Venice: October 1516

Pages 325-332

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 1516

Oct. 3. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 93. 781. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Went to Cardinal Wolsey that day. Acquainted him with the contents of the State's letters of the 7th September. He desired him (Giustinian) to repeat thoroughly the conditions to be inserted in the safeconduct, that he might send them to the King Catholic. He seemed to approve of them, although he made some little difficulty about the last clause, which purported that King Henry was to pledge himself to the observance of the safeconduct by the King Catholic. “However,” he said, “this article is not to be put in the safeconduct. We will first have that drawn up, and then conclude this last part.”
The Cardinal listened attentively to the newsletters from Constantinople. He was much astonished to hear of the 220 galleys, and asked what the Turk intended to do with so powerful an armada, Replied the Turk would doubtless invade Christendom. The Cardinal rejoined: “Let us first free ourselves from the peril which threatens us from the King of France;” and that Venice should not regard a single city, which they had the means of obtaining a better way and without cost. Desired him to contrive that the King should send it no more succour. The Cardinal desired him to stay to dinner.
London, 3rd October 1516.
[Italian, 3 pages, or 75 lines.]
Oct. 3. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 6. 782. Marino Giorgio, Venetian Ambassador at the Papal Court, to the Signory.
Viterbo, 27th September.
Had heard from the Pope that the treaty of Noyon did not please the King of England.
Oct. 8. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 94. 783. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Visited the King on the 5th. The Imperial and Spanish ambassadors had a long audience. All the ambassadors staid to dinner, together with the Cardinal and other Lords. After dinner the said ambassadors held a close conference with the Cardinal. When it was over, he (Giustinian) urged the Cardinal to despatch the letters to the King Catholic for the safeconduct. He promised to do so. Gave him the conditions in writing. Shortly afterwards, the King sent for the Cardinal and the ambassadors. He was with the two Queens and a number of ladies, with whom he was dancing. After many dances, he made the ambassadors hear Friar Dionisius Memo play, who was praised by everybody. The King was much pleased with him.
On the 7th went to the Cardinal, to know whether the letters to the King Catholic had been despatched, but could not speak with him, as he was slightly indisposed. That morning (the 8th) received letters from the State, dated 27th August, with a copy of the missive from the Great Turk.
London, 8th October 1516.
[Italian, 1¼ page, or 29 lines.]
Oct. 9. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 95. 784. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
Had been informed that the English government, understanding that the French garrison of Milan was much diminished, purposed sending a force of Switzers to attack the city or some other part of the Milanese, in order to draw off the French army from the siege of Verona, and do as much mischief as possible. This undertaking was conducted with the utmost secresy.
London, 9th October 1516.
[Italian, ½ page, or 10 lines.]
Oct. 10. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 26. 785. Marino Giorgio, Venetian Ambassador at the Papal Court, to the Signory.
Viterbo, 30th September.
Arrival of the English ambassador, (fn. 1) to whom he had consigned the letters for England.
Oct. 14. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 96. 786. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
Imparted the contents of the State's letters of 27th August to King Henry, Cardinal Wolsey, and the Bishop of Durham, and read to them the Great Turk's letter, which did not seem to terrify them. They were highly elated, having heard that the siege of Verona had been raised, and that the French and Venetian armies had retreated 13 or 14 miles, having suffered two great defeats, and also that an Imperial army of 16,000 men had come up. The Cardinal of Sion was coming post to England, to weave some other web. Would not visit him, as he was an enemy of Venice and the French King. Report that the league between the Emperor, the King Catholic, and the King of England, had been concluded and signed, the Pope being included, though he had not yet affixed his signature to it.
London, 14th October 1516.
[Italian, 1¼ page, or 31 lines.]
Oct. 15. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 42–44. 787. Giovanni Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Amboise, 15th August, and Paris, 6th October.
Had been told by the King that the treaty of, Noyon was made contrary to the wishes of the Emperor and the King of England.
The Chancellor informed him that the Cardinal of Sion was going to England; that the Switzers did not choose to have him for Bishop, and had written to the Pope to appoint another in his stead.
