Spain: October 1527, 26-31

Pages 432-449

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, 26-31

26 Oct. 224. Bon Iñigo de Mendoça to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u.Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 224, No. 35.
Received by Chateau, who arrived on the 28th ult., the duplicates of two of the Emperor's letters of the 30th of 'June and 28th of July, the contents of which were communicated both to the King and Legate, as he (Mendoça) wrote at the time through the [Imperial] ambassador in France, and also by a ship of Anton de Layçola, that left this river on the 6th of September. As both these despatches seem to have reached their destination, the ambassador may perhaps be dispensed from further allusion to the unsatisfactory reply received on that occasion.
Will now proceed to relate that at the end of September the Legate returned from France with all those who had accompanied him on that journey, and immediately after repaired to Richmond, where the King was then staying. On his arrival at that royal residence (casa) the Legate sent to apprise the King of his return, and ask where and at what hour he could see him, it being the custom that whenever the Legate has state affairs to communicate, the King retires to a private closet (camara) with him. Now it happened that on this occasion the lady called Anna de Bolains, who seems to entertain no great affection for the Cardinal, was in the room with the King, and before the latter could answer the message she said, "Where else is the Cardinal to come? Tell him that he may come here, where the King is." This answer being confirmed by the King, the messenger returned, (fn. n1) and the Legate, though extremely annoyed at a circumstance which boded no good to him, dissembled as much as he could, and concealed his resentment. Though it was thought at the time—and perhaps the Legate himself may have believed sothat this sudden change in the King's manner was indicative of his displeasure, the matter has not gone further, and things remain outwardly as they were. The cause for all this is supposed to be that the said lady, to whom the King is much attached, bears the Legate a grudge on account of his having some years since deprived her father of a high official post which he held here, as well as because she has discovered that during his last visit to France the Legate proposed to have an alliance for the King of England found in that country. Hears that for the same reasons the Duke of Norfolk, who is the lady's uncle, and Milord Boleyn, her father, a very influential man at Court, with others of their friends and connections, have made a league against the Legate, thinking that his absence [from England] might be a favourable opportunity for working his ruin. This notwithstanding, matters remain in the same state as before, and no change has taken place yet to the ambassador's knowledge; for the Legate, fearing lest by promoting the divorce he should make an opening for the King to marry in France, and that instead of a Queen like the present, incapable of doing him any injury, there might come one who disliked him (perhaps this very lady whom he had so much offended), is not likely to favour any such alliance. (fn. n2) That is the reason why the Cardinal is trying all he can to prevent the dissolution of the marriage; and accordingly, knowing, as he does know, that very few of the lawyers and canonists of this country are likely to decide in this matter against the Queen, he is now trying, before the legal proceedings commence, to get up a great meeting of prelates and lawyers to determine whether the King can rightly, and in conformity with law, both divine and human, carry his plan into execution. There are, however, some courtiers who think that should the Legate perceive that the King is not likely to be moved from his purpose, he will turn round and take up the Lady's cause rather than oppose the King's wishes in this particular.
He (Mendoça) has not yet spoken to the King and Legate on this business, having been expressly forbidden to do so by the Queen. As long as she herself is satisfied—as most undoubtedly she is—with the measures the Emperor is taking in her behalf, the ambassador will forbear from any allusion to the subject, feeling sure that, were he to mention it now, it would only irritate the King, and possibly have a bad effect on the negotiations before they are either more advanced, or quite set aside. As, however, the Emperor commands him (Mendoça) to do all he can for the Queen, he has already written four or five letters to the Viceroy, urging him, at the Queen's own request, to forward here (to London), with all possible haste, a copy of the despatches of which the general [of the Franciscans] took charge. As the Queen's hope is centred in what is to come from Rome, she is most anxious that the Pope's directions concerning her case should arrive here before the legal proceedings commence. Thinks the Viceroy has probably attended to this already, but it would be as well to remind him of it. It would be also advisable if an able lawyer could come over from Flanders to defend the Queen; those of this country are not to be relied upon, and some in whom the Queen trusted are now failing her. Begs the Emperor to write to Madame, that should the lawyer be sent for, she may direct his immediate attendance to the business in question.
