Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 4 Part 2, 1531-1533. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1882.
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This Part, II. of the 4th volume, embraces a period of three years, from January 1531 to the end of December 1533, — a momentous one, indeed, for the political relations between England and Spain. At its beginning the two sons of Francis I. were still hostages in Spain, kept, as it were, in bondage for their father's ransom. Louise de Savoie and Margaret of Austria had not yet met together to negociate the peace of Cambray; Italy was striving to secure her independence; the divorce suit had not been advoked to Rome, and Clement VII. himself was undecided as to which was his best policy, whether to lean on the side of the Empire or on that of France. At Rome — then the centre of European politics — the Emperor's general affairs were still conducted by Miçer Miguel Mai, occasionally assisted by Praët, by cardinals Quiñones, Merino, and Loaysa, as well as by a host of minor agents, such as Muxetula, Ortiz, and others, all of whom were evidently straining every nerve to remove Clement's scruples in the matter of the divorce, and fix his hesitating policy. The treaty concluded in Barcelona, in June 1527, with its two secret clauses, importing the subjection of Florence, and the advocation of the divorce suit to Rome, seemed to incline the balance in favour of Charles, who during his visit to Italy and subsequent coronation at Bologna, obtained further concessions from Clement, besides a most solemn promise that Katharine's case, and the convocation of a General Council—the two pivots on which his policy at the time revolved, should be attended to in preference. No sooner, however, was the Emperor's back turned, than with a vacillation and cunning, of which the tortuous diplomacy of the XVIth century offers too many examples, Clement entirely forgot his promise, and invented all manner of ingenious subterfuges to evade his formal engagements. As the pages of this Calendar will show, the convocation of the Council did not take place during Clement's pontificate, the matrimonial cause remained unsettled, and in spite of Papal briefs and formal excommunications, Henry caused his marriage with Katharine to be dissolved, and secretly married Anne Boleyn in February 1533.
On the whole Mai's position at Rome as Charles' ambassador, and Katharine's procurator at the same time, must have been a difficult one. Ever since his arrival in 1529, two years after the sack of that city by Bourbon's ruthless bands, he had conducted the Emperor's affairs in a manner highly creditable to himself, and given unequivocal signs of his prudence and wisdom, as well as of thorough knowledge of Roman politics and men. His opinion of Clement was by no means favourable. He would never trust him, nor believe in his professions of devotion to the Emperor, whilst his official despatches are filled with observations more or less sharp, and at times irreverent, upon his character and behaviour. He accused him of sordid avarice, of unfaithfulness in his dealings with Charles, and, what is more, of low cunning in all his acts. "My private opinion of the Holy Father, "is that Your Majesty cannot rely too much on his "professions. As to the probability of getting assistance "from him, or money for your wants, it is entirely "out of the question. On this particular I am far "from sharing the opinion of those Privy Councillors. "who at Barcelona, whilst I myself was there, thought "the thing feasible. Unless Florence is positively re"stored to him and to his family, the Medici,—thus "increasing his power and reputation, which as your "Majesty knows, is very low just now,—he will not "disburse a 'quatrino,' and even then, there will be "some difficuly in getting it out of him. The man is "sordidly avaricious, and low-minded, and, therefore, your "Imperial Majesty would do well in handing over to him, "as his perquisite, a good portion of the revenues of "the Crusade, perhaps also anything else he may ask "for. In past times many concessions might have "been got out of him by sheer intimidation; nowadays "another tack should be followed, for were we to press "him too hard, there is danger of his going over to the "opposite side, besides which some consideration and "respect are after all due to him as supreme head of the "Christian Church." (fn. n2)
Whatever efforts Mai may have made to forward his master's interests at Rome, one thing is quite clear and manifest from the despatches abstracted in both parts of the present volume; they were counteracted, and almost defeated, by the Church party within the Roman embassy itself. It has been said elsewhere (fn. n3) that from the very beginning of his reign, and particularly since his election to the empire, in June 1519, Charles had always two sorts of ambassadors at Rome, one laic, another ecclesiastic. Fray Francisco Fernandez de Quiñones, the general of the Franciscans, better known as Cardinal Santa Croce, shared first the diplomatic duties of the duke of Sessa (Don Luis Fernandez de Cordoba). Then came Giovan Antonio Muxetula, a priest, who during Clement's stay at Viterbo, and before the latter re-entered his capital, was employed on a mission, the nature of which is not exactly explained. Cardinal Merino was the next, and after him, in May 1530, arrived the bishop of Osma, Charles' confessor. (fn. n4) With all these—most particularly with Muxetula and Loaysa—Mai was at variance, the consequence being, as he himself says, that "either from selfish motives, "from vanity, or from personal affection to Clement,— "who knew too well how to flatter, and gain them over "to his views,—every one of those ministers thwarted "his politics, and not unfrequently undid the good he "had worked."
