Spain: February 1527, 11-28

Pages 61-79

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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February 1527, 11-28

11 Feb. 22. The Emperor to the Abbot of Najera.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 133.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 79.
Abbot of Najera, &c.,—Your letters of the 28th October and 18th of November came duly to hand. We have not replied to them before, owing to their coming together, after Ferramosca had started on his mission. We thank you for the information respecting our army, and beg you to continue your reports.
You must have heard through Ferramosca what our plans are respecting military and political affairs, and how We have remitted by him a sum of money to supply the wants of the army. We now send you the second bills of exchange, and will in future make as many remittances as the state of our treasury will allow.—Valladolid, 11th Feb. 1527.
Spanish. Original minute. 1.
11 Feb. 23. The Emperor to Secretary Perez.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 133.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 80
Secretary, &c.,—Your letters dated the 22nd of October, 6th, 16th, 22nd, and 28th of November came to hand all at once, owing to which circumstance, and to the departure of Ferramosca for Italy, We have not answered them before. As by this time the said Ferramosca must have arrived, and the Viceroy be also in Italy, we need scarcely say anything respecting our intentions.
We have always wished for a general and lasting peace in Christendom, that we may turn our arms against the Turk, reduce his power, and exalt our holy faith. Never on our part have we given cause for dissension; but, on the contrary, have given way on many occasions, as God and His Holiness the Pope can testify. We have now sent to him Cesaro Ferramosca to treat of a general peace, when he will find that if he (the Pope) is willing, we shall be no impediment to it, but shall, on the contrary, be satisfied with just and honourable conditions, and waive even some of our right.— Valladolid, 11th Feb. 1527.
Indorsed: "The King. 1527. Valladolid. To Perez." Spanish. Original minute, .. 1.
12 Feb. 24. The Emperor's Answer to the Ambassadors of the League.
S. E. L. 1,454,
f. 128.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 81.
Be it known to all how, on the 12th of February 1527, in the presence of Mercurino Gattinara, Count of Valencia and Sartirana, the Emperor's High Chancellor for all his dominions; of Henry, Count of Nassau, Marquis of Cenete, and Lord of Breda, High Chamberlain, and of Don Juan Manuel, both knights of the Golden Fleece; of Don Garcia de Loaysa, Bishop of Osma, President of the Council of the Indies, and Confessor to the Emperor, and Don Louis de Flandre, Seigneur de Praet, chamberlain to the Emperor, all and every one of them members of his Privy Council, and before the undersigned (Jean Lallemand), acting as public notary on the occasion appeared the most Reverend and Magnificent Count Baldassar Castiglione, Apostolic Nuncio and orator to His Holiness Pope Clement VII.; Messire Jean de Calvimont, second President of the Parliament of Bordeaux; and Massire Gilbert de Bayard, secretary to the King of France, both of them his ambassadors at the Court of Spain; and Signor Andrea Navajero, ambassador also from the Doge and republic of Venice, &c., when a paper was placed in their hands, said to be the reply made by His Imperial Majesty to the various arguments and declarations put forward by the said ambassadors, verbally or in writing, during the negotiations for peace. The tenor of which reply is as follows:—
The Emperor, desirous of peace and anxious to turn his arms against the Infidel, has hitherto done everything in his power to attain that object. He made a treaty with King Francis, set him at liberty, and allowed him to go back to his own kingdom, thus converting him from an enemy into a friend and almost brother; for although very much distrusting him (ambiguis illius fidei), yet he hoped with his help to induce those princes who followed one cause or the other to lay down their arms and join in the undertaking against the Infidel.
"Dum se sua spe omnino frustratum sensit, et loco pacis novum bellorum incendium inter Christianos parari; praesidium in hostes Fidei parandum impediri; regnum Hungaricum propter ea[m] labe[m], ac illius rege interemapto, in potestatem hostium cum tanta Christianorum clade transire; haereticorumque sectas invalescere, et inde sub colore universalis pacis perniciosum foedus contra ipsum Caesarem percuti, non pacis sed belli fomentum conspicit," &c. Did not on this account desist from his purpose, but laboured as strenuously as he could for the blessings of peace. Sent to Rome (in urbem) his most ample powers, that in the event of the negotiations being opened in that city, as His Holiness seemed to expect, there should be no delay on his part. "Deindè cum Serenissimus Anglorum Rex, defensor fidei, ipsius universalis pacis studiosus, operam suam ad illam componendam et tractandam obtulisset, et propterea mandatum Suse Majestatis cum amplissimis instructionibus in Angliam transmitti petiisset, asserens ceteros contra Caesarem foederatos itidem facturos; annuit sua Majestas illius voto, statimque mandatum cum instructionibus ad huiusmodi effectum amplè resolutis, equissimisque conditionibus suffultis transmisit."
Later still, when you [Baldassar Castiglione], the Apostolic Nuncio, and the ambassadors of the most Christian King of France, and of the Signory of Venice, asserted that you were furnished with the most ample powers (amplissima mandata) to treat of the said universal peace at this Imperial Court, and insisted upon His Majesty appointing persons to treat with you, the Emperor did so at once, imagining that the deeds would be in accordance with the words. All, however, was in vain, for when your powers came to be examined, they were found insufficient, there being no foundation in them on which the structure of a lasting peace could be raised,. For in the very mandate which yon, the Apostolic Nuncio, exhibited as coming from His Holiness, besides many errors and omissions in the statement of events, there was a direct accusation against His Imperial Majesty, ascribing to him the wars which are actuallo disturbing Christendom, and the dangers to which it may be exposed hereafter; whereas it is well known that the Emperor is not only free from that charge, but has always warmly advocated peace among Christian nations. Such accusation the Emperor not only rejects, but throws it back on his accusers, as he has already done many a time, and is ready to do again.
