Spain: January 1528, 1-20

Pages 525-544

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

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January 1528, 1-20

2 Jan. 282. Lope de Soria to Secretary Lallemand.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 38.
Has often written to His Majesty and to him since he Genoa, but has not heard from Spain for a long time. The last letter he received from him was dated the 18th of August.
Is waiting [at La Mirandola] for the arrival of the army, as he considers that he cannot be of use anywhere else.
The Pope is still at Orvieto, having left Rome on the 7th ult.., escorted by a few Spanish horse and foot. Before his departure he promised to Alarcon, to the Prince of Orange, and to Secretary Perez to call a council for the purpose of establishing a general peace, to pay the sums destined for the army, and to deliver Parma, Piacenza. Civittà Castellana, and the castle of Forlin, besides Civittà Vecchia and Ostia to remain, as they are, in the Emperor's hands. As security for his engagements, the Pope appointed certain cardinals to go to Naples as hostages. The army had accepted the Prince of Orange as commander-in-chief, and was to march to Lombardy as soon as the money came from Naples.
Lautrech is at Bologna with the greater part of his forces. He occupies now the palace and the gates of the city, but the Bulognese dislike him, and frequent disputes occur between them and his men. In short, such is their behaviour, and so great are the wanton excesses they commit, that in reality, when compared with his Germans, of whom he has now about 5,000, his Gascons, and his Italians, our own soldiers may be considered as saints. His forces amount to 10,000 infantry and about 400 lances. What are his plans, nobody knows for certain, but the general belief is that he will not move from Bologna. During his stay at Parma and Piacenza he levied a tax of 40,000 cr. on the inhabitants, and left some of his troops to garrison those cities. He shows discontent at the announcement that the Pope is willing to accept the terms proposed, &c.
Leyva is at Milan. Some days ago he sent some of his forces to the Lomelina. Novara was recovered, the country overrun, and provisions taken to Milan.
The French and Venetian fleets were caught in a storm, and had to run to Corsica for shelter. They have since sailed for Sardinia.
(Cipher:) The Marquis of Mantua has joined the League. Civittà Castellana bas not yet been delivered. There is a rumour afloat that the Pope will not fulfil that and other conditions of the capitulation. Lautrech is in treaty with the Venetians. We shall soon see what they are about. News has come from Germany that 100,000 ducats in bills had been received from Spain, and that fresh levies were being made. Should the Imperial army receive reinforcements in time, the prospect of affairs will at once change; and if the King of Hungary [Ferdinand] were to come in person, there can be no doubt that the war would soon be at an end, Genoa recovered, Italy and the whole world subjected.
(Common writing:) Begs that his secretary, Girardo, may be sent back; he wants him very much.—La Mirandola, 2nd January 1528.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
P.S.—Has just heard that Federico de Gonzaga, alias de Bozol (Bozzolo), has died at Florence from pain in his side.
Addressed: "To John Lallemand, Lord of Buclians (sic), first secretary to the Emperor."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1528. Soria. 2nd January."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 3.
4 Jan. 283. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 42.
Encloses duplicate of his despatch of the 11th ulto. On the first day of the Prince of Orange, at the solicitation of Cardinal Colonna, of the Marquis del Guasto, and the rest, accepted the office of captain-general of the Imperial forces. The Marquis made a speech formally declaring on the occasion that he and the Spaniards under his orders were ready to obey him.
The Prince and the rest are now endeavouring to persuade the Germans to march out of Rome, on the payment of 120,000 ducats, besides the 24,000 which they assert to be owing to them as surplus, there having been an error in the former account, but up to the present the Prince's efforts have been unsuccessful, as the soldiers claim 18,000 ducats besides, as double pay, until the time at which the 50,000 promised by the Pope on the 17th inst. are paid. This last payment however, is out of the question, for the generals will find it difficult enough to procure even the 24,000. Already Cardinal Colonna has come back in disgust, as the Germans will not listen to reason. It would be a pity if he lost his credit with them, for hitherto he has negotiated rather successfully.
This very day, as he is told, an agreement has been made with the Abbot of Farfa and Mario Ursino, by which they engage to serve the Emperor, the former with a "condotta" of 90 lances and 2,000 foot; the latter with 50 lances with the usual pay, &c. Both are to come here to sign the agreement, and swear fidelity in the hands of the Prince.
On the 2nd news came to Rome that a very strong place called Castro, in the territory of the Church, belonging to Pietro Luigi Farnese, had been surprised and taken by the confederates. Also that one of Cardinal Colonna's nephews, named Marcalo, went out of Viterbo, and took a town called Castellon (Castiglione), wherein he found upwards of 2,000 loads of wheat and other provisions. They say that the Pope was exceedingly angry at this, and has complained to the Prince and to the Marquis about it. Cannot say whether satisfaction will be given and the town restored, for besides being important and full of provisions, it is a just retaliation for Castro.
Civittà Castellana has not yet been delivered, nor have the citizens who were to come [to Rome] to take securities from these generals made their appearance.
The Germans have not yet sent in their consent, but, on the contrary, insist on remaining at Rome until their claims are settled. Besides the money which has been promised to them in cash, they now want Cardinal Colonna and the generals to be security for the 50,000 ducats which the Pope has engaged to pay on the 17th. This the Cardinal dislikes doing, owing to the very small chance there is of the Pope fulfilling his engagements, but most likely he will be obliged to subscribe to the condition in the end.
On the very same day that the Prince of Orange assumed the command, he proposed Hernando Gonzaga for the post of general of the cavalry.
