Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

Author and historian Giovanni Francesco Bondi was born in 1572 at Lesina, an island (now part of Croatia) in the Adriatic Sea. From 1606 to 1609 he served the Venetian Republic as Secretary to Pietro Piruli, its ambassador in Paris. Having converted to Protestantism, he moved to London in 1609 where he acted as a diplomat for James I. In 1615 Biondi went to the Calvinist assembly in Grenoble as the Royal representative.

From about this period he acted as a double agent, reporting also to the Venetians. In September 1622 he was knighted by James I at Windsor. That same year he married the sister of Swiss-born Theodore Mayerne, the King’s physician. Biondi left England in 1640 for for Aubonne (near Lausanne) where he died in 1644. He was the author of a trilogy of chivalric romances which were written in Italian (published between 1624 and 1635), but became popular in English translation. Between 1637 and 1644 he wrote a three-volume work on L’istoria delle guerre civili d’Inghilterra, with a dedication to Charles I. It was translated into English by Henry Carey, 2nd Earl of Monmouth, and published in London in 1641 under the title of A History of the Civil Warres of England.

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