Venice: 1506

Pages 310-327

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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1506. Jan. 1. Original Letter Book, LetterNo. 106. 862. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
King Philip is awaiting fair weather to embark for Spain. Contested election for the see of Liege; intentions of Lewis XII. to demand a castle near Cambrai and a fortress in Artois of the King of Castile, relinquished by reason of his reconciliation to the King of Spain. Determination of King of Castile to take his revenge, should an opportunity present itself.
Arrival here this day of the Archbishop of Treves, Elector of the Empire, on his way to England, in the Emperor's name, to conclude the marriage between King Henry and Madame Margaret, and possibly also the league and confederation alluded to in a former letter.
Middleburgh, 1 January 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 1 page folio.]
Jan. 4. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 107. 863. The Same to the Same.
In hopes of a change of weather from day to day the King of Castile has not ventured to quit Middelburgh for Antwerp or any other place, lest he should lose a fair wind to take him out of port.
News of the election of Everard de la Marck to the see of Liege; reasons assigned for the regrets of King Philip on this account. Duke of Guelders encouraged by this circumstance to refuse to go to Spain, the new Bishop being very friendly towards him.
Departure of the Archbishop of Treves from Middleburg for Antwerp, there to await his commission from the Emperor, for England.
This morning, after attending high mass, the King of Castile caused the agreement stipulated by him with King Ferdinand to be proclaimed in church, and declared his intention of embarking with the first fair wind.
Announced the receipt of his (Quirini's) commission from the State to follow the King, who seemed much pleased at this and assigned him one of the best ships in the fleet. Regardless of expense, has sent the horses, with which the republic provided him, over land to Spain.
King Philip has heard from France that Madame de Foix, the bride of the King of Spain, has already departed for Spain, or is on the eve of departure, so that he has no longer any hope of preventing the marriage by this voyage.
Three very fine ships belonging to the King of Portugal, lately built in Holland for the Calicut voyage, are now in the port of Middleburgh, of 1,000, 700, and 300 butts burthen respectively. These ships are to cross with King Philip's fleet, which will number 40 sail, of from 150 to 400 tons (sic), all in excellent trim, and with the most abundant supply of victuals that has been shipped on board an armada for many years. On board are many lords and gentlemen, attended by a body guard of 2,000 Germans, extremely well appointed.
Middleburgh, 4 January 1 506.
Postscript.—Having detained these presents until today, awaiting weather for departure, we this morning, in the name of the Holy Ghost, embarked on shipboard. The wind is fair, and we shall soon set sail.
Armuyden, 7 January 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 1 page folio.]
Jan. 23. Original Letter Book, No. 109. 864. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
King Philip and Queen Juana embarked at Armuyden on the 7th instant with their whole retinue, but, in order to await the full moon, the fleet did not go out of port until the morning of the 10th. The wind was then fair, and continued so the whole of that day and the next until off Hampton, when towards midnight, after a dead calm, every ship having all sail set, so violent a storm sprang up from the N.N.E., as greatly to alarm the oldest and most experienced hands, for the night was dark and the channel unsafe, and great was the labour and peril of lowering the sails. That night one third of the fleet parted company; and the wind lasted the whole of the 12th, taking them to the edge of the Bay of Biscay, so far as the pilots could ascertain from their soundings. A calm then ensued, and continued until the evening of the 13th, when the wind rose from the W.S.W., full upon the coast of England. Orders were then given to tack throughout the night, in the hopes of a change for the better, but the sea and wind rose so highly, that about midnight, when possibly not more than 50 miles from the shore, and when such was the darkness that not an object could be distinguished one span a head, a terrible hurricane commenced, of which the oldest mariners in the fleet say they have not experienced the like within the last half century. All now sought for safety as they best might: some ships stood out to sea, others made for land; amongst the latter was his (Quirini's) ship. At daybreak eighteen sail found themselves in a dense haze so close upon the land that all gave themselves up for lost. Attributed their safe arrival in Falmouth to the miraculous mercy of the Almighty, to whom they had addressed vows and prayers, despairing of any other succour.
King Philip and Queen Juana took the other tack and remained out at sea in the gale the whole of the 14th and loth, when, with only two ships, they were driven into Portland, a road (uno reduto) and not a port, ten leagues from Hampton.
Of the rest of the fleet, four ships got into Plymouth and three into Dartmouth, off which harbour three others foundered, though the greater part of the crews were saved. Nothing has been heard as yet of any of the other vessels. On making Portland, King Philip immediately sent expresses to Plymouth, Dartmouth, and Falmouth, announcing his safety, and desiring the vessels to await further orders.
Has heard nothing since of the King, he (Quirini) being in Cornwall at the extremity of the island, 250 miles from Hampton, in a wild spot where no human being ever comes, save the few boors who inhabit it. Considers it impossible that King Philip should have left Portland, the weather having never been fair for one single hour, but always blowing a gale either from the W.S.W., or W.N.W., or else from the S.E.; everybody declaring that in the memory of man a worse month of January had never been seen. Mentions the arrival at Falmouth of some sailors out of a Britanny ship, which had also foundered in the storm: on the road they fell in with a man who had saved himself from some wreck, and from his garb, and so far as they could comprehend his language, believed him to be a Venetian galley oarsman. Was there-lore apprehensive for the Flanders galleys, and had sent all along the coast to enquire, but no one could be found who knew anything about them; and has received assurance from many quarters that they have not been seen in the Channel.
