Spain: May 1520

Pages 299-305

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

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May 1520

M. B. N. MSS. E. 59. f. 101.
276. The Emperor Charles V. to the Pope Leo X.
Went to Santiago de Compostella, in order to show his veneration for St. James, and to hold a parliament of all the kingdoms of Castile. When the procurators of the towns had voted the money he wanted, and when all the arrangements respecting the government of Spain for three years were made, he resolved to take shipping on the 20th of May. His intention is to have an interview with the King of England, with whom he wishes to confer on public business.
Thinks it his duty to inform him of his intentions. His ambassador, Juan Manuel, has received orders to speak with him on this subject.—No date. No signature.
Indorsed : "Rex Pontifici."
Latin. Register. p. ½.
1 May.
P. A. de l'E. S. H. K. K. 349.
277. French Pensions paid to English Subjects.
On the 1st of May 1520 the following sums of money were paid to the following persons, as half-yearly instalments of their pensions from the King of France :—
Livres Tournois.
To the Duke of Norfolk 875
To the Duke of Suffolk 875
To Thomas, Cardinal, Archbishop of York 1,400
and 6,000
To the Bishop of Winchester 525
To Charles Somerset, Earl of Worcester 1,700
To George, Earl of Shrewsbury 875
To Sir Thomas Lovel 176
To William Compton 350
To John Meautis, Secretary of the King of England 87
To Clarenceux King-at-Arms 87
French. Book of accounts concerning the payment of pensions to the King of England and to English subjects. pp. 2.
2 May.
M. R. A. d. H. Salazar. A. 19. f. 39.
278. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
The Pope has told him that the Turks are preparing a powerful fleet and a numerous army, with the intention of assailing Rhodes, Sicily, and any other country they think it desirable to conquer. The Pope says he does not doubt that this news is true, and begs him to set a good example to the other Christian princes, by ordering his fleet, which is lying off the coast of Africa, to proceed to the threatened countries, in order to prevent the Turks from carrying out their designs. The Pope added many flattering words. Told his Holiness that he had spoken very well, and that he (the Emperor) would approve his words ; but that he (Juan Manuel) could not conceal the astonishment he felt that the Pope should be always asking him (the Emperor) to do him services, and then that he should lose all memory of them as soon as they were rendered. The Emperor, he added, was the first to arm against the Turks when the Pope begged him to do so, and he will be the last to disarm. Such being the case, it was strange that the Pope should make such great difficulties about concluding the alliance. (fn. 1) Should his Holiness not consent to the prompt conclusion of the alliance, he (Juan Manuel) would expose himself to the suspicion of being a bad negotiator, if he recommended his master, in that case, to do what the Pope asked of him.
The Pope replied that he was ready to conclude the treaty. Knows, however, very well that he insists on the alteration of the article in the draft which speaks of his absolution from perjury, protesting that he cannot absolve him (the Emperor) from a sin which he has not committed. (fn. 2) The Pope observed, that if he gave the absolution, and the treaty were known, he would be a lost man.
As his instructions are that not a word of the draft of the treaty is to be altered, he asks him to send him new orders. Thinks it would be best to do the will of the Pope. If the Pope pays the expenses of his (the Emperor's) fleet, and if the whole business is dexterously executed, he (the Emperor) can then make himself lord of Italy.
Marriage of the Marchioness of Massa.—Rome, the 2nd of May 1520.
The Pope is going on a hunting excursion, from the wish to cure himself of a certain illness. It was, therefore, impossible to negotiate with him any longer.
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 3.
12 May.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 19. ff. 51, 62.
279. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
After his departure from the Imperial court, he wrote for the first time from Florence to the Bishop of Badajoz. As he found the Cardinal de Medicis at Florence, he stayed four days with him. The Cardinal is all powerful with the Pope, and is a person more inclined to what is good and right than otherwise.
Has been very well received at Florence, as well as in Rome. The courtesy of the Cardinal and the Pope went so far as to provide him with food and everything he wanted on his journey, without permitting him to pay for it.
The Pope asked whether he had brought his (the Emperor's) profession of obedience. Told his Holiness that it would probably be sent by one of the next couriers
In Rome it is generally said, and most probably also believed, that he (the Emperor) and the King of France are on good terms. But those who have lately had letters from France protest that the French are by no means contented with the behaviour of him (the Emperor). They complain that Navarra has not been given to them, that the Neapolitan pensions are not paid, that the marriage is not concluded, &c.
Is of opinion that he (the Emperor) ought to live in peace with the King of France ; for the French are little liked in Italy, and have a great many determined enemies in that country. As soon as ever he (the Emperor) should come to Trent, the Italians would rise and drive the French out of Italy. Thus the French are not dangerous to him.
The Swiss are ready to sell themselves to him.
