Ambassadors came to Florence from the King of France, on their way to Rome to arrange peace in Italy; and whilst they were here they received the news that their king had died on the 30th May, 1483. And on the 13th September one of these ambassadors died at Santa Maria Novella, and the others set out for Rome.
During these days, for fear of hunger and of the war going on in Lombardy, many families left it, and there passed through Florence on their way into Roman territory 50 to 100 at a time, till they amounted to several thousands. Many also went to Romagna and elsewhere. It was said that there were more than 30 thousand persons altogether. It was a most pitiful sight to see these poor people pass, with a wretched little donkey, and their miserable household possessions: saucepans, frying-pans, etc. One wept to see them barefoot and ragged; and it is the cursed wars which have caused all these. No one went by without receiving some little help from us.
Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:
Fra Girolamo preached, and ordered that alms should be given for the Poveri Vergognosi(1) in four churches: Santa Maria del Fiore, Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, and Santo Spirito; which were collected on the following day, Sunday. And so much was given that it was impossible to estimate it: gold and silver, woollen and linen materials, silks and pearls and other things; everyone contributed so largely out of love and charity.
(1) The Company of Buonuomini, who care for the Poveri Vergognosi, was formed before 1521, and used to care for the wants of the prisoners in the Stinche and the Bargello. They met in the old church of San Martino, to which offerings were brought, and they later extended their administrations to other honourable poor in the city. In the church of San Martino the twelve Buonuomini are painted in twelve frescoed lunettes. (Trans.)
Landucci, Luca, trans. Alice de Rosen Jervis, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1927. "A Florentine Diary", p. 74