Called on the King and also on the Cardinal after his return [from France]. Delivered to the former the Emperor's letter in Latin as soon as it arrived, which letter, as Secretary Lallemand informed him, contains His Imperial Majesty's vindication of the sacking of Rome and imprisonment of the Pope. (fn. n3) The King and Legate retired to a closet to read the letter, and the only remark which the King made was that it was very badly written (mat scripta). Replied that he had not read the letter, but knew that its contents were true. Proceeded then to speak about the peace, and knowing beforehand, through M. de Bouclans (Lallemand), that the Emperor would have preferred M. Lachaux coming here for that purpose, rather than his going to any other place, (fn. n4) brought the subject forward. The Legate immediately interrupted him (Mendoça) by saying, "M. Lachaux' presence is no longer required, for unless it were to decide on the appropriation of the Duchy of Milan his coming over [to England] is of no use whatever." Replied that the Duchy of Milan could no longer be a subject for discussion, the French ambassadors having by virtue of their powers ceded their Bang's rights to it. Exhibited then the copy of a memorandum to that effect, which being read by the Legate, he immediately produced another copy he had by him, declaring however that both were spurious (fn. n5) and not to be relied upon, and adding that if the ambassadors had ceded the rights of France to the Duchy, it was on the understanding that it should remain for ever in possession of the Duke Francesco [Sforza] and of his heirs, not otherwise. Replied that this last was out of the question; the King of France had never sought the Duchy for himself, but for the Duke Francesco, and therefore it was evident that if he abandoned his claim he gave up what he had asked for in the first instance, not that for which no demand whatever had been made. This argument of the ambassador admitting of no contradiction, the King and Cardinal gave him to understand that some new agreement must needs be made respecting the Italian affairs, lest they should become the cause of new disagreement between the parties. After which the Cardinal suggested that he (Mendoça) should write to the Emperor to the effect that, unless in this matter of the Duchy one of the two means proposed by the King of France were adopted, there would be no chance of coming to an agreement. "One of these means (the Cardinal added) is for the Duchy to remain as before in the hands of the Duke Francesco, on his engaging to pay a large pension to the person selected by the Emperor." The King of France would then remit the sum of 200,000 ducats which he says the Emperor has promised as a dowry for Madame Eleonore, and would besides restore certain Imperial galleys taken during the last war. The other means proposed, in case of the above being rejected, was that each party should retain possession of that portion of the Duchy now held by them respectively. Replied that he did not feel justified in bringing either of these proposals before the Emperor, but still both the King and Cardinal particularly insisted on his writing home about them, as they said they themselves intended to do.
Was also desired by the Legate to assure the Emperor that the alliance between France and England was now so closely knit that nothing could effectually loosen it, and that it was in vain for any of the Emperor's councillors to presume that they could sow discord between [the two Kings]. The Legate further said that his assertion was founded on the fact of one of the Emperor's councillors having said to the Bishop of Tarbes (Gabriel de Grammont) that no importance should be attached to the opinion of the English in these matters, for they generally had one sentiment on their lips and another in their hearts, and that the peace which they proclaimed was the last thing they really desired; that for this reason the King of France had sent him a copy of the cipher he used with his ambassadors, and he (the King) had sent his to the secretary of the King of France, that they might thus show they kept no secrets from each other, and were guided by mutual interests in the negotiations. All this, and many other things to the purpose, had the Emperor's councillor declared to the Bishop.
Replied that the Legate must know well how little the Emperor had ever wished to disturb such mutual friendship, since he rejoiced not only in the union of the two Kings [of England and France], but also in that of all Christian Princes. Perceiving the King's earnest desire for peace, he had yielded many points, which he never would have done but out of regard to him. It must therefore be clear to every one that neither the Emperor nor any member of his Council could have entertained such an idea as this. It was far more probable that the Bishop of Tarbes had written this in the hope of sowing between the King [of England] and the Emperor that very dissension which he said others were trying to sow between the two Kings. The Legate rejoined that he was certain that what had been written to him on the subject was quite true; after which he took the King apart and conversed with him for awhile in English, relating to him, as far as he (Mendoça) could gather from the conversation, other similar intelligence received from Spain.
Is informed by a person who was present on the occasion, that last week when the Legate was telling the King of the fairness of the King of France's terms, and the unfairness of his (the Emperor's), the Legate said in English, "In one thing, above all others, will your Highness recognize how bad the Emperor's cause is, for he has lately offered me, through his ambassador (Mendoça), a large pension in his kingdom, and a considerable sum of money besides, if I will only serve his interest. These, of course, I have refused, to prove the Emperor's unfairness, and my own freedom from avarice."
The above will show the Emperor how much reliance can be put in the Legate, when he himself reveals that which for his own interest he has always kept secret. (fn. n6) He has returned from France very well pleased, as he well may be, with what he has done there, and now he busies himself in saying and doing all he possibly can to injure the Emperor's cause. Has hitherto used towards the Legate all possible courtesy and moderation, but thinks it will be more advisable in future to let him understand that the Emperor knows him to be such as he is. Will not, however, change his tone until hearing from the Emperor to that effect.
The news received here from Italy is rather favourable to the French; thinks that which comes through Germany the more reliable. Hears from the latter source that the Imperial army was in treaty with the Venetians, who offered to give it tree passage through their territory with flying colours, on condition of the Germans returning home, and the Italians taking service under the French; but that the Marquis del Gasto (Guasto) was trying to stop them, and it was not known what their decision would be. M. de Lautrec had taken possession of Alessandria, and it was thought he would soon advance upon Pavia, the garrison of which was so small and so scantily provided, that it could not offer much resistance.
The news through France is that Lautrec has actually taken Pavia. Cannot say for certain whether Antonio de Leyva was at Pavia or at Milan at the time. Rather thinks he was at the latter place, but His Majesty is sure to know from his ambassador at Venice (Alonso Sanchez), three of whose letters are here enclosed, as in consequence of the changes at Genoa (fn. n7) he has deemed it advisable to send them [to Spain] by this route.
