Spain: January 1527, 26-31

Pages 37-48

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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January 1527, 26-31

26 Jan. 9. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 95.
Wrote last on the 10th. Encloses the duplicate. On the 11th the general [of the Franciscans] took his departure. He arrived at the Viceroy's quarters, near Chiprano (Ciprano), on the 15th, but no news has since been received respecting their interview, except that the moment he (the general) arrived the Viceroy sent for Don Ugo and the Archbishop (of Capua), who were still at Gaeta. On the 18th the Viceroy had advanced further, and was within the lands of the Church, at a place called Barico (Benço?), 45 miles from Rome. There the Imperialists were met by the Papal troops, who, it is said, took from them two banners and slew or took prisoners 200 Spaniards; among the former Captain Peralta. The banners have certainly been brought on to Rome, and paraded in triumph through the city, but until the news comes from another quarter no credit is to be attached to it; the more so, that he (Perez) hears that the Imperialists took from the enemy five banners on the occasion.
There is a talk of the Pope creating new cardinals, as he says he wants money for the war. If it be true, as asserted, that he is selling wheat to the Romans at an enormous profit, he cannot be in much want, for the sums he collects every month are quite sufficient to defray the expenses of his army
Renzo de Cherri [da Ceri] has gone to review the Pope's army. He has not yet returned, but writes encouraging him to defend his estates, and promising that in two months time, at the latest, the succour from France will arrive. The other day four pieces of heavy artillery were sent out of Rome; some say to the Papal Legate, who asked urgently for them, to defend himself [against the Imperialists]; others say that they are destined for the siege of Rocca di Papa, 12 miles hence. That fortress is still in the hands of Ascanio Colonna, who with a well- appointed garrison is continually making forays and attacking the enemy's convoys. Only the other day the garrison made a sally, and surprised one composed of 150 beasts of burden laden with ammunition and provisions of all sorts for his army, and the Pope, to whom most of the beasts (azemilas) belonged, was obliged to redeem them, without their load of course, at the rate of 10 ducats per head.
Whereabouts the Pope's camp is definitively to be formed is not yet known. Part of his own troops are now at Valmontone, but it is presumed that they will remove to a place called Capo di Boy, not far from San Sebastiano and two miles from Rome.
Cesaro Ferramosca has landed at Gaeta with 700 or 800 Spaniards who arrived too late to be embarked in the fleet. (Cipher:) People hew are glad of his coming, and fancy they will obtain better terms from him than from the Viceroy alone. They are even thinking of sowing discord among them, so that one may become jealous of the other. Should he (Perez) happen to meet Ferramosca, he will not fail to place him on his guard against such intrigues.
(Common writing:) No news of the lansquenets, except that Mons. de Bourbon has effected his junction with them, and that the rest of the Imperial army remains in the keeping of Milan. Fears are here entertained that Mons. de Bourbon with his forces will march on Florence, and that is the reason why a captain of the Pope, named Signor Bitello (Vitello), has been sent thither with 500 horse, and that infantry is also being raised in the Marches and at Spoletto.
The Pope's army, according to his own statement, is said to muster 12,000 infantry and 3,000 horse, besides 500 men-at- arms, but in reality its force is only from 8,000 to 9,000 foot and 1,600 horse, out of which number 500 were the other day detached to Florence. The men-at-arms also are in much smaller numbers than stated.
A chamberlain of the King of France, by name Monsieur Delanges, (fn. n1) who left Rome with despatches from the Pope to his master, has returned from Pomblin (Piombino) without proceeding on his journey. The cause is unknown. Another messenger, who was to have gone to Mons. de Bourbon at Milan, has also been detained for want of a safe-conduct. Upon the messenger's application he was allowed to despatch a man on condition that he would take no other letters than his, and that if he did, they should be previously opened and read. Of the courier whom His Holiness sent the other day to Mons. de Bourbon, to inquire how much money was wanted for the pay of the lansquenets, no news has been received.
