Venice: January 1527

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1871.

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'Venice: January 1527', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871) pp. 1-14. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

January 1527

1527. Jan. 2. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 357. 1. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
The English ambassador, Prothonotary Casal, came into the College and discussed current events, he likewise [as well as the State] having had letters from Rome, from his brother Sir Gregory Casal, his King's ambassador; and he communicated advices from France, which will be noted hereunder.
Jan. 3. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. pp. 454, 455. 2. Advices from France.
The marriage contract between England and France is expected 'to be concluded shortly. The Chancellor of Alençon (“Cancellier di Lansom”) (fn. 1) and the first Chamberlain of England, (fn. 2) the favourite, are stipulating the conditions. The chief difficulty has been removed, namely, the demand made by the English King for the surrender to him of Boulogne, as security for the celebration of the marriage; and it is supposed that the matter will be arranged by means of a certain number of hostages. The King [of France] has sent Robertet's son-in-law, Lelubajard [Gilbert Bayard], (fn. 3) to the Emperor in Spain, to say, that if he chooses to give him his sister [Eleanor], as promised, he will marry her, provided his sons be set at liberty, his Majesty offering a fair ransom for his own capture. It is supposed that he acts thus, in order to ascertain the Emperor's final decision; and should his sons be given up to him, he will then marry the Emperor's sister, and give the English Princess to the Dauphin. In case the Emperor do not decide forthwith, the King of France will take the English Princess for himself; the Princess will come to France, and England will wage war in Flanders.
St. Germain, 3rd January 1527. Registered by Sanuto, 23rd January.
Jan. 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 469. 3. Marco Antonio Venter, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Signory.
Cardinal Wolsey gave a banquet to all the ambassadors, and after dinner a comedy was performed, and the King came in disguise, and they danced until day-break.
The King consents to the marriage. He has sent 30,000 ducats to the Pope by Sir John Russell, who at Lyons will receive the annual payment made by France to England, and will take it with him to Rome.
London, 4th January. Registered by Sanuto, 26th January.
Jan. 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 452. 4. Gasparo Spinelli, Venetian Secretary in London, to his brother Lodovico.
I wrote to you on the 1st, transmitting the King's reply to Luther's letter. Last evening I was present at a very sumptuous supper given by Cardinal Wolsey, there being amongst the guests the Papal, French, and Venetian ambassadors, and the chief nobility of the English Court. (fn. 4) I considered myself out of place beside a very beautiful damsel, each of the guests having one to his share. During the supper the King arrived, with a gallant company of masqueraders, and his Majesty, after presenting himself to the Cardinal, threw a main at dice and then unmasked, as did all his companions; whereupon he withdrew to sup in one of the Cardinal's chambers, the rest of the guests continuing their repast, with such variety of the choicest viands and wines as to be marvellous. Supper being ended, they proceeded to the first hall, with which you are well acquainted, (fn. 5) and where a very well designed stage had been prepared, on which the Cardinal's gentlemen recited Plautus' Latin comedy entitled the Menæchmei. On its conclusion all the actors, one after the other, presented themselves to the King, and on their knees recited to him, some more and some less, Latin verses in his praise. Having listened to them all, the King betook himself with the rest of the guests to the hall where they had all supped, the tables (at which they seated themselves in the same order as before) being spread with every sort of confection, whereof they partook.
After this marvellous collation a stage was displayed, on which sat Venus, at whose feet were six damsels, forming so graceful a group for her footstool, that it looked as if she and they had really come down in person from heaven. And whilst everybody was intently gazing on so agreeable a sight, the trumpets flourished and a car appeared, drawn by three boys stark naked, on which was Cupid, dragging after him, bound by a silver rope, six old men, clad in the pastoral fashion, but the material was cloth of silver and white satin. Cupid presented them to his mother, delivering a most elegant Latin oration in their praise, saying they had been cruelly wounded; whereupon Venus compassionately replied in equally choice language, and caused the six nymphs, the sweethearts of the six old men, to descend, commanding them to afford their lovers all solace, and requite them for past pangs. Each of the nymphs was then taken by the hand by her lover, and to the sound of trumpets they performed a very beautiful dance. On its termination the King and his favourites commenced another with the ladies there present, and with this the entertainment and the night ended, for it was already day-break. I then went home sated with so much revelry, and am despatching a public letter for the Signory, to be given to Sir John Russell, now on the eve of departing for France on his way to the Pope.