The Pope's mandate was also deficient in one important point, since no powers to treat of the peace were granted to his Nuncio, unless with the express consent of the ambassadors of the confederated powers, who are not, however, named in the said mandate. As these confederates of the Pope may be numerous (plures), and some of them unknown to the Emperor; as many of the powers which are said to have joined the Italian League, have not signified their consent to the negotiation, it follows that the Pope's mandate is insufficient for the present purpose.
"Mandatum autem Regis Christianissimi, non solum aliorum confoederatorum, sed specificè Serenissimi Angliae Regis consensum exigit; de quo, tamen, non apparet, nec creditur apparere posse, quam quidem is tam suis litteris quam nuntiis et oratoribus eidem Caesari destinatis, expressè significaverit se nequaquam id foedus acceptasse, nec acceptare velle, sed potius se pacis auctorem et tractatorem exhibere, ac in ea omni studio ac conatu totisque viribus elaborare, cujus operam ea in re Caesar non respuit, sed gratam habuit."
This last circumstance renders the French mandate inefficient, since the King of England has not yet informed the Emperor of his having joined the League. Besides which, the French instrument is drawn in very general terms, no allusion being made in it either to the "innovation" of the former treaty, or to the "juramentum et fidei transgressio," both of which required especial mention, as otherwise the treaty in contemplation could not be expected to work any change in the letter of the former one.
As to the Venetians, their mandate, as exhibited by their ambassador (Navagero), demanded (exigebat) in the first instance the concurrence and approbation of the illustrious Duke Francesco Sforza and of the Florentines, which conditior no longer appears. In the one lately presented the express consent of the Duke and of Florence is not specified, "tamen omnium foederatorum consensum expostulate" and therefore " eodem laborat morbo quo mandatum S. D. N (Sanctissimi Domini Nostri)."
All the mandates being thus found imperfect and insufficient to empower the ambassadors of the Italian League to treat of the proposed peace, His Imperial Majesty was compelled to reject the offers made by them. He was, moreover, convinced, as he told you, the Rev. Balthasar Castiglione, at the time, that your proposals in the name of the confederated powers looked as if they had been made for a particular purpose, rather than for the common interest of the confederates, as they seemed to impede rather than promote peace among Christians. For at such a time as this, and when the common foe is meditating a most terrific blow against Christendom, to propose a truce of short duration, for us to turn our arms against the Infidel, is equivalent to weakening us and placing us, as it were, at the mercy of our enemies. "Ex brevi armorum suspensione, ex qua nec arma in hostes Fidei converti, nec exercitus ipeius Caesaris tutè dissolvi possent, totiens ille, violato fide ruptisque foederibus, cui etiam dispendiosum foret exercitum integrum in ocio (sic) continere, dispendiosius autem ob maximam locorum distantiam censeretur, si hujusmodi exercitibus dissolutis novos parare seu instaurare cogeretur, ipsa armorum suspensione cessante."
Nevertheless, that things may be safe on all sides (ut res in tuto omni ex parte collocetur), and the peace of Italy and of the whole Christian republic may be ensured, His Imperial Majesty will be content that a truce of at least three years' duration be made between the contending parties, during which truce all the Christian powers, without exception, shall turn their arms against the infidel Turk. Meanwhile their differences can be so adjusted and arranged that a general and lasting peace may follow.
The wish expressed by the confederated powers that the Duke Francesco Sforza should be reinstated is a question the settlement of which in nowise appertains to them, since he (the Duke) has been guilty of the crime "laesae Majestatis," and his fief notoriously belongs to the Empire; but in order to show his desire of conciliation, and remove any suspicions that might be entertained about his ulterior projects, the Emperor promises that if the said Duke will consent to appear in person before certain high judges expressly appointed for the purpose, full justice shall be done unto him.
The proposals made for the liberation of the King's sons are altogether unsuitable and inadmissible, for there is no reason, right, or excuse for breaking faith and oath so solemnly pledged. Had the French ambassadors received an express mandate to that end, they would have been obliged to make one of the following three declarations: either that the King, their master, ought not, or that be cannot, or that he will not observe the treaty. If they assert that he (the King) cannot; "licet id posse pretendatur, succederat tamen loco imposibilitatis ea possibilitas quae a sua mera voluntate liberoque illius arbitrio dependet," that is to say, that he (the King) will return to captivity, by means of which a new treaty may be made and fresh conditions established without injury or damage to either of the contracting parties. If the ambassadors allege that the treaty ought not to be executed in some of its parts, then let them produce their arguments, which shall be triumphantly answered, "cum nec allegatur metus, nec emissa, ut asseritur, protestatio, nec bellici juris dispositio, nec alia quaevis causa regem ipsum excusare valeat, quominus datam fidem prestitumque juramentum pro captivitate redimenda, proque libertate obtinenda servare teneatur." If, however, the French ambassadors declare that their master will not, that changes the question entirely, as it is a free act of his own will, not one to which he is compelled by reason or justice.
