Venice: February 1517, 11-20

Pages 348-367

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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February 1517, 11–20

Feb. 11. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 118. 840. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
News had arrived in London that Ravenna and Cervia had fallen into the hands of Venice, the Signory having an understanding with the Duke of Urbino, the Duke of Ferrara, the Bentivogli, and others; and that the captain of the expedition was the Lord Mark Anthony Colonna, with the troops which left Verona. The Lords abused the ambitious policy of Venice, as also did the Imperial ambassadors, who had defamed the Signory for upwards of a year. Was told by the faithful friend (Chieregato), who had been with them, that one of them, Count Bartholomew Tationo, whose county was near Aste, had said, “What is this King doing, and these other princes? They ought all to join against these rascally Venetians, who are worse than Turks.” The same ambassadors, since receiving the news of Verona, had put on cloth of frieze, most mean apparel, probably to show that its surrender took place contrary to the Emperor's will, and to his great shame, for the sake of causing King Henry to make some fresh stir.
It would be expedient to write to the King, in palliation of this affair of Ravenna and Cervia.
Was informed that the King would certainly cross over to Calais; for an interview, it was supposed, with the Emperor and the King Catholic. Great supplies of wines and other necessaries were being collected at Calais. This intelligence was derived by his informant from a customs officer.
London, 11th February 1517.
[Italian, 2 pages, or 45 lines.]
Feb. 12. MS. penes me. 841. Commission from Doge Leonardo Loredano to the noble Andrea Priuli, appointing him Captain of the Flanders Galleys.
Series of his instructions in numerical order.
1. To legislate for all under his command, with good faith and without fraud.
2. To receive a salary of 600 golden ducats for the voyage.
3. His own salary, the salaries of 30 good bowmen on board each galley, and of the other officials, to be paid by the masters. Four young Venetian noblemen to be included amongst the 30 bowmen. The masters to take on board each galley a nautical adviser, with a monthly salary of 10 ducats, to be paid by the masters, who are to board him at their own table, with the four young noblemen.
4. Each master to take with him eight pilots, two scribes, a caulker, an oarmaker, and other footmen. (fn. 1)
5. Immediately on arriving at Sluys, the captain to despatch a courier to Venice with the news.
6. Prohibition against shipping more than 120,000 weight of light goods on board each galley on the homeward voyage.
7. Amount and price of copper and tin to be brought by the masters from Flanders and England on their return.
8. As from too close stowage, and crevices in the decks, the merchants occasionally incur great loss in the wools loaded in the Flanders galleys, as the wools are in great part damaged, and ignited; when the stowage of bags of wool is made, the captain is desired to see the bags stowed one by one, (fn. 2) and not several at a time, and that no single bag exceed the weight of 55 tods (dodorum) . When the stowage commences, the captain and vice-captain in London to put the masters, and all others concerned in the stowage, upon oath not to allow the wools to be stowed in any other manner, under penalty of eight golden ducats. In order that the decks may be wind and water tight, lest the wools and merchandise suffer, the captain to have the decks caulked from stem to stern at the cost of the masters; any master failing to caulk and repair his deck to be fined 1,000 livres on his return to Venice.
9. All merchandise weighed on board the Flanders galleys in Venice for the outward voyage to pay freight according to Troy weight (ad pondus subtile). (fn. 3)
10. All freight to be paid at Venice in advance; if not, payments made in Flanders to be at the rate of 50 “soldi” gross for each ducat.
11. Freight money due to the Flanders galleys to be exacted in the same manner as freights due from the other merchant squadrons of the State.
12. Each galley to have on board a weigher appointed by the State, that it may be known what goods are loaded.
13. Each merchant passenger on board the Flanders galleys to provide himself with a crossbow and bolts, and other necessary arms, under the same penalty as that to which merchants on board the galleys of the State are liable. The masters bound to keep weapons of the merchants in places accessible in case of need, under penalty of five light livres.
14. Carriage by land of wool from England and Flanders to Venice prohibited from the month of May 1517 until two months after the return of the Flanders galleys.
15. Permission for the galleys to load and unload at any ports they may make, either on the outward or homeward voyage, without going out of their course or loading below the water-marks.
16. On the return voyage the goods, whether of Venetians or aliens, who may have shipped merchandise in Venice on the outward voyage, to be loaded in preference to goods presented by those who had made no shipment in Venice.
17. Mode of payment prescribed for the oarsmen and footmen: rate of exchange in Flanders 36 gross per ducat for arrears of pay to the crews, and 30 gross per ducat for loans required to free them from arrest.
18. The captain forbidden to land at any place where there may be a city or castle, unless he appoint one of the masters to act as captain in his stead.
19. Should the captain from illness or other cause be unable to exercise the command, the merchants and masters to appoint one from amongst themselves to command the galleys according to the present commission.
20. The masters forbidden to place any merchandise, sails, or tackle in the “scandolariuni,” that part of the galley being destined exclusively for the merchants and their effects, and for the bows of the bowmen. Prohibition also against enlarging or diminishing the “scandolarium,” which was in no respect to differ from the “scandolariuni” of the Alexandria galleys. Under penalty of 500 ducats each the masters are bound to take all merchants, with their servants, mattrasses, chests, arms, and effects, without receiving any payment or freight, provided the merchants have shipped goods yielding freight to the amount of 15 ducats or upwards. Permission for the masters to stow salted provisions (panaticã), and nothing else, below the “scandolarium.”
21. The masters forbidden to prevent the merchants from making bales of cloth, one piece upon the other. The masters are bound to receive bales thus packed, and are not to stow them by means of the capstan, under penalty of losing the whole freight.
