Spain: March 1528, 1-10

Pages 604-614

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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March 1528, 1-10

13 March.
S. E. L. 867,
f 195.
B. M. Add. 28,577.
f. 196.
362. News from England addressed by Andrea del Borgo to the Archbishop Don Juan Centellas.
As a certain bishop (fn. n1) was some time ago conferring with the King of England about the affairs of Milan, he happened to say that neither the Emperor nor the King of France wanted the Duchy [of Milan] for themselves, at which the King replied, "That is not true, for both wish for it." The Bishop himself related this to Andrea del Borgo.
Has heard from a credible source that the said King [of England] will do his utmost to prevent the Emperor's aggrandizement, and ardently desires (en todas maneras del mundo) to have his daughter, Princess Mary, married to one of the sons of the French King. He has repeatedly said so in the presence of many people.
The King of England, moreover, is said to be in treaty with the Switzers, to whom he has made large offers [of money] if they will come down to Italy.
On the 1st of February the undersigned ambassador (Borgo) received intelligence that the peace which the Emperor and King of France were on the point of making (fn. n2) together had been prevented by the intrigues of the English King. This information has come from France to the Duke of Ferrara through persons deserving all credit.
Italian. Contemporary copy. 1.
3 March. 363. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 867, f. 196.
B. M. Add. 28 577,
f. 196.
No less than six ambassadors of the League have lately made their appearance at the Court of Ferrara; namely, the Pope's Legate (Cardinal Cibo), one from France, (fn. n3) another from England (Gregorio de Casale), Venice (Gasparo Contarini), Florence, and Milan. (fn. n4) Each of them brings a numerous suite of retainers. The Duke has given them apartments in his own palace, and entertains them most honourably, providing for their personal expenses as long as they remain at his Court. They came with their usual ostentation and pride, presuming they would get all their demands granted on the very first day of their arrival.
The Duke, however, has managed to dally with them for 17 consecutive days, waiting to see whether in the meantime the Imperial army would quit Rome and come to Lombardy.
The ambassadors, on the other hand, wishing to put an end to their commission, urged the Duke to declare himself and join the League, for which they made him very advantageous offers. Among other things promised to the Duke, if he would desert the Emperor's cause, to make his eldest son [Hercole d'Este] king of Naples, with a pension or tribute of 80,000 ducats annually to be made over to the King of France. He himself (the Duke) to be appointed captaingeneral of the armies of the League, and Mons. de Lautrec to return immediately to France. The sea ports in Pulla (Apulia) to be given to the Venetians. The wife [of Hercole] to be conducted to Italy at the expense of the allies. These conditions the Duke at once rejected, and, in order to gain time, proposed others, which, as they mostly concern the Pope, he thought would not be accepted. The ambassadors, however, made no difficulty, and sent to consult His Holiness, who, being out of Rome, has naturally refused to ratify them.
The ambassadors of the League demanded 10,000 ducats every month; the Duke offered 6,000. The case being referred to the Kings of France and England, they decided for the larger sum, which the Duke gave at once. On the 4th of February, Mons de Lautrec started for Ancona, but up to that time the Duke had not sent his contingent of men-at-arms to the French camp, though he had been urged to do so.
The chamberlain (camarero) whom the Duke sent to the Pope at Horveto (Orbieto) had returned from thence, announcing that His Holiness refused to ratify the promises made to the Duke by the ambassadors of the League.
On the night of the day in which the Duke [of Ferrara] signed the treaty of the League, a protest was entered in his name before the Council, declaring that what he had done was only under compulsion, and for the preservation of his own estate, which he had held for 25 years at great expense. All his frontiers were open, and his towns defenceless, with the one exception of Ferrara, which might also be attacked by the Venetian fleet. Besides, the French being, as it were, at his door, and his own vassals not to be relied upon, he might lose in three days the whole of his dominions.
During the negociations every night, at 12 o'clock, the Duke himself, or his agent (fator), came to the ambassador's (fn. n5) lodgings to inform him of what had been concluded in the morning with the delegates of the Italian League.
