Spain: April 1527, 16-25

Pages 147-156

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 3 Part 2, 1527-1529. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1877.

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April 1527, 16-25

20 April.
S. E. L. 1,454,
f. 68.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 152.
50. Appointment of Commissaries for the Peace with the Pope.
The Emperor to all Persons, &c. Appoints Charles de Bourbon, Duke and Prince of Auvergne, his Lieutenant-General in Italy; Charles de la Noy, Prince of Sulmona, Count of Asti, Viceroy of Naples; Ugo de Moncada, Prior of Messina, "Orator Sancti Joannis Hierosolimitani," and his Captain-General of the Sea; the Venerable Francisco de los Angeles, General of the Order of St. Francis, to be his agents for the peace to be made with the Pope.—Valladolid, 20th April 1527.
Latin. Original minute, pp. 5.
21 April. 51. Martin de Salinas to Ferdinand, King of Bohemia.
M. Re. Ac, d. Hist.
c. 71, f. 171 v..
Wrote b. Longoval, who left Valladolid on the 11th March, but as the vessel in which that messenger went met with a furious tempest at sea, he was obliged to return to port again. As Mons. de Prat (Praet), who was on board, would not trust to the sea again, but decided, with the Emperor's consent, to take a land route, the despatches were forwarded through Longoval by sea. Hopes that they have reached their destination, although there is nothing conclusive in them as regards the promised succours, the Emperor being unwilling to take a final resolution thereupon until he hears of the arrival of Don Antonio de Mendoça, and what that ambassador has been able to accomplish after receipt of his instructions.
Count Hortenburg has forwarded to him (Salinas) from England certain despatches of His Highness, to which full answer has been sent through Mons. de Praet and Madame Marguerite.
Has since sent to Portugal a gentleman named Sancho Bravo, to compliment the King and Queen in His Highness' name.
Chancellor Gattinara left this town (Valladolid) on the 28th of March, on a pilgrimage to Monserrat. Whether he will return here or not, is more than he (Salinas) can say; but if he does, it will certainly not be to the favour of the Emperor, who is not likely to receive him again, unless somebody interferes in his behalf. All business is now being transacted in the Council of State by Count Nasaot (Nassau), the Confessor (Loaysa), Don Johan Manuel, Laxao (Lachaulx), and Secretary Juan Aleman (Lallemand); the rest of the councillors are dispensed (escusados) from attending the deliberations.—Valladolid, 21st April 1527.
Addressed: "To the King [of Bohemia], my Lord."
Spanish. Original draft, pp. 2.
21 April. 52. The Emperor to the Abbot of Najera.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 336.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 155.
The King, &c. We have duly received your letter of the 18th February, brought by Colonel Filippe (sic) de Herrera, from whom, as well as from the contents of the said letter, we have perfectly understood the present state of affairs in Italy. We thank you for your exertions, and have no doubt that you will continue to serve us with the same zeal and devotion as hitherto.
After Easter it is our intention to remit to Mons, de Bourbon a good sum of money, that he may provide for the wants of our army. Let us hear of its doings as often as possible.
Our negotiations here with the deputies of the Cortes, to obtain a subsidy from them, go on very favourably, as you will see by the enclosed memorandum. .Fiat prout in ea," &c.— Valladolid, 21st April 1527.
Addressed: "Lupi Sorie." (fn. n1)
Spanish. Original draft. 1.
24 April. 53. Alonso Sanchez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 341.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 156.
Wrote on the 18th inst. (fn. n2) What has since happened His Imperial Majesty must have heard from Mons. de Bourbon and others; As the Imperial soldiers insisted upon continuing their march, and had on the 18th advanced as far as Piede di St. Esteban, the Viceroy was obliged to leave Florence. On his way to Bourbon's camp he was attacked by peasants (villanos), and as he had no escort with him (yba horro y con muy poca gente), was in great risk of being murdered by his assailants, who were in large numbers. He owed his safety solely to the swiftness of his steed. The Pope's chamberlain, who accompanied him, was wounded in the affray. (Cipher:) Has been told for certain that this Doge (Andrea Gritti) has received information that certain letters of Mons. de Bourbon had been intercepted, showing that there was secret intelligence between him and the Viceroy as to the march of the Imperialists. The latter was also with the army, and there was no longer question of France or of an armistice; (fn. n3) on the contrary, orders had been given for the 80,000 cr. which had actually been forwarded from Florence to Bourbon's camp, that he might begin the payment of his troops, to be brought back to that city, since all hopes of an armistice had vanished, and the Imperial army was pushing on. The Pope and the Florentines had earnestly requested the Signory to order the advance of their troops, a thing of which they have hitherto been afraid, less the armistice should be concluded, and they left alone. Their answer is that if His Holiness pledges his word not to make peace with the Emperor, and to send his army against the kingdom of Naples, they will help with all their forces. The Florentines also sent a message on the 21st to say that Bourbon is advancing, and that they are terribly afraid of his troops. It is not certain whether the Signory will send them any assistance, but he (Sanchez) rather thinks they will, in order to cause a diversion, and prevent the Imperialists from invading their territory, which is the thing they most dread.
