Venice: April 1510

Pages 21-28

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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April 1510

April 1. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 61. 52. Receipt of Letters from Andrea Badoer, Ambassador in England, dated 14th February.
Had received the Signory's letters and been to the King; details the conversation held with his Majesty, who is well inclined and uses his good offices. Is expecting an ambassador from his father-in-law the King of Spain, and another from France, besides the Abbot of Fécamp [Duprat] already there. News had also been received of the death of the King of Denmark and his son, so that the next heir was the King of Hungary.
Had also congratulated the King on the pregnancy of the Queen. The King thanked the Signory, and has written a letter to be sent by a herald to the King of the Romans, urging him to give audience to the Signory's ambassadors, and to negotiate a compact for the welfare of Christendom.
The ambassador also requests the Signory to send him money—his means are exhausted, he has neither plate nor anything else to pawn—the Venetian merchants will not accommodate him, and the cost of the herald will amount to 120 ducats.
From Same, dated 23rd February, detained until 4th March. The two French ambassadors aforesaid had arrived: the first was the Abbot of Fécamp, then Mons. de Cerisolles, and lastly the Bailiff of Amiens, (fn. 1) with eight carts (carete), said to contain chests full of silver to give to the King.
Had been to the King and found him well disposed towards the State. He said he was expecting a Spanish ambassador, and that he considers himself wronged by the King of the Romans, who has made an agreement with Spain that his (King Henry's) brother-in-law (cugnato; nephew), Duke Charles [of Burgundy], is not to enter Spain as King by hereditary right until 24 years of age. (fn. 2) The Spanish ambassador was on his way to England but had stopped in Paris. Suspects he will be bribed by the King of France according to custom. The King had told him (Badoer), in conclusion, that he would not make any agreement save to the advantage of the Signory. The King of England was also awaiting a reply from France and Spain as to what he wrote about the Flanders galleys.
Recent intelligence had also been received from the French court, dated 12th February, that the King will not come into Italy this year, but remain on the northern frontier.
Repeats his demand for money.
In the first letters, replies to what had been written to him as to whether the King (of England) would lend the Signory money or jewels. Answers that it does not seem fit to him to introduce this topic, because a messenger from the Lady Margaret, who came to obtain a loan upon jewels, was refused, his Majesty having previously lent her a considerable sum on the armour of the late King Charles, and also accommodated others with money; so that he does not choose to do so any more.
Reading of the letter from the King of England to the Emperor, in reply apparently to one from Trent, dated 30th January: he writes in favour of the Signory, and urges the Emperor to give audience to the Venetian ambassadors, and to make terms. (fn. 3)
Reading of letters from Hieronimo Donado, Ambassador at the papal court.
In date of the 24th [March] writes that on the 22nd he dined with, the Pope at “La Magnana.” They discussed the league with Spain, England, the Emperor, and the Signory, and he thanked the Pope for the briefs sent to Spain and England.
On his return to Rome he forthwith communicated the whole to the English ambassador, who expressed satisfaction and said he had sent the brief to the King in the cover of a book, that it might not be discovered, for the French search all passengers. The ambassador said in conclusion, that his King will remain thus, and do nothing more. Was unable to see the Pope on the 23rd, but greatly encouraged the English ambassador, who promised to do what was proper with the Pope, and said King Lewis would not come into Italy this year, and that between England and France there would be neither peace nor war, both parties holding their own. Letters had been received from France, dated 4th March. The Spanish ambassador still in Paris. Dread that King Lewis will bribe him, as he does the whole world. Inference from Donado's letters that the Pope was not acquainted with, the Signory's offers to the Emperor.
Memorandum.—That in Badoer's letters from England, dated 14th February, he mentioned having informed the King of the appointment of a new ambassador, and that his Excellency thanked the Signory, saying this expense should not be incurred.
April 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 74. 53. Letter from the Venetian Ambassador in Rome, dated 30th March, how the Pope was sending Christopher Fisher to England with a brief (the copy of which he encloses) in addition to the first already given. Does this, however, in order that the King may see it, and means to give him “the Rose, (fn. 4) ” and send it to England by this messenger, who will pass through France.