London, 4th January 1527. Registered by Sanuto, 23rd January.
Jan. 5. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), v. li. p. 117, tergo. 5. The Doge and Senate to Andrea Rosso, Secretary in France.
To adhere to the opinion of the most Christian King with regard to depositing (fn. 6) the Milanese, and abiding by the arbitration of the English King.
Ayes 196. Noes 6. Neutrals 0.
Jan. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 450. 6. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Secretary in France, to the Doge and Signory.
The negotiation for the marriage with England advances, and as the French ambassadors there have no commission from his most Christian Majesty, he has appointed two new ones to treat and conclude this marriage with him. The one with Madame d'Alençon and the King of Navarre is concluded.
His Majesty sends the mandate for the negotiation of the peace to his ambassador at Rome, the Count of Carpi, as requested by the Pope.
Poissy, 5th January. Registered by Sanuto, 23rd January.
Jan. 8–12. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. p. 469. 7. Andrea Rosso to the Doge and Signory.
Conversations held with the King, the Chancellor [Duprat], and the other chief personages, about sending money. His Majesty said it was being collected; but a messenger had arrived at Poissy from the Marquis of Saluzzo, saying that the stipulated amount of infantry was not in the field. Also with regard to the money for the Pope, 20,000 ducats would be sent in a week. At Lyons 10,000 ducats for the Crusade, and 12,000 due to the Signory for the seventh payment, were detained. The marriage of the Duchess of Alençon, the King's sister, to the King of Navarre is concluded; that of his most Christian Majesty to the King of England's daughter will also take place, and he is sending two ambassadors to England, namely, . . . . . . . to conclude it.
Sir John Russell (“Monsignor di Rosel”) has also arrived from England on his way to Rome with 30,000 crowns, which the King is sending to the Pope; and he intends to remonstrate with the Duke of Bourbon and the Viceroy against their attacking the Pope and the Church, because the King of England, being Defender of the Faith, will not endure it.
Poissy, 8th, 10th, and 12th January. Registered by Sanuto, 26th January.
Jan. 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 33. 8. Marco Antonio Venier to the Doge and Signory.
The Emperor's ambassador in London [Mendoza] has received the “power,” authorizing the King of England to negotiate the agreement with the King of France and others.
Cardinal Wolsey therefore told him to write to France and the Signory for the transmission of similar powers, as the King of England wishes the general peace to be made; and the most Christian King's ambassador, Dom. Giovanni Gioachino [di Passano, Lord of Vaux], has written to France about this.
London, 11th January. Registered by Sanuto, 10th February.
Jan. 11. Sanuto Diaries, vi. xliii. pp. 482, 433. 9. Anonymous Letter from France.
Last evening the gentleman [Sir John Russell] (fn. 7) sent by the. King of England to the Pope arrived. He is the bearer of 30,000 crowns, and has been commissioned to go to the Viceroy [of Naples, Charles de Lannoi], and tell him, on behalf of his Majesty, not to molest the Pope. He (Russell) quitted St. Germain yesterday on his way post to the most Christian King in Picardy. He is also charged by his King to request the Pope not to allow himself to be intimidated, or to abandon the League for the sake of any offers that may be made to him by the Spaniards, as his Holiness shall be well assisted by the members of the League, and by him (the King of England);—urging the Pope to have no fear whatever, as ere long he will hear news of such a sort, as to dispel his fear of the Emperor and the Imperial commanders. The like offices will be performed by the envoys whom our King (of France) is sending to his Holiness; both Sovereigns having determined to defend Italy (“defender quelle cose de Italia”). In truth, she ought to feel vastly obliged to them for so great a demonstration and for the deeds they are doing, which are important, for should the Pope have heart enough to await the supplies, he will be revenged on his enemies, and not yield to them, as these two Kings purpose assisting and defending him; and although the supplies seemed rather tardy, the good-will doubtless exists.
Poissi, 11th January, Registered by Sanuto, 30th January.
Jan. 20, 22. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 78. 10. Marco Antonio Venier, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Signory.
Very long and confused letters, about conversations with Cardinal Wolsey, who, with the King, wishes the marriage with France to take place, and then everything will prosper.
