Venice: March 1510

Pages 15-21

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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March 1510

March 1. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 12. 39. Meeting of the Senate in the afternoon, and reading of letters from Rome. First of the 22nd of February, how the ambassadors were sending letters from England written by the ambassador [Badoer] on the 4th February, and that the English ambassador [Archbishop of York] has informed the Pope that his King is at peace with the King of Scotland, and does not mean to league with any one, either against Christians or Infidels, without including the Signory of Venice. The King of England had also written to the Pope praying him to absolve “the Venetians, his friends, from the excommunication,” the copy of which letter was read in the Senate, and reached Rome two days before the excommunication was raised; so the Bishop (sic) of York, the English ambassador there, uses his good offices with the Pope in favour of the Signory.
Reading of letters from Andrea Badoer, ambassador in England, dated 4th February; how he is in favour with the King, who gave him a dinner and shows him much affection, and has written to the Pope, praying him to raise the excommunication, most especially as the State had tendered obedience. Apparent adjustment between England and Scotland. Good will of King Henry towards Venice, and other details. Letter in cipher.
March 1. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 3. 40. Summary of a Letter from Paulo Capello, Ambassador at Rome, dated 24th February.
Account of the absolution of the Signory on that day by the Pope. Hopes all will go well. Confirmation of the news from England to that effect, the English ambassador having, moreover, told his Holiness that the King of England will never join any league, public or private, or against the Infidels, without the Signory of Venice, with expressions as strong and as encouraging as possible.
March 1. Deliberazioni Senato, v. xliii. p. 2. 41. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassadors in Rome.
By their letters of the 23rd ultimo perceive that they had conferred with the English ambassador, the Archbishop of York; and as besides the letters written by the King of England to the Pope in favour of the Signory's affairs, he had announced to them the triple league which he considers to have been made between the King of England, the King of Scotland, and the Signory, they are to attest to the reverend ambassador the satisfaction felt by them at such an understanding, which they hold as ratified; nor can anything be more desirable than to render manifest to the whole world by a new and special union the natural friendship ever borne by the Signory towards the late Kings of England, but especially to the memory of his present Majesty's father, and by so much the more to the King himself, on account of what has actually been done by him motu proprio in favour of the Signory's interests. For this thank him to the utmost, and in addition are grateful for all the affection and promptitude which they recognise to their benefit in the reverend ambassador.
Ayes, 145. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 17 lines.]
March 2. Deliberazioni Senato, v. xliii. p. 2. 42. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassadors in Rome.
After making such arrangements as shall seem fit to them (the ambassadors) with the Archbishop of York, they are to contrive to have a conference with the Pope and to enumerate the many advantages which may be promised to himself and all Italy through the union of the two kings and of the Signory with his Holiness, including the benefit of indubitably repressing the haughtiness and pride of the French.
Ayes, 126. Noes, 5. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 11 lilies.]
March 2. Deliberazioni Senato, v. xliii. p. 3. 43. Ducal Missive from Doge Leonardo Loredano to King Henry VIII. (Calendared from Rymer by Mr. Brewer, vol. i. p. 141, no. 932.)
[Latin, 30 lines.]
March 2. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 8. 44. Motion made in the Senate for a letter to Badoer, ambassador in England, desiring him to thank the King for the letter sent to Rome; and to urge him to write to the Emperor for a safe-conduct for Francesco Capello, knight, ambassador elect to England.
In a former letter, Badoer having been told to inform the King, that the State was willing to give the Emperor 100,000 florins, which sum was subsequently increased to 150,000, the “sage” of the Council, Zorzi Emo, and seven colleagues therefore moved that the whole amount be communicated to the King.
Amendment proposed by Marco Bolani and five other “sages,” that nothing be said about the addition.
For the motion, Ayes 90.
For the amendment, ” 30.
March 2. Deliberazioni Senato, v. xliii. p. 3, tergo. 45. The Doge and Senate to Andrea Badoer, Ambassador in England.
Many conferences have been held between the imperial commissioners and those of the Signory, and after much dispute on both sides, the Imperialists departed without having come to any conclusion, though the readiness of the Signory to refer every dispute to the arbitration of the King of England was declared to them. Understand that the Emperor is gone into Germany to the Diet. Have not thought fit to make any further motion, but wait to hear what the King of England may have done for the arrangement of their affairs.
Have received his (Badoer's) letters from the last day of January down to 4th February. Take note of his conferences with the Privy Council, whence they derive proof of an excellent disposition on the part of the King and all England towards the Signory, which accords well with the sentiments of the State towards his Majesty and the entire nation.
