Venice: October 1515

Pages 265-269

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


October 1515

Oct. 11. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 42. 653. Andrea Badoer and Sebastian Giustinian to the State.
Some of the Lords, who had been long absent, had returned to London. On visiting them they made inquiries concerning the battle [of Marignano] between the French King and the Switzers, of which the ambassadors had received indirect news, through letters from Pietro Pasqualigo to his brother, and from Pasqualigo's secretary to Hironimo Molin. The Lords doubted the news, as they had received widely different intelligence. They had however just received other advices, to the effect that the French King had obtained the victory, but with great loss. They doubt the peace reported to be arranged between the Pope and the King of France. The Bishop of “Durham alluded to the assistance received by the French from the Venetian General Alviano, without which the French would have been defeated. The Lords acknowledged the veracity of advices received from Venice. Present from the King of Spain to King Henry of a costly jewelled collar, two excellent horses, caparisoned, and a valuable sword; the object of the gift being to obtain military succour for the invasion of France. King Henry had refused the succour. Opinion of Cardinal Wolsey that the present was worth 100,000 ducats, and that King Henry deserved it, for all that he had done for Spain. Mentioned a rumour that King Ferdinand had endeavoured to obtain a subsidy of troops to serve in France. This the Cardinal denied, saying King Henry would never act contrary to the league. Through another channel had heard that the King Catholic had sent the collar as a pledge, to obtain money from King Henry. London, 11th October 1515.
[Italian, 2½ pages, or 59 lines.]
Oct. 12. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxi. pp. 204, 205. 654. Marino Giorgio, Venetian Ambassador at the Papal Court, to the Signory.
Dated Viterbo, 7th and 8th October.
Was there with the Pope, who was hunting. Perceived that the Imperial and Spanish ambassadors were more than usually familiar with the Pope, who told him the Emperor was holding a diet, and would come in very great force; that the Switzers likewise were holding a diet, and that England would attack France; adding, “We have sent him the articles of the agreement as we wish it to be; we do not know whether the King will accept of them.”
Oct. 16. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 43. 655. Andrea Badoer and Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Return of the King to Greenwich, where they had audience of him on the preceding day: delivered the letters from the State returning thanks for the mention of Venice in the treaty with France. Communicated the advices from Hungary and Constantinople, of which they had made a brief summary in Latin, which the King demanded, for the purpose, they supposed, of showing it to the ministers (li signori), who were not then present. The King lamented the Turkish successes. Gave him the letter of Sultan Selim, translated verbatim into Latin. The King asked them for news of French affairs. Confessed that they had neither letters from the State nor from the ambassadors, their colleagues; but imparted the information alluded to in their letter of the 11th.
Request the Signory to transmit full, and veracious, as usual, information on Italian affairs.
Cardinal Wolsey had been indisposed with fever; were unable to speak to him about obtaining from King Francis his written ratification of the article comprising the Signory in the peace between France and England.
London, 16th October 1515.
[Italian, 1½ page, or 37 lines.]
Oct. 24. Misti Consiglio X. v. xxxix. p. 32. 656. Debts of Andrea Badoer, Ambassador in England.
Decree of the Council of Ten. Put to the ballot that the College do assign 600 ducats for the departure of Andrea Badoer, ambassador in England.
Ayes, 26 Noes, 4. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 15 lines.]
Oct. 26. Lettere del Collegio (Seereta). File no. 4. 657. The Doge and College to Andrea Badoer and Sebastian Giustinian, Ambassadors in England.
Approve the replies made by the ambassadors at the conference held by them with Cardinal Wolsey, in justification of France and the Signory. Commend their congratulation with the Cardinal on his promotion to that most eminent dignity. For the fuller expression of their affection, have also written the accompanying congratulatory letter to the Cardinal, the tenor of which the ambassadors will perceive by the enclosed copy. Desire them to add the address, as the name and title are unknown to the Signory, and to present the original to him with such ample and loving form of speech as becoming.
