Venice: December 1518

Pages 478-482

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 2, 1509-1519. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1867.

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December 1518

Dec. 1. Minio's Original Letter Book, MS. penes me. Letter no. 259. 1115. Same to Same.
Had obtained the articles of the treaty between France and England. This copy did not comprise the secret articles, which were not, he believed, committed to writing.
Rome, 1st December 1518.
[Extract Italian.]
Dec. 2. Sanuto Diaries, v.xxvi. p. 191. 1116. Embassy to France of the Lord Chamberlain of England.
Rome, 27th November.
On the 5th [November] the Lord Chamberlain of England was going as ambassador to France with 600 horse, and other ambassadors, to surrender Tournai, and arrange the interview between the two Kings.
Maria Vanoza, the mistress of Pope Alexander, and mother of Duke Valentino and of Madame Lucretia the reigning Duchess of Ferrara, had died on the 27th instant. She was buried with great pomp in the church of St. John's of the Lateran. (fn. 1)
Dec. 3. Original Letter Book, St. Mark's Library, Letter no. 202. 1117. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Had been informed by Cardinal Campeggio that the disturbances at Genoa had taken place with the consent of the most Christian King; that fresh negotiations were on foot for the marriage of the Catholic King to the daughter of the King of Portugal; (fn. 2) and that the King of Spain was sending foot soldiers into Naples, whither troops were being conveyed by way of Trieste, on account of the Turks. Believed that King Charles anticipated an attack on Naples by France, who would consider his proposed marriage a breach of the treaty of Noyon, which affianced him to the daughter of King Francis (Louise).
The Signory would do well to write to Campeggio in acknowledgment of his good offices.
Had been visited that day by the French ambassador. Could elicit nothing from him.
Lambeth, 3rd December 1518.
[Italian, 3 pages, or 58 lines.]
Dec. 3. Minio's Original Letter Book. MS. penes me. Letter no. 260. 1118. Marco Minio to the Signory.
The articles of the treaty in their original form had been sent to him by the English ambassador through his secretary. Believed these did not contain the whole of the negotiations, as there was no mention of either Scotland or Tournai.
Rome, 3rd December 1518.
[Extract, Italian.]
Dec. 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxvi. p. 193. 1119. Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Paris, 20th November.
The English ambassadors had crossed the Channel, and would arrive in Paris in 15 or 20 days. The Duke of Ferrara would be present at the entry.
Dec. 5. Minio's Original Letter Book. MS. penes me. Letter no. 261. 1120. Marco Minio to the Signory.
On the 3rd a congregation was held to discuss the Catholic King's demand for the imperial crown to be sent into Germany. The Pope had received a hint on this subject from the Polish ambassador, who transacted the affairs of Maximilian. In the course of conversation with him (Minio), the Pope said, “This is a thing not usually done. It is true that the crown was sent here to Rome to Henry VI. and to Charles IV., because the Court was then at Avignon, but it has never been done otherwise. Before giving him any reply we shall hold at least two other congregations, and thus protract the matter.”
When discussing the confederacy between France and England with the Pope, observed that no mention was made of Scotland, that he could not understand the mode of the surrender of Tournai, and that there must be other clauses.
The Pope answered that there were no other clauses, and nothing-else had been put into writing, but there might be promises not committed to paper.
Rome, 5th December 1518.
[Extract, Italian.]
Dec. 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxvi. p. 218. 1121. Francesco Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Signory.
Saragossa, 13th November.
The King (of Spain) intended to ratify the peace between France and England. He had sent a commission to his ambassador in England to that effect, provided certain fresh ceremonies were performed. This demand not being complied with, the ambassador took his departure, but the King would still ratify the treaty.
Dec. 12. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxvi. p. 232. 1122. Lucrezia Borgia, Duchess of Ferrara, to the Ferrarese Ambassador in Venice.
(This letter was shown by the Ambassador to the Signory.)
