Spain: December 1513, 16-31

Pages 185-192

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 2, 1509-1525. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1866.

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December 1513, 16-31

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 Flanders.
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 France.
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 in France.
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 secured.
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 Infidels.
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 procure them.
Should the Emperor have any doubts, he must remove them, according to what has been said to him, by word of mouth.
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.
23 Dec.(?)
P. Ar. d. PE. Neg. K. 1638. No. 119.
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.


  • 1. Ferdinand, brother of Charles.
  • 2. Prince Charles.
  • 3. Ferdinand.
  • 4. Charles.
  • 5. This document, in common with almost all the drafts, has no date. We learn, however, from a document preserved in the Series Estado, Corona de Castilla, Legajo 1, 2°, fol. 402, that Pedro de Quintana left Valladolid, on his mission to France and Germany, on Friday, the 23rd of December 1513.
  • 6. Dolencias, illness, in the original.
  • 7. Prince Charles and Prince Ferdinand, both afterwards Emperors.
  • 8. Maximilian Sforza.
  • 9. The overtures made by Monsieur de Borne, dated the 1st of December 1513. Monsieur de Borne arrived at Madrid in the course of the same month.