Spain: February 1543, 21-28

Pages 248-261

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 6 Part 2, 1542-1543. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1895.

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February 1543, 21-28

22 Feb. 105. The Same to the Emperor.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 11.
"Sire,"—Three days ago I wrote to Your Imperial Majesty by way of Italy and Germany, as well as directly by express from this city, of the latest English news, and of the conclusion of the treaty of closer friendship and alliance between You and this king. Supposing, therefore, that one or the other of my despatches has reached its destination, I will not repeat here their contents. Since then the King has sent a message to inform me that letters had been received from the bishop of London (Edmund Boner), in which nothing is said about Your Imperial Majesty's projected journey to Germany and Flanders, of which there had been a rumour at the court of Spain, and that if You intended sailing thither by this sea, he would at once fit out a number of his war-ships and other vessels to accompany and escort You. He has likewise sent me word that his agent in Venice (Harvel?) wrote to say that there seems to be some secret intelligence between the Pope and king Francis, and again question of a marriage between the Pope's nephew and a French lady; lastly, that the French were evidently, with the favor and help of His Holiness, planning some undertaking or other against Florence. I was not to imagine, said the messenger in the King's name, that what he had reported concerning His Holiness' doings was dictated by his master's hatred of him, for although up to the present he had done everything in his power to harm him, and speak disparagingly of his person and doings, as of one who was manifestly his enemy, yet, after the conclusion of the peace with Your Imperial Majesty, he had resolved to abstain in future from saying or doing anything against him. Such were the words of the message, but as to reparation for the past, or any wish for reconciliation with His Holiness, not a word was said, from which I gather that this does not suit his book just now. (fn. n1)
Your Imperial Majesty can scarcely conceive the great affection which this king entertains for Your Imperial person; indeed, he seems dissatisfied just now at his being unable to give better proofs of it. He never ceases asking me whether I have any news of Your Imperial Majesty, and forwarding to me any he himself receives from all parts, even from France, whence his ambassador has lately written that, to judge from the boastings and braggings of the French, one should think that they are about to conquer (conquister) the whole World, and yet (added the King) they had not one farthing in their treasury. It was a pitiful sight (the English ambassador wrote) to see a number of foreign captains, the very same who had last year served under king Francis—even those who commanded the Gheldrese when the invasion of the Luxemburg took place—wandering through the streets of Paris without being able to get a single tornoys of what is due to them.
I have no doubt that this king's affection will increase daily, provided Your Imperial Majesty shows a corresponding sentiment; if so, I am sure there will be no difficulty at all in amending or reforming the treaty in any way You may desire. At any rate, should things come to an extremity, there is the remedy which I have pointed out many a time before.
Yesterday the King sent to me the bishop of Winchester (Gardiner) to say that the French had amassed nearly 15,000 foot and 500 men-at-arms close to Montreuil, and that I should do well in letting the queen regent of the Low Countries know of this, and at the same time beg Mr. de Rœulx to enter into communication with his own governor of Guisnes, (fn. n2) and assist him in case of need, whilst the reinforcements which he himself is now sending across the Channel have time to land. That is, supposing the French direct their attacks against a small fortress which this king is now erecting between Calais and Guisnes, for as to the other places he possesses in Picardy, they are in no danger at all.
The bishop (Gardiner) also told me that the King wishes me to write to the Queen Regent—as I intend to do—that it is advisable under present circumstances to keep him or his ministers daily informed of events in the Low Countries, as well as of Your Imperial Majesty's movements, promising to do the same on his side, for (added the Bishop), "the Emperor's and the Queen's affairs interest my master, the King, as much as if they were his own."
