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Lorenzo Pignotti.

The history of Tuscany, from the earliest era; comprising an account of the revival of letters, sciences, and arts, interspersed with essays on important literacy and historical subjects; including memoirs of the family of the Medici (Volume 2) online

. (page 1 of 33)
Online LibraryLorenzo PignottiThe history of Tuscany, from the earliest era; comprising an account of the revival of letters, sciences, and arts, interspersed with essays on important literacy and historical subjects; including memoirs of the family of the Medici (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 33)
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A






L THE HISTORY OF TUSCANY,



FKOM THE 1'AKLIEbT ERA ; COMPRISING



AN ACCOUNT OF THE



REVIVAL OF LETTERS, SCIENCES, AND ARTS,



INTERSPERSED WITH ESSAYS ON IMPORTANT LITERARY AND



HISTORICAL SUBJECTS; INCLUDING



MEMOIRS OF THE FAMILY OF THE MEDICI.



TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN OF



IORENZO PIGNOTTI, ROYAL AND GRAND DUCAL HISTORIOGRAPHER, ETC.



BY JOHN BROWNING, ESQ. .

DtPVTY PURVEYOR OF THE FORCES; SEVERAL YEARS RESIDENT
IN FLORENCE.



(N FOUR VOLUMES.
VOL. II.



LONDON :

PRINTED FOR YOUNG, BLACK, AND YOUNG,

2, TAVISTOCK STREET.



MDCCCXXVI.



CONTENTS

OF

THE SECOND VOLUME.



CHAPTER I. Adventures of Uguccione della Faggiola Dis-
putes between Sienna and Massa Enterprises of Castruccio
His triumphal Pomp Conspiracy against him His fresh
Enterprises against the Florentines Duke of Athens Second
Conspiracy against Castruccio Descent in Italy of Lewis the
Bavarian Creates Castruccio Duke of Lucca, who accompanies
"him to Rome, where he causes him to be crowned emperor
Castruccio is appointed Viceroy and Senator of Rome The
Bavarian deposes Pope John XXII., and causes Nicolas V.
to be elected Castruccio loses Pistoia Returns from Rome,
surrounds Pistoia, and becomes again master of it His
Death . . . . . p. 1

CHAP. II. Change of government in Florence Arrival of the
Bavarian and Anti-pope at Pisa, who extorts large sums from
his Friends, and returns to Germany Descent upon Italy of
John, King of Bohemia The Florentines refuse to purchase
Lucca, and arm themselves against it The Germans assume
the dominion over it Little Wars between Pisa, Massa, and
Sienna Inundation in Florence Vicissitudes of Arezzo Lucca
under the dominion of the Lords of the Scala The Florentines
make a vain Attempt to purchase it War carried on by the
Florentines against Mastino Scala Peace with Mastino 37

CHAP. III. Pestilence in Florence Embassy of the Romans
Conspiracy against the Government discovered War with
Pisa The Florentines in Lucca The Florentines are defeated
by the Pisans, who lay siege to Lucca, of which they become
Masters The Duke of Athens, Defender of Florence, and



iv CONTENTS.

General of the Florentines He is afterwards declared absolute
Master of Florence for life Extortions and vigorous Executions
under his Government Vices of the Duke and his Courtiers
The general Indignation His Cruelties Three Conspiracies
are formed at one time against him All Ranks of Citizens
rise against the Duke and drive him out of Florence, after he
had renounced the command . . . 61

ESSAY II. Upon the Revival of Learning . . 79

CHAP. IV. State of the Florentine Republic after the Expulsion
of the Duke of Athens New Division of the City into Quarters
Disturbances Division of the People into Classes War carried
on by the Pisans against the Visconti Great Events in Naples
and Rome Queen Jane Colas of Rienso The Revolution he
effected in Rome, and his unhappy End Vicissitudes of Nicholas
Acciajoli ; and his Influence over the Affairs of Naples 223