22. Prohibition against allowing more than 40 of the crew to land from each galley.
23. The galleys to be provided with a sufficient quantity of ladders.
24. For the future the judges magni salarii not to give writs for the recovery of debts, bonds, loans, or pledges stipulated on board the galleys of the State or of private individuals, by the warrant officers, pilots, and crews of the galleys, unless written by the captain's notary; and should the galleys have no captain, the debenture to be written by the scribe on board the galleys in which the contracts shall be made, with the consent of the galley's master.
25. Permission given to the captain to steer his course outside Sicily or within, as he shall think best.
26. Orders for each of the Flanders galleys in Venice to load 20,000 weight of ballast before they commence the shipment of their cargoes.
27. Prohibition against any compromises whereby the masters of the Flanders galleys were in the habit of exempting certain merchants from the payment of all averages on their goods, to the serious detriment of other merchants who had no such exemption.
28. The captain to observe a law passed by the Senate on the 28th December 1387, to the effect that both oarsmen and footmen do receive their full pay, and suffer no wrong, and that the merchant-galleys do go and return well manned; which law has by no means been observed, as the masters do not give the poor men their pay and arrears as bound . . . . (qui faciunt apuncta et homines pauperes in meridiem tenendo scallam in terrain, et Mas apunctaturas own datas Caps non debet ponere ad computum pauperum hominum) . Each master to have 171 oarsmen the masters to pay 24 livres a month for every man below that amount.
29. The captain to keep an exact account of all moneys paid for freight and to the crews.
30. The galleys to convey all ambassadors, proveditors, negotiators, and other envoys in the service of the State.
31. The clerks of the masters to register all the agreements made by the merchants concerning freight, weight, &c. of all goods shipped out of Venice.
32. On the return voyage the masters to take pilots in Istria.
33. At Pola, or before passing Zara, the captain to call the muster-roll of the crews, both footmen and oarsmen; the muster to be made in arms, as if on the point of going into action; and the captain to provide for all deficiencies as he shall think fit.
34. As all barrels are to be of one measure, the captains and the masters to have search made on board the galleys at Pola and elsewhere; and all barrels containing more than a quart and bucket to be put on shore, that the galleys may go with greater safety. (fn. 4)
35. On the homeward voyage the galleys forbidden to navigate by night between Ragusa and Istria.
36. The goods of aliens to pay freight to the galleys at the same rate as the goods of Venetian merchants and citizens; a former decree being repealed whereby they were forbidden to export by the galleys stamped bars of silver, “soldi,” and “grossi;” and permission being given for this single voyage.
37. To prevent any delay in the return of the galleys from want of money, each of the masters, ten days before their departure, to present bills of exchange on Flanders and London payable to the captain, for the aid of the galleys and crews in case of need.
38. The masters to be bound to give each man a daily supply of biscuit to the amount of two “soldi,” and to allow the oarsmen five light livres a month instead of wine. 180 bushels of biscuit to be shipped on board each galley before departure from Venice, and each bushel to contain at least 95 pounds weight.
39. Permission to export by sea and in Venetian vessels, on payment of duty, all goods brought to Venice by the galleys.
40. Regulations to encourage the importation of cloths.
41. Regulations concerning averages.
42. The masters prohibited to detain freight-money for themselves, to the detriment of their partners.
43. For the encouragement of shippers, repeal of the duty of ½ per cent.
44. The galleys forbidden to remain more than two days in any port in Sicily.
45. No master or stipendiary, whilst on the voyage, to go to St. James of Compostella.
46. On loading the galleys, wools, serges, cloths, and other light goods to be shipped first, and hides last.
47. On the arrival of the galleys in Flanders and London, the masters are forbidden, during the first 35 days, to freight the goods of aliens, that the Venetians during that term may notify what they have to load. On its expiration the masters to be at liberty to freight what goods they please; aliens paying at the same rate as Venetians.
48. Warrant officers and others forbidden to sleep by night out of the galleys, except in Sluys and London.
49. Sailors exempted from payment of four light “soldi” on each barrel of wine landed by them.
50. It being the custom in England not to allow the shipment of any goods until after payment of the duty on the entire cargo, so that by default of one or two merchants the loading of the galleys is liable to delay, the captain is therefore authorized to raise money for payment of the duties on the goods of the defaulters, which are to be held accountable for the money thus raised.
51. The captain to see that the crew be properly armed, and their weapons deposited in a fitting place.
52. Regulations concerning shipping permits for spices.
53. Prohibition to load or unload goods out of Venice, without an order from the captain.
54. Encouragement for the importation of furs (varri), amber, and serges.
55. The clerks forbidden to receive or consign goods without a licence from the captain.
56. The masters of the galleys of Bruges by no means to go to London, under penalty of 60 ducats.
57. The chaplain (presbyter) forbidden to receive any money from the merchants for billets, but is to receive 5 golden ducats from each of the masters for that service on the outward and homeward voyage.
58. The pilots and other stipendiaries forbidden to receive anything from the merchants, for shipment or landing of goods.
59. Each galley, besides the patrician master, to have 1 companion or mate (unum comitem), I sworn sailing master, 1 adviser, 2 scribes, 1 oarmaker, 1 carpenter, 1 caulker, 8 pilots, 20 bowmen, 171 oarsmen, 1 cook, 1 cellarman, and 1 servant for the patrician master; all which crew to be boarded by the master's servant and the galleys (sic). (fn. 5) The bowmen to be enlisted at the butts (bressalium) in such manner and at such price as shall seem fit, according to circumstances. The captain also to take pilots. Under the penalties aforesaid, no motion may be made for diminishing this amount, though it may be increased if necessary.
60. Before the departure of the galleys from Venice, the masters to consign their ledgers to the captain.
61, 62. The masters forbidden to inscribe stipendiaries or servants of the merchants as part of the crew.
