Venice: May 1520, 26-31

Pages 34-37

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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May 1520, 26–31

May 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxviii. p. 472. 52. Antonio Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
On the 26th discharges of cannon were heard from the castles of England to celebrate (it was supposed) the Emperor's arrival on the island.
Arrival of a messenger from England with the news, that on the 26th the Emperor, with his fleet, reached Dover, and landed, with a numerous company, and went to the place from which the King was to cross, so that they would hold a conference.
King Francis told him (Giustinian) the Emperor was not well counselled, and saw things under a false aspect.
Dated 2G and 27 [May] from Linz [Linck ?], 10 leagues from Ardres, where the King was to lodge and await the passage of the King of England. Registered by Sanuto, 8th June.
May 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxviii. p. 480. 53. Francesco Cornaro and Antonio Surian, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the Signory.
The Emperor arrived within four leagues of Dover on the afternoon of the 26th May, and there awaited the rest of his squadron. Three large and well armed ships of the King of England went to meet the Emperor and do him honour. The whole Imperial fleet made its appearance later, with delightful weather, and all proceeded together to Dover. When on the point of landing, about sunset, the Emperor was met at a short distance from the shore by Cardinal Wolsey, with two ship's boats, accompanied by many noblemen and gentlemen, richly clad in silk, with massive gold chains. On approaching the Emperor's boat the Cardinal made him a Latin speech, expressing the singular joy caused by his arrival to the King, who was at Sandwich, and would come to Dover immediately.
The Emperor, after a few words of thanks to the Cardinal in reply, then landed, the only ambassador in his company being Cornaro. The Emperor was received most joyously by the Cardinal, whom his Majesty embraced and caressed extremely, as likewise did Mons. de Chièvres. When the greeting came to an end, the Emperor mounted on horseback, and was conducted by the Cardinal and all the chief personages to the Castle, where the Emperor and the Cardinal, Mons. de Chièvres, and the most confidential Imperial attendants were lodged. During the night, the King arrived, and went straight to the Emperor's bedchamber, where they embraced each other familiarly, with great indications of good will. The King departed immediately, and lodged in the town.
On the 27th, two hours after sunrise, the King returned to the Castle, and, after mutual embraces, the two sovereigns mounted on horseback for Canterbury, where the Queen had remained. For lack of horses Cornaro was unable to accompany their Majesties, but Surian, the French ambassador, and many other noblemen who had stayed at Canterbury, met them at some distance outside the city, and accompanied them to the cathedral. The Emperor remained always to the right of the King, who throughout showed the Emperor every mark of honour becoming his dignity. On their entering the cathedral, the Queen came down stairs with the King's sister and many other ladies most richly apparelled, and they and the Emperor embraced and kissed each other, and proceeded afterwards to the high altar, where certain prayers were chanted as usual, which being ended, all their Majesties went to the lodgings which had been prepared for them in the Archbishop's palace adjoining the cathedral, and which were hung with very costly tapestries and cloths of gold. A collation was then served. Returning to his lodgings, Surian found Cornaro there, who had arrived from Dover. After remaining some while together, proceeded to the palace, and accompanied their Majesties to mass. The mass was sung with every solemnity by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Cardinal Wolsey and many lords and gentlemen of the kingdom were present in most pompous array, and with massive gold chains, forming as fine a sight as could possibly be desired.
The ambassadors, having reaccompanied their Majesties to their apartments, took leave, together with the French ambassador, by whom they were informed that King Henry would cross over to Calais on the following Wednesday, for the interview with his most Christian Majesty, for which King Henry had already sent to make great preparations.
Nothing could exceed the external demonstrations made by the King and all his dependents, so much to the satisfaction of the whole court and population of England as to defy exaggeration.
Canterbury, 27th May 1520.
Received, at Venice on the 10th June.
May 28. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxviii. p. 517. 54. Francesco Cornaro and Antonio Surian, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the Doge and Signory.
The Emperor and the King of England went to mass yesterday, with a very numerous retinue of lords and ladies most richly clad, and after the mass their Majesties dined in the house where the Emperor was lodged. There sat at the table with the Emperor the King of England, the Queens, (fn. 1) the King's sister, (fn. 2) and Cardinal Wolsey. So far as they (the ambassadors) understand, the banquet was very sumptuous; and there was dancing and much revelry. In the evening two English gentlemen were sent to conduct them, together with the French ambassador, to a hall richly decorated with arras of cloth of gold and of silk. Their Majesties made their appearance there; and the water for their hands having been presented to the Emperor and to the King together, and subsequently to the Queens, to the King's sister, and to Cardinal Wolsey, they all seated themselves at one table; at a little distance from which, was placed another very long table, where they (the Venetian ambassadors) sat, as also the French ambassador, and many lords and gentlemen, in number 200. The banquet lasted three hours; it was most stately; and when ended the King danced, but not the Emperor, who remained talking with the ladies; and the entertainment lasted until. . . . .
Canterbury, 28th May 1520. Registered by Sanuto, 21st June.
May 29. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxviii. p. 511. 55. Francesco Cornaro and Antonio Sukian, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the Signory.
Describe the banquet given to the Emperor, which lasted during three hours, and was followed by a ball until day-break. The King danced, but not the Emperor; the Queen and the King's sister and other ladies were present. Then on the — the Emperor departed to Sandwich to embark, and the King accompanied him a distance of five miles, conversing on the way, and not choosing any of the ambassadors to follow.
On the receipt of some Turkish news-letters Mons, de Chièvres remarked that whenever the Italians wanted anything they mentioned the Turk; and that the news of a Turkish invasion of the Friuli, and the march of Venetian troops in that direction, might therefore be for the purpose of making an attack on the Emperor. Replied that the intelligence concerning the Turks had been received from the Imperialists, and that the news written by the Signory concerning the Turk had been confirmed by advices.
Possibly, after the interview with the King of France, the King of England would confer with the Emperor, as having to cross the sea, his Majesty would be but at a little distance from him.
Canterbury, 29th May. Registered by Sanuto, 20th Jane.
May 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. xxviii. p. 516. 56. A Letter from —, at the Court of France, to his Brother.
Cardinal Wolsey went to meet the Emperor the evening of his arrival, and the next morning was followed by the King, who gave the Emperor such good greeting as might be imagined. The secretary of the Venetian am bassador at the French Court had gone to see England, and chanced to be there at the time of the Emperor's arrival, and represented his court as very mean and insignificant, (fn. 3) so that the secretary having ridden from Canterbury to Dover to catch a glimpse of his Imperial Majesty, passed him on the road without recognition, such being the splendour and amount of his retinue! (fn. 4)
The King of England was to be at Calais on the 30th May. The Venetian Secretary said he was a handsome and jovial man, and gave a similar account of his court.
Departure on that day [30th May] of the French court from Montreuil, the King intending to sleep at a distance of two leagues thence, and to proceed on the morrow to Ardres.
Cardinal Wolsey had with him 200 gentlemen clad in crimson velvet and wearing massive gold chains; he had a body-guard of 200 archers, and was the proudest prelate that ever breathed. The Cardinal wore crimson satin from head to foot; and his mule was covered with crimson velvet, and her trappings were all of gold.
Montreuil, 30th May 1520. Registered by Sanuto, 21st June,


  • 1. Queen Katharine of Aragon and Germaine de Foix, widow of the King of Aragon.
  • 2. Mary Tudor, widow of the King of France; wife of the Duke of Suffolk.
  • 3. “Abietissima e pitita”(sic), query petite.
  • 4. “ Lo passo, non coguoscendolo per la bella et gran compagnia.”