Venice
1471-1480

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Institute of Historical Research

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Rawdon Brown (editor)

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1864

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126-140

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'Venice: 1471-1480', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 1: 1202-1509 (1864), pp. 126-140. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=94097 Date accessed: 31 October 2014.


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1471–1480

1471. April 23. Senato Mar. v. ix. p. 91.429. Decree of the Senate.
At the suit of William Cooper, the Royal Council in London (fn. 1) has sentenced the Venetian nation to pay on next St. John's day, 1,200l. sterling, for damages on board a certain ship captured by “Ser” Nicolo de Canal, LL.D., our late captain general.
Put to the ballot that the procurators “de ultra,” with research and diligence, do make inquiry into the hands of what persons the goods taken from the said ship passed, so that they may exact the money from them. Having made a careful and methodical process, be they bound within 15 days to come to the College, and state all they have discovered; the College and the procurators together coming to this Council with their opinions respecting the most desirable mode for recovering the said moneys. Each member of the College and each of the procurators to be bound by oath, under penalty of 500 ducats, to make a motion on this subject. Should any one of the procurators be unable to attend to this matter from illness, be his place supplied by one of the procurators of St. Mark's Church, by lot, provided he be not a member of the College. Notice of this resolve to be given to the consul in London, to whom in a few days the definite resolve shall be communicated. No one may make a motion for the Signory to pay either the whole or a part of the said moneys, or suffer any loss from a matter of this sort, under penalty of 1,000 golden ducats; nor may this present motion be repealed, suspended, or modified, under the same penalty.
Ayes, 119. Noes, 12. Neutrals, 8.
[Latin, 20 lines.]
May 4. In the Library of the Venetian Archives. Miscell. No. 51.430. Protest of a Bill of Exchange lor 100 ducats.
Drawn at Venice on 8th January 1471, by Gabriel Gradenigo, on Antonio Justiniano.
The billbroker, Manfredo de Nequis (sic), declared that in London on the 9 th April the Venetian ducat was worth 50 sterlings.
[Italian and Latin. Parchment, 20 lines.]
May 21. Senato Mar. ix. p. 97.431. Decree of the Senate concerning William Cooper.
The case of William Cooper, of England, who incurred loss on board the ship of Andrea de Neapoli was referred to three of the procurators, who, having examined many witnesses and made all possible inquiry, ascertained that the goods and money plundered from that ship passed into the hands of divers men of the fleet.—Put to the ballot, that the stats attorneys be charged to arrest whomsoever have been partakers of the spoil, and compel them to restore it, or pay for such effects as may have reached their hands and shall not be found; and also to compel “Ser” Nicolo [de Canal, LL.D., late captain general on the sea] to give whatever portion of the plunder may have reached his hands.
Be it again written to King Edward, who has lately obtained the kingdom, and already by full letters has been assured of the particulars, that he do not permit Venetian merchants to be persecuted at the suit of the said William, congratulating him on his fortunate successes and most just acquisition of the kingdom, and repeating what was formerly written in this matter.
Ayes, 28, 32.
Proposed amendment to the foregoing motion:
That, besides recovering the utmost possible from the men aforesaid, until the expiration of the month of June the residue required to complete the sum of 2,300 ducats be supplied and paid from the goods of “Ser” Nicolo de Canal, as in the motion made by the procurator, “Ser” Nicolo Soranzo, and his colleagues.
Ayes, 18. Noes, 10. Neutrals, 32, 45.
The Council is acquainted with the fact of the damage done to William Cooper (Cuper) on board the ship of Andrea de Neapoli as it was on its voyage from Constantinople; it having been captured off Scio by “Ser” Nicolo de Canal, LL.D., then our captain general on the sea. On this account the Royal Council in England sentenced the Venetian nation to pay 1,200l. sterling. Three of our procurators were charged to take cognizance of the case, who have made diligent inquiry. No doubt remains but that the sole cause of the damage and inconvenience was “Ser” Nicolo, he and his agents receiving the property abstracted from the said ship.
Put to the ballot that “Ser” Nicolo and his sons, who administer the paternal property and everything concerning that affair, be compelled to disburse speedily 2,300 ducats, which it was decreed to give to Cooper. For the residue of the sum awarded against Venetian subjects, be their indemnity provided for as shall seem best. But be there reserved to “Ser” Nicolo action against all who obtained possession, or to whom he gave goods belonging to Cooper.
Ayes, 55–66.
[Latin, 38 lines.]
May 27. Senato Mar. v. ix. p. 97.432. Motions made in the Senate concerning the mode of raising the indemnity required for William Cooper.
Motion of the five Councillors and their colleagues.
Ayes, 60.
Motion of the Councillor “Ser” Gabriel Loredano and the two Procurators.
Ayes, 50; neutrals, 60.
[Latin, 3 lines.]
1471. June 8. Senato Mar. v. ix. p. 97.433. On the 8th June the motions [concerning the indemnity for William Cooper] were repeated.
