Venice: March 1514

Pages 159-164

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 1514

March 1. Sanuto Diaries, v. xviii. p. 1. 376. Henry VIII. to the Signory of Venice.
Dated London, 18th (sic) January 1514.
The agreement with the Emperor failed to take effect by fault of the State, who ought not to decline an adjustment, as otherwise the King could not avoid making the strongest possible demonstration against Venice.
[Italian.] (fn. 1)
March 1. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta). File no. 3. 377. Doge Leonardo Loredano to Sir Robert Wingfield, English Ambassador with the Emperor.
Announces receipt of a letter from Wingfield, together with one from the King of England, to which last encloses a reply. Perceived by Wingfield's letter that when he quitted England King Henry believed that there was a Venetian ambassador at the Emperor's court. Protests that the State has always been most desirous of peace with the Emperor, to whom they have sent many letters and messengers, requesting him to receive their ambassadors, who, however, could never obtain audience. Does not doubt of the Emperor forming some good resolve, were he acquainted with the Signory's affairs; but while the Signory does not fail to offer ample and honourable terms, they refuse to accept such as are harsh and oppressive. Being unable to make any agreement, the State is compelled, not to wage war with the Emperor, but to defend their own. Are nevertheless constantly firm in their wish for peace, which they have empowered the Pope to negotiate with the Emperor, though nothing is as yet settled: only vouch for their own wish for peace. Attribute the impediments to those who, for their own private interests, prefer seeing the Emperor at war rather than at peace.
Requests him (Wingfield) to beseech the Emperor to spare afflicted Italy, and to put an end to war and destruction, and that he (Wingfield) will also urge his King to favour the cause of the Signory and effect peace.
March 1. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlvi. p.46. 378. Doge Leonardo Loredano to King Henry VIII.
Acknowledges receipt of his letter of 22nd of January last, whereby perceived his unchangeable love for the Republic, and although the contents of the letter would have troubled them had not their own consciences borne witness for them, assure him that they were glad to receive it. Part of it they attribute to an untrue statement. Of his wisdom he exhorts the State not to wage war with the Emperor, but by accepting peace to yield to what the times render necessary. Reply that they do not wage war with the Emperor, but that, having made a three years' truce with him much to the Republic's detriment, he made war on them at its very commencement, without any reason, so that they were compelled to defend themselves. Have nevertheless by all possible means sought a reconciliation, but in vain. Moreover made another truce for eight months, disbursing 50,000 ducats, but before its expiration their towns were attacked by those who were pledged to defend them, and made over to the Emperor. Notwithstanding this, have always desired peace with him. That they have offered honourable terms, and did not refuse such as were even harsh and vexatious, is testified by the King, by all the princes of Germany, and the whole of Christendom. Last of all, gave full powers to Pope Leo X. to make peace or truce, but without result: not, however, by fault of the Emperor, but from the craft of others who prefer war to concord amongst Christians. Refer the King to the Pope and to the Cardinal of York, to testify that they were ready not only to accept a national peace, but even to submit to hard and onerous conditions. Aware of the King's merited authority with the Emperor, request him to exorcise it in their favour.
Ayes, 174. Noes, S. Neutrals, 1.
[Latin, 62 lines.]
March 3. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlviii. p. 48. 379. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador at the [Papal] Court.
Enclose copies of letters written to them apparently by the King of England, and forwarded express by his ambassador resident with the Emperor. Transmit likewise their reply. Communicate the same to the Cardiual of York, and request him, as he is most thoroughly acquainted with the Signory's sincerity, and with the wrongs and injuries done her, to persevere in his usual good offices with the King.
Ayes, 15. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 21 lines.]
March 3. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta). File no. 3. 380. The Doge and College to Andrea Badoer.
