Venice
1496

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Rawdon Brown (editor)

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1864

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226-252

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'Venice: 1496', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 1: 1202-1509 (1864), pp. 226-252. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=94101 Date accessed: 21 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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1496

1496. Jan. 4. Zacharia Contarini's Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 664. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
This morning Maximilian, King of the Romans, has given audience to the ambassador from the King of England, the cause of whose coming is as follows:—
King Maximilian's envoy, the bearer of the first instructions for including the King of England in the League, perceiving that the proviso relative to the Duke of York was not acceded to, urged the King of England to send Lord Egremont to conclude the matter. Lord Egremont has declared that the King of England is anxious to maintain good understanding, but being urged by the Sovereigns of Spain to join the League, desires to see the articles of the same, and to be informed whether in consequence of the peace lately made between France, Venice, and Milan, (fn. 1) the League was dissolved.
King Maximilian informed Contarini that he would draw up a reply, and communicate it to him and to the other ambassadors, and after hearing the opinions of each of them would forward it to Mons. de Beveri, to the Sovereign (fn. 2) of Flanders, and to the bailiff of Lille, who were going on private business in his name and that of the Archduke Philip, as ambassadors to England; and that this same reply would also be given by him to Lord Egremont.
Contarini expressed his conviction that in the reply King Maximilian would inform Lord Egremont that Venice was no party to the peace made lately between France and Milan, but intended adhering to the “Holy League.”
King Maximilian replied that he had already notified to Lord Egremont that Venice had made no peace with France, and informed him of the Duke of Milan's reasons for making this peace, which had been stipulated with reservation as to the articles of the League; also that the French, to benefit their interests, affirmed that peace had been concluded generally with all the confederates.
Contarini had a satisfactory interview with Lord Egremont.
Nordlingen, 4 Jan. 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
Jan. 6. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 665. The Same to the Same.
This day the ambassadors of the Holy League accredited to the King of the Romans have been assembled by his order, and Dom. Ludovic Bruno caused to be read to them the reply to Lord Egremont. Besides what was contained in the copy transmitted by Contarini, (fn. 3) there was a justification, purporting that the King of the Romans having no league or relationship soever with the King of England, the Duke of York (Perkin Warbeck), whom he firmly believes to be the son of King Edward, came to him; and that he considered it his duty not to abandon the Duke, nor to fail affording him all just and fitting favour.
A second clause purported that, should the King of England approve, the King of the Romans offered to negotiate a 10 years' truce or peace between him and the said Duke of York; and thirdly, there was a paragraph to the effect that, should the King of England be admitted into the League, he was to be bound to attack the King of France next Easter, with a strong and powerful armada.
To this the Spanish ambassadors said that were the King of the Romans to dismiss Lord Egremont with such a reply, it would be tantamount to telling him that he did not choose to admit his King into the League; in the first place, because all the paragraphs alluding to the Duke of York would only irritate the King of England; and secondly, that as the King of the Romans wrote lately consenting to the King of England's joining the League unconditionally, the King of England would not now assume the obligation of attacking.
The opinion of the Venetian ambassador being next asked, he replied that his Spanish colleagues having expressed themselves sufficiently, it merely remained for him to remind his Majesty (the King of the Romans) that during the past months the Sovereigns of Spain had given the Signory to understand that it would be very desirable the King of the Romans should drop the affairs of the Duke of York, as this was not the moment for disturbing the kingdom of England, the admission of whose King into the confederation would be advantageous; as he on one side, the King of the Romans on the other, and Spain in her own quarter might simultaneously invade France, to the advantage of the confederates.
The Neapolitan and Milanese ambassadors approved what had been said; whereupon Dom. Ludovic Bruno, having heard the various opinions, withdrew, and reported them to the King of the Romans. On his return he announced that the King of the Romans was content to cancel all the paragraphs relating to the Duke of York, but insisted that the obligation on the part of the King of England to attack France should stand; not so much from any hope of its being observed, but because, unless inserted, the King of England would have obtained a promise from the King of the Romans not to favour the Duke of York; the League nevertheless deriving no advantage thence.
The Spanish ambassadors rejoined that they clearly perceived that, could the King of England be included in the League with the obligation to attack, it would be more to the purpose; but, knowing him to be a most sage King and to be well advised, they were certain he would not join with heavier obligations than had been assumed by the other confederates: that, for the observance of similar obligations, King Ferdinand and his consort would pledge themselves on behalf of the King of England, whensoever the King of the Romans pleased; and that at any rate it should be taken into account that, even were the King of England not to attack, his not being the ally of the King of France would prove of great importance, as that King would thus be prevented from availing himself of English troops, and of many other favours derivable from the King of England. The ambassadors added that, should this negotiation not be concluded, England would unite with France, whose King, they understood, had already sent an ambassador to England.
The Spanish ambassadors having expressed themselves thus, his Majesty sent for Dom. Ludovic, and charged him to act according to their suggestion, the matter being one which their sovereigns had much at heart and held in great account. So the document was drawn up according to the copy transmitted to the Doge and Senate by Contarini, who, on the 7th of January, announced the departure of Lord Egremont, to whom the King of the Romans had given a gold cup and one hundred florins.
Nordlingen, 6 Jan., 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
1496. Jan. 6. Sanuto MS. Diaries, v. i. p. 13. Copy in St. Mark's Library. 666. Embassy of Lord Egremont in Germany.
The King of the Romans dismissed the English ambassador on the 6th of January and gave him a gold cup and 100 florins, and on the same evening the King quitted Nordlingen for Augsburg.
Reply of the King of the Romans to Egremont (Agrimundo), equerry and envoy of Henry King of England, returning to his lord:—
He was much gratified by the salutations received from the King of England, and reciprocated them cordially.
Had of late years—considering the ancient and good friendship between the Kings of England and the Dukes of Burgundy, and the ancient and common hatred of those two houses against the Kings of France on account of injuries and offences received—desired alliance with King Henry, until King Henry negotiated peace with the King of France.
Lately, however, owing to the strong ties of confederation and relationship existing between him and the Sovereigns of Castile, and at the request of the Pope and other confederates, consented to receive the King of England into the League.
King Henry has answered that, not having yet seen the articles of the League, he could not determine to join it, and that, as peace had been made between the King of France and the Dukes of Venice and Milan, he considered the League broken and dissolved.
Rejoins that he would speedily send instructions relative to these matters to his own ambassadors and to those of his son, the Archduke Philip, who were in England, that the King might have sure information, and would also consign to Egremont a copy of the identical articles of the League concluded between the Pope, the King of the Romans, the Sovereigns of Spain, and the Dukes of Venice and Milan, so that the King of England might be enabled to decide; and if he please to enter the League, sealed letters shall be drawn up between him and the other confederates reciprocally, as done by the rest of the allies.
Touching the second doubt, asserts positively that the Venetian Signory had made no peace with the King of France, but, on the contrary, declared to abide firmly and immoveably by the League: that in the treaty of peace with the King of France, the Duke of Milan had an express clause, stating that he had at any rate remained and persevered in the League; and that this is the real truth, whatever may be said by others to the contrary.
Requests the King of England to let him know as soon as possible what he means to do in this matter, that he may be enabled to notify the result to the rest of the confederates through their ambassadors now at his court.
