Spain: March 1527, 1-10

Pages 79-94

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 1527, 1-10

2 March.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien, Rep. P. C
Fasc. 227, No. 11.
32. Don Iñigo de Mendoça, Imperial Ambassador in England, to the Emperor.
Chateau arrived yesterday, 27 days after the first mandate which was sent by land. The King of England and Cardinal were so irritated (indignados) by the delay, that they have been several times on the point of breaking off the negotiations, being convinced that the Emperor was only temporizing. They are now somewhat appeased, as the instructions have come at last; but when informed by the ambassador that it was still necessary to await the arrival of a lawyer to examine the powers [of the other parties], the King declared that all this was simply an excuse for delay, and that the examination of the powers was quite immaterial, for the ratification of the articles agreed to by the contracting parties would be required before the conclusion of peace, and that he (the King) pledged himself to ratify whatever terms should be settled by the Cardinal on the part of the French, and by himself (Mendoça) on the part of the Emperor, taking care to support such parties as agreed to the settlement, not those who opposed it. The King said, moreover, that unless he (Mendoça) would at once declare his terms he would not enter upon the subject again, as it was evident that the Emperor would not keep the fair promises he had made him. This was said in a tone of regret, and as if the King might, in case of non-success, look out for other ways of ensuring peace.
Seeing from the King's manner that a hesitating policy would imperil the negotiations, and knowing that the French ambassadors are just arriving [in England] with very advantageous overtures, as it is said, Mendoça begged the King to wait 12 days longer for the arrival of the lawyer from Flanders, and undertook, should the said lawyer not make his appearance within that period, to come forward at the close of it, and declare his instructions, it being understood that the King of England promised to ratify, and also that the first overtures were to come from France. This was obtained with some difficulty. Thought Madame would surely despatch the lawyer within the 12 days; feigned illness when the time was over, and so 18 days more were gained. Was then summoned by the Cardinal, who said, "The King of England would certainty have much liked to see peace concluded here through his mediation; but as the Emperor seems not to desire this, there is no need for further discussion. The King, therefore, withdraws from the negotiations, and will now act Independently and as best suits his interests." The position having become so critical, Mendoça thought the non-arrival of the lawyer of far less importance than the rupture of the negotiations through it, and therefore replied that the Emperor had in no way deceived the King. He had certainly desired that a lawyer from Flanders should be present at the negotiations; but since his orders had not been complied with, he was ready to give up his point rather than let this interfere with the good understanding between the King and himself. If the other side would open the negotiations first, he (Mendoça) would come forward on his part.
It must be observed that some time before this the Cardinal had made the offer of one million in gold for the King of France, which offer he now increases to a million and a half. This Mendoça at once rejected, but told the Cardinal that if he would give his priestly word (jurarme en sus sacras ordenes) that the King and himself would preserve inviolable secrecy on the subject, he (Mendoça) would tell them the basis on which the Emperor would consent to negotiate peace, which was the fulfilment of all the engagements entered into with the Viceroy. Those conditions once accepted, he (Mendoça) would make certain declarations. To which the Cardinal replied, that unless the engagements were specified, no advance whatever could be made in the proceedings, and that the treaty of Madrid could no longer be a binding obligation, since by these fresh negotiations many of its clauses would be abrogated. This assertion Mendoça denied at once, saying that it was not credible that the other powers could make a proposal so unjust and so opposed to the ends of peace. The above preliminary conditions once accepted by the ambassadors of the contracting parties, his (Mendoça's) own declarations would be found to be so equitable and just that they would not afford any ground for repudiation. Upon which the Cardinal suggested the expediency of placing the Duchy of Milan in the hands of a third person, not of the Duke of Bourbon, as proposed, but in those of the King of England. Carefully avoided any allusion to this last point, or to the King's person, but said that the Duchy was now in the hands of the Emperor and of his army, and that until the legal right to its possession was decided upon, it might be held by the Duke of Bourbon himself. Thus ended that day's conference.
Waited another day on the King, who took him aside and said, "I marvel much at this continual postponement of the question on your part, as it is in direct contradiction to the tone of the Emperor's letters. Not a step has been advanced on the subject of the promises you once made to the Cardinal; the same obscurity hangs over the engagements which you say were taken with the Viceroy. As long as those engagements remain secret, it is evident that the Emperor may increase his demands at pleasure, and in such a way that we may be farther than ever from peace."