Falmouth, 23 January 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages folio.]
Jan. 30. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 110. 865. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Whilst waiting for a messenger to convey the accompanying letter to the consul in London, a gentleman arrived at Falmouth, sent by King Philip to notify his well being and his determination to come towards Falmouth by land.
Never had man a narrower escape from drowning than the King. His ship was at sea all Wednesday and until Thursday evening, unable to make any port; the guns and everything else on deck were thrown overboard. When attempting to lower the mainsail, a gust of wind laid it on the sea, carrying the ship gunwale under; nor did she right for half an hour. Had it not been for the aid given by one single mariner, who thrice plunged into the waves and, by cutting away the shrouds, righted the vessel, their plight would have been irremediable; for both the master, the pilots, and the crew were utterly bewildered, and had given themselves up for lost. In the meanwhile the vessel caught fire thrice, so that the chance of death in the flames or in the deep was equal. For a long while the King bore up manfully, always in his doublet about the ship, encouraging everybody; but at length a sea struck him, and he was hurled below with such violence that everybody thought he was killed. Thenceforth he remained with the Queen, who evinced intrepidity throughout; and the King and some of his gentlemen to whom he is affectionately attached, having embraced each other mutually, awaited immediate death, without any hope of escape. The King declared that he did not regret his own death, since such was the will of God; but deeply lamented, first of all, that he should cause the death of so many brave men whom he had brought with him, as he firmly believed that since his own ship, which was the biggest, and manned by so many pilots and skilful mariners, perished, there could be no salvation for the rest of the fleet. Secondly, he grieved to leave his children orphans at so tender an age; and thirdly, he deplored the ruin and confusion that might ensue in his territories.
The King of England, on hearing of the arrival of the King of Castile, immediately sent his master of the horse to him, requesting him to go to London, or, if the distance should be inconvenient, to wait at Winchester. An interview had been appointed at Winchester for last Monday, the 26th, and it was expected that the marriage with Madame Margaret and the confederation would then be concluded.
Falmouth, 30 January 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages folio.]
Feb. 18. St. Mark's Library, Class x, Cod. clxxiv. 866. Henry VII. to Cardinal Adrian Castellesi, Bishop of Bath.
Informs him that his most dear cousins the King and Queen of Castile, having lately embarked on board their fleet in Zealand for Spain, when within two or three days navigation thence, were driven back by a most perilous storm to England.
Has received them most willingly; and having written fully to the Pope about their coming, and his negotiations with them, has desired that a copy (fn. 1) of his letter may be inclosed in the present one.
From the castle of Richmond, 18 February 1505.
[Original, Latin, 9 lines, paper.]
Feb. 25. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 111. 867. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Since his last of the 23rd and 30th ultimo, has been daily expecting the arrival of the King of Castile. A messenger has now arrived, saying the King of Castile is still with the King of England, who has shown such kindness, made such entertainments, and lavished so many honors on his guest, that it would have been impossible to do more. The Kings of England and Castile have concluded and proclaimed a new and very close alliance, which was ratified and sworn to at the altar, after a solemn mass on the consecrated wafer, of which both their Majesties partook. The King of Castile has accepted the “Garter” from the King of England, and given the “Fleece” in exchange to the Prince of Wales. The King of Castile has sent Monsr. de la Chau, (fn. 2) his trusty privy councillor, to Flanders, for the purpose, as generally credited, of removing hither the Earl of Suffolk, called “White Rose,” in order to deliver him to the King of England. The opinion may be false, though it is not formed without reason. Queen Juana is to leave Romford (14 miles from London) for Falmouth; and on the same day the King of Castile, out of compliment to the King of England, is going to visit Richmond, to remain eight days, and then proceed to Falmouth to join his fleet, which has assembled there.
Was extremely anxious to join the King of Castile, for the better performance of his duty to the State; but, in the first place, Falmouth is 250 miles distant, and the road is represented as the worst possible. Again, he is without horses, having sent his own to Spain by land, as already mentioned, and in a very wild place which no human being ever visits, in the midst of a most barbarous race, so different in language and customs from the Londoners and the rest of England that they are as unintelligible to these last as to the Venetians. From these people, pay what he might, he could obtain no horses but pack horses, nor any other accommodation. Besides, had similar impediments not existed, it would have been impossible for him to stir, as, owing to the effect of the gale and the hardships endured afloat, he, in common with the greater part of the gentlemen now at Falmouth, had suffered attacks of ague. His attacks were most violent, and although they were brief, yet is he as weak as if they had been upon him for a month.
Will be guided by circumstances, but regrets not having the means of giving the State such copious advices of all events in England, as is his duty, though the blame must rest with that fortune which brought him to Falmouth, the last English port towards Spain, and where he is unable to find conveyance for his letters to London at any price.
