CLEMENT VII [Giulio de Medici], Pope (1523-1534). Letter, signed by Papal secretary Jacopo Sadoleto ('Ia. Sadoletus') to an unidentified prelate (probably Cardinal Wolsey), Rome, 16 April 1527, in Latin, 5 lines written in brown ink in an elegant humanistic papal cancelleresca, on vellum, one membrane, 145 x 400 mm, contemporary endorsement, and later annotation in a 17th-century hand, original dispatch slits, traces of seal.
A letter of recommendation for the Pope's envoy to the King (Henry VIII), Giovanni Matteo [Ghiberti], the Cardinal Bishop of Verona, 'Cum mitteremus ad ser[enissi]mu[m] et invictissimum Regem istum fidei Defensorem ven[erabilem] fr[atr]em Ioannem Mattheum ep[iscop]um Veronensem Prelatum n[ostr]um domesticum pro iis agendis rebus, quas publico Christiano bono necessarias iudicamus. Mandavimus ei ut etiam cum fraternitate tua n[ost]ris verbis loqueretur' [Since we send Giovanni Matteo, Bishop of Verona, prelate in our household, to his most serene and victorious highness, the King, Defender of the Faith, for the execution of those matters which we deem necessary for the general Christian good, we have instructed him that he should speak with yourself in our words'.
The unexplained purpose of Ghiberti's proposed mission was probably to explain the suspension of arms agreed between the Pope, Venice and France on 29 March, to which he (Ghiberti) had been a signatory; doubtless the royal divorce would also have been discussed. But on 6 May the imperialist troops sacked the City of Rome and the bishop's mission was cancelled.
Ghiberti, one of the great Catholic reformers later retired from politics to his see, where he set up a printing press for the texts of the Greek Fathers. Cardinal Jacopo Sadoleto (1477-1547) was a notable poet, orator and theologian.