Spain: January 1514

Pages 192-201

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

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January 1514

1514. 1st Jan.
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.
Jan. (?)
P. Mon. Hist. K. 1482. No. 41.
157. King Ferdinand The Catholic to Pedro De Quintana, his Secretary and Ambassador to the Emperor Elect.
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 do so.
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 France.
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 their policy.
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.
Jan. (?)
S. E. Var. L. 1554. f. 30.
158. King Ferdinand The Catholic to the Knight Commander Christoval Brizeño, his Ambassador in Rome.
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 and Navarra.
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 Florence.
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.
Jan. (?)
S. E. Fl. L. 496. ff. 44, 45, 46.
159. King Ferdinand The Catholic to the Knight Commander Juan De Lanuza, his Ambassador in Flanders.
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 following.
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 Lanuza."
Spanish. Corrected draft. pp. 11.
10 Jan.
S. E. A. L. 635. f. 3.
160. The Emperor Maximilian to Madame Margaret Of Austria.
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.
22 Jan.
P. M. H. K. 1482. No. 34bis.
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 him.
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.


  • 1. Between Renée, daughter of the King of France, and the Archduke Ferdinand, grandson of King Ferdinand.
  • 2. Giuliano de Medicis.
  • 3. ... "y que no le impida la governacion de Scocia."
  • 4. Don Pedro de Urea, his ambassador at the court of the Emperor.
  • 5. "... que se fara con el Rey de Inglaterra ..."
  • 6. "... y de no fazerle ningun impedimento ni contradicion en la governacion de Scocia ..."
  • 7. Sic.
  • 8. This letter seems to be the despatch which is mentioned in the letter of Spinelli to Henry VIII., dated Brussels, the 21st of February 1514. (J. S. Brewer, Letters and Papers, Vol. I., No. 4796.)
  • 9. The meaning is not clearly expressed in the original : "Si el Rey de Francia no quisiere assentar el capitulo que fabla de remetir el las diferencias al Papa y al Concilio."