Venice: December 1526

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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'Venice: December 1526', Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 3, 1520-1526, (London, 1869), pp. 620-626. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

. "Venice: December 1526", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 3, 1520-1526, (London, 1869) 620-626. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

. "Venice: December 1526", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 3, 1520-1526, (London, 1869). 620-626. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,

December 1526

Dec. 2. Navagero Despatches, Cicogna copy. 1450. Andrea Navagero to the Signory.
Since his last of the 24th ult. a gentleman arrived from the King of England, the same who came to Granada some while ago [Osborne Echingham ?]. (fn. 1) He brought letters from his King to Lee, purporting that, perceiving by the Emperor's reply his inclination towards peace, and that he was content to refer the disputes of Christendom for arbitration to him (the King), he desires Lee to go to the Emperor and say how much pleasure was caused him (the King) by this goodwill, exhorting the Emperor to persevere in this good purpose, and proceed to particulars, so as to be able to clinch the business and come to some good settlement. The King considered it certain that the rest of the Christian powers would accept any fair terms, and hoped the Emperor would do the like; nor did the King know of any place better suited for the discussion of a treaty of agreement than England, all the other powers with the exception of himself having their own interests concerned. That the Emperor ought therefore to come to a decision, most especially seeing the progress made by the Turks, with regard to which it seemed unnecessary for him, the King, to say anything, as it behoved the Emperor more than any one else to defend Austria and Germany, and recover Hungary, his inheritance and as the chief of Christians he was bound to defend Christendom against the infidels. That the Emperor should announce his intentions about the children of the King of France, the restoration of the Duke of Milan, and other differences in Italy; and that he (the King of England) would undertake so to mediate with all parties that matters would adjust themselves, provided the Emperor do not fail to co-operate.
To this announcement the Emperor made a bland reply, but in general terms, as often used by him, touching his goodwill towards peace.
Lee rejoined, that of this his King was aware, and therefore sought now to clinch matters, and to come to particulars, and that therefore the Emperor should be pleased to consider the business for four or five days, and then give a positive answer, so that such important affairs might no longer be procrastinated. The Emperor made answer that in truth the things appeared to him of such great importance that he would not even delay so long as proposed by Lee, who should receive his answer in two days. The Emperor and his ministers sat in council, and on the third day gave Lee his answer as follows:— The Emperor wished for the peace of Christendom, both because he had always desired it, and also because it now seemed to him more necessary than ever in order to resist the Turks. He therefore besought the King of England to take this thing up warmly, and mediate for the attainment of so good a result, as he, the Emperor, would not fail to accept any fair agreement. He was content to have the matter treated in England. With regard to particulars he would not tell Lee anything more for the present; but the other powers must send their commissions to their ambassadors over there, and the Emperor by this same messenger [Osborne Echingham ?] would transmit a commission with every detail to Don lingo de Mendoza, his ambassador, who had been detained in France, though by this time they thought he would have been released, and have arrived in England.
They told Lee, in short, that it would be seen by all for certain, in every particular, that the Emperor has more care for the common weal than for his own private interests.
Lee believes that the business will be concluded, and that the Emperor will make a durable and universal peace. With this reply he has despatched the gentleman [Osborne Echingham], who will depart today.
After this reply had been given to Lee the Nuncio [Castiglione] heard some additional facts from the Emperor, which he communicated to him (Navagero), saying, however, that the Emperor had desired him not to mention them to anybody. First of all he uttered much abuse of Cardinal Wolsey, saying that he was the cause of whatever the King did, and that he does not further this business for the welfare of Christendom, but from personal ambition, and because he wishes the whole world to be dependent on him. On the King the Emperor relies entirely, but does not know what trust can be placed in Wolsey, and would therefore be much more content were the affair treated at Rome by the Pope. He therefore wrote to the King that he had already sent Cesare Feramosca to Rome on account of this peace, and written to the Pope to take this thing to heart as father-general of Christendom; that he, the Emperor, referred every dispute to him, and would be his good and obedient son, provided the other Christan powers chose to do the like. That if the Pope assumed this charge, the Emperor, having offered it to him and requested his acceptance of it, did not know how to revoke it; but should the Pope refuse, the Emperor is content that the King mediate to obtain so great a blessing. The Emperor then told the Nuncio that the King of England, in reply to his letters, writes that he is very glad that his Majesty is content to refer all his disputes to him, whereas he never wrote such a thing. Notwithstanding, in his present reply the Emperor does not contradict the assertion, but leaves the matter in doubt, lest it deter the King from his good intention of accomplishing this peace, though in reality he does not mean to refer the matter to him entirely, but to have it negotiated in England by the ambassadors of the powers; and should there be any hope of an adjustment, he would in that case even refer many things to him, though he would prefer having the negotiation in the Pope's hands.