(Cipher:) Has been told of certain people here who have secret dealings with the kingdom of Naples. The report might not be true, but, lest it should be so, he (Perez) has considered it necessary to inform the Viceroy thereof. Has heard also that the Duke of Ferrara (Alfonso d'Este) had taken leave of the Pope and of Venice, but had promised nevertheless not to undertake anything against the League. The Duke's ambassador here is continually going to the Palace, and in fact is always seen in the company of the Pope's warmest adherents, which is not much to his credit, and exposes him to suspicion. Has told him of it, and of the rumours that are afloat about him. His excuse is that he does it in order to gain time, and live at Rome with more liberty. Has given him his word of honour that he has never listened, nor will listen, to any overtures against the Emperor's interests; such are the instructions he has received from the Duke, his master.
(Common writing:) The deputy cardinals have not yet agreed as to the answer to be made to the letters presented by him (Perez) or the Emperor's summons. Much difference of opinion prevails among them as to whether His Imperial Majesty has a right to ask for a council of the Church. Has been told by some of the cardinals that the Emperor's letter to His Holiness was conceived in rather harsh (aspera) words, and that he might have expressed his wish in terms more decorous and mild (moderadas y onestas).
The ambassador (fn. n2) of the Vayvod has not yet obtained a public audience from the Pope.
The other day an order came down from the Palace summoning all the Spanish prelates and civilians (cortesanos) residing here at Rome to attend to the election of the four deputy cardinals, to whom the business of the war has been intrusted by the Pope. They went thither, and were asked to give security to the amount of 500,000 cr. that the Spaniards (la nacion de España) would not take up arms against the Pope, and in case of Rome being attacked would shut themselves up in their houses, and not allow their servants and retainers to go out. Their answer was that without first holding a meeting of all the members of that nation they could not promise anything. The meeting was held on the 20th inst., and attended by three Roman citizens on behalf of His Holiness, when after much talking and discussion it was resolved: That if in the event of Rome being attacked, the Spaniards engaged to stay at home, to shut their doors, and prevent their servants and retainers from going out, except for the defence of their own homes and those of their neighbours, whether the Pope's vassals or those of any other nation, on such promise being made no security would be demanded. They might also he exempted from all district musters, which have already begun, the citizens attending them in great numbers, and making a pretty good show of military array, though if the Imperialists were to attack with vigour, no great resistance would be offered. In order the more to excite the people against the Viceroy, all manner of absurd rumours are sedulously propagated, as, for instance, that he tells his soldiers that they are to expect no other pay [from the Emperor] than the sack of Borne and Florence, which are to be deliberately given up to them. Has lost no time in acquainting the Viceroy with this and similar rumours about his person, that he may write a letter to the Senate and to the Romans exculpating himself from that and other similar charges.
Renzo de Cherri (da Ceri) came back yesterday, the 21st, and immediately after the deputy cardinals held a meeting, whereat that captain addressed the Pope on the business of the war. Cannot say what has been resolved, but orders have been issued for fresh levies to be made to the amount of 10,000 men, for which purpose they have sent captains and commissaries with money. Eight or ten cardinals' hats are to be given with a view to replenish the Papal treasury.
Cesaro Ferramosca is daily expected here. Rooms have been prepared for him at the Archbishop of Capua's, close to the Papal palace. Great hopes are entertained that he will be a messenger of peace, though if the news circulated to-day be correct, there is no great appearance of it. It is said that the Viceroy is actually attacking a fortified place called Freselon (Frosinone), in the territory of the Church, where the company of Juan de Medicis is at present. Were the Viceroy to take it the Romans would be sadly disheartened, for besides that the town is strong and important, they have implicit confidence in that condottiero's band. Other advices from the camp state that the Viceroy does not intend to stop at Frosinone, and is already marching on, after leaving 3,000 foot and 300 horse before the place to cut off the supplies to the garrison.
(fn. n3)
Hears that Renzo da Ceri in his visit of inspection found the Pope's army very much reduced in numbers. Instead of 12,000 men, whom the Pope actually pays, there were only 8,000. The company vacant by the death of Juan de Medicis was given to Renzo's son, at which both father and son are singularly pleased.