On the 23rd instant received the Signory's letters through the consul in London, dated 16th December, charging him on behalf of the Senate to congratulate King Philip on the adjustment with King Ferdinand, and acquaint him with the great satisfaction derived thence by the State.
Falmouth, 25 February 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages folio.]
March 13. Sanuto Diaries, v. vi., p. 209. 868. News from England.
Receipt of letters from England how the Archduke or King of Castile had arranged matters with the King, and promised to give him his adversary “White Rose,” for whom he had sent; also that the Archduke's sister, the widow of the Duke of Savoy, was to marry the King of England.
March 17. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 112. 869. Vincenzo Quirini To The Signory.
Until the 16th instant the lords and gentlemen at Falmouth, who constituted almost the entire retinue of the King of Castile, had not received any letters or certain news from his Majesty; for two days after taking leave of the King of England, the King of Castile fell sick and was obliged to stop at Reading, where he remained some days indisposed, but did not write word of this to the Queen, who had been for some time at Exeter, or to Falmouth, lest the Queen should take alarm and his troops make some stir. (fn. 3)
Has had the greatest difficulty in forwarding his letters from Cornwall.
Yestereven the King of Castile's master of the horse arrived at Falmouth with money for the pay both of the German infantry and of the ships which had arrived in that port. By order of the King the master of the horse visited him, and assured him that his Majesty was quite recovered, and would be in Falmouth in a week, with the intention of setting sail with the first fair wind.
Has been told by a cordial friend, a person of great prudence, who accompanied the master of the horse, that Monsieur de la Chau, who had according to report been sent to Flanders, went to Spain with such speed that he reached the court in 14 days, letters having been already received announcing his arrival there. Some; persons fancied that the object of this journey was to ascertain whether, on the receipt of the news of the storm, and of the King of Castile's landing in England, any change had taken place; others were of opinion that Monsieur de la Chau was charged to negotiate a triple league between the Kings of Spain, England, and Castile.
Was also told by the same friend, that three gentlemen had been sent to Flanders to bring to England the Duke of Suffolk, called “White Rose;” but the council of Mechlin refused to give him up, and wrote that they would be very willing to surrender him on hearing that their King had quitted England, as they did not choose the King of England, after obtaining. “White Rose,” to have power to demand some other greater concession. The King of Castile, on the other hand, having pledged himself to the surrender before he embarks, keeps his word, and has written back to Mechlin, and sent another of his gentlemen, a dear favourite, to bring the aforesaid Duke of Suffolk at any rate, as he is determined not to quit this country until “White Rose” be in the hands of the King of England. It is suspected that this circumstance may delay the departure for some days.
Falmouth, 17 March 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 1¾ page folio.]
March 27. Original Letter Book. Letter No. 113. 870. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Announces the arrival at Falmouth yesterday of the King and Queen of Castile, who have been long expected. They were in good health, and very glad to find themselves with so many of their servants, whom they at one time feared never to see again. Although not very strong, rode forth a distance of five or six miles from Falmouth to meet the King, and received such greeting as to prove that companionship in distress greatly increases affection. On seeing his pallid face, the first words the King said were, “Ambassador, it is very evident you love me, for not merely by sea, but likewise in sickness have you followed me;” and added many other expressions, evincing to everybody his great satisfaction at being attended by a Venetian ambassador, in order that the Lord Treasurer and the master of the horse of the King of England, with a number of other lords who had accompanied him to Falmouth, should have ocular demonstration of the fact.
The King of Castile and all his attendants bestow the highest praise on the King of England, who could not have done more even had be been the King of Castile's father; and whilst the Kings were together, and also afterwards all through the country, the King of Castile received as much honour as if he had been the Prince of England. The whole way along the road, thus far, the King of Castile and all his retinue had their expenses defrayed, but are henceforth to be at their own cost, as has been the case with himself (Quirini) and all the others during their stay at Falmouth.
Touching the negotiations between the two Kings, has not as yet been able to learn more than the confirmation of what he wrote heretofore, namely, the alliance and close friendship ratified between them, and the surrender of the Duke of Suffolk as promised by the King of Castile, with a promise and public oath, however, from the King of England to forgive him every injury, to restore to him his confiscated property, and to treat him as his loyal kinsman.
Understands, moreover, that whilst the two Kings were together at Richmond, two French ambassadors accredited to the King of England arrived there, and went to visit the King of Castile, condoling with him in the name of King Lewis on the storm, and congratulating him on his escape and on having reached a spot where a warm welcome awaited him; adding, that the like would have befallen him had he put into Britanny or any other port of France; and that they were commissioned by their sovereign to thank the King of England for the good reception given by him to his Majesty. The King of Castile answered them in a similar strain, but believes that they were sent for the sole purpose of ascertaining; the conclusion of the negotiations to be effected in Spain.
The Spanish ambassador resident with the Emperor (Don Pedro de Ayala), who from ill health had remained at Bruges, has also arrived. He tells him (Quirini) that the King of Spain, having heard of the misfortunes of his son-in-law and daughter, commanded him to come to them, for the purpose, he (Quirini) supposes, of assisting at the treaty, though he came too late, for when he arrived the King of Castile had already taken leave of the King of England.
