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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|May 1. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. p. 1.
|100. Domenego Venier to the Doge and Signory.
|The Pope is raising 8,000 infantry for his defence against the Imperial camp. Out of the sum promised him by the Romans his Holiness has received 12,000 ducats, and he has despatched infantry captains with money to raise men. The Cardinals also were taking such part as became them. His Holiness was sending to France, Lorenzo Toscham, together with Sir John Russell, the English envoy, who will then proceed to England on account of the new League made, and to give assurance that the Pope will be a good Italian.
|Rome, 2nd May (sic). Registered by Sanuto, 1st May.
|May 1, 2, 3. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. p. 74.
|101. Letters from the French Court.
|A gentleman had arrived from England with news of the preparations for the publication of the agreement between France and England. On St. George's day the King permitted the French ambassadors (fn. 1) to see the Princess and pay their respects to her. The Princess spoke to them in French and Latin, and wrote; they also made her play upon the harpsichord.
|Two heralds were to acquaint the Emperor with the agreement made by the two Kings, and to demand the release of the French Princes on payment of a fair ransom, and, in case of refusal, to declare war. It has been settled to invade Flanders; the English King giving 10,000 crowns and 1,000 horse to the King of France for this purpose.
|The Bishop of Bayonne is going as ambassador from the King to a Diet of the Imperial Electors in Germany.
|Paris, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd May. Registered by Sanuto, 10th May.
|May 3. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. p. 73.
|102. Sebastian Giustinian to the Doge and Signory.
|The marriage has been signed, and is to be published on the day of the Apostles; after which they will proclaim the League between the Signory and his most Christian Majesty, who is sending money into Italy for a levy of 2,000 harquebusiers, to be sent to France for the service of the League against the Flemings.
|Paris, 3rd May. Registered by Sanuto, 15th May.
|May 5–11. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. p. 187.
|103. Marc' Antonio Venier to the Doge and Signory.
|Narrates the conclusion of the marriage and the entertainments given.
|London, 5th, 7th, and 11th May. Registered, by Sanuto, 2nd June.
|Note by Sanuto, that the particulars correspond with those of a copious letter from the ambassador's secretary, which he will transcribe hereafter. (fn. 2)
|May 7. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. p. 53.
|104. Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Andrea Loredano, Venetian Bailiff and Captain of Crema.
|The League has been concluded between France and England, the most Christian King having promised either to espouse the English Princess, or else to give her to his second son, the Duke of Orleans. The marriage is to take place immediately on the return of the two envoys sent to Spain, one in the name of the most Christian King, and the other on behalf of his English Majesty, urging the Emperor to join the League and release the French Princes for a fair ransom, and to restore the Milanese to the Duke. In case of refusal the envoys are to proclaim war, and on their return the two Kings will hold a conference between Calais and Boulogne.
|Besides the money for the payment of his troops, the most Christian King has sent 75,000 crowns to Venice, and as many more are to be remitted within a week; and should the Signory think it advisable, he is willing to subsidize 10,000 Switzers.
|Cremona, 7th May. Registered by Sanuto, 10th May.
|May 7. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. pp. 194–198.
|105. Gasparo Spinelli, Venetian Secretary in London, to his brother Lodovico Spinelli, in Venice.
|On the 4th instant all the ambassadors, with the exception of the Emperor's, were summoned to Greenwich, where, in the presence of the King and the chief personages of the Court, the French ambassador, the Bishop of Tarbes, delivered an oration, which was answered by the Bishop of London, who, on the morrow, Cardinal Wolsey being unable to officiate from indisposition, sang mass with the usual ceremonies; after which at the high altar, where the missal was opened by the Cardinal, the French ambassadors swore in his hands (“in mano dil R~mo Cardinal”) to observe the perpetual peace now concluded with the King of England, he on his part swearing in like manner.
|Two of the ambassadors, namely the prelate and the soldier, dined with the King, the others dining together apart.
|On rising from table they went to the Queen's apartment, where the Princess danced with the French ambassador, the Viscount of Turenne, who considered her very handsome (“molto bella”), and admirable by reason of her great and uncommon mental endowments; but so thin, spare, and small (“cosi magreta et scarma et picola”) as to render it impossible for her to be married for the next three years.