Mons. de Vere is expected here, to go to the Pope at Orbieto, but unless the confederates give him a safe-conduct he will be in danger, now that Castro is in the hands of the enemy, for he must necessarily pass through that place.
In consequence of the Germans persisting in their determination it has been decided to distribute to the Spanish and Italian infantry, and to the light horse, the money destined for the former. They shall be kept in this city and its immediate neighbourhood, that they may assist in case of the said Germans, now encamped at Campo di Frose, attempting to come to Rome and create disturbances, though it must be observed that some of their captains have undertaken to take out their respective companies, and follow the example of the Spaniards and Italians, who are ready to a man to obey the orders of their commanders.
The Papal Legate (Campeggio) has clearly bold us that the Pope will not be able to pay on the 17th inst. the 50,000 ducats. Neither does he believe that he can fulfil his engagements respecting Civittà Castellana, though he keeps telling us every day that deputies from that city are coming to ask for securities, &c.
The Marquis leaves to-morrow morning for Naples Besides some very important business of his own, the object of his journey thither is to get all the money he can, and ask Don Ugo [de Moncada] to allow all the Spanish and German infantry, and all the men-at-arms to come [to Rome].
Ostia and Civittà Vecchia are being fortified, for it is evident that, unless matters mend, the confederated fleet will pay them a visit.—Rome, 4th January 1528.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1528. Rome. Perez. 4th January."
Spanish. Original. pp. 3½.
7 Jan. 286. Antonio de Leyva to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1,172,
f. 14.
B. M. Add 28,578,
f. 2.
His Majesty's letters, together with the credentials and instructions brought by Captain Ribadeneyra, have come to hand. All orders shall be most strictly obeyed, and should there be anything amiss it will be no fault of his; he (Leyva) has always done his best. Ribadeneyra says it is His Majesty's wish that he (Leyva) should implicitly obey the Prince of Orange's orders. Such recommendation was scarcely needed, since he (Leyva) has always obeyed his superiors in command, and the Prince deserves it well, owing to his good qualities and high rank. Knows well that he has been charged at Court with having made himself obnoxious (sido terrible) towards Bourbon; but the accusation is unfounded. True it is that at times the Duke did many things, and might, if left alone, have done others, detrimental to the Imperial service; and this is the reason that the courtiers are so spiteful against him (Leyva); but the slanderers who take about such tales as these to the Emperor should bear in mind that, had it not been for his (Leyva's) opposition on many occasions, the Emperor's affairs in Italy might have been worse than they are now. Having been neither offensive (terrible) nor disagreeable towards Lannoy, Prospero [Colonna], or the Marquis de Pescara, it cannot be feared that he will now become so.
With regard to the new grants to be made in the Duchy, His Imperial Majesty's commands shall be punctually obeyed with the moderation and tact prescribed in the instructions.
All pensions settled by Bourbon on the Ducal chamber (Camara ducal) have been already recalled; none shall be granted in future without the Emperor's permission.
Has communicated by the Prior of Barletta (Martinengo) everything he (Leyva) had to say respecting the army under his immediate command. Not knowing whether the Prior has reached Spain in safety, he now sends Barahona, who will verbally inform the Emperor of what has occurred since.
With regard to the expenditure, as these Germans of the old bands, who are decidedly a most unruly and mutinous set of men, refused to march against the enemy unless paid their arrears, and besides robbed the inhabitants and ravaged the land; as those who went back to their own country might tell their comrades that they had not been paid, and thus prevent the Germans from enlisting in future, he (Leyva) resolved to test the favourable opinion which it was said they had of him. Accordingly, though against the advice of some, who assured him that he would be badly received and perhaps insulted, as the Germans were in a constant state of mutiny, he (Leyva) went to them and explained how it was that His Imperial Majesty, being at war with the whole of the Christian world, could not procure money. They should bear in mind that, though no pay had been issued to them for some time, yet they had been supported entirely at the Emperor's expense. Begged them, therefore, to content themselves with what the Emperor could now afford to give. He (Leyva) calculated that, in addition to the 80,000 which they gave up (soltados) on a former occasion, 140,000 cr. more were now due to them. Now if out of this latter sum they would be content to receive 25,000 cr. and leave the remainder as a standing debt, matters might be arranged, and the money procured somehow. The Germans accepted the proposal, and therefore all their infantry, old companies as well as; new (de la banda vieja y de la nueva), will be paid up to the end of December last. Does not think that this matter could have been settled in a more satisfactory way. To the Spaniards three years' pay are due. It has been- settled that on the receipt of 15,000 ducats they will abandon all claims for the present. As, however, there is no money to give them, and it is not known whence and how it is to come, they (the Spaniards) have agreed to wait two months further. The Italian infantry and light horse are paid up to the present time (lo comido por servido hasta el dia de hoy), but to the men-at-arms considerable arrears are due (se les deve un mundo).
The Emperor will naturally inquire what means he (Leyva) has had at his disposal to cover so many expenses and feed during several months an army like this, mustering 20,000 foot and 4,000 horse. Simply by a tax (dacio) on bread which the municipality of this city consented to establish, with the proviso that military men (gente de guerra) should also be subjected to it. The tax has answered so well that in four months 80,000 ducats have been collected, with which this Estate and army have been maintained. In this manner 31,000 cr. have been paid to the Germans, both old and new troops, and 4,500 cr. to the Spaniards, 2,000 to the Italians, without counting other small sums paid to the light horse and artillery, and for ammunition, gunpowder, fortifications, and so forth.
