Spain: September 1527, 6-15

Pages 373-383

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


September 1527, 6-15

6 Sept. 189. Don Iñigo de Mendoça to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 224, No. 30.
Received on the 2nd inst. the Emperor's letter of the 22nd of July (fn. n1) Is glad to hear that all his despatches have reached their destination. The Imperial letter of the 30th May never reached him (Mendoça), that being the reason why he has not answered it. Among those brought by Captain Habart (sic) and by Longueval there was none of that date.
Another letter has been since brought by the Englishman, who came by land, and the duplicate of it by the servant of the King of Bohemia, in the "zabra,'' so that none appear to have been lost. Has duly answered all of them, and also the two last of the 22nd and 29th ulto., to which he immediately replied, through the Imperial ambassador in France (Perrenot?), but as his answer, which was rather concise, went by land, and the present messenger—a very trusty one—goes by sea, he (Mendoça) will take this opportunity of reproducing part of his former despatch.
As soon as the Imperial letter of the 22nd July was received, the ambassador repaired to Niuhail (Newhall, in Essex), where the King then was, and on being admitted to his presence, told him that the Bishop of Tarbes (Gabriel de Grammont) had declared in Spain the conditions of the French King, but that they were of such nature that they could not possibly be entertained. The Emperor could not fail to observe that one of two things must have happened; either the French ambassadors, whilst in London, had not stated the truth, or else, on their return to France, the conditions had been entirely changed, for it was not credible that when such friendship and alliance still existed between the King of England and himself, the former should have sanctioned the terms lately offered by the French. The Emperor also remarked how little the King of France had done for the King of England on this occasion, for he now made much lower offers than "before. He had almost made up his mind to dismiss the French ambassadors from his Court, without entertaining their proposals; yet seeing how very desirous the King of England was of opening the way for conciliation, and being himself equally anxious for peace, he had decided to wait until better offers should be made. That the English ambassadors might have no doubt as to his real intentions, the Emperor had caused certain memoranda to be drawn up and placed in their hands showing how much of his own right he was willing to yield out of respect for the King. Having, moreover, learnt from various quarters that the French were boasting publicly of the treaty recently concluded with England, the Emperor had naturally applied for a renewal of the old friendship and confederacy between the two countries [England and Spain]; not that he considered that such bonds could easily be dissolved, but that he might satisfy the cravings and importunities of his own allies and relatives, as well as those of the principal nobility in his dominions, who deemed it but equitable and just that, when an alliance was made between England and his (the Emperor's) enemies, the ancient treaties existing between the houses of Burgundy and Spain on one side, and England on the other, should be renewed and confirmed. By which renewal of the old alliances the King of England might be placed in a better position for concluding the desired peace, being bound to both parties at once, and therefore free from all suspicion of leaning towards either. This proposal the Emperor was induced to make out of consideration for the feelings of others, not because he thought that a renewal of the old alliance was at all needful.
The King having sent for the two Dukes (Norfolk and Suffolk) and the rest of the members of his Council, addressed Mendoça in a way that indicated a stronger feeling of disappointment than he cared to express.
He said that the Emperor had done nothing for him. The terms offered by the Bishop of Tarbes were so fair and advantageous that the Emperor was very ill-advised in rejecting them. He (the King) was weary of complimentary phrases and empty words; he (Mendoça) kept expressing the Emperor's readiness to please him in all matters, and yet the Emperor had done nothing to please him, nor had he shown more consideration for him than for any other Prince.
In reply the ambassador expressed his surprise that the King should not acknowledge the great consideration and regard which the Emperor had manifested for his brother of England at all times, more particularly in these present negotiations. For the King must know that the Viceroy of Naples, the Secretary Comacre (Comacle?), and L'élu Bayart had all three on separate occasions been commissioned by the King of France to offer the Emperor far better terms than these now proposed by the Bishop of Tarbes. If he (the Emperor) refused to entertain them until reference had been made to the King of England, it was clear that he was willing to waive great part of that right which by all law, human and divine, belonged to him.
