Venice: April 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: April 1528', Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871), pp. 129-135. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

. "Venice: April 1528", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871) 129-135. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

. "Venice: April 1528", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871). 129-135. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,

April 1528

April 5–6. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvii. p. 247. 259. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Conversed with the English ambassador (fn. 1) about Ravenna and Cervia, taken by the Signory with the consent of the League, to prevent their falling into the hands of the Spaniards. The English ambassador replied, “You have, filched it (lave carpida), and it will be the cause of war, and the Pope will make terms with the Emperor;” and he added, “You prevented the Pope's ambassador Pucci from proceeding to Rome, and made King Francis forbid him to go” Rejoined that the Signory was not to blame. The English ambassador also told him Madame Margaret had sent an envoy to his King, to obtain a safeconduct for another whom she is despatching to Spain to negotiate peace, and the King gave it him.
King Francis is in retirement, it being Passion week. Giustinian spoke with the Lord Chancellor, who said to him, “The King's will is that the Signory retain Ravenna and Cervia; and be not apprehensive about this.”
Paris, 5th and 6th April. Registered by Sanuto, 2nd May.
April 15. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File 14. 260. The Doge and College to Marc' Antonio Venier, Venetian Ambassador in England.
After the retreat of the enemy from Troia and the capture of Melfi and its Prince, when 3,000 of the enemy were killed, the cities of Barletta, Trani, Monopoli, Mola, Pulignano, Yenosa and many other places surrendered, so that nothing remains in the rear but Manfredonia. The enemy were threatening Naples and Capua, Great fear prevailed in Naples, and the inhabitants already thought of surrendering. The enemy's quarters were in disorder, with little discipline. Mons. de Lautrec has determined to pursue and harass them as much as possible.
Considerable numbers of Lansquenets are leaving the Alps. The Signory is intent on self defence; besides the order for 12,000 Italian infantry, they have written to France for 6,000 Lansquenets, 3,000 of whom are already on their march. The cost is enormous and insupportable for them, but they will endeavour to bear it, still hoping that the King of England will favour the Italian League.
April 16. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvii. p. 269. 261. Marco Antonio Yenier to the Signory.
The ambassador from Madame Margaret told the King that the Emperor would make peace, and therefore ambassadors should be sent to Spain. The King replied, that having once proclaimed war, it was not becoming. Subsequently Cardinal Wolsey said they would send an envoy, his stay at the Imperial court being limited to three days, and should peace not be made, hostilities to commence in June.
The Cardinal also spoke about restoring Ravenna and Cervia [to the Pope], saying that the Signory ought not to be the ruin of Italy, and that the King of France does wrong to consent contrary to the Pope's wish.
London, 16th April. Registered by Sanuto, 6th May.
April 18. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), File 8. 262. Recall of the Venetian Ambassador in England, Marco Antonio Venier, and appointment of his successor.
Put to the ballot to elect an ambassador from the Signory to the King of England, to succeed Marco Antonio Venier. The person not to refuse, under penalty of 500 ducats.
For his expenses, to receive monthly 140 golden ducats, of which he is not bound to give account; four month's salary in advance. His agent in Venice to receive 140 golden ducats monthly.
To take with him 11 horses, including those of his secretary and servant, and two running footmen, and to depart when and with such commission as shall seem fit to this Council.
Ayes, 160. Noes, 15. Neutrals, 0.
April 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvii. p. 213. 263. Motions made in the Senate.
For a letter to the King of England and to Cardinal Wolsey, and to the ambassador Venier, in reply to the letter written to the State by the Cardinal, requiring the restitution to the Pope of Ravenna and Cervia.
Put to the ballot to reply as follows:—Allude to the Republic's respect for the King's late father, and for his Majesty himself, who is Protector of the League, and must know that the Signory took these towns with the consent (con volontà) of the French ambassador, and of the King's ambassador Casal, lest they should fall into the Emperor's hands. The Signory has held them at cost, and is surprised at this demand on the part of the Pope, whilst the Republic is at war; so they request the King to quiet the Pope for the present.—Carried.
Put to the ballot, a letter to the Signory's ambassador in France:—To persuade his most Christian Majesty to attend to the affairs of Italy; to send copy of what was written to England about Ravenna and Cervia, and copy of what Cardinal Wolsey wrote to the Signory; and to request his Majesty to use his good offices in England.—Carried.
April 23. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File 11. 264. Doge Andrea Gritti to Cardinal Wolsey.
The King's ambassador, the Rev. Casal, consigned to him lately Wolsey's most courteous letter, whereby, as also from the ambassador's verbal statement, he (the Doge) rejoiced to hear of the good will borne him by the Cardinal. Regretted greatly to hear that what the State has done, both to preserve the dignity of the Pope and the Apostolic See, and also to recover security for both one and the other, should not have given such satisfaction to his Holiness as was anticipated by the Signory. This he can attribute solely to the false calumnies uttered to the Pope against the Republic by malignants.
