Venice: February 1513

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: February 1513', 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 19 July 2024].

'Venice: February 1513', 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 19, 2024,

"Venice: February 1513". 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. 19 July 2024.

February 1513

Feb. 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. xv. p. 524. 215. Lorenzo Pasqualtgo to his Brothers.
Dated London, 19 December, 1512, to 16 January, 1513.
Great preparations making against France for the coming spring. Embargo laid by the King on all vessels in the island. His intention to invade France in person; contribution levied by him of a million of gold, equal to 600,000?. sterling.
Feb. 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. xv. p. 525. 216. The Same to the Same.
Dated London, 18 and 19 December, 1512.
Understands he is not to charter any Spanish bark, by reason of what is passing in England. He has been in negotiation for one, but considers their decision wise, because the King would probably have seized such bark for the fleet, as be is making great preparations for February and March next to come. The King's force would amount to 70 ships, besides 12 pinnaces which he was building, low and long, each to be rowed by 40 oars, with “una corvetta” carrying much cannon. He had also purchased two Biscayan barks of 1,600 (sic) butts each, and his fleet had seized at Flushing a bark of 1,500 (sic) butts burden belonging to the “Maonesi” of Scio, which had been sent into the Thames. This was done, because the King understood that these “Maonesi,” two of whom were in London, had sold the bark to the King of France; and on their refusing to sell it to the King of England when he asked it of them, he took it; whereupon the “Maonesi,” endeavouring to escape by sea, were captured at Dover, and imprisoned in the Tower of London, where they will have to settle with their host.
The Parliament was dissolved on the 19th [December], having promised the King 600,000l. before he crossed the Channel; but as he offered to go in person to France, the Parliament proposed to give him more money, if needed, until the conclusion of the war, and that he should have as many troops as he chose.
Assures his brothers that the English go at a good pace (de bone gambe).
217. Lorenzo Pasqualigo to his Brothers.
Dated 20th January, 1513.
Informs them that the King was building a new ship or carack of 4,000 butts, with three decks. Its name was “the Regent,” the same as the ship which was burnt in the combat with the Frenchman. This ship was to carry 2,000 men, and 200 pieces of ordnance, so that it would be the largest and most powerful ship that ever put to sea. Describes the anchor at which the vessel would ride in ordinary. It was the one at the Car-gate at Hampton, and would serve as “seconda sorta.” Leaves his brothers to imagine the size of those in reserve. (fn. 1)
All the ships of England, from 300 butts upwards, were in the King's pay; part, in number 12, formed the fleet for the safe custody of the Channel; and the remainder were being repaired and fitted. The Venetians cannot therefore expect to get English ships.
The affairs of Scotland and of Denmark were arranged, though the French were spending a well of gold with both those Kings to embroil the business, so that the English might not be troublesome to France. The French were said to be distributing much money, as there was never any lack of those who would drink their wine as usual.
Feb. 7. Sanuto Diaries, v. xv. p. 529. 218. Andrea Badoer to the State.
Dated London,—December, 1512.
Had shown a letter from Venice, narrating the honours paid by the Soldan at Cairo to the magnifico Domenico Trevisan, to the King.
But for the news of the League made at Rome, he had hoped to have made a good bargain for the Signory with the King, who would have given a thousand ducats a month each for four light galleys and two bastard galleys. The King is making great preparations against France for the spring. Details his own pecuniary embarrassments.
Feb. Sanuto Diaries, v. xv. p. 572–5. 219. Nicolo Di Favri, of Treviso (attached to the Venetian Embassy in London), to Francesco Gradenigo, son-in-law of Andrea Badoer.
Dated London, 23rd January, 1513. Received at Venice in February.
In England the houses are all of wood, and both rooms and corridors are of the same material. Over the floors they strew weeds called “rushes,” which resemble reeds, and which grow on the water. Every eight or ten days they put down a fresh layer; the cost of each layer being half a Venetian livre, more or less, according to the size of the house.