April 8. Sanuto Diaries, v.a. p. 81. 54. Letter from the Venetian Ambassador in Rome, dated the 3rd. On the 1st the Pope gave “the Rose” in the name of his King to the English ambassador, the Bishop (sic) of York, who was companied to his dwelling by the Pope's guard, and by the ambassadors of France, by him, the Venetian, and by those of Florence and Ferrara. Christopher, the person appointed to carry it to England, was at any rate to depart on Monday the 8th, and to go through France, being well charged by the Pope to do good service; and he says he will make haste. The Pope also wishes the Signory to press forward the negotiation with the Emperor, saying he has given the provostship of Santa Sabina, worth 1,000 ducats per annum, to the Rev. Don Matthew Lang, Bishop of Gurk.
April 8. Deliberazioni Senato, v. xliii. p. 10. 55. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador in Rome.
Charge him to thank the Pope for his paternal communication of the letters from Germany and Spain, and for the good offices of the Bishop de Grassis; also to urge that the Bishop should continue his endeavours to work on the Emperor, by means of the Diet, to close with the Signory's offers, for though the mediation of the King of England is approved by the Pope, the negotiation, by reason of distance, is very tedious; and further to press the mission of C. Fisher to England, unless he has already set out, and further to exert himself to keep the English ambassador, the Archbishop of York, well disposed towards the Signory.
[Italian, 41 lines.]
P.S.—Desire, above all, the speedy conclusion of a league between the Pope, England, Spain, and the Signory.
Hopes may be entertained of effecting this, as the King of England is well disposed, and the Catholic King has expressed his good will by the Cardinal of Toledo and his ambassador.
The ambassador is to press this forward, and to urge Fisher's speedy departure if necessary. He is to thank the Pope for having expressed his determination to include the Signory in the league by his own act, when advised by his ambassador in France to leave the nomination of the Signory as a party to the King of England.
[Italian, 61 lines.]
April 18. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 115. 56. Reading in the “College” of very important Letters received in the past night from Rome, by two couriers, dated 8, 10, 11, and 12 April.
Truth of the league between France and England thus ascertained. Will give the summary of the letters hereafter; Great perplexity caused to all Venice by this news; for whereas assistance had been expected from England, that hope was now lost. The whole of Rialto was dejected, everybody speaking about this, and by so much the more as it was heard through the Milanese that this league had been proclaimed at Milan with great rejoicings, bell-ringing and bonfires. The perusal of the letters was commenced in the College, with but few members present; no one being allowed to enter, nor was audience given.
In his letters of the 8th and 10th, the ambassador detailed his conversations with the Pope, who told him he had received letters from Augsburg of the 26th and 30th March, announcing that the Diet had determined to give the Emperor 350,000 Rhenish guilders for the Italian expedition. That his ambassador the Bishop de Grassis (and he showed his own letter to this effect) was not admitted by the Emperor, who, however, always received the ambassadors of France and Spain. Many comments made thereon by the Pope, who said he foresaw great events, and that it would be well to make terms with the Emperor. Said also it was heard by way of Ferrara that a good number of Germans had entered the Venetian territory; that the ambassadors of the league had told him to send a messenger to the King of Hungary to join it, and recover Dalmatia; and that his Holiness replied, “My Lords, from me they will have no subsidy, either temporal or spiritual; nor money or men; it is well to make provision, for it is of importance.”
Had been obliged to grant a passage to 400 men-at-arms on their march from the kingdom of Naples, but refused it to 2,000 infantry, and the Spanish ambassador asked six galleys of the Pope for their passage to Trieste. The Spanish ambassador had also told the Venetian that he could not speak to him in public, and that having anything to say they were to meet in secret.
The Pope also told him that Grassis had asked his permission to quit the Emperor's court, as his stay there exposed the Pope to shame, but received for answer that he was not to depart until dismissed.
Advices had likewise been received that the league between France and England, and against the Venetians had been made: which news came from Milan.
