Venice: 1505

Pages 300-310

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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1505. March 6. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. 841. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Consul in London.
He will remember that of late the King of England has frequently advised the Republic to effect a reconciliation with the Pope, concerning the affairs of the Romagna. This advice was in accordance with the wishes of the Signory, and they have endeavoured to demonstrate their respect for his Holiness. At length a total adjustment has been effected thus—
With the Pope's good grace, the Signory retains Rimini and Faenza, with their counties and territories, being content that the other places taken by the Republic from Yalentinois be surrendered to his Holiness.
He is to announce this result to the King in suitable language.
Ayes, 172. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 22 lines.]
March 30. Quirini's Original Letter Book, Letter No. 12. St. Mark's Library. 842. Vincenzo Quirini, Ambassador to Philip and Juana of Castile, to the Doge and Senate.
Details his first interview with Philip King of Castile at Saarbrück. Describes him as about 28 years old, above the middle stature, of fair proportions, handsome, and of a most pleasing appearance, and most gracious both in manner and language. Haguenau, 30 March 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 1⅓ page.]
May 16. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 34. 843. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Arrived from Brussels yesterday evening, and this morning went to the King, who greeted him very cordially, and after they had been to mass together, presented to him his eldest son and his two daughters, all very fine children and with good dispositions (de bona indole), and who were being brought up in that town.
Mechlin, 16 May 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages and 3 lines.]
June 21. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 46. 844. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Announces the arrival there of three ships from Portugal, freighted with oil and divers other commodities, including some 4,000 quintals of pepper, and from 50 to 00 quintals of gingers and nutmegs. Current price of pepper at Antwerp, 20 Flemish “gros” the pound, and ginger 24 “gros,” provided it come from Venice, as what they get from Portugal is inferior, and does not fetch more than from 16 to 18 “gros” the pound. Down to the 14th instant, the Flanders galleys were still in England, endeavouring to obtain the release of the linens which had been seized, and were expected to sail with the first fair wind.
Antwerp, 21 June 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages folio.]
June 25. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 47. 845. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Details a conversation with the Spanish ambassador, the Commendator De Haro, who said he would make him (Quirini) laugh, and then mentioned that the King of Castile had received notice from his ambassador in France, and likewise from a Genoese, an envoy, who was sent thither by the King of England, and who had written to a friend at Antwerp, that King Lewis, on recovering from this last severe illness, besides discovering a negotiation had been going on between Spain and France, had also become aware that, had he died, his wife and daughter would have been in trouble, because all the princes in France were intriguing against them; and he therefore perceived that his only remedy was to marry his daughter to the Dauphin. This he means to do, and to annul her marriage to Duke Charles, the son of the King of Castile. The King of Castile strongly suspects this result, and is very uneasy, especially lest the King of France, entertaining such a project, send succour to the Duke of Guelders. A remedy has been suggested by the councillors of the King of Castile, to the effect that as he himself has caused the King of France to infringe the alliance by maintaining so close an intimacy with the King of Spain, and by being guided by the advice of the Emperor, therefore, if he wish King Lewis to adhere to the original treaty, and to have a good understanding with him, he must renounce all other negotiations. By similar artifices they delay his voyage to Spain, and keep him hampered with the war in Guelders, which it is very strongly suspected will yield him but little honour.
Antwerp, 25 June 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 3 pages folio.]
July 1. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 48. 846. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Imagines that the Signory is acquainted with the disputes between the English and the Flemings about certain new duties exacted by both parties; owing to this, no merchandise is allowed to be imported into Flanders from England, nor will the English admit any Flemish produce, which is very injurious to the whole country, and especially to this town of Antwerp, whose fairs without the English do not yield one-third of the usual profit. For the adjustment of this understanding King Philip some months ago sent an embassy to the King of England, which is now returned without accomplishing its purpose; and the envoys report that, after much discussion, the King decided that the affair concerned his subjects, and that he would not interfere.
The King of Castile is therefore not well pleased; indeed, Quirini understands, through several channels, that the dissatisfaction is mutual, but most intense on the part of the King of Castile, because he is convinced that King Henry has constantly given pecuniary succour to the Duke of Guelders, and there was a moment when it was even feared he might do worse, because the Duke has in his power the Earl of Suffolk, called “White Rose,” who claims the crown of England; and although he went to him under a safeconduct, Duke Charles keeps this nobleman in confinement, at the suit of the aforesaid King of England.