The Queen has sent him the enclosed letter for the Emperor, informing him that Parliament is to meet on the 15th of November, and that her case will then be brought forward. Her only hope lies in the despatch which the Viceroy [of Naples] is to send from Rome, in conformity with the request made by Francisco Felipe, her cup-bearer (maestre sola). The assembling of these lawyers is considered a good sign, because if the cause be publicly conducted, there will not be wanting some among them who, for the sake of honour and conscience, will speak the truth to the King. The latter's dislike to the Queen shows itself more and more every day. Mentions this because only last week the King ordered that the said Francisco Felipe, who went to Spain, and has hitherto always been the Queen's cup-bearer, should no longer have that office, thereby showing how much he suspects all those who serve the Queen faithfully.
Hears that the Legate is trying all he can to get the Pope to nominate him Vicar-General of the Church during his detention, and that with this view he has lately sent the Papal Nuncio (Gambara), who was here, to assure him (the Pope) that he will conform himself entirely to his will, and also to persuade him that the Emperor will never restore him to the Papal Chair, and that the commission given to the General [of the Franciscans] was simply to induce him (the Pope) to go where the Emperor was. This latter assertion was made to him (Mendoça) by the Cardinal himself, who said he knew what the general's charge was better than any one else, and that such, and none other, was the nature of it. Cannot speak quite so positively as to the fact that the Cardinal is intriguing to be appointed Vicar-General of the Church, but has been told so by persons of authority, as likewise that he (the Legate), had already, in the expectation of that high ecclesiastical office, appointed Cardinal Salviati for Italy and Maguntino (the Archbishop of Maintz) for Germany to be his subdelegates, knowing that these two can either help or hinder him considerably in this matter.
Remembers now that besides the two above-mentioned means proposed by the Legate for the settlement of the Milan question, there was a third, namely, that the Duchy should be placed entirely under arbitration in this King's hands. As this is undoubtedly the worst of the three proposals, he (Mendoça) did not consider it necessary to mention it.
The merchants of this city have been to the Legate again about their trade with Flanders. He seems to have neither directly permitted nor prohibited them from going; only he has forbidden them to go together in a fleet (flota). Trade therefore will be carried on much as before; but the Cardinal is so changeable with his restrictions and permissions that the orders issued one day are generally in direct opposition to those of the previous one; permission to lade for Spain has, however, not yet been granted. It is said that the Legate has promised to give his final answer within 30 days.
The Grand Master of France (Montmorency) with two other ambassadors, the Bishop of Bayonne (Charles du Bellay) and President of Rouen (Jean Brinon), entered London on Sunday last (the 20th).
(Copies word for word a similar paragraph of his letter of the 6th of September and then continues:)
The object that brings them over is said to be to induce this King to confirm by oath what has been already sworn to by the King [of France] and Legate. They bring also the Order of St. Michael for this King, and are to take back the Garter to Francis. Such are the rumours afloat; but there is no certainty about them. However this may be, both King and Legate are greatly occupied in entertaining these ambassadors, and it is said that after receiving them in Greenwich the King will invite them to Windsor and other places of amusement. The Cardinal, moreover, has sent orders throughout all the parishes in the kingdom that no one under heavy penalty is to use any abusive language towards the said ambassadors, which order is a good proof of the feeling entertained by this people towards them and their nation.
Since writing the above he (Mendoça) has received a packet of letters dated Palencia, the 30th ult., and addressed to Brian Tuke, the Secretary. It was delivered to him (Mendoça) later than usual, not from any fault of the said Brian Tuke, but because as the superscription of the packet (envoltorio) read thus: To be delivered into the hands of Nicolas Perrernot, (fn. n8) he (Brian Tuke) did not think there were any letters for him (Mendoça) in it, and accordingly forwarded it to Madame by the usual messenger without any special haste. Madame returned it to the same address, and the Secretary (Brian Tuke) being at that time 20 miles away from London, there has inevitably been considerable delay in its transmission. The two seals are intact; does not think it has been opened in any way.
The packet (envoltorio) contained, 1st, the account of the negotiations for peace; (fn. n9) 2dly, the answer given to the English 3dly, the power and letters for Madame, and his own instructions.
With regard to these last, he (Mendoça) cannot but repeat here the observations made in his former despatches. He is ordered to ask the Legate whether the King and himself are willing to renew the old alliance through a marriage between the Emperor's niece and the Duke of Richmond; for if they do not, Madame need not send the ambassadors. Mendoça is besides instructed to offer the Legate as a gift the sum mentioned in the Emperor's letter. With regard to the former point, Mendoça wrote by the courier who sailed in Antonio de Layçola's ship, saying that the King and Legate absolutely refused to hear of an alliance unless the Emperor's debts were first paid. If they were then of that mind it could not be expected that they would change now that the treaty between France and England, as this King has often assured him, prevents the one country from treating and acting independently of the other. Wrote at the time to say that any further insistence on the renewal of the old alliance tended to lower the Emperor's reputation without producing any advantage whatever to himself. But as it seems still to be His Majesty's pleasure that this subject should be introduced, he (Mendoça) will try to ascertain, before sending the despatches to Madame, whether the Cardinal agrees or not to the coming of the ambassadors [from Flanders], and will advise Madame thereof as soon as possible. It will be rather difficult for him to obtain an audience this week, the King and Legate having all their time taken up with receiving and visiting these French ambassadors; will, however, be so importunate as to gain a hearing if possible Feels certain, nevertheless, that the Legate's answer will be of a nature to render the ambassadors' visit of little avail. Most probably the King will refuse to receive them unless they bring more satisfactory terms for the payment of the Emperor's debts.
