Venice: November 1528

Pages 174-178

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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November 1528

Nov. 6. Original Letter Book, Letter no. 74, St. Mark's Library. 368. The Same to the Same.
Prothonotary Casal sent his secretary requesting he would beseech the Doge not to permit the Patriarch's Vicar to report upon the dispute between Casal and Giovanni Pisani about the abbacy of Sacco Longo, he (Casal?) not having yet produced his claims.
Rome, 4th November.
[Italian, 2 pages.]
Nov. 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlix. p. 162. 369. Marco Antonio Venier to the Signory.
The affair of the divorce continues. The King has to wife the Emperor's sister (sic), with whom he has lived — years, bearing him — children. She was the widow of his brother (who was killed by a fall from his horse), on which account the King says he has always had this on his conscience, and has therefore obtained judges from the Pope to decide the case juridically. The Pope has referred it to the Cardinal Legate of York, sending also the new Legate, Campeggio, so that the two together may be judges, with benefit of appeal; and he has chosen the Queen to have advocates, and that this matter be intimated to her. She has retained (tolti) some very learned bishops and some doctors [of canon law?] (named in the letter) from Flanders, who will be her counsel. (fn. 1)
London, 6th November. Registered by Sanuto, 4th December.
Nov. 11. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File 11. 370. The Doge and College to Venter and Falier, Ambassadors in England.
The Signory and the French agents have added to the troops in Puglia. Renzo da Ceri, with 3,000 infantry, embarked near Ancona for Puglia, on board vessels sent by the Signory. With these troops and the re-enforcement under the Venetian Proveditor General, there will be in that province 10,000 foot and 1,000 horse, who will attack the enemy, who have held many consultations about invading Puglia. That undertaking has been delayed on account of the plague and other maladies, of which many have died; and now the Marchese del Guasto and Joan d'Urbino, the most experienced and bravest of their commanders, are grievousty ill; in addition to which, the infantry will not march unless they receive all their arrears. Many of their troops, having made booty in Italy, were departing for Spain, and all the barons and people in the kingdom were greatly molested by the insolence and gross extortion of the soldiery, some 500 of whose cavalry have lately gone into the Abbruzzi. The inhabitants of “La Matrice” (sic), and other neighbouring places, rose and killed part of them, capturing the rest, and raising the French flag.
In Lombardy, Antonio da Leva having withdrawn his troops into Milan, Mons. de S. Pol, after the loss of Genoa, (fn. 2) retired to Alexandria. The troops of the Duke of Milan are at Pavia and Lodiand the Signory's army on the Adda expect 2,500 Lansquenets, who have already arrived at Briançon. Both the French and Venetian forces are now strengthening themselves, and will soon finish the war in Lombardy, which will be the foundation of the quiet of all Italy.
To communicate the above to the King and Cardinal, as becoming; to do the like by Cardinal Campeggio, congratulating him in the Signory's name on his safe arrival in England. Are glad to learn that he will proceed with due moderation in the affairs of Ravenna and Cervia. Commend the reply made by him to Campeggio.
Nov. 16. Sanuto Diaries v. xlix. p. 162. 371. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Went to Lave audience of the most Christian King with Lodovico Falier, ambassador to England. Falier informed his Majesty that the Signory was sending him to England to urge King Henry to make war and join the League. The most Christian King replied that he purposed waging war by sea and land, and would have the 25 galleys afloat, as demanded of the Signory; namely, 16 at the Republic's cost, and nine to be fitted out by himself. He said the Emperor purposed forming a powerful armada, and therefore the League must have 50 galleys at sea, besides the other large vessels. He added that he had now more money than ever.
Asked his Majesty whether he had any news of the Emperor's wishing for peace. The King replied that he was more bent on war than ever, and has sent two gentlemen to the King of England to tell him that he is content to make peace on two conditions; that he be paid all the damages incurred by him since the coming of Lautrec into Italy, and that should the King of England choose to mediate, he must first of all be reconciled to the Emperor, with whom he is at enmity.
Melun? 16th November. Registered by Sanuto, 4th December.
Note by Sanuto, that Lodovico Falier wrote as above concerning the audience had by him, and that he was departing for England.
Nov. 21. Original Letter Book, Letter no. 80, St. Mark's Library. 372. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
The Pope has received letters from England. Cardinal Campeggio endeavoured to dissuade King Henry from attempting to divorce the Queen. This his Majesty resented, and wrote hither saying he chose to be clearly informed whether such exhortation proceeds from the Pope or from Cardinal Campeggio, evincing resentment as aforesaid.
Rome, 20th and 21st November.
[Italian, 3¾ pages.]
Nov. 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlix. p. 178. 373. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
Cardinal Campeggio having tried to persuade the Queen of England to make choice of a monastic life, and consent to the divorce, so that it may be decreed justly (con ragione), she refused positively, and sent to Flanders for advocates to defend her case.