Antwerp, 1 July 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages folio.]
July 5. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 49. 847. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
On the day before yesterday received letters from the camp dated the 1st instant, written by a friend of his, telling him that on that night reinforcements, to the amount of 800 men, had got into Arnem, where they burnt great bonfires and made other signs of rejoicing. On the following morning they all showed themselves on the ramparts, in great spirits; and it is understood that the Duke of Guelders has again received considerable pecuniary assistance from the King of England, because of the Earl of Suffolk, “White Rose,” who is in his hands.
This day (5th July) has seen the commendator De Haro, with whom he often exchanges visits; was told by him, in the course of a long conversation, that he had true and certain intelligence that the King of England had concluded a marriage with the young Queen of Naples, the niece of the King of Spain; and that he had already sent a deputation to her at Valentia; the only doubtful point being whether she would accept him.
According to letters received at Antwerp from the London merchants, the Flanders galleys sailed on the 18th June, but were obliged by contrary winds to put back into the port of Huie (sic), and awaited a favorable breeze.
Antwerp, 5th July 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 1¼ page folio.]
July 14. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 52. 848. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Mentions the arrival there, on the 12th, of a gentleman from Cologne, by name Hermarich (sic), on his way to England as envoy from the Emperor, to try and arrange the dispute between the English and the Flemings, as mentioned by him in a former letter; and also, he believes, to complain of the succour given to the Duke of Guelders.
Antwerp, 14 July 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 1¼ page folio.]
July 19. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 54. 849. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Among other news announced by him to the State in his letter of the 14th, mentioned that the King of Castile was in close negociation for the surrender of Zutphen, one of the chief towns in Guelderland, some four leagues from Arnheim; has now heard by letters from a friend of his in the camp that the surrender was effected on Monday last, the 14th instant. Six of the principal inhabitants of Zutphen had come to swear homage and fealty to his Majesty on behalf of the whole town, and he was going thither with the whole army.
They also write that Mons. de Lichtenstein, one of the King of Castile's captains, when returning the other day from a foray, passed by chance near another good borough belonging to the Duke of Guelders, called Aten (Etten) commanded by a fortress, where the Earl of Suffolk, “White Rose,” is confined. Mons. de Lichtenstein, to his surprise, was summoned by the inhabitants, who put him in possession of it, together with his whole force, amounting to 300 horse, and as many more infantry. The King subsequently sent reinforcements, and they are besieging the castle with the hope of a speedy surrender, as the garrison is weak, and it so chanced that on the day they entered the town the main guard had gone out to scour the country, having no suspicion of the advance of the King's army, which was at a distance, and on their return found the approaches occupied.
These two announcements had caused great rejoicings, as the possession of Zutphen ensured the blockade of the rest of Guelderland; and were no other benefit derived from the capture of Etten, they hope by obtaining “White Rose” to render the King of England anxious to settle the disputes between the English and the Flemings, and that he will do something more for the King of Castile.
The other day, the Lord Treasurer came to Antwerp to raise funds, and amongst other measures devised by him was an import-permit, which he conceded to sundry merchants, for 10,000 pieces of cloth to be brought into Antwerp from England, on payment of two “philips” (equal to four Venetian livres) for each piece of fine cloth, and only one “philip” for other qualities; whereas until now the trade had been prohibited by reason of the disputes above mentioned.
Antwerp, 19 July 1505.
[Extract, Italian., 1¼ page.]
July 26. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 56. 850. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Had been informed by the Spanish ambassador that the Princess of England sent a messenger lately to the King of Castile, urging his Majesty, after obtaining Guelderland, to come to Calais, to which place she would proceed, and would also bring the King of England, to effect an agreement and compromise, and adjust all disputes between them and their subjects. The commendator (De Haro) considers this the device of Don John Manuel, who with such a plausible pretext seeks to bring about an interview between these two kings, in order through his craft and cunning to compass an agreement, or something not beneficial to all parties.
Don John induced the Princess to take this step by means of her governess, his cousin (zermana), (fn. 1) giving her to understand that it will prove highly advantageous.
The commendator De Haro trusts, however, that nothing will come of this, as he has acquainted the Princess with all the villany of these people, and feels sure that she will immediately intercept and thwart this negotiation, by reason of her being the obedient daughter of the King of Spain.
Antwerp, 26 July 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 1¼ page, folio.]
Aug. 1. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 57. 851. The Same to the Same.
