Venice: February 1528

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: February 1528', Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871), pp. 118-125. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

. "Venice: February 1528", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871) 118-125. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

. "Venice: February 1528", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871). 118-125. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,

February 1528

Feb. 7. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 467. 233. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
(Letter brought in eight day by the Courier Pelegrin)
Arrival at the French Court of the nephew of the Bishop of Tarbes, He brought letters from the Bishop's brother, who had heard that on the 21st the ambassadors of the League entered the Emperor's presence and declared war against him; and when they, namely the Bishop of Tarbes and Lelu Bayard, the ambassadors of the King of England, the Venetian ambassador, Andrea Navagero, and the ambassador of the Florentines wanted to depart, they were detained. Of the Pope's ambassador, they say nothing. The English ambassadors are kept at Burgos with a guard; the others are sent into the country (a paesi). In Biscay the Emperor had seized four ships with wheat, the property of Frenchmen, and was collecting money to carry on the war. The roads between Spain and France are closed, so that no one can pass without being searched. The Royal Council (of France), namely the Lord Steward and —, communicated this intelligence to the ambassadors of the League at the Court, saying that great preparations had been made; that the King had written to the Duke of Guelders to commence hostilities, and his Majesty will do the like on the frontiers of Spain; and having heard that 20,000 Lansquenets are being mustered in Germany for Italy, the King has sent to suborn 10,000 of them into his service. He has also sent to raise 6,000 Switzers, and will wage the war vigorously. The Spanish ambassador at the French court has been arrested by order of the King, who has also written to England about this, and that King Henry should wage war on the Emperor.
In Biscay, the people are dying of hunger, and if France prevents them from being supplied with provisions, they will all die.
Poissi, 7th February. Registered by Sanuto, 15th February.
Feb. 7. Sanato Diaries, v. xlvi. pp. 472- 474. 234. Juliano Soderini, Florentine Ambassador in France, to the Signory of Florence.
The Bishop of Aire (fn. 1) is the brother of the Bishop of Tarbes, the one being Lieutenant for the Governor of Bayonne, the other French ambassador in Spain, of the Grammont family. They are the King's most loyal subjects, and as brothers they correspond mutually by internal and external signs, so that, when unable to write, their messages and countersigns render the intelligence transmitted by one to the other authentic.
The Bishop of Aire wrote from Bayonne on the 30th ult., that a message had arrived there from Spain, sent by his brother by infallible countersigns, purporting for certain that on the 21st (January) the ambassadors having by common consent asked their dismissal of the Emperor, they were confined to their lodgings, the day after the heralds of France and England declared war to him. He caused the two ambassadors from France, one from the Signory of Venice, and the other from the Government of Florence, to be arrested (pigliati) and conveyed to a distance of 10 leagues from Burgos accompanied by 30 arbalast men and 60 Lansquenets, and they were left under custody in a fortress. Greater favour was shown to the English ambassadors, as their own house was made their prison, where they are guarded. It is not known under what pretext such an outrage can be excused. Immediately after these arrests, messengers were sent to all the provinces, the utmost care being taken to prevent the transmission from Spain of letters or advices, it being thought thus to keep this event so secret, as to give time for the new warlike preparations making in Germany to be ready before the League could muster troops to oppose them. In this matter, it seems, his Imperial Majesty has greatly deceived himself, violating the laws of God, and wounding his own honour, by an act which everybody condemns, and from which no benefit can result to him. He has moreover so opened the eyes of the confederates, that he will find himself attacked before he has time to frighten them; it being known for certain that his new troops, which he expected to have now in readiness, will not be fit to march before the middle of Lent, when, or earlier, they will have to face 10,000 Lansquenets, 6,000 Switzers, and upwards of 2,000 men-at-arms. They will also find the frontiers well garrisoned in every direction, though they probably think more of defence than attack, it being reported that the garrison of Fonterabia has been changed.
Certain instructions in Spanish were this day shown and read to the Privy Council; the ambassadors being summoned thither and acquainted with the whole, and ordered to notify it to their masters, so that they may make preparations.
The English ambassador [John Taylor. Master of the Rolls], on behalf of his King, said he would soon invade Flanders, where he hopes for a speedier and more auspicious result than has been obtained in Italy. The Lord Steward rejoined in the name of the most Christian King, that they thanked God for the rejection of the terms in such wise, that they would rather eat their hands (che piutosto si manqeriano le mani) than repeat the offer made heretofore; so that from the assurances both of England and France, Italy may rely on there not being a shadow of peace.
