Milan
1526

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1912

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442-473

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'Milan: 1526', Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts in the Archives and Collections of Milan: 1385-1618 (1912), pp. 442-473. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=92286 Date accessed: 24 July 2014.


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1526

1526.
March 12.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
721. Report of Mons. de Laugie to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
He has letters of exchange for 20,000 ducats to be presented to his Holiness. The pope's agents in France have received securities for the 50,000 ducats and for the 10,000, of which they might avail themselves at once with a slight loss; there had already been some failures. They desired to enter into this contract. The king could not be better disposed towards the liberation of Italy and the duke's establishment. He considers the pope lost, but even in that case he and England will not fail to make provision both for Italy and the duke.
The king will make great war in Navarre, and will go thither in person. He proposes to have a large sum of money and 30,000 foot. He has sent to tell the rulers of Spain that he is not making the war for hatred, but to release his sons. If the emperor will accept a reasonable ransom, he will pay it, but if not he will do all in his power to have them, by arms in Spain and elsewhere. The marriage with England is signed, and they are momentarily expecting news from the king's ambassadors that they have sworn to the articles.
In France they had news that 30,000 more ducats were going to the pope from England, and the king had sent to beg that sovereign to contribute to the very heavy expenses of his Holiness; but this is not credited. They had given the 50,000 ducats for the naval force, and in coming here Mons. Laugie had shown him that in a few days it would be in readiness to back up the enterprise strongly. His Majesty desired neither a truce nor armistice with the emperor. The fleet had received 12,000 ducats down from this Laugie before and the 50,000 were in monthly payments which Petro Navara sent with two galleys.
If his Holiness wishes to undertake the enterprise of Naples and keep it for himself, that sovereign is content to bear half the expense, and if the pope will leave it to him, he is content to give that kingdom to his second son who shall marry the niece of his Holiness, giving the apostolic see from the Gargliano to here, with the ports, and keeping for the Venetians and the child of the English king a revenue or state for 30 ducats in the said kingdom.
The English king offers to make war in Picardy or Flanders, provided he has 500 lances from the Most Christian, which that monarch has offered. In exchange for these the king will give the Most Christian 5,000 paid English foot, or the money for that number, to put them in Fontarabia.
Rome, the 12th March, 1526.
[Italian.]
Aug. 11.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
722. — to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
By letter of the 17th July from England my lord of Bath (fn. 1) sends to tell the Datary that he was leaving on the following day with a most honourable company, being sent by his king to the Most Christian. He assures his Holiness on his honour that his king and the Cardinal are following an excellent way, and they expect very little from the King of France. He hopes that God will make manifest by his works that he is a most faithful servant of his Holiness. Up to the present he has not arrived in France. I am afraid that the king is unwilling to make any real movement, and if the marriage alliance takes place, I am perfectly certain that he will take action upon the forces and promises. I refer to the advices received by Sig. Bonvisio from Scarpinello, in his letters of the 16th ult.
The English king writes many things about the articles of the league, among others that his Majesty will never conclude an agreement with France that the state of Milan shall remain to him, and the king has promised him and pledged his honour that he will never make any agreement with Cæsar without his knowledge and consent. The words that precede are all good, but the advices of the nuncio and Scarpinello correspond very ill with them, and this appears by the requests that your Excellency will see.
I hear also that the exiles want a more explicit declaration on their article in the league, and are trying and urging that he shall insist upon their restitution to the possession of all that they held in the time of the French. I told his Holiness that I thought your Excellency would consent so far as patrimonial goods were concerned, but in the time of the French they had possession of my goods and those of your Excellency's other servants, and we were reputed enemies and rebels in those times. It would not be right to restore these, as that would be unjust to your friends and would bring them back to Milan as opponents. His Holiness considers it perfectly right that they should not be gratified upon this point, but he would commend your Excellency if you did not examine too closely into cases where the royal chamber has made donation to some of these of things pertaining to the chamber.
Your Excellency will readily understand that as the pope and the Venetians have taken up arms solely for your Excellency's service, and as things have turned out so badly, the need of Italy for their succour being recognised, it makes them difficult to deal with, and they desire an accommodation with all their heart. They send no horse soldiers, and still less foot. Cæsar never ceases his efforts to bring Italy to terms more favourable to himself. Accordingly his Holiness and the Venetians are exceedingly perplexed, perceiving that their being the only ones to discover themselves has done them this hurt, and every day, as a rule, they call to mind the importunity of Sig. Taberna and myself; they find they have made a mistake, and the great expenses weigh heavily upon them.
The English king urges the pope and the Venetians to send most ample powers to France for the conclusion with the king there of the extension of the articles upon the conditions which have been agreed. If your Excellency decides to enter, I think it will be necessary for you also to send a representative to France.
Rome, the 11th August, 1526, at the 15th hour.
[Italian.]
Aug. 23.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
723. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Giacomo Bannisio, his colleague with the pope.
These last days I have written several times by way of France, not Flanders, of public affairs and events here, which were within my knowledge, my last being of the 11th inst. I have been longing to hear something from you since yours of the 19th June. Since then, by many advices and chiefly by those of the Venetian Signory, they have heard here that the duke, our master, after a hard siege, has been compelled to abandon the castle of Milan to the Duke of Bourbon. After all his Excellency's trials and fatigue to hold his own this result is very different from what all his servants expected, especially myself, as my well being depends entirely upon his complete success. However, as the gods have decided thus, we must console ourselves and rejoice that his Excellency is at liberty and in health, basing our hopes of his reintegration and restitution upon his good health, his innocence and justice, which will relieve his servants from their troubles, especially as I hope that most Christian princes will work together for his restoration, and we hope that his Imperial Majesty also will not be averse from this act of justice.
By this despatch I am writing to the duke, merely to express my joy at his freedom and good health, and begging him to write and direct me if I am to continue my operations here with his Majesty, or whether his pleasure is different; because my state is much more wretched than any one would believe without a long and tedious explanation. I have been as moderate as possible in my earlier letters, in order to avoid incivility. But I am driven to this by my dire necessities. Those who knew what they were two years ago will recognise how hard is my case. I cannot implore assistance as often as my state requires, because the routes are interrupted by the imminent wars, and besides I have no one at present with his Excellency to secure for me such relief as his condition renders possible. In the capitulation, of which a copy has come here, every one is remembered except my most unfortunate self. This has caused me such profound wretchedness that the most bitter enemy would have compassion. I earnestly beg your lordship to take pity on me and write to remind his Excellency of me, so that I may not be more than wretched, and so that he may hear of my service and fidelity, which do not merit oblivion. He should also hear that nothing has been allowed to me and I have had to make use of the poor resources that were left to me in my country, and which I believe have already vanished. I am not so foolish as not to take into consideration the state of his Excellency, and that he is more in need of assistance himself than in a position to help others, but I am also afraid that if he does not provide me with something to satisfy my numerous debts, and to permit me to withdraw to some place where I can beg with less shame, it will be necessary for me to die in a prison, with much shame to me and little credit to his Excellency. I am not writing more about public affairs to his Excellency because I do not know if his counter cipher is safe. I have therefore referred him to what I have written and am writing to your Reverence. I have not omitted to urge him to write to the king here and the cardinal, because they have always been propitious to him, and it is to be hoped that they will always remain so.
I am not without fear that the withdrawal of the troops of the league from Milan may have discouraged the castle, and rendered them hopeless of reliefs of which they must be very doubtful, especially when they hear the perseverance and boldness of the imperialists in besieging it. Some reports state that the castle is in such straits that the troops within were about to mutiny. God prevent such a calamity. I am bound to fear the worst, as I have no letters from you.
I mentioned in my last that they had suspicions here about the good faith of the French king. This is somewhat mitigated and removed by the advices from the pontifical and Venetian agents, and also by a mutual obligation signed these last days between the king here and France that neither shall make a friendship and agreement with the emperor without the other. However, with respect to Italy, there is no other security from France than what you have already learned. Upon the entrance of the king here into the league, they give the usual words, notwithstanding the constant pressure. In everything it is necessary for us to connive until his Excellency is assisted. For this we must relax no effort.
The nuncio here continues to press his Majesty to enter the league and supply the help therein that they desire. They reply that if the emperor refuses peace upon reasonable conditions, his Majesty, as the league may decide, will either enter it as sponsor and supply
25,000 ducats a month, upon good security, without affording any other help, or he will declare war upon the emperor, and the league will be bound to observe all the conditions, of which I sent a copy in my last, with the express compact that whether he does the one or the other his Majesty may promise himself the pension of 40,000 ducats a year in perpetuity upon the state of Milan. They add that it is impossible to make war this year, because the season has practically passed.
It is understood that this Joachim, (fn. 2) who intermeddles with everything, has drawn them here into the mutual obligation which they have recently signed with France that neither shall make terms with the emperor while he requires a ransom of a million. All this seems to me to the prejudice of the league, in which it is provided that the ransom shall be at the arbitrament of the allies. By this new agreement they will now be compelled to wage war until the sons of the King of France are recovered, or contribute themselves the difference demanded by the emperor, especially if the King of England occupies himself with this difference, or any one else who happens to join the league.

