Venice: 1491-1495

Pages 203-226

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 1, 1202-1509. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1864.

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1491 ? Jan. 30. St. Mark's Library. 604. James IV., King of Scotland, to Pope Innocent VIII.
Much surprised, having written several letters about raising the church of Glasgow to archiepiscopal, legatine, and primatial dignity, like the church of York in the kingdom of England, that you have not assented, especially as no small wrong and danger might arise to me and my successors from having only one spiritual primate throughout my whole kingdom. Honours ought to be distributed; and as the sovereign pontiffs have divided the power, jurisdiction, and dignity ecclesiastical in the realm of England, to its advantage, it would have been to the honour and dignity of my realm had you, with the counsel of the sacred College, raised the church of Glasgow to enjoy all the privileges and dignities of that of York, the church of St. Andrew's being of similar creation to that of Canterbury. If you decline to grant wishes so honourable and well grounded, I shall consider myself despised and scorned: treatment which I trust you will be far from exercising towards princes who are devoted to you. I therefore implore you that Robert, the'pre-sent prelate of said church, may be advanced.
This slowness in expediting so small a matter compels me to multiply my letters and missives. Should any letters of a contrary tenour reach you, I wish to know you do not credit them, and will not have the dispatch of this business delayed.
From our palace near Edinburgh, the penultimate day of January. No date of year.
Signed: “Scotorum Rex Jacobus.”
[Original. Latin, 14 lines, paper.]
1491. Feb. 16. Venetian Archives, Library. 605. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
Supplicate you to grant to William Nevil, our kinsman, now in his 18th year, though only a youth in minor orders, a dispensation to hold for life two benefices, incompatible otherwise with cure of souls, together with one dignity, the next in grade to that of bishop, with a clause empowering him to exchange it for life, and all other favourable and opportune clauses; also to be promoted to all holy orders, even those of the priesthood, in the 21st year of his age.
Westminster, 16 February 1490[—91].
Signed: “Henricus Rex.”
[Original. Latin, 7 lines, parchment.]
Feb. 22. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta.v. 34. p. 85. 606. Decree of the Senate concerning a reply to letters received from Henry VII.
Can no longer delay giving a reply to the two letters received from the King of England concerning the wines of Candia, the matter being of the greatest possible importance, as it is a question either of continuing the Flanders voyage or abandoning it.
As the King has been stimulated to this proceeding by the Florentines and others our rivals, be his Majesty answered by word of mouth.
The nobleman Giacomo Venier, our captain of the Flanders galleys, immediately on arriving in England, is to enter the presence of the King and state our views.
Ayes, 77, 85, 84. Noes, 30. Neutrals, 16, 36, 44.
[Italian, 22 lines.]
Feb. 28. St. Mark's Library. 607. James IV., King of Scotland, to Pope Innocent VIII.
Have written many epistles for the raising of the church of Glasgow to be metropolitical, primatial, and born legatine, like the church of York in England; although you, to my very great surprise, have not assented, especially as in my last parliament this creation appeared to all the three cstates of my realm particularly advantageous to the church and to this kingdom, and it was decreed to urge this matter with you.
Beseech you to grant this creation, knowing that should my prayers be contemned and despised by you like former ones I shall infer that the disobedience of others avails them more than my devotedness.
Jedworth, the last of February.
Signed: “Devotissimus filius Scotorum Rex Jacobus.”
[Original. Latin, 9 lines, paper.]
March 11. Senato Mar. v. 13. p. 42. 608. Decree of the Senate.
Desiring all persons entitled to make motions concerning the Flanders voyage to do so on Tuesday next, under penalty of 1,500 ducats, as it is for the profit and honour of the city that the galleys be put upon the berth for that voyage without further delay.
Ayes, 167. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 1.
[Latin, 8 lines.]
April 12. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxxiv. p. 89. 609. Doge Agostino Barbarigo to “Ser” Giacomo Venier, Captain of the Flanders Galleys.
On arriving in England, after the dispatch of business in Flanders, present yourself to the King. After consigning letter of credence, tell the King that we received his two letters, to which we did not reply by letter, having determined to give the answer through you, in order to do honour to his Majesty. By those letters he informed us that he objected to our having augmented the duty payable by Englishmen on exporting wines from Candia. You will answer him that the act was not decreed for the convenience of our citizens, but from urgent necessity.
The pirates were in the habit, under the pretext of trade, with false flags and papers, of going to Candia for wines. On their way back they captured and plundered our ships. Therefore the said act was passed, the provisions of which did not apply solely to English ships and English subjects, as but few of the latter come into these seas, and then are at liberty to load the wines of Candia on board our vessels, like our subjects, whose condition in this respect is the same as theirs; on foreign ships as on our own the pirates inflicted loss. We might have taken this step earlier for the advantage of our own ships of heavy tonnage, which have our orders not only to extirpate pirates but to defend the Christian religion. This consideration alone, however, would not have moved us had we not perceived that in the heart of our State plots were laid against us and our citizens on the account aforesaid, no less detestable than irremediable, as is well known, we are sure, to his Majesty.
Wherefore, we beseech him not to demand what we cannot allow, for if we were to repeal this act concerning the wines of Candia, or make a partial innovation for his subjects, we should be compelled to do the like by the subjects of other kings and potentates also. Add, that often both on account of pirates and for the benefit of his subjects, his Majesty has deservedly made similar and even greater provisions than ours. On hearing” our reasons, you giving assurance that henceforth we shall supply England with a greater quantity of said wines than hitherto, we feel certain that his Highness will remain satisfied. Make diligent inquiry whether there be any one of our subjects so rash and inconsiderate as to oppose our decrees. Should you discover or hear of any one, give us especial notice of the fact, as we shall act by them in such wise as to afford a very notable example for all to abstain from similar presumption. Give notice of this order to the consul, and to all our merchants and citizens for their information.
The cost of going to the King, which can be but small, you will place to the account of the London factory; and from time to time, by letter, you will give us account of all that occurs.
[Italian, 73 lines.]
April 21. Venetian Archives, Library. 610. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
Lately you granted the office of “collector” in England to Adrian de Castelli, your nuncio. Understand that it has been hitherto customary for similar “collectors” to have certain powers from the Apostolic see whereby to maintain and ingratiate themselves with the inhabitants of our kingdom, and that by your letters you have conceded to Adrian all the powers of his immediate predecessor for him to exercise them at this present (quibus ille nunc uti poterat). This expression is ambiguous, and the collector is thereby disappointed of your concession and privilege, to his own disadvantage and the inconvenience of our subjects, who. for this sort of powers—ordinary, usual, and very circumscribed—were accustomed to apply to the collector for the time being. Lest, unable to obtain them from him, they, from poverty, and owing to perils and the length of journeys, dispense with them, and make provision otherwise, we pray you to command the omission from those letters of this ambiguity.
Greenwich, 21st clay of April 1491.