Motion of the five councillors and the sages their colleagues.
Ayes, 45–38.
Motion of the sixth councillor and of the two procurators.
Ayes, 50–52. Neutrals, 55–59.
[Latin, 3 lines.]
June 17. Sforza Archives, Milan.434. Sforza de' Bettini to the Duke of Milan.
It is understood, through very trustworthy persons arrived from England, that King Edward is intent solely on mustering a large army for the invasion of this kingdom. But although here they are not without suspicion of this, yet is it not credited that the English will make a descent in France this season, and in the meanwhile a complete agreement may ensue with the Duke of Burgundy, in which case there will be little to fear from the English. Should this not be effected, there is no doubt but that some people will have more to do than they wish; yet there is at least one consolation, that in a similar war with the English there will be no fear of secret understandings between them and these French Lords, nor will the latter join the Duke of Burgundy; and King Lewis and all his followers will go with more heart and soul to this war than they did against Burgundy alone. It must not be supposed however, should this take place, but that the English allied with the Duke will wrest much from King Lewis, whose power is nevertheless great when the lords follow him at a good pace, and there is no fear of treason or secret understanding. Should it commence, it will be a war no less long than terrible and bloody; but the general opinion tends strongly to a belief that the Duke of Burgundy in one way or another will rather make peace than not, and that thus the war will cease.
King Edward has not chosen any longer to have the custody of King Henry, although he is as it were guiltless and a personage whose affairs are not such as to cause much suspicion. The Prince, his son, and the Earl of Warwick have perished. All his most powerful adherents have shared the same fate, or are in the Tower of London, where he himself is a prisoner. King Edward has had him put to death secretly, and is said to have done the like by the Queen (Margaret of Anjou), the consort of King Henry. He has in short chosen to crush the seed.
It seems that on account of this cruelty the people of England made some demonstrations of a rising against King Edward, but there being neither head nor tail, the thing was soon suppressed, and thus King Edward remains pacific King and dominator of that realm of England, without having any longer the slightest obstacle.
In Feria (La Fere), 17 June 1471.
[Extract, Italian.]
1471. July 11. Senato Mar. v. xi. p. 104.435. Decree of the Senate.
Limiting the period of the grant of shipping-permits for the Flanders galleys to the 20th instant, and that the captain be forbidden to quit his galley after the 25th instant under penalty of 200 ducats.
Ayes, 132. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 3.
[Latin, 3 lines.]
July 16. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxv. p. 73.436. Commission from Doge Christopher Moro and the Senate to Bernardo Bembo, appointing him Ambassador to the Duke of Burgundy.
Is acquainted with the case of the Englishman, William Cooper, who obtained an award of 2,200l. sterling from the counsellors of King Henry (VI.) against the Signory, although, in truth, the loss sustained by him was of moderate amount. Nevertheless, to gratify the present King Edward (IV.), who sent the said William to Venice with recommendations, the State gave him 1,000 ducats on account of the said damages, and 300 ducats for his expenses. For this reason the Doge and Senate desire the ambassador to obtain letters from the Duke of Burgundy to the King of England, in favour of Venetian merchants, from whom the ambassador is to obtain precise information on the subject. He is to afford all possible assistance to Venetian traders whether in England or Flanders, and to endeavour that the recommendation of the Duke be of the strongest.
[Latin, 59 lines.]
July 16. Sforza Archives, Milan.437. Sforza de' Bettini to the Duke of Milan.
His Majesty (Lewis XI.) approves of your suggestion as to its being desirable to encourage disturbances in England, and says he is doing so with all his might, there yet remaining to him over there the Earl of Pembroke, brother to the late King Henry by the mother's side, who has a good number of towns in Wales, a strong country, and near Scotland; with the help of the Scotch it holds out constantly against King Edward. To this Earl and the Scotch King Lewis has ordered pecuniary assistance, such as is in his power, to be given, that they may maintain the war and disturbance; though on this his Majesty does not seem to place any great reliance.
His Majesty has a large fleet at sea and increases it daily, with the intention of giving battle to the English before they land, should they attempt to come here as talked of, though it is not believed that they will do so for this year. The report is attributed to the Duke of Burgundy, wishing to get better terms for himself should the agreement take place; and it is supposed that the same motive causes him to keep his army on foot and add to it.
His Majesty on his side is making all fitting provision for war.
“Ex Sancto Michaelo prope Turonem,” 1G July 1471.
Signed: “E. Illme. et Exme. D. V. humilis servulus Sfortia.”
Addressed: “Domino Duci Mediolani.”
[Extract, Italian.]
1471. Aug. 10. St. Mark's Library.438. Edward IV. to Pope Sixtus IV.
Letter of congratulation on his being elected Pope.
Sends James [Goldwell] Bishop of Norwich and Master Edmund Coningsburgh, LL.D., his counsellors, beseeching the Pope to grant them certain things concerning his honour and dignity.