In England the women go to market for household provisions; if gentlewomen, they are preceded by two men servants. Their usual vesture is a cloth petticoat over the shift, lined with grey squirrel's or some other fur; over the petticoat they wear a long gown lined with some choice fur. The gentlewomen carry the train of their gown under the arm; the commonalty pin it behind or before, or at one side. The sleeves of the gowns sit as close as possible; are long, and unslashed throughout, the cuffs being lined with some choice fur. Their head gear is of various sorts of velvet, cap fashion, with lappets (coste) hanging down behind over their shoulders like two hoods; and in front they have two others, lined with some other silk. Their hair is not seen, so is unable to say whether it be light or dark. Others wear on their heads muslins, which are distended, and hang at their backs, but not far down. Some draw their hair from under a kerchief, and wear over the hair a cap, for the most part white, round, and seemly; others again wear a kerchief in folds on the head: but be the fashion as it may, the hair is never seen. Their stockings are black and their shoes doubly soled, of various colours, but no one wears “choppines,” as they are not in use in England. When they meet friends in the street, they shake hands, and kiss on the mouth, and go to some tavern to regale, their relatives not taking this amiss, as such is the custom. The women are very beautiful and good tempered.
The men are well made, tall, and stout; well clad, wearing gowns called doublets (zuboni) plaited on the shoulders, reaching half way down the leg, and lined with several sorts of very fine furs. On their heads they wear caps with one or two ornaments (una foza over con do); with short hair like the priests in Venice, the hair over the forehead being cut away.
In England no one makes bread at home; but every morning all take it at the baker's, and keep tallies there (tessera); at present bread is dear on account of the war. The price of meat has more than doubled, as a “milizia” (fn. 2) (sic) has been salted for the army, and very great preparation is making to stand the brunt; and by day and night and on all the festivals the cannon founders are at work.
The Venetian ambassador is at great expense, as he daily receives visits from one nobleman or another, most especially now that the Parliament is sitting.
The floors of the English houses are for the most part planked. Aloft, at the window-sills (which are all of wood), they put rosemary (osmarin), sage, and other herbs. In England it is always windy, and however warm the weather, the natives invariably wear furs. At present it has not yet been cold there, nor is it rainy or muddy. The summers are never very hot, neither is it ever very cold.
In a previous letter, dated 10th December, wrote that the King of England's camps had commenced disarming. One of these camps had been formed in Spain, whose King, the King of England's father-in law, had promised to cooperate with the English, but failed in his engagements. When the English went to eat grapes in a vineyard, the Spaniards discharged their arbalasts at them.
The King of England has an army of picked men in Scotland, under a valiant commander, called my Lord Treasurer, one of the King's chief ministers, a man 70 years old and upwards, to whom on the Scottish border the King of Scotland sent “carta biancha,” and they made terms together. It is said in England that the perfidious King of France caused the King of Scots to attack King Henry, but that the English had made provision betimes.
A third force, consisting of a number of ships, under a valiant Admiral, the men being all picked, is at sea. They sighted a Frenchman, on board of which were 200 French gentlemen; whereupon a brave captain of an English ship went into action against it, with his own vessel alone. The engagement lasted until both ships caught fire, and were burnt, all the hands being drowned; but France was by far the greater loser, for 200 gentlemen were on board the Frenchman, whereas England did but lose the captain; on which account the English are more than ever determined not to hear the Frenchmen named.
