Spain: January 1528, 26-31

Pages 553-565

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, 26-31

28 Jan. 302. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 87.
Wrote last on the 19th and 27th inst. by two different ways. Since then news has come that Lautrech is marching towards Naples, and has already reached Pesaro. This Signory has sent him some vessels laden with timber and other materials (otras xarcias) wherewith to construct bridges for the passage of the Tronto. (Cipher:) It is also rumoured, though he (Sanchez) attaches no faith to the report, that the Pope is urging Lautrech on, and that this general has despatched Guido Rangone and another of his officers to Rome to ask him for money.
The Germans, as the report goes, are still at Rome in a state of mutiny, and doing all manner of mischief. Numbers of them go about the streets, call at the best mansions in the city, and if the residents do not compound for a sum of money, set fire to them. In this way several fine buildings have been wantonly destroyed. They, moreover, are daily raising new claims for pay, and threatening to sack the whole of Rome a second time, and then go home or take service with the enemy.
The Marquis [del Guasto] with part of the Spanish and Italian infantry, and the whole of the light horse, has gone to the Abruzzi to defend those frontiers.
Miçer Andrea del Burgo writes that Lautrech's army is by no means efficient or numerous enough to cope with the Imperialists in Rome, if the Germans would only do their duty and meet Lautrech and his Frenchmen. Yet the general opinion here (in Venice) is that the Imperialists, owing to the above circumstance and to their general destitution, will not oppose that general's march, and that once in Naples the whole of the kingdom will submit to him, For this purpose the French fleet is to blockade that port, and this Signory is said to have sent orders to their proveditor at Corfú to join in the undertaking.
Leyva has not yet answered his (Sanchez's) letter on the subject of the new German levies. Two great objections are raised against the speedy arrival of those reinforcements. One —perhaps the principal—is the total want of provisions to feed so many thousands on their arrival in Italy. True it is that Count Lodovico Lodrone has gone from Ferrara to Mantua for the sole purpose of inducing the Marquis of that city, Gonzaga, to furnish a certain quantity of provisions at the passage of the troops through his territory; that Miçer Andrea del Borgo has also spoken to the Duke of Ferrara on the subject, promising that whatever wheat is now supplied to the Germans will be faithfully returned from the Emperors dominions; "but neither the Marquis [of Mantua] nor the Duke, to whom a similar offer has been made, seems inclined to grant this request, both having hitherto answered in general and vague terms.
The other great objection is that, even in the event at the Germans getting provisions on their passage through the Mantuan and Ferrarese territories, no good can be expected therefrom unless they bring money with them, as the lansquenets will not fight without pay, as was the case when George Fruntsperg came over. Has no doubt that Leyva, if consulted, will prefer having a good sum to pay his own men to being encumbered with so many mouths to feed.
Cannot guess what decision the King of Hungary will come to, but certainly, unless fresh remittances come from Spain, it will be impossible for him to furnish funds for the new levies, whereby the confusion and disorder prevailing in the Imperial army will naturally increase.
In his (Sanchez's) opinion a middle course ought to be adopted. If a passage for 4,000 or 6,000 infantry through the land of the Grisons could be immediately obtained, and at the same time 50,000 ducats remitted to Leyva, so that be might keep his ground until the next harvest is in, there would be every chance of the Emperor's affairs improving considerably. Three or four months after this the rest of the German reinforcements might come down, when some of the Italian potentates, now wavering, might desert the League.
Hears that the Pope is still very much incensed against the Duke of Ferrara, who, he says, has not yet given Lautrech anything of what he promised. The Duke, on the other hand, says that Lautrec has not fulfilled his engagements to him, and that in consequence of the Pope having peremptorily refused to ratify the treaty, he considers himself at liberty to do as he pleases.
(Common writing :) This Signory is intent upon retaining Ravenna and Cervia as long as possible. They make, as is their wont, very fine promises which they will not keep. Their ambassador to the Pope has not yet taken his departure. —Venice, 28th January 1528.
Signed : "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To His most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp. 4.
29 Jan. 303. The Emperor to Prothonotary Caracciolo.
M. Re Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 89.
The negotiations for the peace between us, the Pope, the King of France, and the rest of the confederates have been suddenly broken off. On the 22nd inst. the Kings of France and England solemnly declared war against us by means of their respective heralds. We enclose a copy of our answer to their challenge, that you may see how, trusting in God's bounty and the justice of our cause, We are ready to take up arms for the defence of our honour and reputation. In order to ensure the safety of our ambassadors at the courts of France, England, and Venice, We have caused those of the said countries now residing with us to be detained until We hear of ours having been allowed to depart unmolested.—Burgos, 29th January 1528.