[Transcript, in Latin. Under date of 31 January 1496, in the Diaries. No date to the letter, but by the letter book of Zacharia Contarini it appears that the letter was written at Nordlingen on the 6th January 1496.]
Jan. 15. DeliberazioniSenato Secreta. 667. The Doge and Senate to Zacharia Contarini, Ambassador to Maximilian, King of the Romans.
By the enclosed summaries (fn. 4) he will perceive how much Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain wish the King of England to join the Holy League. This course the Signory decidedly advocates, considering both the power of the King of England and the opportunity he would have for invading France.
[Latin, 9 lines.]
Jan. 17. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 668. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
On that day his Majesty, having to confer investiture of privileges on the burghers of Augsburg, invited all the ambassadors to accompany him. On assembling at the court they were shown into a room, where they found the King of the Romans alone with Dom. Ludovic Bruno: whereupon the Bishop of Concordia, the Apostolic Legate (Lionello Chieregato), read a brief dated the 3rd instant, charging him to urge the King of the Romans to proceed to the frontiers of France and Spain, in accordance with the opinions of the Signory and the Duke of Milan, and to send three or at least two thousand infantry to aid King Ferdinand (of Naples). The Bishop was also to urge the admission into the League of the King of England, with the obligation, if possible, to attack the King of France; and the inclusion of the King of Scotland, who, the Legate said, was not less Spanish than French.
After conferring with Dom. Ludovic, the King of the Romans caused the ambassadors to be told that it was his intention to aid King Ferdinand, and to send troops to succour him: that concerning the affair of the King of England, he had sent a note to his ambassadors in conformity with the reply given by him to Lord Egremont; and that he should wish all the potentates of the League to send representatives to England, or commissions and power to their agents on the spot.
Augsburg, 17 Jan. 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
Jan. 21. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 669. The Same to the Same.
Communications made by the ambassadors from the powers forming the Holy League to the privy councillors of the King of the Romans, Dom. Georgio Elecher and Dom. Ludovic Bruno.
The Legate was charged to seek the admission of the King of England into the League and felt sure that anything he might do would be ratified by the Pope; he would therefore write to the Collector of England and give him his authority.
The Milanese ambassadors said that their Duke, being the feudatory, vassal, and subject of the King of the Romans, was with his servants bound to do whatsoever his Majesty should desire him at any time; and that they were always ready to consign the commission for the King of England, now in their hands, to a merchant, a Milanese gentleman now in Flanders, and make him go across with it, one of themselves going to the Diet of Frankfort.
Augsburg, 21 Jan. 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
Jan. 23. Senato Mar. 670. Doge Agostino Barbarigo to the Consul in London.
As the galley and our ship from Flanders have been detained many days at Hampton by reason of the capture by the French of “Ser” Piero Bragadin, master of the galley,—“Ser” Piero Contarini, now in England, is to go on board the said Bragadina galley and command both that and the ship.
Ayes, 185. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 2.
[Italian, 25 lines.]
Jan. 28. Letter Book, St Mark's Library. 671. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday the King of the Romans having sent for all the ambassadors said, through the Bishop of Brixen, he had sent instructions of such a sort to his ambassadors in England, that he did not doubt they would obtain the effect desired by the Pope.
Augsburg, 28 Jan. 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
Jan. 29. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 672. The Same to the Same.
Confirms his account of the dismissal of Lord Egremont, and of the instructions sent to the ambassadors in England; as also of the King of the Romans' proposal for the mission thither of envoys.
Augsburg, 29 Jan. 1496.
[Extract, Italian.
Feb. 4. Senate Mar. 673. Decree of the Senate.
“Ser” Almoro Gritti and “Ser” Piero Bragadin have been captured by a French bark and a French barge in the middle of the harbour of Hampton, and a ransom of 550 ducats placed on each of them, with other expenses amounting to — and at the same time “Ser” Francesco Donado, one of the sons of the nobleman “Ser” Tomà Donado, was captured and wounded by a shot from a falconet, which passed through his thigh, and he has paid 150 ducats for his ransom,—as stated by letters read to the Council. Therefore our nobleman aforesaid, who, from no fault, but in execution of our Signory's orders, have suffered such loss, are to be indemnified with the moneys of our London factory, in two years, by rate, so far as they shall establish their respective payments.
In the same condition be there included the clerk, the galley oarsmen, and others who have been captured.
Ayes, 130. Noes, 8. Neutrals, 3.
[Italian, 25 lines.]
Feb. 5. Deliberazioni SenatoSecreta. 674. The Doge and Senate to Zacharia Contarini.
Desire him to tell the King of the Romans that it will be very agreeable to Venice that the King of England join the Holy League; and that they have charged certain Venetian noblemen, resident in England, to negotiate, together with the commissioners of the other confederates of the State, the entry into the League of the King of England, with the obligation, if possible, to attack France, as the Pope has declared through his Legate in England.
Ayes, 107.
[Latin, 43 lines.]
1496. Feb. 10. Commemoriali,No. xviii. p. 53. 675. Power given by Doge Agostino Barbarigo, on behalf of the Republic of Venice, to the Venetian merchants resident in London, Piero Contarini and Luca Valaresso, to include Henry VII. in the “Holy League,” stipulated at Venice on the last day of March 1495, between Pope Alexander VI., Maximilian King of the Romans, Agostino Barbarigo Doge of Venice, and Ludovic Maria Sforza, Englishman (Anglus), Duke of Milan.
Venice, 10 Feb. 1496.
[Latin, 33 lines.]
Feb. 19. Sanuto MS. Diaries.v. i. p. 34. 676. Memorandum, that a negotiation being on foot to include the King of England [in the League], and the Signory considering that it was a long way to send ambassadors in safety, the Senate commissioned two Venetian merchants in London, namely, Piero Contarini, late captain of the Baruth galleys, and Luca Valaresso, to go to the King and, as subambassadors in the Signory's name, exhort him either to join [the League] or to form a new league, with forms and clauses like the first, for the preservation of the Roman Church. The Duke of Milan also sent them bis commission.
Venice, 19 Feb. 1496.
Feb. 19. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 677. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
This day had audience of the King of the Romans, to whom he announced that the Signory had determined to commission certain subjects of the State, resident in England, to negotiate, jointly with the delegates of the other confederates, the adhesion of Henry VII. to the Holy League. To this the King of the Romans made answer, that he had recently received letters from the Duke of York (Perkin Warbeck) informing him that his affairs were prospering, and that, through the disturbances imminent in England, he hoped for victory. That it would indeed be unfortunate—as the Duke had embarked in the undertaking at his (the King of the Romans') persuasion, and placed hope in him—if, through the negotiation for bringing Henry VII. into the League, the Duke of York's success should be impeded; by so much the more as, were the Duke of York to obtain the crown, the King of the Romans and the League might avail themselves of England against the King of France as if the island were their own. On this account he (the King of the Romans) was disposed to wait a few days, and see what turn affairs took. In rejoinder, Zacharia Contarini expressed his opinion that with regard to the King of England, two things should be borne in mind:—first, the great advantage which would accrue to the whole League, should it be possible to include him in the confederation, with the obligation to attack the King of France, as at first promised and suggested by the King of the Romans, and subsequently by the Pope through his Legate; and, secondly, the possibility that, for reasons which might be well known to the King of the Romans, the King of England would do as the Spaniards suspected, namely, join France, should the negotiation not be concluded, said he would not omit repeating what the Sovereigns of Spain intimated, namely, that it would be advantageous that the King of the Romans should lay aside the affairs of the Duke of York, as this was not the moment for disturbing England, so that each of the allied Sovereigns might simultaneously invade France, The King of the Romans rejoined that he would await advices from Mons. de Beure and his other ambassadors now in England concerning the affairs of the Duke of York, which would reach him in a few days, and that he would then decide.