With regard to the second article of his instructions he (Mendoça) can only repeat what he said in a former despatch. As the Legate, besides refusing the new pensions and ready money offered to him, has acquainted the King with the fact of such offers having been made to him, it is almost certain that he will again reject any that may be made, especially now that the very considerable bribes, which he is said to have received from France, will make him less desirous to accept ours. Besides which, as the arrears of his pensions are still unpaid, he (the Cardinal) will conclude that if, when his services are so much wanted, payment is not made, much less will it be so when such services are no longer indispensable. Will nevertheless again bring the subject forward in compliance with the Emperor's instructions, but has very little hope of succeeding.
All copies of papers sent him to show to the King and Legate, as well as all instructions concerning what he (Mendoça) is to say to them, generally reach him so late that, when he goes to court for that purpose, both the King and Cardinal know already what he is about to say, and receive him (Mendoça) with the air of people who have previously settled what answer is to be made to his applications. The Emperor does quite the contrary; for whereas the Bang and Legate never acquaint him (Mendoça) with what they write to their ambassador [in Spain], he (the Emperor) informs the English ambassadors beforehand of the instructions he intends forwarding to him, long before sending them, and in most cases such instructions do not reach London till two or three months after. So that owing to this delay in the transmission of letters and despatches, as well as to the excessive confidence placed in these people, the Imperial ambassador can never obtain a hearing under favourable circumstances; for as the King and Cardinal know beforehand what he (Mendoça) has to say, they have plenty of time to write to France, and elsewhere, before they agree as to the answer to be given.
The Queen's case goes on. Whatever is to come from Rome, should come as quickly as possible. Madame [of the Low Countries] should also be instructed to send over an able lawyer.
Yesterday Master Passe (Pace), Dean of London, was arrested by the Cardinal's orders and sent to the Tower, the strongest prison in this kingdom. The said Dean was some years ago principal secretary to the King of England, and one of the chief persons in state affairs, a learned and able man and a good Englishman, therefore favourably inclined towards the Emperor. Whilst ambassador at Rome the Legate offended him (le hizo cierto desplacer). which affected him so that he lost his reason. They brought him here a year ago, and now for the last three months he has recovered his mind, and, as it would appear, spoken to the King touching this matter of the Queen and the government of the Cardinal, expressing himself like a good and loyal subject. What else he may have said or done, he (Mendoça) is unable to say, but the Cardinal on his return [from France] instituted a legal inquiry (inquisition) against him, and the result has been that the Dean and some of his servants are now prisoners in the Tower.
Has mentioned these facts concerning the Dean to lead to the better understanding of what he (Mendoça) is about to relate, which is that a fortnight ago the said Dean, meeting some English merchants (fn. n10) [in the street], asked after him (Mendoça), and requested one of them, Master Parmer by name, to tell the ambassador that if he would only send one of his servants to speak with him His Imperial Majesty's interests might be served. He (Mendoça) knowing that the Dean is a learned man, and well disposed towards the Queen, and thinking he might advise well upon her affairs, sent to him Juanin Corchiero, who understands English. The Dean received him in private, and told him that it was very important for the Emperor s affairs that before speaking again with the King he (Mendoça) should have a conversation with him, and named the church of St. Paul as the place of meeting least likely to arouse suspicion. Did not accept the appointment, thinking it possible that as the Dean had been for some time suffering from mental derangement, the same malady might have returned, as is often the case. Besides, as he and the Cardinal did not stand well together, and it was rumoured that the Dean was inciting people against him, knowing also that the latter has spies everywhere, he (Mendoça) declined to meet him at the appointed place.
The Legate knew immediately through his spies in the Dean's house of the said Juanin's visit, and summoned him to appear before him in Council. He was then charged with having taken his (Mendoça's) cipher to the Dean, and told that unless he confessed the whole truth, steps should be taken to prove his guilt. Juanin related what had passed, and how he (Mendoça), thinking the Dean might still be suffering from his old complaint, had declined to meet him at St. Paul's.
The Legate then dismissed Juanin with the injunction that he was again to appear before the Council. What else he may require of him he (Mendoça) cannot guess. Certain it is that the Legate made then every effort to discover whether the ambassador had spoken with or written to the Dean. All his inquiries, however, will end in nothing, for he (Mendoça) has never either spoken or written to the Dean, nor has there been anything more between them than what he has related.
Should the Legate write to Spain on this subject, the Emperor knows the exact truth, and can give a suitable answer; for this worthy Legate (este bueno de Legado) has been trying of late to find some opportunity for persuading the King that he (the Emperor) is fomenting rebellion in England. Such opportunity, however, he shall not find, at least whilst he (Mendoça) is here, as he is determined to avoid giving the smallest ground on which the Legate's treacherous purpose could be based.
Has been kept waiting longer than usual for the ship's passport. No doubt they imagined that he (Mendoca) was writing home on some pressing business communicated by the prisoner (Pace), and therefore the ship's passport has been delayed. Should the vessel (zabra) have been allowed to sail without it, Mendoça thinks these letters will return from the coast, as most likely when they reach the port the vessel will have sailed.