The fleet dispersed by the storm is now reassembled at Falmouth, where six Biscayan barks have lately arrived, sent by the King of Spain to replace those which perished in the gale. Has been assured by the King of Castile that he would sail with the first fair wind, and expects him to do so, both from his wish to be in Spain, and also because there is a great scarcity at Falmouth, where he incurs intolerable expense.
In accordance with the States letters of 16th December, has again congratulated the King of Castile on his adjustment with the King of Spain, and received thanks in return. His Majesty said there was no need of assurances to convince him and his father-in-law of the love borne them by the Signory; adding that at Hampton he had found the two Flanders galleys commanded by Michiel and Capello, who went to visit him, and made many offers, with which he was very much pleased.
Falmouth, 27 March 1506.
[Extract. Italian, 2 pages and 9 lines folio.]
March 28. Sanuto Diaries, v. vi., p. 212. 871. Despatches from England.
Receipt of letters from England from Vincenzo Quirini, Doctor, ambassador, dated Falmouth, 6 April. The King [of Castile] was arrived there, having been preceded by the Queen; they were awaiting weather to embark and cross to Spain.
March 30. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 114. 872. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Since the arrival at Falmouth of the King of Castile, has exerted himself vastly to learn some of the particulars concerning his conference with the King of England, and is assured by several persons that the result is a confirmation between the Kings of the peace and confederation, with the identical terms and clauses which the Emperor swore three years ago in his own name and that of his son when at Antwerp, (fn. 4) purporting that each of the parties was bound not to harbour the enemies of the other; and further pledged themselves, in the event of getting possession of such enemies, immediately to surrender them, especial mention being made of the Duke of Suffolk, called “White Rose,” who by this time is supposed to have been surrendered to the King of England, (fn. 5) but on condition that he is to be pardoned and restored to his possessions. The marriage of Madame Margaret is said not to be concluded, but simply discussed; as also that of an infant daughter of the King of England to a son of the King of Castile. It is also reported that Monsieur de la Chan has been sent to Spain to negotiate an agreement between King Ferdinand and his son-in-law, to the intent that they be the rulers and governors of Castile, as stipulated between them, and that Queen Juana may not interfere, nor be allowed to administer affairs of state, for the reason that her conduct since she left Flanders has been that of a woman whose intellects are not sufficiently sound for such a charge; and it is strongly suspected that husband and wife will disagree, and that the King of Castile will speedily return to his own country; it being evident that on reaching Spain, the Queen will choose to govern and be mistress. This is the dread of the King of Castile's councillors, who know how hateful they are to the Queen, and therefore seek to make the arrangement with her father, that she may be put under restraint. Others again say that the mission of Monsieur de la Chan has for object to prevent the marriage of King Ferdinand to Madame de Foix; this assertion being based on a belief that the King of Castile proposed doing so, had he arrived in time.
This day, whilst at mass together, the King of Castile told him he had received letters of a recent date from Spain, purporting that his father-in-law and all the rest (tuto el resto) were anxiously expecting him; and that Monsieur de la Chau, whom he sent hence, had been at the court some time, together with the other ambassador, Monsieur de Verre.
Falmouth, 30 March 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 1¾ pages folio.]
April 4 Original Letter Book, Letter No. 115 873. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
By his last, of the 30 th ultimo, acquainted the State with two of the reasons assigned for the mission to Spain of Monsieur de la Chau. Has since ascertained through a trustworthy channel that he was sent by King Philip to arrange with King Ferdinand for the decorous maintenance of Queen Juana as consort, without giving her further authority, and that her father and husband should alone govern the kingdom of Castile, so that being dissimilar to her mother in intellect, she be likewise dissimilar to her in authority. This was done because in the recent arrangement between Spain and Castile, it had been stipulated that Queen Juana might intervene as a third party for the administration of the state, with power to sign and command. King Ferdinand and King Philip now, however, say that they have discovered her incapacity for such a charge, and all the ministers of King Philip desire and urge this arrangement, suspecting that if the Queen, who hates them extremely, exercise authority in Spain, she may not only seek to disgrace them with the King, and deprive them of their influence over him, but also annul the pensions assigned them since the adjustment in the kingdom of Castile; some of the ministers receiving 1,000 ducats annually, some 800, and others 500.
The ministers also seek to avoid an insurrection. They fear lest Spaniards, who are turbulent naturally—especially the grandees, who love change and have feuds amongst each other—might rise and make some stir on the plea of choosing to be governed by the Queen, who is their legitimate sovereign. Their object now is, that before the arrival of King Philip, his father-in-law should circulate a report that Queen Juana is unfit to govern, as is generally believed here; and they hope King Ferdinand will accede to their wishes, both as it may prove to his interest, and also because, on the death of Queen Isabella, amongst the other reasons assigned by him for not ceding the government of Castile, he alleged that his daughter was incapable and unfit to rule; an opinion which he seems to retain, according to the last letters of King Philip's ambassadors, who are doing their utmost to arrange this business, as it affects them personally: Monsieur de Verre having an annual pension in Castile of 3,000 ducats, together with a promise of the first vacant bishopric for one of his brothers, and Monsieur de la Chau a pension of 1,000 ducats; and all live in hopes that King Philip may provide their children, grandchildren, and remotest connexions with commanderies of St. James, of Calatrava, or of Alcantara; for although King Ferdinand be the master of these three orders, and has all the revenues, yet the vacant commanderies are in the alternate gift of either sovereign, and when King Philip's turn comes, King Ferdinand is bound to accept his presentations.
