Venice: February 1533

Pages 378-384

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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February 1533

Feb. 6. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvii. p. 410. 848. Marin Giustinian to the Signory.
Had audience of the King, who, after discussing other matters, spoke of the marriage of the Pope's niece [Catherine de' Medici] to the Duke of Milan, which his Holiness has renounced.
As the Lord Steward had told him that the Scottish forces were increasing in number, and that he hoped the gentleman sent by the King to quiet matters would do some good, asked his Majesty about the affairs of Scotland. The King replied—“It is said there are troops on the Borders, but not in great number, and I believe peace will be made, as both those kings wish for it. Scotland has no money; they will raise the troops of the country, which are bound to keep the field at their own cost for 40 days, and may amount to some 80,000 men. They are like wild beasts (sono come bestie); they rush forward to get themselves killed (vanno avanti a farse amazar); they are personally brave (sono volenti homini di le sue persone). The King of England is much more powerful; he has a fund of money (fondamento di danari) but has no fortified town in which to save himself, and might be compelled to give battle; and were Scotland supplied with 100,000 crowns, 4,000 harque-busiers, a certain number of Lansquenets, 1,000 light horse, 300 spears, and an artillery train, she would give the King of England something to do (daria da fare al Re di Anglia); and when at Calais, I spoke to him about this matter, and found him much irritated against said King of Scotland. And the dispute proceeds from a small place which is not worth 5 carlini and which belongs rather to Scotland than to England, and the King of Scotland went with 3,000 men and took it; and hence arose the enmity. The King of England is now the enemy of the Emperor, and the Emperor might assist Scotland, and cause him to make war. They wished to refer the matter to me, but I would not undertake this charge. The King of England is my brother, the King of Scotland my very old friend, though I have cause of complaint against him; for his sake, I spent a million of gold against the King of England, and then he accepted the Emperor's collar [of the Fleece?]. But I have given sound advice (tamen ho consegia la ragion).” He then said that the Emperor in his Council had determined to abandon Coron, but the Pope induced him to delay, saying it would be well for the Grand Master of Rhodes to undertake the defence.
Paris, 6th February. Registered by Sanuto 22nd February.
Feb. 8. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvii. p. 394. 849. Marco Yenier and Marco Antonio Contarini, Venetian Ambassadors with the Pope and the Emperor, to the Signory.
The Emperor strongly urges the Pope to announce (intimar) the Council, his Majesty having bound himself to that effect, to the Princes of Germany. The commissioners (deputati) having assembled, the Papalists said that the replies of France and England had not been received; and that it would be well to send a nuncio to the King of the Romans, to acquaint him with what had been written; proposing for this purpose Dom. Aleandro, Archbishop of Brindisi. It was also proposed to send a nuncio to the most Christian King and to the King of England, to perform the like office with them, and obtain their Majesties' reply; and they talked of sending the Bishop of Faenza. The Imperialists did not reject this proposition, and would confer with the Emperor. The French Cardinals [Tournon and Grammont] request the Pope, for the benefit of the Christian commonwealth, to have an interview with their King at Nice or Marseilles, and after negotiating together, the Pope might then confer with the Emperor at some neighbouring place, and a congress be afterwards held by all three; saying that the King of England approved of this, in order to establish confidence and good-will (amorevolezza) between their Majesties. This having been proposed by his Holiness to the Emperor, his Majesty did not approve of the Pope's going.
Bologna, 8th February. Registered by Sanuto 14th February.
Feb. 10. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvii. p. 430. 850. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
Since my last of the 29th January, his Majesty has sat in Council daily, on the reply to be made to the Pope, whose Nuncio is well nigh every day and hour with the King, who therefore sends Dr. Boner back in haste to Bologna. (fn. 1) Has heard that the Pope and the Emperor consent that the judgment of the divorce be delivered in England, but insist that the Princess, his Majesty's daughter, be given for wife to the Duke of Milan, to which the King demurs (è difficile) in order not to break with the most Christian King; and the French partizans are in great suspense.
It is said publicly that the marriage of Madame the Marchioness to his Majesty here will come to an end (si dice publice le noze di Madama la, Marchesina in questa Maestà finiranno).
