Venice: August 1532

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: August 1532', Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871), pp. 346-350. British History Online [accessed 15 June 2024].

. "Venice: August 1532", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871) 346-350. British History Online, accessed June 15, 2024,

. "Venice: August 1532", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871). 346-350. British History Online. Web. 15 June 2024,

August 1532

Aug. 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvi. p. 440–441. 793. Marco Antonio Contarini to the Signory.
Many judicious ecclesiastics here are of opinion that the agreeing made with the Lutherans at Nuremberg is of another fashion than what was reported, and suspect that much more has been conceded them, judging from apparent reasons rather than from facts, perceiving that the Lutherans are elated. It is asserted that Duke John, (fn. 1) son of the Elector of Saxony, who was at open enmity with the Emperor, on account of what took place at the Diet of Augsburg, will shortly come in person to aid this undertaking [against the Turk] with a much greater number of troops than he is bound to bring into the field; and the like is said of the Landgrave of Hesse, who fled from Augsburg, and has a very important lawsuit with the Count of Nassau, from whom he has usurped certain territory by force. These two are the most Lutheran, and chief vindicators (assertori) of this sect. This is a proof that they have obtained their demands not to be molested by hostilities until the next council, and that the prosecutions have been suspended, as they retain Church property yielding a considerable annual revenue, seized by them on their own authority.
I forward the “recesso” issued at this diet [of Ratisbon]; the writing was corrected by the Emperor, but the articles were not all accepted by the States.
The Emperor came hither yesterday; he will not depart until he goes to the camp at St. Hippolitus, near Vienna, towards the end of the month. The first lodging will be at Passau. His Majesty is having a small tent of cloth of gold made, in which to arm himself. All are intent on procuring arms, horses, and provisions.
The “recesso” of the Diet is very long; it commences thus— “Ertractio quœdam ex Ratisbonœ, die 27 Julii 1532;” and ends saying that they will call the Council General on account of the Faith within the period of six months; the term of one year being then appointed for its assembling; and should the Pope refuse, the Emperor promises to convoke and hold an Imperial Diet on this subject.
Ratisbon, 4th August. Registered by Sanvto 16th August.
Aug. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v lvii. pp. 250, 251. 794. — to Polydore Vergil.
With an engraving of “a marvellous and monstrous fish stranded in the north of England, at a place called Tynemouth; printed in London, and translated out of the English tongue into the Italian.”
In the month of August this sea of ours stranded, near Tynemouth, a dead animal, of exceeding great size which for the most part has been already pulled to pieces; and what remains is of such bulk that 100 wains could scarcely carry it away. Those who first saw this animal, and described it as precisely as they could say it measured 30 yards or 90 feet in length; from the belly to the fin on the back, which was buried in the sand, the length was eight or nine yards. The exact dimensions cannot be ascertained, because when I went to see this animal, on the 27th August, it emitted such a stench as to be almost unbearable, but its back, covered by the sand, is some three yards broad, so that the sea beats upon it daily, and the waves break over it. The aperture of the mouth is 6½ yards; the length of each jaw 7½ yards; the circumference, in some parts, 1½ yard, in others less: altogether it is as big as a large oak. It has 30 ribs on its sides, and for the most part, they are 21 feet long and ½ foot in diameter. It has three bellies, like very large caves; and 30 throats, five of which are larger than the rest; it has two wings or fins for swimming, each of which is 15 feet long, so that 10 oxen could scarcely draw one of them away. Adhering to the palate were certain horny laminæ, hairy on one side, in number upwards of 1,000, one of which I send thee. It is not a lie, Polydore, but a thing perfectly true, though they are not all of one size. The length, from the beginning of the head to the aperture of the mouth, is seven yards. Concerning the tongue some persons differ: the majority say that it was seven yards long, and that the animal had a genital member of prodigious size, and that it was masculine. A certain man having entered the body to pull it to pieces, fell, and would have been well-nigh drowned had he not clung to a rib. The space between the eyes is six yards, and the nostrils are very disproportioned to so huge a frame, for they resemble those of an ox. The tail is bifurcated and notched like a saw. In its head were two large holes, from which it is supposed to spout forth water, as if by tubes. It had no teeth, so people infer that it was not a whale, as whales have very large teeth; but in its mouth were the horny laminæ above mentioned.
London, — August 1532. Registered by Sanuto 22nd November.
[Italian.] (fn. 2)
Aug. 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvi. p. 462. 795. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
The Government in London is daily more and more intent on repairing the ships, seven of which—the King's own—he has seen in well-nigh perfect condition. His Majesty purposes having as many as 50 in all.
The King's son, the Duke of Richmond, with eight other personages, and the son of the Duke of Norfolk, will go to the most Christian King; and the Duke of Orleans will come to England.
Have been told that his Majesty will go to Calais, under pretence of erecting a fortress in the marshes there (in quelle pallude;) but it is supposed that he has for object to confer with the most Christian King and negotiate an offensive allianee against the Emperor. My friend says this passage across has not been settled. He declares that the most Christian King, besides the 50,000 crowns, has sent another 60,000 crowns to the Switzers. It also seems that 500,000 crowns have been prepared, wherewith to pay for six months 30,000 Switzers, at the rate of seven per cent., all efficient troops (tutti boni huomini). He does not doubt but that the most Christian King will also have 10,000 Lansquenets, and another 10,000 infantry in Italy.