The Emperor next commenced speaking to the Nuncio about French affairs, and said that from his wish for a general peace he would consent to release the King's sons without money, provided the King gave security for remaining at peace, though the Emperor suspects that even on these terms he would say that, rather than bind himself not to make war, he declined receiving his sons.
This intention of releasing the children without ransom he requested the Nuncio not to mention to any one, adding that it was contrary to the wish of all his ministers, but that he had determined thus to do. He (Navagero) does not believe the Emperor means to release the hostages absolutely without money, but that were peace made he thinks of binding the King, by giving him his sons, to send a certain fair amount of troops against the Turks.
In addition, the Emperor said he was determined at any rate to attack the Turks, and that he found all his subjects much disposed that way, though were there no one but himself alone in person with his weapons he would go on this expedition, considering himself bound thus to do. That he knew that he also was a mortal man, and had defects, and amongst the rest that he was tardy to decide, and had allowed mnany things to be delayed through neglect. That he meant now to conquer his nature and be very diligent, and would lose no opportunity whatever for arriving at this end. That the whole world might wage as much war on him as they pleased, and the King of France take Spain should he think fit, but that for the object of defeating the Turks he (the Emperor) would abandon everything. Therefore the Nuncio was to write to the Pope, that perceiving this to be the Emperor's intention, he on his part was not to fail doing what he could; and should the Pope be of the same mind, the Emperor would not fear the whole world, and promises certain victory. These words he uttered so earnestly that the Nuncio is of opinion that he thinks solely of this Turkish expedition, and would make the fairest possible terms of peace [with France]. If this comes to pass, it must not be attributed to virtue but to necessity. The dread of the Turks has greatly changed the general opinion; the Spanish grandees show themselves most ready, and wish for peace in Italy. Many of them, including the Archbishop of Toledo, have made the Emperor great offers.
By the English gentleman above mentioned [Osborne Echingham] received letters from the Venetian secretary in France, desiring him, should he be requested by the French ambassador, again to make a joint protest with him to the Emperor, as the Nuncio would do the like. The Nuncio hesitates much to do so, but should the English ambassador and the Nuncio go, he (Navagero) will accompany them. On the first occasion the English ambassador did not choose to go, but approved of their going. At present Lee would not only refuse to go if the occasion presented itself, but also disapproves of others going. The Nuncio is much more in doubt now than he was the first time, because he subsequently received a brief from the Pope desiring him to seek peace. Is therefore in great suspense. In the meanwhile he (Navagero) and the Nuncio have conferred with the French ambassador, who has no further commission on the subject; on the contrary, the King writes to him that the Emperor having offered to become a party to the peace (intrar in la pace), he, the King, was perfectly content, and would do all that was fair, and pay any suitable ransom for his sons, most especially considering the present peril of Christendom. The King therefore desires Calvimont to ascertain thoroughly whether this is really the Emperor's intention and not [mere] words. Calvimont has not only done as desired, but also endeavoured to ascertain whether the English gentleman [Echingham] is the bearer of any other private instructions, and seems to place no trust whatever in the King of England. Does not know whether the suspicion proceeds from Calvimont himself, but feels sure it is false. Calvimont requested him (Navagero) likewise to investigate the matter. Ascertained that the gentleman came solely about this negotiation for peace, which interests the King of England principally from his wish to be the person in whose hands so important a decision and the affairs of all Christendom are placed.
Calvimont and Lee are not on friendly terms, either from the natural hatred between the French and the English, or from their not agreeing together (perchè un non si confa con l'altvo). This, perhaps, renders Calvimont suspicious; besides which, he himself says that by nature he always thinks evil. Has been unable to discover that the English gentleman is the bearer of anything more than is above written.
Granada, 2nd December 1526.
Dec. 2. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 370. 1451. Gasparo Spinelli to his Brother Lodovico.
I endeavoured to see the portraits which the Duchess of Alencon's ' secretary brought as a present for his Majesty here, and which were assuredly very well contrived. It pleased and gratified me not a little to see them, and I will describe to you the form and quality of these sifts, thus adding to the satisfaction experienced by myself individually; but your imagination must supply the defects of my language.
