P. Mon. Hist.
K. 1482. No. 34.
156. King Ferdinand The Catholic to Pedro De Quintana,
his Secretary and Ambassador.
After he had left, Villanova arrived with letters from the
Queen of France. She informs him that she has persuaded
the King of France to renounce his claims on Naples, and to
consent to the marriage. (fn. 1) The duchy of Milan will be given
as a dower. She wishes that peace should be concluded.
Has had letters from Genoa. Fray Bernaldino has not been
able to provide the fortress of the Laterna with provisions.
The King of England has written to the Pope, and told him
that he intends to recommence his enterprise (on France) next
spring with greater forces than last year. He adds, however,
that according to a letter from Scotland, the Scots, although
they have lost their King and their most influential men, do
not show any inclination for peace. They provoke him, on
the contrary, to begin the war again. The letter is not dated.
It seems that the King of England does not care much for the
affairs of Scotland, but if they should hereafter become more
serious he would be inclined to make peace (with France).
He is to tell the Emperor that the Scotch business will
either retain the King of England in his own country, or, if
he undertakes war in France, will soon force him to return
to his own kingdom. It would not be safe to count on the
assistance of England, as it must be of necessity uncertain.
Has only one answer to make to the unfavourable reports
which are circulated about him, and that is, that he has made
Spain greater than she has ever been during the last 700 years.
The only danger to which she is exposed arises from bad
advisers of the Prince (Charles). If the Prince were to listen
to them, all might be lost after his (King Ferdinand's) death,
and Spain would be again reduced to the miserable state in
which she was when his brother, Don Carlos, instigated by
bad servants, rose against his father. Then was Naples lost
and Catalonia devastated. The Emperor and the Prince may
be assured that by following his advice, and employing such
servants as he recommends, they will not only be able to
preserve all they now hold, but will even be able easily to
increase their power.
Sends this courier only that he may write him word what
he has concluded with France. He must write before he sets
out on his journey to the Emperor. He is to tell the King
and Queen of France that he (King Ferdinand) desires the
conclusion of peace more ardently even than they do.
Wishes to know where the Emperor is staying. If the
Emperor cannot be persuaded to conclude peace with Venice,
he must, at least, give his consent that the duchy of Milan shall
be disposed of at once. This, however, must be kept strictly
secret, until he has got Milan into his power. As soon as that
is done, he and the King of France will assist the Emperor
in his enterprise on Venice.—No date. No signature.
Indorsed : "Madrid, the 1st of January 1514."
Spanish. Draft. pp. 2.
P. Mon. Hist.
K. 1482. No. 41.
157. King Ferdinand The Catholic to Pedro De Quintana,
his Secretary and Ambassador to the Emperor
The Pope has sent a nuncio and a servant of the Magnificent
Giuliano (fn. 2) to him. Their words were very friendly, but the
purport of their message was that he should persuade the
Emperor to give up to the Venetians, for a sum of money, all
the cities which he had possessed from ancient times. Had
already suspected that the Italians wished to expel from
their country all Ultramontane princes. The present message,
however, makes it quite clear that the Pope and the other
Italian powers intend to deprive the Emperor and him of
their Italian dominions, or, at least, to prevent their heir
from taking possession of them. They have, to that end, concerted
a league with the Swiss. They are endeavouring to
make a son of Don Federigo King of Naples. They even
hope to gain over to their cause the King of France, whom
they think less dangerous to Italy than the Emperor or him
(King Ferdinand) ; saying that the King of France does not
ask them for money, whilst the Emperor and he are in the
habit of doing so.
It would scarcely be possible for him and the Emperor to maintain,
at the same time, one army against France and another
army against the Italians. If, however, they were to conclude
peace with France, one of their armies would thereby become
unnecessary, and all their resources might then be employed
in keeping their armies in Italy in an efficient state. The
Italians would thus be reduced not only to the necessity of
suffering their presence in Italy, but the Emperor and he
would be able to carry out their plans of aggrandizement in
that country. Milan would soon belong to their grandson,
the Infante (Ferdinand), and Naples and Navarra would
become the peaceful inheritance of their common heir.