The King denied that either the Viceroy or the others had any commission from the King of France to make such otters, and that there was no sufficient ground for supposing that such had been the King of France's intention. As to the ambassador's assertion that the Emperor might have made peace had he (the King of France) accepted sooner the terms proposed, the King knew best, for in the matter of the Duchy of Burgundy the Emperor had always persisted in the same declaration which he makes now.
Answered him that the Emperor, in order to convince the King of the justice of his cause, had purposely abandoned part of his right by consenting that the first offers made to the Viceroy should not be taken as basis of the negotiations for peace; therefore it mattered little whether the French acknowledged or repudiated the said offers; it only showed how little those who turned aside from the direct road to peace could really desire to conclude it. That as to the Viceroy and the others not having received any commission from the King of France, he (Mendoça) hardly thought the King of France would deny what he had said to the Viceroy, nor that the others would have been granted a hearing if they had come without power or credentials. That as to the King's statement that in these negotiations the Emperor had only been seeking other ways of settlement, that information must have come from the French, who were trying to insinuate suspicion of all that he was doing for the King of England. Then in the hope of better disposing him (the King) to give a favourable answer about the proposed alliance, as he seemed little satisfied with what had already passed, he (Mendoça) said that he was soon expecting a vessel with despatches, announcing that the French ambassadors had offered more reasonable terms, and that the Emperor had been, able to proceed upon them, and that if in what he (the Emperor) had said there should be anything that seemed undesirable to the King, he had only to communicate with the Emperor, who would co-operate with him in any way that was just and honest.
After which, returning to the discussion of the renewal of friendship and alliance between King and Emperor, he (Mendoça) observed that he did not think it advisable that the conference should be public, and therefore requested to speak with the King alone. Upon which, the councilors having withdrawn, the King said at once that there was no occasion for any alliance more binding than that which already existed between the two countries, and had moreover been hardly obtained and badly observed in past years; and thus went on repeating the same arguments which he made when he (Mendoza) first arrived in England. Did not allow the King to proceed with his arguments, as in his opinion they affected but little the present question; said that the King might be satisfied that all needful precaution had been taken to secure the payment of the Emperor's debts, and that the alliance ought to be of the same nature as that which had always subsisted between the King [of England] and the Emperor.
The King replied that he could no longer ally himself with the Emperor on the same terms as formerly; the treaty lately concluded between the King of France and himself preventing it.
Observed that the Emperor was so bent upon preserving peace with all Christian nations, and giving no cause of offence to any of them, that he would be satisfied if the treaty were concluded only for the mutual defence of their own persons and kingdoms.
The King replied that he did not think he could, without breaking his word, agree even to that, but that since the ambassador was so urgent about the renewal of the English alliance, he (the King) should very much like to know what provision had been made for the payment of the Emperor's debt to him.
Said this was not the way in which the King's ancestors had dealt with the Emperor's people in old times, when the houses of Spain and Burgundy had been treated with due honour. As to the payment of the sums owed by the Emperor, the King had already been informed that the ambassador had full instructions to offer such securities for their settlement as might satisfy him.
Upon which the King replied that his ancestors had acted very differently. He knew what he was about, and why he was acting as he did. He was altogether weary of delays and fruitless words. If the Emperor really wished to negotiate for peace, let him act and not write. And on Mendoça observing that all matters might soon be arranged if both the King and the Emperor were closely allied, as before, the King would give no credit to the assertion, and brought the interview to a close.
From all this it may be inferred that the King holds delay in this alliance as a pledge for the recovery of his money, whatever treaty or articles may be concluded. Were the King once satisfied on this matter of the debt, thinks on the whole that the alliance might possibly be concluded, but is doubtful whether it would be a defensive and offensive one, as he suspects that is forbidden by the new treaty between the two Kings. Were the money within reach of the King, really before his eyes, he might perhaps he induced to change his determination, for he is extremely anxious to recover the amount of his debt.