His (Mendoça's) answer was that he could not go further in his declaration. He was altogether ignorant of the promises made by the King of France to the Viceroy. He could not tell whether money had been offered, nor to what amount. It was for His Imperial Majesty to declare whether he was satisfied with the offer or not. Hearing this, the King said that if the whole affair were placed in his hands, he could manage to have the sum increased to two millions in gold. He then went on to speak about Milan, saying that it was the principal basis for the peace in contemplation; and that if the Emperor trusted to him, he would find the means of leaving the Duchy in the hands of Bourbon, to whom he was bound by friendship and alliance. His (Mendoça's) answer was so shaped as to conceal from the King our unwillingness to make him the umpire, or as it were the master of the Duchy.
After a good deal of discussion it was finally settled that the King would write to the Emperor disapproving of that clause in Mendoça's powers which says, "Citra revocationem aliorum procuratorum," and that the new powers for the conclusion of peace should contain the abrogation of all other treaties wheresoever made, so that the whole issue might be referred to England. Further, that in the said powers should be a clause appointing him arbitrator in case of any difference arising between the contracting parties. It must be said, however, that the King did not speak out on this last point as clearly as on the former.
The purport of this new embassy from France is at present unknown. Great preparations are being made for the reception of the ambassadors. In France it is openly stated that they come for the purpose of settling the marriage of the King of France with the daughter of England; and the fact that the Princess is coming here (to London) just at this moment gives some colour to the report. Many think that this King, unless hindered by these negotiations with the Emperor, would openly declare for the League; and the Imperialists fear that, though he may not actually make war upon Flanders, he will help our enemies as much as he can, and send money to Switzerland to raise there, and wherever else he can, troops at his own cost. All this is a mere rumour; the truth is unattainable for the Emperor's servants, all advices going straight to the French.
Thinks there are three points respecting which his instructions have enabled him to act advantageously for the Emperor's interests. The first is, that, having been privately instructed to say that unless the engagements formerly taken with the Viceroy were kept, he (Mendoça) could not proceed with the negotiations, the adverse party has been induced to propose this very thing. (fn. n1) The second, that though the Emperor alludes twice to the specification of the engagements entered into with the Viceroy as enclosed in this letter, this has never come to his (Mendoça's) hands, and thus, though he could well gather from certain passages in the Emperor's letter that the sum promised was two millions, yet he could plead ignorance on the subject, and, when hard pressed for an answer, leave the question open, and give the Emperor the opportunity of increasing his demands at pleasure. The third, that though placing no real trust in the King of England or Legate, he (Mendoça) has nevertheless been able to make great show of confidence by communicating to them that which he withheld from the other contracting parties, which precaution on his (Mendoça's) part seems to have sensibly influenced them both [the King and the Cardinal].
Thinks they are both waiting to see the terms offered by the Emperor before bringing their own forward. Believes that if in the answer expected by the next courier there should be any sign of further postponement of the question, they will become all the more urgent in their application. Was told lately by the King of England that he would rather the Emperor absolutely declined to conclude peace here than be constantly seeking for means of delay. Is convinced that the King of France will never make peace except through the King of England; the latter has so worked upon the King of France that, judging from the little that can be really known, the latter really believes that he can only extricate himself from his present difficulties by referring the settlement to this court. Yet, with all this, the King of France does not entirely place himself in this King's hands; were it so, the ambassador firmly believes that peace would never be concluded; for the King, finding that all this discord may turn greatly to his own profit, will throw every impediment in the way of peace, or else cause the Emperor to be a loser by it. Thinks upon the whole that it might be as well to conclude peace here and by this King's mediation as elsewhere, as, by so doing, this neighbour's friendship might be secured for the future. Should the Emperor agree to this, begs that another ambassador be sent to share the responsibility of such an act with him. On behalf of the King of France alone, there are no less than four (fn. n2) ambassadors of different ranks here, whilst he (Mendoça) is alone. Hopes the Emperor will clearly perceive from all this how very small a matter would suffice to cause a rupture in the negotiations. Begs him to give him (Mendoça) clear and full instruction as to the course he is to pursue. Ventures to say this, becase in his last letters the Emperor declares his willingness, on the conditions being accepted, to agree at once to peace, and yet forgets to tell him (Mendoça) the chief thing of all, namely, what were the engagements made with the Viceroy. The Emperor also promised to write to Madame to despatch a lawyer to England without delay, and Madame says that no such order has been sent her. Can only repeat that the greatest danger at this moment lies in delay.