On the 1st of March received a letter from the English ambassador at the Emperor's court, and also one written apparently by the King of England himself. Although convinced that both letters were written at the suit and request of others, and were based on false information, have nevertheless answered the King: and send him (Badoer) copies of what was written both to the King and to the ambassador. He is to present the original to the King, assuring him of the truth of its contents, and requesting him to assume the very just defence of the Signory, and effect their reconciliation with the Emperor.
March 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. xviii. p. 6. 381. Marco Dandolo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the State.
Dated Blois, 21st February.
The King was mustering a very numerous army against the English, who were making great preparations to invade France. He had 4,000 spears, and intended to raise 40,000 infantry, 4,000 lansquenets having already arrived. The negotiations with the Switzers continued: and the King told him he relied on the Signory's never doing him so great a wrong as to make terms with the Emperor, with whom he was told the State were negotiating, as he, on his part, would never desert the Signory, but attend to Italian affairs.
March 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. xviii. pp. 6, 7. 382. Andrea Badoer to the State.
Dated 7th February.
Concerning the great preparations making to invade France. The French fleet had very nearly succeeded in burning that of England.
The King had told him that he had written to the Signory to make terms with the Emperor, whom he had also told to do the like.
The King had been ill of the measles (fersa), and did not give audience. An ambassador from the Pope was in London, but he had not yet been presented. (fn. 2) The King had created one of his barons Duke of [Suffolk], and meant to give him Madam Margaret for wife.
Badoer complains he had received no letters, and still less money for his maintenance: requests pecuniary supplies.
March 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. xviii. p. 25. 383. Vetor Lippomano to—.
Dated Rome, 10th March.
It was said that possibly the King of France would marry a sister of the King of England, and that France had [subsidized] the Switzers.
March 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xviii. p. 41. 384. Vetor Lippomano to—.
Dated Rome, 15th March.
On Sunday afternoon, the 12th, three Portuguese ambassadors entered Rome in great state. The Pope was in the castle, at the window, to see the entry: and on arriving at the castle, the ambassadors caused the elephant which they had brought with them to make an obeisance to the Pope, and with its trunk it took water and wetted the crowd: and one of the ambassadors wore a hat covered with pearls and jewels, worth 12,000 crowns. Letters were received from France, dated the 5th of March, to the effect that the King was coming from Blois to Paris, to prepare an army against the English, that an agreement was being negotiated between him, the Emperor, and Spain, and that he would give his second daughter to the second son of Burgundy (Archduke Ferdinand): but the Magnifico (Julian de' Medici) said this marriage would not take place.
March 20. Mantuan Archives. 385. Giovanni Ratto to the Marquis of Mantua.
On the 20th March, at a place called Hampton [Court], four miles from London, he presented the horses to the King, who was so much pleased that, had the Marquis given him a kingdom, he could not have been more delighted: and went from one nobleman to another, saying, “What think you of these mares? They were sent to me by my cousin the Marquis of Mantua.” The King was quite astounded at seeing the mares in action, and said to the noblemen on the spot that he had never beheld better animals.
The French Duke of Longueville, who was captured at Terouenne, was present at the time, and he told the King that there were no such valuable mares at the court of the King of France. He (Ratto) said to the King that if the mares were less good than the King deserved, yet he besought him to accept the loving service of the Marquis, who had shown all the mares to Master Thomas Sieno (sic), the King's servant, requesting he would take such as pleased him, to gratify the King's taste, but that Master Thomas declined doing anything of the sort.
He (Ratto) added that the Marquis had a stud of Barbary mares, of “miche” and of jennets, and of great mares, which he offered to the King, together with his territories and children, and his own person. Thereupon the King desired him (Ratto) to return many thanks to the Marquis in his name, enquiring what he could do to please him. He (Ratto) replied that the Marquis was the King's good servant.
