Spain
March 1549

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Institute of Historical Research

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Martin A. S. Hume and Royall Tyler (editors)

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1912

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347-360

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'Spain: March 1549', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9: 1547-1549 (1912), pp. 347-360. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88364 Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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March 1549

March 9. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 27.St. Mauris to the Emperor. (fn. 1)
(Extract.) The French are much perplexed by the news that the English have seized a church in the Boulonnais and demolished it. They say the peace is broken, and that the English would never have done it without the support and the consent of your Majesty, but they will take their revenge. They have despatched several gentlemen to hasten the coming of the lansquenets from Bordeaux, and of other regiments, to send them against the enemy. They are going to punish the peace-breakers by firing on English ships from the point as they approach Boulogne, and so prevent them entering the harbour. They have also received warning from Marillac (fn. 2) that your Majesty is having schedules drawn up of the fighting men you might hire, both in the Low Countries and in Germany: so they are in fear of having to face a war. They have decided to send not more than two thousand men to Scotland for the present (not counting those that are there already), until the season is more advanced. If their fears about the war are not dispelled, they propose to temporise with England for this year, and prevent her from gaining more ground in Scotland, while they collect as much money as they can to prepare for next year if need be.
The King sent a gentleman of his Chamber to the Protector a little time ago to try and induce him to free the French prisoners in exchange for the English, with the observation that in any case he had no right to demand a ransom for them, as they were not fair prizes, since France and England were not at war. It is said that the Protector replied that he intended them to pay their ransom, and otherwise he would not let them go. The French prisoners in England were much more numerous than the English in France, and men of higher degree; the disproportion was too wide for the exchange to be considered by him; and he added that he had heard how badly the English were treated here, which he resented all the more because the French prisoners in England on the contrary were well treated; but he would follow another course unless matters were mended on this side. Misundertandings of this kind fan the flame, and there is growing irritation between them, particularly with regard to the demolished church. The French are in fear that the same may be done to another church near by, before their lansquenets arrive on the spot. If it holds out till then, they will fortity it. . . .
March 11. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 27.St. Mauris to the Emperor. (fn. 3)
(Extract.) . . . He (Colonel Melun of Cremona, banished from the State of Milan) has declared to me over and over, Sire, that the King of France resents very much the late attack by the English on the church in the Boulonnais, and that he is sending the lansquenets from Guyenne and other troops as well to the fort (fn. 4) with the firm determination to take some sort of revenge. But one cannot tell yet for certain where it will fall, though there is some talk that the Terre d'Oye might be made to suffer. In any case the King is sending M. de Chåtillon to the fort with orders to fortify thoroughly the town of St. Etienne. The work is begun already. He is to build a high, strong tower of stone by the harbour and to fortify Fiennes if necessary. A nephew of Colonel Marin, who is to go to the front with Chatillon, is commissioned to send back a report on it. He gave me the information that the King intends to save all he can this year so as to be ready for next year if need be. Many have tried to prove to him that there is no sign whatever that your Majesty is making ready for war; but he cannot be convinced. He takes into consideration that your Majesty is the lord of men, and might in an instant call up a fair army; and that there are still four months to pass before it need take the road for France, which seems to him a capital point, and one which causes him great anxiety. . . .
There is a young Irish gentleman of the highest rank here now, Sire, who formerly lived in Rome with Cardinal Pole, who supports him to this day. At the instigation of the King he came here to court where everything is being done constantly to try and persuade him to go back to Ireland and raise a revolt of the people against the King of England. Means to accomplish this have been suggested and support offered to him. Up to the present he has always thought the undertaking too dangerous and too difficult to attempt. The Protector got wind of the affair, and has induced the young man's mother, who is living in England and peacefully enjoying her income, to call him to her as urgently as she can, promising him a welcome; and assuring him, that as he has always lived without offending against the King of England, he will be favourably received. He has sent to consult the Cardinal (Pole) on this last point, and is expecting his answer.
Poissy, 11 March, 1549.
March 15. Paris K. 1488.St. Mauris to the King and Queen of Bohemia.
(Copy of letter written in cipher.)
