Venice: 1497

Pages 252-266

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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1497. Feb. 10. Sforza Archives, Milan. 734. Henry VII. to Ludovic Maria Sforza Anglo, Duke of Milan. (fn. 1)
Has received the names of the Duke's colleagues and adherents and of those recommended by him.
Westminster, 10 February 1496[–97].
Signed: “Henricus” (manu propria).
[Original, Latin.]
March 2. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. p. 391. 735. News from England.
Letters received from Almoro Pisani of the bank, Venetian consul in London, and Piero Contarini, submandatory, dated 28th January, announcing the arrival on the 26th of the Signory's letters to the King of England, in reply to his missive as to the conclusion of the League and its publication. The Duke of York was in Scotland, and with the aid of the King of Scots had so harassed England, that King Henry was determined to march against him with a large force. King Henry had laid a tax on the prelates, which it was said would yield about 180,000l. sterling, equal to 700,000 ducats. It was also reported that he had married one of his daughters to Monsieur de Rohan, who claims the duchy of Britanny, now held by the King of France, which would be a sign of his meditating hostilities against France. The English complain that on account of these wars, the State's Flanders galleys no longer go there as usual.
Entered 2 March 1497.
March 22. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. p. 408. 736. Letters from Henry VII. to the Signory.
The Signory received letters from the King of England, requesting the State to send the Flanders galleys, and states lie was anxiously expecting the Venetian ambassador to confer with him on the affairs of Italy and the League.; so Andrea Trevisan, ambassador elect, was summoned by the Senate and desired to prepare for instant departure.
Entered 22 March 1497.
April 4. Senato Terra. 737. Decree of the Senate.
As this Council elected Andrea Trivisano, ambassador to the King of England, with only twelve horses and two stirrup-men, and as the said ambassador should journey honourably to said King, to whom no ambassador of ours has been sent for a very long while; the English nation moreover requiring what follows: our ambassador shall be allowed four horses besides the horses and retinue which he was already desired to take, so that he may have 16 horses and two stirrup-men, and go more honourably, as becomes the dignity of our State.
Ayes, 89. Noes, Id. Neutrals, 0.
[Latin, 8 lines.]
April 19. Sforza Archives, Milan. 738. Henry VII. to Ludovic Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Last year sent our household servant, Antonio Spinola, Genoese citizen, to the Pope, with certain commissions; and now hear from him that his return to us is delayed solely by his inability to recover a certain sum of money due to him in Milan. Request that justice be done to Spinola, and that his debtors do pay him in full, without loss of time, so that he may return forthwith. From the Tower of London, 19th day of April 1497.
Signed: “Henricus” (m. p.)
May 9. Senato Mar. 739. Decree of the Senate concerning the Wool Trade.
The benefit derived by the city, and especially by the populace, from the woollen trade, being notorious to the Semite, and there being now a scarcity of wool, to the great prejudice of the city, and especially of the people—the galleys not having been sent on the Flanders voyage; and as provision should be made with all speed for the conveyance to Venice of wool by all ways and means; the ships Foscara and Pasqualiga, now on the Flanders voyage, shall be bound on any demand from our merchants, to bring from England wools, cloths, tin, and every other sort of merchandise for this our city, without payment of any freight to the Flanders galleys lately arrived, nor to such as shall hereafter undertake that voyage; any other Act passed notwithstanding. The shippers to pay but half the amount of freight usually paid to the large galleys, and to be exempt from all ordinary average. The ships to be allowed three months' time for loading after their arrival at Hampton, the term to commence on the arrival of this decree in London; should the ships not have already arrived at Hampton, the term to commence on the day of their arrival there. The cloths, wools, and other merchandise thus brought to Venice, whether by Venetians or aliens, to pay the usual duties, as likewise the quota to the London factory; the ships not to load the goods of aliens until after shipment of those belonging to Venetians.
For the safe return of these vessels, the ship Foscara to have a crew of 200 men, including those already on board. The ship Pasqualiga, which is to go into the Thames, to return to Hampton within the above written term of three months—taking as many as 120 hands; the two ships to make the homeward voyage in company, for their greater safety, under penalty to the masters of 500 ducats, and of being prohibited from acting as masters cf any ships for 10 years.
The consul in London to call the muster roll on board these ships, and send it under seal to Venice, that the necessary steps may be taken in case of the transgression of these orders.
The merchandize thus brought to Venice to have the same privileges as goods brought by the Flanders galleys.
