Venice: July 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: July 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 22 July 2024].

'Venice: July 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 22, 2024,

"Venice: July 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. 22 July 2024.

July 1517

July 2. Mantuan Archives. 915. Leo X. to Henry VIII.
Transmits a letter from the Grand Master of Rhodes, with enclosures received by him from the Captain-general of the Turkish fleet, a slave and a eunuch, and also from certain merchants in Syria, detailing the successes of Sultan Selim in Egypt. Expatiates on the extreme insolence of the eunuch's language, (fn. 1) and on the vast power of the Sultan, and urges the King to hasten the Turkish expedition, referring him for further particulars to the nuncio in England, Francesco Chieregato.
Rome, 2nd July 1517.
[Latin. Original duplicate received by the Nuncio in England.]
July 4. Minio's Original Letter Book, MS. penes me. Letter no. 78. 916. The Same to the Same.
On the 22nd King Francis was to quit Amiens for Terouenne, to inspect all the places in Picardy. He was negotiating an agreement with Henry VIII., to effect which Mons. de la Guiche (della Gisa) had been sent to England.
Rome, 4th July 1517.
[Extract, Italian.]
July 7. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiv. p. 399. 917. Cardinal Adrian, Bishop of Bath and Wells.
Cardinal Adrian, having asked for a safeconduct authorizing him to reside at Venice and in the Venetian territories, the document was made out by the Signory on that morning in full College, officially sealed, and was thus sent to him. It was said he would either reside at Padua or return to England, where he was liked, and whence he derived his revenues of—ducats.
July 10. Mantuan Archives. 918. Francesco Chieregato, Apostolic Nuncio in England, to Isabella d'Este, Marchioness of Mantua.
A fortnight previously the Catholic King had sent an embassy to Henry VIII. to receive his oath to the league The ambassadors were accompanied by so noble a train of men and horses that, had the King of Spain himself come in person, he could not have been more honourably attended. They were four in number. (fn. 2) The first, Mons. Jaques de Luxembourg, kinsman of the King of Spain, and of well-nigh all the barons of the kingdom, son-in-law of Mons. de Chievres, Governor of Flanders and Artois, 22 years old, and of such appearance and beauty that everybody ran to see him. His colleagues were the Bishop of Euna (sic), a Castilian, the Provost of Casalet (sic), a native of Brabant, and the Bailiff of Hainault. Had with them some hundred horses and 24 baggage-waggons.
On their passage through England the King caused every honour to be paid them, and when they entered London he sent 400 horsemen, prelates, knights, and barons to meet them. Made their entry on a Thursday, the King having prepared handsome apartments for them and all their followers, and boarded them during the whole of their stay. On the following Sunday were accompanied to court by a number of prelates and knights, and introduced to the King; and the Provost made a Latin oration. The King was dressed in stiff brocade in the Hungarian fashion, having a collar of inestimable value around his neck. The Queens, (Katharine of Arragon and Mary Tudor, Queen Dowager of France,) the Dukes, the Marquis (of Dorset), and other barons all arrayed in cloth of gold, with chains around their necks; everything glittered with gold. They were banqueted daily until the Tuesday week, first by the Cardinal, then by the Lord Mayor of London, and by various noblemen in succession. One day the King sent for these ambassadors and kept them to dine with him privately in his chamber with the Queen, a very unusual proceeding. After dinner he took to singing and playing on every musical instrument, and exhibited a part of his very excellent endowments. At length he commenced dancing, and moreover caused the like to be done by “that handsome Monsieur de Luxembourg,” his relation, to whom, on that day, he gave a very valuable horse with costly trappings, and a gown of gold brocade, lined with sables, worth 700 ducats.
On St. Peter's Day they went to court, with the other ambassadors connected with the league. On that day the King heard mass in the large chapel below,—an unusual proceeding,—accompanied by the ambassadors. He wore royal robes down to the ground, of gold brocade lined with ermine, and another different collar of very great value, and his train was carried. All the rest of the court glittered with jewels and gold and silver, the pomp being unprecedented.
