Spain: December 1527, 1-10

Pages 477-494

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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December 1527, 1-10

1 Dec.
S. E. L. 1,458,
f. 49.
B. M. Add. 28,577,
f. 32.
250. The Emperor's Declaration respecting the Duchy of Milan.
Be it known to all parties, &c. Whereas, notwithstanding our strenuous efforts to conclude a general peace, We have hitherto been disappointed, chiefly through the suspicion which the confederated powers seem to entertain that We intend keeping the Duchy of Milan for ourselves, or giving it to our brother the King of Hungary and Bohemia, We hereby declare in the most solemn manner that, far from any such ambitious design, it was our intention, after the said Duchy had at our own expense and by the force of our arms been reduced to obedience, again to restore it to the illustrious Francesco Sforza, though he might have, as he really has, forfeited all his rights to it by his treasonable acts, &c, Indeed We fully intended on the payment of a moderate sum, as indemnity for the expenses of the war, before the new investiture and customary oath of fidelity to the Empire, to restore the said Francesco Sforza to his former position. However, instead of showing gratitude for our generosity and forgiveness, the late Duke tried to destroy us and our army, entering into a confederacy with our enemies, carrying on war on the Duchy, and doing all possible harm to the Empire.
Matters being in this state, and perceiving that the investiture of the Duchy on any other prince but Sforza might prove a serious obstacle to the negotiations, We proposed to the Apostolic Nuncio at this our court that should he (Sforza) be juridically deprived of the Duchy, and the fief return, as of right, to the sacred Roman Empire; should His Holiness consider it more advantageous for the peace of Italy and of the Christian world at large that the estate of Milan should be divided into portions, entirely dismembered and given away, We were prepared, for the better furtherance of the peace We had in view, without retaining for ourselves, or for our brother the King of Hungary and Bohemia, any portion, however small, of the said estate, to have it divided between various lords, princes, potentates, and other private persons, "jure feudi disponere, debitasque investituras sub rationabili pretio seu servitio juxta rerum et personarum qualitatem unicuique concedere, taliterque providere ne de cætero quispiam ad ipsius status occupationem, illius ampliation disjuncta atque suppressa, verisimiliter aspiraret, seu Italiam propterea turbare presumeret."
Hearing that this plan was likely to meet with His Holiness' approval, and that the principal oracle to the settlement of peace might thus be removed, We appointed Don Ugo de Moncada, the Prince of Orange, and Mons de Verey (Veyre), our chamberlain, to be our orators and ambassadors at the Pope's Court, and negotiate with him conjointly, or separately, two out of the three, the terms and conditions of the said division, as well as the designation of the lords, princes, potentates, and private persons to whom the investiture of the said Imperial fiefs was to be granted, &c—Burgos, 1st of December 1527.
Latin. Original draft. pp. 9.
1 Dec.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 1.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 286.
251. Instructions of the Marquis [Hernando de] Alarcon to [Gayoso].
What you [Captain Gayoso] (fn. n1) are to say to the Emperor respecting this army (felicissimo exercito) is as follows:—
1st. That the commander-in-chief ought to be the same person holding at the time the viceroyalty of Naples, as he will thus be able to provide better for its wants, and also to reward the services of those Spanish captains and soldiers who have done, or may do, service during the present war. Many gentlemen (muchos caballeros y gente de bien) are daily coming from that kingdom to serve here as volunteers at their own expense, and if the commander-in-chief is ignorant of their qualities and position no adequate reward can be offered to them.
2nd. That there are too many captains in the army, two or even three for each company, which naturally increases the expense by one third.
3rd. Orders should be sent to the commander-in-chief not to give companies of infantry to men known to be rash and self-interested (ligeros y interesados), for though very brave men, they may be led away by their interest or passions (locura), and cause the ruin of this army in an hour's time.
4th. That His Imperial Majesty be pleased to bear in mind that he owes it to God (lo que se deue á Dios) and to his own reputation and fame so to provide for the wants of his army that there be no excuse for the murders, violence, and plunder which have been committed by his soldiers, and are likely to continue and increase. God will not permit that the Emperor's greatness and power be maintained by such wicked means, nor is it just that Christendom (el mundo), having the remedy in its hands, tolerate it for any length of time. (fn. n2)
5th. The Emperor should take into consideration the services of such captains of Spanish infantry as Rodrigo de Ripalda, Luys de Avendaño, Machin de Haya (sic), Fernando de Figueroa, Don Sancho de Alarcon, Don Pedro de Cordoua, Francisco de Alarcon, Lope Alvarez Osorio, Machin Cao (sic), and others whose names he does not recollect.
6th. To speak in favour of Captain Hieronymo Moron, (fn. n3) extolling the many services he has done, and is still doing, for the Imperial cause, and the great virtue and courage (valer y esfuerzo) of his person, and his claim on the Emperor's mercy, through which he might be enabled to pass the remainder of his old age in quietness and ease, and thus leave an encouraging example to his posterity.
