him great favour and M. Petro Penech also.
We have ordered 10 ducats to be paid to Ambrosio de la Chiesa. We send the enclosed reply to Don Perro de Ayala, the Spanish ambassador. You will speak to him in conformity, leaving him well disposed towards us.
[Italian; draft.]
May 17.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
618. Raimondo de' Raimundi di Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to the Duke of Milan. (fn. 17)
By Ambrosio the courier I wrote on the 5th what had happened up to that date. Since then his Majesty has sent to France an ambassador named Doctor Rotale, and has announced that ten days hence he will send back to the emperor the ambassadors who returned this Lent. However, they are not getting ready and I cannot learn the reason. I imagine that his Highness here directs his conduct according to circumstances, and if his Imperial Majesty prospers the ambassadors will go to Germany. With regard to the French, they say that the fact that the king will not go to Italy does not admit of doubt. His Highness attends to nothing but pleasure and the enjoyment of the infinite treasure he has accumulated and continues to pile up.
London, the 17th May, 1499.
[Italian.]
June 1.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
619. Raimondo de Raimondi di Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to the Duke of Milan. (fn. 18)
By my letter of the 17th ult. I advised your Excellency that his Highness here had decided to send two ambassadors to the emperor, and so I believed. Not eight days ago these ambassadors crossed the sea. They are Doctor Melitone, who went before, and the Master of the Rolls. I have searched for the reason but find none except that Antonio Spinula tells me that these ambassadors will go to Flanders, where they will stay two months and do what will be commanded subsequently. This agrees with what I have always thought, that his Highness with his great circumspection will avail himself of circumstances. If his Imperial Majesty is favoured by God, he will not separate himself from God's will, and vice versa. However, I am advised on excellent authority, to wit, Don Petro, the Spanish ambassador, that his affairs are not flourishing (non li e grassa), and I suspected as much because they never speak about it at this Court as I should desire, as I have reported at greater length in my other letters.
Antonio Spinula tells me that if he hears anything he will let me know. He commends himself and his brother to your Excellency. Quod dat accipimus.
There is nothing fresh here and I do not think there can be so long as his Majesty lives.
London, the 1st June, 1499.
[Italian; the words in italics deciphered.]
June 1.
Potenze
Estere.
Roma.
Milan
Archives.
620. Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, Vice-Chancellor of the Roman Court.
The Most Reverend Peter Lepenec, Councillor and Ambassador of the King of England, of whose arrival and exposition we recently advised your lordship, will reach the Court of Rome in four or six days to fulfil his commission. Although we have written about him to your lordship, and how we wish you to show him attention, yet we think it fit to repeat that he is a person of great virtue, acceptable to his king and well affectioned not only to us but also to your lordship. Of this our ambassador in England, Messer Raymond, has already given us ample testimony, and recently, when Messer Peter was to come here, he has written much about him. Since he has been here we have ourselves seen it. In short, he seems a person to hold in esteem, for his own worth and his excellent disposition towards us, besides the respect of his own king. We have done so here and shall do so in the future, and we ask your lordship to do the same, when he arrives, showing the esteem which we have for his person, paying him every attention and friendly office, not only for the benefit of his king, but also for his own private interests, showing him every confidence, as we know you may do, owing to his singular esteem for your lordship, shown among other things by his choice of you to be the protector of the affairs of his king and country, which we consider most apposite. He will speak to your lordship of this and other matters under letters of credence of his Majesty, and at his departure we will give him a letter of credence to your lordship, asking you to give full credence to what he reports.
Milan, the 1st June, 1499.
[Italian; draft.]