On All Saints' Day the Parliament met. All the lords of the kingdom came; the Parliament being held in the King's palace at a place less than two miles from London, called Westminster, where all the nobility who come for the session have houses. They attend the Parliament every morning, and having thus to pass the door of the Venetian ambassador's house on the Thames, whether they go by land or water (there being a hundred boats built in the fashion of the country, which ply between London and Westminster), they visit him. This custom is by reason of the love they bear him. They come each with 16 servants, more or less; some to dinner, others to breakfast; and thus according to the custom of the country is breakfast served every morning. The ambassador is always very glad to see them, and everybody likes him, from the highest to the lowest; indeed were he a peer of the realm, the King and the nobility could not love him more cordially than they do. This is owing to his mature age, and because he is as conversant with the manners and language of England, as if born in the country. Some of the English noblemen have said that he rather than any other envoy is needed in England to effect the rupture with France; and when they knew that another ambassador was coming, they said the Signory did ill to change. The ambassador (Badoer) wishes to return home, as he has hard work. Every morning at daybreak he goes to mass arm in arm with some English noblemen, and after walking up and down for an hour, they attend the Council, and then he returns home.
Scarcely is he within doors ere some nobleman comes to visit him, and if he is from home his visitors wait for him, and refreshments are served. The ambassador is always prepared, and has six sorts of wines, some paid for, others taken on credit, for he has no money, though his credit is good. He has pawned his plate, sold his gowns, but still remains much in debt. Were this fact known to the Signory, they would supply him with funds for his maintenance. The ambassador's house is half a mile from Westminster, a very fitting site, as the lords of the court live thereabouts, and an ambassador ought not to trade, but merely learn what is doing at the court. The ambassador sleeps scarce two hours in the night; he goes late to bed, and rises early.
The Parliament has decided that the King is to cross the Channel in the spring, in person, with 60,000 troops, all picked men, a match for 100,000. It was said that the King of France will not even fight, and that the King of England will have a great victory.
Formerly many rich French merchants had houses in London; some of those who remain have been imprisoned, and their goods seized and sequestrated. Some French tradesmen have also remained, but when the English found them abroad, they maltreated them.
A tax of a tenth has been levied throughout the kingdom. The lords and great personages (fn. 3) (gran mistri) pay according to their property; tradesmen, servants, and attendants one penny per head, equal to twenty-eight Venetian “piccoli.” This tax will yield a million of gold, so that the King means to make war. The King is a young man of three and twenty; when he moves the ground shakes under him; is well made, tall, and stout, and very fond of the Venetian ambassador, whom he chooses to accompany him, so that the ambassador requires money for his outfit.
Having written thus far, announces the report of four great victories gained by the Spaniards over the French. The latter had lost 1,600 men-at-arms; the entire amount of killed, including light horse and infantry, was 20,000, and amongst them was Mons. de la Palisse. The loss of the Spaniards was but little inferior. The French, expecting to take the Spaniards at unawares, were routed. They went to Pampeluna, then held by the Spaniards, took it and sacked it, together with two other towns; but the Spaniards rallied, made a sudden attack, retook all the plunder, and routed the French. The latter again returned to the charge, and fought for three days longer, but at length the Spaniards remained victorious.
It was supposed that the King of France would go and hide himself in a hole underground, and not await the army of England, which, please God, is to take the field in the spring.
[Signed:] “Nicolò di Favri, of Treviso.”
[Italian, 166 lines, orpages. Partly published in Italian by Romanin, Vol. 5, p. 509.]
Feb. 10. Sanuto Diaries, v. xv. p. 533. 220. Andrea Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the State.
Dated London, 20th January; in cipher.
Letter sent at a venture through Germany. Complains that six months have elapsed without his receiving any instructions from the Signory concerning the mode in which he is to conduct himself; and that it is said universally, both in England and Scotland, and all over the islands thereabouts, that the agreement between the Signory and the King of France is made, it being asserted that the Signory was right. The King of England would have preferred an agreement between the Emperor, Spain, and the Signory, and had ordered a great muster of troops, and also a fleet for the spring. A tax has been levied throughout the island to raise money for the invasion of France. Details also conversations with the King and the ministers; the latter say the King wished him (Badoer) vastly well, and had written to the Pope, to make terms between the Emperor and the Signory. The Emperor had written to the King, abusing the Venetians, because they reject the agreement, and are tyrants and usurpers of the towns of the empire. A nephew of the King of Spain has arrived in England, and has not been paid much honour, so that there is some discord between the two crowns; but they will nevertheless combine against France.
