Appendix: Miscellaneous 1530

Pages 511-515

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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Miscellaneous 1530

Aug. 7. Sanuto Diaries, v. liv. pp. 645– 647. 1109. Bortolo Fontio, Minorite Friar, to IIironimo Marcello.
This city is divided into three factions, viz. the Papists (Papisti), who still have here their churches, images, masses, canonical hours, and bells, though they are in very small number as compared with the other inhabitants; but amongst them arc some very wealthy individuals, and who are powerful in the city, such as the Fuggers because they have much to do with ecclesiastical benefices and with the Emperor. They perform their usual ceremonies without any hindrance, it being the intention of the Government to let all men believe what they please; though I know not how they can tolerate the scoffs and gibes of the multitude, who constantly ridicule their ceremonies. They preach to small congregations, and perhaps hope that the approaching Diet at Spires will improve their condition; but the best informed persons do not expect it to be held, unless by means of the embassy sent to him the Emperor persuade the Duke of Saxony to attend it in person. Of this, however, I will give you notice from day to day.
The second faction is that of the Lutherans, who are numerous, and complain greatly of the dismissal by the Government of some of their preachers, because they did not agree with certain other preachers of the faction of Zuingle in the matter of the Eucharist; but the Government acted thus for the public peace.
The third faction, which is that of Zuingle, is the greatest, and it comprises beyond comparison many more of the citizens, so that yesterday they celebrated the communion more Zuinglij, and side with him in all things as you know, and all the Evangelical preachers are unanimously in his favour. By reason of this division I am not much pleased to remain in this city; though, being here, I endeavour to acquaint myself with the arguments and authorities of both parties, but will not precipitate my judgment.
On holidays, the aforesaid preachers preach “la scriptura sacra” in five places, some of them expounding Matthew, some Paul, et sic dc singulis, tutti differentemente, before the sermon, there being present a very great concourse of people evincing much devotion; and they go without much ringing of bells, which merely strike the hours. All the people sing the Psalms of David, most melodiously, causing great spiritual joy and consolation to the hearers; so that after the sermon, they always sing a psalm; and then the preacher exhorts them to give alms, which are most abundant, in such wise that the need of such as are unable, to help themselves is provided for. He also exhorts them to pray for all sorts and conditions of men, (pro quoins hominum gonere accommodate), as likewise for the propagation of the Gospel. They live very frugally, with regard both to apparel, household furniture, and daily food; and they administer exemplary justice.
They also give daily lectures in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin; and attend more than ever was the practice formerly to the education of youth, both as concerns literature and sound Christian morality.
Concerning works of charity, there are six delegates appointed by the Government to visit the town, which is divided [into districts] accordingly, (fn. 1) and to see to the poor, by which I mean such as are not in the hospitals. (fn. 2)
There is nothing else to announce at present. If able to acquaint myself better with the government of the town, I will give you full account.
I have not any books to send you, as there is no novelty of importance in the libraries, save things written in German. “Vale, patrone et domine mi singularissime.” (fn. 3)
Augsburg, 7th August. Registered by Sanuto, 31st August.
Aug. 7. Sanuto Diaries, v. liv. pp 647, 648. 1110. The Mantuan Ambassador to the Duke of Mantua.
The people of Nuremberg and Ulm have lately introduced a new sect, which no longer allows any ceremonies or sermons, or books, either of the Old or New Testament, saying that with a clean conscience, and having the soul turned to God, God inspires man with what he has to do, and that these inspirations are perverted by the precepts which are read in books and heard from preachers; wherefore these sectarians forbid both one and the other, so that they may freely act according to the divine inspiration, without being diverted or seduced by the rules of others. It is foreseen “che con questo principio habbia ad venir alla comunione de tutte le cose,” as intended by them a few years ago, when the peasants rebelled; and the system being very detrimental to the Princes, both Heretics and Catholics, it is hoped that in this way the Lord God will rouse them; and that they will unite together against this plague, which, if allowed to take root, might then produce the most mischievous effects.
Brussels, 7th August. Registered by Sanuto, 31st August.
Aug. 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. liv. p. 666. 1111. Nicolò Tiepolo to the Signory.
The Emperor's departure for Spires, where the Diet was to have been held, has been delayed until October, because the plague is there; and they wish to hold it at Worms.