7th. The men-at-arms must be reformed, and orders issued for the captains not to intrust the command of their companies during their absence to private individuals, their friends or relatives, who very often have seen little or no service at all, and cannot manage or command (fn. n4) their men as they ought.
8th. Whereas great arrears of pay are owing to the said men-at-arms, and likewise to the Spanish infantry, it is imperative to procure the means of paying them. It would be indeed a hard thing for the Emperor's conscience to have to bear the responsibility of any excesses that might be committed by his troops ; nor would it be compatible with his greatness that his armies for want of pay should destroy the whole world. (fn. n5) The numbers of the Italian infantry should be fixed (cerrado), and no more enlisting allowed, because though Spaniards are destructive enough, experience shows that 4,000 Italians waste and destroy more in two months than 10,000 of any other nation in four.
9th. Should the war continue in Italy His Imperial Majesty must look to his sea forces, and order such armaments to be made as to ensure him the superiority there, as his estates cannot well be preserved without a navy.
10th. To ask the commandership [of Alcantara], vacant by the death of Captain Aguilera, (fn. n6) for Captain Avendaño. (fn. n7)
11th. With regard to the Germans Your Worship knows full well how matters stand. Notwithstanding the securities that have been given that they shall be [paid all arrears up to the end of September last (so that in reality nothing is owing to them except the months of October and November), they persist in their fractious and rebellious spirit, breaking out into continual mutinies, and causing by their stubborn disobedience the ruin of the Emperor s authority and power [in Italy], the loss of the Duchy, and, even more, the total destruction of this city. Since His Imperial Majesty can increase or reduce his demands at will, it is far better to do so at once than remain at the mercy of shameless people who aim chiefly at his dishonour. (fn. n8)
12th. Your Worship is to inform the Emperor of the great scarcity of provisions, principally of wheat, throughout Italy; there is in fact hardly any but what comes from Sicily. For this reason it is absolutely needful that the island be kept in a state of defence. The Viceroy's son, Count Burrello, has been written to, that he may inform his father of the danger in which that island is, as the enemy's fleet is sure to make an attempt, and perhaps also effect a landing for the purpose of carrying away the wheat. Orders have been sent for the corn (granos) to be conveyed to strong places distant from the coast, and for the garrisons to be on the alert against any attack of the enemy.
13th. Considering the late treasonable plots of the confederates, it might be advisable to make some agreement with France, for although the Emperor has still the two sons of the King in his power, he no longer insists upon the cession of Burgundy, and therefore an honourable peace might be concluded, by means of which the affairs of Italy could be settled between the two sovereigns, so that the Emperor would not be obliged to stake the treasure of his kingdoms, the lives of his knights and soldiers, and the substance of his subjects, at a dangerous game, in which Venetians and Florentines, with their treacherous practices, can be the only winners.
Spanish. Contemporary copy (fn. n9) pp. 5.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 224.
252. Memorandum.—The measures advised by the Imperial ambassador for preventing the King of England from forming an offensive League with France. (fn. n10)
Should the King of England enter into an offensive league with the King of France against the Emperor, it will be under colour of the two following reasons:—The first on account of the debt of the indemnity and other loans made in past times to the Emperor, and to his predecessors, and for which the King can, at any time, demand payment; for although the King of France has engaged to pay to the King of England on the Emperor's account the whole of the said indemnity, still this does not lessen his (the Emperor's) responsibility for payment of the said indemnity, nor alter the fact that the King of England holds him responsible for such payment. The second reason is that His Imperial Majesty having by his marriage with the Empress broken the treaty of Windsor, he has subjected himself to the penalties to be incurred thereby.
Under colour of these two reasons, the King of England, in combination with the King of France, who would take as his ground of complaint the detention of the Queen (Eleonor) his consort, has it in his power to attack the Low Countries, viz., Flanders, Zealand, Holland, &c., both by land and sea, take their ports by surprise, or flood their dykes ; and as the Low Countries are not sufficiently powerful to resist the combined attack of two such Princes, in any case their trade and fisheries, on which they entirely depend, would be destroyed, and their towns and villages given up to plunder by whichever army came nearest to them.
To render this alliance still firmer, it is quite possible that the Cardinal of York may advise a marriage between the daughter of England and the Dauphin [of France], or [his brother] Mons. d'Orléans; if to the latter, on condition that immediately after his release the said Mons. d'Orléans be sent to England, [there] to be educated by King Henry, and learn the customs and language of the country before the time should come for his taking possession of the kingdom. If the marriage were to be effected with the Dauphin, though this is less probable, and would not be so advantageous for England, then, in that case, the Cardinal, knowing the King his master's great love for his own illegitimate son [the Duke of Richmond], might promote the said marriage, and have the Princess removed from England, hoping that in course of time the said illegitimate son might be appointed to the succession of the Crown. In either of the above cases the King of England would, both for the recovery of the aforesaid debts, and for the deliverance from captivity of his future son-in-law, aid in compelling the Emperor to give up the hostages, and desist from his claims on Burgundy, &c., as in case of the Princess marrying the Dauphin, those countries could fall to the lot of his said son-in-law.