The Bishop also told me that affairs in Scotland could not be going on better, and that Mr. de Guise's concerted expedition to Scotland had been for the present abandoned. He also said that since the conclusion of the treaty the King has shown so much affection and kindness (humanité) towards his daughter, the Princess (Mary), that no more could be expected or desired from him, and that no day passes without his visiting her two or three times in her own apartments, addressing her in the most affectionate and loving words that could possibly be imagined, from which I infer that all this is done merely for the sake of Your Imperial Majesty's honor and reputation. In short, this King's affection for You will be unbounded provided he meets with corresponding trust and fidelity on Your part. Indeed, I believe, from what the bishop of Winchester tells me, that the King does extremely wish to hold an interview with Your Imperial Majesty in case of your coming to Flanders by sea, and, if not, that Mr. de Granvelle himself should come to England.
The day before yesterday the King again sent me a message to say that he might, with full reason and perfect right, have retained the ship (naviere) belonging to Mr. de Bevres which the King's cruizers captured about a month ago, on account of her being armed and provisioned by certain Scotch, of whom a number were on board at the time forming part of her crew, but that for my sake (à ma contemplation) he would have her released and her crew set at liberty.
Owing to the great haste in which I was when I last wrote to Your Imperial Majesty, I had no time to answer the inquiry contained in the letter of the 23rd inst. relating to public affairs in this country. By stating, as I did then, that matters in England were not going on so badly for Your Imperial Majesty, as might otherwise have been feared, and so as to justify too great a haste in the negociation of the treaty, what I meant is this: that I doubted then whether the French, perceiving that the odds were going against them, would not after all try to gain over this king and his ministers, and do as they had done after Pavia. Indeed, to judge from their wily practices with this king's ministers, I had many reasons to fear a similar result. Such was my impression at the time, and certainly I should not have advanced such a proposition, had not the queen of Hungary written to say that I should do well in temporizing with the Royal deputies, and gaining time for an answer to come from Your Imperial Majesty in Spain, that is to say, if I thought there was no danger in the delay, or no fear of the negociation being spoilt through it owing to French intrigues. Yet, considering the state of affairs, public as well as private, in the Low Countries, the Queen did afterwards change her mind, and recommended me to proceed at once to the conclusion of the treaty without further delay, or waiting for letters or orders from Spain.—London, 22nd February 1542 (1543). (fn. n3)
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England," 22nd February 1543. Received at Barcelona on the 1st of May.
French. Holograph, partly ciphered. pp. 4.
22 Feb. 106. The Queen of Hungary to Eustace Chapuys.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
"Monsieur l'ambassadeur,"—It has been a source of pleasure to Us to hear by your letters of the 12th inst. that the treaty of closer alliance between the Emperor, Our brother, and the king of that country has at last been concluded by the Royal deputies and yourself. I have ordered a copy of the same to be made and forwarded to Mons. de Grantvelle (sic), who is now at Nüremberg, that he may, by the first opportunity, apprize the Emperor, Our brother, of it. You will, therefore, do well in hastening the departure of the messenger whom you, yourself, intend dispatching to Italy. Together with this letter you will receive another of credence for that king, the contents of which, as you will see by the enclosed copy, are these:—You are to signify to the King in Our name the great satisfaction and pleasure We have received at hearing of the conclusion of the treaty of closer friendship and alliance. Naturally inclined, as We have always been and are, to peace, and desiring the establishment of a perfect understanding between the two majesties, Imperial and Royal; hoping, moreover, that by means of such friendship and alliance both princes together will be able to obviate the troubles of Christendom, and instil fear into the hearts of the ill-disposed—the sole and real cause of the evils by which it is now afflicted—and prevent their miserable intrigues and abominable practices, equally offensive to God and to the whole of the Christian Commonwealth, from prevailing, as they have done hitherto, We can assure you that Our joy has been immense at seeing Our most ardent wishes realised. You will apprize the King of these Our sentiments, and use all other persuasive arguments that may come to your mind, at the same time requesting him that, since the friendship between the two majesties, Imperial and Royal, is now fairly established, he (the king of England) be pleased to let you know what means his great wisdom and experience of affairs suggest to him under the present circumstances as the best and most convenient for the welfare of the subjects of both crowns, and kindly allow and permit Us from time to time to consult him with regard to public affairs in these countries under Our government, and generally address him as the prince in whose skill and discretion We most rely.