Hieronymo de Vich wrote to him on the 24th of December,
saying that the Pope had begged him to persuade the Emperor
to conclude a truce with the Venetians for eight or twelve
months. His Holiness will give him a bull, in which he will
promise not to pronounce his final verdict without his (King
Ferdinand's) express consent. Begs the Emperor to empower
the Cardinal of Gurk to sign the truce. The truce with Venice
is no obstacle to the peace with France. On the contrary,
it will make the negotiations of peace with France more
easy ; for the Venetians would aid them in conquering Milan
if the King of France should make difficulties. Once masters
of Milan, they can conclude such a peace with Venice as they
like, or even conquer that state, if they think it right to
Begs the Emperor to help him to persuade the King of
France to pay the King of England the sums of money he
was accustomed to pay him, and not to raise up obstacles
for him in the government of Scotland. (fn. 3) The King of
England, on the other hand, ought to be satisfied with the
concessions of the King of France. The King of England
must not think that the Emperor and he will expose themselves
to the danger of losing all their possessions in Italy,
only in order to assist him (in his war with France). He
must bear in mind that the Italians and the Swiss have come
to an understanding to attack the Emperor and him, and
to wrest from them their states in Italy, as soon as he, the
Emperor, and the King of England are occupied in a war with
In order the better to conclude their negotiations with
France, they ought to persuade the Pope to enter with them
into a league for the common defence of Italy.
Should the Emperor, against all reason, refuse to make
peace with France, he must then go to France, and wait for
further instructions. He must, however, employ his time in
preparing the mind of the King of France for the idea of
concluding a separate alliance with him alone. The King of
France and he, when united, are strong enough to carry out
His only doubt is, whether the King of France is sincere
or not. If the King of France is sincere, and if the Emperor
and he conclude peace with France, the Pope and the
Florentines will be unable to do anything except to obey them.
The treaty with the King of England regarding the war
with France is to remain in suspense until the negotiations
with the King of France are concluded.
He is to write soon.—No date. No signature.
Indorsed : "Pedro de Quintana."
Spanish. Draft. pp. 7.
S. E. Var. L. 1554.
158. King Ferdinand The Catholic to the Knight Commander
Christoval Brizeño, his Ambassador in
He is to keep the contents of this letter very secret, and to
communicate them to no one, except to the Cardinal of Gurk,
after having received his oath not to divulge them, and to the
Viceroy (of Naples).
He told him, in his letter of the 24th of December, that the
Cardinal of Gurk approved of his plan of making peace with
Venice and war with France, and of continuing the war
until the King of France should consent to marry Madame
Renée to the Infante Ferdinand, and to give them the duchy
of Milan as a dower. Is glad to inform him that war has now
become unnecessary, the King of France being ready to renounce
his claims on Milan in favour of Madame Renée and
the Infante Ferdinand. The King of France has further consented
that he (King Ferdinand) shall have the government
of the duchy, and keep its fortresses in his power, until
Madame Renée and the Infante have attained a marriageable
age. The King of France has even bound himself to aid him
in conquering Milan, and will renounce all his rights on Naples
Has sent Quintana to the Emperor, and begged him to
accept the offers of France. The conquest of Milan will be
easy if the French help him. After the conquest of Milan, it
will depend on him and the Emperor to decide whether they
will conclude an alliance with Venice, or dispose in another
manner of the destinies of that republic. It will be impossible
for the Venetians to resist the forces of Spain and of
the Emperor, supported by Milan, Naples, the Pope, and
If the offers of France are accepted, the King of England
must content himself with the yearly payments which he formerly
received from France, and with the promise of the King
of France not to raise up any obstacles when he takes the
government of Scotland into his own hands.
The Pope has, in consideration of the difficulties of a peace
between the Emperor and the Venetians, proposed to him first
to conclude a truce of one year with Venice. The Pope would,
in such case, be elected as umpire by the contending parties,
and has promised to give his verdict during the year of
truce. The Pope has, besides, promised to send him a bull,
in which he will bind himself not to pronounce any judgment
except such a one as he (King Ferdinand) would approve of.
