Venice: December 1531

Pages 307-311

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 1531

Dec. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 151. 706. Marco Antonio Venier, LL.D., to the Signory.
The five Catholic cantons of Switzerland have informed the Pope that they are quite disposed to persist, by fair or foul means, in reducing the eight other Lutheran cantons to the Christian faith; and although in their agreement with Zurich some clauses were admitted unbecoming the faith, this was done to gain the canton of Zurich, which is greater and more powerful than all the others; but for the rest, the five cantons will in no respect consent to anything contrary to the faith, and are perfectly ready, as they have done hitherto, to defend it at the peril of their lives and property, but would fain be succoured and assisted by the Christian Powers, praying the Pope to give them aid.
The letters were read in Consistory, and the Pope said he would do his utmost for the Catholic cantons, but could only devise means by the imposition of some tax, and proposed exacting two-tenths from the clergy throughout Italy, saying that during the last three years they had paid no tenths. As mention was made of the Signory, went to the Pope and said that if it was intended to tax the Venetian clergy, it should be done with the knowledge and consent of the State. His Holiness said he (Venier) did well to come to him, and that he had intended desiring him to write to the Signory to consent, saying that the Emperor and the King of Prance have not failed to contribute, his most Christian Majesty having sent the Bishop of Avranches to the [Catholic] cantons with money, and that the Signory, like the others, ought to do the same for the faith. He said the clergy had not suffered; and, on the contrary, owing to the high price of food, they sold their produce well. Asked the Pope why he had sent the Abate Negro to France. His Holiness replied that it was to demonstrate the goodwill between him and the King, from whom he had received a long letter, dated the 16th November, in favour of the divorce case of the King of England, which he has much at heart. So the Abate will justify the Pope's proceedings, and show that the case must be treated so as to benefit the Christian religion.
The Imperialists have received letters of the 14th [November] from Flanders, and they confirmed what had been told him (Venier) by the Pope about the mission to France of the Abate Negro.
Concerning the divorce case of England, yesterday in Consistory the Imperial and English advocates debated the point whether this excusator who came hither many months ago (fn. 1) as one on behalf of the Kingdom (tamquam unus e regno) without a mandate, should be heard; and as the matter is one of great importance, the Pope and Cardinals came to no determination whatever, deferring their judgment until another Consistory.
Rome, 5th December. Registered by Sanuto, 8th December.
Dec. 8. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 169. 707. — to the Duke of Mantua.
It has not been decided in Consistory to whom they are to intrust the English divorce case, which both parties are pressing incessantly, not without great uproar and many complaints, protests, and threats, most especially on the part of England. One side seeks delay, for the reason already written, the other requires sentence to be passed, and procrastination is in fact more for our advantage, the case being of great importance, and very hard to digest. Three consistories have already been held for its discussion, and the ambassadors continue giving the Cardinals information on the subject.
Four days ago, the Abate Negro departed, riding post to France, sent by the Pope with briefs to the most Christian King and Queen. Does not know the cause of this mission.
The presents sent by the Bishop of Cordova to the Pope have arrived. His Holiness received four very beautiful jennets, four she-mules, four very costly beds with their furniture, gilt leather painted, in sufficient quantity to furnish nine or ten chambers, other sumach and morocco leather wrought in great quantity, cloths of gold, muslin, and of silk, and pearls and jewels as beautiful as possible. The Pope has accepted the four horses, but not the she-mules, which are very handsome, though he will perhaps determine to take the white she-mule. These things are estimated at from 15 to 16 thousand ducats, although at first they were valued at 30,000. The cause of the present is that the Bishop being very rich, old, and of great lineage, that is to say, brother of the Duke of Alva, would fain find favour with the Pope, and obtain permission from him to bequeath a large portion of his property, which grant he will obtain.
Some persons are of opinion that the interview between the Emperor and the most Christian King will take place, and most especially as they are within 50 leagues of each other; though some maintain that as the King of France declares himself so openly in favour of England in the divorce case, espousing it with much greater warmth perhaps than he ought, and as England acts solely on this account, the ill-will between the two Crowns must continue.
