|20 Dec. (?)
S. E. Fl. L. 496.
ff. 39, 40.
153. King Ferdinand The Catholic to the Knight Commander
Juan De Lanuza, his Ambassador in
Learns, by letters from Italy of the 14th of November, that
the Pope is carrying on very intimate negotiations with the
King of France. The King of France has renounced the
mock council, and adheres to the Council of the Lateran. The
Gallican Church has sent seven prelates to ask pardon of the
Pope, and to declare their adherence to the Lateran Council.
The Pope has absolved the King and the kingdom of France.
He is on very friendly terms with the French, whilst his
behaviour towards the Emperor and towards him is of a
doubtful character. Troops from Milan and Venice are
marching to Genoa, with the intention of changing the government
of that city.
The Venetians have sent unlimited powers to the Pope
to conclude peace with the Emperor in their name. Is
informed that the Pope really intends to conclude peace on
terms which are very favourable to the Emperor, but that he
has dissuaded all the Italians from lending the Emperor and
him (King Ferdinand) any aid in their war with Venice. The
Italians, and still more the Swiss, would be very sorry if
Venice were destroyed. They declare openly that, if the
Emperor does not conclude peace with Venice, they will do
their best to drive the Emperor and him (King Ferdinand)
out of Italy.
His ambassador in Italy and the Cardinal of Gurk do
what they can to persuade the Pope and the other Italians to
give money and send soldiers to be employed in the war with
Venice until that republic is entirely conquered, but they
despair of succeeding in their efforts. They ask whether it
would not be best to accept the conditions of peace which
the late Pope Julius proposed, namely, that the Venetians
should retain Padua and Treviso, paying an annual tribute
for them, and that the Emperor should have Verona and
Vicenza. All the other points in dispute, they say, should
be left to the decision of the Pope, who has given sufficient
security that he will not pronounce any arbitration without
his (King Ferdinand's) express consent. These proposals
might be accepted, with the tacit understanding that Venice
is to be entirely destroyed as soon as affairs with France are
brought to a satisfactory conclusion. The mental reservation
must, however, they add, be kept strictly secret, and not a
single Italian must even suspect it.
Has told his ambassadors that he has well considered the
fact that the Italians and the Swiss are opposed to the
destruction of Venice, fearing that the day on which that
republic should cease to exist would be the eve of their own
downfall. Has equally taken into consideration that the
Emperor, the King of England, and he (King Ferdinand)
are occupied with preparations for a war with France. As
all three of them are equally in want of money, they cannot
at the same time carry on a war with France and a
war with Venice, against the will of the Swiss and the
Italians. Is fully persuaded that delay is dangerous, as it
might happen that the Swiss might conclude an alliance
with France, and become the enemies of the Emperor and of
him. Has, on the other hand, no doubt that if peace with
Venice were concluded, the Pope would do all in his power
to remain an ally of the Emperor, the King of England, and
him. The Venetians, in consequence of peace being made
between them and the Emperor, would become the enemies
of France, and it would be possible for the Pope, the Emperor,
the King of England, him, and all the Italian states
to conclude a general league against France. On account of
all these reasons, he is of opinion that the Emperor and he
ought, without delay, to consent to peace with Venice on the
above-mentioned conditions, or on any other more favourable
conditions which could be obtained without loss of time. As
soon as that is done, a general league for the defence of
Italy can be concluded. If Italy is secured in this way, the
Emperor, the King of England, and he can then undertake
war with France, and it is probable that, with the help of
God, France will be reduced to such a state that she will not
be able to hinder their enterprise when they subsequently
return to make conquests in Italy. France would thus be
forced to renounce her claims on the duchy of Milan.
The Venetians would willingly help him and the Emperor
to conquer Milan for their common son, the Infante, (fn. 1) and
afterwards to defend that duchy, whilst the other Italians would
much prefer to see Milan in their power, rather than have
Venice destroyed. Wrote to his ambassadors that Milan was
to be given to the Infante, because the Italians do not like
the Prince (fn. 2) to be made Duke of Milan, for they consider
him to be a more dangerous neighbour than even the King of
France, seeing that he is already the heir of the kingdoms
of Naples and Sicily.
Writes to his ambassadors (in Rome) that they are, without
loss of time, to procure four things, viz. :—
1. Peace between the Venetians, the Emperor, and him.
2. The general league for the defence of Italy.
3. The unconditional friendship of the Pope, and the
marriage of the daughter of the Duke of Cardona with his
brother, to whom he must give an estate as dower. It is
necessary to attach the Pope by indissoluble bonds to their
interest, in order to be sure of him when they return to their
Italian enterprises after the humiliation or reduction of
4. The preservation of the friendship of the Swiss. This is a
most important point. If the Swiss were to conclude an
alliance with the French, the King of France would not only
be able to defend his kingdom, but he would be strong enough
to place him, the Emperor, the King of England, and the
Italians in a very difficult position.
