Spain: September 1527, 1-5

Pages 359-373

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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September 1527, 1-5

1 Sept. 179. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41.
B. M. Add. 28, 576,
f. 305.
Wrote on the 16th inst. by way of Gaeta. All here are very anxious to near from His Imperial Majesty, especially the Pope, who wishes to know as soon as possible what his destination and that of the cardinals is to be. As the last brigantine from Spain brought no despatches for us, His Holiness, on the 28th ulto., sent one of his own chamberlains to Genoa, to obtain news, if possible. His return is anxiously expected. Meanwhile the Germans are urging the Pope's removal from Rome, but they demand first from the Viceroy security for the payment of the 250,000 ducats, and also of the remainder of the 150,000, which they and the Spaniards were to receive here, and have not yet been paid in full. This is entirely owing to the merchants who contracted having failed in their engagements, from the two following reasons. The first because the 20,000 which the Viceroy offered to advance on Benevento (sobre Benavente) are not forthcoming, and the second because the country is so exhausted and ruined, and so cruelly ravaged by the plague, that no one merchant can be found to be answerable for another, &c.
(Cipher:) Alarcon told him (Perez) the other day that the Pope was talking of going to Spain in person, but he (Alarcon) does not believe that he will undertake the journey, principally for want of money to defray the expenses.
(Common writing:) The deputies (electos) of the Germans and Spaniards have unanimously agreed that the appointment of Cardinal Farnese as Legate ought to be revoked, and that the Datary, who is also Bishop of Verona, should go in his stead, accompanied by the Archbishop of Capua and by Don Ugo. The Viceroy, accordingly, has been written to for a permission for the said Datary to proceed on his mission and go first to the kingdom of Naples. It is expected that he will send it soon. (Cipher:) The Pope affects regret at this revocation of his Legate, principally because he wishes to please Farnese and the rest of the cardinals, but secretly he is rejoiced at it.
(Cipher:) Letters from Venice of the 25th and 28th give as certain the speedy arrival of Lautrec at the head of 800 lances and 30,000 men, of whom 12,000 are Swiss. One half of the whole force to be paid by the King of England.
Governor of Milan, &c
(Common writing:) Venetians are arming a number of galleys to capture any ships laden with wheat coming from Sicily.
The Bolognese are trying to establish a republic. The other day they refused Count Guido Rangone and Count Gayaço a passage through their territory.
The confederates the other day passed muster of their army, when it was found that in Lombardy alone, without counting the detachments they have about here, they number 9,000 infantry. It is rumoured that the Duke Francesco Sforza intends coming out (salir) and laying waste the corn (á talar los panes); but Antonio de Leyva is on the alert, and will not allow him to do mischief.
A conspiracy, they say, has been discovered at Sienna. Some of the citizens, among them 24 members of the Government, were in treaty with the army of the League and the Florentines for them to send a force, when one of the city gates would be delivered to them by the conspirators. This treasonable plot being discovered, the alarm was sounded, and some of the criminals, some say eight, others fourteen, were massacred by the mob. The remainder took flight, and among them a very rich citizen, whose fortune, which has since been confiscated, amounted to 150,000 ducats. It appears that the conspirators, in order the better to ensure success, had dexterously circulated through the city the rumour that the Imperial army was soon to go to Sienna, and sack that place as they did Rome.
The Germans have made up their mind to allow the Pope to leave Rome, but on no-account is he to go to Gaeta. What the reason may be for this determination, he (Perez) cannot guess, or where they want him to go, for certainly the plague is making ravages in almost every district of the kingdom of Naples.
Encloses for Secretary [Alfonso] de Valdés the brief commanding the Archbishop of Seville (Manrique) to impose silence, under pain of excommunication, on those who my speak or write against Erasmus, and his refutation of the Lutheran doctrines.