CHAP. V. Dearth and Pestilence in Europe Public Schools
opened in Florence and Pisa The Visconti march against the
Florentines Siege of Scarperia Dissensions in Pisa Agree-
ment of the Florentines with Charles, King of the Romans
Change of Government in Sienna Civil Agitations in Pisa
Dissensions between the Florentines and Pisans Tyrannical
Law made in Florence against the Ghibellines . 25O

CHAP. VI. Bands of Robbers Count Lando The Florentines
obtain Bibbiena and Volterra Tyranny exercised by the Cap-
tains of the Guelphan Party War between Pisa and Florence
The Pisans arrive under the Walls of Florence Defeat of the
Pisans at San Savino Peace concluded between the two Re-
publics Death of Nicholas Acciajoli Arrival of the Pope and
the Emperor in Italy The Emperor re-establishes the Family
Gambacorti in Pisa The Florentines besiege San Miniato
League against' Bernabo Visconti Lucca returns to liberty
Peace with Bernabo League against the Pope, who places
Florence under interdict Arrival in Italy of the Pope Cha-
racter of the Cardinal of Geneva his Legate Death of the
Pope Election of Urban VI., and Peace with the Floren-
tines. 278



CHAP. VII. Reflections upon the Government of Florenc
Tyrannical Acts of the Captains of the Guelphan Party Op-
position made by Silvester Medici Origin of this Family



CONTENTS v

Influence of Silvester Rebellion of the Clowns (Ciompi)
Character of Michael Lando Makes a Reform in the
Government New Tumults and Confusions Michael's Valour
and Moderation New Reforms. . . . 324

CHAP. VIII. Irregularity of Criminal Trials Four Conspira-
cies discovered in Florence Affairs of the Papal Court The
Cardinal of Geneva created Anti-pope Arrival in Tuscany of
Charles called the Peaceable Sacking of Arezzo Tragic End
of Queen Jane of Naples Fresh Disturbances in Florence
Change of Government Affairs of Naples The Florentines
purchase Arezzo Change in Sienna . . 347

CHAP. IX. Cruelties exercised by the Brothers Visconti
Treachery of the Count of Virtu, in order to get possession of
ihe Government of Milan Movements in Florence End of
the Dominion of the Lords of the Scala, Signori Delia Scala
Negotiations of the Count of Virtu with the Florentines and
Siennese, pushes on his Troops against Florence The Floren-
tines call the Duke of Bavaria to their succour Enterprises
of the Armies in Lombardy Fine Retreat made by Auguto
Defeat of the Army of the Count of Armarjnac Victory of
Auguto Peace between the Count of Virtu and the Floren-
tines ....... 369

CHAP. X. Appiano becomes master of Pisa Disturbances in
Florence Death of Auguto War with the Pisans Events of
Lombardy The Count of Virtu purchases Pisa from the Son
of Appiano Gets possession of Sienna and Perugia Penances
and Processions Contagion in Florence Conspiracy of the
Outlaws discovered Descent of the Emperor into Italy The
Count of Virtu gets possession of Bologna Dies His Charac-
ter Intrigues of the Florentines for the Acquisition of Pisa
The Venetians become masters of Padua Death of the
Carrarese Enterprises of the Florentines against Pisa Origin
of Sforza Pisa surrenders to the Florentines Conditions of
the Surrender 386



HISTORY OF TUSCANY.



CHAPTER I.

ADVENTURES OF UGUCCIONE BELLA FAGGIOLA. DISPUTES
BETWEEN SIENNA AND MASSA. ENTERPRISES OF

CASTRUCCIO. HIS TRIUMPHAL POMP. CONSPIRACY

AGAINST HIM. HIS FRESH ENTERPRISES AGAINST THE
FLORENTINES. DUKE OF ATHENS. SECOND CONSPI-
RACY AGAINST CASTRUCCIO. DESCENT IN ITALY OF
LEWIS THE BAVARIAN. CREATES CASTRUCCIO DUKE
OF LUCCA, WHO ACCOMPANIES HIM TO ROME, WHERE
HE CAUSES HIM TO BE CROWNED EMPEROR. CAS-
TRUCCIO IS APPOINTED VICEROY AND SENATOR Off
ROME. THE BAVARIAN DEPOSES POPE JOHN XXII.,
AND CAUSES NICOLAS V. TO BE ELECTED. CASTRUCCIO
LOSXS PISTOIA. RETURNS FROM ROME, SURROUNDS
PISTOIA, AND BECOMES AGAIN MASTER OF IT. HIS
DEATH.