Was informed this morning by the Spanish ambassador, who is his friend and places great trust in him, that yesterday King Philip sent him to visit the Queen, whom he had not allowed to see the ambassador or anybody else for many days. When about to enter her chamber, Don John Manuel, who accompanied him, gave him notice that if he wished to oblige the King, he would not stay long, and do good service. Having entered the chamber, he received cordial greeting from the Queen; she would not allow her hand to be kissed, insisted upon his being seated, and very tenderly made many inquiries of him how her father fared, six months having elapsed since she had received any news of him; and whether it was true that he wished her as much harm as she was told he did. The Queen asked if, after hearing of the storm, he had announced that she and her husband were gone back to Flanders, and no longer intended to proceed; and last of all, whether her going into Spain displeased him so much.
The ambassador replied that none of these things were true; nay, that the King her father loved her and her husband as his very dear children, and had no greater wish in the world than to see them. Thereupon the ambassador took leave as quickly as he could. He told him (Quirini), moreover, that he knew for certain that King Philip's councillors had given the Queen to understand that her father bears her ill will, and would fain not see her in Spain, in order that on her going thither with this impression, she might, at their first meeting, treat him unbecomingly; whilst King Ferdinand, being informed in like manner, that his daughter loved him not, and was such as they described her, would the more readily consent to deprive her of the government.
Falmouth, 4 April 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages folio.]
April 6. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 116. 874. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Announces receipt of letters from the captain of the Flanders galleys (Vincenzo Capello), urging him to induce the King of Castile to exempt the Flanders galleys from certain dues to which they had been lately subjected at Antwerp. Has ascertained that these dues were levied indiscriminately on all ships arriving in that port; that the King farms them annually to the highest bidder, and that they are of small amount, as told him also by the captain himself; for the sum levied on all the galleys did not amount to 80 ducats. Understands, moreover, that last year, when King Philip went to see the galleys commanded by Mari Antonio Contarini, the crews petitioned him to this effect, but were not entirely relieved, and say they still pay a certain sum.
Mentioned this to the King, and although the duty has been farmed for the present year, and is levied on ships of all nations, nevertheless, to oblige the State, the King wrote to his farmer of the customs, desiring him to exempt the galleys of the Signory from this tax, and debit the King with the amount; and has in like manner written to the Lord Treasurer to admit the diminution, and credit the farmer accordingly.
A servant of the King of Castile has arrived from Flanders, with money. He accompanied the Duke of Suffolk to London, where the Duke was sent to the Tower, in pursuance of the sentence passed on him by the Council of London, though it is said they will subsequently draw up another edict, acquitting him, and restoring his property, as they promised the King of Castile.
Since the King's arrival at Falmouth, the weather has never served for departure; all the vessels are ready, and when the wind becomes fair, would sail in an hour.
Falmouth, 6 April 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 1 page folio.]
April 13. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 117. 875. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Heard this morning from a friend of his that a fresh difficulty has now arisen between the King of Castile and his consort, and although of a trifling nature, thinks fit to acquaint the State with it, for better judgment of the whole affair.
On quitting Flanders, King Philip, according to custom, appointed as the Queen's companion a Flemish Countess, a very superior woman (dona d'assay) called Madame de Veinge (sic ?) in lieu of another Countess, who, on account of old age, would not cross the sea. With this new companion Queen Juana became extremely dissatisfied Believes the reason to be, that she bears equal hatred both to the men and women of Flanders, though until now she has never remonstrated. At present, however, considering herself perhaps nearer her own kingdom, and more free than heretofore, she is obstinately bent on making this Countess return to Flanders. To this the King objects; so her Majesty is very angry, and during the whole of this last Passion week (fn. 6) never went out of doors, and will not allow herself to be seen or spoken to by any one, nor come abroad, until this Countess return to the place whence she came. It is suspected that in the end King Philip will be obliged to humour the Queen, although unwillingly, as he considers it a slur upon him and indecorous that his wife should go to Spain without any lady attendant whatever (senza dona alcuna). A year ago, from jealousy, she dismissed all her women and maiden attendants (qwinto done et donzelle l'avea), except the one old Countess who has stayed behind; and in short, if what everybody says be true, Queen Juana appears beyond measure jealous of her husband, and unless she change her character in Spain, they can never agree.
Within the last few days negotiations have been commenced for a marriage between the eldest son of the Duke of Lorraine, and the eldest daughter of the King of Castile.
Wind still contrary; considers it high time to complete the voyage, three months having now elapsed since the fleet quitted Flanders.