London, the 23rd August, 1526.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 4.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
724. Augustino Scarapinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Since I heard of your Excellency's release I have written two letters containing my congratulations and reporting events here, so that I have nothing further to write now. Before the present bearer arrives I hope to get other letters of mine delivered to him by couriers, and especially by Messer Sanga, sent by the pope, who will leave to-morrow. I ask your Excellency to remember this bearer, named Mayor, a gunner pensioned by his Majesty, who hopes for great advantages, from the leave he has obtained for some months and by being employed in those wars.
London, the 4th September, 1526.
[Italian.]
Sept. 5.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
725. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
I am most anxious to hear of the arrival or my letters of the 7th and 14th June, the 16th, 19th and last of July and the 3rd 11th and 23rd August. I send all or the majority of them in the packet of our Messer Silvestro directed to the Auditor of the Chamber. (fn. 3)
London, the 5th September, 1526.
[Italian; fragment.]
Sept. 5.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
726. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
The cardinal here has a strong feeling against the emperor, and seeing that his king concurs more strenuously than at first, in order to diminish the envy of the other councillors and the people, he wishes to play the part of the good preceptor, and works hard to induce the king to break with Cæsar. He promises the agents here to bring the king to do what he wants, of which there is no doubt in my opinion (Questo Cardinale have gagliardo contra Cesare et vedendo dal principio concorrere piu gagliardamente suo Re, per declinare la invidia de li altri consiglieri et populi, volse fare tanto del bono preceptore che adesso fatica redure epso Re al rompere con Cesare pur promette a questi agenti redurlo ad quello luy vora il che non e dubio, secondo mi penso.)
London, the 5th September, 1526.
[Italian; from the decipher.]
Sept. 6.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
727. The Cavalier Bilia, Milanese Ambassador in Spain, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
I hear that his Majesty told the English ambassador (fn. 4) in reply to his proposals, that when he was certain of a good and stable peace, he would leave the questions of the restitution of the sons of the King of France and the state of Milan to the arbitrament of his Holiness and the King of England, and if he did this it could not fail to be well, but I doubt it is merely fine words.
Granada, the 6th September, 1526.
[Italian.]
Sept. 15.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
728. The Cavalier Landriano, Milanese Ambassador at Rome, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
The affairs of England, as I have written are doubtful, and depend upon those of France, while French affairs make those of England move with hesitation. From the advices which arrive from England it is thought that when the decision of the emperor arrives not to restore the sons of the Most Christian, pay his debt to the King of England or leave Lombardy, the three proposals made, his Majesty of England will take up arms, spend money and do great deeds for the benefit of the league. Nevertheless, I gather from a trustworthy source that even if the emperor makes a reply altogether different from what is required and refuses to do anything upon the said proposals, the English king will not put himself out on that account, in short he will do nothing of moment. But if the marriage alliance takes place between the King of France and that sovereign, it is considered absolutely certain that then both of them will make vigorous, open, and extensive demonstrations. Otherwise things will drag on a long time and we shall be beginning the dance when we think we are at the end.
The proposal is to give the daughter of the English king to the Most Christian or to the Dauphin; but as she is not of a suitable age, it is doubtful if they will keep their promise even after an agreement has been made when she has reached the proper age with the lapse of time. For this reason it seems that the King of England demands Boulogne and another town as a caution, a thing which seems hard to the King of France, and so from this an exclusion is more likely to arise than a conclusion. But if this arrangement is not made, everyone believes that but little can be expected from England, and, as a consequence, France, not being sure of England, will not show so much promptitude and willingness as our necessities require.
Rome, the 15th September, 1526.
[Italian.]
Sept. 30.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
729. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
They have heard here of the arrival with you of so many Swiss, of the French lances and infantry, of such a great naval force and of the beginning of the siege of Cremona, and are expecting some satisfactory outcome, especially as delay does not at present suit the actors. They are also expecting a reply to his Majesty from the emperor to the enquiry as to whether he is willing to enter, upon honourable conditions, the treaty lately made in France. This expectation causes a halt in their activities.
It is now eight days since advices arrived here from Flanders by way of Augsburg, from the Bulgarians, reporting very bad news of the kingdom and King of Hungary. So far it has not been confirmed, and they have some hope that it may be false. If it were true it would indeed be a most lamentable thing, one to cause no little alarm to all the Christian powers, especially the Germans, who are said to have been making preparations at the same time for the invasion of Italy.
In Scotland there is a great disturbance between the Earl of Angus and the queen his wife, mother of the present king there. The Archbishop of St. Andrews has gone over to her side. The dispute is for the wardship and governance of the king, who is in the earl's power, and who secretly favours the other party. In a similar dispute the Earl of la Nos was slain, who was going against the Earl of Angus. (fn. 5) Thus no part of the world is without its disturbances.
They are momentarily expecting Mons. de Moretta, (fn. 6) sent by the Most Christian King to his Majesty here. I will advise your lordship with what purpose he comes, if I can find out.
London, the last day of September, 1526.
[Italian.]
Oct. 17.
Potenze
Estere.
Roma.
Milan
Archives.
730. The Cavalier Landriano, Milanese Ambassador at Rome, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
The letters from France are of the 4th. The Most Christian has had the news of the troubles of Rome (fn. 7) and is very angry about it. He at once sent an express to England to solicit that king to send immediate provision for this great injury done to his Holiness.
Rome, the 17th October, 1526.
[Italian.]
Oct. 18.
Potenze
Estere.
Roma.
Milan
Archives.
731. The Cavalier Landriano, Milanese Ambassador at Rome, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Il Sanga (fn. 8) has arrived from France and England, ill pleased with the one and even worse with the other nation. The King of England will do nothing, and the King of France no more than he is obliged and even then slowly.
Rome, the 18th October, 1526.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 19.
Potenze
Estere.
Inghilterra.
Milan
Archives.
732. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
By my last of the 15th I wrote about affairs here, so far as I considered necessary and especially what the secretary of Venice told me about the lack of good-will towards your Excellency of York, and urged you to make suitable provision. In corroboration of this story Martino Agrippa, a loving servant of your Excellency and secretary of the nuncio, in a confession written on a sheet, told me that there is a plan here, and practically a similar one in France, though that is accidental, which bodes little good for you, as it would be to divide your raiment and make you a cardinal. He says that this plan exists among persons of low rank, but much in affairs, indicating among them this Joachim, (fn. 9) the Ambassador of France here. As one who from the position he holds knows the cause of these humours he suggests the remedies which correspond mostly to what I wrote in my last to your lordship and Sig. Francesco Taberna, namely, to base all our hopes on the Signory of Venice and his Holiness, and to get both to write to their agents here and in France with a firm declaration that they desire no one else in the state of Milan than your Excellency. He also says that you must win over the Datary, (fn. 10) and it will be expedient, but with the advice of the pope and Venice to send a person of wisdom and repute and above suspicion to the King of France, but really to his mother the regent, to propitiate her, because she does everything and moreover she has refused so far to listen to the said proposal, either from having extracted the soul from the affairs of the state of Milan, or more probably because she will not hear the Duke of Bourbon spoken of, in whose benefit the plan is conceived. You should also win over Robertetto (fn. 11) by letters and gifts.
With respect to conciliating the impious soul of this cardinal by a promise or some gift now, there is no reason to fear the pension which they offered to him if they would enter the league, because they no longer think of entering it, and all are intent on being judges and mediators of the universal peace (et forzare o con promessa o con qualche dono prescente placare questa anima impia de questo Cardinale, ne se ha de timere de la pensione che se gli offeriva volendono intrare in la lega, perche non pensano di intrarvi piu et tutti sono intenti ad esserno judici et mediatori de la pace universale).
I therefore believe in the information I have received about the cardinal's lack of good-will, and it is for no other cause except that I know the levity of the man.
London, the 19th October, 1526.
[Italian; copy; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 3.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
733. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Giacomo Bannisio, Ambassador with the Pope.
My last was of the 25th ult. in which I wrote what seemed to me worthy of your lordship's knowledge, and chiefly what was told me by Martino Agrippa, secretary of the nuncio here, about the plan and intrigue conducted here and in France by that Joan Joachim to make his Excellency a cardinal and to give the state of Milan to Bourbon. This taken with what the Venetian secretary told me previously about the ill will he had observed in the cardinal towards his Excellency's affairs, as I have written at length in two previous letters to your lordship and to Messer Francesco Taberna, has forced me to recognise that there is something in it. Accordingly on two occasions when I have spoken with the legate here, and on one with the king, I have endeavoured to turn the conversation in such a way that I might be able to get some inkling of the matter in question, though I think that if they mean to hide these intrigues from any body, they would hide them from me. However, some men are by nature unable to conceal things so readily. In these conversations I certainly seemed to have assurance of their good-will, in their usual fair words and maxims. His Majesty, in the presence of the nuncio and Venetian secretary only, gave me such a friendly answer that more could not be desired. He promised to do everything possible for the preservation of his Excellency, expressing open and unmistakeable displeasure of all that had been done to him. He asked me closely and in a friendly manner after his Excellency's health, and turned to the nuncio and secretary, taxing their princes with their slowness to succour him. He said many other good and friendly words, from which it is impossible to come to any other conclusion except that he is most favourably disposed, especially as he is simple and candid by nature (de le quale non se ne possea raccogliere che sua optima volunta et maxime per essere de natura semplice et Candida).
In addition to this reply I was not a little comforted by the conversation his Majesty had with all the ambassadors shortly before, beseeching and urging them to advise their princes to make a universal peace, with so much prudence and reason that I should not have expected so much even from you if you had been urging peace and concord. He turned frequently to the Imperial ambassador and sometimes to the French, saying that their princes ought to devote their powers to the re-establishment of universal peace, not merely to occupy the possessions of others for that peace, and especially when the power of the Turk clearly threatened the destruction of all, with many other things worthy of a great orator rather than a king (a la quale resposta non poco me acquieto il parlamento che poco avante sua Maesta havea facto a tucti li ambasiatori, pregandoli et astringendoli volessero confortare loro principi a la pace universale con tanta prudentia et ragione che mai ne harria io tanto sperato da voi se vi persuadere detta pace et concordia voltando spesso al oratore imperiale et qualche volta al francese deveno loro principi per la pace universale remettere de viribus suis non solum occupare aliena per epsa pace et maxime iminente la manifesta ruina de tutti da la potentia del turco et multe altre cose degne de un grande oratore piu presto che de un re).
With respect to the cardinal, I find that the malignity of this Joachim has suggested the intrigues I spoke of; so much so that as the cardinal is not very constant and especially as we on our part have for some time neglected those offices which might have kept him faithful (como non molto constante et maxime essendose mancato dal canto nostro per alchuni tempi da quelli offitii che lo hariano possuto retinere in fede), he remarked in some stormy discussions with the ambassadors here: Non debemus in eternum facere bella inter nos pro Duce Mediolani si ipse est odiosus ceteris principibus faciamus Ducem Borboni Ducem Mediolani. I have been told that with the same opinion he has promised, at Joachim's instance, to go to France. However this may be, we should not omit the necessary provisions in either event, both to prevent evil counsels from spreading further, and to confirm those which are good; and most of all in continuing the proper offices. I must inform your lordship that I am told by men who know the nature of the English well, that if any one offers them a reward for doing work, they are accustomed to labour willingly, so long as they are certain of obtaining what has been promised when they have done.
I consider that it is the first part of my office to keep my master advised both of the things I hear and of those which are reported to me by others, especially those which concern his service. Very recent letters have arrived from the French Court for the Ambassador Joan Joachim here, among others, one from a certain secretary. After promising certain victory for the enterprise owing to the generous provision made by his king and the Venetian Signory, he adds that the Venetians are daily making more vigorous provision, because they have Cremona. These words seemed so suspicious to the nuncio, that he not only sent me word by Martino, but says that he will write about it to the Datary. Although it is impossible that these words were said with another sense than we fear, yet I have thought it right to inform your lordship, so that you may find out more certainly, though I must say that the world is so apt to do wrong that there is on wickedness that one might not fear, while the malignity of this Joachim is so great that I think he will never cease suggesting all the evil things imaginable in order to contrive that his master shall remain lord of the state of Milan. In speaking of his Excellency, he will never call him Duke of Milan.
By this and my other letters your lordship will have noticed the devotion of Martino Agrippa, who certainly deserves every commendation. I beg you to commend him to the duke, and get him to mention Martino as well as the nuncio in the letters directed to me, because Martino will be able to continue to inform me of what he hears, and it will also serve to induce the nuncio to continue his offices. It is true that he did not give me the warning that I had from the Venetian secretary; but I have always found him well disposed and ready to perform good offices for his Excellency. It is advisable to show all the gratitude we can to every one. Martino importunes me to get his Excellency through your lordship to constrain the Datary. I do not think that we ought to fail in such a work. It is within your power as a favourite of the Datary to ask for it, and we need good friends.
I can think of nothing more, except that I anxiously wait to hear from your lordship, since I despair of hearing from his Excellency, and I do not know my fate. His Excellency has been free these four months and has not yet sent any reply to my numerous letters, or shown that he cares anything about these negotiations, and I do not know what to think, unless this is the compliment to all my miseries. I beg your lordship once again to continue your intercession with his Excellency, praying him to deign to direct me what I must do is case he cannot or will not support me. With the breakdown of all the hopes that I have hitherto reposed in him it is essential that the pity and good offices of my friends do not fail me.
News has just come that the Auditor of the Chamber has arrived at Calais and the Venetian ambassador (fn. 12) has been several days at Canterbury awaiting his household from Calais. It is thought that they will have been able to cross to-day. The Venetian ambassador told me that his secretary was a good friend and gossip of his Excellency, and on his way here he went to see him at Crema, but he said nothing about me. If your lordship thinks that I should rest content I will not fail to serve faithfully while breath lasts.
London, the 3rd November, 1526.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 8.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
734. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
