Venice: August 1512

Pages 72-78

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


August 1512

Aug. 17. Sanuto Diaries, v. xiv. p. 474. 183. Lorenzo Pasqualigo to his brothers Alvise and Francesco Pasqualigo in Venice.
Dated London, 14 July 1512; received on the — August.
Receipt at the court of letters from Fonterabia from the Marquis [of Dorset, Thomas Grey], his Majesty's commander, dated the 1st July, that on his arrival there he found the Duke of Nazara, captain general of the Spaniards, with 1,000 cavalry clad in steel, and that considerable bodies of troops arrived daily. Had been told by the Duke of Nazara that the Spaniards would muster some 30,000 horse and foot. The English were 20,000, and, it being understood that the King of Navarre on the borders there hesitated about keeping the promise given to Spain of neutrality between them and France, they had sent an express to learn whether he would abide by his word, and were awaiting his reply. Should he keep faith, they will march to Bayonne on the arrival of the Spanish troops; if, on the other hand, the King of Navarre swerve from his promise, they will then all attack and annihilate him in a few days, after which the invasion of France will continue.
The English fleet on its homeward voyage landed troops at two places in Britanny, burned many castles and villages thereabouts, captured many ships and vessels fallen in with, and carried them away, after sacking everything.
Then, on entering the Channel, they met 26 hoys, carrying much cannon, and bound for the bay (alla baia) in Britanny to load salt; these they took, and went all together to the Downs, where on board this fleet the King of England embarked very many troops, and armed the hoys and ships captured in Britanny; and one night they departed with 60 ships, besides the 40 hoys and ships captured in the ports of Britanny. Their destination was unknown, but they were supposed to be bound for some place in France, with which they have an understanding, and the result is awaited.
It has been heard for certain at the court that in France they are fitting out a large fleet, though he (Pasqualigo) is of opinion it will not dare put to sea, as besides the English fleet now afloat, the King is expecting 30 ships armed at his cost in Biscay, the arrival of which cannot be long delayed, it being already known some days since that they were on the eve of departure. The wish of England is that the French should come out, though this they will assuredly not do, as they have neither the means nor places for fitting out half as large a fleet as that of England, without counting that of Spain, which is very considerable.
It has been also heard there, that off Cape Finisterre a French ship captured a Portuguese, freighted with GO bales . . . . , under pretence of their being Spanish property; and in the Gulf of Lyons off Cartagena a corsair of Provence, with three ships and a galley, has taken three Spanish barks: so that the war is kindled in every quarter.
The King has sent 10,000l. to Maximilian at Brussels, to wage war on the Duke of Guelders. There is no other intelligence save that the father of the King of Navarre, Monsieur d'Albret, a Breton (sic), (fn. 1) is at the French court, a prisoner as it were; and for that reason his son is supposed to be making this stir at his instigation.
The other 20,000 men now mustering for embarkation on board vessels in the Thames are to be ready for their passage to Calais in the course of August, under command of “the Talbot,” of a family always accustomed to beat the French, (fn. 2) and he will go to Paris, four or five days march from his landing place.
Aug. 19. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlv. p. 34, tergo. 184. The Doge and Senate to Andrea Badoer, Ambassador in England.
Had somewhat delayed writing to him, because, according to the intention already announced by them many days ago, they had despatched his successor, Francesco Capello, knight, who was well acquainted with all the news of Italy down to that time; and because they supposed that he would speedily have entered the King's presence and acquainted him with everything. Understand, however, by Capello's letters, the difficulties encountered by him on the road, owing to the dissensions and discord in Germany between the bishops there and the laity, and by reason of the war of Guelders; and some days ago received letters from Badoer dated the 15th ultimo, and lately those of the 26th.
Are satisfied with the preparations made by the King against his inveterate and natural enemies, and his perseverance in favour of the most holy League.
Perceive how satisfied the King is with the Signory's operations, for which he is to return thanks, and to beseech him to continue the undertaking, in which he will doubtless succeed, and recover all that territory of which he deservedly bears the title; and that he will not give ear to nor trust the stratagems and machinations of the French, who have no other aim than to deceive and delude.
They are intent on expelling what remains of the French. The army of the State besieging Brescia numbers upwards of 1,000 men-at-arms, 1,000 light horse, and 10,000 infantry. They hope in a few days to recover their territorial losses, and will then attend to the rest. The Cardinal of Sion, with the Switzers, is besieging the fortress of No vara, and will next proceed to Milan to recover that castle, which is still in the hands of the enemy. The army of the King of Spain is at Modena and thereabouts, numbering 400 men-at-arms, 800 light horse, and 7,000 infantry, and is expecting Prospero Colonna with as many more men-at-arms. The papal army is at Bologna and in that neighbourhood, numbering 500 men-at-arms and a good number of infantry, and receives reinforcements daily. The Signor Janus de Campofregoso, who, with the support of his faction and of some of the Signory's troops, entered Genoa, and was created duke of that city, has lately recovered from the French “il Castelleto” an important fortress for its defence, and is besieging another towards the sea, which also he hopes to obtain immediately.