Have, moreover, proofs of this through the King's efficient operations in favour of the Signory's interests; and as the Bishop of Winchester had expressed surprise to him (Badoer) that no answer was received to what the King proposed to them, express their conviction that the contents of their letters of the 6th January, will have convinced the King and all his councillors of their good will, and of the account in which they hold his Majesty; and that he will be satisfied with the State and not fail in his good offices with the Emperor and the Diet, as he did not fail in the case of the Pope; yet they charge him (Badoer) to confer with the King and with that privy councillor of his, apologizing in the State's name for the delay of the letters, as caused solely by the difficulties and length of the road, they not having failed to write and reply with all possible speed; but suppose that many of the letters have been intercepted. Is to return the most ample thanks to the King for his great exertions in behalf of the State, of which they will never be unmindful; and to present him with the accompanying missive to that effect; giving him to comprehend that, under favour of his letters and of the good operations of his ambassador in Rome, the Archbishop of York, on Sunday last, 24 February, the Pope gave the State his blessing; embracing them as his most devoted children, which they are, as the King-will understand by the brief of his Holiness, who says he has already despatched it. Have, moreover, not chosen to contend with the Pope, but have abided by the sage counsel of his Majesty. Deem it very much to the purpose, that the King should persevere (as they are convinced he will) in adjusting their affairs with the Emperor, and induce him to undertake the expulsion of the French from Italy, as necessary for the universal quiet. Do not doubt but that it will be easy for his Majesty to effect this adjustment, by reason of his great authority and relationship with the Emperor, and in consideration of the liberal terms offered so much to the advantage of the latter.
Is above all to request the King to press the negotiation, and effect the conclusion of the league between the Emperor and the State, with the intervention of such other parties as to the King may seem fit; nor does the matter admit of delay, as most prudently hinted by the King, whom he (Badoer) is to request to solicit the Catholic King to join this league, the State being very certain that the latter must be favourably inclined towards it. To assure the King (of England), in contradiction of the false assertion made by the French ambassador, that although they have a powerful army, yet now in the spring they continue to augment it with a large number of men-at-arms, and are fitting out an efficient fleet, not merely for self-defence, but also to enable them to attack; and they will do much more if they meet with allies.
To tell the King that on the 16th January they elected another honourable ambassador to his Majesty, in addition to himself (Badoer), namely, the nobleman “Ser” Francesco Capello, knight, to congratulate the King on his coronation, and to do him honour, showing thus to the whole world the account in which the State holds him. Wrote also immediately to their ambassadors at Feltre, desiring them to communicate this resolve to the ambassadors of the Emperor, and to try and obtain from him a safeconduct for Capello. Have hitherto received no reply; otherwise would have already despatched him. Is therefore to request the King to obtain this safeconduct, and also one from the Lady Margaret, as immediately on obtaining them the ambassador will set out.
Moreover charge him to inform the King (of England) that the Archbishop of York has imparted to their ambassadors at Rome the particulars of the conference held by him with the Pope in the presence of the Spanish ambassador; and has notified to them that the King of England and the King of Scotland had a good understanding with the Signory, and would not contract a league with any power without the intervention of the State; also that he (the Archbishop) has exhorted the Pope to become a party to the union through the Signory's mediation, which seemed very agreeable to his Holiness; so he (Badoer) is to thank the King in the amplest terms.
Finally, he (Badoer) is to thank the Bishop of Winchester in their name for the affectionate letters written to the Pope in favour of the State.
Ayes, 34.
Amendment to insert a paragraph directing the ambassador to inform the King of the Signory's increased offers of money to the Emperor, to which he has made no answer before going to the Diet, and the Signory's intention to await the resolution of the Diet, and hear what King Henry shall have done.
And another in reply to his communication that the Venetian ambassadors were to be admitted to the Diet; to say, that the Signory has received no notice to this effect; and that if they had, they would have gladly availed themselves of the opportunity of justifying their proceedings before the Emperor and all the princes of Germany.
Ayes, 93. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 1.
[Italian, 117 lines.]
March 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 13. 46. Motion made in the Senate to write to the Ambassador Badoer in England, that besides the 150,000 florins offered to the Emperor for the investiture of the towns, and 25,florins annually, the State gives the King of England ample power to arrange the matter, and will abide by what his Majesty shall say.
Proposed amendment—To adhere to the motion made by Zorzi Emo in the Senate on the 2nd instant.
For the motion, Ayes 71.
For the amendment, Ayes 61.
March 5. Deliberazioni Senato, v. xliii. p. 5, tergo. 47. The Doge and Senate to Andrea Badoer, Ambassador in England.
Desire to modify the narrative contained in their letter of the 2nd as follows, and therefore charge him to omit the exordium therein, and say to the King as follows:—That after the announcement made on the 12th January, the State's ambassadors had several conferences with the imperialists, and after much discussion, it being impossible to effect any good result, the Venetians repeated that they were willing to refer all their disputes with the Emperor for arbitration to England; and being unable to obtain the assent of the imperialists, they then offered for the investiture an increase of the proposal made according to the letter dated 12th January; thus, 150,000 Rhenish florins in all, and for the tribute 20,000 annually. Being unable to tempt the imperialists by any offer, the Venetians departed re infectâ; having proposed this because the Signory perceived that the Pope made many difficulties about raising the interdict. His Holiness having now indeed embraced them as his most devoted children, and the Republic perceiving the efficient operations of the King, and his great good will and affection for the State, they deem it very fitting with all ingenuousness to acquaint him with the whole through him (Badoer).
