Milan
1461

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1912

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37-106

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'Milan: 1461', Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts in the Archives and Collections of Milan: 1385-1618 (1912), pp. 37-106. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=92248 Date accessed: 22 July 2014.


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1461

1461.
Jan. 9.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
52. Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate, to Master Lorenzo de Florencia, staying with the Queen for Apostolic peace. (fn. 1)
Owing to manifest causes and dangers, we are writing to you, as we cannot proceed in person to the queen and the lords with her, as you know. First and foremost, as the basis of everything, we require you to declare and offer on your own behalf, that should it ever be found that we have excommunicated or cursed any one assisting her Majesty or being with her, or if we have ever committed or consented to such things, we will gladly be flayed alive or torn asunder, for we excommunicated no one, cursed no one and wronged no one at any time in this kingdom, but we shall be ready to do all these things and more still, if we are called upon to do so for her Royal Highness and for her wellbeing and obedience. The things that we have said and done are contained in our letters published to the clergy and people, a copy whereof we sent by your hand to her Royal Highness, and send again enclosed, and what we purpose for the present and the future is contained therein. Those who say otherwise about us lie. Let them beware of the malediction of the Lord, who, even in this world, often takes vengeance upon the impious. We offer to submit to every imaginable test, and whereas we have heard it said by some, that those who were slain at Northampton could not be buried without our leave, this was not our fault, but owing to the opinions of men who considered as excommunicate those who would not yield to our wise and honest counsel, and refused to hear us about a treaty of peace, but resisted the orders of his Holiness, denying his authority and reverence, though they are so immediate that those who do not honour them are not true Christians. We walk in truth and sincerity, and no one who respects the truth can accuse us of falsehood or of evil action. That we love and revere her Majesty as much as any man living she herself knows, and she has seen and experienced that we did not abandon her when she was in difficulties, and for her cause and wellbeing we are ready to suffer anything in this world.
We have prefixed these remarks because you are a faithful man and you also know the secrets of our conscience. Therefore we have written to you so that you may be able for the reverence of God, and for the wellbeing of the nobles and people of England, to declare the truth, wherever it is required, in our justification.
You know what you told me at the time of the parliament, on the queen's behalf, and what her Majesty wrote to us, although the writer displayed too great passion, and what we communicated about the manner and the conditions of peace, etc. You also know what we desired of you, that you should wait a few days, so that we might be able to treat, as that lord of whom you spoke to us, of all the others, always remained well disposed to us as well as to the honour and safety of her Majesty and to peace, as experience afterwards showed, but you could not wait any longer. Subsequently we saw and heard of the scandals which ensued from lack of mediators for peace, and now things have come to such a pass that acts of vengeance are committed even beyond what was due; therefore as there is now an opportunity for peace, our office requires that we must desire it to be made, because such is the will of God, and his Majesty wishes the same. Accordingly we notify you, as a faithful man trusted by the queen and those lords, that they may have an honourable peace, if they will attend to the wise counsel of the Apostolic legate and do not contemn our lord the pope and his authority, as happened before. The conditions of peace will be such that they may well be satisfied if they hearken to our advice. If you come in person, as you may in perfect safety, we do not doubt but that a satisfactory peace will be made, and so we have written to you to this effect in all truth and justice.
Tell those lords, and especially the Duke of Somerset, whom we admire for his character and because we believe that he loves the queen and her estate as we do ourselves, that if they do not attend to our advice they will bring desolation upon the whole realm and the estate and wellbeing of his Majesty. They must not be arrogant because of the trifling victory they won, owing to the rash advance of their opponents, because we have seen and know full well that all the people are incensed and in the worst possible humour against those who do not desire peace. There are two reasons for this: firstly, the countless acts of cruelty related of them, whereas those here were not cruel, but received into favour those who wished to come; secondly, because they recognise and know that his Majesty and the lords with him and ourself with them are really disposed to an honest and honourable peace, salutary for both parties. Therefore if your influence with them does not suffice, their cause will be in the worst possible case, because the feelings of the people are incredibly incensed against them, and they will see more than two hundred thousand desperate men rise against them, who are constantly assembling, offering to devote their goods and their persons in such an honest and just cause.
We also, by a special order recently received from his Holiness, must attend to the wishes and orders of his Majesty, for his safety and honour, and do all things which proceed from his decision and will. To give this proper effect, our lord the pope has sent us authority and power to raise up and defend the cross after the manner of a true legate de latere. Therefore let them see to it that they are not criminals and rebels, for the retribution of Justice is made ready against them. Therefore, as we have always desired the honour, welfare and glory of his Majesty and the union of his realm, as is abundantly clear to all who judge rightly and without passion by our works and our letters, since we have exposed ourselves without any reward or private advantage, and we are always ready to expose our estate and person for them, we ask and exhort them, by their reverence for Almighty God, and as they desire the welfare of the king and their own glory and honour, not to despise us and our advice, amid so many difficulties and dangers, but to attend to the authority and dignity of the pope, the true vicar of Christ upon earth, and to his legate, who is moved by true charity, so that so great ruin, so much bloodshed and the final destruction of the king and kingdom may be avoided, and so that they may have an honourable peace, unless they wish to be rebels against the commands of God and the Apostolic See. If they despise the authority of that see they are not true Christians.
Whatever else they disregard, let them attend to this one thing. Formerly when we were with those lords, and especially with the Earl of Warwick (for whose sincere intentions towards his Majesty and the welfare of the kingdom we chiefly came), although we were not then with his Majesty, though we always cherished the same sincere and loyal feelings towards him, God Almighty was with us. How much more then must they believe Him to be with us now, when we are with him in body and soul, and intent on his glory, welfare and honour, and wield greater authority, power and favour than we formerly enjoyed? He is not constrained against his free will, as some perverse persons falsely declare, but enjoys his full liberty, and access to him is open to all. This was not the case formerly, as we ourselves experienced, for we could neither approach him nor deliver our Apostolic letters to him, as is notorious. Accordingly they are to obey his Majesty and to believe us, who are labouring for peace and justice, according to the command of God and the order of the Apostolic See, as well as the express and free wish of his Majesty, who is grieved by wars, murder and rapine and all the other ills which arise therefrom. Therefore let them be devout, well-disposed and obedient, and they shall have an honest peace, which we offer according to the tenor of these presents of his Majesty's free will; otherwise we see no ostensible remedy, and exceedingly fear their ruin and destruction. With the tears of our heart we beg them to try and avoid this, now that they have so honourable a way out, and let them believe that we love them and desire their well-being. As we have said before, we offer our person for the good of all without any advantage for ourselves, and because of the duty laid upon us, which we have discharged in a blameless manner up to this day, as you can testify, for you know our heart, as has been said. Therefore let them receive us in charity as we have received them; let them have charitable thoughts and recognise that we pursue none but a Christian advantage, and have suffered many things and have laboured and still labour solely for the welfare of the common people, having voluntarily exposed ourselves to so many dangers when we might have gone away and lived in peace outside the kingdom. But we have supported everything out of our great charity, the duty of our pastoral office and the reverence and honour we owe to Him who suffered for us and for all. If now they despise or neglect the peace offered by the instrumentality of His messenger, which they formerly defended as fair, then indeed they will richly deserve the judgment of God, who does not desire the death of the sinner, but that he shall be converted and live in unity.
After this offer, if they refuse to listen, we shall be discharged in the sight of God and man, and we shall not mind the slanders of those who accuse us, knowing what is written in the Gospel: Blessed are ye when men revile you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Farewell and pray for us.
London, the 9th January, 1461.
[Signed:] F. Eps. Interamnen. App. Sedis legatus.
[Latin.]
Postscript—Messer Lorenzo, tell those lords not to attach so little importance to my letters because they are of a different effect than has been supposed hitherto, but let them consider the dignity and authority of the Apostolic See, which has sent me here for the reasons we are discussing. If any are dissatisfied or ill-disposed, tell them to reflect that it is better to make peace after a victory than after a defeat, as the wise and prudent Romans did so, and not to account anything as done where there remains so much to do. Let them also consider how much they have to do before they have conquered, and with whom they have to do. Tell them in particular that his Majesty the king, from his experience of my Lord of Warwick and his followers, has determined to protect and defend them to the death, because he never had any more loyal. All the people are of the same mind, and they will soon see the proof of this. Therefore let them pay heed to what we write, as we offer them a peace to their honour and advantage. I assure you that the means are such that, could we but speak to them in safety, they would approve of them. They are not such as can be put in writing; if you come you shall see them. Enough for the present. I beg you to see that our letters are read and listened to, as you value your own wellbeing. We command this from the obedience that you owe to those to whom you are bound as legate.
[Italian.]
[Endorsed.] Venerabili viro fratri Laurentio de Florentia Sacre theologie Magistro, ordinis predicatorum dilectissimo nostro, et in ejus absentia Sacre Reginali Majestati et dominis assistentibus.
Jan. 9.
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53. Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Papal Legate, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 2)
I trust all will be remedied, though the perils are great, the Earl of Warwick being here with the king, who, together with the neighbouring population, is well disposed towards my intention. I have recommended them in the meanwhile not to give battle to desperate enemies, who are, moreover, strong in consequence of this victory, but to remain on the defensive until Easter. In the meantime I am, with the consent of the majority, negotiating an agreement by fair means; and my reputation must receive support from Rome, my legation and Warwick requiring nothing else. For its attainment letters and commissions have been drawn up here in conformity with my wishes, as you will learn from Messer Antonio. I shall have effected wonders if the affair succeed. A large army is now being formed, and after despatching these matters, which will occupy but few days, the king will advance, being guided by one who has the wish, the victory being recent, although he did not indicate this openly to me: it will suffice for the accomplishment of our affair.
London, the 9th January, 1461.
[Italian.]
Jan. 9.
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54. Antonio de la Torre to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 3)
It is now many days since I was despatched on my way back with every commission fitting and favourable for public and private affairs. I am charged to make every demand by word of mouth and in such form that I am sure, when I arrive, your Excellency will see that they do not slumber here over the affairs of the Church or those of your Excellency or yet those of all Italy. Just as I was about to leave some very important events occurred, for which I stayed on for some days in order to see the end.
Some of the lords of the queen's party, rendered desperate by the victory of the lords here, and especially by the Earl of Warwick, assembled a force in the northern parts, eighty miles from London, to come and attack their opponents here who are with the king, and get back the king into their power, as they had him before. Accordingly the Duke of York, with two of his sons and Warwick's father, the Earl of Salisbury (Dariberi), went out to meet them. And it came to pass that, although they were three times stronger (piu forti tretanti), yet from lack of discipline, because they allowed a large part of the force to go pillaging and searching for victuals, their adversaries, who are desperate, attacked the duke and his followers. Ultimately they routed them, slaying the duke and his younger son, the Earl of Rutland, Warwick's father and many others. This news caused great alarm in these parts, although it seems Warwick was not there. Nevertheless, owing to his singular valour and by his popularity with the people and because the king wishes him every good, (fn. 4) he is making preparations with every encouragement. Although their taking so little account of the legation and of the things done up to the present by his Reverence the Legate has been the cause of this disaster, since the other side had put about the report that he was not a legate and the pope had recalled him and was displeased about the things which had happened through his efforts, and much more nonsense; nevertheless the people here, with their affection for the king and Warwick, hearing that the legate was present and remembering the advantage his presence was to them on the last occasion, all took heart and mustered gladly, so that they hope in a month or two to have more than 150,000 men in camp. The belief is that if peace does not ensue the consequent devastation will be worse than has been seen in this realm for a thousand years Should our legate escape, he may possibly put himself once more in the midst of these turmoils, though he has no cause to do so, unless the Curia makes other arrangements or treats him differently. I crave your pardon for saying so, but they do not seem to know him as your Excellency does. In the meantime, in the fulfilment of his duty and what pertains to his office of legate, he has written a letter to the opposite side, of which I enclose a copy for your lordship. He directed it to an Italian friar, one of his dependants, who is with them, so that it might be made public through his means. If the Church of Rome had only shown that it held these English affairs in greater account than it has done, repute would have upheld and increased the first victory. This is now lost and confused merely by neglect and for the reason given above.
I shall set out as soon as possible, and in the meantime your Excellency should urge the Curia to make some further demonstration here and that soon, as if help is given even yet, things have been arranged, honourable and advantageous for the estate of the Church and in harmony with the wishes of his Holiness and of Italy, such as our days have never seen. But the legate being merely a poor bishop, makes our folk of the Court consider the great things done by him as dreams, despite all they have seen by experience, which ought to suffice to make them believe, but possibly envy has something to do with it, and when I was there I observed some signs of it. May God provide, who knows all!
London, the 9th of January.
Postscript.—This engagement took place on the last day but one of December near a castle called Pontefract.
[Italian; copy.]
Jan. 11.
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55. Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 5)
Audiet Ex. Vestra forsitan aliqua nova de partibus istis displicentia propter caritate in quam habet ad nos omnes et statum nostrum de quibus per V. dom. Legatum nostrum erit advisata. Tamen Ex. Vestra sit bono animo quia speramus sine dubio omnia reparare et cum honore et gloria dei et Regie Majestatis Et Maxime si Rev. Dom. Legatus noster fuerit adjuvatus et exaltatus per Sedem apostolicam sicut certissime speramus ad confundendam maliciam Adversarorum, qui, cum aliam viam non inveniant, proponunt in populis mille truffas et mille mendacia contra auctoritatem Sedie apostolice et dicti Legati. Unde mittimus istum Nuncium Regie M. dom. Anthonum de Turri de novo ad Sanctissimum Dom nostrum papam et ad Ex. Vestram pro ista causa et pro aliis r ebus et commissionibus gratis et Rogamus Ex. Vestram ut dom. Anthonium predictum audire et adjuvare dignetur in omnibus secundum quod Ex. Vestre referet, cui placeat dare plenam fidem Et maxime circa factum et exaltationem prefati Rev. Dom. Legati que omnino est necessaria si Sanct. pater intendit juvari statum ecclesiasticum et justiciam nostram in hoc Regno qui sumus devotissimi sue Sanct. et amamus bonum publicum Regie Maj. et Regni sui que omnia adversarii conantur destruere. Sed adjuvante Domino non poterunt si debitus et speratus favor accedat a Sede apostolica ut omnino credimus et cito expectamus. Valeat Ex. Vra. cui me etiam Recommendo et Offero.
Ex London die xj. Januarii mcccclxi.
E. Ex. Vre. filius et consanguineus Ricardus Nevill Comes Warwici.
[Signed beneath] R. Warrewyk.
[Endorsed.] Illmo. principi et Exmo. dno. patri et consanguineo honoran. domino Francisco Fortie Vicecomiti Duci Mediolani inclito Papie Angleriesque Comiti et Cremone domino.
Jan. 11.
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56. Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, to Pope Pius II. (fn. 6)
Your Holiness must not be troubled if you have heard of the events in England and of the destruction of some of my kinsmen in the battle against our enemies. With the help of God and the king, who is excellently disposed, all will end well. We shall obtain either a fair and sure peace or victory, especially if you confer the long-expected promotion on your legate. The people will then see that our adversaries, who daily scorn your authority and the legate's, and say the latter has no power and is no legate, adding marvellous falsehoods to make him unpopular, to the detriment of the Church and the king. If, according to your former letters, you value my allegiance and the allegiance of those who are conscientiously aiding the king and the legate (in conformity with the statement of Dom. Antonio della Torre, his Majesty's ambassador), it will be necessary so to deal with us and the legate that all may know such to be the fact, and that he may bear the cross which you sent him without envy and opposition on the part of our two archbishops and primates, as dom. Antonio, the bearer, can inform you. Be pleased to give him full credence, and do not desert me and the others, whom you formerly received as sons, for eventually you will see us end well and devoutly. The king sends his recommendations and desires certain concessions, which Antonio will declare.
London, the 11th January, 1461.
[Latin; copy.]
Jan. 11.
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57. Francesco Copino, Bishop of Terni, Papal Legate in England to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan (fn. 7) .
Owing to the heavy occupations which engage me at present, I have no time to write at length, but I have asked M. Antonio de la Torre to take my place. One thing only will I write, that though the loss and danger are great, yet I am not discouraged, as the Earl of Warwick is safe, with the king's majesty and with the goodwill of the people about us. I hope that we shall have a good peace, which would be welcome now, though there are many difficulties; but with the king's reputation, who is well disposed, and with my authority I hope they may be resolved, and then we can attend to other matters for the honour of God and the realm.
Long live your Excellency, to whom I commend myself. I desire that Messer Ciccho shall read this in the customary manner and answer whether he has had a letter by the hand of the Medici.
London, the 11th January, 1461.
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
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58. Antonio de la Torre, English Envoy to the Papal Court and to the Duke of Milan to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
I have been sent back to the Court of the king and the lords here, in great haste, for reasons most important to the estate of the Church and the realm, because marvellous events have occurred and great and dangerous preparations, unless the pope, who has his legate here, speedily makes provision. Would to God that he had yielded to the advice and reminders which I gave to his Holiness when I was at Court, and had satisfied the desires of the king and the lords here, when many dangers might have been avoided with honour and advantage to the Church and to the state of your Excellency! Even now if he acts quickly we hope that all or a great part may be recovered (io sono remandato in Corte di questo Serenissimo Re et di questi Signori con gran presteza per casone importantissime al stato de la Chiesa et del Reame: perche sono occorsi casi mirabili et apparechiati mazori et periculosi sel papa dipoy che ha qui el suo legato prestamente non li provede et volesse dio che havesse ceduto a li advisi mei et recordi che dedi ad sua Santita quando fui in Corte et havesse satisfacto a li desiderii di la Maestà del Re et de questi Signori che molti periculi se reparavanto con honore et utile de la Chiesa et del stato de la Excellenza Vestra pur ancora se fa presto speramo che tucto o gran parte se recuperara).
As the matter requires despatch and it is necessary for me to proceed with great caution for several reasons, and as I have special commissions and letters to your Excellency owing to the confidence that the king and the lords here have conceived in you, perceiving you so friendly to their state and so much beloved by the Holy Father, I am sending to your Excellency this most speedy courier, with letters to the Holy Father, of which I send you a copy, and also letters directed to your Excellency, whom I beg, in consideration of the need, in order to save time, to be so good as to write to the Curia in order to create a favourable disposition, so that on my arrival things may be disposed to help affairs here, and in consequence your own, which are in peril merely from lack of favour and reputation.
Everything may be put right, if the legate (under whose shadow, aided by the abilities of the Earl of Warwick and the other kinsmen of the king, the other things were done and established) has prompt advancement in order to maintain his repute and the opinion of the people as well as of the lords, as without such reputation nothing can be done here. It seems most astonishing to the king and the lords and people here, and especially to the Earl of Warwick, seeing the legate is a man of such worth as they have proved, that they have taken no notice of him at Court. The Earl of Warwick, who is like another Caesar in these parts, is amazed, and their opponents take advantage of this by saying that the legate is no real legate and that the pope has no opinion of him, etc. In fine, most illustrious Lord, if they do not quickly send the hat, everything will go to ruin, and the Church and all the state of Italy will repent of it. If they send it all will be well, because he is the man required for these parts, and such as never was believed possible before; but experience has made him famous. Let your Excellency therefore dispose as you think best if you love the state of the pope and your own; it will also prove the salvation of this kingdom and the king, which otherwise will go to ruin, and then repentance will avail nothing, as your Excellency will hear at length on my arrival, to whom I humbly commend myself (tucto si puo reparare se lo legato sotto lombra del quale con la vertu del Ill. Conte di Varuich et de li altri parenti de la Maesta del Re sono facte et fondate laltre cose sia presto exaltato per conservare la reputacione et lopinione de li populi et anche de li Signori senza la quale reputacione qui non si fa niente. Et pare grandemente di novo a la Maesta del Re et ad questi Signori et populi et maxime al Conte di Varuich che essendo lo legato homo di tanto pregio quanto hanno provato che di Corte non se sia facto altro segno de luy: et quasi el Conte di Veruich ch'e un altro Cesare in queste parte rimane confuso: et li adversarii se aiutano con dire che lo legato non e vero legato et non e reputato dal papa etc. In conclusione, Illustrissimo Signor, se non li mandi presto el capello ogni cosa va in ruina et la chiesa se ne pentira et tucto lo stato di Italia. Et se li mando tucto andara bene, perche e homo quale bisogna ad queste parte: et tale che may da prima non fu creduto: ma la experientia lha facto famoso. Disponga adunche vestra Excellenza come li pare se ama le stato del papa et lo vestro sara anche la salute de questo reame et del Re, che altramente vanno in ruyna: et dipo el facto non vale el pentire: come al mia venuta largamente intendera Vestra Excellenza a la quale me recommando humilamente).