Falmouth, 13 April 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 1¼ page folio.]
April 15. Venetian Archives, Pacta Portfolios. 876. Henry VII. to Pope Julius II.
Owing to the recent death of William, late Bishop of London, has appointed in his stead Richard Bishop of Chichester, councillor and President of his Council, and has deemed him worthy of being recommended to the Pope for translation to the cathedral church of London.
Requests the Pope to transfer and promote the Bishop of ChiChester to the cathedral church of St. Paul, London, to be pastor and Bishop thereof.
From the Palace of Greenwich, 15 April 1500.
[Original, parchment, Latin, 6 lines.]
April 16. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 118. 877. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory
This day the wind having shifted to the northward, blowing fair for Spain, the King of Castile issued an order for everybody to be on shipboard in the evening, with the hope of setting sail before tomorrow.
In several of his former letters has stated the three motives which caused the mission to Spain of Mons. de la Chau—1st, to try and ascertain whether any change has taken place in Castile, since the storm,—2nd, to prevent the marriage of Madame de Foix,—3rd, to negotiate the Queen's exclusion from the government.
Concerning all these negotiations the King of Castile has now received a full reply, both by letters from his own ambassadors, and from the King of Spain himself, of the following tenor. Touching the first item, the King of Spain replied that he is as well disposed as ever towards his children, meaning to greet them as becomes a good parent, to keep all the promises made them to the letter, and to give a fair and detailed account of all the revenues received by him from Castile since the death of Queen Isabella, from which period the King and Queen of Castile are to receive one-half of the nett proceeds, after deduction of all costs.
Nothing is said with regard to the marriage [of Madame de Foix], which is already consummated. As to the last item, which relates to the Queen his daughter, the King of Spain in gentle and soothing language prays his son-in-law to try and come speedily to Spain, as he is extremely anxious to see him, and says that as soon as they are together he will arrange both this and every other difficulty so as to satisfy all parties. Such was the entire result of the mission of Mons. de la Chau.
Falmouth, 16 April 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 1 page folio.]
April 17. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 119. 878. The Same to the Same.
Embarkation of the King and Queen of Castile at Falmouth, late on the evening of the 10th April. Forced to disembark, as the wind veered from N. to S.W., and is now blowing a gale, without any hope of a speedy change. Despairs of getting out of port during the present moon, which has never looked on one whole day of fair weather for the voyage, the wind blowing constantly either from S.E., S.W., or W.
Intense vexation of the King from his extreme wish to be in Spain, and also by reason of the immense expense incurred by him and all his followers at Falmouth, where the scarcity of everything is incredible, and augments daily.
Arrival on the 15th, in an armed ship from Spain, of the Count of Miranda, sent by the constable of Castile to meet the King and Queen, his kinsfolk. Hoped it had brought them fair weather, but it lasted too short a while. Prays for a fair and steady breeze, as the mariners say that, when once past Ushant, any wind will serve.
Falmouth, 17 April 1506.
[Extract, Italian, ¾ page folio.]
April 26. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 120. 879. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory
On the 17th, from Falmouth, informed the State how the King had embarked, but was again compelled to land. Subsequently, on the 23rd, the wind having once more got into the northward, with clear indications of lasting, the King made everybody reembark, and at sunset the whole fleet set sail. Arrived at Corunna, on the 26th, at the 21st hour. Reasons assigned for having made that port in preference to Laredo.
Corunna, on shipboard, 26 April 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages folio.]
May 2. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 122. 880. The Same to the Same.
At the suggestion of Don Manuel and other malignants, the King of Castile is now very suspicious of Don Pedro de Ayala, who arrived in England from Flanders, and came with the fleet. The King fancies that Don Pedro is the person who persuaded the Queen to follow her present course of action, so he admonished him lovingly, and told him to remember that he was a Castilian, that the King and Queen were the real sovereigns of Castile, and that henceforth he must use greater caution in plotting against his King than had been the case when his King was with the Emperor in Germany, and subsequently in Flanders and England.
Thereupon Don Pedro exculpated himself boldly, saying that in all his actions, both in Germany and elsewhere, he had always sought the welfare and profit of King Philip more than that of King Ferdinand, and should continue this course for the future; though, should his Majesty not reciprocate that good will, he would depart immediately and go elsewhere. Believes Don Pedro to be really innocent, as he never speaks to Queen Juana, who acts entirely from her own impulse.
In his letter from Falmouth of the 13th April, acquainted the State with the dispute between their Majesties about the Flemish women. At this present the Queen, who ordered them to return to Flanders, having heard one day that they were come hither, has made such great complaints to the King, that he has been compelled, if he would fain live in peace, to send them to Flanders.
Corunna, 2 May 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages folio.]
May 8. Original Letter Book Letter No. 124. 881. The Same to the Same.
Queen Juana continues to lead the same life of seclusion as in Flanders, nor has she received the visits of any of the envoys, and it is said, persists in not allowing herself to be spoken to, until she sees her father; nor is she visible to any man, save a few servants, with the exception of the King, her husband, and not always to him, except on those nights when he sleeps with her.
