Venice: March 1527

Pages 34-48

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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March 1527

March 2. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 163. 53. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
The English ambassador, with an Englishman sent from Rome by Sir John Russell about the truce between the Pope and the Viceroy for one year, made proposals, and exhibited the articles by which time was given to the Signory to join until the 20th instant, and to the most Christian King up to the 20th April; the Lansquenets to return to Germany. The exordium of the articles sets forth that the most Christian King failed to make his promised monthly payment of 20,000 ducats to the Pope, who stands at a monthly cost of 100,000 ducats, and that in consequence of not being assisted the latter makes truce.
March 2. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 107. 54. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
The Bishop of Bayeux [Ludovic Canossa] came into the College. The instructions brought from Rome in the name of the English ambassador, Sir John Russell, were read to him. Bayeux thanked the Signory for the communication. He wished the Signory to write to Rome, that should the Pope make the truce, a clause be inserted to the effect that the French and Venetian forces might recross to this side of the Po without impediment. He was told that the Signory would consider the matter. Bayeux then said that he would go to Ferrara to prevent the Duke from joining the Imperialists, and offer him for wife Madame Renée, the sister-in-law of the most Christian King, with the appointment of Captain General of the League. He will depart tomorrow, and go by water from Francolino.
March 3. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 109. 55. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
Present, the Papal Legate, Bishop of Pola, the English ambassador with the Englishman from Rome, and the Florentine ambassador. The Legate spoke of the truce with the Imperialists. The Doge, in the name of the College, said he would await letters from Rome, as the Pope on receiving advices from France might change his mind.
March 3. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 111. 56. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
The English ambassador said the Duke of Urbino is always promising to net, but does nothing, and suggested his moving from under Milan.
March 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 192. 57. Marc' Antonio Venier to the Doge and Signory.
The French ambassadors arrived; they have conferred with Cardinal Wolsey, and spoke of the marriage. The Cardinal would wish first to negotiate the peace with the Emperor. The ambassadors were to have audience of the King, and the Cardinal wished to know what subsidy the most Christian King would give the King of England were he to attack the Emperor.
London, 4th March. Registered by Sanuto, 23rd March.
March 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 112. 58. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
The English ambassador announced his intention of going to Ferrara to persuade the Duke not to oppose the League.
March 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 116. 59. Note by Sanuto.
The English ambassador [Prothonotary] Casal went to Ferrara to induce the Duke to join the League, and make terms with the Pope.
This step was taken with the knowledge of the College, and with the consent of the ambassadors of the League.
March 7. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. pp. 43, 44. 60. * * * * * to the Marquis of Mantua.
Nothing said about peace between the ambassadors of the League and the Emperor. Frequent despatches are sent hence to England to convince the King that the Emperor will make peace. The Emperor having again (l'nuovamente”) requested the King of England to make a defensive alliance with him, the King answered that, having to stipulate the general peace, he could not consent. The Emperor then asked for time to repay the money due from him to the King until the King of France ransomed his sons, when he would pay such a sum as would satisfy the King of England, and place in his hands as security the Dauphin and the Duke of Orleans, with certain places in Flanders. The King of England replied that he would be paid by the Emperor, and not by France, and he would not accede to the terms proposed.
They also endeavoured to make the King of England believe that they would place the negotiations for peace in his hands; an arrangement at variance with the supposition that the affairs of Italy would terminate as intended by the Emperor.
Such are the negotiations now in course between the Emperor and England. The English ambassador [Dr. Edward Lee] told the writer that the King of England knows they send him nothing but words from Spain; and the Emperor is undecided, waiting to hear what shall be proposed in Italy, and the result of the Spanish Cortes now sitting.
Valladolid, 7th March 1527. Registered by Sanuto, 9th May.
[Italian, unsigned.]
March 8. Navagero Despatches, Cicogna copy, in the Correr Museum. 61. Andrea Navagero to the Signory.
The Spanish ministers who have accompanied the Empress much regret their absence from Madrid when the powers were produced; all blame the Chancellor [Gattinara]. All are anxious for peace with England. The English ambassadors [Lee and Ghinucci] have lately received letters thence, purporting that Don Iñigo de Mendoza had arrived there from the Emperor, but that his communications were dissappointing. The answer given to the English ambassadors, touching the negotiation of the peace in England, referred everything to Don Iñigo, who spoke but in general terms, and said he had no commission about details. This surprised the King of England, and he requested the Emperor to decide at once, the King not choosing any longer to continue verbiage, and procrastination was unsuited to the need of Christendom.