Sandwich on the sea, the 24th January, 1461.
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
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59. Antonio de Turi, English Envoy to the Papal Court, etc. to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
If the Holy Father had given heed to the desire of the king and these lords, set forth by me, all this ruin would not have happened, as monsignor the legate would have been able to make good by his reputation, which alone had sufficed for the affairs here, where our opponents have published the contrary. Our friends, who have seen the pope take so little account of affairs here, less than they expected, have grown cold and have half lost their opinion of the legate. This coolness of the Court spoils such a fine design; accordingly your Lordship should solicit the Court for the advancement of the legate, especially as the king and the other lords request it with such urgency and for such honourable and necessary reasons. If help does not come, the Earl of Warwick sees no remedy, and before Easter will be ruined the whole of that great and fine design devised for the honour of God and the estate of the Church and of your Excellency, to whom I recommend myself humbly (unde e di bisogno che Vestra Ex. solicita in Corte per la exaltatione de dicto Mons. el legato et maxime domandola la Maesta del Re et li altri Signori con tanta instantia et per si honeste et necessarie casone: altramente se non se aiuta lo Illustrissimo Conte di Varuich non vede remedio ch'avanti sia pasca sera guasto tucto el desegno grande et bello che ordinato per honore di dio et del stato de la chiesa et de Vestra Ex. a la quale mi recommando devotissime).
[Italian.]
Jan. 28.
Sezione
Storica.
Autografi,
Vescovi.
Milan
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60. Francesco Copino, Bishop of Terni, Papal Legate to Cicco de Calabria, Minister of the Duke of Milan. (fn. 8)
You will receive information from the enclosure I sent to the duke. Master Antonio della Torre departed hence on the 16th, and crossed the sea on the 19th on his way over there with very copious letters and in excellent form. I trust the present messenger will arrive right speedily. Acquaint the duke with everything and commend me to him. Have compassion on me, as I find myself in these straits solely for the sake of doing good, if only it were known.
London, the 28th January, 1461.
[Italian; copy.]
Jan. 31.
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61. G. de Faucomberge, Lieutenant of Calais to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Illme. princeps etc. salutem et commendacionem:
Intellexi ex relatione Generosi viri dom. Anthoni dela Turri sermi. domini mei Regis nuncii et Ambassiatoris de magno ac bono vultu D.V. erga eum et de honore sibi impenso pro reverentia Seren. domini mei Regis et consanguineorum suorum, pro quibus Vestro I.D.V. immensas gratias Et offero me cum omni facultate mea ad omnia beneplacita et commoda vestra Excel. Et quia prefatus Dom. Anthonius revertitur ad Serum. dominum nostrum et ad vram. I.D. ideo Rogo ut illi plenam fidem habeat in omnibus que dixerit nomine meo Et maxime in hiis que dixerit de Revermo. dmo. legato nostro. Cui sumus plurimum obligati Et bene valeat I.D.V.
Ex Calesia die ultimo Januarii, miiiiclxi.
Consanguineus filius et servitor G. dominus de Faucombruge, ville Calesie Locumtenens.
[Signed] G. Faucomberge.
[Endorsed.] Illmo. principi et Exmo. dno. patri et consanguineo honoran dno. Francesco Sfortie Vicecomiti duci Mediolani inclito Papie, Anglerieque Comiti et Cremone domino.
Feb. 1.
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62. Prospero de Camulio, Milanese Ambassador to the French Court to Cicho Symoneti, Secretary to the Duke of Milan.
The news from England is that the queen has recently fought with the Duke of York and taken York, which is a fine city. The king and the Earl of Warwick thought that the forces of the duke and of the earl's father and brothers were sufficiently strong, but they were defeated, and there were slain the duke, his son, the Earl of Warwick's father and his two sons and 12,000 to 16,000 men. Many others, the numbers unknown, were slain in other battles subsequently; it is said to amount to thousands. When the king heard this he was much moved, although the Duke of York seems rather to have been slain out of hatred for having claimed the kingdom than anything else. It was decided that the Earl of Warwick should go to avenge the affront, and he has gone with 60,000 combatants; some say more. Things remain in the balance, and so the Dauphin considers that I must not at present think of going to do anything in England, and just the same with the Burgundians.
Ghent (Genepre), 1st. February, 1461.
[Italian; the words in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 14.
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63. Copy of several paragraphs and items of news of England, written from London by C. Gigli to Michele Arnolfini of Bruges, beginning with a letter of the 14th February.
The King and my Lord of Warwick left here on the 12th, with a large concourse (grande populo) from Kent and the surrounding districts, as well as from this place, with them, and the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the Treasurer, my Lord of Bonavilla, and councillors and many other noblemen, to encounter their opponents, who were said to be thirty miles from here. However, they do not seem to have passed Northampton. It cannot be long before we hear some great news, though it cannot be good, unless some satisfactory agreement is arranged between them; otherwise great shedding of blood cannot be avoided, and whoever conquers, the Crown of England loses, which is a very great pity. May the Most High intervene and save this kingdom and everyone who dwells here, although, amid such disturbances great fear and sorrow cannot be absent from the spirit of anyone who happens to be here! If such fear and sorrow were allayed we could put up with the absence of events.
Feb. 19.64. Also by a letter of the 19th.
In order that you may learn how we fare, I advise you that on the 17th, which was Carnival day, not far from Saint Albans, the king took the field with the party from here; those of the queen encountered them in order to have him. About an hour after midday a skirmish was begun with the king's foreguard. They say that it lasted until six, and in the end the party from here was routed and the queen's side recovered the king, and he is with the queen and prince. They say that many were slain. The strength of the men of Kent with nobles, said to be under the leadership of the Earl of Arundel and also of the Duke of Norfolk, was incorrect, so there is less harm done (il forte di qua di Chenti di Signori si disse da principio del conte da Rondello e ancho del duca di Norfolcho, non e stato vero, che tanto e mancho danno).
The Earl of Warwick and the councillors and Messer J. Nevill, now known as Lord Montagu, when they saw the victory incline to the other side, took to flight, it is not known whither; but it is thought that they are in this district in secret. Thus it is not known where my Lord de Busser, the Treasurer, has taken refuge. When the news was known here, the mayor (il maestro di qua) sent to the king and queen, it is supposed to offer obedience, provided they were assured that they would not be plundered or suffer violence.
In the meantime they keep a good guard at the gates, which they keep practically closed, and so through all the district they maintain a good guard, and those who are here, thank God, feel no harm or lack of governance. Yet the shops keep closed, and nothing is done either by the tradespeople or by the merchants, and men do not stand in the streets or go far away from home. We are all hoping that, as the queen and prince have not descended in fury with their troops, the gates may be opened to them upon a good composition, and they may be allowed to enter peacefully. God grant this may happen! otherwise … favour, and thus we are not without great fear, as … the least lack of control would ruin everything. God be our protector, and may He not consider our sins! (Infratanto fanno buona guardia alle porte, le quali tengono come fermate e cosi per tutta la terra, si sta a buona guardia, che sono a qui per la Dio grazia, non ci si sente alcuno male ne disgoverno. Le botteghe pero stanno fermate e nulla ci si fa ne per genti di mestieri ne per mercanti e non si sta in strada ne ci dilunghiamo da casa. Tutti stiamo a speranza che, poiche la reina e prinze e loro gente non si sono calati qui a furia, che con buona compositione sie loro aperte le porti e lassati drento venire pacificie: che cosi piacci a Dio o altramente … ti … grascia e cosi non siamo pero senza grande paura pero che non pot … venire si minimo disgovherno che non guastasse tutto. Dio sia nostro protectore e non guardi ai nostri peccati).
I will say nothing of the numbers of the slain, but will wait until I can state the truth. The Earl of March was not at this battle, and it is not known exactly where he may be; most people agree that he is in the Cotswolds (in Cotisgualdo).
Feb. 22.65. Also by a letter of the 22nd February, received on the morning of the 23rd.
I wrote of the victory obtained by the forces of the queen and prince at Saint Albans on the 17th of this month, and how they recovered the king and have him, and how this town sent to them at Saint Albans to offer the place, provided they were guaranteed against pillage. With them went my Lady of Buckingham, the widow, and my Lady the Regent that was. (fn. 9) They returned on the 20th, and reported that the king and queen had no mind to pillage the chief city and chamber of their realm, and so they promised; but at the same time they did not mean that they would not punish the evildoers. On the receipt of this reply by the magistrates a proclamation was issued that every one should keep fast to his house and should live at peace, in order that the king and his forces might enter and behave peacefully. But less than an hour later all the people ran to arms and reports circulated that York with 60,000 Irish and March with 40,000 Welsh had hastened to the neighbourhood and would guard their place for them; and they said that the mayor must give them the keys of the gates. They called for a brewer as their leader, and that day this place was in an uproar, so that I was never more afraid than then that everything would be at hazard. But, by the grace of God and the excellent arrangements of the mayor and aldermen and of the notables who were at the counsel, they decided last Saturday to send to the king and queen four aldermen with some others, including the same ladies, and they were to fetch four cavaliers in whom the king and queen had perfect confidence, and treat here with the magistrates in the presence of the people, and come to an arrangement that they might enter, that is the king, queen, prince and all the nobles with their leaders without the body of the army. They have started once more this morning to fetch these four, and so the people have quieted down, and one sees no arms except with the mayor and sheriffs, who keep guard with a great company throughout the place as well as at the gates, where they keep good guard, and no one takes arms except those who are ordered, and they behave prudently, as I believe, by the grace of God, by whom great affairs in particular are ruled, and who by His mercy, allows everything to proceed peacefully and in order, as we all pray (non vando una hora appresso che tutto il popolo corse a le armi e canorono vocie che Jorco con 60,000 irlandesi e la Marcia 40,000 galliesi erano corsi qui presso e volevano guardare la terra per loro, e dissesi che fu bisogno il mere desse loro le chiavi delle porti e che chiamavano per capitano uno cervosieri e quel di fu questa terra in tumulto, ne ma'ebbi la paura che tutto andasse alla ventura di Dio che allora; ma per la gratia de Dio e le buone provisione del mere e aldrimanni e de notabili che funno al consiglio, preseno partito sabbato di mandate a Re e reina 4 aldrimanni con certi altri, etiam lessere dame, e dennoci condurre 4 cavalieri dalla parte loro di chi lo Re e la reina piglino perfetta fede e parlamentare qui col maestrato in presenza del popolo e piglian conclusione che entrino, cioe il Re e reina e prinze e tutti nobili con loro principi senza la moltitudine dell' exercito; e stamano denuo essere partiti per menarci detti 4 e cosi il popolo rasizo, ne si vede armi salvo at mere e visconti che fanno la guardia con grande compagnia per la terra e cosi alle porti si sta a buona guardia; e non piglia le armi salvo que sono comandati e governansi prudentemente, siche io stimo, per la gratia di Dio da chui le grandi cose per speciale si governano, che per sua misericordia conceda che tutto passi con riposo e buono accordo, e cosi ne lo pregiamo tutti).
The people here were also disturbed by reports they heard that those of Saint Albans had beheaded Sir Thomas Ciriel, my lord of Bonavilla and also, they say, my lord of Barnes, but I do not know this for certain. Those who were taken in the battle said that my lord of Montan, Warwick's brother, who was the king's chamberlain, had escaped, but he is among the prisoners. He also would have suffered the same fate, but they let him off chiefly, it seems, because a brother of my lord of Somerset is a prisoner at Calais, and also because the king has [declared] himself satisfied with him and my lord of Warwick. On the other hand it is to remove misgivings, and it may be to pursue the Earl of March and those who are left of them. They say that the queen has withdrawn a part of her army to Dunstable.
Feb. 23.66. Also by a letter of the 23rd February.
The four cavaliers whom the queen sent to enter here to-day, were not willing to enter. The reason why they stayed outside is said to be that yesterday a certain number of the king's men came to the gate of Alghat and remained outside until this morning as the mayor would never consent to their coming in, and it seems that they were of the opposite party. When the four heard this they drew back towards the king and queen, and only sent two esquires here, who will have to take back the embassy. I do not like this; God grant that both sides may so control themselves that men may not be inflamed more than they are already. On the other hand they say that Warwick and the Duke of Norfolk have been taken and are in the hands of the king and queen with some other lords, who, they say, are kept secret as a guarantee and for a good reason. I do not know what to believe (D'altra parte si dice che Veruich el Duca di Norfolcho sono presi e in le mani del Re e Reina e alcuni altri signori i quali dicono anno tenuti secreti a cautela e per buona chagione non so quello me ne creda).
Bruges, the 9th March, 1461.
Angelo Arnolfini.
[Italian.]
Feb. 15.
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67. Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Francesco Copino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate.
These last days by a courier of merchants, we received two letters dated at London the 9th ult., and also received letters from the Duke of Warwick and from M. Antonio dalla Torre dated at Sandwich on the 24th ult., bringing word of the result of the conflict, at which we are very sorry for every respect, considering that every disaster to the cause there will tend to disaster to the cause here.
We sent your letters to his Holiness and will do everything for your advancement as if you were our own brother. We are expecting D. Antonio any day and the reply from Rome. We only write thus to tell what we have done and show our good disposition.
We beg you to make every use of us you please. It is necessary to employ all our wit and industry to adapt and establish matters and to bring back that kingdom in peace to the king's Majesty, while we are sure that his Holiness will not fail to do his part. We also shall not fail, but it is essential that we be advised more frequently of things as they happen. We hope that by means of your industry and ability matters may be turned into the good way. We inform you that King Ferrando's affairs are prosperous and improving, so that this summer we hope to obtain a complete victory, by the divine favour.
Milan, the 15th February, 1461.
[Italian; draft.]
Feb. 19.
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68. Carlo di Gigli to Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Legate of the Apostolic See.
Karolus de Giliis se comendat. Oportuno sane hinc tempore D. V. discessit. Nam veluti an has meas forte litteras audierit xvii die presentis mensis Rex, Dux Norfolchie, Comes Waruichie atque eorum partis complices non longe a Sancto Albano, eductis copiis et acie instructa, cum Regine ac principis ducibus confligerunt, et aprima post mereditibus in sextam horam utrinque acriter dimicatum est demumque cum Rege erant cum adversariorum viribus non possent: fracti fugatique terga verterunt ac ipse susceptus illesus non invite alteris se conjunxit. Et princibus (quod gratulandum in malo est) nullus interiit, nam cum inclinatam victoriam ad aliis perceperunt sunt omnes nec ubi sit Veeruichie comes, cancellarius, Thesaurarius ac Regis Camerarius scimus. Sunt tamen qui arbitrentur hic sese recipisse. Ex militum vulgo precipue cantientium ferunt stragem non mediocrem factam sed diversi diversa referunt in medium relinquo. Ea re huic cognita magistratus populi consensu legationem regi ac Regine miserunt offerentes ut aiunt mandata futuros modo fides ipsis prestare nec civitati vis inferatur ne ne spoliari eam patiatur. Interea nocturnis diurnisque excubiis ad portas et per civitatem locis oportunis dispositis sese tuentur sed fere omnibus spes est cognita regis atque Regine mansuetudine ut benigne honestissimis ipsorum rogationibus annuant nec existimacio esse noster paucis nocentibus optent in noxios penas dare, et eo magis quo plus thesaurii conservata civitate sint collecturi multo quoque melius ac rectius distribuere quam si predicta esset concessa militibus infra biduum rem totam perspicuam habebimus et d. v. perscribam que si forte paratum ad Romam ructium (?) haberet poterit si videbitur hanc rem gestam S.D. nostri nuntiare nam vix tempus mihi suppeditavit has ad dominarum V. et q. festinatissime dare cui me humiliter etiam atque etiam comendo rogoque ut meo nomine salutes placeat impartiri egregio doctori D. P. Antonio ac etiam reliquis familiaribus omnibus bene valete R. D. mi jubete.
Ex Londino die xviiii Februarii mccclxi.
Comes Marcie memorato bello nec interfuit nec ubi se teneat satis scitur.
[Note in margin:] This was the first that I had from London.
Feb. 20.69. Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate, to Master Richard Canten, Clerk of the Apostolic Chamber, and Chancellor of St. David's. (fn. 10)
After many perils, I arrived safely in Holland on Friday the 10th February, 1461, having been accompanied as far as Gravesend by Master Richard and others appointed by the Yorkist lords. After their departure I went on board ship at the town of Tilbury, and reached the mouth of the Thames with a fair wind, but the vessel being a large one ran the risk of being stranded there. On the morrow, when out of sight of land, the ship struck on a sand bank and was expected to go to pieces. Shortly after the vessel floated with the flood tide, but was next pursued by a Frenchman; then came a violent storm. At length I landed safely at the Brill, a village belonging to the Count of Hostervant, an infirm old man who can no longer walk. The count, with incredible courtesy, made me presents and took me to his own dwelling. On the morrow, for I had come by night, he had me attended in solemn procession from my lodging to the church. He banqueted me and my household daily, the table being served so sumptuously that not even in England would more have been possible, such was the plenty of the choicest fish, wines and other luxuries. I performed the vows I made at sea. I await the result of affairs in England and have prayers offered for their prosperity. If nothing occurs in the meantime, I propose to leave Brill for Middelburgh and Calais on Monday, the 23rd February. I commend myself and my followers to the king and the lords of the Council.
The Brill, the 20th of February, 1461.
Postscript.—I am sending the bulls you requested for your friends, with one for Master Thomas, chaplain of the Lord Chancellor, another for an esquire in the service of the bishop of Salisbury, and a third for Thomas Gray, of my own retinue. I charge you to exhort Gray to attend to my affairs, and say that had he as in duty bound come to me at my departure, I should have given him something he would have been glad of.
[Latin; copy.]
March 4.
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70. Nicolo Darabatta to Francesco Copino, bishop of Terni, Papal Legate to England and Flanders.
On the 23rd ult. I wrote to your lordship. They say here that you suffered great travail at sea and the ship was driven to Holland and considered as lost, but by the grace of God you escaped safe, which has caused me great joy.
By my last letter I advised your lordship of the news here and told you how at St. Albans on carnival day the forces of the queen and prince routed those of the king and Warwick, with a great slaughter, and that every one believed that Warwick had gone to Calais. But it was not so, as he went to meet the Earl of March, and last Friday after dinner they came here with about 5,000 persons, including foot and horse. A great crowd flocked together and with the lords, who were there, they chose the Earl of March as their king and sovereign lord, and that day they celebrated the solemnity, going in procession through the place amid great festivities. It remains to see how King Henry, his son, the queen and the other lords will bear this, as it is said that the new king will shortly leave here to go after them. As I said above there is a great multitude, who say they want to be with him to live and die (che come dico disopra qui si trova grande populo che dicono volere essere con lui ad vincir et morire). These are great matters sufficient to fill every man with fear, and would to God I had not come with your lordship, when I should not have found myself amid these disturbances. Possibly I may be able to cross shortly, as a ship is being prepared in which some nobles are going, from what I can gather. While I am here I will send daily advices of what happens.
London, the 4th March, 1460.
[Italian; copy.]
March 9.
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71. Prospero di Camulio, Milanese Ambassador to the Court of France, etc., to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
We hear many strange things from England day by day and hour by hour. A letter written to the Dauphin by one who was at the great battle on Shrove Tuesday gives full particulars of the princes, the numbers engaged, the assaults, the blows, the wounded and the rumours circulating that day on one side and the other. It is to the effect that on that day the king's men were encamped ten miles away at a place called Albano; quite 120,000 of whom went away for lack of victuals, no small number (ben cxxm de li quali se ne partisse per diffecto de vectuali anon puochi). The Duke of Somerset after midday came with 30,000 horse to scent out the Earl of Warwick and the king's forces and wore them down with his attack, and the Earl of Warwick decided to quit the field, and to break through against them. Accordingly with 4,000 men he pushed through right into Albano, where the queen was with 30,000 men. The earl, seeing himself alone and the day far spent, returned to the camp, closely pressed by the followers of Somerset; and when he reached the camp he heard some shouting from his camp to the enemy. Fearing some act of treason, he got away as best he could (Lo Duca de Sambreset post meridiem venne cum cavalli xxxm ad anasare lo conte de Varuich et la gente del Rey et li fecero assai lasso l'assalto et lo conte de Varuich se delibero de usir del campo et erumpere contra loro, et cossi cum ivm homini lo casso fin dentro Albano unde era la regina cum homini xxxm et lo conte videndosi solo et lo di basso, se ne ritorno al campo sempre hortato et cassato da li Sambreseti et quando fu al campo intese de quello se vociferava dal campo suo a li inimici et dubito ymo vedette acti de tradimenti et se parti meglio che l'possette).
