Venice: April 1533

Pages 392-400

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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April 1533

April 2. Sanuto Diaries, v. lviii. p. 81. 869. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has been consecrated, and Convocation (questo Parliamenta delli Ecclesiastici.) has assembled daily. With regard to making the divorce there is now no longer any difficulty; they will assent to what the King wishes, and are discussing the abrogation of the Pope's power. Yesterday there was a debate. It is supposed they will deprive his Holiness of all authority. They are awaiting the return from France of the Marchioness's brother, who is expected to arrive in two days; and they also expect Mons. de Beove [Beauvoir].
London, 2nd April. Registered by Sanuto, 8th May.
April 12. Sanuto Diaries, v. lviii. p. 81. 870. The Same to the Same.
On the Monday in Passion week (fn. 1) Parliament (il Parlamento) [and Convocation ?] assembled. They decided that the marriage of Queen Katharine to the King is null, and that he may marry (poter prender moter); and they have abolished (lecato) the appeal to the Pope. Henceforth, no one may contract marriage by dispensation, but solely as conceded by holy writ, and the sacred canons; so that the dispensation of Pope Julius is void. They have also abrogated the dispensation for holding a plurality of benefices with cure of souls, and for nonage, and other things. They have prohibited obedience to papal monitions and interdicts. The Bishop of Rochester [John Fisher] having publicly opposed these measures, on Palm Sunday [6th April], he was arrested, and given in custody to the Bishop of Winchester [Stephen Gardiner]; and three days ago he was sent to reside at a place of his (ad uno locho suo) and is not to go more than a mile beyond it.
Parliament has been prorogued (si levò) until Whitsuntide, which will be on the 6th of June.
Three days ago, the King; sent the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk and the Marquis of Exeter (il Marcheze di Anal sic) to notify to the Queen the decision made in Parliament about the divorce, and the new marriage; exhorting her to yield, and secede (rinmorersi) from the judgment of the “Rota.” She replied that she knew not, and was unable to imagine, how such a matter could have been terminated, the decision not having been made by a legitimate judge; and with regard to a new marriage, she believed nothing whatever, knowing the King her husband to be most sage and holy supientissimo et suntissimo. As to yielding to the sentence, she said that although it was her wish to satisfy his Majesty in everything, yet is it beyond her power to do so on this occasion not choosing to peril the salvation of her soul, and disobey the law of God who united her to his Majesty; and that recourse must be had to the true judge and vicar of the Lord. Subsequently the Imperial Ambassador went to the King, and spoke to him molto altamente.
This morning of Easter Eve, the Marchioness Anne went with the King to high mass, as Queen, and with all the pomp of a Queen, clad in cloth of gold, and loaded (carga) with the richest jewels; and she dined in public; although they have not yet proclaimed the decision of the Parliament [Convocation ?].
I hear on good authority that the conclusion of the peace with Scotland is expected.
I am assured that some months ago, his Majesty espoused her, and that she bore him a son who is several months old. (Mivien afirmato za più mezi questa Mta averla sposata, e aver uno fiol di qualche meze con lei).
Four days ago, Mons. de Beove [Beauvoir] arrived here with the son of the Earl of Wiltshire, and he told me he hoped the affairs between his Majesty and Scotland will be adjusted; and Dom. Silvestro Dario, the papal nuncio late in Scotland, tells me King James will be satisfied with fair terms, without which he will do nothing, and the Scots would rather die than submit; they plunder the English daily, and their King is dependent on the Emperor.
On the 5th a gentleman came hither to the King from the Duke of Saxony his cousin (germano suo), with letters from Frederick Count Palatine—who last year commanded the troops sent in favour of the Emperor by the Free Towns and other potentates of Germany—to request his Majesty to join their League; and they are holding a Diet, in which, should his Majesty choose, he will have great authority. This envoy went first to France, and he has not yet been despatched.
London, 12th April. Registered by Sanuto 8th May.
April 15. Sanuto Diaries, v. lviii. p. 125. 871. Marin Giustinian to the Signory.