Mention by the ambassador, in date of the 11th and 12th, of his having been with the Pope, who assured him of the league between France and England, according to letters from France, addressed to him in date of the 2nd. His Holiness is named [as an ally] by both parties; so he (the ambassador) fears greatly the peril, and told the Cardinal of San Georgio to speak to the Cardinal of Naples. In the course of conversation the Pope moreover expressed himself thus: “We shall endeavour to secure ourselves. The Signory should do the like, as within a year the French and Germans will be at war. Time does great things.” The King of France is also sending an envoy to Hungary besides the one already there; so the Pope exhorts the Signory to keep King Ladislaus well pleased, and to write to him. The ambassador conversed with the Cardinal of Naples, who said the Pope should raise troops and unite all Italy. Writes also that the Pope is in great alarm, and all Rome speaks about it, saying his Holiness has three months wherein either to make terms with France or take flight, or else stand the brunt; but so great is his avarice and determination not to spend money, that the ambassador and many others are of opinion he will make terms, which would be much to the detriment of the Signory. He thinks of crossing over to Segna with his money, and saving himself, four galleys being already prepared in Ancona, and two new ones on the stocks. Also that the French cardinals had been to the Cardinal St. Malo, and proceeded to the Pope in a body, with a number of horses, and the French ambassadors, videlicet, the Lord Albert of Carpi (sic), wanting to assure his Holiness, and exhort him not to fear.
The Pope had, moreover, been informed that the Signor Constantine Arniti (fn. 5) was detained at La Scala, the Emperor not choosing him to proceed.
The notice written above concerning the Pope's intention of taking flight and crossing over to Segna, was communicated to the ambassador by the Cardinal de' Medici.
Encloses copy of a letter dated Augsburg, 29 March, written by one whom the ambassador names, to his brother Dom. Christopher [Fisher] on his way to England, very full in its account of the resolutions taken there. In his letters of the 12th, the ambassador says that the Archbishop of York professes to have no news about this from England, and on the preceding day went out hunting, not to be seen, as he was ashamed of himself; he had letters of the 12th, with nothing from his King about this league, and forwarded letters to the Signory from Badoer, but they were of old date. It is supposed the agreement was made before the arrival of the Spanish ambassador; and the King of France gives him (?the King of England) 50,000 crowns, besides what he gave him before.
Also the English ambassador had been to the Pope to tell him he knew nothing about this league, and the Pope said wrathfully, “You are all rascals” (e il Papa disse con colora: Vui setti tutti ribaldi). The Cardinal de' Medici says his Holiness is very apprehensive about the conference proposed by the Cardinal of Rouen with the Emperor, and will therefore endeavour to secure himself; and the Pope said to the ambassador it would be well for the Signory to unite herself with the King of Hungary, and obtain assistance from him. The ambassador considers it useless to speak to the Pope about Carlo Baglione, as he chooses to have him in his own service. In his letter of the 8th, writes that Renzo da Ceri is ill of ague, but in date of the 12th announces his recovery, though he fears that should the Signory take him into her pay these French ambassadors at Rome would get the Pope to forbid his coming.
Sends also letters from the ambassador in England, and is acquainted with their contents, as they use the same cipher.
Letter from the Ambassador Badoer, dated London, 12 March. Announces the arrival on the 11th, of the Spanish ambassador; two French ambassadors being already there. The King treats Badoer kindly. Says there is nothing new; is expecting the return from the Emperor of the herald, to whom 112 ducats must be disbursed; so demands money for this outlay, for the despatch of couriers, and for his own maintenance, as he is residing there in shame; nor will any one accommodate him, and it is a reproach to the Signory.
April 18. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 118. 57. Summary of a Letter from Rome, dated 12th April 1510, received at Venice on the 18th. Hieronimo da Porzil, Doctor, to Zuan Badoer, Doctor and Knight.
Throughout the country peace had been proclaimed between England and King Lewis, though the English ambassador at Rome knows nothing about it.
News of the peace between England and France confirmed by letters from Milan.
At the suit of the King the affair of the Bishop of Zibeltera (sic) in England had been compromised; he pays 9,000 ducats for the building of St. Peter's, in Rome.