To provide for the great want of wool in Venice, all persons, both Venetians and aliens, may bring Frankish wools (lane Francese) (fn. 2) to this city by land, through Germany, paying one-fourth freight to Piero Bragadin, who returned lately as master of one of the Flanders galleys; and all wools and white cloths sent by land, from this time forth until the end of March 1498, to pay in like manner during that period one-fourth freight.
Ayes, 150. Noes, 11. Neutrals, 2.
[Italian, 55 lines.]
June 6. Senato Mar. 740. Decree of the Senate authorizing Andrea Trevisano, appointed ambassador to Henry VII., to take with him at the Signory's risk, silver to the amount of 400 ducats, the valuation to be made as usual by the officials of the new Accountant's Office.
Ayes, 161. Noes, 9. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 3 lines.]
June 12. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 741. Commission from the Doge and Senate for Andrea Trevisano, Ambassador to Henry VII.
On presenting his credentials to remind the King of the Republic's ancient observance towards the English crown, and to make offers of service becoming the love which the Signory bore his Majesty personally, congratulating him on his own wellbeing, and that of the Queen and his children, and on his very great successes.
Secondly, to tell the King that the Republic deemed it fitting on his joining the League to send an embassy to express its joy at this event, and that all might be aware of the union between the State and his Majesty. That he is to reside with his Majesty, and negotiate such matters as may occur from day to day for the benefit and advantage of the League and the Christian commonwealth, endeavouring above all to keep the King well disposed towards Venice.
He is then to state what happened in Lombardy after the departure of Charles VIII.; to announce the coming of the Cardinal S. Piero ad Vincula (Giulio della Rovere) and others in that King's name, to invade the territory of the Duke of Milan; and the sufficient provision made by the Republic and the Duke to repulse them. He is to mention the truces between France and Spain, to which Venice and the Sovereigns of Naples as confederates became parties; to state that the truces have been violated by the French partizans in Saluzzo and in the valleys of Savona, and that they have captured Genoese barks and a ship belonging to the King of Naples; to narrate what has been done to repair these losses, both by arming at Genoa, and by writing to Spain; and to add such other particulars as he may learn from the Milanese ambassador, whom he is to join on the way.
They are to go together, both to the first audience and to all others, whenever matters concerning the League are to be discussed. The Milanese ambassador having been ordered by the Duke to negotiate conjointly with Trevisan and to show him his commission, Trevisan is to reciprocate this mark of confidence, and to act in concert with the other ambassadors of the League then in England.
He is to do his utmost to persuade Henry VII. to show himself favourable to the confederation, both during the truces and afterwards, most especially should a general peace not ensue.
After returning thanks to Henry VII. for his good and gracious treatment of Venetian merchants and subjects, whom Trevisan is to favour in all fair matters, and most especially in the observance of their privileges and immunities, he is to present himself with the letters of credence to the Queen, to Cardinal Morton, to Arthur, Prince of Wales, and to the Lord Treasurer and the Lord Chancellor, the two last-mentioned (the Signory understands) having great power with the King; and with all and each of these personages he is to make great demonstrations of love on behalf of the Republic, so that whatever may occur the Republic may find favour with them.
Should the ambassador on the journey fall in with the Duke of Burgundy and his consort (Joanna of Castile), he is to present himself to them with letters of credence, and to congratulate them on their marriage, in terms expressive of the love borne them by the State, and of its reverence for their parents.
The ambassador is then desired to visit such other persons of note in England as he may think fit, addressing them in language becoming their station. To be diligent and careful in giving the Republic news of those parts, so that it may be acquainted with everything. In conclusion the Senate orders a copy of the commission to be sent to the Venetian ambassador at Milan, for communication to the Duke, who has done the like by the Signory with regard to the commission of his own ambassador.
Ayes, 156. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 0.
[Latin, 55 lines.]
June 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. pp. 477,488. 742. Letters from London, dated 20th May, state that the ship of Hieronimo Tiepolo and company, of 2,000 butts, (fn. 3) Polo Foscari master, on its voyage to England with wine had been attacked off Lisbon by a large Norman ship said to be manned by 100 Frenchmen; and that Polo Foscari, having embarked 100 men at Lisbon and 22 gunners, and being well supplied with cannon, defended himself so well that the enemy withdrew.