Signed: "Charles."
Addressed: "To Prothonotary Marino Caracciolo, of our Council, and oar ambassador at Milan."
Spanish. Original minute, .. 1.
29 Jan. 304. News from Rome.
S. E. L. 1,553.
f. 212.
The Imperialists still occupy the city. The news spread of their having left proves to be untrue; only a few went away to procure better quarters.
The Pope is reported to be very angry with them, since in spite of their having received the money demanded, in the manner too proposed by the Council of Naples, they still occupy Rome, and show no signs of evacuating it, as promised in the capitulation. The Pope, however, is not more pleased with the League.
As he (the Pope) was sending one of his cardinals (Campeggio) to Rome with a safe-conduct from the Spaniards, it appears that both these and the German lansquenets seized him and made him prisoner. The cause of his arrest is unknown.
A servant of Cavalier Casal, the English orator, arrived at Ferrara on the 29th of January from Orvetto (Orbietto), He says that his master is going thither on business to the Pope, and will then proceed to Venice.
The said servant is also bearer of the following news: Monsignore (sic) de Lautrech was on the 26th at Fano. He had abandoned all idea of marching on Rome, and was about to undertake Naples, where he hoped to do some good,
Don Ugo de Moncada was at Aquila with 400 horse.
At Rome a review had been held, when it was found that there were only 3,500 lansquenets and 4,000 Spaniards, besides a few horse.
The Germans refused to quit Rome unless they were paid their arrears.
(Cipher:) The Marquis of Saluzzo (Michaele Antonio) had earnestly requested the informer (epso mesmo), to hasten to Mr. de Lautrec's camp, and certify him that Coradino, the colonel of the lansquenets, had agreed to desert with seven companies (banderas) of Germans.
Such is the news brought by the servant of the English ambassador, yet wise people imagine that the information is either untrue or greatly exaggerated, especially as regards the numbers of the Imperialists [at Rome].
The same informer says that Mr. de Lautrec was well aware of a new army being in course of preparation in Germany, but that he thought nothing of it, as he said it would be a long time before it could be got ready, and in the meanwhie the army of the League might accomplish great things.
News from Orbietto brought by a different and trusty channel state that the Imperialists were still at Rome, The Germans complained that the Spaniards had cheated them of one month's pay. The Marquis del Guasto had not brought from Naples sufficient money to pay the Germans, and had returned thither for the rest.
An orator from Florence, named Francisco Valor, has lately come to reside at the court of this Duke (Ferrara). The governors of that city are greatly attached to France. One thing, however, prevents them from showing their sympathy, namely, the news of the armaments now being made in Germany. Many affect not to believe in it, as if the stores of provisions now collected were not a sufficient proof of the lansquenets coming.
(Cipher:) The 50 lances which the Marquis of Mantua (Federigo Gonzaga) promised to send to the League have left for their destination. He (the Marquis) could not do otherwise. We shall soon see how matters turn out.
(Common writing:) Fifty horsemen have passed through Modena, escorting money for Lautrec's camp. The amount of the sum is not stated.
The contingent promised by this Duke (fn. n1) is quite ready; but the French do not move on, as was expected; neither have they received the promised money, owing to which the Duke has despatched another ambassador to Lautrech to ascertain the cause of the delay.
Addressed: "Cesar. Cath. Mati., &c."
Italian. Original partly in cipher, pp. 3.
29 Jan. 305. The Emperor to Secretary Perez.
M. Re Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 90.
Same circular letter with the following superscription : Post datam et firmatam.—After the above was written your despatch in date of the 9th December has come to hand. A full answer is being prepared, which will be forwarded very soon, so that you may be apprised of our determinations. —Date ut supra.
Spanish. Original minute, .. 1.
29 Jan. 306. The Emperor to Alonso Sanchez, his Ambassador at Venice.
M. Re Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 90.
Duplicate of the above circular letter with the addition of the following paragraph:
We inform you of all that has happened, as well as of the detention of the ambassadors of France, England, and Venice, who certainly will not be allowed to quit this country until We hear of your having reached the frontier of our dominions. —Date ut supra.
