Venice: December 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: December 1527', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871) pp. 110-114. British History Online [accessed 21 May 2024].

. "Venice: December 1527", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871) 110-114. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024,

. "Venice: December 1527", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871). 110-114. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024,

December 1527

Dec. 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 352. 213. The Same to the Same.
The newly arrived Florentine ambassador has had audience of the King at Greenwich, and thanked his Majesty for wishing the potentates of Italy to hold their own; recommending to the King his high (excelsa) Republic.
The King replied that he wishes Italy to be at peace, and also that Lautrec should march forward to release the Pope.
One Bernardino has moreover arrived from France, sent by the Cardinal of Auch to Cardinal Wolsey; and he also brought letters from the Cardinal of Trani, who, together with the other Cardinal, apologizes for being unable to go to Avignon. The Cardinal was pleased at this, and urges the making of provision for the affairs of the Church.
Lord Lisle, the Master of the Horse, and Sir Anthony Brown (fn. 1) (maistro Bon), have returned from France, and greatly commend his most Christian Majesty. A gentleman is also expected from France.
London, 4th December. Registered by Sanuto, 4th January, 1528.
Dec. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 264. 214. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
The English ambassador, Prothonotary Casal, came into the College.
Dec. 6. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), File 7. 215. Reply of the Senate to Mons. De Scandigliac, Envoy from Mons. De Lautrec.
The most Christian King was bound by the articles of the confederacy to attack the Emperor north of the Alps, and not doing so, as counselled by the King of England, he was to send an additional 10,000 infantry to Italy, to join the 10,000 foot paid by the King of England. On this account the Signory did not urge his most Christian Majesty to make an attack north of the Alps. If in addition to the 10,000 infantry so promised, the most Christian King has more troops in the field than the Signory, his Majesty should be indemnified for them, and the Republic also receive compensation, should their forces exceed those of France, as is the case; in addition to which the Signory has 850 men-at-arms, 2,000 light horse, and the cost of pioneers, powder, ammunition, and other extraordinary expenses, which ought to be halved.
Ayes, 169. Noes, 2. Neutrals, 1.
Dec. 6. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), File 7. 216. Instructions given by Mons. De Lautrec to Mons. De Scandigliac.
Should the Signory say they rejected one of the articles of the agreement at the time of the intervention of the Cardinal Legate of England,—to reply in the first place that complaints were made about certain articles of that agreement, the Venetian Signory writing to their ambassador at the French Court to that effect; but no objection was made to the substitution of troops of one nation for those of another, whether Swiss, Germans, French, or Italians, this being perfectly fair; and it would be captious to decline paying for the troops, because they are not such as originally stipulated.
Should the Signory say that the Lansquenets are paid by England, and therefore the most Christian King cannot complain more than Venice of being burdened with this cost, and that the Lansquenets cannot be comprised in the number of Switzers who are not paid by France,—to reply that at present the King of England does not pay the Lansquenets, and if he did pay them during a certain period, the payment cost his most Christian Majesty very dear, and at any rate the Signory has nothing to do with a private agreement between England and the King, in which they are not comprised.
If the Signory determine on persevering in alliance with France, they must act loyally, and not be chary of spending when necessary, the King on his part intending to act in like manner toward them.
Had announced to the Venetian ambassador, resident with him, his intention of going to the Marquis of Mantua, to do his utmost to make him join the League. Yesterday sent Lorenzo Thoscano to him, and the English ambassador went with another mandate on behalf of the Cardinals resident with him (Lautrec); and the Duke of Milan will do the like. The Signory should therefore consider whether it would be well for them to send some one to Mantua in their name, that the Marquis may know he is held in account. If not to such an extent as the Duke of Ferrara, yet is he well nigh equally esteemed. If the Signory determine thus to do, no time must be lost in dispatching an envoy, the others having already departed from his (Lautrec's) quarters.
Dec. 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 313. 217. Sebastian Giustinian to the Doge and Signory.
The King's uncle, the Count of Geneva, has arrived at the Court from Spain, bearing three proposals about the Milanese. The first purports that the present Duke is to hold the duchy for his life, and on his death it is to pass to the rightful owner; the second, that each party appoint an arbitrator; the third, that those who now hold the Milanese do retain it.
The King told him (Giustinian) that the Emperor will not make peace, and that an active war must be waged against him; that he, the King, will not fail, or ever make any agreement without the Signory.
Paris, 11th December. Registered by Sanuto, 24th December.
Dec. 11–25. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 399. 218. Marco Antonio Venter, to the Doge and Signory.
Conversations with Cardinal Wolsey, who hopes the Emperor will make the agreement, and, should there be any dispute, refer it for arbitration to the King of England, most especially with regard to the duchy of Milan.
London, 11th and 25th December. Registered by Sanuto, 23rd January.
Dec. 17. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 294. 219. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
The English ambassador [Prothonotary Casal] exhibited a letter from his brother Sir Gregory, detailing the mode of the Pope's departure from Rome. (fn. 2)
Dec. 17. Navagero Despatches, Cicogna Copy, in the Correr Museum. 220. Andrea Navagero to the Signory.
