Spain: October 1527, 21-25

Pages 423-431

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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October 1527, 21-25

21 Oct. 220. Don Iñigo de Mendoça, Imperial Ambassador in England, to the Archduchess Margaret, Governess of the Netherlands.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u.Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 227, No. 37.
Has received her letter of the 19th inst. Is surprised to hear that his of the 12th, in reference to what passed between the King, the Cardinal, and himself (Mendoça) at their last interview, has not reached her. Thinks, however, that most likely his letter arrived only two or three days after hers was written. The powers she alludes to from the Emperor, and several letters with names in blank to be filled up in Flanders, as she may direct, are in his (Mendoça's) possession. Has also received from Spain copies of various papers similar to those which Her Highness has now sent him.
The despatch above mentioned, and which he (Mendoça) is to forward to her as soon as he can obtain an answer from the King and Cardinal, is to request that she will immediately send over two persons to treat about the renewal of friendship and commercial intercourse, and also to negotiate a marriage between one of the daughters of the King of Denmark (Christiern) and the Duke of Richmond (Fitzroy), the illegiti- mate son of the King. But as the Emperor has ordered him (Mendoça), before sending on the despatch, to inquire of the Cardinal whether he wishes these matters of the marriage and of the renewal of friendship to be discussed at once she has kept back the Emperor's instructors to Her Highness, for fear that the Cardinal not feeling inclined to entertain those overtures at present, the ambassadors from Flanders should come over to no purpose. Has therefore sent to inquire when he can have audience from the Cardinal, but the latter is so much occupied now with his French friends that he is not likely to fix an early time for it. Will inform her of what is done in the affair, and if the Cardinal's answer be at all favourable send the Emperor's despatch, that Her Highness may at once act upon the instructions.
The [French] ambassadors (fn. n1) made their solemn entry yesterday [the 20th] with a pompous reception which the people of this city, not much pleased at their arrival, had prepared for them. The mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen went out to meet them, which, they say here, is only customary at the reception of crowned Princes. Thus had the Cardinal ordered it to be, and he was obeyed, though with the greatest reluctance (con harta ruyn voluntad).
Has nothing more to advise Her Highness of until hearing from the Cardinal what he has to say about the arrival of these French ambassadors.—London, the 21st of October 1527.
Signed: "Don Iñygo de Mendoça."
Addressed: "To the most powerful Lady the Princess of Castille, Duchess of Savoy, my Lady, &c."
Spanish. Original. 1.
21 Oct. 221. Martin de Salinas to the King of Hungary.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
C. 71, f. 186.
On the 25th ulto. the Emperor sent a messenger to France with a memorandum of his own conditions of peace, as agreed with the ambassadors of England and France. A mandate was also enclosed for his ambassador at the court of France [Perrenot], bidding him to acquaint His Highness with the state of the negotiation, and also to transmit copies of any notes and papers interchanged on the occasion. As these last were to go by a sea route, a duplicate was forwarded by land, addressed to Secretary Castillejo.
No news has yet come of what has been done in France concerning peace, but the intelligence lately received from Italy is anything but good. His Imperial Majesty hears that Genoa and Alessandria have been taken by the enemy, and that Mons. de Lautreq has encamped before Milan. The absence of the Imperial army from Lombardy has been the cause of the French general penetrating so far into the country, but the Imperialists had at last agreed to offer the command to Lannoy; the soldiers had received their pay, and were already marching in the direction of Lombardy full of spirits. (fn. n2)
News has likewise been received here of the happy termination of the Hungarian war; of the Vayvod of Transylvania having taken flight and abandoned Buda in carts (en carros). taking with him all he possessed. All the rest of Hungary had made its submission. The Turk had been defeated by the Sophi of Persia in a pitched battle, which would prevent him from giving assistance to the Vayvod in future. This intelligence, fully confirmed by letters from all parts, has filled this Court with joy.