Requests the Cardinal to give full credence to the ambassador, and further the Republic's cause, relying on their eternal gratitude.
[Original draft, Latin.]
April 23. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), File 8. 265. The Doge and Senate to Marco Antonio Venier, Venetian Ambassador in England.
The English ambassador, Prothonotary Casal, presented letters from the King and Cardinal, exhorting the State to surrender Ravenna and Cervia to the Pope; the ambassador also earnestly seconding this proposal by word of mouth. The Signory, although they read and listen gratefully (cum grato animo) to whatever proceeds from the King and Cardinal, resent this demand, being aware that it was suggested by malignants, and contrary to the Signory's expectations and deserts. The State having answered the King and Cardinal, enclose copies of their two letters, and desire him, on consigning the originals, to represent adroitly to the King and Cardinal that, after all that Venice has done for the Apostolic See, the State cannot but resent that the Pope should have had recourse to his Majesty and the Cardinal, when the affairs of Italy are more harassed by war than ever; especially as the Signory had informed the Pope that they were sending an ambassador to him, with whom he might have arranged this matter; they believing that he would not fail to demonstrate his usual paternal affection towards them, as they on their part have reciprocated it filially hitherto, and will continue to do so. His Holiness should remember what the Signory has done for his benefit; and with regard to their forethought (providentia) in garrisoning Ravenna and Cervia, they did so at the suggestion of the President of the Romagna and the Papal Legate resident at Venice, as likewise of the delegates from those cities. The Signory is of opinion that the Pope ought not to insist on the restitution of these cities, which the Signory had held for a century without remonstrance or molestation from former Popes; and although Pope Julius thought fit, at the height of the Signory's reverses [League of Cambrai], to despoil them of these possessions, yet the Signory hoped that had Pope Adrian lived, he would have restored them; and he would have done so could he have foreseen the assistance [recently] rendered to the Apostolic See.
To tell the King and Cardinal that the Signory hopes for a satisfactory adjustment, after the announcement to the Pope by the ambassador [Gasparo Contarini] of their reasons; and, knowing how much the King and Cardinal have at all times protected the Republic's interests, to request the King and Cardinal to support the cause of the Republic, who will be most grateful.
Ayes, 174. Noes, 1. Neutrals, 7.
April 23. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), File 8. 266. The Doge and Senate to Sebastian Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France.
Enclose copies of letters to the King of England, to Cardinal Wolsey, and to their ambassador, concerning Ravenna and Cervia. To communicate these letters to the most Christian King, who will not fail to continue the good offices hitherto performed by him in their favour.
Ayes, 187. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 1.
April 24. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), File 8. 267. Doge Andrea Gritti to King Henry VIII.
The letters of his Majesty consigned by the King's ambassador, Prothonotary Casal, were most agreeable. Thereby, as also by word of mouth from the ambassador, was acquainted with the King's good will towards him, the Doge. Regrets that the Signory's proceedings with the Pope were not agreeable to his Holiness, and that these are construed by malignants in the worst light. Cannot believe that the King would credit anything unfounded, it being manifest how deferential the Republic has always shown itself towards the Apostolic See. Have always been ready to sacrifice even life itself for his Holiness and the Church of Christ.
Has charged the Venetian ambassador to represent his opinion by word of mouth, so that his Majesty will deign not only to give entire credence to the ambassador, but to protect the Republic's interests in this matter.
April 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvii. p. 353. 268. Marco Antonio Venier to the Signory.
The ambassador from the Lady Margaret, together with an envoy (uno homo) from Cardinal Wolsey, (fn. 2) have departed on their way to France, and from thence to Spain to the Emperor, to negotiate the peace.
London, 24th April. Registered by Sanuto, 19th May.
April 25. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvii. p. 218. 269. Prothonotary Casal.
St. Mark's Day. The Doge went to church in a gown of gold brocade and mantle of crimson satin, with a cape of vair, accompanied by the ambassadors from the Pope, France, England, Milan, Florence, Ferrara, and Mantua, by the “Primocierio” Barbarigo, and by Pesaro, Bishop of Paphos.
April 26. Parti Secrete, Consiglio X. File 2. 270. Commission from the Doge and Council of Ten and Junta to Andrea Rosso, Secretary, on his way to France.
To persuade the King to induce the King of England to contribute a good sum of money for the undertaking in Lombardy to check the Germans. Do not expect his Majesty (of England) to object to this, as the expense would be but for a few days, and the repulse of the enemy ensure the success of the whole undertaking.
April 27. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File 11. 271. The Doge and College to Marc' Antonio Venier, Venetian Ambassador in England.