Since the above the French ambassadors (fn. n2) have arrived and presented their credentials. Was summoned by the Cardinal, who stated that he was commissioned by the King of England to communicate to him (Mendoça) the proposals brought by the ambassadors, and the King's reply to them. The King, the Cardinal said, wished this communication to be made, that the Emperor might be convinced that he (the King) still felt his former attachment to, and reliance on, the Emperor, and paid no heed whatever to the many reports of the small trust placed by the Emperor in himself and the Cardinal. The ambassadors had spoken of three points. First, they had thanked the King for his good offices in procuring the liberation of their King. Secondly they had begged him to use the same good offices for procuring that of the sons of France. Thirdly, they had stated that their King having frequently besought the Emperor to send him Queen Leonor, his consort, and the Emperor having refused it, they now asked for the hand of the Princess, his daughter, for their King. To which the King [of England] had briefly replied that certainly he believed that his ambassadors [in Spain] had assisted in obtaining King Francis' liberation. He thanked the latter for his acknowledgment of this service, but said that such good offices were due from one Prince to another. He (the King of England), having been the first to set on foot the negotiations for peace, was especially bound to forward the same in every possible way, by obtaining the liberation of the King's sons on reasonable conditions. He thanked King Francis for offering to enter into such close relationship with himself, and for holding so flattering an opinion of the Princess as to be willing at her tender age to take her for his wife, but time must be given him to consider such a proposal, for that on no inducement whatever could he (the King of England) forsake his ancient alliances [with Spain], or do anything that might in the smallest degree impede the conclusion of peace, both general and private, between all Christian nations. With this the audience ended, the Cardinal said, and the ambassadors withdrew.
Was desired by the Cardinal to write home, stating, in the King's name, that no new alliances, if made, should ever affect the old ones in any way. Thanked the King and Cardinal most cordially; and begged them to pay no heed to any reports of the Emperor's want of confidence in them, as they must see that such reports were only spread by those who sought, by raising discord, to accomplish their own bad purposes. Said that the King's interposition for the setting King Francis at liberty had greatly influenced the Emperor in granting such liberty; that with regard to the giving up of the hostages the Emperor had sent him (Mendoça) powers to settle all points as soon as the French came forward with their own proposals. Had already informed them (the King and Cardinal) that he could entirely vindicate the Emperors course of action in this particular, and that the Emperor desired the conclusion of peace to take place in England. It had never occurred to the Emperor that King Henry could wish the conditions of peace to be to his disadvantage, having such good reason to place entire confidence in him. Under proper conditions the Emperor would rather give up the King of France's sons to him than to any other Prince in the world. As regarded the proposal of marriage, the Emperor had full reliance on the King's judgment and in his fidelity to his ancient allies. He was sure the King of England would act as was most suitable for the welfare of his own dominions, and most judicious in every respect. With the assurance that the Emperor valued King Henry's friendship and alliance before all others, and a solemn promise of communicating to his court all that had been done and said, Mendoça withdrew, and the conference was at an end.
Suspects that the Cardinal has made considerable advances on his own responsibility, and that the French ambassadors also made more advantageous proposals to him in private than when in the presence of the King and Council. It does not seem as if the negotiations were really to begin just yet, for if the Legate, in whose word he (Mendoça), however, places little trust has given a true account of the French ambassadors' proposals, and the King's answer to them, there is room to believe that King Francis has not offered the terms which they expected him to offer, since up to this time the King and Legate have been quite hostile to the Emperor, and yet now they say positively that nothing shall be allowed to interrupt their good understanding with him. Suspects, therefore what he has mentioned above, though it maybe that these smooth words hide some evil purpose. The Emperor will know best what inference to draw from all this; he (Mendoça) has but few friends here with whom he can advise.