A few days ago, the Lutherans held a Diet at Nuremberg, and said they would submit to the Emperor and the King of the Romans in temporal matters; but that with regard to spiritual matters, they choose to believe in their own fashion, until the convocation of the Council.
The King of the Romans has written to the Emperor that the Princes will send their envoys to the Diet, but not come in person, which the Emperor considers indecorous for him.
Brussels, 30th August. Registered by Sanuto, 13th September.
Sept. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. liv. p. 661. 1112. Advices from Germany received by way of Milan.
The new sect of the “Insuniatori” is opposed by the Lutherans, who have, burnt eight men and four women; with other particulars, ut in litteris.
Milan, 5th September. Registered by Sanuto, 11th September.
Sept. 5. Sanuto Diaries, v. liv. pp. 664, 665. 1113. Zuam Basadonna, Venetian Ambassador with the Duke of Milan, to the Signory.
On the 24th July I wrote that at the Diet of Spires they were to discuss the Lutheran affairs, and other new heresies, without explaining what they were, as the particulars had not then arrived here.
It is now heard, through letters written from Munich last month, that a new sect has sprung up, called the seet “delli somniatori.” It originated in Franconia, and has not yet spread much, being persecuted by the authorities and the Princes; twelve persons having been executed in eight days, eight men and four women.
These sectarians maintain that preaching is neither useful, necessary, nor commanded by God, so they disparage it. The foundation of their faith consists in certain dreams and visions—styled by them revelations,—and the like; and they do nothing but what is manifested to them by their said dreams and pretended revelations. They moreover dissolve marriage, dismissing their lawful wives, and marrying them to others, saying that such is the commission from God. They do not believe in the Eucharist, nor yet in baptism; so the Senate of Nuremberg has issued proclamations forbidding any one to consort with such heretics under pain of death.
Ulm has entirely given up the mass, and “fa una cena” on Sunday; and the like is said of part of the population of Augsburg. The foundation of this supper is the bread and wine, which remain (they believe) in their original substance, and do not change, but become “dominice” bread and wine, to be used in the service of the Lord, and they therefore call it “sancto segno.” They maintain that Christ is present at the supper, but not in the bread; according to St. Matthew, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them;” and that in faith they eat the body and drink the blood of Christ. They moreover believe many other things which astound those who hear them.
The Lutherans make every possible demonstration of being opposed to this sect, and of hatred to it.
May the Lord God provide for his religion.
Milan, 5th September. Registered by Sanuto, 11th September.
Sept. 29, 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 28. 1114. Nicolò Tiepolo to the Signory.
The Lutheran delegates have come to make four demands of the Emperor.
1st. A safeconduct for themselves and their effects when coming to the Diet.
2dly. That they may bring with them Martin Luther, and that no molestation whatever be offered him.
3dly. That at Spires, where the Diet is to be held, the preachers may be allowed to preach.
4thly. That they may be allowed to eat meat Avhen they please.
Should his Majesty not think fit to grant these conditions, they pray him not to compel them to attend this Diet.
These requests displeased the Emperor greatly; and he answered them, that he would grant the safeconduct willingly, although it was not needed, but that with regard to the rest, he would concede them nothing.
Brussels, 29th and 30th September. Registered by Sanuto, 12th and 13th October.
Oct. 7. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. pp. 41, 42. 1115. Letter from Brussels concerning Lutheran Affairs.
At present nothing more is said here about the Emperor's going into Germany, for as yet the Lutherans do not acquiesce, and, on the contrary, are worse than ever, and their sect increases daily. The whole House of Brandenburg is of their faith, whereas before the Diet of Augsburg the Marquis George alone professed it. The Cardinal of Mentz, (fn. 4) who was so very hostile to the Lutherans, now agrees with them, and will perhap marry, many bishops of the country doing the like. The Marquis Gioachim brother of the Cardinal, also of the house of Brandenburg, who showed himself the best Christian of any at the Diet of Augsburg, now shares his brother's opinion; so that of the whole family [of Brandenburg] there remains but one [Roman Catholic], Giovanni Alberto, (fn. 5) who resides at the Emperor's Court, and is “Clerk Prothonotary” (Clerico Prothonotario and in the time of Pope Leo resided at Rome with another of his brothers. So you can judge for yourself how the affairs of these Lutherans prosper; and they say they will not attend the Diet should the Emperor discuss the faith. If they come, they choose the gates of the city to remain open day and night, and that their preachers be allowed to preach; with other articles sent by them to the Emperor, too long to enumerate. It is said that Martin Luther will come, should the Diet be held, which may easily come to pass from what took place this morning, when the Emperor assembled the municipality of this city at the palace in a large hall, he himself and the Queen [Dowager of Hungary] his sister being present. They conferred upwards of three hours, the conference purporting that his Majesty, intending to go into Germany, leaves certain concessions (capitoli) for the people and their government, and recommends his sister to them. After his Majesty had said much by proxy, he also spoke to them with his own lips for upwards of an hour, the Queen likewise making a speech. Their discourse was so gracious and affable that it well nigh moved to tears, and the people declared themselves unanimously his servants and slaves.