The tribute of Naples was not given to the Pope on St. James' day, as arranged. The ceremony is to be put off until the 15th of August. (fn. n1)
There is a belief here that in the last brigantine which came to Genoa some personage arrived, sent by the Emperor. His informer tells him that on the day of its arrival great rejoicings took place at Genoa, and salvos of artillery were fired, and that on the 13th the Doge (Antoniotto Adorno) and his Grand Chancellor held a conference on board with the said personage, which lasted till the afternoon, and that he is expected at Rome from hour to hour. Some even go as far as to say that the said personage is no other than the Emperor's High Chancellor [Mercurino de Gattinara].
The Prince of Orange, they say, is gone to Sienna, there to wait for the Emperor's instructions and orders. He has quite recovered from his wound.
The Marquis and Bishop of Astorga are still at Civittà Vecchia, and write to say that within this very week they intend coming to Rome and kissing His Holiness' feet, and then going back to embark for Spain, after calling on the Viceroy. Commander Mayorga has assured him on his oath that his object in coming is not to solicit the Pope about his marriage, as he no longer thinks about it, but merely to present his dutiful respects to him. Should he act differently, the Pope knows what the Emperor's wishes are on this particular.—Rome, 1st September 1527.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: "Sacmæ. Cæsræ. Majti."
Spanish, Holograph partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on the margins, pp. 5.
1 Sept. 180. The Same to the Same.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
C. 71, f. 184.
After the despatch of the 31st of August was closed a courier arrived from Genoa. Chancellor Gattinara has landed at Barcelona, and writes that he will soon reappear at Court. It is reported that the cause of his speedy return is the one mentioned in his (Gattinara's) last letter. When he landed at Genoa he found it impossible to proceed on his journey, owing to the French having occupied all the passes in Piedmont. Then the enemy invested Genoa with 24 of their galleys, and the Chancellor not considering himself secure within the place, determined to risk another sea voyage and return to Spain. There is much gossiping at court about this sudden resolution of the Chancellor, as well as the reception he is likely to meet with. Some courtiers imagine that he will never again enjoy the Emperor's favour, and all condemn his versatile humour, &c. He (Salinas) is of the same opinion. If he returns to office he is sure to follow his old practices, but be has lost so much of his credit with the Emperor that he will not be able to do much harm. This notwithstanding we would rather have him at a distance than here at Court. —Palencia, 1st September 1527.
Addressed: "To the King."
Spanish. Original draft, .. 1.
1 Sept. 181. Erasmus of Rotterdam to Mercurino di Gattinara.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
C. de E. y otras,
f. 11.
Predicts greater tumults and disturbances after the suppression of the Lutheran heresy [than before]; they will be raised by the partisans of discord and enemies of learning. (fn. n2) — Basilea (Basle), 1st September, anno 1527.
Latin. Holograph. (fn. n2)
2 Sept. 182. Count Burrello to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41.
f. 165.
The Imperial despatch of the 1st of July has come to hand. Is very thankful for the expressions of approval of his services therein contained.
As the Viceroy (Lannoy) must have fully informed the Emperor of the measures he is taking for the preservation of this kingdom, as well as of his negotiations with the Pope, the loss of Genoa, the maritime preparations of the confederates, and even of those of the Turks, the imminent danger of Milan, and the refusal of the Duke of Ferrara to accept the appointment with which the Emperor has been pleased to honour him, the Count need not enter into more particulars.
Has forwarded to his father, the Viceroy [of Sicily], the despatch that came for him. He is sure to be on the alert, and make every preparation to meet the enemy should they attempt to land on the coast.—Gaeta, 2nd September 1527.
Signed: "El Conde de Burrello."
Addressed: "Sacratissimæ Cesareæ et Catholicæ Majestati."
Indorsed; "To His Majesty. From Count Burrello, 2nd September.'
Spanish. Original, pp. 1½.
2 Sept. 183. News-letter from Hungary.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41.
f. 99.
The Vayvod is flying towards Tockay with scarcely one thousand of his followers left, without hope of assistance from any quarter, for the Turk, who he says is always ready to help him, cannot do it now, being engaged in war with the Sophi of Persia, who has defeated him in several encounters and slain some of his best captains. That is the reason why he has taken up the artillery he had at "Peterwardein et Flack" (sic).