From all which arguments, and many more that could be adduced, it appears evident that the said petition is unreasonable and unjust, and therefore inadmissible. Such, however, is the Emperor's love of peace, and such his desire to turn his arms against the infidels, that if the French ambassadors should hereafter receive sufficient authority, "cum debitis cautellis quibus res in tuto collocari possit," it will be shown that His Imperial Majesty is disposed not only to admit of just and reasonable conditions, but to waive some of his own rights for the sake of peace. In fact nothing shall be left undone on his part to obtain that desirable object. Even should the obstinacy of the contending parties be such that they could not satisfactorily settle their own private quarrels, His Imperial Majesty would not disdain (dedignabitur) to accept the arbitration of a competent judge above suspicion; provided, however, in the meantime a general congress for peace (universalis conventio) were held, and the common enterprise against the Turk commenced without delay. "Tune dillucidè patebit sua Maiestas non solum aequas et justas conditiones subire pro publico Christianae religionis commodo paratus erit, sed etiam ad eum effectum de proprio condonare nec quavis ratione," &c. (fn. n1)
"Ad quod postremò per ipsum Apostolicum Nuntium propositum extitit ut Serenissimo Anglorum Regi pro iis quae sibi debentur, . . . . (fn. n2) innuens id universali paci difficultatem afferre; profectò alienum et omnino mirandum videtur cum,ut profertur, nec ipse serenissimus Rex Angliae in foedere intervenerit, nec illud acceptaverit, nec mandatum ad id petendum eius nomine foederatis concesserit, nec oratores sui qui penes Cesarem cxistunt in hoc conventu interveniant, nullaque sit inter ipsum Caesarem et Regem Angliae controversia, sed tanta sit et amoris et sanguinis conjunctio, ut nulla res pecuniaria horum amicitiam valeat perturbare; cum potissimè apud ipsum Serenissimum Angliae Regem adsit orator Caesareus [Dominus Ennecus a Mendosa] cum amplo mandato et his et aliis transigendi et conveniendi. Ita ut hoc petitio in hujusmodi conventu facta omnino frustratoria videatur; non quidem ad pacem tendens, sed potius ad coloranda pacis impedimenta, unde nec in posterum eidem Caesareae Majestati culpa aliqua impingi possit quod pacis media non amplectatur, quodque imminente Christianae republicae periculo non recurratur."
No blame, therefore, is to be attached to him (the Emperor) if, owing to the above informalities in the powers of the ambassadors, peace should not be concluded as soon as desired. Has caused the present answer to be read to them in the presence of his High Chancellor and privy councillors above named, and a legal Act drawn thereof, that each of the ambassadors may write to his respective master.
I Jean Lallemand, Lord of Bouclans, first secretary and public notary appointed by His Imperial Majesty for this particular Act, had it drawn and signed by witnesses as required. (fn. n3)
Latin. Original draft in the hand of Alfonso de Valdes pp. 6.
14 Feb. 25. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
d' Esp.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 98.
Wrote on the 1st by way of Genoa? and under cover to the Archdeacon of Belchite [Soria], and addressed his letter to Mario de Tasis (fn. n4) the postmaster. The duplicate went on the 9th, by way of Lucca, to Genoa. Wrote again on the 11th, by way of Ferrara, enclosing duplicate of his letter of the 26th of January; but as, notwithstanding his precautions, these despatches may not have reached the Imperial Court, will now repeat the substance of them, and add whatever information he has been able to collect since.
Copies verbatim his despatch of the 1st of February, and then adds:—
The Venetians [have not yet signified their assent; on the contrary, they have answered that the condition of the payment of certain sums of money by the Signory seemed to them quite inadmissible, and that they required, besides, one month's time to consult with the King of France, (cipher) and await his answer. The Pope, however, sent on the 10th inst. for Ferramosca, and told him that he was ready to sign to agreement, leaving, however, the door open for Venice to come in. The worst is that His Holiness will now no longer give money or the places which he promised as security, imagining, no doubt, that his affairs are in much better plight than they were, owing to the Viceroy having failed to take Freselone (Frosinone). He was before it several days. The garrison, who belonged mostly to the bands of [the late] Giovanni de' Medici, made a stout defence, and were at last succoured from Rome. The Viceroy then raised his camp, and went six or seven miles beyond to two villages, called Castro Chicano (Cicano) and Chiprano (Ciprano), without losing one man, baggage or artillery, though it is publicly announced at Rome that he lost on the occasion no less than 400 men and two or three banners.
Of the brother of the Duke of Lorraine, by name Mons. de Vadamont (le Comte de Vaudemont), and of his arrival at Rome, His Imperial Majesty has already been advised. He, Renzo da Ceri, and Andrea Doria have since had frequent audiences from the Pope, at which the intended invasion of the kingdom of Naples has been discussed. They calculate upon 50 galleys of their own, besides 10 more of the Venetians, which they have sent for, and 14 or 18 vessels of the French, besides the large ship (nao) of the order of Rhodes. Numbers of emigrants (foraxidos) from Sicily and Naples are pressing them to undertake the conquest of those kingdoms, and Andrea Doria has gone to Civittà Vecchia to prepare his galleys for that enterprize. Many bets have been taken here at Rome, 20 to a hundred, that in four months hence the kingdom of Naples will be in the hands of the Pope or of Lorraine (Vaudemont).
Oracio Baglione, one of the Pope's captains, has been sent to Rocca di Papa with a considerable force of infantry and cavalry; but as the garrison is on the alert, and the place itself strongly fortified, he will have some difficulty in taking it. It is said that the enemy also intends attacking Pagliano and Monte Fortino.
The late news from France is that the King no longer intends marrying the Princess of England (Mary), but purposes to espouse his own sister-in-law, Madame Reneta (Renée), and that the dispensation brief has already been applied for. (fn. n5)
The Grand Master of Rhodes (Villiers de l'Isle Adam) has gone to Viterbo to celebrate a chapter of his order.
The Abbot of Farfa (Napoleone Orsini) remains still in prison on suspicion of being in treaty with the Viceroy to take service under the Emperor. Some say that he he is not very closely confined, but is allowed to go about the castle; others assert that he is kept in irons, and that even Renzo da Ceri, who is his brother-in-law, refuses to speak to the Pope in his favour, pretending that he hates traitors even in his own family. Nevertheless, Renzo does in secret all he can for him, and His Holiness has been heard to say that after all his case is not so grave, from which people conclude that he will soon be set free.