Picture to yourself in the first place the shape of a flat, round, glass fire-screen, rather larger than those sold on St. Mark's Square, and of the sort which open; but the cover is fastened on one side, being of most delicately wrought gold, and on opening it one fold contains the portrait of the most Christian King, painted on paper (fn. 2) to the very life, and around it, engraved on the gold, is a double F thus, FF for his own name Francis and for France. On the other fold of the cover are two columns, based on dry land, and between them flows the sea, thus separating the soil on which each of them is placed. To explain everything clearly, I must tell you that at the summit the two columns join, and are surmounted by a hat, round which the following two verses are inscribed:—
Quos terra oceani quos sepa. rat unda voluntas una duos firmâ jungit amicitid.rdquo;
Over the ground of this picture a number of small scrolls are scattered, each containing a word, all together forming a verse thus:—
Firma fides tibi me et virtus tua fecit amicum.rdquo;
The other gift was of similar design, opening in like manner, and of gold very excellently wrought. On the outside of the cover, in its centre, was an antique white tablet, inscribed with these two verses:—
In patre nam veri meritum tarn nomen amici,
Eripere et natos te quoque velle decet
On raising the cover there appeared on one side the portrait of the Dauphin, H, and of the Duke of Orleans with hT. The other side of the cover externally bore a knotted chain, the space being filled up with a variety of knots.
It would be very difficult to express the delight which these gifts caused his Majesty, for the demonstration was extreme (troppo grande), and will testify eternally to the most Christian King's obligation to him. As I only saw the things once, and not at my leisure, you will therefore excuse me if the account is less clear than needed for comprehension; but at any rate I was unwilling to omit sending you the description, however imperfectly, and to explain the device of the columns, although you will very easily have understood it. I should tell you that one represents France, the other England; the one being white, emblematical of Faith, the other violet, signifying Love, whose hat joins the two columns.
London, 2nd December 1526. Registered by Sanuto, 3rd January 1527.
Dec. 3. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File no. 10. 1452. The Doge and College to Gasparo Spinelli, Secretary in England.
Conjointly with the Papal Nuncio and the French ambassador to act for the benefit of the undertaking.
Dec. 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 277. 1453. False Report concerning Cardinal Wolsey.
Report from France, by way of Coir, that Cardinal Wolsey had arrived at the French Court from England, which, if true, is very important.
Dec. 12. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 360. 1454. Letter received by the Prothonotary Casal, English Ambassador in Venice.
The most Christian King has sent the mandates for negotiating the agreement to Spain, and the Emperor ought to consent to make peace (as the Pope well nigh forgives the injuries done him by the Colonna faction,) and admit that it is better for the duchy of Milan to be held by the present Duke, although he has offended him, the Emperor, rather than by the most Christian King.
Poissi, 8th and 12th Dec. Registered by Sanuto, 2nd Jan. 1527.
Dec. 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 424. 1455. Andrea Rosso to the Doge and Signory.
An envoy (fn. 3) from the English King has arrived here with a commission to negotiate the marriage of the Princess of England with his most Christian Majesty. Thinks it will be effected, because the King of England no longer demands the restitution of Boulogne.
Poissy, 24th December. Registered by Sanuto, 17th Jan. 1527.
Dec. 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 434. 1456. French Advices forwarded to the Doge and Signory by the Bailiff and Captain of Crema.
On the 18th Morette arrived with the First Chamberlain of England. (fn. 4) They have come to conclude the marriage of the King with the English Princess.
St. Germain's, 24th December 1526. Registered by Sanuto, 19th January 1527.
Dec. 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 360. 1457. Marco Antonio Venier to the Doge and Signory.
The King has been much pleased with two pictures sent to him by his most Christian Majesty, representing his two sons, the Dauphin and the Duke of Orleans, now in Spain. He (the King of England) has promised to do everything for their release. Should the marriage take place, Boulogne, which France is to surrender, England will give Lack. The King of England will negotiate the peace between the Emperor and Italy. The duchy of Milan is to be placed in his, the King of England's, hands, and he is to settle these disputes.
London, 27th December. Registered by Sanuto, 2nd Jan. 1527.
Dec. 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 445. 1458. Marco Antonio Yenier to the Doge and Signory.
The negotiations for the marriages continue. Details conversations with Cardinal Wolsey.
London, 27th December. Registered by Sanuto, 21st Jan. 1527.
Dec. 29. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 450. 1459. The Same to the Same.
This morning they are sending 25,000 ducats to the Pope, and intent on the marriage of the Princess of England to the King of France, on the conclusion of which the Cardinal says the King of England will then declare himself the Emperor's enemy, having despatched an envoy to the Emperor, to protest against his waging war on the Pope or the Church, of whom his Majesty is the defender.
London, 29th December. Registered by Sanuto, 23rd Jan. 1527.


  • 1. See note on p. 601.
  • 2. “Carta” perhaps for “carta pecora,” vellum.
  • 3. Sir William Fitzwilliam. (See “State Papers,” vi. 552.) The other English ambassadors in France were Clerk, Bishop of Bath, and Ghinucci, Bishop of Worcester. (Ibid.)
  • 4. “Primo Giamberlan de Inghaltera.rdquo; Sir William Fitzwilliam was the ambašsador here alluded to; but he was only Treasurer of the Household.