Corunna, 8 May 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 2 pages folio.]
May 13. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 127. 882. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory.
Yesterday, through one D. Pedro Martire, (fn. 7) resident at the court of his Catholic Majesty, received letters from the State, dated 13th and 14th March, the first desiring him to acquaint the King Philip of Castile with the regret experienced by the Senate on hearing of the storm, and with the Doge's gladness to learn the subsequent account of his safe entry into port.
The second letter of the 14th, whereby he was enjoined to visit the King of England, needs small reply, as several of his despatches will have already shown that he was in a district whence he could not visit the King. Had it been otherwise, would at once have anticipated the wishes of the State, without further orders, knowing: such to be his duty; but now repeats the statement made in his former letters, that, when the treasurer and the master of the horse of the King of England came to Falmouth with the King of Castile, he went to visit them, and paid such compliments as becoming In the Signory's name.
Corunna, 13 May 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 1½ page folio.]
June 25. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 139. 883. The Same to the Same.
Informs the State that at Benevente the King of Castile found a nuncio from the Pope, and an ambassador from the King of England (Doctor Nicholas West). (fn. 8) Has visited both one and the other, and paid such compliments as were becoming, especially to the English ambassador, whom he acquainted with the order received from the State to pay his respects to the King of England, explaining the reason which had prevented him from executing his commission. Added fitting offers and expressions, with which the English ambassador was well pleased, and said he would announce the whole to his King. This ambassador was come to negotiate the marriage between Madam Margaret, the King of Castile's sister, and the King of England, and between the King of England's daughter and the Prince Don Carlo, the eldest son of the King of Castile; and also to offer congratulations on the King of Castile's safe arrival, and to exhort him to be united and to remain friends with his father-in-law, warning the King that the discord between them proceeds from the King of France, his natural enemy.
Benevente, 25 June 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 3 pages folio.]
July 4 Original Letter Book, Letter No. 141. 884. Vincenzo Quirini to the Signory
Has been told by the; English ambassador (Nicholas West), that this day he has complained to the King of Castile of the league formed by the King of Castile with the King of Spain, without any mention of the King of England, contrary to the convention whereby the King of Castile is bound not to negotiate any peace or confederation with any party soever, without the knowledge of the King of England. The King of Castile replied that, although in the agreement made by him with his father-in-law they had allied themselves together as becoming a father and son, yet there was no convention between them that could prejudice his confederacy with the King of England.
The ambassador also told the King of Castile that he was not satisfied with this reply, because in the confederacy stipulated with the King of Castile when in England, the King of England bound the King of Castile not to unite himself with others without the knowledge of the King of England; the King of England intending as a third party to enter into the confederacy with the King of Spain.
Mucientes, 4 July 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 1½ page folio.]
July 11. Original Letter Book, Letter No. 143. 885. The Same to the Same.
On the departure of the King of Spain (from Borgo de Renedo in Castile, for Arragon, on the 5th July), the English ambassador passed a day with him, and told Quirini that on behalf of the King of England he had applied for the residue of the dowry of Katharine, the Princess of England, now due, and protested that, unless this residue were remitted, the King of England would send the Princess home. He had thus protested because the King of Spain claimed exoneration, and referred to the King of Castile, the successor of Queen Isabella, as the party liable to pay the dower.
This morning a marriage contract, lately stipulated between the King of England and Madam Margaret, the sister of the King of Castile, was published in chapel. Thereby the King of Castile binds himself to give as dower 300,000 ducats in three instalments—100,000 on the wedding day, and the other 200,000 in two years, besides an annual rental of 50,000 ducats; and two months hence the King of England is to send his ambassadors to solemnize this marriage according to the tenor of the present publication, both the parties subjecting themselves to [papal] censure, in the event of not keeping their promises.
Valladolid, 11 July 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 3¾ pages folio.]
July 23. Original Letter Book. Letter No. 145. 886. The Same to the Same.
The conditions of the marriage of the King of England to Madam Margaret are such as affirmed to him by the English ambassador, save that the 200,000 ducats (in addition to the 100,000 ready money) are to be disbursed in six years, and not in two as published.
The ambassador has also given Quirini to understand that another marriage is being negotiated between the Duke Charles, Prince of Spain, the King of Castile's eldest son, and an infant daughter of the King of England, and that he considers it settled; adding that they understand the King of France, suspicious of go close a friendship and union between those two Kings, has commenced treating a marriage between the Dauphin's sister, a girl of 16, and the King of Denmark, a man 50 years old, the enemy of the King of England, and whom the English dread more than any other sovereign, as he rules a race naturally hostile to them. By these means the King of France hopes to keep the King of England in fear and subjection.
Valladolid, 23 July 1506.
[Extract, Italian, 1½page folio.]
Aug. 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. vi. p. 256. 887. News from Captain of Flanders Galleys.