63. The captain to call the muster roll once every fortnight.
64. The scribes to give a written note to the captain of the missing men, and of the day and place of their disappearance, at the first port in which the galleys anchor.
65. Within one week after his return to Venice, the captain to acquaint the State attornies with the causes of these delinquencies, and the State attornies to put the captain upon oath that he was not aware of any other transgressions. The captain to ascertain also that the crews receive their bread, wine, and other provisions, as also their arrears, and to pay them their due.
66. To facilitate the execution of the foregoing order, the captains to receive 100 ducats from the freight money of each galley before their departure from Venice. Should this sum not suffice, the captains to levy from the galleys, after their departure, such amount of freight money as always to leave in their hands a fund of 100 ducats for each galley.
67. All fines exacted from the masters and private individuals, on account of the Flanders galleys, to be placed to the credit of the merchants who shall have shipped goods on board of them.
68. Regulations concerning the mode of levying the fines.
69. Merchants informing against the captain to produce witnesses guaranteeing their good fame. Should the captain be accused by the masters, the latter to be exempted from the penalty incurred by them as accomplices of the captain.
70. Prohibition against the repeal of the foregoing orders.
71. All other stringent clauses to the like effect in other commissions to be observed in the present instance.
72. The patrician bowmen, besides their board in the stern cabin, stowage for their bows, and place for their mattrass, bags, and chest in the “scandolarium,” to receive 70 golden ducats for the whole voyage. Should the masters maltreat them, the captain to be at liberty to remove them from one galley to another, allowing them six “grossi” a day for their expenses, payable by the master whose galley they shall have quitted. Each patrician bowman to have two bows; one “a pede” and the other “a molineto.” Masters are by no means to deduct anything from the stipend of the patrician bowmen, nor to retain any part of it.
73. Prohibition against navigating by night in the Adriatic, according to the Act passed in the year 1396.
74, 75. No other chests to be allowed on deck than those of the sailing masters, advisers, and pilots; one chest each. Notice of their dimensions.
76. The carpenter's chest to be bestowed below deck.
77. Dimensions of the chests of the pilots.
78, 79. Prohibition against altering the various compartments of the galleys, which are to retain the distribution given them in the Arsenal. The sails, weapons, and other gear to be stowed in their proper places.
80. The masters forbidden, either in Venice or during the outward or homeward voyage, to levy any freight money.
81. Shipment prohibited of any cloth of gold, of silk, or of silver, or of any wrought silk, unless manufactured in Venice. Exception made in favour of Saracen carpets, (fn. 6) syndons, wimple silk, and silk veils.
82. Ten days before quitting Venice, the masters to pay 180 “soldi” to each of the men.
83. The captains to take pilots at the appointed places, under penalty of 200 ducats.
84 The masters forbidden to load anything, unless it be entered in the ledgers of the scribes.
85. No bowman received for the galleys on the archery ground to be changed, under penalty of 100 livres, to be paid by the captain. No footman or oarsman to stay or mess in the stern cabin, but only the patrician master, the six (sic) patrician bowmen, the “comitus” the “patronus juratus,” the adviser, the scribe, the cook, the cellarman, the steward, and two servants for the Flanders voyage, one pilot in the Gulf of Lyons, and one pilot in the Bay of Biscay.
86. The captain to proclaim the foregoing decree before quitting Pola, lest the masters plead ignorance of it.
87. Regulations concerning the construction of the racks or stands for the bows, and of the benches for the rowers.
88–91. For the protection of Venetian manufactures, the importation forbidden of ready-made apparel of cloth of gold and of silk, of cloth of silver and of silk, of silk, and of velvet. Exception made in favour of aliens, who are, however, forbidden to sell such apparel.
92. Should the master of any galley remain on shore from sickness or any other cause, the captain of the squadron to go on board with his notary public, his admiral, his physicians, trumpeters, and all his retinue, together with his effects, under penalty of 500 ducats.
93. Penalty to be imposed on the captain, should he be convicted of unduly appropriating to himself State property to the amount of 50 livres gross or upwards, or of receiving 50 livres gross from others, contrary to the tenor of his commission.
94. Repetition of regulations concerning the chests of the warrant officers.
95. Order for the galley oars to be weighed at the Arsenal. The oarsmen forbidden to mutilate them, but allowed to diminish or increase their weight of lead. The oarsmen to keep their lockers at their feet as of yore.
96. Each man on board the galleys to receive 18 ounces of biscuit a day, the amount to be given him at any hour when he shall ask for it, on returning to his ship from the shore; and, as in Flanders and in London, where the galleys remained a long while, the men did not receive their biscuit as due, the captain is to have the usual allowance distributed at Sluys by his admiral or chaplain daily, at whatever hour the men shall demand it: the vicecaptain in London to make the advisers distribute the biscuit daily to the men of the London galley, at any hour when they go for it. The captain to investigate this matter, and to listen to the complaints of the poor men (inquirere, et audire pauperes homines, et providere quod superius ordinatum habeat locum).
97. Regulations concerning the periods at which leave may be given to the crews of the Flanders galleys, at Sluys and in London; and timetable for calling of the muster roll.
98. No captain, whether by decree of the Council of Twelve, or by any other authority, to leave behind him any one of the galleys committed to his charge; or to continue his voyage without it, under penalty of 1,000 ducats, unless he receive certain intelligence of its loss or capture.