From our Palace of Westminster, 4th ides of August.
Signed: “Your Holiness's most devoted son Edward, King of England and France.”
Addressed.
[Original, paper. Latin, 9 lines.]
Oct. 22. In the Library of the Venetian Archives. Miscell. No. 51.439. Protest of a Bill of Exchange for 100 ducats.
Drawn at Venice on 20th July 1471, by Gabriel Gradenigo on Antonio Justiniano in London, at usance, at the exchange 55½d. per ducat. The bill broker, Manfredo de Noquis (sic) declared that in London on 21st October the Venetian ducat was worth 50¾d.
[Italian and, Latin, 24 lines, parchment.]
1472. Feb. 8. Senato Mar. v. ix. p. 125.440. The Doge and the Senate to Paolo Tiepolo, Consul in London.
By his letters of the 12th ult., at the instigation of the Venetian merchants there, he gives notice of the contract for 400 bags of wool made by “Ser” Hieronimo Contarini with the King, his Majesty promising that he alone shall be allowed to load wools on board the Venetian galleys now in those parts. Are displeased at this, as it is contrary to their laws and orders and very injurious to their merchants and citizens, and have therefore committed it to their attorneys. Command him to send for the said “Ser” Hieronimo and inform him of their displeasure. The consul is to command him to cancel the contract so far as it prohibits any body but himself from loading wool on board Venetian galleys, as they by no means intend that any subject shall monopolise contracts, informing him that should the captain and masters of the said galleys be prevented loading other wools than his, they will on their arrival in this town be considered contraband and confiscated, one half to the arsenal, the other half to the attorneys. Are writing to Bertuccio Soranzo, captain of the Flanders galleys, commanding him during the period assigned for loading to give orders for receiving on board those galleys all such wools as Venetian subjects shall choose to ship, notwithstanding the contract. On the expiration of the term, let bim depart forthwith, continuing his voyage according to the tenor of his auction. The consul shall give notice of this their will to their merchants there.
Be it carried that “Ser” Hieronimo be committed to the State Attorneys.
Ayes, 118. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 8.
[Latin, 27 lines.]
1472. May 21. Senato Mar. v. ix. p. 134.441. Decree of the Senate concerning the mode of satisfying the claims of William Cooper.
The King of England, Edward IV. has notified by letter and envoy, that he has modified the sentence passed in the time of his predecessor against the Venetian nation, on account of the damage suffered by William Cooper, to 750l. sterling, exhorting the Senate to provide for his satisfaction. The Venetian merchants are content to receive alum to this amount by the present Flanders galleys, and make the said payment with their own money, especially as the said envoy promises, if this be done, that the satisfaction shall be delayed until the arrival of the said galleys in those parts.—Put to the ballot, that alum be loaded on board the galleys at the rate of 20 ducats a thousand weight, sufficient to realize the said sum, and that it be weighed by the proveditors for the salt office. The Signory reserves to itself all rights on account of these damages. The usual freight to be paid.
Ayes, 108. Noes, 29. Neutrals, 5.
[Latin, 13 lines.]
June 29. Senato Mar. v. ix. p. 139.442. Decree of the Senate.
Ordering the captain of the Flanders galleys to be out of port on 9th July, under penalty of 200 ducats.
Ayes, 167. Noes, 2. Neutral, 0.
Note of the captain's departure on 17th July,
[Latin, 4 lines.]
Aug. 11. Book of Privileges, v. ii. p. 53.443. Privilege conferring the Eights of Venetian citizenship on Alvise Fontana of Bergamo; date 11 August 1472.
Document given in full; 50 lines; with a supplementary memorandum, purporting that 16 other similar privileges of later date had been conceded to various individuals, including one to John Cabot, thus: (16) “Simile privilegium factum fuit Johanni Caboot sub duce suprascripto 1476.”
[Extract, Italian.]
1473. Aug. 12. In the Library of the Venetian Archives. Miscell. No. 51.444. Protest of a Bill of Exchange for 150 ducats.
Drawn at Venice on the 10th of May 1473 by Gabriel Gradenigo on Antonio Justiniano in London, at usance, at the exchange of 55½d. a ducat.
The billbroker, Manfredo de Nocchj (sic), declaring that in London on 11th August 1473 the Venetian ducat was “worth 50d. sterling.
[Italian and Latin, parchment, 17 lines.]
1474. May 9. Senato Mar. v. x. p. 7.445. Decree of the Senate.]
It was carried in this Council in May 1473 that, on account of the disturbances of Syria, the term for English cloths, destined for the Levant, should be postponed for six months, and as much longer as should seem fit to this Council. As this term expired eight or ten days ago,—Put to the ballot, that the said cloths may have an additional two months without any payment of duty with the reservation of one per cent. as usual, as promised them and as contained in the clause.
Ayes, 124. Noes, 8. Neutrals, 4.
[Latin, 6 lines.]