His differences with Loaysa seem to have been very great in 1530. Of that remarkable ecclesiastic, formerly bishop of Osma (1525–32), afterwards of Siguenza (1532–8), and lastly archbishop of Seville, confessor of Charles V. and Cardinal in 1529, (fn. n5) enough has been said in the Introduction to Part I. pp. xii. and xiii. He arrived at Rome in May 1530, and stayed there until the end of October 1532. His original correspondence, at least a good portion of that preserved at Simancas, (fn. n6) was published in 1848, at Berlin, with a German translation by Dr. Heine. (fn. n7) Loaysa's despatches to the Emperor bear the stamp of an accomplished prelate and scholar, well versed in political science, and in the manners and ways of the Imperial court. His letters are well written, but perhaps in too familiar a form; his advice, though generally good and sound, is often tendered in authoritative language, more befitting the confessor than Charles' ambassador at Rome; in fact he always assumes the tone of a warm spiritual adviser, and not unfrequently upbraids his Imperial pupil as if he were his tutor, and had charge of his political education. All tends to prove that Loaysa loved the Emperor sincerely, and did his best to ensure the success of the mission entrusted to him. During that momentous period of time, when the Emperor's affairs in Germany were taking a bad turn; when a second and more formidable Turkish invasion was at hand; when the clamours for a General Council resounded everywhere except at Rome, and the Imperial ministers in that court were persistently asking for brisk action and prompt sentence in the English matrimonial cause, Cardinal Loaysa, as well as Miçer Mai, not unfrequently counselled the postponement of the former, as well as the suspension of the proceedings in the latter. And yet with all this Loaysa respected and liked Clement, and had a much better opinion of him than his colleague in the Roman embassy, whose occasional unkind aspersions have been transcribed elsewhere. (fn. n8) On the 16th of February 1531, after the rejection by the cardinals in Consistory of the excusator's application, Loaysa wrote to the High Commander: "The Pope is exceedingly circumspect, and almost timid "in this affair of Henry's divorce, whether from fear "of that king or from excessive prudence I cannot "exactly say. He certainly loves his Imperial Majesty "more than any other prince in Christendom, nay than "all of them put together, and though fear, as I say, "or some other sentiment, that I will not attempt to "describe, may occasionally have caused him to do and "say things open to misconstruction, yet I must declare "to your Lordship that his goodwill is apparently strong, "firm, and decided in all things concerning His "Majesty. Such being the case, as I have no doubt it "is, we must take him at his words, keep him carefully "on such terms, cherish and flatter him, for after all "I do not hesitate to say that the Emperor, our master, "and his brother the King of the Romans, have no "greater friend in the world." After which he adds: "Should Miçer Mai write home contradicting this opinion "of mine, and estimate of his Holiness' qualities and "conduct in the affair, and aver that he is not "friendly towards us, he must not be believed entirely." Again, on the 4th of December, when at the request of the English ambassadors Karne's rejection was about to be re-considered, and a day appointed for the King's proctors to dispute the case, Loaysa exculpates Clement in these words: "My impression is that in this "business of the matrimonal cause the wishes and "intentions of his Holiness are exactly the same as "your Majesty's would be, if you were the judge. He "feels as much for the Queen, and shows as much "compassion for her as if he were her own father; "and yet the affair being so mighty and important, "he prefers proceeding in it with caution, and step by "step, until he can bring the English King under his "immediate jurisdiction, and persuade him to send "lawyers and canonists to plead for him. Such are "his Holiness' intentions at present, but I cannot help "saying, in pursuance of my duty, that Miçer Mai, "though a worthy man, is no more fit for his task, as "your Majesty's proctor, than I myself am for the "command of one of your galleys." (fn. n9)
No further proofs need be adduced of Loaysa's and Mai's conflicting opinions respecting Clement. The former excused his too frequent tergiversations on the plea of timidity, and fear of England and France, and thought that the Emperor and his brother could not possibly have a better friend, whereas honest and rude Mai entirely disbelieved in his protestations, and saw nothing but duplicity and low cunning in all his acts. No wonder, therefore, that with such elements of discord among the Imperial ministers in Rome, the two grave questions of "Divorce "and "Council" did not take the turn that Charles wished.
