Venice: April 1515

Pages 236-241

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 1515

April 2. Sanuto Diaries, v. xx. p. 83. 597. Piero Lando, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the State.
Dated 29th March.
The Duke of Suffolk, the English ambassador in France, would marry the Queen Dowager. He is the first man in England about the King.
April 5. Patti Sciolti. 598. Treaty between England and France.
Clause in the treaty of peace stipulated in London on the 5th April 1515, between England and France, and transmitted to Doge Leonardo Loredano by Henry VIII. in a letter dated Greenwich, 24th June 1515.
Friends and confederates nominated on behalf of Henry VIII.:—Pope Leo X.; the Holy Empire and Charles Prince of Castile, Archduke of Austria; Archduchess Margaret; King of Denmark; Dukes of Cleves and Juliers, and of the Venetians; the Signories of the Venetians and Florentines; the community and society of the German Hanse [Towns]; Anthony Lord of Ligne, and the Switzers.
[Latin, 20 lines, paper.]
April 7. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 20. 599. Sebastian Giustinian and Pietro Pasqualigo, Ambassadors on their way to England, to the Signory.
Quitted Paris on the 30th March, and arrived on the 4th of April at Boulogne. Detained by contrary winds. Would go across from that place.
Mons. de la Fayette, the governor of Boulogne, a man of prudence and authority, gave them intelligence that the peace between the Kings of England and France was to be sworn to by King Henry and the French ambassadors at Richmond, on Easter Monday (April 9). Mons. de la Fayette showed them the identical letters of Mons. de la Guiche, one of the ambassadors of King Francis, to this effect.
Boulogne, 7th April 1515.
[Italian, 1 page, or 23 lines.]
April 9. Sanuto Diaries, v. xx. pp. 98, 99. 600. Marco Antonio Contarini to Mafio Liom.
Paris, 29th March 1515.
Audience given to the Venetian ambassadors by the King. He is inexpressibly handsome and generous. In two months he had distributed 300,000 crowns of the sun and 60,000 crowns of annual revenue. (fn. 1) There were five great men well nigh more powerful than the King, who are opposed to the Italian expedition and prefer a life of luxury.
The King's mode of life was as follows:—He rose at 11, heard mass, dined, then remained for two or three hours with his mother, and afterwards visited his sweethearts (va a morose) or went out hunting, then during the whole night visited here and there; so that by day it was impossible to obtain audience of him. The consultations held in Paris related principally to the diminution of expenditure.
In the University of Paris there were three individuals reputed learned—Jacomo Fabri, Carlo Bovilio, and Fausto Anderlini. This university does not appear to be very distinguished. Saw two “licentiates” receive their degrees. Would visit Oxford in England, and also Lovain in Flanders, and do his utmost to obtain some work by Cicero unknown in Italy.
Paris is more muddy than any other town; in fact, it stinks of mud; abounds in horses—10,000 are seen daily; there is much silk, and the whole court dresses in silk; even the pages trail it on the ground. The weather had been bad and rainy. On the 29th the ambassadors had another private audience of the King, and Robertet gave them letters from Venice.
The Queen widow is a very handsome woman, dressed all in black, with a white kerchief on her head and under her chin, like a nun; is never still, moves her head (non sta mai ferma move la testa); is the most attractive and beautiful woman ever seen. Had also seen the handsomest faces in the world at Moulins.
The Queen widow, at the very hour when her husband died, saluted Mons. d'Angouleme as King, knowing herself not to be pregnant.
Wrote also about the comedies performed there, &c.
April 10. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlvi. p. 108, tergo. 601. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador in France.
To allege to the King the impossibility of any attack being made on him this year by the King of England. To commend his Majesty's sage resolve to make an agreement with the King of England, who, on seeing that such has been effected with the Archduke, will condescend to what is fitting.
Ayes, 189. Noes, 5. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 67 lines.]
April 12. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 21. 602. Sebastian Giustinian and Pietro Pasqualigo, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the Signory.
Quitted Boulogne on the 10th, and reached Dover on the 11th, having been 24 hours at sea owing to the foul weather, from which they suffered greatly. Early on that day (the 12th) arrived at Canterbury. Heard from the French ambassadors, whom they met at Canterbury on their return to France, that the peace had been proclaimed on the 10th inst., and that both parties had named the Signory as their confederate. By a special clause, the King of England is bound to furnish 10,000 archers, whenever the most Christian King, either for the defence of his kingdom, or for the recovery of territories belonging to him, should so require, at the expense of France. The King of Spain was not mentioned by either of the parties, the King of England bearing him extreme hatred. Scotland was included in the peace, on condition that, should the Scots invade England, or commit any hostile act with a force exceeding 300 horse, and with the consent of the ruler for the time being in Scotland, the aggressors were to be held common enemies, and not comprised in this peace; but should the incursion take place without the consent of the aforesaid ruler, compensation and restitution were to be made. Tournai was left to the King of England. Another clause had been added, to the effect that all Venetian, Florentine, and Genoese galleys, ships, and other vessels may freely trade in France and England.