Signed: “Your Holiness's most devoted son Henry.”
[Original. Latin, 11 lines, parchment.]
April 30. St. Mark's Library. 611. James IV., King of Scotland, to Pope Innocent VIII.
Dated Glasgow, 30th April; being the duplicate of a former letter dated Jed worth, the last day of February, concerning the church of Glasgow.
[Original. Latin, 8 lines, paper.]
July 7. Senato Mar. v. xiii. p. 96. 612. Decree of the Senate concerning the Debts of the London Factory.
Unless an opportune remedy be applied it will be impossible to send any more spices and other merchandise by the galleys for England, as the loan required amounts to 50, 60, and 70 per cent., and if not obtained, the voyage must be entirely abandoned, or an opportunity will be afforded for others to disturb it, which would not profit our Signory; and as it is fitting and fair, in so very important a matter, not to fail taking such steps as are suited to the maintenance and continuance of the voyage,—for the burden of this loan alone upholds the charges which our galleys exact in the island of England, provision being absolutely requisite,—it will therefore be put to the ballot, that no goods brought from England on board the present galleys, commanded by Nicolo Contarini, be removed thence or from the Customhouse without a “permit,” &c., &c.
Regulations in favour of contractors for the present loan, to be observed with regard to merchandise on board the galleys commanded by Jacomo Venier, and by Nicolo Balbi, captain for the Flanders voyage in 1491.
List of duties on English wools, fine cloths, bastard cloths, tin, kersies, coloured cloths, and all other English merchandise, &c. &c.
Letter written accordingly on the 19th September 1491 to the consul in London, desiring him, as there were four couriers over there at great cost to the Venetian merchants, to keep only two for the future, as of yore.
Ayes, 120. Noes, 4. Neutrals, 16.
[Italian, 98 lines.]
Dec. 8. Venetian Archives, Library. 613. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
When of late years the French first attacked the duchy of Britanny, and by a grievous war and a strong hand were intent on subduing it, we, in virtue of the alliance and amity existing between ourselves and that duchy, sent our ambassadors to the French, declaring we were allied with the Duchess, and also with the Duke during his lifetime, and bound to defend them; and that no injury could be done that duchy that would not be common to ourselves. We therefore requested them to desist from the war, and to recall their force and military power; [and] if they laid claim to any right, or had any just cause to vindicate, that they should be pleased to treat their business not by force of arms, but by law and amicable adjustment. They answered our ambassadors that they were content all their claims against the Duchess and the duchy should be compromised and treated amicably, and that they would make peace both with her and with us. Shortly after this, these French sent their ambassadors to us to negotiate peace with us and with the duchy of Britanny likewise. After much discussion, we—being desirous of peace, and having even determined beforehand to waive on this occasion our recorded right, and put up with some disadvantage and detriment, rather than encourage enmity against them—at length came to an agreement with these French ambassadors about certain articles of a peace; but when we sent our own ambassadors to France, the confirmation of them, the French would ratify nothing that had been agreed with us; nay, when they themselves framed other articles of peace, and when our ambassadors were willing to accept them, they retracted all their offers, having bribed certain peers of Britanny, and being confident that everything would succeed according to their wishes; as your Legate, the Bishop of Concordia, should he report the truth, can plainly tell you.
To conclude, whilst we were anxious to make peace, they would never grant any terms save such as were disgraceful to us; but while they held out hopes of peace, followed an opposite course, and by incessant, vigorous, and calamitous war, gradually usurped the whole duchy, and reduced it to their power. Nor, indeed, are they satisfied with this, but plot all the mischief they can against us and our neighbours and confederates, their threats increasing daily; and they are, by letters and envoys, instigating the Scots to make war upon us and invade our kingdom, for which purpose they have sent money, arms, and provisions.
They have also by many promises incited certain barons (domicellos) in Ireland and in our kingdom to rebel against us; and to this end they hostilely invaded our borders, committing acts of plunder and conflagration. How they acted in Flanders—by what artfulness they detached the city of Ghent from its obedience to our ally the King of the Romans, and occupied Sluys; how they are daily stimulating many other cities to renounce him and his son the Duke of Burgundy, his future heir, our confederates—is notorious to all men.
We subsequently tried all peaceful means, and could obtain nothing whatever that was just and fair, so nothing remains for us but to repel these manifold wrongs. We wage this war of necessity, having left nothing whatever untried for the maintenance of peace and friendship, and would rather cede something of our own than exchange peace for war, there being nothing more abhorrent to us than the slaughter of men and the shedding of Christian blood. Really such intense and insatiable coveting of the dominions of others cannot be borne. We thoroughly comprehend what ruin threatens all neighbouring nations and races if such violent thirst for annexation be not checked; for if similar insolent lawlessness were left unbridled, we know not whether it might not extend itself even to the detriment of certain Italian potentates, and likewise inflict some trouble and injury on your Holiness and the Apostolic see, through that Pragmatic Sanction, which we always condemned.
Moreover, your Collector in our realm has urged us on your behalf, in any treaty made by us with these French, to bear in mind the Pragmatic Sanction which they have introduced in violation of the liberty of the Romish Church, and so far as in our power to resist its progress in any way.
We know for certain that before Upper and Lower Burgundy and Picardy came into the hands of the French no pragmatic sanction soever prevailed in those provinces; whereas after their occupation of those territories they introduced it instantly: on which account, as they have lately conquered the whole of Britanny, it is more and more to be feared that they will introduce the Sanction into that duchy, as into whatever other countries they may subject to their sway. We promise your Holiness, that in the manner as we always have been hitherto so for the future will we prove ourselves no less thoroughly devoted to you and the Apostolic see, will provide to our utmost for the liberty of the Church, and will never stipulate any treaty with the French without having especial mention made of this detestable Sanction that it be abolished and abrogated; praying you on your part likewise firmly to support our rights and claims, and not to give ear to the fictitious complaints and accusations of our enemies.
Greenwich, 8th day of December 1491.
Signed: “Devotissimus atque obsequentissimus filius Dei Gr[ati]a Rex Angliæ et Franciæ ac Dũs Hyberniæ Hemicus.”
[Original. Latin, 22 lines, parchment.]
Dec. 8. Venetian Archives, Library. 614. Henry VII. to Pope Innocent VIII.
In the time of Urban VI. the cathedrals of the sees of Lichfield and Coventry, united canonically to one episcopal see, fell vacant. No valuation being found in the registers of the Apostolic treasury, Nicholas, Cardinal priest of St. Ciriaco, treasurer of the sacred College of Cardinals, and James, Archbishop of Genoa, were appointed commissaries by Urban VI. to ascertain the annual value of the aforesaid churches. They appointed the Bishop of London and the Collector Apostolic to make inquiry touching the fruits, rents, profits, rights, and hereditary revenues belonging to the aforesaid churches; and thereupon the said Bishop of London and Collector Apostolic, after examination upon oath, found the true annual value of the said churches to amount to 330l. 3s. 111/4d. sterling. This they reported to the commissaries of the Apostolic treasury.