I have received the letter from your Highnesses of the 21st of February, and seen the order contained therein: that I should advise you if vessels are being manned in this kingdom to watch for ships returning from the Indies. I can only say that I have known from various quarters that the King of France has commissioned Breton and Norman merchants to arm vessels in the usual way: whilst the King is having six more vessels fitted out in a new manner, to be kept in the port of Dieppe. It is commonly reported that the vessels are to be used against the English who are constantly making incursions on the French; they are all about by now, and determined to hurt the English as much as they can. However, I cannot give any assurance to your Highnesses that they might not take the road of the Indies and wait about for the returning fleet, as they have often done before; for they are used to robberies, and have little tenderness for the Emperor's subjects; so that caution would be advisable. I know that few abuses are being committed at sea now against his Majesty's subjects by the French, the King having given special orders about it, owing to the position of affairs here, that make peace with his Majesty very desirable. . . .
March 19. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 17.Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Sire, the Parliament being over last week, most of the lords of the Council have left London, and the Protector, whom I had intended to see, has gone to-day. He sent me a message as he was about to leave, saying that he would be back on Sunday next, and would see me then. It is believed that he wishes to be away for his brother's execution, which is to take place publicly to-morrow. He was sentenced to death by Parliament, without being allowed to present his defence. Some claimed in Parliament that he ought to be heard personally, but their opinions availed him little. He was condemned almost unanimously (with two or three dissident votes only) on the evidence produced in proof of 31 charges brought against him, the most important being that he had planned to marry the Lady Elizabeth without consent of the Council; that he had planned to ally the King with the daughter of an English nobleman; that he had plotted to kill the Protector; and had amassed a large sum of money; that he had induced 400 young lords to join his side, some with money, some with promises, so that the greater number of the gentlemen of the King's chamber were with him. From this, and from the fact that he tried to get the King to sign a letter to Parliament in which he enjoined them to give entire faith to whatever the Lord Admiral his uncle told them from him, and recommended his (the Admiral's) person to them, it was deducted that, following the example of Richard III, he wished to make himself King.
He was charged, besides, with having favoured pirates; connived at the passage of the Queen of Scots to France, and received a pension from a foreign prince, who is said to be the King of France. He refused persistently to answer any of these charges in the Tower, saying he had a right to a public hearing. This contumacious behaviour is punishable with capital punishment by the English law; which decrees that the accused must declare the defence he intends to make, when charged to do so. This was one of the reasons why Parliament sentenced him unheard.
The bills passed by the recent Parliament, both in matters of religion and order (administration), are not to be published or put into effect until the first of May. As they are being printed, I will try to get hold of an account of them to send to your Majesty. Priests are allowed to marry; the mass is to be said in English, and the elevation of the Host is suppressed; the Communion is to be sub utraque specie. The subsidy of three shillings in the pound sterling, for three years, was granted, as I wrote to your Majesty.
The news from Scotland are, that the Earl of Huntly is afoot with a great number of people, while the English are sending great quantities of men and victuals towards Scotland, and are hurrying all the more because they have heard that the French are making preparations to assist the Scots on a large scale. A young gentleman of Gelders called Henry Hacfort, who came here with the Queen's (Dowager of Hungary's) leave, has been put in charge of three thousand horse; so that they may not be cheated again as they were by Riffenberg and others too; and they have received him all the better for being a subject of your Majesty.
Courtpennick's men, who were two thousand in number, have dwindled down to six hundred, through illness and other causes; and the rest are saying they wish themselves well out of such a poor country. Sire, during the absence of the gentlemen of the Council, who are away for four or five days, I shall go to-morrow to see the Lady Mary, who lives about thirty miles from here. I have written to M. de Granvelle giving him the reasons why my going there will give no umbrage. After my return I will write to your Majesty about my interview with the Protector.
London, 19 March, 1549.
March 30. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 17.Van der Delft to the Emperor. (fn. 5)
Sire, on the very day that I despatched the courier who brought me letters from the Queen (Dowager of Hungary) telling me that the embargo (on English property) had been raised, I set off to visit the Lady Mary, who had sent me a private message, immediately after my arrival here, to have news of your Majesty, I had to defer my visit to her again and again, through not being able to go to court; and she sent a message to me to ask me to send my man if I could not go myself. I sent him, with your Majesty's letter, to take some comfort and consolation to her. She was very happy about it, and sent word to me that when I was about to go to see her (hoping it would be soon), I must send my man for your Majesty's letter the day before so that I might deliver it to her myself in public, and avert all suspicion. I did so, in the presence of the Earl of Derby and the Lord Warden. After the public reception, I was led after dinner secretly into a more private room, where I told her of your Majesty's great affection for