The Queen was present during this conversation, so he (Ratto) put “the bright bay” through his paces in the Spanish fashion, exhibiting the horse to the admiration of everybody; and the King said to him, “Is not this the best horse?” Was answered in the affirmative, and was much gratified; and approaching the horse patted him, saying “So ho, my minion.” (fn. 3)
After this, the King caused him (Ratto) to be asked secretly what things would please the Marquis, and he replied nothing but the King's love; though his intention was evinced of purchasing some hobbies, and three couple of staunch hounds.
P. S. no. 1.—Having put “the bright bay” through his paces, he presented the scimitar to the King, who took it in his hands, and asked the noblemen present what they thought of it, and took pleasure in examining it; and he (Ratto) told the King that the Marquis would fain have made a suitable present, but sent the scimitar as a specimen of oriental workmanship, and the King was much pleased.
P. S. no. 2.—Report of a negotiation for peace. The King demands Gascony and Picardy: wherefore it is supposed that no adjustment will take place. In London there is an ambassador from the King of France, and also one from the Pope, who is said to be endeavouring to make peace between the two crowns.
Giovanni Colla is here as ambassador from the Duke of Milan, and, from what he (Ratto) can learn, seeks to obtain the hand of the Duke of Burgundy's sister for the Duke of Milan: he has resided during some three months at the court of the Duke of Burgundy, and, as he (Ratto) understands, is come to England to effect the marriage between the King of England's sister and the Archduke of Burgundy.
London, 20th March 1514.
Signed: “Zoane Ratto.”
March 21. Sanuto Diaries, v. xviii. p. 44. 386. Dandolo. Venetian Ambassador in France, to the State.
Dated Blois, 4th March.
The King was going to Paris to provide against the English, The marriage of his daughter, Madame Genevre (sic), to the brother of the Archduke (Charles of Burgundy), would not take place.
The King of England had had the small pox, but was cured; and it was said he meant to invade France. The Flemings apparently were not satisfied with the English.
March 25. Sanuto Diaries, v. xviii. p. 50. 387. Vetok Lippomano to—.
Dated Rome, 21st March.
On the preceding day in the afternoon, the Pope went with 22 cardinals to the Belveder, to receive the presents sent by the King of Portugal, namely, the elephant, the panther (la lionza), and the other things: which elephant, on Sunday the 19th, performed many feats on the “Piazza del Popolo,” and many persons came to see it. On the evening of the 20th, letters were received from Sion, announcing the truce between France and. Spain for one year, and it was believed that the agreement which was in close negotiation with the Switzers would take place. Also there was some negotiation for agreement on foot with England.
March 27. Misti Consiglio X. v. xxxvi. p. 125. 388. The Council of Ten to the Ambassador in France.
The truces concluded between Spain and France were to the satisfaction of the State, because the King of France is freed in that quarter: and it may be supposed that on this account the King of England will agree to a truce, and that the King of France will now be enabled to attend to the Italian undertaking.
Ayes, 27. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 36 lines.]
March 31. Sanuto Diaries, v. xviii. p. 63. 389. Vetor Lippomano to—.
Dated Rome, 28th March.
On Sunday the 26th, in chapel, the Pope gave the “Rose” (which he gives annually) to the Portuguese ambassadors.
The truce had assuredly been stipulated for another year between France and Spain, the latter promising that the Emperor would ratify it. The King of Spain to have the kingdom of Navarre: the King of France to have the whole of the territory of the Duke of Milan for his life: and after his death such territory to pass to his daughter, married to the second-born of Burgundy, who was then in Spain: the Emperor to have the towns of the Venetian Signory, and the King of England to retire from France.


  • 1. Sanuto gives the summary of the King's letter in Italian, but states distinctly that the original was in Latin.
  • 2. Giovanni Pietro Caraffa. See Mr. Brewer's Calendar, vol. i. no. 4727, p. 735.
  • 3. Mention is made of this horse in the “Fioretto delle Croniche di Mantova,” p. 72. He was a Mantuan “barb” or race horse, and the Marquis had been offered for him his weight in silver, but preferred making a present of the animal to Henry VIII.