Spain: January 1528, 21-25

Pages 545-553

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, 21-25

21 Jan. 294. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 74.
The mutiny of the Germans described in his last despatch, [of the 17th] was at last put down with some difficulty by the Prince of Orange (Philibert de Chalon). After offering them two ducats per man, and something more to those serving at double pay (á las pagas dobles), the Prince proposed going himself to Naples, accompanied by some of their own captains and deputies, and seeing what measures could be taken for the settlement of their arrears. The Prince only asked for a delay of 14 days to go thither and back. The Germans after deliberating for three consecutive days, during which they took possession by force of all the wine in Campo di Fiore, have again met to-day, and resolved to wait 10 more days, on condition that at the expiration of that time they be paid, or else allowed to go home. As some of them might be tempted to take service with the enemy, the Prince and the rest of the generals have approved of those terms, as some time may thereby be gained, and a great misfortune averted. He starts to-morrow for Naples, accompanied by Don Hernando de Gonzaga and certain captains and deputies of the Germans, among whom some money is to be distributed to-day.
The Marquis del Guasto and Alarcon are expected here from hour to hour. If they come empty-handed no good can be done, for certainly these Germans will no longer trust to words and promises, which have been so frequently broken.
Cardinal [Pompeo] Colonna has not dared return to his own palace [at Rome], but has taken up his quarters at a villa three leagues from hence, to act in case of need.
Pero Ruiz de Alarcon, now residing at Orbieto, as agent of this Imperial army, writes that the French there are vaunting themselves loudly (bravean) and that there is danger of the Pope leaning to their side. He adds, nevertheless, that the Pope has actually sent orders to the people of Civittà Castellana to surrender immediately to the Imperialists, and is besides under the impression that the 145,000 ducats owing to this army have already been paid by his treasurers here. As such is not the case, and there seems to be no chance of the 50,000 promised for the 17th of this month, and already due, being paid, His Holiness must have been misinformed, or else is trying to gain time and deceive us.
The same Ruiz de Alarcon writes to say that the French in Orbieto threaten that Lautrech will be soon at Forlin (Foligno) to prevent the surrender of that town to the Imperialists as agreed, and will thence take the road to the kingdom [of Naples], of which the French already consider themselves masters. Indeed, King Francis, they say, had written to Lautrech urging him to take that route, and, if necessary, give battle to our army. It is not probable that Lautrech, if he has received such orders, will venture to execute them. Such, however, is the general report at Orbieto, and also that Count Pedro Navarro is coming in the van of the French army with 4,000 archers (ballesteros) from Gascony, a force of which our 6,000 Spanish and German hackbutiers can stand in no fear. Our present army consists of 18,000 men, Spaniards, Germans, and Italians, and besides Don Ugo writes from Naples that he has ordered the men-at- arms to join their companions at Velletri.
Leyva is doing wonders in the Milanese; he has lately recovered from the enemy Vigebano, Novara, and Cona (Cuneo?), (fn. n1) relieved Lecco, and done otherwise good work. He is actually master of the field, so that if this army went thither, short work would be made of the confederates.
With the letter of Pero Ruiz de Alarcon came a brief from the Pope to Mons. de Vere (Veyre), inviting him to his court (Orbieto), and enclosing also a safe-conduct. It is not likely that Mr. de Vere (Veyre), who is already en route for Spain, to inform His Imperial Majesty of the state of affairs here, will retrace his steps and accept the invitation.
Advices from Venice, sent by Alonso Sanchez, state that the Pope has refused to ratify the treaty made with the Duke of Ferrara, on the plea that he (the Pope) will not join the League. As the Duke is not bound to furnish men or money to the French unless his treaty with them be ratified, there is hope of his declaring again in our favour. The Pope pretends that Cardinal Cibo had no power to treat with him (the Duke), and that if the promises then made are not fulfilled he himself is not bound.
News has come that 100,000 ducats have been received at Innspruch, and that the King of Hungary (Ferdinand) is to raise 10,000 foot and 4,000 horse to reinforce this Italian army.—Rome, 21st of January 1528.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: "Cesæ. Cathcæ. Mti"
Indorsed: "To the King. 1528. From Rome. From Perez. 21st January."