The Lord of Moldavia behaves friendly towards His Royal Majesty. The Valachian (Valachus), he writes, will not come to the assistance of Count Joan [Zapolsky?]. His Majesty, however, is sending Nicolas de Salm, the elder, with all the light horse and a considerable body of infantry, eavalry, and very fine artillery (cum egregia artelleria) in the direction of Tockay, to follow up the Vayvod. The rest of the royal army is here. The Diet is announced for St. Michael's day.— Buda, 2nd September 1527.
Latin Contemporary copy. 1.
2 Sept. 184. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41.
B. M. Add. 28, 576,
f. 333.
Wrote on the 18th by a messenger of the Marquis del Guasto, and enclosed a letter from Alarcon, reporting on general affairs up to that day. Since then the Germans have sent here about 100 horsemen of their nation, threatening that unless they were paid within six days they would all desert the Imperial banners, and take service with the enemy, as they were indignant that no notice whatever was taken of their claims, and nobody came near them to speak in the Emperor's name. Seeing their determination, the Marquis [Hernando de Alarcon] (fn. n3) decided to repair to their camp, having first applied for a safe-conduct to go and return at will. The deputation departed, and the safe-conduct was granted in due form for the whole of August. Meanwhile Alarcon wrote to Lannoy informing him of the German claims, and asking for money, or else for sufficient powers to make a settlement and fix the dates of payment. The Viceroy authorised him to promise in his name that they should be paid within three months, out of the 250,000 ducats which the Pope is to give; that he would send 10,000 ducats in specie to issue one half pay, and that the remaining half would be issued 30 days after date. With this assurance, and the sum of 25,000 ducats in cash, as complement of the 100,000 promised on a former occasion, the Marquis left Sanct Angelo on the 28th ulto., and took the road to the German camp with strong hopes of persuading them to march on Lombardy. As to the Spaniards he has no doubt that they will, because they have already received the whole of the 50,000 ducats, their allotted share. The Marquis has not yet returned from the camp. If he does before closing this letter, he (Perez) will not fail to inform His Imperial Majesty of the result of the negotiation.
The threat of these Germans to go and serve another Lord makes us suspect that they may possibly be in treaty with the French and the rest of the confederates, the more so that when the last deputation came to Rome, some of its members were heard to say that unless they were immediately paid all arrears up to the present day they would come to Rome, seize the Pope and the cardinals, and take them away wherever they went. Some of the Germans went so far as to say that they would set fire to this city. This last threat, however, they could not execute if they wished, for it is not likely that the Spaniards would consent to it, nor would Alarcon easily surrender to thorn the Pope's person, unless the whole of the Imperial army, Germans an well as Spaniards and Italians, were perfectly agreed on that point, which is not likely to be the case.
Juan Antonio Muxetula, after holding several conferences with His Holiness in the presence of Alarcon, left for Naples the other day and has not yet returned (cipher:) with the Viceroy's answer. It would appear that he (the Pope) is unwilling to take engagements as to the payment of the 250,000 ducats, unless negotiations about his own liberation commence at the same time. Should his wish be complied with, he offers to give as security all the fortresses that remain in his hands (todas las fortalezas que toviese) and several rich people as hostages. He will besides create cardinalsl at the Emperor's pleasure, and bind himself to pay 200,000 ducats at a month's date. Such is the nature of the message taken by the said Joan Antonio [Muxetula]. No one knows what the Viceroy's answer will be, but no decisive step can possibly be taken until an arrangement be made with these Germans. Apparently His Holiness is very much afraid of their taking him out of Rome. Others think that he would be rather glad of such violence being executed on his person, as it would necessarily result in discredit and shame to His Imperial Majesty. Some even believe that the Germans and he understand each other on that score.
(Common writing:) Some days ago one of the Prince of Orange's retainers, named Captain Antonio [de Udena], came here. He had first been to Ferrara on a message from his master to the Duke, and brings letters from the latter tor the Marquis del Guasto and Alarcon. (Cipher:) (fn. n4) He says in substance that if the Imperial army does not immediately march on Lombardy, he (the Duke) will act as best suits his own personal interests; if, on the contrary, the army moves on, he is ready to help and assist to the utmost of his power. In neither case, however, does he intend accepting the appointment of commander-in-chief of the forces, as he thinks that he can better serve the Imperial cause elsewhere.