|Then yesterday (fn. 3) there was a joust, the challengers at the tilt (“al campo”) being four, (fn. 4) the competitors (“concorrenti”) sixteen, each of whom ran six courses; a very delectable sight, by reason of the prowess of the knights. The joust ended with the day, not without rain, which rather impeded the jousting.
|The King and the Queens, (fn. 5) with some 200 damsels (“damigelle”), then went to the apartments which I informed you in a former letter were being prepared [on one side of the list-yard at Greenwich] for the reception of the French ambassadors, the rest of the company following them. The site adjoined the other chambers from whence the King and the nobility view the jousts. They were but two halls, about thirty paces in length, and of proportional height and breadth. The centre of the ceiling of the first hall was entirely covered with brocatel of no great value, but producing a good effect; the walls were hung with the most costly tapestry in England, representing the history of David; and there was a row of torches closely set, (fn. 6) illuminating the place very brilliantly, being ranged below the windows, which were at no great distance from the roof. The royal table was prepared in front of the hall, with a large canopy of tissue (“soprarizo”), beneath which was the King, with the Queens, his wife and sister, at the sides. Then came two long tables, at one of which, on the right-hand side, were seated the French ambassadors and the Princes, each pairing with some great lady. At the other table, to the left, the Venetian ambassador and the one from Milan placed themselves, with the rest of the lords and ladies. At no great distance from the two tables were two cupboards, reaching from the floor to the roof, forming a semicircle, on which was a large and varied assortment of vases, all of massive gold, the value of which it would be difficult to estimate, nor were any of them touched; silver gilt dishes of another sort being used for the viands of meat and fish, which were in such variety and abundance that the banquet lasted a long while.
|The door of this hall was in the form of a very lofty triumphal arch, fashioned after the antique, beneath which were three vaulted entrances; through one passed the dishes for the table, through the other they were removed, and on each side of the centre one, which was the largest, stood two enormous cupboards bearing the wine to be served at table. Over the triumphal arch was a spacious balcony for the musicians, bearing the arms of the King and Queen, with sundry busts of Emperors, and the King's motto, “Dieu et mon droit” and other Greek (sic) words. Could never conceive anything so costly and well designed (“ben ordinata”) as what was witnessed on that night at Greenwich.
|On rising from table all were marshalled, according to their rank, along a corridor of no great length to the other hall, which was of rather less size than the first. The floor was covered with cloth of silk embroidered with gold lilies. The ceiling, which was well nigh flat, was all painted, representing a map of the world (“mapamondo in Alpa forma”), the names of the principal provinces being legible; there were also the signs of the zodiac and their properties (“le loro proprietà”), these paintings being supported by giants. Along the sides of the hall were three tiers of seats, each of which had a beam placed lengthwise, for the spectators to lean on, nor did one tier interfere with the other. Above these tiers were in like manner three rows of torches, so well disposed and contrived as not to impede the view.
|Within the space for the spectators, on the right-hand side, in the first tier, the ambassadors were placed, in the second the Princes, in the third those to whom admission was granted, they being few. On the opposite side, in the same order, were the ladies, whose various styles of beauty and apparel, enhanced by the brilliancy of the lights, caused me to think I was contemplating the choirs of angels; they, in like manner, being placed one above the other. Two-thirds of the distance down the hall, an arch of a single span had been erected, its depth being five feet and a half [English measure], all gilt with fine gold, the inside of the arch being decorated with a number of beautiful figures in low relief. The magnificence of this arch was such that it was difficult to comprehend how so grand a structure could have been raised in so short a space of time. In the centre, to the front (“nel fronte nel mezo”), stood the royal throne (“soglio”), on which the King sat, the two Queens being seated below at his feet.