The king was placed under a tree a mile away, where he laughed and sang, and when the defeat of the Earl of Warwick was reported, he detained upon his promise the two princes who had been left to guard him. Very soon the Duke of Somerset and the conquerors arrived to salute him, and he received them in friendly fashion and went with them to St. Albans to the queen, and on the morrow one of the two detained, upon his assurance, was beheaded and the other imprisoned (lo rei era posto longi de li uno miglo sutto uno arboro unde se rideva et cantava et essendo voce de la rupta del conte de Varruich, ritenne supra sua fede li doi Principi che gli eran stati lassati a la guardia. Assai tosto vennero lo Ducha de Sambrecet et li vencitori a salutarlo; a quali el fece bon volto et se ne ando cum loro ad Albano a la Regina et l'undomani uno de li doi ritenuti in fede sua fu decapitato, l'altro incarcerato).
That day some 4,500 men perished, in one skirmish and another, lasting from midday until midnight.
The earl betook himself to my lord of March and they at once collected quite 200,000 men, and it seemed that victory would rest with the side that London favoured (lo Conte se retaxe cum Monsignor de la Marcha et subito recolsero ben homini ccm et restava la cosa in tal contrapeso che pareva unde Londres inclinasse, li esser la victoria).
Subsequently, by letters which arrived yesterday, also for the Dauphin, we learn from a most honest person, how my lord of March and the Earl of Warwick had quite 150,000 men, the finest troops ever seen in England, and, owing to some not over legitimate actions of the king and his party, London inclined to my lord of March and the Earl of Warwick. Accordingly the queen and the Duke of Somerset, in desperation, had persuaded the king to resign the Crown to his son, and so he did out of his good nature. That done, they left him, and the queen, her son and the duke withdrew to York, a strong part of the island towards the North (per alcuni acti non ben legitimi del Rei et de la banda sua, inclinava Londres verso Monsig. de la Marcha et lo dicto Conte de Varruich et Cossi desperata la regina et lo Ducha de Sambrecet havian persuaso lo Rei a deponer la corona in lo figlolo et cossi fece per sua bonta. Quo facto, lo han lassiato et se son retracti la Reina, lo figlolo et lo Ducha in Horch, chi e una parte paese forte de la Insula, verso tramontana).
The rest of the princes and people, full of indignation, made my lord of March king. We have this by several letters worthy of credit, but, being a matter of such very great importance, it is not fully credited, though we expect fresh news in two or three days.
My Lord, I am ashamed to speak of so many thousands, which resemble the figures of bakers, yet every one affirms that on that day there were 300,000 men under arms, and indeed the whole of England was stirred, so that some even speak of larger numbers. If this be so it might be better for me to cross when matters are more settled, to visit and congratulate him as I was to visit and congratulate his late father; but I will abide by what your Lordship directs. I would remind you, if you please, that it will be necessary for me to have fresh letters of credence, etc.
Within four days I shall be with the Duke of Burgundy, if God wills, to visit him and maintain his friendship with your Lordship, but I do not think it advisable to say anything to him about the difficulty about the league with the Dauphin
, since the matter is reduced to…. I commend myself to your Excellency.
Ghent (Genepie) the 9th of March, 1461.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 9.
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72. Michele Arnolfini to Francesco Copino, Bishop of Terni, Papal Legate to England and Flanders.
Most Reverend Father in Christ: I only write to send the enclosed received several days ago from Carlo Gigli. Since then I have received daily advices up to the 23rd February last. We have no more recent letters from him but expect them every day. There are various reports since that date, but they vary greatly according to personal predilections. But, among the matters better established, they say that letters have reached Calais, which the Earl of Warwick had written on the 4th inst. saying that he and the Earl of March had met together with several other lords, spiritual and temporal, and by their wish and that of the people they crowned the Earl of March King of England with great pomp. They afterwards reckoned up the number of men on whom they could count and found they had 200,000 foot and they are preparing to go and find others, You will be able to compare this with what Carlo writes in his last. As your lordship will arrive here soon and learn everything I need not enter into further particulars.
Bruges, the 9th of March, 1461.
[Italian.]
March 10.
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73. Karolus di Violis to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
By a courier coming from Nice and Provence and going to Rome I have heard that King Rene is preparing a large force to go to help the Queen of England, and from what the courier says it seems that the English are much strengthened by means of the Duke of Burgundy (pare che li Anglesi sonno molti fortificati per lha via del ducha di Borgogna). The King of France is said to be making great preparations for the future.
Annene, the 10th March, 1461.
[Italian.]
March 11.
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74. Prospero di Camulio, Milanese Ambassador to France, etc., to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
On the 6th inst. I wrote various things to your Excellency by a servant of the Dauphin. I will repeat the news of the country of that time, and what has happened since. I wrote in that letter of the battle which the Queen of England fought against the late Duke of York, that duke being slain with one of his sons, as well as the father of the Earl of Warwick and two sons. There also perished in that battle some 1,500 men, besides many others in various other battles, which have taken place at the same time about the island. I also wrote how the son of the Duke of Burgundy, enraged against My lord of Croi, had laid a grave complaint against him before the Duke of Burgundy, and finally has formulated certain charges against my lord of Croi, which he claims to be capital. The matter is under consideration. Accordingly the Dauphin, who was with the Duke of Burgundy, has gone away in order not to be mixed up in these troubles, and he advised me not to think of going to the Duke until this matter was settled. He gave the same advice about my going to England, because things are very ill suited at present.
Since then letters and messengers have arrived from England, and I send herewith a copy of the letters to your Most Illustrious Lordship. Among the messengers has come one of the closest familiars of the Duke of Burgundy, whom he sent several days ago to the Earl of Warwick. He brought letters from the Earl of Warwick to the Dauphin, which I have seen, and they are very respectful and friendly, etc. They are to the effect that the king is going with all the forces of England against the queen, and he has 120,000 men, of whom the Earl of Warwick is chief and leader. He is going against the queen, who is towards the part of the island which faces French Britanny. On this account he has provided a fleet at sea, so that she may not escape that way. He has arranged this great multitude in three divisions: the first of 20,000, the second of 40,000, and the third of 60,000. The queen, however, is in a strong place, and they say she has some 30,000 combatants. The issue is expected within a fortnight; it will involve much cruelty, and decide many things, whatever be the event.
On the 3rd inst. the Earl of March won a battle against two of the princes of the island, who support the queen; 8,000 men fell in that battle, including, they reckon, 200 and more knights and noble squires. By that victory he recovered the little country of Wales, which is in the part of the island farthest away, towards Ireland. It is a lordship of the Duke of York, and therefore of his son. In fine those who consider the revolutions of this island declare that since the time of Caesar who conquered it, that kingdom has not suffered so many calamities as it has since the murder of the late Duke of Gloucester until now; and it seems that a great deal more is to follow.
The Legate has left England, so a gentleman of the Dauphin told me, and has got away from the uproar of the barbarians. A secretary of the Dauphin has returned from the Count of Saint Paul, kinsman of Barlandagar, and says they will do wonders for the Dauphin, God grant that they be deeds of France. Moreover the Dauphin tells me that the ambassadors of France will be in Italy at Venice, and those of the Duke of Modena have recently gone to the King of France, and he will tell me all that they do and say. I do not doubt it, because they are going by the way of Barlandagar, and that is what I do not like. My Lord I send you the advices which are given to me. If, in this country, they speak to me craftily or no they will probably do so in everything, but as I see that the Dauphin is proceeding straightforwardly in everything else, I believe it is all right; however I submit it to the better judgment of your Excellency, to whom I have thought it proper to report how and whence it came. I will send word of what happens day by day, so far as is possible, to your Excellency, to whom I humbly commend myself.
Nivelles in Brabant, the 11th of March, 1461.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 15.
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75. Prospero di Camulio, Milanese Ambassador in France, to Cicho Symonete, Secretary to the Duke of Milan.
They say here that the Queen of England, after the king had abdicated in favour of his son, gave the king poison. At least he has known how to die, if he did not know what to do else. It is said that the queen will unite with the Duke of Somerset. However these are rumours in which I do not repose much confidence. The sea between here and England has been stormy and unnavigable ever since the 10th.
Brussels, the 15th March, 1461.
[Italian.]
March 27.
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76. Prospero di Camulio, Milanese Ambassador to the Court of France, etc., to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
I think I have written to your Excellency constantly upon the progress of the strange events in England, both on the 6th inst. and then on the 9th, advising your Excellency by way of Bruges how they said that the King of England had resigned his crown in favour of his son, although they say his Majesty remarked at another time, that he must be the son of the Holy Spirit, etc., but these may only be the words of common fanatics, such as they have at present in that island (quamvis se dice che Sua Maesta alias habia dicto che conveni chel sy figlolo del Spirito Sancto, etc., he qual' forse sonno parole de vulgi furiosi como al presente sonno in quella insula).
I also wrote how the people of London, the leaders of the people of the island, together with some other lords, full of indignation, had created a new king, Edward, son of the Duke of York, known as my lord of March. From what we have heard since, he was chosen, so they say, on all sides as the new king by the princes and people at London. By the last letters they say that his lordship accepted the royal sceptre and staff and all the other ceremonies except the unction and the crown, which they have postponed until he has annihilated the other king and reduced the island and the realm to a stable peace, and among other things, exacted the vengeance due for the slaughter of his father and of so many knights and lords, who have been slain of late (il quale, per quello si ha dipoi, undique he pur cossi come se dice electo novo Rei da, Principi et populi in Londres et per le ultime lettere se hay, sua Signoria havea acceptato lo sceptro et bachetta Regale et tutte le altre ceremonie excepto la untione et la corona, de le quale se he suxpeso fin a tanto chel habii anullato l'altro Rei el spianato in bon pacifico la Insula et lo Regno et inter cetera fatto le debite unte de la occisione del Patre et tanti cavalieri et Signori che furono trucidati questi di).
From what they say, the Earl of Warwick recently left London with from twelve to thirteen thousand men to meet the new King Edward, who was in the country collecting men in thousands to go and fight with the king and queen, some say of his own accord, others, because he must. As is usual in common and great matters, opinions vary in accordance with men's passions. Those who support the claims of Edward and Warwick say that the chances in favour of Edward are great, both on account of the great lordship which he has in the island and in Ireland, and owing to the cruel wrongs done to him by the queen's side, as well as through Warwick and London, which is entirely inclined to side with the new king and Warwick, and as it is very rich and the most wealthy city of Christendom, this enormously increases the chances of the side that it favours. To these must be added the good opinion of the temper and moderation of Edward and Warwick. Some, on the other hand, say that the queen is exceedingly prudent, and by remaining on the defensive, as they say she is well content to do, she will bring things into subjection and will tear to pieces these attacks of the people, who, when they perceive that they are not on the road to peace, will easily be induced to change sides, such being the very nature of the people, especially when free, and never to let things go so far that they cannot turn. But, however this may be, as I have written before to your Excellency, York, through having been long and ardent is reduced to a few moves, and must of necessity move soon one way or the other (chi fa buona la ragione de Edoardo et Varruich, dice cossi che li favori de Edoardo sonno grandi si per la signoria grande, chel ha in la insula et in Irlanda si per le injurie che li ha fatto crudelmente la Regina, si etiam per Varruich et Londres che he tutta inclinata in le parte del ditto rei novo Edoardo et Varruich; la quale per essere richissima et la piu opulenta cita de' Christiani, rende le parte unde ella inclina multo favoribile. Alche etiam se adjunge la buona opinione che he del temperamento et moderatione de dicti Signori Edoardo e Varruich. Chi, volta carta dice che la Regina e prudentissima et stando su la diffesa cum contento assay come se dice che ha, redura le cose al sugeto et straquera questi impeti de populi quali, quando vederanno non esser sul cammino del pacifico facilmente veneranno a prendere altro partito, cum cio sia che la propria natura de li populi maximi libere he di non lassiarsi mai tanto amalar che non possino dar una volta. Ma sia la cosa come si vogli, come per altre nostre scripsi a vestra eccelenza, lo Jorch, per esser stato longo e fervente he redutto a pochi scacchi et bisogna se metti in breve a bona parte o a l'altra).
It would be, most gracious lord, something beyond belief if anyone should recount what we have seen there of the inhumanity and cruelty shown in these disputes, and we may put the number at thousands of those who have perished amid this great fury, so that neither age, rank nor lordship saves any one from the sword. Quite recently, in London itself, there was a burgess who went to the Mayor, who is the magistrate of the city, whereby they formed a process against a prisoner from mere suspicion, and, without waiting for any trial or judicial sentence, they had him beheaded, and carried the head by the hair to set it above the gate, just as savages do. This was told me by a cavalier, a person of credit, who was present at the time, with many other incredible acts of ferocity; so that unless God sets his hand thereto, it is thought that there will be many acts of barbarity, whoever conquers. May God select the best.
The legate, as I reported to your Excellency, has departed thence, and was in extreme danger from one side and the other. They say the reason was because he promised Warwick to go into the camp and excommunicate the enemy, and give the benediction to the followers of Warwick, but seeing the bad weather, and the queen's power, and not feeling well, he did not go. At this Warwick took offence, and so he departed, and when he was already on board ship men came to the district to look for him, and so he came away from thence; thus he perceived that he had fled just in time, and he is very glad of it. I have not seen him yet; if he is at Bruges I hope to see him this Easter tide. I will advise your Excellency of anything else that I happen to hear.
Brussels, the 27th March, 1461.
[Italian.]
April 5.
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77. Abraam Ardinus to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
This evening the bearer Stefano da Gavardo, arrived here. He says that the Marchioness of Mantua deputed him to serve the ambassadors of the Duke of Britanny at Mantua, with whom he returned to Britanny, where he has been until now. I told him the news of the recent events in England, and asked him to go back to Britanny by Milan.
Alessandria, the 5th April, 1461.
[Italian.]
April 7.
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78. George Nevill, Bishop of Exeter, Chancellor of England, to Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate in Flanders. (fn. 11)
In order that I may not appear ungrateful or forgetful of the countless benefits received by me and mine, if I do not write at least one letter, especially as you seem to have been absent a long while from me, and as some fresh events have occurred since you left, I think it right to write and inform your lordship in a few words about these events, as we have learned them by messengers and letters, as well as by popular report, although you may be occupied in many other great affairs.
On the 15th of February, as I think your lordship will have learned from others, we had an action with the enemy to our loss, near St. Albans, the details of which would be equally painful and lengthy to narrate, and everyone who heard of it must have been much astonished. However, I think it right to give you a summary account of this battle. The Lord Barni, brother of my lord of Canterbury, together with my brother Lord Montacute and Sir Thomas Carletone, knight, were taken and carried away to York. The strenuous cavalier, Lord de Bonavilla, with the spirited and valiant knight Sir Thomas Bryel were taken and beheaded. I forbear to name the other persons of lower rank who perished; they say that some 3,000 fell on one side and the other; but we, being fortunate, amid so many misfortunes, escaped and lost that puppet of a king (quel idolo del Re) as that statue of a king turned his face towards the North, pillaging in the country, and at length the wife, with her husband, arrived at York, glorying in their very bloody victory.
In the meantime our King Edward, then commonly known as the Earl of March, betook himself with an army of 30,000 men to London. With him went my brother the Earl of Warwick, as he had departed from the first battle and gone to join him. On the 25th they entered the city, and were joyfully received by all the people, and on the 4th of March he [Edward] was nominated and practically by force created king by the nobles and people universally, near Westminster (fu nominato et quasi per forza creato Re generalmente et da gentilhomini et da plebei apresso del Monastero Vuest). They postponed the celebration of his coronation only for most urgent reasons. Then on the 12th of March he set out towards the North with a large and magnificent army, having previously, on the 7th, sent on my brother to the West to collect troops.
The king, the valiant Duke of Norfolk, my brother aforesaid and my uncle. Lord Faucomberge, travelling by different routes, finally united with all their companies and armies near the country round York. The armies having been re-formed and marshalled separately (refacti et ordinati li exerciti a la despicata), they set forth against the enemy, and at length on Palm Sunday, near a town called Feurbirga, about sixteen miles from the city, our enemies were routed and broken in pieces. Our adversaries had broken the bridge which was our way across, and were strongly posted on the other side, so that our men could only cross by a narrow way which they had made themselves after the bridge was broken. But our men forced a way by the sword, and many were slain on both sides. Finally the enemy took to flight, and very many of them were slain as they fled.
That day there was a great conflict, which began with the rising of the sun, and lasted until the tenth hour of the night, so great was the pertinacity and boldness of the men, who never heeded the possibility of a miserable death. Of the enemy who fled, great numbers were drowned in the river near the town of Tadcaster, eight miles from York, because they themselves had broken the bridge to cut our passage that way, so that none could pass, and a great part of the rest who got away who gathered in the said town and city, were slain and so many dead bodies were seen as to cover an area six miles long by three broad and about four furlongs. In this battle eleven lords of the enemy fell, including the Earl of Devon, the Earl of Northumberland, Lord Clifford and Nevill with some cavaliers; and from what we hear from persons worthy of confidence, some 28,000 persons perished on one side and the other. O miserable and luckless race and powerful people, would you have no spark of pity for our own blood, of which we have lost so much of fine quality by the civil war, even if you had no compassion for the French! (o gente infelice et disgratiata et popolo potente che non deveria havere compassione ali franzosi se bene non havessero alcuna scintilla di pieta verso el sangue nostro che habiamo perduto si bella compagnia per la bataglia civile).
If it had been fought under some capable and experienced captain against the Turks, the enemies of the Christian name, it would have been a great stroke and blow. But to tell the truth, owing to these civil discords, our riches are beginning to give out, and we are shedding our own blood copiously among ourselves, while we were unwilling to give help in men and money to the army of his Holiness against the infidel Turks, despite all the instances of his Holiness and your Reverence. But the limitations of writing do not permit me to state my mind on all these things.
Let us now return to our puppet who, with the aforesaid Margaret, his son, the Duke of Somerset, and some others, took refuge in a new castle about sixty miles north of York. By two letters written here to two individuals we hear that they have been taken by some cavaliers of those parts, friends of ours. I cannot, however, state this absolutely as I have no certainty, but I do not think they will get out thence so easily as they would like. Of the behaviour of the king, the valiant Duke of Norfolk, my brother and my uncle in this battle in fighting manfully, in guiding, encouraging and re-forming their forces, I would rather your lordship heard it from others than me.
Our King Edward entered York peacefully on the last day of March with his army. My brother, Lord Montacute, who remained in the city when the enemy fled, with my Lord of Barnes went to the king to ask pardon for the citizens. Here they think that the king will remain for some days to reform the state of those parts, and I have recently received commands from his Majesty to go to him immediately. After so much sorrow and tribulation I hope that grateful tranquillity and quiet will ensue, and that after so many clouds we shall have a clear sky, and after such shipwrecks we shall be brought to our desired haven. When anything worthy of note occurs, I shall not think it too much trouble to advise your Reverence by my letters. May God grant us prosperity and send your Reverence back to us here safe and sound, when the opportunity arrives. Written in great haste.
London, the 7th April, 1461.
[Italian; copy.]
April 7.