(Common writing:) According to intelligence received from the Court of France, and which this Signory has published, the Kings of France and England were soon to meet on the confines of their respective dominions in order to hold a conference and settle about the marriage, which was to take place under these conditions: One year's time was to be allowed before the King of France should take Princess Mary [of England] for his wife; but if, in the meantime, peace was made, the King of France was to marry Doña Leonor (Eleonor), the Emperor's sister, and his second son [the Duke of Orleans] the Princess. Both Kings, it was added, were about to send their ambassadors to Spain to lay this before the Emperor.
(Cipher:) Hears that the King of France proposes sending an army of 15,000 men here, and intends Venice to keep the same number. A native of Ferrara, who has long resided in France, where he has married, has lately come to Venice. He (Sanchez) suspects that he brings a mission from that King to the Signory.
(Common writing:) Encloses copies of letters from Don Antonio de Mendoza, and one from the Secretary of the King of Hungary and Bohemia.
(Cipher:) The Grand Turk (Solyman) has presented the Signory with 500 weight of calmitra (saltpetre), which they wanted for the manufacture of gunpowder, as they cannot at the present time take any out of Pulla (Puglia). It came in a vessel from Constantinople. They say also that the Turk has placed at the disposal of this Signory his treasurer and his armies, and anything else that may be wanted. (Common wanting:) Notwithsanding all this, his (Sanchez's)information, derived from merchants and others living in Turkey, is that the Sultan is making no preparations to invade us this year. Cannot say whether these people will incite him to do so for the next.
(Cipher:) Has been told that in the last pregay or consilio rogatorum, which was held yesterday, the 23rd, it was decided that their army should march to the assistance of Florence, and of Rome also if required.—Venice, 24th April 1527.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "Sacre Cese. Cathce. Mti."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp. 6.
25 April. 54. Charles de Lannoy to Lope de Soria.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 346.
M. Add. 28,576,
f. 159.
Wrote from Florence, (fn. n4) informing him of the object of his journey thither. Went afterwards to Bourbon s camp with no small risk to his person, having been attacked in the way by the peasants (villanos). Was not more fortunate at the camp. Found the Duke and the rest of the Imperial captains veiy willing to go back and fulfil the terms of the agreement entered into with His Holiness, but money was wanting, and the soldiers seemed determined not to obey that general's orders, and refused to march on. Agreed that he and Mons, de Bourbon together should sign a letter to the Pope, asking him to provide with the Florentines the money required for the payment of the Imperial troops. Signed the letter, and came again to Florence to wait for the Pope's answer. Left the Imperial army encamped close to Rezo (Reggio).
Just arrived in Sienna. As soon as this letter reaches Genoa, you will issue orders for the vessel (fusta) which came lately from Spain with the mails, to be got ready for sea, as well as a good brigantine and two frigates, all well armed and stored with provisions, their crews paid for two months. They are to sail immediately for this Siennese coast and enter the river Grosseto, close to Salamon. When there, let them send a messenger informing me of their arrival Andrea Spinola is still with me. Will send him back soon with a long letter, &c.—Sienna, 25th April 1527.
Indorsed: "Copy of the Viceroy's letter to Lope de Soria."
Spanish, pp. 2.
25 April.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hofu. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 224, No. 16.
55. Don Iñigo de Mendoça, Imperial Ambassador in England, to the Emperor.
[Cipher:] Has written both by sea and land of what has passed here up to this date, and especially of the great pressure that has and is still being put upon him to declare in the Emperor's name the conditions of peace. Has been told that unless he acts at once upon his instructions, they (the King and Legate) shall consider that the Emperor withdraws altogether from the negotiations, in which case they will act as seems best to them. Was given clearly to understand that the French ambassadors, then just reaching the shores of England, brought such terms that unless the Emperor would trust in them, and consent to have the general peace negotiated and concluded here (in England), they would only look to their own convenience.