Mai's dissensions with Muxetula were still graver, since they took at one time the proportions of a regular feud. Not only did he accuse him of complicity with Clement to defeat the Emperor's views, but charged him once with being positively sold to the Pope, and doing nothing except what was agreeable to him. He it was who first dissuaded Clement from listening to the Emperor's suggestions about the General Council. If the proposed assembly did not take place, "it was as much Muxetula's fault "as the Most Christian King's." So devoted was he to the Papal interests that when Clement's nuncio at the Imperial court, Baldassar Castiglione, died (Nov. 1529), he was, though a Neapolitan by birth, and the Emperor's born vassal, on the point of being chosen as his successor. At Bologna, during Charles' coronation, he was presented by Clement with a "balliato" yielding 3,000 crs. annually, besides a good pension and a rich benefice in the kingdom of Naples, whilst a nephew of his, the son of a "fuoruscito," sentenced as a rebel, and himself attached to the French party, was by him placed about Clement's person, as chamberlain, that he might hear and report the conversations of the Imperial ministers, his colleagues. "In this manner (wrote Mai on the 30th of April) I have "often found the Pope to be perfectly well acquainted "with facts and matters that have been discussed in "his (Muxetula's) presence between Cardinal Loaysa, "Don Pedro de la Cueva, and myself, or else with my "own conversations with Andrea del Burgo in the Pope's "antechamber. As he himself has obtained apartments "in the Papal Palace, if he ever hears that I am having "audience from his Holiness, he immediately presents "himself, and I cannot say a word without his taking "part in the conversation; and, strange to say, if I "happen to transact private business of Your Majesty, "obtain the promise of a bishopric for one of your "servants, gain a suit at the Rota, get a dispensation, "or make a settlement of any sort, he dispatches forth-"with a messenger, or writes to the interested parties "complimenting them on their success, and attributing "all the merit to himself "!
Such grave charges are no doubt exaggerated, and yet, as both Colonna and Loaysa at one time joined more or less in the accusation, there must have been some ground for it. (fn. n10) That the former of those personages—a sworn enemy of Clement and of the Medici, then ruling with viceregal authority over Naples—should write disparagingly of an ecclesiastic, who whilst holding benefices, and a high post in the judicature of that kingdom, besides the Emperor's commission at Rome, was reported to be the Pope's trusty friend and confidant, is not to be wondered at, (fn. n11) but that a Spanish cardinal and archbishop, once the Emperor's confessor, should also join in the attack, makes us naturally think that there must have been causes for so much vituperation.
On the 30th of April 1532, some imprudent revelations of Muxetula to Andrea del Burgo, Ferdinand's ambassador at Rome, widened still more the breach between them. Upon the latter complaining that Clement's engagements towards his master, the king of the Romans, had not been fulfilled, and that if justice were not done he should be obliged to report home, and complain of the Pope's coldness and indifference, as his colleague Mai had already done upon more than one occasion, Muxetula said, after trying to exculpate Clement: "As "an Italian and a countryman of yours, I will tell you "a great secret, but only on condition that you will "not reveal it to any one." He then proceeded to say that Clement had certainly been the Emperor's best friend at Bologna, but since then his affection for him had greatly diminished. The reasons for such a change were, 1stly: That though the Emperor had promised to his Holiness at Bologna to decide the Ferrara claims in his favour, or else to leave them unsettled as they were, he had actually arbitrated against him. 2ndly. That the Emperor was evidently trying to settle his own affairs with the Lutherans without informing him thereof. 3rdly. That Cardinal Pompeo Colonna, his sworn enemy, was maintained in the vice-royalty of Naples, where he was doing all he could to annoy him, &c (fn. n12)
Such were Muxetula's revelations to Miçer Andrea del Burgo, revelations which the latter failed not to communicate under reserve to his friend and colleague, and of which the High Commander Covos was hastily informed. They must have brought on Muxetula's recall from Borne, for on the 20th of October, 1530, he asked to be allowed to quit Rome, on the plea that the principal business, for which he had gone, was nearly over, and on the 1st of Sept. 1531 Mai wrote to that secretary: "I thank your lordship very much for bringing about Muxetula's recall." (fn. n13) He, however, stayed at Rome till October 1532, in what character is not known, leaving that city some time before Clement started on his second journey to Bologna.
Doctor Pedro Ortiz, with whom Mai had also to contend, was a man of a different stamp, and sincerely attached to the Emperor; yet his disagreement with the Imperial ambassadors assumed at one time great proportions, and, as may naturally be inferred, contributed powerfully to the confusion and discord reigning in the Emperor's councils. As long as he limited himself, as Katharine's proctor and solicitor, to plead her cause at the Rota, present allegations in her defence, see the Pope, and speak to Cardinals and Auditors of that ecclesiastical court, all went smoothly enough; but when there came a change in Charles' politics, and he himself was instructed to relax, and not press the matter so hard, Ortiz would not hear of it, disregarding entirely both the Imperial injunctions and the advice of his own colleagues at Rome. If Clement's policy was wavering, that of the Emperor was no less so at times. His desire of conciliation even during his quarrel with England, is notorious and manifest. Had Henry accepted with sincerity any of the compromises offered to him before his marriage to Anne Boleyn, there is sufficient ground to conclude that the Emperor would have quietly pocketed the gross insult, for such it was, offered to his aunt, rather than lose the alliance of England, without which he could not successfully cope with his bitter enemy, the Most Christian King. Hence it was that, when all hope of securing Henry's friendship was lost to him, he turned towards France, and cherishing an idea first started at Rome, of a marriage between Mary, the Infanta of Portugal, and the duke of Angoulême, with the dukedom of Milan as a dower, after Sforza's death, he set about trying to separate both countries from each other's interests. The better to detach Francis from the English alliance, a brilliant offer was made to the former, though in an underhand way. Before and after issuing his brief of excommunication and interdict against Henry and his kingdom, Clement had always insisted upon all the Christian princes in general, and the Emperor in particular, as the most interested party, helping practically towards its execution. Francis, it was suggested, as Most Christian King, would perhaps undertake the charge in union with Charles, and seize Calais. The alliance between England and France would then be dissolved, Charles and Katharine revenged. The idea was first started at Rome by Clement's friends, most likely with his initiative, and communicated to Cifuentes, who wrote at once to Charles and Covos about it. It was approved in Spain, and there seems to have been some talk of it with the French ambassador at the Imperial court; but Francis did not take the bait, and matters remained as they were before.