As regards this renewal of the alliance, if he (Mendoça) may venture to give his opinion after so many conferences on the subject, he should recommend no further insistance on that point for the present. And this for two reasons: the first that, judging from the answer given him when he first arrived [in England], lie is quite certain that, without being actually sure of his money, the King will conclude no treaty whatever; the second) that he (Mendoça) knows for certain, as he has said in former despatches, that in this new treaty with France the obligations are mutual and reciprocal, which must needs prevent the King of England from agreeing to the Emperor's demand. Therefore to solicit again this alliance without any probability of success, would be to lessen the Emperor's authority, and show too great a dependence on the King of England, which might render the negotiations still more difficult. As in his last letter, as well as in previous ones, the Emperor desires him (Mendoça) to return to this subject [of the renewal of the alliance], he gives his opinion upon it in obedience to his express commands.
Since his letter of the 16th, sent by the [Imperial] ambassador (Perrenot?) in France, the Queen has written to express her gratitude for what the Emperor is doing for her at Rome. For the present she does not wish him (Mendoça) to speak to the King on the subject, or show his credentials until the Legate's return, as it would perhaps do more harm than good. Thinks that as his letter [to the Legate] will be rather old by the time he returns [from France], it would be advisable to have another of later date. Will for caution's sake abstain from presenting his credentials until receiving the Queen's instructions on the subject. The Queen has been much comforted of late by hearing what he (the Emperor) has done in her behalf, sending the general [of the Franciscans] to Rome, and instructing the Viceroy to write as he has done. She begs that any brief or letter coming for her from Rome may be addressed to him (Mendoça), not to the King or Legate, because, by the advice of the English lawyers, all letters relating to the divorce are withheld or given to them. This business, however, is suspended until the Legate's return. At first it was alleged that the Pope had no power whatever to grant a dispensation for marriage with two brothers; now they insist upon the dispensation itself being faulty, and it had been agreed that the Queen's lawyers should apply to the Pope for a bull by which any defect in the said dispensation might be supplied, but as it now appears that this step would only give greater force to the dispensation, and render the Princess legitimate, they have in their malice stopped all applications for the said bull.
It is by no means easy here to obtain information of what is passing at Rome, as Madame [of the Low Countries] has no means of forwarding her despatches quickly thither, there being no posts [to Italy], and the transit insecure on account of the Venetians. Begs the Emperor to write to the Viceroy by every possible way, and order that all despatches and letters coming from Rome be addressed to him instead of to the King or Legate, such being the Queen's special request for the reasons above mentioned.
Of what the Legate is doing in France the Emperor will be informed by his ambassador in that country better than Mendoça can do from hence; all that he has been able to ascertain here is that the King of France is delaying as much as he can in the hope of seeing the Emperor's final answer, intending to regulate thereby his present negotiations with the Legate, for were his offers rejected, necessity will compel him to offer better terms wherever he can find assistance against the Emperor. Thinks, therefore, that this King and Legate do not really wish for peace, because though they might by it recover their money, yet they would gain much more by the prolongation of the war, for by the fact of the King of France being plunged in greater difficulties, and having need of their help, the value of English manufactures will be enhanced.
Sent to Madame a copy of the power which the Legate took [to France], that she might forward it to the Emperor through his ambassador in France. Begged her to observe much caution and secrecy in the affair, because the person who procured him that document said (if he spoke the truth) that it had been obtained with the greatest difficulty and danger to himself. Sends another copy now, in case the former one should have been lost. The Emperor will perceive from its perusal the evil disposition of the King and Legate. Suspects that, should peace not be concluded, the treaty which the Legate is now drawing up in France will be made both defensive and offensive; although in his last audience with the King, the latter distinctly stated that the Emperor had been included in the draft which the French ambassadors prepared here; but on the other hand it is possible that on his return from France the Legate may no longer adhere to such an arrangement.
