Venice: August 1513

Pages 109-115

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 2, 1509-1519. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1867.

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August 1513

Aug. 2. Misti Consiglio X. v. xxxvi. p. 9. 267. The Council of Ten to the Ambassador Dandolo in France.
Announce the receipt of a missive from the King of France, dated 5th July, affirming his intention of persevering in his alliance and confederation with the State. Are expecting to hear the good result of the expedition against the English, hoping that the most Christian King will immediately assume the Italian undertaking, &c.
[Italian, 31 lines.]
Aug. 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvi. p. 564. 268. Marco Dandolo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the State.
Dated from the 14th July to the 19th.
The King was at the wood of Vincennes and preparing to take the field against the King of England, who had landed at Calais on the last day of June in great force. The King would have 3,000 spears and 30,000 infantry. Terouenne was holding out; and the King of Scotland had sent ships in aid of France, and a letter to the King, expressing surprise at his not having written to him to attack England; whereupon the King immediately wrote back to him to do so. Assurances given by the King of France to Dandolo that he hoped to be in Milan by Michaelmas; that he had 1000 spears in readiness between Dauphiny and Lyons, and that immediately on making some arrangement with the English, he would send them into Italy. In Terouenne there were 400 spears and 2,500 infantry, and the King meant to throw in a reinforcement of another hundred spears. The King of England had landed at Calais, with 500 gentlemen richly clad. Amongst the 30,000 French infantry would be 1,000 lansquenets. The deceased King of Denmark, uncle to the King of Scots, had bequeathed the latter 100,000 ducats, which he wanted to get, or had already obtained, to act against the English. The King of Scots had also sent eleven ships into Britanny to assist France, including one of 1,000 tons (tuneli), and two of 500; the others of less burden. Part of these ships had been built for an expedition against the Infidels. (fn. 1)
The Bishop of Murray, ambassador from Scotland, was at the French court about a certain sum of money, and had asked him (Dandolo) for his assistance in the matter. Two commanders-in-chief against the English had been appointed; namely, Monsieur d'Angouleme, the King's son-in-law, heir presumptive to the crown, and the Duke of Bourbon, which last, together with Monsieur d'Aubigny, had already departed. The King would not give battle to the English. Is informed that Terouenne would hold out for two months longer, and even should it be lost, the King of England, who announces his intention of being there in person to witness the attack, would, together with his most powerful army, be surrounded (impresonà).
The King was at the wood of Vincennes. He seemed always bent on the alliance with the Signory; but “these English affairs” much impeded him. Account as already stated of his 1,000 spears in Dauphiny, Provence, Languedoc, and Burgundy, all of which he would immediately march forward into Italy. In short, the King was raising a great army, but will not give battle; and he (Dandolo) is of opinion that the King of England cannot remain [abroad] long.
Aug. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvi. p. 572. 269. Roberto Acciajuolo, Florentine Ambassador in France, to the Signory of Florence.
Dated 21st to 23rd July 1513.
Two days since it was heard that a reinforcement of some 200 spears, and about 100 pioneers to assist in making the fortifications, got safely into Terouenne, after a slight skirmish, some 10 French men-at-arms being killed and 300 English. On that morning (23rd July), advices were received from Monsieur de Pienes, the governor of Picardy, how the besieged, understanding that the English were digging a certain mine whereon they rested their hopes of victory, sprang a countermine and killed all the workmen. Nothing else had been done. Very strong fortifications had been raised within, and both soldiers and townspeople were in good heart, not afraid of being stormed, and being provisioned for many months. To cut off the enemy's supplies, which for the most part had to be brought a distance of 30 miles overland from the coast, 800 spears were very near the English camp. Thus was there a great diminution of that panic which prevailed when the English first appeared under Terouenne, for had the place been taken in a few days as apprehended, it would greatly have disordered the French; but the English have already been 29 days under the walls without making a single assault, or any bold attempt, whereby they have lost repute.
The King (of France) had not departed on account of the gout, but was expected to move towards Amiens in two days.
Postscript, dated 25th [July 1513]. The King was gone towards Amiens, and Acciajuolo would follow him.
Aug. 8. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvi. p. 580. 270. Bishop of Turin to the Signory.