Dr. Ortiz was ignorant of these underhand negociations. Proud of his theological lore, (fn. n14) as well as of his position in the Roman Court, as advocate and proctor of the persecuted Queen, with whom and with the Empress Isabella he maintained a correspondence, he could not understand why Katharine's cause, which seemed to him so clear and so just, should be abandoned, and perhaps lost, through official carelessness and change of politics; and though seriously reproved in January 1532, and expressly bidden not to mix himself up with civil and political affairs that did not concern him, without previous consultation with the Spanish ambassadors, he went on as before calling almost daily on Clement, who perceiving the discord found his interest in fomenting it, whilst Ortiz kept doing and saying things which, in Loaysa's words, were highly injurious to the Imperial interests at Rome. With a vanity amounting almost to ridiculous conceit, he frequently took in processions and other ecclesiastical ceremonies the place reserved for ambassadors, (fn. n15) and though severely reprimanded by that Cardinal and by Mai, he made himself so obnoxious that they had to complain to the Emperor and to Covos of the nuisance. (fn. n16) He was not, however, recalled, but, as will be seen, continued at Rome until after Katharine's death, and long after the divorce suit had naturally fallen to the ground.
In November 1530, Don Pedro de la Cueva, the Emperor's chamberlain and Privy Councillor, as well as High Commander of Alcantara—one of the four military orders of Spain, — arrived at Rome on a mission from Charles. Don Pedro was the son of Don Beltran, first duke of Alburquerque, by his third wife Doña Maria de Velasco. (fn. n17) According to the letter of his instructions, (fn. n18) dated Augsburg, the 30th of October, he was to ask Clement for the fulfilment of certain promises made during his coronation at Bologna, among which was the creation of three cardinals, Seville, Capua, and Monaco, to whom another candidate might be added, namely Alfonso de Fonseca, the archbishop of Toledo. (fn. n19) In case of refusal he was respectfully to remind the Pope of his engagements, and tell him that only a few months ago a Cardinal's hat had been bestowed on Gabriel de Grammont, bishop of Tarbes, and Francis' ambassador at Rome, whose nomination had not met with general approbation. He was, moreover, to insist upon the convocation of the General Council according to promise.
Cueva's mission, as regarded the General Council and the Cardinals' hats, proved a most arduous task, inasmuch as Clement's general dislike of the former, his numerous subterfuges, and dilatory expedients to put off its convocation, were notorious, whilst just at the same time the English ambassadors at Rome were strongly recommending Ghinucci and Casale, the Prothonotary, for that high dignity of the Church.
How far Don Pedro was successful in his mission, his despatches to the Emperor and letters to Covos, will sufficiently show. After several consultations and consistories held for the purpose, the convocation of a General Council was agreed upon. Prothonotary Umberto di Gambara was deputed to the Emperor, then in the Netherlands, to inquire about certain doubtful points, such as the place of meeting of the Council, the attendance personal, or by proxy, of Henry and Francis at its deliberations, and other minor details, which, from the disposition and probable disagreement of the parties concerned, Clement knew too well would effectually mar and impede the meeting of the assembly. Gambara started off on the 20th of December, but made so little progress in his journey that he did not arrive in Brussels till the end of January 1531. "In all probability," said Cueva on the 24th," the Prothonotary's journey will be a long one; he "will take his time on the road, and therefore unless "proper pressure is exercised on his Highness, both here "and there with his legate, the convocation of the Council "will be put off 'ad calendas Græcas.'"
