Venice: October 1522

Pages 279-284

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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October 1522

Oct. 1. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiii. p. 421. 561. Mafio Bernardo.
Today there arrived here from England Mafio Bernardo, son of the deceased banker Beneto. He has been some months over there, to transact his commercial affairs. He went with Hironimo da Molin, who got two bubos, and recovered. Bernardo, who never deserted him, also got a carbuncle, which burst, so he then took to horse and came home. It is said he means to get himself made procurator, and will give 10,000 ducats. (fn. 1)
Oct. 2. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiii. p. 466. 562. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
They had received news of the safe arrival of their fleet in England. (fn. 2)
Cardinal Wolsey is still angry about the Venetian galleys; and King Henry has laid a fresh duty on all the merchandise in England. (fn. 3)
Dated 2nd October. Registered by Sanuto, 21st November.
Oct. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiii. p. 441. 563. Antonio Surian to the Signory.
Cardinal Wolsey is more determined than ever. King Henry, moreover, is sending one Dom Hironimo Adorno, brother of the Governor of Genoa, as his ambassador to Venice, to remonstrate. Suggests that the agreement should be made.
London, 5th October. Registered by Sanuto, 29th October.
Oct. 12. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 186, St. Mark's Library. 564. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
On the 10th the Emperor received letters from his ambassador at Venice, stating that the Signory spoke him fair concerning the agreement, and purposed sending a “power” to England and to him (Contarini) in Spain; but the Imperial ambassador considered this a mere feint for the purpose of gaining time.
Presented to the Emperor the State's missive congratulating him on his safe arrival in Spain. The Emperor returned thanks, and then said, “Well, Lord Ambassador, have you nothing more than this to tell me? The Signory still persists in not coming to a decision.” Replied that the delay had been caused by the expected arrival of Pace at Venice on the 21st. The Emperor made no rejoinder, but commenced discussing other light topics (intrò in altri piacevel colloquij).
Valladolid, 12th October 1522.
[Italian, 2 pages.]
Oct. 13. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiii. p. 441. 565. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
Told by King Francis that the English intend to desist from their attack on France and return to England.
Poissy, 8th and 13th October. Registered by Sanuto, 29th October.
Oct. 13. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiii. p. 427. 566. Pace's Negotiations in Venice.
This morning the English ambassador, Richard Pace, came into the College, and remained there upwards of two hours.
Francesco Bragadin, Sage of the Council, stated to him the rights of the Signory, and said the King did wrong not to release the galleys, and not to observe the articles of the safeconduct. He then read to Pace the words uttered by Wolsey to Surian, that first of all he insisted on the Signory's attacking France, after which the truce and agreement should be discussed. Bragadin told Pace that for this likewise his King was very much to blame on many accounts, so that the ambassador could not but admit the Signory is in the right.
The College determined to give up the negotiation with England, and to resume the negotiation with the Emperor through the Chancellor Gattinara.
Oct. 15. Misti Consiglio X. v. xlv. p. 102, tergo. 567. The Council of Ten and Junta to Antonio Surian, Ambassador in England.
Are disappointed by his five letters, dated from] 9th to 23rd September, giving a detailed account of his negotiations with Cardinal Wolsey. The English ambassador [Pace] inquired what were the contents of these letters, as he had received none but private letters.
Informed Pace that whereas both Cardinal Wolsey and the King had offered to become mediators for the peace between the Signory and the Emperor, he (Wolsey) now chose the matter to be negotiated in Spain, and the Imperial ambassadors in England had no powers. This was a great surprise to the Signory; but they were still more surprised to learn that the Cardinal and the Imperialists choose the State to commence by attacking the King of France.
Told Pace that before they took such a step it was necessary they should come to an arrangement with the Emperor, and that they were willing to stipulate the following condition:—That if the French return into Italy, the Republic should be bound to desist from lending assistance to King Francis. With this Pace seemed to be satisfied.
Proceeded then to speak of the detention of the Flanders galleys, sequestrated in England in violation of the “jus gentium” and of the great damage and loss incurred by the poor masters, merchants, officials, and mariners, many of whom had quitted England in despair, and died on the road, begging their bread. Observed also, that it was the King who caused the Emperor to give the safe-conducts.
Pace listened with surprise and regret, as it appeared to him that reason was on our side. He inquired whether these statements had been communicated to the King. Being answered in the negative, he insinuated that this had not taken place by the King's command (ex mente Regia), but he enjoined strict silence as to what he had said, and promised to write and use his good offices.
To vindicate the State, if necessary, but not to divulge the regret expressed by Pace, or his insinuation that Wolsey's reply to him (Surian) was not in accordance with the King's intention.
Ayes, 25. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
Oct. 16. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlix. p. 131. 568. The Doge and Senate to Alvise Gradenigo, Ambassador in Rome.
It is well known to the Pope that the State has always been anxious for peace with the Emperor. For many months have they been aiming at this, the negotiation being in the hands of the King of England.
Ayes, 134. Noes, 4. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 29 lines.]
Oct. 16. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlix. p. 131, tergo. 569. The Doge and Senate to Giovanni Badoer, Ambassador in France.
Acquaint him with Cardinal Wolsey's reply to the ambassador Surian, and their negotiations with Pace.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 55 lines.]