Has since been told by the Legate himself that he has in his possession the new powers brought by these last French ambassadors, but that they decline entering into any negotiation whatsoever touching the engagements previously taken with the Viceroy without having them specified first, and knowing what they are. Was urged by the Legate to furnish such specification, but declined for the reasons above stated. It was finally settled that he (Mendoça) should write home and request the Emperor, in token of his approval of the negotiations for peace being conducted here, to send powers in which that clause should be omitted stipulating that all previous powers granted on this subject are to remain in full force; to specify at the same time the engagements entered into with the Viceroy, and to appoint the King of England arbitrator for the Duchy of Milan; in which last case, the Cardinal said, the Emperor's interests should receive more consideration than he could ever have expected. Limited his reply to stating that he would inform the Emperor of all that had passed at the conferences; so great was his attachment to the King of England that he (Mendoça) felt sure the Emperor would willingly do the King's pleasure.
All those who are well disposed towards the Emperor in this city consider the Legate's answer to the French ambassadors as most favourable to the Imperial interests. They think that as the King and Cardinal perceive that the Emperor really intends the negotiations to be carried on here, and that there is a prospect of their advancing quickly, a friendly feeling will be maintained. The King, they imagine, has so far pledged himself that, without breaking word and faith, he cannot fail the Emperor. On the other hand, those best acquainted with the King's character assure him (Mendoça) that if this Legate were not always at his side nothing would ever alienate his (the King's) affection from the Emperor, but that in reality the King follows the Legate's guidance in all things. Is therefore of opinion that the most important point of all is to propitiate the Legate. He has loudly complained to him (Mendoça) that his annual pension of nine thousand ducats has not been paid for the last five years. Believes if this could be set right, it would greatly forward the negotiations. All other offers made by him to the Legate in the Emperor's name have been courteously received, but rejected; considers this a bad sign.
The French ambassadors are working very energetically. It is reported that this King thinks of sending an embassy to France, and that some of the gentlemen of his chamber are to go thither and be admitted to the King of France's chamber, and vice versâ. With the gentlemen of his chamber, it is said that the King of France himself means to come to England.
Was informed by the Legate that the Emperor had lately sent a special messenger to the King of France with ample powers for concluding peace. The Legate hinted that peace would be much more effectually concluded here.
The ship which has been waiting set sail yesterday. On board of her was the Emperor's comptroller, to whom, on Madame's assurance and recommendation, and believing from his own observation that he is thoroughly to be trusted, he (Mendoça) has communicated much that is in these despatches. Should they be intercepted or otherwise lost, the Emperor may thus still receive full information their contents.— London, 2nd March 1527.
Signed: "Don Iñigo de Mendoça."
Spanish. Contemporary deciphering, pp. 16.
2 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 210.
B. M. Add. 28, 576,
f. 121.
32*. Secretary Perez to Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassdor at Genoa.
Has duly received his letter of the 16th February, together with its enclosures for the Viceroy and Cesaro Ferramosca. The last-named gentleman had already left Rome. Thanks him for the good news from Spain. If what he (Soria) tells him he true, all will go right well, and the intrigues in this city will cease. Otherwise it will be necessary for them both to be on the alert standing on one leg like the stork (en un pie como la grua).
Is glad to hear that all his letters, including that of the 26th of January, have reached their destination, with the exception of one of the 4th of the same month, for the loss of which he (Perez) can in no manner account. He must have received since those of the 11th and 24th of February.
The rejoicings and illuminations of the Florentines, when they heard of the Viceroy's supposed defeat and capture, were already known here [at Rome]. The whole of it, however, has proved to be a hoax (burla) of our enemies. The Viceroy is now quite safe at Chiprano (Ciprano), not far from the Pope's camp; he will not dismember his army to meet the attacks of the confederates on the kingdom of Naples, sure as he is that if he is successful in these parts nothing substantial can be achieved there. The news from Aquila remains the same. It is supposed that the Viceroy will make some agreement (concierto) with Count Montorio and with his sons.
Renzo da Ceri and Orazio Baglione have left with forces, for the Abruzzo and, it is added, will soon attack Sulmona. It is to be presumed that the Viceroy has already provided for the defence of a town which interests him so closely. (fn. n3) Andrea Doria was met at Puzzuolo by Don Ugo [de Moncada], who sank three of his galleys, and slew some of his people. Though favourable to our arms, this news requires confirmation.
The King of the Bean (el Rey de la Fava) is still at Ostia, (fn. n4) detained by illness; others say he was wounded in the last engagement. Has not been able to ascertain the truth of this matter.
