Venice: April 1517

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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'Venice: April 1517', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 2, 1509-1519, ed. Rawdon Brown( London, 1867), British History Online [accessed 25 July 2024].

'Venice: April 1517', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 2, 1509-1519. Edited by Rawdon Brown( London, 1867), British History Online, accessed July 25, 2024,

"Venice: April 1517". Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 2, 1509-1519. Ed. Rawdon Brown(London, 1867), , British History Online. Web. 25 July 2024.

April 1517

April 2. Misti Consiglio X. v. xli. p. 12, tergo. 867. Andrea Badoer.
Act passed by the Council of Ten and Junta, assigning to Andrea Badoer, knight, the arrears of salary claimed by him, as ambassador to the King of England.
Ayes, 22. Noes, 7. Neutrals 0.
Andrea Badoer withdrew from the ballot.
[Italian, 13 lines.]
April 8. Minio's Original Letter Book. MS. penes me. Letter no. 39. 868. Marco Minio to the Signory.
Conversation held by him on that morning with the Pope, who said he had received letters from the King of England, offering to go in person on the Christian expedition. The Pope believed the other sovereigns would do the like. The same words were repeated by him, though he appeared to doubt the will of the King of France. Rejoined that, were the King of France to see the sovereigns of Christendom well at peace, he would not fail to give her assistance.
On asking the Pope about the contents of the letters dated the 22nd and 23rd March, received by him from Burgundy, his Holiness said they contained nothing new, save the confirmation by the Emperor of this last agreement, and that it contained no mischief The interview between the three sovereigns would certainly take place. In continuing the league between the Emperor, England, and Spain, a difficulty had arisen, because the Catholic King chose certain words signifying “ad deffensionem et offensionem,” to be cancelled. To this the King of England would not consent, and the difficulty had been referred to the Emperor; but as the Catholic King would merely confirm the league “ad deffensionem,” he lately informed the King of England that he declined any reference to the Emperor; so that the agreement had proceeded no further.
Rome, 8th April 1517.
[Extract, Italian.]
April 9. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta). File no. 6. 869. The Doge and College to Sebastian Giustinian, Ambassador in England.
Arrival at Venice of a briganline sent express by the Venetian governors of Candia, with a letter from the Venetian consul at Damietta, notifying the final victory of Sultan Selim over the Soldan, and his entry into Cairo. (fn. 1) Considered the intelligence of great importance, and therefore transmitted all the particulars for the King and Cardinal.
April 13. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 125. 870. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
During the Holy Week the King and Cardinal had been occupied with Church ceremonies, but on that day (the 13th) had communicated to the King the State's letter dated the 7th March. The King told him, in a whisper, that in the peace made between the Emperor and the Kings of France and Spain, those sovereigns had negotiated expressly against Venice, and determined to annihilate the Switzers; adding, “True it is that the Emperor, the Catholic King, and I are intent on frustrating this peace, and forming a confederacy, which will be joined moreover by his Holiness.” Distrusted the fair promises of the King and Cardinal.
Friar Nicholas (Schomberg), a German, secretary to the Cardinal de' Medici, had lately arrived in London, having been sent by the Pope to the Emperor and the Kings of France and Spain. “The friend “(Chieregato) had given him (Giustinian) an account of the object of the friar's mission, which he did not entirely credit. Therefore pretended to the King that he had received letters from Rome, stating that the friar had been sent to prevent the interview between the Emperor and the two Kings, and to counsel a general league against the Turks. The King replied that the friar was not come to prevent the congress, but to exhort all those princes and himself to the expedition against the Turks. In reply to the King's inquiry, informed him the Signory had an ambassador in France, but not with the Catholic King, to whom, however, one had been appointed. The King advised Venice to send an ambassador to the Catholic King, for the Signory would receive better information from that quarter concerning the negotiations to their detriment. He desired that his advice should be attributed to others, as he would probably be suspected on account of France.