Whichever of these courses might be chosen, the French would be great gainers thereby, as they would not only recover their hostages, and obtain a different settlement in the matter of Burgundy, but might also perchance conquer a great part of the Low Countries. To induce the King of England to make war upon the Emperor, the French may possibly offer to maintain a portion of his army, or to pay a certain sum of money monthly, in liquidation of their actual debt, which would be to the King of England so much fresh money coming in, quite independent of his revenue. And although it is clearly apparent that such schemes [of war and marriage] would, in course of time, bring great evils upon this kingdom of England, still the contingency is much to be feared, seeing the change that has suddenly come over the English, the Cardinal's influence with the King, and the disposition of the people in the Low Countries.
To obviate all which evils aforesaid, the following course is open to adoption.
First to bribe the Cardinal. This must be accomplished by paying him all the arrears of his pension of 9,000 cr. on the bishoprics of Palencia and Badajoz. Should the Emperor not have the ready money with which to make the said payment, then, in place of the arrears of such pension, let a larger one of 12,000 or 14,000 cr. be settled on him upon one or more rich bishoprics in Castille. True that the Emperor has pledged his word to the Cortes of Castille not to dispose of any benefices in that kingdom, except to natives of those countries; but this promise being in violation of the liberty of the Church, is by no means binding. Besides that, the measure, tending, as it does, to the preservation of the peace of the said kingdom, and to the welfare of the people, could not be found fault with, provided all the circumstances of the case were sufficiently explained. It is most probable that Spaniards, or at least the intelligent part of the nation, would willingly subscribe to a measure of this kind, calculated to ensure peace; nor would it be wise in the contrary case, for the sake of a few malcontents, to reject so advantageous a plan. Should the Emperor find that this is not feasible, then it would be well to look out for some bishopric in Aragon, Catalonia, or Valencia, upon which the said pensions might be settled.
Item.—To pay the whole or part of the arrears due to the Emperor's pensioners in England, and to make some present to Master Brian Tuke, over and above his annual pension of 300 crowns, for the reasons which M. de Praet fully explained to the Emperor during his embassy to England.
The Emperor's ambassadors [in England] should be instructed to represent to the King the great love which the Emperor has always borne him, the near relationship between them, and the ancient alliance ever existing between the kingdoms of Spain, England, and the Low Countries, as well as the long-standing hostility between England and France. Also the great failure of integrity in the King of France towards the Emperor, and the little faith that can be put in him after such conduct towards His Imperial Majesty, who has always dealt so well and uprightly with him, having given him his life, restored him to his kingdom, &c.
They ought to tell him that a King who has always had the reputation of defending the good and just cause cannot now, without displeasing God and injuring his own character for integrity, support one so notoriously bad as the King of France.
The King of England should also be reminded of the offers which the King of France, when in prison, made to the Emperor, in order to induce him to forsake the English alliance, which offers the Emperor would never accept, but on the contrary has taken his measures for the payment of the indemnity as stipulated in the last treaty. Also that it is not surprising that during the present war the Emperor has not been able to pay the said indemnity, the calls upon his Imperial treasury having been so incessant, and the expenses and burdens to support so heavy, but the inability to meet his engagements has always caused him sincere regret.
With regard to the matter of the Emperor's marriage, the ambassadors should take care to represent how candidly the Emperor has acted towards the King of England in this affair, not taking any conclusive steps about it until the King's consent was obtained, the Emperor himself wishing to wait until such time as the Princess [Mary] should be of sufficient age to be married to him, though for the satisfaction of his subjects, and the good of his kingdoms, he had been compelled to take a contrary course.
Also that there is not at the present time any pretence whatever for going to war with the Low Countries, or any portion of them, and that should the King of England make any conquests there, they would only serve to increase the King of France's power, and diminish his own, for that he would not be able to hold the conquered territory long, and the English conquest would only turn to the advantage of the French, who would of necessity endeavour, as they have done on other occasions, to drive them off their coast, which they could easily do, being so much stronger than the English on their own side of the channel. In short the maintaining of such conquests would, besides entailing a very heavy expense on the King of England, be at times impossible, especially whenever the weather happened to be unfavourable for the passage of troops.