Receipt of letters from the captain of the Flanders galleys, Vincenzo Capello, dated London. 27th July, stating that, on presenting himself to the King, his Majesty invited him to dinner; so on the — July, he went with 60 horsemen, the masters [of the galleys], the noblemen, and others as far as — [Richmond ?], where the King was. Received a joyous greeting, his Majesty saying he was the Signory's great friend, and that the other powers, with the exception of himself, bore the Republic ill will. The King wanted to knight him, but he refused; so the King gave him a certain badge to bear in his shield, which he accepted; then dined with his Majesty. Afterwards the King presented him to his daughter-in-law and his daughter, who were playing music.
The galleys also were loaded, 100 bags of wool being left on shore for want of room. The galleys will do well.
Sept. 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. vi. p. 262. 888. News from France that the troops of the King of Castile were under Nymwegen, a town belonging to the Duke of Guelders. The King of England succours the King of Castile; so the King of France in like manner has an understanding with the Duke of Guelders.
Oct. 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. vi. p. 279. 889. Richard de la Pole, “White Rose,” in Hungary.
Receipt of letters from the secretary Benedetti at Buda in Hungary.
Richard [de la Pole], “White Rose” of England, the enemy of the King of England, has arrived. The King has sent two ambassadors, who have reached Croatia, to demand his surrender.
Oct. 10. Sanuto Diaries, v. vi. p. 282. 890. Ambassador Vincenzo Quirini's Report to the Senate.
Gives an account of his being wrecked, and about the island of England. Mentions its revenues and position, and the revenues of the clergy; all in good order. As the King of Castile is dead, it is unnecessary to say anything about him. He was 30 years old. The Queen, the daughter of the King of Spain, was considered mad, miserly, and jealous. She does not choose to have women in her court: does not appear much in public: wants her father to rule, together with four governors, namely Mons. de Verre, Mons. de Villeneuve, a Burgundian, and another whose name he will mention subsequently; but to this the grandees of Castile are averse.
The Duke Valentino (Cæsar Borgia) was in confinement at Medina del Campo. He amused himself by watching the flight of his falcons from a balcony. His brother-in-law, Monsr. d'Albret, King of Navarre, provides him with money for his maintenance, and sent a friar to King Philip on his arrival in Castile to demand his release, which was refused. (fn. 9)
Speaks of the affairs of Calicut, and of the voyage thither, much in detail, mentioning the points of anchorage and the ports, and is of opinion that these voyages will not be continued, as they are very expensive. Of 104 ships which went the voyage on several occasions, 72 had returned, and 19 were known for certain to have perished; of the rest there are no tidings, but their loss is considered indubitable. King Philip hoped to obtain that kingdom, as Don Emanuel, King of Portugal, his brother-in-law, is childless. (fn. 10)
In conclusion, thanks God for being born a Venetian, as all the rest of the world, when compared with the policy and justice of the Signory, is nought. Praises his secretary, Angelo Trevisan, &c.
He was commended de more by the Doge and the entire Senate.
Dec. 21. Sanuto Diaries, v. vi. p. 328. 891. Scotch Ambassador in Venice.
On the morning of the 21st, an ambassador from the King of Scotland came into the College, the sages for the orders having been sent to accompany him to audience.
Presented a letter of credence, and said that his King meant to go to Jerusalem. Requested the Signory to give him either galleys or artificers to build them. Was told that his Majesty's demand should be granted willingly, and good greeting was given him.
Dec. 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. vi. p. 331. 892. Envoy of the King of Scotland.
On the morning of the 30th, there came into the College Alvise Contarini, on his return as bailiff and captain of Rimini, and made his report as usual. Was followed by the ambassador or envoy of the King of Scotland, Marco Alvise. Does not walk as ambassador with the Signory, although accompanied in the College by the sages for the orders. Demanded the despatch of a certain business. Orders were given to answer the King's letter and to expedite him.


  • 1. Not preserved.
  • 2. In the original the name of this individual is written “de Lascio,” and occasionally “Lasciao,” or “Lassao.” In Robertson's History of Charles V. the came is printed as in my text. In Gachard's “Monuments de la Diplomatic Venetienne,” p. 66, it is said that this statesman was Charles de Pouquet, Seigneur de la Chaulx, a Burgundian.
  • 3. These troops were the 2,000 Germans already mentioned in date of Middleburgh, 4th January 1506.
  • 4. See Rymer, 19 June 1502.
  • 5. Edmund de la Pole arrived at Calais on the 16th March 1506, and was conveyed to Dover on the 24th of that month. (See Chronicle of Calais, p. 6.)
  • 6. In the year 1506 the 12th of April was Easter day.
  • 7. The person here alluded to was a Lombard, born at Anghiera, in the Milanese, A.D. 1455, and his letters form the staple of much that is told us of his times by Robertson, Hume, and other historians.
  • 8. See Bergenroth's Calendar, p. 403, No. 501.
  • 9. The Report of Burgundy, England and Castile, by Vincenzo Quirini, was published in full at Florence by Eugenio Albéri, A.D. 1839. See “Relazioni,” &c, series 1, Vol.i, p. 3., and following.
  • 10. The report of the Calicut voyage by Quirini, has also been published by Alberi, A.D. 1863. (Vol. xv. “Relazioni,” p. 5, and following.)