Brit, (30 miles from Augsburg,) 19 Feb. 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
Feb. 20. Senato Mar. 678. Decree of the Senate.
Be the consul in London ordered to send forthwith 150 ducats of the London factory's moneys to“Ser” Francesco Donado, for his redemption from captivity in France, [he having been taken out of the Flanders galley in Southampton water by the French.]
Ayes, 171. Noes, 8. Neutrals, 0.
Letter written on 22 February.
[Italian, 11 lines.]
Feb. 23. DeliberazioniSenato Secreta. 679. Doge Agostino Barbarigo to Francesco Capello, Venetian Ambassador in Spain.
Has previously acquainted him with the excellent disposition of the State towards admitting Henry VII. into the confederation, as announced likewise by the Venetian ambassador to the King of the Romans, at whose court there is understood to be an English ambassador.
The republic, having been requested to send a power to England (where there were envoys from others of the allies) and authorise negotiations to conclude the King's admission into the League, had sent an order accordingly to Pietro Contarini and Luca Valaresso, resident in London, to treat the affair in accordance with the other envoys, sending them a copy of the clauses, and desiring them, if possible, to bind the King to attack France, as most sagely suggested by the Pope.
As by Capello's letters it appears that Ferdinand and Isabella wish him (Capello) likewise to have a power to include Henry VII. in said confederation, the State sends him another accordingly, and with the obligation, if possible, to attack France as aforesaid. Should the King of England be unwilling to make an immediate declaration relative to the attack, Capello is at liberty to conclude with the clauses and obligations common to the other confederates, without any addition or diminution.
[Latin, 112 lines.]
Feb. 23. DeliberazioniSenato Secreta. 680. Doge and Senate to Francesco Capello.
To the same effect as the letter immediately preceding.
[Latin, 111 lines.]
Feb. 23. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 681. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
This evening Dom. Gaspar Mech and Dom. Ludovic Bruno were charged by the King of the Romans to tell him that his Majesty is awaiting letters from his ambassadors in England, and on their receipt will decide to the satisfaction of Venice and of all the confederates.
Augsburg, 23 February 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
Feb. 26. Sforza Archives, Milan. 682. Ludovic Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Battista Galarato, his Ambassador in Spain.
Sends the mandate required for the admission into the League of the King of England, and wishes such admission to take effect speedily, as necessary and beneficial for the League. The ambassador is to pray the King and Queen of Spain to hasten matters.
Milan, 26 February 1496.
[Original draft, Italian.]
March 9. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 683. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
Monsr. de Luprario, (fn. 5) the councillor and master of the household of the Archduke Philip, who arrived here recently from Flanders, states that, since the attack on France by Spain, King Charles has been earnestly endeavouring to form a good friendship and union with King Henry (of England), and is again negotiating a marriage between the daughter of the Duke of Bourbon and that King's son.
Birt, 9 March 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
March 11. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 684. The Same to the Same.
This evening, at the second hour of the night, I received a summons from the King of the Romans, and being introduced into a chamber together with the Milanese ambassador, Dom. Erasmo Brascha, I asked the King of the Romans if he had any news from his ambassadors resident in England. He said he had no letters from his ambassadors, but one of his people who is with the Archduke had written that the King of England is well disposed towards the duchy of Burgundy. I rejoined that I had heard that the King of France was negotiating a marriage between the daughter of the Duke of Bourbon (fn. 6) and the son of King Henry, which, if effected, would be pernicious; wherefore the admission of England into the League ought no longer to be delayed.
The King of the Romans replied that “the Duke of Bourbon's daughter would not leave France. The King of France has his eye on that duchy, and would marry the Duke's daughter in such wise as to enable him on the Duke's death to obtain the duchy for himself.”
With reference to the confederation, he believed nothing would be done, but his ambassadors had instructions to conclude it in form as agreed lately.
Birt, 11 March 1496.
[Original, Italian.]
1496. March 15. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 685. The Same to the Same.
Having on the 12th instant received the Signory's letters of the 25th and 27th ulto., gave information accordingly to his Majesty, who said he was to go to him after supper.
After showing the summaries of the dispatches written by the Venetian ambassadors in Spain, told him that besides the commission sent by your Serenity to England, for the admission of that King into our confederation, you had also determined to send a similar one to your ambassador in Spain, so that in one place or the other it might be settled to receive him into the League.
“From beginning to end his Majesty listened to me most attentively and graciously, and then having drawn aside for a short while with Dom. Ludovic Bruno,” made him answer that my “statements were in every respect acceptable: and in conclusion his Majesty said with his own lips, 'the Signory will destroy all the French in the kingdom of Naples, and we likewise will do some good;' and that tomorrow he would let me know his resolve concerning the Switzers.”
Birt, 15 March 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
March 20. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 686. Decree of the Senate.
Containing instructions to the two Venetian noblemen resident in London, charged to include the King of England in the Holy League.
Ayes, 183. Noes, 4. Neutrals, 0.
[Latin, 12 lines.]
March 21. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. p. 56. 687. Henry VII. and the Holy League.
It is reported that King Henry of England will at any rate join the League, though certain things yet remain for adjustment. This news came from Rome, but letters are expected from London from Piero Contarini and Luca Valaresso.
March 24. Sforza Archives, Milan. 688. The Doge and Senate to Pietro Contarini and Luca Vallaresso, resident in London.
Have understood from Rome and from the Spanish ambassador that the King of England wishes the confederacy to be reconstructed in England, that he may appear a principal like the others, not an accessory and adherent.
The Signory wishing to oblige his Majesty in all things, and in what concerns his honour, therefore enclose another ample power for that purpose.
This league to contain the same clauses as those of the one in existence already forwarded, without any addition or diminution, save that the Venetian residents are to endeavour to effect that the King of England attack the King of France, in order to turn aside the thoughts of Italy, on which the latter seems to be much bent, and that the Sovereigns of Spain may have less impediment on their frontiers, where they have attacked France. As the King of England might object to invading France on the plea of not having been outraged or provoked, desire them to have it declared in the articles of the League, as reasonable, that should the King of England bind himself to invade, it be understood that he has been outraged and provoked.
24 March 1496.
[Copy, Italian. The document does not exist in the Venetian Archives, but is alluded, to in a letter from the Doge and Senate to Contarini and Vallaresso of the 29th March 1496.]
March 29. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 689. Doge Agostino Barbarigo to Pietro Contarini and Luca Vallaresso in London.
The Duke of Milan, wishing to do as we have done with regard to the reconstruction of our holy confederation by including the King of England, as we enjoined you by express on the 24th, and having no one in England whom he can becomingly accredit to that effect, has determined to employ our own subjects in his affairs, and to consign into your hands his power and commission.
We therefore command you in execution of the said power to do for him, touching the reconstruction of the League, as you will do in our name according to our letter of the 24th.
Ayes, 142. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 2.
[Italian, 20 lines.]