Since the 21st of this present month, when the truce [with Don Ugo] ended, the Datary has constantly refused granting passports to any couriers going to the Viceroy's camp. Must try, however, all means in his power to keep him well acquainted with the state of things at Rome.
Cesaro Imperatore and the Sicilian outlaws (foraxidos) are hastening to go and disturb Sicily. They would have gone thither already had the money which they expected from France arrived. He (Perez) thinks that the French fleet, which must already be at Savona, will come to Civittà Vecchia for them, and land them on the coast of the island, where they are supposed to have many partisans. Has duly informed the Viceroy of-the enemy's plans.
The Signory of Venice have sent an ambassador to Florence. His mission is to inspire courage to the Florentines, and advise them not to come to terms with the Emperor. The ambassador's name is Marco Foscari, the same who was here last year, and was most instrumental in bringing about the "Clementine League." He is to tell the Florentines not to fear Bourbon or his lansquenets, as they will receive immediate help both from Venice and France. But if Bourbon goes there, all the efforts of the Venetian ambassador will be un- availing, for he (Perez) knows for certain that long before the lansquenets reach Florence a deputation is to go out to meet them with offers of money and conditions of peace, and that is exactly what the Pope dreads.
It is generally believed that the Venetians, with a view to secure the French King's alliance, are again treating with him respecting Milan. The ambassador (fn. n4) of the Duke Francesco Sforza, who used to attend the conferences, is no longer summoned, whence it is natural to conclude that something is intended detrimental to his master. Some say that the plan is for the Venetians to have the duchy of Milan, and give the French King in return 200,000 ducats every year; others that the Pope is to keep the kingdom of Naples, and give Francis 100,000 ducats.
On the 23rd a consistory was held, when admonitory letters were read condemning all the barons and nobility of Naples for taking up arms [against His Holiness]. It has not yet been published, no doubt because they expect Ferramosca to come with offers of peace; but if their expectations fail, there can be no doubt that they will have recourse to that and other expedients. At the consistory a dispute arose as to whether the Neapolitan barons were more bound in fealty to the Emperor or to His Holiness. There were some cardinals who decided for the former, but notwithstanding the letters were read in consistory.
Two cardinals, Ursino and Cesarino, have been appointed for the internal government of Rome.
Encloses copy of a letter (fn. n5) which the Duke of Ferrara (Alfonso d'Este) has written to his ambassador, that His Majesty may judge of his good purposes and intentions towards the Imperial service.
This morning Renzo da Ceri, the Count of Anguilara, and other captains, with upwards of 2,000 men, went out to the assistance of the Pope's camp. They must be afraid of Freselon being taken, for they say that it is reduced to extremity. However this may be, certain it is that they have given the soldiers on departing more money than usual.
The news about the lansquenets and Bourbon is that they have crossed the Pò, and are marching on Bologna.
The chamberlain of the King of France, who, as above stated, left Rome for France with a message, but returned a few days after without accomplishing his mission, has now positively gone back to his own country, taking with him two galleys. He is said to have gone to France for the purpose of acquainting his master with the present state of affairs in Italy.
Cesaro Ferramosca, the general [of the Franciscans] and the Archbishop of Capua arrived yesterday afternoon. The two former alighted at the palace gate, and, taking off their riding boots (estibales), went up immediately to the Pope's apartments. The general [of the Franciscans] went to the convent of Araceli, where he formerly had his quarters, but that same evening he came to Belvedere, saying that the very moment he had communicated with His Holiness he would let him (Perez) know, and send a letter to the Emperor.
The two Dataries, old and young (el viejo y el moço), Oracio Ballon (Baglione), and others on horseback went out [of Rome] to receive Ferramosca and his companions. Hopes are entertained here that peace has by this time been settled; many wish for it, but a certain paragraph in the Viceroy's letter makes us rather doubtful of it. It stands thus: "The general of the Franciscans and Cesaro Ferramosca are the bearers of the ultimatum for an agreement between the Pope and the Emperor, so that there may be no more consultations, that His Imperial Majesty may be justified, and I myself not be blamed before God or the world, in case His Holiness should not wish for peace (si Su Santidad no quieiere justificarse). Meanwhile I am approaching. Please God to direct that which is best for his service and the weal of Christendom.