Has spoken to the Legate, as desired in the Emperor's letter, respecting the embassy to come from Flanders for the renewal of the alliance, as well as for his own personal business, and the Emperor's offers. The Legate replied, as he has so frequently done before, that he did not think the King, his master, would enter into a treaty of alliance with the Emperor until peace was settled between the King of France and him ; this once accomplished, the King of England could then entertain his proposals, but for the present it seemed to him altogether useless to treat about it. For the same reasons he thought that the embassy from Flanders was not needed. With regard to the Emperor's offers to himself, the Legate said he really thought that he was entitled to the arrears of his pensions, but that he declined accepting anything further, as the Emperor "would place greater trust in him if his services were given disinterestedly. He then related how lie had been the cause of preventing the marriage between the King of France and the Princess, which would inevitably have caused war to break out again, and produced other lamentable effects. Gathered from his conversation that as he thinks peace is concluded, or about to he so, he wishes to keep the Emperor contented with fair speeches, whilst all his good deeds are reserved for the French.
The Legate also cautioned him (Mendoça) against being deceived by certain disloyal subjects of the King. his master. He had been informed that the ambassador was in secret understanding with some such persons in England, especially among the common people (pueblo). and although he attached no faith to the report, yet for the Emperor's sake, and in order that he (Mendoça) should not be a sufferer by it, he strongly recommended him not to listen to any of the reports circulated by the Dean of London. Replied that he could not imagine why the Legate should make such remarks to him, as the Emperor and his servants [in England] never thought of any other thing save doing in every respect the King's pleasure and his own, and that if any statement should ever be made to the contrary, or that he (Mendoça) had ever spoken against the interests of the King of England and his own, he was prepared to prove that the accusation was false. Upon which the Legate uttered one of those monstrous lies in which he is known occasionally to indulge, namely, that the Dean himself had confessed that a letter in cipher found among his papers was from him (Mendoça), though (the Cardinal added) it has since been ascertained that it was not. Replied that he thought it very strange indeed that the Dean should have made a statement so contrary to truth, for that he (Mendoça) had never seen or spoken to the said Dean, and only received his invitation to go to St. Paul's, which he had declined. It was not, therefore, to be supposed that the ambassador would write a letter in cipher to a person with whom he desired to hold no communication at all, hut that it seemed to him that whoever endeavoured to raise and publish such suspicious reports as these was wronging both the Emperor and the King, for that such accusations should never be made without sufficient proof, and that, as for himself, he was quite guiltless of having ever spoken to the King's prejudice, as he had no doubt the Cardinal had already ascertained through his numerous spies. The King and nunself (was the Legates rejoinder) were fully convinced that he (Mendoça) would never listen to any calumnies against them.
This point once settled, the Legate shortly after addressed Mendoça, saying that the King, his master, desired most earnestly that peace should be concluded now. He therefore begged the Emperor to prevent the serious inconveniences that might arise (meaning no doubt the King's declaration in favour of the French), and to decide at once upon one of the three means proposed for the settlement of the Milan question. He (the Legate) thought that the one lately suggested by Mr. de Lachaux might do, .... that the investiture of the Duchy should be conferred on the first-born son of the King of France, by his second marriage, as such a son would then be the Emperor's own nephew; or if this should not be approved, to let the Duchy remain in the possession of Francesco Sforza, upon the settlement of a large pension on the Emperor, or else let each party retain its own for the present. Replied to each of these overtures as seemed most in accordance with his instructions.
As the Cardinal was already in possession of all the copies of papers now sent him for inspection, Mendoça did not consider it necessary to forward them, knowing, as he does, that he has read and examined them all very carefully.
The divorce is more talked of than ever. If therefore the Emperor really has the Queen's honour and peace of mind at heart, orders should be sent to Rome for a trusty messenger to bring us the Pope's decision, in conformity with the commission given to the Father-General [of the Franciscans].
The Queen's letter to His Majesty will not be enclosed in this packet (envoltorio). but will go separately, that it may be safe in case of the other being intercepted.
Yesterday the Legate communicated to Parliament the treaty of peace lately concluded between the Kings of England and France, extending, as it would seem, to their mutual lives and those of their children and grandchildren. Lord Lisle, Vice-Admiral of England, and Grand Equerry Boron (Sir Anthony Browne), with other persons of rank, are shortly to take the Gaiter to the King of France in return for the Order of St. Michael, which the French ambassadors brought to this King.
Hears that the President of Rouen (Brinon) said the other day in his address [to the King] that whoever took the Pope prisoner was Antichrist himself, and that those who keep him in confinement are Antichristians. No one seems to have spoken [of the Emperor and his generals] in a more dishonest manner, though many false statements were made on the occasion.
The people [of England] are greatly aggrieved at the arrest of the said Dean; they say openly that he has been imprisoned for speaking the truth, and this is also the opinion of all impartial persons. Was told by the Legate, who spoke in most abusive terms of the said Dean, that the latter should never quit the tower. All the Dean's books have been searched, but nothing incriminating has been found, excepting perhaps one which he has written on the irregularities of the Pope and cardinals. (fn. n11)
Public feeling generally, in which all the noblest men in the country join, is now so bitter against the government of this kingdom, that if any one were at hand to fan the flame, such a fire would be kindled as would not easily be extinguished till the government was in other hands. The Legate knows this and fears. Has purposely avoided any intercourse with the people [of England], knowing their good disposition towards the Emperor, and from fear of giving any incentive to the Cardinal's malice.