Paris, 23rd November. Registered by Sanuto, 12th December.
Nov. 25. Mantuan Archives. 374. Gerardo Molza to the Marchioness of Mantua.
The only news discussed in London is war. Few foreigners arrive here, letters arrive rarely, and the intelligence received comes stale from Italy.
Some 50 days ago we (fn. 3) arrived in London after great toil and trouble. Cardinal Campeggio, on the night preceding our departure from Paris, on the 18th September, had a fit of the gout accompanied with fever, the attack inconveniencing him the more as he was weaker than usual, having had a double tertian fever on the road between Avignon and Lyons. We were compelled to leave Paris on that day, so that the poor Cardinal in constant pain travelled in a litter the whole way to Calais, where he rested two days, and after a stormy passage landed in England with his scanty retinue, being overwhelmed with ceremonies ill suited to our small number and to the Cardinal's gouty twinges. At the seaside we found prelates and a number of noblemen sent thither to accompany us, and under this good escort, undergoing ceremonies in every place through which we passed, we with very great exertion accomplished 40 miles in eight days; so that, when it pleased Heaven, we got to London, where as stately an entry as seen anywhere had been prepared for us, but in vain, owing to the illness of the Cardinal, who to finish the business embarked in a barge with me and the others, and went to the palace assigned for our lodging. (fn. 4)
Cardinal Wolsey came immediately to visit us. The King was absent, but came to London after a lapse of three days. During this interval Cardinal Campeggio suffered much from his illness, so it was reported over London, and considered certain in many places, that the Legate was dead. This rumour rather roused the sick man, in such wise that on hearing of the King's arrival he determined to go and pay his respects to him, as he did on the morrow of the decision thus made. The King resided very near us, (fn. 5) most especially by water carriage, which was convenient; so the arrangement having been made, Cardinal Campeggio was carried to his barge, and accompanied by Cardinal Wolsey we went to the Court. The dwelling being at some distance from the landing-place, we had a long way to go before reaching the palace stair; and as this procession had partly to make amends for the [omission of the?] pontifical entry, and was also to celebrate the first audience of the King, it was performed with many ceremonies; amongst which I wish your Excellency could have seen two Cardinals abreast, one mounted on his mule, the other sick and carried upon a chair by men, the rain moreover falling very fast. At length, however, when it pleased God, after many halts, we arrived, all drenched, to pay our respects to the King. We found the palace superbly decorated according to the fashion of the country, and full of many princes, prelates, and a great quantity of noblemen. After the due obeisance and greeting, our Messer Floriano (Messer Floriano nostro), (fn. 6) carried into the midst by so dense a crowd, delivered a most eloquent oration, so efficacious and so well recited that it moved all who understood it to tears, and most especially the King. Besides other things in the oration, the calamities of the Church and the misery of unfortunate Italy were alluded to. It was a line discourse, and will obtain for him eternal glory. The King caused him to receive an answer, (fn. 7) and then withdrew with the Cardinals into a smaller chamber, where they conferred for four hours, I and my companions awaiting them. After this, accompanied by Cardinal Wolsey, we went home, being much pushed by the great crowd, so that some of us lost our shoes. Cardinal Campeggio was grievously tired by such protracted fatigue, so that he became worse. Next day he was visited by the King, and subsequently by the Queen and Cardinal Wolsey, they doing the like several times, but always discussing the matter on account of which Cardinal Campeggio and we came to England, and I hope it will be speedily and auspiciously despatched. I wish the Cardinal were in health, as we expected. He is now free from gout, and is beginning to walk about the house with a stick, but he has been unexpectedly seized with an attack of lumbago, which troubled him greatly, though it is beginning to give way, and we think he will have no further inconvenience from it; though the climate of England is so damp, and the weather so damp and changeable, that we expect him to be somewhat ailing during the whole of his stay here. It would therefore not be amiss for your Excellency to pray God for our removal hence and speedy return home. Cardinal Campeggio charged me to kiss your hand in his name, the like being done by Messer Floriano and the Signor Rodolpho; I myself humbly kissing your feet.
London, 25th November 1528.


  • 1. In vol. vii. State Papers (p. 115), there is a letter from Sir John Hackett to King Henry VIII., dated Mechlin, 16th November 1528. The Archduchess, at the King and Queen's request, has appointed two jurists to proceed to England, and requires a safe-conduct for them.
  • 2. Andrea Doria, with 600 men, surprised Genoa on the 12th September 1528.
  • 3. Viz., Cardinal Campeggio and his attendants.
  • 4. Hall writes that on the 9th. of October Cardinal Campeggio went from St. Mary Overey's, by water, to the Bishop of Bathe's place, without Temple-barre; but by a note in the 7th vol., State Papers, p. 95, the entry probably took place on the 7th, as stated in the anonymous letter to the Marquis of Mantua.
  • 5. At Bridewell? (Sec Hall, p. 753, ed. 1809.)
  • 6. Francesco Florian. (See Hall, as above.)
  • 7. From Dr. Fox, Provost of Cambridge.