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The King, tho' peftered with these different Impoftors and Rebellions, did not forget to promote the Discovery of the new Lands in the West-Indies; for which Purpose he granted a Patent to John Cabot, a Venetian, and three of his Sons to go with five Ships under English Colours, on thefe Terms: That, after all Charges deducted, they should give the King a Fifth of the Profits; which they undertook, and engaged to land at Bristol at their Return; but it does not appear in History what was made of this Expedi
Mr. Wolfey still continued at Oxford, indefatigably employing his Time in Studying and Teaching. But before Christmas this Year, the Marquess of Dorfet was pleased to fend for his Sons home, and requested Wolfey to attend them, in order to keep that Festival at his Lordship's Seat.
The Marquefs received Wolfey very kindly, who had not been long with this wife Statefman before he discovered his fine Genius; and his Lordship, upon Examination, finding his Sons were much improved in their Learning far beyond what he expected, he expreffed his Satisfaction thereat: And as the Living of Lymington in his Gift was vacant, he bestowed it unasked on his Sons Schoolmafter; and, at the fame time intimated, that he should be glad on all Occafions to do him Service.
After the Holidays were over, Wolfey returned to Oxford with his Charge, highly delighted with the kind and generous Treatment he had met with from his Patron, which feemed to prognofticate further Preferment. With which Incident we fhall conclude the Year 1499, in respect to the Affairs of England. We left the Emperor in his German Dominions, regulating the Government of the different States belonging to the Imperial Crown. After this was effected, he returned into the Low Countries, the
Guardianship of which he then refigned to his Son
During the first Part of the Rebellion raised by Perkin and his Adherents, all Correfpondence between England and Flanders had been broke off; Philip therefore took this Opportunity of sending Ambaffadors to King Henry, to notify the taking upon himfelf the Government of the Low Countries, and to folicit the renewing a Treaty of Commerce with England. They were graciously received by his Majefty, and found no Difficulty in fucceeding in their Commiffion, it being no lefs neceffary for the English than the Flemings: And, February the 24th, a Treaty in form was concluded at London, which proved fatisfactory to both Nations.
A Marriage having been propofed between young Philip, then eighteen Years old, and the Infanta Jane, one of the Daughters of Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain. Maximilian expreffed his Defire of feeing it accomplished, which took place accordingly; and, notwithstanding the Infanta's feeming Distance from the Succeffion, (the Infant John, her elder Brother, who was afterwards married to Philip's Sifter, and the Infanta Ifabella, her eldest Sister, Wife to Emanuel, King of Portugal, intervening) the unexpectedly, by the Deaths of her Brother, Sifter, and their respective Children, at laft became fole Heiress of the Kingdom of Spain: Thus the Alliance by this Union was no lefs advantageous to the House of Auftria, than was that of Maximilian to the Heiress of Burgundy.
In October this Year, the young Lady Jane arrived in the Low Countries, and foon after was publickly married to Philip. The fame Ships that brought Jane into Flanders, carried Margaret, Philip's Sifter, into Spain, where her Marriage with Don John, King Ferdinand's only Son, was confummated.
He died in the Flower of his Youth at Sa-. lamanca, October 24, in the 20th Year of his 1496. Age, to the unfpeakable Grief of his Parents and the whole Kingdom, leaving his Princefs with Child, who was afterwards delivered of a ftill-born Infant.
This Lady Margaret was unfortunate, being in her Infancy contracted to Charles King of France, which did not take Effect. The Match with Prince John proved unhappy, as the very Elements feemed to predict; for, in her Paffage from Holland to Spain, they met with fo furious a Tempeft, that feveral of the Ships perifhed; and fhe was in fuch Danger, that she tied her Jewels, and an Account of herself in Writing, to her Arms, in order that her Corpfe, if it ever fhould appear, might be known.
But, being left a Widow, fhe returned to Flanders, and was afterwards married to the Duke of Savoy ; with whom she had no better Fortune, he likewife dying foon after the Marriage; upon whofe Death fhe again retired to Flanders.
That Country the governed many Years, was a Princefs of fuch fine Parts, that she was intrufted with Negotiations of the greatest Confequence, wherein the fo well acquitted herself for the Service of her Royal House, that her Name and Memory, even at this Day, is held in the highest Efteem, both in Germany and Flanders.
By the Death of Don John, his Sifter Ifabella, Widow of Alphonfo, Prince of Portugal, became Heiress of the Kingdoms of Caftile and Arragon; who, after the Death of the Prince her Spouse, had been contracted to Emanuel, King of Portugal; which Marriage was fo closely preffed, that it was folemnized even before Don John expired; but, poor Lady, fhe enjoyed not this happy State long; for fhe died in Child-bed at Saragoffa, having been firft delivered of
a Prince, named Michael, who was proclaimed prefumptive Succeffor of Ferdinand and Ifabella.
Guicciardin, fpeaking of Charles the VIIIth's Expedition into Italy, obferves, That what followed was fo much the more difpleafing and aftonishing in 'Men's Minds, by how much the univerfal Eftate of Italy ftood quiet, plea'fant, and easy before; for that, fince the Roman Empire declined, the Principalities of Italy had not taited of fo great and general Prof$ perity, nor was fo happy and well governed as in the Year 1490, being on all fides in Peace and Tranquillity, the Hills and barren Places were tilled, and made no lefs fruitful than the Vallies; it flourifhed with Men of Wit, well verfed in all the Arts and Sciences: In a Word, they were diftinguished for their Knowledge and Difcipline in War, and < thereby bore a very great Reputation among the other Nations of Europe. This was the flourishing • Condition of Italy, when Ludovic on the one hand, and Charles the VIIIth on the other, began to difturb its Repofe.'
An Account of
the then State of Italy, and of Charles the VIIIth's Ex
There had, ever fince the Year 1490, been fome Difcourfe on foot concerning Charles's Title to the Kingdom of Naples, and many Arguments were used to inflame that young Prince with the Defire and Love of fo fair a Conqueft. The Earl of Salerna, and fome other Noblemen, who had been banished from Naples, and taken Sanctuary in France, were the first that propofed it to the King; but thefe Exiles could not have prevailed on him, had he not been encouraged by Ludovic Sforza, Uncle to the Duke of Milan.
the Family of Sforza, Dukes of Milan.
The Dutchy of Milan fometime beSome Account of fore paffed from the Family of Visconti to that of Sforza, Phillippo Maria Vif conti, the last Duke of that House, ha