The Duke of Ferrara was on his way to France, to be present at the entry of the English ambassadors into Paris.
Doc. 13. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxvi. p. 235. 1123. Advices from England.
The Queen bad been delivered in her eighth month of a stillborn daughter, to the great sorrow of the nation at large.
Dec. 15. Minio's Original Letter Book. MS. penes me. Letter no. 262. 1124. Marco Minio to the Signory.
The congregation of Cardinals had sat on Monday. Was told by the Pope they had formed no decision, having merely held a consultation, which was done to gain time. The Pope repeated that it was unusual to send the crown into Germany, and had only been done when the Popes were in France. He added that if he were to grant the Emperor this, the next time he would ask him for his breeches. (fn. 3)
The Pope hoped France and England would make war on the Turks; and talking about the confederacy between the two Kings, he observed that the French ambassadors in Rome entertained doubts of the surrender of Tournai, owing to the receipt of sure news from Germany that a great quantity of salt meat had recently been stored in the castle of that city, whose delegates had gone over to England to offer the King a certain sum of money provided he would not make the surrender. All these statements the Pope believed to be false, as his own intelligence purported that Tournai would be surrendered before the return of the English ambassadors, and he knew that the Catholic King had promised Cardinal Wolsey 100,000 ducats if he would destroy the fortress of Tournai, and that Wolsey had refused. The English ambassadors accredited to France had crossed the Channel. On the 18th November Dom Matheo Beccaria was despatched by King Henry to the Cardinal of Sion with his pension of 1,000 nobles.
Rome, 15th December 1518.
[Extract, Italian.]
Dec. 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxvi. p. 245. 1125. The Venetian Ambassador in France to the Signory.
Paris, 6th December.
King Francis was gone out of Paris, until after the entry of the English ambassadors, because the King of England was not present when the French ambassadors entered London. The Duke of Ferrara had arrived in Paris to be present at the entry of the English ambassadors, which was to take place on the 9th.
Dec. 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxvi. p. 260. 1126. Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Paris, 9 th December.
Arrival on the preceding day of the four English ambassadors, who made their entry without any ceremonies, such not being customary. They came with fewer horses than was expected, the number at the utmost not amounting to 200.
King Francis was expected at Paris on the 28th or 29th for their public audience.
Dec. 31. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxvi. p. 273. 1127. Francesco Cornaro, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Signory.
Saragossa, 12th December.
Had spoken with the [Arch]bishop of Armagh, one of the English ambassadors at the Spanish Court. The Catholic King would join the league between England and France, but desired a modification of the clause requiring the other powers to pray for admittance into it. The Emperor had in like manner sent his mandate to England to join the league.
Dec. Mantuan Archives. 1128. English Ambassadors in France.
Description of the jousts and military games celebrated in France in honour of the ambassadors of the King of England. Lists formed on the “Pluce des Tournelles,” enclosed by a stockade half the height of a man, and surrounded by wooden scaffolds, all covered with tapestry. On one side, the Queen and all the ladies of the court and many of those of the city, placed according to rank. On the other, the English ambassadors and gentlemen and other lords of the Court. Joust on Sunday afternoon, 12 jousters on one side commanded by the King, and 12 on the other under the Count de St. Pol. Account of costumes, etc. Joust repeated by the same parties on the morrow, even in the dark, so that one jouster was often opposed to two, and at length, there being no longer any “whites” to oppose them, the “blacks” tilted against each other.