Last week a proclamation was, by the Legate's orders, read in some of the churches of this capital, commanding that all plate belonging to them should be exhibited for the purpose of selecting that portion which was to be sold for the Pope's deliverance, either through war or otherwise. In the said proclamations and other printed papers, which have been circulated for that purpose, the most exaggerated and incredible account is given of the excesses committed by the Imperial troops, and of the wanton insults offered to the Pope and the Church, none of which ever occurred. This is being done with a view to excite English people, who, however, will not easily consent to this plunder of the Church plate, though should the Legate insist, he will most probably carry his end.—London, the 25th of August 1527.
The ship not having been ready to sail when the above was written, Mendoça has since received the Emperor's letter of the 2nd, together with that of the 31st of May. This last must be the one which was missing. It was forwarded to him by Madame, and seems to have been more than three months on the way. Every point of the instructions contained in it has long ago been carried out, the ambassador trying to satisfy the King in the most flattering terms he could use, assuring him that the Emperor credited none of the reports made about him, pointing out the evils that might arise therefrom, and dwelling on what the Emperor had done for the King in these present negotiations out of the great friendship he bore him.
Has not flagged in this work, but finds the King so entirely given up to French interests, that the King of France himself could hardly have spoken of his own affairs with as much warmth as this King has done, and still does. Is convinced that the Legate's visit to France has done great injury to the Emperor's interests, by causing King Francis to withdraw what he would otherwise have granted; because when at their last interview the ambassador remarked that the King of France seemed inclined to retract his words, the King said (though Mendoça took no notice of it), "That may possibly be; the King may think he has now a better opportunity for improving his own cause than he had before." Every day this King is putting himself more in the enemy's power. Is convinced that he will either supply the King of France with money, or keep a certain number of Swiss in Italy, and by so doing inflict all possible injury on the Emperor. Other mischief he (the King) cannot do, for his subjects are so favourably disposed towards His Majesty, that without a great disturbance in the kingdom they would not be persuaded to take up arms against the Emperor. This consideration, however, is of especial importance just now, for this business of the Queen's has now become public, and should the King proceed with the divorce case, he (Mendoça) is convinced that the people's resentment will have no bounds, and that their affection for the Queen and her daughter will be strongly manifested; so that, with the Emperor's assistance, such a flame might be kindled in England that the King would need all his energy to extinguish it, and would have no time left to espouse fresh quarrels.
Wrote three months ago to Madame, as ordered by the instructions. Told her particularly to see to the defence of all the frontiers, both by land and sea, taking care that her preparations were made with the greatest secrecy.
Last week the King sent him (Mendoça) word that the captain of a Spanish ship, Juan de La Renteria by name, had seized English merchandise to the amount of six hundred English pounds, on the coast of Brittany, and that he was very much surprised to hear that his subjects met with such treatment on the part of the Emperor. He was about to send the ambassador the procès-verbal drawn on the occasion, as well as the account of goods and property taken on board, that redress might be immediately obtained. He (Mendoça) replied that he could not imagine how any subject or vassal of the Emperor's could venture upon such an act, whilst the friendship and alliance between the King and the Emperor subsisted, but that, were it so, the Emperor would not only order the merchandise to be restored to the English (if it really belonged to them), but would inflict severe punishment upon the offenders. The King then sent to request that a letter should be written to the captain of the coastguard (corregidor de la costa), instructing him in case of the vessel and merchandise being taken to a Spanish port, to take possession of the same until it should be decided what was to be done with it. Has written accordingly [to the corregidor], inasmuch as the King, in order to excite the English, who, as before stated, are favourably disposed towards the Emperor, is known to have said the other day at Court that the Spaniards were already attacking his subjects at sea.
However, as he (Mendoça) has been told that the English are in the habit of making out false bills of lading, representing French manufactures as their own, his advice is that this business of the English ship be well looked into, and intrusted to some one who really understands it. The Englishman who demands restitution states that he can prove that the merchandise is his own.—London, the 6th of September.