Spanish. Original minute, .. 1.
29 Jan. 307. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 91.
Wrote by duplicate on the 21st, announcing the departure of the Prince of Orange, who started for Naples on the 22nd, accompanied by the colonel of the Germans and by certain captains and deputies of their nation. No sooner had he left Rome than, regardless of their promise, some of the lansquenets determined to pay a visit to certain farms (grangerias) and country houses in the vicinity of this capital, and plunder their contents, which they did, killing three Spaniards who happened to be there; after which they went to Marino, a town belonging to Ascanio Colonna, four miles hence, where they committed the same atrocities, sacking the place and illtreating the women. When Hieronimo Moron and Juan de Urbina, who had remained in command of the Imperial forces, heard of this, they called upon the treasurer of these Germans, now acting as their colonel, and other captains who happened to be with him at the time, and complained bitterly of the want of faith of their comrades, who, after promising to wait patiently for the Prince's return, had set out on a marauding expedition. The treasurer and the captains acknowledged the justice of the charge, and having summoned a meeting of all the Germans at Campo di Fiore, resolved that the guilty parties should be ordered to return to Rome immediately, and if they refused, that a force should go out against them and treat them as enemies. Meanwhile all the plunder that could be found here, such as cattle, wearing apparel, and so forth, has been faithfully returned to the owners, with the exception of a few articles that could not be traced, and the wine and other drinks (brevage), which they keep no doubt as the price of their labour in such an expedition.
When the news arrived that the French were at Arrimine (Rimini) in Romagna, the Siennese ambassadors residing here (in Rome) asked the Prince of Orange to give them 2,000 men for the defence of their city. The Prince readily granted their request, on condition of Sienna paying the customary stipend, which was agreed. But now, since the Prince's departure the ambassadors say that they must consult their superiors first. Moron and Urbina are of opinion that, whether the Siennese wish it or not, a detachment of troops must needs be sent to defend their city in case of an attack, as this is likely to add to the reputation of the Imperial arms. They have therefore decided to send Colonel Fabricio Marramao thither with his 2,000 Italians.
A letter has nevertheless come from Aquila stating that the Siennese had already, previous to their application, agreed with the French to give them provisions and passage through their territory on condition of their not entering the city, but this intelligence can hardly be correct, and therefore not a word has been said about it to the ambassadors.
Other letters in date of the 22nd, also from Aquila, announce that the Marquis of Saluzzo with part of the confederated forces was five or six leagues from that city. The people, however, expected soon to have a reinforcement of tour companies (banderas) of Spanish infantry which Don Ugo was to send from Naples. May this succour come in time to save the place.
As the Neapolitan treasury is willing to accept bills to the amount of 105,000 ducats, and besides a banker [of that city] has promised to pay 80,000 more, and a son of Agustin Guis, now here [at Rome], offers to advance 25,000, provided an equivalent estate is made over to him in the kingdom of Naples, there is every probability of the Germans being induced to leave. This would become a certainty if the remittances in money announced from Spain for the middle or end of this month should come, for then all our care and anxiety would be at an end.
No news whatever from the Pope's court. Civittà Castellana has not yet been surrendered. The general opinion is that His Holiness is putting this off, as well as the payment of his debt, because he hopes the Emperor will free him from both engagements, having, as he has, sent him a message to that effect. He has lately created another cardinal, one of the Grimani, at Venice, who, they say, has already paid 30,000 ducats for his hat.
Some days ago the news came to this place (Rome) that about 6,000 infantry and some cavalry of the League had come on this side of the Tiber, to certain villages called Tibuli (Tivoli), Vico Vado, and Palestrina, and that both the Abbot of Farfa and Stefano Colonna accompanied them for the purpose, as they say, of recovering their own estates, the latter claiming Palestrina, whilst the former pretends to have a right to the Duchy of Tagliacozzo. Hitherto the news has not been confirmed, but when it is, troops will be detached against them, the Germans themselves having shown every disposition to march in pursuit of these marauders unconditionally, and without waiting to be paid. Indeed the spirit of the lansquenets has so much improved of late, that they declare their only wish is to live and die with the Spaniards, and do their pleasure. They have been so unusually amiable of late that the Imperial commanders have not hesitated to thank them in the Emperor's name, and the result has been their sending a message to their colonel at Naples, requesting him to come back as soon as possible, as they are determined to march against the confederates. Moron and Urbina have likewise written to the Prince and Don Ugo to acquaint them with this sudden change for the better.