Spanish. Original, pp. 2½.
21 Jan. 295. Don Martin de Salinas to the King of Hungary.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
C. 71, f. 188.
On the 22nd of August and 9th of September full answer was given to His Highness' inquiries respecting the Milan question and the Emperor's views on the subject. Since then a good deal of opposition has been offered by the ambassadors of France, England, and Venice. The former, out of caution, and that they might bettor ascertain the Emperor's intentions respecting the Duchy, had said, in the first instance, that their King would not object to any appointment that might be made by the Emperor. Now they declare that he (the King) will not consent to the Duchy passing to His Highness, or being retained by the Emperor, as it is against the wish of the Italian League, who insist upon having Francesco Sforza reinstated. This being one of the conditions of the peace, which is actually being negotiated, some of the Imperial councillors were of opinion that it ought to be accepted, but the Emperor would not hear of it, and remained firm to his purpose. The death of Mons. de Bourbon, and the threatened invasion of the Duchy and of the rest of Italy by the French, seemed to him, as well as to His Highness' friends, a most favourable opportunity for bestowing the investiture on the Prince best calculated to defend Milan and other Imperial dominions in Italy.
Has received no answer to his despatches of the 15th of October, which Clabijo and Costilla took, wherein he (Salinas) urged the expediency of at once crossing over to Italy, and relieving the Duchy. Knows that both those messengers reached [Prague] in safety, and yet is ignorant of His Highness' decision on this most important point. Has since written to inform His Highness of the state of the negotiations. Both France and England demand peace, and this will doubtless be made sooner or later, according as the state of affairs in Italy may be. A memorandum (apuntamiento) was drawn at Palencia, (fn. n2) and a term of 20 days fixed, which the King of France has allowed to pass without coming to a decision. Here [at Burgos] new negotiations have been opened with the French and English ambassadors conjointly; but instead of improving, matters are growing worse every day, because England seems now to make common cause with France. The ambassadors of that country talk of challenging (desafiar) the Emperor in their master's name, and are every day expected to declare against him (the Emperor), who has done and is doing everything in his power to ensure peace; but since they wish for war, they shall have it, for the Emperor feels by no means inclined to make any farther concessions, and is already preparing himself for that event.
Such being the state of things both here and in Italy, the Emperor is about to send one of the gentlemen of his house- hold (fn. n3) on a special mission for the purpose of consulting His Highness as to what had better be done under the present circumstances, and asking his advice about the Milan question. The whole thing is kept so secret that not one of the councillors here knows of it, he (Salinas) being the only person to whom the Emperor has deigned to communicate the substance of the message. The gentleman in question is to leave in five or six days by a sea route. As he might, however, delay his departure, or be longer on the road than is expected, should this letter arrive first, His Highness is earnestly requested not to let anyone know the nature of the message.
His Imperial Majesty is everywhere raising funds to meet the expenses of the war. Has not heard yet of the receipt of the bills for 100,000 ducats sent last year, and is very anxious to know how the money has been spent. Is now sending to Italy a member of his Privy Council to attend to business there. He had first selected Don Juan Manuel, who would have been a very fit man for the purpose, but he has declined on account of his age and the bad prospect of affairs [in Italy]. Chancellor (Gattinara) has tried to get himself appointed, but has hitherto been unsuccessful, and the truth is that he no longer enjoys the Emperor's confidence. No one knows for certain who will be sent; some people think that it will be Mons. de Prat (Praet). Should have preferred Don Juan; but whoever goes on that mission is sure to promote His Highness' interests in Italy, for such is the Emperor's avowed intention.—Burgos, 21st January 1528.
P.S.—To-day, after the above was written, the ambassadors of France (fn. n4) went to the Palace and formally took leave of His Imperial Majesty. It is generally believed that they will, ere their departure, make some sort of challenge in the name of the King, their master. The English (fn. n5) are expected to do the same. The sons of France, however, have been removed to the fortress of Simancas. These are by no means signs of peace.—Date ut supra.
Addressed: "To the King."
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 3.
21 Jan. 296. The Same to Secretary Castillejo.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
C. 71, f. 190.
The enclosed for His Highness will inform him of the step taken by the French and English ambassadors at this court. They took leave of His Imperial Majesty this morning, and were told that to-morrow, the 22nd, they might go. They are to be accompanied by the ambassadors of Venice, Florence, and the Duke of Milan.—Burgos, 21st January 1528.
