Venice: August 1515

Pages 258-261

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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August 1515

Aug. 5. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 36. 638. Andrea Badoer and Sebastian Giustinian to the State.
On the 29th ultimo had audience of the King at Greenwich. Well received. Did not allude to the repeal of the wine duties.
Whilst in the hall at Greenwich with other noblemen, there came a certain Reverend Dom. Baldassar Thoardi (Balthasar Stuart), a prothonotary, late secretary to Pope Julius, now returned from Scotland, having been sent thither by Pope Leo, to effect an adjustment. The principal disputes were now settled, so that the peace might be considered made, and the articles already agreed to were to be drawn up in writing.
Asked Thoardi about the Duke of Albany, who had been sent by King Francis into Scotland, and was considered a nobleman of great power and influence there. Inquired how he conducted himself, what amount of popularity he enjoyed, and whether he was on good terms with the Queen. The reply purported that the Duke of Albany was an amiable nobleman (um gentil signor), that his party and authority were great, that latterly he and the Queen were on the best terms, and that he was assiduous in his visits to her. No cause for discord between France and England could be greater than the presence of the Duke of Albany in Scotland, should he be at strife with the Queen, or with the Earl of Angus, her consort.
Thoardi had a long conference with the King on the day in question, and informed his Majesty that the Duke of Albany exercised great authority in Scotland, and that well nigh all had sworn fidelity and obedience to him; an assertion at variance with Thoardi's first account, and incompatible with the alleged concord between the Duke of Albany and the Queen. Would endeavour to learn the whole truth through some other channel.
Perceiving that the Duke of Suffolk, the husband of the Queen Dowager of France, was with the King, and had authority scarcely inferior to that of the King himself, presented credentials from the State, and addressed him in Latin, congratulating him on his marriage with Mary Queen Dowager of France, and alliance to the King of England. The Duke answered very lovingly, in English; said he loved the Signory by reason of the affection which existed between them and the King; and therefore urged first, that should the King of France cross the Alps, the Signory should be on the alert to obtain their territory, lest on the French being established in the Milanese, they should turn against Venice; and secondly, that when reinstated in their possessions, the Signory should diminish their military expenditure, and accumulate treasure, because their money would be needed against the King of France, by reason of his being a spirited youth, in greater favour with his subjects than any other King, and anxious for glory. The Duke repeated these comments twice or thrice very earnestly, and then said that the King had intended saying a few things to them on the day they went to Greenwich, but forgotten to do so, and had therefore charged him to make the [foregoing] communication in his name.
He said that one of the King's gentlemen had arrived from Ferrara and Mantua, to which states he had been despatched for the exchange of certain presents, and on behalf of the Princes of Ferrara and Mantua he entreated the King to mediate for them with Venice, and expressed their desire to refer their disputes with Venice to the King's arbitration.
Giustinian replied that, though he had recently come from Venice, he was not aware of any difference between the Signory and Ferrara and Mantua; and though these states had, during the League of Cambrai, shown themselves the most rancorous enemies of Venice, and though the Marquis of Mantua, who was captured by the Venetian forces and released unharmed, had done many acts of hostility against the Signory, yet notwithstanding the State, “quœ non vult mortem peccatoris, sed ut convertatur et vivat,” would take no revenge.
Badoer had been knighted by the King, although he neither sought the honour nor desired it.
London, 5 August 1515.
[Italian, 5 pages, or 124 lines.]
Aug. 11. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta). File no. 4. 639. The Doge and College to Andrea Badoer and Sebastian Giustinian.
Announce receipt of their letters of 15th June and 3rd July. Perceive that they had executed the commissions contained in the missives of the State, dated 20th April, and also comprehend the goodwill borne by the King towards the Signory, as confirmed by a letter to the State from his Majesty himself. Enclose their reply, and on its presentation desire them to assure the King of the Signory's special observance. They are then to deliver the ratification of the league (which also accompanies the packet), in proof of the wish of Venice to maintain her ancient friendship with England. Desire the ambassadors constantly to endeavour to keep the King well disposed towards the Signory, and to do their utmost to maintain the understanding and peace between him and France; they being well aware that they are to exert themselves chiefly to that effect, and communicate concerning such matters as shall seem fit to them with their colleagues at the French court, to whom the State had transmitted orders accordingly.