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79. Richard Beauchamp, Bishop of Salisbury, to Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate in Flanders. (fn. 12)
We have received at London on the 2nd of April your letters sent from Bruges on the 20th of March. Fortune has smiled upon us since you left our shores before the beginning of the worst disasters. The Lord heard our great tribulations. After that unlucky battle of St. Albans, the late king fell into the hands of the aggressors, amid a very great slaughter of his subjects (antiquus Rex cum plurima strage suorum manibus aggredientium captus fuit). The kingdom was convulsed on every hand by this event. For me and for many thousands besides no place seemed safe; a general dread prevailed of the destruction of cities, of rapine without respect of persons, sex or place; and lastly, there was scarcely anyone who did not feel that his head was in danger. Many also of the nobles, who in these straits sought to consult their safety by flight, were prevented by the treachery of the common people, who may have thought they would procure peace for themselves by the heads of such great men (vix quisque erat qui sibi periculum capitis imminente non formidabat multi autem nobilium qui inter has angustias sue saluti fugam capiendo consulere cupiebant, popularium insidiis forsan extimantium se cum tantorum virorum capitibus posse pacem procurar a suo proposito impediti sunt). Even of those, who, by keeping more secrecy, escaped beforehand by stealth, some of our side, as we have recently learned, most unfortunately fell into the hands of enemies or of pirates, with a great quantity of the treasure of the realm. I therefore congratulate you on your good fortune in escaping safe and sound from these perils of our country, perils by sea, perils from false brethren, to a safe place of refuge. We, however, were harassed by fear of utter destruction until the northerners with their captive king returned straggling northwards, being reckless with so much booty (donec boreales cum suo Rege captivo tam magna preda omissi) or having possibly heard of Edward, Duke of York, who, thank God, was not present at that unlucky battle. Our people perceived that ruin was imminent, not only of things in general, but their own, but the most cruel design of men, as the treaty, peace and composition of the last Parliament were not observed by the other side. Thus when after a few days the said duke arrived at the city of London with a stately retinue, they acclaimed him unanimously and with enthusiasm, giving him the royal title and honours, raising him to the sovereign dignity, and recognised him as their liege lord as if he was the sole and true heir of the realm. This ceremony of the new king was celebrated on the 4th of March, but the coronation and anointing were postponed (venienti post pauca dicto Duci ad civitatem Londoniarum cum solenni comitiva unanimi ac admiranda voce virum tituli sui Regias laudes acclamarunt, ipsumque in Regali solio sublimatum ut erat unicus ac verus Regni heres Dominum suum ligium recognoverunt, que solennitas novi Regis, coronatione tum ac unctione dilatis, quarto die mensis Martii celebrata est). (fn. 13)
Thereupon, with more and more flocking to him every day in countless multitudes, on the 13th day of the same month, our most glorious King Edward set out from London towards the northern parts of the realm to confound his enemies there. Among those who accompanied the king, or who went before him, were the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Warwick, Lord Falconbridge, Lord John Stanley and Lord Fitz-Walter (Phyuater), the only one as we hear, of the nobility who fell on that side. Before the battle the king's army was increased to nearly 200,000 men. The spontaneous flocking together of the people of all the cities and places of the kingdom, and even more the rejoicing at this event, are marvellous (mira et vero populi omnium civitatum ac locorum Regni tum spontanea concursio tum hujus eventus precipua jubilatio). (fn. 14)
It is even more wonderful, and to many will seem almost incredible, that there has been no difficulty in buying food even in the barren soil of our parts. We therefore hope that God, who has hitherto permitted a sinful race to be scourged with dire strokes under an unhappy prince, being now appeased by our tears and prayers, has at length sent us this saviour, in whose sight I have found such a grace and favour that he has chosen me to be the chief of the three to whose judgment all the most secret matters of the Council are referred. From the king his predecessor, under whom I grew up almost from the cradle, I could not presume on such favour. Your paternity need have no fear that wherever I am able I shall be a safe and most trusty agent there, so that a sound conclusion of so great an affair may be expected.
In the meantime we will give you the news of current events. The foremost of these things is, that on Palm Sunday last King Edward began a very hard fought battle near York, in which the result remained doubtful the whole day, until at length victory declared itself on his side, at a moment when those present declared that almost all on our side despaired of it, so great was the strength and dash of our adversaries, had not the prince single-handed cast himself into the fray as he did so notably with the greatest of human courage (si non is solus princeps partes suas ut humanissimo choragio fecit tam notabiliter interposuisset).
The heralds counted 28,000 slain, a number unheard of in our realm for almost a thousand years, without counting those wounded and drowned (cecidit quo numerus hominum pene mille annis ante in nostro regno inauditus xxviiim. numeratus per haraldos preter lesos et summersos). (fn. 15) Of these, ten were notable lords of great power, whose names are given in the enclosed schedule. Of the rest only a few escaped with a few followers, and, ere this, we hope they have either been taken or are so surrounded that they will not be able to escape. The leaders of these are the Dukes of Exeter and Somerset, Lord le Roos with their and our former King Henry, the prince and queen. So much for the present, when we know more you shall hear more, but this will suffice for the moment. The whole kingdom is now under one sovereign, and the power of the others has utterly vanished away. Farewell now, and rejoice with us.
London, the 7th Ides of April, 1461.
Postscript.—With respect to our summons to the Curia, as our service is acceptable to the king and he considers us necessary to his honour, so that we cannot conveniently go to his Holiness, we beg you to write back, excusing us from that charge for the present. We expect shortly to cross the sea and may even go to the Curia for more honourable causes, and when it may be done with greater advantage to ourselves.
[Signed.] R. Beauchamp. Episcopus Sarum.
[Latin.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
80. The northern lords who fell in the battle near York.
Earls Northumberland.
Devon.
Barons Lord de Clifford.
Lord John Bemond.
Lord John Wellys.
Lord John Nevyle.
Lord John Dacres.
Anthony, son of Lord le Ryver, who was recently made Lord le Scales, Ralph Bygot, commonly called Lord le Malley.
Henry, son of the Duke of Buckingham.
Knights Sir Henry Bellingham.
Sir Ralph Grey.
Sir Andrew Trollop.
Those who fell on the field, exclusive of the drowned and wounded, 28,000; but on the side of our Edward no lord fell except Lord John Phywater.
[Latin.]
April 7.
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81. Nicholas O'Flanagan, Bishop of Elphin, to Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate to England, Scotland and Ireland. (fn. 16)
I had a prosperous journey when I came from you, and now I am in London in the enjoyment of bodily health. I should have written to you by Messer Antonio, had he not left London deceitfully and unknown to me, and what is worse, he robbed me of 10l. sterling of English money, which I should not have believed from another, had I not experienced it. Accordingly I beseech your paternity to provide me with a remedy, so that I may be able to recover this money.
With respect to the news of England, the most dread King Edward the Fourth gained a victory over his enemies on Palm Sunday, and a number of the lords on the other side were slain, to wit, the Earl of Northumberland, the Earl of Devon, Lord de Clifford, Lord de Boeumond, Lord de Dakyre, Lord de Wylybi, Lord de Welles, Lord de Scales, Anthony de Ryvere, Lord Malre, Rafe Bygot, Lord Nevill, Lord Henry son of the Duke of Buckingham, with the following knights, Sir Rafe Percy, Sir Thomas Kylingam, Sir Andrew Trollopp, and Sir William, bastard of Exeter, and of the common people there were 28,000 slain on that side; but on the side of King Edward only one lord was slain, to wit, Lord Fweator, and 800 men of the commons. The late King Henry, the queen and prince, the Duke of Somerset and Duke of Exeter took to flight, and King Edward entered the city of York with honour and great dread. He sent a great number of men at arms after the said fugitives, so that not one may escape when taken. All this is indubitably true, and on account thereof a great ceremony took place in the city of London on Holy Saturday of Easter. They sang the Te Deum, and the Lord Chancellor in person proclaimed these facts at St. Paul's Cross on the same day. The king sent for him to go to York. Moreover at the hour of vespers, on the second feast of Easter week, I was present in the house of the Duchess of York. Immediately after vespers the Lord Treasurer came to her with an authentic letter stating that the late king with his kindred and those mentioned above, had all been taken and brought to King Edward. Because of this news the duchess returned again to the chapel with two chaplains and myself, and there we said Te Deum; after which I told her that the time had come for writing to your lordship, of which she approved.
Finally I conclude that everything is turning out successfully for King Edward and all in England rejoice greatly at this time, and reverence him as sole lord and king in the land. As touching Master Aleyn, I sent to him at Oxford, and in reply I heard that he is arrested and imprisoned in Warwick Castle because he wanted to go to the queen. Of our Bishop of Meath (fn. 17) I have heard nothing since I left you. Moreover I have been unable to send you anything certain before this time, and I perceive from the language of my lord of Salisbury that the English do not want to have anyone from your parts to fill any charge among them, except yourself in person (et percipio ex dictis domini de Sarum quod anglici nolunt habere aliquem de vestris partibus ad aliqua exercenda inter ipsos prefer vos in persona propria).
I announce the jubilee to them, whereupon they all congratulate themselves, and if your lordship wishes me to do any work among these lords, write to me and I will spare no pains to do what is possible and useful.
Sir Richard Cant. (fn. 18) and certain other gentlemen have not yet received the letters which your lordship left at Antwerp, and had heard nothing of you until I came to them. No more at present, but may the Most High preserve us all. As soon as you can, send letters to the king, the chancellor and other lords, because I see that it would please them, write also to the duchess, who has a great regard for you, and can rule the king as she pleases (et habet regere Regem sicut vult). Do not mind making demands as we shall not fail you so long as I have any power.
London, the third holiday of Easter week, 1461.
[Italian; copy.]
[Endorsed:—] Dom. Rev. Dom. D. F. Ep. Interamn. Apost. Sed. Legato in Anglia, Scotia et Ybernia traditarum in Brugg.
April 10.
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82. Nicholas O'Flanagan, Bishop of Elphin, to Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Legate of the Apostolic See. (fn. 19)
All the things that I wrote to you before about the most dread King Edward have been confirmed, as I believe the Lord Chancellor and the Bishop of Salisbury have written to you. It is reported among the English lords that the Duke of Burgundy is treating the brothers of the king with respect. This pleases them wonderfully, and they believe that there will be great friendship between the duke and the English by an indissoluble treaty, and that one of these brothers will marry the daughter of Charles. I gather from what the Bishop of Salisbury says that he would like the duke and his council to write to him specially, as the king's privy councillor, for what is to be done between them, and by their diligence he intends to labour with effect (et ipsorum sedule intendat laborarum cum effectu). (fn. 20)
I have just this moment heard of the Bishop of Meath, but Master John Aleyn is still in Warwick Castle.
Do not delay writing to my lords by the bearer of these presents. May the Most High preserve you.
London, the sixth holiday of Easter week, 1461.
To be delivered at Bruges.
Endorsed:—Copy of letters from London, sent to Master Falcone at Rome.
[Latin; copy.]
April 12.
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83. Prospero di Camulio, Milanese Ambassador in France, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
I wrote to your Excellency nine days ago about the news of England and how we were celebrating rejoicings at Calais, and then soon afterwards, how the affair became doubtful. I now advise your Excellency that letters have come from London this day relating that fifteen days ago a battle was fought near York, 170 miles from London. King Edward and Warwick came off victors; the total slain was 28,000 and more, all reckoned by certain heralds. On Warwick's side there fell 8,000 and upwards and four nobles; on King Henry's side 20,000 and 14 nobles. King Henry, the queen, the prince and the Duke of Somerset, with two other nobles retreated to Neumburg, a castle on the coast near Scotland, whither the victors have sent 20,000 men to besiege it. After the sealing the news reached London that the castle was taken with those within.
Bruges, the 12th April, 1461.
[Italian; the words in italics deciphered.]
[1461.]
April 13.
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84. Master Antonio, Physician to Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate to the said Legate.
I must advise your reverence that immediately I arrived here at Bruges I found authentic news brought by Genoese merchants staying at the court of the Duke of Burgundy, that the King of England had won a victory; 30,000 men are killed on both sides, almost all the nobles on the other side are slain except King Henry, his wife and son, Somerset and Ros, who are in a castle whose name I do not know, but it is surrounded they say, so that escape is impossible. On our side it is said that King Edward and the Earl of Warwick are wounded and four nobles slain, whose names are not reported as yet. I will write by Tomaso, where the battle took place, and the day, with the names of the nobles slain.
Bruges, the 13th of April [1461.]
[Italian; copy.]
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85. to Pigello Portinaro. (fn. 21)
The two camps of King Henry and the one King Edward met near York about 170 miles hence, and fought a very great battle, which lasted a whole day and a half. At length fortune gave the victory to King Edward, and he has, one may say, annihilated the enemy. Amongst the slain there are reported the Earls of Northumberland and Devon, Lords de Clifford, de Nevill, de Beaumont and Welles, Henry of Buckingham, Anthony de Rivers, Lord Scales, the Lord de Acias, Lord de Duelebi, and many knights and gentlemen fell, with quite 20,000 persons. On the other side it is said that Lord de Scrup, and Lord de Finath were killed, and about 8,000 knights and other persons, having made a great and fierce fight. May God have mercy on the dead. King Henry, the queen and the prince are said to have fled to Newcastle, sixty miles from York, accompanied by the Dukes of Exeter and Somerset, and by Lords de Ros and de Rivers. King Edward sent 20,000 men to capture them, and it is said that the town is already besieged. If they be found there no doubt is entertained by the party here of having them, but that is quite uncertain, as the town is near the sea. It is supposed that, having found means to embark, they have gone to Scotland or France; in which case they have decided wisely. Their side is practically destroyed and King Edward has become master and governor of the whole realm. Words fail me to relate how well the commons love and adore him, as if he were their God. The entire kingdom keeps holiday for the event, which seems a boon from above. Thus far he appears to be a just prince who intends to amend and organise matters otherwise than has been done hitherto, so all comfort themselves with hopes of future well-being. I will acquaint you with any further news. What I have mentioned includes everything up to to-day.
London, the 14th of April, 1461.
[Italian; copy.]
April 17.
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86. Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Papal Legate, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
These last days, from Bruges, on my return from England, I wrote to your Excellency about the affairs there, of the reasons for our going, of what had happened and what I hoped might happen, if I was assisted, as your lordship wrote and led me confidently to hope. I expect it to come with the arrival of Messer Antonio della Torre, who is going fully supplied with what your lordship required.
Just now, although matters in England have undergone several fluctuations, yet in the end my lord of Warwick has come off the best and has made a new king of the son of the Duke of York, the Earl of March, who, together with Warwick, returned with me to England. Thus things are turning out so that if assistance is given, such as has been frequently mentioned and solicited, noteworthy and most glorious things may be done in these parts, such as have not been for five hundred years, for this new king is young, prudent and magnanimous. If your lordship takes the matter up warmly, we shall see notable and great things, with my assistance and due reputation, as a reward for all our anxieties and my labours.
I am at ease in my mind, because I know that this matter is in your lordship's hands; otherwise I should be on my way back. Your lordship should now labour, for this is the time, and should help in the matter in which you have urged me on in the past, because this is a marvellous opportunity for establishing the state of Italy and your own in particular, for all time. Consider how Fortune has paved the way, how matters have been made smooth and that you have a man there who is zealous and naturally inclined to serve you.
We need not discuss if there is enough spirit or no; your lordship knows all about this from experience. I know that you have been besought to intercede by some who, perchance, are not going there from lack of courage. These are questions of great importance, such as do not often occur. If your lordship has confidence in me, be pleased to show it now, as you may, for the matter rests in your hands. I know the secret and I know the truth about the Court; that is enough (io so il secreto et so il vero della corte, e basta). If your lordship plays your part, all will be well, and you are committed to nothing except words. Pardon me for speaking with so much assurance, because I believe this is necessary and from my infancy I have been your servant, your follower and your son. Therefore you should be a father to me, and this is the moment to show it, to the honour of God and the glory of the Church and yourself.
Malines, the 17th April, 1461.
On the 3rd of May next the Duke of Burgundy is holding his Council near Bruges in a castle called St. Omer. Those in his gold velvet livery will attend, and I ought to be there. I will advise your Excellency of what takes place. I have heard that he is on your side (gli e uno de' vostri). It would be advisable for your lordship to write a letter to him so that we may come to an understanding; and, if you think fit, you can tell the duke to lend a willing ear to all that I say, as I am working for a good purpose and, thank God, enjoy the special favour of your lordship, because experience and faith have so decided.
Dated as above.
[Signed:] E. J. D. V. filius et s. F. Interamn ap se. leg.
Subsequently, when I was about to seal this, I received a letter from Messer Antonio della Torre, and have learned the provisions made by your lordship. I am highly delighted and warmly thank your Excellency. I pray that it may fall out that as this is in your hand, you may have the honour.
I have recently had news from England from one of my men whom I sent post and who received the enclosed news at Bruges. Your Excellency will see from this the fine opportunity that God is sending you, if only you will supply help, as I feel confident you will. In this hope I shall proceed to-morrow to Bruges in order to meet the Duke of Burgundy, and, after conferring with him, I shall proceed to England in the assurance that you will send good news after me to the effect that you will assist the enterprise, and in doing this, I hope that in a year, without fail, I shall be able to give the state also some news that will be exceedingly welcome (aspettando di certo che dietro ce mandiate nuovelle bone et tali che s'intenda che l'impresa si vole aiutare et cosi facendo, spero sanza fallo in un anno et ancor questo state farvi sentire cose che singularmente saranno grate).
Will your Excellency be pleased to send the enclosed to the Curia, that they may be directed to Messer Falcone, in whose keeping are the letters of his Holiness upon these advices.
My most illustrious lord, have patience with this sorry writing by my hand, because I am doing it in furious haste, and cannot safely communicate it to others. I have so much to do that being practically alone here, it is a marvel I am still alive, as I have to keep an eye on the affairs of England, France and Italy, all at the same time, without taking into account the operations of my legation here in Burgundy and Flanders. I beg you to give this your confidence even where the writing is unformed.
[Written between the lines in sympathetic ink.]
As the enclosed will show, the adverse party is utterly undone. If this present king is favoured by the Church, there is no other straightforward way except for me to return thither again under colour of reforming the state of the Church, in the way I began, and in order that I may have more reputation I should return there with the power of upraising the cross, as was asked by the old king and by this new one and every one else; and Messer Antonio should bring all the commissions and papers, because nothing is wanting except encouragement from Italy. Since God has provided that this is come about by your hand, your Excellency should carry it through, because such opportunities do not often occur. I know well enough what I have to do, and where I have my foothold (io so bene assai che ho da fare et so dove tengo li pie).
By the pope's messenger, who is to bring the brief to your lordship, and in other secret ways I am advised that you are stimulated by the promotion of a new bishop in your territory; this would mean troubling our affair. Nevertheless, I hope that your lordship will not abandon the old way for the new, especially when you do not know how the new is made. I have such confidence in your Excellency as is meet after your letters and what you have sent to me by Messer Antonio. I hope therefore that you will help me, since God has given you the power, and your lordship will value it as much as any service ever rendered. Consider, my lord, where I have placed myself, through my love and loyalty, and why you have designed to employ me.
Postscript.—I have learned that the Duke of Anjou has occupied the lordship of King Réné in contempt of the Church. On the day that I receive a hint from your lordship, I will make them want, by means of England, to attend to their own home. Enough! but this shows the importance more than ever. They do not seem to understand at the Curia; a word from them would suffice; but they do not say it. A time will come when they will repent of this, but in the meantime, your lordship, who knows, will put your hand to it.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
87. Francesco Copino, Bishop of Terni, Papal Nuncio, to Ciccho de Calabria, Secretary of the Duke of Milan.
We have written to the Duke, as you will see. When it has been read, see that such measures are taken as the case requires, and for which we trust to you. Remember that such opportunities do not occur often; but what need to go into long explanations with you. However, as these affairs are weighty and may lead to great results, we trust to you to see that the chance is not lost.
St. Omer, the 17th April, 1461.
[Italian; copy.]
April 17.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
88. Master Antonio, Physician of Francesco Coppino, Apostolic Legate, to the Legate aforesaid. (fn. 22)
Last Monday I wrote to your Lordship the news which I found at Bruges about the affairs of England. This news is true and certain; it is confirmed every moment, and urgent letters have arrived here. I have also received letters from some of my friends, from London. They tell how the battle was begun on Palm Sunday, at the hour of prime, at Pontefract, and lasted until the hour of noon on Tuesday. From Pontefract to York (horcho) there were 30,000 slain, and King Henry, the queen, and the prince taken. All the northern lords were slain, to wit, Northumberland and Westmoreland, Clifford, Henry of Buckingham, the Earl of Devon, Somerset, Lord Ros, Lord Dacres, Beamund, Lord de Scales, Lord de Huels, Lord Huebbi, Lord Morlle, and among the knights, Harri Belingam, Andrew Trolop, Raff Groti, Raff Persi, the bastard of the Duke of Etteltre. Subsequently the king assembled all the prelates of the realm, to decide what should be done with King Henry, the queen, the prince, and also the Duke of Exeter.
All these things are certain and true. Your lordship must decide whether you will change your mind about writing, or if you wish me to go to England with the information and letters which you delivered to me, although, in my opinion, your lordship should write to those whom you think best to offer congratulations on the victory, advising me of what you wish me to do in general and in special with the king, and in congratulating the lords, your friends, and well-wishers, not forgetting, on any account, to write to the Duchess of York (Madama di Ortho) or to Nettunen, because he is good. Your lordship should advise me quickly of what you decide I am to do, because now at the outset perhaps something advantageous may be done, and send me money to go, so that I can stay and look after the things which you decide I must attend to, and so that I can return, as God knows I have nothing whatever to do in England on my own account.