It is asserted that the Pope is about to send a Nuncio to the Vayvod [of Transylvania] in his quality of King elect of Hungary. At Venice the rank and precedence of royal ambassador had been granted to an ambassador of the Vayvod, who was here some time ago. (fn. n6) The reason which the Pope alleges as an excuse for sending his Nuncio to him is that the King of Bohemia (Ferdinand) never wrote announcing his election.
Bourbon, on the 3rd inst, was close to Piacenza, intending to besiege that city, but the Duke of Ferrara wrote to the Viceroy on the 7th, saying that he was of opinion that Piacenza should not be invested, as thereby much time would be lost, which had better be employed in other more profitable undertakings.
The general [of the Franciscans] is at Araceli. He does not intend quitting [his seclusion] unless Cesaro Ferramosca returns and the Pope sends expressly for him, so wearied is he with these continual changes.
News has been received here that the Piacentines had taken Cucar and two more captains prisoners of war, and along with them about 200 light horse; that in the affray the Prince of Orange (Philibert de Chalon) was well-nigh taken prisoner, for he left his plume (penacho) in the hands of his captor, and escaped. (fn. n7)
Has been told that His Holiness is about to send one of his chamberlains to Spain. Who he is to be, and when he will go, he (Perez) has been unable to ascertain.
The garrison of Rocca di Papa set fire the other day to a village called Rocca Priora belonging to Juan Baptista Sabello, who is here [at Rome] in the Pope's service.—Rome, 14th Feb. 1527.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: "To His most Sacred, Imperial Majesty."
Spanish. Holograph partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp. 5.
15 Feb. 26. The Duke of Bourbon to Don Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 151.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 108.
Loft Milan on Monday, the 1st inst., at the head of the Imperial army. Antonio de Leyva remains behind with a sufficient force for the protection of that city. As no pay has "been issued to his men for some time, and any attempt to live upon the Milanese, already so poor and exhausted, might prove dangerous, he (Leyva) must be regularly provided with funds. Begs him to send 15,000 cr. in addition to the sum lately brought by Juli (sic), which Leyva says has been found insufficient for distributing even a trifle to the Spaniards and Germans under him, these latter still refusing to march, unless their arrears are paid in full. Every one of the Imperial servants must bestir himself on this occasion, and contrive that the Imperial troops shall be furnished with a portion at least of their monthly stipend; for otherwise we shall be obliged to abandon the Duchy to its fate. That the money may be more easily obtained the Duke now sends him by Donato de Tassi, present bearer, all his own jewels, and some more which the Marquis del Guasto has lent for this emergency. Has no doubt that he (Soria) can pawn the same for some thousands of ducats; the remainder up to the sum of 15,000 must be procured from the bankers of that city (Genoa), using, if need be, the Doge's influence, and pledging all their private property (Bourbon and Guasto's), their honour, their faith, and whatever bills of exchange come from Spain besides. Must not be scrupulous respecting the amount of exchange and interest on the principal, as the need is very great.
Should the money not come forthwith, he (Soria) is to try all he can to obtain the promise of it in a week or so, and send Donato back with the answer, that he may tell Leyva, and induce him to wait. In this way, but in none other, shall we be able to prosecute our present undertaking.—From the camp on the Trebbia, 13th Feb. 1527.
Signed: "Bourbon."
Indorsed: "Copy of the Duke of Bourbon's letter to the ambassador Lope de Soria."
Italian. Contemporary copy. pp. 3.
18 Feb. 27. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 167.
Captain Sancho Lopez, lieutenant of the company of men- at-arms of Count Altamira, will be the bearer of this, and inform His Imperial Majesty much better than he (the Abbot) can about military affairs.
To enable this Imperial army to quit Milan, it was considered necessary to issue to the Spanish infantry two portions of their pay, and 10 cr. (escudos) to each of the men-at-arms, a sum amounting in all to 62,404 cr. Of these nearly 40,000 have been furnished by the city of Milan, including some silver plate taken from the churches; the remainder has been raised by means of a subscription or forced loan among the commanders and officers of this Imperial army; namely, the Duke of Bourbon, 3,000; Guasto, 1,000; Prothonotary Caracciolo, Juan de Hurbina (Urbina), and he (Najera), 300 each, and so on; the rest of the captains at the rate of 200 or 300 cr. each, according to their rank and wealth. Leyva, with whom the idea of the forced loan (talla) originated, rated himself at 1,000. In this manner has the danger been averted, and the Imperial army brought to this camp on the banks of the Trebbia, three miles from Piacenza.
There has been much difference of opinion among the generals as to whether Piacenza ought to be invested or not; but as that city has a strong garrison of 6,000 or 7,000 men under Count Guido Rangone and Paolo Ciasco, the captain of the light horse, it has been decided not to attack it, but to go on, leaving a sufficient force for the defenee of Milan, join the Germans under Frenespergh (Fruntsperg), and thence march on Rezzo (Reggio).
Antonio de Leyva was earnestly requested by Mons. de Bourbon to take the command of the forces at Milan, as no man was better qualified than himself for such a charge. At first Leyva would not hear of it, unless the 8,000 or 10,000 troops, that are to remain with him, should be paid their arrears, or himself provided with the means of paying them, As this was utterly impossible at the time, there being scarcely funds enough in the Imperial treasury to issue one half pay to the Germans under Fruntsperg; as the remainder of Ferramosca's credit had been already spent; as the Spanish infantry who left in December, and only returned to duty upon Leyva going to them and promising that within three days either the Imperial army should advance, or they should receive one month's pay, Leyva was disinclined to accept the command;—the more so that the men had mutinied only two days ago here [at the camp].