The English ambassador (Sir John Russell), who was to have gone to Venice about the articles of the agreement with the Viceroy, fell from his horse and broke his leg on the road. He has since returned to Rome, but an answer is still expected from Venice, for after the ambassador's accident a courier went thither with his despatches, and another one has since been sent from Rome.
His Holiness seems very desirous of coming to terms with the Viceroy. That is the reason why he will not allow the general [of the Franciscans] to quit Belvedere, where he is at present, slightly indisposed, as it seems. The Pope expects that Ferramosca will speedily come back after delivering his message to the Viceroy, so as to be present when the answer of Venice arrives; but it is doubtful whether the Viceroy will let him come. In short, matters are in a precarious state, and everything will depend on Mons. de Bourbon's doings. If the remedy comes not from him, he (Perez) does not augur well for the future.
The news of the late popular commotion at Florence must already be known in Genoa. It appears that the Salviati, Strozzi, and Soderini had entered into a conspiracy against the present Government. It was, however, discovered, and some of the principal parties arrested. Then Cardinal Ridolfi went hence by post, and took measures to secure the city, which, they say, is in great fear of an attack from the lansquenets. The Florentines, however, have repaired the defences of their city, and brought in all the valuables and provisions in its immediate neighbourhood. A rumour is here current that Mons. de Bourbon is coming this way, and that the armies of the League are on his flanks and in front, to impede, if possible, his march as well as any attack he may make upon Modena, Bologna, and Florence, which they say he intends attacking. What Bourbon's real projects are, he (Soria) must know better, if it be true that 6,000 infantry are to be sent to him from Genoa, and that a quantity of provisions is also being stored at Carmona (Cremona).
Until now Bernaldino de Albornoz has not made his appearance. Does not know what to. think of it.—Rome, 2nd March 1527.
Signed: "Juan Perez."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 4.
3 March. 33. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 216.
B. M. Add. 28, 574,
f. 123.
Wrote on the 18th of February by the warder of Tarento (Felipe de Herrera), and by Captain Sancho Lopez, both of whom were going to, Spain. Encloses duplicate of his letters. Since then the Imperial army has continued to march as quickly as possible, making each day 10, 12, or 15 miles, which the men walk with pleasure, thinking they are going to Florence. They do not wait for bridges to be thrown across rivers, but cross by the usual fords. Today the army is to cross one (ribera) called La Panara, beyond Modena, where the Duke of Ferrara (Alfonso d'Este) has had a bridge prepared. To-morrow it will go to a district called Castel San Juan (San Giovanne), 12 miles from Bologna, to the left of the Roman causeway (estrada romana) leading to that city.
Towards the end of February a gentleman of the Duke of Bourbon, Mons. de Pelus (sic) by name, and he (the Abbot) came to Ferrara to request the Duke to take the command in chief of this army, and provide six pieces of ordnance with their complement of powder, ammunition, &c. for 100 discharges (disparos) each, some sacks of flour and other provisions, besides pioneers (gastadores), ox carts, &c. The Duke was to lend us, besides, 4,000 cr. (escudos) for the pay of the two companies of Spanish infantry, now at Carpi, in order that they might, after delivering up that town to the Duke, join the Imperial army. Every one of these requests has been readily granted by the Duke, except the one relating to his own person, as, he says, he is not just now in a condition to take the command of the Imperial forces, his health not being sufficiently good to bear fatigue. Besides which, the moment the Imperial army evacuates his territory he is sure to be attacked by the confederates, as they have done at other times. Seeing this, the gentleman of Mons. de Bourbon (Pelu) and he (the Abbot) invited him to come to Castel San Giovanne, speak to Mons. de Bourbon, and offer his advice as to the best road to take. It has been settled that he is to start to-morrow morning, and meet Bourbon at Finale, a, town belonging to him, 12 miles from Castel San Juan (San Giovanne), on the confines of the Modenese and Bolognese territories. So that, the Duke of Ferrara, after all, will not inspect the Imperial army as we anticipated. (Cipher:) The true cause of this— though the Duke has not mentioned it — must be that he is afraid of being pressed to take the command of an army like this, which has not been paid for so long a time, as the soldiers might mutiny, and seize him until their arrears are paid, he (the Duke) having the reputation of being a very rich man. By means of this and similar arguments two Papal agents, Count Hugo de Populi (sic) and Mons. d' Esten, lieutenant to the Marquis of Saluzzo, have been trying very hard to detach the Duke Alfonso from the Imperial service. The Duke showed them the investiture deed of Carpi, and his own nomination to the post of captain-general of the Spanish armies, and told them that he could not serve any one but the Emperor, with which answer he dismissed them, only three hours before Mons. de Pelu and he (the Abbot) reached Ferrara.