Yesterday, Wednesday the 22nd, the royal banquet was held. The site appointed was the Bastille, near the Tournelles. The great court of said Bastille was covered, first of all, by sail-canvas suspended by thick ropes, to keep out the rain. Beneath the canvas was another under cover of sky-coloured linen cloth (tela) powdered with stars and gold lilies, with which not only was the ceiling decorated, but also midway down the sides was the same design. From the ceiling there hung 12 chandeliers with 12 torches each; and on the sides were long bent sconces, gilt, with torches, in very great number. The border of the ceiling represented the 12 signs of the zodiac. The flooring of the court was wood, covered with drugget (drapo). At the sides were three galleries, one above the other, all covered with tapestries, where the ladies were.
At the head of the court was a platform, four steps high, of semicircular form, the steps being in the centre; and around were other steps, which joined those aforesaid. (fn. 4)
The sides and the whole circumference were covered with cloth of gold. In the centre was the “cloth of estate” of stiff cloth of gold. The ceiling of the platform was pleached with ivy and box, with pendent oranges; and in the centre there hung a gilt ball with three golden lilies. In the centre of one of the sides were large tubs with green trees bearing apples, pears, and oranges, the fruit hanging from the branches and forming a bower.
On the other side of the platform were the daughters of the Signore Visconti adorned and clad in the Lombard fashion, and some 30 other French ladies in similar costume, (all at the King's cost,) in damask, satins, and velvets of several sorts, with gold embroidery representing foliage, fruit, fishes, and other fanciful things slashed about their apparel. The other ladies, clad in the French fashion, wore gowns of cloth of gold and silver. Her Majesty the Queen and Madame (Louise of Savoy) were at the end of a gallery by the side of the platform.
Before supper the King and other gentlemen danced a few dances. The cloths were then laid, and the water for the hands having been presented, they sat down to table thus: His Majesty was in the centre, leaving, however, sufficient space for Madame d'Alençon likewise to be under the cloth of estate. She was clad in a very handsome robe of stiff gold cloth lined with stiff silver cloth. His Majesty and the Duchess were seated on two gilt chairs.
On the right hand was the Legate, and by his side the Countess Borromea, daughter of the Signor Visconti; then came the Lord Chamberlain, the English ambassador, and next to him the daughter of the Lord Steward; then the Cardinal de Boissi, and by his side the wife of the Admiral Bonnivet. Next came the Prior of St. John's, the English ambassador, by whose side sat Visconti's other daughter; then Cardinal de Bourges and another lady; then Cardinal de Vau-demont; then the captain of Guisnes, the English ambassador, and then the Venetian ambassador. The Florentine and Spanish ambassadors were ill; the Nuncio had no place because the Legate was there.
By the side of the Duchess of Alençon sat the Bishop of Ely, the English ambassador; the Duchess of Nemours came next; then the Duke of Alençon; then Madame de Chateaubriand, Mons. de Lautrec's sister; then the Duke de Vendôme; then the Duke of Ferrara; then the Prince de Roche sur Yon; all with ladies.
The whole length of the court were two long tables, crowded with French and English gentlemen, all pairing with ladies. The courses were served with a flourish of trumpets in battle array, with heralds and archers; then the house stewards, all with white staves; then the Lord Steward. Besides the dishes for the first nine courses, they brought an infinite number of French delicacies In the corners of the court were five cupboards with shelves full of gold and silver vases.
After the repast, which lasted four hours, maskers came in gold and silver, all pompous with new liveries of cloth of gold and silver slashed with devices, and they were many in number. Amongst them were the King, the Lord Steward, old Mons. d'Orval, Montmorency (who is very old indeed), and La Palisse. Very many of the young men danced a long while, and the entertainment lasted until two hours after midnight.
At the end there came a collation of sugar plums (zuchari) and confections, borne by the Italian ladies and others, dressed in the Italian fashion.


  • 1. “Serive è morta li a Roma Maria Vanoza fu di Papa Alexandro, et madre del Ducha “Valentino e di la Duchessa Madama Lugrecia di Ferara che vive; et questa matina di “27 è stata sepulta a S. Janin Laterano molto honorataniente.”
  • 2. Elizabeth, daughter of King Emmanuel.
  • 3. “Un' altra volta ne richiederia le brage.”
  • 4. “In forma di semicirculo, lo cui diametro crano li scalini; intorno erano dei altri “ che circumgvano” (sic).