By way of Genoa, on the 20th June, it was heard that this same ship, Polo Foscari master, of 3,000 (sic) butts, (fn. 4) fell in with the French bark of 3,500 butts, off the “Restello” at Lisbon, and they commenced cannonading each other. The “Foscara' received no harm, but the Frenchman was riddled with cannon shot, and lost many men, his mast being severely splintered; so they abandoned three “Fustes,” (which the Foscari ship took,) and sheered off.
July 11–15. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. p. 490. 743. Letters from Andrea Trevisan, Ambassador on his way to the King of England, dated Spires, 25 June, where he had audience of the King of the Romans.
On the 15th July letters were received in Venice from Antwerp by the Pesari “of London,” stating that, by letters from London of the 13th June, it was learnt that some 20,000 men had taken up arms in the North under certain chiefs, and were in the field 20 miles from London; that they had made a demand for the surrender to them of five individuals, including the Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor, Master Bray, Master Lovel, and the Privy Seal, no mention being made of the fifth, who was, however, supposed to be King Henry: so that the island was in commotion, both owing to these insurrections of the people who were desirous of a change, and because the King of Scotland, who favoured the Duke of York, was also molesting the kingdom.
This intelligence is commented on by Sanuto, thus:
“And I have heard that King Henry on perceiving these assemblies, determined to oppose them, and ordered one of his captains to come to London against these men from the North, and was answered by him, that he was of opinion that when they demanded those four they made a just demand, and that he did not think fit to come. These disturbances arose because the King laid a tax of tenths on the priests, contrary to their custom. Then he wanted to attack the King of Scotland for the overthrow of the Duke of York, and under pretence of this he amassed much money, and the people complained of paying; and it was said the King had placed all his property in a tower nearest the coast, that he might escape if necessary.
“The result will be heard from day to day, but it must be known that by way of Savoy likewise, by letters from our ambassador Marco Zorzi, it has been heard recently how that Duke had received advices from France, to the effect that those affairs of England were in disorder, and that a battle had been fought and many persons killed, and King Henry remained victor.
“Our ambassador Andrea Trivisan was on the road: nothing had been heard of his arrival, and it was believed that owing to these disturbances on the island he would not cross, but remain at Bruges in the territories of the Archduke Philip of Burgundy. Quid erit scribis” (sic).
July 18. venetian Archives, Pacta Portfolios. 744. Henry VII. to Pope Alexander VI.
Lately received a brief from him, dated 5th June, requesting his aid for the publication of the indult and indulgences lately granted to those who had the cure of souls in England, conceding them the faculty of granting absolution. Assures the Pope that he is ready to gratify his Holiness to the utmost.
Is under the necessity of heavily taxing his faithful subjects, both by reason of his very just war against the Scots (who, immediately on hearing that he had joined the League formed by his Holiness and the other confederate sovereigns, invaded his kingdom), and also for the subjugation of certain rebels. As, therefore, his subjects are now straitened, and the King himself is about to take the field against the Scots, he does not see how at present he can comply with the Pope's wish; but if the war be speedily ended, as he hopes, and himself allowed to enjoy tranquil and quiet peace, he will very willingly take care that towards the commencement of next Lent his Holiness shall have his wish gratified. Has written more fully to this effect to the collector [of Peter's Pence], Monsignor Adrian, who made full official announcement to him on the subject by command of the Pope, who can never ask anything which the King will not grant with his whole heart, mind, and soul.
From the castle of Shene, 18 July 1497.
[Original, on parchment, Latin, 13 lines.]
July 18. venetian Archives, Pacta Portfolios. 745. Cardinal John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, to Pope Alexander VI.
Lately received the Pope's letters of the 5th June, ordering him to urge the King in favour of the admission and publication in England of a certain indult granted by the Pope for the [spiritual] welfare of the inhabitants of the kingdom, and somewhat as a subsidy for the apostolic see.
In this matter of the indult interceded as earnestly as he could with the King, whose sincerity and devotion towards the Pope are not to be exceeded by any prince soever, and found him really very anxious to ascertain by what arrangement he could most advantageously gratify the Pope's wish; but having been compelled to impose heavy taxes for the war in Scotland, and against certain rebels, the Cardinal is of opinion that the publication of the indult at the present moment would not be so profitable for the holy see as if it were carried into effect at the commencement of next Lent, at which season not only will the King's subjects have greater abundance of money, but likewise (as is the wont of mankind) be more prone to acts of devotion.