On All Saints' day the king here invited all the ambassadors and agents including myself to the mass and ceremonies which his Majesty is accustomed to celebrate on that day in his palace at Greenwich. There, after dinner he called me to him at a great window, in the presence of only one Achates, to wit, the legate here, and said that the congregation of All Saints should admonish us, among other things, that every one should try his hardest with his prince, and give the best he has for union and peace between those princes. This would be laudable at any time, but now it was necessary and could not be neglected without the utmost danger. He remarked that the princes themselves were by nature merely men, though by the grace of God they were set up to rule, to the end that with more care and labour they should procure the common quiet, the maintenance and increase of the faith and law of God, and not to suffer the Christian reputation to perish for their own private convenience, out of revenge for a private affront or from envy and greed for what belongs to another, and their own fall would follow the destruction of Christendom (dicendo che la congregatione de tutti sancti inter alia ne devea admonire de operare ciascuno pro viribus presso de soi principi et dono che meglio haria parso per la unione et pace tra epsi principi, pero che si mai alcun tempo fu cosa laudabile, adesso era necessario immo non poterse pretermettere senza periculo grandissimo, exponendo epsi principi non esserno a natura altro che homini, ma per benignità de Dio prepostia regnare afinche con majore cura et opera procurano la comune quiete, la manutentione et augmento de la fede et lege de epso Dio et non permittano per loro particulare comodo et per vendecta de privata offensione seu per invidia o cupidita de lo alieno, che la reputatione Christiana se perda, con lo interitu de la quale e bisogno anche seguire lo de epsi principi).
He turned frequently to the Imperial ambassador, but never to the French, saying that henceforward their princes must consider and provide for the imminent calamity of the Christian name, and put an end to the obstinacy of pretensions and wars, granting to each what was his right, and resting content with the numerous realms and countries that God had given to them. They should show their gratitude to Him, and moderate their appetite and quarrelsomeness, as well as that of their realms. In this direction, he said, and without being asked, I think I have given no small light to the others since for the universal peace and the good of the Christian name I have not only handed over to my enemies all the powers I had of hurting them, but I have succoured them with the greatest industry and labour, yielding to them my solid claims and their realisation, because God had given me such an opportunity and such power that I could not have failed (dicendo deverno hormai loro principi considerare et providere a la imminente calamita del nome Christiano, et far fine a la obstinatione de le simultate et guerre, concedere ciascuno de jure suo et contentarse de tanti regni et paesi che loro he dato Dio, al quale volendonose exhibire grati debeno condonare non solum alcuno loro appetito et offensione, ma anco de li propri regni, al quale camino disse il che senza instantia sia ditto penso havere dato non poco lume a li altri, havendo per la pace universale et bono de la reputatione Christiana non solum remesso a mei inimici quanta piu faculta mi se dava di offenderli, ma con omne industria et opera sublevati et cedutoli de mei solidi ragioni immo il possesso de epsi, peroche tale era la occasione et forze che Dio mi dava che non mi harria possuto mancare).
He added that if he was now labouring for such a union in order to resist the invasion of the Turks, it was not because he was especially exposed to danger from them, like the other Christian princes, because God had placed him in a realm so situated and so strong that he might count upon being attacked last of all. But he had done all and would still do all that he could for the reverence and piety that he owed to his Creator. He touched on the danger to the Duke of Austria, the ancient patrimony and title of the house of his Imperial Majesty. He said it would be a more solid glory for them to defend that from the yoke of the infidels and preserve it for the memory of his family than to acquire new realms of believers, to the destruction and ruin of the Christian name. He did not forget to point out how hateful to posterity would be the name of all those who had been the cause of the indignity recently inflicted on the apostolic see, with much more, so that for arrangement and delivery nothing better could have been desired from a most consummate orator.
His Majesty was suitably commended and thanked by all, and they besought him to continue his necessary activities, as they recognised by his piety and divine consideration that God had made him worthy of this glory, to unite all the other princes for the weal of Christendom. He replied that he would spare himself no labour or expense to that end.
Subsequently his Majesty desired us to go with him to visit the queen. Seizing upon a favourable opportunity, I approached his Majesty alone, and besought his grace and favour for the affairs of your Excellency, and to act so that you might feel relief from having taken refuge under his Majesty's protection, as this was the moment above all others to relieve and preserve you, because we were approaching, so we hoped, a universal peace. In bringing this about there was no doubt but that a leading part would be given to his Majesty, with the consent of all. The nuncio and Venetian secretary wanted to answer me, and in their presence the king said: God grant that the other Christian princes will concur as readily in the concord as I shall try to make them, and that they will listen to my arbitrament about their differences, because I shall not be indifferent to the interests of the princes of Italy, and especially those of the duke, who has always been dear to me and will be in the future. Both of the aforementioned thanked his Majesty for this disposition and begged him to persevere, because the preservation of your Excellency was necessary to the preservation of all their princes, and without it they could not stand.
After this, in the most friendly way that could be desired, his Majesty enquired after the health of your Excellency, and where you were. I gave him the information that I had received by the letter of the Rev. Bannisio. He also wished to know if your Excellency was reduced to the straits reported when the castle of Milan surrendered. Both the aforesaid replied that the scarcity had been very great, and it had been necessary to eat horses. He asked why they had been so long about relieving it. They replied that it had not been possible to act more quickly. Thus all the words and actions of his Majesty show his customary graciousness and good-will for the preservation of your Excellency. You should therefore, in due season, by constant letters and offices endeavour to keep him in this disposition and further kindle him to much more zeal about the confederation. You should also try and get his Holiness and the Signory to direct their agents here, in every one of their actions, to din the preservation of your Excellency into the ears of his Majesty and the cardinal, as undoubtedly for their own advantage. By such means and with the justice and virtue of your Excellency, everyone will doubtless be disposed as you desire.
I wrote by my last that his Majesty and the cardinal had conceived good hope of the peace which is desired from the first reply made to them about it by the emperor. Owing to this hope and because of what has happened in Hungary they will send the same gentleman as on the 21st ult. asking his Imperial Majesty for more humble conditions.
Since then, on the 3rd inst. the Bishop of Worcester, Auditor of the Chamber, has arrived, sent by his Holiness to his Majesty, as acceptable to both of them. Yesterday at his first conference he set forth to the cardinal the reasons for his coming. They told him among other things that he should be ready to travel to Spain immediately the gentleman referred to returns so that they may decide upon the action and commissions of the auditor, according to the report he brings. Accordingly they are awaiting his return. In the meantime I think your Excellency should get the pope to write to him and the Datary to do so also. His favour towards your affairs depends largely upon this, as the auditor is by nature studious of his dignity, and so it will have the greater effect upon his actions. Letters might be sent to him here and in Spain.
I have since had occasion for private intercourse with the auditor, as my friend, and I asked him if he had any special recommendation of your Excellency's affairs from the pope. He said he had not, and it was not necessary, as his general instructions comprised this. He promised me that in all his proceedings he would show himself a studious servant of your Excellency, as the results would show. He remarked that as he was going to Spain as the representative of the king here, in the character of mediator for the concord which is desired, it would not behove him to betray his inclination towards the service of his Holiness and the advantage of Italy, but he must effect this under the commissions from here and in the guise of a mediator. It therefore would not be advisable for his Holiness to write to him, as I suggested above, but that before he leaves I should get the cardinal here to give him the least word in commendation, because that would suffice, seeing the disposition of the auditor. I will try and do this if it is possible, of which I have good hope, but if in the meantime some suitable letter arrives from your Excellency, it will greatly facilitate my labours. There is no need to trouble any more about the pension which it was proposed to give the king here upon the Duchy of Milan, because they do not think of entering the league. All his inclinations and intent are to arbitrate upon the differences of others, although I believe that this pension upon Milan was demanded, not as it was offered, merely to provide an excuse for hesitation about entering the league, because some of the Council here said, Nos scimus hanc pensionem esse hamum quo nos capiant ad subeundum onus belli.
London, the 8th November, 1526.
[Italian.]
Nov. 8.
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735. The Cavalier Landriano, Milanese Ambassador at Rome, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
The auditor has left France and is going to England, though it is firmly believed that he will do nothing more than what has been done, and that he will not go to Spain.
Rome, the 8th November, 1526.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 9.
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736. Domenico Sauli, Milanese Ambassador at Venice, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Your Excellency is wonderfully favoured at this time that the Cardinal of York in England threatens so grandly to make his Holiness accept Bourbon. However, that is absolutely vain. I find Mons. de Baiosa (fn. 13) very zealous about your Excellency and upon this proposal of England. He will write in good form by the first despatch that is made.
The 9th November, at Venice.
[Italian.]
Nov. 12.
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737. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Messer Jacobo Bannisio, Ambassador to the Pope.
My last were of the 8th inst., wherein I wrote at length about events here up to that day. In the short time since then nothing has happened, except that I understand from another quarter, besides what I reported was written to the French ambassador, that there is some suspicion about the readiness of the Venetians to restore Cremona. When the Venetian ambassador called upon me recently, he remarked, without my having betrayed any sign of such suspicion, that when Moretto crossed the sea with him from Calais, he asked him if the Signory would give back Cremona to his Excellency; while York at his first audience had signified to him that he had such a suspicion. The ambassador told me that he answered that he marvelled that they thought so ill of his Signory, which was about to hazard its state for his Excellency. He thought it would be best for his Excellency to place himself in the saddle speedily, in order to remove the occasion for suspicion and about the shortcomings of others. This Venetian ambassador promises himself much from the goodwill of the King of France towards the liberty of Italy, and also from that of York, especially towards the duke's affair, notwithstanding what he told his secretary, who passed it on to me, which is the exact contrary as regards York.
We have heard recently that the Imperial ambassador has informed the king here that the emperor will rest content with the ransom that the King of France offered to give, but that king says he will not pay so much, because he has been compelled to incur heavy expenses by the king, and will not accept that offer. Accordingly I imagine that the peril of the Turk, as is only reasonable, will make Cæsar agree to more modest conditions of peace and I also fear that it will render France and some others insolent.
I therefore pray God to help me by his mercy and justice.
It is five or six days since the cardinal told me that he had a letter from a gentleman, sent by his Majesty to Germany before Hungary was lost, by which he writes that it is stated there that Vienna has surrendered to the Turks, et sic, dum querimus aliena ammittimus propria. No confirmation has arrived since, indeed it is said that the archduke was sending a large force of landsknechts to Italy, and this per absolvere minus pietatis et erga deos et homines. If it be so, God must have blinded him completely.
The Venetian ambassador had audience of the cardinal on the day after his arrival. Yesterday, the 11th and Martinmas, he had audience of his Majesty at Greenwich, when great honour was shown him. When I last returned this ambassador's visit, he told me that when he parted from the duke, his Excellency told him that he had a representative here, in whom he reposed great confidence, though he did not give him any letter or charge him to impart anything to me. If he had not kept this to himself until this moment, I should not have complained so bitterly in my last letter to his Excellency, and so I beg your lordship to make my excuses. This remembrance of me has afforded me great consolation and has given me credit with the ambassador. However, to provide for other matters and for his service it is necessary for the duke to send me some letter about what I am to do, and also to express in writing his gratitude to the king and cardinal here, as if he persists in neglecting this office, it is certain that there will be a lack of confidence towards me in the matters which I have to negotiate. I have already experienced this in great measure with the other leading agents, who may possibly put some ambiguous interpretation on the fact that his Excellency does not write to me.
London, the 12th November, 1526.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 12.
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738. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
I have been again to call upon the Ambassador of the Signory, and to pay him my dutiful respects, as I thought proper, and in the interests of the dignity and preservation of your Excellency. He told me, what he had not mentioned before, that when he parted from your Excellency, you recommended me to him, although you did not give him any letters or other commissions for me. I humbly thank your Excellency for such kindness.
I also beseech your Excellency to write letters of gratitude to the king and cardinal here, showing your appreciation of their offices and hope for what they will do, so as to dispose them to do everything for the preservation of your dignity, and to give greater authority to my operations with both. If you continue to neglect these offices I think that the goodwill of both his Majesty and the legate towards you may disappear, and they will not give me the requisite confidence I feel that that is already lacking in many, who put a sinister interpretation on the fact that your Excellency does not write. I therefore beseech you to show your prudence and worth in this matter amid the numerous difficulties of your affairs.
This same ambassador had audience of the legate on the day following his entry into this city, and of his Majesty on the 11th at Greenwich. The ambassador tells me that he expects much from the goodwill of the cardinal towards the well being of Italy.
The last letters from the Court of France state that the Viceroy of Naples was to sail on the 15th of last month with the fleet, and that the archduke was sending a large force of landsknechts from Germany to assist in the wars of Italy. It is thought that this may be so, if the latest letters from Flanders speak true, that the Turks are turning back, after garrisoning three or four places in Hungary. If the viceroy left on the day stated, he ought by this time to have arrived in those parts, although the same letters state that the main fleet of France had gone to meet him, with great hope of victory.
I say no more here, but refer to what I have written to Bannisio, to whom I have written in cipher.
London, the 12th November, 1526.
[Italian.]
Nov. 12.
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739. The Cavalier Landriano, Milanese Ambassador at Rome, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
They are trying to induce the King of England, who wants to have his feet in a thousand shoes, to enter the league and to declare himself. However, they will never succeed in this unless the marriage takes place and then he will want to aim at the heavens.
Rome, the 12th November, 1526.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 13.
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740. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Messer Jacopo Bannisio, Ambassador with the Pope.
After I had sealed the packet I have been informed by a friend that by the last letters from France the king complains, I know not whether with the intention of deserting a friend, that he has heard that the apostolic nuncio at the Court of Spain and the Cavalier Bilia are negotiating an agreement with the emperor. This makes me fear the perfidy of man, and I doubt that the withdrawal of the pope from prosecuting the undertaking, owing to the truce made with Cæsar, will cause mistrust in the other allies, and consequently give rise to fresh plans. No little suspicion is occasioned by the promptitude of the Signory of Venice in undertaking the burden of the war for themselves and the pope also, as well as by their putting such a large garrison in Cremona. I find this opinion very wide spread, and shared by my friend in question, who has an extensive knowledge of current affairs. It will be advisable for his Excellency not to delay any longer to take possession of Cremona on some reasonable pretext. This is a matter of great importance, both in the progress of the war and in the negotiations for an accord, if it comes to that.
For the love of God let his Excellency show that he is now alive. It is four months that he has been free, and one hears no mention of him, just as if he did not exist. My friend about his reports that he was present at great complaints to York aforesaid not writing, or at least not showing that he is alive. Many tax him with being unable to rule without Morone, with a thousand other stinging things. For God's sake, do not let him fail, but show the courage that is requisite, especially now, when his personality is to the fore.