_LHE disgrace of Uguccione gave exceeding joy to the

Florentines, who foresaw not how far more terrible

an enemy they would find in Castruccio. The

King of Naples sent them Count Guido, of Battifolle,

as 'a new viceroy. The fear that the active Uguccione

might still possess partisans in the city determined those

who governed, perhaps too in order to remove the odium

which the cruel executions had excited, to call Lando

d' Agubbio to Florence, and give him the supreme

authority over the lives of the citizens. This cruel inqni-

VOL. II. B



2 HISTORY OF TUSCANY.

sitor acted by impulse of those who governed ; but, as he
could also act from his own authority, he scattered terror
throughout Florence. Upon a simple declaration, and
without even the form of a process, he caused the citizens
to be put to death at his option ; nor did the viceroy of
the King of Naples dare to oppose him by force, as the
king had sworn not to change the government. One of
the great defects of this republic, as well as of many of
those times, is the want of a wise and regular method
in criminal trials, which, while securing the lives and
liberties of the citizens, is armed with a sufficient power
to carry sentences into execution. This assassin, whose
government was a disgrace to the dignity of the Florentine
republic, was only deposed with difficulty, and upon the
interference of the King of Naples. He left, however,
a lasting remembrance of his infamous character in the
base money he scattered through the city, and which he
had the audacity to order to be coined *.

Peace was concluded by the Pisans and Lucchese with
the Tuscan cities of the Guelph party; whilst Uguccione,
who had taken refuge in Verona, in the house of Cane
della Scala, and was protected by the people of Cane
and by Spinetta Malespina, continued to make vain
attempts to return to Pisa. These fruitless endeavours
cost some Pisan citizens of the family of Lanfranchi
heir lives, who were supposed to have correspondence
with him; and Spinetta suffered the loss of his estates,
which were occupied by Castruccio. This man, also,
went seeking refuge in the same generous asylum of
talents and valour in misfortune. It was at this time,
probably, that Uguccione made the friendship of Dante.
Illustrious warriors have almost always honoured letters.

* Vill. lib. 9. cap. 74. 77.



HISTORY OF TUSCANY. 3

The lofty character of Uguccione appeared made for the
Florentine poet; and misfortunes always connect together
the unfortunate. Uguccione carried on the war under
the standards of the Lord of the Scala, particularly in
the war waged with the Paduans ; and died at an
advanced age a few months before Dante. The Lords
of the Scala were not enemies of the Pisans ; but the
commiseration alone which a great man excites in mis-
fortunes induced them to support L^guccione. They
were Ghibellines like the other Lombards, enemies of
the Guelphs, and consequently of the Florentines.

Whilst peace reigned in Tuscany, a momentary com-
motion threatened at once the tranquillity and govern-
ment of the Siennese republic. A dispute had arisen
between Sienna and Massa upon the possession of the
Castle of Girfalio, which was occupied by the latter.
After useless remonstrances, the Siennese sent a number
of armed people, who began to lay waste the country ;
when the people of Massa, repenting, ceded the castle in
dispute, and the armed force was recalled to Sienna.
The latter, however, who expected to sack Massa,
returned discontented, and, with arms in hand, com-
menced a tumult, by shouting " death to the captain !"
The principals succeeded in appeasing the tumult; but
those who were discontented with the government endea-
voured to profit by it.