The King should besides be told how greatly his kingdom would suffer from the loss of the woollen staple at Calais, and the various other articles of trade between England and the Low Countries. Also that besides losing his fresh territorial acquisitions, if any were made, and the booty thereof, he would soon lose Calais and Guisnes, for the French, once masters of the Low Countries, could besiege the former city with a comparatively small force by land, if the great vessels of the Low Countries could effectually blockade its port by sea. In such case the King of England could not send in supplies. The French, in case of discomfiture could at any time retreat to Normandy or Flanders, or to the Dunnes, (fn. n11) and wait there for a better opportunity to renew the attack; whereas the English would have no ports to go to in case of need, all those in Flanders and France being in possession of the French. Nor is it to be supposed that the French would keep faith with the English as regards such conquests, considering what they are now doing, and how ancient and bitter is the enmity between the two nations.
Let the King also be reminded that the Emperor can at any moment make peace with France by giving way on the subject of Burgundy, and that should he find himself in real danger, he might be compelled to do this, and revenge himself upon the King of England for having deserted him and gone over to the King of France without any previous provocation or offence, which resolution on the part of the Emperor might cause the destruction of his kingdom, owing to the hatred and animosity existing of old between the two nations; as in the case of an alliance with the French the Emperor might help them to take Calais and the rest of the English possessions, along the French coast, as above described.
Should the Emperor find himself still more dangerously situated, he might promise the King of England not to give up the French hostages until the town and castle of Boulogne were fairly made over to the English.
The King of England should also be reminded that King Francis is mortal, and not likely to reach any great age, as his own physicians have declared; which consideration might possibly slacken the King's present ardour for an alliance with France. Besides which Mr. d'Angoulême (fn. n12) also might die, and then the Emperor could assist the King [of England] in recovering the whole or a part of the French territory to which he lays claim.
Item.—For the Emperor to write cordial letters to the King and Cardinal; also to the Queen, begging her to maintain a friendly feeling, &c.
Also that the Emperor should keep up a good understanding with the Pope and the Venetians, and induce them to instruct their ambassadors [in England] to represent strongly to the King and Cardinal that the very foundation of peace lies in this point. The Pope could use his authority with the Legate [Cardinal Wolsey], both as regards his office [of Legate] and on other grounds. The Emperor has all the more reason for making this request of the Pope, because it was principally out of respect for His Holiness, and in the hope of securing peace for Christendom, that he (the Emperor) agreed to set the King [of France] at liberty.
Item.—To endeavour by every possible means to foment discord between the Kings of England and France. This could be better effected here were another ambassador to go [from Flanders?] besides himself (Chapuys), who might communicate more freely with the English ambassadors, which he has never been able to do on account of the Legate's dislike to him. (fn. n13)
It might also be still advisable to temporize with the King of France, keeping him in hope of some modification in the article respecting Burgundy, as well as in that relating to the restitution of his children, so that his ardour for treating with England might abate, or until, by gaining time, some opportunity for raising mistrust between the two Kings should be found.
The French should also be reminded that were they to invade the Low Countries with the help of England, the sons of France would not be restored to them, and that the strength of the towns in the said Low Countries is such as to afford them very little chance of success. The King or Mr. d'Angoulême might die in the meantime, and then their country would be ruined, for it needs but little effort at any time to stir up a feud between the English and them. Even under the most favourable circumstances, such as those of conquest, and so forth, there would still be this disadvantage, namely, that the English will claim and must have their share of the conquered territory, an event that the wisest heads in France have always greatly deprecated; that their Queen [Eleonor] is the Emperor's eldest sister, and that stranger things have happened in the world than the accidental succession of the said Princess and her children to the dominions of the Emperor and Archduke, by which event the safety and grandeur of France through all future ages might be ensured.
The French ambassador should also be reminded that the cause for which they fight is an unjust one, and that God Almighty is the best Judge, &c.; also that in case of the King's death, or that of Mr. d'Angoulême, the Emperor would be greatly assisted in his projects by Mr. de Bourbon, who is the declared enemy of those now in power.
Should, however, war become inevitable, the Emperor's subjects both in Spain and Flanders must be carefully informed of all that the Emperor has done to establish general peace in Christendom, and the reward that he has met with for having shown himself so humane, Christian, and virtuous a Prince. By so doing the inhabitants of the Low Countries will be roused to a sense of their wrongs and of the justice of their cause, and will defend themselves to the uttermost.
Similar statements should be made also to all other Christian Princes, so as to draw them to the Emperor's side, and attest copies of the engagements entered into by the King of France at various times sent to all the Imperial ambassadors at foreign courts, whilst the originals themselves, signed by the King or by his ambassadors, should at the same time be exhibited to all the foreign ambassadors residing at the Emperor's Court in Spain.
His Imperial Majesty might also have the whole or part of the said treaty printed and appended to the original, and send his letters forthwith to all the principal towns of France, showing how much their King is in the wrong. This should be done also at Antwerp, in Germany, in Italy, and even in Switzerland, that all the King's subjects and friends in those countries may be rendered averse from war, and slow in offering their help towards it, or sending their soldiers to fight for so bad a cause, and one which must give great displeasure to God.
