Venice: December 1516

Pages 340-344

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 1516

Dec. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 193. 819. Marino Giorgio, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Signory.
Dated 22nd November.
Gives details of the triple alliance which was being negotiated in England.
Dec. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 194. 820. The Same to the Same.
Rome, 29th November.
Understood that the King of England had sent the Emperor 35,000 ducats that he might go to him, and 15,000 ducats to the Switzers for their annual pension.
Dec. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 195. 821. Giovanni Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Amboise, 25th November.
Having received letters, dated London, 13th November, from Sebastian Giustinian, Venetian ambassador in England, informed King Francis that the Cardinal of Sion had quitted the island and was going to Spain (sic), King Henry having had his league sworn to there in England. King Francis replied, “I know it, and from fear of being captured he crossed over to Holland with five large ships.” Added that, after conferring with the Catholic King, he would go to Rome to try and make the Pope join the league. The King rejoined, “I should like him to go to Rome; the Pope would seize him; and I will write about this to his Holiness.”
Dec. 7. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 110. 822. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Had received the State's letters of the 25th October and 7th November, and duplicates of those of the 25th, received by way of Rome, with newsletters from the Levant. Acquainted the King with the contents of the newsletters. Expatiated on the dangers of Turkish aggression, but the King seemed to take little heed of it, being intent solely on the affairs of Italy and France. He was confirmed in this tendency by the Cardinal.
On that day (the 7th), had a long interview with Wolsey, who was never tired of speaking of the Italian expedition. He accused France and Venice of perfidy; and stated that within two months the allies would send ambassadors to the French King and the Signory, with a summons to desist from the siege of Verona. If that summons were disregarded, the League would wage war on the Venetians as fiercely as if they were Infidels, and they would be prohibited from trading. The League would also endeavour to get the Pope to excommunicate France and Venice. The Cardinal proposed a truce of six months, during which England would negotiate an agreement between the Emperor and the Signory, of which he said the King of France would approve. The allies were determined that the Emperor should have Verona, in order to prevent the French King from taking further steps to obtain the monarchy of Italy. The Cardinal stated further that King Francis was making overtures to the Emperor for peace, promising to leave him Verona, and give him Brescia; and added that he did not doubt but that, were he a Venetian senator, he could persuade them to leave Verona, and join the League.
Discussed the expedition to be undertaken against the Turk. The Cardinal said the King would distinguish himself in it above all others, and that he, the Cardinal, would perhaps go in person (et forsi che io ne anderò in persona).
London, 7th December 1516.
[Italian, 4¾ pages, or 111 lines.]
Dec. 7. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter do. 111. 823. Sebastian Giustinian to the Council of Ten.
A few days previously the nuncio (Chieregato) had been sent for by Cardinal Wolsey, who took him into a private chamber, where he laid hands on him, and demanded in fierce language to know what he had written to the King of France, what intercourse he had held with him (Giustinian), or with his son (Marino Giustinian), or the secretary, telling him that he should not quit the spot until he had confessed everything, and if he did not do so by fair means, he should be put to the rack. High words were exchanged by both parties. The nuncio denied the charges, but admitted intimacy with him (Giustinian), caused by a community of literary pursuits. He stated what he had written to the King of France, and that King's reply, which did not relate to present matters. So the Cardinal sent to his house to seize all his papers and ciphers, but found nothing objectionable. He was therefore released, at the intercession of the Bishop of Winchester. Permission was given him to leave the kingdom, and he would do so. His departure was only delayed by expectation of pecuniary supplies.
Was assured by Chieregato that he (Giustinian) would be dismissed on the declaration of war against France and Venice. Heralds were by this time to have been sent to make it, but they were sending ambassadors instead, and the period had been protracted two months. The ministry probably knew that the Switzers were not at their command.
The nuncio also stated that the Cardinal of Sion had departed in dissatisfaction with the ministry, saying they were very close about money. Sion, being wrathful and choleric, would resent the ill treatment of the nuncio, who was his servant, as also would the Pope. Caused the nuncio to write to Sion, exaggerating the affair as much as possible. His letter was enclosed in another of his to the Lord Albert [Count] of Carpi, whom he instructed to forward it to the Imperial Court.
London, 7th December 1516.
[Italian, 2 pages, or 47 lines.]
Dec. 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. pp. 211, 212. 824. Giovanni Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Amboise, 3rd December.
Had been told by King Francis that Dom. Galeazo Visconti, who was outlawed from Milan, and resided in Switzerland, was coming to the court, and had written to his nephew in England to depart in like manner for France, the King having given him a safe-conduct. King Francis said that the league made in England was the work of Cardinal Wolsey and the Cardinal of Sion.