Aug. 11. Commemoriale, v. xx. p. 19, tergo. 640. Letters Patent from Doge Leonardo Loredano, approving and confirming the nomination of the Venetian Signory by Henry VIII. in the confederacy made by him with Francis I., King of the French.
[Latin, 20 lines.]
Aug. 11. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlvi. p. 129, tergo. 641. Doge Leonardo Loredano to King Henry VIII.
Had lately received his letter, replete with love and courtesy, whereby comprehends the incredible benefit yielded by the State's very ancient friendship and observance towards himself and his ancestors, ever most carefully cherished by them, not merely spontaneously and willingly, but by a certain innate custom. On perceiving how manifest and agreeable this goodwill is to his Majesty, felt grateful for the letter, and most grateful likewise were the State's ambassadors. Were he to seek to return such and so many thanks as the matter requires, a long narrative forsooth, yet would it be less, and express less, than his mind, which ever sought to prove the Signory's gratitude much more by will and deed than by words; nor could the State ever forget his Majesty's extreme goodwill in including the Republic amongst his chief friends in the treaty with France. Having been lovingly invited by the King to send signed letters of ratification to this effect, delayed until then the transmission of his thanks, and now forwards the ratification, praying the Almighty at one time or another to grant him power and opportunity to show himself mindful of so many good offices, and not an ungrateful debtor for such vast affection shown to the State by his Majesty.
Ayes, 210. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 0.
[Latin, 16 lines.]
Aug. 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xx. p. 448. 642. The Same to the Same.
Returns thanks to the King for having included the Republic amongst his chief friends in the treaty of peace between England and France.
August 11th.
[Copy, Latin,]
Aug. 12. Sanuto Diaries, v. xx. p. 447. 643. Motion made in the Senate by the Sages, and carried unanimously, for a letter to be written to the King of England in reply to the one written by him to the Signory, and accepting his offer to include the Signory in the league between the most Christian King and himself.
Note by Sanuto, that the letter was well commented, read, and composed, by the Secretary Bortolo Comin.
Aug. 24. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 37. 644. Andrea Badoer. and Sebastian Giustinian to the Signoky.
Giustinian had been suffering from gastric fever. Had received letters addressed to him, and others to the King from the State; and on that day (the 24th) other letters from the same, dated 23rd June, narrating the retreat in safety of the Venetian army to the Brentelle. The last letters arrived opportunely, as the friar who represents Spain and reported that the Venetian army had been put to flight; which report the Lords credited. The King and all the ministers were taking their pleasure in the country at a great distance from London.
Arrival on the 7th of an ambassador from France, the President of Rouen, an ecclesiastic, who told King Henry the King of France would for ever maintain the peace contracted with England, and that he had decided on crossing the Alps with a considerable force to recover his Milanese territories.
In reply, King Henry expressed surprise that the communication should not have been made to him previously, and complained that the Duke of Albany, who had been sent to Scotland by King Francis, was acting insolently against the Queen of Scots and her children. The King complained also of the maltreatment of the English by the French, and of the piratical manner in which English ships had been plundered.
With regard to the first complaint, the ambassador apologized amply by showing the date of his credentials, and declined giving any answer to the other three, merely requesting letters from King Henry to King Francis, stating these grievances.
The Scots had lately attacked the English and their places on the Borders. The Queen of Scotland had retired into a certain fortress. Did not know what measures had been adopted by the English government, as the King and his Council were at a distance from London.
Demand of Badoer for money.
London, 24th August 1515.
[Italian, 2⅓ pages, or 66 lines.]
Aug. 25. Lettere del Collegio (Secrcta). File no. 4. 645. The Doge and College to Andrea Badoer and Sebastian Giustinian, Ambassadors in England.
Advance of the French [into the Milanese]. The troops of Prospero Colonna had been stripped, and he himself also captured and sent to France.
An ambassador from Sultan Selim had arrived in Venice, and on the 24th presented letters from him to the Signory, of which enclose a copy, to be shown to the King. The Spaniards were still in their usual quarters, but had announced that they intended to move.