March 30. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 690. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish ambassadors have received letters from their colleague in England, informing them that King Henry was much satisfied with Lord Egremont's report; that he had appointed two ambassadors to the King of the Romans, who were to set out immediately; that enmity and covert war having, through the disturbances caused by the Duke of York (Perkin Warbeck), arisen between the King of England and the Archduke Philip, a reconciliation had been effected, and a fresh peace concluded, through the mission of Mons. de Beure, on whom the King had bestowed a county in England.
He says, moreover, that the French ambassadors who went to England demanded subsidies of money and troops, and when these were denied them on the plea of want of means, they asked for a fresh ratification of the peace contracted in 1492; and that with regard to this second demand they were despatched with fair words, but without any conclusion, and they departed dissatisfied. He says, in conclusion, that the Duke of York is gone to Scotland, whose King received him with promise of aid and favour.
Through the Neapolitan ambassador, who has likewise received letters from England, Contarini understands that a negotiation is on foot for a marriage between the Prince, the King of England's sou, and one of the infantas of Spain.
Augsburg, 30 March 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
1496. April 1. Sforza Archives, Milan. 691. Henry VII. to Ludovic Maria Sforza Visconti, Duke of Milan.
Requests that Robert Sherbourn, his secretary, councillor and ambassador to the Roman court, may travel through the Milanese territories freely and without molestation or impediment; offering to render the like and greater offices to Milanese subjects.
Castle of Shene, 1 April 1496.
Signed: “Henricus” (manu propriâ).
[Original, Latin.]
April 2. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 692. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
Announces receipt of a missive from the State, dated 19th ult., concerning the affair of the King of England. On Easter Monday, April 4, will proceed in quest of the King of the Romans wherever he may be.
The Spanish ambassadors at Augsburg have received letters from their colleague in England acquainting them with the departure thence of Mons. de Beure, (fn. 7) the Sovereign of Flanders, and the Bailiff of Lille; and stating that the English ambassadors accredited to the King of the Romans were about to set out, the object of their mission being to learn thoroughly the opinion of the King of the Romans relating to the Duke of York's business, concerning which they think the King of England will make stipulations before joining the League.
Augsburg, 2 April 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
April 5. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 693. The Same to the Same.
Arrived this evening at Fresce (Fuessen). Went immediately to the Kins: of the Romans.
Informed him that the Venetian government had empowered two Venetian noblemen, resident in England, to stipulate a fresh confederation with the King of England on the terms before stated. Pressed the King of the Romans, by all arguments that seemed applicable, to send a commissioner and delegate to the King of England, by so much the more as the Pope and the other confederates had already despatched their agents to this effect. Dom. Ludovico Bruno, on behalf of the King of the Romans, answered that from the King of England neither good nor evil could be hoped for, as the demonstration made by him of being on good terms with the League, and especially with the King of the Romans, proceeded solely from fear of the King of the Romans favouring the Duke of York, which same fear is entertained by the King of England with regard to the King of France. He (the King of England) will therefore endeavour to remain neutral. Replied that the fear which the King of the Romans declared was felt by the King of England for the Duke of York gave greater hope of obtaining from the King of England what was required; in the first place by joining the league the King of England would make sure of the King of the Romans, and then by attacking the King of France, under favour of the confederates, he would compel that King to defend himself and not aid the Duke of York. The King of the Romans rejoined that he had transmitted into the hands of the Spanish ambassador in England ample instructions for receiving the King of England into the confederation according to the form of the clauses, with the condition to attack the King of France; and whatever that ambassador might do, he (the King of the Romans) would consider as ratified; adding that he trusted this matter to the ambassador aforesaid, because it did not become him (the King of the Romans) to seek it him self, by reason of the understanding and articles agreed to between him and the Duke of York.
“Ex faucibus montium” (? Fuessen), 5 April 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
April 9. Senato Mar. 694. Decree of the Senate concerning the debts of the London factory, for whose extinction the Act of 1491, imposing a duty of 7d. in the pound on all goods imported or exported between Venice and England, is to be rigorously enforced.
[Italian, 22 lines.]
April 12. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 695. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador at Milan.
The Duke of Milan knows, with regard to the entry into the Holy League of the King of England, how very ready the State has shown itself to this effect, by reason of the irritation thus caused to the King of France, who will have reason to conduct his affairs with more reserve. If the Duke of Milan be of opinion that it would be advisable for the Signory to take further steps in this matter, the Doge and Senate will adhere to whatever he may suggest thereon. They approve his suggestion to use every effort with the King of the Romans to give orders to his forces on the frontiers of Burgundy to keep the French on the alarm, so that they may have to keep watch in their own home, and have less cause to come into Italy.
[Latin, 104 lines.]
April 15. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 696. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
By an express from Milan on his way to England, the Milanese ambassador, Dom. Erasmo Brascha, received a copy of the commission which the Duke was sending to Dom. Pietro Contarini and Dom. Luca Valaresso in England. This he showed to all the ambassadors, including myself; and as it seemed to the Spaniards that the power from the King of the Romans in the hands of the Spanish ambassador (in England) was not so ample and special as this one, we today, all in a body, prevailed on the King of the Romans to charge Dom. Pietro da Trieste to issue another commission to the Spanish ambassador aforesaid, of the same tenor as that of the Duke of Milan; and it will be sent to England by the same Milanese courier.
Augsburg, 15 April 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
1496. April 17. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 697. The Same to the Same.
Repeated to the King of the Romans what the Sovereigns of Spain suggested to him, namely, that the most effectual policy to humble France would be for his Majesty to attack France from Burgundy or in Champagne; and although he lacked the means of raising so powerful an army as might be wished, nevertheless, when commanded by his Majesty in person, a very small force marshalled on those frontiers would suffice, especially should France be invaded at other points by Spain and England, as might be, provided his Majesty urge the matter.
Augsburg, 17 April 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
April 30. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 698. The Same to the Same.
The ambassador from the King of England, Dño Christophoro de Ursich (Christopher Urswick), the Almoner of the said King, has arrived. He is come with 12 horses. As a mark of honour on his entry, the King of the Romans sent some of his councillors to meet him; Contarini in like manner, with the other ambassadors went in advance of him. He does not choose to receive any visits until after he has paid his respects to his Majesty (the King of the Romans).
Augsburg, 30 April 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
May 6. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 699. The Same to the Same.
On the 3rd instant when the King of the Romans came into Augsburg, the English ambassador entered his presence, and after the usual salutations reserved for his next audience to impart what had been commissioned him by his King.
I went to visit this ambassador, who had previously not received any one, addressing him in terms suited to the amity which has ever prevailed between the Kings of England and the Signory, and reminded him of what I considered the wish and intention of your Serenity.