Communicates also contents of letters from France, touching the league between the King and England, namely, confirmation of the articles stipulated with Henry VII., ratified the day before the arrival of the Spanish ambassador, and with promise to give 50,000 ducats per annum for the tribute, together with full payment of the arrears; King Lewis having expended more than 50,000 ducats additional in bribes. Does not know whether the league will be durable. Both France and England had named the Pope as arbitrator, who is both distrustful and apprehensive.
The French in Rome, on hearing of the news from England, went in a body to the Pope.
In date of the 16th writes that on the 14th the French cardinals and those of the Adorno faction made rejoicings for the compact between England and France, and says it was to their shame and to the credit of the English. The English ambassador, when invited to the mass, refused to attend, but had bonfires burnt in front of his residence, and a table prepared there with wine, which the passengers drank.
April 21. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 124. 58. Receipt of Letters from the Ambassador [Donado], in Rome.
The French cardinals and the Lord. Albert of Carpi went to the Pope and requested him to have rejoicings and bonfires made in Rome, for the league between England and their King. He replied, “Rome is free to you; we shall do nothing. Had the league been formed against the Infidels, we would have made every possible demonstration, but under the present circumstances do not think fit to move.” They announced, to him their intention of having a mass sung in St. Peter's church at the altar of St. Lewis. The Pope consented, and the cardinals invited the English ambassador, the Bishop (sic) of York to perform the mass. As he refused to go, they took the singers of St. Peter's, so that he was not present; nor has he heard any thing from his King about this. Bonfires were made at the houses of these [French] cardinals and of the Cardinal of San Severino.
April 26. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 144. 59. Receipt of Letters from the Ambassador Badoer dated London, the 6th, in cipher, how he had written fully on the 30th March about the compact with France (which letters had not arrived in Venice). Within three days another messenger was to set out for Rome, and Badoer would then write in full. Says the peace had been made, as told him by many members of the Privy Council, and by the King, to the advantage of the Signory. His Majesty himself said to him, “I wish thee vastly well.” Will see to sending the articles; and with regard to the papal briefs raising the excommunication, gave one to the King, who rejoiced thereat, and consigned the other to the Spanish ambassador, who would transmit it forthwith to King Ferdinand.
The King of England had written briefs to the Pope and to the Emperor about peace; but lest the French should see the one for Rome, he made it out in the form of a minute, and is sending it to his ambassador Bainbridge, that he may read it to the Pope. The brief for the Emperor is somewhat modified. Will obtain copies and send them. The King, understanding that the Cardinal of Pavia [Francesco Alidosio], his “protector” at Rome, was a French partisan, has dismissed him, and conferred the post on the Cardinal San Piero in Vincula [Galeotto Franciotto della Rovere]. Reminds the State of his urgent need of money; has no more plate or anything else to pawn. His position is humiliating.
April 10. Deliberazioni Senato, v. xliii. p. 18. 60. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador in Rome.
Admit that the peace between England and France is important, (fn. 6) but its terms are reported very variously, and not so much to the advantage of the French as the latter represent; the truth will soon be ascertained; but at any rate the mission of D. Christopher [Fisher] cannot but be advantageous, as it will at least serve to give umbrage to the King of France.
Ayes 131.
[Italian, 72 lines.]


  • 1. In Rymer the names of these French commissioners are given thus, Abbot of Fescamps, Rad. de Lannoy, Ant. de Dauryzolles. See Mr. Brewers Cal., vol. i.p. 145, no. 962.
  • 2. Although Sanuto writes “cugnato,” Badoer evidently meant that King Ferdinand the Catholic was already jealous of his grandson, whose interests were advocated with the Emperor Maximilian by Henry VIII.
  • 3. Sanuto adds that he will transcribe the letter, but the copy does not exist in the Diaries.
  • 4. The allegory of “the Rose,” was explained as follows by Pope Paul IV., A.D. 1556 (March). It signified the flowers which preceded the fruits of the Saviour's passion, and was therefore blessed the week before Passion week. (See Letter Book, penes me, of the Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Navagiero; letter no. 67, dated Rome, March 28, 1556.)
  • 5. A Comneno, uncle of the Marquis of Monferrat.
  • 6. Concerning writs of proclamation of this peace between England and France see Mr. Brewer's Calendar, vol. i. p. 146, no. 974, April 1, 1510.