Announces the receipt of letters from the camp, purporting that peace had been concluded between the King of Castile and the Duke of Guelders, who, on the 29th ultimo, was to be at Arnheim to swear to it.
The Duke (sic) of Suffolk, called “White Rose,” concerning whom he wrote to the State that he was besieged in a castle in Guelderland, is now in the power of the King of Castile,—intelligence which greatly delights this country; and his Majesty hopes by means of this individual to keep the bit in the mouth of the King of England.
Antwerp. 1 August ] 505.
[Original, Italian, 1½ page folio.]
Aug. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. vi., p. 130. 852. Flanders Trade.
Receipt of letters from the captain of the Flanders galleys, Marco Antonio Contarini, dated Hampton, 14th July. On account of disputes between the King of England and the Archduke, a prohibition had been issued against bringing goods, under penalty; so the merchandise brought by the galleys to the island from Flanders was seized, most especially linens belonging to the admiral and to noblemen: and not that of others.
Also the King had laid a certain duty of 4d. (denari quatro) on each piece of cloth and serge; and some 9,000 pieces had been loaded; and this new tax yields about 5,000 ducats. Also the galleys will come with full cargoes—will make 17,000 ducats freight-money; and by private letters it is heard that at Antwerp spices fetched no price, by reason of the great quantity brought from Colocut.
Aug. 7. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 70. 853. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Details the conditions of the peace between the King of Castile and the Duke of Guelders. The Earl (sic) of Suffolk has been sent back to the Duke of Guelders, because, in accordance with the agreements between the Kings of England and Castile, the latter could not keep the Earl.
Announces an expected embassy from France—Mons. de Nevers, the Archbishop of Paris, and the Bailiff of Amiens. Has been told that this mission is sent in order that the King of France may exculpate himself and appease King Philip, it being but too fully proved that both by letters and secret messengers the King of France urged the Duke of Guelders to resist, promising either to obtain peace for him, or else to give him assistance. The object of the King of France in acting thus was to get possession of the Earl of Suffolk, and deliver him to the King of England, who had promised, in the event of obtaining the Earl through his medium, to remit the annual pension of 40 or 50 thousand crowns which the King of France is bound to pay.
Bois le Duc, 7 August 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages and 9 lines.]
Sept. 5. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 80. 854. The Same to the Same.
Yesterday afternoon was visited by the Prince de Chimay, who announced that a joust was to be performed on that night in honor of the Emperor; that he had been commanded by the King to invite Quirini (as he had apartments in the palace,) to supper, after which his Majesty wished him (Quirini) to visit the Queen and see the joust.
Supped accordingly with the Prince and some seven of the chief noblemen of the country, and was afterwards taken into a chamber, where he found the Emperor and his daughter-in-law.
Queen Juana was dressed in black velvet, looking very well, considering her late illness; and, although it was night, thought her very handsome; her bearing being that of a sensible and discreet woman. Paid her his respects in the Signory's name, and in accordance with his commission. The Queen made a loving reply, and they then went to see the joust, which took place by torchlight, in a spacious hall on the ground floor. The regulations were—two courses—hobbies and flat saddles (selle raze), alias foot cloths (su caralli picoli).
The King jousted with a number of noblemen, and when the entertainment commenced, the Emperor, who had been sitting in the hall with his daughter-in-law, disappeared quietly and went to arm, and after a while appeared in the lists incognito. The Emperor tilted thrice against his son, and each shivered three spears so adroitly, that for address and everything else they proved themselves superior to all their competitors.
The joust ended at the fourth hour of the night, when both their Majesties, together with the Queen and all the rest, went to the house of Mons. de Nansoe (Nassau ?), where a stately and sumptuous banquet was given, well nigh the whole night being passed in dancing and other amusements.
Brussels, 5 September 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 1½page folio.]
Sept. 7. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 81. 855. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Informs the Signory that the King of Castile is sending as his ambassadors to England Mons. de Sampi and the President of Mechlin, to arrange the disputes between the English and the Flemings, as well known to the State; and to break off the marriage of the young Queen of Naples, promising to give the King for wife his sister, Madame Margaret.
Brussels, 7 September 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 1¾ page folio.]
Sept. 9. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 82. 856. The Same to the Same.