He answered with great courtesy, and said that your Serenity was the first to congratulate his King on his accession, and to style him King of England, that his Majesty has your letter with the pendent silver seal, (fn. 8) that in the following year the King sent him ambassador to your Serenity to thank you, (fn. 9) and that his King held the Signory in the greatest possible consideration and account. He next asked me fur news of Italian affairs, and adroitly inquired about the peace made between the Duke of Milan and the King of France, (fn. 10) what subsidies and amount of troops the King of the Romans sent last year in aid of the League, and what he was doing at present. I, to whom it appeared that the ambassador was putting these questions to me mysteriously, and with reference to the business which he has come to negotiate here with his Majesty, gave him in the first place a succinct account of the French King's coming into Italy; adding that his Holiness, the King of the Romans, and the King of Spain, for the welfare of the Christian commonwealth, of the Apostolic See and of the Roman Empire, and for the preservation of the mutual territories, had thought fit to promote the most Holy League, which was subsequently concluded and sealed in Venice, as he must be aware: that as it was evident that the King of France did not content himself with the grants of fortune, but aspired to greater acquisitions, having already revolutionized and openly invaded the territories of the Church, so as to render it necessary for the Pope to absent himself from Rome—doing the like moreover by many cities, both imperial and Milanese—it became necessary for all the confederates to resort to arms. After narrating the battle of Fornovo and the other events of the war, I said that the King of the Romans had sent 7,000 men into Itaty, including horse and foot, keeping 5,000 besides on the confines of Burgundy, and that had more been required either in one quarter or the other, more would have been sent by him.
I deemed it well somewhat to exaggerate these details about the King of the Romans, because I have heard through a good channel that the King of England has evinced and continues evincing great doubt of the King of the Romans doing anything against France, and limits himself to saying, that unless the King of the Romans commence, he himself will never act. I told him that the peace which the Duke of Milan made last year with the King of France was stipulated with reservation of all the articles of the Holy League, the which had remained entire and unshaken.
I reminded him of the inroad made by the Sovereigns of Spain (at Perpignan), (fn. 11) and stated, moreover, what was being done at present in favour of the King of Naples, especially by your Serenity, and also in favour of the Pisans and Siennese; and what the League was ready to do in favour of each of the confederates whensoever requisite. Here I told him how the King of the Romans had sent into Italy and in aid of the Pisans the troops demanded of him, and was ready to peril his kingdom and his own person for the benefit of the most Holy League. In conclusion, I said that had this confederation not been formed, not Italy alone but the territories also in the neighbourhood of France would have been in the greatest danger.
The ambassador seemed to be very much obliged by this information, and said that he likewise was come to negotiate this affair of confederation, and that it was the intention of his King to do everything he could against France in honour and without detriment to his kingdom and subjects; for, to use his own words, the French are England's greatest and oldest enemies, occupying the whole of Normandy, and the duchy of Anjou and Guienne, which belonged to the English Crown; but that King Henry was compelled to be much on the watch against the youth who says he is the son of King Edward and went lately to Scotland, whose King received him with many promises—the which King is linked by an indissoluble understanding and league to the King of France, and although the poorest king in Christendom, yet all his subjects are bound to serve him in person and at their own expense, during three weeks in the course of every year, on any expedition he may undertake; and for that period he can bring 50,000 men into the field.
He ended by saying that he will communicate to me what he negotiates with the King of the Romans, but that he first must have full audience of his Majesty.
He told me that on the road he met a French ambassador bound to England, who informed him that a friar, the confessor of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, had come privily to the King of France. (fn. 12)
Augsburg, 6 May 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
May 15. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 700. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
On Wednesday last the King of the Romans returned to Augsburg, on the morrow gave audience to the English ambassador, and yesterday assigned him auditors, namely the Count of Cornia, Dño Vito Ulchstaner (Wolckenstein), and Dño Conrad Sturcen, who held a long conference with him.
Today his Majesty convoked all the ambassadors of the League, including the writer, and through Monsr. de Lupiano (Lupyan?) (fn. 13) and Dño Ludovico Bruno intimated to them, that the English ambassador had been twice with the King and once with the commissioners appointed him: that, from what each of them could apprehend, he was merely come to spy, and investigate the projects of the King both about the League and the Duke of York, notwithstanding which his Majesty had not failed urging him to join the confederation; and the discovery made by them was, that King Henry does not intend to break with the King of France, but wishes to join the League merely on the condition that it should not give subsidy or favour to any party waging war on him. The King of the Romans wished therefore to have the opinion of the ambassadors whether he should dissemble with Sir Christopher Urswick and dismiss him with fair words, or, on the contrary, let him see that he did not approve of his policy.
After a preamble setting forth the great benefit that would accrue to the Holy League by rendering Henry VII. a member of it, most especially with the obligation to attack France, the ambassadors answered unanimously that he (the King of the Romans) should by no means dissemble with Sir Christopher, or dismiss him; but in such form as of his wisdom he should deem most expedient, request the King of England to join the League, with the obligation to attack France. Should all such exertions fail to obtain this result, the ambassadors proposed that the King of England should be admitted on the mere terms imposed on the other confederates, expressing their conviction that this second arrangement would not be rejected by King Henry, as he had already declared to the ambassadors at his court that he was well disposed so to do.
Contarini and his colleagues then offered, should the King of the Romans approve, to mediate with Sir Christopher Urswick and do all that was possible to bring the matter to the desired conclusion; whereupon Dom. Ludovic Bruno and Monsr. Lupiano took leave, saying they would acquaint the King of the Romans with the views of the ambassadors.
Augsburg, 15 May 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
May 20. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 701. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
Had detained his letters until the present day, awaiting Sir Christopher Urswick's next audience of the King of the Romans, that he might give account of it; but as the conference will probably not take place for the next three days, the King of the Romans being very much occupied in regulating matters for discussion at the diet of Ulm, does not think fit to wait any longer.
Augsburg, 17 May 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
May 17. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 702. The Same to the Same.
After the despatch of his last letters on the 17th, conferred again with the English ambassador, who repeated the statement made by him to the King of the Romans, namely, that the King of England, having been requested by the Pope, the King of the Romans, Spain, Venice, and Milan, to join the Holy League, was well disposed so to do, but that, being now at enmity with the Kings of Scotland and of Denmark, and entertaining suspicion of the Duke of York and of other rebels in Ireland, he does not see how he can wage offensive war against the King of France, or even furnish the subsidies required by the clauses for a defensive war, both on account of his being at so great a distance from the confederates and by reason of the enmity and suspicions aforesaid. Remarked it was better not to promise than to make default, and that were the clause relating to subsidies cancelled, and the articles of the confederation revised and equalised, that part most especially being limited, and mention made solely of those having territory in Italy, the King of England would join the League; and, should his affairs subsequently assume a firm footing, he would then do all in his power compatible with his own honour and the safety of his subjects, adding that much might be hoped from him.
On the 20th May Contarini and the ambassadors from Spain and Milan went to the King of the Romans, on a summons from him, to discuss the despatch of Sir Christopher Urswick. The King told them that in execution of their recent suggestions he had again conferred with Urswick, but being unable to obtain any addition to the original offer, he expressed himself thus: “Your King refuses to wage war on the King of France and also to afford subsidy to the confederates in defensive war, by reason of the suspicion he entertains of his enemies, and then proposes a compromise with us, promising not to help any one who may attack us! This promise amounts to nothing, for if unable to succour us, neither could he aid our enemies.”
The King of the Romans then said that he would ask Urswick, in the presence of the ambassadors, whether the King of England would aid the Pope, the King of the Romans, and the other kings and princes of the Holy League, and be bound by the same clauses and obligations as the other confederates; stating further to him the perils and accidents which might befall England should the French King's affairs proceed according to the latter's plans, and on the other hand the great benefits that would accrue to the King of England in the event of his joining the League and waging war on France: and that on hearing Urswick's rejoinder he (the King of the Romans) would consult with the ambassadors upon the ultimatum to be given.