As the king of England wishes that the treaty just made be kept secret until its full ratification takes place—which, by the way, We wish had already been accomplished, in order that the whole should be divulged and made public, as, by doing that, public affairs might have taken another turn and changed for the better—We will take care that the King be completely satisfied on that point. Although the position of affairs in these parts would, as above stated, rather require the publication of the treaty, especially at this time, when Our deputies and those of the prince electors on the Rhine and Landgraf of Hesse are sitting together at Maëstrich, trying to persuade Us to make a truce with the duke of Clèves, the whole affair shall be kept secret as far as We Ourselves are concerned. After protracting their deliberations for upwards of one month, Our deputies at Maëstricht have received orders to return home. We hear, however, that the whole assembly is inclined to propose a four months' truce with the Duke, to which, they say, he himself has agreed. That proposal We are not at all disposed to accept, inasmuch as We have already asked for certain conditions rather unpalatable to the Duke, and without which We will not hear of such a compromise. One of them is that the Duke will engage not to help, favor, or assist the king of France directly or indirectly, or allow his subjects to take service in that country; and that those who last year, disregarding the injunctions of the Diet, did, after its recess, serve in the French army, shall be severely punished. Though, in Our opinion, there is very little chance of Our coming to reasonable terms with the Duke, yet We have not allowed the negociations to be broken off or to drop entirely, and have consented to their going on in order to gain time, and see what resolution the States of the Empire will take in the matter, and how far they intend assisting the Emperor in the Clèves affair. We have instructed Our deputies at the Diet to represent therein the great damage and injury which the said duke of Clèves has done, and is doing, to these countries under Our government—causing them to be invaded, in king Francis' name, by Martin van Rossen and other captains in his service, without any previous challenge, and in complete disregard of all rules established in such cases between Christian princes; the said Martin van Rossen having attempted by treacherous means and practices to take possession of Anvers (Antwerp), as well as of Gand (Ghent). Our said deputies at the Diet have also been instructed to represent therein that all the harm caused by the said Martin van Rossen in Brabant has been with the Duke's consent and by his order, as you (Chapuys) will easily see by the enclosed draft of Our proposition to the Diet, which is substantially the same as the one which Our deputies were ordered to bring forward therein. We hear from Mons. de Grantvelle (sic) that the proposition has been well received by the representatives of the States of the Empire, the generality of whom have condemned the Duke's action, and blamed him for it, adducing manifest proofs of his ill-behaviour; so much so, that even those who openly followed his party and were inclined to favor his views, are now discontented and scandalized at his doings, not knowing what to say when the reprobation of his acts is in everybody's mouth. We have entered into these details that you may, when interrogated by the King or by his privy councillors on the subject, confidently reply to all their questions; assuring you, at the same time, that whenever an event of importance may occur in these countries under Our government We shall not fail to inform you, that you may acquaint that king with it, as the perfect friendship and alliance between England and the Empire demands.
Such is the state of the Clèves affair; but as We do not entirely trust to the official communication made to Us by the Maestricht deputies, and, moreover, as We would much dislike to be taken by surprise and unprepared, as We were last year, orders have now been issued for the raising of a good force of cavalry and infantry, and We hope that by the 1st of March 5,000 good horse and 9,000 lanskennets from High Germany, besides a good number from Low Germany, will be levied, with whom We hope to be able to give the Duke a good thrashing unless he consents to listen to reason. Nevertheless, Our other frontiers shall not be left defenceless against an attack of the French, and at all events a sufficient force will be in readiness to be directed to any part of the country where the common enemy may happen to be stronger in numbers.