Addressed: "To Secretary Christoval deCastillejo."
Spanish. Original draft. 1.
22 Jan. 297. The Emperor to the Corregidor of Guipuscoa.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 80.
The Kings of France and England in their own name and in that of the confederated powers, after having long made war upon us in Italy, have this day without any formal declaration, and counter to the faith which the King of France as our captive and prisoner owed us, publicly challenged us. On the receipt of this letter you will place all the towns, districts, and coasts under your command in a state of defence, so as to meet and repel any invasion of the enemy.
The Kings of France and England having of themselves fixed a terra of 40 days, during which our subjects trading with or residing in their respective kingdoms may withdraw with their merchandise,—provided, however, the same is done in our dominions,—We have accepted this on condition that the said term shall commence from the day of such formal notification to our own subjects trading in those parts, as well to their subjects residing in Spain, so that no one can allege ignorance and incur the penalties attached thereto; but as neither the French nor the English herald, who in the name of their respective masters declared war against us, seemed to have power to accept this condition or fix a day for the simultaneous promulgation of such edicts, the matter remains, as it were in suspense. We have requested them to write home for instructions. Pending the answer, which We hope will be favourable, you will by way of precaution lay an embargo on all French and English vessels lying in those ports, as well as on the merchandise and property of all subjects belonging to those nations, including Venice, Florence, and the rest of the powers confederated against us, so that they may not sail for their respective countries before knowing the day on which the stipulated term is really to begin both for our subjects and theirs.—Burgos, 22nd January 1528.
Signed: "Charles."
Post datam et firmatam.—As the French and the rest of our enemies have a large force at sea, and will no doubt try to inflict all possible harm on the coasts of this our kingdom, it behoves us to do the same on theirs and their subjects. You will, therefore, on the receipt of this letter, inquire whether in the ports of that province there be sailors or ship-owners willing to take letters of mark, and if so, make such arrangements, and stipulate such conditions in our Imperial name, as to secure their private co-operation in the forthcoming warfare. —Date ut supra.
Countersigned: "Soria."
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 2.
23 Jan. 298. News from the Court of Spain. (fn. n6)
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 78.
After a good deal of negotiation, during which the Emperor, our Lord, acceded to almost every term proposed by the ambassadors of France, (fn. n7) England, and the League, there has been a sudden rupture of the conference, on the question as to which of the parties was to fulfil its engagements first. In consequence of which the ambassadors of France and England took leave of His Imperial Majesty on the 18th ult., and were followed by those of Venice and Florence.
Wednesday, the 22nd of January, at seven o'clock a.m., there came to the Palace one king-at-arras of the King of France, and another of the King of England, with their coats of arms in their hands. The Emperor being made aware of this, sat on his throne in a large hall, surrounded by such of his councillors and courtiers as happened to be at Burgos. The two kings-at-arms approached the throne through ranks of courtiers formed on each side, and having knelt on the platform, where the Emperor sat on his throne, asked permission to deliver their message, which was immediately granted, when the herald of England (Clarencieux) spoke in French as follows :—
"The King of France and England, my master, says that he has for a long time past endeavoured to make peace between his cousin of France and Your Imperial Majesty. That peace, however, has always been opposed by Your Majesty, thus allowing the enemies of our Faith to conquer Rhodes and the kingdom of Hungary. How much these successes of the Infidel have turned to the detriment of the Christian religion needs no demonstration, nor is it necessary to add how much better it would have been for all the Christian Princes to unite together, wage war on the Turk, and wrest from him the holy city of Jerusalem.
"Your Majesty has imprisoned the Pope; the Imperial armies have sacked Rome, plundered churches and monasteries, treated with derision and contempt the innumerable holy relics there kept, slain or robbed the princes of the Church, such as cardinals, archbishops, patriarchs, bishops, and other prelates and ecclesiastics, committed outrages of all kinds in nunneries and convents, and, what is still worse, all this has been done by the bands of Lutherans, and at the instigation of their ministers. Your Imperial Majesty has besides kept the Duchy of Milan in a state of commotion, plundered and destroyed the whole of Lombardy and Italy.