1475. Aug.? Sforza Archives, Milan.446. Copy of a Writing from the Court of Monseigneur the Legate of Avignon [Charles de Bourbon, Archbishop of Lyons,] to Madame de Bourbon.
The King of England accompanied by his brothers the Lords of Clarence and of Gloucester, with 25,000 good combatants or upwards, at the solicitation of certain perverse subjects of this kingdom, entered it as far as this side of the Eiver Somme, four leagues from Noyon, having determined to attack our King, and usurp his kingdom by force.
The King of England, under pretence of certain prisoners, sent a herald, who informed the King secretly that if he was prepared to make some good agreement with him he was willing to return home. Thereupon our King sent the Admiral, the Bishop of Evreux, Monseigneur de Lude, and Monseigneur de St. Pierre, to hear further the wish of the King of England, and at a certain place four of the chief counsellors of the King of England, authorized by their King to negotiate secretly and without the knowledge of the Duke of Burgundy, held a conference there, and in less than two days a good peace was effected and agreed to at “Nostre Dame de la Victoire,” near Senlis, in the presence of our Lord (nostro Sire) by the personages aforesaid, they being empowered so to do; and the King chose Monseigneur the Duke, my brother, and me alone to be present at this agreement, which is of the following tenour.
First, the King our Lord gives the King of England, to assist him to bear the expenses incurred by him for coming and returning, 75,000 ducats down, on payment of which—and the sum is all ready —the four personages above mentioned who made the agreement will remain here as hostages until the army shall have returned to England.
Moreover, commercial truces for seven years between our said Kings will be published, but between themselves they swear to them for life, the Duke of Burgundy being at liberty to become a party to them should he choose; if not, the King of England will declare himself his enemy within a brief period, and promises to serve our sovereign Lord the King against all, without any exception, on condition that the King our Lord do for seven years pay the King of England annually 50,000 ducats.
And the two Kings promise to effect the marriage of Monseigneur the Dauphin and of the daughter of the King of England, when they shall be of age for it.
And the King our Lord promises to abide by the decision of the King of England in the dispute between him and the Duke of Burgundy, if Burgundy choose to submit himself to it.
The two Kings are to meet with their full force on either side in battle array, and will, through envoys passing from one side to the other, effect this adjustment, which will be proclaimed and published. This will be on Tuesday the 29th, when, if I can, I shall be present, as there is not going to be any bloodshed. Would, Madame, you knew what was said of Monseigneur and of our family, which alone serve the King in his great need, whereat the King rejoices much.
[Italian, 4 pages]
Sept. 26. Senato Terra, v. vii. p. 89.447. Decree of the Senate.
Their merchants make many profitable exchanges, receiving interest from others, drawing from Bruges on London, and vice versa. The consuls in those places to discover all such changers, and send a list of them to the five Sages (for trade). All such persons to be taxed for two years. Should the consuls not make the inquisition effectually, they are to be fined 500 ducats each.
Ayes, 146. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 2.
[Latin, 11 lines.]
Oct. 1. Sforza Archives, Milan448. Edward IV. to Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Announces the departure thitherwards of Anthony Earl of Rivers, one of his chief confidents and the brother of his dear consort. On his way to or from Rome, he purposes visiting the city of Milan and other places belonging to the Duke, whom he would see and converse with, if not inconvenient. The King therefore recommends him strongly, promising to reciprocate towards any Milanese coming to England with letters from the Duke.
London, calends of October 1475.
[Latin, 37 lines.]
Oct. 22. Sforza Archives, Milan.449. Gian-Pietro to Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan.
By my last of the 22nd and 23rd August—forwarded by the Venetian ambassador's courier, who, for a fee of six ducats which I gave him, promised to go in 18 days from Namur to Venice, there to consign it to Leonardo Botto for immediate transmission to your lordship—I announced the negotiations of the English for an agreement with France, and that they had already sent to acquaint this Lord (Charles the Bold) with the articles they intended stipulating, of which I sent a copy. This Duke was in despair at their so basely making an agreement without drawing the sword, nor does his lordship now mean to be a party to this treaty, but to wage the war as he is doing, after joining his Burgundian men at arms.
He sent the Bishop of Tournai and three other Knights of the Fleece as his ambassadors to the King of England, to endeavour to dissuade him from this treaty, if possible, expecting thus by keeping the field to have better terms from the King of France, as from one who knows him, &c.; but now the agreement with these English is made and concluded, as you will perceive by the enclosures.
Finally, the aforesaid King of England, through the dissatisfaction of his kingdom, has returned with the army, making many apologies, to this Lord for what he has done, and wishing to be his friend; so the ambassadors have sent a copy of the agreement made by him, signed with his own seal, the which—as it differs from the first one sent by me, most especially concerning the truce, which is for seven years, and as the articles were not clear, I asked the Duke for a copy and transmit it herewith.