In consequence, John Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield having paid 733 gold treasury-florins, 16 “soldi” and S deniers of Roman money for payment in full of his service in ordinary, by letters patent from the treasurers of the Apostolic treasury and of the sacred College was released and quitclaimed; and all his successors were declared entitled to be released and quitclaimed on payment of a like sum.
Urban VI. and Boniface IX. having died, Pope Martin beingraised to the pontificate, as the said churches of Lichfield and Coventry were not found taxed in the registers of the Apostolic treasury, the treasurer of Pope Martin and the treasurer of the sacred College of Cardinals instructed the Bishop of Trieste and the Collector Apostolic, then in this realm, to transmit to the Roman court the true annual value of the fruits, profits, rights, and hereditary revenues of the aforesaid churches. These commissaries found the annual value of those churches to be the sum of 357l. 6s. 8d. sterling.
After the promotion of one William, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, certain canons of our churches of London and St. Asaph's lent at interest to the Apostolic treasury a sum of 900 gold “treasury florins,” and the treasury, wishing to liquidate the debt, rendered the aforesaid William responsible, to the said canons for that sum. Said William, when he had paid 440 gold “treasury florins” in full payment of his bulls, was quitclaimed and released.
The aforesaid churches of Lichfield and Coventry having become vacant, we recommended Master William Smyth to you as bishop, and, contrary to our expectation, understand that his bulls have not yet been expedited, on account of a larger sum of money than usual which your treasury has demanded of him, such in short as was never paid by his predecessors the bishops of those churches.
Beg you not to suffer any new tax to be laid on those churches, and not to listen to the sinister reports of certain persons, and direct your treasury to forward the bulls at once, and to be satisfied with the usual fees; especially as these cathedral churches are much poorer than they used to be, and have so fallen to ruin that, as we are informed for certain, not even 10,000 ducats would suffice for their partial repair.
These bulls cannot be long delayed without the greatest inconvenience; nor can the said Master William make any addition to the ancient fees, as it is forbidden for any bishop promoted to any church to disburse more than the usual fees; and were he to do otherwise he would be suspended and deprived of the temporalities of the said church.
Greenwich, 8 December 1491.
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 22 lines, parchment.]
1492. Jan. 9. St. Mark's Library. 615. The Cardinal Ascanio Sforza to the Cardinal—
Pope Innocent VIII. has separated the churches and dioceses of Glasgow, Dunkeld, Dumblane, “Whithorn, and Lesmore from the province of St. Andrew's, and exempts and absolves the prelates of the churches thus dismembered, and the clergy and people of the dioceses thereof, from the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of St. Andrew's. Has erected the church of Glasgow metropolitan, with archiepiscopal dignity and jurisdiction, with carrying of the cross, and the other metropolitan insignia,
The churches and Bishops of Dunkeld, Dumblane, Whithorn, and Lesmore, and the chapters of those churches, and the clergy and people thereof, to be subject in metropolitan and archiepiscopal jurisdiction to Robert, late Bishop, now Archbishop of Glasgow.
Rome, the 9th day of January 1492.
Signed: “Ascanio Maria Cardinal Sforza Visconti.”
[Original. Latin, 54 lines, paper.]
St. Mark's Library. 616. Fire at Hampton.
At this time, by letters from England, it was heard that that King's arsenal at Hampton caught fire, which was quenched; and on that day “Ser” Filippo Morosini, who was there, went in to see the arsenal, so the English suspected him of having set it on fire, but ascertained subsequently that this was not true, and nothing ensued.
[Sanuto's Autograph Lives of the Doges, vol. iii, p. 339.]
Jan. 10. Sforza Archives, Milan. 617. Henry VII. to the Lord Ludovic. (fn. 1)
Were we not of opinion that the intense ambition of the French, and their lust for extending their sway and conquering the dominions of others, is manifest to you, we should endeavour to demonstrate it at full length; but we consider the fact so evident that there is no need for farther statement: though, how much it is our interest and also of yours, and of the rest of the Christian sovereigns, especially those nearest at hand, to repress such great thirst and desire for domination, we leave to your judgment; for the French are so on the watch to increase their power by any villany, and more and more so from day to day, that they may annihilate all neighbouring sovereigns to their own advantage; and, unless this insatiable covetousness be combatted, it is vastly to be feared that much mischief will result to the whole Christian commonwealth. All know by what right they harassed the Duchess and the duchy of Britanny by protracted and grievous war, and have now, at length, reduced both one and the other to their power. The fraud and stratagems employed by them to effect the rebellion of Ghent and many other Flemish towns against the King of the Romans are matters of notoriety, nor is anybody unacquainted with the plots now in preparation by them for the subjection of the whole of Flanders. If we wished, however, to give you examples nearer horn, or rather to recall [them] to your memory, [we might show] how perfidiously they circumvented and supplanted the princes of Savoy, [but] we think [that fact] can be no secret to any sovereign in Christendom—to such a degree does this insolent licentiousness spread itself and advance with impunity in every direction; and what mischief the French are machinating against us, or what snares they are laying, we pass over in silence, as not with words but by arms have we determined to avenge their injuries.
For the rest, as in this present year, we are about to undertake a war against these French, together with our confederates the King of the Romans and the King and Queen of Spain, and to carry our banners against them in person, we pray your Highness, by that consanguinity and friendship whereby we are linked to your illustrious Duke, to adhere to us in this just and necessary war, and to assist us to the utmost, it being your interest to prevent a neighbouring enemy, so covetous of empire that the whole world would not suffice him, from becoming too strong; one, in short, who threatens the duchy of Milan no less than the other principalities of Christendom, and lays claim to that identical duchy for the Duke of Orleans. We have made a full communication touching all that concerns our mutual advantage to the ducal commissary, Benedetto Spinola, citizen and merchant of Genoa, in whose good faith we place great reliance; and we have requested him to acquaint you by letter, on our behalf, with all that we imparted to him. Whereupon we pray you to give full credence to the aforesaid Benedetto in all such things as he shall state by letter to you in our name. Moreover, be pleased to report all these things to the Duke on our behalf.
From our palace of Shene, 10th day of January 1491 [—2].
[Copy. Latin, 90 lines, paper.]
May 10. Senato Mar. v. xiii. p. 84. 618. Decree of the Senate.
Concerning the sources from which the “bounty” required for the Flanders galleys was to be derived, as the period for putting them “on the berth,” was at hand.
[Italian, 23 lines.]
1492. May 21. Sforza Archives, Milan. 619. The Secretary Bartolomeo Calcho to Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Bari.