Parliament met on the 4th, and they are now endeavouring to raise a large sum of money for the war against Scotland; his Majesty has already fitted out seven ships to be sent in that direction. According to report the King of Scotland has mustered 30,000 men on the Borders; and what is called the wild part of Ireland (e della parte d'Hibernia che si chiama selvagia) is with him, and gives him assistance.
I understand that Parliament will discuss the means—and they have already commenced talking about it—whereby to raise a revenue for the maintenance of 1,000 men-at-arms, in the French fashion, the greater part of which will, it is said, be raised from church lands (di lochi di chiesie sic).
London, 10th February. Registered by Sanuto 5th March.
Feb. 10. Deliberazioni Senate (Secreta), v. lv. p. 57. 851. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador and Vice-Bailiff at Constantinople.
The Signory's last advices from France announce the muster of troops by the King of Scotland for an attack on England. With regard to the conference held some months ago between the most Christian King and the King of England, we know nothing more than that their Majesties made mutual demonstrations of friendship.
Ayes, 105. Noes, 68. Neutrals, 21.
Feb. 14. Deliberizioni Senato (Secreta), v. lv. p. 58. 852. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador and Vice Bailiff at Constantinople.
Advices from England dated the 11th January state that on the borders of Scotland the English and Scots had come to blows.
To communicate this intelligence to the High Porte.
Ayes, 112.
Feb. 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvii. p. 392. 853. English Ambassador in Venice.
The English ambassador, Prothonotary Casal, who said he had been at Bologna, came into the College, and commended the reply given by the Signory to the Emperor's demands.
Feb. 17. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvii. p. 407. 854. Marco Venier and Marco Antonio Contarini, Venetian Ambassadors with the Pope and the Emperor, to the Signory.
Went this morning to the Pope, to hear about the negotiations with the Emperor. His Holiness said the Emperor urged him to create three Cardinals, Bari, Capua, and Musetola. The Pope replied that he was always disposed to gratify his Majesty, maintaining however the dignity of the Apostolic See, and that he could not now create Cardinals, there not being a sufficient number of Cardinals at Bologna for the purpose, and that the matter should be deferred until they were at Rome. The Pope said, “The most Christian King wishes us to make the Archbishop of Toulouse, the brother of the Duke of Albany [Cardinal]; the King of England insists on his (sic) Auditor of the [Papal] Chamber. We have some of our own [subjects], some four or five in number, well deserving of this see, who were in person in Germany against the Turk, to expel him thence; and we have desired the three Cardinals Farnese, Campeggio, and Cesis, to consult with the Emperor about this.”
Went subsequently to the Cardinal Farnese, who told me he had been sent for by the Emperor about this promotion of three Cardinals, Farnese replied, that in the midst of so many troubles, the only prerogative which had remained intact was the election of Cardinals by the College; so it was necessary to take the opinion of those near at hand, and he would send some one to Grimani and Ridolfi, who were gone to Venice, which would necessitate delay. He told the Emperor that, including Spaniards, Germans, and Italians, his Majesty had 18 Cardinals his feudatories; that in the next place, the Pope wished to make three, the Bishop of Verona, the Bishop of Faenza, and Simoneta, the “Auditor di Rota;” in addition to which France and England would fain have the three above-named; so that they would be nine in all. The Emperor rejoined that he was well deserving of the Holy See, and that he thought it fitting for the College to gratify him; so that he shows himself very much bent on this.
Bologna, 17th February. Registered by Sanuto 22nd February.
Feb. 17. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvii. p. 460. 855. Marin Giustintan to the Signory.
Four days ago, the most Christian King sent one of his “valets de chambre” (verletto di camera) to Germany. The cause is unknown, but it is supposed to be some negotiation for alliance with the Princes of Germany.
According to public report current during the last two days, the Scots have routed the English, killing a commander (capitano) and 6,000 men; some say more, and that the Scots had entered England. This is confirmed by the most Christian King's gentleman of the chamber (camerier) the brother of the Count of Pontremolo, who heard it from a Scottish captain of the King's guard, and also by D. Joachim [Passano]. But neither the English ambassador nor the Lord Steward have any information.
The 120,000 crowns which this King is sending to England have not yet been disbursed.
Paris ?, 17th February. Registered by Sanuto 21st March.
