Venice: November 1521

Pages 186-191

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 3, 1520-1526. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1869.

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November 1521

Nov. 2. Contarini 's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 91, St. Mark's Library. 356. Gasparo Contarini to the Council of Ten.
No news from Calais. On the morning before last, when speaking with the English ambassadors, they told him they were expecting the reply from France.
The Emperor thinks of crossing from Calais to England, and then riding 100 leagues through the island to the headland [Falmouth?] in the direction of Spain, where he will embark, and make the voyage to Spain in three or four days.
Oudenarde, 2nd November 1521.
[Italian, 1½ page.]
Nov. 7. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 92. St. Mark's Library. 357. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
The Emperor is come to Ath to discuss the attack on Tournai, the capture of which place is considered difficult, most especially as the winter has commenced. Has been given to understand, though not by persons of great authority, that the King of England seems not to assent to the seizure of Tournai, on account of the tribute which he receives from the King of France for that town, and which, if in the hands of the Emperor, would be lost to him. Does not believe this. If it were true, the Imperialists would not so openly discuss the undertaking.
The King of England is said to have ordered a number of troops to be in readiness for immediate service.
Ath, 7th November 1521.
[Italian, 1½ page.]
Nov. 7. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlix. p. 40. 358. The Doge and Senate to Alvise Gradenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome.
To complain to the Pope of the outrages committed in the Brescian territory by the Switzers and the Papal and Imperial armies.
Copy of the letter to be sent to the Venetian ambassador in England, that he may use it, in case of need, to justify the Signory's proceedings.
Ayes, 159. Noes, 6. Neutral, 1.
Nov. 7. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxii. p. 102. 359. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
Is still with the Queen and Madame. Sends letters from his secretary, who accompanied King Francis. The French army perpetrated great cruelty in those parts, waging war in the Turkish fashion, notwithstanding which Tournai is straitened. Assigns the following reasons for the refusal of the truce by the King of France:—he will not restore Fonterabia, nor allow the exiles to return to Italy, nor the Emperor to enter it with an army during the 18 months for which the truce is to be stipulated. King Francis has written to Chancellor Duprat and his other ambassadors at Calais, desiring them, should Cardinal Wolsey not conclude the truce within four days, to take leave and return to his Majesty.
Dated 7th November. Registered by Sanuto, 20th November.
Nov. 12. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 93, St. Mark's Library. 360. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
In a former letter announced the intention of the Emperor to go to Spain through England, taking his passage from Falmouth; but the other day, when speaking with the English ambassadors about this passage, they seemed not to approve of his Majesty's traversing their island.
Oudenarde, 12th November 1521.
[Italian, 2 pages.]
Nov. 13. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxii. p. 138. 361. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Cardinal Wolsey and the ambassadors of the sovereigns are still here.
Calais, 13th November. Registered by Sanuto, 4th December.
Nov. 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxii. p. 233. 362. Antonio Surtax to the Council of Ten.
Cardinal Wolsey complained that the Signory was the cause of the failure of the adjustment between the Emperor and the King of France, and that he will return to England with shame. He would punish those who had been the cause of impediment.
Justified the State in reply. The Cardinal said the State's justification depended upon its joining the league with the Emperor and the King of England.
Calais, 14th November 1521. Registered by Sanuto, 10th January 1522.
Nov. 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxii. p. 233. 363. Gasparo Contarini to the Council of Ten.
The Reverend Stafileo [Marino Caracciolo ?], the Papal ambassador, said the Signory should have an understanding with the Pope and the Emperor, and also with the King of England.
Dated. . . . . . 14th November 1521. (fn. 1) Registered by Sanuto, 10th January 1522.
Nov. 17. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 95, St. Mark's Library. 364. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
The negotiation for the truce appears more difficult than at first, and the Imperialists consider it hopeless. From what he has heard,—and the fact is confirmed by the Papal ministers (Caracciolo and Adorno),—the King of France will not surrender Fonterabia, nor will he include in the truce certain allies of the Emperor and the Pope. This morning the two English ambassadors, namely, the Grand Prior of England and Sir Thomas Boleyn, the Treasurer of the Household (maior domo regio), (fn. 2) departed from Oudenarde on their way back to Calais.
Is assured by a trustworthy person that Cardinal Wolsey gives the Emperor fair hopes that his King will join the league with the Pope and his Majesty, and declare against France.
Oudenarde, 17th November 1521.
[Italian, 2 pages.]
Nov. 19. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 90, St. Mark's Library. 365. The Same to the Same.
The Prior of England and Sir Thomas Boleyn departed on Sunday morning, because the articles [of agreement] were not to the Emperor's satisfaction.
Conversed this morning with some persons of authority in the Emperor's chamber, and inferred from their conversation that the difficulty or delay in accepting the truce proceeds from the hope given to the Emperor that affairs in Italy will prove prosperous for him, that is to say, that the French will he expelled from the Milanese through this junction of the Switzers with the Imperialists. The “impassioned counsellors,” who thus encourage. the Emperor, are the two Papal ministers at his Court (Marino Caracciolo and Hieronimo Adorno)—the one, the servant and pupil of the Sforza family, would fain see the duchy of Milan in possession of a son of the late Lord Ludovic; the other, the head of the Adorno family, is anxious to return home and rule Genoa. Is of opinion that both the one and the other deceive themselves.