(Common writing:) This Duke is not very much pleased with Don Hugo [de Moncada], because in the articles of the agreement made with him only 100 lances and 200 light horse were stipulated as his war contingent; and the proposal that his pay as captain-general of the Imperial armies in Italy should be charged upon the revenues of Carpi until the marriage of his son (Hercole d' Este) to the Emperor's daughter (Margaret) should take place; also because Don Hugo denied him the power of raising 1,000 infantry for his own body guard in time of war. Mons. de Bourbon, however, in consideration of the Duke's personal qualities and importance, and of the great value of his aid in the present undertaking, is thinking of granting him the 100 lances and 200 horse, in ordinary, besides the 1,000 foot in time of war; also that he may hold Carpi in the Emperor's name, and by way of dower (sub nomine dotis), and keep an account of its income, as well as of the annual expenses involved in keeping it, so that His Imperial Majesty may see whether any part of it can be saved towards his pay as captain general. He does this in the hope that the Emperor will approve and confirm the whole. True, the Duke says that in this, as in all other matters, he is satisfied with what the Emperor has granted him already, and that he wishes for nothing more; but he (the Abbot) knows better, and as it is very important just now to secure the Duke's co-operation and services, does not hesitate to recommend his case as strongly as he can.
(Cipher:) Mons. de Bourbon has asked this Duke to advance him 35,000 cr. (escudos), which are required for issuing one half-pay to the Spaniards, and one cr. per head to the Germans, besides five cr. to the men-at-arms, and, if possible, half-pay also to the light cavalry; as otherwise, he says, it will be almost impossible for his army to enter Florence, a sterile country without food or provisions of any sort. The soldiers, though marching in good humour, as aforesaid, now and then clamour for their pay, and have advanced as far as San Juan (Castel San Giovanne) in the hope of receiving at least a portion of their arrears. Should the Duke refuse what is asked of him, Mons. de Bourbon will be placed in a very awkward position, and there is no knowing what determination he may come to.
(Common writing:) News from Rome and Florence. Revolution in the latter place. Ridolfi sent thither by the Pope. Cardinal Rangone is to come to Modena, where his brother Guido already is with nearly 3,000 men, to guard against an attack from the Duke of Ferrara. The Venetians have undertaken to defend Piacenza and Parma with 5,000 men; the Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere) is very ill at a place in the marquisate of Mantua, called Castion.
The Marques of Saluzzo (Francesco) is with his force close to Bologna, intending to enter that city and defend it, should our army make an attempt on it; but from what he (the Abbot) hears, the citizens are unwilling to admit any troops inside for fear the Imperialists should come and lay waste the land, destroying the gardens and palaces in its neighbourhood. So much is it so, that the other day, as some of the citizens were sending certain provisions to the Marquis's camp outside, another party of citizens went out and took them away.
Il Guiçardino (Guicciardino) is gone to Florence with Frederigo di Bozano (Bozzolo) and Count Gayaço. They take with them about 3,000 men, and their plan is to fortify the city. It is to be hoped that Mons. de Bourbon will not give them time for it. The Pope's officers are there making arrests, and, as he has been told, executing persons concerned in the last revolution. Even from Venice people daily come flying to this camp for fear of being arrested, as has been the case lately with a Florentine doctor who was a refugee (foraœido) there.
Has no advices from Milan; the roads that lead to Parma, Piacenza, and Cremona being completely in the hands of our enemies, it is not easy to know what is going on there.
Signor Ferdinando Gonzaga joined this army on the 28th of February, and is already organising his company of men-at-arms.
Count Agamonte (Egmont), who was with the Viceroy at Chiprano (Ciprano), embarked at Ortonomar (Ortonamare), and arrived here on the 1st inst. in company with Don Alonso de Cordova and other Spanish gentlemen. Has heard that the Count (Egmont) has been appointed captain-general of the light horse in the room of the Prince of Orange (Philibert de Chalon), whom Mons. de Bourbon had first nominated to that post. The Prince is to have instead the command of the vanguard of the men-at-arms, and must for the present be satisfied with that.