The Emperor, who had left Valladolid for Palencia on account of the plague having broken out in that city, has now come to Burgos to join his councillors and courtiers, and be nearer to the French frontier, as there can be no doubt that the news of peace or war must come very shortly from that country. Of the decision, His Highness shall be speedily informed through Latur (La Tour), who is to leave at a moment's notice for Flanders.—Burgos, 21st October 1527.
Addressed: "To the King."
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 1½.
23 Oct. 222. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 272.
Believes that his letter of the 12th will accompany this. Since that day the Germans have met two or three times for the purpose of discussing the convenience of their leaving Rome, and liberating (quitar los yerros) the hostages, but though very fair promises were made, they have not yet come to any decision, insisting upon receiving first the two and a half months' pay now due to them. Cardinal Colonna, who has great influence over these Germans, is now trying to persuade them to be contented with the one which has just been issued, and another half which the Pope is raising among his own servants, and which will be ready in a few days. It is confidently believed that with this payment, and the promise that comfortable quarters shall be prepared for them in Viterbo and its district, where they can forage for themselves, besides a competent force of artillery to defend themselves in case of need, and Papal commissaries to procure them provisions, they will be induced to quit Rome. If so, the Spaniards will most likely follow them; for although they are now demanding hostages from the Pope for their own share in the 250,000 ducats, and are not entirely agreed as to the dates of payment, yet great hopes are entertained that, this matter once arranged, they will march out of Rome, in order to punish the Abbot of Farfa (Napoleone Orsino), who, only the other day, took into his head to rob (desvalijar) at Anguillara one company of light horse under Captain Miranda, and a number of Spanish foot. Alarcon and the rest of the Imperial captains are of opinion that a nuisance of this sort cannot be tolerated, and therefore every preparation is being made for a competent force, with artillery, &c., to go in search of the Abbot, who is said to be now at Brachano (Bracciano), five leagues from this city. The place is strong, but the Spaniards, to whom some Germans will perhaps be added, have orders to take and dismantle it without sparing any living soul, that it may be an example for the future. There is, however, every reason to think that this attempt of the Abbot has been at the Duke of Urbino's instigation; it is even added that the latter sent him 100 horse for the undertaking.
The camp of the League is fast breaking up. The Marquis of Saluzzo has gone to Lombardy. The Florentines are on their way home. The Duke of Urbino alone remains with about 5,000 men.
The late Doge of Genoa, who is now at La Mirandola, had sent us one of his household to ask for money, wherewith to pay a certain cavalry force and some Spaniards he has with him. The messenger says that Lautreque (Lautrech) was at Viagrassa on the 5th inst., and that Leyva had strongly fortified Milan and Pavia, and had provisons for four months. News from another quarter is that Count Beljoioso had left Pavia for Milan. at the head of certain forces, but had been met by Lautrech on the road to that capital, and routed with some loss.
The same messenger states that Count Lodron, the one who was once at Boscho, (fn. n3) was expected from Germany with 7,000 men, and would shortly be at Milan. If the report be true, not only would Antonio de Leyva be able to defend himself, but also to take the offensive whilst this Imperial army marched on Lombardy. Cardinal Colonna and Gironimo (Girolamo) Moron are trying to persuade the men to march out of Rome on the distribution to the Germans of 50,000 or 60,000—as complement of the two and a half months' pay promised to them—and of one more to the Spaniards. It is confidently believed that these terms will be accepted, since both Germans and Spaniards are burning for revenge and anxious to chastise the Abbot. The only difficulty now lies with the Spaniards, who demand one month's pay before leaving, and moreover that His Holiness take an engagement to pay them their share in the 250,000 ducats. Unless these terms are complied with they will not allow His Holiness to be liberated, and Sanct Angelo is to remain in the hands of Alarcon. Their captains, however, are well disposed, and have undertaken to speak to the men and persuade them to go. Cardinal Golonna has promised besides that they shall be paid 15 days after their departure, and thus the matter remains at present.