After mass, the King, in the presence of all the ambassadors belonging to the league, caused the instrument of the confederacy to be read, the Pope being mentioned as its head, together with the Emperor and Spain. The King then swore to it, and had it proclaimed. The league may be considered “most holy.” The same day the King kept Cardinal Wolsey and Monsieur Jaques de Luxembourg to dine with him at his own table. All the others dined apart in another hall with the princes and the ambassadors. On Tuesday last,. the 7th, (on which day in England the “translation” of St. Thomas of Canterbury is celebrated,) a most stately joust was performed, at which all the princes and barons of the kingdom were present; the ambassadors from the Pope, and from the Emperor, France, Spain, Scotland, Denmark, and Venice being also invited; all, as usual, accompanying the King to mass.
On that day the King was dressed in white damask, in the Turkish fashion, with the above-mentioned robe all embroidered with roses made of rubies and diamonds, in accordance with his emblems, a most costly costume; his simar was all embroidered with pearls and precious jewels.
Having heard mass and dined, all went to the pageant. The place where the jousts were held is a tiltyard made expressly for such exhibitions, three times the size of the Piazza di San Pietro at Mantua, enclosed with a wall, and having stands (poggioli) for the spectators. At one end of the yard two spacious tents of cloth of gold were pitched side by side, and the first person who appeared was Sir Edward Gylforde, the brother of him who went to Mantua. He and his horse were sumptuously arrayed in cloth of gold with a raised pile, and he wore a chain worth upwards of 2,000 ducats; he was accompanied by 40 footmen, all dressed alike, in a livery of silk. This individual was superintendent of the joust; and 24 trumpeters followed him, all clad alike, in frocks of cloth of silver with a raised pile, and caps of white velvet. Next came 40 gentlemen in similar frocks and caps; every one of them, however, wearing a gold chain of five fingers' breadth around his neck, upwards of 2,000 ducats having been melted to make each of these chains, whose design presented an H and a K, the initial letters of the King and Queen. The horses were all white, and all caparisoned alike, having cost the King a mint of money, as during the last four months all the London goldsmiths have wrought nothing but these trappings. The bridles, pectorals, girths, and cruppers of the horses, together with the pommels of the saddles, were of pure silver, on which were chiseled all the royal emblems, none of the materials being either of leather or silk.
These 40 gentlemen carried the King's spears, and were followed by 14 jousters, great personages, whose horses were preciously caparisoned, each with new fashions different from the others. Each jouster was accompanied by 24 running footmen, dressed in silk livery. Then came 12 heralds, also in white frocks, with their tabards as usual, preceding 100 running footmen, also clad in white cloth of silver with a raised pile, in the midst of whom was the King in armour, with his helmet on his head. His surcoat of cloth of silver, with a raised pile, was wrought throughout with emblematic letters, the stop to every letter consisting of a pearl, each of which was worth from 30 to 40 ducats. The bridle and pectoral were studded with jewels, valued at 300,000 ducats.
The King having made the usual display in the lists, the Duke of Suffolk entered from the other end of them, with well nigh equal array and pomp, accompanied by 14 other jousters, all great person-ages, in rich array, like those on the King's side. After they had made their procession, the King wanted to joust with all of them; but this was forbidden by his Council, which moreover decreed that each jouster was to run six courses and no more, so that the entertainment might be ended on that day, by reason of the speedy departure of the ambassadors.
The competitor assigned to the King was the Duke of Suffolk aforesaid; and they bore themselves so bravely that the spectators fancied themselves witnessing a joust between Hector and Achilles. The others then jousted in succession, according to their rank, until the close; when the King, accompanied by the Duke, and by his company of running footmen, went to disarm; after which he was reconducted into the lists with the trumpeters, followed by 24 pages, who, as well as their horses, were clad in one livery, half gold brocade with a raised pile, and the other half blue velvet, both halves being embroidered with little bells. The King appeared with a similar frock (saglio) on a tall white horse, trapped from head to foot with little bells, as aforesaid, without any more brocade, and on his head a very large feather (penacchio) quite full of jewels. (fn. 3) All these horses were very handsome and big, including those given by the Marquis [of Mantua]. On arriving in the lists the King presented himself before the Queens and the ladies, making a thousand jumps in the air; and after tiring one horse, he entered the tent and mounted another of those ridden by the pages; doing thus constantly, and reappearing in the lists until the end of the joust.