He is to tell all this to Madame Margaret, his beloved
daughter, and to ask her not to create difficulties in regard to
the intended war with France, of which the consequences will
be highly advantageous to the Emperor, to him, and to the
Prince (Charles). He is to entreat her to make the Emperor
write to Monseigneur of Gurk, and order him to assist his
ambassadors in obtaining the four points he has mentioned.
Has been informed by him that the Emperor wishes him
to persuade the Infante (fn. 3) to renounce his right of inheritance
of one half of the German inheritance in favour of the
Prince. (fn. 4) The Emperor proposes to indemnify the Infante
for that renunciation by giving him the inheritance of the
kingdom of Aragon, with the exception of Naples and
Navarra, which are to be inherited by the Prince. He
is to tell the Emperor and Madame Margaret that the
Prince (Charles) is the lawful heir of all the dominions of
the crowns of Castile and Aragon, and that not the smallest
portion of them can be taken from him. If the Infante
(Ferdinand) is to renounce half of his inheritance of the
dominions in Germany which belong to him by right, he can
be indemnified by a new state which it is in the power of
the Emperor and of him to form. If the Infante (Ferdinand)
inherits Milan and Venice, and if Prince (Charles) succeeds
in their other states and dominions, all cause of future
enmity and dispute between the two brothers will be at
once removed. The creation of a new empire in Italy depends
only upon the Emperor adopting a wise line of policy. Waits
for his answer. Must reserve his final reply to the proposal
of the Emperor until he is informed at what decision he
has arrived, and until his plans concerning Milan and Venice
become less uncertain than they at present are.
He is to tell the Emperor and Madame Margaret all this.
Written on the margin : "Fiat."
Indorsed : "Letters to Mosen Juan de La Nuza."
Spanish. Draft. pp. 11½.
|23 Dec. (?)
S. T. c. I. L. 4. f. 87.
154. King Ferdinand The Catholic to Pedro De Quintana,
his Secretary and Ambassador to the King
Of France and the Emperor. (fn. 5)
He is to tell the Emperor that he is determined always to
remain in such alliance with him, as their near relationship
requires. Is in the highest degree desirous that all such enterprises
as he and the Emperor may conjointly undertake should
be just, practicable, and advantageous to his and his daughter's
kingdoms, as well as to the dominions of the Emperor and of
Prince Charles. If their undertakings possess these qualities,
they will appear laudable to God and the world. The reason
for which princes begin wars is no other than to remedy the
disadvantages (fn. 6) under which they labour, or to obviate the
dangers with which their states are threatened, and to conclude
a good and durable peace.
Has learnt of late that the Emperor wishes to have the
duchy of Milan for one of their grandsons, (fn. 7) and that it is not
his intention to leave Milan to the Duke Maximilian (fn. 8) or to
marry the Duke to one of their grand-daughters. He must
ask the Emperor to swear that he will keep the matter secret,
and then make the following communication to him :—
The King of France has sent him an embassy, (fn. 9) offering
to marry his daughter, Madame Renée, to the Infante Don
Ferdinand, if he and the Emperor will conclude peace with
France. The dower of the Princess Renée is to be the duchy
of Milan, the county of Pavia, and the signiory of Genoa,
which dominions are to belong to the Infante and his wife,
and to their issue, male or female.
The King of France offers to renounce, in his favour, all his
claims on Naples and all the arrears of the pension which is
due to him in that kingdom.
The King of France further consents that the duchy of Milan
shall be governed and administered by him (King Ferdinand)
until the Infante and the Princess are of age to consummate
their marriage. He merely claims out of the revenues
of Milan a certain yearly contribution to the expenses occasioned
by the entertainment of the Princess during her stay
The King of France promises to give all necessary assistance
in conquering and defending the duchy of Milan.
The King of France is ready to deliver up to him the fortress
of the Laterna in Genoa as security for the fulfilment
of his obligations.
The King of France promises to hand over, without delay,
a treaty, sealed by the whole of the nobility and the cities of
his kingdom, as is stated in more detail in the copy of the
articles which he (Quintana) takes with him.
If he and the Emperor accept these proposals of the King
of France, he is to tell the Emperor, that they will thereby
obtain three great advantages for themselves and for their
common heir, Prince Charles.
The first is the renunciation of all claims on Naples, by
which alone the peaceful possession of that kingdom can be
The second advantage has respect to Navarra. The King of
France is ready to bind himself and his heirs to assist him
(King Ferdinand) and his heirs in defending Navarra against
any aggressor. Thus the possession of that kingdom will be
secured to their heir, Prince Charles.
Thirdly, he and the Emperor will gain the duchy of Milan
for the Infante Ferdinand, who may then renounce the inheritance
he expects in Germany. The possession of Milan
and the other states in Italy will not only be a great gain in
itself, but will largely contribute to secure Naples, Sicily, and
all the other dominions of him and the Emperor. In case of
necessity, Milan can assist Naples, and Naples Milan.
Says no more than the truth when he asserts that these
arrangements are equivalent to a second conquest of the three
kingdoms. No other opportunities will be offered to the
Emperor and to him, in their whole lives, to accomplish such
great objects, and to secure such great advantages to themselves
and to their whole succession.