It is generally believed here that the [Pope has already removed his court to Ancona, leaving behind 2,000 hackbutiers to defend Orbieto and other places [in Romagna]. This fact, coupled with the approach of the confederated forces this way, and the somewhat vague report that Lautrech with the main body has already reached Pesaro, bodes no good, especially as it is evident that the Pope will not fulfil any of his promises. Politicians here think that Lautrech would never come this way unless he had previously the Pope's consent. It is, moreover, quite clear that the object of His Holiness in going to Ancona is to he closer to Venice and take refuge in that city, should things not turn out as he epexcts.
Meanwhile the Signory retains possession of Ravenna and Cervia, and only the other day tried to get into Ancona. There is a report that at Cervia they took 80000 ducats' worth of salt, on the plea that he (the Pope) had given an equal quantity to the Emperor, with the produce of which he had made war upon them.
The proposed agreement (concierto) with the Abbot of Farfa came to nothing, and is no longer entertained. Neither has his secretary returned from his visit to Cardinal Colonna; on the contrary, he keeps doing us all the harm he can, by land as well as by sea. He has now two armed boats (barcas armadas) at the mouth of the river [Tiber], and seizes all the merchant vessels bound to and fro for Naples. He is as bad a neighbour as he can be, and must be chastised one of these days, when he considers himself most secure. At present there is little doubt that he and Stefano Colonna, as above stated, form part of the force that crossed the Tiber the other day. It consists only of 200 horse and 1,000 hackbutiers, 100 of whom they have left at Valmontone. The rest of the force is marching towards Salmonetta, their object being to get, if they can, possession of the ammunition coming from Naples for the artillery of this army; but as four companies (banderas) of hackbutiers have been detached in that direction, and two more are quartered at Velletri, besides the men-at-arms, it is to be hoped that their plans will be defeated.
Cardinal Colonna has applied for permission to one of his captains to raise 150 Spanish hackbutiers. His request was immediately granted, and we have sent him word that Colonel Fabricio Marramao would shortly leave for Palestrina with his 2,000 Italians (the Siennese not having thought proper to accept his services), and that if more forces were required to defend that and other towns in his estate, the whole of this Imperial army was ready to march to his assistance and that of the Colonnese.
Until now we are not certain that the forces of the League have marched, as was stated, in the direction of Salmoneta, nor is it known how far the four companies of infantry which left this capital (Rome) the day before yesterday have proceeded on their way. It appears that the enemy has passed his time in taking possession of certain villages of one Giovanne Battista Conte who is with them. As to the Abbot of Farfa, it is asserted that he is not with them, though some of his retainers are in the confederated camp, Stefano Colonna is at Vico Vado with 800 foot and 200 horse, waiting for the Marquis of Saluzzo.
The treasurer of the Germans, who has the command in the absence of their colonel, and a few more captains of the same nation called the other day on the Legate, and complained that the non-fulfilment by the Pope of the stipulated conditions was the only cause of their remaining so long at Rome, and might perhaps lead to the utter ruin and destruction of this city. The Cardinal tried to exculpate the Pope as much as he could, by saying that out of the 26,000 ducats wanting for the complement of the 145,000 promised by His Holiness, 20,000 were to be paid by Gonzaga, as previously agreed with Cardinal Colonna. The remainder the Pope was ready to pay at once. With regard to the 50,000 due on the 17th inst., the Legate observed that the Pope was not bound to give them until the Imperialists had actually evacuated Rome. As may be supposed, the Germans were dissatisfied with this answer of the Legate, but as the men are now better inclined than they were some time ago, it is to be hoped they will not change their determination.
Greater precautions are being taken, the guard has been doubled, and sentries placed on this side of the bridge, and indeed so close to Sanct Angelo that the Legate has sent to complain. Moron and Juan de Urbina are extremely vigilant; so is Cardinal [Pompeo], Colonna and his two brothers Vespasiano and Ascanio. Every one of them deserves that His Imperial Majesty should write in acknowledgment of their services.
The Marquis del Guasto is daily expected from Naples. It is said that he brings money for the use of this army. The Duke of Malfe (Amalfi) accompanies him as captain of 100 horsemen mounted Burgundian fashion (á la borgoñona), with whom he is to serve the Siennese.