Soon after this, at the end of 1530 or beginning of 1531, Don Pedro, highly disgusted with the lawyers and churchmen of that capital,—"long-robed gentlemen," as he graphically calls them,—left Rome, to join the Emperor's court, and be present at Ferdinand's coronation as King of the Romans at Aix-le-Chapelle. On the very day of the Prothonotary's departure, who (he says) "takes with him "a good chapter of accidents, besides books to found his "arguments upon, and several treacherous expedients," Don Pedro had written to Covos: "I beg and entreat that "the very moment this matter of the Council is settled, "an express be sent to me with the news, that I may quit "Rome at once, for I can assure your lordship the life I "lead here is not to my taste. I would rather pay down "a good sum of money to our master's exchequer, and be "allowed to share with you the fatigues of the approaching campaign, than have to lead a quiet and luxurious "life among these scoundrels of churchmen." (fn. n20)
In October 1532 Cueva was again sent to Rome. This time his mission had no reference, as in the preceding year, to the Council. (fn. n21) The situation of Germany had considerably improved; the Turkish invasion had been repulsed; the German princes, in general, were less refractory, and unless stirred up to arms by Francis and Henry for their own particular aims and advantage, there was some chance of their not interfering with Charles' political views and plans elsewhere, in Europe. The Lutherans themselves, if allowed the free exercise of their creed, felt disposed to waive all other claims. At this time, too, an interview between Henry and Francis at Calais and Boulogne, where a closer alliance of the two kings, designs and plans more or less hostile, would undoubtedly be discussed, was in preparation, or had already begun. To counteract which, and to arrest the impending evil, Charles had written to Clement from Brussels proposing an interview either at Piacenza in Lombardy, or at Genoa. If Clement, still delicate, and wishing to avoid the fatigue of a long journey, preferred Rome, the Emperor had no objection to go thither on his way to Naples, and previously to his return to Spain by sea. At a consistory held for the purpose in October, the majority of the cardinals voted for Rome; Clement, however, chose Bologna, and on the 10th of November, though in indifferent health owing to a return of his old complaint, left his capital, followed by a numerous train of cardinals. Of the conferences, which lasted from the 10th to the 26th of February 1533, we have no special account, but their result may be inferred from the Emperor's letters to Isabella of Portugal; further promises and new engagements on the part of Clement, all, or nearly all, being broken in succession. (fn. n22)
Whether Don Pedro, had, or had not, any other charge on this occasion, is not easy to determine. Neither Mai's despatches, nor the instructions, adduced by Sandoval (fn. n23) as a proof of Charles' love of justice and fervid Catholicism, of his righteous intentions concerning the convocation of a General Council, and the quelling of German dissensions in matters of faith, are sufficiently explicit on that point; and yet we cannot help thinking that he had also charge of reporting on general affairs, unravelling certain Roman intrigues, and perhaps, too, enlightening Covos, the Emperor's principal secretary, as to the nature and origin of the grave dissensions existing between the Imperial ministers. "It appears"(writes he in October) "that between Monsignor D'Osma and our ambassador "Miçer Mai there is not that harmony which ought to "prevail between the Emperor's ministers abroad, the "reason being, as far as I can conjecture, that the former "is by far too condescending and weak, whilst the latter "is too impetuous and harsh."
But Cueva had accidentally another difficult task to perform during his stay at Rome, namely that of explaining in the best manner he could, and at the same time offering Clement satisfaction for, the sudden arrest of his nephew, Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici, in the Friul. (fn. n24) What sort of suspicions may have been raised by the Legate's sudden disappearance from the Imperial camp, is still a matter of doubt, some Italian writers hinting that his arrest was caused by the detection of some dark conspiracy of his against Florence,—where his own brother Messandro was then ruling as duke consort of Margaret of Austria, the Emperor's natural daughter, — whilst others, like Gruicciardini, attribute it to a sudden freak of his restless nature, and disobedience to the Imperial orders respecting the marching and quartering of his troops on their way back to Italy. (fn. n25) However this may be, the fact is that on the 12th of Oct. 1532, the cardinal, and his lieutenant Pier Maria Rosso, count of San Secondo, were arrested, mistakenly, as asserted, by tho Imperial officers Leguiçamo and Lecquinghen. The mistake, however, if there was one, was soon discovered, for Don Pedro de la Cueva, ready to start for his Roman mission, had to ride posthaste after the fugitives, order their immediate release, upbraid the captors as if they had made a gross blunder, and exceeded their instructions, and last, not least, offer Clement full satisfaction on his arrival at Rome. (fn. n26)
Don Pedro's style is both vigorous and concise, more like that of a well-bred courtier than that of a scholar. His despatches to the Emperor are well written, and appropriately temperate. It is in his letters to Covos, which might be called "private and confidential,'' that he exhibits much of that vein of humour and satire, which with more literary culture might have made him the equal of the festive Quevedo. Not all his letters to the High Commander have been preserved; with the exception of a few at Simancas, of which copies were obtained by Bergenroth, most of those of a private character, and addressed to Covos, are to be found either in the archives of the Alburquerque family, or in those of Camarasa. In some of them, which I have had occasion to peruse, he speaks jocosely, though rather irreverently, of cardinals and priests in general. A soldier and a courtier, he could hardly sympathize with the long-robed gentlemen of Rome, as he humorously calls them. Soon after his arrival at Rome the first time, he wrote home describing his reception by the Pope, which reception, he adds, was much kinder than was anticipated, "for all people here"(says he), "except Muxetula, firmly believe that this Pope will never "allow the Council to be assembled "; and on the 28th of the same month: "For God's sake let me be recalled as "soon as possible, and go back to my usual duties and "pursuits, and serve the Emperor and your lordship "with the sword, for with the tongue and the pen I can do "nothing. I am no scholar, nor statesman, much less "lawyer or priest. These abound so much in these "parts that they cover the earth and darken the sun "like the locusts in Castille. Besides which Rome is "totally ruined, and I have no inclination to live in the "midst of a desert infested by carrion-crows, looking "out for our carcasses, regular vampires, as I call these "churchmen, whether arrayed in purple or in sable, "in fact the greatest knaves in the world."