In this manner we maintained ourselves until the arrival of Rivadeneyra. Out of the money he has brought 2,500 ducats have been distributed to the Germans of the old bands, and 8,000 to the new; 13,000 have been repaid to the Velzers, and 4,000 to the Grimaldos (Grimaldi) for advances they had made. Money is also owing to various merchants and contractors, but they must have patience and wait until funds are provided [from Spain].
The present force will cost henceforwards 33,200 ducats every month; namely, the Germans 18,500 ducats; the Spaniards 9,000, one thousand Italians 4,000; 300 horse 1,700. All that this city and the estate [of Milan] can possibly yield for the two next months amounts only to 15,000 cr., for the dacio has lately had a considerable fall, owing to wheat being now very scarce and expensive, and people being obliged to eat rye or millet bread.
Barahona will report on the enemy's numbers and movements; also on the Venetians and Francesco [Sforza]; on the Duke of Ferrara and his son (Ercole), the Marquises of Mantua, Montferrato, and Saluzzo; on the son of the latter and on the Grisons; (fn. n1) and lastly on the news lately arrived from France, and the affairs of Rome.
Respecting Monego and the orders brought by Ribadeneyra, he (Leyva) can only say that it is very important for His Imperial Majesty to hold that position, lstly. The port is very convenient for going to and coming from Spain. 2ndly. It will prove a thorn in the side of Marseilles and Provenze. 3rdly. It may be the ruin of Savoy, being as it is in the very heart of the Duke's estate (en el anima de su estado), and if His Imperial Majesty only gave orders that the salt which the Duke [of Savoy] now brings from Iviça should be sent to Monego, a great portion of his revenue, consisting chiefly in the proceeds of that article, will fall to the ground. Lastly. Should Genoa be lost, which God forbid, Monego will act as a sort of curb upon that city, and be a place of refuge (escala) for vessels bound for Italy and France.
The marquisate of Monte Sarcho, which the Catholic King (Ferdinand) granted to him (Leyva), brings him in no revenue at all. During the time that the French were all-powerful in Naples the old Marquis again took possession of it, and so wasted it that, though he (Leyva) has since recovered the land, it is worth literally nothing. What the late Duke of Bourbon and the Duke (Francesco Sforza) have given him since has been of no use. All those who have served in Italy have received titles; (fn. n2) he has not.
Ribadeneyra has been despatched to the Prince of Orange —Milan, 7th January [1528].
8 Jan.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 50.
287. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
Wrote last on the 23rd of December advising the Pope's recent liberation and arrival at Orbieto, of which a fuller account must have reached the Imperial Court both from Rome and Naples. It is said here that the Pope intends fulfilling his promise. May it be so.
The French army, it is asserted, has left Bologna and taken the road to Romagna. The ambassador hears from two different and very reliable sources that Lautrech's intention is to invade the kingdom of Naples, and that he has taken the present route the better to insure the provisioning of his army. He (Lautrech) had been joined by the 3,000 Germans, whom he had been expecting so long. How, with such a contemptible set of men as he has under his orders, he can venture to approach the Imperial army is more than he (Sanchez) can say, for he (Lautrec) must know by this time that the Emperor has provided money for Germany. (Cipher :) Perhaps there exists some secret understanding between the Pope and him, for, although the former asserts that he intends fulfilling the conditions of the last treaty, his deeds, as some people here suspect, may after all turn out different from his words. (Common writing:) The new German levies could not come at a better time for arresting the enemy's progress, but they should come as soon as possible, so as to prevent the enemy from gathering strength and (cipher :) destroying us before the arrival of the reinforcements. (fn. n3)
(Common writing:) The Pope lately addressed a brief to this Signory asking for the restitution of Ravenna and Cervia, and likewise the salt which they took from him, demanding at the same time the complete evacuation of the territory of the Church by their troops. The Venetians are not in a humour to grant either of those demands, and have sent an excuse to Lautrech. Hears that the Archbishop of Manfredonia, otherwise called Sepontino, is coming to Venice as Papal Nuncio on this business. They say also that the Datary (Gian Matheo Giberti), who is Bishop of Verona, comes to reside in his bishopric with the Pope's permission, though some will not believe that at such times as this he can forsake His Holiness. The Pope is still at Orbieto, where every day cardinals and other people join him. (Cipher :) Lautrech sent the other day Cavalier [Casale], the English ambassador, to persuade him to join the League, and not trouble himself about fulfilling the conditions of the treaty, or giving money for the Imperial army. The Pope has sent Prothonotary Gambara to England and France about this.
Has just heard that a Genoese banker established in England, of the name of Viualdo, writes to a correspondent of his at this place (Venice) that the Cardinal of England had urgently requested him to have 20,000 ducats paid to Prothonotary Casale, the English ambassador. (Cipher :) Vivaldo has begged his correspondent to pay at least one half of that sum down, but as the Venetian merchant is a friend of his, he (Sanchez) has persuaded him not to advance one farthing until further advice. This will perchance delay the accomplishment of the enemy's plans.
(Common writing:) This letter was begun three days ago. Has not sent it on for want of a safe conveyance to Trent. Lautrech is still at Bologna, but announces his intention of advancing, and has sent part of his troops in the direction of Romagna.
The Archbishop of Manfredonia has arrived, and visited the Signory this morning. Intends to call on him one of these days. Will not fail to advise the result of their conference.
Antonio de Leyva has relieved Lecco, which was closely invested by the troops of this Signory and by those of the Duke [of Urbino?]. He managed to introduce into the town some men and provisions, upon which the enemy raised the siege and retired, losing a certain number of guns.