Considering, however, that the Duke of Ferrara's advice is that the Imperial army should advance, and that George Fruntsperg and his men are of the same mind, Leyva has yielded at last to the solicitations of his friends and colleagues, and is to remain in Milan with the following forces: 1st, the two bands of Germans who came first, mustering 4,000 men; 2nd, 1,200 more, who came as volunteers (aventureros) in Fruntsperg's suite; 3rd, l,500 Spanish infantry, the garrisons of Genoa, Como, Lecco, Trezzo and Pizzighitone not included; 4th, 3,500 Italians under Count Beljoioso; and 5th, 400 lances, and as many light horse. With these forces Leyva will try to maintain himself (entretenerse) all this month and the following, quartering his troops upon the inhabitants, and getting money from them if he cannot do otherwise, (fn. n8) although it must be said that the Milanese have been so drained of all their resources that it will be a difficult task for Leyva to accomplish. Such are Leyva's plans for the present, decided as he is to lose his life rather than allow the estate of Milan to fall into the hands of the confederates.
Meanwhile, with God's blessing, to-morrow, the 19th, the Duke of Bourbon, the Marquis del Guasto, and the Prince of Orange (Philibert de Chalon) captain general of the light horse, will pass the river Trebbia, and leaving Piacenza on the left, will effect their junction with Fruntsperg. Thence, without stopping, they will push on towards Rezzo, there to meet the Duke of Ferrara, when it will be decided whether the Imperial army is to take the road to Bologna, or go to Florence, which is the thing the soldiers desire most (adonde los soldados tienen ojo) as this will the sooner oblige the Pope to come to terms.
Humbly requests His Imperial Majesty to provide funds for his army, which is actually marching towards the enemy's territory without a farthing (no lleva un real). A good sum of money ought to be sent from Spain, not from Naples, as it is not to be expected that the Viceroy, having an army to support there, can send us what he wants for himself. Indeed the 60,000 ducats which the Council of Naples was about to remit to this army of Lombardy, the Viceroy, on his arrival, took for the maintenance of his own forces.
Advices have come that one division of the Viceroy's army has been surprised and cut to pieces by the Pope's troops, and that Hernando de Alarcon has been slain; but this is an exaggeration, as is most of the news spread by the confederates. The Viceroy, according to letters of the 6th and 7th inst., was besieging a castle with a small body of his troops; the Pope's army came on within gun-shot, and the Viceroy, without being aware of it, raised his camp and went away that very night. Next morning the Pope's men advanced, and took a few carriages and women that had been left behind. It was presumed that the Colonnese would join the Viceroy, and then march on Rome.
We do not hear of any preparations for war being made either by France or the Switzers.
The Marquis del Guasto is still indisposed, and suffering occasionally from his quartan fever.
Juan de Urbina received the other day, whilst skirmishing with the enemy without his defensive armour, a sabre cut in the face, and a partisan's thrust (golpe de partesana) in the stomach. Neither wound, however, is dangerous.
Prothonotary Caracciolo, not being in sufficiently good health to attend this campaign, has decided to remain at Pavia, or wherever Leyva may be. He is one of the best servants the Emperor has in Italy.
Hieronimo Moron (Girolamo Morono) has left a son of his in the castle of Milan, as security for the 7,000 cr. still remaining of the 20,000 in which he was fined, after having his property restored. He is here at the camp with us, and very useful he will be for victualling and quartering the Imperial troops. A good watch is, however, kept over him for fear he should make his escape, notwithstanding his oath of fidelity and service to the Emperor.
A few days since, Captain Çucar and Mons. de Scalenga fell into an ambush here in sight of Piacenza, and were taken prisoners by the enemy. The Prince of Orange was also in the affair and escaped miraculously. (fn. n9)
Sancho Lopez, present bearer, is a very good officer, who served at Pavia under Leyva, and has since been present in almost every engagement with the enemy. He is a man of intelligence (engenio), and of excellent counsel; so much so, that the Commander-in-Chief has given him a place in the Council. Recommends him to the Emperor's notice.—At the camp on the Trebbia, three miles from Piacenza, 18th Feb 1527.
P.S.—Count Gayaço, who served with 200 light horse of his own band, and was colonel of 300 more, besides 1,000 Italian infantry, and was destined with Micer George Franespergh (Fruntsperg) to escort the convoys of provisions, &c., deserted yesterday with the whole of his force, on the plea that the Pope had given him the condotta once held by Juan de Medicis. This Gayaço is a condottiero, very much of the stamp of the latter, and likely to follow in his steps. One might have expected better behaviour on the part of a captain who has received so many favours from the Emperor. It is to be hoped that he will be punished according to his deserts. His county [of Gayaço] should be given to Antonio de Leyva.
Is very much afraid that most of the Spaniards now at Milan will desert their banners to go to Florence.
Signed: "El Abad de Najera."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 5.
19 Feb. 28. Martin de Salinas to the King of Bohemia.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
C. 71, f. 166 v..
Received on the 7th ult. the despatch brought by Longobal, the gentleman in waiting to His Highness. Having previously written by Bon Antonio de Mendoça, and afterwards by a courier who left this for England and Flanders, has nothing particular to advise, except that on the morning of that day (the 7th) the Emperor left for Segovia, by post, in order to visit the Empress, who was to enter the city that very day in great pomp. Two days after he (Martin de Salinas) wrote to inquire whether it was the Emperor's pleasure that he should also go [to Segovia], in order to communicate the substance of the despatches last received, and come to an agreement about the succours to be sent [to Germany].