The host of “the Well,” in this city, came to me today and informed me that yesterday there arrived there at his hostel an ambassador from the King of England on his way to Rome. He calls himself Bishop of Durham (John Sherwood), and has twenty-five horses with him. Did not think fit to pay him any farther visit, either in the name of the Duke or your lordship, not having heard that he had any commission to visit either one or the other of you, and especially to avoid giving any umbrage, as by this visit something might have arisen which might have offended the King of France; moreover, I had no commission from your lordship.
The ambassador departs tomorrow to proceed on his way.
Pavia, 21 May 1492; in haste (cito).
[Letter. Italian, 20 lines, paper.]
Sept. 6. Venetian Archives, Library. 620. Henry VII. to Pope Alexander VI.
Congratulates him on his election. Has charged the Bishop of Durham and John de Giglis, his ambassadors at Rome, whom he reconfirms in their office, to yield canonical obedience to his Holiness.
Requests the Cardinal of Sienna may be received as his and his kingdom's Protector.
Greenwich, 6th day of September 1492.
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 16 lines, parchment.]
Oct. 9. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xxxiv. p. 134. 621. Decree of the Senate as amended, concerning an embargo laid on the Flanders Galleys by Henry VII. for the conveyance of troops to Calais.
The detention of our Flanders galleys effected by the King of England is of great importance, both by reason of the detriment to our “masters” and merchants, as likewise on account of the King of France. The King of England to be requested to dismiss the said galleys, that according to custom they may pursue and complete their voyage at the due and preordained season.
Ayes, 53. Noes, 6. Neutrals, 6.
[Latin, 14 lines.]
Oct. 9. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xxxiv. p. 134. 622. The Doge and Senate to the Captain of the Flanders Galleys and to the Consul in London.
Announce receipt of their letters concerning the detention of the Flanders galleys. Have therefore written to the King of England as by enclosed copy, desiring them to deliver or withhold the original, according to circumstances.
Should the galleys not be released, and the King take them to France, their stay in England to be prolonged for one month after their return to Hampton. If on the other hand they be not pressed into the King's service, they are then to remain at Hampton for one month after the arrival of the present courier.
Ayes, 84.
[Italian, 41 lines.]
1492. Oct. 9. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xxxiv. p. 133. 623. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador at the Court of Rome.
Announce the receipt on that day of letters from the captain of the. Flanders galleys, dated Hampton, 8th of September, to the effect that he had been charged by the King of England, on pain of capital punishment, to accommodate him with the Republic's galleys, which the King had determined to take with him to France; and that when the captain made a difficulty about obeying this order, his Majesty, by force of arms, had his troops put on board the galleys, compelling him absolutely to receive them, that they might be employed according to his intention. Although the State can with difficulty believe that the seizure has taken place, the Doge and Senate write to the ambassador, and command him to find a fitting opportunity for communicating it to the Pope. He is to do the like by the French ambassadors in Rome, with every assurance of respect towards their King, and of regret, annoyance, and injury caused to the State by this seizure of the galleys—to exculpate the Signory from any charges that might be brought against the State on this account, so that the King may entertain no suspicion of the Republic; and to those ambassadors alone, and to no others, he is to read the enclosed copy of a letter on this subject, written by the Doge and Senate to the King of England, demanding the release of the galleys.
A similar letter, with such alterations as necessary, was also written to the Venetian ambassador at Milan, with instructions, should there be any French envoy there, to communicate its contents to him in like manner.
Ayes, 142. Noes, 6. Neutrals, 1.
[Latin, 19 lines.]
Nov. 15. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xxxiv. p. 137. 624. Motion made in the Senate concerning the reply to Charles VIII., who had proposed a new alliance to the Republic, and touching the Signory's congratulations on the birth of his son; as likewise respecting the seizure by Henry VII. of the Flanders galleys for the expedition against France.
Letter from the Doge and Senate to Charles VIII.:—
Deem it their duty to inform him that the King of England had detained their Flanders galleys. This is most irksome to the State, both on account of the very great detriment incurred by their noblemen and the merchants, and from regard for his Most Christian Majesty, against whom the State would not wish to commit the slightest hostile act.
[Latin, 54 lines.]
Nov. 20. Senato Mar. v. xiii. p. 102. 625. Decree of the Senate concerning the seizure by Henry VII. of the Flanders Galleys.
Carried lately, that owing to the seizure of our Flanders galleys by the King of England, their stay should be delayed for one month after their return to Hampton free and released by his Majesty aforesaid. As it is understood that the galleys suffered great accidents and damage on entering Calais so as to need repairs,—Put to the ballot, that after being repaired and made seaworthy, the period of their stay be prolonged for 15 clays; their captain being bound to speed their repairs and dispatch from Hampton to the utmost; and when repaired, and on the expiration of the abovewritten term, be he at liberty to depart and lay such fine as he shall choose on the masters. If they refuse to obey him, and in case of their being disobedient to his orders, be they subjected to the same penalties as if they had exceeded the period assigned for their stay.
Ayes, 146. Noes, 16. Neutrals, 2.
[Italian, 14 lines.]
Dec. 12. Venetian Archives, Library. 626. Henry VII. to Pope Alexander VI.
Having crossed over in person some two months ago with our army, and landed at our city of Calais, and having speedily occupied some of the nearest towns, when about to besiege Boulogne, a very strong place, contrary to all expectation, a peace was proposed to us by the French, with such conditions as to make it appear that no Christian and Catholic prince could be capable of refusing them. We therefore accepted this peace, both in order to attend to other matters and to avoid shedding Christian blood; as your Holiness will understand more fully from our ambassadors in Rome, to whom we wish you to give full credence in this matter.
From our city of Calais, 12 December 1492.
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 9 lines, parchment.]
Dec. 14. Senato Mar. v. xiii. p. 103. 627. Doge Agostino Barbarigo and the Senate to Lorenzo Pisani, the Venetian Consul in London.
The Signory had understood from the merchants and owners of the two ships which loaded wines in Candia, that the King of England not only refused to take off the duty of 18s. per butt, but proclaimed it at all his ports, with this moreover in addition,—that those wines might not be sold for more than 24 crowns per butt. If this were enforced, it would be the ruin of the said merchants, at whose earnest petition the Doge and Senate command the consul, in case he should be unable to obtain the repeal of the duty from the King, to order the masters of those ships, on their arrival in England, to go with all the wines to Zealand, as the duty was unbearable. The consul, if unable to obtain the repeal within 20 days, was then to charge the masters of the two ships, under pain of the Signory's displeasure, and loss of their entire freight and of the “bounty” of two ducats per butt, to depart immediately without landing any portion of the wines, taking them to Zealand, and there disposing of them, as their freighters had originally meant them to do at Hampton. He was also to desire the masters of the vessels, under the penalty aforesaid, during the abovementioned period of 20 days neither to land themselves nor to send their boats on shore.