Begs him to nominate the Cardinal de Medicis Protector of his realms as soon as possible. The Seigneur de Carpi is a friend of the Cardinal de Medicis, but he rather inclines towards the French party.
Johan Matheo, (fn. 3) the secretary of the Pope, is a good and honest man.
Has been told that Fray Nicolo was a partisan of the King of France ; has found, however, that he has been falsely informed. Fray Nicolo is a good Imperialist, a man of great genius, and of great importance.
The Prothonotary Caracciolo seems to be a zealous servant of him (the Emperor), yet, although he is his subject, he is also a faithful servant of his master (the Pope).
The Cardinal Petrucci has great influence over the Pope. Begs him to write a courteous letter to him. The kinsman of the Cardinal, who is at Naples, has no power in Rome.
The Cardinal Piccolomini is in Rome. He is a good Imperialist. Did not dare to deliver to him the letter which he brought with him from fear of arousing thereby the jealousy of others.
The French speak much of the interview which is to take place (between the King of France and the King of England). They give out that they will obtain from the King of England whatever they ask of him. They add that Madame Margaret is doing all she can to prevent this interview from taking place, and that he (the Emperor), on his journey to Flanders, intends to see the King of England, for no other purpose than to oppose the interview of the King of England with the King of France. The Cardinal of Sion has written the same news to Rome. Tells those who speak to him on these subjects, that it is the desire of the King of England to meet him (the Emperor), and that there can be no doubt that the King of England is a trusty friend of him (the Emperor).
Whilst writing this letter, received his despatches dated Santiago, 30th of March. Consulted with Luis Caroz, and even with Barosso. Were all of one opinion that it will be best not to speak to the Pope about ecclesiastical matters until the political affairs are concluded. The Pope is not in Rome. He is hunting in the neighbourhood, and at the same time taking medicine and purging himself.
Many persons in Rome complain that he (the Emperor) has disposed of church preferment of which he had no right to dispose. Said to them that he (the Emperor) does not intend to encroach on the privileges of the Church, but expects that the Church, on her part, will not encroach on his rights.
Went with Don Luis Caroz and Barosso to the house of the Cardinal of Santi Quattro, and said to him, in the presence of Johan Matheo, that the Pope was not showing any readiness to conclude the alliance with him (the Emperor) and the King of England, for he made difficulties about mere words ; such, for instance, as "quatenus expediat," in the clause in which he speaks of absolution. The Cardinal answered that it would be ridiculous if the Pope were to give an absolution without stating from what offence. Is very sorry that he (the Emperor) cannot come to a perfect understanding with the Pope, for if he could, the French would lose all their credit and he would easily gain the whole of Italy. If the Pope does not conclude an alliance with him (and the King of England), his Holiness must of necessity conclude an alliance with the King of France.
The Pope, wishing to get Ferrara into his power, greatly desires that he (the Emperor), the King of France, and Venice should be at peace with one another.
Many persons in Rome blame the Cardinal de Medicis, because he has offered him (Juan Manuel) his house in Rome. Answers them that the Pope is acting in a much worse manner, as the Count de Carpi, who, though not the formal ambassador, is the agent of the King of France, is lodged in the Papal palace. Hopes the Count de Carpi will soon lose the friendship of the Pope, which he has hitherto enjoyed.
Hieronymo de Vich is not a faithful servant of his.
The ambassador of the King of England came to his house, and told him that he wished very much that his master, the King of England, and he (the Emperor) should be friends, adding that he (the Emperor) ought to pay a visit to the King of England on his voyage to Flanders. If he should refuse to do so, the King of England might perhaps think himself slighted by him, and, resenting the offence, might conclude an alliance with the King of France, especially as the King of England had already, on another occasion, repeatedly invited him to come to England, and he had not done so. Answered the English ambassador that he was fully convinced that the King of England would on no account renounce the friendship of him (the Emperor). Added that there was no doubt that he (the Emperor) would stop in England and see the King on his voyage to Flanders, if the state of the weather permitted him to do so. Even on the former occasion of which the ambassador had spoken, he said, he (the Emperor) would have paid a visit to the King of England had he not been prevented by most important business, which suffered no delay. Finished his reply by offering the King of England his good services.
The administration of the kingdom of Naples is deplorable.
Has not delivered the letter which he sent him for the Duke of Ferrara, as it arrived too late. The Marquis of Mantua has received his letter.
The Pope has informed him that he is sending his Auditor de la Camera to England. Thinks that the Pope wishes the Auditor to be present at his (the Emperor's) meeting with the King of England. His Holiness is despatching another Florentine to be present at the interview between the King of France and the King of England. The Prothonotary Caracciolo is going to Flanders as nuncio.