99. Crews forbidden to quit the galleys until within the harbour of Venice.
100. Prohibition against exporting goods from any Venetian town in the Adriatic, excepting Venice.
101. List of penalties imposed on any patrician bowman, who after receiving pay, shall neglect to perform his voyage.
102. Specification of compartments in the galleys in which the stowage of spices and merchandise is prohibited.
103. Should any bag or bale of spices or merchandise be perforated, and the goods rot from stress of weather or other causes, the master to be bound to consign them intact, according to deposition by letter or on oath. Should the captain discover that the bales or bags have been plundered, the thieves to be prosecuted by the law courts of Venice.
104. Weight of goods allowed for the chests of the warrant officers: the admiral (admiratus), “comitus,” adviser, and “patrouas juratus,” 1,200 pounds each; carpenter and caulker, 1,500 pounds each; the other officials having chests beneath the benches, not to carry more than 150 pounds light weight; the oarsmen having chests in the courses (in cursus) on deck to carry 800 pounds each. All goods found elsewhere than in the aforesaid chests, to pay 8 per cent. duty, and double freight.
105. Bowmen for midships (balistarii a media galea), licensed on the archery ground for the Flanders galleys, and failing to perform the voyage, to be treated as bankrupts, and to be forbidden to embark in the vessels of the State for the next five years, under penalty of 100 livres.
106. Regulations concerning chests on deck.
107. Precautions against loading the galleys below the water mark.
108. On the outward voyage, the galleys to take salt meat (panaticum), and in like manner other animal food (grassa), as usual, for two months at least; and on their return from Flanders and England, to load salt meat (panatieã.) for one month and a half at least, and wine for from a fortnight to a month.
109. Amount of rations (biscuit, wine, and meat — panem, vinum, el viandam).
110. Within one week after his return, the captain to notify all the sentences passed by him during his command, for the tribunals to enforce them.
111. No patrician master of any galley to remain anywhere after quitting Venice, unless on account of ill health, in which case, the captain to appoint a sufficient person in his stead.
112. On their return to Venice, the galleys forbidden to pass St. Helen's point, until searched by the officials for the Levant.
113. For the avoidance of all disputes about precedence, the captain of the Gulf to be captain general of the galleys, and of all the Signory's vessels armed and unarmed.
114. No Venetian subject to send any vessel from beyond the Gulf into the Adriatic, except to Venice, under a penalty of 50 per cent. on whatever the vessel brings, barters, or unloads.
115. The jurisdiction of the captain over the crews of the galleys to commence one week before the period assigned for their departure from Venice.
116. The captain forbidden to have any share in the galleys, or to trade on his own account, but may have goods of his own in charge of others on board the galleys.
117. The captain forbidden to inspect or purchase goods, either on shore or on board the galleys, or to sleep on shore. Is allowed to purchase precious stones and pearls.
118. Venetian subjects forbidden to export direct from Western Europe for the Levant, English or Frankish cloths, serges, amber, furs, and tin; such goods to be sent first to Venice for the payment of export duties.
119. At the first meeting of the Senate after his return, the captain to make his report, stating in what manner the galleys consigned to him were fitted out, naming each master, giving particular account of the number of men missing from each galley, and stating whether anything was loaded, contrary to law, in prohibited places.
120. The masters forbidden to make any compromise with the crews concerning payment of their wages.
121. The captain to see that the sails, tackle, and other furniture of the galleys be kept in their proper places, as the warrant officers charged with the safe custody of tackle frequently leave it exposed on deck, and fill the receptacles destined for it with merchandise of their own.
122. The captain's chaplain not to charge more than two “soldi” for each billet given by him for the receipt of goods.
123. The expenses of the captain's chaplain to be paid by the masters.
124. The captain, when writing to the Chiefs of the Ten, to address his letters to the Chiefs alone. Should he write to the entire Council, to direct “Consilio X.”
125. The captain, being bound by his oath to seek the honour and profit of the Signory, will observe all orders sent him by the State, on the voyage out and home, under penalty.
Clauses of the Auction Contract.
1. Prohibition against constructing bulkheads or stowing merchandise either in the forehold (giareta da prova) or in the places destined for the sails and tackle.
2. Under penalty of 500 ducats, the galleys in England are to be loaded afloat.
3. It being usual for the galleys, during the whole time of their stay in Hampton harbour, to leave their cables in the mud, where they rot, at a cost to the Signory of some 300 ducats, the captain, under penalty of 500 ducats, is immediately on arrival to sink good and strong piles at which to moor the galleys, at the cost of the masters, under penalty of 200 ducats to be levied in nobles.
4. Securities required from the officials of the galleys.
5. Regulations to insure the efficiency of the crews.
6. The captain, together with two Sages for the Orders, to receive the oarsmen at the armament office, one by one, and to muster the crews in Venice, after the receipt by them of their first instalment of pay.
7. Both on the outward and homeward voyage, the captain to call the muster roll as often as he pleases.
8. The masters to be allowed to appoint their own “portolati compagni” and craftsmen.
9. Regulations made to secure for the crews a sufficient supply of biscuit.
10. The masters to give the State attornies four sufficient securities for performance of their contracts.
11. Each master to quit Venice on board of his own galley, and remain thus until his return.
12. Confirmation of the order forbidding the masters to make Puglia, under penalty of 300 ducats.
13. Throughout the voyage, the masters to have their weapons and the requisite number of handguns (bombarde) in the appointed receptacles, under penalty of 500 ducats, &c.
14. The masters to have no control, direct or indirect, over any of the cabins (statij) of the galleys, under penalty of 500 ducats.
15. Each galley to have on board eight mates (compagni), with a monthly salary of five ducats; and each of the bowmen to receive two and a half ducats.
16. Amongst the bowmen to be included on board each galley, six carpenters and four caulkers, selected from the Arsenal.
17. Both the bowmen and artificers, and all others appointed on the archery ground, to perform the voyage in person and not by proxy.