Oct. 18. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 187, St. Mark's Library. 570. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
The post from England and Flanders has arrived. Has received the Signory's missive of 2nd September, and from Surian an account of his negotiations down to the 22nd, first of all with Cardinal Wolsey alone, and subsequently in the presence of the Imperial ambassadors.
Had anticipated the result, having been repeatedly told by the Chancellor [Gattinara], that through Wolsey the State would accomplish nothing, as the Imperialists object to the Cardinal's mediation.
On being informed by the Chancellor that the Imperial ambassadors in England had no mandate, either from the Emperor or from the Archduke Ferdinand, replied that the Signory had employed the mediation of the King of England at the Chancellor's desire; that subsequently Wolsey made an offer of his services, and Pace had given the State to understand that the Cardinal would mediate.
Gattinara rejoined, “You know what I told you heretofore: and now our ambassadors write to us that Wolsey wished to constitute himself mediator, on two accounts—to find favour with the Emperor, by making it appear he had negotiated successfully; and, secondly, for the sake of obtaining a good sum of money from the State. But you procrastinate.”
Explained the causes of the delay.
The Republic's apology in answer to the proposal that she should declare against France has been accepted by the ministers at the Emperor's court. Mentions this, as Cardinal Wolsey in his usual fashion took the matter up very warmly.
The Emperor's troops and those of Valencia are now besieging Xativa.
Valladolid, 18th October 1522.
[Italian, 2½ pages.]
Oct. 26. Contarini's Original Letter Book, Letter no. 188, St. Mark's Library. 571. The Same to the Same.
On the 21st was summoned to the house of the Chancellor. Found him with Mons. de Bresse, Mons. de Rœux, and the Comendador of Castile. The Chancellor made many complaints against the Signory, especially for not joining the league.
Has received letters from England. The commission to negotiate had been received by Surian, who, finding the Emperor's ambassadors were not empowered to treat, informed them instructions had been sent to Contarini in Spain, where the agreement would be concluded. The Emperor has therefore asked him (Contarini) whether he had a commission.
Replied that he had no directions from Surian. Describes several long discussions with the Emperor's ministers, who insisted upon his commencing the negotiations without further delay.
At length with great difficulty obtained a promise from them that the Emperor would wait six days, in which he (Contarini) was to decide whether he would treat, as the Emperor would never after resume the subject.
Is thus placed in great perplexity, for want of knowledge of the Signory's intentions; and his refusal to treat may cause the Emperor to suppose the Republic is procrastinating until the return of the French into Italy. Should the Emperor attack Venice in anticipation of such a step, it is certain that all Venetian property in England will be confiscated, the Chancellor Gattinara having asserted several times—and experience demonstrates the fact—that Cardinal Wolsey is seeking an opportunity of seizing the Signory's galleys.
It is also possible there may be a plot between the Emperor and the King of France, or some project of peace between them. Hears that the French complain that the Venetian forces will not fight, and that the State refuses to receive the French troops. The Republic can derive no advantage from England, because the Imperialists, considering Cardinal Wolsey venal, do not choose him to negotiate this affair. (fn. 4)
For these reasons has determined to commence the negotiation,
Valladolid, 26th October, 1522.
[Italian, 8 pages .]
Oct. 28. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiii. p. 455. 572. Giovanni Badoer to the Signory.
The English troops, after embarking in France for England, encountered a violent storm, which drove them to the coast of Britanny, wheretwo of the larger ships foundered. The natives attacked the other five ships and cut the English to pieces. “A captain of York” (sic) and a secretary of Cardinal Wolsey's perished. (fn. 5)
The King of France said to him (Badoer) that as the elements had commenced to be propitious to him, the Signory must not fail to assist him in recovering his duchy of Milan, as the castles of Milan and Cremona yet hold out for France; that most of the Swiss cantons would be on his side, and that he meant to come into Italy in person.
Blois, 28th October. Registered by Sanuto, 15th November.
Oct. 31. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxxiii. p. 442. 573. The Proposed Peace.
Motion in the Senate by the Sages for a letter to the Signory's ambassador in Rome, desiring him to thank the Pope for his briefs to Emperor, the King of England, and Cardinal Wolsey, concerning the peace. To justify the Signory's proceedings to the Pope.
Oct. 31. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, v. xlix. p. 134. 574. The Doge and Senate to Alvise Gradenigo, Ambassador in Rome.
Informed by letters from their ambassador in England, that the Pope had sent briefs to the King and Cardinal, for the release of the Venetian galleys. Are grateful to the Pope.
Understand also how earnestly the Papal Nuncio [Ghinucci] had in the Pope's name besought the King and Cardinal to abstain from hostilities. Commend the Pope's good disposition, on account of the fierce projects of the Infidels.
Ayes, 154. Noes, 7. Neutrals, 0.
[Italian, 49 lines.]


  • 1. Bernardo's brother or nephew Francesco, at a later period, made peace between England and France, and in December 1546 Mafio Bernardo himself was murdered by hired assassins, and one of the ringleaders of the plot was Lodovico dalle Arme a diplomatic agent accredited by Henry VIII. to the Republic of Venice.
  • 2. “Come haveano auto nova dil zonzer di l'armada soa a salvamento su l'ixola.” Query allusion to the expedition of Surrey, who renounced the siege of Hedin about the end of October and put his troops into winter quarters. (See Hume, vol. 3, p. 124, ed. London 1744.)
  • 3. Qu., merchandise belonging to Venetian subjects.
  • 4. “Perchè costoro havendo il Cardinal per homo corruptibile de denarj non vogliono che lui la tratj.”
  • 5. “Ele altre nave n° 5 capitate in Bretagna; da quelli popoli le zente Englese erano state taiate a pezi, et che vino Cap° di Jorch era perito, et uno Secretario di Cardinal Eboracense.”