Brussels, 7th October. Registered by Sanuto, 20th October.
Oct. 17 ? Sauuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 50. 1116. Battle of Baden.
News received at Milan from Switzerland.
Last evening news arrived that the eight Lutheran cantons of Switzerland united, in number 20,000, because the five Christian cantons purposed punishing their rebel subjects. So the Lutheran forces went to Zug, one of the chief of the five Christian cantons, which sent for succour from the other four, and altogether they mustered a force of 8,000 men, with which on the 11th instant, at about the twenty-first hour, they attacked the enemy. It was a pious satisfaction to see the Catholics victorious. After having routed the Lutherans they killed some 2,000 of them, taking four banners and twenty-four pieces of artillery. Few of the Christians were killed, but many were wounded, and had not the night intervened the slaughter would have been greater. The event may be considered advantageous for the religion and the Diet of Spires, and gives hopes that should another engagement take place the like mishap will not befall the Christians, which may God grant, should recourse to arms be unavoidable.
Lugano, 17th October? Registered by Sanuto, 24th October.
Oct 21. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 55. 1117. Zuam Basadonna to the Signory.
Letters from Giacomo Fier, Captain of Lugano, dated the 17th instant, announce the rout of the eight Lutheran cantons, which took place at Baden of Capel (di Capel), one and a half German miles from Zug. On their flight they threw away all their arms, and the Christians captured two banners of Zurich, and those of Friburg. Fifteen hundred Lutherans were killed, and the Catholics pursued them for a distance of two miles along the road and through the woods until near Zurich. Amongst the killed is Ulric Zuingle, the enemy of the Faith, and chief leader of this sect, together with many other natives of Zurich, Captain Plainter, the late Abbot of Santa Maria di Gualdo, the Abbot of Capel, &c, &c.
Subsequently the troops of the five cantons also took the castle of Lucerne; so Giacomo Fier by this letter demands money and harquebuses from the Milanese, as the Bernese will now come with a considerable force to attack the five cantons. The Duke [of Milan] has offered his mediation to both parties for the adjustment of their disputes.
Milan, 21st October. Registered by Sanuto, 29th October.
Postscript.—A person has arrived with news that the Bernese, in number 30,000, gave battle to 20,000 of the Christians. The latter were victorious, causing the former no little loss and slaughter, for which the Lord God be thanked.
Oct. 28. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 54. 1118. Battle of Baden?
Note by Sanuto, how on that morning letters were received from Basadonna, Ambassador at Milan, with advices of a battle fought between 30,000 Lutherans and 20,000 Catholics; and the Catholics were victorious, and killed many of the [Lutheran] leaders, ut in litteris.


  • 1. “Circha le opere di carità., sei sono deputati per il dominio, gli quali debbano visitare la terra similiter divisa”
  • 2. “Negli hospitali;” query, almshouses.
  • 3. The letter ends with messages to the writer's friends at Venice, who seem all to have been literary men, whose place of meeting was a silk-mercer's shop, belonging to one “Zacaria” (In apothecâ a serico Domini Zacaria). In Venice, the shops of respectable tradesmen were places of resort for men of letters, before the establishment of coffee houses, and were still frequented by them even in the present century; the learned librarian Morelli presiding at Mantovani's the apothecary in “Calle Larga,” at St. Mark's.
  • 4.
  • 5. Son of Frederick, and brother of Marquis George. Chiusole (p. 340) calls him Gumberto; says he was a canon, and in the service of Leo X. and that he died in the year 1528 (sic).