Venice: December 1528

Pages 178-181

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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December 1528

Dec. 3. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File 11. 375. The Doge and College to Marc' Antonio Venier and Lodovico Falier, Ambassadors in England.
Mons. de S. Pol is still in Alexandria, having been re-enforced and will attack Gavi (fn. 1) and some other places, and advance towards Milan, to blockade it closely and prevent the entry of provisions.
The Signory will re-enforce their army with infantry and join M. de S. Pol.
To communicate the above to the King and Cardinal, and to such other personages as he shall think fit.
Dec. 9. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlix. p. 246. 376. Marco Antonio Venier to the Signory.
With regard to the affair of the King's marriage, they are awaiting the arrival of the Queen's jurists, the doctors who are coming from Flanders. The doctors-jurists on the King's side are not agreed, so it is thought the affair will be referred to the Pope.
Advice has been received of the Emperor's intention to come into Italy, and then proceed to Germany.
In the presence of the Cardinals, Wolsey and Campeggio, the King told him (Venier) he was determined that the Signory should restore Ravenna and Cervia to the Pope, and that neither his Majesty nor the King of France would tolerate a refusal, and desired him to write this to the Signory.
London, 9th December. Registered by Sanuto, 3rd Jan, 1520.
Dec. 10. Sanuto Diaries, v.xlix. p. 268. 377. Lodovico Falier, Venetian Ambassador on his way to England, to the Signory.
Announces his arrival at Calais, and intention of embarking for England on the . . . .
Calais, 10th December. Registered by Sanuto, 3rd Jan. 1529.
Dec. 11. Original Letter Book, Letter no 87, St. Mark's Library. 378. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
The Pope has received letters from Germany informing him that the Bishop of Utrecht has renounced his temporal jurisdiction in favour of the Emperor, whose agents have accepted it.
The Papal Court has been in consultation respecting the reply to be made by them to the Cardinal of Mayence, elector of the Empire, who lately sent an envoy and letters to the Pope and College of Cardinals, informing them that the Lutheran doctrines could be remedied solely, either by a Council-General, or, should the nature of the times forbid that, by a convocation to be attended by deputies from every province in Christendom, with full powers, etc.
Considers the Church of Rome to be in great trouble. Does not know to what end the Almighty will lead it.
Rome, 11th December.
[Italian, 3½ pages.]
Dec. 13. Original Letter Book, Letter no. 88, St. Mark's Library. 379. The Same to the Same.
Was told by the Pope that there were very great disturbances in Switzerland, and open wars between the Lutherans and Catholics.
Rome, 13th December.
[Italian, 3¾ pages.]
Dec. 18. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlix. p. 301. 380. Lodovico Falter, Venetian Ambassador in England, to his brother Lorenzo “and the others.”
Arrived in London yesterday an hour before sunset. Was met first of all, at a distance of eight miles from the city, by the ambassador Venier and all the Venetians, then a little in advance by a knight, privy counsellor, with a good number of horsemen, and thirdly by another privy counsellor, an LL.D., who all, one by one, paid the usual compliments in Latin in the name of the King and Cardinal (in nome dilla Maestà Regia e dil Revmo. Cardinal), on receiving him, and he performed the like office by them in reply. They next met the ambassadors from France, Milan, and Ferrara, and then the Grand Prior of St. John's [Sir William Weston], with a numerous retinue, he being a very great personage, the chief in London (il primario in questa Oittà.)
They all accompanied him with very great honour to his lodging, in the centre of the city, near that of the French ambassador, a very worthy person. The apartment is furnished with arras and green serge (sarze verde).
London, 18th December 1528. Registered by Sanuto, 27th January 1529.
Dec. 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlix. p. 246. 381. Sebastian Giustinian to the Signory.
The King sent for the ambassadors of the League, namely, him (Giustinian), the Florentine, and the Milanese, and told them that the King of England is intent on making the general peace, and urges the League to send an ambassador with powers to Rome, so that on the arrival of Cardinal Sta, Croce from Spain, the peace may be negotiated. His Majesty said he had determined to send a person express to the Pope at Rome to negotiate without stipulating anything, and he then read to them the form of the power which he was sending, as by the enclosed copy. Said his Majesty knew that, by the articles of the League, none of the confederates might negotiate an agreement with any one, without the consent of the colleagues. His Majesty rejoined, “We will not conclude anything without the knowledge of the allies; there is no harm in negotiating; I do not choose to lose the King of England, who is thus inclined.” The Milanese ambassador, Taverna, also said that this was an important step (che questo erra gran. moto).
Paris, 23rd December. Registered by Sanuto, 3rd Jan. 1529.
Dec. 28. Original Letter Book, Letter no. 94, St. Mark's Library. 382. Gasparo Contarini to the Signory.
Prothonotary Casal has taken leave of the Pope, and will depart tomorrow on his way to the Signory.
His brother, Sir Gregory, told him (Contarini) he was present at the audience of leave, and that they spoke at great length about Ravenna and Cervia, urging the Pope to make some arrangement, and that he ought to avoid ruining himself by joing the Imperialists. Sir Gregory said the Pope would not be persuaded, and all he could elicit from him was, “If I ruin myself. I shall not be alone.” After thanking Sir Gregory for his good offices, repeated to him what he had already said a thousand times to the agents for the League at the Papal Court, that were Ravenna and Cervia restored to the Pope he would not alter his course, as those two cities do but mask his infinite desire to obtain Florence and Ferrara, which concern his private advantage, and the project formed by him to exalt his family.
Rome, 28th December 1528.
[Italian, 3¼ pages.]
Dec. 29. Original Letter Book, Letter no. 95, St. Mark's Library. 383. The Same to the Same.
This afternoon, the Pope told me he had received letters from France, dated the 16th, announcing the passage that way (de li) of two ambassadors from England, on their road hither to the Court, about the English King's marriage. (fn. 2)
His Holiness discussed the matter at great length, saying it was of a bad sort; the King being so firm and obstinate in his opinion, that Cardinal Wolsey, who, as known, has supreme authority, did not dare contradict him; nay, that he ruminated by night what he should say to the King in the morning, to gratify him in this affair of the divorce, although aware that it would be his ruin, as should the King take this other wife, her father and her other adherents would rise in repute, and proportionately diminish that of Wolsey. The Pope said, in conclusion, “I perceive that King of England to be so determined, that the Emperor might thus do much mischief.” Having asked adroitly, what sort of mischief, his Holiness replied, “Very great mischief indeed, because by interposing his authority with his aunt, the Queen of England, he might make her consent to this divorce, and thus bring the King over to his side; for I see that he is ready to do anything for the attainment of this his will about the divorce.” Rejoined that besides many other reasons, I did not believe that the Emperor would be able to accomplish this with the Queen, his aunt, because her personal and most important interests were concerned in the matter; it being a question of exchanging the grade of Queen for that of a private person (tractandosi di Regina, diventar una bassa dona).
Rome, 29th December 1528.
[Italian, 3 pages.]


  • 1. See Guicciardini, vol. iv. p. 340. In the College “file,” the word is written “Casei.” The passage in Guicciardini is printed as follows:—“Perchè. i Veneziani non davano i fanti promessi a San Polo, per la impresa di Serravalle, Gavi, e altri luoghi del Genovese.”
  • 2. The ambassadors were Sir Francis Bryan and Master Peter Vannes. (See “State Papers,” vol. vii., part 5, p. 117.)