Upwards of 2,000 Englishmen have come to take service with this Duke, who has accepted them, telling them he was very sure they would cut each others throats in England, and that it was better they should remain here to fight the French. The opinion of intelligent persons is that at any rate there will be disturbances in England, the King having exacted great treasure and done nothing; and this Duke foments such disturbances to his utmost.
By the accompanying copy of the truce between France and England, you will perceive that the King of France has reserved place for King Ferdinand and for your Lordship.
“Ex oppido Vaudemontis” (Vaudemont in Lorraine), 22 October 1475.
Signed: “Servus Jo. Petrus.”
[Italian, 3 pages.]
Nov. 4. (Document penes me.)450. Protest of a Bill of Exchange for 50 ducats.
Drawn in Venice, at usance, on 21st July 1475, by Donado Lochadelli, in the name of Domenicho Becharato and Cristofallo Becharato of Mojan, as they themselves did not know how to write, on Bernardo Justiniano in London, at the exchange of 56 sterlings per ducat.
Certified that on 23rd October 1475 the Venetian ducat in London was worth 51½d.
[Italian and Latin, 21 lines, parchment.]
1476. Feb. 24. Archives Venice, Library.451. Edward IV. to Pope Sixtus IV.
Although aware that, being placed on this throne, we are bound to do justice to our own subjects and all others residing in our realm, yet does nothing so much excite our watchful solicitude as the cause of the Faith and of the Church. Shortly before we assumed this sceptre there arose a monstrous promoter of iniquity and perdition, one Reginald Pecock, of yore considered Bishop of Chichester, against whose follies and new doctrine, which tended to subvert the decorum and dignity of the Church, and which he did not scruple to din into the ears of mankind everywhere, the prelates of this kingdom instituted legal proceedings and consulted the apostolic see and Pope Pius about taking stronger and ulterior measures by their authority.
Concerning the same matter, Pope Sixtus's immediate predecessor issued letters, of which a copy is enclosed. (fn. 2) But as other national disturbances supervened, and in consequence of the death of him who gave the letters, they did not receive the due execution. Moreover, after the death of the said Reginald, the writings and treatises composed by him multiplied in such wise that not only the laity but churchmen and scholastic graduates scarcely studied anything else, so that the pestiferous virus circulated in many human breasts, and ere long would have spread immensely, had not the Almighty revealed the confessions of certain penitents for the easier dispersion of the remaining followers of that sect. We beeseech you, therefore, to dispatch other apostolic letters, by whose authority proceedings may be instituted from time to time against all holders of books and treatises edited by the said Reginald, and of any other erroneous books soever. We promise to employ all our care, diligence, and solicitude for the perpetual expulsion from the confines of our realm of all novelties and condemned dogmas of this sort. We have commenced doing so to our utmost, as Nicolo de Firmo, your Holiness' servant, who was present at this commencement, and is the bearer, can explain more fully.
Given in our castle of Windsor, 24 February, in the year of grace, according to the English reckoning, 1475.
Signed: “Your Holiness's most devoted son, Edward King of England and France, &c.”
Addressed.
[Original, parchment, 18 lines.]
Feb. 25. Archives Venice, Library.452. Edward IV. to Pope Sixtus IV.
Has received his letters in favour of John Weston, Knight of Jerusalem, by the hands of Weston himself. Learns that his promotion to the Priory of St. John's in England would be grateful to the Pope, because he has been in no ordinary degree recommended by the Grand Master in Rhodes.
His predecessors have for centuries enjoyed the following privilege, namely, that as often as the Priory of St. John's fell vacant, the brethren of the order, meeting together by the King's assent, and voting one by one, elected a prior. The individual thus elected they presented to his Sovereign; nor in the memory of man does there exist anything to the contrary. The Sovereign was always wont to acknowledge the person thus elected, to leave him in free possession of the priory, to distinguish him by the place, state, and honour of Premier Baron of Parliament, and to concede him of free will whatever else might seem belonging to the dignity of his priory. There was nothing else to be done, save to apply by royal letters for a confirmatory bull from the Grand Master, which bull, during so many centuries, was never denied either to the King's predecessors or to himself.
Hopes the Pope will not infringe this very ancient right. Beseeches him therefore to command that the King's rights, which it is not lawful [for him] to sacrifice, being bound by oath to their maintenance, may be respected; asking the Pope to admonish the Grand Master and the Convent of the Knights of Rhodes thus to do.
Castle of Windsor, 25 February 1475, according to the reckoning of the Anglican Church.
Addressed.
Signed.
[Original, parchment, 19 lines.]
1476. March 29. Senato Terra, v. vii. p. 109, tergo.453. Decree of the Senate.
That a privilege of citizenship within and without be made for John Cabot, as usual, for a residence of fifteen years.
Ayes, 149. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
[Printed by Romanin, vol. iv., p. 453.]
May 10. Quarantia Criminale. v. v. p. 59.454. Decree of the Senate.