The said duke of Clèves last winter kept a number of captains and men under his pay, hoping to be able during the frosts to make raids into Holland and Brabant, and by plundering the inhabitants of those countries, collect a sufficient sum of money to pay his own men with; but he has been completely frustrated in his plans—firstly, on account of the snow, which fell in abundance; and secondly, by Our frontier garrisons, which We have managed to keep partly at the Duke's expense, by causing them to make daily raids into his territory, the consequence of it all being that most of his men are now deserting him for want of pay, and especially of provisions, of which there seems to be great scarcity in his own dominions. As to the men whom Martin van Rossen (fn. n4) himself brought back from France, they are discontented and mutinous, and actually deserting his banners. Indeed, We hear that their captain has been obliged to fly, and go to a place of safety, as otherwise his own soldiers would certainly have murdered him. As to the Duke, he has purposely spread the rumour that if Van Rossen's men did desert their captain, it was entirely owing to his (the Duke) having refused to take them into his service, unwilling, as he was at the time, to countenance Van Rossen's predatory incursion. But whatever the Duke's statements may be, the contrary is to be inferred, from the fact that he himself is known to have made the greatest efforts to retain the men in his service, only the men themselves expressly refused.
Owing to the great expenses We have had to sustain last year, and which in all probability will be increased in this, We are now obliged to raise money by any means in Our power, however irregular or extraordinary. On this present occasion particularly We have, by the consent of the States, imposed a duty of 1% "ad valorem" on all goods and merchandize exported from these countries—the duty to last only one year. And whereas the merchants of England, subjects of that king, might perhaps pretend to be free from that tax by the letter of the commercial treaties made in old times, We have deemed it convenient and necessary that you (Chapuys) proceed to inform the King thereof as soon as possible, and represent to him that the measure in question is not at all a contravention to those treaties, but a temporary one to last only for one year, for the express purpose of defraying part of the war expenses. You will, therefore, try and ascertain, with your usual ability how the measure is likely to be received in England.—Brussels, 22 February 1543.
Addressed: "To the ambassador in England," on the 22nd February XVcXLII. (1543).
French. Original draft. pp. 3.
23 Feb. 106. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl., 9.
"Monsieur l'ambassadeur,"—Since writing the above, I am in receipt of a packet of letters from His Imperial Majesty of the 29th of January, in one of which he tells me that he desires the treaty of closer alliance to be forwarded as much as possible, and all difficult points referred to me. As I have no doubt that you have by this time received from him similar instructions, I hope, and am indeed confident, that he will be contented with what has been obtained with regard to that treaty, and will order the usual letters of ratification to be drawn out without any further scruple on the subject. As His Imperial Majesty writes to me that in case of our not arriving at the conclusion of the treaty, we ought at least to procure that the king of England, pending its ratification by the Emperor, make some movement or other against France, and does not let the opportunity pass of molesting the enemy on the frontiers of his dominions so as to divert his forces, I beg you to represent to the King that since the treaty of closer friendship between him and the Emperor, my brother, has already been concluded—and wants only the usual ratification from the parties—he might do well in the meantime to think of the best means of doing harm to our common enemy, checking his audacious designs, and compelling him to listen to reason. And that since His Imperial Majesty is determined to cut out work for king Francis on all his frontiers, he (the king of England) can never find so good an opportunity as the present for an invasion of France. It is for you to ascertain by all possible means how far the king of England may be induced to take up arms against France, and when you have acquired sufficient information on the subject, use the same as you may deem proper for the Emperor's best service, according as you may see the King inclined, or not, to go to war with France.
In addition to that, as We are daily receiving reports from the captains of war-ships of this country, complaining that the English vessels being larger, stronger, and better manned than Ours, their commanders will oblige Ours to do their will—which superiority of command might hereafter lead to inconveniences—it would be advisable that you yourself went to the King's ministers, and requested them to take such measures with regard to naval discipline that the commanders and captains of both fleets may not quarrel together, but work efficiently for the good of the cause. This, of course, to be said and represented to the King, or his ministers, without acrimony of any sort, and in the mildest possible terms, so as not to offend or rouse the susceptibility of Our allies. Of whatever may be the Royal deputies' answer on this particular, let me be informed as soon as possible, that I may at once send you instructions, and suggest the means of obviating the inconveniences likely to arise.—23 February [1543].
French. Original draft. pp. 2.