When all had tilted, one of the King's chief favourites, by name Marco Charo (Nicholas Carew?), who had also jousted on that day, came out of the tent, riding a tall horse, completely covered with blue satin, he being clad in like manner. The horse was blindfolded and taken into the lists; whereupon a green tree, squared, and measuring nine inches in diameter, and twelve feet in length, was brought in by three men and placed in his lance rest with three forked poles. The knight then carried the tree most stoutly three-fourths of the entire length of the lists, to the extreme admiration and astonishment of everybody. The spectators were in number 50,000. All the knights and jousters then assembled together, and having made a fine procession around the tiltyard, accompanied the King to the palace, where his Majesty had caused a sumptuous supper to be prepared. There were present the King, the two Queens, the Cardinal, all the aforesaid ambassadors, the Duke of Norfolk, the Marquis (of Dorset), and their ladies, together with other baronesses, in such numbers, that at table each man paired with a lady.
There was a buffet set out, 30 feet in length, and 20 feet high, with silver gilt vases, and vases of gold, worth vast treasure, none of which were touched. All the small platters used for the table-service, namely “seyphi,” dishes, basins, plates, saltcellars, and goblets were all of pure gold. The large vases were all of silver gilt, very costly and precious.
The guests remained at table for seven hours by the clock. All the viands placed before the King were borne by an elephant, or by lions, or panthers, or other animals, marvellously designed; and fresh representations were made constantly with music and instruments of divers sorts. The removal and replacing of dishes the whole time was incessant, the hall in every direction being full of fresh viands on their way to table. Every imaginable sort of meat known in the kingdom was served, and fish in like manner, even down to prawn pasties (fino alli gambari de pastelli); but the jellies (zeladie), of some 20 sorts perhaps, surpassed everything; they were made in the shape of castles and of animals of various descriptions, as beautiful and as admirable as can be imagined.
“In short, the wealth and civilization of the world are here; and those who call the English barbarians appear to me to render themselves such. I here perceive very elegant manners, extreme decorum, and very great politeness; and amongst other things there is this most invincible King, whose acquirements and qualities are so many and excellent that I consider him to excel all who ever wore a crown; and blessed and happy may this country call itself in having as its lord so worthy and eminent a sovereign, whose sway is more bland and gentle than the greatest liberty under any other.”
After supper his Majesty and the chief ambassador from the Catholic King, together with other lords, danced with the ladies until daybreak.
Yesterday the aforesaid ambassadors departed on their way to Zealand, where their King is awaiting a fair wind for his voyage to Spain. To Monsieur de Luxembourg, on his departure, the King made presents worth 3,000 ducats; and the other three received gifts from him, each of the value of 1,000 ducats. In a fortnight he (the King) will go on a pleasure progress through the country for the summer, and with his good leave he (Chieregato) was going to Ireland, to see St. Patrick's Purgatory, (fn. 4) and all the other wonderful things which are said and written about that island.
London, 10th July 1517.
[Signed: Francesco Chieregato, most devoted servant and Apostolic nuncio in England.]
July 10. Mantuau Archiyes. 919. Francesco Chieregato, Apostolic Nuncio in England, to the Marquis of Mantua.
Four ambassadors had lately arrived in England from the Catholic King, and been received with very great honours.
This mission was to receive the oath of the King of England to the league recently made; to acquaint him with the departure of the Catholic King for Spain, and to recommend his territories of Flanders, Brabant, and Burgundy, and their inhabitants, to the care of the King of England.
On St. Peter's Day the league was sworn to and proclaimed between the Pope, the Emperor, Spain, and England, for the defence of their respective territories, but not for offensive purposes. By the chief articles of the league the confederates were to send ambassadors within one month after cognizance of the intention of any power to make war on any of them, acquainting him with the confederation. In the second month they were all to send ambassadors to the power meditating war against any one of the confederates, desiring him to desist, and intimating hostilities on behalf of the entire confederation in case of refusal. In the third month, each of the confederates was to send into the field at his own cost 1,500 men at-arms and 20,000 infantry, for the defence of his ally.
The French King had sent two ambassadors to England to arrange all the disputes between the English and French, whether about trade or other matters; both parties seemed much inclined to peace. The affairs of England with Scotland and Denmark had been permanently arranged.
The Duke of Suffolk had regained his former favour with the King, by means of the person who degraded him. The Duke was then resident at the court, and the Queen his wife was expecting her confinement within a month.