He is to tell all this to the Cardinal of Gurk, and to show
him how much more advantageous it would be to accept the
offers of the King of France than to go to war with him.
Spanish. Draft. pp. 3.
S. E. Fl. L. 496.
ff. 44, 45, 46.
159. King Ferdinand The Catholic to the Knight Commander
Juan De Lanuza, his Ambassador in
Wrote to him on the 8th of December concerning the treaty
which had been concluded between the Emperor, the King
of England, and him. On the 20th of the same month
ordered Don Luis Caroz, Don Pedro, (fn. 4) and him not to speak
any more about the treaty, and not to exchange the ratifications
of it. His reasons for not ratifying the treaty are the
The motive which made him undertake war with France
was his desire to defend the Church and to eradicate the schism.
That has been done. The Church has been defended, the Pope
has recovered his cities and counties, and the schism is
at an end. The King of France no longer adheres to the
false council ; he has, on the contrary, condemned it, and
declared his obedience to the Lateran Council. He and the
Gallican Church are reconciled with Rome. Thus, the reason
which justified the war with France has ceased.
Knows that the Venetians have concluded an alliance with
the Turks, and intend to help them next summer in an attack
upon Apulia. Has, moreover, learnt from the nuncio whom
the Pope has lately sent to him that the Italians are all of one
mind about driving the Emperor and him out of Italy. For that
purpose they have secretly concluded a league among themselves
and with the Swiss. Naples is to be given to a son of
Don Federigo. The Italians calculate that whilst they (the
Emperor, the King of England, and he) are occupied in a
war with France, they can easily carry out their designs.
Has done all he can to persuade the Pope and the other
Italians to contribute money for the maintenance of their (the
Emperor's and King Ferdinand's) armies in Italy, and to aid
them in their war with Venice. All has been in vain. The
Italians have, on the contrary, done what they could to induce
their armies in Italy to disband.
No aid of any kind is to be expected from the Italians, whilst
he is unable to maintain, unassisted, two great armies, one in
Italy, and the other on the French frontiers of Spain. Taking
this into account, and there being no longer any just reason for
continuing a war with France, which involves so many dangers,
he has been thinking about securing his and the Emperor's
states in Italy. Whilst he was considering these matters the
King of France made a most advantageous proposal to him
and to the Emperor. Such great advantages have never
hitherto been, and never will be again, offered to them. The
King of France declares himself ready, if the Emperor and he
will make peace with him, to marry Madame Renée, his
daughter, to the Infante Don Ferdinand, and to give his
daughter the duchy of Milan, the county of Pavia, and the
signiory of Genoa as a dower, to belong to her, her husband,
and their descendants, male and female, for all time to come.
The King of France renounces, further, all claims on the
kingdom of Naples, and on the arrears of the pensions due to
him out of the revenues of that kingdom, so that Naples will
remain the undisputed possession of him and his heirs.
The King of France binds himself to deliver the duchy of
Milan to him, with all its castles and fortresses, as soon as
it is conquered. Is to govern and keep it in the name of
the Infante and Madame Renée until they have attained a
marriageable age, and have consummated their marriage. Is
bound to pay the King of France merely the yearly expenses
of the maintenance of Madame Renée, and the expenses caused
by the conquest of the duchy.
The King of France promises to aid the Emperor and him
in the conquest of Milan.
As soon as Milan is conquered, the King of France and he
will help the Emperor in his enterprise on Venice.
Concerning the duchy of Gueldres, the King of France
promises to do what the Emperor wishes.
As soon as the treaty is signed, the King of France binds
himself to deliver to him the castle of the Laterna in Genoa,
which is of great importance.
The King of France offers to make all the great men and
the cities of France and Brittany sign the treaty.
Has sent Quintana to the Emperor to speak about this
overture of the King of France. Is of opinion that the
Emperor and he ought to accept the offers of France. The
Emperor and he would, by not accepting them, not only lose
the advantages connected with them, but they and their heirs
would, moreover, lose whatever they possess in Italy. The
advantages which they would secure by accepting the offers
of the King of France are five in number ; viz.—
1. Naples would, after his death, be the undisputed
inheritance of the Prince (Charles).