Your lordship directed that two nobles should be given to me; I received three ducats and a quarter, nor did I discover this until I reached Ghent. (fn. 23) Thomaso knows this, and I asked him to tell your lordship. They asked a noble for a safe-conduct, so I did as your lordship directed me. Let me now have your orders about my going with your next letters, if you mean to write again to others in a different way, because of the victory achieved.
The brothers of King Edward are at Sluys, and are to come here to-morrow or Saturday after dinner. I have been asked by the English to go and accompany them as a mark of respect, on behalf of your lordship. I shall do so, because it is my duty, although I have not been told, offering myself in your name to do such things as are honourable and lawful.
I can think of nothing more. What I have done here in the things which your lordship committed to Tomaso, I know what I have done and Tomaso knows no more. Send me word quickly of what is to be done, and may He who is three and one fulfil your petitions with the salvation of your soul. Amen.
Bruges, the 17th April, 1461. With all speed.
[Italian and Latin.]
April 17.
Potenze
Estere.
Francia.
Milan
Archives.
89. Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Prospero Camulio, his Ambassador to the French Court.
Letters have arrived to-day from Bruges of the 10th inst., stating how the new King of England, i.e., King Edward, and the Earl of Warwick have routed the queen's army, and doubtless the new king will obtain the state. That being the case, we desire you to take leave of the dauphin and go to the said king, offering your services and commending yourself to him as you think most fitting, consulting my lord, the legate, and informing yourself fully of all the affairs of those parts, sending us a full account of everything immediately, and you shall return to us as soon as possible.
Milan, the 17th April, 1461.
[Italian; draft.]
April 18.
Potenze
Estere.
Francia.
Milan
Archives.
90. Prospero Camulio, Milanese Ambassador to the French Court, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Since I wrote to-day the two brothers of King Edward have arrived, one eleven and the other twelve years of age. The duke, who is most kind in everything, has been to visit them at their lodging, and showed them great reverence.
Bruges, the 18th April, 1461.
[Italian.]
April 18.
Potenze
Estere.
Francia.
Milan
Archives.
91. Prospero di Camulio, Milanese Ambassador to the Court of France, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
On the 12th inst., by a messenger sent to these parts by Mons. de Aras, I wrote at a venture what we heard here about the affairs of England, and in this I repeat the same things. These are, that on the 29th of March the forces of King Edward and Warwick fought with the forces of King Henry, the queen, and that side, near York, 160 miles from London. The combat was great and cruel, as happens when men fight for kingdom and life. At the beginning Fortune seemed to be on the side of King Henry and those banners of the queen which are inscribed: Judica me deus discerne causam meam de gente non sancta, etc. They looked like conquering, and over 8,000 of the troops of King Edward and Warwick were slain, including Lord Scrope and Lord Fitzwalter (Finauter) among the nobles. Subsequently the wind changed, and Edward and Warwick came off victorious. On the side of Henry and the queen over 20,000 men were slain and the nobles mentioned below. In short, thirteen nobles perished and over 28,000 men, all counted by heralds after the battle, including many knights and gentlemen. King Henry, the queen and the prince retreated to a castle called Neumburg, which is a new castle on the sea, near Scotland. With them were the Duke of Somerset (Sambresetch), the Duke of Exeter, (Cetrh), Lord Ros and Lord Rivers. It is said that the conquerors have sent 20,000 men to besiege that castle, and they even had news at London that all were taken, though I do not believe that, since vain flowers always grow in good news.
The reputation of Edward and Warwick is great owing to their good conduct, and their popularity from having conquered is enormous (la reputacion de Edoardo e Varruich per loro ben vivere he grande et la gratia per haver venciuto he grandissima). To-morrow they say two younger brothers of March, son of the Duke of York, are coming here, and the Duke of Burgundy has given notice for great honours to be shown to them. In that same letter of the 12th I wrote to your lordship my opinions upon these affairs, and I am doing the same here, not so much to unburden myself as in fulfilment of my instructions, namely to give the reasons for my opinions, in which I shall always bow to your lordship. I think it my duty to make the following remarks:—
Firstly, if the King and Queen of England with the other fugitives mentioned above are not taken, it seems certain that in time fresh disturbances will arise, nor are the people disinclined to these, since the storm falls equally on the heads of the princes as on their own, and the less nobles there are the better they are pleased, and think that they are nearer a chance for liberty; and from what I have been told the people of London have great aspirations
(primum se la Regina de Anglia et el Re de Anglia con li altri sopradicti fugiti non sonno presi, ce pare cosa certa che a tempo debbeno resusatare rumore et nove, nixe ale quale li populi non sonno disformi, dappoi che la tempesta cade cossi ben sul tecto de li principi como sul loro et quando manco Signori gli sara, piu stianno contenti et gli parera d'essere piu vicini all' occasione de la liberta; ma per quanto me e dicto, aspirano molto quelli de Londres).
If, however, they are taken, then that kingdom may be considered settled and quiet under King Edward and the Earl of Warwick; and then, as they are well affected to the Dauphin and the Duke of Burgundy, it seems likely, both from the unexpected things that the King of France has done to the Duke of Burgundy, as well as out of respect for the Dauphin, who considers that things cannot continue thus, that they will pursue the plan to pass to France, especially if the Dauphin did not happen to be in accord with the King of France. Upon that point I have nothing more for certain, and I am of the opinion that I wrote in a schedule with the letters given to Angelo.
I have observed the great importance that the Duke of Burgundy attaches to England. Thus he has kept in with the Earl of Warwick, and his son with the Queen of England, so that whatever happens England will have friendship in the house of the Duke of Burgundy
(ho notato lo grande fundamento che se fa el duca de Borgogna de Anglia, che luy ha tenuto con el conte de Varruich et lo figliolo con la regina de Anglia, acio che cadesse la cosa come se volesse Anglia avesse amicicia in casa del duca de Borgogna).
But if it happens that the state of England remains quiet under March, son of the Duke of York, and the Earl of Warwick, and the house of Burgundy is considered to enjoy great fortune, since by the disturbances of Genoa, Duke John is enfeebled and King Ferrando strengthened, while the affairs of the King of France do not look too prosperous, as he is not in agreement with the Dauphin, and wishes to do justice to the companion, I am inclined to believe that the King of France, who is a man of great intelligence, will incline more to an understanding with the Dauphin, if he has not done so already; and since in the household of the King of France some charge has been given to your lordship with respect to the King of Sicily and Duke John, that being the party which governs the King of France at the present time, and for which the Dauphin bears an especial hatred, your Excellency should therefore look to the state of your affairs here, and in my opinion, it will be advantageous to fasten yourself (conglutinarsi) to the Duke of Burgundy and his son, seeing that they are the counterpoise to France, and if the order of the Golden Fleece did not stand in the way, which requires that the one shall be favourable to the other, and among them there is the Duke of Orleans, I am persuaded that the Duke of Burgundy would gladly do everything required for a close union with your lordship. He has often spoken most kindly of your lordship, and I also hear on good authority that the son has a high opinion of you and speaks most kindly of Count Galeazo. I am told that he thinks of despatching a messenger to the pope and writing to your lordship, sending a present to Count Galeazo. It has occurred to me that if it could be arranged at any time that he should give the Golden Fleece to you it would be a great honour and favour to the affairs of your lordship and a great advantage for an alliance with the lords. I hear that Monsignor de Tharles has sometimes spoken about it with a person of his intimacy. So if your Excellency thinks fit that Count Galeazo should begin relations with him by writing suitable letters and sending presents such as war-horses and others (I do not say armour, because he has not too much), you should send here, and your Excellency should write him some letter of credence, so that I could visit his lordship, which I have not done hitherto, when I could adroitly see how the land lies. Your lordship need have no fear because of the troubles and differences here which I have reported; I have taken measures adroitly to find out what is required here, and as Mons. de Tamps, the nephew, and Mons., the bastard, the son of the present Duke of Burgundy are attached to Charolais as I have written to your lordship before, and because they are of the same order, I gladly remind your Excellency of this, advising you that from what I hear the Dauphin has an understanding with him, and is with the said Charles, who has a reputation for prudence and courage. I have called this to mind in case your lordship means to interest yourself in affairs here, but I submit myself in everything to your Excellency.
With respect to the affairs of Genoa, I hear that one Grillo, a leading man of Genoa, who is in the confidence of the King of France, though he is somewhat hot-headed and light, has written here that the King of France blames himself for the imprudence he has shown about Genoa, and does not blame any of the nobles. Also he is making preparations to succour Castelletto and the King of Sicily is to send him a force any nine galleys, and that the nobles give hope that it will be recovered, and they all, with one accord, incline to the King of France and Duke John. But I learn also that Hyeronimo Spinula has always understood in secret that they are not well agreed. For the rest, the ambassador of the Dauphin has returned from the King of France, and men talk futilely about what he has done, as happens in high affairs, so everyone jests about his opinion or prejudice. This morning I visited Mons. de Croui, who told me that his ambassador to the Duke of Burgundy had done nothing, and he did not expect him to do anything, chiefly for the reasons which I have previously reported to your Excellency, to wit, the differences and the suspicions that the King of France has of the Duke of Burgundy. I reaffirm this and repeat that every day the wind increases, chiefly owing to the fleet and army of the King of France, which is great and newly increased, and the Duke of Burgundy seems to suspect that under the pretence of Calais, something may break out in his country, and Mons. de Croui told me so much.
I shall be glad to stay here to see the ceremony of the Golden Fleece and to hear what decision these lords come to, and I know not what more is to be said; and also to await the answer of your Excellency in the matter broached by the Dauphin. However, if I hear anything further from his ambassador, who has returned, I may possibly go to the Dauphin in a day or two. I am also advised from many quarters that I must be cautious in my return. I do not know if I should return through Germany, the route I have frequented, I speak chiefly on account of the papers, and I know no safer way than that of Bavaria, though we do not know the language.

We have news of English affairs hour by hour. Two days ago letters arrived here from English merchants of repute, and we have also heard by way of Calais, that it is true that King Henry, the queen, the Prince of Wales, their son, the Duke of Somerset, Lord Ros, his brother, the Duke of Exeter (Setrh) were taken, and of these the Duke of Somerset and his brother were immediately beheaded. When the same fate was about to befall the Duke of Exeter, there came a message to let him off, and they say he escaped because he is related to King Edward, whose sister he married. However as he is fierce and cruel, it is thought that they will put him to a more honourable death. I postponed writing about this to see if it would be confirmed; if it is, then before long grievances and recrimination will break out between King Edward and Warwick, King Henry and the queen will be victorious, and he who seemed to have the world at his feet will provide a remarkable example of what prudent men, in excuse for human errors, have called Fortune (se cossi e per certo tra Re Edoardo e Varruich puoco avanti rupti afflicti et exprisi; el Re Henrico et la Regina vencitori et chi gli pareva haver spianato el mondo sera uno singular exemplo de quella che li prudenti homini in excusa de li errori humani han nominato fortuna).
Any one who reflects at all upon the wretchedness of that queen and the ruins of those killed and considers the ferocity of the country, and the state of mind of the victors, should indeed, it seems to me, pray to God for the dead, and not less for the living.
With respect to what will follow, there are many considerations for those who have studied that kingdom, deprived of so many of its natural princes, and left with only two who have name and reputation as princes, both by their prudence and good behaviour and by the courage with which they have recovered from such great persecution and have overcome everything. However as it does not become my feebleness to square the circle of such great matters, I shall wait to hear what happens, and shall keep your Excellency advised of all that occurs.
Postscript.—At this moment letters and Genoese merchants have arrived here from London, among them a Genoese esquire of Warwick, who do not confirm the capture of King Henry, the queen and those with them. They say, indeed, that when they were at Calais bonfires and festivities were being made corresponding to those made at Sandwich and Dover in England. From this they conclude and believe that it has taken place since, especially as everyone confirms the news about the siege. On this subject I refer myself to the truth.
Bruges, the 18th April, 1461.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.92. Note of the lords slain in England on the Queen's side in the battle which took place on the 29th of March.
The Earl of Northumberland.
The Earl of Westmoreland.
The Earl of Devonshire.
Lord Clifford.
Lord Nevill.
Lord Bramont.
Lord Duelles.
Lord Vuelby, the son.
Lord Henry of Buckingham.
Anthony de Rivers, Lord Scales.
Lord Dacies.
Andrew Trolop, knight.
And many knights and gentlemen, 20,000 persons.
They say there were taken:
King Henry, the Queen, the Prince, the Duke of Somerset, the Duke of Exeter, Lord Ros and Lord Rivers.
On the side of King Edward:
Lord Scrope,
Lord Finalter,
and more than 8,000 persons, slain.
[Italian.]
[1461.]
April 4.
Potenze
Estere.
Francia.
Milan
Archives.
93. Summary of Letters.
From Ghent, the 4th April.
In England matters stand so that whoever conquers great loss will ensue, owing to the cruelty displayed.
April 9th.
A herald came from England with letters about the victory of the new king, 160 miles from London with 3,000 persons. The king favours Cales. The Earl of Warwick is come with 100,000 persons. York is inclined to come to terms speedily. The Earl of Warwick had besieged about 120 of the enemy, 13 of whom ask to have their lives spared. The Duke of Cetre is said to be one. The king here ordered King Edward as a traitor and rebel to the crown to return to his obedience. King Edward replied that he was no traitor, but the rightful king, and if he came to show obedience he would leave something to be remembered. For this the king here had the messenger beheaded. The new king, enraged at this act, promised to have the noblest head from among the king's followers. We hear that Calais is en fête for the victory of Warwick over the king and queen; 32,000 are slain, including many nobles, among them the Duke of Sambrest, Monsieur de Orlebalay. Very few of the princes of the country are left, and it is therefore feared that the people may rise because they wish to live in freedom (che sono rimasti molti pochi principi de quello paese pero se dubita che li popoli non saltano a voler viver ad liberta).
1461.
April 18.
94. Bruges, the 18th April.
The victory of King Edward and Warwick over King Henry and the queen, previously related. The former lost 8,000 men including Lord Sinauter. King Henry and the queen lost 20,000, including the Earl of Northumberland, the Earl of Westmorland, the Earl of Devon, Lord Clifort, Lord Muells, Lord Bramont, Lord Anelles, Lord Vuelley, Lord Henry, the son of Bochinchant, Lord Rivers, Lord Scales and Andrew Trolop, knight. They say that King Henry and the queen have gone to Newcastle with the following: the prince, the Duke of Somerset, the Duke of Sestre, Lord Ros, Lord Rivers. King Edward is great friends with Warwick. If King Henry and the queen are taken, the kingdom will be pacified by King Edward and Warwick. If they are not taken, it is to be feared that in time they will raise fresh troubles, especially as the people are not at all averse to liberty, especially those of London (maxime che li popoli pur non sonno alieni da liberta maxime quelli di Londra). If Edward and Warwick remain in power it would be well for his lordship to be on good terms with the Duke of Burgundy, if he attaches importance to these affairs, as the said king and Warwick are friends of that Duke and the Dauphin.
[Italian; copy.]
April 23.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
95. Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Legate of the Apostolic See, to George Nevill, Bishop of Exeter, Lord Chancellor of England. (fn. 24)
By this same courier, who is returning, we have received with great joy the letters from your side, which pleased us greatly, from which we learned that the proud have been humbled and the humble exalted; and we see that you have remembered us, this has been among other things a remarkable gift. We have read in succession the calamities and fluctuations which have succeeded in that kingdom since our departure, and finally the glorious victory which a pitiful and merciful God has granted to the renowned Edward and the devout sons of Holy Church. Certainly, Most Reverend Father, we remember your desire and that of the king, expressed in the last conversation we had together, namely that with all your goods and all your strength you should exert yourselves for the glory of Almighty God and of His Holy Church and for the dignity of the supreme pontiff, and you persuaded the Earl of March, now King Edward, that he should resolve upon this same thing and do it. We also remember that in response we said these words: Do so, and without a doubt the Omnipotent God, who knows and understands the heart of man, will defend and protect you (se recordiamo de quello vestro desyderio et del Re che nel ultimo parlare havesseno con nuy ne dicessono cioe con tutto el coze et con tutte le vestre possanze per gloria del summo dio et de la sua sancta chiesia et per la dignita del summo pontifice ve affaticaresseno et questo medesimo persuadesti al Conte de la Marchia et mo Re Edoardo chel deliberasse e facesse alequal cose nuy se recordiamo haverve dicto et resposto queste parole, fatelo, et senza dubio lomnipotente dio che cognosce et intende il core de li homini ve guardira et defendera).
Thus a faithful God and pious Lord has sent to this harassed and afflicted devotees an angel to strike and exterminate the unbelievers and rebels. So in days of yore, we read Hezekiah did in the camp of the Assryians, where in one night, by an angel, he slew 180,000 persons, and delivered his people. Although we are grieved to our inmost heart at the shedding of so much blood, yet we clearly perceive that it has happened by the judgment of the Most Just God, and for this reason we remain quiet. Thus those who with overweening insolence, regardless of all apostolic reverence, threatened to hang the apostolic legate, the true messenger of peace, as your paternity has full well known, threatening also the heads of yourself and of all those who were of the same opinion with us, have now miserably lost their own heads. God grant that their souls have not perished with their bodies. Therefore, at present, we ought to return infinite thanks for such great gifts and for the ineffable benefits received from God, and render our vows, beseeching God to say to the destroying angel: Stay thy hand and thy fury from henceforth. It will now be your duty to admonish the king, just as we are writing at present to admonish him, that as he has been marvellously chosen by God and appointed king, so he must recognise that the benefit comes from his Author and Lord God, and must render the honour due to him who says, By Me kings reign, and let him pay back his vows to God to whom he is indebted for his rule, and defend the laws of his God in whose hands is the might of every man. Finally let him keep faith with Him in whose miraculous protection he has triumphed over his enemies.
Those perverse ones who have fallen so marvellously, and who obstinately condemned the apostolic authority should have reverenced the vicar of God upon earth and his holy Church; for the glory, estate and defence of which our holy father the vicar of God withdrew his countenance from them, and finally they see their own reflection and the wretchedness of the dead, and what has overtaken them for having despised God and justice. How true is what is written of the wrath of God, that it proceeds slowly to take revenge and that it compensates for the tardiness of the punishment by inflicting more grievous torment afterwards. We have sometimes seen rebels gain great victories, so that many marvelled at the patience of God in suffering this, and your lordship has seen the truth of it in the jeers and derision with which we were received when in our apostolic character, we denounced this future pestilence by word of mouth and by letter. Now the glory, after the victory, is as great as was the ignominy after the disaster and conflict. O God, what confusion, what terror, what infamy and insult we all suffered from the vilest men when we left your parts recently after the fight and disaster to your side; while now on the contrary, when the wind has changed, and victory is won, what ignominy and wretchedness have fallen upon them, and what glory upon you! These things and many others worthy of note which we cannot put into a brief letter, we reserve to say by word of mouth to the king, when we happen to meet him, and by God's grace we hope that will be soon.
Immediately after the receipt of your letter we sent to the holy father for instructions, and also a testimony to your religious and pious spirit, which we hope will redound to your commendation and glory. In conclusion, be so good as to commend me to the king's Majesty, to whom we are writing a few words, and then it will be no great matter to give our congratulations to your brother, the earl, your uncle, and all the others of your famous house, and especially my lord of Montacute for the glory and victory which he has now obtained twice over the enemy, upon which we congratulate him. I commend myself affectionately to them, as we are placed in the world to live under the same fortune with them and the other prelates and lords of England, so that they may know that they have received a son and brother, of the same mind as themselves, especially as they were willing to receive him as one of themselves (et recomandaro affectuosamente a loro quali siamo posi al mondo per vivere sotto una medesima fortuna con loro et laltri prelati et Signori de Ingalterra per modo che intendano havere recevuto uno figlolo et fratello de quello medesmo animo che sono loro, maxime perche hanno vogliuto recevere nel numero de soy).
We are sending to your paternity the enclosed letters written from Milan by Master Antonio de la Torre, messenger of the king, and of you, so that you may know something of the affairs of Italy. In these letters, among other things, your party will see how highly your brother and your house are reputed in Italy, for their virtues which we proclaim. Send him the said letter with those that we are writing to him, and, upon our return, we will tell him some things touching his state and ours, which we have learned here.
Malines, the 23rd April, 1461.
The bearer of these presents will give any further information. Your paternity will please give him credence.
[Italian.]