No reply being received from France, and the Emperor's affairs in Italy proceeding prosperously, (fn. 3) he is determined to wage war more actively than ever, though he says he will never reject a fair peace; which if not made, he shall not wait for the King of France to invade Spain, but will attack him in his own territory.
Received letters from the Signory's ambassador in France, announcing arrival of the “power” demanded by him (Navagero); but before transmitting it, the ambassador at the French Court would communicate everything to the most Christian King. Thought fit to announce this to the Imperial councillors, who were much pleased, and said they were thus convinced of the Signory's wish for peace; the reply from Venice, a place so distant, having come quicker than the one from England, which is so near at hand; and all declare that the Emperor will not depart from whatever is fair, being most anxious for peace with the Signory.
Reported from France that on receipt of the decision of England, it will be sent to Spain by L'Elu Bayard, the most Christian King's secretary, for whom a safeconduct has been sent to the frontiers, it being supposed that he is already on his way.
The French ambassadors are now sending a courier to France, who will he the bearer of this present.
The Auditor [Ghinucci] and the other English ambassador [Lee] strongly suspect the French ambassadors of negotiating apart from the rest of the confederates, and that the messenger has been despatched on that account. For this apprehension they have some reason.
Some days ago the Nuncio, on hearing of the death of the Viceroy, (fn. 4) requested the Emperor to send a gentleman to Italy for the release of the Pope, lest this demise prevent the execution of his Majesty's commands. Long before this application from the Nuncio, the French ambassadors had obtained a blank safeconduct in favour of the envoy to be sent for this purpose. When the Emperor gave his consent, the Nuncio asked the ambassadors for the safeconduct, which they refused, lest the Emperor should send this gentleman in his own interests, to provide for the kingdom of Naples after the Viceroy's death. They said the safeconduct had been returned to France through Sir Francis Poyntz; but that if the Emperor would allow them to send a courier to the King, they would apply and receive an answer in 12 days. To this his Majesty would not consent, but now he allows them to despatch this courier. It is therefore surmised that there is some secret understanding with France.
Ghinucci and Lee are therefore suspicious; they have communicated with the Florentine ambassador and with him (Navagero), requesting them to be on the watch, and to ascertain the facts. On the first arrival of the French ambassadors at Valladolid was never without suspicion. At present he knows not what to say; the whole difficulty consists in the release of the French princes, and in the duchy of Milan. Is apprehensive lest the most Christian King prefer his sons to the Duke of Milan. The present war was induced principally by two causes, the wish of the King of France to recover his sons, and the determination of the Signory and the rest of Italy not to let the Emperor have the Milanese. Were King Francis to obtain what he most wished for, he will not care for Italy, but prefer his own interests to those of others. The Signory cannot make terms without obtaining that for which they have incurred such vast expense; but the most Christian King has all he wants when his children are restored to him; and although the Emperor by retaining the duchy of Milan will be very powerful, yet King Francis perhaps thinks that having once got his sons, he may subsequently resist the Emperor, and make war on him whenever he chooses.
Burgos, 17th December 1527.
Dec. 22. Navagero Despatches, Cicogna Copy, in the Correr Museum. 221. The Same to the Same.
On the 17th announced the suspicion entertained by the English ambassadors with regard to their French colleagues. During the last few days his suspicion has diminished, and he believes it groundless, though he will not be sure, until everything is settled.
The Auditor [Ghinucci], a man of great ability, and who, as an Italian, is very anxious for the welfare of Italy, is confirmed in the belief that this suspicion was unfounded.
Burgos, 22nd December 1527.
Dec. 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 345. 222. Anonymous Letter forwarded to the Signory by the Venetian Bailiff and Captain of Crema.
The Pope (fn. 5) shows himself Spanish, and determined to observe all that he promised in the capitulation, both with regard to giving his nephews as hostages, and consigning the fortresses. He has now sent an envoy express to the army of the League, desiring them to vacate the towns of the Church; nor do they know whither to retreat; but it is said they will occupy the territory of Perugia and the Florentine borders. The Spanish “Resident” with the Pope is Alarcon's nephew, a person much esteemed and respected. During Ember week, the Pope created eight Cardinals,—the Archbishop of Naples, the Bishop of Matera, Hironimo Grimaldo, and the Bishop of Monreale; which four give the money to the Spaniards. A Spaniard is to be made at the request of the Imperialists, but the money to be given to his Holiness. The others are, Perino Gonzaga, the Patriarch of Aquileia, and the Lord Chancellor of Spain [Gattinara]. The brother of the Marquis of Saluzo has had the brief for his nomination amongst the first to be made, according to report, next Lent; and they will be four, without money, including the son of Filippo Strozzi, the Pope's nephew.
Yesterday there arrived at the Papal Court, Cardinal Ridolfi, the English ambassador Casal, (fn. 6) and Paulo Camillo Triultio, sent by Lautrec to learn the Pope's decision. The Spaniards quitted Rome, inarching towards Orvieto. The Lansquenets have not departed; they levied 10,000 crowns from the Trades, and have had a part of the moneys from the kingdom of Naples, and are expecting another.
Bologna, 23rd December 1527. Registered by Sanuto, 2nd January 1528.
Dec. 27. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), File 7. 223. The Doge and Senate to Sebastian Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France.
To please his most Christian Majesty, consent, in lieu of the missing Switzers, to pay for an equal number of Lansquenets offered by him for the benefit of the undertaking at the cost of the King of England, without further charge to the Signory. (fn. 7) Although the Lansquenets have not reached the army, the money has been paid on account, with the conditions above mentioned. With this Mons. de Lautrec is perfectly satisfied.