2. Milan would become the property of the Infante (Ferdinand),
who might then renounce his right to the inheritance
of one-half of the German dominions of the Emperor in
favour of the Prince. The Emperor has informed him that he
desires it. Moreover, the possession of Milan by the Infante
would be an additional security for Naples, Sicily, and the
other states to which the Prince is heir.
3. The Emperor would, "with the help of God, of the
King of France, and of him," easily conquer Venice, and
during the remainder of his lifetime would be the sovereign
master of that city, which is by no means a small advantage.
4. The King of France would always help him to defend
the kingdom of Navarra against external and internal enemies,
and thereby secure its possession to him and to his heirs.
5. The King of France would aid the Emperor to reduce
Gueldres to obedience. That would be equal to the acquisition
of a new country.
Thus, the Emperor and he would remove all causes of
discord between them and the King of France during their
lifetime and after their deaths, and, as it were, anew obtain
five states for them and their heirs.
There is good reason to believe that by accepting the
overtures of France they will, in the shortest way, arrive
at a general peace of Christendom, and be enabled to undertake
a common war with the Infidels. Should they, on
the contrary, reject the offers of the King of France, and
undertake a war with him, it would be "in quantity and
quality," an enterprise of such magnitude that it would
disturb the whole of Christendom, offer an opportunity to
the Infidels to attack the Christian princes with advantage,
and endanger their possessions in Italy. This evil would be
much increased by the circumstance that neither the Emperor
nor he could rely on the English. The English very often
change their minds, and, even if they do not revoke their
promises, it is by no means certain that they will fulfil them.
It might happen that they would again forsake the Emperor
and him, as they had forsaken him last year. But even
supposing that the English remained faithful to them, and that
the enterprise on France could be carried out, what would
the Emperor and he gain thereby? At the most, Burgundy.
Is informed that the revenues of Burgundy do
not exceed 12,000 ducats a year, and that to keep Burgundy
in a proper state of defence more than that sum of money
must be spent. Would it not be folly, for so small an advantage,
if any, to sacrifice five great states, so much honour,
and the security of their successors?
Thus far all is clear. There is, however, one difficulty, with
which he does not know how to deal. What is to be done
with the King of England? (fn. 5) The King of France is willing
to pay him annually the money which he formerly used to
pay, and not to raise up any difficulties for him, or contradict
him concerning the government of Scotland. (fn. 6) The
King of France is old and infirm. The King of England, if
he take proper advantage of the present opportunity, can
obtain great concessions from him.
Is ready to divide the government of Milan with the
Emperor, or to leave it entirely in his hands, if he can be
induced thereby to accept the proposals of the French.
The Emperor has asked him to persuade the Infante (Ferdinand)
to renounce his right of inheritance in Germany. If
Milan is given to the Infante, he promises not to make any
difficulties, but to conclude a treaty with the Emperor,
according to which the whole and undivided inheritance of
all the realms which the Emperor and he possess will go to
the Prince (Charles.)
He is to communicate the contents of this despatch to
Madame Margaret with great secrecy. He is to tell her that,
although he instructed Quintana to write to her from Germany,
he nevertheless sends her this special courier, in order
that she may hear the good news from him. Advantages
are freely offered to the Emperor and to him which they would
not think too dearly bought with their own blood. Begs her
to use all her influence with the Emperor, and to persuade him
immediately to accept the offer. God has resolved to make
the Emperor and him the greatest princes in Christendom.
It would not be right for them to oppose the will of God.