After March 1533 we do not hear any more of Mai. His last despatch, in which he describes his conference with the two French cardinals Grammont and Tournon, is dated the 7th. He had long before asked for his recall, and the ambassador appointed to succeed him was already on his road to Rome.
Don Fernando de Silva, count of Cifuentes, and standard bearer (alferez) of Castille, (fn. n27) an hereditary office in his family, was Mai's successor at Rome. A proud and spirited nobleman, better trained to war with the Granadine Moors than to unravel the thickly set webs of Papal diplomacy, he was scarcely the man calculated to promote Charles' interests at Rome. About the same time a Spanish lawyer of some repute, Rodrigo Davalos by name, was especially instructed to watch the legal proceedings in Katharine's case, and work as a co-adjutor to the Count. The former arrived on the 17th of April, the latter shortly after. But according to his almost constant practice, Charles had at Rome another ambassador, a bishop and cardinal, whose language to Clement, and opinion of affairs pending in that court, were not in consonance with that of his colleagues. Don Esteban Gabriel Merino, archbishop of Bari, in Sicily, and also bishop of Jaen, in Spain, had already been at Rome (October 1529), as Charles's extraordinary ambassador, to urge the Pope's journey to Bologna, and ask for a crusade against the Turk. This time, in May 1533, the avowed object of his mission was to conduct to Rome Margaret of Austria, Charles's natural daughter, already betrothed to Alessandro de' Medici, Clement's nephew, promote Katharine's cause at the Roman Rota, and press the Pope for a definitive sentence. (fn. n28) Whether the Cardinal had or had not instructions on general matters is not certain; but if he had, they must have jarred singularly with those of his colleagues. After boasting, shortly after his arrival at Rome, that more had been achieved in a few days than for several months before, Merino complains that owing to the count's sudden interference, and injunctions, expressed in a "very curt and dry manner," bidding him to abstain from visiting the Pope and the cardinals, he declined taking charge in future of the Emperor's affairs, and decided to suspend until new orders all negociations, except, perhaps, those relating to Katharine's case, which had been especially intrusted to his care. Merino's despatch is not addressed to the Emperor, but to his principal secretary, Covos, the usual confidant of the Imperial ambassadors at Rome and elsewhere, whenever, as frequently happened, their gossiping complaints of each other were particularly destined for the Emperor's ears. Sylva, on the other hand, was not backward in denouncing what he calls Merino's inopportune interference.
But let us hear Davalos' secret revelations to Covos respecting the quarrel between the two ambassadors. That lawyer's mission as Katharine's proctor (fn. n29) was to call on the Pope, express the Emperor's disappointment, as well as his ground of complaint, and tell him how offended he was at his not fulfilling promises so often made with regard to the sentence of the divorce suit, &c. After consulting with the count of Cifuentes and the cardinal of Jaen, Davalos did as he was told, and, in the presence of his colleagues, spoke to Clement in terms which, though respectful and such as befitted the Pope's person and dignity, were still very significative of the Emperor's discontent. His words seem to have made such an impression on Clement that he promised most solemnly to do justice at once. "Yet,"(says Davalos,) "I have no faith in his Holiness' asseverations "and promises. In my opinion he will never make up "his mind to act, owing, perhaps, to certain secret briefs, "which he is known to have issued in former times, and "which are the cause of his refusing so often to comply "with our pressing and just demands. He will most "probably keep us in suspense until he has actually "held his interview with King Francis; for our opponents have made him believe that the Frenchman is "so staunch a friend of the English king, that he "will easily induce him to do anything he likes provided "some fair means of compromise between the parties "be found.'' (fn. n30)
On the 30th of June he wrote to Covos: "Your lord-"ship may believe me when I say that the Queen's suit "has been carried on as if it were that of the poorest "woman in the world. Since the Count's arrival here "the proceedings have been pushed with the utmost "vigour, and yet the lawyers employed for the defence "have not received their proper fees. At the present "juncture it is more necessary than ever to keep these "people well baited, that they may take up this affair "exclusively of others by which they earn a livelihood. "I am convinced, nevertheless, that whatever our "efforts, his Holiness will not make a declaration either "this week, or the next. . . (p. 725). The Count and I "intend asking his Holiness to prorogue the holidays, "that the declaratory brief, at least, if not the sentence, "may be issued in the mean time. What effect our com-"mon entreaties may have on him I cannot say, but I fear "the result. . . As to the Cardinal of Jaen, I wish I "was able to say what I think of him and of his scheme, "but that is out of the scope of my official duties. His "plan seems to me good under present circumstances, "and so long as the expected remedy comes from the "Imperial court. ... (p. 726). Nothing, however, could "be so advantageous for our master's service as unanimity "in our councils; and yet I can assure your lordship "that of nothing that is done in this business is Cardinal "Merino informed, except the little I tell him. So "absolutely determined is the Count not to give the "Cardinal a voice in this affair, but to keep him in "perfect ignorance of what is being done by us; so "jealous of the Emperor's writing to the latter, and "listening to his advice, that I fear things cannot go "on in this manner. The Cardinal, on the other hand, "protests that he cannot guess what has given Silva "so bad an opinion of him, unless it be the jealousy "alluded to. Your lordship knows the Cardinal well, "how active and earnest he is. He tells me that in the present negociation it never crossed his mind to employ "the means used in former times, but only to bring "matters to such a point that he might leave the negociation in the hands of the Count, and then retire. "And I can only say that if the Cardinal's views are "such—and I have no reason to doubt his words—his "opinion seems to me well deserving of some authority, "and that, were his advice followed, things would go on "better than they do."