French. Original. Partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on the margins, pp. 10.
5 Dec. 253. Lope de Soria to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 332.
(Cipher :) All the passes are taken by the enemy, so that it is almost impossible for him to communicate with Spain. His last despatch went by way of Genoa, thence to be addressed to Lyons under cover to a trusty merchant of that city; doubts whether the present one, which goes by the same route, will reach its destination, for the enemy is on the alert, and there are spies everywhere.
The Emperor must have heard how the Duke of Ferrara, at the instigation of Cardinal Cibo, and of the ambassadors of France, England, Venice, and Florence, has concluded a treaty of offensive and defensive alliance with the most Holy League (Sanctissima Lega) under the following conditions [copies certain paragraphs of Miçer Andrea relating thereto, and then adds]:
Hearing that this Count of La Mirandola could no longer give him hospitality, owing to Lautrech's threats, he wrote to the Marquis of Mantua (Federigo Gonzaga), inquiring whether he would give him shelter. His answer has been that he could not offend the French by receiving him. Knows not whither to go, nor what he is to do with his person when obliged to quit La Mirandola. Will try, however, to remain where he is, for although he could go again to Ferrara, he thinks the Duke would not be glad of his visit.
The French and Venetian fleets were some days ago at Liorna (Leghorn), with the intention of molesting the Siennese coast, and carrying away any corn they could find, for both their army and fleet are very badly off for provisions.
The last advices from Rome are of the 8th ulto. At that date the Pope had made an agreement with Alarcon, Vere (Veyre), and the General [of the Franciscans], the draft of which had been sent to Don Ugo at Naples for approval. Immediately after the signature the Pope was to be liberated, and the army to march on Lombardy. The Prince of Orange had been sent for to take the command of the Imperial forces; he had left Sienna on the 10th, and was shortly expected at Rome. The Marquis del Guasto, who had brought some money from Naples, consented to serve under the Prince, so that things did not look so gloomy as before. The Imperialists were in very good spirits, and ready to march against the enemy. If they advance at once on Lombardy, there can be no doubt that the whole of the Duchy, and Genoa itself, will soon be recovered, for such an army as the Emperor has now, if properly commanded and disciplined, is quite capable of conquering the world.
Leyva was no longer surrounded by enemies, as the Venetians had raised their camp to go to Bergamo and Brescia, whilst the French occupied Parma and its immediate neighbourhood. That captain could go freely in and out of Milan, but provisions were scarce, and there was no money to pay his troops.—La Mirandola, 30th of November.
P.S.—On the 2nd inst., as the Duke of Ferrara was laying siege to Novi, a castle belonging to Alberto di Carpi, and which a brother of the latter defended, a message came from Lautrech bidding him surrender the castle to the Duke, as otherwise he would cut off Alberto's head. In consequence of this message the castle surrendered to the Duke, much to the astonishment of the confederates, who cannot understand why Alberto is so badly treated by the French.
5th December.—To-day the news is that the Venetians and Florentines are discontented with Lautrech, who remains at Parma inactive. He has, however, sent to Mantua the ambassadors of France and England to persuade the Marquis to join the League. They are to offer him the command in chief of the army. It is to be presumed that he will accept the offer, and do as the Duke of Ferrara has done.
Addressed: "To His Sacred, &c."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1527. From La Mirandola. Soria. 5 th December."
Spanish, Original entirely in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp. 4.
6 Dec. 254. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. D P. d. G.
B. M. Add. 28,577,
f. 40.
After sealing his letter of the 30th ult.., that very night the hostages whom the Germans had in their power fled from prison. Some say that they succeeded in bribing their keepers ; others that they invited them to a good repast (les hicieron buena xera), and had thus leisure to pass [the sentries] unnoticed. However this may be, they have escaped, at which their friends and relatives are greatly rejoiced, and the Germans themselves sadly disappointed. This loss of the hostages, however, has rendered the Germans more exacting and mutinous than ever, and the consequence has been that after repeated conferences with the Pope the following articles have been agreed upon.
The Pope to pay the Germans within 15 days, to be counted from the first of the month, 110,000 ducats, and the Spaniards 35,000. The captains and officers not to receive anything for the present. As security for three payments two cardinals are to reside at the Colonna Palace under Pompeo's custody. Instead of the Datary and Jacopo Salviati, who fled, the Pope to give one more cardinal to go with the other two to Naples or Gaeta, in lieu and place of His Holiness' nephews. The two last to remain also in confinement at the Colonna Palace until six more hostages, all of them related to cardinals, be given as security for the 150,000 ducats payable to the German captains and officers now at Grota Ferrata, and who have just received from their men a safe-conduct to return here.