18. Captain and masters forbidden to accept loans from the crews, and the officials appointed by the College to draw lots for the galley in which they are to embark.
19. The securities for the scribes to be balloted for in the College after the scribes' appointment.
20. The captain of the galleys to enforce the laws against profane swearing.
21. The masters forbidden to take with them a gondola on board the galleys, under penalty of 100 ducats.
22. All spices stowed in the cabins (statij), by consent of the merchants or factors, to be freight free.
23. On the ballot in the College of the warrant officers, the State attornies to put all the members of the College upon oath, to give their votes against such candidates as shall have canvassed them.
24. Repeal of all former concessions made by the Senate to officials of the heavy galleys.
25. Monthly salary of each oarsman eight light livres, to be paid by the masters, under penalty.
26. No master allowed to perform the voyage by proxy.
27. The captains forbidden on the voyage to change any master appointed by the Senate, under penalty of 500 ducats.
28. The masters to be bound to keep the tackle of the galleys in the places appointed for that purpose.
29. The scribes on board the Flanders galleys to receive 60 ducats salary, and to be allowed to carry four thousand weight of goods, but neither wools nor white cloths, (which, by law, were to be stowed in the “giava,”) nor yet silk from Messina.
30. The trumpeters and physician to receive their pay in Flanders, at the same rate of exchange as the rest of the crew; the captain to be allowed one ducat a day for their salaries as usual.
31. The scribes on no account to be allowed more than the four thousand weight of freight above mentioned, under penalty of 100 ducats for each extra thousand weight.
32. The masters and scribes forbidden to place any merchandise in the “statio” without the express permission of the factors or merchants, which permission to be specified in the bill of lading, under penalty of loss of freight to the masters, and payment of an equal amount to the merchant, and the scribe to be ineligible to the post of scribe for two years.
33. Any deficiencies in merchandise placed either in the “statio” or in the “giava” to be made good by the master and scribe.
34. The captain, as by the tenor of his commission, forbidden to hand, under penalty of one year's close imprisonment, and payment of 1,000 ducats; nor may he remain more than the appointed number of days at each port, under penalty of 50 ducats for each day exceeding the term assigned him.
35. At Venice the masters to give the captain 20 ducats for the cost of careening the galleys, which, during the voyage, are to be careened three times: on the outward voyage at Pola and at Tunis; the third time being left to the option of the captain.
36. Prohibition against stowing on deck any hooped vessel or barrel of any sort, containing more than six buckets, under penalty of forfeiting the wine or whatever else they may contain.
37. Mode prescribed for the construction of the rowers' benches” to prevent their being raised by the oarsmen, who thus seek to obtain room for chests and other receptacles.
38. Regulations made to prevent the masters from loading merchandise in such parts of the galleys as are destined for other purposes.
39. Mention that the “giava da prova” is set apart for the sails and tackle, but that the masters allow them to rot on deck. Should the masters continue to act thus, the masters of the Arsenal are to exact damages for all the tackle and sails; and should the sailing master be privy to the transgression, and not notify it immediately to the captain, he is to be forbidden to sail in the galleys for the next three years. The captain, on his part, to announce the fact to his chaplain, who is to have the sails and tackle put back in their proper place.
40. Repetition of the orders concerning the measurement of the chests.
41. Should any master, after obtaining the mastership of a galley at the auction, fail to prove himself eligible to the Senate, he is to pay 300 ducats in addition to all other penalties.
42. Each master to take with him six handgun-men (bombardieri) in lieu of six bowmen, paying them three ducats a month.
43. The masters, on their return, to take the galleys to the Arsenal with the masts unshipped. Should they fail to do so, the masters of the Arsenal to unship them. Should the masts be injured, the cost of repairs to be placed amongst the damages payable by the masters of the galleys.
44. Each of the masters to give 50 ducats to the Arsenal for the purchase of tallow, the masters of the Arsenal being bound to use it when careening the galleys.
45. Before quitting Lstria and going out of the Gulf, the captain to muster the crews; and should they lack their full complement, (not including prowmen, steward, cook, scullion, cellarman, or others not plying the oar,) the captain to hire as many hands as missing, at the cost of the masters, raising funds, if unable to obtain them otherwise, at the cost of all parties, who are to be repaid eventually by the masters.
46. Forms to be observed by the paymasters when consigning the first instalments of pay to the crews.
47. The masters to ratify their auction contracts before proving themselves eligible to the Senate.
48. As the masters are in the habit of taking the sails on shore, to convert them into tents and awnings, and as they go on the voyage without awnings for the middle deck, using the sails (especially the “cochina”) for awnings when in harbour in bad and rainy weather, the sails are brought back in bad condition. This practice is therefore forbidden under penalty of 200 ducats.
49. Repetition of the orders to stow the sails and tackle in the prowgiava,” otherwise called the carpenters' “giava” and prohibition against moving the stanchions of the lower deck.
50. The “comiti” and masters forbidden to let the benches of the poor oarsmen.
51. The captain to see that the bottoms of the galleys be properly careened.
52. The damages to the galleys to be rigorously exacted [from the masters of the galleys] by the masters of the Arsenal.
53. Lest the crews should not have received their full pay, the captain, immediately on the return of the galleys, to have proclamation made at Rialio and St. Mark's, that should any oarsman, bowman, handgun-man (bomhavdier, “comito,” sailing master, mate, or artificer, not have received his full pay, he is to come to him at the armament office and state the fact, the captain being bound to sit there for at least six days to hear such complaints. The Senate authorizes the captain, for the satisfaction of the plaintiffs, to sell freights and take other steps, attaching the property of the masters wherever it can be found, and doing everything else for the satisfaction of the crews. This being done, the captain to make his report to the Senate, stating, amongst other things, how many of the men of each master had made complaints.
