Venice: January 1514

Pages 153-157

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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January 1514

A.D. 1514.
1514. Jan. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvii. pp. 400, 401. 362. Antonio Bavarin to the Pesabi of London.
Dated London, 6th November and 6th December 1513: received in Venice on the 4th January 1514.
They would have heard of the King's return, he having arranged with the Emperor to renew the attack on France in the spring.
In the preceding week the King received news that the Viceroy of Naples had advanced to Malghera, taken Mestre, and done great damage, and that he afterwards gave battle to the Venetian army, which he routed, the Proveditor Loredano being killed, Alviano put to flight, and many others killed and captured, to the infinite detriment and shame of the State. Mass had been sung and great bonfires had been burnt in London to celebrate these victories gained by the Emperor and Spain. Leaves them to imagine, besides the loss, how much it pained them to see this. Had never approved the cursed peace with France, always anticipating what has come to pass: but his countrymen were not aware of the power of England, which had invariably made France tremble, and now more than ever, as the Signory must at length be convinced.
The plague was still doing much damage. Prays God to save him. A few days previously a numerous French squadron put to sea with a considerable amount of infantry, intending to land somewhere in England and do mischief. The Almighty, however, did not choose England to undergo this penalty, for on the morrow of the squadron's departure from Britanny a storm arose, and all were drowned, including, it was said, some [English?] prisoners. Considers this a proof that everything goes against France.
In the preceding week the King had received a letter from the Pope, dated 2nd October, in favour of the Signory, urging him to make peace between Venice and the Emperor, who seemed very obdurate. There is no one to speak or urge the matter, and thus the affair stands. Should the State desire peace with the Emperor, the King of England could do what he pleased with him, more indeed than anyone else in the world.
Letters had been received from Rome, dated 2nd November, purporting that the Signory had requested the Pope to make her peace with the Emperor. The Pope's ambassador had been with the Emperor, but he (Bavarin) did not know what answer he received. It would have been desirable for the Signory to have written a letter to the King, who was still their friend, although Venice had made peace with France.
It was supposed the Papal ambassador would come to England, to negotiate peace with France; is of opinion this will be difficult, as a secret appointment had been made with the Emperor for a meeting at Calais in March. The English force will exceed that of last year. In England they have ordered 80,000 infantry, 100,000 (sic) light horse from North Wales, where there was an innumerable quantity of such troops, and other troops, besides Albanian light cavalry (Stratioti): also 5,000 heavy horse, all English, speaking one tongue. Moreover 10,000 heavy Burgundian horse, and 20,000 German infantry. They had also so much artillery on carriages, that it enclosed the whole camp, as if they were in a large city surrounded with walls on every side. It was their intention to go straight to Paris, leaving every other place in their rear. The navy also is very strong, and besides the vessels then afloat, orders were given for as many more to be in readiness in a few days.
Were the King ambitious of dominion like others, he would soon give law to the world: but he is good, and has a good council. His quarrel was a just one. He had marched to free the Church, to obtain his own, and to liberate Italy from the French.
Since the beginning of the war the King has spent upwards of four millions of crowns, and has still funds sufficient for more than five years, without touching his annual revenues.
When formerly he wrote of the King's wealth he was not credited. Prays God will pardon those who have been the cause of the cursed peace with France, which is the ruin of Venice.
Jan. 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvii. p. 403. 363. Motion made in the Senate by the Sages, and carried, for a letter to be written to the ambassador in England, together with a letter of credence to the King, apologizing for having made the league with France, in order to recover that part of the Venetian territory which is occupied by those whom the Slate has paid for its acquisition. Declare that, being desirous of peace and to obtain their own, have done everything to effect an agreement with the Emperor, who would never consent. Latterly they have sent a power, and referred the matter for arbitration to the Pope. Therefore request the King, who has always been the friend of Venice, to exhort the Emperor to make terms with the Signory, which has ever been the bulwark of Christendom; whereas at this present, on hearing of some stir meditated by Sultan Selim against the Christian powers, are unable to resist as of yore, but have been compelled to send and confirm the peace made with his father, Sultan Bajazet.
Jan. 7. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File No. 2. 364. Doge Leonardo Loredano to King Henry VIII.
Although in the past months has abundantly assured the King that the State remained immutable in its observance towards him, and earnestly desired peace with the Emperor, which had been prevented (as often happened) by the wickedness of malignants, yet the Doge determined to write the present letter in full proof of similar assurance, referring the King for the rest to the statement of the ambassador Badoer.
Jan. 7. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlvi. p. 38, tergo. 365. The Doge and Senate to Andrea Badoer, Ambassador England.