London, 20th and 22nd January. Registered by Sanuto, 23rd February.
Jan. 22. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File No. 10. 11. The Doge and College to Gasparo Spinelli, Venetian Secretary in England.
Approve his diligence and mode of proceeding, and the reply made by him and the French ambassador [Passano], to Cardinal Wolsey, apologizing for the Signory's having sent a power to the Venetian ambassador in Spain, authorizing him to conclude the universal peace there, which proceeding his right reverend Lordship resented. Well pleased to hear how he explained the report in London, that the Lansquenets lately arrived in Italy were dissatisfied with the Signory on account of the Turkish affairs, etc., a false assertion disseminated by malignants.
Gratified to hear of the Cardinal's constant and excellent disposition towards aiding the Pope with an immediate pecuniary subsidy in his urgent need and trouble. To encourage him thus to do, to the utmost. To add that the Republic perseveres in the original project to support the dignity and interests of the Pope, for the general advantage of all Italy and of the Signory; wherefore, besides the great expense incurred through the fleet now at Cività Vecchia for the protection of the Pope, and for the benefit of the Holy League, they had sent a number of their troops across the Po with the Marquis of Saluzzo to defend the Papal territory; and this in addition to the Venetian infantry forming the garrison of Piacenza.
It being reported that the Imperialists in Milan purposed crossing the Po, with the intention of joining the Lansquenets who lately entered Italy, and that they would attack the Papalists, the Signory authorized their Captain General to cross the Po with their army, and join the Marquis for the Pope's defence; and although they subsequently heard that the troops which quitted Milan were destined for an attack on the Venetian territory, yet, for the greater security of his Holiness's dominions, they determined that pronunc” their Captain General should send beyond Po 5,000 infantry and 500 light horse in the Signory's pay, he himself in person with the rest of the army pushing forward to the river. He has already arrived there, and has thrown a bridge over it, and regulates himself according to the proceedings and progress of the enemy, having express order from the Signory not to fail taking all bold and opportune steps to prevent his Holiness's affairs from suffering any detriment. Hope this will be effected, provided the Pope have money to defend himself against the Imperialists, for, although supported to the utmost by the forces of the Holy League, yet so enormous is the cost incurred by him, that he is compelled to request and expect aid from his friends, especially from those who have at heart the liberty and general welfare of Italy. Should the Pope have the means of maintaining himself for a certain period, the Imperialists, by reason of their scarcity of money and from their mutual distrust, will be compelled to change their projects. Have sent as their ambassador to Florence the noble Marco Foscari, to encourage the Florentines to persevere in their original purpose, the Signory's forces being destined for their preservation.
To communicate the whole to the King and Cardinal, and give frequent advices of all occurrences worthy of the knowledge of the State.
Jan. 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliii. 55. 12. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
The English ambassador informed the College that he had received a letter from Cardinal Wolsey, purporting that the King, of England is well disposed, and would fain negotiate a general peace, the Emperor being well inclined thereto. He, the King, therefore desires that the necessary powers may be sent to him.
Jan. 25. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 40. 13. Advices from France.
The King is now sending three honourable ambassadors to England, namely, the Viscount of Touraine, the first President [of the Parliament] of Toulouse, and the Bishop of Tarbes. They have ample mandates from his Majesty to conclude with the King of England. Don Inigo [de Mendoza] arrived in England a few days ago. He is said to have a very full mandate from the Emperor to effect the general peace, of which the King of England is to be the administrator. So the King and Cardinal assembled all the ambassadors, acquainted them with the Emperor's good-will, and requested them to write to their respective Sovereigns for mandates authorizing them to stipulate and sign the peace; those who shall have no power within the appointed time to be excluded. Should the peace not take place, everybody is of opinion that in the spring the army of Italy will be re-enforced.
Poissy, 25th January. Registered by Sanuto, 12th February.
Jan. 26. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 33. 14. Andrea Rosso to the Doge and Signory.
The French ambassadors destined for England will depart shortly to conclude the espousals. The personages thus appointed are the Viscount of Touraine, the second President [of the Parliament] of Paris, and the Bishop of Tarbes.
Poissy, 26th January. Registered by Sanuto, 10th February.