54. The masters of the Arsenal bound to fix the bow-rakes on board the galleys at their own cost, securing them with iron clamps, so as to prevent their removal.
55. The masters of the Arsenal to have all the chests of the Mates and warrant officers made at the cost of the Arsenal, where they are to be received, on payment of one ducat, by the mates and warrant officers, who are bound to return them on the completion of the voyage. Should they take with them any other chests than those stamped by the Arsenal, they are to be imprisoned or six months and to lose all their pay. The mates to receive not less than five ducats salary a month from the masters.
56. The warrant officers desired to leave the boats to the oarsmen who row them.
57. Freight of wools and cloths to be paid 16 months from the day of the arrival of the galleys in Venice. Freights of tin and tin ware to be paid on the expiration of eight months. The freight of all other merchandise loaded in Malaga, Majorca, and Sicily to be paid at the end of six months. Prohibition against prolonging these terms, under penalty of 500 ducats.
58. All silks loaded at Venice, Messina, or elsewhere, to pay freight indiscriminately, whether belonging to mariners or warrant officers.
59. Note of the rate of freight for spices, drugs, Levant sugar, cottons and cotton twist (filadi), currants, lamb skins (albertoni) and hides, wax, leather, paper, foreign fustians, and cloths.
60. Both in Flanders and in England, and at all intermediate ports on the homeward voyage to load all goods presented by Venetian subjects down to the last hour, under penalty, &c.
61. The salary of the physician not to exceed seven ducats a month.
62. The masters forbidden to remain in any port beyond the appointed term, and on the homeward voyage are to shorten the term.
63. Regulations for enforcing payment of freights.
64. The masters to commence their outward cargo by loading spices, then a limited amount of sugar after the other things, and the shippers of cotton to present it before the end of the term assigned for payment of the spice freight.
65. Shipment of wines permitted only in certain places, under penalty, &c.
66. No billets to be conceded by the customhouse officers to aliens, unless they give guarantees for payment of their quotas at Bruges.
67. The masters forbidden, either on the outward or homeward voyage, to receive freight money, which is to be levied at Venice by the customhouse officers, and abroad by the captain.
68. The sailing masters, warrant officers, and oarsmen forbidden to take freight money for giving room below deck (in coverta), or in their berths, for cloths of various qualities, serges, and furs; but such cloths and merchandise as shall be purchased by them for their own private venture, they are allowed to stow as aforesaid.
69. Bastard and other cloths, including white cloths, and block tin (stagni in pezzi), not to be shipped for any other port than Venice, under penalty, &c.
70. Prohibition against opening or unstitching any bale of cloth after it shall have been loaded, under penalty of 200 ducats, &c.
71. The galley scribes, when paying the crews, forbidden to receive more than one “pico” in Flanders, or one penny in England.
72. The captain to take pilots for the galleys, under penalty of 100 ducats.
73. The “comito “forbidden to occupy the two prow-benches of the prow-men, in which the prow-men have to stow their effects.
74. The captain to have within the “pizuol” the space amounting to three perches, (fn. 7) in which he must not put bags, or anything but property worth 200 ducats, for the use of his household, under penalty of 1,000 ducats, and deprivation of the captaincy of the galleys for five years.
75. No locker (scrigno) or any other chest to be placed over the door of the “scrivan” or “tavolado;” that space to be left free for the sails and tackle; nor beneath the “tavoladi” of the admiral and the advisers may barrels or runlets be stowed, but only the chests of the pilot of the Bay of Biscay; nor may any bundle (ligazo) be placed against the side.
76. The places of the admiral and advisers to be from “Cao Martin” to the “Scaza.” Dimensions of the steward's chest prescribed, and the oarsmen forbidden to have any chests at all.
77. The bowmen amidships forbidden to put anything in their bags suspended to the poles save their shirts, doublets, and body-cloths; anything else found in their bags to be forfeited to the Arsenal.
78. The oarsmen not to be allowed any locker containing more than 100 pounds weight.
79. Prohibition against stowing tin or wrought pewter on deck.
80. The masters to have the full amount of men on board the galleys, until their arrival in the port of Venice.
81. The masters forbidden to have any lockers below deck (in corerta), under penalty of forfeiting their contents.
82. Prohibition against stowing currants or molasses (mellazi) below deck in coverta).
83. Under penalty of 500 ducats, the captain to see that all the benches be dovetailed, and not fixed superficially (atterzado et non rimesso) to prevent the possibility of removal.
84. The captain to observe all the regulations stipulated by the auction contracts, under penalty of 1,000 ducats, and of perpetual exclusion from the command of any of the galleys of the State; and whilst abroad to levy the fines in like manner imposed.
85. The scribes forbidden to receive goods in Venice without a billet from the officials extraordinary of the customhouse, and whilst abroad the billet to be given by the captain.
86. Regulations concerning the shipment of wools.
87. Penalties imposed for non-payment of duties in England and Flanders.
88. The masters forbidden to make compromises with the crews.
89. Expenses incurred by the captain for receiving visitors of distinction, to be notified to the masters in writing; if not, the payment of the costs of such receptions to be optional with the masters.
90–94. Regulations concerning the warrant officers.
95. Each of the masters to pay 50 ducats to the Arsenal for the docks, and 10 ducats for the purchase by the Arsenal of the chests; and on their return each master to give 200 pounds of wrought white wax to the procurators of St. Mark's.
96. The masters bound to convey the ambassadors, envoys, and ammunition of the State, freight free.
97. All Frankish wools and white cloths known to be such by the appraisers, and brought to Venice otherwise than on board the Flanders galleys, to pay freight to them. This law to remain in force from the day of the departure from England of the present galleys until the arrival in England of the other galleys destined for the next voyage.
