Venice: May 1510

Pages 28-32

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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May 1510

May 1. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 183. 61. Receipt of Letters from the Ambassador Andrea Badoer, dated London, 30th March.
Writes much gossip (zanze, assai), and that a letter had reached the King from the Lady Margaret, who complains of her father for choosing to aggrandize the King of France, and to sell him Verona, Vicenza, and Padua. That the King of England is well disposed towards the Signory. At his court there are ambassadors from France, Spain, and Burgundy—one from each. The King of England had also written letters to the Emperor, to Spain, and to Rome, to negotiate an arrangement between the Signory and the Emperor, but from lack of money Badoer had not forwarded them. Complains that he has not wherewithal to buy bread. Has pawned his plate and everything. Has moreover had a loan of 700 ducats from certain merchants, who gave 50 ducats each. At present, no one will lend him any more. “The worthy” Carmeliano had advanced him a certain sum for the despatch of the herald. The Signory desired him to draw for 250 ducats on the Pasqualigo firm, but Lorenzo [Pasqualigo] says he has no order. Complains that it is disgraceful for the Signory. It would be well to send the Magnifico the ambassador elect; he perchance would be provided. Badoer says he does not gamble, but seeks to do honour to the Signory. Is ruined in property and health. Complains also that the merchants report ill of him. Does what he can. The French came with much wrought silver as presents. They consequently made the compact with the King, which is said not to be disadvantageous for the Signory. It contains the clause permitting Venetian ships to navigate English and French waters, and he will also see to obtaining the like permission from Spain. Report that the treaty is invalid, as English kings should be above 21 years old when they make any treaty, and his present Majesty is under that age. The French nevertheless seek to forward their own interests.
In December Badoer addressed letters for the Signory to the banker Alvise Pisani, for the dispatch of ambassadors to the Diet, as Maximilian would give them audience at the suit of King Henry, who meant to be arbiter.
The courier, arriving at Roveredo, on his way to Vicenza, was captured and wounded by the Albanian light cavalry, who said they would consign his letters to the governors in the neighbourhood.—Note by Sanuto that “of this the College knows nothing.”
Badoer writes that the King's chamber is always open to him, and he can go thither as often as he pleases. He had received letters from the Signory by way of Rome, with the briefs of absolution. It was holy week, and the privy councillors were dispersed; but ho would deliver the letters after Easter, and forward the brief for Burgundy. In England nothing was heard of military preparations. The King of France was at Paris, and it was supposed he would not move to any great distance thence.
May 12. Deliberazioni Senato, v. xliii. p. 31. 62. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador in Rome.
Approve the friendly overtures made to the English ambassador. (fn. 1)
Ayes 176. Noes 3. Neutrals 0.
[Italian, 105 lines.]
May 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 241. 63. Receipt of Letters from Andrea Badoer, Ambassador in England, dated 20th April.
Since the 13th a Scotch priest, the friend of King James, had arrived there. Badoer had known him heretofore, when ambassador from Scotland to King Henry, and had held several conversations together. The Scotchman said his King was the friend of the Signory; and Badoer rejoined that he was the friend of the King of France. The Scotchman asked him also about the death of the Signory's commander in chief, the Count of Pitigliano, and what annual stipend he received, saying his King would be a good general. This priest was gone to Flanders, but he would return speedily, and convey to Scotland the briefs raising the excommunication. The priest said his King wished to come and see Venice. Badoer does not send copies of the letters written by the King of England, being unable to procure them, because the Privy Seal, the Bishop of Winchester, was indisposed. From France news came that the King was at Melun; that he would not come into Italy this year; and that there was no naval armament in the French seas, nor yet at Genoa, as he understood from certain Genoese. Ferigo Morosini, appointed as consul in London. The principal part of the merchants had departed, including Nicolò da Ponte, Hironimo da Molin, and Lunardo Foscari, and were on their way to Venice through France with a safeconduct.
The rest were on the eve of departure, so but few merchants would remain. Also that the King was about to send three of his gentlemen into Italy, to purchase horse armour, and other military accoutrements. Says the King is a courageous and worthy sovereign, very robust (gagliardo), and 19 years old. His wife had not yet been delivered. After that event the King was to make a progress through the island, having never been more than 20 miles from London since his accession.
Note by Sanuto that at length a bill of exchange on the Pisani bank for 300 ducats had been remitted to Badoer.
May 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 321. 64. Receipt of Letters from the Ambassador Badoer. Dated London, the 15th.
Had received the Signory's orders to tell the King that the State placed herself in his Majesty's hands respecting the agreement with the Emperor, so he went to the King and told him this. His Majesty enquired how the Signory stood with the King of Hungary. Replied that he was the Signory's gossip, (fn. 2) and had sent an ambassador to Venice. The King wrote to the Emperor immediately concerning this matter. Badoer was awaiting a reply to the first herald sent by him, but had not dispatched the second herald with the modified letters, having no money to defray the costs. The King means to accredit a doctor as ambassador to the Emperor. Badoer details his conversations with the King. The Spanish ambassador is on good terms with the Signory, and fain would that the adjustment be effected. The Bishop of Winchester “est alter rex.” Badoer said to the bishop, “France is becoming great.” The answer was, “The Emperor chooses to have his own.” Badoer rejoined that the Emperor had got Trieste and Gorizia, which belonged to him. The Bishop next remarked that the Emperor insisted on Padua and Vicenza, when Badoer replied that these were not imperial towns. In conclusion the Bishop said, “Another year something will be done; the Signory of Venice does not die, but the agreement will speedily come to an end. King Lewis is in bad health; the Signory will recover her own, and by waiting, we shall do her good. That King Lewis should aggrandize himself is not for our benefit. Our King is young; he is exerting himself with the King of Spain, &c. Let this year glide by. The Signory has a powerful army. The Pope is with us and with her.”