April 27.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
96. Francesco Copino, Bishop of Terni, Papal Nuncio, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 25)
I have sent your lordship word of the events of England by a footman of my own, who should reach you in 12 or 14 days. I now enclose copies of letters from England, principally from this Chancellor, brother of the Earl of Warwick, and from two other bishops, from which you will learn of the final and marvellous victory of the Earl of March, who is made the new king, of Warwick and the cruel battle, in which the total loss amounted to 28,000 men, including ten of their greatest lords, truly our king only lost one baron and 800 others. Things are disposed in favour of a change for the better, and never was there a better opportunity for his Holiness and your Lordship, if things are properly understood (sono le cose disposte ad reformarsi et mai fu il pui bel tempo p N.S. et per V.J.S. se ben sentende la cosa). Since the letters show that my return will be welcome, I am on the way back thither to do my part and more. It remains for those on your side to do what is necessary, for which every hope rests upon your authority and in your hand. I am in despair at seeing such exceptionally glorious things prepared while I am not assisted or understood. However, my confidence in your Lordship consoles me, and encourages me to risk utter discomfiture. (Resta che decosta si facti il bisogno del quale tutta la speranza e vestra auctorita et in vestra mano Io mi dispero J.S. mio che veggo apparechiare troppo gloriose cose et non sono aiutato ne inteso. Ma pur mi conforta la fede che ho in vestra J.S. che mi fa mettere ad ogni sbaraglio).
With this come letters to Messer Falcone, and I am writing to his Holiness. I beg you to forward them. I was advised by a letter of M. Antonio de la Turre of the 4th March of what was arranged there, and I answered by the messenger aforesaid. Most Illustrious Lord, non qui inceperit sed qui perseveraverit salvus erit. To-day I am to see the Most Illustrious Dauphin at Brussels to confer upon high and worthy affairs connected with those of ours and within three days I shall be at the council of the Most Illustrious duke, whence I will advise your Lordship. For God's sake help this enterprise, and quickly, if you wish to see worthy, great and just things.
Malines, the 27th April, 1461.
Kept back to the 1st May; and I have found here letters of your Lordship about Master Antonio dalla Torre going to Rome. Do not tarry for God's sake; you see the fortunate events here which may be turned to many good purposes if they have assistance. See that this is not lacking. To-morrow I am going to the duke's council, where I hope to find your messenger, and I will write again. I will then go to England to uphold their hands as they need. Let your Lordship do what is required without having to be asked.
[Italian.]
April 27.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
97. Francesco Copino, Bishop of Terni, Papal Nuncio, to Master Cricho de Calabria, Minister of Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 26)
As we are about to mount horse I will write to you at length; but you will see what I am writing to our lord and the glorious victory won by our friends in England, the like of which was never seen. We are going to arrive there while things are still fresh and pursue our enterprises. If we are helped we shall do wonders. It was God's will that we should leave in time to be in safety and able to effect honourable things for God and the Church and all the state of Italy. You will see the particulars of the battle; God pardon the other side and give us grace to do well. I commend to you the letters we are writing to his Holiness and to Master Falcone. Our lord duke should write a letter to England and perhaps we shall send you the note according to our design. We have seen by the letters of Master Antonio dalla Torre your diligence and zeal for our affairs. Continue in the same, and we shall hope to gratify you.
Malines, the 27th April, 1461.
Kept until the 1st May at Bruges, and we have letters from his Lordship about the coming of M. Anto. della Turri. There is no need for more. In this part I do not think we can look for anything better, and do you see that they do not sleep with you.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan.
Archives.
98. Cecco di Calabria, Ducal Secretary, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Count Camalengo at the 23rd hour of this day received word of the terrible slaughter in England in the recent battle. This news has greatly pleased his Majesty, who is in excellent state with all his troops, being well cared for here by the podesta.
Borgo S. Donnino, the last of April, 1461.
[Italian.]
May 5.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
99. Otto de Carreto and Agostino Rosso, Milanese Ambassadors at the Papal Court to the Duke of Milan.
With respect to English affairs and the advancement of Monsignor there to some high dignity out of compliment to that nation, the Cardinal de Thiano says he has learned very recently that the queen has defeated Warwick and slain a very large number of his followers, so that they do not know what to do about those matters.
Rome, the 5th May, 1461.
[Italian.]
May 6.
Potenze
Estere.
Roma.
Milan
Archives.
100. Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Papal Legate to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
I have written fully to your Excellency of late about the state of England and all the affairs of the west. I have since received the letters of your Excellency of the 16th May (sic) stating that all my letters have arrived safely and have been sent to Rome, as I desired. I was very glad of this, as they were necessary in order to give them heart, as they were more cast down than was perhaps justified (di che ho havuto assai piacere che erano necessarie per conforto di quelli animi forsi più afflicti che non bisognava). I notice also by the said letters that Messer Prospero has received fresh instructions to have a good understanding with me and follow my advice, especially about passing to England This also has given me pleasure, especially because since I received the first letters there was an ambassador here of the Earl of Warwick; he dined with me, Messer Prospero also being present, and, at the ambassador's departure, to give some comfort and advice to King Edward and the Earl of Warwick at this time when their position is not very solid, which might correspond to what I have proposed at other times and said to your Excellency about your disposition, I wrote about the commission of Messer Prospero and about his crossing over, and so we both told the ambassador, who derived the utmost consolation therefrom. Thus we keep on the point of crossing over, awaiting the coming of il Desero, which we expect to be with the return of my messenger whom I sent to England. Meanwhile we are expecting letters for the passage of Messer Prospero. If these do not arrive in time we shall not hesitate all the same to do what seems most useful and honourable for your lordship and your state, especially after having written as I have said above. Nothing remains except to recommend myself to your Excellency, knowing that I am your creature and your tool (operatore), not for gain but from long standing devotion and pure loyalty.
St. Omer, the 6th May, 1461.
[Italian.]
May 8.
Potenze
Estere.
Borgogna.
Milan
Archives.
101. Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
By my last, a few days ago from Bruges, I advised your lordship of the affairs of England, and I sent copies of the letters about all that had occurred up to that date. I further wrote to your lordship that having learned that your envoy, Messer Prospero, was in these parts, I would make every effort to meet and confer with him, advising your lordships to write to him to the same effect. Since then I have arrived at the court of the duke here, who holds his Council here at St. Omer, a day's journey from Calais. I have met Messer Prospero, from whom I received letters from your lordship to the effect that they desire, although owing to the recent events, to my departure, and to his own occupations he has not as yet crossed to England. I find the business of the Illustrious Dauphin, begun by him and continued up to the present time, in very good train. I was also very pleased to see that we are all firing at the same target, as before I saw Messer Prospero or heard of his proceedings, I had been to a long conference with my lord the Dauphin, and introduced the subject of the affairs of England, with some suggestion that although your lordship was not especially named, yet it was tolerably certain that if those affairs were set on foot, he would find your lordship well disposed to all his operations abroad, but I would not commit myself any further before I had conferred with Messer Prospero. Thus it falls out very appositely that this business has been carried on and continued up to the present. and my remarks happen to be borne out (trovando la practica dello ilustre Delfino per lui cominciata et continuata fin mo in assai bon termini: similiter ne ho havuto piacere vedendo che tucti tiramo ad uno segno perche avanti che vedessi decto Messer Prospero o sapessi di suoi progressi essendo io stato ad lungo parlamento con decto Monsig. il Delfin havevo introducto practica delle cose di Anglia cum qualche movimento che benche Vestra Signoria non fusse specialiter nominata assai tamen poteva intendere che mettendo il capo a dette cose retroveria disposta a tucti i suoi operacioni fuori ma non mero voluto extender più avanti fin che con decto Messer Prospero ma boccavo unde cade ben apunto che questa practica tenuta et continuata fin mo et lo mio parlare si viene ad verificare).
From the character, the present knowledge and the disposition of Western affairs, I am led to believe that it will be advisable to continue this business and even to press it more than has been used, owing to the events which have occurred in England, from which the said Dauphin might be invited to make engagements which would subsequently render his affairs with your lordship more difficult, because this victory of King Edward is a great blow to the King of France, in the opinion of everyone, and might possibly induce that monarch to turn to the Dauphin rather than let his enemies gain the day (et per quanto lingegno et la notitia et la disposicione delle cose occidentali mi porge credo che sia utile continuare dicta practica et ancora, stringerla più che lusato per le cose occorse in Anglia per le quali dicto Delfino potrebbe esser invitato a partiti che di poi farebbono la cosa sua con Vestra Signoria più difficile, perche questa victoria del Re Eduardo e un gran scaco al Cristianissimo el quale peraventura porria voltarsi più tosto al Delfin che asportare li inimici sui).
Again since the actions of the Dauphin, for well-known reasons, depend in great part upon the duke here, I should recommend your lordship to continue and increase the good-will and understanding with that prince. This will be easy, because he naturally leans towards the party of King Edward. I have put my hand to this before, and now I have done it again and I intend to follow it up to confirm him in this matter and in this understanding (et perche i facti del prefato Delfino per le casoni note in gran parte dependono da questo Duca ancooa lodo et conforto ad continuare et crescere la benevolencia od intelligentia con ipso, la quale sara facile cosa per che naturalmente e inclinato ad questa parte del Re Eduardo et io gia prima et hora di nuovo li ho messo le mani et intendo seguire per confirmarlo in questo proposito et in questa intelligentia).
On all these accounts and for the reasons which Messer Antonio will have imparted to your lordship, I shall have to cross again to England, as I wrote in my other letters. I also think it would be advisable and advantageous for Messer Prospero to proceed thither as well so that he may learn and see, and also because it will chime in very well with the understanding I set on foot between the lords there and your lordship, as you were advised by Messer Antonio and by letters, and it would confirm the impression of your lordship which we made on the minds of those lords (et etiam perche viene bene ad proposito delli principii per me dati delta intelligentia di quelli Signori con Vestra Signoria come per decto Messer Antonio et per lettere fu Vestra Signoria advisata et confirmerasse quella impression che di Vestra Signoria havemo facta nelle menti di quelli Signori).
In this case it will be advisable to provide fresh letters to the new King Edward and to those who wrote to your lordship; but these Z (fn. 27) are the foundation. In the mean time if we should chance to cross before, we shall make our excuses as best we may with those letters which Messer Prospero already has. He has, however, made me some reservations about the manner and time of crossing, in order to await instructions from your lordship. I beg your lordship to confirm his commission to cross, at the earliest opportunity, as for a long time I have desired a man on our side (uno nostro homo) of his capacity, as I advised by Messer Antonio.
I know nothing more at present worth writing about to your lordship, except to remind you that with respect to the affairs of England, I am strongly of opinion, as I have written several times, that never was there a time better fitted for our purpose, and if matters are well guided and with despatch, especially now that I have the assistance of Messer Prospero, for if I had had him before I feel certain that these parts would have seen brave fruit, especially if my lord lends a hand from Italy, for it is a great thing to have an assistant with brains and experience, especially in matters of this nature, in which I would to God that others concerned had as much skill as the case requires (come più volte ho scripto mai fu tempo più destro al proposito nostro, quia se son ben guidate et con prestezza et maxime ritrovandomi havere laiuto del prefato Prospero el quale se havessi havuto per lo passato in queste parti credo certamente se ne saria visti bravi fructi maxime se di costa Monsignor mise (fn. 28) , perche fa molto al proposito havere coadjutore che habbi cervello et practica et maxime nelle cose di questa natura, delli quali volessi dio che altri ad cui toccano havessi tanta peritia quale richiede il bisogno).
My most illustrious lord, your lordship knows that great affairs cannot be conducted without danger and great diligence, and it is impossible for the wisest person to bring them to perfection unless my lord gives honour and credit to his faithful ministers, who often, by the most exact diligence, produce greater fruits than are hoped for or expected, when they perceive that they are trusted by their masters. Your Excellency has seen some proof of this in England, and therefore you should put your hand to it as the case requires, so that our labours may not be lost after so much toil and peril, with shame and loss and danger to the states of Italy.
With respect to what Messer Prospero has and will have to do with his most serene lordship the Dauphin, and in keeping with the prince here, I will not fail to do whatever Messer Prospero may ask of me; and as useful proposals are made to me, so that with one on the one side and one on the other, we shall all aim at the same target, in the hope of some great advantage, if we are assisted. I commend myself to your Excellency.
St. Omer, the 8th May, 1461.
I commend myself to your lordship, from whom I am eagerly expecting news of the progress of Messer Antonio.
[Signed:]—E.I.D.V.S. et filius F. Interamn. legatus.
Postscript.
—I have since spoken with some astrologers, and, in particular, with a worthy man who is a member of a religious order and a prelate. He says, and he gave it in writing some time since to the King of France, that this summer the King of France will be in very great danger of death, and if he escapes, it will be rather a miracle than the course of Nature. The result will be seen about August. I report this because it greatly concerns your affair, and I fancy the proceedings of Messer Prospero should be accelerated (dipoi ho parlato con alcuni astrologi et maxime con uno valente che e religioso et prelato et dice et cosi ha dato in scripti gia più tempo al Re di Francia, che il Re di Francia, in questo state porta grandissimo periculo di morte et se ne campa sara più tosto miraculo che corso di natura, et circa Agosto si vedra leffecto. Advisovene perche tocca grandemente al facto vestro et parmi daccellerare la practicha di Messer Prospero). (fn. 29)
Laus deo.
[Italian; the words in italics deciphered.]
May 8.
Potenze
Estere.
Roma.
Milan
Archives.
102. Otto de Carreto, Milanese Ambassador at Rome to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
His Holiness was very pleased at the news of England sent by Prospero Camulio on the 12th ult. from Bruges, the more so because here they said the opposite, but not by authentic letters. His Holiness begs your Excellency to let him know when you have anything for certain.
Rome, the 8th May, 1461.
[Italian.]
May 8.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
103. Otto de Carreto and Agostino Rosso, Milanese Ambassadors at the Papal Court to the Duke of Milan.
We recommended to his Holiness all the prelates about whom I Agostino had instructions. His Holiness said he would have them in mind but he could not make so many cardinals now; however when he did the intercession of your lordship would have great weight with him.
Rome, the 8th May, 1461.
[Italian.]
May 9.
Potenze
Estere.
Francia.
Milan
Archives.
104. Prospero di Camulio, Milanese Ambassador to the Court of France to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
I still had to carry out the instructions given me by your Excellency, which I had not been able to do from being involved here as I wrote, which prevented me from going out casually. However I have at last met my lord the legate, to whom I thought fit to communicate something about the league with the Dauphin.
With regard to English affairs, I can confirm what I reported to your Excellency so far as the battles are concerned. It is true that I find that the capture of King Henry and the Queen is not correct, but I remember I said it was doubtful. It is said that on the day of the battle they had 160,000 men. I refer to my previous letters for my opinion about these affairs of England.
I believe that his lordship has written to your Excellency, and I have habitually seen your letters to him. In all matters he seems to me most prudent and expert, but in this he appears an English Aristotle, and indeed my lord it has greatly rejoiced me to find his lordship such, and so well affected towards your Excellency.
His lordship strongly urged me to proceed to England for the honour and greater reputation of your Excellency, and a propos of his affairs. I told him that I am ready to do whatever he advised and persuaded, at the right moment and provided it was possible. I made some reservation to wit about awaiting a reply from your Excellency, to whom we have written by the courier Martino about the changes in England and the choice of the new king. I called to mind that if you thought I ought to pursue my journey, it would be as well to have letters to the new King of England, and I also mentioned, out of consideration for your Excellency, that it is not intended openly that he shall take pleasure in making efforts everywhere against the King of France (come eciam feci mencione per lo riguardo de V. Ex. che non se intenda alla scoperta che lo se dilecti de temptar per tutto contra el Re de Franza). But for this I have shown him a way that will be secret. I should like to hear if your Excellency approves and I should have liked to see you to learn if I was doing right in this. In addition the legate has conferred with me at very great length about the state of England, in so far as it regards the elevation of the king, son of March, and the Earl of Warwick. I have heard and hear all day long from the English themselves, who admit and publish it abroad, that his lordship was the author and pattern whereby they put themselves straight, and at the present moment he is much desired there (io ho inteso et intendo tutto el di per Anglesi proprio chel confessano imo lo predicano, la soa Signoria essere stata l'autore et la regula con che se sonno adrizati et al presente molto e rechiesto la).
His lordship conversed very freely with me about the well-being of the state of your Excellency, and if the English would cross to France, because even with one's eyes shut one can see and hear the King of France complaining of your lordship because of your remedy of the league, which is frequently a vain burden. In connection with this subject, his lordship said that it seemed to him that for the very slightest assistance given to the son of March, this new king and the Earl of Warwick would help the work which they had completed against the King of England, the queen and their son, always saving the opinion and judgment of your Excellency. We went together into the question about what the efforts of his lordship might extract from England, with the full consent of the pope, if he would supply the means, as no great sum of money would be enough to have large ships from Genoa for four months, and it would be a great present and most substantial assistance to the new king and to the Earl of Warwick, since it would give them the command of the sea, and his security would throw all the people of England into the war in France (gli pare che con ogni poco dechese aitati el figlio de Marchia, cio re novo et conte de Varruich se butariano a l'opera fornito che havessero contra Re de Ingliterra et la regina et figliolo, salvo semper lo apparere et judicio de V. Ex. Nuy examinavamo inseme che se de quello che per industria de la S. soa se trahesse de Inglitera con bon contentamento del papa se daesse il modo al spendre etiam non grande quantita bastaria havere de grosse nave de Zenoa per quatro mesi et seria grande presente et substantialissimo ajuto al Re novo et al conte de Varruich, conciosiache farianno siguro del mare, la quale secureza seria butare tutti li populi de Ingliterra alla guerra in Franza).
At the present moment the state of Genoa would welcome this, as if the King of France were destroyed, it would guarantee them against any further anxiety or expectation from that king.
In my opinion these designs are worth nothing unless they are approved by the principals, and whether in this or any other way it seems advisable to your Excellency to turn England against France, yet as we have a well-disposed pope, it might be well to pay attention to certain human weaknesses, since no man living can see far ahead at present in the affairs of England. I should recommend his increasing the authority of the said legate, because reputation often achieves what cannot be done by reason, and also that ships should be provided as above, to strengthen the force of the Earl of Warwick. This is what the legate and I discussed together.
This is the thirty-first letter that I have written to your Excellency and I have received no reply of advice of receipt.

St. Omer, the 9th May, 1461.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 9.
Potenze
Estere.
Francia.
Milan
Archives.
105. Prospero de Camulio, Milanese Ambassador to the Court of France to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
That your Excellency may be advised of the news we have here, yesterday letters and messengers arrived from England, asserting most positively the capture of King Henry, the queen and all those mentioned. However I cannot feel sure about it, and, if your Excellency marvels at such incertitude, I must state that there are no arrangements here for certainty, and no news is sent here except what may chance to come. This happens owing to the nature of the government here. My lord the Duke of Burgundy attends to his devotions and leaves the cares and anxieties of state to his servants; and as these do not possess the supernatural instinct of princes, they cannot display that vigilance and foresight that God has granted to princes. However, whatever is or may be, the affairs of the new king and the Earl of Warwick are in supreme favour. For this I refer to the legate, who is a supreme oracle upon these affairs, in the judgment of the people of England themselves.
As regards matters here, a fortnight ago the Duke of Burgundy arrived here, and about the same time
1,500 horse of the King of France also approached to within little more than half a day's journey from the country of the Duke of Burgundy, though they stayed without doing any harm, and he sent a herald to them, and, according to what they say, he learned from them that they had come to raise the siege of a castle near here, attacked by those of Calais, which is holding out for King Henry and Somerset, and, on learning that the siege was raised, they went back. Two days ago they returned again to the same neighbourhood, quite 12,000 strong, and relations between the Duke of Burgundy and the King of France are very strained.
St. Omer, the 9th May, 1461.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 16.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
106. Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan to Francesco Copino, Bishop of Terni, Papal Legate.
We have received your letters informing us of events there. We are very pleased and thank you for the news sent, begging you to do the like for the future and everything you see best for the progress of those affairs. We urge you to use every effort to direct matters well, with your customary prudence and ability. We shall not fail on our side. Prospero Camulio is there and will confer with your lordship, and in everything he will do what you advise. We have written to Rome about your affairs, several times, and have instructed M. Agostino Rosso, whom we recently sent to his Holiness, to see that he is well disposed to you, and we shall not leave undone anything that we can do, as we desire the exaltation of your lordship as much as our own.
Milan, the 16th May, 1461.
[Italian; draft.]
June 1.
Potenze
Estere.
Francia.
Milan
Archives.
107. Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Papal Legate to Pope Pius II.
Compendium status occidentalis.