Should the Venetian merchants in England, during this interval, be able to arrange the matter by giving 40 or 50 butts of the wines at the utmost, or a sum of money not to exceed their value, so that they may be landed free of the aforesaid duty, and be sold as usual, the Doge and Senate authorize the compromise (provided the sum do not exceed the aforesaid amount), as it may prove less detrimental and inconvenient to the merchants in general and to the masters and partners in the ships; and as the majority of the owners of the said wines in Venice had agreed to pay the masters at the rate of a ducat per piece for freight to Zealand, the Doge and Senate choose that, as fair and fitting, the other merchants having wines on board do pay freight at the same rate. Finally, the Senate decrees that on the arrival of the two ships at Hampton they are to be considered entitled to the “bounty” of two ducats per butt.
Ayes, 98. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 45 lines.]
1493. Jan. 24. St. Mark's Library. 628. James IV., Ktng of Scotland, to Pope Alexander VI.
Congratulates the Pope on his elevation to the papacy. Has sent the Bishop of Aberdeen and other ambassadors to tender his obedience to the Apostolic see.
Edinburgh, 24 January, in the year of our Lord 1492 [--93].
Signed: “James.”
[Original. Latin, 10 lines, paper.]
March 1. Venetian Archives, Library. 629. Henry VII. to Pope Alexander VI.
Congratulates him on his elevation to the papacy.
Shene, 1st day of March 1492 [–93].
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 14 lines, parchment.]
July 8. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxxiv. p. 179. 630. Announcement made to the Signory by the French ambassador, Mons. de Peronne, of the peace concluded with the King of England, King Maximilian, and with the Archduke Philip, to whom Charles VIII. had restored his sister, the Archduchess Margaret.
[Latin, 30 lines.]
July 12. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxxiv. p. 179. 631. Congratulations offered by the Signory to the French ambassador, Mons. de Peronne, on the. peace made by his King with the Kings of England, Spain, and of the Romans, and with the Archduke Philip.
[Latin, 68 lines.]
Oct. 4. Venetian Archives, Library. 632. Henry VII. to Pope Alexander VI.
As the Bishop of Worcester is about to visit the Apostolic threshold, we, from the sincere love we bear him, especially recommend him to you.
Northampton, 4th day of October 1493.
Signed: “Henricus.”
[Original. Latin, 6 lines, parchment.]
Nov. 4. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta.v. xxxiv. p. 197. 633. The Doge and Senate to the King of France.
Thanking him for having included the Republic in the peace lately made by him with the King of the Romans, with Spain, and with England.
[Latin, 27 lines.]
1494. Jan. 12. St. Mark's Library. 634. Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini, (fn. 2) Cardinal of Sienna, to Pope Alexander VI.
Informs him that the Bishop of Durhan (John Sherwood) had died at about 5 p.m. on the preceding evening. Writes that his extreme grief for the death of his own brother the Duke of Amalfi, who in like manner died yesterday, had prevented him from announcing the Bishop's demise to the Pope sooner.
Beseeches the Pope not to settle or decide about the see of Durham until acquainted with the wish of the King of England, for that bishopric is of the greatest importance to his Majesty's state.
[Original, undated. Latin, 11 lines, paper.]
Jan. 12. Venetian Archives, Library. 635. Henry VII. to Pope Alexander VI.
A few days ago received letters from you, whereby we learnt the immense slaughter inflicted in Dalmatia and Croatia by the Turks, and the great danger in which that country and every neighbouring province, especially Italy, is placed. This intelligence was very distressing.
We indeed hope that under your auspices mature deliberation will be had for the harassed Church and the whole Christian commonwealth; to which effect, although at a great distance and embarrassed by a variety of cares, you will always find us most ready according to our power, on account of our devotion to you.
From our palace of Windsor, 12th clay of January 1493 [–4].
Signed: “Henricus R.”
[Original. Latin, 13 lines, parchment.]
Jan. 28. Senato Mar. v. xiv. p. 26. 636. Decree of the Senate concerning the stay of the Flanders galleys in England.
As our Flanders galleys now in England are at liberty, according to their auction contract, either to go to Flanders or to remain in England, and as it is not specified in their contract when the day of their stay is to commence, and it being fitting, as they can neither decide, nor go to Flanders, until after landing the goods destined for England, that, should they determine on remaining in England, their period of demurrage do commence after they shall have unloaded,—Put to the ballot, that by authority of this Council, our captain of the galleys be written to, that the demurrage aforesaid be proclaimed in the above written form, namely, after the unloading of the galleys, should their masters have determined to remain in England; though the aforesaid demurrage must not commence more than 15 days after their arrival at Hampton.
Ayes, 119. Noes, 26. Neutrals, 8.
[Italian, 13 lines.]
Oct. 3. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta.v. xxxv. p. 31. 637. Statement made to the Signory by the French ambassador, Philip de Comines, Seigneur d'Argenton. He said that Charles VIII., on obtaining the kingdom of Naples, would have greater need of the Venetians than the Venetians of France; that his Majesty was constantly obliged to defend his own kingdom from England and from Burgundy, and towards Perpignan, and from King Maximilian; and that Charles VIII. had need of the Signory.
[Italian, 82 lines.]
Dec. 10. St. Mark's Library. 638. Carlo Barbavara, a Milanese, to Bernardino Figino, L.L.D.
You write that not a few Venetian patricians inquire why our new Prince Ludovic, suppressing the family name of Visconti, calls himself “Englishman” (Anglum se appellet), and ask the derivation of that title. Will mention what had been heard by him in general conversation.
The common opinion is, that the new Duke has suppressed the name of the Visconti family and styled himself “Englishman” (Anglum) in imitation of Duke Philip, who also determined to make no mention of the Visconti family, and called himself “Englishman.”
Some say that in England a city called “Anglum” was of yore held by certain counts, who, being unable to govern it themselves, appointed others as their vicegerents in that government, who were therefore called not only Englishmen (Anglos), but also Viscounts—vicars, as it were, of the counts; from which viscounts the ancestors of Duke Philip subsequently descended.
Others are of opinion that Duke Philip was styled an Englishman either because he himself or his predecessors contracted relationship with the reigning King of England, and that therefore, as a memorial of that event, they thought fit to retain the surname of “Englishman.”
Others again say that when Antenor (who after the destruction of Troy) built Padua, there also came into Italy a certain man, Anglus by name, a very illustrious individual, who in like manner built Angleria, a place from which Duke Philip called himself Anglus.
The populace, accustomed to say anything malignant from mental excitement, and without reason, assert that Duke Ludovic chooses to style himself an Englishman, and to suppress the Visconti family, which, for the future, will be less exalted by him than it has been hitherto; though this is uttered in folly and ignorance, as since his accession he has raised several Viscontis both to the grade of senators and to other offices, so that he will not hold them in less account than they enjoyed of yore.
Milan, 10 Dec. 1494.
Signed: “Carolus Barbavara.”
[Sanuto. Autograph, Latin, 70 lines.]
1495. April 3. Senato Mar. v. xiv. p. 57. 639. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Consul in London, Nicolo Justiniano.