Feb. 22. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), v. lv. pp. 60, 61. 856. The Doge and Senate to Carlo Capello, Venetian Ambassador in England.
Received his letters of the 13th December concerning the galleys destined for the voyage to England. Were very glad to hear of the King's excellent disposition towards the State.
To thank the King for the free permit for the galleys, and, as the ministers show such readiness to oblige the State, to assure them of the Republic's gratitude in as ample a form as possible.
Feb. 22. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), v. lv. pp. 60, 61. 857. The Same to the Same.
Have appointed the galleys for the English voyage, and will hasten, their despatch without regard for expense, so that this trade may be continued, feeling certain that the merchants, being acquainted with the King's good will, will readily send their goods; this liberality being a greater inducement than any declaration or convention, which, although it might be submitted to from necessity, would increase that necessity, (fn. 2) as the merchants are less ready to act under compulsion, than from liberality (largezza) and their own free will. This being well known by the King and his ministers, are convinced that he will always be ready to give the safe-conduct unconditionally; in like manner as we shall be ready to encourage this voyage, and afford it the greatest favour and assistance possible; and if the Portuguese track (corso) prevents the shipment of the same quantity of spices as heretofore, the merchants will send gold, if not in lingots, in ready money, in crowns (scudi) and although some persons may have used bills of exchange (qualche cambio) the universal custom is and will be, to send money, this mode being also more profitable, by reason of various losses incurred through bills of exchange (cambij) nor can there be any doubt about this.
There is no need to say much about the bow-staves or anything else, it being certain that liberality and liberty induce the merchants to send and do much on these voyages, to the general profit and advantage.
We have thought fit to tell you this much, not for you to give it as our reply, for which we do not see any immediate necessity, but to let you know what we require, so that when opportunities present themselves you may induce the English Government to do what is fitting in this matter; and the Ambassador Casal having spoken to us on the subject, in conformity with your statement, quoting a letter from his King, we said the same to him, and suppose that he will have written back accordingly. We spoke to him about the bones of that Duke of Norfolk, (fn. 3) and his Lordship said he had been unable as yet to ascertain where they were buried, and that he was in search of them. We in like manner have hitherto had no notice whatever of them, but if in our power to make the discovery, we will not fail to gratify his most illustrious Lordship the [present] Duke [of Norfolk].
Concerning the cuirasses, we have given orders for them to be made at Brescia, and as soon as they can be got, we will courteously transmit them.
Ayes, 171. Noes, 6. Neutrals, 7.
The College to be authorised to disburse what shall be necessary for the making of five cuirasses, and to send them as a present to those noblemen in England who have asked for them; the whole with the moneys of our Signory.
Ayes, 177. Noes, 7. Neutrals, 3.
Feb. 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvii. p. 466. 858. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
On the 11th the most Christian King's ambassador Mons. de Tintiville, Bailli de Urge (sic) arrived to replace Mons. de Montpezat who departed a few days ago, having received costly presents from his Majesty. Visited both one and the other, and talking together, they told me of the request made by the Pope and the Emperor to the Signory to join the League, and the reply given them, which was beyond measure agreeable to their King, as the State turned a deaf ear to the demand.
The stir in Scotland augments; King Henry daily reinforces his army in those parts, and besides the armed ship of which I wrote, he has sent thither a quantity of artillery and ammunition.” (fn. 4)
It is said that the King of Scotland has received a reinforcement of some 3,000 harquebusiers, including Spaniards, Italians, and Lansquenets. Should this be true, it would be very important, as these English use scarcely any other weapon than the bow. It is also reported that the King of Denmark will give assistance to the most Christian King; notwithstanding which, a messenger arrived in London yesterday from Doctor Lij [Lee ?], the English ambassador in Denmark, who announces that the Danish King will maintain friendship with King Henry. Saw a letter from one of the attendants of said ambassador, dated Hamburgh 4th instant, saying the same, and that on their way they passed near the city of Munster, which on account of the Faith, was besieged by 5,000 infantry, and the inhabitants had imprisoned all the canons and the Bishop.
As yet, the only momentous matter treated in Parliament has been that of raising throughout the island a very large sum of money for the war of Scotland, to secure a good number of men-at-arms, and to repair certain ports and fortresses for the defence of the kingdom.