Dec. 13. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 112. 825. Sebastian Giusttnian to the Signory.
Appointment of Dr. Clif (sic, for Knight) “a good Italian,” to convey the protest of the League to France and Venice. The second intimation would he made through the King Catholic. The Doctor had not yet departed. At the conference detailed in his last (fn. 1) [the Cardinal] threatened that, unless France and Venice desisted from the siege of Verona within the term specified, the allies would enforce payment of all the expenses which they might incur.
A secretary resident on behalf of the French King with the Duke of Albany in Scotland, had returned to London. Was informed by him that a truce had been agreed to between England and Scotland until the 27th January, and he hoped it would be prorogued for another year.
The annual tribute due from the King of France to the King of England had recently been forwarded.
London, 13th December 1516.
[Italian, 1 page or 24 lines.]
Dec. 13. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 229. 826. Jean de Rochefort, French Ambassador at Brussels, to King Francis I.
Dated 1st December.
On that morning Mons. de Chièvres announced to him the arrival of a courier from the Emperor, with letters authorizing the Catholic King to sign the treaty of peace.
That “good prophet” the Cardinal of Sion, who made the league in England to thwart the agreement between the Catholic King and his most Christian Majesty, had been sent away from Brussels, and the Catholic King had called the English ambassador into his presence, and told him that his ambassador in France had no commission to make a league, but was compelled to do what he had done. The English ambassador said that the Emperor had received 40,000 crowns from the King of England, who insisted on repayment from the Catholic King, which was promised accordingly.
Dec. 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiii. p. 252. 827. Giovanni Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Amboise, 10th December.
Conversation held by him with the Lord Steward, whom he assured that the Signory would never separate herself from King Francis. Rejoinder of the Lord Steward, that he had been told the Signory had negotiated with the Emperor through the King of England, though neither he nor King Francis believed it. Succeeded in removing all cause of suspicion.
Dec. 29. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 113. 828. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Had received letters from the ambassador Badoer in France, stating that on the 8th December news had arrived there of the signature of the articles of peace between the Emperor, the King of France, and Venice; of the agreement between the Switzers and the French King, which includes the Signory; and of the surrender of Verona to be made to the Signory for a certain sum, and at a certain time.
The King had been taking his pleasure for many days past. Visited him on the 28th. After mass, the King went to the place where he usually gave audience to ambassadors. He had received an express, announcing the news above-mentioned, though neither he nor the Lords credited it. Narrated to him the contents of Badoer's letters. The King said the Signory would be deceived; that the King of France was negotiating peace with the Emperor, to the exclusion of Venice, and was willing that Venice should be deprived of Verona; and that the Emperor and the French King intended to divide Italy between them. He added that all this was quite certain, as he had received the articles from the Emperor's court and from the English ambassador with the King Catholic; and that the 100,000 ducats, which the King Catholic was bound to pay yearly to the King of France for Naples, were to be made over to the Emperor, in order that the Emperor should permit the King of France to acquire that portion of Italy to which he aspired. This agreement was to be made within three months. The King boasted of his influence with the Emperor, and offered to mediate between Venice and him. Replied to the King in general terms. He requested that his communication might be kept secret, as he did not wish it to reach the King of France. The Lords who stood by, but out of hearing, were astonished at the unusual length of this audience.
Did not believe the King's statement, as it doubtless proceeded from the two ambassadors from the Emperor and Spain, who aimed at drawing money.
London, 29th December 1516.
[Italian, 5 pages, or 113 lines.]
Dec. 30. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 114. 829. The Same to the Same.
Had gone to visit Cardinal Wolsey that day, but found him very busy giving instructions to the two ambassadors appointed to the Emperor, namely, the Lord High Chamberlain (the Earl of Worcester) and Dr. Clif (Knight). Was requested not to wait, but return after Circumcision Day (1st Jan.).
Proceeded to the Bishop of Durham. He did not believe the news about the conclusion of the peace. He said that the ambassadors to the Emperor would depart on the morrow; that they were to go to the King of Spain, with whom there was already an ambassador resident; and that one of the three would continue at the King Catholic's court, while the other two would proceed to meet the Emperor. Inquired whether the ambassadors had any other mission to fulfil after they performed their embassy to the Emperor. The Bishop replied: “You ask this in order to learn whether they are going to the King of France and your Signory. No! no! no! We have cause to make war, but are anxious for peace.” Did not believe that the ministry had changed their purpose in so few hours.
On the 29th was assured by the Lord Treasurer (the Duke of Norfolk) that the whole of England desired a general peace.
London, 30th December 1516.
[Italian, 1½ page, or 38 lines.]


  • 1. See 7th December, no. 822.