her, not merely as a relative, but because of her many virtues, and more particularly for her great constancy in matters of religion, and her devotion to your Majesty. I assured her that your Majesty would always look after her and her welfare; and that the necessity of rousing no suspicions made you forego writing to her oftener. She told me to thank your Majesty most humbly, saying she had no other solace in this world (than your affection); and she complained bitterly of the changes brought about in the kingdom, and of her private distress, saying she would rather give up her life than her religion. She believes attempts will be made to compel her to change it unless your Majesty sees to it, so that her life and her salvation are in your Majesty's keeping. I comforted her as best I could, assuring her that your Majesty would never cease to foster her welfare; and I left her happier for this. She showed me a letter in your Majesty's own handwriting, written more than twelve years ago, and another of the Queen your sister, saying to me that the pleasure she took in these was revived and increased by the letter I had brought her, which she could not read often enough.
On my return to London I sent immediately to the Protector, who had returned the same day, asking when I might go to him. He replied that he would expect me the following day. When all due formalities were accomplished I asked if they intended to fulfil their undertaking towards the subjects of your Majesty who had suffered loss, according to their promise. He said, Yes, they would, and that an officer should have special charge of the affair so that the plaintiffs might get a better and more expeditious hearing, as I had so urgently asked; and the next day it was done.
We entered into various arguments after I told him that I had declared to your Majesty how often he had spoken to me of his desire to see the King his master in still closer confederation with your Majesty; and how your Majesty had replied that you failed to see how the treaties, which you intended to observe without exception, could be made more stringent: but notwithstanding, if the Protector wished to propose some closer bond of union for the common good of both kingdoms and both peoples, your Majesty would consider it and would make return of a nature to prove that your Majesty would do all in your power to confirm and strengthen the existing friendship, which you held to be indissoluble. I can see clearly that they wish nothing so much as to form a closer alliance with your Majesty. He spoke at length about the means to make your Majesty's possessions safe from all invaders, and of compelling the King of France to give up what he has taken from you, and listen to reason in what concerns them. I replied that I had laid all considerations of this nature before your Majesty: but I felt my footing insecure because I had no notion of the means to be employed in bringing about the projected alliance. I added that if he saw fit to sketch them for me, I would do my full duty in apprising your Majesty of anything he desired to say. His answer was that he did not doubt my desire to see a firm friendship established between your Majesty and the King his master; and in a few days he would speak more fully. In the meantime he would consider the means by which the friendship might be strengthened. I am still expecting the summons, which I hear may come in a day or two. I will inform your Majesty immediately. He spoke of his own affairs with me, giving me an account of his theory of government. Among other things he said, “You see how careful I am to avoid any expense for the King my master, if it is possible to do so. I might save him a great deal if I would lend an ear to the French, who solicit me so often, that I may well say I hold their friendship in my own hand, were I so inclined.” He told me also that he had heard the French were making great preparations for Scotland; in fact that a number of men were there already; and were advancing towards the Border, in company with those who had wintered there, and a large number of Scotsmen. He informed me he had in this necessity sent to ask leave of your Majesty to raise 2,000 Germans, in the hope that you would not refuse. He told me too, that he knew that the Rhinegrave's mission to Ostland consisted in encouraging the men of Bremen, Hamburg and other towns to stand firm against your Majesty with the promise that the King of France would not fail them.
The English captain in charge of Haddington, whose name is Gilford, was taken prisoner while conveying the victuals for the garrison which he, with 24 men, went a certain way out to meet. The English are very much distressed about it. The Protector informed me that Hume's Castle, lately lost to the French, was to have been razed to the ground. He had given orders that it should be done.
March —. Simancas E. 79.The Marques de Cortes (fn. 6) and others to the Emperor.
The information collected about the Englishmen who came here in an armed ship has yielded the following results. On the seventh day of this present month of March, the ship boarded a Portuguese caravel; eight armed Englishmen jumped on board, searched her, and finding nothing but salt, they carried off a navigation chart, compasses, a few shirts and coats, 17 reales, sundry articles of clothing, and the caravel's boat and oars, in which the eight Englishmen went back to their ship. They provided themselves with bows and arrows and other weapons, and then made for the port of Sillero, where they ran into another caravel, boarded her, and carried off a basketful of iron nails and a few articles of clothing. After this, as they were about to enter the port, they boarded a Biscayan ship with a cargo of wine on board. They took a pipe of the wine and carried it to their boat, saying to the people that they had not any money on them, but that if they would come to their vessel they would stand them a treat, and give them what they were asking for. All this was reported to the Corregidor (fn. 7) of the town of Vivero, who went out to look for the Englishmen and caught them. On the 9th of this month, two days later, 22 Englishmen from the same vessel went for water to the port of Cedeira about 7 leagues (fn. 8) distant from Vivero. The local justice, discovering them to be pirates on the prowl, arrested them; they are still in custody. The vessel and everything on it has been sequestrated. From the admission of the men, and through information otherwise received, it is clear that the vessel has no regular cargo and is merely an armed vessel. She carries her harpings; twelve xosos, (?) 