Canterbury, 12th April 1–515.
[Italian, 1½ page, or 41 lines.]
April 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. xx. p. 109. 603. Marco Dandolo, Ambassador in France, to the State.
Paris,] 6th [March].
From what he saw, the agreement and marriage with the Archduke of Burgundy would take place; the English Queen would also marry the Duke of Suffolk, who was ambassador there at Paris.
April 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xx. p. 119. 604. Wines of Candia.
Motion made in the Senate by the five proveditors for merchandise, for a letter to the King of England, exhorting him to take off the duty of two crowns a butt which he imposed on the wines of Candia, when the Signory exacted four ducats for each butt exported thence to England, and stating that this duty was repealed for his Majesty's gratification, in the belief that he would do the like, and make no further innovation, so that the Venetians might trade in England; but as he did nothing, many refuse to make the voyage to England. On this account request his Majesty to cancel it.
Ayes, 161. Noes, 1.
Note by Sanuto, that the King would do nothing, as he found the duty lucrative, and when written to on a former occasion, declined repealing it.
April 20. Senato Mar, v. xviii. p. 63. 605. Decree of the Senate.
Motion made for a letter to be written to the ambassadors, purporting that, amongst the other burdens with which merchandise was weighted in England, the most grievous was that of two crowns payable on each butt of wine. In order that they may effect the repeal of this duty, inform them that some years ago, the vessels of Venice being attacked and captured by certain pirates, and especially by natives of Biscay, who went to load wines in Candia, the Signory subjected each butt of wine loaded in foreign bottoms to an export duty of four ducats. That King Henry VII., perceiving this measure to be injurious to his ships, as well as to those of Biscay, put on a duty of two crowns on each butt imported into England. That the Venetian ambassador informed the King, that should he repeal that duty the Signory would do the like with regard to the four ducats. On the return of the ambassador the Signory understood from him that the King assented to this proposal, but although the export duty in Candia was repealed, the import duty in England remained in force.
The ambassadors are desired, therefore, on their arrival in England, to obtain information on the subject from the consul and merchants, and also from the ambassador Badoer, together with whom they are to urge the King to repeal the duty, stating what the Signory had done in Candia, for the sake of obtaining reciprocity in England.
Ayes, 16.
April 21. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. Letter no. 22. 606. Sebastian Giustinian and Pietro Pasqualigo, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the Signory.
Proceeded from Canterbury to Rochester, where they found the Venetian consul, Hieronimo da Molin, and other Venetians, with whom they went to Deptford. On the 18th were escorted thence in the King's name by a “doctor of the Parliament“ and a knight, with 50 horsemen all in one livery, who rode with the ambassadors to their dwelling in London. “Were met on the way by the rest of the Venetians and by the ambassador Badoer and others, so that on entering London they numbered upwards of 200 horse.
The King was at Richmond, where he meant to celebrate the festival of St. George, the patron of his Order of the Garter, and intended to give the ambassadors audience there, and on that very day, as a mark of greater honour towards the Signory.
On the preceding day (20th April), the peace with France had been formally proclaimed. News expected hourly of the departure from Paris for England of the Queen Dowager Mary, who they understood was married to the Duke of Suffolk.
Presented the letters of recall to the ambassador Badoer, who was unable to depart without the advance of a considerable sum of money; for Giustinian had not received the bill for 1,000 ducats mentioned in his commission.
London, 21st April 1515.
[Italian, 1½ page, or 39 lines.]
April 21. Sanuto Diaries, v. xx. p. 122. 607. Advices from France, dated the 4th April, stated that the Queen widow of France, sister of the King of England, had married the Duke of Suffolk, his ambassador there at Paris, and that the marriage had been consummated.
The King of England had declared war against Scotland, and invaded the country, doing great damage.
April 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. xx. p. 130. 608. Dandolo, Ambassador in France, to the State.
Dated 10th April.
News had arrived of the conclusion of the agreement with England. Scotland was included, and Spain excluded.
The Queen widow was married to the Duke of Suffolk, ambassador in France, with the consent of the King of England, and she was about to set out for England with her husband.