I have written elsewhere that the king and cardinal here are firmly of opinion that a general peace will ensue between Christian princes through their means and arbitrament. All are intent on this divine work, which is inspired by God.
York, fearing that if the Auditor of the Chamber went to Spain in the name of the pope he would conclude something there, has decided to send him in the name of the king here. In addition to the glory which they promise themselves here from such negotiations they also wish to draw in with it the marriage between the princess here and the King of France. That monarch has given his word, and still adheres to it. So also they think of being the depositories of the state of Milan, if Cæsar will not consent to the re-establishment of his Excellency there, and they are even selecting the persons for that business. I think this cannot be without the consent of the greater part of the princes. We ought therefore not to neglect the offices necessary to propitiate them, and to provide that the unfavourable disposition of York, as reported by the Venetian secretary, does no harm, because he would have hopes if some demonstrations of gratitude were made to propitiate him.
I have written before, and now repeat that if your lordship contrives to induce his Excellency to write to these parts, he should write to the Bishop of London and to Thomas More, who have very great influence with the cardinal. Also he should not forget to write friendly letters to the Auditor of the Chamber and to the Protonotary of the Chamber, the apostolic nuncio, (fn. 14) from whom I anticipate no small service.
London, the 13th November, 1526.
Postscript.—The auditor, who has the same suspicions as the others about the appetite of Venice for Cremona, is of opinion that his Excellency should use the authority and advice of his Holiness about it. He assures me that the pope has it much at heart.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 14.
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741. Domenico Sauli, Milanese Ambassador at Venice, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Every hour confirms me in the opinion that your Excellency must try to win for yourself the goodwill and if possible the affection of the Most Christian king. That happens rarely among princes, but from what I hear of his nature and of the character of the nation I do not think it will be difficult to win him, if one perseveres with reverence and humble words, showing a great desire to win such a position with his Majesty, and your Excellency might produce this effect by what you might think fit to write. The reasons which move me are very apparent and better understood by your Excellency than by me; but the thing that convinces me, more than what I wrote in my previous letters is this.—The Protonotary da Gambara has repeatedly written from England to Rome that the emperor solicits, or feigns to solicit, as I believe, the king there and the Cardinal of York, to undertake this business of the peace. The cardinal has shown himself ambitious to do this, and Gambara wrote recently by letters of the 18th ult. that York exhorted his Holiness to accept Bourbon as Duke of Milan, with some idea of putting the emperor in the way to marry him to Madame Leonora, thus clearing the way for England to marry his daughter to the Most Christian, a matter which York is at present very eager about. I have heard all this, though your Excellency may have heard it before from the Cavalier Andriano. I should be afraid that France, for lack of better counsel, allows himself at some moment to be guided by York and become more careless of what happens to the state of Milan, in the hope of recovering his sons, especially if he was impressed with the idea that your Excellency was no longer his, as in that case Milan in any event would remain in the hands of a person estranged from his Majesty or not in confidential relations with him. But if your Excellency had created the impression that I suggest, then besides his open hatred for Bourbon, his Majesty would have to reflect that instead of a friend he would have that enemy established there, with which he could never rest content, both because of Bourbon's connection with Cæsar, and from his natural antipathy. I should not advise withholding anything on this subject from his Majesty, unless the Ambassador Taverna has any reasons for objecting, as it might be very advantageous to make the business a confidential one between your Excellency and his Majesty. I sincerely hope that his Majesty will more readily adopt the opposite opinion from that which England desires, especially as I know that Mons. di Baiosa has written to him to-day at great length and with countless excellent arguments to warn him not to allow himself to be persuaded, pointing out how little confidence can be placed in this interposition of England, whose own interests and convenience are concerned, so that he is not a suitable mediator to negotiate this peace, in which he so clearly intends to work for his own private interests. I believe that the Signory here will exhort his Majesty to the same effect, though I would rather that your Excellency were considered for your own sake and not for the sake of others. In my opinion everything in this affair depends upon France, as if his Majesty ever agreed to accept Bourbon in that place I fear that the others would fall away from their goodwill owing to the length and pressure of the war. By these last of Gambara from England, which I referred to, they are urging from that quarter that free orders shall be sent to that place for the negotiation of two peaces; but for the moment this demand will not be listened to, and I believe that the same will be the case in France.
Venice, the 14th November, 1526.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24.
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742. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
His Majesty and the cardinal have accelerated the despatch of the Auditor of the Chamber. He will leave for his Imperial Majesty in two or three days. They wish first to examine the ambassadors here, namely, the papal, French and Venetian as to the desires and interests of their respective princes upon the peace, in order, so far as possible to accommodate the operations of the auditor to the satisfaction of each. Accordingly on the 21st the cardinal sent for all three and questioned them. Although they answered succinctly that the wishes and interests of each of their principals were clearly expressed in the capitulations made between the allies, yet the cardinal, having perhaps already signed the instructions of the auditor, began to enumerate the particular satisfaction of each. None of the three raised any difficulty, especially if the sons of the Most Christian are restored without any charge but a supportable ransom, either about the amount or the time of the satisfaction. All the difficulty appeared in the affairs of your Excellency, owing to the obstinacy of the emperor about who should remain in possession. The cardinal thought that this difficulty could be obviated if Cæsar would consent to deposit the state of Milan in the hands of a third party, with the removal of all the armies. The allied princes and Cæsar could then choose suitable judges, not open to suspicion, to judge the case of your Excellency. I am told that all the ambassadors made reply to this remedy imagined by the cardinal, but the Ambassador of the Most Christian spoke with the greatest vigour, saying that they ought not to conclude any peace, unless in negotiating it they could settle all the differences which might upset it in the future. As the differences and controversies about the Duchy of Milan were the chief in the present affair, it was necessary to settle that and carry it through with the other settlements, by giving the Duchy of Milan to the Duke Francesco Sforza, according to the tenor of the articles of the league, without any compromise, but merely with such tribute and submission to the emperor as might honourably be suffered. Since for the universal peace it is necessary for everyone to yield his rights, if the emperor persists in his determination to exclude him to put the matter in judgment, the king here might request that Duke Francesco should first be restored to possession of the duchy, and they could afterwards proceed to try the cause by the selection of competent judges.
As these things were well repeated and argued by the said ambassadors, and especially by the French one, the cardinal was induced to make an addition to the instructions of the auditor, directing him to press with all his might to obtain the things aforesaid, but adding that if he could not do so he should press for the deposit as stated above. I send word of this, as reported to me by the good friends of your Excellency, so that you may act as you see fit, since the auditor has orders to communicate everything to the Most Christian king on his way through, trying to find out the opinion and judgment of his Majesty. The nuncio and the Venetian ambassador here are writing about it to their states, reporting the discussions referred to, so that they may take such steps as they think fit. It seems to me, as I have explained at greater length to the Rev. Bannisio and Messer Francesco Taberna these last days, that your Excellency should send some agent to the Most Christian king, but actually to Madame the Regent, as the one who does everything, to make the best use of the opportunities that occur. I also think that you should not delay any longer to write to the king and cardinal here, expressing your thanks and esteem, to preserve their good will, writing to me also what I am to do. Now is the time, if your Excellency thinks that it will suit your service, and I will accommodate myself to your good pleasure.
As they did not communicate to me the aforesaid instructions, when they did so to the others whose princes are concerned, although your Excellency's interests are so deeply concerned, I do not know what to think, except that they do not give me any credit, as I cannot even now show letters from you. although you have been free for four months and a half. It is easy to point out how prejudicial this is to the service of your Excellency.
London, the 24th November, 1526.
[Italian.]
Nov. 25.
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743. Benedetto da Corte, Milanese Ambassador at Venice, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
I have deciphered the two letters of Scarpinello, which I send enclosed. As they seem to touch upon matters necessary to discuss with the Signory, I propose to take them when I have an opportunity of securing the best attention of their lordships here. I say this because I know that they are all busy over the present expedition, which is the thing of most importance to them for the moment. I will answer Scarpinello, acknowledging the receipt of his letters, and I will send the letter by Messer Taberna.
Yesterday the Protonotary Casale came to visit me. He seems devoted to your Excellency and I had a mind to communicate something of the matter to him, though not in such a way as to cause him to suspect that we have any mistrust of his king or his ministers. But he had a companion with him, and that frustrated my intention. I will not fail to do it when I visit him at his house. It is the more necessary for me to do so, because the other day when we were in conversation together, he spoke to me of the goodwill of his king and consequently of the government. He assures me that all his designs and actions both here and at Rome are by the settled policy of his kingdom, that Duke Francesco Sforza shall possess the state of Milan. I think that he wished to answer a tacit objection or to remove any idea to the contrary which some reports might have excited, as the Legate of York is a man who talks large and discursively when in conference and touches infinite proposals, (chel legato Eboracense e homo che sel si trova in ragionamento discorre grande cose, vadigando, et tocha infiniti partiti) but the conclusion and express will is that here and in Rome his agents will procure that the state shall go to Duke Francesco.
I have no other news to write this evening, except that they are busy here upon the provision of money at all hours.
Venice, the 24th November, 1526.
[Italian.]
Dec. 1.
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744. Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, to Giovanni Francesco Taberna, his Ambassador in France.
Since our departure letters have reached us from Messer Domenico Sauli, which speak of some proposals advanced in England to leave Bourbon in this our state, under pretext that the emperor shall submit our cause to his Holiness and the English king, and with peace or a truce ensuing, that state shall be deposited in the hands of his Holiness and his English Majesty until the cause is decided. Upon this they have made and continue to make various plans, all to our prejudice. As we knew that this letter would be very useful for your instruction, we sent it as far as Monza; but as the courier had left, and it could not proceed without danger, we have thought fit to repeat it and inform you by these presents. We believe that everything will be arranged with the authority and consent of his Most Christian Majesty; and we hope that as, without any merit on our part, he has deigned to admit us to his favour and to take us under his protection, and has endeavoured to procure our restoration to the state, that he will take more account of us, who are his most devoted servant, than of a Bourbon who, when he should have been serving his Majesty, has betrayed him, with so much hurt and loss to the Crown of France, and Madame the Regent should do the like. Nevertheless, when an opportunity occurs, you will remind his Majesty of everything with all due reverence, begging him to keep us in mind so that in case of a universal peace, a truce or any other arrangement, he may labour and use his authority for the restitution of our state to us. He will find the same disposition in his Holiness and the Signory of Venice, and he may rest assured that he will always be able to rely upon the devoted service of our person and our state. We hope that he will not allow the realisation of the designs conceived in the mind of the Cardinal of York, whose sole object is to keep things unresolved and after his own fashion to compel one or the other of the allies to take a second place. For this we have confidence in his Most Christian Majesty and Madame the Regent, as well as in your efforts, and you will act with such dexterity as to obtain the decision that we desire. You will also give frequent advices to Scarpinello in England, so that he may be able to perform the offices which may seem necessary to you for our service.
Cremona, the 1st December, 1526.
[Italian; draft.]
Dec. 1.
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745. The Cavalier Bilia, Milanese Ambassador in Spain, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Your Excellency will have heard the events of this Court from the letters of Sig. Cesare Ferramosca by way of Genoa and Rome, since what occurred with the gentleman of the King of England, who left this Court in September in haste, with the business about the peace. The English king has also sent post because he hears that his Imperial Majesty is disposed to give way in the case of Milan, the sons of the King of France and his coronation, because these three things alone are the chief cause of so much dissension among Christian princes. In the affair of your Excellency the English king offers to take in deposit the state and fortresses of Milan and the revenues, until the right is established, and that competent and trustworthy judges shall be chosen by both sides, undertakes to assuage the disputes about the sons of the King of France with money, and also to induce his Holiness to send the crown to Spain.
We do not yet know what his Majesty has decided. If it arrives by the present bearer, we shall give you full information of everything. God grant that this arrogation and claim to so much authority and the desire to be the moderator of the world may not incense the pope and the emperor, so that the affair will drag on even more than it does at present. However, we must await the result. His Holiness proposes that this peace shall be negotiated and arranged in England, and so he has given power to his nuncios, perhaps with the idea that the emperor will not consent to this, as duty requires, and especially as he is once more at loggerheads with the King of France, and that he will rather refer it to Rome. These matters of punctilio, as already remarked, cannot but add to the length of the negotiations.
The papal nuncio in England writes that if the emperor does not decide to accept what the English king requests, he will declare war against him, and the Venetian secretary writes to his ambassador that he will do so, declaring that the King of France has given the same instructions to his ambassador. We have discovered this to be false, because the said French ambassador, by this last courier, has no order of the king, and so I do not know what to say. We further hear that one thing is written to England in the pope's name to his agent there, and another is written to the legate. Your Excellency will be able to judge if such inconstancy and variation can do any good. For my part I do not see what good can arise therefrom.