Lee and Ghinucci have had conferences with the Emperor on this subject, and send a courier to England, but their decision is unknown. The Auditor [Ghinucci] says his King will no longer procrastinate. From the other ambassador [Lee] nothing can be elicited; he is a man who believes all that is told him, and is very close (“molto secreto”)
The Auditor [Ghinucci] is a good Italian and anxious for peace. His coming is calculated to produce some decision. If any decision has been formed it has been sent to Don Iñigo, and not communicated to the English ambassadors. It possibly may be conveyed by Mons. De Praet, who departed lately on his way to his own home in Flanders, and the Emperor has chosen him to go by way of England, perhaps for this purpose. The Chancellor is still determined on going to Italy, and says he means to be at Barcelona by Easter. He thwarts the peace to his utmost, thinking to conclude it himself hereafter in Italy and gain credit. He declares that the peace is not to be made by any other hands than his, and this he professes to hove had from an astrologer, who told him lately when the powers arrived that nothing would be concluded in Spain, but that the peace would be stipulated in Italy by a jovial man (“un homo joviale,”) who, the Chancellor says, is himself. This phantasy so confirms him in his opinion that he thinks the event will certainly come to pass. The Chancellor has printed an apology in defence of the most Christian King and his own reply to the same, and also a letter from the King to the Electors of the Empire, with certain marginal annotations by himself (the Chancellor) in confutation of the letter's contents, adding certain spiteful observations, to induce fresh hatred rather than peace.
Valladolid, 8th March 1527.
Mar. 9, 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 218. 62. Marc' Antonio Venier to the Doge and Signory.
The three French ambassadors had audience of the King, and were referred to the Cardinal, when they requested the conclusion of the marriage. The Cardinal demanded that, should the King of England renounce the title of King of France, the possessor of the French crown should pay him annually 50,000 crowns, and requires a mandate to this effect. For the conclusion of the marriage, it is also necessary that the most Christian King should be released from the promise made by him to Madame Eleanor; to effect which, they determined that one of the three ambassadors, namely, . . . . . (fn. 1) should return to France to the King to obtain this declaration and commission from him.
Subsequently, Cardinal Wolsey, at the request of the Imperial ambassador, sent for the Papal, French, Venetian, and Milanese ambassadors, to negotiate the peace. He inspected the mandates of each of them, and having perused that of Venier, he said the Signory had a good and [well?] conditioned Chancery.
The Milanese ambassador had no mandate, but said the business need not be delayed, as in the meanwhile it would arrive; and with regard to that of the Florentines, the Papal ambassador promised their assent to what should be determined.
Thereupon the Cardinal took the mandates, and the negotiation for the peace is to commence.
There is also need of the mandate from the most Christian King concerning the 50,000 ducats annual payment, which he is willing to make, for the title of King of France now held by the King of England, who will renounce it; the ambassadors' present power relating solely to the negotiation of the marriage.
The King of England seems desirous of negotiating the peace, which Don Iñigo told him the Emperor desired, but would not consent to the Duke's having the Milanese.
London, 9th and 11th March. Registered by Sanuto, 29th March.
March 11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 138. 63. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
The English ambassador came into the College on his return from Ferrara. He said he had spoken to the Duke, urging him to join the Pope and the League. The Duke replied that he had made promises to the Emperor, so that he neither will nor can break his word; adding, that for his own part he had not failed to be a good Italian, but the Pope rejected his terms when he, the Duke, wished to make an agreement.
March 11. Parti Comuni, Consiglio X., v. iii. p. 5, tergo. 64. Venetian Embassy in England.
Council of Ten and Junta.
Motion for payment by the cashier of the Council, from the limitation fund destined for ambassadors, of the arrears of expenses incurred for couriers by the Signory's ambassadors in England, Rome, and Florence, as by their accounts passed by the College, forming a total of ducats, 111; grossi, 13; piccoli, 7.
Ayes, 28. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
Mar. 15, 16. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 173. 65. Domenego Venier to the Doge and Signory.