Jan. 26. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), v. li. p. 123, tergo. 15. The Doge and Senate to Domenego Venier, Venetian Ambassador at Rome.
Have received letters from their ambassador in England, dated the 4th instant, announcing the departure on that day of Sir John Russell, who was being sent by the King to the Pope with 30,000 crowns as a subsidiary gift for his Holiness; and by letters from the Signory's secretary in France, dated Poissi, the 12th, are informed that Russell had arrived there, and would speedily proceed on his way to the Pope.
The secretary adds that France was about to send 45,000 crowns by bills of exchange, viz. 20,000 sent heretofore but detained at Lyons, and 10,000 crowns for the tenth, disbursed at that time to the agent of Salviati, on whom the bill was drawn. The remaining 15,000 were to be paid at the end of a week, and within a month the residue, forming a total of 60,000 on account of the tenth.
Have also been assured that the most Christian King has settled the marriage of his sister to the King of Navarre, and will completely ratify his own with the daughter of the King of England. The Pope will perceive that these facts demonstrate the excellent dispositions of the Kings of France and England, and that they will act vigorously.
Ayes, 125.
Jan. 29. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File no. 10. 16. The Doge and College to Gasparo Spinelli, Venetian Secretary in England. (fn. 8)
To return thanks to the King and Cardinal, and assure them of the Republic's extreme gratitude, and of the account in which the Signory holds their good-will and sage suggestions. Are gratified to hear of the efficient subsidy of 30,000 crowns, sent as a gift to the Pope, through Sir John Russell, for his Holiness's support in his perilous troubles and urgent need. To exhort the King to persevere until the Pope shall have prevailed against the hostile attacks made upon him. To employ his usual assiduity to this effect, as hitherto. Have also, to their satisfaction, heard that the negotiation for a marriage between the Princess of England and the most Christian King is in a fair way. To assure the King and Cardinal that the Signory have charged their secretary in France to perform such offices as are required by their respect towards both Majesties, and by the present need of the Holy League.
The Venetian forces are still crossing the Po in support of the Pope, and the Signory's Captain General is to do the like by order and commission from the State.
Jan. 29. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. pp. 279, 280. 17. * * * * * to the Marquis of Mantua.
Messer Paulo da Rezo arrived many days ago; and subsequently the Papal Auditor [Ghinucci] came in the name of the King of England. Simultaneously, the Nuncio, the Venetian and Milanese ambassadors, and the French ambassador likewise received the mandates authorizing them to make the peace. Believes, however, that it will not be concluded, as the Emperor's successes in Italy render his will at variance with his words, though he fails not to make fairer promises than ever. At this same time the English are urging the Emperor to refer the stipulation of the peace to the King of England, and will not join the other ambassadors in their endeavours to have it negotiated at Valladolid, which causes great confusion, as, according to their instructions, the ambassadors are expressly commissioned not to do anything without the participation and advice of those from England, who, when requested accordingly by their colleagues, reply that they have no commission to negotiate the matter, neither will they give counsel, as they say it is not needed. It is moreover evident, from a variety of signs, that the Emperor does not intend to refer the matter to England, although he sought to have it treated there; and it is also known that the Chancellor [Gattinara] would fain gain repute by making the peace in Spain, though they do not openly tell the English that they decline the mediation, and the Emperor exerts himself to let their King know that he will not fail in his word. It is said that some of the instructions sent are not ample, and also that as the Florentines have not sent theirs nothing can be done, and the peace is thus artfully delayed. The negotiators themselves have no hopes of it at preseut, unless by miracle, though should the Pope wish to make a separate peace for himself alone, he would stipulate it in Spain.
Advices have been received at Valladolid, to the effect that the King of France marries the English Princess, and that the affair is about to be concluded. This alliance would be much regretted by the Imperialists, nor will they fail to do all they can to thwart it. “Much suspicion has also been caused by the news of the marriage of the Duchess of Alençon to the King of Navarre, on account of that kingdom.
Valladolid, 29th January. Registered by Sanuto, 12th April.
Jan. 29, 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. pp. 6, 7. 18. Domenego Venier, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Signory.