Under these conditions the Pope's liberation will take place in a couple of days. Don Felipe de Cervellon will remain in guard of Sanct Angelo, after swearing fidelity to the Pope, until His Holiness decides who is to be warder (alcayde) and appoints a garrison.
When the capitulation was signed it was presumed that the Pope would remain in the castle until the army had evacuated Rome, as it is agreed that the very moment the soldiers have received their pay they are to go out, but it would appear that his intention is to go to Orbieto, about 20 leagues from this city, under the impression that he will there have better means of procuring money. Were he to remain at Rome people might think that he (the Pope) was still under restraint, and perhaps funds could not so easily be collected, &c. The Imperial generals and Fr. Alvaro de Quiñones, the Franciscan, approve of this measure, and have offered the Pope a competent force to escort him thither. He may still decide upon remaining here; but at any rate, should he go to Orbieto, it is believed that the delivery of Civittà Castellana will take place before his departure. Hitherto, he says, it has not been his fault if the town has not been surrendered. There was inside the castle a captain of the League with 30 men, who would not hear of it; lately, however, the captain has died [of the plague], and some of his men also; the remainder have gone away, so that the castle is free, and His Holiness can dispose of it as he pleases. There is therefore every probability that the delivery will take place almost immediately, and that proper securities of bankers and merchants will be offered for the payment of the 65,000 ducats to be paid to the Spaniards. Before giving back Sanct Angelo, where, as afore stated, Cervellon is to remain with a company of Spaniards, the Pope is to place as hostages in the hands of Cardinal Colonna and of Alarcon five cardinals, namely, two, Ursino and Cesis, (fn. n14) with Colonna, and three, Triulzi, Pisani, and Gadi, with Alarcon. He is to give besides six more hostages into the hands of Colonna, as security for the payment of the 150,000 ducats in three months to the German captains and officers. All this being accomplished to-day, on the 3rd of December the castle is to be delivered to His Holiness according to the capitulation signed on the 26th ult.., a copy of which is herein enclosed. God forbid that the three Neapolitans, who wish for cardinals' hats, change their minds in the meanwhile; if they do, the Pope will have no means to pay these Germans, and the whole arrangement may fall to the ground.
Most likely Alarcon will take the hostages as far as Gaeta, and return here immediately.
A servant of the late Doge of Genoa (Antoniotto Adorno) has just arrived in town to ask for the army to march immediately upon Lombardy, which he says is in great danger. There only remains in the Duchy Milan itself, Como, Trezzo, and Lecco; all the rest is lost.
The news from Hungary is good. Letters from those parts of the 12th of November state that the Vayvod [Zapolsky] had fled to Poland, accompanied only by 40 horsemen. The King had appointed a new Vayvod [over Transylvania], (fn. n15) who had brought him the very crown which the old Kings of the country used at their coronation; he had brought likewise things innumerable, and plenty of excellent horses, which cost the King nothing.
3rd of December.—The castle of Sanct Angelo has not yet been delivered to His Holiness, owing to his having been unable to procure the required pledges and guarantees for the payment of the 65,000 ducats, or the hostages for the 150,000 for the German [captains and officers], and also owing to a placard having appeared this morning in the Spanish quarters, indicative of some riot or mutiny likely to arise among them. The said paper summoned the soldiers to a meeting to be held at a place there named, in order to punish certain captains of theirs, and other people who did not do their duty towards the men, and were continually deceiving them. The Pope, when he heard of this, was somewhat alarmed from fear of the Spaniards stopping the effects of the capitulation. There is, however, reason to believe that these marks of discontent will disappear, and that the Spaniards will fulfil their promise to Guasto, and march out when they have received one month's pay. Six companies (banderas) of them are to go to-morrow towards Civittà Castellana, which is a proof that the intended mutiny was ineffectual, for otherwise they would have refused to go. Whatever else may occur before the actual closing of this despatch, His Imperial Majesty shall be duly informed of it.
5th December.—When this despatch was began we all felt sure, and the Pope himself believed, that his liberation would take place on the 3rd, at the latest. But the impediments, on the part of the Germans and Spaniards have been such that up to to-day, Thursday, the 5th of December, it has not yet taken place; for although the Spaniards have sent in their agreement to the conditions, and accepted the pledges and securities offered, and the Germans, moreover, have also agreed to receive hostages for the 150,000 ducats, the latter ask so many things besides that it is quite impossible to satisfy them. They are to meet to-morrow, Friday, the 6th, precisely seven months since the Pope has been a prisoner at Sanct Angelo, and resolve thereupon. The Pope, who counted upon his liberation, and intended leaving for Orbieto to-morrow, was very much alarmed and discontented the whole of yesterday, but Cardinal Colonna and those who have charge of this business have assured him that, whatever may happen, he (the Pope) shall be free to-morrow. He is now more tranquil, and has this day ordered 48,000 ducats to be handed over to Cervellon for the pay of his men, that he may take them out of Sanct Angelo the moment he (the Pope) recovers his liberty. It appears that Don Felipe [Cervellon] refuses to remain in the castle, though His Holiness, they say, has requested him to continue until he (the Pope) should appoint a proper garrison and governor. That money, of course, is to be deducted from the 65,000 ducats payable to the Spaniards in 15 days' time, but there remains at the castle some wheat, wine, and other provisions for which the Pope will account.