Ayes, 73.
Proposed amendment to abide by the decree passed in the Senate on the day before yesterday.
Ayes, 61. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 2.
[Italian, 32 lines.]
March 15. Deliberazioni Senato, v. xliii. p. 7, tergo. 48. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador in Rome.
Desire him to inform the Pope that a French prisoner of rank, one of those released by the State, said to a Venetian nobleman, that as there was one sole God in heaven, so ought his King to be alone on earth. Desire to express their firm conviction, that should his Holiness form a league with the State, both the Emperor and the Kings of England and Spain, and all other Christian powers, would not fail to join him, and thus he would be enabled to release from such slavery not only his own very dear country [Genoa], but also the whole of Italy, and by all he would deservedly be styled “verus pater patriœ.”
Repetition of the last offers made by the Republic to the Emperor, and of the reference to the King of England.
Ayes, 108.
[Italian, 100 lines.]
March 17. Deliberazioni Senato, V. xliii. p. 8, tergo. 49. The Same to the Same.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters dated Civita Vecchia the 12th, communicating his conferences with the Pope. Desire him to thank his Holiness in the most lavish terms, and to extol his wisdom in foreseeing and anticipating the coming danger; to continue to expose the enmity and ambition of the King of France, against which no fitter measures can be taken than the two suggested by his Holiness. With reference to the first, the ambassador is to persuade the Pope to persevere in preventing the King of England from making any agreement with France, and to alienate him from King Lewis. On this account the State approve the mission of D. Christopher [Fisher], (fn. 1) with an ample commission, and of such a nature as the Pope will know how to devise; making, moreover, ample promises not merely to him [Fisher], but to all the privy councillors, for the purpose of counteracting the practices of France. The other remedy is that of detaching the Emperor Maximilian from the King of France, and bringing him over to the Signory's side. They greatly commend all that his Holiness has done and promised to do, and likewise his intention of making an alliance with the Swiss.
Allude to the offers made by them to the Emperor, which he ought to accept, for he is undoubtedly betrayed by the French King.
Mention that, through their own ambassadors and the imperial commissioners, they had requested a safeconduct from the Emperor for an ambassador of theirs destined for England, but the Emperor had refused. Hope, nevertheless, that on hearing the Pope's intention, he will become more accommodating, most especially when persuaded by the Cardinal of Gurk at the suggestion of the Pope; who, were he to gain over the Emperor's daughter, the Lady Margaret, to the cause of Italy, would greatly advance the matter in hand.
Believe the King of France to be collecting money, not so much for his Italian expedition as from his fear of England.
Letters to be written, to the ambassador in England, in conformity with the foregoing.
Ayes, 157. Noes, 7. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 85 lines.]
Second letter of same date, desiring the ambassador to forward the enclosures, which were of importance, to the consul in London, through the Archbishop of York, as usual.
March 17. Deliberazioni Senato, v. xliii. p. 10. 50. The Doge and Senate to Andrea Badoer, Ambassador in England.
In case the reconciliation with the Emperor has not yet been effected, the instructions in their letters of the 5th are repeated. The only check on the inordinate ambition of the French King is the dread of the King of England. The King of France means nothing but mischief to the Emperor. The King of England should continue (as he has done hitherto) to keep France in fear of invasion from him, and should carry out the league with Scotland and other powers, as before mentioned. To effect this, he (Badoer) is to avail himself of the support of the English privy councillors, to whom the State promises its gratitude. He is to insist on the good terms on which the Republic is with the Pope, and on the immortal glory which the King would thus obtain; and to acquaint him with the strength of the Signory's army and navy.
[Italian, 39 lines.]
March 23. Deliberazioni Senato, v. xliii. p. 10, tergo. 51. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador in Rome.
Repeat their obligations to the Pope for his paternal love to the State, and for the wisdom displayed by him for the preservation of Italy from the dangers threatened by the barbarians (da barbari), especially in his practices with the King of England—a diversion more efficacious than any other. As a preparatory step, nothing could be more suitable than the form of the brief written to the King of England in anticipation of D. Christopher's mission, which will be efficacious in proportion as it is speedily executed. Is therefore respectfully to urge the Pope to dispatch D. Christopher [Fisher] immediately with opportune instructions.
Last of all is to forward the accompanying letters from the State to England. Enclose a copy for his information, and desire him, whenever an opportunity offers, to write such intelligence to Badoer as he shall deem expedient, using the enclosed cipher, adopted for his correspondence with the State, and addressing the letters to the consul, with the countersign which he will have remarked on those written by the Signory.
[Italian, 68 lines.]


  • 1. See Mr. Brewer's Calendar, vol. i. nos, 880, 982, and 983.