23 Feb. 107. The Same to the Same.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Corresp. Engl.
"Monsieur l'ambassadeur,"—The object of this letter is to advise that since my last, of which a duplicate is here appended, a gentleman usher (huissier) of king Francis' Chamber, named Reigne, sieur de Reine, has made his appearance at this frontier, alleging to the captains there that he was sent by the king of France on a mission to me, and wished for a passport and safe-conduct. He has since been conducted to my presence by two gentlemen in my service, and presented me, in his master's name, with 12 widgeons, (fn. n5) which, as stated in the credentials in favor of his usher, he (the King) owed me as an annual contribution. After praising king Francis' handsome present, and thanking the bearer for it, I told him that I was both sorry and disappointed at his master not giving me leisure to enjoy the pleasure of the chase, which would be far more agreeable to me than to be constantly engaged in warlike matters. I despatched the man the very instant so that he might return to France, without stopping on the road, or going anywhere else than the two gentlemen who accompanied him here would permit. The man went away without speaking a word to me of political affairs, except of those relating to fowling (volerie), in which he seemed to be a great adept. I give you these details that you may acquaint the King whenever you consider it fit and opportune, for being entirely ignorant as I am both of the object of the man's visit and of king Francis' singular present, I doubt whether his usher was, or was not, sent for some other secret purpose, which he perhaps did not bring forward owing to his not having found an opportunity of doing so.
Indorsed: "To the [Imperial] ambassador in England."
French. Original draft. p. 1.
28 Feb. 108. The Marquis de Aguilar to the Emperor.
S. E., L. 871,
ff. 91–2.
B. M. Add. 28,593,
f. 176.
By my letters of the xv and xxi [of January] Your Majesty must have been informed of the occurrences in this city up to that time, more especially of the arrival of Syne, (fn. n6) and of his embassy, as well as of His Holiness' departure from Rome, &c. What has happened since I will presently relate; but let not Your Imperial Majesty wonder at so much change and variety having taken place in His Holiness' sentiments and doings, for, certainly, Monsr. de Granvelle's sudden appearance in Trent, the account of what was done there, as well as the fear of a National Council being started and assembled in Germany, or some sort of league being made against Rome, all these things put together have so bewildered and perplexed the Pope and his cardinals, that they do not know at present what to do, nor which way to turn.
His Holiness still continues to hold conferences with the bishop (fn. n7) of Aguila (Aquila in Naples), the result of which has been a sort of declaration from his own lips, that, setting aside his declaring now against the king of France—which he (the Pope) reserves and retains as a precious treasure to be used in due time—in all other matters he wishes to be on good terms with Your Imperial Majesty, and run the same risks as Yourself. That with regard to the General Council and Christian religion, he places himself entirely in Your Imperial Majesty's hands, for You to conduct matters in favor of Christendom; so much so, that he intends sending soon for me, that I may hear that same declaration from his own lips, and at the same time that he may ask me what Your Imperial Majesty wants of him.
All this had been arranged and, as it were, settled previous to Siney's arrival, as I wrote by my last despatch. (fn. n8) In similar terms had he (the Pope) expressed himself to Madame [Margaret], and to the duke of Castro, (fn. n9) and frequently also to the bishop of Aquila himself, adding that he wished by all means to be present as a witness and partner in so meritorious a work, and would accordingly fix a day to give me audience. So said the Pope then, but the fact is, that the audience was put off from day to day, and that on Siney's arrival, though His Holiness went on making the same declarations, with perhaps greater warmth than before—showing in public his ill humour at the arrival of the French ambassador—yet there was no sign of an audience. At last it was fixed for Thursday, the 22nd, then for the ensuing Friday, and ultimately for Saturday, not without a thousand excuses conveyed to me by the duke of Castro himself, who gave me to understand that His Holiness had been detained by business, but would see me in the Quirinal at the 19 hours. Two hours after the Duke's departure from my house another message came from the Pope, to say that one half hour later would be more convenient for him, and so I called on him at half-past seven in the evening. I afterwards learned from the Portuguese doctor that the putting off of the audience was due to certain astrological combinations, which His Holiness wished to avoid. (fn. n10) Once in His Holiness' presence, I found that the duke of Castro and cardinal Santa Cruz (fn. n11) were already in the room; the latter went out, and the Duke remained.