98. On the expiration of the period of demurrage in Venice, the captain in person, together with his chaplain and admiral, to search all the galleys to ascertain that neither spices nor other merchandise be stowed in prohibited places, repeating the search before arriving in Istria, and causing both the oarsmen and others having spices in their berths to notify them to the chaplain.
99. On the return voyage, all merchandise stowed in the berths to be removed from the customhouse within one month after the arrival of the galleys. The unloading of the holds (le giave) not to be commenced until all the berths and cabins (statij) shall have been entirely emptied. The merchants whose goods shall have been loaded in the holds (in le giave) to be bound to remove them from the customhouse within three months after their landing.
100. The State attornies to enforce the laws securing for the warrant officers and crews of the galleys their full amount of pay, and entire possession of their berths; all prohibited places and cabins being reserved for their especial indemnity, in case of any wrong done them with regard to salary or berths. (fn. 8)
101. Each of the masters, on opening their bank, to enroll and pay 150 oarsmen, and one of the Sages for the Orders to put each man upon oath that he has not made any compromise with the masters.
102. Specification of the eight benches or berths, the sale of which was permitted to the masters.
103. Repetition of the order prohibiting any change in the position of the benches, bow-racks, &c, of the galleys bound for England.
104. Regulations to prevent the crews from abandoning the galleys when in harbour.
105. Mode to be adopted for filling up vacancies caused by the resignation of warrant officers appointed by the College.
106. The masters to be bound to accept the warrant officers, the mariners appointed to stow the goods (penesi), and also the mates, prowmen, artificers, and bowmen named by the College.
107. On returning from England, the galleys to remain six days at Cadiz, four days at Majorca, two days at Palermo, and four days at Messina.
Supplementary Laws. No. I.
1. All goods exported or imported by the Flanders galleys for or from the territories of the Duke of Burgundy to pay a duty of two per cent.
2. Repeal of other laws, concerning the crews and officials of the Flanders galleys, than those contained in the present commission.
3. The foregoing laws to he olserved by all galleys, whether fitted out by the State or by private individuals.
4. Measures to be taken to insure the observance of the foregoing laws.
5. Regulations concerning the four young patricians included amongst the arbalast men.
6. Repetition of the order prohibiting the masters to levy freight money.
Supplement No. II.
“1516[–17], 12th February, in the Senate.”
1. Necessity for the galleys to perform their voyages, by reason of the benefit derived thence by the State.
2. Motion made in the Senate for the appointment of three of the new galleys and the fastest sailers (gallie tre de le nove et più expedite) for the Flanders voyage, the masters of the Arsenal to consign them completely found by the middle of May.
3. The galleys to be disposed of, by auction, to the highest bidder.
4. Each of the masters to whom they may be awarded, to receive a bonus of 6,000 ducats from the Signory.
5. The masters to pay the Arsenal, in ready money, for damages, tallow, docks, and chests.
6. The masters of the galleys to make their deposit, and prove themselves eligible to the Senate, before the 1st of June, under penalty of 500 ducats.
7. The captain to be confined to his galley on the 20th June, and to depart on the 25th.
8. The galleys bound to remain four days at Messina, four days at Palermo, and six days at Cadiz, and nowhere else, though the captain and masters are allowed to touch at Otranto. At Cadiz the captain to take two pilots for each galley, and to purchase ten hides with which to cover the hatches. On quitting Cadiz, the boats and barges to be stowed in the “zardin.” (fn. 9) As the crews are in the habit of going on shore at Cadiz, to provide themselves with wine, the captain and masters to detain on board two men for each bench, and one half of the arbalast men.
9. On the arrival of the galleys at Hampton, one of them to remain there, a preference being conceded to the master who had paid the highest price at the auction, provided the captain were not on board his galley. The other two galleys to go to Sluys or Antwerp, (as might seem most for their benefit and safety to the captain and masters or the majority of them,) there to remain during 40 days and no more. On the expiration of that term, the galleys to depart immediately, and betake themselves to Armuyden, and there await fair weather; under penalty to the captain of 1,000 ducats.
10. On their return, the galleys to go either to Hampton or to Sandwich, as should seem best to the captain and masters, or the majority of them, and remain there 60 days; on the expiration of which, the period of demurrage (la muda) to be considered at an end.
11. The captain is then bound to set sail, making the usual ports, and remaining four days at Cadiz, four at Majorca, at Palermo twelve, and at Messina eight; and then to come on to Dalmatia.
12. The pay of the crews in England to be made at the exchange of 40 pence per ducat, as usual. A second rate of pay to be given in Flanders at the exchange of 60 gross per ducat. Should the galleys remain out more than 10 months, the masters to be at liberty to give the pay of two months at the exchange of 39 pence per ducat.
13. Repetition of the clauses concerning the mode of paying the crews, and the conveyance of Venetian noblemen.
14–17. Regulations concerning freight to be paid to the galleys for goods conveyed from England or Flanders by other means during the performance of their voyage.
18, 19. Repetition of the prohibition against loading in Hampton harbour whilst the galleys are aground; and against leaving the cables to rot in the mud.
20. The masters, before their departure from Venice, to give 25 pounds of wax, or its value, to the hospital of S. Antonio, as usual.
21. The masters to take their auction contracts, and the captain his commission, from the ducal chancery.
22. The mates of the galleys forbidden to take from the merchants for their fee more than four “soldi” for each package or bale of merchandise.
23. The trumpeters to receive four ducats a month salary each; and for their board, the masters to pay the captain four ducats a month for each of them.
24. The costs of obtaining such safeconducts as necessary for the security of the galleys, to be defrayed by the masters.