No certain news has yet reached us respecting Lautrech's arrival at Pesaro, or the Pope's journey to Ancona, alluded to at the beginning of this despatch.—Rome, 28th January 1528.
Post datam.—Reliable intelligence has just been received respecting the late inroad made by the confederates. It turns out that a certain Cesaro Gaetano, lord of Felicin, formerly attached to the Colonnese, who made much of him, has suddenly turned round and gone over to the French. He has lately taken a town called Anania, not far from Palestrina, and belonging to the same Giovanne Battista Conte, who, as before stated, was in the camp of the League. The town, though strong, was taken by surprise and almost without bloodshed, owing to the many friends and partisans Gaetano has inside. The same thing happened more than a year ago when the Colonnese were at war with the Pope, and Gaetano served the former. It is presumed, therefore, that the appearance of Stefano Colonna- and Giovanne Battista Conte in these parts has been previously concerted with Gaetano, to whom Lautrech has given the command of 3,000 infantry on account of his military experience and great knowledge of the country. As the said Gaetano is a near relative of the lord of Salmonetta, he (Perez) should not be surprised to hear that some understanding exists between them. One ought to be wide awake (andar la. barba sobre el hombro) with these Italians, for they change with the wind, like so many weather-cocks.
News has come that the four companies of Spaniards sent to Salmonetta have reached Velletri without difficulty, and were marching upon the former town.
A report is afloat that the Duke of Urbino with the forces under his command is marching on Bologna. If so, his intention must be to join the Venetians and Sforzini in Lombardy, in order to invest Milan more closely. Or perhaps it may be that he is afraid of the Germans coming down in force, and wants to concentrate his troops.
Letters have been received from Sienna, dated the 18th inst. The Siennese no longer require help, and fancy even that Lautrech will not undertake the expedition to Naples. At the time the letters were written that general was still at Arimini (Rimini) in the Bolognese, so that it would appear that the news of his being at Pesaro was not correct. Indeed it cannot be presumed that a commander so experienced as Lautrech is supposed to be, should willingly throw himself between two such fires as the Imperial army and the Germans who are coming down.
Up to the 22nd the Pope had not left Orbieto, nor indeed announced any intention of removing to Ancona.—Closed on the 29th.
Addressed: "Sacrmæ., Cesæ., Cathocæ. Mti"
Indorsed: "To the King. 1528. From Rome. Perez. 29th January."
Spanish. Original, .. 6.
31 Jan. 308. The Emperor to D. Iñigo de Mendoza, his Ambassador in England.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc, 224, No. 3.
The King, &c.—You must have heard ere the receipt of this that the King of France has not only refused to accept the peace offered to him, but has actually declared war against us in conjunction with the King of England. As it is but proper that the latter should know our reasons and learn that he himself has been misinformed respecting us, or has forgotten past events, and moreover that he cannot or ought not to make war upon us, We now send you copies of all the papers and correspondence which have passed between us touching peace and war, that you may, when required, defend our cause in the King's presence, in public or in private, as may be, against whomsoever chooses to blame us in those transactions. When that is done, as We trust it will be, it is our wish that, after taking leave of the King of England, you return to us by land, by way of France, undera fit safe-conduct, which can hardly be refused, as We still have here the French ambassadors with us, besides the Bishop of Vyngornia (Worcester) and Dr. [Edward] Lee, ambassadors of England, who certainly shall not be allowed to leave these our dominions until We know for certain that you have reached Fuentarrabia on our frontiers, when, and not before, the said English ambassadors will be allowed to depart.
We trust that with your usual prudence and wisdom you will do what is most conducive to our authority, reputation, and interests.—Burgos, 31st January 1528.
Addressed: "To the Bishop elect of Burgos, our ambas sador in England, member of our Council, &c."
Spanish. Original draft, pp. 2.
31 Jan. 309. The Emperor's Instructions to the Sieur de Montfort.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc, 224, No. 4.