London, 10th July 1517.
[Signed: Francesco Chieregato, most humble servant, Apostolic nuncio in England.]
July 10. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 137. 920. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory. On the 5th July the league was sworn to by King Henry alone. The ambassadors of the Catholic King were present as witnesses, but took no oath, as their King had sworn to the league in the presence of the English ambassadors at his court. The articles were read. Many of the clauses had been cancelled. Had heard through “the faithful friend” (Chieregato), who had been informed by Friar Nicholas (Schomberg), that the cancelled clauses were those inserted the year preceding to the prejudice of the King of France and the Signory. Neither the Imperial ambassador nor Friar Nicholas were present at the ceremony; but the latter was summoned after the King had taken the oath, and announced the Pope's approval of the league. The ambassadors at Rome would witness the Papal oath. These forms were very unusual.
Great state was observed in these ceremonies, and the Court exhibited extraordinary splendour. Two tables were served; the Cardinal and the ambassadors of the Catholic King being at the King's board; while he (Giustinian) was placed at the other with the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the Marquis (of Dorset), and others. Never before had such honours been lavished upon ambassadors. One of the ambassadors (Jaques de Luxembourg) was a youth of about 20 years of age, extremely handsome and of an illustrious family, descended from three Emperors. His father was Governor of Flanders and Artois (the Marquis d'Arschot), and his father-in-law was Mons. de Chièvres, who enjoyed as much authority in Flanders as Cardinal Wolsey in England. This ambassador was, moreover, the boon companion of King Charles. He was taken by the King, after dinner, into the Queen's chamber, and was paid as much honour by the Queen and her ladies as if he were a sovereign. There were amusements of every description, including instrumental music by Dionysius Memo, the King's chaplain, which lasted four hours, to the exceeding delight of all the audience, and especially of the King.
On the 7th a most stately joust was kept. The decorations were very costly, new ornaments having been made for the occasion. The King jousted with the Duke of Suffolk. They bore themselves like Hector and Achilles. There were 30 other jousters. After the joust a banquet was held, and attended by all the chief lords and ladies of the kingdon. The King sat between the Queen his consort and his sister the Queen Dowager of France; on the right, the Cardinal; on the left, the Imperial ambassador; then all the ambassadors (including Giustinian); next the dukes and marquises;—none below the rank of a marquis. The ladies sat alternately, that is to say, a gentleman, then a lady. The repast was very sumptuous, and there was great profusion of plate, the cupboard being filled with vessels, said to be all of gold. During the entertainment music and other representations were performed; it lasted four hours. On the tables being removed, the King and the young ambassador danced, as also did some of the lords with the principal ladies. It was 2 a.m. when they departed.
Next day the Spanish ambassadors dined with the King, and he (Giustinian) returned to London. They had since been banqueted every day by the Cardinal and other lords. That day (the 10th), they had dined with the King and two Queens very familiarly, contrary to the custom of the Kings of England. Had not been able to visit them, or to obtain audience of the Cardinal, who had been constantly occupied either with them or the French ambassador.
It was asserted that the Catholic King would depart for Spain in eight or ten days, though the French ambassador Raid it would be indefinitely postponed from lack of money. He had also stated that there were two embassies at the French court from the Emperor and the Catholic King.
Believed the French ambassadors had a more important purpose in view than the arrangement of claims for damages. It was reported they were negotiating a league. Was surprised at their reserve, considering the intimate friendship subsisting between France and Venice.
London, 10th July 1517.
[Italian, 5¼ pages, or 127 lines.]
July 12. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiv. p. 406. 921. Gian Giacomo Caroldo, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the Signory.
Dated 9th July.
The Pope was well disposed towards the King of France. He had heretofore sent Frà Piero (sic; Nicholas?) to Flanders and England to obtain money, fearing that France would seize Naples, but now he had thrown himself into the arms of King Francis, had sent Duke Lorenzo (de' Medici) to France, and recalled his ambassador, the Bishop of Tricarico (Canossa).
The English Duke of Suffolk, (fn. 5) to whom the crown of England appertained, had arrived at Milan on his way to Loretto, whither King Francis had sent him, to remove the suspicion which he caused the King of England.