24 gun-bores for the (said) shot, 5 halberds, 8 pikes with their irons, 16 oars, a barrel of powder, 87 iron balls, 13 swords, 3 bucklers, 1 round shield, 2 arquebuses; and 18 marlin-spikes, with iron balls, were found on her. She has eight oars on either side, and no boat. Some of the Englishmen say they sailed from a place called Plymouth in the kingdom of England with 4 more armed ships, to look for a pirate called Tommy (Tomasin), catch him and take him back to England. They lost the other vessels, they say, through stress of weather. Their evidence is in agreement on one point, namely, that they belong to a place called Toposanto (fn. 9) in England, where other sailors come from too; and according to them, they have not seen many prizes landed there, taken either from the French or from any other nation.
March —. Simancas E. 503.The Emperor to Don Diego de Mendoza.
The Legates, as you may have heard already, have arrived here at last. I gave them audience, together with the Bishop of Fano. They attempted to explain and excuse their delay, and asserted their eagerness to leave nothing undone that might assist them to perform their good offices to some purpose, assuring us that his Holiness was in favour of everything that might further the public or private good. Consequently, in spite of their evident diffidence, we began with a repetition of all that had gone before with the Bishop of Fano and Giulio Ursino. (fn. 10)
We began negotiating through our ministers, and after having settled one or two points regarding the use of sub-delegates, they proved very obdurate over the substitution for metropolitans, bishops and other persons, out of fear, they said, that the matter might not be treated in accordance with the righteous aim, spirit and. Bull of his Holiness. However, when they understood that unless they gave way the present negociation could not be carried on at all (the point being an essential one to the acceptance of the Interim), and after the matters of communion sub utraque specie and dispensation for married clergy had been insisted upon, they agreed that the sub-delegations should be allowed. We gave them to understand that the prelates and delegates chosen must be competent to do their work, and be duly admonished to exert themselves, as we had urged. We should proceed with circumspection in their choice, obtaining information about them from our German councillors and other zealous persons, who were likely to know. They objected that they had no power to allow married priests living with their wives to administer the Sacraments; but we urged the extreme need for priests in Germany, where there were few: this being the point on which those who had accepted the Interim were still agitating, in which they were at one with all good bishops and prelates. We told the envoys to communicate with Rome on the subject, and prepare a form of substitution which we would send off to Rome as soon as we had examined it, with the hope of accomplishing something before long.
When the said form was presented to us, it came out that the Nuncio had reserved the absolution of persons of quality: dukes, counts and others, and moreover that the dispensation for married clergy deprived them of the right to administer the Sacraments. We insisted on the concession of the sub-delegation for the absolution of persons of quality, for otherwise further confusion would follow, besides laying his Holiness open to the suspicion of withholding it out of motives of interest or petty revenge—both harmful considerations. As for the married clergy, we repeated again that there was great dearth of priests in Germany, and proposed that, while the question was being referred to his Holiness, no mention of it should be made in the sub-delegation, except that those ecclesiastics who would recognise their error and leave their wives should be absolved of apostasy and irregularity, and permitted to continue in Holy Orders and the administration of the Sacraments, so as not to drive to utter despair the German prelates who had written on the subject, and out of consideration for the request made by others who had accepted the Interim. Apparently the three envoys were agreed on these two points.
We can proceed no further at present, until the preamble of the Bull is returned corrected; for after what has passed already in the matter it cannot be allowed to run, as it does now, that war was made against us for the cause of religion. The Bull has not arrived yet, though the Bishop of Fano had assured us that it would be here by the first. There is some hope that by the first (of next month) it may get here. The three Nuncios attempted to persuade themselves of the suitability of the following expedients, and make us accept them: either that a transcription of the Bull should be made and circulated among the sub-delegates, leaving out the paragraph referring to the war; or that they should be enjoined not to show the transcription if it were accurately made. Neither course seemed to us possible, and at last the three have come to see it. For the time being the negotiation is suspended, until the arrival of the amended Bull. This delay is causing no little harm. The German prelates are pressing for the answer as to the sub-delegations, while both they and the secular authorities assure us that this single point stands in the way of a proper and good settlement of the religious question. Two days ago a letter came from the chief Councillors of the Elector Maurice of Saxony, assuring us that all his vassals would accept the Interim if the principal point (of the sub-delegations) were conceded. We hear that Philip Melancthon has worked hard to get the Interim accepted and is well disposed in all respects.