Things being in this critical state, Mendoça felt that after having kept them waiting 40 days for the instructions which Chateau brought at last, and subsequently 20 more days for the arrival of the lawyer whom Madame was to send, but who never came, any attempt to delay further might cause an open rupture, and that it was wiser—since the lawyer does not come—to enter at once upon the negotiations in pursuance of the Emperor's mandate, which directs him (Mendoça), the powers having been shown and ratification promised, and the opposite party first stating their conditions, to declare forthwith the Emperor's pleasure.
Accordingly, having found upon examination that the powers of the French ambassador here were quite correct, that ratification had been pledged, and that the opposite party had already come forward with two proposals, saw that the declaration could no longer be postponed. Did not, however, as he wrote at the time, declare his terms before the opposite party, but only under oath of secrecy to the King and Legate. Knows well that the Emperor's orders were, that should the aforesaid conditions of ratification, &c., be kept, he (Mendoça) should openly make his statement before the parties; but thought it even then more advantageous for the negotiations to withhold his declaration from the French ambassadors as by communicating to the King and Legate what was purposely concealed from the others, greater confidence was shown in them. Went no further than stating to the King and Legate that if the French ambassadors would engage to advance a little (un punto mas adelante) upon the terms offered by their master to the Viceroy of Naples, he (Mendoça) had no objection to begin the negotiations at once.
Wrote also to advise His Majesty that the new French embassy had arrived in London, and brought fresh powers from their master, the King, which powers were shown to him (Mendoça) by the Legate. (fn. n5) They contained two clauses: one implying that the consent of the Venetians should be considered essential to this peace, and the other that the King of England should be paid all that is owing to him. To the former of these conditions—the consent of Venice to peace being made here in England—there was no objection at all, as the ambassador of the Signory (Venier) had been duly empowered to give it. As to the latter, though he (Mendoça) represented to the Cardinal how much the Emperor would be hurt to see such a clause in his enemy's powers, he could not press the point very hard, lest they should suspect that he was trying to gain further delay in the payment. It was therefore agreed that the powers should remain as they were, ratification was solemnly promised, and the King of England undertook to answer (fn. n6) for all parties.
Wrote also at the time that, though from the Emperor's letters it could be inferred that the sum offered by the King of France to the Viceroy amounted to two millions of gold, yet he (Mendoça) thought it advisable to give the above vague answer, partly because the specification of these engagements, though often promised, had not come from Spain, and partly because, by giving an evasive answer, a course might be left open for the Emperor to declare the nature and amount of the said engagements whenever he found it most suitable to his interests. Told, therefore, the King and Cardinal that in truth he was not aware whether any cession of territory had been stipulated, or what was the amount of money to be paid by those engagements. Should there be any the Emperor would write all particulars to whomsoever should be appointed to receive his answer.
Mentioned also in his letter the answer which the Legate and the King himself stated to have been given to the French ambassadors when pressed by them to renew their old friendship and alliance by means of a marriage. The answer, as the Legate informed him, was that no new treaty between the Kings of England and France could in any way be allowed to interfere with former alliances, thus giving the French ambassadors clearly to understand that no offensive alliance against the Emperor was meant. This statement being one of great importance, he (Mendoça) took care to have it confirmed by the King himself.
The ambassador, moreover, failed not at the time to express his opinion respecting the said answer to the French. Either these latter had not offered such favourable terms as these people expected, or else the King is affecting less partiality for the French, in the hope of inducing the Emperor to place the negotiations entirely in his hands.
Called the Emperor's attention also to the great change that, if his words are to be relied upon, had come over the Legate as regards him. Hitherto he would listen to no offers made in the Emperor's name; but recently, when he (Mendoça) was expressing the Emperor's regret that he would not accept any fresh pensions from him, the Legate replied that he did not positively refuse them, only that he delayed their acceptance till after the conclusion of peace, that he might be entirely free to work as should seem best for the service of God and Christendom at large. Reported also that the King of England had told him (Mendoça) that the only difficulty in the settlement of general peace lay in two points: one was the Duchy of Milan; the other the delivery of the hostages. As regarded the Duchy of Milan, were it placed in his hands, he (the King) would take good care that it should be disposed of as the Emperor wished. He himself should be more pleased if it were bestowed on the Duke of Bourbon, who was his own relative, (fn. n7) rather than on the Duke Francesco [Sforza], with whom he had no connexion at all; but should the Emperor wish, contrary to his expectations, that the Duchy should be restored to the Duke Francesco, then in that case a pension of upwards of a hundred thousand ducats should be paid to the Emperor, and another of thirty or forty thousand settled on M. de Bourbon. Did not consider this at all feasible, but was desired by the Legate to advise the Emperor thereof, as he did at the time, as well as of another proposal, which was that the Pope should at the conclusion of the peace give 200,000 ducats in aid of the expenses of the Imperial armies in Italy. With regard to the delivery of the hostages, the King would see that the ransom was fixed at two millions, on condition that certain articles in the treaty of Madrid should be altered. Told the Legate in reply that it seemed to him (Mendoça) an unlikely step towards peace, to start a grievance respecting articles so just and reasonable and so easy of fulfilment as those of the treaty of Madrid.