The Pope has concluded the truce with the Imperialists for eight months, allowing the Signory time to become a party to it until the 25th instant, and the term for the adhesion of the most Christian King being prolonged until the 25th of April. Cesare Feramosca has departed for the Duke of Bourbon's camp, to execute the agreement (“per exeguir lo accordo”); and Sir John Russell has quitted Rome and is gone to the Viceroy, who in six days will come to Rome. The Pope said to him (Venier) that he had been compelled to conclude the agreement, because France gave him words [only], and that the Signory did not send on troops. His Holiness purposes despatching an envoy to the King of France. The Pope is aware that he has done wrong, but maintains he could not do otherwise.
Note by Sanuto.—All Venice was full of this intelligence, and much dispirited at the Pope's having acted thus, when the war prospered in every direction.
Rome, 15th and 16th March. Registered by Sanuto, 20th March.
March 16. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 175. 66. Truce between the Pope and the Imperialists.
Suspension of hostilities for eight months between the Pope and the Emperor, and likewise between the most Christian King and the Signory, should they give their consent, within such suitable period as left to them.
Should the King of England and Cardinal of York, in whose hands is the negotiation of the peace, have made any arrangement, in accordance with this present, it is to be observed in addition to the present treaty, so far as the additional articles correspond, but if at variance they are understood to be cancelled.
Should the King of England choose, he is appointed conservator, protector, and trustee of this truce, as also referee (interprete), in case any question should arise between the parties. Within one month from the day of the stipulation, the parties shall name their confederates, to whom moreover from the day of their nomination the term of two months is allowed to join it, and one month to the citramontanes.
Rome, 16th March 1527. Registered by Sanuto, 20th March.
March 18. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 168. 67. Summary of a Report of France made to the Senate by the Venetian Secretary, Andrea Rosso, on the 18th March 1527.
On his departure the most Christian King desired him to tell the Signory that in case the Pope make terms with the Emperor, he (the King) will abide by the League, and attack the kingdom of Naples and give the Republic a good part of it, and that the King of England would consent.
March 18. Sforza Archives, Milan. 68. Marc' Antonio Venier to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Returns thanks for his letter dated 14th February. Has done everything to further the Duke's interests with the King and Cardinal. The Duke is now in favour both with the King and Cardinal, which result will be confirmed by the Duke's “power” lately received. The Duke will have been acquainted with everything through his ambassador, D. Augustino [Scarpinello].
London, 18th March. [Signed] Servulus Extie vestrae, Marcus Antonius Venerius.
[Original, Italian.]
March 18. Sforza Archives, Milan. 69. Uberto di Gambara, Papal Nuncio, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, in Cremona, (fn. 2)
Has received the Duke's letter thanking him for his services. The Duke's ambassador here, a man of great ability, is acquainted with his (Gambara's) proceedings, and has received from him an ample reply to the statement made in private in the Duke's name.
London, 18th March 1527.
[Original, Italian.]
March 19. Sforza Archives, Milan. 70. Augustino [Scarpinello], Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 3)
The Magnifico Salamanca and his two colleagues sent by the King of Bohemia had audience of his Majesty at Greenwich on the 14th. One of them [John Faber] delivered a public oration after the German fashion. He set forth the genealogy of the Turk [Solyman II.], and his power; the peril which thus threatened the Christian commonwealth; the calamity which had befallen the kingdom of Hungary, and its loss, through the forays of the Turkish garrisons in Belgrade and other places. Recourse was therefore had to the King of England, as “Defender of the Faith,” and kinsman of the King of Bohemia [and Hungary]. The reply on behalf of his Majesty [made by Sir Thomas More] purported that he had never ignored the power of the Turk, and therefore of late years, in the midst of victory over his enemies, he abstained from pursuing them, and, ceding many of his rights, made peace. That having done so, he laboured incessantly to pacify the other Christian Princes; it seeming to him that this was the only way to meet such danger. That the loss of Hungary, both by reason of the public detriment and that incurred personally by King Ferdinand, grieved and grieves his Majesty as becoming, nor before that loss did he fail expressing his readiness to give assistance; so that if all men, and especially those whom it most concerned, had done their utmost, Hungary would not have been lost. In the next place he considered the recovery of that realm to be beyond the forces of him, the King of England, even if united with those of any other sovereign; and that the undertaking required a confederacy of all the Christian powers, which, so far as he could comprehend, was impeded solely by the Emperor; wherefore the King of Bohemia should apply to his brother alone, and exhort him to this union, and at length to desist from such obstinate prosecution of that hatred which he bears his enemies; and that he should content himself with the numerous kingdoms which God had given him, and respect those of his neighbours; together with many other expressions to this effect, uttered in accordance with the candour and integrity of his Majesty of England. (fn. 4)
On the 15th received the Duke's letters, which were of great importance on account of the King and Cardinal Wolsey, who are well inclined to the Duke. Presented the letters on the 16th with the power, on the advice of the Venetian ambassador (who was with him at the Court), and also the letter of credence, apologizing for the delay in the performance of so due an office, and beseeching the King to persevere in his support of the ducal dynasty.