Have heard from “Ser” Piero Bragadin, master of one of the Flanders galleys, by his letter of 31st January, the peril incurred by him with his galley in the bay of Biscay. Had in like manner heard that the flag galley and the Donada galley were missing, and feared they might have perished; and that he consequently demanded instructions. They desire the consul, should he have no news of the missing galleys, or at least of one of them, forthwith to have the Bragadina galley unloaded at Hampton; the master to receive his full freight, without any diminution, as if he had conveyed the goods to London, and all costs for the land carriage thither to be paid by the owners of said merchandise. Desire the consul, after the galley shall be unloaded, to do his utmost to obtain freight for it, and fix the period of its demurrage at two months from the day on which the consul shall receive the present letter. On the expiration of that term no goods to be shipped under penalty of 500 ducats, and loss of all the freight money, but the Council of Twelve are authorized to prolong the term, in case of nccessity, for another fifteen days, and no more, under the penalties aforesaid.
After the Bragadina galley shall have been loaded the ship Malipiera, Toma Duodo master, to be at liberty to load. Should that vessel on the receipt of this letter not be in England the consul to send to Duodo by a special messenger, desiring him in the name of the Doge and Senate to proceed immediately with his ship to Hampton, and to load there, notwithstanding any decree to the contrary; to have fifteen days demurrage beyond the period assigned the Bragadina galley and no more, under the penalties to which the master of that vessel is liable, to receive two-thirds of the usual freight for all goods loaded by him, with this condition, that he be bound to have 100 men on board at the ship's expense. The merchants not to be subjected to any extra freight-charges; the master of the Bragadina galley not at any time to demand any indemnity from the Signory on this account; the owners moreover of said galley, having agreed to this in the presence of the Signory, desire him to charge Thoma Duodo, under penalty of 1,000 ducats, privation from all offices and benefices in Venice for ever, and ineligibility to the post of master of any Venetian ship, to come in company with the Bragadina galley, obeying the commands of the aforesaid “Ser” Piero Bragadin, its master, whom the Doge and Senate appoint captain, being convinced that he will so comport himself as deservedly to obtain the state's praise and commendation.
The consul to order the two masters of said galley and ship not to touch any port on their homeward voyage to Venice save the two ports in Sicily as usual, nor to remain there beyond the number of days limited by the galleys' auction contract.
Empower the consul, should he think it requisite for the safety of the galley and ship, to take some other vessel to accompany them, or put more hands on board the ship, adding to the hundred already ordered; and give him liberty, together with the Council of Twelve, to send in company with them as far as Palermo any vessel they may think fit, or else to put on board the ship as many more men, in addition to the aforesaid hundred, as they shall deem expedient; all costs incurred thereby to be paid by an average on all goods loaded in said galley and ship, whether below deck or above, and on all freights both of the galley and ship, in accordance with all fairness and equity.
Ayes, 172. Noes, 5. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 64 lines.]
1495. April 18. Senato Mar. v. xiv. p. 60. 640. Decree of the Senate.
Put to the ballot, that Thomas Oure be elected and confirmed Consul of our nation at Hampton, with all the usual forms and conditions.
Ayes, 102. Noes, 31. Neutrals, 3.
[Italian, 12 lines.]
May 5. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 641. Ambassadors Zacharia Contarini and Benetto Trevisano.
On their way to Maximilian, King of the Romans, inform the State that on that day they had visited the Lord Philibert (Naturelli), a diplomatist in the service of the said King, who told them that the Duke of York, son of the late King Edward, had taken the field against the King of England under the favour of the Archduke, and that the King of the Romans was nowise concerned therein.
Padua, 5 May 1495.
[Extract, Italian.]
May 12–17. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 642. Sebastian Badger, Venetian Ambassador, to Ludovic Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Information communicated to him by the Duke, that by a courier from the west, who departed thence on Easter Tuesday, it was heard that the son of the late King Edward had embarked on board some ships with 10,000 men, bound for the island of England.
Milan, 12 May 1405.
Moreover that the King of Scotland had sent a number of ships with many troops in favour of the son of the late King Edward, together with some other details which the ambassador does not repeat, as the whole would be communicated to the Signory by the Milanese ambassador, according to custom.
Milan, 17th May 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
June 3. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 643. Ambassadors Contarini and Trevisano.
Announce the arrival there on that day of four ambassadors from Scotland. Their coming is assigned to various causes; will endeavour to ascertain their business, and communicate it to the State.
Worms, 3 June 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
June 9. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 644. Ambassadors Contarini and Trevisano.
The King of the Romans tells them that he admits the very great expenditure incurred by the Signory, but considers that of the fleet less necessary than military preparatives; adding that he likewise is subjected to very heavy disbursements, owing to the movements both of the Duke of Guelders and of Robert de la Marck, about whom he hears this very day that they have burnt certain villages of his in the duchy of Luxemburg. He is also informed of the proceedings of the Duke of York, who laid claim to the crown of England, and is now attacking the island with 1,500 men, independently of mariners. His Majesty means to send him a reinforcement of 800 men; and the Scotch ambassadors at Worms tell him they hope for certain victory.
Worms, 9 June 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
June 10. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 645. Ambassadors Contarini and Trevisano.
They write that the Scotch ambassadors have had a private audience of Maximilian, and according to report, they state that their King, not having hitherto busied himself with state affairs, but being; now arrived at a becoming age, has thought fit to inform his Majesty that his mind and disposition towards him are excellent. In short, he appears to have requested the King of the Romans to form a treaty of friendship and alliance with him. They have not as yet received their reply, nisi super generalibus. Will endeavour to learn the truth of what may take place and announce it to the State.
Worms, 10 June 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
June 11. Senato Mar. v. xiv. p. 65. 646. Decree of the Senate.
Announcing the safe arrival in England of the ship belonging to the noblemen Hieronimo Zorzi and brothers, and desiring the consul in London and “Ser” Piero Bragadin to engage it as convoy for the Flanders galley, and the “ship” Malipiera as far as Ivica, the master Nicolo da Napoli placing himself under the command of Piero Bragadin. The ship Zorza to receive a gratuity of 1,200 ducats, to be levied by average on all merchandise loaded on board the Flanders galley and the ship Malipiera.
The consul in London to see that the galley and the ship Malipiera have the due amount of hands, and to supply deficiencies by raising such money as required, on account of the masters, whose freights to be held liable.
Ayes, 128. Noes, 14. Neutrals, 4.
[Italian, 33 lines.]
June 14. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 647. Ambassadors Contarini and Trevisano.
They have visited the ambassadors from Scotland, who appear men of prudence and experience. Said many things to the honour and glory of the State. As already mentioned, they seem to be requesting Maximilian to league with Scotland against England, promising to favour the Duke of York, hoping thus to recover Berwick and certain other places belonging to their King, which have been held by England for many years.