"Your Imperial Majesty owes to the King of England, my master, 1,400,000 ducats, i.e., 400,000 lent on various occasions, and the remainder as forfeit for not fulfilling these sacred obligations at various times. And yet, notwithstanding all this, the King, my master, has laboured with all his might to make peace between Your Majesty and the king, his cousin (meaning the King of France), in order that Christianity might thereby be exalted, and the Infidel Turk triumphantly driven back, &c. Your Imperial Majesty has refused to accept the reasonable conditions offered at various times by our Holy Father, as well as by the said King, his cousin, and by the rest of the Italian potentates, who, for the sake of universal peace among Christians, were willing to waive a portion of their rights. The King, my master, in particular, though he well knew the justification of the King of France, his cousin, was ready to make for the welfare of Christianity any sacrifice of his own advantages ; but since all his efforts have been vain, he now challenges Your Imperial Majesty and declares himself his enemy, intending to make war by fire and sword (á fuego y sangre), by sea and land, unless within a period of 40 days, to commence from this hour, Your Imperial Majesty consents to release the Pope from captivity, restore to liberty the sons of France, pay the aforesaid 1,400,000 ducats, besides fulfilling other conditions previously stipulated."
Immediately after which the French king-at-arms (Guienne), who had the whole time been on his knees, got up and began to read a long challenge, couched nearly in the same terms as that of the English herald, adding that the Emperor unduly retained the sons of France in his power, notwithstanding the King's offer to pay for their ransom the sum demanded, owing to which he (the King of France) joined his cousin of England in the challenge. The reading over both heralds, put on their coats-of-arms, which they had till then carried on their [left] arms. (fn. n8) Both the letters read on this occasion bore the date of November.
Then the Emperor, our lord and master, answered the said challenge by saying that the King of England was probably ignorant of what had passed during the negotiations for peace, which he (the Emperor) had promoted with all his might. He thought that as soon as the King of England became acquainted with the real truth of the case, as it had been fully explained to his ambassadors there present, he could not fail to see that the King of France had always been, and was still, the sole disturber of peace, and the one who was trying to procure the help and assistance of the Infidels [against Christians]. He had no doubt that the King of England, better informed, would no longer retain his opinion respecting him; if he did, and declared war, the Emperor was ready to defend himself, and trusted to God for victory over all his enemies.
To the French king-at-arms His Imperial Majesty replied: "Your master's conduct is really strange. After seven years' incessant war, during which he has done nothing else but break his most solemn word and violate treaties, he now sends to challenge us, a thing which he is not entitled to do, since he is virtually our prisoner of war, and must continue as such, as long as the conditions on which he obtained his liberation remain unfulfilled.
"As to the ravages and disorders committed by our troops at Rome, not only were they without our consent or approval but entirely against our will. They were the acts of undisciplined soldiers, over whom their captains had no control. That We felt as much as anyone the insubordination of our troops on that occasion, and the outrages committed at Rome, our conduct since that time has sufficiently proved, for our only thought has been to procure the Pope's release, which has since been effected, and to repair the damage inflicted by the soldiers."
As a proof of his assertion, the Emperor caused his last treaty with the Pope to be exhibited, after which he concluded by saying: "If after so many good acts as We have done towards the King of France, tolerating his misdeeds, &c., he wishes to become our enemy in the manner just expressed by his herald, although in reality he has never ceased to be such, he must be told that We hold him in contempt, and trust to God that He will help us in this contest, as He has done hitherto, and though he may not again fall a prisoner in our hands, that We shall come out victorious, and destroy him and all those who espouse his cause."
That very day His Imperial Majesty gave orders for the ambassadors of France, Venice, and Florence to leave his Court. They were conducted by Lope Hurtado de Mendoza under a strong cavalry escort to a fortress called Poza, nine leagues from this place. There they are to remain until the Imperial ambassadors in France and England are allowed to return [to Spain]. Those of the English King are still in this town.
I have been told by the Chancellor [Mercurino de Gattinara] that a full account of the whole transaction is now being drawn up, and that it will be translated into Spanish, and perhaps also printed. If so, I am to have a copy, which I shall not fail to forward to you.
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp 7.