June 3.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
621. Letter of W. Haryngton to his brother, John Haryngton, Doctor of Laws, at Rome.
Brother: I sent not with yr. messenger yt. com for my lord of Norwych onllys he was sent privaly. I have sent a letter of all thyngs don and to be syth yor. departour particulerly whych I have wryttyn dubyll, and schall send a part yerof by M. Scott and the oder by that man yt. schall cum in July wyth whom also I schall indiver me to send sum commission of monys thof verrey hard to gytt. I have as yet resavyed no penny of M. Coke nor can se any possibilitie to rasave. He wryttys to me many letters schewyng yt. he wyll have agayn ye monye contered. Yesterday was Page her and sayd he wold have gevyn me v. nowbils ye residewe of v. marcs and I wold delyver hym hys butt and els nott and sayth by cawse yt ys not comyn hym he wyll no more yerof bot schall recover ye monye payd. I schewyd ye butt was sped and not sent to hom by cawse he brake hys day in pament and so he departyd. John Botly hath not hys butt but no more hath ye Whyttfreeris of London; yai say yai wyll have yt executyd or yai pay, wych cannot be don or ye send yr. sentancie whych ye have wt. yow. Doctor Tymmowthye Atlyn I wrytt ofte to hym but he answers nott agayn. I dowt by yt. monye brygs by crafte wold have ben spede or he payd, but now he ys gon to mak monye of hys frendys. Christofer Scherwode hath ben with me and says he may pay no monye to ye, butt to cum hom yf ye wyll be so gud maister unto hym as to spede yt and so yt may have execucion her wythowt Jubarthie than ye schall be content of yt at was yor. cunand, oder waye he wyll not do so. M. Pokeryng wold fayn be served and promysys faer bot yer cummys no monys whan ye monys ye payd ye schall have knawtche, ye must in all haste sped maist longe and sende yt. hoam; he hath gevyn me xls. whych I kepe to send with more with M. Scot and ye man in July ye arryt in ye naym of hys benyfice on ys cawlyt bangham in ye dioc. of Norwych, lyllye alias lynley lyncoln dioc. and ye vecarage of Dagnam, London diocese. Yer can no deligens gyt anythyng of M. Ganys nor of M. Gaskwyn I spend much labur and monye abowt such. Doctor Paenys hath promysed to pay vi marcs within xx days. I truste to have monye from Whalley scyortly, whose matter her standis thus: ye ys goton aconsultacion to ye cowrt of York. I have long cy writtyn to yam to take a prohibecion owt of ye comon place by ye cownsell of M. John Jamys but yai cum not; the person hath lisans to goo at large; the hole matter ys comyn to my lord of Duram by ye kyng; wher to thabbot, I trust, wyll not consent, fowyng yor. instruction. Yor. hows ys gevyn upe and yor. wyffe schalbe for a seson with my cosyng passe. He marvels yt zo wrytt not to hym for he hys maister huntter kepys hys Benfice hym selfe yet and so he says he wyll to yor. cummyng hom. I have oft wryttyn how M. Eytclyff ys spede and M. Gunnesse wylhave nothyng spede wylso men hath alway ye persons bondon so yai spend y' monye for any. My lord arsbechope wuld fayn her of hys matter y' I was well acceptyd and hath speciall lufer M. Barray whose signature I have sent M. Robb wold doo nothyng in matha so matter I dispensyd as ye bad me.
xviii die men. Maii 1499.
I trust M. Adrian schall be archdeacon of Eseby the officialitys onder hym worth xvl. servyd by a substitute doo ye sumwhat yr. Inq. I schall labor her and an ye kyng guffys Sanct Brydds els Doctor both schuld have had yt also knawys. Jesu preserve yow.
At London in grett hast ye iij day of Juin, 1499.
W Haryngton. (fn. 19)
[Endorsed:] Dno. Joh. Haryngton legum doctor Anglico, Rome.
[English.]
June 14.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
622. Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Augustino Somentio.
It is already some days since the Most Reverend Peter Lepenec, Councillor and Ambassador of the King of England, who came to us on his way to Rome, by command of his Majesty, where he now is, wrote some letters to his Imperial Majesty, putting the superscription in his own hand, because it was of importance, and wrote to the Neapolitan ambassador resident with the emperor asking for a reply. These letters were sent by our couriers, but he has never received any reply. We think they have arrived safely, but that his Imperial Majesty, owing to his constant and serious occupations in this war, has not been able to answer. As Messer Peter is awaiting this reply here, he again sends the enclosed to the Neapolitan ambassador, so that he may get an answer. We desire you to give it to him immediately and ask him in our name to perform this. You will also speak about it to the emperor, so that he may be pleased to answer Messer Lepenec.
Milan, the 14th June, 1499.
[Italian; draft.]
June 20.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
623. Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Henry VII, King of England. (fn. 20)
Lorenzo Bonvisi, citizen of Lucca, is about to return from his native place to your Majesty's realm. We have urged him to visit your Majesty in our name, to express our affection and esteem for you and our desire to give you satisfaction. We therefore beg you to give him audience and also to give credence to what he says as if we were speaking in person. We also beg your Majesty to hear him graciously in the matters which he may have to treat with you.