  • 1. See State Papers, vol. vii., pp. 12, 13; date Paris, 2nd November 1527.
  • 2. According to Guicciardini (vol. iv. p. 275, ed. Friburgo, 1776), Pope Clement VII. quitted Castle St. Angelo (in the disguise of a merchant) on the night of the 8th December 1527.
  • 3. “Da poi che vede le cose sue in Italia ad andar bene.”
  • 4. Sanuto's Diaries (vol. xlvi. p. 168) show that Charles de Lannoy, Viceroy of Naples, died on the Tuesday following the 20th September 1527, at Aversa. The date of his death is given incorrectly by Giannone, vol. iv. pp. 15–17.
  • 5. The Pope arrived at Orvieto from Rome on the 8th December 1527, and this letter, dated Bologna, gives the first account of his proceedings after escaping from Castle St. Angelo.
  • 6. Sir Gregory Casal; to whom there is a letter from Wolsey, dated London, 4th December 1527, desiring him to urge the Pope to agree to the dissolution of the marriage between Henry and Katharine. (See “State Papers,” vol. vii., p. 18.)
  • 7. “Assentissimo di pagar, in loco delli Svizari che mancano, tanti lancechenechi, qual sua Maestà offerse mandar in subsidio a beneficio della impresa, pagati per il Serenissimo Re di Anglia, senza dame altro carico alla Signoria nostra.”