Then, and always, will exert himself to the utmost to satisfy his Holiness, though he thinks that he can more profitably and advantageously serve the Pope if the execution of this indult be committed to some other person rather than to him; to which person, however, he will take care to give all assistance and favour for its performance.
With regard to English news, has notified such in full to Monsignor Adriano, from whom his Holiness will vouchsafe to hear them.
From Lambeth, 18 July 1497.
Signed: “Jo. Carlis Cantuar.”
[Original, enclosed in the foregoing from the King; on paper, Latin, 22 lines.]
July 31. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. p. 499. 746. News from England.
Recent arrival of letters from England, announcing that King Henry having vanquished his rebels, there remained in the field the King of Scotland and the Duke of York, against whom King Henry had sent one of his captains, called my Lord Steward, (fn. 5) with a large force.
Further news expected by letters from the ambassador Trivisan, who is supposed by this time to have arrived in England.
Aug. 13. Sforza Archives, Milan. 747. Giovanni de Bebulco to Ludovic Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Yestereven received a letter from Antwerp dated 29th July, containing a paragraph, thus:—
“There are no other news; the King of England was to depart yesterday towards Scotland with a great power, and it is understood that the King of Scotland and the Duke of York are strong, and some say that they have already entered the island of England, but do not know for certain, though some catastrophe will occur in the course of a month. God aid right.”
Dated “From home” (Ex domo), 13 August 1497.
[Copy. Italian.]
Aug. 21. Sanuto Diaries,v. i. p. 514. 748. News from the Ambassador to England.
Receipt of letters dated Bruges the 1st and 5th instant from Andrea Trevisan, ambassador on his way to England, containing a narrative of his journey through Germany, of the war between the Dukes of Juliers and Guelders, from the former of whom it was necessary to obtain a safeconduct and also an escort, by means of which he arrived in safety at Antwerp on the 17th July; much honour was paid him, especially by some very wealthy Pisan merchants resident there for many years. The Archduke Philip was in Holland. On quitting Antwerp he proceeded to Bruges, where he arrived on the 22nd July, being accompanied by the Milanese ambassador, by name Domo Raimondo de Soncino.
Having to go from Bruges to Calais for his passage across to England, there was some danger, owing to certain Frenchmen being on the road, who plundered; so he wrote to London to Piero Contarini and to the consul Almorò Pisani, for escort to be sent him. They wrote back that the King was SO miles distant, in the field, against the King of Scotland and the Duke of York, and very anxious for the coming of these two ambassadors, most especially the Venetian. Trevisan had been already twelve days at Bruges, and by the letter of the 5th it seemed that the escort had arrived, and on that day he was getting on horseback for Calais, and would subsequently cross over to the island.
English news were, that the King had married his eldest son, the Prince of Wales, to a daughter of the King of Spain.
Also, that nothing was heard of the ship “Tiepola,” Polo Foscari master, nor had it arrived in England down to the last day of July, and since the storm in the Channel in June nothing further was known, but it was supposed to have made for Biscay.
Also, that the captain of Calais had sent troops to accompany them, and that they were proceeding on their journey.
Aug. 24. DeliberazioniSenato Secreta. 749. Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador in Rome.
The ambassador had written that the Spanish ambassador by command of his King had proposed to the Pope to promulgate censures against the King of France, should he refuse peace and have recourse to war, and that his Holiness should send a nuncio to the King of England, to both of which proposals the Pope had taken time to reply.
The Spanish ambassador resident with the Signory has nevertheless declared that the Pope was excellently disposed towards both measures; and as the Signory consider one and the other most important and necessary, desire their ambassador to advocate them as much as possible, together with the other ambassadors, so that they may be duly realized, and to give notice of this order and mandate to the Spanish ambassador in Rome, and to the other ambassadors of the confederates.
[Latin, 11 lines.]
Aug. Sforza Archives, Milan. 750. News received this morning from England by letters dated the 24th of August. (fn. 6)
And first of all that, by God's grace, the King and the whole court were in good condition, and on the 17th August were at a place called Woodstock, 50 miles from London, where it was said that they would reside until Michaelmas, more or less according to circumstances. That in that place on the 14th July there had been firmly concluded and published the marriage of the daughter of the King of Spain to the eldest son of the King of England—that she was to come over next spring. That the King of Scotland with his whole army, accompanied by the individual who styles himself Duke of York, had been besieging a place in England on the sea shore (Norham), and King Henry had sent his forces, in number 40,000 men, by sea and land to give battle; so they fought, and many fell on both sides, the King of Scotland being put to flight, abandoning all his artillery; but as the matter is very recent, the writer was unable to learn the number of the killed. The English were pursuing the Scotch and following up the victory. The truth would soon be heard, and he would then write to his Excellency.