Granada, the 1st December, 1526.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 2.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
746. The Cavalier Bilia, Milanese Ambassador in Spain, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
After extracting all that I could from the English and French ambassadors here, with due tact, I have made myself practically certain that his Imperial Majesty really is most disposed to the universal peace, that he would accept any reasonable terms and is not acting craftily. A strong argument of this is his sending with the English gentleman, already mentioned, a most ample mandate to his ambassador designate to England, who is stayed by the King of France. He further enjoins him that if anything fresh arises his ambassador must not hesitate to refer it confidentially to York, and he will be content for that cardinal to conduct and conclude the business so that no one can say with truth that the peace broke down through his fault. If this be so, I cannot help foreseeing a speedy and much desired peace, unless the King of France spoils it.
The Grand Chancellor is of opinion that if your Excellency has not ratified the league, since his Majesty's agents in Italy write that you have ratified it, you should once again give an account of yourself to the emperor and ask his Majesty for the observance of what he has arranged with Bourbon, so that his justice may be seen. In any case, it seems to me that your Excellency should show your goodwill to depend always on his Majesty, because he is too great a prince and consequently will not be angry at having been treated in that wretched manner, which is known to everybody. We are writing to this effect to Scarpinello, in case it should happen that a composition is brought about by means of the English king and that that monarch becomes the depository of the state of Milan and judge of the cause of your Excellency, so that he may procure a sentence that your Excellency shall be provided with that sum which Bourbon promised for the capitulation of the castle.