What you, the Sieur de Montfort, conjointly with our ambassador, Don Iñigo de Mendoça, are to say to our good brother and uncle, the King of England, is as follows:—
You shall recite all the papers and letters that have passed between us [and the King of France] on the subject of this peace, whereby the King, our uncle, will be convinced that nothing has been omitted on our part, and more particularly for his sake, to bring about the said peace. Everything might have been settled long ago between us, had the French consented to restore Gennes (Genoa) and recall their army from Italy before the sons of France had actually recovered their liberty. In vain did We offer to give security and place hostages in the hands of our uncle [the King of England]; the King of France has insisted upon the delivery of the Princes, his sons, before he restored Genoa, and recalled his Italian army, which was our stipulation. This proceeding of the French King clearly shows that his intention was, after obtaining the liberty of his two sons, to recommence war more fiercely than ever, and laugh equally at our excessive confidence and that of the English King, thus showing that he desired not peace as much as he said, but was only looking out for an opportunity to resume hostilities and increase the sufferings and troubles of Christendom, as he actually did on the 22nd of this month of January, setting us at defiance and sending us a challenge by one of his heralds; a strange proceeding indeed, that after six or seven years of unremitting warfare he (the King), without previous defiance, should think now of challenging us, when he is by right our prisoner of war, and cannot either send or receive a challenge.
Such being the state of things, We cannot do otherwise than take up arms in our own defence, trusting to God that he will grant us victory, as he has done at other times.
All this considered, We marvel not at the threats of the King of France, but We cannot help being surprised at our uncle of England sending us conjointly his own challenge, based, as it would appear, upon three different points, on the subject of which he must have been misinformed, as will appear from the following statement of facts:—
1st. The English herald said that We still kept the Pope a prisoner, and that We ought to restore him to liberty. You will tell the King that no Prince in Christendom has regretted more than We do what happened at Rome, or done more for the Pope's liberation, and that on the 6th of December His Holiness completely recovered his liberty, as appears from the treaty then made with him and since ratified. The King of England must recollect that when His Holiness the Pope was first kept in confinement [by our soldiers] We wrote to him expressing our displeasure and regret at what had been done, and asking his advice as to the best means to be employed for his liberation, and that We never received an answer to our letter.
2nd. Respecting our personal debts to the King of England, the nonpayment of which his herald assumed as one of the causes for the challenge, you will tell the King, our uncle, that We have never refused to acknowledge our debt, but have often offered him various modes of payment, none of which has been accepted, and that We still intend doing so rather than for so trifling a sum bringing down upon Christendom the horrors of war.
3rd. With regard to the third and last point, namely, that We ought to restore the King's sons, whom We still retain as hostages, and accept instead a reasonable ransom, our answer is that the King of England knows as well as We do the reason why the two Princes, sons of the King of France, are still in our hands. We have never refused, nor do We now refuse to set them free, but though We may feel inclined, as stated in the first article of this memorandum, to waive a portion of our right, out of the affection We bear to the King of England, yet it cannot be expected that We shall give up our hostages before the King of France fulfils the stipulated conditions of evacuating Genoa and its territory, and withdrawing his army from Italy.
The above are the three points on which the King's challenge, as conveyed by his herald, were based. Everything considered, We can hardly think that the King of England will persist in his declaration of war, since there is really no cause for a quarrel between us. You will tell him how important it is for the good of our common subjects, and the weal of Christendom at large, that We should both continue friends as hitherto. We cannot persuade ourselves that the King can forsake his old allies to take up the cause of the traditional enemy of his house and kingdom, who by making our uncle, the King, deviate from the path he was pursuing, as mediator of universal peace, is the only cause of the troubles and evils which afflict Christendom.
You will also tell him that if, notwithstanding the above reasons, he should still persist in his declaration of war and commence hostilities against us, which would be the most unwelcome thing that could happen to us, We intend to defend ourselves as best We can, as We informed his herald in our answer.
You must not omit to say that, long before this challenge was made, We had often applied to the French King's ambassadors for the safe passage through France of a gentleman of our chamber, whom We purposed sending to England, that he might explain to the King, our uncle, the very reasons mentioned in this memorandum, but the ambassadors refused on the plea that they had no instructions on the subject.
We leave it to your discretion and to that of D. Iñigo to use as many of these arguments as you may consider necessary, always in the mildest possible terms, and without offending the King, whose friendship We value above all things, and you will take care to inform us as soon as possible of your progress in the negotiation.
As to Don Iñigo, and his departure from England, he is to follow implicitly our instructions as contained in our letter to him by this post.—Burgos, 31st January 1528.
French. Original draft, pp. 6½.


  • n1. This paper, headed Avvisi di Roma, has no other date but that of the 29th January. It was probably drawn at Ferrara by Andrea del Borgo, who about this time resided at the Duke's Court as ambassador of the Emperor and of his brother the King of Bohemia and Hungary.