Milan, the 20th June, 1499.
[Latin; draft.]
June 20.
Autografi.
Medici.
Milan
Archives.
624. Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Giovanni Battista de Tabia, Physician of the King of England.
Letamur plurimum vos virum restantem et medendi artem insignem ex dicione nostra Genuensi ex honesta et nobis dedita familia ortum, apud serenissimum Dominum Britannie regem eum locum habere quem et litteris et nunciis istinc venientibus persepe intelleximus, dignus enim estis quoniam propter virtutem et quia ex Genuensibus nostris estis magnopere diligamus. Facit quidem pro more suo sapienter et benigne Majestas regia quod vos summo amore ut meremini, prosequatur vestri quoque officii est ut facitis singulari fide et affectu ei inservire in quo et si hortatu nostro nec monitore indignere vos sciamus, nihlominus impellit nos precipua benevolentia et summa observantia qua Majestatem regiam prosequimur ut vos etiam atque etiam hortemur et rogemus perseveretis in eo accurate et maximo studio ac vobis persuadeatis dum apud eam id agitis nobis eque inservire ac si pro salute nostra laboraretis cujus non plus quam incolumitatis regie cupidi sumus. Ceterum si ullu in re vobis aut vestris gratificari possumus scitate id nos prolibenti animo acturos.
Mediolani xx Junii, 1499.
[Draft.]
June 26.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
625. Francisco de li Munti to Augustino Somentio, Milanese Ambassador with the Emperor.
I understand by a letter of your Magnificence that you have orders from your duke to speak and act in all things of my king as in his own. This is nothing new and only confirms what I was sure of a long time ago. Nevertheless, it has afforded me singular pleasure, and when I have need of your assistance I shall ask for it in the certitude that you will show as much care over the things of my master as over those of the duke. This is as it should be because our princes and their dominions are one and the same thing.
I thank the duke cordially and am eternally indebted to him for the kindness he has shown, offering to help me without being asked, as soon as he heard of my needs, and expressing his satisfaction that I was with the emperor and should stay there. This happens owing to the great goodness of his Excellency and gratitude towards his servants. Indeed, I recently asked leave of his Imperial Majesty to return home, as I was in some difficulty owing to the faults and failings of my king's ministers and I feared even greater difficulties might arise, and I might not be able afterwards to go conveniently to the kingdom of Naples. I should be there at this moment if the emperor had given me leave. As he refused, I did not wish to disobey, and returned to Innsbruck, where I now am, awaiting provision from my master, who has written to me frequently. I regret that my present necessities prevent me being with the emperor as frequently as I have used, but I shall be compelled to return home the sooner if I do not soon receive some provision from my king. When his Majesty knows, he will provide, since my services are apparently acceptable to him. I am eternally obliged to the duke for his offer, but as I am in the service of my king I do not think it right to trouble his Excellency; but if he will send me a subvention as to a brother and for my king. I will accept on his Majesty's behalf. I am writing to the same effect to Messer Dionisio, my king's ambassador with his Excellency, and also to Francisco I intend to reserve his Excellency for greater affairs, as I feel sure that he will not fail me, because of his kindness and my desire to serve him. I beg you to commend me humbly to him, and to offer my services, thanking him for all his kindness to me, which I in no wise merit.
Innsbruck, the 26th June, 1499.
[Italian.]
July 13.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
626. Raimondo de Raimondi di Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to the Duke of Milan. (fn. 21)
On the 17th may by a man sent post by Antonio Spinula on the 1st June with the packet of the Genoese, I sent word of what little was happening, and just as no other messenger has turned up so nothing has happened to write about, except that after Doctor Rotale went to France, Maestro Lovello, (fn. 22) the chief financier of his Majesty here, went to Calais and has returned with a good sum of crowns paid by the King of France, in accordance with his obligation to his Majesty. I have not been able to ascertain the amount; some say 50,000, others 100,000; Antonio Spinula says he heard 200,000. I do not think it is such a large sum, as I had a long conversation with his Majesty, who has a sufficient appreciation of his renown, and as I made every effort to learn the figure I think it is impossible, if it had been 200,000 that he would not have mentioned it. In any case, the French respect the king highly. They have recently taken in France a creature of King Edward called John Teler, who suggested taking Perkin to Ireland the first time he claimed to be the son of King Edward. (fn. 23) The French have handed over their prisoner to the English ambassadors. Doctor Rotale has returned already, but his companion, who is a layman, tarries to take the person with him. I think that his Majesty attaches more importance to this than to 100,000 crowns, because the English might say: quo ibo a spiritu tuo et quo a facie tua fugiam.