King Francis would make an agreement with the King of England. Last year England and Spain together expended 400,000 ducats on the Switzers.
The Duke of Suffolk wanted to go to Venice, and to pass through the towns of Lombardy. He had asked him (Caroldo) for a patent.
July 13. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File no. 6. 922. The Doge and College to Sebastian Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England.
Cardinal Adrian had quitted Home to avoid the troubles there. Having arrived at Ortona, he crossed over to Zara, and proceeded incognito with only three attendants to Venice. On landing he went straight to the Doge's chamber, and made the statement contained in the enclosed copies of letters from the State to the King of England, to Cardinal Wolsey, and to the Bishop of Winchester. He (Giustinian) is to present the Signory's letters to the King, Cardinal Wolsey, and the Bishop of Winchester, and to use his best offices on behalf of Cardinal Adrian. To notify the result and abstain from saying more.
July 13. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File no. 6. 923. Doge Leonardo Loredano to King Henry VIII.
Announces the recent landing at Venice of Cardinal Adrian, who according to his own account, had quitted Rome to avoid the turmoil prevalent there, and to lead a quiet life, of which he was desirous, and thus give no opportunity for calumnies against him. The Cardinal had said nothing to the Doge in Venice but what was honourable and respectful of the Pope, which seemed an indication of the excellent will he bore his Holiness. The Cardinal was endowed with singular piety, learning, and saintly morals. Understood that he had been devoted to the memory of King Henry's late father, and was of excellent disposition towards his Majesty himself then regnant. Remembered also how earnestly the late King Henry VII. had recommended him to the State. Had therefore received the Cardinal cordially, desiring him to be of good cheer, and promising to use every good office in his favour, both with the Pope and all others.
Had desired the Venetian ambassador at Rome to announce the arrival of Cardinal Adrian at Venice, and to inform the Pope in what honourable terms he had spoken of his Holiness, and of his extreme clemency and goodness. Had enjoined the ambassador to recommend the Cardinal earnestly to the Pope. Had preferred this suit through the ambassador, both in observance of an ancient precept of the State, which was accustomed always to give similar support to men so highly endowed, and above all because the Signory knew for certain that this would please the King, to whom he (the Doge) urgently recommended the Cardinal. Any favour conferred by the King on the Cardinal would be bestowed on one devoted to the Pope, and also attached to the King and to England; nor could his Majesty do anything more acceptable to the Signory.
July 13. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File no. 6. 924. Doge Leonardo Loredano to Cardinal Wolsey.
All the expressions of Cardinal Adrian fully prove him most devoted to Cardinal Wolsey. Requests Cardinal Wolsey, by means of his well deserved authority, to protect Cardinal Adrian and his interests under all circumstances, to defend him for the sake of the Signory, and thus render a good office to one well deserving of the King of England and most devoted to Cardinal Wolsey himself. This favour will be considered no ordinary obligation by the Signory, as the ambassador will declare on behalf of the State.
July 13. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File no. 6. 925. Doge Leonardo Loredano to Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester.
Informs him how Cardinal Adrian was at Venice, to avoid the disturbances then current at Rome. He had requested the State to recommend him to the King. Writes the present letter, therefore, to the Bishop, being aware of his very great authority with the King, and requests him to support Cardinal Adrian in such wise that the Cardinal may find the Signory's recommendation in this matter of no little importance. Should the Bishop act thus, it would prove most agreeable to the Signory.
July 13. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File no. 6. 926. The Doge and College to the Venetian Ambassador in France.
To forward the accompanying packet with speed to England, in accordance with the contents of the letter which he would receive from Cardinal Adrian, at whose request and in whose favour the Signory was writing letters to England.
July 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiv. p. 407. 927. Gian Giacomo Caroldo, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the Signory.
Dated 11 July.
When the Duke of Suffolk (fn. 6) asked him for a patent, told Mons. de l'Escu that he did not think fit to give it, to avoid irritating the King of England, on account of the Venetian merchants there. Mons. de l'Escu approved. Gian Giacomo Triulzi was of the same opinion. The Signory are to let him know what he is to do.
Note by Sanuto, that the College wrote to Caroldo, praising him for not having given any patent.
July 14. Minio's Original Letter Book, MS. penes me. Letter no. 82. 928. Marco Minio to the Signory.