It is said for certain that Philip Melancthon arrived here ten days ago, and a friend of mine says he saw him; but the ministers will not allow any person, save the dependants of his Majesty, to speak to him. (fn. 5)
Well nigh everybody is of opinion that immediately on the arrival of the bulls for the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury, the divorce case will be terminated, whether the Pope assents or not.
London, 23rd February. Registered by Sanuto 24th March.
Feb. 25. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvii. p. 417. 859. Marco Venier and Marco Antonio Contarini to the Signory.
Having heard that the Emperor was to depart on Thursday, went together this morning, after hearing mass, to the Pope, who seated himself at a window and sent for us, and knowing that letters had arrived from France, we asked him what news there was. His Holiness said they were dated the 15th instant, and that the Cardinal Tournon had been to him, and said the troops of the English and Scots seemed to be increasing in number on the Borders; that the English King had proclaimed war against the King of Scotland and his confederates, and that the most Christian King had sent Mons. de Langes to England and Scotland to devise some adjustment. The battle fought between them was not of importance as the advices are solely from private letters. Tournon did not speak about the marriage, as Grammont is indisposed, but not seriously, and the commission is given to the two jointly.
Bologna, 25th February. Registered by Sanuto 28th February.
Feb. 26. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvii. p. 466. 860. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
On the evening of the 23rd, the King received two expresses which left Bologna, one after the other, on the 8th instant, but were detained six days at Calais. They announce the good intention of the Pope and the Emperor, to the effect that the sentence concerning the divorce be decided in this kingdom. The King's partizans (questi) are labouring to prove by holy writ, “che la semplice promission, se intenda la mutua disposatio” although the marriage he not consummated; and this they do, because heretofore the Queen said and certified in confession to the Legate Campeggio that she had never been known by his Majesty's brother. The adherents of France seem not a little suspicious lest King Henry, being satisfied by having the cause decided in England, condescend to the wishes of the Emperor and of the Pope.
Mons. de Langes, ambassador from his most Christian Majesty, arrived here in very great haste on the night of the 24th instant, having left Paris on the —. The Ambassador Giustinian writes that de Langes quitted the French Court suddenly. Here they say he is come to adjust matters with King Henry. On that same night, the French envoy, Monsignor de Buovi [Beauvoir], who had been first to the King of Scotland, arrived. Has been unable to visit either of them, as they are gone to the Duke of Suffolk; they return tomorrow; will see them.
Has heard that by letters received from Bologna, the Pope and the Emperor urge the King to give the Princess, his daughter, as wife to the Duke of Milan; and yesterday his Majesty replied, and swore to the most Christian King's ambassador, that he would not do anything whatever to displease his Majesty.
Cannot certify anything about the adjustment with Scotland. The stir on both sides increases daily; and on the 22nd instant, five Scottish ships captured three English vessels, and one Portuguese, in Dover harbour. Mons. de Langes, on his passage across, was in danger, and is apprehensive of the capture of Mons. de Montpezat, who departed hence, and for greater safety embarked at Rye for Dieppe; and subsequently thirteen Scottish ships were seen to pass Dover, steering in that direction.
Bequests the election and despatch of his successor, that he may be enabled to return home.
London, 26th February. Registered by Sanuto 24th March.


  • 1. Dr. Boner arrived at Bologna on the 27th February 1533, “very yerly in the mornyng.” See his letter announcing the fact, in vol. vii. “State Papers,” p. 441.
  • 2. “La quale, insieme che potria essere dalla necessity superata, accresceria quella necessità.”
  • 3. Thomas Mowbray died at Venice 22nd September 1399. “There is among the early Chancery proceedings in the Public Record Office, a bill addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Chancellor of England, by John Duke of Norfolk, stating that his father enfeoffed Henry, late Cardinal of England, and others, of the manors of Weston Alconbury, etc. with the intent that they should, with the issues and profits thereof, ordeine and make the bonys of Thomas, late Duke of Norff., aiell of yo “suppliant, to be carried fro Venyse into Englande.” (See Sir Thomas Hardy's Report upon Venetian Archives, p. 78.)
  • 4. In the original “munition,” which may mean either ammunition or victuals, or both one and the other,
  • 5. “Ma questa nova (sic) permetono alcun li parli” [ma questi non permetono ?].