Venice: September 1515

Pages 261-265

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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September 1515

Sept. 8. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxi. p. 43. 646. News received through the Pasqualigo Firm, by private letters, dated London, the 12th August, that the King had knighted the Venetian ambassador, Andrea Badoer.
Sept. 9. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxi. p. 45. 647. Marino Giorgio, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Signory.
Dated the 4th and 5th September.
Had been told by the Pope that the King of England had joined the league between the Pope, the Emperor, Spain, and himself, and that he had signed it, and would attack France. In reply to the ambassador's remonstrances, the Pope said that should King Francis vanquish the Switzers, he would subsidize 10,000 of them, and exert himself to make the King of England and the other allies invade France.
[Extract. Italian.]
Sept. 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxi. p. 64. 648. Marino Giorgio, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Signory.
Dated 9th, 10th; and 11th September.
Details conversations with the Pope about French affairs, and his threats of forming a new league; that he would make the King of England attack France, to effect which he had forwarded stringent briefs, and had created the Archbishop of York Cardinal, having already obtained the votes of the Cardinals, and would proclaim him in the next Consistory.
Remark by Sanuto, that it was all idle talk.
[Extract. Italian.]
Sept. 15. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 38. 649. Andrea Badoer and Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
The French ambassador in England had received news from “Madame,” the mother of King Francis, of the French successes in Italy, to the confusion of the Spanish ambassador, who had hitherto crammed the public with false intelligence to suit his own purposes; though the French victories seemed but slightly agreeable to the people of England, owing to the natural antipathy (affectione) that exists between the two nations.
The court was taking its pleasure, and would not assemble in London until Michaelmas.
London, 15th September 1515.
[Italian, 1 page, or 42 lines.]
Sept. 20. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 39. 650. The Same to the Same.
A King's courier had arrived in England from Rome, announcing that the Archhishop of York had been created Cardinal at the suit of the King, who, “pedibus et manibus,” is intent on aggrandizing him. Therefore do their utmost to keep him on the most friendly terms, not only by reason of his very great influence with the King, but because “in rebus agendis” he displays great mental activity and diligence. As the Archbishop was then in a palace of his at a distance, had been unable to see him, but would offer him ample congratulations immediately on his arrival in London, where he was expected daily.
Had understood from a good source that the disturbances in Scotland were raging more than ever, owing to the Duke of Albany, who wanted to seize the Scottish princes when with their mother, but she withdrew into a fortress on the borders of England called Stirling, which the Duke besieged with 10,000 men; and thereupon, from fear, the Queen surrendered, and placed the royal infants in his hands. She herself, having apparently taking flight towards England with the royal moveables (cum regia suppellectili), was pursued by the Duke, who seized the goods, and left her with nothing but the clothes on her back and two female attendants. The whole blame of this cruelty would rest with the King of France, who had sent the Duke into Scotland.
London, 20th September 1515.
[Italian, 1½ page, or 36 lines.]
Sept. 26. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library. Letter no. 40. 651. Andrea Badoer and Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Arrival of Cardinal Wolsey in London on the 25th. Congratulated him immediately on his promotion, in a long Latin discourse, to which he made an elegant reply.
In reply to their inquiries for news, he said he had received letters from Brussels, dated the 18th September, quoting advices from Verona, in date of the 12th, purporting that all Italy was in arms. He then represented the affairs of King Francis and the Signory as being in extreme peril, and evinced greater regret for the Signory's danger than for that of others, blaming the State for not having made terms with the Pope. Defended the Signory's policy.
He then told them that the Duke of Albany had compelled the Queen of Scotland to write letters to the Pope and to the Kings of France and England, whereby it appeared she had surrendered her children and Stirling Castle, not by force or constraint, but of her own free will,—a manifest act of violence offered to the poor Queen, who had arrived in England destitute and bereft of her children and property. The Cardinal told the story with great passion, saying that never had such a thing been done, as to proceed to violence against a Queen, “et pueros Regios,” who would doubtless come to a sad end. He said this was a bad return for the King of France to make to King Henry for maintaining the league inviolate, and losing so great an opportunity for invading France whilst King Francis was in Italy with all the princes and military, and his realms inhabited solely by women with their distaffs; whereas King Henry on the other hand had ships in readiness, and in a week could have landed an infinite number of troops, who would have conquered and destroyed along their whole line of march. He then said, “Believe me, his Majesty and the kingdom will not brook such an outrage,” expressing himself with incredible emotion, which is shared by the other great personages of the realm. Replied that over a temple dedicated to Apollo in Greece the following words were inscribed, for observance by the wise, “Patere et abstine,” added to which the Greeks had an ancient proverb, rendered in Latin thus, “Festina tarde;” and that, in accordance with those two precepts, the Cardinal would do well to discountenance any hasty resolve, until after a thorough investigation of the cause of outrage. They pledged their lives to the innocence of King Francis; first, because it would ill become a new King to commence his reign with such beginnings, especially as he was engaged in the Milanese expedition, during which it was unlikely that he would do what might stir up England against him, as there was no want of persons daily exhorting King Henry to violate the treaty; and secondly, because the letter dictated to the Queen by the Duke of Albany, which admitted that she had not acted under compulsion, afforded clear proof that King Francis was not privy to this outrage; otherwise the letter would have been useless, and not calculated to obtain the result desired by the Duke.
To some of the apologies the Cardinal replied by corroborating his charges, but seemed to admit that it was not for the interest of France to act thus by England at the present moment, and did not make any rejoinder about the Queen's letter. He said he would examine the matter, and requested the ambassadors, although he himself had already acquainted the French envoy with a great part of the intelligence, to repeat it to him, and act in such wise as to prevent his incurring penalty; repeating that unless King Francis put a stop to the proceedings of the Duke of Albany, King Henry would not endure it.
London, 26th September 1515.
[Italian, 4¾ pages, or 115 lines.]
Sept. 27. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 41. 652. Andrea Badoer and Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Early on that morning went to the house of the French ambassador, who was on the point of getting on horseback to go to the King, having just received letters from Madame (Louise of Savoy), announcing the treaty between King Francis and the Switzers, and the close negotiations for agreement with the Pope. Were much comforted by this intelligence, having been deeply distressed by the news received on the preceding evening from Cardinal Wolsey, although not fully convinced of its truth, as tidings received by way of Flanders were never verified.
The French ambassador read to them the letters from the mother of King Francis, dated Amboise, the 18th instant, and also those from the secretary Robertet and others, dated the 12th.
Acquainted him in the first place with the complaints made by Cardinal Wolsey about the acts of the Duke of Albany, and the extreme resentment demonstrated by the Cardinal, in which they supposed the other ministers participate. Told the French ambassador that at their request the Cardinal had promised that no precipitate step should be taken until it was seen whether the King of France was implicated; and stated in detail all that had been said by them to defend the innocence of King Francis, that he might announce the good offices employed by them throughout, for the advantage, honour, and greatness of his most Christian Majesty. Exhorted him to write to France, not only the words uttered by Cardinal Wolsey, but likewise his strong feelings (vehementi affecti): which the ambassador promised to do on his return. He requested them (Badoer and Giustinian) moreover to write to their colleagues resident with King Francis, to take such steps as they might deem expedient. Impressed upon him the necessity to soothe the English, to intervene in Scotland, and to obtain good treatment of English subjects in France.
The French ambassador was a man of singular goodness, excellent understanding, and discretion. Understood that the Pope, the Emperor, and the King of Spain were striving to separate England and France, find through the disturbances in Scotland their exertions might be facilitated.
London, 27th September 1515.
[Italian, 2¼ pages, or 55 lines.]