The Bishop of Fano has again pressed the question of sending the prelates to Rome to undertake the work of reformation, as he has done several times already. We answered, that whenever that point had been put forward, we had consistently relegated it for discussion until the sub-delegation should be effected, and that the same justifiable and compelling reasons as before moved us now to persist in the same course. Though we are irrevocably fixed on that point, we have heard that the Bishop of Fano shows signs of unrest, and is writing (to Rome). We desire you to be informed, so that if the business on hand suffers it, the place (fn. 11) , where you now are, being a short journey from Rome, you may go and speak to his Holiness and his ministers, and make clear to them how much is staked on the granting of the sub-delegations, and how much harm may be done by their dilatoriness. Make it clear to them that we are right in insisting that until the sub-delegations of power are granted nothing else shall be negotiated; for the whole of Germany would receive scandal and seize the opportunity to murmur against us. Certify to his Holiness, however, that when this matter is once well on its way, we will discuss sending the prelates to Rome, and his Holiness shall see how sincerely we shall smooth the path of the reformation; and this he may well believe if he reflects how strongly we have urged it, and even urged that it should be undertaken by his Holiness no matter where, provided it be thoroughly and suitably done. In speaking of sending the prelates, be careful to say no word by which you pledge us tacitly or openly to send those who are now in Trent; for we have heard, and no doubt you have heard it too, that the aim of this new move is to get them out of Trent, and by this device enable the Pope to deal with the Council as he pleases. If they mention to you sending the prelates from Trent, head them off by saying that we will consider sending a few of those that were sent to Trent, and others besides, persons of experience suited to the work of reformation; for if the prelates were to depart from Trent the good folk of Germany would be plunged in doubt and despair; and so would others who desire to see all discords composed by the Council of Trent.
The Bishop of Fano, speaking as it were in confidence with Granvelle, said that he was daily expecting an answer to the communication he and Giulio Ursino made to me about Piacenza. He swore by all his gods, however, that neither he nor the other Nuncios had any restrictions whatever, about the granting of the sub-delegations of power, from his Holiness directly or indirectly, and that they all desired to do their best in the matter. We have thought it well to advise you, so that you may see if what is happening in Rome agrees with their conduct here.
(Postscript.) After writing the above the Nuncio of Fano (i.e. the Bishop of Fano, Nuncio,) asked insistently for an audience for himself and his colleagues. He had told Granvelle beforehand that he had no particular motive, except that all three might have the satisfaction of easing their conscience by exhorting us to lend our help always in the counsels of religion; and particularly, that the German Lutheran preachers might be silenced. Their good offices in this matter seemed to us uncalled for; but as the Bishop of Fano insisted that we should listen to them, adding that what he had to say would greatly benefit public affairs, we granted them an audience yesterday. The Bishop of Fano spoke first. He gave their great desire to behold us again and congratulate us on our recovery as the chief reason for asking for an audience. He supposed that our ministers had informed us of what had passed between them with regard to the sub-delegations of power, and that we had heard of the goodwill of all the three to meet our wishes, and provide a remedy for the (salvation of) souls in Germany. He said that certain points over which there had been differences of opinion were being settled, and now they would write to Rome to get the preamble altered. He asserted that, though fully convinced of our desire to settle matters in Germany and to restore religion, yet to ease their own consciences they felt called upon to exhort us to do our very utmost, and particularly to prevent that the Lutheran preachers should continue in their labours. Any advance we might make in Germany, he said, would be counteracted by those men in a few hours: and having delivered himself, he would make way, he said, for what his colleagues wished to add. The Cardinal of Verona took up the tale where Fano dropped it, approving everything he had said. He could not forbear adding that, by their own experience, during their recent journey through Germany, they could judge the extreme need of a thorough reformation in which all the (German) clerics stood. The scandal of their conduct had given birth to the first errors and nurtured them, and this consideration moved him to exhort us earnestly to do our best to mend their lives. The word then passed to Peghino. He declared everything his colleagues had said to be excellent; adding that on his way through Spire,—a neutral town of our empire—he had been dismayed to see printed books, inimical to religion and to us, publicly sold.