In Paris, immediately on receipt of the intelligence, the Emperor's ambassador was taken to the “Castelletto” [the Louvre]; an example (as confirmed by the English ambassador) to be followed in England, where there are many Flemish and other merchants, whose arrest will be injurious to the Italians in Spain, and yield no small profit to France through reprisals. (fn. 2) It was said today at the Council board, that within a month the amount of seizures in this country will exceed a million of gold, which will not displease either the Duke of Guelders or Robert De la Marck, who promise to send as many Lansquenets as required.
Poissi, 7th February.
[Signed] Juliano Soderini, Florentine ambassador.
Registered by Sanuto, 19th February.
Feb. 9. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 511. 235. Marco Antonio Venier to the Signory.
The Emperor is expected to accept the declaration of war. as a ship which sailed from Bilboa on the 23rd January, brings news that the English ambassadors with his Imperial Majesty had warned their merchants, who in Spain and Flanders have much property of great value, to export or secure it. lest some mischance befall them. The London merchants also have considerable capital in Flanders, having sent goods thither at their own risk, under pretence of their being destined for Calais, the English Government wishing to transfer the fairs of Antwerp to that city, the success of which project must be tested by the result,
Has heard, through the Signory's letters, of the capture of Rimini by Lautrec. The Prothonotary Gambara. on his arrival in London, received good greeting, and yet better presents, of gold and silver cups, worth 2,000 ducats. He had audience of Cardinal Wolsey and the King, whom he urged much in the Pope's name to make the Signory restore Ravenna and Cervia to him. The Cardinal and the King told him (Venier) to write to the Signory to restore the Pope his towns, in order that he may join the League.
The King also exhorts the Florentine Republic, by letter, to acknowledge the tenths levied by them on the clergy, as proceeding from the Pope, to whom it appertains to grant them such authority. He also requires that the Pope's nephews in Florence may not have their property taxed under pretence of their having been debtors to the public at the time when they assumed the government. With regard to the liberty of the Florentines, the King seems to have much at heart that the Republic should remain free, concerning which he said he would write to the Pope.
With regard to the Duke of Ferrara, on whose restitution to the Pope of Reggio and Modena the Prothonotary Gambara insisted, the King and Cardinal are sending Gambara to tell his Holiness not to make any innovation for the moment, (fn. 3) because when once the present undertaking is finished either by agreement or force of arms, the disputes between the Pope and the Duke of Ferrara will be settled through the mediation of France and England.
The King and Cardinal also send two ambassadors [Stephen Gardiner and Edward Fox] to the Pope to congratulate him on his release.
Many ships with wheat have arrived in England from Flanders; the people would otherwise have died of hunger. Next season will apparently yield a good harvest, as there has been much rain lately.
London, 9th February. Registered by Sanuto, 29th February.
Feb. 10. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvii. p. 5. 236. Advices from France, transmitted to the Signory by Coresara.
It is understood that the Emperor has separated the ambassadors one from the other, in several places near Burgos. On hearing this news, the most Christian King immediately sent Mons. de Lavigni to arrest the Emperor's ambassador in Paris, who was taken to the Chateau of the Louvre; and his Majesty caused notice of this to be given to the English King, urging him to resent what the Emperor had done. Subsequently he sent orders throughout France, for all the men-at-arms to go to their garrisons, that they may be ready to march in such direction as requisite.
The English King intends to repudiate the Queen his consort, saying that the dispensation given by the Pope, on account of her first having had for husband his Majesty's brother, is defective and invalid, and also because the Queen is of such an age that he can no longer hope for offspring from her; so that for the maintenance and welfare of his realm, he purposes marrying Sir Thomas Boleyn's daughter, who is very beautiful. It is reported that the Pope is willing to give his consent; so the enmity between the King of England and the Emperor will not only continue but increase.
Paris, 10th February. Registered by Sanuto, 2nd March.
Feb. 12. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 453. 237. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
The English ambassador [Prothonotary Casal] came [into the College Hall], and exhibited a letter from his brother, Sir Gregory, dated Orvieto, the 7th, with advices of affairs there, and a letter from Cardinal Wolsey to the Pope, congratulating his Holiness on being in a place of safety, and telling him what the King did for his release.