It is asserted on good authority that the Germans who came hither had for object to marry Madame Isabella of Navarre to the Duke of Bavaria; and they were given fair words and hopes. It is also said that another marriage is being negotiated between the daughter of Mons. de Guise and another German Prince.
It is considered certain that since the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who delayed pronouncing the divorce—now that the King has elected in his stead a kinsman (un parente) of the Marchioness Anne, and who is “familiarissimo” with her—the divorce will be adopted and executed in England, on which account, said Marchioness's brother came to his most Christian Majesty; and consequently the King will withdraw his obedience from the Pope. The English ambassador here [Sir John Wallop] does not approve the divorce; praising the wisdom, innocence, and patience of Queen Katharine, as also her daughter. He says that the Queen was beloved as if she had been of the blood royal of England; and the Princess in like manner. Also that should the divorce take place, the King will be at war with the Emperor and with Scotland; and with regard to giving his [King Francis' ?] daughter to the King of Scotland, this King [Henry ?] would approve of his [most Christian ?] Majesty's doing so. (fn. 2)
The report of the conference to be held by this most Christian King with the Pope, at Nice in Provence, gains ground daily. An order has been issued for all the gentlemen and archers in his Majesty's service, to come to the Court for this purpose in a few days, and also all the officials of the Court, of whom there are always four sets, one-fourth of them alone being usually on service: but now, all will assemble for this journey; and the King will go to Bourges, and then into Provence.
A Nuncio has arrived post from the Pope on his way to England.
Paris, 15th April. Registered by Sanuto 24th May.
April 16. Sanuto Diaries, v. lviii. p. 82. 872. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
On the day after his last letter, Queen Anne was publicly proclaimed in the King's Court; and his Majesty has appointed all her officials, the usual oath being taken, as to the Queens.
It is said that the coronation will be performed on St. George's day.
Queen Katharine will be sent to reside at Pontefract Castle, 160 miles hence, in the north, towards York, and the strongest place in this island. It is supposed that she will be demanded by the Emperor; and the Government (et questi) are apprehensive of some great commotion and disturbance.
London, 16th April. Registered by Sanuto 8th May.
April 16. Sanuto Diaries, v. lviii. p. 123. 873. The Same to the Same.
I write this evening by way of Antwerp. Before noon, a gentleman came to me from the King, desiring me to go and dine at the Court at Greenwich; so I went and dined with the Lord Chancellor, the Duke of Norfolk, the Marquis of Exeter (Marchexe Dancer), (fn. 3) and the father and brother of Queen Anne, who received me most graciously, and said that the King wished to speak to me. Dinner being ended, accompanied by their Lordships, I entered the presence of his Majesty, who was with a number of Lords, and Queen Anne, with many ladies and damsels (Signore et damisele). His Majesty immediately took me by the hand, and I congratulated him in general terms in the Signory's name on whatever gave him satisfaction; and he then asked me whether I had any news. I told him I had not; and his Majesty continued, “The ambassador here from the Emperor declares that the Signory has joined the League of the Pope and the Emperor.” When I told him it was untrue, he affirmed that it was most true, and that the Signory pretended not to be a party to it, but a writing proclaiming the League had been printed, including the Signory. I denied the fact, saying I was informed that the Signory had been requested to be a party to it, and refused, and that this proclamation had been printed at Bologna, and not in Venice, being made by the contracting parties in their own fashion. The King seemed satisfied and said, “The Pope and the Emperor make this announcement to render their League more authoritative.” He then added, “You have made a law prohibiting any one—under pain of capital punishment—from daring to divulge what passes in the Council of Ten and in the Senate; the Signory governs most prudently, and this decree was most sage, for I assure you that the greater part of your affairs were known.” (fn. 4) These words were uttered by his Majesty kindly both in word and action; and he then said he understood the Signory had raised 30,000 infantry between Padua, Treviso, and the neighbouring places. I said they were the usual militia, which are called out at this season; and he replied “I believe it.” He then asked when I thought the galleys would arrive; I said I expected them in the course of next November. His Majesty then told me, when I had news from Italy and the Turk, to let him know; after which he took me to Queen Anne, whom I saluted.
