Venice: December 1515

Pages 270-274

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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December 1515

Dec. 6. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 46. 665. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Departure of Andrea Badoer on the 19th November, accompanied by the sincere good wishes of the King and all the great personages of the kingdom, who considered him quite in the light of a native Englishman, by reason of his excellent qualities. After his departure, received letters from the Council of Ten, addressed to Badoer alone, ordering him to return, and enclosing a bill of exchange for 600 ducats drawn by Alvise Pisani on Nicolò Duodo. Would retain the bill until the receipt of further orders.
Went to Greenwich to acquaint the King with the news transmitted on the 26th October. Early political news is much appreciated by the King and the Government, because the advices received through the Emperor were often untrue.
Had, in the Signory's name, complimented the Cardinal and presented the letter from the State, for which he returned thanks.
Informed by the ministry, that the peace between England and the Catholic King had been concluded. This result would not disturb the peace either with France or with Venice, as the character of King Ferdinand was well known to King Henry and to the English cabinet.
The Archduke (Charles of Burgundy) was negotiating peace between the Emperor and France, through means of a certain ambassador of his, who had been at the court of the Queen Regent
(Louise of Savoy) upwards of two months. Had seen letters to the French ambassador here, from the French King and his mother, enclosing a copy of a despatch from their ambassador with the Pope, which described the good greeting given him by the Pope, and stated that he was proceeding with his Holiness as far as Bologna.
Receipt of letters by King Henry from King Francis, acquainting him with the agreement ratified with the Switzers, (but omitting the conditions,) his peaceable possession of the Milanese, and his intended conference with Leo X. at Bologna, for the purpose of negotiating a Christian expedition against the Turks; and exhorting King Henry to pursue the same course.
The Queen Regent writes of the arrival of four Venetian ambassadors, praising the eloquent oration of Domenico Trevisano, and the sumptuousness of the embassy.
Complaint by one of the ministers that letters had been written to King Francis, announcing the preparations in England for hostilities against France. The minister implied the French ambassador was the author of these letters, and said they caused displeasure in England; and continued talking about the ambassador, who seemed but little to the taste of the English ministry. Answered that the ambassador complained much of the small account in which he was held in England, and exhorted the minister to treat the ambassador with greater favour. The minister declared he would make amends for past omissions.
London, 6th December 1515.
[Italian, 3 pages, or 74 lines.]
Dec. 13. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxi. p. 344. 666. Marino Giorgio, Venetian Ambassador at the Papal Court, to the Signory.
Bologna, the 10th.
On the Monday morning preceding a public consistory had sat; and the Pope wanted the most Christian King to come and kiss his foot on the morrow, and to make his public entry on the 12th; but the King chose to enter on the Tuesday. Went to see the King, who had arrived at a distance of — miles from Bologna. Understood that the Switzers had not yet ratified the agreement, and that an agent from the King of England had arrived in Switzerland to pay (pagar)10,000 of them.
[Extract, Italian.]
Dec. 17. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 47. 667. Sebastian Giusttnian to the Signory.
Had been informed that two Florentine merchants were now making considerable purchases of bills, payable at Bruges and Antwerp; and it was suspected that these moneys were being remitted by the King to the Emperor. Complained of these remittances to the Cardinal, requesting that the moneys might not be delivered, until Venice had recovered Brescia and Verona. The Cardinal stated the report was false; that the bills were neither intended for the Emperor, nor of so large an amount as represented; that the persons lied who made this statement; that if it were true he would not hesitate to admit it, as the confederacy between Venice and England could not prevent the King from giving his money to whom he pleased; that the money had been sent for the purpose of purchasing a quantity of choice armour and ornaments for the Kind's own use, and that of his court; that the sum was not considerable, and that so long as he lived he would never counsel the King to do any act hostile to Venice, or to break the peace between England and France; concluding thus, “and hereof, Domine Orator, rest assured.”
On the morrow went to the Duke of Norfolk. The Duke told him that, on the return to France of the most Christian King, King Henry meant to have an interview with him, and had determined on going with great pomp, for which purpose he had already disbursed 15,000 nobles. This the Duke declared was the plain truth, as no one would ever think of giving money to the Emperor, because it would be lost; neither was there sufficient friendship between the two crowns, that England should injure Venice.
