In all important matters they asked the advice and support of "wise men," sapientes, discretiores, prudentes, as a body called the credenza, while the popular assembly (parlamentum, concio, consilium generale) was the true sovereign.
700 the young republic seems to have thrown off the rule of the Byzantine dux Histriae et Venetiae and elected a duke (doge) of its own, in whom was vested the executive power, the right to convoke the popular assembly (concio) and appoint tribunes and justices.
Only under extraordinary circumstances the concio was still to be called.
They were elected for the term of one year and re-eligible only after an interval, and they were supported by a municipal council (commune consilium, consilium magnum or secretum or generale, or colloquium) and a general assembly (parlamentum, concio, commune consilium, commune, universitas civium), which, however, as a rule was far from comprising the whole body of citizens.
In 1581 he had a controversy with the Jesuit Edmund Campion, and published at Oxford his arguments in 1638 under the title, Piissimi et eminentissimi viri Tobiae Matthew, archiepiscopi olim Eboracencis concio apologetica adversus Campianam.