He was asked to send his eldest son to France, to be married there. When he (Borgo) left Ferrara the French ambassador had already taken leave of the Duke, offering to accompany Hercole to France. But the Duke cared little for his son or his marriage with the French Princess; the only thing he looked to was the Imperial service, for which he would willingly risk his life, his fortune, and estate.
The moment hostilities begin against the Venetians the Duke will do everything in his power to destroy the latter, for as long as the negotiations lasted, it is well known that the ambassadors of the Signory never ceased threatening to send galleys and men down the river to attack Ferrara.
When George [Fruntsperg] with his Germans came to a town called Governo, which this Duke [of Ferrara] had given them for quarters, it happened that the Duke of Horbin (Urbino) and Joain (Giovannino) de' Medici, seeing that Fruntsperg and his Germans had no artillery, attacked them and gained some advantage over them (los afrentaron). Hearing of this, the Duke sent the Germans some of his own field pieces, and the captains of the League no longer dared attack him (Fruntsperg).
On the 28th of December last the King of Hungary wrote to his ambassador (Andrea del Borgo), enclosing credentials for the Duke, and requesting him to prepare provisions for a new division of Germans about to cross over [to Italy]. The ambassador delivered his message, and the Duke replied, "Not only provisions, but a bridge over the Pó; and anything else King Ferdinand may require shall be ready against the arrival of those troops, and if the Emperor's ministers only do their duty, I will willingly stake my fortune and life for his service."
When Rome was taken, the Duke wrote to the Imperial captains, recommending them not to allow 14 or 15 persons, whom he named, to leave the castle of St. Angelo. Among these were Laurençie (Renço) da Ceri, Alberto di Carpi, and several rich merchants, from whom sufficient money might have been obtained by way of ransom to pay the soldiers all their arrears. Instead of listening to the Duke's advice they released the above individuals without ransom, and kept only the cardinals, who, poor things, had no money to give; whence the mischances (desconciertos) of Rome have originated, as also has the harm done to the Imperial service.
When the Pope promised to give as security the cities of Parma and Piacenza, and the Imperial captains obtained letters to that effect commanding the governors, &c. to surrender, the Duke wrote to them not to come to these parts without a sufficient force, since the Pope would for certain deceive them, as he ultimately did; for happening to converse on the subject with the English ambassador (Casale), Borgo heard him say, "There is no hope of those cities surrendering, for as the Pope was going out of St. Angelo he sent secret orders to Parma and Piacenza by no means to open their gates to the Spaniards, but to disobey the briefs he had himself issued." Knowing this much, the Duke sent a messenger post haste to warn the Imperial captains against the Pope's treachery and deceit; they were not by any means to send the Papal letters without an army to support them, for if they did, they were sure to be duped. That is the reason why ho (the Duke) would not send his own men on such an errand, as he was sure they would meet with humiliation (afrenta) and disappointment. When the royal patent came appointing him captain-general of the Imperial forces in Italy, the Duke would have accepted the charge with gratitude, only he was in indifferent health at the time, and besides the Imperial army was in such a state of insubordination that the men would not obey their officers. Continual brawls were occurring between the soldiers of the different nationalities, Spaniards, Germans, and Italians, some of whom, as reported, had been bribed by the enemy. (fn. n6) Not considering himself sufficiently strong to take charge of such an army, the Duke declined the offer.
Even if after the taking of Rome the Imperial army had left that city, much might have been done for the Emperor's service, and the Duke can show numerous letters and applications of mighty barons and nobles in Italy who wished then to pass over to the Imperial service.
The Duke, therefore, cannot be held responsible for the blunders of the Imperial captains at Rome. If he is to serve the Emperor in future, he must be allowed to preserve his estate at any cost. That is why he has granted the French troops free passage through the Duchy.
Don Ercoles (his son) cannot do otherwise than obey his father's will. He used to come some nights to the ambassador's lodgings with tears in his eyes, complaining of the strait in which his father was placed, all owing, as he remarked, to the bad management of the Imperial commanders at Rome.