Feb. 12. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 485. 238. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
The Pope's ambassador, Prothonotary Gambara, immediately on his arrival, had audience of “Madame” [Louise], wishing the King to write to the Signory to restore Ravenna and Cervia to the Pope, and that the Duke of Ferrara should do the like by Modena and Reggio. “Madame” answered him that this was not the moment for mooting such a matter, as it would possibly cause the Signory and the Duke of Ferrara to make an agreement with the Emperor, and desert the League, which Gambara said, in reply, the Pope would never join.
Went to “Madame,” who had a fit of the gout, and thanked her. She said the King was desirous of the Signory's greatness, and had written to England for King Henry to give a like answer to Gambara, who is going over there. King Francis is well, and in a few days will give audience.
Poissi, 12th February. Registered by Sanuto, 22nd February.
Feb. 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 467. 239. Note by Sanuto.
Saw private letters, dated Verona, the 14th. The march of the Roysters (fn. 4) [levied for the Emperor] is delayed, and ammunition is being carted for Trent, but there is no gathering of troops between Inspruck and Verona. On the contrary it is rumoured that the Lutherans, on hearing of the intention to extirpate them, are preparing for defence, which, if true, would be a miracle.
Verona, 11th Februrary. Registered by Sanuto, 16th February.
Feb. 16. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 517. 240. Copy of a Letter from the Court of France.
Awaiting the reply of the King of England about the war in Flanders, after receiving the last news of the arrest of the ambassadors. It is expected to be favourable, and that he will commence this war speedily, and briskly, not merely from anger on account of the seizure of his ambassador (del sua Oratore), but because he was duped (uccellato) by hopes and promises of peace. The Emperor's ambassador [in France] knew long before what was intended, and burnt his instructions, letters, and ciphers. Does not know whether the confederates in Spain will have done the like. He confessed he had a commission from Spain to send notice to Flanders to commence war, and thus was it done. The contest has commenced on both sides, and the Picards have made a very great foray and booty in Hainault.
Poissi, 16th February. Registered by Sanuto, 29th February.
Feb. 17. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 517. 241. Letter from the Court of France, by the same writer as the foregoing.
The garrison of Calais has made a foray far into Flanders, which warrants a belief that the King of England will act in earnest. It is said that on the frontiers of Languedoc and Guienne, the Emperor has proclaimed war against the French, English, and Venetians.
Cantelmo (fn. 5) will depart tomorrow, with the contracts (fn. 6) stipulated, and such promises as can be obtained. Does not understand that Madame Rénée spoke, but Greghetto says that before departing Cantelmo will kiss her in the name of Don Ercole, to whom she sends a present.
Poissi, 17th February. Registered by Sanuto, 29th February.
Feb. 19. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreto), File 7. 242. The Doge and Senate to Sebastian Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France.
On the return to the Pope of the Archbishop of Manfredonia [Giovanni Maria de Monte] with the Signory's reply about Ravenna and Cervia, in accordance with the view of the most Christian King, and of Mons. de Lautrec, his Holiness sent to the Kings of France and England, to hear their opinion. Are assured by a person worthy of credit, that the Pope is awaiting the announcement of the most Christian King's decision in the matter, with the intention of being guided thereby. Cannot but resent the bad return received from the Pope. Are certain that his Majesty will have notified to the Pope his wish for the Pope to submit quietly [to the loss of Cervia and Ravenna]. To request his Majesty to write again without delay, and through his influence and union with England to contrive that King Henry do write to the Pope to be quiet about those two towns (che la se acquieti delle ditte due terre).
Feb. 19. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), File 7. 243. The Doge and Senate to Sebastian Gustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France.
Have heard the account of the detention in Spain by the Emperor of the Bishop of Tarbes and the other ambassadors. Had not the intelligence come from so authentic a source, would be unable to credit that his Imperial Majesty could have proceeded to an act so detestable, and contrary to the law of nations. The best way for his Majesty to obtain peace and the release of his children, is to attack the Emperor in every quarter with vigour, and cause the like to be done by the King of England.
Feb. 19. Deliberazioni Senate (Secreta), File 7. 244. The Same to the Same.
Learn from his last, of the 7th, that the most Christian King had arrested the Imperial ambassador at his court, and written to his ambassador in England to exhort the King there to do the like.
To hear what the Bishop of Bayeux (fn. 7) knew about this, sent for him, and understood he had a letter from his Majesty, together with the copy of the letter from the Bishop of Tarbes' brother, in which no mention whatever is made of the arrest of the Imperial ambassador. Are surprised at the most Christian King's not having written about this arrest; therefore await other letters from him, the ambassador. The Signory is firmly resolved to abide by the will of his most Christian Majesty.