Granada, the 2nd December, 1526.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 2.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
747. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to the Cavalier Landriano, his colleague with the Pope.
On the 23rd the cardinal sent for the nuncio and the Ambassadors of France and Venice and told them that in two days he proposed to send the auditor to the emperor to exhort him to peace, to which he was inclined according to the account brought by Cuyer Button, (fn. 15) a gentleman of his Majesty recently arrived from Spain. Before this he wished to confer with them as to what would be for the ultimate satisfaction of their princes if they could obtain universal peace, to help him to direct the auditor's action. The nuncio told him that the articles of the league showed what they desired. The cardinal then began to tell them what commissions he had given to the auditor, as being something acceptable to all. Coming to the affair of our duke he thought a good way out of the difficulty would be to deposit Milan with a third party, withdrawing the armies, so as to prove the innocence of his Excellency before judges, to be selected by the allied princes and the emperor in common. The French ambassador replied to this that they could not speak of a peace unless all the differences were settled which caused the war; Milan was one of the chief of these, and the articles provided that the duchy should be given to Francesco Sforza, though the emperor should be recognised as his superior and a reasonable sum of money paid for the investiture. I am told that the cardinal answered this by disputing the point to some extent (con alcuna contentione) but promised to have the instances of the French ambassador set forth, and if the auditor could not obtain it he was to insist upon the deposit already devised by the cardinal. With such instructions the auditor left on the 27th ult. though it is expected that the Most Christian will not let him go. I thought it proper to thank the French ambassador for his office.
The Venetian secretary has told me since that the cardinal grew very heated at the opposition of the French ambassador, saying angrily, Nunquam nos obtinebitis a Cæsare ut Franciscus Sfortia possideat ducatum Mediolani si commisit rebellionem, his words and gestures expressing his ill will to his Excellency. He added that the cardinal had remarked after the taking of Cremona that he knew Venice was prudent, but he did not believe they would give up Cremona. I am forced to believe this, because they did not send for me or inform me about the interview with the other agents about the common cause. It is confirmed by other indications of the cardinal's wishes and by his thirst to be the depository and judge of Milan. His Excellency must be wary about this compromise, as any slip would be fatal. I fear that the cardinal wants Milan in deposit to serve as a bait for the King of France for the marriage with the princess here, or to compel him to a triumvirate, inducing the emperor to release the king's sons without any charge, so that he may take the princess on the conditions they require here, and he gives Milan to Bourbon with Madame Leonora. If these plans fail he will enjoy the fruits of the state while judgment is pending, and not give it up without a fat pension. He has thought so much about it that he has even questioned the nuncio about the governors and garrison he would have to send. The King of France may suspect these preceedings, not wishing to be forced to accept his terms, and from love for Leonora or fear of Milan falling to his enemy Bourbon he directed his ambassador to speak as above; so I think his Excellency should send an ambassador to France.
I send you word of all this that you may warn his Excellency, so that while dissimulating with this cardinal, he may see that Italy does not fall into the hands of persons who care nothing for its liberty, although the ambassadors here, and especially the nuncio, seemed contented to accept the deposit and arbitration, and the French ambassador says that none of them helped him in his opposition.