Notwithstanding the money which is being sent to him from France and England, and the marriage in course of negotiation between his most Christian Majesty and the English Princess, the Pope has determined to make the truce [with the Emperor] for six months. His Holiness says that Cardinal Wolsey, perceiving himself unable to mediate between France and the Emperor, consents to the marriage in order that the war may be greater. The Pope says he will at any rate stipulate the truce, and place Parma and Piacenza in the hands of the Prothonotary Caracciolo, and consign Cività Vecchia to the nephew of the General of the Franciscans, all to be held for the Emperor; which being done, the Pope will negotiate the general peace, and he wishes to go to Spain. His Holiness read to him (Venier) the letter brought to him by Fieramosca from the Emperor, who will have him for Father (vol averlo per Padre) and refer all his disputes to him. The Pope then said he would conclude the truce, he and the Florentines giving the Emperor 200,000 ducats, and the Signory not contributing anything, so that the Republic is at liberty to become a party to it free of cost. The Signory should therefore give an answer, and not abstain from doing so out of regard for the King of France. The Pope added, “That King sends us money artfully, that we may continue at war; and since last September we alone incur expenditure. We are the head of Christendom. We choose to sheathe the sword. We shall have to pardon the Colonna faction; so be it.” (fn. 9)
Rome, 29th and 30th January. Registered by Sanuto, 2nd February.
Jan. 30. Navagero Despatches. Cicogna copy, in the Correr Museum. 19. Andrea Navagero, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Signory.
Quitted Granada on the 7th of December, and proceeded from Toledo to Valladolid, where he found the Chancellor, who endeavoured to convince him of the insincerity of the King of France towards his allies. Before the Emperor's arrival at Valladolid, on the 24th January, the ambassadors held a meeting at the house of the Nuncio [Castiglione], the Emperor having told them at Toledo to commence negotiating with the Chancellor. It was therefore proposed, whether they should exhibit their powers to him, and what was to be done. Calvimont [the French ambassador] refused to exhibit his power until the ambassadors had spoken all together with the Emperor, as he, Calvimont, had received his power but not his instructions, these last, together with other letters addressed to him, having been detained, and being in the possession of Bon Juan Alleman; and without them he did not know how to act. Moreover, the power was not given to him alone, but also to one of the King's secretaries, whom he expected in a few days from Burgos. He also said that he did not think anything should be settled until after communication with the English ambassador [Ghinucci], who had not yet arrived. He (Navagero) and the Nuncio replied, that with regard to the English ambassador, the commissions of all the ambassadors were uniform. For this, and for the other reasons adduced by Calvimont, it was determined to await the Emperor's coming. In the meanwhile the letters which had been detained were delivered to the French ambassador; the secretary Bayard came from Burgos; the [Papal] Auditor (fn. 10) sent by the King of England to the Emperor to further the negotiation for peace arrived from France, and [Lee] the English [resident] ambassador [from Toledo ?]. (fn. 11)
The Emperor having entered Valladolid on the 24th, the ambassadors all assembled in the house of the Nuncio, namely, the two French ambassadors, the two English ambassadors, the Milanese ambassador, the Florentine ambassador, and Navagero.
First of all, the English ambassadors were informed that they had been called by the other ambassadors, because these last were charged in their commissions to do nothing whatever without their advice and consent. After this, the powers of all the ambassadors one by one were examined, the opinion of each being asked concerning what was to be done. They all agreed to go in a body to the Emperor, and to tell him, that as at Granada, in reply to their exhortations, he had, announced his constant wish for peace, and that he would not refuse any fair terms, provided they were general, desiring them also to write to their Sovereigns for powers to negotiate accordingly, they had done so, and had now received the same; wherefore they awaited his Majesty's orders concerning what was to be done, and [requested] that he would inspect the powers, or have them inspected, so that negotiations might be commenced for the welfare of Christendom, which depended on this peace.
This was the opinion of all, with the exception of the English ambassadors, who would not give either advice or consent of any sort, and, when questioned, said that the others were to do what seemed best to them, but that they [Lee and Ghinucci] had no commission whatever from their King to that effect, neither was he at war with the Emperor, and had therefore no peace to negotiate with him; that if the other ambassadors had called them to their consultations as a mark of honour towards their King, they thanked them for it as confederates; that their King had neither joined the League nor accepted its protectorate, as asserted by them, though he had indeed written to the Emperor that he could not refuse to accept it, if the Emperor failed to make peace; and that as this, however, had not yet come to pass, they therefore had nothing to say, nor, according to their present commission, could they interfere in any way.