"The Archbishop of Capua also goes with them, because if the matter is to be concluded, it is well that he should be present; if the contrary, he is better there than here, for on our side nothing has been left undone."
The admonitory letters against the Neapolitan barons have been published and circulated, and are now being sold in the streets, which is no good sign of the Pope's agreeing to the conditions of the peace. Cesaro Ferramosca is exceedingly angry at the issuing of this admonition; so much so that he has been included in it. The former one was principally directed against the Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy) and is said to be very intemperate (me dizen es muy desonesto).—Rome, 26th Jan. 1527.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: "Sacrmæ. Cesæ. Catcæ. Mti."
Spanish. Holograph partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet, pp. 5.
26 Jan. 10. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. D. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 85.
.,. .,. Add. 28,576,
f. 59.
Since his letter of the 21st, he (Sancez) has heard from Secretary Perez in date of the 18th; advices have also been received form Rome of two days later.
(Cipher:) The information forwarded by the secretary amounts to this, namely, that on the 15th the Viceroy was at Chiprano (Ciprano), 35 miles from this place; the Imperial army always advancing. On the night of that very day the general of the Franciscans (Quiñones) was expected at the Viceroy's camp with the Pope's answer; but the general impression was that war, not peace, would be the result. Six pieces of heavy artillery and ammunition had been removed from St. Angelo and sent out of Rome. The frequent meetings and conferences which the Papal Nuncio (Bishop of Pola) and the French ambassador (Bishop of Bayeux) hold together with the Signory, whenever a courier arrives from Rome, are sufficient proof that the Pope does not proceed with good faith in his negotiations with the Viceroy, for if he did, why should he have to consult these people so often by means of his Nuncio, or why should the Venetians send an ambassador to Florence, as they have done of late? Indeed there is a rumour afloat that war has already broken out between the Pope and the Viceroy, and that the troops of the latter had fallen into an ambush prepared by the enemy, and had been routed with great loss.
The Papal Nuncio (Bishop of Pola) says he has letters from France announcing that the marriage of the King with Princess Mary of England is already settled. Immediately after the English King is to declare war against the Emperor, and invade his dominions in Flanders, besides contributing with his quota towards the expenses of the war in Italy. The news, however, must be false, since the Signory and the resident French ambassador (Bishop of Bayeux) profess total ignorance about it. The latter, however, declares that negotiations are very brisk just now, and that the King, his master, has sent Moreta (fn. n6) and another man to England for that purpose, and that if the marriage is arranged, King Henry will certainly join the League. The French ambassador states also that His Imperial Majesty has now despatched an ambassador (Don Iñigo de Mendoza) to England to treat about a general peace, &c.; and that an English gentleman, now coining from Spain, brings letters from the Emperor to Mons. de Bourbon and to the Viceroy, commanding them not to attempt anything against the territory of the Church.
The King of France is moreover reported to have sent 50,000 cr. to Provence for the fitting out of his fleet, and it is a well-known fact that this Signory is also about to send an ambassador to Turkey, the same person who was to have gone long ago. They now send him with a fine present in jewels and silks to court his friendship, and, if the reports which are in circulation be true, to persuade him also to make an attack on the castle of Apulia (Puglia) or Sicily.
(Common writing:) Advices from Vienna state that the King of Hungary and Bohemia (Ferdinand) had left that city [for Prague], there to be crowned as King of Bohemia. Begs to remind the Emperor of his (Sanchez's) destitution and poverty, the Signory having forbidden a banker of that place to pay the 6,500 which he (Sanchez) lent out of his own scanty means to the Marquis of Pescara, long before the present war began.
Whilst writing this, a letter has come from Secretary Perez, in date of the 21st inst., informing him (Sanchez) that on the 18th Cesaro Ferramosca landed at Gaeta with 900 Spanish infantry, and immediately after took post to meet the Viceroy, who was at Benço, in the lands of the Church (together with Don Ugo, the general [of the Franciscans], and the Archbishop of Capua), ready to advance with his forces.