Oct. 15. Mantuan Archives. 788. Francesco Chieregato to the Marchioness of Mantua.
After kissing hands, informs her that the league had lately been concluded and sealed betweeen the Emperor, the Catholic King, and the King of England, place being reserved for the Pope and the Switzers. The Catholic King means to cancel the agreement made with the most Christian King. Anticipates immediate war between France and England. The right Reverend Cardinal [of Sion] had quitted the Emperor's court, riding post to the Catholic King; and on that day was expected in London, where he would be adored like an idol. Very great preparations had been made for him, and it was supposed he would remain some months, to solicit money and urge hostilities. Believes he will succeed without much difficulty.
The King of England devotes himself to accomplishments and amusements day and night. Is intent on nothing else, leaving business to the Cardinal of York, who rules everything sagely and most prudently.
The Queen of Scotland is also in England, but negotiations are on foot for her speedy return to Scotland in honourable form.
London, 15th October 1516.
[Original. Italian.]
Oct. 16. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 97. 789. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
The Cardinal of Sion arrived the preceding night, some say with three, others with five horses. A stately dwelling had been prepared for him. He dined today with Cardinal Wolsey. Had told one of the Lords that Sion was on the worst possible terms with the Switzers, and that he would endeavour, in order to make his peace with them, to obtain monney from King Henry, promising to raise a host of them, although he would perform nothing; for if they received money for a fresh expedition, they would take it in settlement of former claims, which they urged against the Cardinal of Sion. The Lord answered, “We shall be like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ears,” as they had been glutted with words till they were weary. It was, however, to be feared lest Sion's great promises should decoy them. Moreover, the report of the league mentioned in his last was confirmed daily.
On the 15th, whilst at the house of the Cardinal, one who is his secretary and the King's drew him (Giustinian) aside, and said the Lords were greatly surprised that the Signory so pertinaciously adhered to France; but he said he had told the Cardinal this was not to be wondered at, as the French were assisting Venice to recover Verona, and that it was therefore necessary to devise some means of insuring the Signory of its possession. Perceived the secretary's object was to discover whether Venice would desert France, if sure of the recovery of Verona, and replied that Verona was the least of the difficulties. The secretary expressed surprise that no letters had arrived from the Signory respecting Cardinal Wolsey's overtures.
Also on that same day had audience of Wolsey. He said he had not yet sent the letters to the King Catholic for the safe-conduct, and wished to be allowed to manage the business in his own way. Nothing would be done till the conclusion of Sion's [negotiations, which would probably be brief.
London, 16th October 1516.
[Italian, 3 pages, or 80 lines.]
Oct. 17. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 54. 790. Giovanni Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Council of Ten.
Paris, 8th October.
The King told him the Cardinal of Sion had arrived at the court of the Catholic King, and was going to England, adding, “It would be well to conclude this agreement with the Emperor. I have been deceived” (without saying by whom), “but should the agreement not take place, for one man now under Verona I will send three for its capture.”
Oct. 20. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 98. 791. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
On the 18th the Cardinal of Sion went to Greenwich. He had a long conference with the King and Cardinal Wolsey. After dinner both the Cardinals returned to their respective dwellings. It was said that Sion offered to supply the King with 6,000 or 7,000 Switzers for Italy, and 16,000 lansquenets. For France, which he proposed to invade, he offered 20,000 Switzers, on being furnished with funds by King Henry. It was also reported that he desired the King to enter France with a large army. After the interview the Council sat in consultation, there being present the Cardinal of York, the Bishops of Durham (Ruthal) and Norwich (Richard Nix), the Treasurer (the Duke of Norfolk), [Sir Thomas] Lovel, and [Sir Henry] Marney. It was not attended by the Bishop of Winchester (Fox) and the Archbishop of Canterbury (Warbam), who had absented themselves since the beginning of this business.