We have already mentioned that the nobles, the doc-
tors, and notaries, were excluded from, and only a few
merchants of the middling class were admitted into, the
government. The doctors and the notaries embraced
this opportunity, when they thought the nine were inti-
midated, to make a demand of being admitted ; which
was rejected with disdain, and even accompanied with
threats. They then united themselves with the other

B 2



4 HISTORY OF TUSCANY.

discontented, and resolved upon putting the nine to death,
creating captain Sozzo Tolomei, and Antonio di Messer
Ricovero mayor, and continued to distribute the offices;
and rising on the evening of the 26th of October, they
hastened towards the palace to put the magistrate to
death, shouting aloud that they desired a share in the
government. Fortunately, three hundred infantry and
many horse had been taken into pay to aid King Robert,
as well as one hundred horse and eight hundred

1313.

foot, Florentines, commanded by Rucellai. With
this small body of troops the government opposed the
rebels, who, after two hours' resistance, were defeated,
and night afforded them a convenient obscurity either for
flight or concealment*. The Florentines, in the mean
time, who were gaining greater strength in the Guelph
faction, which prevailed in Tuscany, had time to take
breath.

^Lombardy was for the greater part Ghibelline, but
divided into small signiories and republics, ill-fitted to
continue united in a confederacy ; hence they could not
long resist the Florentines, who were powerful both in
arms, and in money, and were supported by the pope and
the King of Naples. But there was one man possessed
of warlike talents sufficient to counterbalance these dis-
advantages ; this was Castruccio. The Florentines who
were tranquil in Tuscany, had rather incautiously sent a
body of troops of the Tuscan league into Lombardy,
being instigated by the pope and King Robert to assist
their falling party. Mathew Visconti, head of the Ghi-
bellines in Lombardy, excited Castruccio against them
with arms and money. Much was not necessary to



* Cron. Sane. Rer. Ital. torn. 15. Malev. Istor. Sanes. p. 2. lib. 5.
Ammir. 1st. lib. 5.



HISTORY OF TUSCANY. 5

move this man* who was ready for hostility;

either that he foresaw that the Florentines would
not long delay attacking Lucca and Pisa, which were of a
party hostile to them, that he thought the unstable favour
of the citizens, which had elevated him up to the prin-
cipality of Lucca, could only be preserved by great ex-
ploits, adapted to impress them with reverence and terror;
or that, conscious of his own military talents, he was
probably impatient to display them against the enemies
of his country. Being provided therefore with arms and
money by the people of Lombardy, and particularly by
the Visconti ; he collected a body of veterans more for-
midable for their valour than their number ; entered the
territory of the Florentines, sacked it, and laid siege to
St. Mary on the mountain, (Santa Maria a Monte), and
shortly made himself master of it. At this unlooked-for
attack the unprepared Florentines, who trusted to the
peace, could afford no opposition; and Castruccio re-
turned peaceably to Lucca, laden with booty. This
commencement of hostilities in Tuscany, was a prelude to
the wars of Lombardy, of which the city of Genoa fur-
nished the greatest incentive, in expelling the Ghibellines,
and giving the government to King Robert. Against
her, therefore, the most considerable part of the force of
the Lombard Ghibellines were directed, which assailed

her by land, whilst the Sicilian fleet attacked her

by sea. Castruccio marched with a large body
of Lucchese and Pisans, to take a share in the glory
of the capture, which he considered certain. The
Florentines, taking advantage of his absence, made
an inroad upon the Lucchese territory, when Castruccio,
with all possible expedition, turned his troops back, and

* Gio. Vill. lib. <).c. 105.



6 HISTORY OF TUSCANY.

came up with the enemy near Fucecchio. The two
armies, divided only by the Gusciana, consumed consi-
derable time without any advantage, and retired without
coming to any action of consequence. The enterprise
was not glorious for the Florentines, but was useful to
their confederates, the Genoese. Genoa which, by the
arrival of this enemy, would have fallen, not only main-
tained herself, but obliged them to retreat. In the fol-
lowing year, the Florentines, still dreading the ac-
tive Castruccio, made a league with the Marquis
Spinetta Malaspina, and gave him assistance, in order
that, by harassing Castruccio, he might prevent him
trespassing upon their territory. But Castruccio assem-
bling his troops, and paying little regard to what injury
the marquis could do him, marched to meet the Floren-
tines, who were encamped upon the Lucchese territory.
Either that the genius of Castruccio impressed the Flo-
rentines with terror, or that they little thought he was
provided with so many troops, they became panic-struck
to such a degree, that, taking advantage of the night,
they made a precipitate retreat, and left Castruccio mas-
ter of the country, who laid it waste wherever he
pleased.