[Gives an account of the audience, and then adds] Then His Holiness said that one of the means best calculated to bring about a peace between Your Imperial Majesty and king Francis was the marriage of prince Philip with that king's daughter. (fn. n12) He, himself, had many a time proposed it, but it had never been accepted, thus making him despair of ever being able to lead to and promote that peace. He then asked me about Your Imperial Majesty's projected journey, and whether You intended coming to Italy, or not. Spoke about Scotland and England, and the diet of Nuremberg, as well as about the duke of Alburquerque, asking whether this latter would follow Your court or remain at Rome. After one hour's conversation His Holiness again resumed the subject of king Francis and his ambassador Syne, saying that the latter's mission was limited to offering his master's excuses for having been unable to attend the conferences and visit him, owing to his being at present much engaged in attending to the defence of his frontiers threatened by Your Imperial Majesty. That with regard to the Council, he was glad to hear that it was about to be convoked. He (the King) would do his utmost to support it, sending thither cardinals and prelates of his kingdom; but he had little or no confidence of its success, owing to the insecurity of the roads, and the place where the Council was to be celebrated.
Milan—the Turk, &c.
I had so often spoken to His Holiness on the Colonna business, though without success, that I refrained from mentioning the affair again in his presence. At last, the duke of Castro having requested me to speak in favor of the relationship (el parentado) between Vittoria and Fabricio Colonna, saying that the Pope wished for it, I went to him and said: "Holy Father, I have lately abstained from speaking on the parentage of Casa Colonna, because I have done so many a time, and Your Holiness has answered me in such a way that, had you approved of it, the thing would have been effected"; to which the duke of Castro added: "The Marquis [of Aguilar] thinks that, owing to what was done at Paliano (Pagliano), Your Holiness no longer wishes for it." "The Pagliano affair (His Holiness replied) has in nowise changed my views of the affair; there is, however, need of ascertaining first what state that property is in, because Ardea, which is the most productive estate, has been assigned to Cesarino and Caffarello, and besides that there are four or five estates in Campania with which Ascanio has nothing to do, owing to their being annexed to the county of Fondy (Fundi). It would also be convenient to consider Ascanio's differences (passiones) with his son." At last His Holiness said to the Duke: "Since Fernando Rota, the Duchess' agent, is here in Rome, do interrogate him as to the real state of the property, and how much it is worth and whether Fabricio is or is not in possession; then, according to the information received, you will come to a settlement." The Duke then observed: "Then, if that be done, the Church ought to ensure to the second son a revenue of 3,000 or 4,000 ducats, and make over to the eldest his share in the estate." "That may be clone as you propose," replied the Pope.
He then spoke about his own departure from Rome, adding that if the weather was fine he would go to Bologna to distribute the Palms (á dar las palmas). Saying so, he got up and went into his private apartments after an audience of four long hours.
Perceiving that all the Pope's arguments were directed towards excusing king Francis in all matters in which no excuse for his acts is admissible, as well as towards showing that it is Your Imperial Majesty who ought to make the first advances for the peace; (fn. n13) that on the subject of the General Council he did not utter one single word, and that even in the affair of the Colonna Family, no promise could be got out of him, except vaguely, and in very general terms; that, on the contrary, his own personal and private pretensions are every day waxing greater and greater, I began to suspect that this sudden departure for Bologna—of which no one talked before, since it had notoriously been given up—and this arrival in Rome of Syne have quite a different object from the one which has been published, and that the real motive of the latter's mission is either to have the meeting of the future Council changed to another place, or else to do away with it altogether by means of pretences and excuses (achaques) that can easily be found for the occasion, or perhaps also to arrange an interview somewhere with king Francis. Indeed, I am told that very shortly a noble personage chosen among that king's courtiers will come to Rome, and that two more are to go to Trent for the purpose of protesting in his name against the Council being held in that town. In fact, there is no one here who does not believe all this flour to come from the same mill. (fn. n14)
His Holiness really took his departure on Monday, the 26th inst. If the bad weather is to interfere with his journey, he may still come back, and not make the journey, for, certainly, ever since he took his departure from Rome it has not ceased raining.
