[Arrival of an ambassador from the Catholic King to ratify the league]
'No one could please him [Wolsey] better than by styling him the
of the affairs of Christendom'
Arrival of an ambassador from the Catholic King to ratify the league. Public audience given him on the 16th, in the presence of all the other ambassadors. Sumptuous preparations for it; a great number of lords and prelates convened, including 17 bishops not usually in attendance at the great Court. As the Pope had sent a fresh commission to the Legates (Wolsey and Campeggio), confirming what had been done, the two Cardinals came to the Court as if they were newly sent by the Pope, and were met by the King and all the prelates, lords, and ambassadors, with all the ceremonies usually observed on a first arrival.
The prothonotary Campeggio, the Legate's son, delivered an elegant oration in the Pope's name, alluding to the formidable power of Sultan Selim, and the peril which threatened the whole of Christendom, and apparently placing the King of England, rather than his Holiness, at the head of the alliance. The Pope had lavished every possible expression of honour upon the King, somewhat to the degradation, perhaps, of the Apostolic see.
Then one of the Spanish ambassadors made an oration, thanking King Henry for having named the Catholic King as one of his confederates, and beseeching him to receive him as such.
The reply was made by Richard Pace, the King's chief secretary, who alluded to the Pope, “tanquam comitem (!) confœderationis;” and to mitigate the arrogance of such an expression, he added, “Comitem, et quod maxime optavit hie sacratissimus Rex, Principem confœderationis.” He praised the Pope for having sent a commission to conclude and ratify this confederation in England, rather than at Rome in the presence of his Holiness, and he greatly extolled the power of the King of England. In answer to the Spanish ambassadors, he said that King Henry was content to include the Catholic King among his chief confederates.
From this the Signory would comprehend in what great repute the King of England stood with all the princes of Christendom. The principal author of all these proceedings was the Legate of York, whose sole aim was to procure incense for his King and himself. No one could please him better than by styling him the arbitrator of the affairs of Christendom. For further particulars refers to his Report.
The French ambassador resented these marks of deference shown to England by Rome and Spain, and enquired of him (Giustinian) whether the Signory would approve of the election of King Francis as Emperor. Replied affirmatively.