On the receipt of this message the Marquis and Alarcon wrote to the Duke, informing him at length of the causes which had hitherto prevented the march of the army, and giving hopes that in a few days they would set out for Lombardy. To the Prince of Orange, who is still at Sienna, another letter was written, requesting him to hold himself in readiness to join the army on its passage through that city. Whether he will attend or not to the wish of these captains (Guasto and Alarcon) is more than the Secretary can say, for people suspect he (the Pope) is secretly inducing his Germans to make the preposterous demand of having the Pope and the cardinals delivered to them. Captain Antonio was the bearer of both letters to the Duke and to the Prince.
(Common writing:) Has already announced in former despatches that, on the demise of the Archbishop of Cosencia and of the Bishop of Huesca, the Pope had appointed to the vacant sees Cardinals Gaddi and Campeggio, and also conferred the vacant abbacy of Monte Aragon on Cardinal Cesarino, notwithstanding the Emperor's presentation of Don Pedro de Urrias.
The Marquis and Bishop of Astorga were to have come here, had not the former caught the ague. Hears that the bulls of the Marquis have been granted in the form described in his (Perez's) despatch of the 18th ult.
Hears that in the last conference which Alarcon and Muxetula held with His Holiness respecting his liberation, perceiving that both pressed him to give proper security for the 250,000 ducats which he has promised to pay, he (the Pope) exclaimed with tears in his eyes, "For God's sake do not oblige me to do a thing that may be known throughout the world, and remain for ever engraved in the memory of man. Such is my misfortune and my poverty that the three barefooted friars who are with me could not get their daily food unless they borrowed money from charitable persons. I leave it to you and to your conscience whether such a treatment is worthy of an Emperor." (fn. n5)
Believes that Alarcon has forwarded the copy of a bull which His Holiness has newly issued, prescribing the form and manner of election in case he (the Pope) should die; the substance of it is that the cardinals are to meet at Bologna, Mantua, or Ancona, to elect the new Pope. Should Clement VII. die out of Italy, the election to take place at Rome. In short those who have seen the original bull find that there is nothing in it detrimental to the Emperor or to any one else; but they say that in the event of the Pope not recovering his liberty, another bull is in store, excommunicating all those who keep him in confinement, and placing the whole of Christendom under interdict.
With regard to the annual tribute (censo) of the kingdom of Naples matters remain as they were. His Holiness has just prorogued the term until the 20th inst., and the Viceroy accordingly has undertaken to pay into the hands of his agents (hazedores) 14,000 ducats, which is the amount due for two years. There is no difficulty about this, but the Pope wants 1,000 more for the white steed (hacanea), and the Viceroy will only grant them on condition of their being discounted from the sums which are owing to us; whereas His Holiness asks for ready money, on the plea that he needs it for his daily maintenance.
Knight Commander Aguilera died on the 18th.
On Sunday, the 1st inst., the Marquis del Guasto, who had gone to the German camp to treat with the mutineers, returned. He found them determined to be paid in full. If so, they were ready to go wherever they were told. If not paid, they would take service with another master. So obstinate were they on this point, that the Marquis, after a good deal of persuasion, could only obtain from them the promise of waiting where they were one week more. The Marquis on his return to Rome found 10,000 ducats just arrived from Gaeta, they were immediately forwarded to the German camp. In addition to this a messenger was at once despatched to the Viceroy, informing him of the state of affairs, and begging him to procure at least 30,000 more for two payments, as the Marquis believes that with these two and the remainder that is owing to them out of the 100,000 ducats they will be satisfied and obey orders, (cipher:) though he suspects that the Germans have entered into an agreement with the League to desert the Imperial banners on a given day, unless speedily paid their arrears.
(Common writing:) Hears whilst writing the above that the Marquis has left for Gaeta to hold a conference with the Viceroy, acquaint him with the state of things, and beg he will come to Rome to settle pending affairs, and assume the command of the Imperial army, (cipher:) as otherwise everything is lost. News has come that the French army is coming this way, and that their fleet is also to join the Venetian. It might after all be preferable that the confederates come from Lombardy than that our troops go that way, for surely if the Imperialists meet them on the road, they can easily cut off their supplies of provisions through a country already much exhausted by war.—Rome 2nd September 1527.