The ambassadors sent across the sea to go to his Imperial Majesty have instructions to remain two months in Flanders to do what is written to them. If our king conquers they will go to find him. Eight days ago two envoys arrived in this kingdom from the King of Portugal. I fancy they have come for the Garter.
There is a new sect of heretics in this kingdom, who say that baptism is not necessary to those born of Christians, that marriage is superfluous and copulation suffices and that the sacrament of the altar is not true. The prelates have begun to persecute them and it is hoped that they will speedily come to an end.
I have nothing further to write to your Excellency.
London, the 13th July, 1499.
[Italian.]
July 13.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
627. Raimundo de Raimundis di Soncino, Milanese Ambassador in England, to the Duke of Milan. (fn. 24)
I took leave unwillingly yesterday morning and already have the royal letter; I have nothing to wait for save favourable weather. I hope to go to Antwerp in order not to fall into the clutches of the French in Flanders, like the other time. I have written two letters to Augustino Spinula and Antonio Salvatico. As I did not know what to write to Don Petro I performed the office verbally. I have also spoken to Antonio Spinula, who expects to go to France to remain there some days.
London, the 13th July, 1499.
[Italian; fragment.]
Aug. 20.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
628. Ludovico Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Henry VII, King of England. (fn. 25)
The Most Reverend Lord Peter Penech, your Majesty's ambassador destined for Rome, has recently been to see us on his way through, and has set forth to us what he had from your Majesty's command with respect to your affection for us. We heard this very gladly and it has greatly increased our affection for your Majesty; but although we immediately informed your Majesty by letter of our intense pleasure, and at the same time thanked you as was fitting, yet we take the opportunity of this courier to repeat these few words in case the previous letter has been intercepted or has not arrived, and also because it did not seem right to us to omit to express our thanks for the exposition of Master Penech, as your Majesty's good-will towards us could not have been expressed more fully or more kindly than he did it.
Milan, the 20th August, 1499.
[Latin; draft.]
Nov. 11.
Potenze
Estere.
Roma.
Milan
Archives.
629. Ex litteris ducalis oratoris Rome ad Ill. Ducem Mediolani.
There was talk in the consistory about sending legates to Germany, Spain and England, for universal peace and for an expedition against the infidels; but such a question is not so quickly decided.
[Latin.]
Nov. 13.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
630. Ex litteris xiij ejusdem ad. Ducem.
In the consistory on that day they decided to send legates to Caesar, the King of France and the King of England for universal peace. It was said that the Cardinal of S. Maria in Porticu will be sent to Caesar. the Cardinal de' Medici to France and the Cardinal de Grassis to England, and they will be sent sooner than is expected.
[Latin.]

Footnotes

1 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 780.
2 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 781.
3 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 783; Mr. Rawdon Brown states that the paper comes from the file 1499, March. He probably refers to the Carteggio Generale. This paper is now in the Potenze Estere Inghilterra, as stated.
4 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 784.
5 Ibid., no. 787.
6 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 785.
7 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 786.
8 Ibid., no 788.
9 Ibid., no. 789.
10 Blank in MS.
11 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 791.
12 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 793.
13 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 792.
14 Ibid., no. 794, where it is dated the 14th.
15 Sir Charles Somerset, afterwards Earl of Worcester. He was a natural son of Henry Beaufort, third Duke of Somerset.
16 Edmund, third son of Henry VII, who was born on the 22nd March, 1499, and was christened on Sunday the 24th. Spanish Calendar, vol. i, page 205. Sandford: Royal Genealogies, page 447. Sandford gives the date of his birth as the 21st February, 1498.
17 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 795.
18 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 796.
19 There is a seal with a punning device: at the top “Willi”; below, a ring between the capital letters “H” and “A,” and below a cask or tun.
20 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 797.
21 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 799.
22 Sir Thomas Lovell, created Chancellor of the Exchequer for life in 1485.
23 John Taylor, a Yorkist exile, formerly a merchant at Exeter. See Busch: England under the Tudors, Henry VII (Eng. trans.), pages 84, 85.
24 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 800.
25 Ibid., no. 802.


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