On the morning of the 18th, as the men were preparing to march to the places occupied by the aforesaid Abbot of Farfa (Napoleone Orsino), the news came that the army of the League had taken a town called Monte Rotondo, four leagues from this city, and made 14 companies of light horse stationed there prisoners. Later in the day news was received of an opposite nature. It appears that the night before about 20 light horse thought of doing what they had never done before, namely, going out reconnoitring. Such was their luck that they came upon some of the enemy's scouts, who, though they would not tell the truth, said enough to induce them to go forwards. After some time, when it was daylight, they were able to discover the enemy, upon which they dispatched a messenger to their comrades at Monte Rotondo to send them more cavalry, intimating that those remaining might come here to Rome with their luggage. The men did as they were asked; they sent 100 of their number, on the arrival of whom they began skirmishing with the enemy's infantry in the vanguard. So resolutely did they charge the enemy that they routed them completely, and put them to flight, the men throwing down their hackbuts, shields, and pikes, in order to run away more speedily. After this, seeing the main body of the enemy advance in good order, our horse retreated slowly towards Monte Rotondo, intending to come to Rome with the rest. Finding 50 of the enemy's horse at a bridge, defended by only 12 Spanish hackbutiers, they joined the latter, and succeeded in making them all prisoners, with the exception of one man who threw himself into the river and was drowned. The prisoners owned that they had come for the purpose of cutting that bridge and others on the road to prevent succours from Rome reaching Monte Rotondo, and the captain, whose name was Farfaçelo, complained bitterly of the Duke of Urbino, who, he said, had promised to come up with his forces before daybreak, and had not done so.
On hearing the first alarming news Alarcon went out with all the Spanish infantry, part of the Germans, and all the cavalry that was at Rome. Orders were sent to the men-at- arms quartered at Tiboli, five leagues from this city, to be on the look-out, and fall back on Rome, assisted by three companies of hackbutiers whom Alarcon sent for that purpose. He, himself, took the road to Monte Rotondo, and met our men coming in triumph with their prisoners.
To-day, the 19th inst., a council of war has been held, at which Cardinal Colonna, the general of the Franciscans (Quiñones), Alarcon, Vere (Veyre), and Moron were present, as likewise all the captains of foot and horse. It has been decided that in a couple of days the Imperial army is to go out in quest of the enemy, should they be as dose to us as asserted. Should the confederates make a stand there will be a battle (jornada). but it is not likely, for they only muster about 6,000 foot, and their cavalry is very bad, as may be gathered from the easy victory which our troopers gained the other day. All of them ride ponies (hacas) instead of chargers, and the cavaliers are worthless, with the exception of their captain, who is a veteran.
The Imperial army having decided on going out of Rome is an important point gained, for were it prevented from some cause or other from marching against the army of the League it is sure to go in search of the Abbot of Farfa, who, as before stated, is fast fortifying himself in Brachano (Bracciano). All the captains are very anxious to do so, and Quiñones says that at the last meeting they all expressed sentiments which honour them, and offered to march unconditionally wherever they were ordered.
The Pope's liberation, and consequent surrender of Sanct Angelo to him, was the next point under discussion. It must be owned that, though the captains who attended the meeting seemed ready to lead their men against the enemy, when the question concerning the Pope was mooted they showed anything but docility, alleging that His Holiness was not to be trusted (no era de fiar) in such matters, as there was a strong suspicion that both the Abbot of Farfa (Napoleone Orsino) and the Duke of Urbino were in secret intelligence with. him, and acting according to his instructions. Should the Pope offer securities and deliver hostages for the payment of what was owing to them, as had already been done with the Germans, the Spaniards had no objection to quit Rome, otherwise they could not consent to his liberation. At last, through Alarcon's prayers and entreaties, and his promise to lead them against the enemy, if they only agreed to relieve him from so responsible a charge as keeping the Pope and cardinals in custody, the captains yielded, and offered to communicate the matter to their men.
To-day Juan de Urbina, and some more Spanish captains with him, have come back from Naples. On Monday the Marquis del Guasto is expected. He brings some money, though not so much as could be desired.
