Venice: December 1542

Pages 115-116

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 5, 1534-1554. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1873.

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December 1542

Dec. 16. Miscellaneous Letters, Venetian Archives. 288. Hironimo Zuccato, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Chiefs of the Ten.
Has been told, under promise of great secrecy, by a person who obtains very early intelligence, that Lord Maxwell (quel Signor Mariel), commander of the Scots, mentioned by him in his other letters, being of the new Lutheran and heretical sect, and disagreeing with Cardinal Beaton, who at present (as has been the case for many years) rules the King and realm of Scotland in his own fashion, was the sole cause of this rout of the Scots, and of his own capture and that of the others, because being in the vanguard, on perceiving the English, he immediately called some other noblemen, with whom he galloped to the rear, for the purpose, he said, of warning and encouraging the troops and placing them in order of battle. The rear-guard, who could also distinguish the enemy, on seeing Maxwell and the others make their retreat, attributing it to fear, ran away; whereupon, to make a part of them rally and face the English, or possibly for the better concealment of his deceit and treachery, he with his own hand killed three or four of the fugitives, and immediately advanced with his few followers, as already stated. (fn. 1)
At any rate, be this as it may, his turning back and galloping to the rear, in such a way, and at such a moment, should it not be attributed to malice (malizia) or treachery, cannot but cause persons skilled in military matters to consider him a very inexperienced and inefficient commander (uno mad prattico et un molto da poco capitaneo).
As this business may serve as a warning to others, and is momentous (perchè è et di essemplo et di momento), will not fail to give the Chiefs a detailed account should he learn anything farther about it.
London, 16th December 1542. (fn. 2)
[Original despatch in cipher, with contemporary decipher, Italian.]
Dec. 18. Parti Comuni, Consiglio X. v. xv. p. 89. 289. English Loan Contractors.
Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta, by the chiefs of the Ten, Stefano Tiepolo and Francesco Venier.
The Signory having been informed that certain Englishmen would fain lend the Signory 50,000 ducats, on the following terms;
That during thirty consecutive years, five thousand ducats he paid them annually, and that on the expiration of the thirty years it be understood that both capital and interest are thus repaid, the Signory not remaining debtor for anything. As it is desirable that the State should make use of this sum, most especially as it is derived from aliens, it will be put to the ballot, that to those who made this offer it be answered that the State is willing to accept it, but with this condition, that they will give them annually 4,000 ducats; and whereas the demand is for thirty years, the Signory will pay them the annuity during 37½ years, so that they will obtain the sum asked by them, but in rather a longer period.
Ayes, 14 15 Pendet ¾.
Noes, 11 11
Neutrals 2 1


  • 1. Query: In the letters to the Senate, which no longer exist
  • 2. Mary Stuart was born on the 5th December 1542, and her father James V. died on the 8th, which events were probably recorded by Zuccato in his despatches to the Senate; but, as already mentioned, they no longer exist, having probably perished in the fires of the 16th century.