The King replied that he was sorry that the reasons which had prevented the Duke from performing so loving an office were so sound, (fn. 5) and that in England such measures as he deserved had been taken for his preservation. At this point Cardinal Wolsey said to him (the ambassador), “Nonne intellexisti ab Oratore Veneto et Nuntio Apostolico, hanc Majestatem statuisse quod omnino Dominus Dux tuus sit Dux Mediolani?” Replied that he understood it most perfectly, having written accordingly to the Duke, and now presented himself to the King to return such thanks as in his power; and that, although aware that so great a benefit and such extreme graciousness exceeded all gratitude, he was there nevertheless to kiss the King's feet. Then, when in the act of prostrating himself, they raised and graciously embraced him, the two together [the King and Wolsey], repeating that the Duke was to be at ease, as they would not fail to do what was necessary; and they expressed openly their good disposition towards the Duke's maintenance (conversatione).
Recent advices from Rome are full of suspicion lest the Pope make truce with the Viceroy for one year, to be continued for three more at his Holiness's option, and the Pope alone (solum le cose di quella) and the kingdom of Naples and Sicily to be comprised in the suspension of hostilities, without mention of Lombardy and Milan. This arrangement is at variance with the terms hoped for from the Emperor, who could only be induced to agree by three motives—dread of the Turk, the necessity for the defence of Flanders, and the kingdom of Naples; which motives alone caused that slight disposition towards peace of which the Emperor assured England. This present suspension of hostilities gives the Emperor fresh power, and while England is thwarted in pacific negotiations the Emperor becomes master of Italy. Fresh Spanish troops will re-enforce the veterans of Spain, and Lansquenets, accustomed to serve without pay, but living by plunder, who will ransack not only the confederates but the whole world.
Cardinal Wolsey asked him whether the truce would be advantageous. Replied that it would be injurious for the whole League, and especially for those who had been despoiled of their signories and territory (signorie e beni); and that whether the Pope made the truce or not, he, to the detriment of the losers, would not again take the field. Cardinal Wolsey rejoined, “Per Deum! nos cogimur resumere nobiscum si Cœsar recusaverit honestum paccm,” adding that some suspension of hostilities was necessary, so that during the interval peace might be negotiated, and also lest any engagement intervene to retard the wish for peace as entertained either by one side or the other; (fn. 6) and he said he strongly suspected that a victory would render the King of France insolent.
The Cardinal also said the Frenchman would not willingly make peace. Remarked that, if the King and Cardinal were possessed of any sure means for making a fair peace, they should not lose the opportunity.
It is supposed that the French King is averse to peace for the sake of accomplishing one of three projects—either by war to make himself master of the kingdom of Naples, to release his sons without paying ransom, or to recover the kingdom of Navarre for his sister. Should he succeed and obtain the kingdom of Naples, Italy would be no less in danger of his domination than of the Emperor's. But to make peace is to ruin the world (“è cosa da ruinar il mondo”). The Pope, perhaps suspecting these French projects, has withdrawn, but he ought not to produce this mischievous result. The Venetians should not second the French so strongly as to prevent a fair peace, for the Apostolic Nuncio [Gambara] says that, owing to the Signory [of Venice], England will agree to whatever France chooses, and, should the Pope withdraw, Venice will continue the undertaking.
Are still endeavouring to overcome the difficulties about the marriage [of the Princess Mary to King Francis], On the day before yesterday the most Christian King's Chamberlain (Camericro) arrived. His instructions are not known. By a letter from the Apostolic Nuncio it is learned that the most Christian King will adjust these difficulties.
The Duke's letters to the King and Cardinal were opportune, as also the power (mandato). The letters to the Nuncio and to the Venetian Ambassador were also to the purpose. This last has been and is always intent on the Duke's preservation. He requests the Duke to continue to show gratitude and trust.