|All the spectators being thus methodically placed, without the least noise or confusion, and precisely as pre-arranged, the entertainment commenced. One thing above all others surprised me most, never having witnessed the like any where, it being impossible to represent or credit with how much order, regularity, and silence such public entertainments proceed and are conducted in England. First of all, there entered the hall eight singers, forming two wings, and singing certain English songs; in their centre was a very handsome youth alone, clad in skyblue tatfety, a number of eyes being scattered over his gown; and having presented themselves before the King, the singers then withdrew in the same order, there remaining by himself the youth, who, in the guise of Mercury, sent to the King by Jupiter, delivered a learned Latin oration in praise of his Majesty; which panegyric being ended, he announced that Jupiter, having frequently listened to disputes between Love and Riches concerning their relative authority, and that being unable to decide the controversy, he appointed his Majesty as judge, and requested him to pronounce and pass sentence on both of them. Thereupon Mercury departed, and next came eight young choristers of the chapel, four on each side; those to the right were all clad in cloth of gold, much ornamented, and the first of them was Cupid (“Amor”); the others to the left were variously arrayed, and their chief was Plutus (“la Richesa”); in the centre walked one alone, in the guise of Justice, who sang.
|In this order they presented themselves to the King, before whom Justice commenced narrating the dispute between the parties, in English, and desired Cupid (“Amor”) to begin with his defence, to which Plutus (“la Richeza”) replied, each of the choristers on either side defending their leaders, by reciting a number of verses. The altercation being ended, Cupid and Plutus determined that judgment should go by battle, and thus, having departed, three men-at-arms in white armour, with three naked swords in their hands, entered from the end of the hall, and having drawn up under the triumphal arch, an opening was made in its centre by some unseen means, and out of the arch fell down a bar, in front of which there appeared three well-armed knights. The combat then commenced valiantly, man to man, some of them dealing such blows that their swords broke. After they had fought some while, a second bar was let down, which separated them, the first three having vanquished the others, fighting with great courage; and the duel (“duello”) being thus ended, the combatants quitted the hall in like manner as they had entered it. Thereupon there fell to the ground at the extremity of the hall a painted canvas [curtain], from an aperture in which was seen a most verdant cave (“antro”) approachable by four steps, each side being guarded by four of the chief gentlemen of the Court, clad in tissue doublets and tall plumes, each of whom carried a torch. Well grouped within the cave were eight damsels of such rare beauty as to be supposed goddesses rather than human beings. They were arrayed in cloth of gold, their hair gathered into a net, with a very richly jewelled garland, surmounted by a velvet cap, the hanging sleeves of their surcoats (“camisa”) (fn. 7) being so long that they well nigh touched the ground, and so well and richly wrought as to be no slight ornament to their beauty. They descended gracefully from their seats to the sound of trumpets, the first of them being the Princess, hand in hand with the Marchioness of Exeter. (fn. 8) Her beauty in this array produced such effect on everybody that all the other marvellous sights previously witnessed were forgotten, and they gave themselves up solely to contemplation of so fair an angel. On her person were so many precious stones that their splendour and radiance dazzled the sight, in such wise as to make one believe that she was decked with all the gems of the eighth sphere. Dancing thus they presented themselves to the King, their dance being very delightful by reason of its variety, as they formed certain groups and figures most pleasing to the sight. Their dance being finished, they ranged themselves on one side, and in like order the eight youths, leaving their torches, came down from the cave, and after performing their dance, each of them took by the hand one of those beautiful nymphs, and having led a courant together (“menata una chorea”) for a while, returned to their places.
|Six masks then entered. To detail their costume would be but to repeat the words “cloth of gold,” cloth of silver,” &c. They chose such ladies as they pleased for their partners, and commenced various dances, which being ended, the King appeared. The French ambassador, the Marquis of Turrene, was at his side, and behind him four couple of noblemen (“signori”), all masked, and all wearing black velvet slippers on their feet, this being done, lest the King should be distinguished from the others, as from the hurt which he received lately on his left foot when playing at tennis (“allo palla”) he wears a black velvet slipper. They were all clad in tissue doublets, over which was a very long and ample gown of black satin, with hoods of the same material, and on their heads caps of tawney velvet. They then took by the hand an equal number of ladies, dancing with great glee, and at the end of the dance unmasked; whereupon the Princess with her companions again descended, and came to the King, who in the presence of the French ambassadors took off her cap, and the net being displaced, a profusion of silver tresses as beautiful as ever seen on human head fell over her shoulders, forming a most agreeable sight. The aforesaid ambassadors then took leave of her; and all departing from that beautiful place returned to the supper hall, where the tables were spread with every sort of confection and choice wines for all who chose to cheer themselves with them. The sun, I believe, greatly hastened his course, having perhaps had a hint from Mercury of so rare a sight; so showing himself already on the horizon, warning being thus given of his presence, everybody thought it time to quit the royal chambers, returning to their own with such sleepy eyes that the daylight could not keep them open.