We thanked them for their visit and their congratulations on our recovery, and answered them thus. We could not master thoroughly the import of their exhortations to set our hand to remedy the state of religion in Germany, nor the purpose to which they were directed. We had accomplished more than it was humanly speaking reasonable to hope for, through the assistance and help of Our Lord, to whom alone all thanks and praise were due; to Him alone, for they must very well know who was to blame if matters were not more advanced by now. If their consciences required easing, let them exhort those who stood in greater need than we. Beneath their words, we said, there seemed to lurk an intention to make us take up arms again; but such a course did not recommend itself to us, merely because his Holiness would favour it, offering no better assistance now than he gave before, and withholding the assurance that we should not find ourselves abandoned in the thickest of the struggle as we were once before. With the help of God, we said, we proposed to fulfil the obligations of our office, and were proving this intention by soliciting unceasingly and eagerly the Pope's concurrence. We had been informed of the negotiations carried on by our ministers and of the hitch about the preamble. Our astonishment was great, knowing what harm had been done to us by the publication made by his Holiness's ministers in Switzerland on the cause of our war in Germany, that an attempt should now be made to introduce the same assertion in the Bull, and rouse the country against us. In our opinion it was high time, we said, that the corrected Bull were here. The Bishop of Fano had had ample time to get the necessary alterations made. This hitch was a new cause of delay, where too many existed already. We could not silence the Lutheran preachers all at once; but had we met with more support (from Rome), instead of endless delays, the circumstances would have been more favourable. We answered their promises of help from Heaven by the recital of our Spanish proverb “Help yourself and Heaven will help you,” and concluded by saying that if his Holiness would do his share as we were doing ours, God would no doubt set His hand to the work too. We answered the (Cardinal of) Verona's reflections on the need for reformation here, by saying that we did not find them pertinent, the part taken by us in the recent Diet of Augsburg being well-known, when a plan for reformation was submitted by us to the clergy comprising all the points, and those only, which seemed to us to give cause for public scandal in Germany. The clergy had accepted it out of regard for our person, and were gradually putting it into effect. They (the Nuncios) could not be ignorant of the fact that we had been murmured against and stoned for it in Rome, where it was said we had interfered in matters outside our province, whereas we did no more than seek to procure the observance of rules laid down in canons of ecclesiastical law. It would be better if the reformation began at the upper rather than at the lower end of the Church, and if the Pope and his cardinals would reform themselves first and their chancelries next, for the scandal of what went on in Rome was greater than anywhere else in the world. If the Pope and those (in high places) would reform, the priests in Germany and elsewhere would be shamed into following their good example. A beneficent influence must flow from the fount-head. The evil life of the clergy did great harm to religion, and let them, we said, believe our words. We assured them that we had sought to apply the right remedy to the evil, and might have accomplished more if his Holiness had been willing to lend us the support we looked for. Our experience of the country (Germany) where we had held diets, journeyed and resided, must be greater than theirs, who had been through it once. We replied to Peghino, saying that he might or might not have heard of the regulations concerning the sale of books. But he ought hardly to find it strange that there were people in Spire who loosened their tongues to speak against us, knowing as he must the kind of thing that happened in Rome, what kind of thing their Pasquino (fn. 12) was, where all men, and their Maker too, were decried. At this they all began to speak at once, attempting to justify their words, interrupting one another without order. The Bishop of Fano protested he had spoken to ease his conscience and satisfy his colleagues, being aware of our good intentions. Verona added that they rejoiced to hear such expressions of goodwill from us, having already a knowledge of our good deeds. We answered that if deeds did not convince them, words never would; and repeated what is set down before that their exhortations were needed more elsewhere, his Holiness being the head of spiritual government, as we were the first in temporal government, matters of religion belonged to his province, and he should remedy them. We ended by saying we would not fail in our duty.
The Cardinals Verona and Peghino made excuses for not having intervened in the matter of the (preamble to the) Bull at the time when it was drafted, saying they had seen it first at Esslingen where it was sent after them. They gave their wish to hear from Fano how the tone of it suited us as an excuse for their dilatoriness on the journey. Fano declared that he believed his Holiness had not seen the preamble, but only (approved) the minute of it. We replied that in a matter of so great importance it seemed wrong to us that he should not have seen it; and in reply to his assertion that the error had slipped in out of mere negligence, without any malicious intention whatever, we said that the error must be due to one of two things: great guilelessness, or malice. We did not blame them (the Nuncios) in the matter of the Bull, and we preferred not to say who was to blame; but could not help complaining about the delay, and that when the Bull arrived at last, it should be found to contain errors that put off the effect of it for a yet longer time. The negotiation ended here and they took their leave of us. We desire you to be fully informed of the substance of it and of all that passed so that you may be prepared in any contingency.