Also, that Monsignor de Deber (sic) [Lord Audley?] and two other captains (Flammoc and Joseph?) who lately rebelled against the King, had been beheaded and quartered in the city of London on the 28th June, many others being put to death; so that his dominion may be considered much strengthened and perpetual.
“Also, some months ago his Majesty sent out a Venetian, who is a very good mariner, (fn. 7) and has good skill in discovering new islands, and he has returned safe, and has found two very large and fertile new islands; having likewise discovered the seven cities, 400 leagues from England, on the western passage. This next spring his Majesty means to send him with fifteen or twenty ships.
“Also, the kingdom of England has never for many years been so obedient to its Sovereign as it is at present to his Majesty the King.”
Sept. 8. Sforza Archives, Milan. 751. The Milanese Envoy Raimondo [de Soncino] to Ludovic Sforza, Duke of Milan.
In many things I know this sovereign (Henry VII.) to be admirably well informed, but above all because he is most thoroughly acquainted with the affairs of Italy, and receives especial information of every event. He is no less conversant with your own personal attributes and those of your duchy than the King of France; and when the King of France went into Italy, (fn. 8) the King of England sent with him a herald of his called “Richmond,” a sage man who saw everything, until his return. Then the merchants, most especially the Florentines, never cease giving the King of England advices.
Besides this, his Majesty has notable men in Rome, such as Master Giovanni Zilio (de Giglis), a Lucchese, and Master Adrian (Castellesi), clerk of the Treasury, who have been benefitted and enriched by him, so that we have told him nothing new; and the courtiers likewise have a great knowledge of our affairs, in such wise that I fancy myself at Rome: so I am of opinion, that should it be chosen to give any intelligence, it would be well to impart it either more in detail than the others do, or to be beforehand with them. To this effect the Genoa letter bag will be of good use, but yet more such Florentine merchants as are in your confidence, as their correspondence passes through France without impediment and is but little searched.
The letter of congratulation, dated 17th July, on the victory gained by the King, was to the purpose, though rather late. The victories were two—the first against the Cornishmen, who, some ten thousand in number, took up arms under a blacksmith, saying they would not pay the subsidy—the other against the King of Scotland, who raised his camp “not very gloriously,” to express myself no less modestly than this most sage King himself did. Another matter also, which his Majesty did not tell me, is that the youth, the reputed son of the late King Edward, has fled incognito, and his wife is said to be a prisoner; so I consider that this youth called Perkin has vanished into smoke. The King of England's dynasty is likewise established through a successor, whom may it please God to preserve, for his virtue deserves it—I allude to the Prince (Arthur); and your Excellency may surely congratulate the Sovereigns of Spain on so distinguised a son-in-law; and the succession may the more be relied on, should the matrimonial alliance, which I am told is in negotiation, between Spain and Scotland take place, and a Spanish ambassador is now with the King of Scotland. But even should that marriage not be solemnized, this kingdom is perfectly stable, by reason, first, of the King's wisdom, whereof every one stands in awe; and, secondly, on account of the King's wealth, for I am informed that he has upwards of six millions of gold, (fn. 9) and it is said that he puts by annually five hundred thousand ducats, which is of easy accomplishment, for his revenue is great and real, not a written schedule (non in scriptis), nor does he spend anything. He garrisons two or three fortresses, contrary to the custom of his predecessors, who garrisoned no place. He has neither ordnance nor munitions of war, and his body guard is supposed not to amount to one hundred men, although he is now living in a forest district which is unfortified. He well knows how to temporise, as demonstrated by him before my arrival in this kingdom, when the French ambassadors wanted to go to Scotland under pretence of mediating for the peace, but he entertained them magnificently, made them presents, and sent them home without seeing Scotland; and now he sends one of his own gentlemen in waiting to France. The Pope is entitled to much praise, for he loves the King cordially, and strengthens his power by ecclesiastical censures, so that at all times rebels are excommunicated. The efficacy of these censures is now felt by the Cornishmen, for all who eat grain garnered since the rebellion, or drink beer brewed with this year's crops, die as if they had taken poison, and hence it is publicly reported that the King is under the protection of God eternal.