|As the Bishop of Tarbes is departing tomorrow morning in haste, I will not be more diffuse. He will be accompanied by Master Poyntz [Sir Francis Poyntz] and Clarencieux, king-of-arms, to do what I wrote in a former letter. On their departure each of the ambassadors received a gold cup from his Majesty.
|London, 7th May 1527. Registered by Sanuto, 3rd June.
|May 8. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. p. 64.
|106. Lunardo Moro, Venetian Lieutenant of the Friuli, to the Doge and Signory.
|Has received a letter from the Community of Venzon, whose captain understood from the nephew of the Abbot of Verni (sic), that the English ambassadors (sic) (fn. 9) paid their respects to the Archduke Ferdinand at Prague, and according to report made him great offers of favour. The fortifications of Vienna were being continued. The reporter of this intelligence is going to Venice, where he lodges habitually in the house of the Albani on the Campo of S. Bortolomeo. Possibly the Signory may be able to elicit something more from him.
|Udine, 8th May. Registered by Sanuto, 13th May.
|May 12. Navagero Despatches, Cicogna Copy, in the Correr Museum.
|107. Andrea Navagero to the Signory.
|The Chancellor is at Barcelona waiting to take his passage into Italy; many expect him to be recalled. The business of the Court suffers much from his absence. Many couriers have been sent to and fro between him and the Court, as if a variety of negotiations still depended on him, though such is the Emperors character that he never declined the resignation of any person, nor does he think that he has such need of the Chancellor as to be unable to do without him; so he will easily allow of his departure.
|Lately when the Nuncio was urging the despatch of a private matter, the Emperor requested him to take patience until he got a Chancellor. He has said the like to many others, showing that he does not mean to recall Gattinara; but it seems surprising that he should allow an old servant of such ability to go away dissatisfied. It also appears strange that Gattinara, after writing disrespectfully against the King of France and the Pope, and rendering everybody his enemy, for the sake of the Emperor, should now quit him, and without any commission go to Italy, where he can exercise no authority. Many persons are of opinion that he may have some secret commission from the Emperor, and that he is sent to follow up the negotiation for a Council, of which he, Gattinara, has said so much in his writings, and which the Emperor thinks the safest way to make himself master of the Church and of Italy.
|The Chancellor has always advocated this scheme, being of opinion that he would be appointed judge, both by reason of his influence with the Emperor and his knowledge of canon law, in which he believes himself supreme.
|Should Gattinara go to Italy without any commission, he could do nothing more imprudent than quit the Court (where he is well nigh all powerful) at the present moment. Has already sent to the Signory a printed book containing what Gattinara has written against the King of France in reply to an “apology” written in France, and to a letter by the King to the electors of the Empire, together with the articles of the Holy League. He has since published another book, in which are two briefs from the Pope, and the Emperor's answer to them, as also the written reply to the Nuncio, the French ambassador, and Navagero on the receipt of their mandates to negotiate the peace, which they refused to accept. This book also contains a letter, in which, as likewise in the reply to the briefs, there are expressions against the Pope and the Church of such a sort that nothing worse could be expected from Luther. In the reply made to the ambassadors he has suppressed two paragraphs which existed in the original, the one containing gross abuse of the King of France. Gattinara, nevertheless, perseveres in vituperation, and suppressed it in the printed version only because the ambassadors complained greatly of it, and for the sake of justifying himself with the Cortes and the Grandees, by showing them that the failure of the peace did not proceed from the Emperor, hoping thus more easily to obtain some money from them.