The State is more than ever inclined towards a reconciliation with the Emperor; nor have they failed doing their utmost to effect for this purpose the mission to Rome of the Cardinal of Gurk, who was lately at Mantua, with the Viceroy and the Count of Carriati, the Spanish ambassador accredited to the Signory. They met to discuss the affairs of Italy, and the Viceroy departed without coming to any determination, awaiting (it was said) the decision of the Pope, who is in truth intent on regulating matters rightly for the welfare of the most holy confederation. Is to communicate all these things to the King, and to such of his councillors as fitting, and acquaint them also with the enclosed summaries of letters from the bailiff at Constantinople [Turkish newsletters], as they are certain they will prove agreeable to his Majesty. Is to continue giving copious and detailed advices, as he has done hitherto, to his great praise and commendation.
Ayes, 143. Noes, 1. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 57 lines.]
Aug. 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xiv. p. 488. 185. Andrea Badoer to the State.
Dated London, 25th and 26th July.
Advices as already received concerning the King's preparations against France, and many particulars.
Paragraph seen by Sanuto, in a private letter from Badoer to his son-in-law, Francesco Gradenigo, dated London, 26th July. How he is not asleep there, and that his good service will be manifest; as now the Signory will have heard that the magnanimous King of England has fitted out a fleet of 70 large ships to depart with 20,000 troops for France, where, God willing, they will arrive in a few hours. The expedition is commanded by the Earl of Shrewsbury, of a noble and and ancient family named Talbot, and to this day in France they still their babes by threatening them when they cry with the coming of the Talbots. (fn. 3) Hopes by his next, to send still better news, being in hourly expectation of something good by sea from Galicia, and prays God to grant it.
Aug. 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xiv. p. 489. 186. Lorenzo Pasqualigo to his brothers Alvise and Francesco.
Dated London, 3rd August; read in the Senate on the 19th.
News received in a letter from Biscay, that as the King of Navarre had not kept his promise of neutrality, King Ferdinand mustered 100 spears and 10,000 infantry for an attack upon him; whereupon the King of Navarre surrendered five fortresses as security, so that in that quarter the allies would be free from molestation either from France or from the Navarrese. Confirmation of this intelligence by a courier who had arrived by sea and who was gone to the Emperor.
The King is arming as many ships as he can get; the smallest of 80 tons burden, and the largest “the Sovereign” (sic) of 2,600 (sic) butts. Believes that the fleet will number 60 sail, in addition to the first fleet, and without including the 30 ships fitted out on his account in Biscay, and expected hourly. The remaining 20,000 men are then to be embarked, and will, it is said, make an unexpected descent in Normandy or Britanny.
Gives account of the Emperor at Cologne, and how he had sent off Maximilian Sforza towards Milan, (fn. 4) Threats of the Emperor to annihilate the Duke of Guelders. Report that France is fitting out a large fleet, though it will certainly not show itself in those seas, where the English and Spanish ships will be double its force.
In the Gulf of Lyons there are two Provencal corsairs, one with three barks and a galley, the other with one bark, one galleon, and two galleys; and they have captured three or four barks bound to the westward, so that in London insurances on vessels from Candia cannot be effected even at ten per cent. Also in the sea of Spain there is a Frenchman with two barks, who has taken a Portuguese ship with 50 bales of pepper bound for Flanders. At Cadiz, 40 ships have been detained for the King of Spain, and it is supposed the like fate will befall all others arriving there, so all merchantmen will be unloaded, and above all the Malmseys from Candia; though, if not, assures his brothers they will find a good market. In England no talk of anything but arms.
The troops destined for Calais are already in order, nor is it known why they do not cross. Suspicion of some persons that the report of their being bound for Calais has been circulated, though it is intended to land them elsewhere.
The King has sent 10,000l. to the Emperor, who is raising troops against Guelders. Has no other news. The present messenger is despatched by the King to Rome in great haste, and with difficulty takes charge of the Venetian letters.
Aug. 26.Sanuto Diaries, v. xiv. p. 518. 187. Doge Leonardo Loredano to Henry VIII.