This Imperial army musters now 700 lances, 800 light horse, 10,000 Germans, 5,000 Spaniards, and upwards of 3,000 Italians, all good soldiers. We have an immense baggage, and waggons innumerable, so that each man may have his own provisions at hand. There are, besides, four large guns, and the 12 pieces of light artillery which the Duke of Ferrara gave on a previous occasion to George Frenespergh (Fruntsperg). If the six guns which we have applied for here are given to us, we may perhaps leave the whole or the greater part of the light artillery behind.—Ferrara, 3rd March 1527.
Signed: "El Abad de Najera."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1527. The Abbot of Najera. From Ferrara, 3rd March."
Spanish. Holograph partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp, 8.
8 March. 34. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 228.
B. M. Add. 28, 576,
f. 127.
Having written to Court on the 24th and 25th Feb. by triplicate through Ferrara, France, and Genoa, there is no need for him to sum up the intelligence contained in those despatches, as they must all have reached Spain.
Since the accident which happened to the English ambassador (Sir John Russell), and the forwarding of his despatches by another courier, no answer has come from Venice, although one is expected every day. (Cipher:) The general of the Franciscans has assured him (Perez) that the Pope is as desirous of peace as ever, and determined to treat with him and Cesaro (Ferramosca) without waiting for the answer from Venice. (Common writing:) He bas lately sent for the latter, and for Don Ugo [de Moncada] as well, begging them to come to Rome, for which purpose he has forwarded safe-conducts. It is doubtful whether they will come; at all events they are anxiously expected. One thing, however, is quite clear, namely, (cipher) that if they do come [to Rome] the negotiations cannot be conducted so favourably for the Emperor as at first, since the Pope appears to have changed his mind on this score, and asserts in public that truce or peace must now be made on equal terms without the demand of money or securities from him or his allies, as wag stipulated at first. The general, however, tells him (Perez) that the Pope will give money in the end; only he does not wish this condition to be recorded in the articles of the treaty.
The Viceroy is still at Chiprano (Ciprano), daily increasing his forces, and having abundance of provisions. Not so the Pope's camp close by, for such is the scarcity of every article of food in it, that men are continually deserting and returning home, where, however, they are not admitted for fear of their being seen by the Romans. It is generally believed here that, owing to this and other causes, the Pope's camp will breakup in 15 or 20 days at the latest, though in the meanwhile they are doing all they can to keep it up by sending provisions and so forth.
It is asserted that Renzo da Ceri has penetrated into the Abruzzo by the county of Tallacoz (Tagliacozzo), and taken several castles there. Ascanio Colonna is in that neighbourhood with forces, but we do not know what he can do to stop the progress of the enemy.
In order to remedy the mishap at Aquila, the Viceroy set Count Montorio free on parole, and gave him 60 horse to return and reduce that city into obedience. Two sons of the Count were inside; having heard their father's arrival, they rode all night, surprised him in his bed, robbed the horses of his escort, and took him prisoner [to Aquila]. Many, however, suspect that all this has been planned beforehand, and that father and sons are in the plot.
Aquila is therefore at the disposal of the Pope, who has there a Vice-Legate, without whose orders, or those of the sons [of Count Montorio], nothing is done. This Perez has learned from the Regent, Juan Bartholomé de Gattinara, who happened to pass through Aquila, and saw it all He is now at Rome waiting for a safe-conduct from His Holiness to go to Mons. de Bourbon. This has been granted, and the Pope for greater security proposes sending one of his own chamberlains with him, though on the other hand it is said that he will not let Gattinara go so easily.
Mons. de Bourbon on the 3rd inst. was in the Modenese. It is believed here [at Rome] that he will take the road to Romagna and thence go to Naples, and that he will abandon for the present all other designs he may have. He (Perez) thinks, on the contrary, that he will carry out his plans, whatever they may be, without heeding the kingdom of Naples, which the Viceroy is quite able to defend whenever be thinks advisable.
Andrea Doria with the galleys of the League went to Puzzuolo, and landed one afternoon 1,000 hackbutiers, who attacked one of the suburbs and took it after some hours fight, assisted by the filing of his galleys. A message was then sent to Naples to Don Ugo, who, coming suddenly with infantry and cavalry, drove the enemy out of the suburb, taking from them two banners and two pieces of ordnance, besides 100 men who remained dead on the field, whilst several more were drowned in the attempt to reach the galleys. No news of the enemy's fleet has been received since, except that he is still on that coast. Respecting the brother of the Duke of Lorraine (Count Vaudemont) various conflicting reports are about; some say that he is ill or wounded at Ostia; others that he is dead, and that his body has been brought here to Rome, and buried at a monastery within the city.