Hears that the Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere) is dissatisfied both with the Pope and with the Signory. Having asked the former to restore to him a castle, called Sanleo, which the Duke possessed in the Florentine territory, and to erase those words .of a clause [in the treaty] which say "without detriment to the third" (sin perjuicio de tercero), the Pope answered his application in general terms, at which the Duke was by no means pleased. It would appear that the Duke had besides a certain suit pending at Borne, respecting the estate of Sinigaglia (cierta causa de sindigarlla), and though not expecting much favour from the Pope, was highly incensed at his answer. Has also been told, although lie does not vouch for it, that the Duke is of opinion that the forces under his command should not cross the Pò, showing the many dangers to which that military operation would expose the lands of the Signory and his own personal estates, and that the Signory, following his advice, have issued orders to that effect. To this may be added that Malatesta Ballon (Baglione) and other captains of this Signory have made certain complaints about the Duke, so that they are by no means agreed between themselves.
Hears also that the Signory has sent orders for the proveditor of the fleet, a son of bis, and another officer, to be arrested and brought to Venice in irons. Some say that they are accused of not having done their duty in the last engagement with the Viceroy [on sight of Genoa], when they might, had they chosen, have sunk the whole of the Imperial galleys; others make them guilty of peculation. However this may be, the Signory have just appointed another proveditor, Agostin de Guisa (Pisa?) by name.
This Nuncio (fn. n7) says that the King of England is sending the Pope 25,000 cr., and that great reliance is placed on his help. —Venice, 26th Jan. 1527.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "Ces. et Cath. Maiestati.'
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet, pp. 3.
27 Jan. 11. Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. D. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 104.
.,. .,. Add. 28,675,
f. 70.
Wrote last on the 6th and 15th inst. (Cipher:) On the latter day funds were with great difficulty procured to give the Germans one crown (escudo) per head according to promise. (Common writing:) Yesterday morning (the 26th) the Duke left Pavia in very fine weather. At the same hour Antonio de Leyva with the rest of the Spanish infantry issued from Milan, and both generals met in the evening close to the bridge on the Pò, whence they are to march together. He (Caracciolo) remained behind, being just now troubled with lumbago (dolor de fianchi), but as soon as he gets well (cipher) will join the Imperial army, unless the generals change their plan of campaign which seems to be for the present to attack Piacenza, on the taking of which and the Viceroy's march on Rome the success of this enterprise chiefly depends. No time is to be lost, for large sums are owing to the Germans, Spaniards, and to the rest of the army.
Letters from the Viceroy have been received up to the 4th inst. Needs not refer to their contents, as he knows they have already been communicated to the Emperor. Our last dates from Rome are of the 15th. The Viceroy had left Gaeta, after sending on the greater part of his forces towards Rome. (Cipher:) Count Lodrone, with his Germans and a large body of Italian infantry, besides artillery, had gone towards Asti and Savona, to oblige the enemy to raise the siege of Genoa. Upon which the confederates are said to have abandoned the districts of Castelnovo, Tortona and others which they had occupied for the purpose of stopping the supplies to that city.— Pavia, 27th Jan. 1527.
Signed: "Prothonotary Caracciolo."
Addressed: "Sacr. Ce. Mti."
Italian. Origmal partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet.
28 Jan. 12. The Marquis del Guasto to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. D. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 116.
.,. .,. Add. 28,576,
f. 75 ..
Thanks the Emperor for his kind inquiries after his health Is still troubled with and almost disabled by fever, but will do all he can for His Majesty's service.
His asking for leave (licencia) for Joan Baptista [Castaldo] to go to Spain was merely on account of the services he (Castaldo) might render there, and that he might not importune His Imperial Majesty with the Marquis' affairs here.
His negotiations with the Germans to persuade them to go on, and how they ended. Each man is to receive one crown (escudo). Castaldo will verbally inform His Imperial Majesty of the state of affairs at Rome, and of the progress of the negotiations [between the Pope and the Viceroy].—28th Jan. 1527.