On the 19th sent his secretary to Wolsey to appoint an audience, in order to learn something, although it was usually difficult to get anything from him. The secretary brought word that Wolsey, on quitting the Council, had gone immediately to Sion, dined with him, and remained with him a long while. When he returned home, he was so wrathful and perturbed that he seemed not to be in his right mind. It was said he had never been seen in such perturbation since he had been at the helm. He declared to the secretary he could not give him (Giustinian) an audience for three or four days. He then sent immediately for the Imperial ambassador, although it was already night and the hour inconvenient. All this could only be attributed to a dispute between the two Cardinals, or to the receipt of fresh intelligence at variance with the assertions of the Imperial ambassador, who is in the habit of making them sixteen to the dozen.
Was going that day (the 20th) to the Treasurer, and would endeavour to learn something from him.
London, 20th October 1516.
[Italian, 2 pages, or 51 lines.]
Oct. 21. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 99. 792. The Same to the Same.
Had visited the Treasurer (the Duke of Norfolk), who had been absent many months, and was one of the managers of affairs. He said the Cardinal of Sion was not come to do any harm, but to promote a universal peace, and that there had never been any question of injuring Venice. Represented that the threatening attitude of the Turk ought to confederate the Christian powers. He assented; but his fair promises were to be doubted, for a few months previously he and other Lords positively swore that nothing was being negotiated against Venice, whereas the result proved adverse to the French King and the Signory. Everything depended on England. (fn. 2)
London, 21st October 1516.
[Italian, 2¾ pages, or 70 lines.]
Oct. 22. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 100. 793. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
Had that day conversed with the Papal nuncio, who had formerly been secretary to the Cardinal of Sion. He said Sion proposed that the King of England should cross the Channel in the spring and invade Picardy; that the Switzers should attack Burgundy under the Duke of Suffolk; that the Emperor should be at Verona, with Sion and another Duke, and with upwards of 20,000 men; and that all should attack simultaneously, the King of England defraying the expenses. The nuncio was not aware that a final decision had been made, but considered it certain, because Sion was very cheerful, and busy with despatches from two o'clock in the morning till four in the afternoon. Sion had transmitted a schedule of clauses to Wolsey, who was at the Council Board, and he would not depart till it was decided where, when, and how he was to receive the money for this undertaking, so that there would be a delay of seven or eight days. He was to take with him a large sum for the defence of Verona. The nuncio said the Pope would join this confederacy; that a bishop, his ambassador, was expected daily; and that he (the nuncio) anticipated being ordered to join the camp. Did not entirely believe all this. Sion was accompanied to London by one of the King's attendants, who was at the Court about two months ago, and who told him (Giustinian) that he was sent to fetch the Cardinal. This appeared to confirm what the nuncio reported about the alliance. Would endeavour to obtain further information from the Spanish ambassador.
London, 22nd October 1516.
P. S.—Suspecting that the Papal nuncio had spoken at the instigation of the ministry, opened letters of his addressed to his mother at Mantua, and to Lady Ipolita Sforza Bentivola at Milan. He desired his mother not to quit Mantua, but await the result of the new league, because Sion was about to leave England, and carried with him strong resolutions, which would probably cause much mischief in Italy. He informed the Lady Ipolita of the new league between the Emperor, Spain, and England, place being reserved for the Pope and the Switzers; that since its conclusion the Cardinal of Sion has come to England, who had previously held a long conference in Brabant with the King Catholic and Lady Margaret; that Sion was caressed and adored by King Henry and the whole country, and in a few hours would gain his intent, as his proposals were such as pleased the King and his people. The nuncio predicted more trouble than ever in Italy, and that this league would have a larger tail; and he there lore advised his friends to remove to secure places.
[Italian, 3¼ pages, or 84 lines.]
Oct. 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 68. 794. Andrea Rosso, Venetian secretary at Milan, to the State.
Bated 18th October.
The Switzers would not ratify the agreement with King Francis, because the ambassadors from the Emperor, Spain, and England had promised to give them a sum equal to what was offered by France. Should they not make terms with France, the Pope would pay them a larger pension than heretofore.