London, the 2nd December, 1526.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 4.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
748. The Cavalier Landriano, Milanese Ambassador at Rome, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
I am sending you news from the French Court of the 15th November last. They say that the Most Christian is trying to get the English king to cross the Channel in person in the spring to attack Flanders and give him powerful help, and that his Majesty has sent to divert 10,000 landsknechts who were in Denmark and Norway, and he proposed to levy 10,000 Swiss in addition and attack Flanders.
Rome, the 4th December, 1526.
[Italian.]
Dec. 7.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
749. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
In my last I wrote of the discussion about the proposals of the auditor, who was instructed to ask the emperor for your free restitution without compromise, but the cardinal here wished to add that if they could not be obtained they must give up the peace, suggesting that Milan should be deposited with a third party. With these commissions the auditor left on the 27th ult. Before he left it was whispered that he would be stopped by the Most Christian, and when he reached Dover letters arrived from the nuncio in France and the Most Christian telling him to find some excuse not to go, as the King of France did not wish it, suspecting that he had orders from the pope to treat with Cæsar, and he did not wish this internuncio to treat with the emperor. Yet the auditor chose to go on his way. The French ambassador here told him that with things as they are now they do not want the league to ask peace of Cæsar, but to wage fierce war on him and force him to come to honourable terms. Those who wished to pose as mediators should adapt themselves to the wishes of the parties interested. We are waiting to hear the result of the auditor's audience of the Most Christian.
Several days ago I wrote to Bannisio and Taverna that the Venetian secretary reported that in several conversations with York he gathered that the cardinal was much alienated from your Excellency. This agrees with what I hear from Martino Agrippa, the nuncio's secretary, and with the fact that York has never consented to impart his conversations with the agents about the common affairs, and compels me to doubt his faith. I suspect him of wishing to be the depository of the state of Milan, as he thinks there would be no better way to force the King of France to this marriage, about which he is so reluctant, than by having that state in deposit, or promising it to Bourbon, so that the emperor may give him Madame Leonora, thus excluding the King of France and bringing him to this marriage. I think that France suspects this and declines to have the deposit made to them here or let them treat anything with the emperor, impeding all internuncios, as for example, the auditor, your Excellency might address yourself to France, the pope and Venice, on whom the security of Italy depends, not to compromise Milan by placing it in the power of men who have always shown but little esteem for Italy. You might also take advantage of the present disposition of France by sending an ambassador.
After the auditor's departure a private secretary, they say, of Madame de Lanzon arrived, sent by the Most Christian to the king here to present two large gold medals, with the inscriptions enclosed, as a memorial and a pledge of faith and gratitude for benefits received and desired.
Letters have arrived since from Bath, the English ambassador in France, (fn. 16) informing York that when he urged the conclusion of this marriage the King of France replied that he had sent a special envoy to the emperor to ask for his promised wife and his sons, offering to pay a million, and as much more as the king here should decide, and until the envoy returned he could say nothing definite about the marriage. Thus they put them off with words, although the French ambassador, for his part, swears openly that they do not want this marriage, and here, although they are aware of the evasion, they do not venture to bluster, in order not to lose the pension of 50,000 ducats a year.
Bath also tells York that France will agree to Bourbon having Milan, with the pensions now imposed. I believe this is an addition of York for his own ends, especially as in telling it he referred me to the nuncio, or rather it is a trick of the King of France to alarm them here by showing that he does not lack means for recovering his sons without their help, and in order not to give security for coming to take this wife, because I do not think that the King of France will ever agree to the state of Milan getting in the power of such an enemy.
All York's inclination to Bourbon is due to the idea that if the duke has Milan the emperor will give him his sister and so exclude France, forcing him to take the lady here on England's terms, which include Boulogne, the dowry and a pension. If this plan fails I believe that York will turn his back on Bourbon of his own accord, as
non movetur nisi comodo et incomodo.
Meanwhile I find that Bath writes to Moretto that they are more inclined to give words upon this marriage. To-day he returns to his king.
London, the 7th December, 1526.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.750. Medals from the King of France.
On one side of a gold medallion is the portrait of the Most Christian, on the reverse are two columns, one white, the other purple, signifying faith and love, standing on the shores of two countries, divided by the ocean. The tops of the columns lean to each other, meet and intertwine, forming a space for the following line:
Firma fides tibi me. et virtus tua fecit amicum.
Round the rim of the medal are these two lines:
Quos terra, oceani quos separat unda, voluntas
Una duos firma jungit amicitia.