Footnotes

1 This letter is written in cipher.
2 The French ambassador at the Emperor's court.
3 This letter is written in cipher.
4 The French outpost near Boulogne.
5 This letter is written in cipher.
6 Governor of Galicia.
7 King's officer.
8 Some 25 miles.
9 After searching for a phonetic key to this name and finding none in reason, I submit the following explanation to the judgment of those who have experience of 16th century nomenclature. Topo-santo is a translation of Mouse-holy. Could the pirates have come from Mousehole on the Cornish coast, and taken ship for this expedition at Plymouth? A Spanish interpreter, such as they must have used, might very well have accounted in this way for their place of origin.
10

An Italian copy of the document given to the Emperor by the Nuncio and Giulio Ursino, is to be found at Simancas (E. 503). As this document, together with the Emperor's reply, gives an admirable statement of the conflicting claims to Parma and Piacenza, I give the following summary.

First, the Pope's version:

The Church might found her claim to Parma and Piacenza on Constantine's clear and ample donation. But the present writing was merely a reminder to the Emperor's conscience, so the writer would pass on to the donation of the towns made by Pepin, confirmed and amplified by Charlemagne, renewed and extended by the Countess Matilda (of Canossa), by the Emperor Rudolph and others, by virtue of which the Church acquired and exercised her temporal dominion over the said towns. The allies of Julius II.: Maximilian, Ferdinand the Catholic and Maximilian, Duke of Milan, wrested them from the French and restored them to the Church. The Emperor Maximilian seized them at the death of Julius II., but both grandfathers of Charles V., acting in concert, gave them to Leo X. after his election to the papacy, and promised to confirm Leo's nominee in possession. Charles V. had ratified the donation in 1521. In exchange for this, the Church later spent over one million in a war, nor reckoning the money spent by Leo X. and Julius II. Charles V, writing to Clement VII, mentioned the restitution of these towns to the Church as one of the chief benefits conferred. The long devotion of the towns to the Church, though it had suffered interruptions, must be reckoned with. The expenses incurred by the Church in defending and fortifying them, and serving as instruments to some of the success happily fallen to Charles V.'s share by the will of God, must also be taken into consideration.