Oct. 24. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 101. 795. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
The Cardinal of Sion had obtained all his demands from the King. The two Cardinals and the Imperial ambassadors sat in conference daily. Sion was treated with as much honour as if he were the Pope; the first vacant bishopric had been promised him. Money was being remitted for Verona; the amount did not exceed 25,000 crowns. They declared the siege had been raised, and succour introduced. This news was received by way of Rome, in letters of the 6th. On the 23rd received news of an opposite tenour, also by way of Home, in letters of the 30th Sept. Was refreshed by the latter news, having been downcast by letters received here, dated Verona the 24th Sept., stating that the siege had been raised, that succour had entered the city, that an Imperial army had come up, that the Venetian forces had suffered great slaughter, and that La Schiusa (sic) had been taken.
On the 23rd received two letters from the State, of the 12th and 23rd Sept. Would no longer need to act on his own responsibility, although he had adopted a submissive and respectful tone in negotiating with Wolsey, who had frequently assured him that he discussed State affairs more willingly with him than with any one else. For many days Wolsey had said nothing about the league. Would avoid the subject of the Signory's inclusion in it.
London, 24th October 1516.
[Italian, 2 pages, or 47 lines.]
Oct. 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 79. 796. Newsletters.
Motion made in the Senate to transmit the Turkish newsletters to the Venetian ambassador in England.
Oct. 25. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlvii. p. 36, tergo, 797. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador in England.
Transmit copies of letters from their “Bailo” at Constantinople concerning the powerful armada which Sultan Selim was fitting out there; also copies of advices from Syria. To communicate the same to the King, as also the election by the State of two ambassadors to the Sultan.
Ayes, 170. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 11 lines.]
Oct. 29. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 102. 798. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Tex.
Transmission of money to the amount of 100,000 crowns, part destined doubtless for Verona. Sion had promised wonders to the Lords, all tending to the extermination of France and Venice. In two or three days a bishop was expected as ambassador from the Pope, to ratify the league, as it was reported. Did not vouch for this. Great exactions were being levied from the clergy and laity.
An envoy from the French King had been in London on his way to the Duke of Albany in Scotland. Was visited by him. Albany desired to go and see the French King, and the English Lords were anxious that he should pass through England. He would do so, if a great personage were placed in his power as surety. They promised him the Duke of Suffolk, but he was rejected by the envoy, who left Wolsey in dudgeon. Wolsey had refused a safeconduct to the envoy, but he said he would go without one. As Sion had offered to levy upwards of 40,000 Switzers, asked the envoy how the King of France stood with them. He said that King had nine cantons in league with him, they having already signed and sealed; and he was negotiating with the rest. Sion could not therefore keep his promises. Cardinal Wolsey, who led the dance, and King Henry bore the worst possible will to the French King, who ought therefore endeavour to secure as many cantons as possible, or else make a great offer or gift to Wolsey, for. if he were quieted, all this turmoil would cease. The latter proposal would not be difficult to execute, as the Cardinal perceived that all the grandees of England were opposed to his policy, and that the people complained extremely of the new imposts, so that he might with reason apprehend some commotion.
Had twice sent in vain to ask audience from Wolsey. Attributed its refusal to Sion, who was endeavouring to obtain his (Giustinian's) dismissal. Would not press for the safeconduct for the galleys till Sion's departure. Had been informed by the Papal nuncio, that the Lord Mark Anthony Colonna was to command the army against Burgundy, and the Duke of Suffolk the army to be sent by King Henry into France; and that the King Catholic intended to march an army into Italy against the Signorv.
London, 29th October 1516.
[Italian, 3¼ pages, or 90 lines.]
Oct. 31. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 103. 799. The Same to the Same.
Had been fully assured by the Papal nuncio that the conditions of the new league were such as already announced, and that it was to be sworn to by the King, and the Imperial and Spanish ambassadors, at high mass on the 1st November, and proclaimed at Greenwich.
London, 31st October 1516.
[Italian, ¾ page, or 15 lines.]


  • 1. Qu., the Bishop of Worcester, or Sampson? See Mr. Brewer's Calendar, vol. ii. no. 2394.
  • 2. “Io cognosco hora consiste qui summam rerum.