That for the purpose of ascertaining the truth as to this theft, in the neighbourhood of Borne, of the precious jewels and plate belonging to Lord Anthony Angre (fn. 3) Lord Scales, brother of the Queen of England, and for the discovery of the perpetrators and of the distribution made of the property,—Be the arrest of Nicholas Cerdo and Vitus Cerdo, Germans, Nicholas Cerdo, and Anthony, a German of Schleswick, dealer in ultramarine, (arrested by permission from the Signory,) ratified at the suit of the State attorneys; and as they would not tell the whole truth by fair means, (fn. 4) be a committee formed, the majority of which to have liberty to examine and rack them all or each; and the committee shall, with the deposition thus obtained, come to this Council and do justice.
Ayes, 24. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 12.
[Latin, 8 lines.]
May 13. Senato Terra, v. vii. p. 114.455. Decree of the Senate.
Lord Scales, the brother-in-law of the King of England, has come to Venice on account of certain jewels of which he was robbed at Torre di Baccano, near Borne. Bart of them having been brought hither and sold to certain citizens, he has earnestly requested the Signory to have said jewels restored to him, alleging in his favour civil statutes, enacting that stolen goods should be freely restored to their owner. As it is for the interest of the Signory to make every demonstration of love and good will towards his lordship on his own account, and especially out of regard for the King, his brother-in-law,—Put to the ballot, that the said jewels purchased in this city by Venetian subjects be restored gratuitously to the said lord; he being told that this is done out of deference for the King of England and for his lordship, without his incurring any cost.
As the affair is committed to the State attorneys.—Be it carried that they be bound, together with the ordinary councils, to dispatch it within two months, and ascertain whether or not the purchasers of the jewels purchased them honestly. Should they have been bought unfairly, the purchasers to lose their money. While, if the contrary were the case, Toma Mocenigo, Nicolo de Ca de Besaro, and Marin Contarini shall be bound as they themselves volunteered to pay what was expended for the jewels, together with the costs, namely, 400 ducats. These moneys to be drawn for through a bill of exchange by these three noblemen on the consul in London, there to be paid by the consul and passed by him to the debit of the factory on account of goods loaded by Venetians in England on board the Flanders galleys (Ser Antonio Contarini, captain,) on their return to this city; and in like manner to the debit of the London factory here, on account of goods loaded on board the present Flanders galleys (Ser Andrea de Mosto, captain), bound to England, on their arrival in those parts. If the attorneys and the appointed councils fail to dispatch the matter as above, they shall be fined two ducats each; yet, on the expiration of the said term, the said three noblemen shall be bound to pay the moneys above mentioned.
Ayes, 74. Noes, 33. Neutrals, 14.
[Latin, 39 lines.]
May 31. In the Library of the Venetian Archives. Miscell. No. 51.456. Bill (first and third) for 20 ducats, at usance.
Drawn in Venice on 31st May 1476, by Nicolo de Lorenzo, on Alvise Contarini in London, at the exchange of 56 sterlings per ducat.
[Italian, 5 lines, paper.]
June 1. In the Library of the Venetian Archives. Miscell. No. 51.457. Protest of a Bill of Exchange for 100 ducats.
Drawn in Venice on 28th February 1476, by Piero Chalbo on Bernardo Justiniano, in London, at the exchange of 56 sterlings per ducat. Certified that in London, on 29th May 1476, the rate of exchange for a ducat was 51½d.
[Italian and Latin, 19 lines, parchment.]
Aug. 31. In the Library of the Venetain Archives. Miscell. No. 51458. Protest of a Bill of Exchange drawn in Venice by Nicolo de Lorenzo.
Drawn in Venice on 31st May 1476, by Nicolo de Lorenzo, on Alvise Contarini in London, at the exchange of 56 sterlings per ducat.
[Italian and Latin, 17 lines, parchment.]
1477. Feb. 27. Senato Mar. v. x. p. 109.459. Decree of the Senate.
Appointing to the post of arbalast men on board the London galley for the next voyage the poor nobles Pietro Zantani and Bernardo Badoer.
Ayes, 75. Noes, 53. Neutrals, 3.
[Latin, 10 lines,]
April 3. In the Library of the Venetian Archives, Miscell. No. 51.460. Protest of a Bill of Exchange for 60 ducats.
Drawn in Venice on 1st January 1476–77, by Zuan Francesco Tollinio, in the name of Todaro de Paschuallin and Co., on Lodovico Contarini in London, at the exchange of 56½ sterlings per ducat. Certified that on 2d April 1477 the rate of exchange in London for a ducat was 52½d.
[Italian and Latin, parchment, 20 lines.]
1477. May 3. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxviii. p. 11.461. Commission from the Doge and Senate to Domenico
Gradenigo, appointed Ambassador to the King of France. Amongst other things he is to give an account of the state of the territories of the late Duke of Burgundy (Charles the Bold) and those of the King of England.
[Latin, 85 lines.]
Sept. 27. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxviii. p. 49.462. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador in France, Domenico Gradenigo.