The Emperor's reply is also extant at Simancas (E. 503):

His Majesty the Emperor could proceed to no decision on such vague and uncertain grounds as those selected by the Nuncio and Giulio Ursino. Their historical arguments were vain; first because they appealed to very remote times, and second because they had always been practically disproved. His Majesty might cut the matter short at this point by insisting on seeing the originals of the donations referred to; but he preferred to examine the question in a friendly spirit. However, there was a great difference between settling matters amicably, and swallowing a gross imposition whole; and his Majesty could not imagine why, if the Pope was so certain about the donations, he did not produce the originals. Further, setting aside the opinion of many authorities who denied the authenticity and validity of Constantine's and the later donations, the following points showed the question in its true light:

(1) The donations had remained ineffectual, for the Church never entered into possession of the greater part of the territory to which they applied.

(2) The apologists of the Church explained this, by saying that she would not burden herself with temporal government beyond a point, but was free to hold what she deliberately decided to keep. In that case, Parma and Piacenza were among the territories she refused, for they had never been governed by the Church. Hence they naturally reverted to the Empire, and were to be bestowed at the Emperor's pleasure.

(3) Besides this, no claim might be founded on the mere existence of the donations, as their form, conditions and other details were unknown, the non-observance of any one of which might invalidate the gift.

(4) It was by no means certain that the very persons who were supposed to have made the donations had clear titles to the towns in question.

(5) The fact that several pontiffs had patiently suffered the said towns to remain in the hands of the Dukes of Milan, who had enjoyed the approval of the Church and had been her allies on occasion, required elucidation and explanation.

(6) Such a state of things having once been accepted by the Church, the present claim was unreasonable.

(7) During the vacancy of the Imperial throne, while John XXII. was Pope, it was said that the two towns went over freely to the obedience of the Pope, while the imperial election was pending. But subjects of the Empire might not transfer their allegiance permanently. Once the new Emperor was elected, they reverted naturally to him. The same Pope John admitted this self-evident fact in his extravagant collection of reasons.

(8) The so-called renouncement of Maximilian, Duke of Milan, to the Pope, was made without the Emperor's consent, and was therefore invalid. Besides, it was no voluntary donation, but made under constraint, as the Duke's protests, which were in his Majesty's hands, fully proved. The very renouncement proved conclusively that Pope Leo put forth no claim to the towns for expenses incurred, nor through any previous title, nor Julius' possession. In August, 1515, Pope Leo had considered it expedient to alter the “free gift” to an exchange on the following terms: Bergamo, Asti and other towns, said to be in the hands of the Emperor Maximilian, and of which the Pope was then trying to obtain the investiture, together with Crema, then in the Venetians' hands, should be occupied by his Holiness' and the League's troops. Duke Maximilian should pay 10,000 ducats only of the 300,000 for which he was pledged, and his Holiness undertook to compound with the Duke, for the real revenue of Parma and Piacenza, for 30,000 ducats a year.

(9) Pope Leo, no doubt unable to meet his engagements, three months later handed the towns over to King Francis, who eventually handed back the whole (Duchy of Milan) to the Emperor, although no formal Act was necessary, as the Emperor was already its rightful lord.

(10) In 1521, the Emperor had permitted the Church to keep the towns, on the terms on which she held them, but from the above it was clear that her rights were unsound, as none of the conditions, made by Pope Leo with Duke Maximilian, had been fulfilled.

(11) The money spent on the towns constituted no claim, as the revenue derived from them for many years would cancel the expense.

(12) The Church lay claim to the towns because she had had possession of them for a certain number of years; but this was no claim, but rather a reason for restoring them immediately to their rightful owner.

(13) The Church asserted that Piacenza ought to be restored to her, to set her free from political passion (i.e. intrigues for regaining it). His Majesty affirmed that the quiet of Christendom demanded that the town should remain with its rightful owner. The past had shown any other course to be dangerous and harmful.

(14) In addition to all other reasons, there was the fact that Piacenza, with the general consent of its people, lately gave itself to the Emperor.

11 i.e. Siena.
12 The statute called Pasquino, to which the pasquinades were appended, and are still, though the press has relieved it of some part of its task.


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February 1549