With regard to the Duke's hint as to what means can secure the protection of the King and Cardinal, is of opinion that at present the means are few, bv reason of the Duke's want of power; but, as for the King, it would be requisite to supply him with horses, arms, hawks, and the like, and offer Cardinal Wolsey the pension of 12,000 ducats, as proposed by the League, giving in like manner a pension to Vuncifil [Sir Robert Wyngtield, or Sir William Fitz-william?], who is held very dear by the King and Cardinal; but the Duke is so overburdened on every side that he knows not what he can promise. Requests him to notify his commands, and will do the best he can.
Recommends Martin Grippa, now in the service of the Nuncio Gambara.
At this very hour the King with his (or rather our) Cardinal, aware of the inconvenience which would ensue from the Pope's secession as aforesaid, have determined to supply his Holiness with the sum required for the expenses of two months, lest he pursue the course towards which he is said to incline. In the meanwhile the result of the marriage and the peace will be witnessed, although France, as already stated, desires war.
London, 19th March 1527.
Postscript.—Requests the Duke to have the letters for the King and Cardinal addressed externally with all their titles. It would also be well to write occasionally to the Secretary Bucintorch [Brian Tuke?], as it may be of great use.
[Original, Italian.]
Mar. 19, 20 Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. pp. 189, 190. 71. Domenego Venier to the Doge and Signory.
Letters received from the King of England, dated 20th February, announcing that the Emperor had written to the Viceroy, desiring him to make an agreement with the Pope on any terms, as the Emperor would subsequently render himself monarch of Italy. The French ambassador [Sir Gregory Casal], the Lord Albert of Carpi, the English ambassador, and the Venetian went to the Pope to tell him this, and persuade his Holiness not to conclude this truce. The Pope replied that necessity compelled him thus to do, adding, “quid scripsi scripsi” The Venetian ambassador rejoined, telling the Pope that he would be deceived, and that on the departure of the French and Venetian troops, Bologna and Tuscany would remain ungarrisoned. The Pope then said, “Write to the Signory not to withdraw the troops until after the departure of the Lansquenets.” The Pope is writing to Andrea Doria, the commander of his fleet, to come away, and no longer to molest the kingdom of Naples; desiring also the Signor Renzo [da Ceri], or rather the Legate Cardinal Triulzi, to disband the troops, so that the Papal camp will be dispersed. The Pope will also send Paulo da Rezo to France to apologize to the King.
Rome, 19th and 20th March. Registered by Sanuto, 23rd March.
March 20. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 285. 72. Marc' Antonio Venier to the Doge and Signory.
(Note by Sanuto that he will transcribe a summary of the letter; but he apparently omitted to do so.)
London, 20th March. Registered by Sanuto, 14th April
March 21. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 179. 73. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
The English ambassador came into the College, and said the Signory should write to his King to loin the League with the most Christian King and Venice, as the marriage will be concluded; and that he considered it certain the King of England disapproved of the Pope's having thus stipulated the truce.
March 21. Sforza Archives, Milan. 74. Augustino [Scarpinello], Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 7)
The King and Cardinal had determined to defray for two months more the Pope's expenses, lest he make a perilous truce with the Viceroy. Went to Cardinal Wolsey with the Nuncio [Uberto di Gambara] to lay before him the state of the Pope's affairs, and the general mischief which would ensue were he to make such an arrangement.
The Cardinal replied angrily, that he was very dissatisfied with the Pope for not having due respect in his resolves either for his confederates or his friends, and above all for the King of England, who had always most piously and obsequiously revered and does revere his Holiness and the Apostolic See, having furnished such subsidy as was deemed expedient by him for the time; giving no little hope of not failing the said See. The Nuncio said he did not believe the Pope would do anything without the consent of his Majesty, and his confederates; and was of opinion that should his Holiness have done anything, it was not without an understanding with Sir John Russell (“Cavalero Rosanello”), but by his consent. The Cardinal rejoined, “Neque Ego, neque Rex meus dedit talem facultatem Rosanello, unless he found his Holiness's affairs in some great need, it being said at the time that the Pope wished to interpose his Majesty's name and authority for some fair suspension of hostilities with the consent of all the confederates. But the need being now at an end, and the consent of the confederates lacking, I cannot but blame his Holiness's counsel, and regret having promised my King so much with regard to the Pope's good faith.”