Signed: "Don Iñygo de Mendoça."
Addressed: "To His Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty, the Emperor and King, our Lord, &c."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering, pp. 9.
7 Sept. 190. Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 183.
Alessandria, according to all reports, holds out gallantly, It is to be hoped that Lodrone and his Germans will do their duty, as they are abundantly provided with everything. Should the city fall into the hands of the French, Pavia and even Milan would be immediately attacked. We have no money at all, and provisions are scarce; so much so, that we cannot stay the emigration of the Milanese, who, rather than give hospitality to our soldiers, desert their houses, and consent to be fined 10 and 15 cr. a day rather than return home.
Leyva is trying to gain over to the Imperial cause, and secure the services of Count Cesare Scotto, Joan Hieronimo di Castione, and other condottieri— Milano, 7th September 1527.
Signed: "Il Protonotario Caracciolo."
Addressed: "Catholicæ et Cesareæ Mti."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1527. From Milan. From the Prothonotary. 7th of September."
Italian. Original entirely in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet, pp. 3.
9 Sept.
m. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
C. 71, f. 184.
191. Martin de Salinas to the King of Bohemia and Hungary.
On the 1st inst Castilla (fn. n2) left with letters in answer to those brought by Plus Ultra and himself. Could not despatch him earlier, as the Emperor, being much engaged at the time with the affairs of Italy, and the offers of peace made by the English and French ambassadors, being besides compelled to quit Valladolid on account of the plague, could not then attend to our business.
On the 3rd a courier arrived from Flanders, despatched by Madame [Marguerite], announcing the birth of the Prince, his nephew. (fn. n3) The Emperor was delighted to hear the news, saying that he rejoiced more at the birth of his nephew than fit that of his own son Prince Philip. Before Clavijo arrived with the happy intelligence, as communicated by His Highness himself, the Emperor sent for Secretary Lallemand, and bade him send another courier after Castilla, to try and overtake him, that he might be the bearer of an autograph letter showing his great joy at that event.
The Milan business is not yet settled, for although the Emperor is willing to make the grant, and Secretary Lallemand does all he can in Council, yet there are not wanting persons, more or less influential, who are opposed to that measure, their principal objection being, as mentioned in a former despatch, that His Highness has too much work in hand just now to attend to the affairs of Italy. Lallemand thinks that the best way would be for His Highness to cross over to Lombardy under some pretence or other. He is, therefore, trying to procure an order from the Emperor to that effect. Once in Italy, there would be no difficulty in granting the investiture of Milan to the Prince, who had hastened to its defence.
Latur (La Tour) arrived on the 7th inst., and brought His Highness' letters respecting the promised succour. Clavijo, the courier, is to take the answer, which is similar to that sent on a previous occasion. Pressed as he is on all sides, and having to attend to the support of his own armies in Italy, the Emperor cannot really do more for the present.
With regard to the peace there is some probability of its being made, as stated in a former despatch, but there is nothing certain, as matters of this kind are very changeable. The French seem very anxious for it, yet at the same time they are waging war with the utmost fury in Italy.
The Emperor has been told of his Highness having disposed of the estates bought by Count Fustenberg in a different manner from what Don Pedro de Cordova and he (Salinas) had announced. He wishes to know the reason for such a change.—Palencia, 9th September 1527.
Addressed: "To the King."
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 3½.
11 Sept.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 185.
192. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
(Cipher:) Wrote last on the 23rd and 30th ulto., (fn. n4) and enclosed his despatches to Madame [of the Low Countries] to be transmitted to Spain, as he knows of no other safe way at present. Encloses copy of advices received from Lautrec's camp. (fn. n5) The writer is evidently a French partisan, and, therefore, there may be some exaggeration in his report. What he says about the Duke of Ferrara (Alfonso d'Este) having sent to the French camp for the purpose of making his peace is perhaps not true, yet his late conduct is rather that of a man who is temporising to preserve his estates. The news of the confederated fleet having left Genoa on some expedition is quite correct, for this Signory has ordered its fleet to be fitted out, and has appointed a new proveditor general for the sea. Whether the destination is to be Naples, or the island of Sicily, is more than the ambassador can say, as the whole affair is kept very secret; the latter, however, is the more probable. It is reported that Andrea Doria is also to go thither with his galleys. If so the enemy is sure to do mischief. Has written to the Viceroy of Naples by four different ways, begging him to write to Sicily, as he (Sanchez) has not the means of doing so.