London, 16th April. Registered by Sanuto 24th May.
April 16. Sanuto Diaries, v. lviii. p. 124. 874. Marin Giustinian to the Signory.
Dom. Zuam Stefano Robio, secretary of the Duke of Milan, told me it was believed here that the Signory had leagued with the Emperor; so he used his good offices, saying it was untrue, which I confirmed by showing him the letters of the 16th February.
The Lansquenets, returning from the Danish expedition, entered Holland and the towns of the Emperor, laid them waste, and having been joined by others from Hungary, they were in number 6,000, some say 8,000, others 10,000; but Mons. de Nassau, with 1,000 horse, mustered amongst the peasantry, and a band of infantry, routed them, and made them retreat into the territories of the Duke of Guelders, as told me by the Milanese ambassador on the authority of letters received by the Imperial ambassador, dated the 29th March. The English ambassador says they are in small number, and that they sent delegates offering their services to his most Christian Majesty, who gave hopes of taking them into his pay; and England also negotiates with them, to prevent their going to the King of Scotland.
Paris, 16th April. Registered by Sanuto 24th May.
April 19 Senato Mar, v. xxii. p. 165, tergo. 875. Motion made in the Senate.
To exempt Giacomo Marcello, master of a merchant-galley bound to England, from serving in the Venetian navy.
Ayes, 143. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 4. Expulsis expellendis.
April 22. Sanato Diaries, v. lviii. p. 125. 876. Marin Giustinian to the Signory.
Letters dated the 11th, from a trustworthy person in England, state that on Good Friday, the marriage of the Marchioness Anne to the King was published, and would doubtless be proclaimed at the mass on the morrow [12th April]; and this has also been confirmed by a courier despatched to Rome, who passed through Paris.
The Papal Nuncio, Dom. Ubaldino, who came hither on his way to England, to speak about the Council, but not to settle anything, on arriving in Paris, went, as written by me, to the most Christian King; he has now returned, and will depart for England tomorrow.
Yesterday, an English herald, bearing the habits of the Order [of the Garter] which the King of England conferred on the Lord Steward and the Admiral at Boulogne when the conference was held, arrived at this Court. The festival of the Order [St. George's Day, 23rd April] his most Christian Majesty will celebrate with much ceremony, and it will be attended by the Duke of Richmond, the English King's natural son, who has the same order.
His most Christian Majesty has delayed his departure until the 24th, and will go to Moulins.
Mons. de Vigh (sic) French ambassador to the Emperor, and who came hither as written by me, confirms the conference at Nice; and also that the marriage of the Duke of Orleans to the Pope's niece, which has been concluded, will take place (qual è sta concluso si compicà).
Melun, 22nd April. Registered by Sanuto 24th May.
April 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. lviii. p. 43. 877. Marco Venier to the Signory.
Communicated to the Pope the advices from Constantinople, dated the 27th February and 8th March. His Holiness returned thanks, and then told me that the Cardinal de Tournon had letters dated the 5th, from the most Christian King, who chooses to complete (compir) the marriage of his Holiness's niece, the young Duchess (Signora Duchesina) with his son, the Duke of Orleans; and as they are both of [suitable ?] age, the Duke will come to consummate the marriage. I asked his Holiness about the divorce of England. He told me that some months ago, the Queen's agents complained to him that the King would not cohabit with her Majesty; and being thus counselled by the Cardinal of Ancona, (fn. 5) the Pope wrote a brief to the King, that he should return to live with the Queen (rolesse ritornar con la Regina) as otherwise provision would be made according to the canons; and he sent it to England. The English ambassadors complained, requesting the intimation might not be made, and that the commission should be given, according to law (pregando non fosse intimato, et fosse comesso de jure); and through the favour of' the Cardinal de Tournon, the Pope consented to delay (fa contento dimpender), and referred the matter to three cardinals, Monte, Campeggio, and Cesis.