Feb. 12.Mantuan Archves. 221. James IV., King of Scotland, to the Marquis of Mantua.
Is sending to him Octavian Clarius, with a request that the Marquis will do his utmost to allay the dissension which has arisen in the Church, and acquaint him (the King) with the part he has determined to take, and also what hope he entertains of concord. Considers it his duty to act as mediator.
Edinburgh, 12th Feb. 1512 [1513.]
[Signed;] “Jacobus.” [Countersigned:] “A secretis, Paniter.”
[Original, Latin.]
Feb. 12. Mantuan Archives. 222. Andrew Moromey (sic) to the Marquis of Mantua.
Has heard by Octavian, the servant of the King (of Scotland), how much the Marquis has done for him with the Pope. Together with the King, requests the Marquis to aid the holy peace in conformity with the royal letters, of which Octavian is the bearer.
Edinburgh, 12th February 1513.
[Original, Italian.]
Feb. 12. Mantuan Archives. 223. Andrew Moromey (sic) to the Prince (fn. 4) of Mantua.
Has received a letter from him through Octavian, which gave his King and him much comfort. Octavian gave an account to the King of the Prince's personal appearance, and of all his endowments and qualities. The King was much pleased on hearing that he had such a kinsman of that age, most especially about the Pope's person. Requests the Prince to continue recommending him to the Pope. His King is sending Octavian to the Pope, and through said messenger the Prince will learn the intention of the King, and his own, concerning this peace.
Edinburgh, 12th February 1513.
[Original, Italian.]
Feb. 22. Deliberazioni Senalo Secreta, v. xlv. p. 100. 224. The Doge and Senate to Andrea Badoer, Ambassador in England.
Have from time to time written to acquaint him with all events to prove to the King how loyal and sincere their proceedings have been. Are sorry their letters miscarried, but do not doubt that the Cardinal of York will have given true and detailed account of the whole transaction. Perceive by his last letters that the King continues to favour the Signory, and has written in good form to Rome, to the Emperor, and to the King of Spain. They are deeply grateful, and although the accompanying letter to the King will acquaint him with the fact, yet he (Badoer) is to return thanks; to request the King to persevere in his good intentions; to say that they on their part Lave not failed to offer the Emperor honourable terms; and to detail the proposals recently made by them through the Spanish ambassador, who yesterday departed for Germany to negotiate and conclude the agreement, should he meet with reciprocity, and not with procrastination and mere words. To make a like announcement to such other English lords as shall seem fit to him, thanking and urging them to persevere in upholding the Signory's interests; and, by all other means that shall seem suitable to him (as, not a little to his praise, he has done hitherto), to keep the King of England well disposed towards the Signory.
Send also the summary of the Turkish news, showing how favourable an opportunity is lost, to the detriment of the Christian religion.
Ayes, 161. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 1.
[Italian, 35 lines.]


  • 1. “L'ancora che xe a la porta del caro de Antom, serà per la seconda sorta, che la porterà; vardate che sarà quelle de rispetto.” From a passage in Sanuto's Itinerary p. 22. and viii., it may be inferred that the “car” at Southampton was a ferrybridge. Fynes Moryson in the year 1594 described the “car” at Fusina as an “instrument where by the passage boat was drawn out of the Brenta into the marshes of Venice.” See also Montaigne's Travels, date 1580.
  • 2. In date 25th May 1512, it has been recorded that 25,000 oxen were salted for the army, so “milizia” is probably a mistake for “migliaja,” and was meant to signify that “thousands (of oxen) had been salted for the army.”
  • 3. “Greater and lesser barons;” see Lingard, vol. iv. p. 175, 176, footnote. (Ed. London, 1854.)
  • 4. Federico Gonzaga the eldest son of Francesco Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua, succeeded his father on the 28th March 1519.