The answer was that he had better remain where he was, and wait for the return of the Emperor, which would take place in a few days, when the affairs of Hungary, and the resistance to be offered to the Turks, would be fully discussed.
Mons. de Prat (Praet) has not yet left for Flanders, but will start in a few days. He will most likely be the bearer of the report, which he (Salinas) must draw up immediately after his conference with the Emperor, and the meeting of the Cortes. The issue cannot be doubtful, since all the deputies of the towns and corporations of these kingdoms, with whom he has had occasion to converse, are full of sympathy for the disasters of Hungary, and disposed to grant the money required. The chapter of the Order of Santiago has not yet commenced, but there is every reason to believe that, when the knights meet, every assistance will be granted against the common enemy of our faith.
Though he (Salinas) has received orders to go to Portugal, the matters now under discussion are so important that he considers it unwise to undertake that journey before the affairs of Hungary shall be settled to His Highness' full satisfaction. He is ready, nevertheless, to send thither such a confidential agent as may represent him, and act according to the instructions received.
This letter goes through the Velzers, (fn. n10) whose agent in Spain has promised to forward it by way of France.
All correspondence directed to him (Salinas) might come in the same way, but the matter must be kept secret, except from Secretary Castillejo, for if it were to be known in France that the aforesaid commercial firm (the Velzers) was a vehicle for their correspondence, they might suffer for it. They ought, however, to be thanked for their care and solicitude in these matters, as well as in the remittance of the 100,000 ducats in bills of exchange.—Valladolid, 19th Feb. 1527.
Addressed: "To the King, my Lord"
Spanish. Original draft. Cipher, pp. 1½.
23 Feb.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 227, No. 9.
29. Don Iñigo de Mendoça, Imperial Ambassador in England land, to the Emperor.
In his letter sent by Captain Mjndelarria (fn. n11) the Emperor will see all that has passed here during the last 19 days, since he (Mendoça) wrote to Madame [of the Low Countries] requesting that she would send a lawyer in accordance with his (the Emperor's) commands. Hears from Madame that she has received no instructions from the Emperor to that effect. Cannot think how this can have happened, unless it was an omission of the secretary, or of the clerk who drew up the despatch.
(Cipher:) In consequence of the non-arrival of the lawyer [from Flanders], the Legate is persuaded that the whole thing has been devised by him (Mendoça) as an excuse for gaining time. As this was doubtless endangering the negotiations, it became important for him (Mendoça) to act upon his instructions, three points of which he thinks he has slightly improved upon. First, that having been instructed to negotiate with the contracting parties, provided they had sufficient powers to treat, and would promise to ratify what was concluded, besides first declaring their terms, he (Mendoça) has only stated his own to the King and Cardinal under oath of secrecy, believing this to be a more desirable step for the success of the negotiations. Secondly, that he (Mendoça) has thereby given to the King and Cardinal a great proof of confidence, by declaring to them what was withheld from the other contracting parties. Thirdly, although the specification of the engagements entered into with the Viceroy of Naples has not yet come to hand, still he (Mendoça) could very well have entered on the subject with the Cardinal, the sum [to be paid by France] being alluded to in the Emperor's letter. Yet he (Mendoça) thought it advisable merely to state in general terms to the Cardinal that, unless those engagements were held as binding, no new terms would be entertained. In this manner, and by not specifying the sums, &c., the Emperor remains at liberty to maintain, or withdraw from, the agreement at pleasure.
Hears that the French ambassadors are still at Boulogne, and that they are tarrying longer than these people could wish. (Cipher:) Many suspect that the negotiations which the King of France is actually carrying on with him (the Emperor) are this cause of this delay, for were the King of France to obtain better terms in Spain, an entire change must be made in the ambassadors' instructions. The only thing that is considered certain at this juncture is that if he (the Emperor) does not negotiate with France, through the King of England, the latter will at once declare for the League, and raise troops at his own cost in Switzerland or Germany. This King, however, is very confident that he of France will never be able to make a separate peace, except through him. He (Don Iñigo) imagines that the King is very much mistaken on this point; for should the French find the Emperor well disposed, they will begin to prepare for that event, and peace may be concluded without his intervention. The Cardinal says that a courier is shortly to be sent to Spain; fancies that it is to ask for the specification of the engagements and promises made to the Viceroy, as before confirming these they would like to know what they are.
Letters have come to-day to the Pope's Nuncio (Gambara) of the 6th inst., stating that his army had repulsed the Viceroy with great loss in men and artillery. It has also been published here that the Viceroy had been taken prisoner in the engagement; but such reports, coming as they do from the enemy's country, cannot be held as true.
Has been told that the King [of England] is sending money [to Italy] secretly, though not to the amount that is publicly stated. From what he can gather in his conversations with the King and Cardinal, he (Mendoça) thinks that they are following the lead of the King of France, only that since they have seen ground for hoping that peace will be concluded through them, they have greatly changed. Does all he can to keep him (the King of England) in this mind.
The Emperor is to decide what had better be done, only remembering that words will not satisfy either the King or the Cardinal, and that in the negotiations for peace, as well as for the payment of the debts to the King of England, there must be some substantial action.—London, the 23rd of February 1527.
Signed: "Don Iñygo de Mendoça."
Addressed: "To His Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Maiesty, the Emperor and King, our Lord, &c."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on the margins and between the lines, pp. 2.
23-25 Feb. 30. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 193.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 115.