25. Each galley to carry an oarmaker, and the squadron to have an armourer (uno curacer); and the auction contract to contain all the clauses about the regulations relating to the galleys, which were included in former auctions for the Flanders voyage, not at variance with the present auction.
Supplement No. III.
1. Repetition of the clause concerning payment of two per cent. duty on all goods exported or imported for or from the territories of the Duke of Burgundy. Reason assigned for the duty, that many merchants were creditors for some 2,500 ducats, furnished by them in aid of the Venetian factory at Bruges.
2. To prevent the crews from abandoning the galleys, which were thus often detained on the voyage longer than usual, the captain to be authorized to give the usual instalments to all the men, to prevent their desertion.
3. Should the masters of the galleys take convoy for them, the freights and bonuses of the masters to be included in the averages levied for the cost of the convoy.
[MS. volume of 140 pages, on vellum, with, half of an illuminated frontispiece; part in Latin and part in Italian; being the original commission dranun up by order of the Doge and Senate for the captain of the Flanders galleys, Andrea Priuli, who died at Antwerp on the, 16th September 1518.]
Feb. 14. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File no. 5. 842. The Doge and College to Sebastian Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England.
Remind him of his commission from the Senate, to effect the repeal of the duty of two nobles per butt on the wines of Candia imported into England, as the Signory had taken off the duty on account of which alone it had been imposed. Understood that an express declaration to this effect was made, and therefore infer that the repeal will be easily obtained. To remind the King that, if tins duty were repealed, the merchants, and the galleys which the Signory had destined for England, would trade more largely there, and neglect other ventures, giving the King and his subjects greater profit than they could derive from the duty. To do his utmost with the Cardinal and the ministry for the repeal of the duty, and to give immediate notice of the result.
Feb. 14. Giustinian's Letter Book in St. Mark's Library. (fn. 10) 843. The Doge and College to Sebastian Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England.
Had informed him that on the 12th February the Senate decreed the despatch of three galleys for the Flanders voyage as usual. Amongst the clauses of the auction contract for the voyage it was stipulated that, from the middle of April 1517, all the freights of wools, cloths, and tin, subsequently loaded in England, were due to the masters of the galleys; and all persons having shipped such merchandise before that date, were to procure a certificate to that effect from the Venetian consul in London.
All wools, cloths, and tin arriving in Venice three months after the announcement of this decree in London, and pledged to the galleys, coming by way of Germany or by any other road, and forwarded from the staple of Calais or from England, were to pay freight in like manner as above, to the aforesaid masters of the Flanders galleys.
To announce this decree to the Venetian consul in London, and to the merchants there.
Ducal palace, 14th February 1517.
[Italian, 19 lines.]
Feb. 14. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 119. 844. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Had visited Cardinal Wolsey. Found with him the Duke of Suffolk. The Cardinal said, “Gratulor vobis felicitatibus veslris, but I pray you not to molest the Church. Content yourselves with your own, and nolite tangere fimbrias Christi.” Replied that he knew nothing certain about the matter. (fn. 11) The Cardinal, adjourned the conference, as he wished to be alone with the Duke of Suffolk, and a crowd was waiting for audience of him.
Then visited the Bishop of Durham, who also congratulated him on the obtaining of Kavenna and Cervia by the “most illustrious Signory,” a title which the Bishop had never previously used. Replied that the Signory desired nothing more than a general peace. He muttered that those who thought of obtaining fresh territory did not show signs of peace. Answered that those towns might have surrendered to the Signory, to whom they had many years belonged, having passed from the Signory's hands into the hands of Pope Julius, owing to the Cambrai conspiracy.
Those who lamented the recovery of Verona pretended to rejoice at the surrender of Ravenna, hoping that some fresh disturbance would arise, and to form an alliance with the Pope, who had hitherto held them in small account, and also through the Pope to arouse the Switzers.
London, 14th February 1517.
[Italian, 2¾ pages, or 60 lines.]


  • 1. The term footmen, “homines de pede,” seems to be used in contradistiction to the oarsmen who sat on their benches. The rowers of the Flanders galleys were all freemen; for the Venetians did not employ slaves on board their galleys until a later period.
  • 2. “Tot et tot.”
  • 3. The term “avoirdupois” seems to have been derived from the Venetian words “averi di peso,” heavy goods, in contradistinction to light goods. In Florence in 1481 the English avoirdupois weight was termed “tria” weight. The word avoirdupois was not acknowledged by statute until 1532. (See Preface to Vol. I. of this Calendar, p. cxlii., note 1.)
  • 4. To prevent disputes with foreign customhouses.
  • 5. “Quœ tuta zurnia habere debeat expensas a famulo patroni et a galejs juxta ordines nostros.”
  • 6. “Tapetibus Sarasinatis.”
  • 7. “Nel pizuol veramente habia el Cap° tanto quanto prende tre latole.”
  • 8. “Siano obligati i avogadori di comun soto debito di sacramento et pena de ducati V per cadauno da esser scossa per cadauno conseglier et cavo de xlta de far observar tutte le leze et ordeni disponenti che li officiali et homeni de le gallie habino integramente tutti i salarij et statij sui et tutti li luogi devedati et statij secundum la forma de le leze nostre siano obligati specialiter et quelli officiali che per suo juramento se trovera loro non haver havuto li integri salarij et statij sui secundo la forma de le leze nostre et sia posti in tutti li incanti de le gallie nostre.”
  • 9. In Italian “balcone.” I do not know what the name is in English.
  • 10. At the foot of letter no. 122, dated London, 21st March 1517. The missive is not registered either in the “Deliberazioni Senato” or in the “Senato Mar.”
  • 11. See his letter of February 11.