Hears that the Legacy of the Marks, a very honourable and lucrative post, has been conferred by the Pope on Cardinal Colonna.
Cardinal Campeggio remains as Legate in Rome. He is now suffering from gout.
The Prince of Orange is at Civittà Vecchia, but is expected in town to-morrow, as he has written asking for apartments (aposento).
Most people think that the moment the Pope deems himself free at Orbieto be will go and join the League. Were he to do the contrary of that, we should all marvel at it, for we have our misgivings that he will not, if he can help it, fulfil his promises. This notwithstanding, his liberation has been accomplished according to His Imperial Majesty's wishes, with such securities as the Imperial ministers were able to obtain.
Has been told that the Datary (Gianmatheo Giberti) has determined upon going to his bishopric [of Verona], and not seeing the Pope again. Cannot say whether this intelligence be correct. All the hostages are said to be at Orbieto.
God be praised, this morning [the 6th of December] the Pope's liberation was effected, the Spaniards going out of Sanct Angelo, and he remaining inside with his own people He is very much rejoiced at it, and says he will start for Orbieto to-morrow. May he fix his court there, and not do as many people suspect he will! Alarcon took with him his three cardinals, and Colonna will go to-morrow to Grota F errata with his two hostages [Ursino and Cesis].
Coming out of Sanct Angelo he (Perez) met a number of friars and priests going to Saint Peter to sing a Te Deum laudamus for the Pope's liberation. All seemed very much pleased at the event.
News has come from Civittà Castellana stating that the Papal commissioner (comisario) was actually disobeyed by the inhabitants. It was entirely his fault, for instead of going first to the castle, he went to the town's-people. The Pope, it is said, has sent another message, but some are of opinion that the place will not be given up.
The Emperor's letters of the 27th and 29th of October have just come to hand. It is too late to answer them, as Captain Gayoso is about to start with the news of the Pope's liberation.
The mutiny of the Spaniards, mentioned in the first part of this despatch, came to nothing after all. If paid up at the time that has been fixed, they will all quit Rome, as well as the Germans, who have sworn to march whenever they maybe ordered. Cardinal Colonna has offered his own personal security, and that of the three cardinals his hostages, for the payment of the 150,000 ducats.
This security is more propter formam than because the cardinals possess that sum ; but still as the Emperor's minister will not give up their three cardinals, or the cities pledged, without the money being paid, it stands to reason that no better guarantee could be offered to the Germans.—Rome, 6th December 1527.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: "To His most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1527. Rome. Perez."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp. 13.
7 Dec.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 329.
255. Cardinal Colonna and Ascanio Colonna to the Emperor.
Enclose a copy of the treaty between His Holiness and the Emperor, and humbly request that the affairs of Italy may be carefully attended to, now that the French have possessed themselves of almost all the Duchy with the exception of Milan and its castle.
The Pope had left Rome well contented with the Imperial commanders, but much dissatisfied with the army itself.
Owing to the heavy taxation the Neapolitans are in a state of agitation, and grumbling against some of the Imperial ministers. The kingdom itself completely exhausted of money and provisions. Should the Imperial army march on Lombardy, and the Pope not fulfil the conditions of the treaty, some provision must be made to defend that kingdom iron invasion, as otherwise it will be in great danger.
Leyva is in great stress at Milan, It is doubtful whether the Imperial army will arrive in time to save him. Peace must be speedily concluded, or else a commander-in-chief for this army appointed, as well as a viceroy for Naples. Money and reinforcements of Germans must also be supplied.
Beg that Nigro, their agent, may be sent back with a favourable answer.—Rome, 7th December 1527.
Indorsed: "Summary of letter from Cardinal and Ascanio Colonna."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. 1.
8 Dec. 256. Alarcon to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 330.
The Pope's liberation has been finally accomplished, after a good deal of negotiation with the Germans, as he has advised in former despatches.
Commends the services of the Spanish infantry, who, though almost naked and dying of hunger (desnudos y muertos de hambre), are doing their duty. Men, however, cannot fight without money or food. The men-at-arms suffer most, and the whole army is completely disorganized. Reminds the Emperor of the many outrages, robberies, and murders committed by the Imperial soldiers for want of pay.—Rome, 8th December 1527.
Indorsed: "Summary of letters from Alarcon." (fn. n16)
Spanish. Contemporary copy. 1.