24 Jan. 299. Andrea del Burgo (fn. n9) to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1,553,
f. 211.
Encloses news brought by a servant of the bailiff (bailli) d'Aymont, who was 15 days in the French camp.— Ferrara, 24th January 1528.
Spanish. Copy. 1.
24 Jan. 300. French News.
S. E. L. 1,553,
f. 112.
The King of France has sent one of his agents to Lautrec and to the Pope. He assures the Duke of Ferrara that the Pope will fulfill his obligations towards him. If the Duke is obstinate and refuses to execute the treaty, he will have occasion to regret it afterwards, &c.
Lautrec says that the Imperial troops in Rome are in the greatest possible confusion.
The Duke makes difficulties about paying money to the League.
Latin, Copy. 1.
25 Jan. 301. Knight Commander Larrosa.
M. Re Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42.
f. 82.
The Viceroy of Naples, Don Charles [de Lannoy], gave him in charge the command of Gaeta, promising to supply him with money, provisions, and men, wherewith he might defend so important a city. Eight days after this came the news of the Viceroy's death. Applied for help to Don Ugo [de Moncada], his successor. His answer was that he could not assist him in the least, but he offered to come personally to his aid whenever he should be attacked by the French, God permitted, however, that he (the Commander), though entirely destitute of means and provisions, and having scarcely a few score of men under his orders, should be able to raise a force of 1,200, and for some time of 19,000 men, with whom he not only succeeded in defending Gaeta against the Prince of Melfa (Amalfi) and against Don Fadrique Gaetano, sent by Lautrech with a considerable force, but was in a condition to remit money and rovisions to Naples. All this was accomplished through the seizure of certain ships laden with corn, which came into port a few months ago. He made a contract with the owners to have them paid in Sicily, at the rate of eight carlini [the bushel], whilst he himself sold it at 12 and sometimes at 14 and 15. With the profits of this transaction he (the Commander) was enabled to send to Naples nearly 42,000 ducats, which were of great help to the Imperial army. Has spent in the service all his substance and that of his friends and relatives, so that he is poor and in debt. Begs for a suitable pension out of the sequestered Angevine estates (estados de ynguinos).—Naples, 25th January 1528.
Signed: "El Comendador A.º de la Rrosa."
Spanish. Original, pp. 2½.


  • n1. Thus in the original and in its duplicate under fol. 76. Perhaps Como meant.
  • n2. The Emperor arrived at Palencia on the 26th of August, and stopped there until the 10th of October. In the Itinerary published by Mr. Bradford (p. 492), the name of that city is corrupted into Valenza.
  • n3. Mons. de Montfort.
  • n4. Jean de Calvimont, second President of the Parliament of Bordeaux, the Bishop of Turbes (Gabriel de Grammont), and Secretary Gilbert Bayard, generally called L'Elu Bayard.
  • n5. Ghinucci, Bishop of Worcester, and Dr. Edward Lee.
  • n6. This paper has no date or signature, but must have been written on the 23rd or 24th of January, since the challenge was delivered on St. Vincent's day, Wednesday, the 22nd. By whom written, and to whom addressed, is not easy to determine, but as the narrative is in Spanish, and evidently by an eye-witness, I am inclined to believe that it was sent by Martin de Salinas, the ambassador of Ferdinand, King of Hungary, at the Court of Charles, to his friend and correspondent, Secretary Christoval de Castillejo. See the letters of that ambassador under Nos. 295 and 296.
  • n7. Mons. de Calvimont and the rest. See above, p. 548, note.
  • n8. "Se levantaron las cotas," says the original; but Sandoval, Hist. del Emperador Carlos V., lib. xvi., has "Estavan los reyes de armas en el cabo de la sala con sus cotas de armas que como braços izquierdos;" and lower down, "El dicho Guiena tomó su cota d'armas, que como dicho es tenia en su braço izquierdo y se la vistió."
  • n9. The same individual called elsewhere Borgo, and del Borgho, and also André de Burgos by Guieeiardini (Storia d'Italia, lib. xviii.), as if he were a Spaniard, and a native of that city, whereas he was an Italian by birth, in the service of Archduke Ferdinand, and was now resident at the court of Alphonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrma, for the Emperor.