|The second paragraph omitted by him was the reply made to the ambassadors concerning their demand for payment by the Emperor to the King of England of what he owed him. In addition to what is printed, the written statement purported that the Emperor did not deny the debt, but on the contrary owned it, and although the discussion of this matter did not appertain to the confederate ambassadors, as at Valladolid the King had his own ambassadors, with whom there would be no dispute whatever, the Emperor, nevertheless, to prove that he in no way failed to further the general peace of Christendom, was also content, for the sake of the confederates, to do what they required. The passage has now been expunged. The reply was given in the presence of the Emperor's councillors and of witnesses, and by a notary public.
|Now sends the entire book, showing the reply and the rest of the statement, whereby the Signory will comprehend what trust can be placed by the Pope in persons who profess such a disposition towards him in writing and in print, and choose it to be known to the whole world. It is a novelty that now-a-days the Christian powers should do battle no less by writing invectives against each other than with the sword. The Nuncio complained to the Emperor of his having allowed such things to be printed against the Pope, and received for answer that the Chancellor asked his permission to reply to the apology composed in France to excuse the King for his breach of promise. That the Emperor granted this, and then allowed him to answer the Pope's briefs, having been told that a reply was necessary in vindication of his lights, but that he had charged his confessor and the Archbishop of Bari to see that it was devoid of offensive expressions. That subsequently the Emperor heard and perceived that his wish had not been complied with, and that, touching the King of France, he did not care the least, but had complained greatly of what was written in such form of the Pope, most especially on perceiving that more was said against his Holiness than against the King of France; but that now he, the Emperor, could only regret it, and assured the Nuncio that what took place was without his consent.
|Is of opinion that the transaction was the result of very mature consultation, and that this mode of proceedure by means of notarial acts, and by printing the whole, indicates extreme malice, the object being more and more to justify the Emperor's rights, so as to enable them (should they get the upper hand, which God forbid) on firmer grounds to summon a Council, or to take such other steps as they aspire at.
|The Emperor and his ministers disapprove so much of the eight months truce made between the Pope and the Viceroy, that they censure the Viceroy to the utmost, and praise the Duke of Bourbon to the skies, solely because they think he will not keep it. The Emperor told the Nuncio that he does not much like the truce, because the term is so short; that he would have wished it to last for at least two years, and that he also suspected the Duke of Bourbon would not observe it; a proof that he wishes him thus to do. The Emperor's confessor also says so much about this, and speaks so strongly against the Pope, as to render it very evident that the truce and peace desired by the Imperialists, so long as they have any hope of obtaining their ends, is to admit of no equals, choosing everybody to be subject to them, and themselves to be the masters of Italy and of the world.
|Nothing has been heard about this truce save by letters from the Viceroy. Neither the Emperor nor the Nuncio have received any letters from the Pope. The Emperor tells the Nuncio that the King of France has stopped two Papal couriers and seized their despatches, including those addressed to Salviati, the Legate at his Court. Further advices are anxiously expected, most especially concerning the truce, whether France and the Signory have accepted it, and whether the Duke of Bourbon has returned into Lombardy. (fn. 10)
|Valladolid, 12th May 1527.
|May 13. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. p. 61.
|108. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
|The English ambassador [Prothonotary Casal] came into the College, and said the best thing would be for the armies to march upon Rome to free the Pope, and that last evening he had written to the King and Cardinal in good form.
|May 13. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv.p. 60.
|109. The Doge and Signory to Marc' Antonio Venier, Venetian Ambassador in England.
|(Read to the Senate by the Secretary, Nicolò Sagudino.)
|To persuade the King to provide for Italy, as the Emperor aims at universal monarchy.
|Note by Sanuto, that the letter was well worded, and commended by the whole Senate, and that he would transcribe it hereafter.
|May 15. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), v. lii. p. 28.
|110. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador in Florence.
|Received yesterday his letter of the 12th, announcing receipt on that day at Florence of the news of the disastrous loss of Rome.
|The Government of Florence will be aware of the very powerful preparations being made by the most Christian King to invade Flanders and other territories on his frontiers, conjointly with the King of England, in virtue of the new confederacy and marriage stipulated between the two crowns.