Acknowledges receipt of the King's letters dated 12th July, which gave him extreme pleasure, though they contained nothing new, the State being already convinced of his piety towards the Pope and Roman Church and innate affection for the Republic, which had caused him to march his formidable forces against the common enemy; the move being made so efficaciously, that according to the unanimous opinion not alone of the Signory, but of all Italy, it is confessedly to his Majesty that she is indebted for being in great measure freed from French oppression. Declares that signal record of the fact will go down to posterity in her annals. Compliments the King on his precept, practised and professed, of not rashly waging war, and of not desisting from it speedily or easily. In accordance with the King's exhortations the Republic is determined to pursue the flying foe, and sound no retreat; are increasing their army to rout those stubborn remnants of the French yet in possession of the castles of Milan, Brescia, and some other places, although the French army has lately been compelled ignominiously to decamp. The State, therefore, frankly pledges itself to the King, promising never to desire any change, but perseveringly to abide by the holy alliance and its stipulations throughout, that the goodwill and respect entertained by them for his Majesty may be manifest to the world, and perpetual in their own breasts.
Will not omit allusion to the praise bestowed on the ambassador Andrea Badoer, on which account he will enjoy greater favour with the State than ever, having perfectly fulfilled the object of his mission by honouring himself with his Majesty's praises. 26th Aug. 1512.
[Latin, 48 lines.]
Aug. 27.Sanuto Diaries, v. xiv. 518. 188. Francesco Capello, Ambassador on his way to England, to the State, dated Ulm, the 20th.
Comment by Sanuto how on that day he had seen his secretary Antonio Mazaruol.
Sanuto Diaries, v. xiv. p. 520. 189. Francesco Capello, Knight, Ambassador on his way to England to the Doge and Senate.
Dated Ulm, 20th August; read in the College on Sunday, the 29th.
A courier and a herald, with process in German, had arrived there from the Emperor, who was at Constance. The herald came into the ambassador's presence, and preferred against him certain charges written in German and made by the Emperor. The Emperor thereupon commanded him (Capello) not to proceed on his journey, but to go either to Lanzuol (sic) in Bavaria, or to Munich. These charges were 14, the principal being four in number:—First, that the Signory, owing to the truce, had sent gentlemen and others to poison the Emperor. Secondly, that they had sent gangs of men to burn the towns in Germany, and that in consequence certain prosecutions had been instituted, and a priest hung. Thirdly, that they had sent to spike the Emperor's artillery. Fourthly, that the said ambassador had gone through the free towns, namely, Menin (sic), Chelt (sic), and Ulm, and had endeavoured to detach them from the Emperor, and to render them friendly to the Signory. Also, that by means of the truce the Pope, the Signory, and the Switzers had partitioned the duchy of Milan, which ought to be all restored and united to the Empire, and that as he (Capello) wanted to go to England, he was to consign the written commission received from the Signory to the Emperor, who would transmit it by his own messenger.
Note by Sanuto that complaints were made about this by the Signory to the Spanish ambassador in Venice, and to the agent of the Cardinal of Gurk, they having given Capello a safeconduct for his passage to England, whereas he was stopped.
Remonstrances also against the proceedings of Frangipani in Istria. Expressions of regret on the part of the ambassadors, (fn. 5) who said they would write; so letters were sent to Germany to the Cardinal of Gurk, the Signory writing to the ambassador Lando at Trent; and a courier was sent to Rome this same evening, and to the King in England, complaining of these things.
Aug. 30.Sanuto Diaries, v. xiv. p. 523. 190. Venetian Ambassador in Rome to the State.
Dated 21st, 22nd, and 24th August.
Announces receipt by the Pope of a letter from the King of England, dated 8th August, mentioning what he had done for the benefit of Holy Church against France; he was fitting out 100 ships, and would arm a still greater number. That his fleet had captured four French vessels and sunk two. Requests the Pope to send a fleet into Provence, and to act vigorously against
France, as he will not fail to do the like in his own neighbourhood. Was also aware that the French had quitted Italy, and would be in so much the greater force against him, though he holds them in no account.
Aug. 31.Sanuto Diaries, v. xiv. pp. 530–537. 191. Andrea Badoer to his Brother.
Dated London, 24th July 1512.
Decision of the Signory to send an embassy to England requesting her aid against France, at the commencement of 1509. His appointment by the Council of Ten and Junta, with a monthly salary of 100 ducats. Congratulates himself on being a good linguist, as it facilitated his journey, of which he gives the details. Account of his arrival in London, and of loss sustained there through thievish servants. Death of Henry VII. Return made by English noblemen for Venetian hospitality. Reception by Henry VIII., and his good offices in favour of Venice.
Amount of fees paid by Badoer to English physicians. Tears shed by the King for his (Badoer's) ill health and haggard appearance. Motion made for his recal, and reduction of his salary to 70 ducats a month. His remonstrances and complaints. Delivery of Italy from the barbarians by means of England. His (Badoer's) dread of death from grief, or of imprisonment. Asks his brother for a loan of 600 ducats, on account of arrears due to him, and which he estimates at 1,500 ducats.


  • 1. Alain, Sire d'Albret, the father of John, King of Navarre, was a native of Gascony, in which province the town of Albret was situated.
  • 2. “El Thalabot di caxa uso a bater sempre Francesi.”
  • 3. “Che con nume di Talboti si fa ozi in di tasentar i puti per la Franza, manasendoli quando i pianze ch'el vegnirà i Talboti.”
  • 4. Concerning Maximilian Sforza, see also Mr. Brewer's Calendar, vol. i. p. 387, date 24 July 1512.
  • 5. Sc., the above-mentioned Spanish ambassador in Venice, and the agent of the Cardinal of Gurk.