Again, on the 5th of July, Davalos wrote: "I must "not conceal from your lordship that the quarrel between "Count and Cardinal still continues, to the serious inconvenience of all the Imperial servants in this city, and "great detriment of our master's interests. Each of them "sees the Pope separately, without previously informing "his colleague: and one of two things must be, either "their individual instructions jar with each other, or "else one of the two ambassadors takes to himself more "authority than is his due. Hence it is that they do "not see each other, nor communicate their plans. In "my humble opinion, an order should come from court, "defining their individual duties and functions, as well as "what our master, the Emperor, expects from each of "them."
Clement's sentence of excommunication, or rather a declaratory brief of it, was at last obtained, and the contest of the Imperial ambassadors put an end to, both Merino and Davalos leaving for Spain, whilst the Count quitted Rome for Marseilles, where the interview between the Pope and Francis, first planned for Nice, was to take place in October. (fn. n31)
. In France during the years 1531-2 Louis de Flandre, sieur de Praët, filled for some time the post of ambassador, being occasionally replaced by Bonvalot and Secretary Des Barres, until March 1533, when Jean Hannaërt, lord viscount of Lombecke, seems to have been appointed. (fn. n32)
In Venice Lope de Soria was succeeded by Rodrigo Niño, of whom sufficient notice was given in the Introduction to Part I., p. xix. At Genoa, Don Gomez Suarez de Figueroa continued to represent Charles and the Empire. In Siena, Modena, Mantua and Ferrara, Charles had all the time either agents or commanders; in Milan, Caracciolo continued as high chancellor of that duchy; whilst in Naples, Pompeo Colonna filled the viceregal office (fn. n33) till his death, on the 3rd of July 1532, when he was replaced by the marquis de Villafranca, Don Pedro de Toledo. From all these officials, as well as from Leyva, Vasto and the two Gonzagas, who commanded his armies, Charles or his ministers received despatches, which though rarely touching on English history, have been abstracted in this Calendar, as affording a sort of collateral evidence on the important events of the years 1531-3.
Of Chapuys' despatches enough has been said in the Introduction, as well as in the notes to the first part of this volume, to convey an idea of their merits. Yet that ambassador's correspondence is so important, and so teeming with interest, that a few observations respecting it will not perhaps be considered out of place. Those contained in this second part will be found most interesting and full. His style cannot be called elegant or good; in many cases it is both pretentious, affected, and obscure. Himself a native of Geneva, in Switzerland, though educated in Flanders, where he seems to have passed most of his youth, it is no wonder if his despatches in French are not so elegantly penned as those of Francis' courtiers were at the time. If he could speak Spanish, he certainly was no scholar in that language, as otherwise he would not have written in what may be called Flemish French; and yet there are now and then in his letters sentences and idioms savouring so strongly of the Castilian, as to make us think that he must have been acquainted with it. English he could not understand or talk, as he himself assures us, often having to use Latin to converse with such of Henry's courtiers or privy councillors as did not know French. His despatches are generally holograph, and mostly written in cipher, whenever the nature and importance of the information contained in them rendered that diplomatic precaution necessary. Secretaries he had several, principally a Spaniard named Montoya, whom Katharine employed in 1529 on a mission to the Emperor. Owing to the above circumstances, to the complete absence of orthography—not yet fixed by any permanent standard throughout Europe, —and still more to the frequent blunders of the deciphering clerks at Brussels, who very often made him say things he never dreamt of, and changed entirely the meaning of his sentences, it must be owned that the reading of his despatches is at times anything but clear. Hence it is that whenever the passage offered any difficulty, I have purposely transcribed it in full at the bottom of the page, to justify, as it were, my own translation of it, for fear it should happen to differ from that which the late Eev. Dr. Brewer, and after him Mr. James Gairdner, have inserted in their respective calendars for the same period. I must, however, observe that, as far as Chapuys' despatches are concerned, mine are not mere abstracts, but full translations of their contents. (fn. n34)
It has been stated elsewhere that preparatory to the transfer of the Imperial State Papers to Vienna after the battle of Fleurus, a considerable portion of Chapuys' correspondence was transcribed by the clerks of the Archives in the former city,—with what object I have been unable to ascertain,—and that the unfinished copies, as well as their originals, are now carefully preserved in the latter capital. In some few cases the copies only exist; in others the originals bear no date or indorsement, and now and then one is to be found calendered according to the old style, and naturally enough out of its place in the bundle (stuck).