A confidential secretary of the Cardinal's had remarked to “the friend,” “Our masters here are incessantly plotting confederacies and frauds, but never accomplish any result.” This was confirmed by the King, when he said that a confederacy was being negotiated which would be joined by the Pope, who, on receiving an urgent letter from the King, had answered by a long brief, full of gracious and submissive language. “The friend” said the Pope was aware he had displeased the Emperor by making no demonstration when the latter came into Italy, whereas he did his utmost for the King of France; that he had also offended France and Venice by maintaining Mark Anthony Colonna and his troops in Verona during the siege; that the King Catholic considered himself aggrieved by the offence offered to the Emperor; and that King Henry was displeased with him, because he had scorned the King's league, and deprived Cardinal Wolsey of the see of Tournai, appointing others in his stead. Thus the Pope was deserted by every one. Another cause was, that Popes were always disquieted by conferences between the great powers, as the first thing they discussed was the reformation of the Church, that is, of the Pope and Cardinals: wherefore the Pope had finally dissolved the session of the Council [of the Lateran].
Had been also informed by “the friend “that Friar Schomberg had received two commissions to conclude this league. Three couriers had arrived in London from Rome, within two or three days of each other. The friar had departed on his way to the Kings of Spain and France and the Emperor, and was to return to England shortly.
The truces between Scotland and England had been entirely arranged.
The difficulties consisted in the return of the Queen and in her having the administration, in the number of English by whom she was to be accompanied, and in her liability to punishment if she should plot against the realm. It was at length settled that she was to return, but not to have the administration of the kingdom; that she might take with her 24 Englishmen, and as many Scots as she pleased, provided they were not rebels; and that only the agents in any plot should be punished, no mention being made of the Queen, because it was contra dignitatem regiam. Had learned these facts from the Duke of Albany's secretary, who seemed to put great trust in him (Giustinian), and had written him very-loving letters.
London, 13th April 1517.
[Italian, 5 pages, or 146 lines.]
April 15. Mantuan Archives. 871. Francesco Chieregato, Apostolic Nuncio in England, to the Marquis of Mantua.
Requests him to give place in his own service or in that of the Lord Frederick, to one of his little brothers. Has commissioned his brother Frà Ludovico and Messer Vico to speak to the Marquis on the subject.
London, 15th April 1517.
[Original, Italian.]
April 16. Minio's Original Letter Book. MS. penes me. Letter no. 42. 872. Marco Minio to the Signort.
On the preceding day, asked the Pope for the news from Burgundy The Pope replied, they contained nothing, save that the Emperor had gone to Cologne in consequence of some dispute about the negotiations with England, relating to the removal of certain words in the articles. The Pope also understood that the King of France was making military preparations for the recovery of Tournai.
Rome, 16 th April 1517.
[Extract, Italian.]
April 17. Minio's Original Letter Book, MS. penes me. Letter no. 43. 873. Marco Minio to the Signory.
The French ambassador (Brissonet, Bishop of St. Malo,) talking about the Emperor, said, “What a brain it is! (che cervello è questo) what can be done with him?” and then inquired if he (Minio) had heard the report in Rome, that King Francis was making military preparations. Being answered in the affirmative, he continued, “I have nothing from France, but the King of England is in the wrong, for even were it not inserted in the articles of the agreement, he nevertheless swore that on the consummation of the marriage he would restore Tournai to the most Christian King.” The Bishop also said, “Do you think this a fine feat of the Pope's (vi par bella cosa dil Pont.) to send Friar Nicholas (Schomberg) to England, when he has resided all this while as papal agent with the Emperor? On what errand have they sent him?”
Rome, 17th April 1517.
[Extract, Italian.]
April 18. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiv. p. 154. 874. Giovanni Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Paris, 7th April.
Marco Antonio Colonna, with 500 men-at-arms, had engaged himself to the King of England, who purposed appointing him to garrison Tournai, and had also dismissed from England all the French and other merchants, the subjects of King Francis.
April 18. Mantuan Archives. 875. Francesco Chieregato, Apostolic Nuncio in England, to the Marquis of Mantua.
A fortnight ago received his letter of the 1st of November, which, owing to the bearer's faithlessness, had been five months on the way.
First of all delivered the message to Cardinal Wolsey; rode with him to one of his palaces 12 miles from London. The Cardinal reciprocated all the Marquis's compliments and offered his services. He added that, should the Marquis send one of his sons to the King according to the tenor of the letter received by him (Chieregato), he (Wolsey) with his Majesty would be to him a protector and a father, and not allow him to want for anything.