Thereupon Sir Christopher Urswick was sent for to the court, and on his arrival Dñs Conrad Sturzen explained to him, in a suitable and very flowery discourse, what the King of the Romans had proposed. The ambassador's reply was in accordance with the statement already made; and when urged to levy war and invade France, he stated he was not aware that any of the allies had proceeded to such an act save the Sovereigns of Spain, nor was it just that his King, being the last to join the confederation, should be amongst the first to invade: and that, speaking for himself, it seemed to him fitting, should this war be waged, to stipulate the amount of troops with which each of the allies was to make the attack; how long the war was to last; in what manner the conquered provinces and places were to be distributed; and that none of the parties should be at liberty to make peace, truce, or any other agreement, without the express consent of the rest. He ended by saying that, not having any commission, he would acquaint his King with what the King of the Romans had caused to be intimated to him.
When he had done speaking, the King of the Romans made him withdraw, and said to the ambassadors: “Should you approve, we will dismiss this ambassador, and send our own ambassadors immediately after him to negotiate this affair with the representatives of the other confederates, and also to negotiate some form of agreement between him, the King of Scotland, the Duke of York and others his enemies, provided he bind himself to attack the King of France;” and the King of the Romans asked us our opinion, to which he said he should adhere. We answered unanimously that although he needed no counsel, nevertheless we would tell him that we deemed it more expedient to detain the ambassador here, and ask him to write to his King what had been told him, so that the King of England being thus acquainted with the intention of the other confederates, might deliberate and conclude with less loss of time: on the other hand, should Sir Christopher Urswick seem more disposed to depart than to remain, in that case he (the King of the Romans) should give him good and gracious leave, and refer these negotiations to the commissioners in England, without sending other ambassadors there.
Says that the reason for persuading the King of the Romans not to send ambassadors was twofold—first, because his commission was already in the hands of the Spanish ambassadors, who would doubtless negotiate the matter with greater care and pains, so as to bring it to a good end, than the proper ambassadors of the King of the Romans, who indeed, to confess the truth, assented with some little difficulty, on account of the Duke of York; and, secondly, because the missions of the King of the Romans were wont to be more tardy than the need required.
The King of the Romans replied, that were Sir Christopher Urswick of another nature than he is, the suggestion of the ambassadors to detain him would have been excellent, but that as he (Urswick) had been previously accredited to the King of the Romans, and having been suborned by the French, made an unfavourable report of the King of the Romans to King Henry VII., which induced the latter to make peace with France, the King of the Romans knew that to detain Urswick could not produce any good result, and he also believed Urswick would not remain willingly. The King of the Romans assented not to send ambassadors, but said that until the King of England was safe from the Duke of York, and from those who favour the latter, he would never attack the King of France nor give subsidy to the confederation; and he therefore thought it advisable to promise that immediately on the King of England joining the League, the confederates would send their ambassadors to arrange these differences. Thus in substance was Urswick told in our presence, and that within three days the King of the Romans would give him gracious leave.
Augsburg, 20 May 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
May 30. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 703. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
Announces the departure of Sir Christopher Urswick, in accordance with the contents of the foregoing letter.
Augsburg, 30 May 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
June 4. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 704. Doge Agostino Barbarigo to Pietro Contarini and Luca Vallaresso, resident in London.
Have acquainted you with our intention relative to admitting the King of England into our confederation. As it might happen that for certain personal considerations his Majesty might not choose to bind himself to attack France, we are content that he join the League as it stands, or that it be renewed without binding him to wage war on France—provided he bind himself in no case to France; we are willing to give a similar guarantee not to assist France against England. We are certain that the like undertaking will be given you by the Duke of Milan, and that our other confederates will write in the like sense to their commissioners, in concert with whom you will act.
Regulate your proceedings with address,—first of all attempting to induce the King to attack France, and then to accept the formal articles of the League. Last of all, you will propose this last arrangement as aforesaid. Give, notice of this to Rome, Milan, and to the King of the Romans.
Ayes, 168. Noes, 4. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 28 lines.]
June 8. Sforza Archives, Milan. 705. Henry VII. to Ludovic Maria Sforza, Englishman (Anglo (fn. 14) ), Duke of Milan, &c.
We have read your Highness's letters of credence dated the 5th April, and heard your commissioners, Pietro Contarini and Luca Valaresso, in the presence of the ambassador of the Sovereigns of Castile. We understood the statement made to us on behalf of your Highness, and conferred with your said commissioners at great length, as we trust they will inform your Highness, for we will readily be a party to anything not repugnant either to reason or to our dignity. From our Castle of Shene, 8th day of June 1496.
Signed: “Henricus R.” (m.p.)
[Original, Latin.]
June 14. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 706. Zacharia Contarini to the Doge and Senate.
Has been told by Dom. Erasmo Brascha that the King of the Romans was greatly surprised at hearing, by the courier from Milan, that the King of England had sent an ambassador to France, to arrange the disputes with the King of Naples; and that Sir Christopher Urswick made no mention soever of this to him (the King of the Romans). Brascha affirmed what the King of the Romans said heretofore, namely, that by reason of the King of England's suspicion of the Duke of York, he will endeavour to be on good terms with everybody, and on no account quarrel with the King of France.
Augsburg, 14 June 1496.
[Extract, Italian.]
June 15 Sanuto Diaries, v.i. p. 158. 707. Receipt of letters from Piero Contarini and Luca Valaresso, the Signory's submandatories in England, announcing that King Henry was in dread of being expelled the kingdom by his nephew, the Duke of York, then in Scotland, whose King meant to assist him, and had given him a niece of his in marriage. The League, nevertheless, was in course of negotiation.
Note by Sanuto: that King Henry had recently sent Master Ful-burn as his ambassador to Rome, where the matter was treated; that the ambassador had returned to the King; and that at length the treaty is concluded.
[Italian.]
June 24. Commemoriali, No. 18, p. 56. 708. Power given by Doge Agostino Barbarigo, on behalf of the Republic of Venice, to the Venetian Ambassador in Rome, Nicolo Michiel, authorizing him to include Henry VII. in the Holy League.
Venice, 24 June 1496.
[Latin, 67 lines.]
July 10. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 709. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador at Rome.
By his last letters dated the 5th, perceive the point to which the negotiation with the English ambassador seems to have been brought, touching the conclusion of the new League with his King.
Approve of his (the Venetian ambassador's) proceeding cautiously; and, considering that the formula of a certain clause seems to be omitted, and in order that he may comprehend the intention of the State and conclude the business without delay, acquaint him with two things.
First, that they are content that he conclude the treaty, even omitting the said clause, with such agreements, terms, and conditions as can be obtained most to the advantage of the Holy League, provided they be mutual and reciprocal on both sides, and that the obligation of the one party be not greater than that of the other; so that at any rate, should this inclusion of the King of England in the league bear no other fruit, it may at least give repute and a guarantee that he will not lend assistance or favour to the King of the French.
Secondly, that he (the Venetian ambassador) take especial care that in whatever form the new League be concluded, a new and separate clause be first of all stipulated between the Pope and all the ambassadors of the confederates, to the effect that by no means soever are any of the clauses, obligations, and conditions of the original Holy League to be lessened in value.
Ayes, 160. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
July 10. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 710. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador with the Duke of Milan.
Allude to summaries sent him on the preceding day of letters from the ambassador in Rome, concerning the inclusion in the Holy League of the King of England. In the present letter enclose a copy of the Signory's reply, for communication as usual to the Duke of Milan.