On the day of the Papal audience to which I have alluded, the duke of Castro (Pier Luigi) passed the night in the Pope's ante-room—a thing which he has never done before. Day and night he has had long conferences with the French resident ambassador and with Sine, the latter of whom, I am told, dwells at the Quirinal, and has even some sort of authority over the castle [of Sant Angelo]—an unprecedented act in the annals of modern Rome—and yet the report must be true, for he has his own money and valuables at the castle, and has not yet taken them out. (fn. n15) It must be said that until now Sant Angelo has not been garrisoned; I do not know what they will do in future.
After finishing this despatch I myself intend following His Holiness on his journey, and starting for Bologna.
Two days ago I spoke to cardinal Fernes (Alessandro Farnese), who shows in conversation that His Holiness is still dissatisfied at Your Imperial Majesty not having sent him notice of what Mr. de Granvelle was going to Trent for, and what he purposes doing in the affairs of the Diet and religious matters. Still more does he fear that Granvelle may again do there what he once did, adding that he may possibly do worse where he is now. (fn. n16) Having asked him what sort of embassy Sine's was, he answered me that the Frenchman's mission had for its object to prevent altogether the meeting (abocamiento) of the General Council, and that he (the king of France) had asked his help and assistance for the war [he intends to make] against the king of England. Farnese did not tell me what answer the Pope has made to those overtures, but I will try to procure it as soon as possible, and forward it to Mr. de Granvelle. I am now having a copy made of the paragraphs of this letter in which he is alluded to, and will do the same in future with all those relating to His Holiness' uneasiness respecting him.
Cardinal Viseu (fn. n17) arrived here in Rome six days ago. He has not been received in public Consistory, as it is the custom to do with legates, who pass the Alps. He (the Cardinal) delivered, as usual, his oration before the Pope; but said nothing to me about it, save the generalities above alluded to. I called on him on the same day he had audience from His Holiness, but as he was then suffering from a fit of the gout I did not stay long, and, therefore, heard no particulars about his mission.
Among Frenchmen in this city there is a rumour of Sine (fn. n18) having said that this summer there will be war in Italy in two different parts. If he is right in his prophecy, I have no doubt that the ambassador means Tuscany, and especially the Sienese republic, which are evidently the two weakest points. I myself am thinking of making a journey to Siena and Florence in order to warn the Sienese and Florentines of the danger, and exhort them to make the utmost provision they can against the eventuality of a war. To meet this and similar undertakings of king Francis in Italy, it strikes me that count Pitigliano might be very useful, and ought to be gained over to Your Imperial Majesty's party. For if the Count takes service with France, his estates in Tuscany will afford an easy passage to a French army intending to penetrate into Sienese territory. He, himself, is anxiously expecting Your Majesty's resolution in these troubled times. He is evidently attached to Your Imperial Majesty; if war once breaks out in Italy, he may probably not refuse the offer the French are making him, unless he be certain that Your Imperial Majesty will accept his services. At any rate, since political matters here begin to assume rather an ugly aspect, all Your Imperial Majesty's servants in this city are of opinion that the Count's services ought to be secured beforehand. They also think that Alessandro Vitello ought to be removed from the Papal service, which might easily be accomplished by Your Majesty giving him some military charge in the army destined for Hungary, or else by His Holiness appointing him commander-in-chief of the force, which he has promised to send against the Turk.