Federico de Bozol has died a natural death, and Flemish merchants of this city have news of the death of the King of Poland (Sigismond).—Venice, 8th January 1528.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez"
Addressed: "To His most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on the margin. pp. 5.
11 Jan. 288. Pope Clement VII. to the Emperor.
S.T. c. Pont. Charissime in Christo fili noster, salutem eb Apostolicam benedictionem. As long as he (the Pope) was in confinement there was no object in his writing except to ask for his liberation. When, however, he perceived from the letters, as well as the verbal message brought by the General [of the Franciscans] and Vere (Mons. de Veyre), how much he (the Emperor) wished for it, and that most stringent orders had been sent for his release, which would have been accomplished much sooner had not the Viceroy of Naples (Lannoy) died in the meantime, he (the Pope) lost no time in thanking God and him. Though there was no cause whatever for the bad treatment to which he was subjected, he (the Pope) still believes, as the Emperor has often assured him in his letters, that he regretted, and still regrets, what happened then. Indeed, not only the Emperor himself, whose kindness and virtues are well known, but the most wicked man on earth would have been moved to pity had he witnessed the robberies, cruelties, and dishonourable acts perpetrated [by the Imperial soldiers], not only against their own fellow creatures, but against God and religion; and if the Emperor at the mere hearsay of such atrocities has felt such sorrow for the sufferers, it may be easily imagined how indescribable his own must have been, when, besides being a victim himself, he had to witness the sufferings of his own people, to whom he is in duty bound to be a good father and shepherd. It is now evident that it was owing to the Imperial ministers not placing that trust in him (the Pope) which his friendly conduct towards the Emperor deserved, that matters took the wretched turn they did. His motives and acts have been misrepresented, but God, who sees into men's hearts, is witness of his upright intention and good-will towards the Emperor. Can assure him that nothing shall be left undone, as far as he is concerned, to procure the general peace, assemble a council, and fulfil in other respects the Emperor's wishes, which are also his own, for the honour of God and the common welfare of Christendom. Has already complied with all his demands, ordering the delivery of the hostages and cities as security, though his Majesty may easily conceive what little authority and credit is left to him to enforce such orders, &c.
Sends the General [of the Franciscans], for whom and for his Nuncio [Farnese ?] he begs full credence. Immediately after his liberation he thought of sending one of his own servants to thank the Emperor in his name, but the difficulty and dangers of the road both by land and sea presented him, and though he has since applied to France for a safe-conduct he has had no answer yet. (fn. n4) —Orvieto, 11th January 1528.
Italian. Original upon vellum.
16 Jan. 289. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 52.
Wrote last on the 4th inst., enclosing duplicate of his despatch of the 31st of December. Since then Cardinal Colonna has left Rome, on pretence of visiting his brother Ascanio, but in reality to escape from the Germans. As his absence from Rome at the present time might be very injurious to the cause, the Prince has written requesting him to return as soon as possible, as the negotiations with the Germans must be suspended in the meanwhile.
The Marquis del Guasto left also for Naples, promising to return soon. His presence here is equally important.
On the 11th the Germans held a general review of their forces, with what object is not yet known. Though they have published that by this muster His Imperial Majesty would save at least 50,000 ducats, the general belief is that it will be only an excuse for fresh demands. Should they consent to march out of Rome, the Spaniards and Italians would soon follow them, for they have lately received the one month's pay promised to them by the Marquis, and are quite ready to obey orders. The confederates are daily getting stronger in Romagna; besides Castro and Aquapendente, which they are fortifying, they show intentions of attacking Viterbo, where a nephew of Cardinal Colonna now is. A messenger has been despatched to him to hold out, as in case of need he will be succoured from hence.
The Pope has ordered 500 hackbutiers from Spoletto, for his body-guard, they say. This is considered here rather a bad sign, as was his refusing to accept Mons. de Vere's offer to go to Orbieto, in consequence of which the latter leaves for Naples to-morrow, the 12th, to embark for Spain. Some days ago he received the Imperial letter of the 22nd of November, enclosing one for the Pope in the Emperor's own hand, but before that he (Perez) had seen a copy which His Holiness sent to his Legate (here), and which was shown to the Prince and the rest of the Imperial ministers. All think that the contents of the letter are such that, even if the Pope's intentions were not good, he could not fail acknowledging the Emperor's benevolence towards him.
Civittà Castellana has not yet been delivered, though a gentleman who resides for us at Orbieto, as Imperial agent, feels confident that it will take place ere long. Neither is the money which the Pope promised to pay on the 17th inst. ready. If, however, Antonio de Sanct Severino, lately created cardinal, pays the 20,000 ducats for his hat, very little will be wanting towards the 145,000 promised to the Germans and Spaniards, for Vere (Veyre) has brought from Naples the 20,000 of the Archbishop of Monreale. But as on the 17th inst. 50,000 ducats must be paid to the captains for their advances, as well as for their double pay, and the Pope seems unmindful of his promise, we are greatly afraid that there will be some outbreak among the Germans. Already most of the Imperialists of note are leaving Rome, and although a proclamation was made the other day [in the Legate's name], promising security to all foreigners in general, most Spaniards are migrating to Naples, and he (Perez) intends doing the same the very moment the Imperial forces evacuate the city.
Mentioned in his despatch of the 4th that the Prince [of Orange] had given the command of the cavalry to Hernando Gonzaga, and that the appointment had been generally well received. Now it appears that the Marquis del Guasto wanted that office for the Prince of Malfe (Amalfi).