Told the Pope that a letter from the State acquainted him with the arrival at Venice of Cardinal Adrian, who had audience of the Signory, and had spoken very respectfully of his Holiness. Recommended Cardinal Adrian to the Pope in the Signory's name.
The Pope smiled, and said he was content that the Cardinal should remain at Venice. Rejoined that Adrian's departure had been caused by shame, rather than by any other motive. The Pope answered, “As it happens thus, we on our part recommend him to the Signory.” So far as he (Minio) could judge, the Pope was satisfied with the Cardinal's sojourn at Venice.
Rome, 14th July 1517.
[Extract, Italian.]
July 17. Minio's Original Letter Book, MS. penes me. Letter no. 83. 929. The Same to the Same.
Letters had been received in Rome from England, dated the 28th June, announcing the arrival there of the envoys from Francis I. on a mission said to relate to certain disputes about boundaries, and for the negotiation of commercial affairs. Friar Nicholas (Schomberg), late nuncio in Burgundy, had also gone over to England for the purpose of asking Henry VIII. for money, the Pope expecting to obtain a considerable sum from him.
Rome, 17th July 1517.
[Extract, Italian.]
1517, July 19. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 138. 930. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Departure of the Spanish ambassadors, who were reported to have received 100,000 crowns from King Henry for the voyage of the Catholic King. They were presented with 7,000 ducats for themselves. The French ambassador had stated that he was come merely about claims for damages. Nothing spoken of in England but peace. The Cardinal had received the petition of the merchants for the renewal of the patents. Was of opinion he delayed the business because he wanted a bribe.
London, 19th July 1517.
[Italian, 1¼ page, or 30 lines.]
July 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxiv. p. 423. 931. Giovanni Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Abbeville, 7th July.
Had been told by Eobertet, that Mons. de la Giuche had gone to England about reprisals. Understood, however, that the negotiation concerned the surrender of Tournai, as stipulated heretofore with the late King Lewis, but with the condition that he was to pay the expenses of the war.
The ambassadors from Scotland were awaiting King Francis at Rouen, where the Duke of Albany was expected from Scotland. The Scots demanded the confirmation of French protection and of the confederacy between the two kingdoms, and also the money promised them by the King for having invaded England when the English entered France.
July 22. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File no. 6. 932. The Doge and College to Sebastian Giustinian.
Had written to him lately about the arrival of Cardinal Adrian at Venice. Had heard from Rome that the Pope was well satisfied that the Cardinal should be at Venice. To announce this fact to the King, Cardinal Wolsey, and the Bishop of Winchester, and to further recommend to them the interests of Cardinal Adrian.
July 22. Minio's Original Letter Book, MS. penes me. Letter no. 86. 933. Marco Minio to the Council of Ten.
The letters from England, dated 28th June, announcing the arrival of the French commissioners, were from Cardinal Wolsey, who had held a conference with the commissioners, and told them that their King had sent Francesco Maria (della Rovere) against the Church, and supported him,—a proceeding which the King of England would not endure. This charge the commissioners did not deny, but replied that the Pope's bad faith (pocha fede) had caused all the mischief, as he had promised King Francis to restore Modena and Reggio to the Duke of Ferrara, and then did nothing of the sort. Cardinal Wolsey had written to Friar Nicholas (Schomberg), the papal nuncio resident with the Emperor, desiring him to come to England, and the Friar had crossed on the 6th, so that despatches from him were shortly expected in Rome. A consultation had been held between the Pope, the Spanish ambassadors, and the Lord Albert (Pio of Carpi).
Some thought King Henry would accede to the wishes of King Francis; others maintained that Wolsey had written thus to the Pope, to make him adhere to King Henry, and alienate him from France, and that the journey of Friar Nicholas to England was a proof that the Pope meant to join the English league, according to whose articles a place had been reserved for his Holiness, as the Signory would have seen in full by the copy already forwarded. (fn. 7)
The Spanish ambassadors in Rome had received letters from their King, announcing his intention of going to Spain immediately. King Charles would prevent the Duke of Guelders making much progress; and he well knew those who had sold, betrayed, and sacrificed him, and on arriving in Spain would prove himself no longer a child. (fn. 8)
Rome, 22nd July 1517.