The King has sent lately to the frontiers of Scotland two ships, one with 12 culverins and cannons, the other with 14, including falconets and . . . . .; (fn. 3) this artillery being all taken from the Tower of London, which is being diligently fortified (la qual si attende con diligentia. a fortifiear).
Sir William Skeffington, captain of King's County, on that Island, (fn. 4) came hither lately from Ireland, by the King's order, with six ships. He was plundered, and let go, by certain vessels belonging to the wild Irish, (fn. 5) and only one of the six ships escaped.
Intelligence has been received in London of the death of Dom. Hironimo Lascho. The French partisans here are in suspense; they suspect Sultan Solyman of having put him to death, for having revealed to the Emperor and his brother the secrets of the most Christian King, of King John [Zapolski], and the other confederates; and the French ambassador praises him vastly, saying that he was a most excellent man, and a very good Christian.
London, 6th August. Registered by Sanuto, 26th August.
Aug. 9. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvi. p. 463. 796. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
The French ambassador, Mons, de Pomeraye, having returned to London from the Court, I dined with him, and afterwards having withdrawn into his chamber he asked me if I had seen the King's ships, and what I thought of them. I replied that they pleased me, and indicated war. He rejoined, “I give you important news, and write it to the Signory; within six weeks this King and my King will have an interview. His English Majesty will cross over to France, and then my King will accompany him hither. All will he done without pomp or display, for the benefit of Christendom. These two Kings purpose being prepared and well armed, in case the Turk worst the Emperor. He never chose to consult any one about so great an undertaking, or that others should have a share in it; he retains the kingdom of Hungary, and demanded troops and money of France and England as if they had been his vassals. These two crowns will themselves defend their own territories, and other Christian powers if necessary.”
At the moment when Capello arrived at the ambassador's dwelling, which is a palace belonging to the King, he found that they had just extinguished a fire which broke out in the chapel, from a candle which had been left burning after the mass. The chapel, with all its furniture, was consumed, as also the vestures used by the priest for celebration of the mass.
London, 9th August. Registered, by Sanuto 26th August.
Aug. 21. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvii. p. 16. 797. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
Has been told by the French ambassador that his King will have an interview with the King of England after Michaelmas. His most Christian Majesty comes not to England, but will accompany King Henry from Boulogne to Calais, and the interview will last 10 days. Enquired whether they would treat matrimonial alliances; the ambassador said no, and they would merely consult together and prepare for defence. Marco Antonio Baiõ [Baglione?] was present at this conversation, and said, “The King will marry the daughter of his most Christian Majesty, and the Duke of Orleans the Princess of England.” The ambassador rejoined that they chose to be armed; and he complained that the Emperor and his brother had undertaken the expedition against the Turks without the knowledge of the most Christian King, and formed the vanguard of the army, which post belonged to his King, whose forces he greatly extolled, and said that he had money, having inherited a considerable sum from his mother. He then added that it would be well for the Signory to send an ambassador to this conference. Replied that there wer already two ambassadors, one for each crown, so should their Majesties choose, there will be two ambassadors at the interview; and if the Signory wished to send a third, they would not have time to do so. The ambassador said, “The Signory cannot trust either the Emperor or his brother, I'animo di quail own si pol aquietar.”
The King has not told him (Capello) to accompany him across the Channel, although ships and other necessaries are being prepared. All the lords and gentlemen are making purchases. Yesterday a ship set sail for Calais with tapestries and royal ornaments.
London, 21st August. Registered by Sanuto 2nd October.
Aug. 22. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvi. pp. 502, 503. 798. Marco Antonio Contarini to the Signory.
At Vienna all are cheerful, and the Lutherans attend the sermons and masses, renouncing Lutheranism (lassando il Lutheranismo). Everybody rejoices.
It is said there is great plenty there, as they have possession of the bridge over the Danube, by which means they are supplied daily with unlimited victuals, to avoid risking them [in the open country ?].
Ratisbon, 22nd August. Registered by Sanuto 31st August.
Aug. 26. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvii. p. 16. 799. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
Four days ago the Rev. Archbishop of Canterbury [William Warham] died. The King sent the Duke of Norfolk to take possession as usual; he will keep it for a year and then give it to Dom. Gramello [Cranmer ?] or to Master Pol [Reginald Pole ?]. The Bishop of Langres is expected from the most Christian King. Will not fail to enquire the object of his mission. The nobility here are preparing to do honour to their King, and they will number upwards of 3,000 horsemen. It is said that relationships and marriages (parentà e noze) will be negotiated, as indicated by the preparations making for entertainments.
Besides inspecting the artillery and ammunition, fortifying the Tower, putting his ships in order, and regulating many of his forces, his Majesty is yet more intent on collecting a large store of powder.
London, 26th August. Registered by Sanuto 2nd October.
Aug. 29. Lettere del Collegio (Secretu). File no. 13. 800. The Doge and College to Carlo Capello, Venetian Ambassador in England.
Continue their accounts of the progress of the Turkish fleet.
Is to communicate the intelligence to the King immediately.


  • 1. John Frederick the Magnanimous, who became Elector on the death of his father John the Constant, on the 10th August 1532.
  • 2. Sanuto has transcribed the original Latin letter as well as the contemporary Italian translation, but he did not attempt to make a copy of the English woodcut, which would have been worth preserving.
  • 3. Blank in MS.
  • 4. “Capitano in quella Isola dalla parte nominata da questa Maesta.
  • 5. “Li qual viveno liberi.”