Oudenarde, 19th November 1521.
[Italian, 3 pages.]
Nov. 21. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 99, St. Mark's Library. 366. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
On the 19th the Hungarian ambassador (fn. 3) returned from Calais, and on the same evening had audience of the Emperor. On the following morning he remained with the Imperial counsellors almost until noon. Paid him a visit for the purpose of eliciting something about his conference with the Emperor and his ministers, and the ambassador communicated to him all that had been negotiated at Calais about the truce. He said that first one and then the other of the two sovereigns accepted or rejected the proposals, by the measure of their reverses or successes. When at length Cardinal Wolsey drew up the articles, the King of France modified them. He insisted on retaining Fonterabia, and that the Duke of Guelders, Dom. Robert de la Marck, the Duke of Ferrara, and the Duke of Vintiberg [sic, Würtemberg ?] should be comprised in the truce as his adherents. He added a clause at the end, purporting that he would not permit the slightest alteration in these points.
When these articles were sent back to Calais, the Chancellor [Gattinara] said that, as he was accused of thwarting the adjustment, he referred them to the Emperor, by whom they were utterly rejected.
Azalino, the Hungarian ambassador, considering how injurious it must be to Hungary not to receive assistance from the Emperor and France (which would be impossible should the war last), came to Oudenarde to facilitate the truce. The Emperor referred him to a committee consisting of the Bishop of Palencia, Mons. de Berghes, Mons. de Bresse, and Mons. de Montagni, to whom he made his statement, which they will answer after having communicated with the Emperor.
Inquired what hope Azalino had of success. He said that the Imperialists seemed to him very obstinate, and guided by their own prejudices. The Chancellor and the Bishop of Palencia both wished the duchy of Milan to change hands, the one because he is a native of the province of Vercelli, (fn. 4) the other because he expects Leo X. to give him the red hat. The Flemings follow this example, so that few act loyally towards the Emperor.
The Imperialists are continuing the attack on Tournai. The artillery has arrived, and they will soon commence battering the town.
Oudenarde, 21st November, 1521.
[Italian, 3 pages.]
Nov. 25. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 100, St. Mark's Library. 367. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
The Hungarian ambassador [Azalino] quitted Oudenarde, on his way to England, on the morning of the 24th before daybreak, without making any further communication. Was not aware of his departure until two hours after it took place. There is no longer any question whatever of an adjustment, military preparations being alone attended to.
Should the Emperor go to Spain, and the war with France continue, his only road would be through Italy, as all others, even the one through England, present great obstacles.
Oudenarde, 25th November 1521.
[Italian, 2 pages.]
Nov. 26. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxii. p. 119. 368. Embassy to Henry VIII.
Motion made in the Senate by the Sages (and carried), for a letter to be addressed to Antonio Surian, giving an account of the negotiations at Venice between the Imperial ambassador and the Signory, and desiring Surian to exhort Cardinal Wolsey to adjust the disputes between the Emperor and the King of France.
Nov. 26. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlix. p. 46. 369. The Doge and Senate to Antonio Surian, Venetian Ambassador in England.
The Papal and Spanish forces entered into the Milanese on the 19th instant. On the retreat of the Signory's army Theodore Triulzi was captured. The French, with all their men-at-arms and infantry, have assembled at Como and Lecco. The Venetian men-at-arms and infantry remain with the artillery.
To communicate this intelligence to Cardinal Wolsey, demonstrating the peril of Christendom unless the Almighty give assistance through his right reverend lordship, who of his wisdom is intent on making peace among Christians. Hope that by means of his authority an auspicious result may ensue.
Ayes, 177. Noes, 5. Neutrals, 2.
[Italian, 22 lines.]
Nov. 26. DeliberaziouiSenato Secreta, v. xlix. p. 46tergo. 370. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador with Sultan Solyman, and to the Venetian Bailiff at Constantinople.
Events in Italy must depend on those in the West. The Emperor and his most Christian Majesty are at war in Flanders and Picardy, and Cardinal Wolsey is still negotiating an agreement between them at Calais.
Ayes, 178. Noes, 1. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 26 lines.]
Nov. 26. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxii. p. 200. 371. Antonio Surian to the State.
The affair of the truce between the Emperor and France has vanished into smoke, and the ambassadors of both sovereigns have departed, though Mons. Poliot [Poillot ?], usually resident in England with the King, remained with Cardinal Wolsey, who was about to cross the Channel. The Cardinal endeavoured to make the truces, at least for 30 days, and spoke to Poliot, who said he had no commission soever, but would write to his sovereign.
Calais, — to 26th November. Registered by Sanuto, 28th December.


  • 1. On the 14th November 1521 the Imperial Court resided at Oudenarde, as seen by the Contarini letter book, in which there is a despatch to the Council of Ten dated then and thence, but it contains no such paragraph as the one registered above by Sanuto.
  • 2. Perhaps Comptroller of the Household.
  • 3. In date 6th July and 5th September, Contarini wrote that this Hungarian ambassador was a Venet an named Azalino, and a churchman.
  • 4. The Imperial Chancellor, Mercurino Arboreo, was born at Gattinara, on the Sesia. In history he is known by the name of his birthplace. He was a staunch Antigallican.