His Imperial Majesty may believe him (cipher :) when he asserts that funds are more wanted than ever, not only for the pay of these troops, but also for other branches of the service ; for it frequently happens that for lack of 15 or 20 ducats we cannot despatch a messenger when an object worth a whole treasure to His Imperial Majesty can be attained. We have no money for the transport of artillery and baggage, &c.
Great fear prevails of the Pope joining the League and breaking through every one of his engagements except that of paying 145,000 ducats. As to 150,000 for the Germans, no one here expects that they will be paid. They say that Lautrech has come or is coming to Florence, without troops, for the express purpose of inducing the citizens to declare in favour of His Holiness, that he may the better join the League, and that he (Lautrech) intends making them great offers for that effect.
(Common writing :) Lautrech's army is still in the Bolognese. That general's intention seems to be to divide his forces, retaining one portion to defend that country, and employing the other to invade Naples. Nobody, however, believes that he will be able to carry out his plan of campaign, as his troops are insufficient for such an undertaking.
The Siennese have sent to ask for help. The Prince has granted their request, and is about to despatch troops to their assistance ; but as they only want them on the frontiers, and not within their territory, that they may escape the expense of feeding and paying them, the succour after all cannot be of much use to them.
The men-at-arms are still at Belitre (Velletri) where hey can no longer procure provisions. If not supplied m time they are sure to join their comrades in Naples. Don Ugo, however, writes to say that he is straining every nerve to remit money and provisions to Velletri, and that at any rate, it the Prince succeeds in taking his Germans out of Rome—for the Spaniards and Italians are quite ready to go—he undertakes to send us 400 men-at-arms; 200 light horse, and 3,000 foot, which would be no inconsiderable reinforceme nt for this army. Such was the message brought by De Vere (Veyre); but if money cannot be procured he (Perez) does not see much use in having more troops from Naples.
The other day a Roman spy came from Orbieto, bearing letters from His Holiness to his Legate here. (fn. n5) It appears that whilst conversing with some German captains here he was heard to say that if any of them wished to go home, or take service with the League, he would undertake at once to have his arrears settled [by the Pope]. The captains imme diately informed their colonel of the fact; the man was arrested and put to the torture, and though he has not positively declared that he came [to Rome] for the purpose of corrupting the Germans, yet he owns that he knows of one among them who is trying the same sort of work with his comrades. The German, however, could not be found, and the Roman spy is still in confinement; he will most likely be severely punished, although the Legate (Campeggio) is moving heaven and earth for his release.
The agreement with the Abbot of Farfa, about which he (Perez) wrote on the 4th, has not yet been concluded, owing to that individual asking, among other things, that the pay of his retainers and his own pension should be consigned on the Neapolitan revenue; that Valença in the district of Tagliacozzo, which Ascanio Colonna retains until the whole of that duchy, or some equivalent reward be given to him (the Abbot) according to agreement, should at once be made over to him; that 8,000 or 10,000 ducats be advanced to him (the Abbot) and to Mario Ursino to raise their respective "condotte." One of the Abbot's men, who is his agent in these negotiations, has gone to call on Cardinal Colonna, the initiator of the whole affair. Cannot say what the result of the conference will be, but should not be surprised to hear that the whole is a stratagem of the Abbot, who thereby aims at getting better terms from the League.
The muster passed of the German infantry made them amount to 6,000 men in effective. They now demand all arrears of pay up to the 31st of December last, as well as the sums lent by their own captains, and double pay to the men for a certain time as interest, the whole of which amounts to 345,000 ducats. In that sum are included 150,000 promised by the Pope, but of the payment of which, as Mons. de Vere (Veyre) has no doubt already informed His Imperial Majesty, there is very little, if any, chance, as Civittà Castellana has not yet been delivered according to treaty, and as some doubt remains as to his paying even the other 145,000. To this may be added that Antonio de Sanct Severino, instead of paying into the treasury at Naples the 20,000 ducats for his cardinal's hat, as agreed, has secretely left that city, and gone by way of Aquila and Ancona to Orbieto, there to pay them into the Pope's hands. So that, notwithstanding the praiseworthy efforts of the Prince, who is continually writing on the subject to Don Ugo, to the Marquis [del Guasto], and to Alarcon, there is no prospect of paying these Germans and taking them out of Rome.
The Prince, is about to send a messenger to the Pope protesting against the non-fulfilment of his engagements; but on the other hand he thinks, as many others of the Imperial servants do, that it is Don Ugo's place and duty to do so. Cannot say what will be decided.
De Vere (Veyre) has shown to the few Romans in this city [á los pocos Romanos que hay] the letter which the Emperor wrote to this Senate. They were all very much pleased with it, but the truth is that what they moat wish is to see the Imperial troops quit Rome, for the city is gradually being destroyed, so that in a very short time it will be a heap of ruins. As most of the wealthy citizens desert their home for fear of the soldiers quartered upon them, it naturally follows that the moment the owners are gone, the houses are gutted and pulled down for the sake of the timber, which is sold in the markets and public places as fire-wood, as cheap as if there was a large forest in the immediate neighbourhood of Rome. If to this be added that bread and wine are so scarce and dear that none but wealthy people can procure them, and that many people once rich and prosperous are actually begging in the streets, the Emperor may have an idea of our present situation and sufferings.
The new regulations regarding the captains have not yet been made, owing to the Marquis del Guasto being still at Naples.
