Spain: December 1520

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

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'Spain: December 1520', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 2, 1509-1525, (London, 1866) pp. 327-333. British History Online [accessed 25 April 2024]

December 1520

3 Dec.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 19. f. 367.
311. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Thanks him for the instructions and information in his letter dated the 11th of November.
As it was known in Rome that the Cardinal of England was ill, it was only considered natural that the expected despatch from England had not arrived. The person whom the Pope intended to send there (to England?) would have left already, if he (Juan Manuel) had not objected to his starting. Said to the Pope that it would be inconvenient if he sent this messenger before he could give him the treaty of alliance signed by them (the Pope and the Emperor?). The Pope answered that he would postpope his decision on the subject until his return (to Rome). The Pope came back three days ago.
The nuncio at his court is an honest man, and yet he must advise him not to communicate his secrets to the nuncio. The Cardinal de Medicis is in Rome. Advice concerning the sending of letters. Will take care that the Pope nominates Giovanni de Medicis captain-general of his army. Imperial Diet in Germany. Bad news from Spain, &c. Naples. Raphael de Medicis. The French in Milan, &c. Bishop of Zamora. Hieronymo Adorno. Johan Matheo is a better man than he had believed. His kinsman, Augustin Folleta, is all powerful with the Pope. He must be gained. Count Carpi offers to the Pope Naples and Ferrara, in the name of the King of France.
The Pope asked him what he would say if he showed him a treaty, signed and sealed by the King of France, in which the King has promised him great things. The result of a long conversation with the Pope was that the Pope asks him (the Emperor) to give him a paper written and signed by himself (the Emperor), containing a promise not to reconcile himself with the King of France without his (the Pope's) knowledge and consent, and to make war with France at once, if the French should attack the Papal States. His Holiness offers to give him a similar promise.
The negotiations of the Pope with the King of France, and his frequent hunting excursions, make him suspicious. Prays God that good news concerning England may soon arrive. The delay is very dangerous, especially as the French say that they have made great offers (to the King of England?). The Pope would like to turn the French out of Italy, but he is much afraid of them. If the resolution (of the King of England?) is not soon known, all will be lost. The Pope is not disinclined to conclude a treaty with France for a short time, and to break it afterwards.
Venice. Milan. Fray Nicolo. Bishop of Leon, &c. Tithes promised to the King of France. Cardinal de Medicis and the bishopric of Jaen.
The Pope, who seems to be very well informed, told him that the Neapolitan army will be useless for the next five months, for it is not paid, and has neither horses nor arms.
His Holiness has proposed to him that he (the Emperor), the King of England, and the Pope should take 3,000 Swiss in their pay, to be quartered in the Papal States, in order to defend them, until the great enterprise begins. Furthermore, the Pope asks of him (the Emperor), that he should send, through the house of Fugger, 50,000 ducats to Rome, wherewith to enlist Spanish infantry, and deposit 50,000 ducats more with the same house, to be employed for the same purpose in case of need.
Answered that he had no instructions.
Madame d'Angoulême and the Queen of France wish to come to Florence, and to see the Pope there.—Rome, the 3rd of December 1520.
Addressed : "... Catholic Majesty ..."
Indorsed : "To the King. Juan Manuel. The 3rd of December."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 12.
12 Dec.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 19. ff. 375-383.
312. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
The courier who left on the 3rd of December was the Popé's courier. Sends duplicates of the letters which were sent by the courier of the Pope, as he is afraid that they have not perhaps been delivered.
Sends him also copies of the promise of the Pope, as well as of the promise he (Juan Manuel) gave the Pope. Retains the originals, from fear that they might be lost on the road. Thinks this arrangement is more advantageous to him (the Emperor) than to the Pope.
He must not be astonished if he hears that the Pope has concluded an alliance with the King of France ; for the Pope is at the same time much afraid of the French, and very desirous to obtain Ferrara, which the French have promised him. Moreover, the Cardinal de Medicis is to have church preferment in France, and the other servants of the Pope have received money. Is, nevertheless, persuaded that the Pope can be trusted. The conquest of Ferrara offers a good pretext for forming an army which can serve against France.
Count of Aquila.
Has been informed that the Pope had almost made up his mind to conclude an alliance with the King of France. When he heard it, he said to his Holiness and to the Cardinal de Medicis that they might conclude as many treaties with France as they liked, but that they would gain nothing thereby ; for that he (the Emperor) might, in such a case, reconcile himself with the King of France, and the treaties between France and the Pope would thereby become only waste paper. This observation made a great impression on them, and especially on the Cardinal.