The Cæsarean ambassador and the papal nuncio have not arrived. The Spanish ambassador, in my opinion a very able man, is here. He gives me very good greeting, possibly from the extravagant compliments paid by me to his sovereigns at our first interview. The Neapolitan ambassador is about to depart, which I much regret, as he would have enlightened me vastly, and has done so already to his utmost.
London, 8 Sept. 1497.
Signed: “Raimundus.”
[Original, Italian.]
Oct. 11. Sanuto Diaries,v. i. p. 573. 752. Lorenzo Pasqualigo to his Brothers Alvise and Francesco.
The Venetian, our countryman, who went with a ship from Bristol in quest of new islands, is returned, and says that 700 leagues hence he discovered land, the territory of the Grand Cham (Gram Cam). He coasted for 300 leagues and landed; saw no human beings, but he has brought hither to the King certain snares which had been set to catch game, and a needle for making nets; he also found some felled trees, wherefore he supposed there were inhabitants, and returned to his ship in alarm.
He was three months on the voyage, and on his return he saw two islands to starboard, but would not land, time being precious, as he was short of provisions. He says that the tides are slack and do not flow as they do here. The King of England is much pleased with this intelligence.
The King has promised that in the spring our countryman shall have ten ships, armed to his order, and at his request has conceded him all the prisoners, except such as are confined for high treason, to man his fleet. The King has also given him money wherewith to amuse himself till then, and he is now at Bristol with his wife, who is also Venetian, and with his sons; his name is Zuan Cabot, and he is styled the great admiral. Vast honour is paid him; he dresses in silk, and these English run after him like mad people, so that he can enlist as many of them as he pleases, and a number of our own rogues besides.
The discoverer of these places planted on his new-found land a large cross, with one flag of England and another of S. Mark, by reason of his being a Venetian, so that our banner has floated very far afield.
London, 23 August 1497.
[Italian. Entered in the Diaries on 11 September 1497. Translated and printed for the Philobiblon Society.]
Sept. 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. p. 559. 753. News from London.
Receipt on the 22d September of letters dated London, the 8th and 14th August, containing news that the Venetian ship of 3,000 butts, Polo Foscari master, which went westward with wines, the partners being Hironimo Tiepolo, Andrea Loredan, Andrea Erizo, and others, had, it was apprehended, perished in the Bay of Biscay; but by a more recent letter, it was reported to have arrived at Corunna. This distressed many, most especially the partners, and Hironimo Tiepolo of London who had merchandise on board to the amount of 20,000 ducats, and was not insured.
In the evening letters arrived from London from the ambassador Andrea Trevisan, announcing his having crossed from Calais to Dover, and that he was to enter London on the morrow. Also, that the King was in the field with his army, its captain being one called my Lord Steward. The Queen, by name Elizabeth, daughter of the late King Edward, was in London. Was of opinion those wars would soon come to an end, by agreement rather than by battle. Will give notice of everything by his next. Was accompanied by the ambassador of the Duke of Milan.
[Italian. Entered 23 September 1497.]
Oct. 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. p. 571. 754. The Ambassador Andrea Trevisan.
On the 24th of August wrote from Stimburg (sic), afterwards crossed over to the island, and at Dover found the Prior of Canterbury and Master Corino (sic; Curzon?), gentlemen sent by the King to do him honour. Twenty miles from London was met by the Dean of Windsor and Master Russell, knight, men of great repute, with many other knights and gentlemen, and who delivered a message in the King's name making offers, &c.; and riding on, was joined by other parties, so that he entered London with 200 horse on the 26th of August, and great honour was done him. The King being absent, he wrote to his Majesty, who answered that he was to come to Woodstock to have audience; so he quitted London on the 1st of September, accompanied by the Dean of Windsor and Master Russell, and on the morning of the 3rd arrived at the royal palace at Woodstock.
The King was in the country, at a distance of two (sic) miles, hearing mass, and sent the Bishop of London and the Duke of Suffolk, two of the chief personages of his court, to meet the ambassador, who, in a gown of crimson damask, presented himself there to his Majesty. The King received him in a small hall, hung with very handsome tapestry, leaning against a tall gilt chair, covered with cloth of gold. His Majesty wore a violet-coloured gown, lined with cloth of gold, and a collar of many jewels, and on his cap was a large diamond and a most beautiful pearl. The ambassador having presented the ducal letter made a Latin speech, on the conclusion of which the King drew aside, and, having discussed the reply, caused him to be answered by the Chancellor-Cardinal (Morton), to the effect that he was glad to see him, &c.