From Bologna Lautrec sent a message to the Duke asking him to dismiss Andrea de Borgo and George Fruntsperg from his court, also to send away several Spanish and other Imperial captains then residing at Ferrara, but this the Duke would never do.
Last Thursday night the treaty of the League was signed and on the ensuing Friday proclaimed in the public marketplace to the sound of trumpets, but as the omission was remarked of the words "friend of friends, and enemy of enemies," the proclamation was renewed on the following Saturday.
All the messengers and couriers whom the ambassador has occasion to despatch leave this place by the connivance and assistance of the Duke, notwithstanding that one of the articles of the League forbids any courier passing through his estates without previously informing the postmaster-general appointed by Lautrech at Rejo (Reggio) or Modena. (fn. n7)
Spanish. Original, pp. 5.
4 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 169.
364. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
(Cipher:)His last was dated the 23rd of February. (fn. n8) Letters have since been received from the King of Hungary and from the Bishop of Trent, copies of which are here enclosed. (fn. n9) Cannot say whether the King after reading Leyva's memorandum, which he must have received by this time, will agree to this captain's opinion, now that, by the departure of the army from Rome, the condition of affairs has considerably improved. He (the King) would act wisely in following it, for certainly to bring down such considerable levies without the proper means, in money and provisions, to support them, would only increase the confusion, &c.
(Common writing:) This Signory have just sent to their proveditor general of the sea 20,000 ducats to refit the galleys at Corfu. Fifteen hundred foot, mostly hackbutiers from Romagna, are also to be sent for the manning of the galleys, which, they say, are to go to Pulle (Puglia); but if Lautrech, as we expect, is worsted in the meantime, the Venetians perhaps will remain where they are.
(Cipher:) Hears that Prothonotary Gambara, who went to see King Francis on behalf of the Pope, has been unable to obtain the restitution of Ravenna and Cervia, which these Venetians retain. Has been told, on the contrary, that he (Francis) has written to the Signory inducing them not to restitute, as he says the Pope is unworthy of such courtesy. Cannot vouch for the truth of this report, but it is generally asserted here that the King of England is in favour of the restitution.
(Common writing:) Letters have come from France stating as a fact that the Imperial ambassador (Perrenot de Granvelle) and various other subjects of the Emperor had been arrested in Paris owing to similar treatment of the French in Spain, and that great preparations were being made against that country and Flanders, the King having imposed a certain tax on all the ecclesiastics of his kingdom, which they had begun to pay with very good will. (Cipher:) Some will have it that as soon as the courier whom this Signory has despatched to France returns with the answer, he (Sanchez) will be imprisoned; others think that he will not; but, however this may be, is quite prepared for the worst.
A proveditor has just been appointed to command in the Veronese and Vicentino.
(Common writing:) Hercules de Mingoval, nephew of the [late] Viceroy of Naples, has just arrived in this city, a deserter from the Imperial camp. He served formerly in Milan, but having taken offence because Leyva refused to give him the command of a company of horse, vacant by the death of a lieutenant of the Marquis of La Tripalda, he deserted and came here with 34 of his men, intending to offer his services to this Signory. No sooner was he (Sanchez) informed of his determination than he went to him and spoke his mind plainly. He (Mingoval) offered his excuses, and said that his intention was to retire to Germany; notwithstanding which it is asserted that he has already accepted the command of 50 light horse with a proportionate pay from this Signory. (Cipher:) He is a mad fellow, as such strange conduct on his part sufficiently indicates.
Has already mentioned in some of his letters the departure of the whole Imperial army from Rome on the 17th ulto Both Germans and Spaniards seemed animated with the very best spirit, and had taken all manner of engagements and oaths to stand by each other, obey the orders of their chiefs implicitly, not enter one single fortified town, but keep the field until they meet the enemy. Lautrech with the whole of the confederated forces, Pedro Navarro, and the Venetian proveditor have advanced towards Lanchano (Lanciano) and other towns of the coast, abandoning Sulmona and Aquila, with a view no doubt to being closer to Puglia, or the Marcks in case they might choose to retreat. The Duke of Urbino, who has scarcely 3,000 men, and very little money, will, they say, join Lautrech as soon as the Florentine contingent—a poor set of men, not exceeding that number—comes in.