Has been present this morning at a priests' first mass, which was attended both by the Emperor and his son; and in the course of conversation the King of Castile mentioned to him the names of the ambassadors. In order to learn something farther, he enquired whether it was true that the King of England had taken a wife. Received for answer that he was in treaty with the young Queen of Naples, but that nothing had yet been concluded; whereupon he remarked, “that all these sovereigns after being once married are unable to remain single.” His Majesty rejoined, “Really, ambassador, you are right; the King of Spain likewise has married Madame de Foix, the child of his sister's daughter.” Evinced surprise at this, and enquired whether the news was certain. The King replied, “I do not yet know of its being concluded, but they write to me from France that affairs are in such a state that I may consider the marriage certain.” Whilst telling him this the King's manner evinced small satisfaction.
Brussels, 9 September 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 1¼ page folio.]
Oct. 6. Original Letter Book, Letter No 90. 857. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Although not a merchant by profession, yet being in the midst of Antwerp fair, will not omit acquainting the State with the current price there of spices.
Pepper is worth 18½ “gros” the lb., equal to about 56 ducats the “cargo.” Ginger from Alexandria 24 “gros,” and what comes from Portugal, of which there is very little, fetches 17. Cloves 60 “gros.” Cinnamon 28, and the finest quality 30. Nutmegs 28, “verzi” 3½ ducats the hundred, the best quality, and in such plenty that they are held in no account. That these rates may be more fully understood, adds that the ducat at Antwerp is worth 76 “gros,” and that 100 lbs., Venetian weight, represent 60 lbs. of Antwerp. According to general report a considerable supply of all these articles is expected daily from Portugal; but the gingers will be of the same inferior quality as aforesaid.
Antwerp, 6 October 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 3 pages and 4 lines.]
Oct. 27. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 93. 858. “The Same to the Same.
Receipt by the King of Castile of letters from his ambassadors in England. From what he (Quirini) hears, the King of England requires that in virtue of the treaties between them the King of Castile do surrender to him the Duke of Suffolk, called “White Rose,” now in the hands of the Duke of Guelders, the subject of the King of Castile, according to what the King of Castile says, as he styles himself Duke of Guelders.
With regard to the proposal made by the said ambassadors to the King of England to give him Madame Margaret for wife, they state that he makes promises both to them and the French, who offer him the Dauphin's mother (Louise of Savoy), and also to the King of Spain, who wishes to give him his niece, the young Queen of Naples. His marriage with the last mentioned lady, as told him (Quirini) by the Spanish ambassadors, is privately concluded; in such wise that the King of England cannot withdraw without the consent of the King of Spain.
Brussels, 27 October 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages and 6 lines.]
Nov. 22. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 98. 859. The Same to the Same.
Has been visited by the burgomasters and a deputation from the government of Bruges, showing extreme anxiety that Venice should resume its trade with their town, and that the Flanders galleys should make the port of Sluys, as formerly, instead of Antwerp. They caused others to urge this also, and compelled the King to write on the subject to the captain of the Flanders galleys (Vincenzo Capello, then at Southampton,) then bound thitherwards, exhorting him to come to Sluys, promising that the galleys should receive better treatment there than at Antwerp. Wrote in a cautions manner to the captain at Hampton, and announced the request, but left everything to his option.
Bruges, 22 November 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages folio.]
Nov. 29. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 99. 860. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Owing to the hopes given by his ambassador in England, Mons, de Sampi, that he will succeed in accomplishing the marriage between the King of England and Madame Margaret, the King of Castile sent Dom. Philibert the other day with autograph letters of credence to Madame Margaret, who is in Savoy, to learn from her whether she would marry the King of England. No answer has yet been received. In the meanwhile has discussed the matter with a discreet and prudent person of the court, who places small reliance on the fair words of the King of England, because he acts in the same manner towards the King of France as towards the King of Spain with regard to his marriage, making promises to each of them for the sake of gaining his end, and would fain get out of the hands of the King of Castile the Duke of Suffolk, called “White Rose,” whom that King obtained last October from the Duke of Guelders, and who is now in the castle of Namur. The King of England also wants the duty laid by him at Calais on all merchandise passing from England to Flanders, whether the property of his own subjects or of Flemings, to remain in full force; whilst, on the other hand, he requires the King of Castile to repeal the duty levied by him in return, on all merchandise entering Flanders from England. Such is the dispute between the two countries, owing to which their [commercial] intercourse has been interrupted during so many fairs. (fn. 2) Besides this, the King of England requires the King of Castile to renounce and cede to him all his rights and claims on the city of Calais, which is in Flanders, and belongs to this house of Burgundy; and as both one and the other of these demands redound to the profit of the Prince of Wales and of the Princess, the sister of Queen Juana, who receive the revenues of Calais, the Princess has sent hither her governess, the sister of Don John Manuel (Dona Elvira Manuel), to request the King and Queen to grant what is aforesaid, as it concerns herself Everybody considers these demands extravagant and of difficult concession; though yet greater perhaps is the wish of the King of Castile to arrange all differences, and to ally himself with the King of England as closely as possible, for the safety of the country during his absence, and in order to secure a free passage to Spain should fortune east him on the soil of England. Already, amongst the other demands made by his ambassadors of King Henry, is one for a safeconduct for his voyage.