Enclosed are certain letters of the general [of the Franciscans] for His Imperial Majesty, as well as the duplicate and triplicate of all his (Perez's) despatches, both those that went through France, and those sent by Ferrara, Lucca and Genoa. Has nothing new to add, except that the intended expedition to Naples by the Romans and French united seems to be a matter of earnest. Mons. de Lorraine (Vaudemont) is embarking at Civittà Vecchia with all his forces. Upwards of 3,000 men have been sent to him as reinforcements, besides some pieces of artillery and a quantity of powder, ammunition, spades, pickaxes, &c., which the other day were taken out of the stores, destined, as they said, to Rocca di Papa, but in reality for this Neapolitan expedition; for no sooner was the convoy out of Rome than the conductors took the road to Ostia, where the whole was embarked for Civittà Vecchia. Some say that Pistçol (Puzzuolo) is to be attacked first; others speak of Garellano (Garigliano) or Fundi, with a view to stop the provisions going to the Viceroy's camp. Count Montorio and other Neapolitan emigrants (foraxidos) have already started to invade that kingdom by way of Aquila. Indeed, if the reports now in circulation be true, that city has already risen and declared for France. He (Perez) does not believe in this and other news, because he knows them to be spread for the purpose of inspiring the Romans and Florentines with courage in case Mons. de Bourbon should come this way and attack them.
A report is here current that the Pope has already given Mons. de Lorraine (Count Vaudemont) the investiture of Sicily, and that the emigrants (foraxidoa) of that kingdom whom he has with him are urging him to undertake the conquest of that island.
Cesaro Ferramosca is anxiously expected by the Romans. Imagines, however, that he will not come back so soon, knowing, as he does, that the Pope has considerably lowered his offers.
(Cypher:) The Pope has been lately pressing the Duke of Ferrara to abandon the Emperor's cause, and take up his own making him very brilliant offers. The Duke's ambassador asked him (the Pope) to write those offers down that he might forward them to his master, which His Holiness has done. Perez has seen the memorandum, wherein the Pope pledges his word that both France and Venice shall approve the arrangement; that Modena shall be given to the Duke without any compensation in money, as well as the investiture of all his other estates; that one of his sons shall be created cardinal, and that a daughter of Lorenço de' Medici, who has a dowry of 15,000 ducats a year, shall be given in marriage to his eldest son Hercole d'Este. The same ambassador showed him (Perez) a paragraph of his master's letter in cipher, the substance of which is that, notwithstanding the great offers made to him on all sides, he does not intend deserting the Emperor's cause. He has written to Mons. de Bourbon, to whom he is not particularly well inclined, advising him not to stop before Piacenza, but to come on and meet him at a place agreed upon between them, when he will see what he can do for the Emperor's service in the event of Bologna and Florence being attacked.
Notwithstanding all these asseverations and promises, the general impression here at Rome is that the Pope and the Duke understand each other perfectly. Has informed the ambassador of this rumour, and his answer has been that his master being surrounded, as he really is, on all sides by the people of the League, was obliged to temporize with the Pope until he could entirely throw off the mask.
(Common writing:) Has not heard lately from the Viceroy. His last letter was dated from Chiprano (Ciprano), the 12th. The roads are so insecure that no wonder if letters do not reach their destination.
The other day an agent of the Belzares (Velzers), a German firm, was here put in prison, owing to his having refused to lend His Holiness 1,000 ducats. After remaining a few days in confinement, he has been set free, on condition of reappearing when summoned. The measure, however, has met with general disapprobation.
Had written thus far, when Cesaro Ferramosca arrived at Rome on the 18th inst., in company with the English ambassador (Sir John Russell), who so insisted upon the expediency of his coming back with him that the Viceroy granted his request, and they came on together. The ambassador was confident that his presence [at Rome] would greatly facilitate the peace. The general [of the Franciscans] and Ferramosca see the Pope twice every day, before and after dinner.
The news of the rebellion at Aquila, and the entrance of the sons of Count Montorio into that city, are generally believed at Rome. Hence it is that Renzo da Ceri and other captains have left with troops to invade Naples by the frontier of the Abruzzo. The coast besides is continually visited by the enemy's galleys. Mola, close to Gaeta, has been taken, as well as a place belonging to Vespasiano Colonna, which, although insignificant in itself, serves the enemy's purpose very well, since they will be able to give out that they have actually set their foot in the kingdom of Naples. Mons. de Lorraine, moreover, is to go straight to Puzzuolo, and thence to other towns, unless our forces stop him on the way.
(Cipher:) Cesaro Ferramosca tells him (Perez) that the Viceroy is at the head of a very good army, and that though these people may invade Naples, he does not intend to detach any of his forces, as his plan of campaign consists not so much in repelling the invasion as in conquering the enemy's territory.
From the 18th, till to-day the 25th, Cesaro Ferramosca and the general [of the Franciscans] have been debating the articles of the truce with the Pope. They had already come to a final agreement, when the English ambassadors (Russell and Casale) interfered, saying that they could not engage to accept the truce in the name of their King, unless the Venetians were first apprised of its contents, and decided whether they would accept it or not. His Holiness, therefore, postpones his consent until he hears the answer of Venice, which is expected in a week's time. One of the English ambassadors (Sir John Russell) is going thither for that purpose, and Cesaro Ferramosca also intends leaving to-morrow for the Viceroy's camp to inform him of what is being done here at Rome, as well as of the enemy's design upon Naples; for, unluckily, the news about Aquila turns out to be true. The emigrants (foraxidos) have entered Cività Lucata, and the galleys of the League are cruising before Puzzuolo and along that coast, doing all the harm they can.
Letters have been received here from Mons. de Bourbon, dated the 17th inst., on which day he was 24 miles from Rezzo (Reggio), and still advancing. He tells those who are negotiating with His Holiness not to grant any truce or suspension of hostilities just now, as it would be tantamount to destroying the Emperor's advantages. Should any agreement be made between the parties, they are to let him know beforehand. One of Bourbon's servants, now at Rome, read the letter in his (Perez's) presence to the general and to Ferramosca.