News has come that 18 galleys and a number of the enemy's barks (barchas) have anchored at Porto Ercole, and that they have troops on board destined for Naples. Sixteen more of the galleys of Venice are also at Baya (Baia), a port of that kingdom, whither they had been driven by contrary winds and a stormy sea, which did not, however, prevent their capturing a galleon laden with corn.
The Marquis of Astorga and the Bishop are on the point of leaving for Naples or Gaeta, after settling their several affairs here. At the cost of 6,000 ducats given to the Pope to hand over to the Germans, the former has obtained permission to marry whomever he pleases, whilst the Bishop, his uncle, will be able to add the abbacy of Santa Martha to his other ecclesiastical benefices.
There is a rumour afloat that Pavia was taken and sacked by the enemy on the 5th inst. May the news prove untrue.
On the 21st all the captains of this Imperial army, Spaniards as well as Germans, met at the quarters of Juan de Urbina, where Alarcon read to them the instructions he had received respecting the Pope's liberation and the march of the army. Urbina was the first to declare his readiness to obey the Emperor's orders implicitly, in which declaration he was soon followed by the rest of the captains, lieutenants, and ensigns (alfereces) of all the companies. A similar meeting was held on the same day at the Colonna Palace, at which the Cardinal [Pompeo], Mons. de Vere (Veyre), Alarcon, and the captains of the lansquenets were present. Each was then requested to persuade his own men to quit Rome, since they had already received one and a half month's pay. Cardinal Colonna again promised that within a fortnight of their leaving Rome they should receive the other month's pay. The captains replied that, as far as they themselves were concerned, they were ready to do the Emperor's service, but their men would not quit Rome unless they were paid. They would, however, collect as much money as they could among themselves and their friends, and hand it over to the lansquenets, provided the Roman bankers stood security for the Pope. Upon which Alarcon went this very morning to the Palace, and persuaded His Holiness to procure such security, as the only means of getting the Germans out of Rome, and recovering his own liberty.
On this last point all the captains, Spaniards as well as Italians, declared their readiness to assent to any measure or agreement which Alarcon might take in the Emperor's name. It was resolved that he should take charge of the hostages as security for what is owing to the men out of the 250,000 ducats. When the money is procured, he (Perez) has no doubt that the whole army will march out, and on their way [to Lombardy] pay a visit to the Abbot [of Farfa], that he may not in future meddle with the Emperor's affairs.
There came to-day a gentleman whom the Duke of Ferrara had despatched to the late Viceroy. He brings letters of credence from Captain George [Fruntspergh] to his own lieutenant and the rest of the German and Spanish captains, as well as to the men, exhorting them to march at once in the direction of Lombardy. It is confidently believed that the lansquenets will be considerably influenced by this message.
News has come from Lombardy confirming the fall of Pavia. The enemy, as it appears, battered the walls of the castle with their artillery, entered through the breach, and after great slaughter made the garrison and its commander, Count Belgioiosso (Belgioioso), prisoners of war.
The news about the whole of the enemy's fleet having anchored at Porto [Ercole] turns out incorrect. It was only two of Doria's galleys that went thither.
The general [of the Franciscans] and Vere (Veyre) will most likely despatch Captain Gayoso to Spain, after they have concluded the agreement with the Pope,
The camp of the League is two leagues from Monte Redondo (Rotondo). It is rumoured that the enemy's attempt, so providentially baffled by our troopers some days ago, was made at the instigation of Mario Ursino, the lord of that place, who must of late have joined the League, for he was formerly in the Imperial army, and almost lost a leg at the battle of Frosinone.
Captain Farfarelo, who was taken prisoner in the affair of Monte Rotondo, says that the Duke of Urbino is suffering from the gout, and ill-pleased that his wife and daughter should be, as it were, prisoners in the hands of the Venetians at Padua, for a guard is appointed to accompany them on all occasions.
Sarra (Sciarra) Colonna married some time ago the Dowager Duchess of Camarino, and has besides betrothed his own daughter to the son of Ascanio Colonna, who came lately to Rome, and is now helping the Cardinal to settle the German claims. Though the Cardinal is known to possess great influence over the latter, he has not yet been able to induce them to release the hostages from their irons (que quiten los yierros á los ostajes).