[Extract, Italian,]
July 23. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 139. 934. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
The Bishop of St. Domingo had arrived in London as a Papal nuncio, with letters exhorting the King to make an expedition. against the Infidel, which were disregarded by Cardinal Wolsey, who professed to be intent on peace and quiet. The French ambassador would be despatched in three or four days. Had given him a grand banquet. The bishopric of Bath, which was worth 10,000 ducats, and had belonged to Cardinal Adrian (Castellesi), had been conferred on Cardinal Wolsey. The Papal nuncio, Chieregato, had been recalled by a Papal brief, which charged him to return to Rome immediately, on pain of 3,000 ducats. This was probably done on account of his having acted as agent to Cardinal Adrian. The nuncio, however, attributed it to the friendship existing between himself and Giustinian. He would present himself before the Signory in quest of refuge. He did not ask for money, but for a benefice, that he might dwell at Venice, where he was born and educated.
Had urged Cardinal Wolsey to despatch the patent for the merchants, licensing them to purchase wools and tin wherever they pleased, on payment of the customs, as they had used to do in reign of Henry VII.; one half of the customs to be paid one year, and the other half the next. It had been impossible to obtain such patent for many years, so that the business done by Venetian merchants had been transacted under other names. The Cardinal would not give him the patent, unless he guaranteed the coming of the galleys within six months. Offered to guarantee their arrival within eight months. The Cardinal demanded a bond to that effect, on receiving which he would give the licence.
The Cardinal had made a long apology respecting the affair of the wines [of Candia]. He said it would be necessary to take legal advice, which could not be done till after Michaelmas, as all the law
officers had been sent out to the towns and counties, to inquire into the life and conduct of the King's ministers, and also of the grandees. After their return he would convoke them, and give him (Giustinian) audience in their presence.
London, 23rd July 1517.
[Italian, 5 pages, or 117 lines.]
July 24. Minio's Original Letter Book, MS. penes me. Letter no. 87. 935. Marco Minio to the Signory.
The Pope understood there were two envoys in England, one from the King of France and the other from the Catholic King, who were treating their respective affairs, of which his Holiness knew nothing more: he was not yet aware of the arrival there of his nuncio, Friar Nicholas (Schomberg). The Pope then added, laughing, “We are expecting to hear whether the King of England will accommodate us with money, for to this effect have we made a demand of him.” In reply to his (Minio's) remark that the Pope had done well to make such a request of King Henry, who, being very wealthy, would to a certainty oblige him; the Pope again laughed, and said, “We shall see.”
Understood that King Francis had remonstrated with the Papal nuncio (Canossa, Bishop of Tricarico), complaining of the Pope for having written to England, that he (King Francis) favoured Francesco Maria (della Rovere) against the Church. This intelligence corresponded with the French “advices” transmitted by him to the State, purporting that King Francis had violently abused priests, from indignation at this charge.
Borne, 24th July 1517.
[Extract, Italian.]
July 24. Minio's Original Letter Book, MS. penes me. Letter no. 88. 936. Marco Minio to the Council of Ten.
Friar Nicholas (Schomberg) had asked the King of England for the money, and had obtained a promise of a considerable sum (de bona summa) for the Pope's necessities. His Holiness had sent an order to Friar Nicholas to join the league of the three powers (Maximilian, Henry VIII., and Charles of Burgundy).
Borne, 24th July 1517.
[Extract, Italian.]
July 28. Minio's Original Letter Book, MS. penes me. Letter no. 90. 937. Marco Minio to the Signory.
The Pope had informed him that the Catholic King was merely awaiting fair weather for his voyage to Spain. The Pope said he believed King Henry was negotiating an agreement with King Francis, as one of the French envoys was gone back to France.
Could elicit nothing more from the Pope, but there were letters from England dated 9th July, purporting that Friar Nicholas had joined the league of the three powers in the Pope's name, and sworn to it.
Borne, 28th July 1517.
[Extract, Italian.]
July 30. Minio's Original Letter Book, MS. penes me. Letter no. 91. 938. Marco Minio to the Signory.