He (Perez) has so incurred the Pope's displeasure on several accounts that he does not consider himself safe at Rome. Besides the presentation to the College of Cardinals of the Emperor's letter about the Council, which, as stated elsewhere, gave the Pope great offence, he (Perez) is accused of having been in treaty with Count Petillano (Pitigliano), and with his son-in-law, a son of Cardinal Frenesis (Farnese), for the purpose of creating a revolution at Bitervo (Viterbo) and Orbieto, and making those cities declare for the Emperor. The Pope not only gave credit to this false report, but told Commander Aguilera, who repeated it to him (Perez), that if it were not for the Emperor's sake he would have had him thrown into a dungeon (empozar). Told Commander Aguilera, that he might repeat it to His Holiness, that he (Perez) was quite innocent of the charge, for that the only thing he had done was to write a letter to the Viceroy in commendation of the Cardinal Farnese's son, who had called two or three times on him, begging he would favour his suit, as he wished to enter the Imperial service. The Viceroy never answered his letter, and, therefore, he is not aware that his recommendation was attended to. Though the Pope, on hearing these excuses, seemed to be pacified, according to Commander Aguilera's report, he (Perez) has reason to believe that he is still very angry.
The King of France's chamberlain (fn. n5) is expected here every day, as the report is that he has passed through Lyons, and is coming straight to Savona. He brings, they say, 35,000 cr. (escudos) in specie, and the promise of considerable forces.
(Cipher:) Micer Agustin Folleta (Foglieta) had the other day a long conversation with the general [of the Franciscans], who was enchanted with him. He is the Emperor's most devoted servant, and has been very useful in various ways ever since the days of Don Juan Manuel.
(Common writing:) The general [of the Franciscans] left Belvedere at the beginning of Lent for Araceli, a monastery of his order. He has, however, since returned, for the Pope wishes him to be close to him, that they may discuss present affairs, &c.
(Cipher:) His Holiness no doubt wishes to have by him men of authority to represent the Emperor in the pending negotiations, as that is likely to give greater importance to his own Nuncios in Italy as well as in France. This would make it look as if he himself were being solicited by the Emperor, and enable him to get more help and money from his allies. Has been told that the Venetians offer to give him 30,000 cr. every month, in addition to their own expenses, provided he (the Pope) rejects the agreement. This may be true, but if the Pope comes to terms, it is almost certain that Venice will also accept them, for it is not to be presumed that they will go on making war single-handed.— Rome, 8th March 1527.
P.S.—The messengers who went in quest of Ferramosca and Don Ugo have just returned [to Rome] without them. Neither would come; at which several good servants of His Imperial Majesty are exceedingly glad, as this refusal will most likely tend to his greater glory and reputation. One of the said messengers said to him (Perez) that nobody [at Ciprano] spoke of the Aquila affair in the terms above mentioned. On the contrary, the general belief was that Count Montorio had expelled his own sons and their adherents from Aquila, and that the city has since returned to the Emperor's obedience.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: "Catholicæ Maiestati."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1527. From Rome. Perez. 8th March. Answered."
Spanish. Holograph partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet, pp. 3.


  • n1. "Que la misma parte, sin saber que yo lo pido, ella de suyo veniese enofrecerlo."
  • n2. The Bishop of Tarbes newly arrived from Spain, the Viscount of Turenne and Mr. Le Vystc. Gioachino Passano being still accredited to the Court of England, there were actually four French ambassadors at this time.
  • n3. Charles de Lannoy was Prince of Sulmona at this time.
  • n4. Meaning the Count of Vaudemont, of the house of Lorraine, whom the Pope had about this time appointed King of Naples and Sicily. Rey de la Faba is the title generally given in Spain—and I believe in most Catholic countries—to whomsoever gets the bean (faba) in the division of the twelfthcake on the night of the Epiphany. The person so favoured is proclaimed King by the assembled guests, who jest and laugh at the expense of the so elected monarch.
  • n5. Langeay or De Langes, as he is generally named in this correspondence.