Recommends again Don Felipe Cerbellon, who has served with assiduity and courage for many years, and is now very useful as lieutenant at Sanct Angelo. The Pope has just granted him for one of his sons an ecclesiastic dignity at Tarragona, known as "La Camareria."
On the 22nd pledges (prendas) were procured for the German captains, who will pass them over to their treasurer. The lansquenets once paid, there will be no difficulty in the departure of the Imperialists. Alarcon will go with them until the Marquis del Guasto comes from Naples, for some of his suite are already in Rome, and he himself will ride post.
How and when the Pope is to obtain his freedom appears already settled. He (Perez) imagines that besides the conditions stipulated and fortresses demanded on a former occasion, Civittà Castellana, Forlin (Foligno), and Orbieto will now be added. This last is a considerable and well-fortified city near the sea coast. Whether His Holiness will consent to this or not, is more than he (Perez) can say.
Hears that the Pope will not allow the marriage of the daughter of the Duchess of Camarino to the son of Ascanio Colonna, and that in consequence of this the Cardinal and his brother Ascanio have gone to see the Pope. Doubts whether they will be successful, for the Papal Legate [in Romagna?] writes to say that by the Pope's order the army of the League had gone to lay siege to Camarino.—Rome, 23rd October 1527.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: "Sacratissimæ, Cæsareæ Majestati."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1527. From Rome. Perez. 23rd October."
Spanish. Original. pp. 6.
25 Oct. 223. Maximilian of Transylvania to Alfonso Valdes.
S. E. L. 1,994,
f. 582.
Has received two letters from him "de pugna ista cucullatorum contra Erasmum." Wonders that he (Erasmus) has found defenders [in Spain]. It is astonishing what success his letters have had. Is glad to hear that the High Chancellor (Gattinara) has been induced to write to Louvain in his favour. His letters will do more good there than those of the Emperor or of His most Serene Highness the King of Bohemia. Already the theologians at Louvain speak of Erasmus in more moderate terms. Here (in Flanders) Erasmus' friends are not so numerous as there [in Spain], where they seem to be many and very illustrious "permulti et preclari." Theologians here [in Flanders] are in general the enemies of Erasmus. Is it that they profess a different religion altogether, or are they jealous of his fame? Is inclined to believe in the latter alternative. Although there is a truce now, the final result [of the contest] will depend from what he (Erasmus) can do in Spain. "Hic utrumque tam est periculosum quam aut Lutherum, aut si quis hereticus Luthero etiam deterior defendere, tam sunt potentes hii Erasmi adversarii, quorum caput decanus Lovaniensis qui horum procerum fihit, magno precio nihil Sapere docet."
Erasmus would willingly come t. Brabant if he were only protected from the "Fratres cucullati." Begs him to procure from the Emperor "fidem publicam ut solus Pontifex aut Inquisitor Hispanorum eius liberos judices et censores esse possent." It would be desirable that the Emperor should invite Erasmus to return to Flanders. Thinks that, if invited, he would come with pleasure, as he dislikes his present residence (Basle). The King of France did a similar thing with Jo. Faber Stapulin, when he fled from Paris in order to escape from the attacks of the Parisian theologians, for he persuaded him to return to his dominions.
Is much afraid of the turn affairs are taking in Italy.— Ex Hantem, 25th October 1527.
Signed: "Maximilianus Transylvanus."
Addressed: "Ornatissimo viro Domino Alphonso Valdesio S. Secretario dignissimo."
Latin. Holograph. pp. 2.


  • n1. Anne de Montmorency, Grand Master and Marshal of France, and Jean Brinon, First President of Rouen, had landed at Dover on the 14th. See Brewer, p. 1578
  • n2. The writer alludes no doubt to the first evacuation of Rome in July, when the Germans encamped at Narni. See above p. 267.
  • n3. "El mismo que estaba en el Bosque." No mistake for Alessandria. See above, p. 399.