No further news of Lautrech. He is still in the Bolognese, and not likely to move on unless he is sure of having the Pope in his favour. The delivery of Civittà Castellana has not yet taken place, nor have the negotiations with these Germans made much advance, as the Prince of Orange is unwilling to take any engagements until the answer from Naples, which is expected every hour, comes.—Rome, 16th January 1528.
P.S.—When about to close and despatch this, a letter was brought him from Alonso Sanchez, dated the 25th ulto., stating that a packet from Madame Marguerite to him, with enclosures from Don Iñigo de Mendoza, the Imperial ambassador in England, had been intercepted and opened by order of the Signory of Venice. The letters were dated the 2nd.
Sanchez writes also to say that the Venetian ambassador in Spain, in his despatch of the 25th November last, informs the Signory that the Emperor is raising money as fast as he can, to send us a large fleet with 10,000 on board, and has besides remitted 100,000 ducats to his brother, the King of Hungary, to enlist several thousand Germans. The Venetians were rather alarmed at the news, but King Francis had written to them a very gracious letter, encouraging them to persevere in the League, and not to be afraid, as the announced succour could not come in time. The Pope has sent them briefs, asking for the restitution of Ravenna and Cervia, but the Venetians seem in no hurry to obey them.
Leyva is doing great things against the confederates in the neighbourhood of Milan, and were this army to march on Lombardy would do still more. He writes that Lautrech has but a small force there, and that very indifferent. Only 2,000 Germans have joined him instead of the 6,000 so pompously announced.
It is reported that on the 18th ulto. the Duke received from France the ratification of his treaty with the League, and that this Signory has also sent him their own. Only the Pope's is wanting, and the King of France has written to the Duke to send an ambassador to his court to treat of the marriage, &c.
A deputation has come this morning from Civittà Castellana asking for securities, &c., but the Prince [of Orange] can give none but his own word of honour. It is generally believed that these are mere formalities in order to gain time. His Holiness, on the other hand, has sent a message that the 145,000 ducats will be paid soon, but as no mention is made [in his letter] of the other 50,000 which are due to-morrow, the 17th, the Germans begin to grumble, and we are greatly afraid of their rising in mutiny.
The Prince is now sending a captain to Orbieto to request the Pope to fulfil his engagements, and another one to Spain to inform the Emperor of the state of affairs. A third is to be despatched to Don Ugo to ask for money.
Signed: "Perez."
Indorsed: "To the King. Perez. 16th January."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet (fol. 61). pp. 6.
17 Jan. 290. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 62.
As he (Perez) feared when writing yesterday, the Germans met under arms at Campo di Fiore, declaring that unless they were immediately paid they would sack Rome again, and enlist under the enemy. The Prince [of Orange] went to them, and was able, though with some trouble, to calm them down, under promise that within four days they would receive a definitive answer. To-day the rumour is that if their arrears remain unpaid they will do all the harm they can in Rome, and then go over to the confederates. Some of the German captains, however, maintain that the men will not serve the League, but will go straight home. In either case there is great danger in their leaving Rome just now, as the Spanish and Italian infantry are sure to follow their example and withdraw to Naples. Lautrech is reported to be marching on Faença, thence to invade the territory of Sienna. A messenger has accordingly been sent to Don Ugo and to the Marquis [del Guasto] to acquaint them of the fact.—Rome, 17th January 1528.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed; "To his most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1528. Perez. 17th January."
Spanish. Original. 1.
18 Jan. 291. Advices from Italy sent to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 66.
The state of affairs at present is as follows :—
Lautrech, after taking Alessandria and Pavia, has come to the Bolognese, where he is still.
The Venetians and Sforzini, who were in front of Milan have started in various directions to cut off provisions going to that city. The forces of the confederates in the Duchy amount only to 8,000 foot, 500 light horse, and 300 men-at-arms. Leyva is inside Milan with about 2,000 Spaniards, 5,000 lansquenets and Italians, 250 men-at-arms, and as many light horse.
There is no fear of Milan falling into the hands of the enemy, for besides the forces above enumerated the Imperialists are strong in that city, and the citizens determined to defend themselves. The danger lies in the difficulty of procuring provisions, for the city and the camp have only stores up to the middle of March.
Mons. de Lautrech has his head quarters at Bologna; the rest of his army is in the neighbourhood (. allogiato nel contado). His forces consist now of 500 French men-at-arms, besides 200 more of the Venetians, 100 of the Duke of Ferrara, and 200 of the Marquis de Saluzzo. Of Albanian and Italian light horse he has nearly 500, exclusive of his own regular archers (li suoi arcieri ordinarii). The Venetians are to send him 200 besides, the Duke [of Ferrara] 200 more, and Paolo Luzascho is also to join with his "condotta" of 100 horse and as many mounted hackbutiers.
Lautrech's lansquenets do not really exceed 6,000, though he makes them out to be 8,000, but he has 2,000 Switzers and Grisons, and the Marquis of Saluzzo 2,000 more in the camp of the League. Of Gascons, Frantopini, (fn. n6) and other soldiers of fortune he has about 1,000, and the Marquis as many. Item.—4,000 Italians, besides the 1,000 of Saluzzo, and 4,000 more to be raised and paid by Venice, and as many by the Florentines. The Duke does not furnish infantry, but contributes 6,000 ducats monthly towards the pay of 2,000 Italians. As to the Marquis of Mantua, it is not yet certain whether he has joined the League, or with what contingent.