Florence had now for several years been more under
the protection than dominion of the king of Naples.
This appears to have occurred whenever either external
dangers or internal dissensions threatened the republic ;
although she was not free from external fears, as long as
one of her most powerful enemies remained in arms : Cas-
truccio nevertheless, and the party that had been raised
by Simone della Tosa in the preceding years, as well as
the desire of novelty, obliged the Florentines to resume
their accustomed form of ancient government; and the
period of the government which had been conceded to



HISTORY OF TUSCANY. *7

King Robert, being expired, it was not renewed*.
Shortly before, however, the public, who were not con-
tent with their accustomed governors, as happens when
affairs do not go on prosperously, had added to the
office of priors, twelve good men or buonuomini, two for
every sixth, who were to remain in office six months. It
was their apparent commission to be counsellors of the
priors, but the latter could do nothing without their

1322. J '.

authority j.

In the mean time Castruccio, who was master of
the country, scoured the castles and cities subject
to, or allied with, the Florentines with impunity.
Pistoia, situated almost at an equal distance between
Florence and Lucca, the possession of which therefore
was as necessary to one as to the other, was governed
under the influence of the Florentines ; but Castruccio
harassed the country so greatly with arms, and teased the
city with snares and stratagems, that she was obliged, as
a lesser evil, to become tributary to him. He remained
contented for the present with this pretention, waiting
only for a better opportunity to make himself master of
it. The Florentines, who were disunited amongst them-
selves from the spirit of faction, instead of devoting all
their attention to resist this active enemy, sent succours
against the sons of Matthew Visconti, who, with various
fortune, maintained their party in Lombardy. Cas-
truccio, however was making continual progress ; since,
impeded neither by garrisons, the reinforcements of the
Florentines, nor by the rigours of winter, he made him-
self master of a great part of the mountain of Pistoia ;
he then turned his attention to the country of Fuceechio,
Santa Croce, Castel Franco, and passing the Arno above

* Vill. lib. p. cap. 186. t Gio. Vill. lib. 9- cap. 214.



8 HISTORY OF TUSCANY.

Montopoli, caused infinite damage ; whilst a republic,
so powerful in money and troops, dared not to send any
force against him ; which gave so much courage to the
enemy, that he ventured even to approach Prato with no
more than six hundred horse and 4,000 infantry, and
threatened to occupy it. At this last insult, the Floren-
tines, roused by shame, vied with each other in taking
to arms, and pardoned those who had been exiled
on account of factions, and who had carried arms
under the banners of the republic. Of these not less than
4,000 shortly joined them. An army of 1,500 horse
and 20,000 infantry marched towards Prato. The con-
test would have been too unequal: nevertheless Cas-
truccio for a time intrepidly confronted so large an army ;
but when he perceived the Florentines hastening to
attack him, he retired quietly in the night to Serravalle.
It would appear that so numerous a body of troops ought
to have followed him up, and have laid siege even to
Lucca ; but the nobles and the people, being at variance
with each other, they remained in this uncertainty some
days, and afterwards retired almost in disorder to Flo-
rence. The outlaws, who according to agreement, were
to be taken back, had gone before them ; but coming
forward with unfolded banners, and in so great a number,
the people began to look upon them as enemies, and
would not receive them : they were obliged indeed to
retire, but adding this fresh inquiry to the old ones, they
meditated upon the means of entering by force. Know-
ing how discontented the nobility were, who were ex-
cluded from the government, they entered into a secret
treaty with them. Amerigo Donati, in no respect a de-
generate son of his father Corso, was at the head of this
conspiracy : on the night of St. Lawrence, the outlaws
were to approach Florence, be admitted into it, scour