Wishes his health were better than it is, that he might render the Emperor more effectual service. Has never been well since the day of his arrival in England, and now his indisposition increases daily. Prays for relief, that lie may be able to serve him as he wishes to do.—London, the 26th of October.
Signed: "Don Iñygo de Mendoça."
Spanish. Original entirely in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. (The last paragraph in the ambassador'. own hand.) pp. 17.
27 Oct.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 277.
225. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
Since his letter of the 12th news has come of the taking of Pavia by Lautrech. It is reported that the horrors and cruelties of the sack were comparatively greater than at Rome. Since then, at the instigation of the King of England, and also of the cardinals residing at Parma, or detained at Sanct Augelo with the Pope, Lautrech has decided to march towards Rome. He has already crossed the river Pò, and reached Piacenza, as it is stated.
Andrea del Burgo writes from Ferrara that Lautrech's army does not muster more than 8,000 foot, good, bad, and indifferent, and 300 lances. He expected a brother of Cardinal de Lorraine (Count. Vaudemont) to join him soon with 17 companies of lansquenets. Nobody believes, however, that he will go beyond Bologna, since he will probably meet on the road the Imperial army, greatly superior in numbers.
(Cipher:) When Alessandria was taken Lautrech refused to give it up to the Duke Francesco [Sforza]. Such, however, have since been the solicitations of this Signory about it, that he has at last consented to let the Duke's men in, much to the disgust and disappointment of his King, who would have retained it, if he could, thus showing that he aims at the possession of the whole Duchy of Milan. Cannot say what he has done with Pavia, although by all accounts it is so utterly destroyed that it is not worth keeping, all the inhabitants having been slaughtered or driven away, so that no one remains in it save the French garrison.
(Common writing:) The Venetian forces and those of the Duke Francesco are two leagues from Milan. They are only 6,000 strong, but occupy very good positions. The other day Leyva went out against them with 3,000 of his men, all wearing white vests (encamisados). but the enemy was on the alert, and he had to go back to Milan without attempting anything. Now he has gone to Viagrassa, where there is a Venetian garrison, with the intention, no doubt, of trying to draw the confederates from their strong positions.
The Imperial army is still at Rome. The Pope had given hostages as security for the money promised to the Germans, but as this was not forthcoming the Germans threatened to hang them. The French spoke of sending a fleet against Naples, but hitherto no preparations have been visible, and besides the season is so far advanced that it is not likely their galleys will put to sea.
Hears that Lautrech has repassed the Pò, and intends attacking Milan. He has already received a reinforcement of 3,000 Germans, and was expecting more, to the amount of 10,000, which was the contingent to be furnished by England.
Death of the Viceroy of Naples. Surrender of Pizzighitone to the Duke Francesco, &c.
(Cipher:) Has often written to His Highness the King of Bohemia, and also to the Imperial ambassador at his Court (Don Antonio de Mendoça), representing the critical, state of affairs in Italy, and begging for [reinforcements. Fears much that engaged as he now is in the Hungarian war, and wanting money for the support of his own troops, His Highness may not be able to send them as soon as might be desired. If no provision is made from Spain, and the Imperial army remains at Rome, all may be lost; for, although Leyva has provision for two months, and defends himself most gallantly in Milan, it is not to be expected that he can protract his defence beyond that time.
Letters from Ferrara state that Lautrech has made great offers to the Duke (Alfonso d'Este) if he will declare for the League, threatening, if he does not, to deprive him of his estate. Seeing the French already on this side of the Pò, and the Imperial army still at Rome, the Duke had sent to Lautrech one of his gentlemen named Taxon (Tassone) with the following message: "He considered himself a good friend and servant of the King of France, as likewise of this Signory; he was besides a near relative of the Duke Francesco. He knew not what other declaration was demanded of him, but this he would say, that on no account could he forget what he owed to the Emperor." Notwithstanding this message, it is publicly announced here (at Venice) that the Duke has already joined the League. He (Sanchez) is not sure of this; all he can say is that Gaspar Contarini, once ambassador of this Signory at the Imperial Court, left last night for Ferrara on a mission; that at the same time Cardinal Cibo and Ambrosio de Florencia, once French ambassador here in Venice who came tat with Lautrech and Cavalier Casal as representative of the King of England, are also to be there to negotiate with the Duke. Has written to Andrea del Borgo to keep his eye on the said ambassadors. Should the Duke make an agreement with them, he is immediately to despatch a trusty messenger to Rome, Milan, and Naples to inform the Imperial generals and ministers at each place of the occurrence.—Venice, 27th October 1527.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To His most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed "To the King. 1527. From Venice. Sanchez. 27th October."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 3.
28 Oct. 226. The Emperor to the King of England.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u.Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 227, No. 36.