Being unable to obtain anything further from the English ambassadors, the other ambassadors considered that they had done much in communicating everything to them, and would acquaint them from day to day with current events, but did not fail to go to the Emperor, whom they addressed in the form above written. The Emperor replied, that he would desire the Chancellor and the Council to send for them and examine the powers, and then commence negotiating the peace. So yesterday, the 29th, the ambassadors went to the palace, to the apartments of the Count of Nassau, who was there with the Chancellor Gattinara, Don Juan Emanuel, the Bishop of Osma, the Emperor's confessor, Monsr. de la Chau, Monsr. De Praet, and the secretary Don Juan Alemani. At the request of the Chancellor, all exhibited their powers. The Nuncio's power having been read, the Chancellor said that although ample, its form was false, as it rather reproached the Emperor, saying that he [the Pope] had joined the League for one reason, whereas the reason was another; (fn. 12) that they [the Imperialists?] were in possession of the articles of the League, both public and secret, and knew the whole, so they knew what was false and what true; that they also would draw up their powers with preambles in their own fashion, and it would be seen which were the most veracious.
The Nuncio replied, that there was no occasion to draw up powers, as the Emperor, with whom everything was to be negotiated, was on the spot, and this was not the moment for raising difficulties about preambles; that the Pope stated the reason which had induced him to join the League, and which was better known to him than to anybody else, and if they did not believe the Pope, he, the Nuncio, could do nothing further; and that the matter now under discussion was not the cause which had induced the Pope to make the League, but whether the power was valid or not. Don Juan Emanuel and some other counsellors rejoined that the negotiation for peace would not be suspended on this account.
The French ambassador's power was read next, and gave great displeasure, as it contained certain phrases haughtier than those in the other powers. Two objections were raised against it; the one, that it related less to the general peace than to the particular question of the release of the French Princes; the other, that it styled the King of England a confederate, which he was not, and insisted on nothing being done without the consent of the English ambassadors, who had no mandate at all concerning that matter, nor did they accompany the ambassadors to say they were content. (fn. 13) The French ambassador replied, that they must not cease negotiating the peace on this account, for, should there be no other difficulty than this one, he would either obtain the consent of the King of England, or a power from the King of France cancelling this condition.
The power sent by the Signory to him (Navagero) was read next. Besides the clause concerning the King of England. They objected to the stipulation purporting that nothing was to be done without the consent of the Duke of Milan and the Florentines, who did not seem to have sent any power to their ambassadors. Answered that what the Pope did was understood to be done by the Florentines, because in the League they were not mentioned as principals, but as the Pope's co-adherents, and therefore the Nuncio's power sufficed for them likewise. That the ambassador of the Duke of Milan had the mandate from his Duke, although he had not brought it with him, but he would exhibit it afterwards; which he confirmed to them by word of mouth.
All the powers having been read, the Nuncio said that the objections raised appeared to him very feeble for the prevention of so good a result as universal peace, and that he was therefore of opinion that the negotiation should commence; that, if they chose, it would be very easy afterwards either to change the preambles or modify the powers; so he would at once proceed to particulars, that they might give an answer. The Pope [he said] required nothing for himself but universal peace, and perceiving that it could not be obtained save by the restitution of the Milanese to the Duke of Milan (which was the cause of all the disturbance in Italy) and of the French Princes to the King of France, he therefore first of all demanded these two things of the Emperor, together with two others; the one, that he should remove his troops from Italy, and promise never again to return in such a way as to excite apprehension; the other, that he should pay the King of England what he owed him. That these were the things demanded by the Pope and the League. That they [the Imperial ministers] were to answer if they thought fit, and make demands of the ambassadors in return, if they had anything to ask, when a reply should be given them.