Signed "Perez."
Addressed: "Sacratissimæ Cesareæ et Catholics Majestati."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1527. From Secretary Perez. 12th September.
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp. 4½.
3 Sept. 185. Lope de Soria to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41.
f. 167.
The Doge and he (Soria) are on their way to La Mirandola. Thence he (Soria) intend, joining the Imperial army which according to a letter received from the Prince of Orange, dated Sienna, the 22nd ult., must already be on its way to Lombardy.
Recommends Agostino Espindola, late governor of Genoa, and his brother Stefano Espindola del Borgo, who did their duty well on a late occasion.—Santo Stefano, 3rd September 1527.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty"
Indorsed: "To the King. 1527. From Santo Estefano. Lope de Soria. 3rd September."
Spanish. Original, .. 1.
3 Sept.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41.
f. 171.
186. Antonio de Leyva to the Lord of Monaco [Agostino Grimaldo].
Will not record the loss of Genoa, as the news must already have reached him. It was mostly the Doge's fault. He (Leyva) still holds Alessandria, Pavia, Milan, and Como, every one of which cities, as well as the castles of Lecco, Trezzo, and Pizaighitone in Lombardy, he can without doubt successfully defend against the enemy. The French are still encamped in front of Alessandria, but hitherto have not attacked it. Should they make an attempt, they are sure to be defeated, as Count Lodrone is inside and succours of men and supplies have reached that place in spite of the enemy. Pavia is well defended by a competent garrison of Spaniards, and Milan has been strengthened in such a way that were all France to come down they could not take it. The Imperial army is daily expected from Rome. Letters of the Duke of Ferrara and of Captain Zorzo, (fn. n6) of the 27th ulto., announce that the Viceroy, the Marquis del Guasto, and Don Ugo de Moncada had held a council, in which it had been resolved immediately to march this way.
The enclosed (fn. n7) despatches for the Emperor are to be forwarded to Barcelona as soon as possible. Begs that a vessel be fitted out without any loss of time, and that any letters coming for him should be sent forthwith.—Milan, 3rd September 1527.
Indorsed: "Copy of letter from Antonio de Leyva to the Lord of Monago."
4 Sept. 187. The Same to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41.
f. 172.
B. M. Add. 28, 576,
f. 338.
His last was dated the 7th ulto (fn. n8) Since then on the 29th, Mons. de Lautrech approached a fortress called Castellazzo, in the territory of Alessandria, where Count Baptista Lodron had posted two companies of his Germans to escort certain supplies destined for that city, and without which the Imperial garrison could not subsist. The two companies had orders to retreat to Alessandria as soon as the enemy came in sight. They would have had plenty of time for this, had not one of their captains, Bultistan? by name, who being, as has since been ascertained, on bad terms with another captain of his nation, named Maximiano, then at Alessandria, preferred taking another route, and retreating to a small village called El Bosque (II Boscho), which, though it appeared to him strong, was not so in reality. Lautrech came up and besieged the place for 18 consecutive days, during which he made various assaults, opened mines, &c., until at last the Germans, for want of water, were obliged to surrender on condition of their being allowed to go home. Some Italian and Spanish horsemen who were with them were despoiled of everything they had, and suffered to return to Alessandria. The Germans, however, were prevented from taking any other route than that of France, and the consequence has been that, as I have been told, most of the men, from fear of the country people (villanos) have taken service with the French, (cipher:) though I firmly believe that the very moment Lautrech's army comes in sight all will desert him and come over to us. One of the German captains, named Duy?, a bastard brother of the Duke of Bavaria, has, however, remained with the French (ha quedado con ellos).