Beside the King and the Prince, his eldest son, by name Arthur, 12 years old, were the Duke of Bucks (“Ducha de Suich”), (fn. 10) and other lords and prelates were present; and throughout the ambassador's speech the King remained standing. In the reply the Cardinal evinced great love towards the Signory, and on its conclusion the ambassador was taken into a hall where dinner had been prepared, and there he dined with four lords; and after dinner the King gave him private audience, which lasted two hours. The King is gracious, grave, and a very worthy person.
He finally visited the Queen, whom he found at the end of a hall, dressed in cloth of gold; on one side of her was the King's mother, on the other her son the Prince. The Queen is a handsome woman. Having presented his credentials and said a few words in Italian, the Queen answered him through the Bishop of London.
He then also visited the Cardinal Lord Chancellor, presenting the letter of credence, and, after the exchange of suitable compliments, departed for London, there to await the King, who was expected in a fortnight, Woodstock being a sorry village, eight (sic) miles from the palace.
The news are that after the rout of the Cornish men, and the execution of the four or six ringleaders of those parts, everything became quiet. A few days ago the troops of the King of Scotland came to a place called Dumani (sic), belonging to the King of England, and attacked it. The inhabitants defended themselves until the arrival of the English army, which returned after driving the Scotch towards Scotland, whereas King Henry wished it to have advanced. Peace with the King of Scotland is however in course of negotiation, and also a marriage between him and a daughter of the Sovereigns of Spain, so that he will become the brother-in-law of the newly-married Prince of Wales.
London, 9 September 1497. Received 5 October.
755. The Ambassador Andrea Trevisan.
By a letter from the same ambassador, dated London, 17th September, and received at Venice on the 9th October, the news of those parts purported that “Perichino” (Perkin), called the son of King Edward,—who styles himself Duke of York, had been in Scotland, and was the cause of the whole war between the Scotch and the English,—on hearing of the proposed treaty of of peace, quitted Scotland and came with two ships to Cornwall. He had again raised from six to eight thousand insurgents, and marched sixty miles inland, leaving his wife and children at a place on the coast called Penryn. The King had sent against him the Captain Chamberlain [Giles Lord Daubeney] (the same who gained the victory over the Cornish men), and also the Earl of Kent [George Grey], with some 12,000 men in all. He has likewise ordered many captains and lords to put themselves in readiness; should need be, he will march in person. Lhe ambassador is of opinion that events will turn out well for the King, who has also sent the fleet towards Cornwall to prevent the escape of Perkin by sea.
“Mem. [by Sanuto].—How the courier said, by word of mouth, that the ambassador had been to a place on the island where there were the entire ten decads of Livy, and also some books on astrology, unknown to the Italians, and that he meant at any rate to obtain them. The ambassador from the Duke of Milan was with ours, and had audience at the same time, but he referred himself to what ours said. He had, however, a lodging of his own, but few horses.”
Oct, 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. p. 575. 756. News from England.
Receipt of letters from the ambassador in England, stating that the Duke of York had 35,000 followers on that island, and that King-Henry had placed the Queen, his wife, and his eldest son in the very strong castle on the coast, and had prepared there certain barks, that he may be able to remove them in case of need, and was mustering a large army to march against the Duke.
Nov. 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. p. 579. 757. News from England.
Receipt of letters from the ambassador Andrea Trevisan, stating that the Duke of York, with a great force and retinue, landed in England, attacked a large town (Exeter), and burnt two of the gates, but when he was about to enter the place, Chamberlain (Giles Lord Daubeney), a famous captain of the King's, came up with a large army, so that the Duke retreated with his troops, declining a challenge to fight a pitched battle with this captain, and fled by night, with a few followers, for sanctuary into a monastery or abbey. His troops were put to flight, routed, and dispersed, and there was a report that he had been taken by the King and hanged for being in his dominions. The truth you shall learn below.
Nov. 11. Senato Mar. 758. Decree of the Senate.
Recital of the Act passed on the 9th May, and the reported loss of the ship “Foscara.”
The period of three months assigned for stay in Hampton having expired, and the “Pasqualiga” having not yet loaded, the ship “Pasqualiga” to load, as decreed on the 9th May, after fifteen days from the arrival in England of the present order; should she be already loaded before it reach London, she is no longer to have any further term.