The troops mustering north of the Alps are about to enter Lombardy, in number 20,000 and upwards, including horse and foot, with provisions, ammunition, cannon, and other military engines (instrumenti bellici). Foreseeing that the Republic's forces will not suffice to keep the field and save the crops, on which the safety of their towns chiefly depends, and as it is evident that unless resistance he offered in Lombardy the enemy may advance and turn victory to defeat in the kingdom of Naples, have therefore sent their secretary, Andrea Rosso, to the most Christian King, to urge the march into Italy of the 6,000 Lansquenets which they asked of him lately, their cost being defrayed by the Signory,—to represent to his Majesty the imminent peril to which the affairs of Lombardy and of the kingdom of Naples are exposed,—and to ask of him the speediest possible assistance to enable them to resist the enemy in Lombardy.
The preparations for attack north of the Alps and for the invasion of Flanders are faint. The King of England will therefore be relieved from the expenditure which he had intended to incur. Have desired the Secretary Rosso to suggest to the most Christian King that he do request the King of England to succour Lombardy. The Secretary is to acquaint him (Venier) with the decision of King Francis in this matter, and, together with the French ambassador in England, he is to aid its execution, both with the King and Cardinal. In case the most Christian King should not negotiate this matter, the Signory has desired Secretary Rosso to write to him (Venier), with the knowledge and consent of the most Christian King, to make the request to the King and Cardinal for assistance in Lombardy, in the Signory's name alone. In either of these two cases he will therefore beseech the King at a moment so important, and in such extreme need as the present, not to fail the Signory, and place before him the real conquest of the kingdom of Naples, and subsequently of all Italy, should there be sufficient force to resist the enemy in Lombardy. Unless this new Imperial army be met in the field it will destroy the crops, and the Venetian cities be greatly straitened for provisions, owing to the present scarcity. Were this to take place, the Imperial forces would make the Emperor monarch of all, a result which the Signory understands to be at variance with the will and intention of the King and Cardinal, by reason of their affection for Italy and the Christian commonwealth.
To persuade them to give their valid assistance, as it is impossible for the State with its own forces to resist such a mass, and bear such cost as must now be incurred.
April 27. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), File 8. 272. The Doge and Senate to Sebastian Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France.
To exhort his most Christian Majesty to persuade the King of England not to allow himself to be any longer induced to prolong the truce between his Majesty and Flanders, urging the King by means of his forces to thwart the project of the Emperor.
Ayes 74. Noes 70. Neutrals 9.
April 28, May 2, 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvii. p. 353. 273. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
The ambassadors of the League held a conference with the Lord Chancellor Cardinal (il Gran Canselier Cardinal) (fn. 3) concerning the provision to be made against the Lansquenets on their march into Italy. There were present the Papal Nuncio, Bishop of Pistoia, two ambassadors from England, (fn. 4) himself (Giustinian), the Florentine, and the Milanese. The Bishop of Pistoia accused the Signory of breach of faith, of having caused the Pope's ruin, of unduly withholding from him Ravenna and Cervia, and of promising one thing and doing the other. One of the English ambassadors [query, Clerk] said that the Signory ought to restore Ravenna and Cervia, and the other [Tayler?] said that this was not the time for speaking about such matters, but that they ought rather to attend to making provision against the enemy. Justified the Signory with tact, to avoid irritating Pistoia. The Florentine said it was necessary to have a good Commander-in-Chief, and recommended the Duke of Ferrara. They then entered the King's presence, and his Majesty determined to send a garrison of 6,000 Lansquenets, and 2,000 Frenchmen, they, and the money for their pay, to be at Ivrea on the 20th May. The Lord Steward and the Chancellor spoke about the security at Lyons, but of this the King said nothing. It also seems that they wish the Florentines to pay 2,000 of these troops; and their ambassador said he had no commission, but was of opinion that his masters would assent.
The envoy from England with the ambassador from Madame Margaret have arrived [at Possi?], on their way to Spain to the Emperor, to effect an agreement. The envoy wished for some token of assent from his most Christian Majesty, who would, however, give him no promise, in order to maintain his repute.
Poissi, April 28th, May 2nd and 4th. Registered by Sanuto, 28th May.
April 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlvii. p. 262. 274. Antonio Surian, Venetian Ambassador in Florence, to the Signory.
Cardinal Colonna has departed at enmity with the Prince of Orange, and is gone to Gaeta.
At Orvieto (fn. 5) the case of the marriage of the King of England, and the repudiation of his wife, the Emperor's aunt, having been referred to three Cardinals, namely, Santi Quattro (fn. 6) * * * *, they reported that the marriage ought not to be annulled. They acted thus not to displease the Emperor.
Florence, 30th April. Registered by Sanuto, 4th May.


  • 1. Clerk and Tayler were both at the French Court in April 1528, but from the tone of the remonstrance about Cervia and Ravenna, I infer that it was made by the Bishop, rather than by the Master of the Rolls.
  • 2. Silvester Dario, the Pope's collector in England (see State Paper?, vol. vii. p. 85. and Navagero's despatch, dated Bayonne, June 1, 1528.)
  • 3. Anthoine Duprat.
  • 4. John Clerk, Bishop of Bath, and John Tayler, Master of the Rolls. See State Papers, vol. vii. p. 70.
  • 5. In December 1527, on escaping from castle St. Angelo, the Pope went to Orvieto, where he arrived on the 8th, remaining there until 27th May 1528, when the Papal Court removed to Viterbo (see Sanuto's Diaries passim.)
  • 6. “Santi Quattro Coronati,” Lorenzo Pucci.