The most Christian King, after worsting the Switzers in battle, had obtained Milan and the castle by agreement, and subsequently Cremona and the castle. The combined forces of France and Venice then marched towards Brescia, but lost their captain general Alviano, who was seized with a bowel complaint and died in a few days. This was a grievous and bitter loss, and the most Christian King immediately sent Gian Giacopo Triulzi to replace him, whereupon the Signory's forces encamped under Brescia.
March of the Spanish army by way of Bologna towards Naples. The Pope had left Parma and Piacenza to the most Christian King, who had already taken possession of them. The four procurators of St. Mark, appointed by the State ambassadors to King Francis, were already on their way to him; whilst on the other hand two ambassadors were coming from that King to reside at Venice.
The affairs of the State were prospering. Asola, Lonà, and Peschiera had resumed their allegiance. To communicate this intelligence to the King and Cardinal, and other personages.
Oct. 29. Letters from the Chiefs of the Council of Ten. File no. 14. 658. The Chiefs of the Council of Ten to Andrea Badoer, Ambassador in England.
Remit to him a bill of exchange for 600 ducats, which he is to draw immediately, and then come away as soon as possible. Should he remain one day in England after the receipt of the money, the sojourn is to be at his own cost.
[Original draft.]
Oct. 29. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 44. 659. Andrea Badoer and Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Surprise in England at the silence of the State concerning the events of Italy. The letters from Madame (Louise of Savoy) and from King Francis himself (two being signed with his own hand,) were not credited, it being argued that, were the account true, the State would already have notified it; especially as all the letters received by the English court from Flanders, and through other channels, were of a contrary tenor. The French ambassador, resenting the small credit given to the missives of King Francis, wrote to him in such form, that he sent a king-at-arms to England to vouch for all the letters, setting forth his victory as most signal. King Francis greatly eulogized the feats of Bartholomew Alviano, and announced his death.
When visiting the Duke of Norfolk, the Treasurer, a person of very great authority, were told by him that the affairs of Scotland were in a bad way, by reason of the great dissensions between the people and the lords of the kingdom, some siding with the Queen and others with the Duke of Albany, who, having sent for two of the chief lords, the Queen's adherents, under safe conduct and oath guaranteeing their safety, caused them to be arrested, with the intention of maltreating them, but they contrived to escape to England. Perceive that the English Lords are much exasperated against the Duke of Albany, and wish to get rid of him, and reinstate the Queen; and that, unless King Francis make provision, England will go to war. The Duke of Norfolk has confirmed this impression; he stated that forces would be raised by sea and land, which may be credited, for ships in the Thames are being armed and supplied with cannon and other military stores. A galeas (the Henry Grace de Dieu) of unusual magnitude had been launched, with such a number of heavy guns that their weight would be too much for the strongest castle. (fn. 1) This launch was attended by the King and Queen, together with well nigh all the prelates and lords of the kingdom, they (Badoer and Giustinian) being also present by invitation, and all dined on board at the King's expense. It appeared to them really a fine craft, provided it could be worked. Neither the French ambassador nor even the Spaniard were invited to the ceremony. The French ambassador, who was not in great favour at the English court, is dissatisfied with his treatment. Endeavoured to prevent a rupture between the parties.
That day (the 20th) had visited Cardinal Wolsey, “apud quem est summa totins reyni,” that he might complete the inclusion of Venice in the league with France. He said the King would write to the State, confirming its comprehension, and also to King Francis informing him of the same.
“When the Duke of Norfolk alluded to the probability of war with Scotland, they inquired whether such a war would not be a breach of the treaty with France. The Duke replied that the treaty required the most Christian King to favour the Queen and her children, so as to secure for them the sovereignty of the kingdom, and that England sought but this. The French ambassador, however, denies any such condition. Having been unable to see the articles of the league, as the English ministry said they did not concern the Signory, have urged the French ambassador to obtain a copy of the articles for them.
London, 29th October 1515.
[Italian, 3½ pages, or 80 lines.]
Oct. 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxi. p. 241. 660. Doge Leonardo Loredano to Cardinal Wolsey.