Discussing thus the disadvantages of the business and their remedy, the Cardinal,—who together with his King are born but for the common weal, and intent on the freedom of Italy (“studiosi de la libertà commune”)—said he would contribute money for the Pope's expenditure during two months, provided his Holiness and the other confederates promised not to make any arrangement with the Emperor without the King's intervention. Then, turning to Messer Joan Joachino [Passano] and Monseigneur d'Austria (sic), the one ambassador from the King of France, the other his envoy who arrived lately, and who were there perhaps on other business, the Cardinal said to them, “Rex vaster est in causâ huju smod incommodi si sequetur, not having chosen to consent to the peace nor yet to wage so brisk a war as to prevent his confederates from being compelled to make terms with the Emperor” Joan Joachino, after commending the support given by the King and Cardinal to the Pope, said that the necessity for the Pope's secession appeared to him less than his wish to withdraw from hostilities; but that were he so to do the King of France promised himself victory, the results of the war, most especially in the kingdom of Naples, being such as were reported, and because his King could spend an additional four millions for the undertaking; and that if he had not hitherto inclined towards peace it was with great reason, as his affairs were not at so low an ebb, nor those of the Emperor so prosperous, as to make France surrender; the Emperor's tenure of his realms being uncertain, as likewise the amount of money which it was proposed to give him according to the treaty of peace.
Cardinal Wolsey rejoined that the results of the present war, and of others which preceded it, were not in accordance with so high a tone, and that if the affairs of the League were such as represented by Joachino, he (Wolsey) thought the Pope's bias would be different to what it is; adding, “I am well informed that the most Christian King is in close and constant negotiation with the Emperor, and has determined at any rate to marry Madame Eleanor. In God's name be it so. My King is perfectly satisfied with this, as it satisfies and pleases the most Christian King, being very certain that for the Princess of England there will be no lack of a good and fitting marriage. But, should the most Christian King, as we perceive, make an agreement with the Emperor, we request him not to desert his friends and confederates, most especially my King, who, although not expressly named in the confederacy against the Emperor, has nevertheless incurred his enmity through what he has done for the especial benefit of the King of France.” The Cardinal added many other things worthy of his loyalty towards his King and the other confederates. The two French agents, in reply, positively denied this negotiation, promising such good faith as is due from their King to his confederates and friends, and most especially to the King of England. The Cardinal continued, exhorting them to use their good offices with their King for the peace, this being the object of the war; nor should recourse be had to arms either from too great hatred, or from the hope of personal advantage.
The Nuncio having heard the offer of pecuniary supply, on the aforesaid conditions, went again to Cardinal Wolsey, urging him that, in case the King of France should refuse to promise not to make terms with the Emperor without the intervention of England, his Majesty would be content with the mere promise of the Pope and the Venetian Signory; and thus was the affair settled.
Concerning the current difficulties about this marriage, understands that England promises to give France the same dower as was promised to the Emperor, payable should France not inherit the crown of England (“si non continget successio regni”); and to avoid all cause for future war between England and France, England is willing to cede her claims upon France for 50,000 ducats per annum to the children born of the marriage, France also conceding salt for the use of England.
The most Christian King replies that he does not care for any other claims than his own on his own realm, nor will he accept the proposal; neither, were be inclined to do so, would his subjects allow him to render the kingdom tributary for 50,000 ducats annually, though by reason of his friendship and brotherhood with the King of England he is willing to grant him the salt during the King of England's lifetime. The English ministry replied that they did not seek to render France tributary, but that the children born of this marriage should have subsistence upon revenues derived from their paternal kingdom. The matter has been debated hitherto with small hope of adjustment, unless the most Christian King make such a fair concession as lies in his power.
Does not know how to interpret the Frenchman's boldness in refusing peace, coupled with the aforesaid negotiation with the Emperor, unless it be a feint to lower the terms of the marriage, nor whether France wishes for war, being able without it to get back his sons on paying the ransom offered through Paulo da Reggio. Thinks King Francis has a higher aim than security for the freedom of Italy when boasting openly that he will attack Naples on his own account.
Advices have been received in London from Spain, dated the 13th ultimo, those of the Nuncio purporting that negotiations are on foot, but with no foundation; and that the Spaniards will neither allow the Emperor to depart thence, nor give him money, save for the recovery of Hungary, the funds to be dispensed by Spanish treasurers, and not otherwise.
London, 21st March 1527.
[Original, Italian.]
March 21. Commemoriale, v. xxi. p. 36, tergo. 75. Doge Andrea Gritti.
Power (of attorney) for the Venetian ambassador in England to admit the King; into the league between Venice and France.
[Original minute, Latin, 46 lines.]