Don Diego de Mendoza's letter must have informed Your Majesty of the negociations now being carried on between His Holiness and the Signory of Venice; the former insisting upon their making an alliance with him, and promising, if they do, to give them Ravenna and Cervia in perpetuity. Don Diego writes to me to try and ascertain what truth there is in that report; but I must own that, although I have made all possible inquiries about it, I have as yet been unable to ascertain the truth. As the negociation was carried on here at Rome only between His Holiness and the Venetian ambassador, who expects soon to become a cardinal, it is natural for the latter to keep it secret, and help towards it as powerfully as he can. This notwithstanding, I must say that in the course of my enquiries, I have met with many people here, Italians chiefly, and even cardinals, who consider the report as most probable; whether their information comes from abroad or from some intelligence here at Rome, that I cannot say.
After the above was written, the duke of Castro (Pier Luigi) said to a person of my acquaintance, who came and told me, that Sine's (fn. n19) mission is for the purpose of offering to His Holiness a great marriage for his grandson, Horatio, (fn. n20) but that the Duke has not found the proposed alliance good enough for him (no le ha parecido bien), and I also hear that cardinal Carpi (fn. n21) has told His Holiness that the offer is not suitable.—Rome, on the last day of February 1543.
Signed: "Marques de Aguilar."
Spanish. Original. pp. 4.


  • n1. "Que oerez que par cy devant yl se soit estudie à nuyre et parler au desavantaige de sa Saintete, comme de personne manifestement son ennemye, toutes fois depuis la paix conclute (sic) avec vostre maieste yl sest resolu de soy desporter de faire desormais quelque demonstrance par parolles ou actes dinimitie avec sa dicte Sainctacté (sic); mais de reparation du passé et de retourner à la reconciliation yl ne men a riens faict toucher, aussi crois je bien que cella est hors de son compte."
  • n2. Sir John Wallop.
  • n3. This is one of the few instances in which Chapuys does evidently date his despatches according to the old style. As a proof that the date is 1543, and not 1542, as appears from the subscription, I may observe that the Emperor was at Madrid from the 1st of January to the 1st of March, when he undertook his journey to Barcelona. That on the 30th of April he was still in that town, where, on the 1st of May, he embarked for Savona and Genoa, landing towards the end of that month at the latter port. See Bradford's Itinerary of Charles V., p. 536.
  • n4. See above, p. 234.
  • n5. The French word is sarcelles, in Spanish cerceta.
  • n6. This is the first time that Aguilar mentions the arrival of the French ambassador. True is it that neither of his despatches of the 5th and 21st, here mentioned, are in Bergenroth's Collection, Vol. XXII.
  • n7. Berardus Sanctius; according to Gams, Bernardo Sancho or Sanchez (?). See Vol. VI., Part I., p. 165. His two letters to the Marquis and to Cobos are respectively under Nos. 92 and 112.
  • n8. No doubt one of the missing, for in that of the 14th of January, which is the last, Siney's arrival in Rome is not mentioned.
  • n9. Pier Luigi Farnese.
  • n10. "Que la dilacion habia sido por causa de astrologia."
  • n11. Marcello Cervini, archbishop of Reggio, and cardinal Santa Croce. see Vol. VI., Part I., pp. 534, 536.
  • n12. That is, Margaret, ultimately married to Emmanuele Philiberto of Savoy, duke of Savoy, on the 9th of July 1559. She died in 1574.
  • n13. "Prestar el lado, y alargar la mano en lo de la paz."
  • n14. "Que todo esto es harina del mismo molino."
  • n15. "Queda Sine en el Palacio, y me diçen con auctoridad en el castillo, y esto haze creer que no ha sacado el dinero de él."
  • n16. "Y mucho más de lo que él hizo, y con recelo[de] que lo haró peor donde [ahora] está."
  • n17. Miguel da Silva, who died in 1566.
  • n18. Here and above (p. 259) written Sine instead of Siney.
  • n19. See above, p. 260.
  • n20. Horazio Farnese was the fourth son of Pier Luigi, duke of Castro. He married in 1553 Diane, natural daughter of Henri de Valois, afterwards Henri III., king of France, Diane de Poitiers.
  • n21. Pio da Carpi.