In addition to many motives for congratulating him on being made Cardinal, his recent good offices in favour of the State cause the Doge to rejoice at his elevation. His vigorous genius would render the grade additionally honourable. It was not less agreeable to hear from the Venetian ambassadors in England how graciously the Cardinal gave ear to the decrees and congratulations of the State, and in what amiable language he showed his good will towards the Signory. (fn. 2)
Ducal Palace, 26th October 1515.
Oct. 31. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxi. p. 243. 661. Lorenzo Pasqualigo, Merchant of Venice in London, to his Brothers Alvise and Francesco.
Dated 6th October.
Pepper had risen, as many months had elapsed since the arrival of any from Portugal; King Emanuel having detained all the ships at Lisbon to reinforce his fleet and army against the King of Fez, by whom he had been defeated. The Portuguese had landed at Alcassar with 10,000 foot and 1,500 horse, and marched towards Fez, from which city 6,000 cavalry and a considerable infantry force sallied and routed the Portuguese, killing 400 men and capturing all their guns, in number 70. The Portuguese retired to Alcassar, and returned to Portugal.
The Queen of Scotland and her new husband had taken flight in disguise, because the Duke of Albany wanted to seize them and make himself Regent of Scotland. He had got possession of the two sons of the late King. The Queen was seven months gone with child, and was at Berwick, where her husband who fell at Flodden lay buried. Her brother, the King of England, had sent her a present of six gowns of cloth of gold, of silver, and of silk, for herself and for her husband, besides money; having determined that she was to remain at Berwick until after her confinement, when he would send for her to London. It was said that in the spring he would fit out an army and fleet against Scotland. There were then in England three pregnant Queens: the Queen Consort of King Henry; his sister, the Queen widow of France, at present wife to the Duke of Suffolk; and thirdly, the Queen widow of Scotland: so that three cousins of royal blood would be born well nigh at the same time.
[Extract, Italian.]
Oct. Documents concerning the Arsenal in the Venetian Archives. 662. Ship Launch.
Note given [apparently to one of the masters of the Arsenal] by Cesare Ziliolo, chancellor subordinate, extracted by him from a letter received from his father, who was secretary with the ambassadors accredited to the King of England.
King Henry of England, having built a large galleass, went on board it on the 25th of October with the Queen, the court, the bishops, and the two Venetian ambassadors. On the following morning mass was sung; after which dinner was served in state.
The King had a separate table; the barons, bishops, ambassadors, and the ladies had separate places. Each space was hung with tapestry. The rest of the retinue, and some persons of condition, were at the tables towards the prow.
Below was the place for the rowers, and above them was a deck, on which were five heavy pieces of artillery on each side astern, and two forward, with an innumerable quantity of falconets (spingarde), harquebuses (archibuse), and muskets (scoppetti); the whole deck being strewed with gravel, having the appearance of an extensive open plain (et era, tutia ingaridata, et era come una gran campagna di sopra.) (fn. 3)
The ship had four masts, three with tops; above the tops were three masts for three sails; above the mainmast was a mast which had another top, and above this second mast was a third mast for another sail; so that the ship could set eight sails. Around were many banners, all gilt with the royal arms and emblems. On board were 60gunners (huomini bombardieri) and 1,200 fighting men.
The King was dressed galley fashion, with a vest of gold brocade reaching to the middle of the thigh, breeches of cloth of gold, and scarlet hose, a gold chain of more than four fingers' breadth, which he wore like a cross belt, a gold whistle more than a span in length, and a number of jewels on either side.
The King took the Venetian ambassadors and showed them the whole of the galleys; no other ambassadors were invited. The King showed the vessel to the Venetians only, having heard that they were able seamen, and had very fine aquatic “fustes.”
This galleass was as large as three Venetian first-rate galleys.
[Italian, 25 lines.]


  • 1. “Che non sapemo se una fortissima rocha fusse sufficiente a operarle.”
  • 2. This letter does not exist in the Senate's Registers, the College Files, or the “Commemoriali.
  • 3. It is possible the writer may mean that the deck was “turfed” and had the appearance of a spacious “meadow;” but although the word “ingaridata” bears some resemblance to “ghiara” (gravel), it can scarcely be converted into “lota” or “piolta” which in Venetian signifies turf.