The Pope then told me that the Emperor's daughter (fn. 6) was at Florence with the Duke Alexandro, in the midst of entertainments, and had been requested to remain there, and avoid the bad air of Naples in the summer; but her governess, the widow of Don Carlo de Lanoy, does not assent to this, saying she will take her into La Brianza, where the air is better. She will pass through Rome to kiss his Holiness's feet, and the marriage will take place in due season.
He then talked about the marriage of the second daughter of the King of Scotland (sic) [King of Denmark], to the Duke of Milan, which pleases him, because he will no longer be importuned by the Emperor to give the young Duchess [Catherine de' Medici] to Milan.
Spoke subsequently to the Cardinal de Tournon, who confirmed what is aforesaid. He is awaiting the arrival of the Cardinal de Grammont, who commenced the negotiation, and they will then complete it.
The Imperial ambassador, the Count of Cifuentes, has arrived here; (fn. 7) I visited him. We exchanged compliments (verba pro verbis). He says the Emperor favoured the Signory's interests, and will continue to do so.
Cardinal Campeggio has arrived, and the Cardinal of Ancona [Pietro degli Accolti] is dead. He had the title of third Bishop “Sabinese,” to which Auch, who was fourth Bishop, succeeds. The fifth [bishopric] is vacant. The “Albanese” see has been conferred on the Cardinal della Valle, who was the senior priest. I have congratulated him in the Signory's name.
Rome, 23rd April. Registered by Sanuto 29th April.
April 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. lviii. p. 124. 878. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
By a royal order, all the “city crafts” (fn. 8) have been warned not to dare speak otherwise than well of this new marriage and Queen Anne, and to prepare the entertainments and expenditure (spese) usually made for the Queen's coronation, which will be celebrated at Whitsuntide.
They have also ordered the four Mendicant Orders not to allow any one to preach without licence from the Archbishop, and the reason was, that the preachers, having been desired to admonish the people to pray to God for the King and Queen Anne, one who preached at Westminster not only spoke against the marriage, but told the people publicly to pray for the King and Queen Katharine, and for the Princess. They have also prohibited, under pain of capital punishment, the mention by any one of Queen Katharine.
Tomorrow some doctors depart for York, where, as there is another English archiepiscopal see, they will hold a certain conference, and promulgate some decrees in conformity with what was done in Parliament and in the Convocation of the ecclesiastics.
In a few days, the Duke of Norfolk, Master Polet [Sir John Paulet], Master Bryan, the Bishops of Winchester and London, and the Abbot of Westminster, and some others of his Majesty's chief councillors (de' primi apresso a questa Maestà) will, it is said, go to France, to be present at the conference of Nice; but I am assured on good authority, that the Duke of Norfolk, or a part of these personages, will go to the Emperor.
Nothing more is heard about the affairs of Scotland. The English ministry seems very apprehensive that the marriage of the most Christian King's daughter to the King of Scotland will take place.
The German who was sent hither by the Count Palatine has been despatched, receiving a present; and he took back a letter.
Four days ago, when conversing with the Lord Chancellor, he spoke to me at great length about the league made at Bologna and published with the inclusion of the Republic, as told me by the King; so it would be well for the Signory to write a letter about this, that it may be exhibited.
The Lansquenets in Holland are in number 10,000; they have not yet attacked the Hollanders. These Germans declare that it proceeds from the Emperor.
London, 27th April. Registered by Sanuto 24th May.
April 27. Sanuto Diaries (Originals), v. lviii. 879. Carlo Capello to the State Attorneys (Avogadori di Comun).
Encloses affidavits from the Ambassador and the Secretary concerning the affair of Maphio Bernardo.
London, 27th April. Registered by Sanuto 21st May.
Note by Sanuto, that next week the State Attorney Jacomo da Canal will plead in the Senate.
April 29. Sanuto Diaries, v. lviii. p. 135. 880. Marin Giustinian to the Signory.