The above is a summary of the contents of Mendoça's letters forwarded by the Emperor's comptroller (contrarolor) and by a herald sent by this King [to Spain], whose return is shortly expected. Until his arrival with the Emperor's answer no change is likely to be made either in the overtures of these French ambassadors, or in this King's determination, unless indeed their suspicions should be aroused by some new attempt at delay. Has gained but little information respecting the articles that have been proposed; those who could give it him keep aloof and will not say one word about it, not being sufficiently remunerated (pagados) by the Emperor, and consequently more reticent with him than with any other foreign ambassador. What he (Mendoça) can say for certain is that frequent disagreement exists among the [French] ambassadors themselves, who are the same as those mentioned in his letter of the 18th of March; only that, having as they have the King of France near at hand with his Council of State, their differences are soon reconciled.
Since the news came that the Emperor would not come to an agreement with the King of France, his ambassadors have been very assiduous with the Legate (aprietanse con el Legado quanto mas pueden). This determination of the French to form an alliance here as best they can, being a hindrance to the negotiations for general peace, it might be as well that the latter should be concluded in Spain, and not be exposed to interruption at this crisis.
There is a report that the King of England asks in return for his daughter (en recompensa de su hija) the countries of Boulogne, (fn. n8) Montreuil, and Abbeville. It is hardly credible that these countries will be given up, although the King of France is becoming daily in greater need of the English alliance, being already forsaken by the Emperor, by the Pope on account of the truce (which is firmly credited here), and perhaps also by the Venetians. Some days it seems as if everything was settled between them, others quite the reverse. Quite recently the French ambassadors went to Richmond, where the Princess is at present residing, to pay their respects to her, but it appears that the Queen, who is also there, would not allow her to appear, alleging that' she was indisposed, and so the ambassadors had to return without seeing the Princess, much to their disappointment.
The King of England and Legate are daily expecting, as His Majesty has already been informed, the specification of the engagements entered into with the Viceroy, and of the terms which he (the Emperor) demands. Although the opposite party have opened the way by stating their terms and presenting their powers, and although the King of England has fairly promised to have the powers renewed to the satisfaction of all parties, and ratify all that shall be concluded at this court, yet he (Mendoça) suspects that notwithstanding all their fine words, should his answer not be such as they confidently hope, namely, that peace shall be concluded here [in England], the two Kings will form a closer alliance than they have yet done, and the delivery of the sons of France will be demanded in the name of the King of England. As to the Princess' marriage, though she may be promised to the King of France, believes that the real scheme is to have her married, if possible, to the Dauphin, and that is the reason why they are trying to have some of the articles of the Madrid Convention altered as much on their own account as on that of others.
Has heard since writing the above that the King and Legate are much troubled about this [Italian] truce, and have expressed to the Nuncio their regret that the Pope should have made it without seeking their advice and consent first. For though in the treaty, which they are now drawing up with the King of France, it would be no disadvantage to them to see the King reduced to still greater straits, yet as it is not probable that he will thereby be led to offer the Emperor fairer conditions than he has already done, they do not wish to see him forsaken by the Pope at the present time. On the other hand, it is also rumoured that the King of France agrees to grant all their demands, and if so, it is to be feared that the English will not let this opportunity of gaining his alliance slip out of their hands. Nothing is signed as yet, but he (Mendoça) is sure that before these ambassadors return to France the treaty will be concluded.
It is said that some person of higher rank (fn. n9) than these present ambassadors is to come over [from France] for this betrothal. The ambassadors on their second visit saw the Princess, which they had not done before. They were received by the King in a manner which seemed to indicate that the treaty with France was prospering, or at least that he (the King) wished it so to be believed. Thinks they only wait for the Emperor's answer to bring matters to a close one way or the other; and that if any further delay should render them suspicious, they will—lest the opportunity should be lost—conclude the treaty at once.