|Ayes, 228. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 2.
|May 16. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. p. 80.
|111. Audience in the Venetian College Hall.
|The English ambassador [Prothonotary Giovanni Casal] came for news. The letters from the Signory's ambassador in England, and the advices from France, were communicated to him, as also the resolve formed yesterday in the Senate to send the army towards Rome, which he commended greatly.
|May 18. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. p. 193.
|112. Marc' Antonio Venier to the Doge and Signory.
|Viscount Rochford, late Sir Thomas Boleyn, and Sir Anthony Browne, brother of the Treasurer of his Majesty's Chamber (“fradello dil Thesorier dilla Camera dil Re”) (fn. 11) are gone to France as ambassadors from the King, and an embargo has been laid on all the ships in the Thames for the conveyance of Cardinal Wolsey, who is going to confer with the most Christian King.
|The Cardinal said to him that it would be better to attend to the affairs of Italy, rather than to attack the Emperor in Flanders.
|London, 18th May. Registered by Sanuto, 3rd Jane.
|May 23. Sanuto Diaries, v.xlv.pp. 189, 190.
|113. Sebastian Giustinian to the Doge and Signory.
|Spoke warmly to the King in council about the affairs of Italy, and considering the need of additional forces, it was determined with the English ambassadors that his Majesty (“quella Maestà”) should remit money into Italy for 10,000 infantry, or send down 10,000 Lansquenets of Colder (sic) [Guelders?] or of the Black Band, and that he should send 600 spears at his own cost into Italy, that they may cut the enemy's standing corn. This determination was caused by his (Giustinian's) earnest representations deploring the calamities of Rome, and by his insisting on the necessity for succouring Italy. The most Christian King is about to go to Boulogne for a conference with Cardinal Wolsey, after which they will have an interview with the King of England; and the business being concluded, he will proceed to Lyons, in order to be near Italy, and to provide everything necessary for the war. His Majesty will go at the beginning of June to meet the Cardinal, the King of England crossing over to France in the middle of the month, whereupon Wolsey will repair to such place as shall be determined on to negotiate the general peace, should the Emperor consent to it; if not, they will wage most violent war on him in Flanders. Should peace be made, the Emperor's sister, Madame Eleanor, will become the wife of the most Christian Kino;, and the Princess of England marry the Duke of Orleans: but, in the event of war, the English Princess is to marry his most Christian Majesty.
|Paris, 23rd May. Registered by Sanuto, 2nd June.
|May 23. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. p. 193.
|114. Advices from France.
|On the 21st the news of Rome and of the death of Bourbon arrived. (fn. 12)
|The King on his part will do what he can to be revenged, and hopes that the King of England will act in like manner. Before the arrival of the Bishop of Tarbes from England, it was reported that his English Majesty had determined to send [into Italy?] 10,000 infantry on his own behalf, and to contribute rateably (“alla ratta”) to the other expenses.
|It is surprising that although fifty hours have now elapsed since the receipt in Paris by way of Venice of the news from Rome, nothing has hitherto been heard from any other quarter. It is, however, hoped that the allied armies will have freed the Pope and Cardinals. The King said positively, on the 22nd, that after the [session of?] Parliament the King of England will go to Lyons, (fn. 13) and that both Kings will be there shortly.
|Paris, 23rd May. Registered by Sanuto, 3rd June.
|May 23. Navagero Despatches, Cicogna Copy, in the Correr Museum.
|115. Andrea Navagero to the Signory.
|Announces the birth on the 21st, at 4.30 p.m., of the Emperor's son and heir, to the joy of all Spaniards, by reason of the love they bear their sovereign on account of his extreme justice and goodness. He now obtains what was wanting to secure his dynasty.
|From England the arrival of the Bishop of Tarbes and Sir Francis Poyntz, is expected hourly, to settle the peace with the Emperor.
|Valladolid, 23rd May 1527.
|May 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. xlv. p. 223.
|116. Marco Antonio Venier to the Doge and Signory.
|Received the Signory's letters announcing the entry of the enemy into Rome.
|London, 27th May 1527. Registered by Sanuto, 12th June.