[Latin, 24 lines.]
1496. July 14. Sforza Archives, Milan. 711. Henry VII. to Ludovic Maria Sforza Visconti, Duke of Milan, Count of Pavia and Angleria, and Lord of Genoa and Cremona.
Complimentary letter in answer to one of the same nature brought by the Duke's subject Christopher Carbonaro.
Southampton, 14th day of July, 1496.
Signed: “Henricus R.” (m.p.)
[Original, Latin.]
July 18. Commemoriali, No. 18, p. 87. 712. Recontract of the Holy League on the accession to it of Henry VII.
Allusion to the original League, stipulated at Venice on the last day of March 1495, which has remained until now in force. The Pope, together with the aforesaid confederates and colleagues, considering how much King Henry VII. would benefit this Holy League, requested him to join the confederacy or stipulate it afresh, especially as Charles King of the French coming last year into Italy with a powerful army occupied the kingdom of Naples, the special patrimony of St. Peter, the citadel of Ostia belonging to the Roman Church, and many of its towns, usurping the rights of the holy empire in Italy; and he is now making daily preparations for his return thither: so that, unless the confederates aforesaid and other catholic princes make provision and prevent it, the whole of Italy and Christendom is feared to be in very great peril.
On these accounts, the King of England, considering how much mischief might ensue to Christendom, nor wishing holy mother Church to be thus persecuted—having first of all through a formal ambassador charged the aforesaid King of the French utterly to desist from these wars, to restore the kingdom of Naples and Ostia, and accept the just mediation of his Holiness as frequently proposed to him—then solemnly appointed Robert Sherbourn, Archdeacon of Buckingham, [the King's] secretary and councillor, as procurator and ambassador to his Holiness, to stipulate amongst other things what is contained herein.
Formal acknowledgment of the power, by the papal notary, in the presence of the Pope, who then renewed the League and signed it, as did Phillibert Naturelli on behalf of Maximilian, Garcilasso della Vega for Spain, Nicolo Michiel for Venice, Cardinal Ascanius Sforza for Milan, all and each of them thus recognizing the entry into the league of Henry VII., through his ambassador Robert Sherbourn.
Then follows the ratification, as in Rymer, vol. xii., page 638, date Windsor, 23d September 1496, commencing with the words “Et primo supranominati,” and ending “Et specialiter requisitis et rogatis.
Rome, 18 July 1496.
[Latin, 233 lines.]
July 22. Commemoriali, No. 18, p. 91. 713. Brief from Pope Alexander VI., granting plenary indulgence on the day of the solemn publication of the League in St. Mark's Church at Venice.
Rome, 22 July 1496.
[Latin, 27 lines.]
1496. July 31. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. p. 184. 714. Proclamation of the Holy League.
On Sunday this 31st July, procession made in Venice for the publication of the League. In the church of St. Mark the Patriarch celebrated high mass. On the 20th July, a papal brief arrived, granting plenary absolution.
The bells were rung for three days, bonfires were also burnt. The new League was published by a crier in Venice, and likewise at Rome and Milan on the same day.
Publication of the new League, as follows:—
That at Rome on the 18th instant a League was concluded between Pope Alexander VI., Maximilian King of the Romans, Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain, Henry King of England, the Signory of Venice, and Ludovic Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, with a view to the peace and tranquillity of Italy, and to the welfare of the Christian commonwealth; to last for 25 years, and further, at the good pleasure of the parties, for the maintenance of the authority of the papal see, for the preservation of the rights of the Holy Roman Empire, and for the defence and preservation of the territories of each of the contracting parties.
The proclamation was immediately printed, with the following verses written above the portraits of the allies:—
“This is Pope Alexander, who corrects
The errors of the world by laws divine.”—Pope.
“Long life to the Cæsarean Emperor August,
King of the Romans, Maximilian the Just.”—Maximilian.
“This is the great King of Spain and his Queen,
Who of the Infidels made havoc extreme.”—Spain.
“This is that King who will yet cause consternation
To every foe of the firm confederation.”—England.
“Potent in war, and the friend of peace,
Venice ever loves the common weal.”—Venice.
“This is he in whose hand is the sceptre of justice,
Who rules the happy state of Milan.”—Milan.
[Italian.]
Aug. 3. Sforza Archives, Milan. 715. Ludovic Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Henry VII.
Has heard from Rome that the King has become a party to the League, and rejoices accordingly.
Girani, 3 August 1496.
[Original draft, Latin.]
Aug. 17. Sforza Archives, Milan. 716. The Same to the Same.
Perceived that amongst the stipulations made on the King's entering the League, two concerned himself; first, that he was to ratify the entry according to the instrument, and, secondly, to name his adherents and confederates. Enclosed letters accordingly, and requests the King to acknowledge the receipt of them.
Milan, 17 August 1496.
[Latin, 17 lines.]
1496. Aug. 29. Commemoriali,No. 18, p. 92. 717. Ratification of the renewal of the Holy League by Ludovic Sforza, Duke of Milan, on the accession to it of Henry VII.
Milan, 29 August 1496.
[Latin, 57 lines.]
Sept. 8. Commemoriali,No. 18, p. 95. 718. Ratification transmitted to Rome by the Republic of Venice of the renewal of the Holy League, on the accession to it of Henry VII.
Venice, 8 September 1496
Similar ratifications forwarded to the Venetian ambassadors in England, Milan, Spain, and with the King of the Romans.
[Latin, 29 lines.]
Sept. 15. Commemoriali,No. 18, p. 95. 719. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador in Rome.
Enclose the Signory's ratification of the recontracted League for presentation to the Pope. Are of opinion that the State has sufficiently fulfilled the article of the treaty newly stipulated with the Kino; of England.
Venice, 15 September 1496.
[Latin, 13 lines.]
Sept. 16. Commemoriali,No. 18, p. 95. 720. The Doge and Senate to the Duke of Milan.
Acknowledges the receipt of his ratification of the League.
Venice, 16 September 1496.
[Latin, 14 lines.]
Oct. 10. Commemoriali,No. 18, p. 97. 721. Certificate from the Duke of Milan, testifying the receipt of the Venetian ratification of the Leage.
Gropello, 10 October 1496.
[Latin, 22 lines.]
Oct. 16. Sforza Archives, Milan. 722. Ratification by Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain of the League stipulated at Venice on the last day of March 1495.
To this League the King of England has become a party, through his secretary, ambassador, and procurator, Robert Sherbourn, Archdeacon of Buckingham; as the Pope in his own name, Philibert Naturelli, provost of Salm, ambassador of the King of the Romans, Garcilasso della Vega, Spanish ambassador and procurator, Nicolò Michiel, procurator and ambassador of the Doge and Signory of Venice, and Ascanius Maria Sforza, Cardinal Deacon, Vicechancellor, brother and commissioner of the Duke of Milan, accepted and admitted the said Robert Sherbourn on behalf of the King of England as a party to the League, and renewed it with him.
The Sovereigns of Spain ratify the foregoing admission according to the articles of the new League, stipulating that such was to be done by the contracting parties within three months from the day of its date.
Logrono, 16 October 1496.
Signed: Yo el Re (m. p.)
Yo la Regina (m. p.)
[Latin.]
1496. Oct. 22. Commemoriali,No. 18, p. 98. 723. Certificate from Maximilian, King of the Romans, acknowledging receipt of the Venetian ratification of the League.