Before Lautrech's arrival I had often written to the Doge of Genoa, warning him of the approaching danger, and requesting him to raise levies and prepare for war. I do not know the reason, but the fact is that there was then and has been since at Genoa, much indolence in this respect. Meanwhile the confederates advanced; Lautrech took II Boscho; Swiss and Grisons came nearer to us by crossing the Brianzo pass, whilst the Venetians took up positions at Marignano. In this extremity there was nothing left for me but to retreat to Milan, whence I made the successful sally about which I wrote to His Imperial Majesty the other day. Indeed (cipher:) this victory came so opportunely that we have been able ever since to maintain ourselves, notwithstanding our want of money, provisions, ammunition or stores of any kind.
(Common writing:) It pleased God that in consequence of that attack which, as I have stated above, obliged the confederates to abandon their strong positions, provisions have came in more regularly, but still finding that we were surrounded on every side by the enemy, (cipher:) I sent by Captain Rivadeneyra several messages to the Emperors High Chancellor, and to the ambassador Lope de Soria, requesting them to procure me money for the pay of these troops, promising, if they did, to defend Alessandria, Milan, Pavia, and Como successfully, and even to detach, if required, one thousand men of my small army to the assistance of Genoa. No prayers or exertions of mine have sufficed to convince the Imperial ambassador of the necessity of providing me with funds, and yet he and the Doge willingly availed themselves of my offer, and asked for 500 Spaniards and 1,000 Italians to reinforce the garrison of Genoa. My answer was (cipher:) that of the former I had but a small number with me, and those I wanted for the defence of Milan and Pavia; but that I would detach the Italians as far as the river Pò, provided the Doge advanced them one half pay un their arrival. This, however, the Doge and ambassador refused to do, and consequently the reinforcements did not reach Genoa in time; not that I think that if they had they could have prevented the fall of that city, closely invested, as it was, by sea and land, and having also inside a powerful party in the French interest.
(Common writing:) Thus Genoa was lost on Sunday, the 18th of August, as the Imperial ambassador has no doubt had occasion to write. The Doge withdrew to the castle (castelletto), where he still holds out; but the galleys in port were all seized by the enemy. This is an important loss, for Genoa itself can soon be retaken if the army that is coming from Rome is faithful, whereas if the confederates become masters of the sea they may easily stop our communications with Naples and Spain.
After taking Boscho, Lautrech advanced as far as Alessandria, and pitched his tents two miles from that city, in order to cut off the supplies, &c. Immediately sent thither Count Lodovico di Belgioioso and his brother Count Alberico with orders to reinforce the garrison of Alessandria, and introduce a supply of provisions and ammunition. The undertaking was rather a dangerous one, for the two brothers, after passing the Pò, had to march nearly 15 miles, almost in sight of the French camp. Count Alberico, however, after crossing the river, succeeded in entering Alessandria with five companies of Italian infantry, whilst his brother Lodovico with seven more feigned to cross it 10 miles lower down. Lautrech coming up with the whole of his forces to prevent the crossing, Count Alberico managed to enter Alessandria, and his brother, perceiving by signals from the place that the undertaking had succeeded, effected his retreat, and thus outmanœuvred the enemy (le dejó plantado). Alessandria has nothing to fear for the present.
About this time Lautrech sent 1,000 men to the Novarese and Lomelina to prevent any supplies coming [to Milan]; but I sent against them Count Filippo Torniello, who with 500 foot and 100 cavalry gallantly met the enemy, defeated him with great loss in killed and prisoners, took three banners, and cleared that district up to Milan. The small number of the enemy who escaped were so frightened that it is not likely that they will come this way again.