The son of the Count di Luna, son-in-law of Jacomo Salviati, who, as written to me, was lately captured by the Moors on his voyage, from Piombino to Sicily, has been ransomed (he and his two servants) by the Lord of Piombino for 1,500 ducats, who thus made a very good bargain, as the Moors knew who their prisoner was. Today he told me the reason, which was this, that had they taken him to Tunis, the King there would have chosen to purchase him for a certain price, at which the corsairs are bound to sell, and above all when their prisoners are of importance and worth high ransom, and the King would have required 10,000 crowns.
Rome, 8th December 1531. Registered by Sanuto 18th December.
Dec. 9. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta), File no. 12. 708. The Doge and College to Carlo Capello, Venetian Ambassador in England.
Send him a summary of letters received from their vice-bailiff at Constantinople, dated 31st October. Is to show it in secret to the King, requesting him not to mention the Signory as his authority, as his Majesty of his wisdom is well aware how much caution is needed by them in this matter; nor on any account is Capello to give copy of these summaries should they be demanded of him.
Dec. 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 192. 709. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
Has received the Signory's letters, and on the 20th November announced the permit obtained by him for the purchase of wools.
Yesterday his Majesty received advices from Germany and France, purporting that the Duke of Saxony has made an agreement with the Emperor and returned to the Catholic faith, (fn. 2) and that the most Christian King has united together (accordati insieme) all the Swiss cantons, binding himself to pay them annually 150,000 crowns, besides the 50,000 crowns spent by him on this agreement.
London, 11th December 1531. Registered by Sanuto 31st Dec.
Dec. 12. Sanuto Diaries, v. li. p. 167. 710. Marco Antonio Venier to the Signory.
The divorce case of the English King has been treated in Consistory. The Cardinal Montibus replied-
Rome, 12th December. Registered by Sanuto 18th December.
Dec. 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 223. 711. Zuan Antonio Venier to the Signory.
His most Christian Majesty is sending Mons. de Pomeraye as ambassador to England, recalling Dom. Giovanni Gioachino. It is said that this determination was formed after the return of the Bishop of Bayonne from the King of England.
His Majesty will move tomorrow from Amiens towards Abbeville, there to pass the Christmas holidays.
Amiens, 14th December 1531. Registered by Sanuto, 19th January 1532.
Dec. 22. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 286. 712. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
Encloses letters from the captain of the Flanders galleys.
The day before yesterday here in London they burnt a man alive, a mercer, for being a Lutheran, (fn. 3) and in two days it is said they will burn two others, husband and wife.
It is publicly reported here, though the fact has not been communicated to me by any person of authority, that the King of Scotland is preparing for war against England, and has sent engineers and experienced persons into Guales (sic) [Galloway ?] on the Scottish borders to fortify those places.
Last evening a courier arrived here in haste from Rome about the divorce case.
London, 22nd December 1531. Registered by Sanuto 7th February 1532.
Dec. 28. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 231. 713. Zuan Antonio Venier to the Signory.
The Abate Negro arrived at the French Court from Rome on the 20th, and departed on his way back yesterday. It is said that he came about a placet for benefices in France, yielding an annual rental of 10,000 ducats, for Cardinal Medici; also to pacify the King about certain clauses inserted in the concession, authorising him to confer benefices here in France, and to adjust matters with the King of England and restrain him, as it seems that at Rome he is pressing for the divorce. His most Christian Majesty suspects that sentence will be given against him.
At Paris, in the Castle of the Louvre, the King has ordered the construction of a most secure chamber, in which to keep all the money required by him from time to time, under three keys consigned to three separate deputies, with two comptrollers, who will register the payments in conformity; this being done in order to have the money ready, and that it may be levied and deposited there, as be chooses all creditors to be paid. This he did to remedy infinite abuses (treze) practised by the treasurers-general and receivers, and to avoid the risks attendant on treasurers who do not pay the creditors, but rob them; and then on receiving their mandates, they fail, as did the treasurer Chiapin, who absconded with some 150,000 francs; but it is said his Majesty will have the means of paying himself, as Chiapin had both property and debtors.
Bevila (sic) [Abbeville ?], 28th December 1531. Registered by Sanuto, 19th January 1532.


  • 1. See before, date 11 February 1531.
  • 2. “Come il Duca di Saxonia era accordato con Cesare et ritornato alla fede Cattolica.”
  • 3. Query John Tewksbury. (See Burnet.)