Hear also on good authority that they are treating a marriage between their King and Mademoiselle Margaret, his Cæsarean Majesty's daughter.
Worms, 14 June 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
July 11. Deliberazioni Senato Seereta, v. xxxv. p. 138. 648. The Bishop of Brixen, Ambassador from Maximilian King of the Romans.
Announces to the Signory that Maximilian had called a diet of the princes of the empire, but could not attend it so speedily as he wished, on account of other occupations in Guelders and the Low Countries, and because he was impeded by the burden of much expenditure, and by having to dispatch the Prince of York, the new King of England, for the defence of his right; and that he was already at sea on his way to his country. Hopes that should he establish his right to the kingdom of England, he will be one of the colleagues and confederates of the league with his Majesty.
[Latin, 66 lines.]
July 17. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 649. Ambassadors Contarini and Trevisano.
This very hour his Cæsarean Majesty has sent to tell them by his counsellor the Magnificoe Dom. Ludovico Bruno, that from his counsellors at Mechlin, the residence of his son the Archduke Philip, he has received intelligence that they are of opinion that the Duke of York, who some while ago went over to Ireland, has reached England, and been received by some of his adherents, whereat his Majesty rejoiced greatly, as he could dispose of this Duke of York ad libitum suum.
Worms, 17 July 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
July 19. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 650. Ambassadors Contarini and Trevisano.
This morning had audience of his Cæsarean Majesty, who after asking them what news they had, said,—
“With regard to the Duke of York we entertain great hopes that after obtaining the kingdom of England he will soon attack the King of France; and to this effect have we received every promise and certainty from the Duke aforesaid”
Worms, 19 July 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
July 25. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 651. Ambassadors Contarini and Trevisano.
By his Cæsarean Majesty's order, Dom. Ludovico Bruno had been to them with the draft of letters he is writing to the Duke of Milan saying he should likewise write in conformity to the State, to the effect that the Duke of York, the kinsman of his Highness, had arrived with his fleet in the neighbourhood of London, and that, not having found the population well disposed towards him at the spot where he was most anxious to land and attack the hostile army, he had removed to another part of the island; though he nevertheless gave hopes that his affairs would prosper.
Worms, 25 July 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
Aug. 16. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 652. Ambassadors Contarini and Trevisano.
Dom. Angelo of Florence, ambassador from Ludovic Sforza Duke of Milan to his Cæsarean Majesty, had shown them a paragraph in letters from his Duke, to the effect that he had received a notification from his ambassadors in Spain, purporting that the King of England wishes to be included in the League. The Duke therefore desires Dom. Angelo, in unison with the Spanish ambassadors at Maximilian's court, and with Contarini and Trevisano, to urge his Cæsarean Majesty to consent to this, adding that, should his Majesty refuse on account of the Duke of York, be he told that the need of existing circumstances requires the admittance on behalf of his Majesty of the said King of England, and that the dispute between them be referred for arbitration to the sovereigns of Spain.”
Having no orders from the Signory, (the Duke of Milan making the announcement in conformity with advices received from his envoys in Spain,) and supposing that the Doge and Senate are acquainted with the whole through the Venetian ambassadors at the court of Spain, they deem it more fitting to leave the performance of this office to their Milanese and Spanish colleagues at Worms, and await instructions from the Republic.
From the statement made by Dom. Angelo of Florence, understand that the King of the Romans gives him and the Spanish ambassadors fair words, Dom. Angelo being of opinion that he is awaiting the result of the Duke of York's expedition, which will be known in a few days; as, should he succeed in his attack on England, Maximilian would admit him as, they have already written; whilst on the other hand, should the Duke be worsted, the present King will be accepted in his stead.
Worms, 16 Aug. 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
Aug. 22. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 653. Ambassadors Contarini and Trevisano.
Were sent for this morning by the King of the Romans, who, in the course of a long speech, said he considered it certain that he should induce the sovereigns of Spain and the Kings of England and Scotland to move against France; that the Duke of Lorraine was going into Provence to attack the King, and would easily obtain that province as it belonged to him de jure; and that he, Maximilian, would be there in person with the whole host, so that within a year he should find himself at the gates of Paris, and the King of France would have to give carte blanche.
He also informed them that he had concluded the marriage of his daughter, Mademoiselle Margaret, with the prince, the eldest son of the King of Spain; that he was moreover negotiating a matrimonial alliance between Duke Philip and the second daughter of the said sovereigns; and that he was treating to give a relation of his to the King of Scotland, without explaining to them whom she was.
Worms, 22 Aug. 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
Sept. 2. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxxv. p. 166. 654. The Doge and Senate to Contarini and Trevisano, Ambassadors to the King of the Romans.
Enclose copy of a letter from the Venetian ambassadors in Spain. They will see what Ferdinand and Isabella write about the King of England, and as the matter concerns Maximilian, the Signory deems it fitting to communicate the matter to his Majesty through their medium, desiring them to give immediate notice of the reply.
[Latin, 41 lines.]
1495. Sept. 5. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 655. Ambassadors Contarini and Trevisano.
Having audience of his Majesty the King of the Romans, the Neapolitan ambassador read to him in their presence an extract from letters written by a colleague of his, also a Neapolitan, and accredited to the King of England, whereby he informed him how the Duke of York was in Ireland with but a few troops, and that the King had made great preparations, meaning to send in pursuit of him, so that they hoped speedily to get possession of him. This Neapolitan added that several envoys had come to the King of England from the Duke of Bourbon and from Monsieur de Graville, the Admiral of France, to keep his Majesty on good terms with the French King, informing him of the rout the said King had lately received in Italy, and of his enmity towards Maximilian, as induced by his having sent to tell the Duchess of Savoy not to favour the interest of the French King, although she had done quite the reverse; adding that in England the King of the Romans was held in no account. His Majesty listened without making reply.
Worms, 5 Sept. 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
Sept. 16. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 656. Ambassadors Contarini and Trevisano.
They have acquainted Maximilian with the announcement made to the Signory by the Venetian ambassadors in Spain concerning the King of England. Maximilian made answer that he has given instructions to Don Francesco de Ruys, the Spanish ambassador, who leaves tomorrow on his way to Mechlin, and will forward them to his sovereigns. He added that he would communicate these instructions to the ambassadors, who would thus perceive his intentions.
They will wait to learn his Majesty's intention about this affair of England, and will then communicate it to the State.
Worms, 16 Sept. 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
Sept. 19. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 657. Ambassadors Contarini and Trevisano.
Were visited to day in his Majesty's name by Dom. Ludovico Bruno, who showed them a statement concerning England, of which they enclosed a copy. As it purported that his Majesty, at the request of the Pontiff, the Sovereigns of Spain and other confederates, had been induced to name the King of England and to include him in the league,—a statement which would make it appear that the Doge and Senate had likewise besought him to this effect,—the ambassadors, perceiving this to be beyond their intructions, deemed it advisable to represent as much to his Majesty. They went to him and reminded him that it would be on their consciences did they not declare to him that the State had laid no commands on them concerning this affair of England, save that they were to give notice to him of what had been written to the Doge and Senate on the subject by the Venetian ambassadors in Spain.