Although I have frequently written to your Holiness upon the events of these parts, yet I think it right to lay before you a brief compendium of the affairs of France, England, Scotland and Burgundy and all the western shore, so that where your Holiness is present you may also absolve.
The affairs of England are in the following position. Edward has not yet made himself supreme over the whole kingdom or reduced it to peace, because Henry, the late king, with his wife and son and the Duke of Somerset and Lord de Ros are with the Scots. There it is announced they have married the daughter of the late King of Scots and sister of the present little king to the son of the said Henry, King of England. They have received from the same Henry the town of Berwick, on the frontiers of Scotland, which the Scots have long claimed as their right from the English, as the excellently well furnished guardian of their frontiers, and the place to which King Henry repaired as an asylum after the battle. Hence it is suspected on all sides, that something fresh is in preparation for Edward to chew, and that these Scots are about to break into England with Henry, his son and wife to recover the realm. And because of the ancient alliance by which the Scots are united with the French, it is thought that the French also will assist, and render support both by land and sea, because they also are inflamed against the English, especially under these new conditions, for old-standing reasons well known to all (hinc plerique suspicantur Edwardo novam masticem parari irrupturis ipsis Scotis in Angliam cum Henrico et filio el uxore ad regnum recuperandum, quibus etiam propter antiquum fedus quo Scoti juncti sunt gallicis creditur et gallos assistere et afferre subsidium terra marique cum et ipsi Anglicis ex antiquis causis universo jam notis precipue novo huic statui sint infensi).
The Duke of Burgundy here, however, seeing from afar, and having been warned frequently and for a long time by those who love his state, fears all these things and has attempted to prevent such an alliance by approaching the Queen of Scotland, his niece (fn. 30) (hic autem J. princeps Burgundie, videns a longe sepius nihilominus et diu admonitus ab his qui statum suum diligunt, formidat hec omnia et temptavit hujusmodi affinitatem impedire apud Reginam Scotie neptem suam).
I also have not neglected to do what I could. I have also fully instructed the most reverend patriarch here upon all things, and as one who has quite recently come out of sad troubles, he would ask for very little favour so long as the wish of that prince awaited complete fulfilment; but he himself will report what he has done.
But, as we anticipated, although that announcement could not accomplish what was desired, yet it is believed that on this account the Duke here will finally strike up a treaty with Edward, although some fear that he may have delayed longer than he should, through his innate longing for peace, which the other side are believed to abhor (creditur finaliter quod percutiet idem dux cum Edwardo fedus quamvis nonnulli timent ne diutius differat quam opportet, propter innatu sibi quietis desiderium quam emuli et adversarii abhorrere creduntur).
The Dauphin sympathises with Edward and his party, even openly, and would accept everything that would strengthen the league (foedus) of this prince. But indeed neither of them is strong, and one must be diligent and careful, as it would seem they suppose that this war will continue, and if they begin again, it is considered most likely that no young man or certainly very few will see the end, and their quarrels will be everlasting and they will relapse into their mutual hates, so that even if they do not exceed the bounds of their previous disputes, which lasted thirty years and more, it is judged they will at least equal them.
Among all these things, Holy Father, there is one incident which, perhaps, has too much credit among mortals. Some astronomers, and among others even some religious belonging to an order of considerable learning and in other respects good men, have declared that on account of the eclipse to take place next month, there is the greatest danger to a royal head, and so far as their art instructs them, it will be a miracle of God if he escapes. They assert, however, that the effect of this will be seen about the end of August. On this account the actions of very many are postponed and operations grow cold. If the astronomers lie, the things stand which I have related above, but they have foretold true things long before.
The Dauphin forthwith broke into the kingdom, and will probably soon have it in his power, with the justice and favour of the duke here. Out of that several of the above matters will cease and new questions will arise. In that event, Holy Father, as I have related on previous occasions by special letters and messengers, since the Dauphin is disposed to abolish the pragmatic, and has solemnly promised me this in the name of your Holiness, in the presence and with the consent of many honourable men and magnates, your Holiness should have a legate ready, who, with authority and dignity might interest himself in these things from the beginning, one also whose presence would be acceptable to the Dauphin, as well as useful and not abhorrent to justice and honour. He would also see that the Dauphin did not forget his promise, and, encouraged by the legate, would proceed to carry it into effect before he changed his mind. Unless this is done, it is to be feared that it will not be feasible afterwards, or it will not be easy. Pale writing must be read in time otherwise it may easily fade. Thus I remember it happened in the admission of the legation entrusted to me with the English, when unless I had attacked after carefully looking round while the business of our entry into the realm was still red-hot, even before victory was obtained, and had taken care to be received and admitted while the wound was still open and rankling, practically nothing would ever have been done afterwards, as when things have settled down and the affair is brought before the general for decision, the slightest thing suffices to upset the whole, especially in a matter naturally hateful and difficult. This, Holy Father, I have testified times without number, and as I have learned by repeated experience of those parts and the people there, that unless they are taken awhile the affair is sweet, they very easily fly away and escape, and after that it is harder to begin again.
That there is no legate in all this Western region equal to doing such great things of this nature, your Holiness, with the information so frequently sent in my letters, may easily judge. I have discharged my duty and have set forth the facts and circumstances, and now there is nothing to move me, since I have unburdened my soul and conscience, except my piety and zeal for the house of God and the estate of the Apostolic See which I see wounded and whole again if only negligence does not prevent it. May the Almighty inspire your Holiness to make good and sound provision in the mean time, while matters are thus in the balance, by the advice of the duke there, and not unmindful of the recent danger, I am waiting here and have postponed my journey to England, while I also await the reply of the Curia, after so many changes. I do not think it proper to return with hands unwashed to so arduous a task, so full of risk and danger, until I have learned the purpose of your Holiness and have received your orders. I shall then go forward with intrepidity, moved by obedience alone, when I know that my letters have come to the knowledge and received the attention of your Holiness. I commend myself to you, and ask you to remember me in my absence and pilgrimage so far away.
St. Omer, the 1st June, 1461.
[Latin; copy.]
June 2.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
108. Francesco Copino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 31)
Since I wrote matters here have proceeded slowly, though as usual in favour of King Edward. So that you may know the events of England, France and Scotland and his lordship here I enclose a copy of what I am writing to the pope, whereby I hope to hear how they regard those affairs there, and, according to that, we shall proceed. I do not know what others may think, but to one who has for some time negotiated in these states it seems to offer an excellent opportunity to achieve important things for the honour of God and of all Italy and of yourself, if they are understood and assisted, and the reverse if they are neglected.
Your ambassador (fn. 32) left here several days ago and I think is near Bruges. I shall remain in this neighbourhood until the time comes to cross the sea, and you shall be advised of everything. However I must remind your Excellency not to relax the business begun by this ambassador because it is very important to your state. It will please me the more as I have put my hand to it and made a very good beginning with that lord for the estate of the church so that the one will help the other, and if God grants us life, and our works are accepted, I hope in a short time to see most worthy things, which will greatly please your lordship (et tanto più mi piacera quanto io ho messo le mani el facto assai bona intrata con quel S. Ex. per lo stato della chiesa, siche luna aiutera laltra et se dio ne presta vita et le nostre opere siano acceptate spero veder cose dignissime in poco tempo, le quali ad V.S. saranno ben grate).
I am daily expecting a reply upon the affairs of Rome.
St. Omer, the 2nd June, 1461.
[Italian.]
June 2.
Potenze
Estere.
Francia.
Milan
Archives.
109. Prospero di Camulio, Milanese Ambassador to the Court of France to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
As I have written previously on several occasions, and quite recently from St. Omer, the affairs of England, since the victory of King Edward, are in the following position. King Henry, the queen, their son, the Duke of Somerset and Lord Ros, his brother, have taken refuge in Scotland. It is said that they are negotiating for a marriage alliance between the sister of the late King of Scotland and the Prince of Wales, and are carrying it into effect, although this is not known for certain by those who have most knowledge. They also say that King Henry has given away a castle called Berwick, which is one of the keys of the frontier between England and Scotland. This place is said to have anciently belonged to Scotland of right, and was occupied by England a long time ago by superior force.
The force of 20,000 Frenchmen has left Normandy and gone to England. It is said that the Count of Maine (de humaine) paid for 5,000 of these. It is said that they have taken the route outside the island in the Gulf of Bristol and accordingly it is thought to assemble the people of Wales, who are said to love the queen. Nevertheless Bristol is a strong city, and for coasting along the island from thence towards Scotland, it is not easy to navigate any vessels besides the small ships for transit of the country, owing to a tide that lasts six hours. Accordingly it is thought that they cannot get any nearer to Scotland from that direction. In the direction of the strait of Dover and Calais, which is eighteen miles, Warwick is said to have a fleet, not so much to give battle to the French one in the open sea, but merely to prevent them from landing in the island and to guard that passage.
Owing to the favour and kinship of the Scots and this strong encouragement from the French, they are afraid here that there may be some attack and battle. If that be the case, it will certainly involve the rest of the community and this kingdom of England. In any case, King Edward and Warwick have the whole of the island and kingdom in their power, and are attending to such provisions as are necessary. King Edward is at present going to London, (fn. 33) I fancy in order to make arrangements for consolidating the kingdom and to strengthen himself against the dangers which may crop up. It is true, most illustrious lord, that these English have not the slightest form of government unless they have it in some leader, and this they have in King Edward and the Earl of Warwick (questi Anglici non han una minima forma de regimento, ma pur se gle n'he in capo alcuno et n'he in lo Re Edoardo et lo Conte de Varruich).
The Dauphin and the Duke of Britanny have sent to the Queen of Scotland to dissuade her. I do not know what they will do amid all these things on one side and the other. The Duke of Burgundy takes very good care not to commit himself, and nevertheless if King Edward fluit assilvi, he would not rejoice at it. The Duke of Calabria told me when I left, that until they see King Edward more firmly established, and what this fleet is going to do, the Duke of Burgundy will not disclose himself about the league, or make any other demonstration, and if the King of France consents to some adjustment of peace between him and the Duke of Burgundy, I believe they would be better pleased, with England in its present state, and I believe this is the reason for the embassies sent by the Duke of Burgundy to the King of France, while they say the ambassador of the King of France is coming to Burgundy. However I do not know for certain, and I will try to obtain information and get to the marrow of it. I know well that when the ambassadors of the Duke of Burgundy were negotiating the peace with the King of France, they were stopped by the King of France owing to the difficulty about the Dauphin, as the Dauphin's people were in discussion, and in like manner the difficulty was interposed by the Duke of Burgundy. If this fleet prospers, I believe that the King of France will be more proud than ever, and if King Edward remains the undoubted King of England, I believe that the Dauphin and the Duke of Burgundy will be harder than ever about peace with the King of France.
Such is my opinion about the future relations between the King of France and the Duke of Burgundy, and the affection and loyalty between them, as it has been in the past. I will be diligent in advising your Excellency of all that I hear.
I enclose a rough drawing made by me on the spot, merely to show your Excellency the form and fashion of the things which they are undertaking there at present. I beg your Excellency to take it as an earnest of my zeal in supplying all manner of information and not as presumption in trying to do things for which I have neither the manual dexterity nor the mental qualification.
Bruges, the 2nd June, 1461.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 6.
Potenze
Estere.
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Archives.
110. Prospero di Camulio, Milanese Ambassador to the Court of France to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Having come hither in order to despatch Martino, the courier, and send him back to your Excellency, with what he has up to the present, I thought it my duty to send him to St. Omer to Monsignor de Croy to see if he wished to write anything further to your Excellency, and also to Monsignor the Legate. In the mean time letters have arrived from your Excellency of the 16th May, which I answer here.
I was much comforted to learn that your Excellency had received all my letters up to the 28th April, as I was anxious about them, wishing you to hear about the Duke of Burgundy, Monsignor de Charolais, the Duke of Cleves, Monsignor de Croy, his brother, and all those knights of the Golden Fleece, of which I reported the ceremony in my letter from St. Omer on the 7th May, in response to what you asked of me. I have not sent the names of the lords and knights of the order, because the Dauphin's household is none too well ordered and there is no secretary who could give me the information, and by God's grace I will note the names and titles myself.
I visited the legate, and we write to each other every day. His Excellency will come to stay here in this place, where he will decide about his passage to England, while I shall do as he advises and always be obedient to him, as is due to his lordship. Only if matters drag on for a long while, I have written to your Excellency what appears to me to be necessary for my greater clearness about the principal cause with the Dauphin. There is nothing more to add as your Excellency will know all by mine of the 1st inst.
Likewise, with regard to the affairs of England, we hear by letters of merchants of London to those here how the fleet of the French has struck at the coast of Cornwall. (fn. 34) It did some damage by pillage and burning, and then sailed back towards Normandy, as they were short of eighteen bertons, which had not joined the fleet up to that moment.
Also that King Edward has gone to London for his coronation, and, as I said in my previous letter, to set the kingdom in order. Thus he has commanded that a general parliament shall meet in London on the 6th of July. (fn. 35) This is all we have heard up to the present; if there is anything more, I will keep your Excellency regularly advised.
Bruges, the 6th June, 1461.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 10.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
111. Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 36)
Having come once more to Antwerp, before I could commit this present letter to a faithful messenger, I have fallen in with the special courier Count Ludovico Dallugo, and the noble Zenon, your Excellency's messengers, from whom I have received letters of credence and learned the good fortune of your lordship and of your state, and of your affection towards me. This has given me great pleasure, and I always thank your Excellency from whom I am daily expecting advices of the affairs of Rome. And whereas Count Ludovico and Zenon, among other things, say that they have commissions and letters about the going to England, and have not said a word to me about the commission of Messer Prospero, or of the other things, of which the lords over there and I wrote a while ago and committed to Messer Antonio; while on the other hand, Messer Prospero, who is also here, says he has letters from your lordship that when he has despatched his principal commissions he will return to Italy, nor has he yet had the letters he requires for crossing to England, although he expects a definite reply about this same principal commission, and seems to me somewhat perplexed, I also am somewhat upset and know not what to do. Accordingly I shall be obliged if your lordship will write and tell us what we are to do. Nevertheless if in the mean time a favourable opportunity occurs for crossing, we shall take the course that seems most advantageous and honourable for your lordship, especially as we have written and notified the King and my lord of Warwick what is said above, so that if we did not keep to this it would give umbrage to those lords. I can also assure your Excellency that the lord concerned in the principal commission of Messer Prospero, with whom a favourable conclusion is hoped, highly approves and commends this purpose of ours to cross (quel Signore della principale commissione del decto Messer Prospero, col quale si spera grata conclusione, loda et ha caro grandemente questo nostro proposito del passare).
If I merit any confidence about matters here, with the knowledge I have of the affairs of Italy, and especially of your state, I say that it would always be useful and necessary for you to have an adroit messenger between that kingdom and these parts, and I believe that experience will prove the same. Never doubt, my lord, that if favour and warmth do not fail us from thence, with the beginnings and good foundations that we have here, you will see matters of moment, which will afford you the utmost pleasure. It now remains for your lordship to provide for what you know and to get it taken up in the necessary quarter, especially now, when you lack neither power, knowledge nor favour at the Curia. Your lordship must remember the old proverb: He who has time and lets time slip by is losing time!
Antwerp, the 10th June, 1461.
[Italian.]
June 14.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
112. Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan to Edward IV, King of England. (fn. 37)
After the receipt of your Majesty's letters by Master Antonio della Torre, your servant and envoy, we learned quite recently from our servant Prospero Camulio, the memorable victory, whereby, through consummate military skill and personal valour, your Majesty obtained that kingdom of England, and have arrived at the royal seat. We have always been anxious for your glory and exaltation, as you will have heard from Messer Prospero. We have expressed our joy to Master Antonio della Torre, who is now returning to your Majesty. Be pleased to give him credence touching this matter, the good-will of the pope (de optima summi pontificis voluntate) and the state of affairs in Italy.
Milan, the 14th June, 1461.
[Latin; draft.]
June 14.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
113. Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan to Richard, Earl of Warwick and Salisbury.
We have received your lordship's letters by the hands of Master Antonio della Torre, the King's servant and fully furnished. We have also heard what was reserved for him to say by word of mouth, under the guarantee of those letters. We have answered Messer Antonio fully upon all these things, as you will hear at length from his relation. He is returning to your parts fully informed about our deep affection for your lordship and upon Italian affairs, and of how desirous we are that Francesco, Bishop of Terni, legate of the apostolic see, whom we love exceedingly, may be beloved and acceptable to his Majesty and your lordship. We also beg you to give full confidence to the relations of Messer Prospero di Camulio, our servant, whom we have instructed by our letters, because if there is anything we can do to gratify your lordship, we shall always be delighted to do it.
Milan, the 14th June, 1461.
In similar form, mutatis titulis, to all the above.
The like to the following:—
Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury.
George, Bishop of Exeter, Lord Chancellor of England.
Lord Bourgchier, Lord Treasurer of England.
Lord Bernes.
William Nevill, Lord of Falconbrige.
[Latin; draft.]
June 14.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
114. Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan to Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate. (fn. 38)
We have received your lordship's letters of the 8th ult. from St. Omer about your return to England. We will write to our servant Prospero Camulio to accompany you. We thank you for the advices sent. We suppose that Prospero will have followed you. Master Antonio della Torre is now returning to those parts, fully informed as to the pope's excellent disposition towards you, and of the condition of Italy. We request to be kept constantly acquainted with the affairs of that kingdom.
Milan, the 14th June, 1461.
[Italian; draft.]
June 18.
Potenze,
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Milan
Archives.
115. Prospero di Camulio, Milanese Ambassador to the French Court to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
With regard to England I can affirm what I have written that everything is in subjection to King Edward. King Henry, the queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Somerset, and Lord Ros his brother, with the few left of that party who remained steadfast to them, have withdrawn to Scotland. Accordingly there is a report, which so far has not been confirmed, of the conclusion of a marriage alliance between the prince and the sister of the late King of Scotland. If that alliance took place, the Scots were to make an effort to recover the kingdom for King Henry. In favour of that king there was a most powerful French fleet at sea, to attack England, so that Henry's party cherished great hopes. I sent word about this, their plans, the course of this fleet, its attack and return.
Since then we have heard from England, how in the attack made by the fleet on the coast of Cornwall, which is opposite to Spain, the French were repulsed, and lost some say 4,000, some say 2,000. The truth cannot be obtained from England, owing to the stupidity of the people there, and the absence of policy in the government here, which is suffered by the Duke of Burgundy, who allows himself to be ruled by others, as I have written elsewhere, and for such events it is necessary to refer and take counsel according to what one hears from merchants. However we hear for certain that the fleet is being reinforced in Normandy, and that is a sign that it has suffered a repulse, and certainly, in my opinion, if they had gone to the gulf of Bristol, as was expected by those who know the sentiments of England, and as proposed in the plan I reported to your Excellency, I do not say they would have profited more, but they would have had a better means of judging the value of the popularity and influence of the memory of King Henry and the queen (et per certo a mio veder se fussero iti in lo Gulpho de Briscoth come estimava chi intende le vogli de Anglia et come per lo ditto designo significai a Vestra Ex. hariano non ardisco di dir più profectato, sed al manco meglio experimentato quanto puo la gratia et la auctorita del ricordo de Re Henrico et la Regina).
We have heard since that King Edward has gone to assemble his parliament on the 6th of July at London. The Earl of Warwick remained on the frontiers of Scotland, and it was arranged in Ireland, a savage country and an island near the Scots, that if the Scots sallied forth to help King Henry in England, 20,000 Irish should cross from Ireland to Scotland to do them hurt. This arrangement, with the garrisons of the Earl of Warwick, is accounted good and not only sufficient, but an advantageous provision against any chance wind that may blow from Scotland. At the same time they are endeavouring to prevent this by embassies and other efforts though not so diligently as your Excellency would do in like case (era ordinato in Hybernia, feroce paese et vicina insula a'Scoti, che usiendo Scoti a li auxilii del Re Henrico in Anglia, dovessero de Hybernia passare xx. milia Hybernesi in Scotia a dannificarli. La qual cosa se reputa cum li presidii del conte de Varruich bon; et non solamente sufficiente, ma favorevole provedimento a quanto vento fortunal possi buffar de Scotia. Et cum le ambassiate et opere percio se fanno tuttavia al opposito quamvis non cossi sollicitamenti come faria in tal caso Vestra Ecellenza).