The Venetians intend to take Gradisca and Meran by surprise.
Bishop of Liege, &c.
The King of France is said to have obtained money, and to be procuring still more money. Naples. Fray Nicolo. Preparations for war in Italy.
Count Carpi and the French ambassador are urging the Pope very earnestly, asking a definitive answer from him. Has conferred with Fray Nicolo on this subject, and has arranged that Fray Nicolo should beg the Pope to give the following answer to Count Carpi and to the French ambassador. His Holiness was to say that he would send a confidential person to the King of England, and ask him whether what the French have said about his intentions concerning the kingdom of Naples is true. If the King of England should confirm what the French have declared in his name, the Pope can say that he will approve of the conquest of Naples, and lend his aid for carrying it out, on condition, however, that the Swiss also should be gained for that enterprise.
The Pope liked this arrangement, as he gained time by it. Begs him, however, most earnestly, not to delay the conclusion of the alliance, and to sign the treaty in the form in which it has been sent to him from Rome. Thinks the Pope will not wait an hour longer than the stipulated thirty days. His Holiness has said to another person that he knows some things which he (Juan Manuel) does not know, and that he (the Emperor) is to marry the daughter of the King of England. The Pope approves the marriage.
The Pope believes that the King of France has got so much money, and has enlisted so many thousands of German and Swiss troops, that it is impossible to explain his exaggerated belief in any other way excepting that he has dreamt it, or that somebody has "shown him painted soldiers." The Pope is driven almost mad by fear. Begs him to make an end of this unsatisfactory state of things by signing the treaty (of alliance between the Pope, the Emperor, and the King of England) which is in the hands of the Papal nuncio at his court.
His letters of the 29th of November have arrived. The Pope has also received letters by the same courier, by which he learns that he (the Emperor) makes difficulties about the Swiss who are to be sent to the Papal States. His Holiness complained of those difficulties, and said that he (Juan Manuel) well knew that the Swiss were required for no other purpose than for the defence of the states of the Church. Replied, that the Swiss were not wanted for the defence of the Papal States, for he had already ordered 500 men-at-arms and 1,000 foot from Naples, which force was sufficient to keep the rebellious subjects of the Pope in order. Should, however, the King of France make preparations to attack the Pope with a powerful army, he (the Emperor) and the King of England would immediately attack France with still greater hosts of soldiers. The Neapolitan troops are at Civita Ducata, twenty miles from Rome. The Pope said that he did not like to have Neapolitan troops so near Rome, and that he would send for French troops, in order to be a counterpoise to the Imperial forces. Replied to his Holiness that he had sent for the troops from Naples because he (the Pope) had wished it, and, because he had been on the point of concluding an alliance with the King of France. The Pope grew angry, and said a great many unpleasant things to him, which he answered in the same tone. At last, however, the Pope gave him a paper written and signed with his own hand, and sealed with the pontifical seal, by which he promises not to reconcile himself with the King of France. Keeps that paper in his possession. In it the Pope binds himself not to conclude any treaty with the King of France within three months hence, and not to conclude a treaty with France within three months more without his (the Emperor's) knowledge and approval. Gave the Pope a similar bond in writing, and promised to procure another without delay signed by him (the Emperor). Begs him to send it. Thinks that these written promises are better than the former ones. "If Count Carpi and the other French ambassador were to know of these bonds, they would hang themselves."
Wrote to the Viceroy of Naples not to send more troops, and said to the Pope that he was at liberty to make such use of the Spanish infantry as he liked. Spoke, likewise, with the Pope about the power (to conclude the alliance between the Pope, the Emperor, and the King of England) which he had promised to send. The Pope was much perplexed, and said that the King of England had not yet sent his power. He (the Pope) observed that the King of England did not intend to conclude the alliance, but only to amuse them with delays, and that the Cardinal wants to be judge over the princes and to make his profit out of that occasion. Answered the Pope that the King of England will do what he (the Emperor) bids him. The Pope replied that he (the Emperor) had not yet succeeded in concluding the marriage.
The Pope seems to believe that he can have as many Swiss as he likes. It is well that he has that illusion.
King of Hungary. Queen of Naples. Venice. Bishop of Coria. Cardinal of Santi Quatuor. Spanish infantry.
It is said that the King of France has sent an ambassador to him (the Emperor).
Rome, the 12th of December 1520.
This courier leaves Rome on the 12th of December, late in the evening. The written promise to the Pope which he is to sign must be sent back to Rome within thirty days.
Addressed : "... Cœsar and King of Spain ... our sovereign Lord."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 11.
20 Dec.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 19. f. 396.
313. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