Lautrech is still in the territory of Alessandria, He has commenced throwing a bridge over the Pò, some say with the intention of visiting us in Milan, (cipher:) others of going forwards and meeting the Imperial army that is to come from Rome, but most likely with a view to keep his eye on Alessandria. Whatever his plans may be, I can assure His Majesty that we shall do our utmost to defend this Duchy and the whole of Lombardy, (cipher:) though I must not conceal the truth: the principal elements of defence are wanting; the cities and towns of this Duchy are so exhausted that no help is to be expected from them, and certainly it has beén a sort of miracle to have been able to provision them hitherto. As it is, if the Italians do not fail us, I hope to God that we shall make a stout defence and give time for the army from Rome to come to our assistance. Though I have often written through the Duke of Ferrara and despatched messengers of my own to the Imperial generals in that locality, I am sorry to say that I have been unable to ascertain whether the Imperial army is coming or not. The last news I have is contained in a letter of the 16th inst., in which the Duke tells me of the arrival at his court of one Antonio de Udena (Udine), a retainer of the Prince of Orange, coming from Sienna. On the day that he left that city the Imperial army had not arrived. The Duke sent back the messenger the same day with pressing letters to the Prince and the rest of the Imperial commanders, urging them to come on. Nothing is omitted by George [Fruntsperg], who is still at Ferrara, or by any of us to procure the advance of the Imperial forces. Should they come soon His Imperial Majesty must be certain that we shall speedily rid ourselves of the enemy, because they will be obliged either to accept battle, or to evacuate the whole of Italy, for there is no district or town where they can maintain themselves, having made no conquest of any importance since the commencement of this war.
(Cipher:) Long before the French army had crossed the Alps the Duke of Savoy had let no opportunity pass of doing us all the harm he could, despoiling (desvalijando) our men-atarms quartered in the district of Novara, robbing the wheat that was coming to Milan, and making all manner of warlike demonstrations. I have borne all this with patience, out of regard for the Infanta (fn. n9) his wife, whom I know to be ashamed of the Duke's behaviour, and also because I was in hope that a stop would soon be put to such evils, and satisfaction given, &c. But since the French have arrived in Italy his partiality has become more manifest, and his effrontery increased. I consider myself in duty bound to inform His Imperial Majesty of this, that proper measures may be taken, and I myself instructed how to deal with him in future, for really there is no standing the injuries daily inflicted upon us from his estates.
I have often written to the Doge of Genoa, requesting him to hold out as long as he can, as we shall soon go to his help. I know not what he will do, but certainly the citadel is strong and capable of a long defence. (Cipher:) The ambassador (Lope de Soria) has, I hear, gone to Montogio, in the Flisco (Fiesco) estate, with about 300 Spaniards. I have sent for them, for I greatly want their services, and written to Soria to come also. I wonder whether the latter will come.
Lautrech's army is said to muster 5,000 Switzers, 300 Germans (tudescos), and as many Frenchmen, besides 4,000 Italians and 500 lances, with 25 pieces of ordnance, 12 big ones for siege operations, and 13 more for the field.
Writes in commendation of the two Counts of Belgioioso (Lodovico and Alberico), of Count Filipo Torniello, of Galeazzo di Virago, and of his son Cavalier Virago, who with his company of 100 horse was the first to enter Alessandria, of Bartholomeo de' Mazii, and his brother Lodovico, Hieronimo di Castione, president of the [Milanese] senate, Antonio Rabia, Luigi di Galarata, Lodovico di Corte, residing at Milan, all of whom have behaved extremely well on all occasions, and have hitherto resisted the solicitations and tempting offers of the confederates to desert the Imperial cause.
I have only received from Soria up to this day 51,000 cr., and yet His Imperial Majesty may believe me when I say that since I took the command no less than 160,000 have been spent for the support of this small force, which amounts only to 6,000, Germans and Spaniards together. The expenditure can be satisfactorily proved by the accounts, which shall go by next post, (fn. n10) as well as the sources whence the money has been drawn, for the soldiers have been obliged all this time to pay for everything they had, as otherwise it would have been impossible to provision the towns threatened by the enemy. (Cipher:) With all this, if the Italians remain faithful (no me faltan), I feel confident that we shall be able to defend the Duchy.
(Common writing:) To-day, the 3rd of September, the news is that the enemy intends laying siege to Alessandria. If so, it is to be hoped that they will be stoutly resisted.