Enclose a letter for the King, which he is to present, congratulating the King on his return, and giving assurance that the State bears him the good will which is required by its ancient love for his ancestors and himself. To say that excellent proof thereof was afforded by their not only electing, but sending on his way to the King, the late Francesco Capello, knight, whom the Emperor compelled to return by such impassable and rugged roads that he was seized with an illness of which he at length died. The agreement they made with the King of France was on compulsion, owing to the injuries done them by those who were bound to aid and defend them, and who were in their pay. They did not form this league for the purpose of offending anyone, and least of all the King, but solely to recover their own territory: nor have their friendship and observance towards the King been in any way diminished thereby. He (Badoer) is to request the King to consider them his very dear and especial friends. Have always been ready to make terms with the Emperor, nor do they leave anything untried to that effect, and lately accepted the Pope's arbitration; though the imperial agents say they cannot come to any arrangement, unless they write first to Germany and to the Catholic King; all which is done to gain time, so that the State may be taken unawares, for notwithstanding this, and although hostilities were to cease after the matter had been referred to the Pope, the Spanish army advanced farther, and does not cease harassing them. The authority exercised by the King with the Emperor being very well known to the State, they charge him (Badoer) to request the King to take the Signory's affairs under his care (in patrocinio), and contrive that the Emperor make peace. To tell the King that by private letters the Signory has been informed that the master of a certain bark, being captured by his Majesty's subjects, said that the Republic had promised bastard galleys and light galleys to act against England. Declare that nothing of the sort has ever been even imagined by them; and that they are obliged to keep their galleys in readiness for their own defence, both by reason of native enemies, and also on account of Sultan Selim, a most ferocious youth, who is preparing a very powerful armada to invade Italy.
Ayes, 171. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
Postscript.—Understood, by way of Rome, that the King had complained of the Signory's sending Albanian light cavalry in aid of the King of France. Is to tell his Majesty that, if the French have Albanian light horse (Stratioti), the Signory did not send them, for the Signory have no Albanian subjects, the province being under the Turk. The individuals in question are probably rebels and deserters, and a proclamation has been made for their decapitation, if ever they be found within the Republic's territories. From this the King can understand the State's sincere and friendly disposition towards him.
[Italian, 55 lines.]
Jan. 13. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvii. pp. 426, 427. 366. Venetian Ambassador in Rome to the State.
Dated the 5th and 8th.
Belief of the Pope that the Emperor would oblige him by making truce with the Signory.
Had conversed with the Cardinals Bibiena and Cornaro. The Pope would reconcile France and England upon the terms that the King of England should govern Scotland, which belonged to his nephew, the Queen of Scotland being his sister, and expecting to inherit the English crown, as the King has no children.
Jan. 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvii. pp. 449, 450. 367. Audience given by the College to the French Ambassador, who communicated letters from Rome and France.
Condolences made to him by the Doge on the death of the Queen. (fn. 1)
Note by the Diarist Marin Sanuto, that there was much talk amongst experienced statesmen, that the King of France, who was aged — years, and who had no sons, would marry. That he had only two daughters: Madame Claude, married to Monseigneur d'Angoulême, the Dauphin of France; the other, “Madame,” who had not been promised to any one.
It was also said that there were three ladies who would do for him (Esi diceva tre done feva per lui). First, the widow of Scotland, the King of England's sister; secondly, the other sister of the King of England, a young woman of—; thirdly, the Lady Margaret, widow of King Charles of France (sic), (fn. 2) and of the Duke of Savoy, daughter of the Emperor, and Regent of Burgundy: so that by the King of France taking either of these ladies peace might be made.
Jan. 31. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvii. pp. 463, 464. 368. Cardinal Cornaro to the Chiefs of the Ten.
Dated Corneto, the 27th.
The French ambassador had received letters from his King, who is content to refer his disputes with the King of England and others for arbitration to the Pope. The Pope insists on arbitrating de jure et de facto, so the ambassador had sent to France for a sufficient power. The King of Spain was exerting himself to make peace between France and England.
Jan. 31. Sanuto Diaries, v. xvii. p. 464. 369. Vetor Lipomano to—.
Dated Rome, 21st January.
Various opinions there concerning the King of France and the death of his wife, and whom he would marry, three ladies aforesaid being mentioned, videlicet, the Queen of Scotland, the maiden sister of the King: of England, and the Lady Margaret. Some said a sister of the Archduke of Burgundy; others maintained that he would not marry, as he would lose Britanny, the inhabitants not choosing any but the Queen's daughter for their sovereign.


  • 1. Anne of Britanny died at Blois, on the 9th January, aged 37 years.
  • 2. In Decemher 1482 the Archduchess Margaret was affianced to Charles VIII., who in 1491 cancelled the agreement, and married Anne of Britanny. The Archduchess then married the Infant of Spain, and on his death gave her hand to the Duke of Savoy.