March 21. Deliberationi Senato (Secreta). v. lii. p. 4, tergo. 76. The Doge and Senate to Sebastian Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France.
The most Christian King ought not to reject the truce, by reason of the benefit which would result to the common undertaking, as time would be had for making preparations. By assenting to the truce, the confederacy will retain the Pope, as otherwise he and his adherents will be hostile. The most Christian King in the meanwhile will conclude his marriage with the King of England (“concluderà il matrimonio suo con el Sermo Re de Angelterra”), who will have to join their confederacy; and as the Emperor holds him in such account as due to his great power (“le valide force sue”), the Imperialists styling him the conservator of this truce, his Majesty appears to incline towards it, according to the letters of the Signory's ambassador in England.
The Emperor, being aware of the union between the Pope, France, England, and the Signory, will be compelled to augment his forces, and think of the release of the French princes by means of a general peace, which will be effected through the aforesaid truce.
Should he, the ambassador, therefore, perceive that the most Christian King inclines towards the truce, he is to encourage him in this opinion; but if his Majesty is averse, to beware of saying what might throw doubt on the Signory's determination to adhere to his Majesty.
Should the King incline to the truce, to send a copy of this to the Signory's ambassador in England.
March 21. Deliberazioni Senate (Secreta), v. lii. p. 5. 77. The Doge and Senate to Sebastian Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France.
As the marriage between his most Christian Majesty and England may be considered settled, hope the English King will join the Signory's confederacy, and therefore authorize him (the ambassador) to stipulate the League with his Majesty of England.
March 21. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta) v. lii. p. 6, tergo 78. Doge Andrea Gritti.
Power to Sebastian Giustinian, Venetian ambassador in France,. authorizing him to renew and reform the treaty between his most Christian Majesty, including therein the Duke of Milan, and negotiating the entry into it of the King of England.
[Latin, 41 lines.]
March 21. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), v. lii. p. 7. 79. The Doge and Senate to Marc' Antonio Venier, Venetian Ambassador in England.
The assurance that the King and Cardinal cannot be more warmly disposed to benefit Italy is an alleviation to the unexpected news of the truce concluded between the Pope and the Imperialists. The Signory never imagined that he would stipulate it; it was not reasonable to suppose the Pope would again trust in those who had so frequently plotted against him. The League was in such a position that had his Holiness persevered for a few days, victory would have been certain. The Signory's armada (“armata nostra”) was at the gates of Naples. The neighbouring places had either surrendered or been taken, and the entire population disorganized. The insurrection of the county of Tagliacozzo and the capture of many other places in the kingdom (of Naples) effected by the Signor Renzo da Ceri had produced a favourable impression, which was augmented by the subsidies from France. England and the Signory had sent to his Holiness a large part of the promised 30,000 ducats. The Signory's army had also crossed the Po. The Pope's towns and those of the Florentines were well garrisoned, and the Spanish army in the Bolognese territory was in difficulty from the great scarcity of provisions and mutiny in the camp.
Notwithstanding, the Pope made an agreement with the Imperialists, as by the enclosed copy.
By the articles, place is reserved for his most Christian Majesty and the Signory. They have written to France to ascertain his wishes, it being their intention to persevere in the French alliance, with the hope that he will not fail to give them speedy assistance and subsidies. As the Imperialists, having detached the Pope from the League, will turn all their forces against Venice, should his most Christian Majesty and the Signory refuse their assent to the truce Venice single handed could not resist such an attack, and would need the assistance of France and England. Do not doubt that his Majesty (Henry) will grant it. Trust that the close matrimonial tie which has been contracted between his Majesty and France will render him prompt to afford the State effective aid.
Ayes, 190. Noes, 9. Neutrals, 2.
March 21. Sforza Archives, Milan. 80. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Letters have been received from the English ambassadors in Rome [Sir John Russell and Sir Gregory da Casale], (fn. 8) and also from the Pope, stating the necessity of the latter for his making terms with the Imperialists, and promising mutual assistance, according to a copy of the articles enclosed, which show that the agreement is to that effect, and not a truce as entitled. Thereupon the King and Cardinal desired the Nuncio to send again to the Pope, acquainting him with their contribution, and exhorting him to resist and not risk his person, as the Emperor might be compelled to make fair terms. Should there be no necessity for the agreement, the Pope is to declare what he can stake for the present venture. The King and the confederates will then decide, and either supply the Pope with forces or consent to his providing for his own need. The King will do his utmost to conclude the marriage with France, and, if that be effected, there will be no lack of means to enforce a fair and general peace. Should the marriage not take place, it has been determined not to abandon the most Christian King, but to league with him and the Venetian Signory in order to stay the exorbitant power of the Emperor, whether the Pope be agreed with him or not. As England has opposed the supremacy of France, so will the King of England resist that of the Emperor.