In another gold medallion are portraits of the Most Christian's two sons, the hostages, with these verses round:
In patre, nam veri meritum jam nomen amici
Eripere et natos te quoque velle decet.

On the reverse are two chains bound together, with these lines round them:
Vincta licet gravibus sint corpora nostra cathenis
Spes libertatis maxima utrique tamen.

[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Carteggio
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
751. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
My last were on the 7th about events here. I expressed my suspicions that York was alienated from your Excellency and inclined to the Duke of Bourbon, because he thinks there is no better course than to deposit Milan with the idea that if the emperor gives Leonora to Bourbon the King of France will be compelled to come round to this marriage. Although the King of France openly refused this marriage for himself, he would accept it for his second son, and Mons. de Moretta left the day before yesterday to give his word for this marriage, as they are so eager for it here that they try every means. The treasurer of this kingdom is to start new proposals, and we understand they will say no more about Bologna and will contribute help to the King of France either for the war or to ransom his sons. Accordingly I think that as they desire here by this marriage to assist the campaign against the emperor, the allied princes should use every effort to urge the marriage on the King of France, as having made the English the enemies of the emperor, they will abandon the Duke of Bourbon and it will make sure that the King of France will not take Madame Leonora, and will have no means to unite with Cæsar to the hurt of Italy.
If your Excellency is deprived of Milan they would like it given to Bourbon or to George of Austria, as the princes of Italy might decide. At the same time, there was the open quarrel with the Holy See, the pope's diffidence about sustaining the weight of the enterprise and the urgent dread of the Turks, and the Cardinal of York proposed to take advantage of all these difficulties, suggesting a compromise about Milan and proposing to give it to Bourbon, making your Excellency a cardinal. He got the ambassadors here to write to their princes in France, but the proposal met with no response owing to the detestation of Bourbon there. Martino Agrippa secretary of the papal nuncio here, now tells me that the pope has ordered the nuncio not to listen to such a proposal, as it would not have been necessary to take up arms if it had been judged expedient for the security of Italy to give Milan to Bourbon.
I have never hoped so much from the assistance and goodness of all those who are conspiring for your Excellency's welfare as in your own piety. The two swords of religion and piety will preserve you from all peril and misfortune. News arrived here a few days ago of the descent of the landsknechts and the arrival of Cæsar's fleet in Corsica. We have since heard, by letters of the Most Christian of the 10th, of the putting to flight of the fleet and the return of the landsknechts. This can only be attributed to God, moved solely by the piety and religion of your Excellency. By the same advices from France we learn that the Most Christian has given congé to Messer Paolo de Rezo, sent by the emperor, and they also sent orders to obtain some honourable peace. God grant it. The Most Christian on the 27th ult. sent the Auditor of the Camera to the king here. He is going to Spain. If the events reported above are true and the fear of the Turk is not pressing for the moment, it will not be necessary to speak of compromise. If all differences are adjusted together in a future peace it will be advisable for your Excellency to keep your ambassador with the Most Christian for the moment.
London, the 16th December, 1526.
Postscript.—If you send anyone to France, be good enough to advise me, so that I may send him my advices, if that seems good to you
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 19.
Potenze
Estere.
Roma.
Milan
Archives.
752. The Cavalier Landriani, Milanese Ambassador at Rome, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
If his Holiness comes to terms it will be from necessity, not because he desires it. He could not be more dispirited. Two things quench him: the case of Florence and the scant confidence he has that France and England will help him. If he could depend upon them he certainly would not come to terms.
Rome, the 19th December, 1526.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 24.
Carteggio,
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
753. Francesco Taberna, Milanese Ambassador in France, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
A man of the King of England has arrived here recently, who proposes to the Most Christian king a marriage with his king's daughter with a suitable dower, and offering to wage immediate war against the emperor in Flanders, by land and sea, until the recovery of the king's sons. He will give up the title of Most Christian King of France, and his claims on Boulogne, and he begs for a definite answer, letting it be understood that otherwise he will marry his daughter to the King of Scotland. The Most Christian king has not yet answered this proposal, though he remarked to Messer Andrea Rosso that he would definitely accept it provided the daughter was given into his power, or if they gave him a surety for when she would be fit for the consummation of the marriage. I will advise your Excellency of what ensues.
It has been suggested to his Majesty that your Excellency is in close treaty with the emperor. Besides what the admiral remarked to me in conversation, his Majesty has also spoken to Messer Andrea Rosso, who acted according to his duty and the wishes of his masters.
Poissy, the 24th December, 1526.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 28.
Carteggio,
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
754. The Cavalier Landriano, Milanese Ambassador at Rome, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
The Auditor of the Chamber has arrived in France to go on to Spain. He is going for the general peace. It seems there is no greater difficulty than what has been raised by York who wants it placed in the hands of his king, a thing that will not please any of the allies, least of all your Excellency, as they say at the Court of France.
Scarpinello complains that he has never received letters from your Excellency, so that the lords and ambassadors do not trust or speak with him, as they do not know if he is your man or no. His advices are true and good; he is a worthy man whom I commend to you.

Rome, the 28th December, 1526.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 28.
Carteggio,
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
755. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
My last were of the 16th inst., in which I wrote what I considered worthy of your Excellency's knowledge, when I was much more hopeful than the event has justified. This is because, contrary to my habit, I trusted more to the authority than to the character of those who told me that those affairs were in such a good state, which I thought must be due to the divine compassion towards your Excellency. But now we learn, by fresh and better authenticated news, that simultaneously the army of Spain and the landsknechts have arrived in formidable numbers for the hurt of those parts, with the contrivance of some of the princes of Italy. It is easy to imagine my state of mind; but I pray God that all will turn out for the best and you will use the virtues that such a situation requires, though I hope divine Providence will come to your aid.
This news having arrived in part to the Venetian ambassador in letters from Venice of the 3rd inst. and in part to the nuncio in letters of the 15th from the Court of France, the nuncio thought proper to seize this unlucky occasion to press his Majesty for some suitable subsidy for the pope and apostolic see in their necessity. Although he obtained some hope of an inconsiderable sum, since he owes 25,000 ducats in the near future, they say openly here that if they are not safe for this marriage with France they will not act, but if they are safe they will both act and speak. I do not see why the Most Christian king should rend his clothes, with things as they are, unless, perchance, he thinks it is more honourable to serve his enemy.
They have also urged his Majesty to send a special envoy to protest about the captains of the emperor and the Duke of Ferrara, so that they may abstain from invading the territories of the pope and the apostolic see etc., to provide a remedy and to give them help; but the first thing necessary is the marriage aforesaid, and that the allies be not alarmed, especially the pope.
There is nothing to add by the present, as we are waiting to hear what has ensued in Italy. If things go as is feared, your Excellency may consider the state of misery to which I am reduced, as no provision has yet been made for my extreme needs. I must despair of life and honour if the help and counsel fail me for which I can only look to your Excellency.
London, the 28th December, 1526.
[Italian.]
Dec. 30.
Carteggio,
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
756. The Cavalier Landriano, Milanese Ambassador at Rome, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Your Excellency will have received my letters of the 27th and 28th by way of Parma and Venice and learned the news from France, England and here. I need not repeat. I will only say that your Excellency must not take suspicion of what the Most Christian king said to the English about conferring the state of Milan on Bourbon, because his Majesty concludes that he is his own and not any one else's, that is to say, your Excellency's. They told him also that if he was content to pardon Bourbon, who had injured and manifestly betrayed him, the emperor might easily and ought to pardon the Duke of Milan, especially as he wanted the pope to pardon and reinstate the Colonna, who had committed such unheard-of excesses. To make a general peace and one of such great importance, it was necessary to make some concessions, and the English had pressed him to consent to Bourbon if the emperor would not make peace otherwise. The Most Christian answered that he could not speak about the affairs of Italy without the consent of the allies, especially of the pope and the Venetians. He would write to them while the auditor was on his way to and from Spain, and when they learned the intentions of the emperor. From this answer the English thought that they might hope that the Most Christian would agree to Bourbon. Nevertheless his Majesty told the nuncio and the Venetian ambassador that he would never consent. His Holiness and the Venetians also say that they cannot and will not, and they wish that France had refused more definitely, so that the English might have no grounds for proceeding, with the idea that the king would agree with them. The French rarely conduct their affairs with reason, although I think that this business will not have a conclusion.
I have spoken to his Holiness, commending your Excellency to him, and asking that he shall not suffer such wrong and violence, so much public injury and so manifest an injustice to be done in the matter of Bourbon or of the deposit either. He answered that your Excellency may be of good cheer, as if the emperor has the will to offer more honourable conditions than these and has not cared to accept them, he is less likely to take these. The pope spoke very vivaciously. Nevertheless, even with this hope, I should not like to hear that France had consented, although that seems incredible.
Rome, the 30th December, 1526.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 31.
Carteggio,
Generale.
Milan
Archives.
757. Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese Ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
By my last of the 28th, I wrote about the affairs of the league. These advices gave me the occasion, together with the nuncio and other ambassadors, to urge the king here to provide the pope with some honourable subsidy in his defence, as being the weaker party. The king here, although he at first somewhat resented that Caesar had shown him more confidence than the allied princes, has decided that he will not fail his Holiness, and declares that he will now send him 25,000 ducats by the Cavalier Russel and exhort him to be of good heart. He will try, through Russel, to induce the imperial captains and the Duke of Ferrara to agree to some armistice so that they may try and arrange a peace. If war is inevitable his Majesty will not fail to help the league, provided he is in some way recognised openly by the league, indicating that he desires the marriage with the King of France, who does not seem to me to be in such danger. This is what we may gain from the king here; and what we may always rely on owing to his innate goodness. All depends upon resisting the rush of the first attacks, as after time has past he does not think there will be any lack of remedies and means to break them.
I beg your Excellency to provide for my hard case, ut expleam ventrem pane saltem, and also to provide that events may be communicated to me as to my colleagues. I also beg you to send letters to the king and cardinal.
London, the last day of December, 1526.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 John Clerk, Bishop of Bath and Wells.
2 John Joachim de Passano, sieur de Vaux.
3 Girolamo Ghinucci, Bishop of Worcester.
4 Edward Lee.
5 John Stuart, Earl of Lennox. The archbishop of St. Andrews was James Beaton.
6 Charles de Soliers, sieur de Morette; he did not arrive before the end of October. Letters and Papers, Hen. VIII, Vol. iv, No. 2583.
7 The sack of the Vatican by the Colonna on the 20th September, and the capitulation of the pope to them on the following day.
8 Giovanni Battista Sanga, one of the pope's secretaries, sent to France to urge the king to greater activity, and to England to ask for supplies of money. Guicciardini: Storia d' Italia, bk. xvii, cap. iv.
9 The decipher reads Cardinale, but obviously it should be Gioachino.
10 Gio. Matteo Ghiberti, Bishop of Verona.
11 Florimond Robertet, Treasurer of France,
12 Marc Antonio Venier.
13 Ludovico di Canossa, Bishop of Bayeux, French ambassador at Venice.
14 Uberto di Gambara.
15 Claude Bouton, sieur de Courtbaron, maître d' hôtel to the emperor. He arrived on the 16th November. Letters and Papers, Henry VIII, vol. iv, no. 2638.
16 [...]ohn Clerk, Bishop of Bath.


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