Francesco Chieregati, was born in Vicenza, in 1479. He became a bishop in Italy and in 1515 Pope Leo X appointed him as his representative in London. He was in England during the Evil May Day Riots in 1517.
According to Edward Hall the captured rioters, with halters around their necks, were brought to Westminster Hall in the presence of Henry VIII. He sat on his throne, from where he condemned them all to death. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey then fell on his knees and begged the king to show compassion while the prisoners themselves called out "Mercy, Mercy!" Eventually the king relented and granted them pardon. At which point they cast off their halters and "jumped for joy". (1)
However, Francesco Chieregato reported that Catherine of Aragon was responsible for this act of compassion: "Our most serene and most compassionate queen, with tears in her eyes and on her bended knees, obtained their pardon from His Majesty, the act of grace being performed with great ceremony." (2)
Sharon L. Jansen has pointed out that Garrett Mattingly, the author of Catherine of Aragon (1941) and Jack Scarisbrick, the author of Henry VIII (1968) have suggested this story is true: "Chieregato's seems to be the only report that Queen Catherine secured the pardons... Nevertheless, the story that Catherine sought the pardon, interceding on her knees for the prisoners, has proven irresistible to historians." (3)
Our most serene and most compassionate queen, with tears in her eyes and on her bended knees, obtained their pardon from His Majesty, the act of grace being performed with great ceremony.
(1) Peter Ackroyd, Tudors (2012) page 19
(2) Francesco Chieregato, letter to Pope Leo X (19th May, 1517)
(3) Sharon L. Jansen, Dangerous Talk and Strange Behaviour: Women and Popular Resistance to the Reforms of Henry VIII (1996) page 107