8 Dec. 257. Andrea del Burgo to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1,553,
f. 204.
The Marquis of Mantua has sent a servant to inform him (Burgo) that he has joined the League under the following conditions:
1. Eighty lances during six months, and 6,000 scudi every month, &c.
2. Should the Marquis wish for it, 100 lances and 12,000 scudi shall be allotted to him, as his father had.
3. To be appointed captain-general of Lombardy with a monthly salary of 2,500 scudi.
4. To have besides 10,000 cr. every year in Milan, 6,000 more on Naples, as compensation for Bozzolo ; 4,000 more in Venice.
Secretly the Marquis remains an Imperialist at heart.— Datum die octava Decembris 1527.
Latin. Holograph.
8 Dec. 258. Hernando de Alarcon to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 330.
Advises the Pope's liberation, and his ups and downs (altos y bajos) with the Germans on that account. Praises the conduct of the Spaniards, who, he says, are without clothes and dying of hunger. The men-at-arms going to Naples by tens and twenties, and the whole army utterly disorganized Counsels peace, and records the great robberies, deaths and outrages which the soldiers have committed.
Recommends Cardinal Colonna, who has been very useful of late in settling the business with the Pope.—Rome, 8th December 1527.
Indorsed: "Summary of letters from Alarcon, &c."
Spanish. Contemporary draft. 1.


  • n1. There is a blank in the draft, as if to fill up the name of the messenger, who was no other than Captain Gayoso.
  • n2. "Por que ni Dios permiiera çufrillos ni es razon que el mundo, pudiendolo remediar, lo dexe de hazer."
  • n3. "Item suplicar á su Mt. por el capitan (sic) Hieronymo Moron." Most probably a mistake of the copyist, who read capitan instead of commissario, which office he obtained after the death of the Abbot of Najera. He may, however, have been both captain and commissary, for in subsequent despatches he is mentioned as a leader of troops.
  • n4. The verb used is governar, which at this time was used to express the exercise of any command ad interim. The lieutenant of a company was governador in the absence of the captain. In later times the President, by age, of the Council of Castille was designated by the title of Governador del Consejo.
  • n5. "Que su exercito haya de yr robando y destruyendo el mundo para su sostenimiento, especialmente siendo el Emperador de la grandeza que es."
  • n6. See above, p, 366, where the death of this officer is recorded.
  • n7. Some times written Mendaño, which is also a common name in Spain.
  • n8. "Por esto Su Md. debe mandar mirar quanto mas cumple á Su Imperial seruicio de aquietar las cosas con los terminos que se pueda, pucs puede quitar y poner á su modo, que no estar á discreccion de una gente que con tan poca verguença han querido destruyr y deshonrrar á Su Md. y perder, como arriba digo, el Ducado de Milan."
  • n9. Though undated, these instructions must have been drawn out early in December, and addressed to Captain Gayoso. See Comentarios de los hechos del Señor de Alarcon (Madrid, 1675, fol.), p. 341.
  • n10. The original draft of this memorandum [Discours de Chapuys concernant le faict d'Angleterre] is in the Vienna Archives. It bears no date, but being placed among papers of December 1527, I have not hesitated to calendar it here, inasmuch as Eustace Chapuys, at this time maitre des Requètes de I'Empereur in Flanders, was consulted, as well as Perrenot, Hoochstraten, and others, on the best means to detach Henry from his French alliance. Yet as Chapuys did not come as ambassador to England until 1529; as the writer of the memorandum alludes to his residence in London, and to the ill-will which the Cardinal bore him, it must be concluded that it was drawn up by Don Iñigo, not by Chapuys himself. The clerk in Belgium whose duty it was to translate it into French (Don Iñigo wrote always in Spanish) might wrongly have ascribed it to the latter.
  • n11. "Se retirast aysement a sauveté soit en Normandie, ou en Flandres ou aux Dinnes (sic)."
  • n12. Francis' eldest son, or the Dauphin, Duke of Angoulême.
  • n13. "Item fauldroit aussi trouver par tout moyens de bouter diffidence entre les dits Roys d'Engleterre et dc France et s'il y avoit icy aultre ambassadeur que moy, il le povoit bien faire en hantant beaucoup les ambassadeurs François, ce que je ne puys faire pour le malcontentement que le dit sieur Legat à l'encontre de moy."
  • n14. De Cæsis. There were two cardinals of this name, Federigo and Paolo.
  • n15. Carlo Dolce, in his Vita di Ferdinando, primo Imperadore di questo nome (Vinegia, 1566), says that Stefano Balore was appointed Viceroy of Hungary on this occasion.
  • n16. There is on the margin a memorandum thus conceived: "The answer to be the same as the one addressed to the Marquis del Guasto with the exception of the paragraph relating to Joan Baptista Castaldo."