Some English merchants, in consequence of the many reports of this marriage now in circulation, have been to Flanders for the purpose of collecting the goods they had there and bringing them hither to this country. They assert that one of the members of the Privy Council told them that there would be war between this kingdom and Flanders. Cannot discover any foundation for such a report at the present moment.
In the event of this new alliance by marriage leading to the formation of an offensive one against the Emperor, he (Mendoça) thinks it advisable to propose a marriage between the King of Scotland and the dowager Queen of Hungary [the Emperor's younger sister]. In his (Mendoça's) opinion two advantages might thereby be gained; either the King would at once show a decided preference for a Scotch rather than for a French alliance—as all wise people amongst his subjects advise—or, if he did not actually try to prevent the marriage, it would give the Emperor just such a check over this King as he formerly had over the King of France. (fn. n10)
Little else remains to be said. He (Mendoça) considers it certain that a treaty will be concluded speedily between the two Kings. Thinks, however, the fulfilment of their mutual engagements rather problematic, the King of England desiring that Boulogne should be given up to him immediately, and the King of France wishing that the Princess should be first betrothed to his son. Thinks it will be difficult for either side to place any trust in the other. The Legate is no doubt afraid that in consequence of this [Italian] truce the Emperor will raise his demands. Perceiving that the King, his master, is not sufficiently strong to take up alone the cause of France, and that the King of France, being made aware of this, may one of these days come to a separate agreement with the Emperor, as the Pope has lately done, he (the Legate) is terribly afraid of being left on one side. This preoccupies him so much that, as people say, he has had no peace ever since the news was received [in London], and the indisposition he is now suffering from has no other cause. (fn. n11)
Count Salamanca and two more ambassadors (fn. n12) who came the other day from Bohemia have left They were told in reference to their commission that the King of England could not assist them at present until this peace was concluded, but that his ambassadors at the Archduke's Court would convey his final resolution. Should the King of Bohemia in the meantime do his best for the promotion of general peace with the Emperor, he would find the King of England disposed to favour and help any undertaking against the Turks. Thinks the King of Bohemia will send an ambassador to Spain for this purpose, and it is added that the Legate has also written making the same request of the Pope, that their ambassadors together may entreat (suplicar) the Emperor to conclude this peace.—London, the 25th of April 1527.
Signed: "Don Iñygo de Mendoça."
Spanish. Original entirely in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet, pp. 8.


  • n1. Evidently a mistake of the clerk who drew out the minute, since the letter was addressed to the Abbot of Najera, in answer to one of his of the 18th February. (See No. 27, p. 69.) The order in Latin, Fiat prout m ca, in Secretary's hand, was no doubt intended as a memorandum for the clerk to insert the act of the Cortes in reference to the grant, &c. Similar circular letters were addressed to Soria at Genoa, and Perez at Rome.
  • n2. As this letter of the 18th is not in the volume, it is to be presumed that it was intercepted,
  • n3. "Que no havia ya mas Francia ni platicas de assientos."
  • n4. See No. 49, p. 147.
  • n5. "Y aviendo ya los contrarios hecho primero dos ofertas y abierturas." This last word abierturas is meant for the French "ouvertures."
  • n6. "Quedó que traerian los poderes como quisiesen, y que se ratificaria todo lo que se asentasse, y que el mismo Rey respondiese por todas las partes."
  • n7. "Aunque yo se lo heché muy de fuera."
  • n8. The original deciphering has "Colonia, Montruel, y Habavilla," but Bolonia (Boulogne-sur-Mer) must be meant.
  • n9. Anne de Montmorency, Grand Master of France.
  • n10. "O a lo menos tendria alli Vuestra Magestad a quien le retruxiere qnando se pusiese en algo, como hazia al rey de Francia en los tiempos passados."
  • n11. "Y assi por esto como parecerle que su Key no basta solo para levanter el partido del rey de Francia, teme qne no aga con Vuestra Magestad lo quell Papa, que es viendose apretado hazer su apuntamiento. Hasele todo esto tanto assentado en el estomago que dize el vulgo que esta mala dispusicion que al presente tiene fué de la dicha nueva."
  • n12. They had audience of Henry at Greenwich on the 14th, when one of them, John Faber, is said to have delivered a public oration after the German fashion. See Rawdon Brown, Venetian State Papers, vol. iv., p. 39.