Subsequently, on Palm Sunday, had a long audience of the King, who was as much pleased with the contents of the Marquis's letter as if it had come from his own brother; made many inquiries about the health of the Marquis and Marchioness, and expressed great regret for the distress to which the Mantuan territory had been subjected last year. With regard to the Marquis's son, the King replied that on his coming he would treat him like his own son, that the sooner he came the better, and that he would not let him want for anything. The King asked if it were true that the Lord Frederick, heir apparent of Mantua, had espoused Madame Filiberta of Savoy, Duchess of Nemours. Answered he neither knew nor credited the reports. The King rejoined he had heard it, and did not seem very much pleased. Eeplied, if it were true, he could only suppose that necessity had moved the Duke to this marriage, although the alliance was most honourable, the Duchess being the aunt of a French King and the sister of a Duke of Savoy, the only obstacle being the disparity of age.
Touching the horses, the King returned you innumerable thanks, implying that it was impossible to make him a more agreeable present; that, when trained and sent, the horses would prove most acceptable; and that, coming from such a stud, they could not fail to be excellent. He also praised the other horses sent to him by the Marquis heretofore, which he had ridden on state occasions.
Has been unable to execute the commission enjoined him with regard to the Duke of Suffolk, as for many months he has lived on his estate with the Queen his consort, who is pregnant. He has ceased to reside at the Court, secluding himself on account of the accusations prevalent in great courts, where favour does not always remain stable. According to report, he is to come with the Queen to visit the King at Whitsuntide. If he make his appearance, should perform such office as due, but suggests that the Marquis do bear in mind the right reverend Cardinal of York, who, by reason of his most excellent qualities, governs everything alone, the King not interfering in any matter, but referring the whole to him, whether it relate to foreign or domestic policy, so that foreign envoys fancy themselves negotiating not with a Cardinal, but with another King.
England is at peace in all quarters, and her disputes with Scotland have recently been arranged; the Queen returning on good terms with her brother-in-law the Duke of Albany, who is, however, to remain Governor of the kingdom until the Prince become of age.
London, 18th April 1517.
[Original, Italian.]
April 23. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 126. 876. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
On receipt of a letter from the State, visited Cardinal Wolsey, with whom he found the Bishop of Durham. Communicated to them the news of the Turkish armada. The Cardinal inquired whether he had any other news. Replied in the negative. The Cardinal, laughing, said he must be acquainted with something besides, and exclaimed, “What! do you not know that the ambassadors of these potentates, namely, the Emperor, France, and Spain, have been in Cambrai, and discussed a union, and that the King of France excluded you? This shows how he treats you, and the worth of his friendship.” Did not believe the Cardinal's statement. Alluded to the matter of the wines; when the Cardinal said he was tired, having transacted much business, but he had arranged for the assembly of the Council, and would summon him (Giustinian) also. Requested a settlement of the affair, in order that the galleys might be despatched on their voyage.
That day (the 23rd) being the festival of the Knights of St. George's Garter, went to the King, and when the ceremony was over, after dinner, communicated to him the news from the East. He said he had received advices from Rhodes and Scio, that the armada had been fitted out merely because Sultan Selim was hemmed in by his enemies, and could only escape by sea from Alexandria, where his fleet had assembled after the conquest of Egypt. Replied that, according to former advices, the Turk was in very great force, and on his march towards Cairo, where the Soldan was ready to give him battle, but no engagement had taken place, warranting the assertion that Sultan Selim was compelled to come by sea. The King rejoined he was sure of his statement, and that there was more to be feared from bad Christians than from the Turk. The King informed him that peace had been concluded between himself and the Catholic King, and that the other peace with France (fn. 2) was at an end, King Francis having commenced hostilities through the Duke of Guelders. He also stated that the Emperor had not yet been, but soon would be, included in this peace; adding, “Pontifex est meus, and I shall also have the Switzers.” He accused other sovereigns, and especially King Francis, of faithlessness, and lauded his own good fortune and good qualities.
Augustin Coppo, well known to the Signory, had died in Flanders, whither it was said he had gone to do some great exploit.
London, 23rd April 1517.
[Italian, 5 pages, or 118 lines.]
April 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiv. p. 172. 877. Hironimo Lippomanot to—.
Rome, 23rd April.
Intelligence received there, that the King of England meant to declare war against the King of France, who purposed taking Tournai. The Switzers had deprived the Cardinal of Sion of all his property, and he had departed for England to urge the King to attack France.


  • 1. The letter from the consul at Damietta is preserved in Sanuto's Diaries, and purports that Sultan Selim entered Cairo on the 22nd January 1517.
  • 2. The treaty of Noyon.