The King of France has offered the Bishop of Tricarico in Naples a bishopric in France, and has invited him to come and see him. It is said he intends to send the Bishop as ambassador, either to him (the Emperor) or to the King of England.
The Cardinal of Santa Maria in Porticu is as much a French partisan as he (Juan Manuel) is a Spaniard ; and Count Carpi is even more French in his heart. The Count intends to go to Naples, in order to take baths there. Has asked the Viceroy to set spies on him.
Hears that the armaments of the Turks are not so formidable as was said. Begs him, however, to pretend that he believes the whole of Christendom to be in imminent danger.
The Pope begs him to give the bishopric of Antwerp to one of his servants.
All the time since he has arrived in Rome, the Pope has been continually conferring with Luis Caroz and Barosso about the treaty of alliance (with the Emperor and the King of England). At last his Holiness abandoned his negotiations with them, and asked to see him (Juan Manuel). The Pope said that he had made up his mind to conclude the treaty of alliance (with the Emperor and the King of England), and asked him to say what the conditions of that treaty were. Answered that he could not change a single word of the draft which he (the Emperor) had sent to the Pope. The Pope declared that he was satisfied with it, and that he would commission Joban Matheo to conclude the treaty. As the Pope, however, wished to keep the treaty very secret, he begged him not to mention it to any person whatever. At last it was resolved that Barosso should be admitted to the negotiations.
Has been informed that the reason why the Pope has sent the Auditor de la Camera to England is to ask the King of England not to conclude the treaty in such a manner that his (the Emperor's) power would be increased by it. The Pope wrote to the Auditor that it would not be well for the other princes of Christendom if he (the Emperor) were to be made more powerful than he is, as he would then be the judge of all of them, and decide all their disputes with one another in whatever manner he liked. His Holiness added that these were the intentions he had when he opened his negotiations (with the King of England). The person who gave him this information is perfeetly reliable. There is no doubt that all kinds of obstacles will be raised to the alliance (of the Emperor with the Pope and the King of England). All the princes of Christendom are afraid of his greatness, because they do not know his goodness.
Thinks it would be the best policy to imitate great masters of fence, and to perplex his adversaries, so that they may forget their subtle designs. That ought to be done, not only by words, but by deeds.
He can conquer Genoa whenever he likes. The Adorni would help him to carry out the plan. He would much perplex the Pope and the King of France by such a feat.
If he goes to Germany, he ought to show some favour to a certain friar who calls himself Friar Martin, and who is staying with the Duke Frederic of Saxony. The Pope is exceedingly afraid of him, as he preaches openly against the authority of Rome, and is said to be a great scholar. Thinks that would be a good means of forcing the Pope to conclude the alliance. Is, however, of opinion that these means ought to be employed only if the Pope refuses to conclude the alliance, or if he afterwards breaks it. (fn. 4)
Hieronymo Adorno and his brother are satisfied with his last letters. They are faithful servants of his. Begs him not to consent to the marriage of the kinsman of the Pope (fn. 5) with the Countess of Massa. He is a bad Imperialist. A marriage of the Countess with Hieronymo Adorno would be preferable.
Will speak to the Pope about the Inquisition as soon as his Holiness returns from his hunting excursions.
Church preferment for the Cardinals Cornaro, Santi Quatuor, and Cibo.
The Pope has sent him some drafts of papers, amongst which is a draft of the treaty of alliance (with the Emperor and the King of England). Will send them by the next courier. Luis Caroz and Hieronymo de Vich enclose their letters in this bundle.—Rome, the 12th of May 1520.
Addressed : "... Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed : "To the King. 1520. Don Juan Manuel. 12th of May. Answered on the 5th of June."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 15.


  • 1. The alliance which forms the principal subject of this and of the following despatches of Juan Manuel is the double alliance which the Emperor intended to conclude, on the one side with the Pope, and on the other side with the King of England. The object of it was war with France. Whenever the word "alliance," without any other qualification, is found in the abstracts contained in this volume, the alliance between the Pope, the Emperor, and the King of England is meant.
  • 2. The absolution from perjury seems to mean the absolution of the Emperor from his duty to observe his treaty with the French, to which he had sworn. It is not probable that the Emperor had insisted on it from scruples of conscience, but because such an absolution would compromise the Pope in respect to the King of France.
  • 3. Gianmatteo Giberto, afterwards famous for his enmity towards Charles V.
  • 4. "... y puedese V. Mat. venir a Alemania de que se les siguira otro grande temor y puede de secreto un poquito de (sic) favor a un frayle que se dize Fray Martin que esta con el Duque Fedrique de Sassonia del qual tiene el papa grandissimo miedo porque predica y publica grandes cosas contra su poder dizen que es grande letrado y tiene puesto al papa en mucho cuydado, bien creo que el papa concertara con V. Mat. mas digo esto en caso que no se concierte o pues de concertado se desconcierta ..."
  • 5. Lorenzo Cibo.