Venice: June 1516

Pages 305-307

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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June 1516

June 3. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's. Library, Letter no. 76. 739. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
On that day had audience of the King at Greenwich, who admitted without any reserve that he had furnished the Emperor with money, and purposed continuing to do so, not to injure the King of France his confederate, but to protect his friend the Emperor, as he had received nothing but kindness from the Emperor, whereas the Signory had deserted England for France. The King, in reply to his (Giustinian's) statement that the Venetian league with France had been a matter of necessity, declared it was not necessity, but folly (stultitiam).
Complained of the Emperor's occupation of Brescia and Verona. The King replied that they belonged to the Emperor, as he had never conferred their investiture on the State. Explained to the King the mode in which those cities had been confirmed to Venice. Proposal made by the King to comprise the Signory in the league between himself, the Pope, the Emperor, the King of Spain and the Switzers, offering to reconcile Venice with the Emperor, if they would appoint him mediator.
Said he did not see how this league was possible, as the Pope, the Switzers, and the King of Spain were closely united with France. The King replied, “I tell you that all the Swiss cantons are mine, whoever may say the contrary;” and he repeated, “They are all mine. The Pope is anxious for this league, and be assured that at this very time he is firmly united to the Emperor, the King of Spain, myself, and the Switzers; and with regard to the King of Spain, believe me no friendship can be closer than that which he maintains with me.” Said he was sure that his Majesty had very great authority with the Emperor and other princes, by reason of his great power, wisdom, and wealth. The King answered, “I am contented with what I have; I wish only to govern my own subjects; but nevertheless I will not allow any one to have it in his power to govern me, nor will I ever suffer it.” Then inquired into the nature of this league, whether it was against the King of France or others. The King replied, “It is not against any one, for the King of France is my confederate, and although he possesses France, of which I bear the title, yet he pays me my tribute annually, so that I have no cause of war against him. There are indeed some differences, but they are unworthy of being despatched by an appeal to arms; and we shall form this league for defence of the allied territories. I want nothing, but will spend my money to assist my friends against their enemies.” Said he thought the King of France would join it, as he wanted nothing but the Milanese. The King answered that it would be in the power of King Francis to do so, provided he did not insist on being monarch of the universe (monarcha del mondo).
Offer of the King to adjust the Signory's differences with the Emperor. Requested the King, although he would not desist from contributing money to the enemies of Venice, at least in all other matters to show good will and friendship towards her. Reply of the King that he would be the Signory's friend, but that he also chose to be the friend of the Emperor, who had done much for him, and that to the Emperor belonged both Brescia and Verona, and the Milanese. This conversation lasted for more than an hour and a half, during which he was alone with the King,—a very unusual proceeding on the part of his Majesty.
Putney, 3rd June 1516.
[Italian, 7½ pages, or 192 lines.]
June 5. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 77. 740. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
Communicated to Cardinal Wolsey the King's proposals, which were repeated by the Cardinal, who urged the Signory to join the league. Replied by inquiring how this was possible, the King having told him that Brescia and Verona belonged to the Emperor. Stated that the King of France had promised to recover the whole of the Venetian territory, and that he (Giustinian) did not know whether it was the intention of King Henry to deprive France of the Milanese, nor how the State could league with one who said her territories belonged to her enemies, and break faith with King Francis, hut that it was quite a different matter if the King and his allies intended to allow the King of France to retain Milan.
Rejoinder of the Cardinal that no heed should be taken of the words uttered by the King thus on the sudden and unadvisedly, for, were he to mediate between the Signory and the Emperor, he would be much rather inclined to favour the former than the latter, without however promising that the King would award the two towns to the Signory. With regard to the possession of Milan by the French, he said it was the intention of the allies that the King of France should have no footing in Italy. He said, moreover, “If you. agree, I will get the King to write to the Emperor tomorrow to desist from hostilities with the Signory.” Being aware that this was a matter which would cause great disturbance if it came to the knowledge of the King of France, made answer that he by no means approved of King Henry's writing to the Emperor, as the matter deserved previous consideration by the Signory, whom he would therefore inform of the proposal.
Held a similar conversation with the Bishop of Durham.
Putney, 5th June 1516.
[Italian, 2 pages, or 54 lines.]
June 8. Mantuan Archives. 741. Francesco Chieregato, Apostolic Nuncio in England, to the Magntfico the Knight Kozone de' Rozoni, Nobleman of Mantua.
Has no news to give him, save that the soldiers are spending much English money, and more than ever.
London, 8 June 1516.
[Original. Italian.]
June 12. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 78. 742. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
Having heard that 150,000 ducats were about to be remitted to the Emperor, went to Cardinal Wolsey and remonstrated. No reply being given, the fact was virtually admitted. Was desired by the Cardinal to impress on the State the advantages which Venice might derive from the proposed league, and the perils she must incur by persevering in the French alliance. The Cardinal stated that a powerful army was to be raised under the command of the Emperor, for the completion of the undertaking. Is convinced that little can be done with words, and that the projects of the league may be thwarted by the Signory's speedily recovering Brescia and Verona.
Complains of not receiving letters either from the Signory or from the Venetian ambassadors. Had heard recently that the Imperial and Spanish ambassadors in London were doing their utmost to make the King dismiss him. Close conferences were held between the Cardinal, the Bishop of Durham, the Papal nuncio, the Imperial and Spanish ambassadors, and the agent from the Switzers. Proof thus afforded of the unfavourable disposition of all parties.
Putney, 12th June 1516.
[Italian, 3¼ pages, or 81 lines.]
June 26. Misti Consiglio X. v. xl. p. 41, tergo. 743. The Council of Ten and Junta to the Ambassador in France.
As King Francis had suggested to him to write to the Signory's ambassador in England about the remittances of money made by King Henry to the Emperor, approve greatly of his having acted accordingly. They had also, more than once, given their ambassador like order, and again commission him to do so, although, from what he has notified to them, everything depends on the disputes with Scotland, in which matter, on account of his sister, King Henry seems to consider himself injured, and speaks about it very passionately. Could these disputes be arranged, all disturbance would subside.
Ayes, 28. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 73 lines.]