Here in this city, which belonged to the late Duke of Bourbon, I spoke with the Lord Steward, who told me he was sending another gentleman to England and Scotland, besides Beauvoir, who departed from Rheims (Rens). I believe a truce will be made between those two kings for a year, so as to be able in the meanwhile to negotiate the peace.
St. Amand, 29th April. Registered by Sanuto 26th May.
April 30. Sanuto Diaries (Originals), v. lviii. 881. Marco Venier to the Signory.
When with the Pope today, after acquainting me with the contents of his letters from France about the congress, and his reply, he told me he had news that the King of England has married the Marchioness Anne, and treats her as queen; and he said, “Those English ambassadors” [Boner, Benet, and Gregory Casal ?] “have told me that their King, being thus counselled by doctors in Canon Law (da Dotori che Canonici) that he might do so, had acted thus, being unable to obtain justice here.” His Holiness then said to me, “See how these affairs are going; I hold that the Emperor will be displeased to hear this, and that by force of arms he will,” etc. And his Holiness added, “This ambassador of his has been to me, and does not commend the interview with the most Christian King, without first hearing the opinion of his Imperial Majesty;” he said that should the Pope go, they would discuss the marriage of his niece, and something besides which would disturb the peace of Italy. His Holiness replied that he did not think so, and declared that he might indeed listen to the proposal, but not give the King an answer to it. The Imperial ambassador then told the Pope that the marriage of England had been caused by the brief which his Holiness sent to the King, telling him to live with the Queen (ch'el stesse apresso la Raina) (fn. 9)
In Consistory, the Pope narrated what had taken place in England. It is said that the brief which his Holiness sent has been the cause of this.
Rome, 30th April. Registered by Sanuto 8th May.
April 30. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta). File No. 13. 882. The Doge and College to Carlo Capello, Ambassador in England.
Commend his diligence in sending them frequent and copious advices; is to continue doing so, and to make every loving demonstration towards the King. As they have lately received letters from their ambassador at Constantinople, send summaries for communication to his Majesty.


  • 1. In the year 1533 the 13th of April was Easter day, so the case was decided by the “Convocation” or Parliament on the 7th April 1533.”
  • 2. “Et. zercha dar la fiola a ditto Re di Scozia, a questo Re pararia soa Maestà lo facesse.”
  • 3. Query Dancer for Devonshire, Henry Courtenay being Earl of Devonshire and Marquis of Exete.
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • 6. Margaret of Austria, natural daughter of Charles V., then in her tenth year. In date Madrid, 26 January 1525, Gasparo Contarini informed the Senate that the Emperor had offered to affiance “his natural daughter, born 18 months ago at Valladolid to Hippolito de' Medici, and to make him Duke of Ferrara, promising the duchy of Bari to the son of Lorenzino.” In 1529 Clement VII. created Ippolito de' Medici cardinal, and in that same year the Emperor, who had but one natural daughter, affianced her to Alessandro de Medici, the natural son of Lorenzino, and the marriage was consummated in the year 1536, 29 February.
  • 7. In date 12 July 1529 (foot note), it is stated that in the preceding month of January the Imperial Ambassador at the Papal Court—a Neapolitan, by name Musetola—was succeeded by a gentleman of Barcelona, Don Michiel Maj. In date November 5, 1529, Gaspavo Contarini wrote from Bologna that the Imperial Ambassador with the Pope was the Archbishop of Bari, a Spaniard, by name Stefano Gabriel Merino; and it is now seen that the Emperor sent Count Cifuentes to Rome in his stead, in the spring of 1533. We thus get the names of the chief Imperial advocates of Queen Katharine at Rome during the divorce suit.
  • 8. “Tutte le Corte di questa citta.” Hall (p. 798), mentions orders given to the “Cominaltie of the Citie” for the coronation, and the commands received by the “craftes” accordingly.
  • 9. For an account of this brief, see Fronde's History of England, vol. I. pp. 397, 398, 401. ed. London, 1856.