Departure from the French Court on the 13th of Marc' Antonio Colonna in haste, on a mission from Francis I. to Leo X. Misunderstandings between Rome and France. Suspicions entertained by the Pope of his late nuncio in France, Canossa, Bishop of Tricarico, who, on the other hand, complained of the Pope for not having given him the red hat at the late numerous promotion of cardinals. Consequent recall of Canossa, and appointment in his stead of Staffileo, Bishop of Sebenico. (fn. 9)
Rome, 30th July 1517.
[Extract, Italian.]
July 30. Minio's Original Letter Book, MS. penes me. Letter no. 92. 939. Marco Minio to the Council of Ten.
Friar Nicholas (Schomberg) had in the Pope's name sworn to the league between the Emperor, England, and Spain.
Friar Nicholas also stated that King Henry was well inclined to make war, should he see the allies join it heartily, in which case he would then contribute a good sum of money. This intelligence greatly delighted the Pope, and after discussing the matter with the Imperial and Spanish ambassadors he wrote to England, announcing his wish that the league should be concluded, etiam ad offensionem.
The Pope and the ambassadors also conferred about Cardinal Wolsey, concerning whom they have entertained some suspicion, by reason of the constant communications which seem to have passed between him and the French envoys, with such extreme secrecy that it had apparently been impossible to learn the object of these conferences; and as one of the two French commissioners had returned to France, the Pope and the Imperial and Spanish ambassadors considered it certain that this proceeded from a close negotiation for agreement with King Francis.
Had been informed by the French ambassador that according to letters from his Court an agreement was being negotiated with England, and that the Pope would not receive any pecuniary aid from King Henry; still less would the Switzers supply his Holiness with troops.
Rome, 30th July 1517.
[Extract, Italian.]
July 30. Minio's Original Letter Book, MS. penes me. Letter no. 93. 940. Marco Minio to the Signory.
The Cardinal of Volterra (Francesco Soderini) had asked the Pope's permission to reside in certain Colonna towns, and other towns in the Campagna, and had obtained the Pope's consent, provided the foreign ambassadors guaranteed the observance of the promises made by the Cardinal to his Holiness. Soderini therefore caused a power of attorney to be made out for all the ambassadors
to promise in his name. All the ambassadors made the promise without reservation, save that the English ambassador demanded four months' term, wherein to receive the ratification from his sovereign.
Rome, 30th July 1517.
[Extract, Italian.]
July 31. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 140. 941. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Departure of the French ambassador. The claims for damages had been referred to commissioners who were to meet at Calais and Boulogne.
Had obtained the patent from Cardinal Wolsey, and sent him the bond. Had received letters from the Signory, for the King, the Cardinal, the Bishop of Winchester, and himself. Both the King and the Cardinal were abroad, taking their pleasure. The Cardinal would return to London on 1st August, and the King on Sunday the 2nd, when he would present the letters. As the Bishop of Winchester was in his diocese, 50 miles off, had despatched his son to him with the letters of the Signory and Cardinal Adrian. It was necessary the Bishop should receive speedy information, that he might be able to treat “this matter” opportunely with the Bang and Cardinal. Intended to visit him, but was apprehensive that the business would encounter some difficulty, as Cardinal Wolsey had obtained the see of Cardinal Adrian in commendam.
London, 31st July 1517.
[Italian, 1¾ page, or 43 lines.]


  • 1. An Italian translation of the eunuch's letter exists in Sanuto's Diaries, vol. xxiv. p. 384, date 2nd July 1517.
  • 2. The Spanish ambassadors then in London were four in number, but one of them viz., the Bishop of Elna, was ambassador resident in ordinary.
  • 3. “The Kyng had on his hed a ladie's sieve full of diamondes.” (Hall's Chron. p. 591.)
  • 4. Lough Derg, St. Patrick's Purgatory, in Ulster.
  • 5. Richard de la Pole, third Duke of Suffolk, commonly called “White Rose,” was living in exile in France, in whose service he was killed, at the battle of Pavia, A.D. 1525.
  • 6. Richard de la Pole; see p. 403.
  • 7. See before, date 29th May.
  • 8. “Che'l si cognosceria lui non esser un puto.” Compare this with an extract on p. 201 from Sanuto's Diaries, date 1514, Oct. 30, showing that even then Charles of Burgundy, for love of Mary Tudor, resented being treated like a child.
  • 9. In the printed notices of Canossa there is no mention of this circumstance. Canossa had been in England, where he met Erasmus.