Next day visited the Lord Chancellor, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who assured him on oath that these moneys had not been drawn to the detriment of Venice, but for other uses of the King, though he would give no particulars; and that he should never counsel the King to injure Venice. Thanked him and requested that, if the facts should prove such as represented to him, the consignment of the moneys might be delayed until the Signory obtained Brescia and Verona.
Having spoken to these three ministers, did not deem it advisable to go to others, in order that, if the report was untrue, his action might not come to the knowledge of the King and cause him to resent such distrust.
The Queen of Scotland, who was on the borders of England, had been delivered of a daughter. Her life had been despaired of, but she was better, and on her recovery would by his Majesty's orders come to the court in London.
London, 17th December 1515.
[Italian, 4 pages, or 99 lines.]
Dec. 20. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 48. 668. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
Bad heard that upwards of 50,000 ducats were already disbursed, and that from time to time a yet greater amount was to be distributed through bills on Flanders, from whence the sums were to be remitted to several places, that they might thus reach the Emperor. Believes the reports, both on the faith of those who made the announcement to him, and also by reason of the quantity of money paid in London for bills on Flanders, causing a variation in the exchanges of from 7 to 8 per cent., and as the exchange had risen in London it had fallen in Flanders, in such wise that those who wanted bills thence, for other places, obtained 12 or 14 per cent. more than they would have done a month previously, and this because the ready money had been withdrawn thence for transmission to the Emperor.
Had not held any communication relative to this matter either with the King or with the Council, for all were absent at an unusual residence, at a great distance from London, with a few of the ministers, and the King would be put to no trouble,—an unusual proceeding. Understood that the King was expected shortly at Greenwich, and on his arrival, would go and speak to him in person about this business.
London, 20th December 1515.
[Italian, 1¼ page, or 31 lines.]
Dec. 24. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's. Library, Letter no. 49. 669. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
The English Government had determined on remitting to the Emperor, “pro nunc” 100,000 ducats, part of which had been forwarded to Flanders through bills of exchange, and part by special messengers, all which moneys were to be delivered at a certain German town (the name of which his informants were unable to state correctly), and from thence would reach the Emperor's hands. The same account had been received by the French ambassador in London, who had transmitted it to his King. Had also seen a letter from Flanders, containing a paragraph to this effect: “Owine to these bills of exchange for 100,000 ducats, belonging to the King of England, and destined for the Emperor, money here has risen upwards of 12 per cent., and so great is the scarcity of gold, that it can no longer be got.”
Had heard the like from a person who frequented the Spanish embassy, and who rated the amount at 110,000 ducats. There can be no further doubt on the subject; for, first, there was the peace made between the Kings of England and Spain; then came the present from King Ferdinand to King Henry, namely, the collar with a very valuable balass-ruby, not sent as a gift, but as security for the moneys to be disbursed. There was also this fact, that England had two ambassadors with the Emperor, to whom the Cardinal's secretary (Richard Pace) had also been sent recently; added to which, couriers were constantly being sent to and fro by both parties.
The causes of so great a change were the successes of France, so bitterly felt by England. The present policy might be thus accounted for. First, England sought to raise difficulties in Lombardy, in the interest of the King of Spain, to prevent the march of King Francis to Naples. Secondly, King Henry purposed attacking the Scots next year, and being of opinion that France would protect the Duke of Albany, sought to occupy King Francis in Lombardy.
As the remittances could not reach the Emperor until the end of January, suggests that the Signory should hasten the recovery of Brescia and Verona.
London, 24th December 1515.
[Italian, 2¼ pages, or 51 lines.]
Dec. 28. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta). File no. 4. 670. The Doge and College to Sebastian Giustinian,
Ambassador in England.
To continue the respectful notification of their affairs to the King. Give account of the siege of Brescia by the Venetian army, aided by a considerable French force. The besieged sent hostages into the Venetian camp with articles of agreement, in accordance with which the besiegers retired with their cannon to some little distance from the town; meanwhile, 15,000 men descended by the mountain passes of Germany, and entered the town with a few head of cattle. Subsequently the winter season prevented the prosecution of the siege, the Venetian and French forces being compelled to go into quarters for a few days, in the neighbourhood of Brescia, which they kept blockaded. The Signory hope soon to obtain both Brescia and Verona, as King Francis is now at Milan.
Leo X. and Francis I. have held a conference at Bologna, the Pope advocating peace between the Christian powers, so that all might join in an expedition against the Infidels. He (Giustinian) was to acquaint the King with these particulars.