Badoer talked so much that he went away with a pain in his side. He writes also that the knight of Rhodes, Sir John Rawson, was coming to Venice; he would see the Cardinal of Rouen on the way, and be able to tell the Signory something, being bound for Rome. Badoer demands for a supply of money; he suffers much.
Reading to the Signory of the letter from Carmeliano, “an excellent and worthy letter.”
Reception in the college hall of the English knight of Rhodes, Sir John Rawson, who was seated beside the Doge, and very much caressed. Said he was going to Rome; had come through France; and had no news.
May 25. Deliberazioni Senato, v. xliii. p. 44, tergo. 65. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador in Rome.
The ambassador is to urge that the King of France yields to the Pope's demands only through fear. When relieved from his present fear will execute his ill intentions. Repeat the statement of a trustworthy witness, Nicolò da Ponte, who had come from England through France.
[Italian, 53 lines.]
May 29. Sanuto Diaries, v. x. p. 357. 66. Receipt of two very long Letters in cipher from the Ambassador Andrea Badoer, dated London; the first, 30th April and 1st May.
How Badoer spoke to the King about the King of Hungary That the King (of England) is the Signory's friend, and has sent a protest to France to the effect that she is the ruin of Christendom. The King having in council determined to send a doctor post haste to Rome, to speak privately to the Pope in favour of Venice, Badoer went to the King, and said it was not well to send this doctor, as the Bishop (sic) of York does good service, and might be written to; so the Bishop is to be instructed to speak to the Pope. Badoer further requested a doctor might be sent to the Emperor, and the King acquiesced, except that he will send a knight and not a doctor. Announces also the arrival on the island of an ambassador from Portugal. Nothing was heard about the French armament. Repeats that the King of Scotland, who wishes to be the Signory's captain general, could bring ten thousand fighting men, and would come with 150 vessels on pretence of going on a pilgrimage, and on the completion of the undertaking, attack the Infidels, free of cost to the State. Had arranged for a secret conference with him on the borders. Was unable to obtain the entire treaty between England and France, but encloses copy of the clause relating to the [Flanders galleys].
The second letter, dated 11th May, announces the return of the herald who went to the Emperor, and who is the bearer of letters to the King, acquainting him that the Signory's ambassadors had conferred with those of the Emperor, who derided them. That the Emperor insists on having his towns. That the Diet had determined to give him 4,000 horse and 10,000 foot, paid until the end of September, though he wants the money instead. Also that he means to come with an army to recover his own. Apparent displeasure of the King of England at this reply. Consequent mission of the aforesaid knight, a worthy man and thoroughly Italian. If the Signory had any unacknowledged agent resident with the Emperor to negotiate an agreement, Badoer would cause the said knight to be charged to confer with him. Mentions the arrival of letters from Rome. The Lady Margaret is doing her utmost to raise money for her father, but the Flemings will not pay anything. In England the articles with France are considered invalid, because the King is not 21 years old; and the ratification is needed. The Prior of St. John's [Sir Thomas Docwra], was to have gone to France to ratify them; but nothing is said about this. On the contrary, it is reported that the King has been duped by France. Again mentions the captainship for the King of Scots, who is a man of valour, and anxious to do himself honour. The noblemen Giustinian, Molin, and Da Ponte were about to depart with a safeconduct for France. The King had told him the Signory should attend to Vicenza. Writes that the Bishop of Winchester does his utmost to bring matters to a good end, and if he do not accomplish the wishes of the Signory, the failure does not proceed from him; and Badoer knows no more, save that he has not a penny for his maintenance, and demands pecuniary supplies. Has not two ducats wherewith to pay the postage of the present letters, and gives other details of poverty disgraceful to the State.
Clause in the Treaty of Peace between France and England (as follows):
“Also that all merchants, even Venetians, Florentines, or Genoese, may come freely and securely to the kingdom of England by sea and fresh water, armed for the safety of their persons, property, goods, ships, and effects, or unarmed, with their own merchandize or that of aliens, in any of their own ships, carracks, or galleys; and depart whithersoever they please, and as often as they choose, without disturbance or molestation of any sort from the King of England and of the French, or from their heirs, successors, subjects, etc., during the aforesaid alliance. The Venetians coming to England exclusively; the Florentines and Genoese having access both to England and France; the Venetians aforesaid on their outward and homeward voyages committing no acts of hostility against either England or France or their confederates.”
[Extract from letters in Italian; clause in Latin.]


  • 1. The words in the original are,—“Commendamo etiam l'officio facto cum l'Orator Englese; et tanto più quanto vedemo che sete per continuar et cum luy et cum quelli altri che cognoscerete esser boni mezi a poter indur la Pontera Santa ad quello è però il ben et la securtà tua, et de quella Santa Sede.”
  • 2. “Compare.” Doge Loredano had stood godfather for Lewis the son of King Ladislaus. See Sanuto Diaries, passim.