To acquaint the Venetian consuls in Bruges and London and the captain of the Flanders galleys, with the terms of the agreement made by him with Lewis XI.
[Latin, 52 lines.]
Dec. 2. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxviii. p. 68.463. The Doge and Senate to Domenico Gradenigo, Ambassador in France.
If he depart without coming to a good conclusion touching peace with France, he is to acquaint the captain of the Flanders galleys and the consuls in Bruges and London with the failure of the negotiation, and urge them to be watchful lest they fall into the hands of French subjects, charging the consuls to give warning to the galleys.
[Latin, 77 lines.]
1478. March 3. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxviii. p. 81.464. Communications made by the Signory to Giovanni Candida, Secretary of the Duke and Duchess of Burgundy.
Of late years, the King of France having taken several Venetian ships, and repeatedly waylaid the galleys which the State sent annually to Flanders and to England, it was endeavoured to secure said galleys and ships, through the Venetian nobleman Francesco Donado, who was sent to the French court. The mission was notified to the late Duke Charles, who approved of the Signory's resolve.
Subsequently, Domenico Gradenigo was sent as the Republic's ambassador, and the galleys and ships aforesaid were guaranteed, without any condition detrimental.
[Italian, 63 lines.]
May 23. Archives Venice, Library.465. Edward IV. to Pope Sixtus IV.
Supposes his Holiness has not forgotten the King's frequent letters in recommendation of the monastery of Westminster. Recently commissioned John, Abbot of Abingdon, when he was ambassador there (at the Roman Court), to urge the Pope to make provision for the irreparable injury inflicted on it through the unusually frequent vacancies in its abbatial dignity. Understanding that not the slightest satisfaction has been conceded, is compelled to repeat his request.
Westminster is an extremely ancient monastery, founded of yore by the King's ancestors; was consecrated by the Apostle Peter, patron of the abbey, and is distinguished by the tomb of Edward King of England and Confessor. Although constructed in part by the King's ancestors,—and now almost entirely destroyed by age,—yet did they leave the greater portion of the church unbuilt; and the poverty of the monastery has forbidden its completion down to the present day. Nor has this proceeded solely from the disastrous times and inundations which carried away many of its possessions: it has proceeded also from the excessive outlay made at Rome for the confirmation of the newly elected abbots. No one better than his Holiness can remedy this detriment. Entreats him therefore to grant that the abbots elected in the monastery, situated as it is, in the front of all England, may, without further confirmation from the holy see, be considered abbots of the monastery. This demand is not a novelty; for to certain monasteries of this kingdom, at the suit of the King's predecessors the Apostolic see conceded the like, although these monasteries neither were at the time nor are they in such great need. Does not conclude that his prayers to his Holiness will have less weight than those of his ancestors, who assuredly were not more ready to obey the see apostolic than he who has devoted himself to its good pleasure. He therefore prays for favour in this case of Westminster, as more agreeable to himself than anything, and as it will augment not a little the devotion of the English nation towards his Holiness and the see apostolic. Has intrusted the dispatch of this business to John de Gerona, for whom he requests audience.
From Greenwich, 10th kalends of June, 1478.
Signed. Addressed.
[Original, parchment, Latin, 26 lines.]
1479. June 8. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxix. p. 17.466. The Doge and Senate to the Emperor Frederick III.
Complain of Pope Sixtus IV., who, after discussing at great length the means of terminating the war of Tuscany, at length proposed referring the matter for arbitration to the King of France, to the King of England, to the Emperor, and to his son Duke Maximilian, as if the disputes had been very great and it were not perfectly easy to restore a few cities taken by either side in the course of the war, and thus to pacify Italy most speedily and with all equity.
[Latin, 25 lines.]
June 8. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxix. p. 17.467. The Doge and Senate to Edward IV.
Wrote, in the past months, and gave notice of the peace made with the Turk, and of the Italian war, alluding slightly to its authors and causes.
We were simultaneously waging two wars; one with the Turk, and another which concerned the existence of our allies (the Florentines). Lest the two wars should overwhelm us, we sought to make peace with both parties, and found one more tractable than the other, as the covetousness and fury of a third party (Girolamo Riario) occupied and distracted the Pope's mind so greatly that, even after making peace with the Turk, when we implored peace, we could not obtain it.
The Pope, compelled by the prayers of our confederation, either to grant or to refuse it openly, fictitiously proposed to refer everything to the King of the French and to your Highness, with the intervention of the Emperor and the Prince Maximilian, they being persons whom he perfectly understood were by no means suited to such arbitration, as at the commencement of the negotiation, when the French ambassadors offered the mediation of the most Christian King, he rejected this interference as not becoming his supreme dignity.
The ambassadors of our confederation were compelled to depart from the Roman court, and our confederation is compelled to repel injury: so whatever injurious may happen, must be imputed to the authors of the war.
[Latin, 40 lines.]