The consul in London to hire for convoy of the “Pasqualiga” one or more ships well provided. These ships to accompany the “Pasqualiga” as far as Sicily, and their cost to be defrayed by an average on the merchandise, on the vessel's hull, on the freights, and on the tackle.
The ships hired for convoy are forbidden to load any merchandise under penalty to the shippers of confiscation of the whole.
Should no accident have befallen the “Foscara,” the original decree to remain in force.
Should the master of the “Pasqualiga” be unable to raise money for payment of the convoy, the consul in London and the Council of Twelve to be at liberty to provide to that effect.
Should the master not have engaged as many as 120 men, the Council to hire that number that the ship may come in safety.
The ship is forbidden to touch at Ivica, and is to come straight to Venice.
Ayes, 82. Noes, 56. Neutrals, 14.
[Italian, 40 lines.]
Nov. 29. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. p. 586. 759. Despatches from England.
Receipt of letters from the ambassador Andrea Trevisan, dated London, 6 November, stating that the rest of the insurgents fled into sanctuary after the retreat of “Perkin who styled himself Duke of York, and son of King Edward,” and that Perkin was now come to humble himself before King Henry, saying it was not true that he was the son of King Edward, but that he had been instigated by certain people in Cornwall. The King treated him kindly, and had marched from London towards Cornwall to crush the rebels. There had lately arrived in England an ambassador from the King of France, by name Monsieur de Duras, a man of high rank, with ten horses. He went to the King, while Andrea Trevisan remained in London, but hearing of this ambassador wrote to the King saying he would join his Majesty, who desired him not to stir. The Spaniard Don Pedro de Ayala was gone as ambassador to the King of Scotland, to negotiate an agreement between him and the King of England, and a marriage between a daughter of the King of Spain and a son of the King of Scotland. If this be effected, the discord in the island will be quelled, the son of the King of Scotland becoming brother-in-law of the eldest son of this King Henry.
Dec. 31. Sanuto Diaries, v. i. p. 597. 760. Despatches from England.
Receipt of letters from the ambassador Andrea Trevisan, dated 28 November, stating that on the 22nd the King returned from the camp to London, having been against the Cornish men. He did not enter the city with any triumph, whereas on the former occasion when he returned it was his wont to come with pomp, neither did he choose any of the resident ambassadors to go out to meet him, saying that he had not gained a worthy victory, having been against such a base crew as those Cornish men.
Subsequently the [Venetian] ambassador went to the King, who gave him a gracious greeting, and chose to give audience to an ambassador from the King of Scotland, who was come to negotiate an agreement, in the presence of all the ambassadors, including the one from the King of France. The King was well arrayed with a very costly jewelled collar (con uno pectoral). Has also seen that Perkin, who was in a chamber of the King's palace and habitation. He is a well favoured young man, 23 years old, and his wife a very handsome woman; the King treats them well, but did not allow them to sleep together. Asks leave to return home, perceiving that his stay in England is of no importance.


  • 1. The title of Anglo Duke of Milan was used by Filippo Mario Visconti in 1427, and in 1494 it had been already resumed by Ludovic Sforza. It seems probable that the Visconti family had been naturalized by Edward III. in 1365, when Lionel Duke of Clarence married Violante Visconti, and that the title was adopted in allusion to that matrimonial alliance; but, as already stated, Sanuto has preserved a letter written by a Milanese antiquary in December 1494, showing that even then no voucher existed for any authentic etymology of this title.
  • 2. Not necessarily French, but from Western Europe.
  • 3. In March 1618 the Venetian ambassador Piero Coutarini, then resident in London, was charged to charter English vessels for the State; and in a despatch detailing his negotiations he wrote:—“Il tonello s'intende esser due botti di Candia.”
  • 4. By an entry in the registers of the Senate, date 21 May, 1498, it will be seen that the burden of this vessel was 2,500 butts.
  • 5. Lord Brooke, Steward of the Housenold (see Lingard, vol iv. p. 154.)
  • 6. In the original there is no address to this document, hut from Sanuto's diaries the notices it contains were evidently written to the Duke of Milan, in August 1497, by his envoy, Raimondo de Soncino, accredited to Henry VII. The name Soncino is given by Sanuto in his diaries, date 21 August 1497. The letters of this envoy, in the Sforza Archives, merely bear the name “Raimundus.”
  • 7. John Cabot.
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10. For the designation “of Suthwyck” in the Stafford family, see Burke, p. 493.