The Duke will appreciate the magnanimity of the King and Cardinal.
Considering the pressure (pressura) in the kingdom of Naples, and the small success in - and Lombardy, had thought it difficult to get the peace out of the clutches (artiglij) of the Emperor, whose ambassador in England, with the ambassadors of the King of Bohemia, were urging it. Subsequently he began to hope that therein the King and Cardinal would seek the Duke's restoration. But as the Pope makes peace from fear and for his own interest or present security, knows not what to say, unless God provide through the King of England.
Much surprise caused by the omission in the articles of any place for the Duke, and that no mention should have been made of him.
The affair of the marriage seems to be drawing to a close.
Requests the Duke to send him money, and to write frequently to Cardinal Wolsey.
London, 21st March 1527.
[Original, Italian.]
March 24. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 285. 81. Sebastian Giustinian to the Doge and Signory.
Has persuaded the King to exert himself to carry on the war in Italy briskly and speedily, as the forces of the allies dwindle more and more daily. Hostilities would be invigorated by his Majesty's contributing more valid subsidies.
The King said that on completing the marriage negotiation with England he will send 15,000 infantry into Italy, or money wherewith to raise them.
The ambassador will do his utmost to effect this.
Dated 24th March. Registered by Sanuto, 14th April.
March 24. Commenioriale, v. xxi. p. 37, tergo. 82. The Italian League.
Power (of attorney) from Francesco Sforza Visconte, Duke of Milan, authorizing the modification of the league stipulated during the preceding months (“superioribus mensibus”) between himself, the Signory of Venice, and the Florentine Republic.
[Original transcript, Latin, 44 lines.]
Mar. 27, 28. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. p. 290. 83. Marc' Antonio Venier to the Doge and Signory.
The marriage will take place. When the King heard the Pope proposed making terms with the Emperor, he sent for the Papal Nuncio, the Prothonotary Gambara, to whom he used violent language against the Pope, and said he would wage war on the Emperor, and that he had sent money to his Holiness thus to do until the Emperor should consent to a general peace.
The Archduke's ambassador, Salamanca, has had audience, demanding assistance from the King for the war against the Turk. His Majesty told him he was willing to give pecuniary assistance, provided the other Christian powers would make peace together, and wage joint war against the Turk.
London, 27th and 28th March. Registered by Sanuto, 15th April.
March 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. xliv. pp. 216, 217. 84. Report made to the Senate on the 29th March by Carlo Contarini, late Ambassador to the Archduke of Austria, now King of Bohemia.
Alluded to Martin Luther and to his rites, and, wishing to speak about them, the Doge (AndreaGritti) said, “Enough of this.”


  • 1. Blank in MS.
  • 2. Amongst the printed letters of Baldassar Castiglione there is one to Uberto de Gambara, dated Valladolid, 30th January 1527, in which it is stated that the Pope was perfectly content that Henry VIII. and Wolsey should negotiate the peace. (See Castiglione Letters, vol. 1. p. 170, edition Padua, 1769.)
  • 3. There is a transcript of this letter in the Library of the Public Record Office (vol. xiv.).
  • 4. This answer, made by Sir Thomas More to John Faber (afterwards Bishop of Vienna), has been abridged by Hall at p. 120 of his Chronicle (edition, London, 1809), where it is given in six lines. It is possible that Scarpinello's version of the speech was compiled to the taste of Francesco Sforza.
  • 5. Concerning the imprisonment in October 1525 of Morone, the prime minister of the Duke of Milan, by the Emperor's General, the Marquis of Pescara, see Guicciardini, who also gives an account of the subsequent reverses of Francesco Sforzo in. vol. 4. (ed. Friburgo, 1776), p. 59 and following.
  • 6. The sack of Rome commenced on the 5th May 1527, and thus were Cardinal Wolsey's anticipations verified.
  • 7. A transcript of this letter will be found in the Library of the Public Record Office (vol. xiv.)
  • 8. See “State Papers,” Vol. VI., Part 5, pp. 563–565.