Generally exact in his descriptions of men and things, Chapuys rarely makes a mistake, and if he does, he is the first to acknowledge it in his next despatch. His information, whether it came from Henry's courtiers, or from foreign merchants established in the city, must have been remarkably good, since it is seldom found incorrect. Proper names he disguises and alters in a singular manner, owing no doubt to his ignorance of English, and very seldom, if ever, designates officials otherwise than by their titles, dignities, or avocations, a practice almost universally followed at the time. As to ambassadors residing at Henry's Court, he very seldom, if ever, names them. (fn. n35) In this manner he will mention the bishop of London, the Chancellor, the Controller, the Master of the Horse, the Treasurer, the Duke,—sometimes intending it for Norfolk, at others for Suffolk,— the Cardinal, the Nuncio, &c, without distinguishing them in the least. If to this be added that now and then the deciphering clerks of the Imperial Privy Council in Flanders took upon themselves the task of explaining on the margin of the original despatches, who they thought was the official so designated —and that in most cases they were decidedly wrong,—some excuse will, I hope, be found for the errors, of which I consider myself guilty, and which I have taken the opportunity of correcting in the Add. and Cor. to both parts at the end of the present volume. (fn. n36) Thus Tunstall and Stokesly, both bishops of London, Warham and Cranmer, archbishops of Canterbury, More and Audeley, (fn. n37) chancellors, have been in a few instances inadvertently mistaken one for the other. Now and then, owing to Chapuys' most wretched orthography, I myself have been unable to discover, until it was too late, that Burguen, Burgaveny, and Bourgoing in that ambassador's despatches were meant for George Neville, lord Abergavenny. (fn. n38)
I will put an end to this too long introduction by mentioning two Spanish historical works bearing on the history of England, one of which was printed three years ago, at Madrid, (fn. n39) whilst the other remains still in manuscript. Neither of them has much historical value, though both may, perhaps, be of use in clearing up certain facts and events of Henry's reign. The oldest of the two,— for it seems to have been written about the middle of the XVIth century, immediately after the attainder and execution of the Protector Somerset (1552),—though anonymous, is evidently the work of some Spaniard then residing in London, and bears the title of "Chronica de "Enrique Octavo de Inglaterra." Whether it is to be attributed, as the Marquis of Molins, editor of the book, seems to think, to Julian Romero, or to some other Spanish "condottiero," who after the rupture with France was in receipt of English pay, and fought under the English banner at Boulogne, or to some other Spaniard, of the many who frequented London at the time, is not a question for me to discuss at present. Suffice it to say that whatever information it may contain, and may be considered useful for the illustration of successive calendars of this reign, will be inserted in the next volumes.
The other work alluded to, and which still remains inedited, bears the title of "Succesion de los reyes de Ingalaterra desde el Rey Guillermo, el Conquistador, duque de "Normandia en Francia, hasta el año de 1585 reinando "Isabel, la hija de Ana Bolena"It is a rude compilation of such historical printed works as the author could at the time procure, and principally of Nicholas Sanders, William Rastall, and other catholic writers. Two-thirds of the manuscript—which numbers 180 closely written folio pages—are occupied by a somewhat unconnected and exceedingly partial narrative of events in England, from the accession of Henry VIII. to the throne, to the execution of Mary Queen of Scots in 1587. (fn. n40) The author's name is not stated, but there are reasons almost amounting to evidence to suppose it to be the work of Esteban de Garibay y Zamalloa, a distinguished historian of those times, who in 1571 published at Antwerp his well-known Compendia historial de las Chronicas de España in four volumes folio, and at Madrid, in 1596, his Illustraciones Genealogicas.
About the papers at Simancas, Vienna, and Brussels, no further observations are needed besides those contained in the preceding Introductions. No change has yet taken place in the ruinous castle close to Valladolid, where the State papers of the Castilian monarchy are kept,— exclusively of those of Aragon and Catalonia which are still at Barcelona,—their contemplated, and much talked of, removal to Alcalá, Toledo, or the Escurial, as it may be, having not yet commenced. Neither has the wanton spoliation perpetrated by Bonaparte's generals at Simancas in 1810 been repaired, the greatest and best portion of those of the XVIth century, besides all those relating to the War of Succession in the XVIIth, being still unduly retained at Paris, notwithstanding the treaties, and in spite of the numerous applications, renewed from time to time for their restitution. Let us hope, however, that the Minister, to whose department the direction of public education, as well as the keeping of public libraries and archives now belongs, will not leave one stone untouched until the whole of Spain's public records are restored to their original repository.