Signed: "El Marques del Guasto."
Addressed: "To His most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "Relation de las Cartas del Marques del Guasto." Spanish. Contemporary copy. 1.
13. The Same to Juan Baptista Castaldo y Gutierrez.
M. Re. Ac. D. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 117.
.,. .,. Add. 28,576,
f. 75 ..
Antonio de Leyva, who was to remain in guard of the Duchy whilst we march on, refuses to accept the command of the Imperial forces, unless the men are paid their arrears. Owing to this it will be impossible for the army to proceed beyond Piacenza, as the Venetians on one hand, and want of money on the other, will very much impede our movements, besides which the estate of Milan might be in danger. As long as this army is in want, the soldiers' pleasure must be done, without regard either to duty or discipline.
Genoa is hard pressed, but a division is about to be detached to Haste (Asti), where the enemy has part of his forces, stopping the supplies, &c.
The Prince of Orange (Philibert de Chalon) has joined the Imperial camp, and Bourbon has given him the command of the light cavalry. The King of France has gone to Lyons, and talks much of his assisting the League with men and money.
Captain Sancho Lopez goes to Spain, as representative of the whole army, to ask for arrears of pay, &c.
Much animosity prevails between Spaniards and Germans, which the generals are trying to remove.
Has given up Carpi to the Duke of Ferrara as agreed, in consequence of which the Duke has sent them 12,000 cr. and some artillery. That is all he has done for the present.
Names the officers who are to remain in keeping of the fortified towns and castles in the Duchy—28th Jan. 1527.
Spanish. Contemporary copy. 1.
30 Jan. 14. The Emperor to the Cardinal.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 227, No. 6.
Has duly received his letters through the Bishop of Worcester (Ghinucci), from which, as well as from the verbal messages conveyed by the said Bishop and Dr. Lee, the Emperor perceives well his constant devotion to the cause of universal peace, as likewise the good-will and love he bears him. Thanks him cordially, begging him to continue in like mind; assures him that he has good reason to do so, he (the Emperor) reposing entire confidence in him, as he may have seen by the despatch lately transmitted by sea to his ambassador, Don lñigo de Mendoça, from whom he may now obtain even more ample assurances. Begs him to treat that ambassador with the same confidence as himself. Assures him that he will to the utmost of his power, and as fully as he (the Cardinal) can desire, promote his personal welfare, prosperity, and greatness, and for the love he (the Emperor) bears him, will deal openly and frankly with the Bishop of Worcester, as he (the Bishop) may already have written to him, or will be able to state even more emphatically on his return. Prays God to have him in his holy keeping— Written at Valladolid, the 30th of January 1527.
French. Original minute. 1.
30 Jan. 15. The Emperor to Brian Tuke.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 227, No. 7.
My dear and very good friend—We have long been and are continually being advised by many friends and loyal servants [in England] of your good-will and care for the maintenance of the ancient alliances between the houses of England and Burgundy, for which we sincerely thank you and yours (vous et les votres). being fully minded to recognize your services. For by this good and holy work God and Christianity may be well served, and the common weal of all good subjects assured. We trust, therefore, that you will continue thus disposed. All further particulars will be communicated to you by our ambassador, Don Iñigo de Mendo a whom you may trust as ourselves—Given at Valladolid the 30th of January 1527.
Addressed: "To our very dear and good friend, Master Brian Tuke, Councillor and First Secretary to our good brother and uncle, the King of England."
French. Minute. 1.


  • n1. The same individual called elsewhere Delages, with the omission of the orthographical sign intended for the n, his real name being De Langeay.
  • n2. Giovanni Statilio.
  • n3. Probably the bande nere once commanded by that celebrated condottiero whose death at Borgoforte has already been recorded.
  • n4. Giovanni Francesco Taverna.
  • n5. Probably that under No. 5, dated the 16th January.
  • n6. Charles du Bellay Sieur de Morette, treasurer of France.
  • n7. Averoldi, Bishop of Pola.