The Pope is very much gratified to hear that he can have as many Swiss as he likes.
It is said that Monsieur de Chièvres will have an interview with Monsieur de Bonnivet, (fn. 1) in which all the differences between him (the Emperor) and the King of France will be settled. Spoke about this pretended interview to the Pope, who laughed at it, and said it was only a deception.
Archbishop of Salerno, &c., &c.
Rome, the 20th of December 1520.
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 7.
31 Dec.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 21. ff. 426-431.
314. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Told the Cardinal de Medicis that he (the Emperor) intended to give him the bishopric of Jaen, worth 8,000 ducats a year, and to do more for him. The Pope and the Cardinal are perfectly satisfied with his liberality. Has not yet spoken about the revenues of the vacant bishoprics. The Pope promised to deprive the Bishop of Zamora, "who is another Martin Luther," of his bishopric, but added that, in his opinion, a reconciliation would be preferable. Answered that he (the Emperor) could never pardon the Bishop.
On the 11th of January the time expires within which he is to send to the Pope his written promise, which is to agree with the written promise the Pope has given him. Hopes it will arrive in time, and that the alliance (between the Pope, the Emperor, and the King of England) will soon be concluded The delay renders the Pope suspicious of him, and him suspicious of the Pope.
The journey of the Emperor to Spain. Investiture of Naples. The cardinal's hat for the Bishop of Liege.
Reminds the Pope very often of the power which he has promised to send for the conclusion of an alliance between the Holy See, him (the Emperor), and the King of England. As often, however, as he speaks of this power, the Pope forgets to give it. He does not seem to care much for this alliance, but fixes a day, and that not a very distant one, for the conclusion of an offensive league.
The Pope has received letters, according to which an agent of the Cardinal of Sion was obliged to wait a whole month before he could obtain an audience of the King of England ; and when he obtained it, it was in presence of the Cardinal and the ambassador of the King of France. When the agent was delivering his address the King turned his back upon him, and went away in the midst of the speech. This incident is much commented upon in Rome.
Does not think it prudent to speak with the Pope about the treaty which the King of France has sent him, as the Pope is quite persuaded that he (the Emperor) will not dare to make war with France, and he is therefore beginning to look out for other alliances.
His Holiness does not believe that he (the Emperor) can make any use of his army in Naples, and goes so far as to think he will lose Naples and Sicily. Proposed to the Pope that he (the Emperor) should pay one half of the pay for the 3,000 Swiss, and the Pope and the King of England jointly the other half. The Pope readily accepted this proposal.
Letters from that court (fn. 2) have arrived in Rome, in which it is stated that the Swiss prefer his service to that of any other prince, but on condition that they are paid and employed in actual war. This news is in perfect keeping with the character of the Swiss.
The Pope begs him to come to Italy on his way to Spain It is a new thing for a Pope to desire the presence of an Emperor in Italy. The Pope evidently dislikes the French but does not dare to negotiate with him lest the French should get to know it. Begs him not to discuss this business with his Privy Council, as it might be betrayed by one of the Councillors. It is enough, in the opinion of the Pope, that Monsieur de Chièvres, the Chancellor, (fn. 3) and the Bishop of Palencia (fn. 4) should be consulted.
Spoke to his Holiness about Martin Luther. The Pope thanks him very much for his offers, and begs him to be, in this respect at least, his good son and protector. Luther may, in all security, come to Rome with his safe-conduct. Persons will be deputed with whom Luther can dispute and speak, and his opinion will be accepted for what it is worth. The Papal nuncio will speak with him about Luther.
The King of France speaks very boastfully.
Has warned Francisco de Mondoza, brother-in-law of Juan de Padilla.
Hieronymo de Vich is a partisan of France.
Spanish bishops in Rome.
The Pope has just told him that he is ready to conclude a defensive or offensive alliance, whichever he likes best, with him. If the alliance is to be an offensive one, the articles of the treaty sent to him must be adopted without altering a single word. If it is to be a defensive one, the Pope will concert with him (Juan Manuel) some new general articles. After the conclusion of the alliance the Pope promises to comport himself towards the King of England as he (the Emperor) shall think convenient. If the King of England refuses to contribute money towards the payment of the Swiss, the Pope says that he will pay the portion of the King of England. The Swiss must be quartered in Reggio and Rebena.
The disbanded Spaniards do not return to Spain, &c. Palermo. Cardinal Cesarino, &c.—Rome, the last day of December 1520.
Addressed : "To the most sacred Cœsar, King of Spain, &c., our sovereign Lord."
Indorsed : "To the King. Rome. Don Juan Manuel. the 31st of December 1520."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 8.


  • 1. Guillaume Gouffier de Bonnivet, who was the favourite of the mother of the King of France.
  • 2. "Dessa corte." The court of the Emperor, or of the King of England (?)
  • 3. Gattinara.
  • 4. Maestro Mota.