June 8. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxix. p. 18.468. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador in France, the Knight Bertuccio Gabriel.
Inform him, amongst other things, that the Pope, not satisfied with the mere arbitration of the King of France, in order to render the matter more difficult, and by this pretence to win his royal Majesty of England, the Emperor., and the Prince Maximilian, added them, knowing very well that for several reasons and causes they were by no means adapted to such arbitration.
Encloses extracts from a letter, showing that already at the Roman court on this account dissension had arisen between the Imperial ambassadors and those of the Kings, not exempt from artifice on the part of the Pontiff and his advisers.
[Latin, 49 lines.]
June 17. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta v. xxix. p. 22.469. Announcement from the Signory to the Milanese and Florentine Ambassadors.
As to a proposal made by the French ambassadors at Florence about giving power of arbitration to the Kings both of France and England, the day before yesterday the Senate was convoked to answer the demands made in the first letters of the Government of Florence, whence fresh letters had been received subsequently; so the Signory had delayed, for the purpose of conferring with the ambassadors and giving them a reply, as requisite, &c.
[Latin and Italian, 24 lines.]
Dec. 24. Senato Mar. v. xi. p. 54.470. Decree of the Senate.
Announcing that on the arrival at Bruges of the Flanders galleys, commanded by Lorenzo Yenier, the merchants had not made their usual deposits as in the time of his predecessor, Damiano Moro. Should the galleys depart on their homeward voyage before these deposits be made, the consul in London to compel the Venetian merchants resident there, who may be debtors for similar deposits, to make them; the consul at Bruges giving him notice by letter of such merchants as are liable for the like.
Ayes, 99, Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
[Latin, 9 lines.]
1480. March 13. Senato Mar. v. xi. p. 61.471. Decree of the Senate concerning a claim for damages made by Don Diego, feudal lord of “El Ferrol,” that port being frequented by the Flanders galleys. The consuls in Bruges and London are desired to raise the necessary funds, the London factory paying two-thirds and the Bruges factory the remainder.
[Latin, 28 lines.]
Sept. 7. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta. v. xxix. p. 130.472. Statement made to the Signory by the Reverend Bishop of Centa (Septensis), Ambassador from Duke Maximilian.
That the Duke Maximilian has succeeded to the dominions of his father-in-law, Duke Charles of Burgundy, the very great friend and confederate of the Signory.
That his lordship has contracted relationship with the King of England, having taken one of his daughters for his eldest son the Duke of Burgundy; also that the King of England has taken the daughter of the Duke of Britanny, the heiress of that duchy, for his eldest son: so for his own interest that King comes to be the protector of either state, and is also mediator for the peace now in course of negotiation.
On this important occasion, Duke Maximilian, anxious for the conclusion of this arrangement, has sent the Bishop of Centa to the Signory to learn whether, if all the other potentates of Italy unite, the Republic will join them, as in that case he will conclude the peace aforesaid, and come into Austria, that all may unite for the defence of Christendom and of their own territories.
[Italian, 57 lines.]
Sept. 26. Senato Mar. v. xi. p. 89.473. Decree of the Senate concerning the Debts of the London Factory.
By letters from Ferigo di Priuli, consul in London, are assured that the factory there is so burdened with debts, that unless a remedy be applied, as was originally the intention of this Council, that voyage must be abandoned, this being caused by the very heavy expenses incurred, and by the renitency of debtors who have by no means cared to pay; and as for the general benefit of our affairs and of our merchants, provision should be made for enforcing what was maturely enacted of yore,—Put to the ballot, that no merchandise belonging to our merchants, brought from the island of England, be by any means, under any colour or pretext, removed from our custom house save in the presence of the “writer” of our officials for Old Accounts, appointed to keep the accounts of the quotas, under penalty, &c. &c.; the merchants being bound to show receipts in full from the consul in London for payment of their quotas before removing their effects.
All debtors on this account to be compelled to pay, and the consul in London to transmit an official note of all the merchandise exported by our galleys and ships during the last five years from the island of England, and on which the quota has not been paid, specifying by whom exported, whether for Venice or for any other place, so that the debtors, and the amount of their debt, may be clearly known. Should the debtors not pay in full within a month after the receipt of the list by the office for Old Accounts, one-fourth extra to be charged them; and should the consul not have note in the factory registers of the exporters of merchandise from England, he is to go to the customhouse and obtain an official list of all, under seal; any expense thus incurred to be defrayed by the factory.
All future consuls to be bound from time to time to send the list of all exporters of goods from England who shall not have paid the quota, so that the whole may be levied by the state attorneys without appeal to any other council.
Ayes, 96. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 9.
[Italian, 50 lines.]

Footnotes

1 Query, the Council of Henry VI.
2 The enclosure does not exist.
3 In the original “Aruite,” evidently a mistake for “Angre.” See Burke, title River; Johannes de Ripariis, Domine do Angre.”
4 “De plano.”


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