Letters have come from the Duke of Ferrara of the 27th ulto., advising that the Imperial army was still at Narni, close to Rome; that the Viceroy (Lannoy) had arrived, and that there was a question whether it would be convenient to restore the Pope to liberty. All the Imperial captains had assembled to deliberate thereupon. The Duke in his letter showed much concern about this, saying that on no account was the Pope to be liberated, as it would be highly detrimental to the Imperial interests. Would to God the Duke showed his zeal in action as in speech! ("Plega á Dios que lo haga con este zelo que dize"). He says further in his letter that Lautrech had sent one of his gentlemen to him to make great offers if lie would desert the Emperor's cause, and take up that of the King, his master, and that his answer had been that his engagements with the Emperor were of such a nature that he could not betray him. (Cipher:) Indeed he tells me that he has hitherto resisted all temptations.
No one can tell what he may do hereafter. My impression and that of Prothonotary Caracciolo is that he will ultimately join the League. His Imperial Majesty ought to know the truth. The whole force under my command only musters 6,000 men, counting the garrison of this castle of Milan, and others in the Duchy.
With this force I must needs look to the defence of Alessandria, Pavia, Lecco, Trezzo, Piciguiton (Pizzighitone), the castles of Novara, Vigevano, &c. Hitherto we have not lost one, and I trust to God we shall not in future, and if the Imperial array from Rome does but come the war will soon be at an end.
This letter goes by way of Monego (Monaco), directed to the Lord Bishop (Grimaldo). The answer might be sent through him as the surest way under present circumstances.
The enemy gives out that the citadel of Genoa surrendered [on the 20th of August], and that the Doge has capitulated. I have no official advices.
In consequence of the Abbot of Najera's death, I beg leave to recommend Bartolomeo de'Mazii for the post of paymastergeneral of this Imperial army. He is already filling that office ad interim, and has hitherto done good service.—Milan, 4th of September 1527.
Signed: "Antonio de Leyva."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Catholic, and Imperial Majesty"
Indorsed: "To His Majesty. From Anthonio de Leyva, 4th of September."
Spanish. Original mostly in cipher. Partial contemporary deciphering between the lines and on separate sheet.
5 Sept. 188. News-letters from Hungary.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41.
f. 99.
On the 2nd instant, 38 "Hastarenses," a class of people wonderfully apt for sea-fights, arrived at Buda.
Dom. Georgius ab Puestain, with 500 cavalry, heavy and light, occupied "locum Stainam anger (sic) vulgò dictum," which is very strongly fortified.
"Cacianus Capitaneus," with his Bohemian light horse and his infantry, is doing good work; after taking possession of many castles and towns, he is now directing his forces against the patrimonial estates of the Vayvod (ad occupandum Vayvodœ paterna bona), who at the present moment has not 1,000 men with him.—Buda, 5th September 1527.
Indorsed: "Ex litteris domini Leonardi ab Vels. (Velzer?), Bude, 3 et 5 Septembris."
Latin. Contemporary copy. 1.


  • n1. September must be meant, not August, since the letter is dated the 1st of that month.
  • n2. First volume of his Hyperaspistes, seu Diatribes adversus Lutherum,Basle, 1527, 8o.
  • n3. Alarcon had by this time been created "Marquis de la Val Siciliana."
  • n4. There must be here a mistake of the clerk who deciphered this letter, for on the margin of a summary of the same letter and others, to be submitted to the High Chancellor's inspection, I find the following note in Gattinara's hand: "It might be that the Marquis of Mantua, before protesting, had already made up his mind to join the League; but it is prudent to dissemble," A. 41, f. 372.
  • n5. "Una cosa que suene y quede por memoria para siempre. Harta desgracia tengo que para tres descalzos, que me quedan, no alcanzaria de comer para ellos, sino gelo preatasen de limosna"
  • n6. Most probably Giorgio Fruntsperg, for Giorgio pronounced in the Venetian fashion is easily turned into Zorzo.
  • n7. See the following letter of Leyva to the Emperor.
  • n8. This despatch of the 7th is neither in the Academy's volumes nor at Simancas; it was probably intercepted. His of the 4th is at p. a 16, No. 147.
  • n9. Beatrix, the Emperor's cousin.
  • n10. At folio 263 of the volume A 41 is a certificate, signed by Agaccio Burtino, scriuano de' Racione at Milan, attesting that from the 26th of February till the 12th October 1527, inclusive, no less than 130,898 ducats had been spent on the Imperial army.