The Duke Francesco Sforza is going to our Lady of Loreto to perform a vow.—Venice, 4th March 1528.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Spanish. Original, partly in cipher, pp. 169.
6 March. 365. Don Hugo de Moncada to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 180.
Since the departure of the ship that took the horses [to Spain] the Emperor's letter of the 30th of January, brought by Mons. de Ubauri, (fn. n10) has come to hand. Shall not be able to reply to it this day, because the caravel, which is to take this, is on the point of setting sail; but as within a week another will be despatched, full answer shall be sent upon all particulars.
Notwithstanding the activity and zeal displayed by the Prince of Orange and Marquis del Guasto in taking the army out of Rome, the Abruzzi were lost before they could come in sight of the enemy. Our troops were between Benafro and Loconvezino, (fn. n11) on the road to Aquila, and ready to attack Count Pedro Navarro and Valerio Ursino, who were there with 5,000 or 6,000 foot, and 500 light horse. Those commanders, however, on hearing of the approach of our troops, raised their camp and effected their junction with Lautrech, who with the bulk of the army was following the coast in the direction of Pulla (Puglia). The Imperialists therefore had to cross the valley of Benavente (Benevento) and take that route; but the enemy being several days' march in advance, entered the Capitanata, of which they instantly took possession, as well as of several towns and castles, which certainly might have offered some resistance. In short they are now masters of Sansever, Luchera (Lucera), and Fogia, all flourishing districts, abounding in provisions, and where the enemy will be able to maintain himself long, and make war against us with our own resources (hacer guerra guerreada). They are already making forays as far as Chirinola (La Cirinola), and hold the custom-house of the cattle (la Aduana de las Pecoras), from which they will get considerable sums of money and wheat to send to Venice and to their army in Lombardy.
Had given Cesaro Ferramosca the charge of keeping Barletta, and defending it against the enemy, but on his arrival there the inhabitants shut their gates and refused to let his men in. Fogia and Trani have done the same, and surrendered to the enemy. In short, as the Marquis of Corata advises in one of his despatches, it would seem as if the whole of the country had been waiting for the arrival of the French, for nowhere will the country people do their duty and molest the enemy.
It appears that some difference arose between the Prince and the Marquis respecting the route which the Imperial army was to take to go to the Puglia. Went to Benevento, and held a consultation there with them, when it was resolved that the Marquis should go to Troya and take up positions before the enemy arrived. He has now done so, as may be seen by his letter of the 2nd inst., which is enclosed. The Prince's plan of campaign will be better understood by a copy of his letter. Has sent him and his Germans 35,000 ducats, which is as much as could be obtained from the bankers of this city (pidiendoselo como por Dios).
That this city and the lands of Lauoro might have a sufficient force to protect them in case of need, he (Don Ugo) has issued orders for the 1,300 Germans who came from Spain with the late Viceroy, and 2,000 Italians who are to be detached from the army, to take up positions in the neighbourhood; first, because the combined French and Venetian fleets are likely to pay a visit to these shores; and, secondly, because the Marquis of Saluzzo (Michaele Antonio), who is now in the counties of Tagliacozzo and Albi on the frontiers of the Abruzzo, might easily in a couple of days' march come to Sora, San Germano, and even Capua. Should the enemy advance this way, our means of defence are not great, but still everything shall be done to maintain the reputation of our arms Money there is none, and we are anxiously expecting remittances from Spain.
Cardinal Colonna and Ascanio, his brother, are now here, helping us as much as they can in our present difficulties.
Has not yet sent anyone to reside at the Pope's court, because he has been expecting a proper agent from Spain; but since the appointment has not been made, and there seems to be great need of one for the protection of the Imperialists [at Orbieto], who are in bad odour (mal mirados), not so much with the Pope, as with the courtiers, he has taken upon himself to appoint Miçer Joan Antonio Muxetula, who shall take his departure as soon as the Prince of Orange lets us know what are the instructions brought by Ubauri. This notwithstanding, His Imperial Majesty must be reminded that an ambassador is much wanted near the Pope's person.