By this peace the Emperor and he will attain their ends
sooner than by war. A general peace can be concluded and
the war with the Infidels begun.
The Venetians are inclined to join the league against Milan.
It would be easy work to make the English consent to
these arrangements. Has explained to him (Quintana) more
fully, by word of mouth, all that concerns England.
If the Emperor rejects the proposals of the King of France,
and decides on invading that kingdom, he will not be justified
before God and the world. France, by offering acceptable
conditions, has removed all reasons for war, and the success
of warlike enterprises depends, more than any thing else
in the world, on the will of God. Besides, it must not be
imagined that the conquest of France is an easy thing, and
that it can be accomplished in the way the Emperor and the
King of England think. Moreover, if the French proposals are
rejected, and the conquest of France cannot be achieved, the
unavoidable consequence will be eternal war in Christendom,
and the impossibility of taking in hand the war with the
The Italians desire nothing more than to expel all foreigners
from Italy. If he and the Emperor were to be occupied
in a serious war with France, it might be that the Italians
would attain their objects. But, even supposing that a war
with France could be brought to a satisfactory conclusion,
the Emperor may judge, from the example of Tournay,
what advantages he would gain by it.
The English have shown by their conduct that they cannot
be trusted. He and the Emperor are never sure that
the English will really perform their promises. They might
leave them alone in the war with France, as they left him
alone only last year.
The offers which the King of France has made to him
and the Emperor are so advantageous that they must not
delay to accept them. Otherwise it might happen that they
would not obtain such good conditions when they wish to
Should the Emperor have any doubts, he must remove
them, according to what has been said to him, by word of
If it be necessary, in order to persuade the Emperor, that
he should divide the government of Milan between him and
the Emperor, or even leave it entirely to the Emperor, he
would make those concessions.
The Emperor has proposed to him an arrangement by which
the Infante Ferdinand could renounce his inheritance in
Germany in favour of Prince Charles. If the Emperor accepts
the offers of the King of France, he, on his part, is ready to
carry out the wishes of the Emperor respecting the renunciation
by the Infante.
He is to communicate with Pedro de Urea, ambassador at
the Imperial court, and to take his advice. The ambassador,
however, must first swear to keep the affair secret.
If the Emperor accepts the French offers, he is to sign the
articles which are given to him (Quintana). That done, he is
to go post haste to the King of France, and to see that he
also signs the treaty in secret.
He is to take care that the Emperor keeps the King of
England in his hands. Neither for this nor for any other
reason must he break the alliance with him. After this affair
is settled, the Emperor will easily arrange his other business
with England.—No date. No signature.
Indorsed : "Instructions for the Secretary Quintana."
The whole document is in the handwriting of Miguel Perez
Almazan, First Secretary of State to King Ferdinand.
Spanish. Draft. pp. 5.
P. Ar. d. PE.
Neg. K. 1638.
155. King Ferdinand The Catholic to Pedro De Quintana,
his Secretary and Ambassador in France.
He is to deliver his credentials to the Queen of France, and
to speak to her, in answer to the message she has sent him
through Monsieur de Borne, as follows.
Has read the articles signed by the King of France. Thinks
they are very satisfactory. Is more desirous than even the
King of France can be to see the treaty executed as soon as
possible. Has always wished to be the friend of the King of
France. The proposed treaty is, moreover, very favourable to
the Emperor and to their common grandsons. But the King
of France knows that the Emperor has concluded an alliance
with the Pope and the other potentates of Italy, with the Swiss,
and the King of England. If he (King Ferdinand) and the
King of France were to attempt to carry out their plans
without asking the consent of the Emperor and the King of
England, the whole league would be their enemies, and they
would have to contend with great difficulties. Does not like
a hazardous policy. Wishes first to obtain the consent of
the Emperor. He is therefore, after having delivered his
message to the Queen of France, to go to the Emperor and
to persuade him to ratify the treaty with France.
If it is impossible to persuade the Emperor to be a party
to this treaty, he declares himself ready to conclude it alone.
As, however, he would thereby render the Emperor, the
King of England, and all the other members of the league
his enemies, he must insist upon one condition, viz., that
Madame Renée shall be delivered into his keeping in Perpignan
until the duchy of Milan is conquered. As soon as that
is done he will send her back to the King and Queen of France.
Prefers the friendship of the King of France to an alliance
with any other prince of Christendom.
Has asked the Pope to send nuncios to the Emperor and to
the King of England, who are to persuade them to make
peace with the King of France. The Pope has promised him
to do so. Thinks the King of France would act wisely if he
were without delay to renounce the Council of Pisa, and to
declare his adhesion to the Council of the Lateran. The
Gallican Church ought also to reconcile herself with Rome.
Two obstacles are in the way of the Emperor, that is to
say, his alliance and Tournay.
Thinks the King of England can be won if the King of
France will promise not to create difficulties for him in the
government of Scotland, and will pay him the usual pension.
Indorsed : "Instruction to Pedro de Quintana. What he
is to say to the Queen of France."
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 3.