To this the King of the Romans made answer:—“You explained this fully to us the first time that we spoke to you on the subject, and we perfectly understood your meaning. We assert to having been requested by the Pontiff, and the Sovereigns of Spain, and by the others of the League; and this say we, because before you read your letters to us, the Duke of Milan had urged us strongly to this effect in his own name and in that of the other confederates.”
In fact, before they received the letters from the Signory the King of the Romans had already formed his resolve in this matter.
Worms, 19 Sept. 1495.
[Original, extract, Italian.]
Nov. 9. Senato Mar. v. xiv. p. 82. 658. Doge Agostjno Barbarigo to Pietro Contarini, Consul in London.
By your letter of the 12th ultimo have heard, with great displeasure, of the seizure in Southampton harbour, by Frenchmen or Bretons, of the nobleman “Ser” Piero Bragadin, master of the Flanders galleys, of our consul, and of those other noblemen and lieges of ours.
In consequence, we have determined to write you these presents, that with “Ser” Luca Vallaresso, after arranging your own affairs, within a fortnight after the receipt of this missive, you do, by lot or agreement, go on board the said galley for its safety. You are, whether by lot or agreement, to be captain, receiving as your stipend, 300 ducats, to be paid by average in the same form as the provision for the ship “Zorza” is paid. And that you may navigate in safety in our name, charge the masters of the ships, under penalty of 500 ducats each (at the rate of 124 soldi per ducat), and privation of masterships in their own persons, to depart in company with you and under your command.
If, however, you or Vallaresso, after making every effort, cannot come away owing to your business, our intention is that the galley do return to Venice in the manner and under the command as settled, according to your letter, by the Council of Twelve.
We have written in suitable form about this matter to the King of England.
Ayes, 166. Noes, 4. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 26 lines.]
Nov. 9. Senato Mar. v. xxxv. p. 83. 659. Doge Agostino Barbarigo to King Henry VII.
The infamous and detestable seizure, in your Majesty's port of Hampton, by certain French subjects of the captain of our galleys and of our consul holding office in London, together with two other noblemen of ours, and some of our sailors, as it caused us displeasure, so we doubt not but it was most irksome to your Majesty, whose honour is chiefly wounded by the violation of your harbour; and for the release and indemnity of our said captain, consul, noblemen, and sailors who went thither under the royal security and safeconduct, we doubt not but that everything which can be desired has been done. Nevertheless, lest we should seem to fail in our duty, we have to address this missive to your Majesty, whom we request to consider the nature of the business, and the very infamous offence done to yourself, and also to us and our subjects, the great convenience and profit afforded by whose trade in your kingdom is perfectly known to you.
Be pleased to apply a remedy: the most opportune will be to seize the persons and effects of the subjects of the King of France for the release of our said subjects, for then you will provide both for the safety of the prisoners, and for your own honour, whilst our other merchants will have greater cause to traffic in your kingdom, perceiving you prone towards their indemnity and security.
Ayes, 170. Noes, 1. Neutrals, 0.
[Latin, 28 lines.]
Dec. 10. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 660. Ambassador Zacharia Contarini.
The Spanish ambassadors at the court of the King of the Romans have received letters from their colleague, Don Francesco de Ruys, accredited to the Archduke Philip, dated Mechlin, informing them that the King of England has not accepted the offer to join the League with the reservation about the Duke of York, as notified to the State; and they urge Maximilian to permit him to join said League, according to its articles simply aud without further reservation. To this Maximilian made answer that he consents, although he could expect neither benefit nor favour from the King of England.
The Neapolitan ambassador at Nordlingen had received letters from an envoy accredited by his King to England, informing him that King Henry was disquieted because at one and the same time negotiations were on foot to include him in a league against the King of France, and to conclude peace with that King; and the Admiral of France, Monseigneur de Graville, received full information from the Germans of all these negotiations.
Nordlingen, 10 Dec. 1495.
[Extract, Italian.]
Dec. 19. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 661. Ambassador Zacharia Contarini.
Understands that an ambassador from England is on his way to the King of the Romans,
Nordlingen, 19 Dec. 1495.
[Extract, Italian.]
Dec. 21. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 662. Despatch from Contarini forwarded by same courier.
There was brought hither to day from Nuremburg, with a great retinue and escort, the treasure which the Emperor, this King's father, had secreted some twelve years before his death in a chapel in the castle of Nuremburg, and which was conveyed by 21 carts in 63 locked chests, and deposited in the Town Hall, around which guard is kept by the chief citizens of this place and by many of his Majesty's attendants. Is unable to vouch for the contents of the chests as his Majesty informs no one thereof; when he opens them he is only accompanied by one of his intimate and most familiar attendants, or at the most by two. Understands, nevertheless, through an authentic channel, there is first of all the treasure which Isabella after the death of her husband Duke Albert of Austria, King of Hungary and brother of the Emperor Frederick, collected throughout the kingdom and delivered to the Emperor aforesaid; which treasure subsequently to the death of King Ladislaus, the posthumous son of King Albert, reverted to his Majesty (King of the Romans), and consists principally of very rare relics, amongst which is the cloth whereon our Lord's last supper taken with the Apostles was served, and the chalice wherewith he gave communion to them. There are besides rosaries, crucifixes, tabernacles, and other ecclesiastical ornaments. There are many imperial and royal robes and insignia that belonged to the Emperor, and to his predecessors, and all his jewels, cups of gold and silver, and tapestries and valuable furniture. In many of the cases there are taxbooks, registers, and other writings belonging to the empire, and works on alchemy and magic, which the Emperor aforesaid collected from many places at very great expense. It is also reported that in two of the chests there is nothing but lumps of gold, deposited therein from time to time by the said Emperor; and some say that these lumps are the result of alchemy. Should he learn farther details, and with greater certainty, will notify them to his Excellency.
Nordlingen, 21 Dec. 1495.
[Extract, Italian.]
Dec. 31. Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. 663. Despatch from the Same, forwarded by same courier.
Having detained the accompanying letters, there arrrived the ambassador of the King of England, by name my Lord of Agrimont, a man of not much repute, having come with [only] ten horses.
I shall visit him in your Serenity's name, and will endeavour to learn the cause of his coming, and give you notice thereof; though, from what I have been able to collect hitherto, it is chiefly to negotiate an understanding and confederation with this King.
Nordlingen, 31 Dec. 1495.
[Extract, Italian.]


  • 1. Ludovico Sforza (the Moor), who had usurped the sovereignty of Milan, where he ruled despotically as the regent of his nephew Gian Galeazzo.
  • 2. Afterwards Pope Pius III.