It is thought that the Queen of Scotland will give up the idea, but I cannot shut my eyes to the fact that up to the present the Duke of Burgundy still hesitates about those affairs, although they have a good appearance. I am of those who think it would be as well for your Excellency to do the like and make no further demonstration until we see things more settled. For this reason I have not told the legate to cross, but have even advised him to wait awhile until I should be willing to go with all that your lordship commits to me. I have no letters of credence and it does not seem decent to me to base one's operations upon mere words without the guarantee of letters.
This is all about England up to the present. I say up to the present, because every day and every hour the conditions change and the impress of Fortune in those matters.
There remain the relations between the King of France and the Duke of Burgundy. These are the more difficult to discern because although demonstrations point one way, the inner sentiments go in another. From this it arises that the vulgar are universally sure of war. But if one considers the present nature of things more deeply, the disabilities of age, the unfavourable and difficult disposition of affairs, these do not lead one to look for war. Such is the present state of affairs. It is true that on one side and the other things seem disposed for war, and every day I weigh up the advantages of one side against the other. The King of France has on his side the crown of the realm and consequently the power and authority, which are very great. He also has the people of Ghent (le geisi) bound to him, who are close upon the back of the Duke of Burgundy, and it is the most powerful city in all this country. I can state this because I have seen it. Sometimes they have set on his back and chest 4,000 combattants, whom he could not shake off without sweat, and they are a troublesome people to the Duke of Burgundy. France also has the affairs of England to attend to; if things went in favour of the queen, he would seem to have achieved in a short while, against the Duke of Burgundy, that at which he has laboured so long in vain, but if March and Warwick remain supreme, the contrary would appear to him to be the case (ha etiam la necessità de le cose de Ingliterra, quale se fussero asperate alla regina gli pareria haver vincuito in breve quelle puncte con el duca de Borgogna che non ha possuto in longo tempo et restando in Marchia et conte de Varruich gli pare debba seguire lo contrario).
Bruges, the 18th June, 1461.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 17.
Potenze,
Estere.
Francia.
Milan
Archives.
116. Karolus de Violis to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
I am advised by a person coming from France that they are making great preparations of troops there to go into Lombardy. He says that peace has been made between the English and the queen and that all this force that the King of France had to succour her is going to Genoa.
Annono, the 17th July, 1461.
[Italian.]
July 31.
Potenze,
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
117. Giovanni Pietro Cagnola of Lodi to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
By my letters of the 9th I related how we had arrived here and the honours shown us by the king at our entry, which continued throughout the day. As you may wonder at our remaining here, I report that the Count Ludovico has had the gout but is now free. The king yesterday rode to a castle of his called Windsor (Gumdisora) for hunting; we shall go there to-morrow. The king's desires seem to me to be directed towards having some sort of pleasure. It is true that he tries hard to afford every kind of pleasure that he can to the earl, both festivities of ladies and hunting. I believe that at this hunt we ought to be able to find the dogs, from what I have heard, and otherwise it will not be possible to have them (per aver qualche piacere secondo me par sia la volunta del Re el quale nel vero si sforza di volere dare ogni piacer chel po al Conte et di feste di donne et de caza, si che credo a questa cacia se debiamo fornire de canni per quello ch'io ho intesso et altramente non se po havere). I have tried to buy some, but have not found any, the reason being that those who have good dogs are lords and one cannot buy from them.
I have no news from here except that the Earl of Warwick has taken Monsig. de Ruvera and his son and sent them to the king who had them imprisoned in the Tower. (fn. 39) Thus they say that every day favours the Earl of Warwick, who seems to me to be everything in this kingdom, and as if anything lacked, he has made a brother of his, the archbishop, Lord Chancellor of England. They declare that the Duke of Exeter (Sestri), who is cousin of this king and a great lord, who has always been a friend of King Henry, now wishes to return and ask pardon, and the king will grant it as well as to many other lords, whose names I cannot learn. Everyone here rejoices at the death of the King of France.
From Calais the Count has brought nine hackneys, all dappled but not too big. Petro and Abbruscho will give your lordship all particulars. I do not know for certain when we shall leave, but I urge it every day, in order to return to your lordship.
London, the last day of July, 1461.
[Italian.]
Aug. 11.
Potenze,
Estere.
Francia.
Milan
Archives.
118. Prospero di Camulio, Milanese Ambassador to the Court of France to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Only to-day I understand that my lord the legate, having given a good start to the affairs touching the ecclesiastical state, and expecting that he will have to cross to England, is apparently trying to have another prelate sent here, so that what he has begun here may not be abandoned if he should happen to cross. The prelate will remain with the legate if he stays, or, if the legate crosses to England, he will remain here to carry on what has been begun. I understand that the Bishop of Verona is suggested, because he has been here before, and that the legate and he are to have common commissions. I gladly send your Excellency word of all these things, so that I may not neglect to supply you with advices of everything. I hear that there is a long-standing and close friendship between the said Bishop of Verona and the legate. The reason by no means consoles me.
Reims, the 11th August, 1461.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 28.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
119. Giovanni Pietro Cagnolla of Lodi to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 40)
By my letter, dated London, the last day of July, I acquainted you with what was passing in England. I now add for your further information that the Earl of Warwick has gone towards Yorkshire, a province opposed to that king and very friendly to King Henry. I believe it will submit to King Edward, seeing that favour fails King Henry on every side, and seeing at their backs the Earl of Warwick, who does them great mischief, and but for whom those people would have joined King Henry and taken the field again; but Warwick has prevented this nor can they now succour the king or do anything further.
King Edward is going towards Wales, where King Henry and the queen now are, from fear of their doing something, as they would have done, but for the death of the King of France, as the Duke of Somerset had already crossed to this side of the Channel, to lead the French troops to the camp at Calais; 20,000 men having been mustered for this expedition, and on the said duke's arrival at a town called Eu, news came of the said king's death, and so the Duke of Somerset was stayed, and remains at the disposal of the new King of France (fn. 41) .
To-morrow morning we depart hence on our return to Antwerp to another fair, which begins on the 8th September, as the count purposes buying some good horses for you, and then seems inclined to visit the King of France and the Duke of Burgundy, who are in Paris, as he says he promised this when he went to England.
Bruges, the 28th August, 1461.
[Italian.]
Aug. 30.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
120. Count Ludovico Dallugo to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 42)
I have returned from England, having announced my journey thither by a former letter. I was well received, and as much honour as possible was done me by the king and the lords and gentlemen of his Court. All the Italian merchants in London, who came to visit me, Venetians, Genoese, and Florentines, told me that at no time was so much honour paid to any embassy. King Edward loves you as if you were his father. I repeatedly asked the king's good leave to come away, and always by fair words he made me delay taking me every day to his castles and chaces. On my departure, he came from London as far as Sandwich, the passage seaport, a distance of seventy miles, visiting on the way his towns, whose inhabitants bear him so much love that they adore him like a God, so that his affairs proceed daily from good to better. The lords adherent to King Henry are all quitting him, and come to tender obedience to this king, and at this present one of the chief of them has come, by name Lord de Rivers, with one of his sons, men of very great valour. I held several conversations with this Lord de Rivers about King Henry's cause, and what he thought of it, and he answered me that the cause was lost irretrievably.
King Henry has withdrawn to a country called Wales, belonging to a brother of his by right of his mother. This country is on the borders of England towards Scotland, a sterile place and but little productive. Had it abounded in provisions, King Edward would have marched to drive him out, but he has now determined to wait until after the harvest, as it will supply him with victuals.
I have purchased nine very handsome hackneys, all white, though rather young. We could not get any others by reason of these wars, and what with our rough passage across, and the embarcation and disembarcation, they were a little frightened, so that I have brought them here to Bruges and will let them rest awhile.
On my departure from Milan, you commissioned me, on my way to England, to speak on the subject to Monsieur the Dauphin, now king, and to the Duke of Burgundy and to do as they recommended me. They advised me to go, and when I quitted them asked me to see them on my return. Owing to this present revolution at Genoa, I have remained here a short time, but am recommended to go, so I shall depart to-morrow morning, and visit their lordships in Paris, and enquire whether they have any commands for your lordship. After that I shall move homewards and try whether at the fair of Antwerp or in these other towns I can find a few good horses for you. I commend myself to you as well as to my mother-in-law and to Count Galeazzo.
Bruges, the 30th August, 1461.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Potenze,
Estere.
Francia.
Milan
Archives.
121. Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan to Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate.
We have received your letters with the copies of other papers for his Holiness on behalf of the King of France. Although these are undated we believe them to be of the 14th or 17th, as are the others of Prospero, which came at the same time. We also have seen what you have written to our Secretary Cicho about the new King of France and his happy succession to the throne of that realm, and especially about his excellent disposition towards the pope and Holy Church. The same is testified by the letters written by his Majesty to his Holiness, who is very pleased, and also about the revocation of the pragmatic sanction and other excellent signs made by that king. We are also very glad to hear of his accession with so much favour from the lords and people, both for the sake of Holy Church and because we desire every good for that crown.
We regret that the messenger who came with our letters of credit gave you offence by his behaviour. It was certainly against our wish, as that youth Castigliano said he was going to France, and asked to take the letters, to which we agreed without thought of ill. Your lordship must believe that if we had thought you would have been with the king or Prospero, we should not have written to anyone but you; but we understood that you had both gone to England and that was the mistake. We beg you to excuse us and to make our excuses where you think it necessary.
We feel sure that you will take up our defence, especially against those who have wished to prejudice the Most Christian King against us, speaking for us as a perfect friend. We thank you warmly for this, and beg you to do the same in the future, advancing our affairs with the zeal we are sure you will show. Indeed we esteem it a great good fortune that you are there with that lord at the present moment, and we can think of no one whom we should prefer there, and where you are it is as good as if we were there ourselves, and much more, because you know much better what to do than we do ourselves.
These are the reasons why we have not written these last days to you or to Prospero, believing that you were in England, and also because since the beginning of August we have been suffering from fever and bodily pains which have prevented us from attending to anything, and we have been obliged to obey the physicians, who, by God's grace and sound remedies, have made us feel much better, though still a little weak, and very soon we hope to be restored to our former state of health. We have begun to attend to some affairs, and to despatching certain ambassadors, of whom there has been a great quantity here, as everything has been interrupted by our sickness, but now we hope to make steady progress. Nevertheless, we assure your lordship that so soon as we had news of the late king's death, which was at the beginning of our sickness, we chose suitable ambassadors to send at once to the new king, to offer condolence on the late king's death, and congratulations upon his happy accession, doing him every honour. We conferred at length upon these maters with the two secretaries and ambassadors who lately came to us and were here when the news of the late king's death arrived. These ambassadors brought the solemn ratification of the things negotiated and concluded with the then Dauphin and present king, and we also ratified them solemnly and established everything here. We also sent the money asked for in the name of the said lord, and we showed our good-will to the present king in other ways.
This expedition was made before news came of the late king's death, and we despatched it in such form that we are sure that when it reaches his Majesty he will be pleased and quite satisfied with us. If there is anything else we hope that our ambassadors will satisfy him about everything when they arrive. We are sending them as quickly as possible. Besides this we shall bear ourselves in such fashion that we feel sure his Majesty will be quite satisfied with us. Your lordship may speak with assurance upon this, informing his Majesty that Venice and the Florentines have also decided to send their ambassadors to him, and also that the pope is sending the Bishop of Arras to those parts to act with you in dealing with ecclesiastical affairs with him and with the Duke of Burgundy.
With respect to Genoa, the dukedom passed after the battle from Prospero Adorno to Messer Spinola, and from Messer Spinola to Messer Ludovico da Campofregoso, who is the present duke. Nothing else has occurred except that they have taken Portofino, and matters have quieted down, except that Savona is in the power of the French, about 400 being there.
We have not lost our temper about Genoa and do not intend to; you may assure his Majesty of this and anyone else that you think proper, because it is the truth, and you can speak boldly. Be pleased to keep us commended to his Majesty and also commend us to the Duke of Burgundy, giving our good wishes to all our friends and well-wishers as you think fit. We ask you to do this out of love for us, because we would take any trouble for you and in doing this for us you are working for yourself because our affairs are yours. We are anxiously waiting to hear by your letters how matters are proceeding day by day.
We are not writing to Prospero, because we have written to him to return to us and we believe he will be half way back by now. We have the utmost confidence in your ability and prudence, and no one knows better what to do or what is best for our affairs, and we feel assured that you will do better than we could ourselves.
Milan, the last day of August, 1461.
[Italian; draft.]
Sept. 23.
Sezione.
Storica.
Autografi.
Vescovi.
Milan
Archives.
122. Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni, Apostolic Legate to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. (fn. 43)
I wrote lately by your lordship's courier, Baptista, in full, sending memorials and all requisite information, and informing you of the excellent disposition towards you and your duchy of the king here. I hope that already you have heard the like through Messer Prospero. Matters are settling themselves and mending constantly; especially since the arrival of the papal legate, the Lord Bishop of Arras (fn. 44) , who has been received and acknowledged by the king here.
As the pope wishes to make some agreement between these two kings, and as he of England daily shows, and most especially by the enclosed letter from Master Antonio della Torre, that my presence there would be agreeable to him, it has seemed fit to my lord of Arras that I should go over there while the iron is hot, to give a start to the said agreement. Before the arrival of your ambassadors I shall have returned, for in a month at the most, I shall have despatched my business, as the passage is open and safe for me on the part of either king.
Yesterday, after the reception of the legate, whilst I was talking with the king, he told me to see in detail what I wanted of him as a proof of his favour and grace towards me; and this chanced on account of past events, and because the king, his father, made a demonstration complaining of me heretofore, of which perhaps he disapproved. Thus, thank God, all is well should they do the like over there.
During this interval, I leave one of my attendants with the said legate for anything that may happen, and his lordship will give me one of his own people that he may the more easily transmit advices about what is necessary. Write to the king, the duke and to me.
Paris, the 23rd September, 1461.
[Italian.]
Oct. 3.
Potenze,
Estere.
Roma.
Milan
Archives.
123. Otto de Carreto, Milanese Ambassador to the Pope to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
The pope remarked to me that the great desire of the Bishop of Terni for the red hat, induced him to take up the designs, which he had opened in France, showing too much presumption, since he had no commission. His Holiness said he would await the coming of Messer Prospero in order to be better informed. He also expected advices from the Bishop of Arras who might be better informed than the Bishop of Terni. He did not wish on any account to conduct the matter by the hands of the latter, who is too light; he feared he had spoken too freely and he did not wish such speaking to do harm. Accordingly he proposed to put everything into the hands of the Bishop of Arras, and he would send a brief to the Bishop of Terni directing him to come back here because he wanted to employ him in other things, telling him he had received his advices, which are of great importance and required mature consideration, and as they concerned several people, whose consent was required, he could not answer at once.
Tibur, the 3rd October, 1461.
[Italian.]
Dec. 7.
Potenze,
Estere.
Francia.
Milan
Archives.
124. From the Instructions to Tomaso de Reate, Petro de Pusterla and Lorenzo da Pisarro, Milanese Ambassadors designate to France.
We desire you, in such way as you may consider best, to use every effort to discover the feelings, desires and intentions of the King of France towards the King of England and also of the King of England towards the King of France, and if any understanding and arrangement will be made between them or no. You will also try to discover the conditions of the King of England as much as possible, and of King Henry and his consort and of all the lords who are in France who are serving the King of France and who are not; and you will advise us of all these things by the cavalier.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Venetian Calendar, vol. i. No. 360. Mr. Brown states that his translation is from a copy, but the original is preserved and has been used for the text here.
2 Venetian Calendar, vol. i. No. 361; written between the lines of the letter to the Duke, dated the 11th January (below), in the bishop's own hand and in sympathetic ink.
3 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, No. 362.
4 li vole tutto suo bene. Mr. Rawdon Brown gives “keeps him all to himself,” probably because the word bene was omitted from the copy supplied to him.
5 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, No. 364; a translation from the contemporary copy. The text above is from the original letter.
6 Venetian Calendar, vol. i. No. 363.
7 This letter exists in duplicate, with the interlined passage in sympathetic ink, dated Jan. 9, and given as No. 53 above. The purport is practically the same, though the wording is not identical.
8 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, No. 365.
9 Lady Buckingham was Anne Neville, daughter of Ralph, first earl of Westmorland, and widow of Humphry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, killed at the battle of Northampton. By my Lady the Regent is meant Jacquette of Luxemburg, widow of John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford, regent during the minority of Henry VI. She afterwards married Sir Richard Woodvill, afterwards Lord Rivers.
10 Venetian Calendar, vol i, No. 367.
11 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, No. 370, from the Latin. Contemporary copies exist both in Latin and Italian.
12 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, No. 371.
13 Mr. Rawdon Brown translates: ‘which ceremony of the king's coronation was performed … on the 4th March.’ He has probably been misled by his transcriber, in a passage not easy to read, though the meaning is perfectly clear, while the postponement of the coronation is mentioned by other writers.
14 Mr. Brown's transcriber appears to have left out the words Spontanea concursio.
15 The transcriber was apparently unable to read the first part of this sentence.
16 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 372. The date given (April 8) is wrong, as Easter fell on the 5th. The schedule of lords slain, printed at the end, belongs to the letters of the Bishop of Salisbury of this same date. See above.
17 Mr. Rawdon Brown's transcriber has omitted the words Miden' nihil.
18 Dom. Ricardus Cant', not Cancell', as given by Mr. Rawdon Brown.
19 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 373, dated wrongly as the 11th April, Easter day being the 5th.
20 Mr. Rawdon Brown translates, “and he would have you work diligently and efficiently.”
21 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 374. Portinaro was a Milanese merchant, then residing at Bruges, the agent of Cosimo de Medici.
22 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 375.
23 Mr. Rawdon Brown's transcriber has omitted the word Guanti.
24 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 376; translated from a Latin version. The Italian version, from which the present text is taken, was probably the legate's own copy.
25 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 377; from a Latin copy. The above is from the original letter and contains more matter.
26 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 378.
27 ? Signori, i.e. lords.
28 Apparently mano has been omitted.
29 The cipher used by the legate in this letter differs from those employed by the Milanese ambassadors at the time and its key has not been preserved at the Milan Archives. It has therefore been necessary to work it out, in order to give the letter in full.
30 Mary of Guelders, widow of James II of Scotland, was grand-daughter of Maria, sister of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, who married Adolph, Duke of Cleves, their daughter Catherine marrying Arnold, Duke of Guelders. Hübner: Genealogische Tabellen, 63, 68, 286. Philip sent Louis of Bruges, Lord of la Gruthuyse, to Scotland, to remonstrate with the Queen of Scots on her friendship with the House of Lancaster. Ramsay: Lancaster and York, ii, page 287.
31 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 379.
32 Prospero Camulio.
33 He took up his quarters at Lambeth on the 14th June, preparatory for his coronation on the 26th following. Ramsay: Lancaster and York, ii, page 274.
34 There is a commission in the Patent Rolls of the 17th June to arrest William the Bastard of Exeter and Baldwin Fulford, knight, and their favourers, who have been stirring up the people of Devon and Cornwall and the adjacent parts to side with Henry VI and the king's adversaries of France. Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1461–7, p. 33.
35 Owing to the condition of the Scottish border, it was delayed and did not actually meet till the 4th November. Stubbs: Constitutional History, iii, page 200.
36 Venetian Calendar, vol i, no. 380.
37 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 381.
38 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 382.
39 Richard Wydevill, Lord Rivers, received a pardon for all offences on the 12th July, and permission to hold all his possessions and offices. The same favour was granted on the 23rd of the month to his son Anthony Wydevill, Lord Scales.—Calendar of Patent Rolls, 1461–7, page 97.
40 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 384.
41 Somerset was detained at Arques, near Dieppe, by order of Louis XI. Paston Letters, ed. Gardiner, vol. ii, page 45. He was released by Louis not long after, at the request of the Count of Charolais.—Waurin: Receuil die Chroniques. Rolls Series, vol. v, page 410. Charles VII. of France died on the 22nd July.
42 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 385.
43 Venetian Calendar, vol. i, no. 386.
44 John Geoffroy, created Cardinal on the 18th December of this year.

Annotations

67 jacob.ellis - (Tuesday 31 Mar 2009 11:29:23)
Entry number 91, paragraph five: for "to send him a force any nine galleys" read "to send him a force and nine galleys"
Corrigenda to this volume.
68 jacob.ellis - (Tuesday 31 Mar 2009 11:39:26)
Entry number 104, 'advice of' "for of read or".
Corrigenda to this volume.
69 jacob.ellis - (Tuesday 31 Mar 2009 11:49:37)
Entry number 107, 'sound provision in the mean time' "for provision in read provision. In."
Corrigenda to this volume.


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