Writes by the King's councillor and gentleman of his Chamber, the Sieur de Poynentz (Sir Francis Poyntz),now returning to England, whom he has found a wise and trusty person. The said gentleman has been present at all the communications held with the King's other ambassadors, and also with those from France, and must have clearly [seen all that he (the Emperor) has done and is doing out of love and consideration for the King [of England], waiving a large portion of his own just rights in order to ensure the peace and repose of Christendom, to preserve (conservar) the friendship of the King of France, and turn their common arms against the infidels.
Thinks he has thus given abundant proof, first, of his devotion to God's service, and then of his great affection for the King, and if there be anything in which, with the sanction of his own subjects and vassals, he can further content the King, he will do it with more pleasure than for any other Prince living.
Thinks it well to remind him how fairly he (the Emperor) dealt with the King of France [whilst his prisoner], how the said King pledged his faith to him, and the reason for which, of his own free will, he placed the Dauphin, his eldest, and the Duke of Bretagne and Orleans, his second son, as hostages in his power. The King of .France, by acquitting himself of ins plighted word, could at any time have had his sons restored to him, without plunging the whole of Christendom into a series of ruinous wars and dissensions, such as have ensued from the leagues and confederacies he (Francis) has been forming against him, as the King of England sufficiently knows, and as those who supported him in his unjust cause have likewise found out. In spite of which he (the Emperor) has acted towards him and the rest with all generosity tor the good of Christendom, and intends with God's help to continue to do the same. Cannot certainly believe that the King of England, who has been entitled "Defender of the Faith," can, knowing as he does the truth of his (the Emperor's) statements, adhere to his alliance with the King of France, the instigator of this present war, the most unjust perhaps that ever was undertaken. Trusts that with the help of God, the just Judge of all, and the assistance of his friends, allies, kingdoms, vassals, and subjects, so to defend himself that the King of France will gain little by his offensive measures (que de pen luy prouffiteront ses offencions). Has, as the King of England well knows, completely vindicated his conduct before God and man, and will continue to do the same. Desires to live in the maintenance of the ancient friendship and alliance which has at all times existed between the King of England and himself, and between his kingdoms, vassals, and subjects, as he has fully stated by word of mouth to the said Maestre Poyntz, the bearer of this letter. Begs him to advise him if there be anything in his dominions which he desires.
French. Original minute. pp. 3.
28 Oct. 227. The Emperor to the Cardinal of York.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u.Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 224, No. 37.
Monsieur le Legat, mon bon Amy,—I have heard of your return to England, at which I am very much pleased, as you must, I have no doubt, have worked there much better than anywhere else for God's service, and the peace and repose of Christendom, as you have done hitherto. I now write to the King, my good brother and uncle, as you will see. Mons. de Poyntz, present bearer, will inform you of all that has passed here, and of the position I have taken in the affair, and in which I consider myself justified before God and man. I entreat you, Mons. the Legate, my good friend, for the sake of the good friendship and understanding which has always existed between the kingdom of England and the houses of Burgundy and Spain, and our mutual vassals and subjects, not only to work for the maintenance and preservation of the said alliance, but have the same renewed and strengthened, to our own common advantage and the discomfiture of all disturbers of peace, who shall thereby the sooner be called to reason; and if there be any matter in our kingdoms, or elsewhere, in which you desire my assistance, let me know at once how I can help you, and I shall do it most heartily, as the said Mons. de Poyntz cannot fail to tell you in my name.
French. Original draft .. 1.
29 Oct. 228. Lope de Soria to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 359.
Received on the 6th inst. the Emperor's letter of the 17th of August, advising that orders had been given for a supply of wheat to be sent to Genoa, and for Don Alvaro de Baçan's galleys, and those of Naples to come to the assistance of the beleaguered city. Had the intended succour come in time Genoa might have been saved. Now, alas! it is too late as His Imperial Majesty has already been informed. The 3000 ducats which the Emperor ordered to he given as an indemnity to the Lord of Monaco (Grimaldo) have been remitted to him. (Cipher:) Has written several times by sea and land since he left Genoa, through Genoese merchants having correspondents in Spain, also through. Don Joan Centellas, though this last is still at Lucca, owing to the difficulty of finding passage. The present is partly a duplicate of one he sent by way of Lyons.
Pavia was taken on the 5th. Though the garrison capitulated, the city was most cruelly sacked, Count Belgioioso remaining prisoner in Lautrech's hands. After taking Pavia, the latter was strongly recommended by the English ambassador, and also by the cardinals assembled at Parma, to join his forces with those of the Marquis of Saluzzo (Michaele Antonio) and Duke of Urbino, and undertake the Pope's liberation at Rome. The Venetians and the Duke Francesco were of a different opinion, and wanted him first to achieve the conquest of the Duchy. Lautrech decided on the former of these plans, crossed the river Pò, and took up his quarters at Piacenza, to wait for the brother of [Cardinal] Lorraine (Vaudemont), who is to join him with some forces, and then all together march on Rome and Naples. All the friends of the Empire throughout Italy are most wonderfully struck with the culpable blindness of the Imperial soldiers and commanders at Rome, who will thus allow every advantage to be lost through their waiting for the Pope to fulfil his promise, whereas it is well known that he purposely delays payment to prevent their marching against the enemy. There must be treachey here.