The camp of the League, under the Duke of Urbino and Marquis of Saluzzo, is at Lodi, quite inactive. The enemy's sea forces, consisting of 38 galleys and six barks (barche), with 4,000 men on board, have gone to Sardinia and seized some undefended towns on the coast. The fleet is commanded by Signor Renzo [da Ceri], by Andrea Doria, and the Venetian proveditor (Pisani).
There is a rumour that Lautrech will invade Naples soon. His heavy cavalry and artillery, with part of his infantry, are to go through Romagna; he, himself, with the rest or his forces, intends marching by way of Tuscany. This, however, is not yet quite settled.
The Pope is at Orvieto, and, as far as we can understand, still hesitating to join the League for many reasons. The first, because he much dislikes entering into a new war; the second, because he is unwilling to ratify, as far as he is concerned, some of the terms which the ambassadors of the League have granted the Duke [of Ferrara] by the last treaty; the third, that the attitude of the Florentines is anything but reassuring; and last, not least, that the Signory of Venice retains under various pretences, the cities of Ravenna and Cervia, which belong to him. Negotiations, however, still continue, and if Lautrech only perseveres in his plans of invasion, and ultimately marches on Naples, it will be a further proof of the Pope's ill-will towards the Emperor, since he neither delivers Civittà Castellana, nor pays the money promised to the Germans.
Were this Imperial army to allow itself to be led out of Rome, things might soon take a different course and end in success, for between the men-at-arms now in Naples, and those encamped close to Vilitre (Villetri), 20 miles from Rome, there are upwards of 600. The light horse amount to 1,000. The Spanish infantry musters 9,000 men, including in that number those of Naples who are ready to join; the Germans to upwards of 7,000, and the Italians to 4,000.
The real difficulty and danger lie in the want of money to pay the soldiers, to whom such arrears are owing just now that it is no wonder if they refuse serving. For His Imperial Majesty must know that, as regards the Germans, they have often mutinied of late, and have only been quieted by promises and engagements that have never been fulfilled; now they have risen again, declaring that, unless they are paid in full by the 21st, they will quit the Emperor's service, ask safe- conducts from the League, and go home. The Spaniards and Italians in their turn, though not so grasping as the Germans, and likely to be contented with much less, will no doubt follow their example and go to Naples, and if so the Imperial army will be completely broken up.
As to the Pope there is no hope of his giving the money he has promised; neither the pressing solicitations of these generals, nor the wailings and lamentations of his own subjects, who naturally suffer from the threatening presence of the Imperial soldiers, and would like to see them out of Rome as soon as possible, will induce him to pay down the money and fulfil his other engagements.
Though the Marquis del Guasto and Alarcon have gone to Naples for the purpose of obtaining from Don Ugo [de Moncada], and the Collateral Council of that kingdom, some assistance in the present emergency, no hope, however faint, is entertained by those who know the state of that treasury. It is true that the barons and titled nobility of the kingdom, as well as the deputies of large towns, have been summoned to the capital, there to meet and vote a competent subsidy, but so exhausted is the country, and so poor are its inhabitants, that it is feared no adequate sum can be raised, or that it will not come in time.
The above true statement has been made, not indeed with a view to increasing present difficulties, and inculpating the Imperial councillors and ministers for allowing things to go so far, but in order to show the whole gravity and danger of the present situation of affairs, and the necessity of speedy redress. Meanwhile every effort shall be made to keep this army together; the Prince [of Orange] and the rest of the Imperial agents and commanders have done and are doing everything in their power to extricate themselves and the army from their present difficult position, but nobody can be expected to do impossibilities.
Getting money out of Italy under present circumstances is entirely out of the question. Neither the Florentines nor the Duke of Ferrara will furnish any unless forcibly compelled, or in consequence of a signal victory over our enemy. The Siennese will have enough to do to defend themselves against the attacks of the League; and as to Leyva, it is a wonder how he has been able to maintain himself so long in Milan.
No other remedy is left but an honourable peace, if it can be made, or else plenty of money sent from Spain to enable us to prosecute the war with vigour.—Rome, 18th January 1528.
Italian. Original much damaged by water. pp. 7.
19 Jan.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 70.
292. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador at Venice, to the Emperor.
His last was of the 8th inst. (Cipher :) Since then the news is that the Pope wrote to Lautrech by way of Ferrara, advising him to leave Bologna and proceed in the direction of Tuscany. Lautrech not thoroughly understanding the message, has sent Count Pepoli to ascertain what are His Holiness' real wishes, and the answer is that he is to advance, which, if true, is no sign of the Pope being ready to fulfil his promises. Hears that the Florentines have sent a similar message to Lautrech, begging him to advance, and offering assistance in money. Two ambassadors of that Signory are actually following the French camp.
Lautrech has demanded from the Duke of Ferrara (Alfonso d'Este) twice the quantity of money and number of men that he agreed to give, and the Duke has refused on the plea that His Holiness has not yet ratified the convention. This, the Pope said to two ambassadors the Duke sent him, was no easy matter, as he had but few cardinals left with him, and the affair required consideration. He was, however, about to send a messenger to Lautrech on this and other business. (Common writing:) Has been told that an ambassador from the Duke of Ferrara has arrived at the Court of France, and that King [Francis] and his mother received him most graciously. They evidently want the Duke to send his son, Don Hercules (Ercole), to France, as soon as possible, that he may there marry the King's sister-in-law (cuñada), (fn. n7) whom they offer to treat in every respect as their eldest daughter.