Dated the 24th [July].
The King (of France) would depart on the 25th, to take the field against the English, whose King was at Calais. Terouenne was holding out valiantly, and had received succour.
Aug. 8. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvi. p. 580. 271. Venetian Ambassador at Rome to the State.
Dated the 4th.
By letters from France, dated from the 18th to 21st July, succour had been put into Terouenne by the King of France. The King of England had not stirred from Calais, and the King of France was mustering his army at Amiens, in number 35,000 foot and 3,500 spears. The Duke of Guelders had come in aid of France; and Monsr. de la Trimouille was already on the march with a good number of spears, so that France was again on the ascendant at Rome. By letters from the Switzers, they had apparently received 15,000 ducats from the Emperor, out of those sent to him by the King of England, and they were expecting the rest from the Pope, on receipt of which they would then invade Burgundy. The Emperor was gone to Luxemburg to prevent the lansquenets from coming to the aid of France. (fn. 2)
Aug. 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvi. p. 588. 272. Unsigned Letter to Count Guido Rangone.
Dated 9th August, 1513, “in the Chancery.” (fn. 3)
Intelligence received through several channels of the rout of the English. Letter from the French court purporting that the King sent 15 frank-archers to the army, to say that he would give battle, and would be there in person. That thereupon the French camp took courage, by so much the more as they heard that the King (of France) was coming, and without waiting for him, gave battle, so that upwards of 26,000 English were killed, and the Viceroy (sic) of England captured.
Also that Prejean had worsted the English fleet, and killed its Admiral, and that 700 English men-at-arms had been killed.
A courier had arrived [at Rome] from the Emperor's court, saying that all there were dispirited. Conclusion of the writer that the cause proceeded from the English reverses.
Aug. 15. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvi. p. 608. 273. Vetor Lipomano's letter, dated Rome, 11th August.
News received by the French ambassador at Rome from the court of France, how the French had given battle to the English and killed 4,000 of them, capturing some artillery. The French represent their affairs as prosperous, lest the Venetians take part against them. The Spaniards no longer boasted as was their wont. For certain, the French had taken one heavy piece of cannon from the English, and very nearly captured the King of England, who made his escape; an agreement was in course of negotiation between him and the King of France.
Aug. 15. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvi. pp. 610, 611. 274. Unsigned Letter from France.
Dated Lyons, 14th July, and transmitted to Rome.
Terouenne considered itself safe, and the garrison had sent to tell the King (of France) to assemble his forces at his leisure, and they would hold out until All Saints', as they had plenty of provisions for that period, and in greater abundance than their besiegers, who dared not stir a bow-shot's distance from their camp by reason of the strong cavalry force which the King of France had in those parts; in such wise that the King of England, who came to provision his camp, finding 2,500 men-at-arms in front of it, changed his inarch, placing a river between himself and the enemy; and, taking the road towards Guines to the left, straight seaward, in six days he did not advance more than one league; so Mons. de Pienes and the Grand Master fell upon his rear, and he lost some 300 Englishmen and two heavy pieces of artillery.
The King of France enjoyed better health than he did four years ago. It was in reality determined he should join the, camp where he was then supposed to be with a force amounting to 2,500 men-at-arms, 22,000 lansquenets, (including those brought by the Duke of Guelders,) besides 18,000 other Picard, Norman, and Gascon infantry, without reckoning the light horse or the forces and retinue of the princes and pensioners, who had done their utmost to march in good order.
It would be difficult to specify the amount of artillery; but there were 3,500 horses for its conveyance and 6,000 pioneers to make esplanades and other necessary works, so that the army would be the greatest ever witnessed within the last 200 years.
The English are no more talked about in France than if they were in Ireland, save in the province where they are, and at Lyons; and the entire population of France, both gentle and simple, are so exasperated against the English that the King had much to do to restrain them. With God's assistance, he would do his utmost to expel the invaders, and everybody thought he would succeed, seeing that so considerable a force had been encamped under Terouenne, one of the weakest towns in France, during five weeks and six days; a proof that they would have much to do were they to require as long a time for the capture of the rest.