Pisa, 22 October 1496.
[Latin, 20 lines.]
Oct. 22. DeliberazioniSenate Secreta. 724. The Doge and Senate to Francesco Capello, Ambassador in Spain.
Capello is to congratulate the King of Spain and his consort on the marriage of the prince, their only son, and announce that the Doge and Senate have heard with satisfaction of the new marriage treaty formed with the King of England, and of the intention of Ferdinand to incite the King of England against the King of France.
[Latin, 56 lines.]
Oct. 29. Sanuto Diaries,v. i. p. 299. 725. Henry VII. to Doge Agostino Barbarigo.
Acknowledges receipt of two letters from him, dated 1st of September, the one touching the confirmation of the League between the Pope, the King of the Romans, Spain, Venice, and Milan, lately stipulated at Rome by the Signory, the other giving the names of the Signory's adherents and those recommended by them, and reserving the right to nominate others within the stated period. Has seen the letters willingly, and carefully noted the clients (comendatos) and adherents, whom he admitted readily.
Understanding moreover that both the Doge and the rest of the Italian confederates have been very much gladdened by his entry into the League and made public rejoicings, he, within three days, on the festival of All Saints, intended celebrating his own joy at said League by a solemn procession in the cathedral church of St. Paul's, in his capital, London, and on that same day purposed receiving with due respect the Sword and Cap of Maintenance, sent to him by the Pope; all which things he thought fit to notify to his Highness by reason of their mutual friendship and alliance.
[Latin, 21 lines.]
Remark by Sanuto:
The King of England had caused the League to be solemnly proclaimed in the cathedral by the Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury, his Lord Chancellor. This King Henry has for wife Madame Elizabeth, daughter of the late King Edward, for he expelled King Richard, the brother of the said King Edward. He has two sons, Arthur, Prince of Wales, which is an island, and the other is Duke of York.
Entered 8 December.
Nov. 1. Commemoriali,No. 18, p. 98. 726. Brief from Pope Alexander VI. to Doge Agostino Barbarigo, acknowledging that the Venetian ambassador, the English ambassador, and the Milanese ambassador have presented to him the respective letters of ratification of the renewed League.
Rome, 1 November 1496.
[Latin, 17 lines.]
1496. Nov. 13. Sanuto Diaries,v. i. p. 277. 727. Arrival this day in Venice of Luca Valaresso, who had been a merchant in London and was the person commissioned, together with Piero Contarini, to induce the King of England to join the League.
He went into the College and gave some account of that King; so, having acted well, he is placed in the Diary. Owing to the war between England and Scotland near at hand the island was in a disturbed state, and it had been reported lately that the English and Scotch fought a battle in which 15,000 men were killed; and the cause of the war was that the Duke of York had taken [for wife] a kinswoman of the King of Scotland, and meant to invade and seize the kingdom of England, as he was the son of King Edward.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29. Sanuto Diaries,v. i. p. 283. 728. Embassy to England.
Election this day in the Senate of three ambassadors, to Milan, to the King of the Romans, and to England, namely, Marco Lipomano, Georgio Pisani, and Andrea Trevisano.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29. DeliberazioniSenato Secreta. 729. Decree of the Senate concerning an Embassy to England.
That an ambassador be elected to the King of England; the person elected not to refuse to serve, under penalty of 500 ducats, and all other penalties according to the Act against recusants.
He is to take with him twelve horses and two stirrup men (stapherios=running footmen), a notary of our chancery, and his servant.
Ayes, 163. Noes, 36. Neutrals, 0.
Elected: “Ser” Andrea Trevisano, son of the Procurator “Ser” Tomà.
[Italian, 9 lines.]
Dec. 5. Senato Terra. 730. Decree of the Senate.
Georgio Pisani, ambassador elect to the King of the Romans, Andrea Trevisano, ambassador elect to the King of England, and Marco Lippomano, ambassador elect to Milan, to sit in the Senate until their departure, that they may be duly instructed.
Ayes, 153. Noes, 13. Neutrals, 0.
[Latin, 6 lines.]
Dec. 8. Sanuto Diaries,v. i. p. 304. 731. Receipt of Letters from London, dated 17 November, concerning the satisfaction of Henry VII. at the demonstration made by the confederates for the publication of the League, which was to be proclaimed in London on 1st December (sic), and that the King had written a congratulatory letter on the subject, as already copied.
[Italian.]
1496. Dec. 15. Sforza Archives, Milan. 732. Ludovic Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Henry VII.
Acknowledges the receipt of his letter, dated Westminster, 29 October, announcing the receipt of two letters from the Duke confirming the league made at Home.
Milan, 15 December 1496.
[Draft, Latin.]
Dec. 23. DeliberazioniSenato Secreta. 733. Decree of the Senate.
As King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain have not received letters from Italy, the Venetian ambassadors shall inform them how, in the present case, when France, the common enemy of the League, aspires to the empire of the whole world, the Republic has resolved to thwart the French designs, which seem to be directed against Genoa, and consequently against Italy. The Signory will make a vigorous defence, both by land and sea. The State is of opinion that all the other confederates will do the like, but will, nevertheless, urge them to this effect, especially the King of England, to whom an ambassador has been already appointed. The Pope, the Duke of Milan, and the Signory will urge the King of England to attack France.
[Italian, 44 lines.]

Footnotes

1 The peace of Novara made by Ludovic Sforza in August 1495.
2 In the original “Sovrano” (=supremus Flandriæ prætor). The name of the sovereign here referred to was Daniel de Praet, Lord of Merrede (Sanderus, Flandria Illustrata), who was appointed praetor 12 April 1485.
3 The copy does not exist at the Archives, but may be read in Sanuto's Diaries, vol. i., p. 13.
4 The summaries have not been registered, nor do the Venetian despatches from Spain of this period exist.
5 Query Lupyan. See Bergenroth's Calendar, p. 80.
6 Daughter of Madame de Beaujeu. She afterwards married her cousin the Comte de Montpensier, who was killed under Rome in 1527; see also Bergenroth's Calendar, January 30, 1496, p. 83.
7 Philip of Burgundy, Lord de Bevere.
8 Bulla argentea munite.
9 There is no note of this embassy in the Venetian Archives, but Marin Sanuto's “Lives of the Doges” (MS. in St. Mark's Library) contains the following entry:—“1487, 23rd August, there came into this town the Count of St. Paul's, ambassador from the King of England, on his way to Rome. Great honour was paid him.” If in 1486–7 Sir Christopher Urswick had any church preferment in St. Paul's, it may be supposed that Sanuto converted some deanery or canonry into a county.
10 The peace of Novara.
11 See Giovio, and Guicciardini, vol. i. p. 228. In date Tortosa, 30 January 1496, p. 85 of Bergenroth's Calendar, mention is made of a proclamation of war by Charles VIII. against Spain; and again at p. 88, of the commencement of hostilities. At p. 95, date 26 April 1496, it would seem that Ferdinand had not then invaded France in person.
12 Concerning this occult mission from Spain to France, see Bergenroth's Calendar, pp 93–94, date Daroca, 14 April 1496, and Almazan, 26 April 1196.
13 See Bergenroth, p. 80.
14 Query, a naturalized Englishman in right of some privilege conceded to the Lords of Milan at the time of the marriage of the Duke of Clarence to Violante Visconti.


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