Pablo de Reço (Paolo di Rezzo), the Pope's chamberlain, arrived last night from Court, which he had left a fortnight ago.
He is very much pleased with his stay in Spain, and has had a long audience from the Pope. He (Perez) has not yet had an opportunity of talking to him.
(Cipher:) Has repeatedly been told that he (Perez) is in danger of his life, as the Pope is very angry with him on many accounts, and especially because letters have come from England, expressing surprise that he (Perez) had not been sent to prison for daring to summon the Pope to a council. This, however, will be no reason for him to abandon his post, unless he receives orders to that effect. He will rather die a martyr for the Emperor's service.
The Duke of Ferrara is in very high spirits since he has heard of Mons. de Bourbon's progress. He is preparing provisions for his army, and has written to his ambassador here at Rome, saying that in his opinion any suspension of hostilities now would be very disadvantageous to the Emperor, doing him more harm than good, especially as it is said that the Pope will no longer give money, towns, or persons as security for the peace, but will treat absolutely on equal terms with the Emperor. It is even added that the Pope, as it is, has the best of the negotiation. Has not seen the articles, and therefore cannot state his opinion on the subject.
(Common writing:) Renzo da Ceri has come post [to Rome]. The Pope sent for him the other day, they say, to give him the command of certain new levies destined for the Pope's camp and the galleys.—Rome, 23rd Feb. 1527.
Signed: "Perez."
P.S.—The general's letters do not go by this conveyance; they will be sent by another route.
Cesaro Ferramosca left this day (25th) for the Viceroy's camp, without having come to terms with His Holiness. The answer from Venice is expected in about a week. The Pope tried hard to make Ferramosca promise that he would he back for that time; but Ferramosca refused, alleging that he could only do what the Viceroy bade him, as he was under his orders. He also told His Holiness that his excommunications were no longer to be feared, for everyone was aware of the Emperor's integrity in the affair, and that he wished sincerely for peace; whereas His Holiness was continually raising obstacles in the way of a truce or suspension of hostilities. The Pope's answer was that he was not unwilling to sign a peace, but that he had the right to consider his own interests first.—Date ut supra, 25th Feb. 1527.
Addressed: "Magnifico Domino Archidiacono de Belchite (Soria)."
Spanish. Holograph partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on the margins, pp. 4.
28 Feb. 31. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 199.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
Wrote on the 19th, advising that the Signory had decided to raise 7,000 infantry for the defence of Florence, the expenses to be divided between the two signories. (Cypher:) Has since heard by letters from Rome of the 21st inst., that the Pope had written to request this Signory to send all its forces across the river Pò, and assist him besides with money, as, in case of their not doing so, it would be impossible for him to resist the attack of the Imperial armies, and he would be obliged to accept the Viceroy's conditions. On the 25th, at night, a council of preghay was held, at which it was resolved that the Venetian army should at once cross the Pò, and a new proveditor be appointed to command their forces. Micer Luys (Alvise?) Pisano, father of Cardinal Pisano, and who was formerly at the camp of the League in front of Milan, is the person appointed. It was also resolved to help the Pope with a sum of money, some say 20,000, others 30,000 ducats, which were remitted to Rome that same night by express, to prevent the Pope from signing any agreement with the Viceroy. His Imperial Majesty will judge how very earnest the Venetians are in their present undertaking, when he is told that at their last preghay a motion was made for their Doge, [Andrea] Griti, to be appointed proveditor (provisor) and take the command of the forces. Although the motion was not carried, it is nevertheless very significant, for it is not customary for the Venetians to send out their Doge on any military expedition whatsoever. Pisano, he hears, left for the camp last Saturday.
(Common writing:) Encloses copy of a paragraph of letter received from the secretary of His Highness the King of Hungary and Bohemia.—Venice, 28th Feb. 1527.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. Sanchez. Venice, 28th Feb."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet.


  • n1. Instead of this paragraph, which is crossed over, the following stood originally: "Nullum privatum Cesaris interesse hunc puhlicum Christianitatis commodum impedire posse, quippe quinymo (sic) ad eum dumtaxat effectum de propio cuperet amplissimè elargire, et si plures etiam haberet filios liberos proprios uon dedignaretur pro tam sancti operis securitate eos obsides dare, sicque quod min us est nequaquam denegaret, nec quavis ratione," &c.
  • n2. One or two words effaced in the original minute.
  • n3. Two copies of this deed are in Bergenroth's collection, B. M., No. 28,576, at pp. 81 and 90, the latter of which is transcribed in his own hand.
  • n4. Thus in the original, but it is evidently a mistake for Mafeo, the brother of Juan Baptista, and of Simon de Taxis or Tassis. See Lopez de Haro, Nobiliario Genealogico, Madrid, 1622, fol., vol. ii. lib. vi. p. 18.
  • n5. Renée de France, daughter of Louis XII., and first cousin to Francis I., who had formerly been married to her sister, Claude de France. Renée became in 1528 the wife of Hercole, son of the Duke of Ferrara.
  • n6. Giovanni Statilio, bishop of Alba Regia. See above, p. 9.
  • n7. The engagement elsewhere alluded to in Guicciardini's letter to Count Guido Rangone, No. 20.
  • n8. "Viviendo á discretion y con algun dinero, si lo pudiere sacar del dicho estado."
  • n9. See above, No, 25.
  • n10. Sometimes written Belzers, Belza, Welezer, &c.
  • n11. Mingo de Larrea?