The whole transaction is honest and just. The right of the
Emperor to Venice is notorious. The Duke of Milan would
not have a right to complain, as it is well known that his
father killed his nephew, and stole his duchy from him. The
King of France (fn. 7) has the right of investiture and is the highest
judge in Milan. He can, with perfect justice, renounce these
his rights in favour of the Infante (Ferdinand) and of his
daughter. About Naples, Navarra, and Gueldres there can be
no doubt. He may add that, if the Emperor and he (King
Ferdinand) reject the overtures of France, Naples and all
their other states in Italy will be lost. Knows that not only the
Italians, but also the Turks, are making great preparations
for war in Italy during the next summer. Daily receives
letters from Naples asking him to send succour and to defend
that kingdom. Would rather die than lose his Italian
possessions. Should the Emperor obstinately reject the peace
tendered by France, and thereby endanger his states and
those of his heirs, he (King Ferdinand) would accept the
overtures of the King of France for himself alone, and take
care of the interests of the Emperor and his heirs, even against
his will. If he did not act thus, it would be impossible
for him to excuse himself before God and the world for the
errors of the Emperor. Nevertheless, he (Lanuza) is to try
by all possible means to persuade Madame Margaret to use
her influence with the Emperor, and to persuade him to come
to an understanding with the King of France. He is to tell
her that if she renders him this service she can ask from him
what she likes, and he will refuse her nothing. The affair will
not suffer delay. He is to answer by a flying courier.
If peace with France is rejected, his Italian army is lost.
If, on the other hand, peace with France is made, he can
employ the money which the war with France would cost
to pay his troops in Italy. He must never for a moment
forget that this affair is of the utmost importance.—No date.
No signature. (fn. 8)
Indorsed : "Letter to the Knight Commander De
Spanish. Corrected draft. pp. 11.
S. E. A.
L. 635. f. 3.
160. The Emperor Maximilian to Madame Margaret Of
She has asked him for permission to arrest Don Juan
Manuel, because he has spoken badly of King Ferdinand the
Catholic. If Don Juan has committed a crime which is
punishable according to law, he may be arrested ; if not, it will
be sufficient to banish him from the court.—Inspruck, the
10th of January 1514.
Addressed : "To Madame Margaret."
French. Copy. p. 1.
P. M. H. K. 1482.
161. King Ferdinand The Catholic to Don Pedro De
Quintana, his Secretary and Ambassador.
Has received his letters of the 6th and 11th of January,
and has learnt by them the state in which his negotiations
with the King and the Queen of France are. Thinks that the
Emperor would act against all reason if he were not to accept
what is offered to him, as France and Spain declare themselves
ready to assist him in his enterprise on Venice, and the
King of France promises to do as he wishes with respect to
Gueldres. The advantages of the peace offered by the King of
France are so great that they might be considered as equivalent
to a new conquest of five realms. The inheritance of his
and the Emperor's common heir would thereby be secured.
On the 18th of January, despatched the courier Carate with
letters to him. Encloses the duplicates of those letters, which
make it evident that if he and the Emperor do not like to
make peace with France in order to obtain advantages, they
will be forced to do so in order to avert losses.
Has informed the Knight Commander Lanuza, who is in
Flanders, of all the particulars of his (Quintana's) mission,
and has ordered him to tell Madame Margaret that he (King
Ferdinand) will make peace with France, whether the Emperor
likes it or not.
He is to employ all possible means to induce the Emperor
to become a party to the treaty with France, but if his
efforts remain without effect he is to return to France, and
to conclude the peace without the participation of the
Emperor. He is to ask that Madame Renée may be given up
into his (King Ferdinand's) hands. If the King of France
does not wish his quarrel with the Pope to be reserved for
arbitration by the Pope and the Council, (fn. 9) he must not insist
on this article, as the Pope is already gained through his
(the King of France's) renunciation of the false council, and
his adhesion to the Lateran Council.
In case, however, the King of France refuses to give up
Madame Renée into his hands, he (King Ferdinand) wishes to
have some fortresses, Bayonne or Narbonne, for instance, as
security that the duchy of Milan will be afterwards given to
Although the Emperor may refuse to enter the league
openly, he may, perhaps, secretly become a member of it.
At all events, the treaty is to be concluded in such a way that
the Emperor may afterwards accede to it.
The King of France believes that he has concluded a treaty
with the Emperor and the King of England, the subject of
which is an intended invasion of France. Assures him that
such is not the case. Would, on no condition, sign such a
treaty, as he highly esteems the King of France, and wishes
to be at peace with him, and to live like a brother of his for
the rest of his days.
After his return to the French court he is to remain there
some time secretly, and to write all that has occurred.
Indorsed : "Madrid. 1514, the 22nd of January."
Spanish. Draft. pp. 3.