Provisions are being stored at Capua and Castilnovo, though not in such abundance as might be desired.
There is a report that Mons. de Sanpo (St. Pol) is about to invade Lombardy at the head of 400 men-at-arms and a body of Swiss infantry.—Naples, 6th March 1528.
Signed: "Don Ugo de Moncada."
Addressed: "Sacræ, Cesaræ, Catholicæ Majestati"
Indorsed: "To His Majesty. From Don Ugo. 6th March.
Spanish. Original, pp. 5.
6 March. 366. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 180.
As Don Ugo is writing of late occurrences since the arrival of Lautrech, and has announced the arrival of Bauberi, who came yesterday with despatches, he (Perez) will be brief, inasmuch as the caravel that is to take his letter is on the point of setting sail for Mallorca.
The Imperial army, as stated in his letter of the 18th, forwarded by way of Barcelona to the Emperor's treasurer in that city, left Rome the day before, and is now 10 miles from Troya, almost in sight of the enemy, who occupies Nuchera (Nucera) and Sancta Severina. The Marquess of Saluzzo (Michaele Antonio) and the Abbot of Farfa (Napoleone Orsini) are still roving about the county of Tagliacozzo and doing all the harm they can.
Cardinal Colonna has come here at Don Ugo's request. He will undoubtedly do much good, for he is a very able politician and soldier.
The news from Orbieto is that the Pope intends removing to Rome in the holy week. There will be no lack of ambassadors of the League and others trying to win him over to their side, but if we are to believe what his cardinals, who reside in this city as hostages, say, he (the Pope) wishes to remain neutral. May it be so!
Ursino and Cesis, who were securities for the 145,000 ducats, have been set free, and the rest of the hostages are very confident that His Imperial Majesty will give them also their liberty.
Has come up with the army as far as Sanct Germano, and is not sorry he has done so, for the account of the cruelties perpetrated by the Abbot of Farfa and others on the few Germans and Spaniards who chose to remain at Rome after the departure of our army is really dreadful Writes for instructions as to what he is to do.—Naples, 6th March 1528.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: "To His most Sacred, &c."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1528. Naples. Perez."
Spanish. Original, pp. 2.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 224, No 3.
367. First Overtures made by the Legate of England [Cardinal Wolsey] to the Imperial Ambassador.
The King of France to fulfil all his engagements, not only as regards the payment of a certain sum of money, but also the giving up of Gennes (Genoa) and the county of Asti, with any other territories and lands appertaining to the same, previous to the surrender by the Emperor of the sons of France, whom he retains as hostages.
This done, the King of France to recall his army from Italy. As a security thereof, and in case of the King not withdrawing his army, the King of England engages to pay [to the Emperor] a heavy fine.
These overtures have many advantages over those made to His Imperial Majesty by the French ambassador in Spain. For, in the first place, Genoa is to be given up with all its territories and appanages before the King's sons are released. 2nd. The pecuniary tine is to be paid by the King of England in case of the French army not being immediately recalled according to stipulation. 3rd. The King of England besides will declare at once against France, and consider the King his enemy.
In case of these proposals being rejected by either party, another offer might be made, which is for the Emperor to release only one of the sons [the Dauphin of France], as soon as Genoa is given up, and the Duke of Orleans to be retained as hostage until the actual withdrawal of the French army. That part of the stipulation being accomplished, and the army recalled, the Duke [of Orleans] to be returned to Ins father [the King].
In case of the Emperor refusing to set both the sons of France free, unless Genoa and the county of Asti be first evacuated, the French army recalled, and all other stipulations fulfilled, which is considerably more than was proposed at first, the Pope and the King of England conjointly will be responsible for the recall and withdrawal of the said army, which is to take place immediately after the release of the King's sons.
French. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
9 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 187.
368. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
(Cipher:) Since the 4th inst., the date of his last, advices have come from Constantinople of the 28th January, stating that the Turk has received with great solemnity and pomp the ambassador of the Vayvod, and promised to make his master [Zapolsky] king of Hungary. For this purpose the Sultan has raised 50,000 cavalry, and given the command to Erahin bassa (Ibrahim Pashaw). The satisfaction and joy caused by such news among these people (the Venetians) are an evident proof of their antipathy to the Emperor and to his brother of Austria. May God permit that before the arrival of the Infidels the Vayvod be crushed:
His Imperial Majesty must already have learned from Miçer Andrea Del Burgo, at Ferrara, the successful issue of that Duke's affairs in France, and the letters he has lately received from the King of that country; also that the Pope is endeavouring to persuade Francis to send a new army of 8,000 foot and 400 lances against Milan, assuring him that, if this be speedily done, success is certain. Such is the news sent by Burgo, who, besides being a very prudent, wise, and sagacious man, is doing very good service at Ferrara, where he resides, and should reside as long as the present state of affairs lasts. The news must be true, for he (Sanchez) has heard people of this city say that the Duke of Albany (John Stuart) is also coming down with 400 men-at-arms and 4,000 foot.
Has written to the King of Hungary, communicating the above intelligence, that he may hasten the sending of the reinforcements. But His Imperial Majesty must bear in mind that this new army and that already in the field, at Naples as well as in Lombardy, must needs be fed and paid, or else confusion and insubordination, so prejudicial to our interests, will again prevail. Provisions must come from Spain or from other countries quite independently of the general resources of Italy; first of all, because the confederates are now in possession of most of the agricultural and corn yielding districts; and, secondly, because famine prevails everywhere. In many towns, and even here at Venice, people drop down dead through hunger in the streets, and the plague besides is making great ravages in many paints of Italy, having, as he hears, broken out afresh at Florence.
The Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere) is, they say, coming here at the Signory's express commands, whilst his men are to join Lautrech. (Common writing:) Leyva is prospering (està gallardo) occasionally striking a blow (repeloncillo) at the enemy, The other day he relieved Lecco, which the Leaguers had invested.—Venice, 9th March 1528.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord (to be delivered into the hands of Secretary Soria)."
Spanish. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp. 3.
10 March. 369. The Bishop of Trent to Sanchez.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 202.
The King, my master, had news yesterday that the forces he lately sent against the Vayvod have gained a most signal victory. Though much superior in numbers, the army of that rebel has been cut to pieces, the Vayvod himself taking to flight with only 20 of his followers. I lose no time in communicating to you this glorious victory.—Vienna, 10th March 1528.
Italian. Copy in the hand of Sanchez'. secretary, .. 1.


  • n1. D. Iñigo do Mendoza Bishop of Burgos, was still ambassador in England; but some other bishop must here be meant, for he (D. Iñigo) did not leave London until 1529, and therefore could not possibly have seen Borgo at Ferrara.
  • n2. "Que la concordia c paz de la C. Mt. y del Rey de Francia fuera concluyda y hecha, y que el Rey de Inglaterra la abia estorbado.'
  • n3. Giovanne Gioachino Seigneur do Vaux.
  • n4. Florence was represented by Antonio Francesco di Albizi, and Milan by Comte Massimiliano Stampa.
  • n5. Andrea del Borgo.
  • n6. "Y estando con sus pasiones y diferencias, y algunos de ellos estando sobornados de dineros, como se decia."
  • n7. This apology of the Duke of Ferrara's acts, as well as excuse for his having signed the treaty of the Italian League on the 16th of November 1527, has no date. It must have been written about the end of February or beginning of March, when Andrea, del Borgo was at Orbieto, and Bishop Centellas started for Spain.
  • n8. No. 359, p. 600.
  • n9. Nos. 346 and 347.
  • n10. See Lope de Soria's letter of the 17th July 1527 (No. 119, p. 289), where the arrival from Spain of a gentleman there called Vuldry is mentioned.
  • n11. As there is no town of this name in the neighbourhood of Benafro, I am inclined to think that this word is erroneously written.