The Duke of Guelders still gives out that he will not cross over to Spain. Besides the excuse of illness, he complains in the first place that the Duke of Suffolk has been taken from him; and secondly, that they have not kept the promise made to him of the pension, which was to commence on the very day of the agreement, but that as yet he has not received one farthing. A gentleman has been sent to speak to him, and there is a strong suspicion of a French plot.
Ghent, 29 November 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 2½ pages folio.]
Dec. 20. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 105. 861. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Since his last of the 18th from Ghent, King Philip has remained constantly in Zealand hoping for fair weather; but as the weather has continued too bad for his voyage, he came hither to Bruges the day before yesterday, meaning to remain hunting hereabouts, at Mechlin, and perhaps at Antwerp, until the weather clears. He has only brought, 20 horsemen; the rest of the court remain in Zealand to be ready whensoever the moment for departure shall arrive.
On Sunday last, his Majesty made seven knights of the Fleece, namely the Count of Furstemberg, captain of the German infantry, destined for Spain; Mons. de Verve, who was absent, being ambassador in Spain; Monsr. de Lalem (Lalaing); Monsr. de Listen (Floris d'Egmond, Seigneur d'Isselstein); Monsr. de Nasoe (Nassau); Don John Emanuel, and Count Horn.
The negotiations for the marriage between the King of England and Madame Margaret seem to become closer daily, so that many very well informed persons think the marriage will take place, provided they can obtain the consent of the lady, who at present seems rather averse to it.
Understands, moreover, on good authority, that a fresh league and confederacy is nearly concluded between the Emperor, the King of Castile, King of England, and King of Scotland, his son-in-law, and perhaps the Pope likewise. With this object Dom. Philiberto went to Rome; the King of Castile being instigated by the fear and ill will which he bears the King of France, by whom he considers himself beyond measure aggrieved, and with regard to whom he has occasionally allowed words to escape his lips of a very evil nature. The Emperor on his part is desirous of this union, on the same account. The King of England, besides being indifferently satisfied with France, would, according to report, be glad to secure himself against the Duke of Suffolk, “White Rose,” who is in the hands of the King of Castile, and who is a great thorn in his eyes, for he knows that the people of England love and long for him, and one day or other he might do the King of England much mischief. The King of Scotland likes to be talked of in the world; although the potentates above mentioned declare that he also complains much of France, because, notwithstanding ancient treaties and agreements, whereby the King of France was bound in all his leagues and treaties of peace to make mention of Scotland, he omitted doing so on the last conclusion of peace with Spain. This league is being negotiated for the mutual benefit of the contracting parties, and, if concluded, power is reserved to admit the King of Spain in case he choose to join, The King of Castile hopes, on conferring with that King, not merely to make him join it, but moreover to break off the marriage with Madame de Foix; on which account, as also by reason of his being daily urged to depart by the King of Spain, he hastens his voyage as much as he can.
The Duke of Guelders, on hearing of the adjustment between the Kings of Spain and Castile, says he will do his utmost to go to Spain as he promised, though excusing himself on the plea of illness. Small reliance is placed on his promise.
Bruges, 20 December 1505.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages folio.]


  • 1. In Bergenroth's Calendar, the governess Dona Elvira Manuel is styled sister of Don John Manuel (p. 357), but Quirini here writes cousin, correcting himself however in letter Xo. 99, where he represents Doña Elvira as the sister of Don John. “Zermana” in the Venetion dialeet invariably means cousin; never sister.
  • 2. The great fairs of Antwerp took place twice a year, at Whitsuntide and in October. The fairs of Bruges were no less frequented by English traders than those of Antwerp. An Act of Parliament alluding to the commercial relations between the two countries, at this period, mentions “the universal marts holden four times in the year.”