(Cipher :) Enclosed are some advices from Ferrara, which do not exactly agree with the above. Here, at Venice, the report is that Lautrech left Bologna on the 10th, and took the route to Sienna. A movement of this sort, undertaken at the present juncture, without any plausible reason, makes us all suspect that there is something wrong, and that the Pope will, if he can, break his engagements. The Imperial army is still at Rome, as disorderly as ever.
(Common writing:) He [Sanchez] and the ambassador of the King of Hungary called together on the Archbishop of Manfredonia (Giovanni Maria di Monte), whom they found at his lodgings in company with the resident Papal Nuncio (Averoldi). Told them that, knowing what trusty and beloved sons of His Holiness they were, they (the ambassadors) had come to pay their respects and offer their services. And to say the truth, the Archbishop (Monte) spoke in such high terms of His Imperial Majesty, of his love and respect (observancia) for the Pope and the Apostolic See, that no further praise could be desired. The conversation, however, turned only on general topics.
The answer which this Signory is reported to have given to the Archbishop [of Manfredonia] and to the other Nuncio concerning Ravenna and Cervia is this: that they [the Venetians] were the allies of the King of France; that those towns and the surrounding territory were conquered by the League in a good cause (á buen fin), and that the Signory could do nothing in the matter without first consulting the King of France.
Has heard from the King of Hungary, in date of the 23rd of December last, respecting the new levies to be raised in Germany. (Cipher :) As His Highness wished to know the ambassador's opinion on matters connected with the said reinforcements, the best time and place for their crossing, &c., he (Sanchez) drew up a report, of which the enclosed is a copy. (fn. n8) Similar letters were addressed by the King to Don Ugo, Antonio de Leyva, and Alarcon, as well as to Andrea del Burgo, at Ferrara, every one of whom will no doubt give his opinion on the subject.
(Cipher :) This Signory has named an ambassador [Gasparo Contarini] to go to the Pope. It is generally reported that His Holiness is pressing Lautrech to go forward; and certainly there must be some strong reason just now to induce that commander to move. This sending of an ambassador to Rome confirms the suspicion, for only a few days before the Signory had refused to send one. Has been told, though he does not vouch for the truth, that the last instructions received by Lautrech from France are to obey the Pope's orders implicitly.
As far as he (Sanchez) can gather from his conversations with the two Papal Nuncios, and from other sources, the Pope is more incensed (indignado) than ever with the Duke of Ferrara.
(Common writing:) It is publicly said here, at Venice, that the King of France is collecting large sums of money, and that he is to levy 2,000,000 cr. on the clergy of his dominions.
(Cipher :) The English ambassador residing here would only take 2,000 cr. from the merchant mentioned in a former letter, notwithstanding that his credit amounted to 20,000.
(Common writing:) Antonio de Leyva is very spirited (está gallardo), and cares little for the enemy in his front.
The Datary (Gian Matheo) is in Venice, on the way, as it is said, to his own church [Verona]. Cannot say whether this last report is true or not. Others say that the Signory will not allow him to go to his see, but amuse him (le entretienen) with fine words.
Hears that the Imperial army has quitted Rome and gone beyond Viterbo. May it be so! Lautrech is at Faenza, and it is not known for certain what route he will take. Most think that he will go towards Naples. On his march he took Imola from one Sassatello, (fn. n9) and gave it to the Pope's Nuncio. He is to do the same with Arimini (Rimini) when he gets possession of it, and yet the Venetians still keep Ravenna and Cervia.
The ambassador whom the Signory has appointed to go to the Pope is Miçer Gaspar Contarini, the same who was once in Spain. The Archbishop of Manfredonia [Cardinal] Sepontino (Giovanni Maria di Monte), who came here to demand the restitution of Ravenna and Cervia, has gone away with an unsatisfactory answer (no bien despachado).—Venice, 19th January 1528.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To His Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet (.. 72). pp. 8.
19 Jan.
S. E. L. 368,
f. 199.
B. M. Add. 28,577,
f. 12.
293. Lope Hurtado, Imperial Ambassador in Portugal, to the Emperor.
The king of France has sent a herald to this King, demanding the French vessels that have been seized. The King, (João II.,) wishes to make his peace with France.—[Almeirim], 19th January 1529.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."


  • n1. The original has, "del hijo de este [ultimo] y de los Grisones," but as the Marquis Antonio Michaele died soon after without posterity, some other captain must be meant.
  • n2. "Suplieo á V. Mt. se acuerde que á todos los que le han servido en Italia V. Mt. les ha mudado el nombre, y á mi no." At this time Leyva's services had not been ostensibly rewarded. A few years after he was made Prince of Asculi, a title which passed to his descendants.
  • n3. "Y que nos despachen antes que los socorros vengan."
  • n4. This was written in answer to one of the Emperor's letters, dated Burgos, the 22nd of November 1527, congratulating Pope Clement on his liberation, the news of which, he says, reached him through France, not through any of his own ministers in Italy. Both the Pope's letter and the Emperor s answer may be found in Lanz, Correspondent des Kaisers Karl V. vol. i. pp., 256-7.
  • n5. Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggio.
  • n6. Sandoval often mentions the Fantopines or Frantopines as the raw levies of Gascony and the south of France. I believe this word, as well as the French fantassin, to be derived from the Italian fanti.
  • n7. Madame Renée de France, daughter of Louis XII., and sister-in-law of Francis, who had been married to her sister Claude.
  • n8. An abstract of this report, made by one of the Emperor's secretaries, is in the volume.
  • n9. Perhaps Zuanne Saxadello, mentioned in Sanuto's Diary. See Rawdon Brown, State Papers and Manuscripts, &c., vol. iv., p. 70.