Maitre Piero Netural, who went to Lautrech's camp to ask for a safe-conduct for the widow of the Vicreroy to go to Flanders, left Rome on the 11th inst. He says that on that day the army had received money from Naples, and that arrangements were being made for its departure, but that the news of the Viceroy's death, which happened on the Mia of September at Aversa, was likely to prove an impeding as the Pope suggested that it would be necessary to wait for fresh orders and instructions [from Spain], all of which is a known an excuse to delay the settlement of affairs, since it is a known fact that both the General [of the Franciscans] and Mons. de Vere (Veyre) took to Rome ample powers to conclude, &c.
It is imperative for His Imperial Majesty to appoint a new Viceroy for the kingdom of Naples, or confirm Don Ugo's nomination, and name also a Commander-in-Chief for the Imperial nation, and name also a Commander-in-Chief for the Imperial armies [in Italy], which are in a state of contusion and insubordination hardly of be described.
The Venetians and the troops of the Duke Francesco are quartered at Guarnino, close to Milan, but Leyva Keeps them in a state of agitation and fear through his frequent sallies, so that they are not likely to make much progress. Trezzo, Lecco, and Como we still hold; the rest of the Duchy is in the hands of the enemy.
The Prince of Orange is still at Sienna waiting for the army at .Rome to come this way.
Received at Ferrara on the 6th inst. the Imperial letter of the 17th August. Whilst there, he had occasion to see the Duke, who told him of Lautrech's brilliant offers, and the fear he had that his non-acceptance of them would bring down upon him the whole of the confederated army. In such an event, the Imperial forces remaining inactive, he could not defend himself against so many enemies. He (Soria) believes that the Duke will hold out as long as he possibly can, and that in the end he will either remain neutral, or comply with the wishes of the confederates.— La Mirandola, 29th October 1527.
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, &c."
Spanish. Original entirely in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp. 4.


  • n1. "Solo diré lo Sque despues ha passed, y es quel Legado Ilegó á Richamont donde el Rey á la sazon estaba, postrero de Setiembre, con toda la Compañia que lleuó á Francia, y antes que llegaase á la dicha cassa envió á desir al Rey de Inglatierra que donde mandava que le hablasse, lo qual hizo el Cardenal porque la costumbre ordinaria hera que quando él venia siempre el Rey se passava á. su camara. A la sazon que esta embaxada [del Cardenal] llegó al Rey, estava con el, en su camara, aquella dama que llaman Anna de Bolâine, la qual parece que no tiene buena voluntad al dicho Legado, y antes que [el Rey] respondiesse so adelanto ella y dixo que é adonde avia de venir sino alli donde [el Rey] estava? Con la qual respuesta, confirmada por el Rey de Inglatierra, se volvió el memagero," &c.
  • n2. "El Legado, aunque sintió novedad en el recibimiento, disimuló lo mejor que pudo, y puesto que se pensó que la novedad passaria mas adelante, fast agora no la ha avido, antes está en el mismo grado y lugar [con el Rey] que antes. La causa por que esto se pensava, hera por saver que la sobredicha dama es harta parte con el Rey, y querer ella mal al dicho Legado, assi por haver quitado á su padre los aunos passados cierto oficio principal, que aqui tenia, como por aver pavido que en esta jornada de Francia avia hablado en casar al Rey de Inglatierra en aquel Reyno, a cuya causa me dizen quel Duque de Norfort, ques tio della, y milor de Boleyno, su padre, ques agora mucho del Rey, con otros sus aliados se avian juntado pensando que con su ausencia le podrian derocar, pero pareceme que se está como se cstava. El qual, como está temeroso que si el Rey se descasase, se casaria con la parte sobredicha, dizenme que por su interesse proprio desvia quanto puede quel casamiento no se deshaga por parecerle que no podria Buccederle á la Reyna ninguna que tan poco le ofendiese, quanto mas persona á quien por las causas sobredichas tiene ofendida," &c.
  • n3. Though the draft of the Emperor's letter to Henry VIII., dated the 2nd of August 1527, is not to be found in Spain or at Vienna, a translation it appeared in the Letterc .de Principi. &c., (Venetia, 1587, vol. 11. p. 76), as well as in Ciaconius and elsewhere.
  • n4. That is to say to France, whither he had been ordered to go tor the negotiations of the general peace.
  • n5. "Diziendo esto mostrome otra tal copia qual aquella que yo tenis, pero negome ser verdadera,"
  • n6. Que por que ayudasse á V[uest]ra Magestad le avia yo ofrescido, un gruessa peneion, y una buena suma de dineros, lo qual no avia aceptado, as por ver que V[uest]ra Magestad no tenia justa querella como por ser el limpio de toda avaricia Por aqui verá V[uest]ra Magestad el credito que deste Legado deve tener, quando revela lo que por su interesse siempre calló."
  • n7. The city and castle were taken about the middle of August, See above, p. 369.
  • n8. "No por culpa del dicho Briantuke syno que vino [para] en mano de Nicolao Perrenot."
  • n9. "El diecurso de los tratos de la paz."
  • n10. "Hablando con unos mercaderes Ingleses," i.e., merchants trading with Spain and Flanders.
  • n11. His letter to Henry VIII., 1527?.