April 26. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 23. 609. Andrea Badoer, Sebastian Giustinian, and Pietrc Pasqualico, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the Signory.
On St. George's day (23rd April), were conducted to audience of the King, at Richmond, by a prelate and a knight. Went by water to Richmond, where they found the whole court assembled in a stately hall. The King was standing near a gilt chair, surrounded by many royal insignia, under a canopy with a gold ground and raised pile. He was arrayed in the robes of the Garter, as were also eight other knights. Latin oration delivered by Giustinian, Congratulations on the well-being of the King. Condolence on the death of his brother-in-law King Lewis. Thanked him for having included the Signory in the peace made with that King, and expressed joy at the new confederation formed with King Francis. Concluded with a panegyric on King Henry. Answer given by “a doctor of the Parliament,” who replied graciously to every clause in the oration; after which the King went to hear high mass with the ambassadors; and then to dinner, accompanied by the ambassadors and all the prelates and lords. The King chose the ambassadors to dine with the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Durham; and after dinner they remained a long while in very familiar conversation with his Majesty, who at length said he would send for them another day to hear what announcements they had to make from the Signory, being unable to do so at the moment, as he was occupied.
London, 26th April 1515.
[Italian, 2½ pages, or 55 lines.]
April 26. Sanuto Diaries, v. xx. p. 132. 610. Motion made in the Senate by the Sages, for a letter to the ambassadors in England, desiring them to congratulate the King on having renewed the friendship and agreement with France, in which they feel certain that his Majesty will have included the Signory.
April 26. Deliberazioni Senate Secreta, v. xlvi. p. 109, tergo. 611. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador in England.
To congratulate the King on the auspicious agreement with his most Christian Majesty.
Ayes, 171.Noes, 2. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 14 lines.]
April 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. xx. p. 141. 612. Marco Dandolo, Ambassador in France, to the State.
Paris, 21st April. In cipher.
Announces the departure of the Queen widow, who had married the Duke of Suffolk, the marriage having been consummated there immediately, because she was a widow, and they were going to England. The marriage took place by consent of the King (Francis), who was well pleased that Suffolk should have her rather than the Archduke; and he accompanied her beyond the town, as far as St. Denys, paying her very great honours, and making her presents. He (the ambassador) had said a few words to her in the Signory's name, and the King (Francis) had sent ambassadors to escort her.
On the — the King was to depart with his wife and mother for Blois. Was sending to Lyons to proclaim the agreement made with England.
April. 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. xx. pp. 143, 144. 613. Letters from London, written by — to —.
Dated 25th March and 1st April.
Several days before the commencement of the Carnival, the Parliament assembled; and, according to report, the King meant to take the field against Scotland, as the Scots apparently had certain ships at sea. and were capturing all the English vessels they could find; so the King meant to execute reprisals; nor could the Scotch resist, by reason of his vast amount of treasure and troops.
On the 2nd of March the courier Zuam Averzo arrived in London, having accompanied the ambassador Piero Pasqualigo as far as Lyons, where he left him, that he might await his baggage carts; the courier proceeding to Paris with Hironimo da Molin, and one of the Pisanis of the bank, together with a natural son of Nicolò Duodo, the merchant of London; these two last being very young.
The new King (of France) was 26 years old, handsome, rather spare than stout. At Paris there were jousts and banquets daily, and nothing was said about sending troops towards Italy; rejoicings and entertainments being the order of the day.
The ambassador Pasqualigo and his colleague, Giustinian, who was coming as ambassador to the King of England, were expected in London for Easter. The ambassador Badoer meant to go to St. James of Galizia (Compostella). The two ambassadors sent by King Henry to France went for the purpose of bringing back his sister. The King had lately sent two ambassadors to the Pope, one of whom was my Lord of St. John's (Sir Thomas Docwra, Grand Prior of St. John's). A French ambassador had recently arrived in London, for the purpose it was said of confirming the peace.
In the second letter, dated 1st April, announced the arrival in London on the 18th March of an ambassador from the Marquis (sic) (fn. 2) of Ferrara, by name Hironimo de Strozi; and in the said Duke's (sic) name he presented the King with a horse, said to be very handsome, and a live leopard. According to report, the King was much pleased with this present. (fn. 3)


  • 1. “E donato intrata a particulari per scudi 60m.”
  • 2. Borso of Este had been made Duke of Ferrara by Pope Paul II. on the 14th April 1471. (See Frizzi, vol iv. pp. 66, 67.)
  • 3. According to Frizzi (vol. iv. p. 260), these presents were delivered by Girolamo Sestola. The horse had gold trappings, and, besides the leopard, there were three trained falcons.