The Chancellor made such an answer that he (Navagero) for his own part did not comprehend it, and believes it to be unintelligible to everybody else; nor does he think that any logician (philosopho), however subtle, could elicit any substance from it. He said that these were private affairs, and not to the purpose when discussing a general peace; that it was requisite to understand each other about this universal peace, and that these personal matters must be left aside. This subtlety appears to him (Navagero) incomprehensible, because he does not know how to imagine a universal peace unconnected with the personal interests of those who are parties to it. The ambassadors did not foil to make a suitable rejoinder, but the Imperial ministers merely said that they would withdraw for awhile and then reply. They were absent a long time. Believes they went to the Emperor. On their return they said they would discuss the mandates more at leisure with the Emperor, and for that purpose they besought the ambassadors, in his name, either to entrust the powers to them for half a day, or to give them copies of the documents. The Nuncio thought fit to give them his, and he (Navagero) did the like; the French ambassadors did not choose to give theirs, but said they would send a copy; and the Milanese ambassador said he would send them his. Does not know what has been done down to this present. Today their powers have been returned to the Nuncio and himself.
This is all that has been done hitherto, and no further progress having been made, but small opinion can be formed of the hope of peace, considering the frivolous replies made by the Chancellor, and which are evasions rather than anything else. Is extremely perplexed, and strongly suspects that the Imperialists are cajoling them.
The arrival of the Viceroy in Italy, the presence of the Lansquenets, and the consequent hope that Imperial affairs will prosper, have rendered the Emperor's ministry very unbending, and will perhaps create some difficulty, most especially as they are no longer apprehensive of the Turk; and they invent a thousand false reports to their advantage. On the other hand, had they received, or were they to receive, a slight check, they would accept any terms. As long as their present hopes last they will glide on with fair words until they receive news of affairs in Italy.
At present perceives another obstacle to peace. The councillors most anxious for it, all Spaniards,—the Archbishop of Toledo, the Archbishop of Bari, the Duke of Alva, and the Duke of Bejar,— are absent. The Count of Nassau above all is very averse to peace, and speaks most unfavourably both of the Pope and of everyone, without the slightest respect. Don Juan Emanuel is the only person much inclined towards the welfare of Italy, and most anxious for her interests; but at the present moment his influence is not so great as necessary. The Chancellor Gattinara, who is everything, says that he is well disposed, but no effect is visible to him (Navagero), to whom he said yesterday, in private after the conference, that they had seen the articles of the League, both public and secret, and intended to print them, that the whole world might see what reason the Emperor had to be hostile to those who were so hostile to him, and that the articles would be printed within a fortnight. Considers this proceeding calculated to produce fresh discord, and much at variance with the peace which they profess to desire. This was confirmed to him by Don Juan Alleman, who added that they would be found to contain things much at variance with the title of “Holy Father” which the Pope gives himself.
The Auditor [Ghinucci], who was sent to Spain by the King of England, and the other ambassador also [Lee], who was here previously, have during the last few days gone together several times to have audience of the Emperor. They have not communicated their negotiations either to the Nuncio or to anybody else; and indeed today they are sending a messenger to England in secret, and do not choose him to take letters for anyone. It is therefore supposed that the sole object of their negotiations is to transfer the discussion of the peace to England.
The Auditor [Ghinucci] certainly came for this purpose, and he himself says so, and is therefore much opposed to the negotiations of him (Navagero) and his colleagues, they having for object to stipulate the peace in Spain. Does not know what reply the Emperor made to them, but considers it certain that he will give them [only] words, having said clearly that, if in his power, he will not allow the peace to be treated in England. The English ambassador [Lee], who has been resident in Spain for some months, (fn. 14) is a worthy man (“è homo da bene”), but very fond of the Emperor (“molto affettionato a Cesare”) and the enemy of France, and does everything by means of his letters to keep his King the friend of the Emperor. The Auditor [Ghinucci] unbosomed himself to a friend so much as to say, amongst other things, that Lee wrote to the King that the Emperor fails not to favour the peace, but that it is thwarted by the ambassadors of the League. It may therefore be supposed that Lee writes many falsehoods, and does not benefit the matters in course of negotiation. Communicates every particular to the State, that they may be better able to ponder the whole.
Besides the assertion made by the Chancellor Gattinara, that the French are negotiating a separate treaty with the Emperor, has heard the like through another channel, and understands that this Secretary Bayard is the bearer of a great offer, and has assigned them the term of a week for its acceptance, on the expiration of which he will depart instantly. The term ends on Monday next, and he certainly brought letters from his King to the Emperor, of whom he has had many audiences apart from the other ambassadors. He now says that he means at any rate to depart on Monday, and at present is intent solely on obtaining a safeconduct for himself and a courier, whom he means to send on in advance. This secretary, on his arrival, told him (Navagero) that the letters brought by him from his King to the Emperor gave thanks for his good treatment of the King's sons, and asked him for his own wife [Eleanor of Austria], assuring him of his good-will towards peace.