The Papal Nuncio (Averoldi) who resides here is holding frequent conferences with the ambassadors of the League. Very often he and the French together go to the College Hall, discuss their own affairs, and do all the harm they can to the Imperial cause. If this be done with the Pope's consent and approval, it cannot be denied that His Holiness' behaviour, situated as he is, is anything but honourable. If his (Sanchez's) information be correct, the Pope is doing much harm, though at the same time he complains of the Signory, that besides taking away from him the appointment (provision) of bishops, and levying taxes on the Venetian clergy without his knowledge, they retain two of his cities (Ravenna and Cervia), and are trying to possess themselves of others.
The Duke of Ferrara, at the request of the Papal Legate at Bologna, has arranged matters between the Bentivogli and the citizens. The former are to be reinstated in all the property they owned previous to the last revolution. This has given much satisfaction to the people, who, it is added, have written to thank the Duke, &c.
Lautrec is actually besieging Alessandria. No news from the Imperialists at "Rome. There is a report that Sarra (sic) Colonna has sacked Camerino. It is a pity, for so much sacking of cities does no good to the Imperial cause, and only serves to ruin the inhabitants and make them disaffected.— Venice, 11th September 1527.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Ma jesty of the Emperor, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1527. Venice. Alonso Sanchez. 11th September.
Spanish. Original entirely in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp. 2½.
12 Sept. 193. News from Hungary.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 99.
His Royal Majesty [King Ferdinand] has occupied both banks of the Danube, Buda, and other cities beyond. Last Sunday, the 8th instant, he sent the whole of his forces against the Vayvod. No resistance is offered, as the rebel has neither money nor troops to make a stand.
Primi petrus Veyda transsilvaniæ una cum transilvanis et valachis [et] Veyda moldavie Regie Mati. sese addixerunt.
Indorsed: "Ex litteris Erasmi a Borsberg ex Viena, XII. Septembris."
Latin. Contemporary copy. 1.
14 Sept. 194. George Fruntsperg to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1,553,
f. 170.
He and Andrea de Borgo, the Imperial ambassador, begged the Archbishop Juan de Centellas, who was going to Spain, duly to inform the Emperor of what the [German] troops under his command, after causing the enemy to raise the siege of Milan, had achieved at Rome, "quid cum capitali hoste et authore hujus indignissimi belli, ad querenda debita stipendia Romæ egerit, magno honore et commodo Sacri Romani Imperii." The Archbishop, being one of those who most worked for the Imperial service on that occasion, will be a faithful interpreter of their sentiments of loyalty. For his own part he (Fruntsperg) begs the Emperor to reward his long services, having suffered so many toils, labours, dangers, and wounds. The Count of Nassau and the Provost (Prepositus) of Valdtkirch will be able to point out the kind of reward his long services merit. Begs credence for the Archbishop.—Ferrara, 14th September 1527.
Signed: "Georgius à Fruntsperg."
Addressed: .Sacratissimæ Cæsæ. ac Cathcæ. Mti. Domino meo clementissimo."
Latin. (fn. n6) Original.


  • n1. The minute is not in the Imperial Archives.
  • n2. Elsewhere written Costilla.
  • n3. Maximilian II., who succeeded his father, Ferdinand, to the Empire.
  • n4. See Nos. 163 and 175.
  • n5. No. 173, in date of the 30th of August.
  • n6. Two copies in B. M. Add. 28,576, ff. 350 & 351; the former in Bergenroth's band.