The King of the Romans was at Ulm, where he met a certain number of the princes of the Empire, from whom he obtained nothing that he asked against France. He then proceeded to Luxemburg, demanding pecuniary succour for the war, which was openly refused. He was then at Brussels, and, according to report, would return to the frontiers of Guines for a conference with the King of England, and to endeavour to obtain money, of which he had need.
Aug. 18. Misti Consiglio X. v. xxxvi. p. 13. 275. The Council of Ten to the Ambassador in France.
By his last of the 19th, learnt the very powerful preparations made by the King of France against the English, and how Terouenne held out stoutly, which news caused them singular satisfaction, as the ambassador can well comprehend, &c.
Is to acquaint the King of France with the whole, praying him, as they also mentioned in their last, not in the least to delay resuming the Italian undertaking; or, if unable so to do thus immediately, by reason of the English, at least to make every demonstration.
Ayes, 27. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 50 lines.]
Aug. 22. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvi. p. 629. 276. Venetian Ambassador in France to the State.
Dated 24th July.
The Scotch were levying war against the English; had crossed the Borders in one direction with 14,000 horse, and in another with 10,000; had advanced upwards of 30 miles; had taken four towns, doing great damage to the English; and had sent to sea a fleet of 22 ships, one of which was so large that it carried 6,000 (sic) combatants, besides 2,000 (sic) sailors; it was to join the King of France. The King of Scots in person would invade England.
Aug. 23. Misti Consiglio X., v. xxxvi. p. 14. 277. The Council of Ten to the Ambassador in France.
To give them notice of the proceedings of the English at Terouenne and elsewhere; of the amount of the French army and its quality; of the Duke of Guelders and of his arrival; how the affairs of Scotland proceed; and whether the Catholic King continues to observe the truces.
[Italian, 39 lines.]
Aug. 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvi. pp. 645, 647–651. 278. Defiance from the King of Scotland to the King of England, his brother-in-law.
To be presented by the herald on the 4th August. Note by Marin Sanuto, that as it was “a remarkable document,” he would copy it, (fn. 4)
[Italian, 3⅓ pages or 161 lines.]
Aug. 28. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvi., pp. 654, 655. 279. Juliano de' Medici to Bortolomeo d' Alviano.
Letter from the French court, dated Beauvais, 8th August, forwarded to Rome, and seen by Marin Sanuto at Padua.
The English were still encamped under Terouenne, where they had been upwards of six weeks, without making any attack on the town, but they boast of assaulting it to-day or to-morrow, and if unsuccessful had determined to retire and go (according to report) to Montreuil or St. Quentin; but the town was well provided, and they were not expected to take it by storm. The French army was sufficiently strong to give battle to the English, but would not risk anything until the arrival of the Duke of Guelders, who was expected without fail on the 13th instant, with 10,000 lansquenets and 500 German horse; whereupon the army would be the finest ever seen in France.
The King of Scots had declared himself entirely for France, had sent a herald to defy the King of England in his camp, and was to invade England on the i 6th instant with 60,000 men.
Note by Marin Sanuto that the foregoing intelligence was contained in a letter to Julian de' Medici from Leone di Leone, who, in date of August 14, added that on that day the King of France was to arrive at Amiens from Beauvais; and that the English had done nothing they expected, and were demoralized.
Ib. 280. — of the General of Languedoc to Mons. de Teret, the French Ambassador.
Dated Amiens, August 6th.
The English were about to decamp, and there was no doubt but that the King of France would be victorious, as Terouenne held out, and was well garrisoned and provisioned. The man-at-arms, Lion herald, had been in the name of the King of Scots to the King of England to protest, &c.; the former was about to send 24 ships to aid France, and would attack England with 60,000 men. The Duke of Guelders was expected, and was on the march with 12,000 lansquenets. On his arrival the King of France would have 24,000 lansquenets, 10,000 Picard and Norman infantry, 10,000 other foot, 2,600 spears, and 10,000 Albanian horse for the artillery; so that victory was hoped for. There would either be a battle or an adjustment.
The Emperor had come into the English camp with 80 horse, and was negotiating with the King (of France) the marriage of Madame Genevre (sic) to his grandson. The King (of France) was going from Beauvais towards Terouenne.
Ib. 281. Marco Dandolo, Venetian ambassador in France, to the State.
Dated 14th August.
Succour had been put into Terouenne, 300 English being killed, and the King of France was 40 miles distant from thence. His infantry force was small, 10,000 men.


  • 1. See before, date 29th May 1510.
  • 2. See before, date 4th August.
  • 3. From Rome?
  • 4.