Ayes, 151. Noes, 15. Neutrals, 3.
Feb. 22. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvii. p. 54. 245. Marco Antonio Venier to the Signory.
Some vessels laden with provisions for England having been detained in the Channel by French ships, which have commenced war against the Emperor, and captured some Flemish ships, the French ambassadors (fn. 8) went to Dover to have the provisions landed and sent to London, where they are now much needed by reason of the scarcity.
As the terms offered to the Emperor were honourable and advantageous, they are to be printed.
Letters from Flanders, of the 14th, state that in a few days the road between Cologne and Antwerp will not be safe, as the Gueldrians are preparing to make war on the Emperor's subjects in those parts.
London, 22nd February. Registered by Sanato, 13th March.
Feb. 22. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 511. 246. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Sends a French news-letter from Bayonne, announcing the declaration of war on the Emperor at Burgos, by the king-at-arms of his most Christian Majesty, and by the king-at-arms of the English King.
Poissi, 22nd February. Registered by Sanuto, 29th February.
Feb. 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvii. p. 4. 247. Coresara to the signory.
Today Lautrec received a copy of letters from the French ambassadors with the Emperor.
The most Christian King and the English King declared war on the Emperor by two heralds, on behalf of their Majesties and of the Venetian and Florentine Signories and of the League; all the ambassadors of those powers taking leave of the Emperor on the day after the declaration of war, whereby his Imperial Majesty being much angered, he on the following night ordered the arrest of all the ambassadors, who on the morrow were taken under strong escort to a certain castle at a short distance from the place where the Emperor is resident. This removal was effected by the Constable with 60 Lansquenets and 30 Spanish harquebusiers, with a quantity of cavalry. Nothing more was known about the ambassadors. At all the passes on the frontiers of Spain the Emperor gave orders for no one to pass until it was know who the person was and whither bound. The Emperor is mustering forces, and cannot brook this affront, threatening with oaths and vehement expressions to revenge himself.
Cività di Chieti, 23rd February. Registered by Sanuto, 2nd March.
Feb. 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvi. p. 518. 248. Pomponio Triulzio to Evangelista Cittadino.
Letters from Spain state that on the 26th ult. and 1st inst., notwithstanding all the negotiations for peace, the heralds of France and England declared war on the Emperor, and that the ambassadors of the League, having taken leave, were arrested, at a distance of eight leagues from the Court, under pretence of the Emperor's choosing to know that his ambassadors in France had reached a place of safety. The Frenchmen in Spain who have property there are allowed 40 days to see to their affairs, but cannot quit the country until the Spaniards in France and England can depart in safety. The Emperor has declared war at Perpignan on the frontiers.
Advices from Germany announce that unless King Ferdinand be succoured by the Bohemians he must abandon Hungary, as he can obtain no Lansquenets, the Emperor requiring them for Italy or against France. Troops were being raised at Ulm.
Lyons, 24th February. Registered by Sanuto, 29th February.


  • 1. Charles de Grammont, who in 1530 became Archbishop of Bordeaux.
  • 2. Ove non si troverà non picolo nomero et Fiammenghi mercanti et altri, li quali retenuti faranno danno a nostri in Spagaa, et in que-to Regno non piccola utilità le lore rappresaglie.”
  • 3. “Zercha il ducha di Ferrara, che detto l'rothonotario Gambara instò li fosse restituito Rezo et Modena, li mandano a dir, soa Beatitudine per adesso non movi cosa alcuna.”
  • 4. “Roysters,” in Venetian “Rai,” or “Raitra” in French “Reitres.” The word signifies German infantry, and does not occur in the English language until Shakespeare's time. In date of Angers. 26th February 1570, the Venetian Ambassador, Alvise Contarini, wrote that Queen Elizabeth promised the Huguenots at La Rochelle a contingent of Roysters, of whom she had 4,000 in her pay in Germany.
  • 5. Sigismonde Cantelmo? (see Frizzi, History of Ferrara, vol. iv, p. 222.)
  • 6. Marriage contracts of Ercole of Este, and Madame Rémée of France, daughter of Lewis XII.
  • 7. Lodovico di Canossa, French Ambassador in Venice.
  • 8. John du Bellay, Bishop of Bayonne, and Charles Soliers, Sieur de Morette. (See “State Papers,” vol. vii. p. 73.)