Valladolid, 30th January 1527.
Jan. 31. Summaries of Advices, v. ii. p. 233. Venetian Archives, Library. 20. Marco Antonio Venier to the Signory.
In the presence of him (Venier) and the Papal Nuncio, Cardinal Wolsey exhorted the French ambassador to write to France that his most Christian Majesty should betake himself into Picardy to review his troops, and contrive in favour of his brother-in-law, the King of Navarre, to make some stir on the borders of that kingdom, the Duke of Guelders and Robert de la Marck in like manner making a demonstration against Flanders, so as to alarm the Emperor on every side. The Cardinal considers this an excellent mode of managing the peace, as on no account will the Flemings consent to war; and he urges the most Christian King to put forth all his strength so as to be victorious in Italy, he, Wolsey, foreseeing certain success, if the Pope remains firm; for to defend himself against those who seek to deprive him of everything, he ought to use all possible means, taking example from the Venetian Signory, and with so much the more heart, seeing how well disposed the King of England is for the defence and conservation of his Holiness; the Cardinal declaring that King Henry would not fail him, and that if, as he hoped, through the coming of the ambassadors, the marriage with France be speedily concluded, his Majesty will declare himself in favour (in beneficio) of the League, and perform the promises made by him heretofore.
There has arrived in London Don Juan Antonio de Mendoza, Chancellor of the Signor Giacomo (sic), (fn. 15) on his way as ambassador from the Emperor to the most Serene Ferdinand, to congratulate him on his election as King of Bohemia, and to the Princes of Germany, to interrupt the Diet which they are now about to hold for the purpose of electing a new King of the Romans.
London, 31st January.


  • 1. Jean Brinon.
  • 2. Sir William Fitzwilliam is meant.
  • 3. This French diplomatist, whose name was Gilbert Bayard, had several aliases given him by Italian writers, thus: Lelubajar, L'Elu Bajart, Lelio Bajar, Gilberto Bayard. (See Cicogna Inscriptions, vol. 6. n. 266)
  • 4. The Cardinal's supper on the 3rd of January is recorded by Hall, p. 719; no mention however, being made of the comedy.
  • 5. Lodovico Spinelli had been secretary to the Ambassador Surian in England from 1519 to 1523.
  • 6. “Circa il depositar del Stato de Milano.”
  • 7. See “State Papers,” vol. vi., part 5, p. 560.
  • 8. The Signory continued to write to Spinelli until they received advices of Venier's arrival in England.
  • 9. “Quel Re ne manda danari con arte, azio stiamo in la guerra, e da Septembrio in qua “nui soli spendemo. Semo Capo della Christianità. Volemo metter zozo le arme. “Conveniremo perdonar a Colonesi; pacientia.”
  • 10. Girolamo Ghinucci, Bishop of Worcester, before obtaining that see, was appointed Papal Treasurer (Auditor di Camera) by Julius II., and the Italians continued to give him that title after he entered the service of Henry VIII.
  • 11. The Venetian ambassador quitted Granada for Toledo on the 7th December 1526, and arrived at Valladolid on the 10th January 1527. Lee may be supposed to have made the journey at the same time, in conformity with the Emperor's orders, which are alluded to in Navagero's despatch, dated Granada, 2 December 1526.
  • 12. “Che il prohemio era falso, perchè pungeva un poco Sua Maestà, et diceva che era “intratto in la liga per una causa, et era stato per un'altra.”
  • 13. “Nè erano venuti con noi, a dir che fusseno contenti.”
  • 14. Dr. Lee entered Toledo on the 8th of January 1526 (see “State Papers,” vol. vi. p. 522.).
  • 15. Don Juan Antonio de Mendoza, “Chancellor of the Signor Giacomo,” passed through London on his way to the Archduke Ferdinand, at the close of January 1527, and must not be confounded with the Abbot Iñigo, whose arrival in London on the 4th of August 1526 is recorded in the Venetian Calendar, vol. III., p. 592.