HISTORY OF TUSCANY. 9

the city, armed with their friends, and change the
government. The conspiracy, however, was discovered
the day before the execution ; the people took to arms,
and hastened upon the walls with a great number of lights,
which the outlaws seeing, perceived their intentions were
discovered, and retired. The government in prosecuting
the guilty, prudently listened to the counsels of clemency*.
Castruccio, who aspired to the dominion over all
Tuscany, now wished to make himself master of Pisa,
and held a secret communication with a certain Lan-
franchi to put Count Mieri Gherardesca to death, who
was either the master of it, or directed its government :
the conspiracy, however, was also discovered, but was
attended with no other consequence than the death of
Lanfranchi, and the outlawry of Castruccio, as an enemy
of Pisa, with a price set upon his headf; an event which
gave great joy to Florence, who thus saw a powerful
city separated from her greatest enemy. Castruccio,
however, still undismayed, attempted a blow which, if it
had succeeded, would have greatly annoyed the Floren-
tines. Fucecchio was a place of great importance, very
populous, and defended by a good garrison. Having
received expectations that he would be admitted into it,
he approached at night with only one hundred and fifty
horse, and five hundred infantry. He was in fact let in,
but the garrison and the people of the place, taking up
arms, began to fight against him : the people still would
have been overpowered, if at dawn of day they had not
given signs of determined opposition, by demanding aid
from the garrisons of the neighbouring places San
Miniato, Castelfranco and Sante Croce. These troops,
by hastening their march, arrived in the midst of the

* Gio. Vill. lib. 9. cap. 214. c. 219. t Gio. Vill. lib. 9 c. 230.



10 HISTORY OF TUSCANY.

fight : Castruccio nevertheless continued the contest for
a long time with the greatest valour; but seeing it impos-
sible to oppose the numerous troops that had arrived,
and who now assailed him on the flanks, together with
the people of the place, who annoyed him from the
streets and windows with every sort of missile weapon,
after having given every proof of the most skilful and
courageous general, and being himself wounded in the
face, he retired by cutting his way through the enemy.
It is related of him, that being always among the last
to retreat in battles, and finding himself surrounded by
the enemy who were following up his troops without the
castle, perceiving that he was not known, he feigned
himself to be one of the former ; and coming up in
the midst of these with his own men, who were in
anxious search of their leader, they discovered him,
turned face, and followed up the enemy with ardour as
far as the gates*. This man carried on war against the
Florentines both by arms and secret correspondence, by
which he endeavoured to make himself master of
Pralo, Pisa, and even of Florence. His cor-
respondence, however, was discovered, which he held
particularly with Thomas Frescobaldi, who endeavoured
to corrupt the French soldiery by means of a friar,
their confessor f. Frescobaldi fled ; was declared
a traitor to his country, and the friar condemned to
perpetual prison.

Pistoia, courted both by Castruccio and the Floren-
tines, had undergone various vicissitudes. A Pistoiese
ecclesiastic, Ormanno Tedici, abbot of Pacciana,
inflamed with that ambition, so ill adapted to his con-
dition in life, and of mean talents* thought he could

* Vill. lib. 9. cap. 233. Tigrini Vita Cs*t. f Vill. lib. 9. c. 2<)3.



HISTORY OF TUSCANY. 11

take advantages of circumstances, and make himself
master of Pistoia. Having gained the lower classes of
people by his riches, and showing himself zealous for
peace, he secured the city supported by his partisans,
took the palace, and strong places, remained Lord of
Pistoia, drove out the friends of the Florentines, and
made a truce with Castruccio. The abbot, however,
had not talents to maintain that post, which was rather
filled by his nephew Philip, who was more active, and
possessed a superior mind. Moreover, either that the
latter found himself frequently molested, by the imbeci-
lities and caprices of his uncle in the administration, or
chose to be a free Lord, he conspired against him with
the consent and aid of Castruccio, and drove him from



Online LibraryLorenzo PignottiThe history of Tuscany, from the earliest era; comprising an account of the revival of letters, sciences, and arts, interspersed with essays on important literacy and historical subjects; including memoirs of the family of the Medici (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 33)