Spain: September 1521

Pages 374-380

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

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September 1521

6 Sept.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar, A. 21. f. 165.
358. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor Elect.
Received his despatch of the 23rd of August after he had finished his last letter.
His Holiness is so afraid of the negotiations of peace (fn. 1) that he scarcely speaks or thinks of any thing else. He knows that, if peace be concluded, neither the Church, nor his person, nor the family of the Medici will be safe from the attacks of France. His Holiness said to him that, if he had not acted in the interest of him (the Emperor), the kingdom of Naples would by this time be in the power of the King of France.
[Written on the margin by the Chancellor Mercurino de Gattinara :] In order to comfort the Pope, it is necessary to do what is written at the end of the other letter to the Pope or Don Juan. If enough money cannot be found, the Pope would do well to consent to a truce for Flanders and for Spain. The war with the French in Italy would then be carried on more vigorously.
Knows much about Naples, but he thinks the time has not come to speak about it, nor does he believe that it would be well to repeat all that the Pope says. Will only observe that the Cardinal of England is ruining the Pope by spreading rumours that peace or a truce will be concluded ; for, if that should be believed, the war would not be carried on with the necessary energy, and many other states, which are friendly towards the Pope, would not declare themselves openly as his allies, fearing that a peace or a truce is on the point of being concluded. His Holiness says that, if he (the Emperor) should abandon his first enterprise so quickly after having announced it, and although he is the protector and ally of the Church, he will not earn much honour thereby, and will find it difficult to induce other sovereigns to help him when, on a future occasion, he is forced to wage war.
[Written on the margin by the Chancellor Mercurino de Gattinara :] This is very true.
The Pope says he will spend as much as he has, and even more, if he (the Emperor) will not permit himself to be so grossly imposed upon and abased in his dignity by the Cardinal of England. He thinks that as soon as he (the Emperor) disarms he will be exposed to the affronts of the French.
[Written on the margin by the Chancellor Mercurino de Gattinara :] The remedy for this is already hinted at. The Pope will see that he has every reason to be satisfied.
Thus far he has repeated what the Pope has said. His own opinion is that, although he (the Emperor) may conclude a truce, he must do it only on the two following conditions. In the first place, he must not permit the truce to be published, and if people mention it to him, he must contradict them. The French will turn the truce to their own advantage, and to his prejudice.
[Written on the margin in the handwriting of the Chancellor Mercurino de Gattinara :] Don Juan will be satisfied with what has already been said.
Secondly, the truce must be concluded only for next winter, that is to say, for the next five months, during which it would be impossible that warlike operations could be carried on. If it should be convenient afterwards to continue the truce for a longer space of time, it might be prolonged. Is, however, unable to understand with what advantages a prolongation of the truce would be attended. Beseeches him, at all events, to be always as well prepared for war as though he knew that the truce would be broken the next hour. His dominions and his interests run much greater risk of suffering during peace than during war.
[Written on the margin in the handwriting of the Chancellor Mercurino de Gattinara :] I should much like the King of England to be persuaded to declare war against France ; but if he does not do it before the time fixed, it is better to conclude the truce for the whole time during which the King of England is to remain at peace, according to the treaty. This truce, however, does not comprise Italy. Should the French afterwards break the truce in any country out of Italy, the English would be bound to defend the attacked country, and thus be involved in the war with France.
The news from Lombardy is that the operations of the siege are proceeding.
The Pope has promised to make the Bishop of Palencia a cardinal. The brother of the Marshal of Burgundy. Archbishop of Capua. Micer Johan Matheo does not wish to be a cardinal. Some say he is a bastard. He desires money. Letters from Valencia. The French are crossing the Po.
The Papal army consists of 600 men-at-arms and a little more than 1,000 light horse. The Imperial army numbers 700 good men-at-arms, less than 4,000 Spanish foot, a few troops of Italian infantry, 6,000 Germans, and almost 2,000 Swiss. The exiles are making war upon friend and foe. The Marquis of Mantua is behaving badly with respect to Concordia. —Rome, the 6th of September 1521.
Addressed : "Cœsar, King of Spain and Sicily, our sovereign Lord."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher, with the exception of one paragraph. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 5.
26 Sept.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist Salazar. A. 21. ff. 180-185.
359. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Soon after having despatched the courier on the 20th of September, received his letter dated Brussels, the 9th instant, together with a copy of the treaty between him (the Emperor) and the King of England. The English ambassador in Rome did not mention the conclusion of the treaty, either to the Pope or to him, but only delivered to his Holiness a book which the King of England is said to have written in refutation of Luther. Did not tell the English ambassador that the treaty was concluded.
[Written on the margin by Mercurino de Gattinara :] This has been arranged in order to prevent the French from obtaining information as to what has been settled. The Cardinal (of England), at least, said so, and added that, in his opinion, it would be best not to inform the English ambassador in Rome what had been concluded, it being sufficient that Don Juan knew it, and had a copy of the treaty sent to him.
The Pope, speaking to him about England, said he was afraid lest the Cardinal of England should contrive to deceive him (the Emperor) in these negotiations. If the English were entertaining good intentions, they would not delay the marriage of the Princess of England. The manner in which the English have behaved, and are still behaving, seems to the Pope to be very bad. His Holiness much inclines to an alliance with Portugal, and thinks it necessary that some one should speak with the King of England, and show him (what sort of person) the Cardinal (is).
[Written on the margin by Mercurino de Gattinara :] It is best to wait for a good opportunity. When his Majesty goes to Spain he will decide what is to be done in this respect, according to the manner in which the negotiations are conducted.
Intends to speak with the Pope about the conclusion of a truce on the first good opportunity that offers.
[Written on the margin by Mercurino de Gattinara :] He must not delay it ; for, if it should be necessary to conclude a truce, it would be well to know the opinion of the Pope.
The Cardinal de Medicis has gone as legate to the army.
The Pope has formed a bad opinion of Prospero Colonna, although Prospero wrote that all the other captains were of the same opinion as he, viz., that it was necessary to give up the siege of Parma.
The Cardinal of Sion was, on the 25th instant, on the heights of the Alps, seven miles from Milan, with 9,000 Swiss, &c. &c.
News from Hungary, Switzerland, Naples, &c.—Rome, the 26th of September 1521.
Addressed : "... King of Spain ... Lord."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering, corrected in some particulars according to the original in cipher by Don Manuel de Goicoechea, Keeper of the Archives of the Royal Academy of History in Madrid. pp. 7.
26(?) Sept.
M. D. Pasc. d. G. Pap. r. a. 1. Hist. d. Es.
360. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Wrote to him, on the 9th of August, saying that the courier by whom the letter of that date was sent had also taken with him the power of the Pope to conclude the alliance with the King of England. The power was really sent. The nuncios of the Pope, however, either because they had received instructions from Rome to that effect, or because they distrusted the Cardinal of England, declared that they had received no power. The Pope now sends another power to his nuncios ; for if the old power were presented, the Cardinal of England would see that the nuncio had concealed it from him, and would most probably be offended thereby.
[Written on the margin in the handwriting of the Chancellor Mercurino de Gattinara :] It is right.
Showed the Pope the treaty (of the Emperor with the King of England), together with his letter of the 28th of August, after the Pope had promised him to keep the matter secret. Thinks the Pope will mention the treaty to no one. His Holiness, however, made two observations about it. In the first place, he thinks that the article according to which he (the Emperor) and the King of England bind themselves to assist one another to conquer what belongs to them in France, is too vague, and that it ought to be clearly stated what is claimed by each of them. The second observation of his Holiness was that he wished to know what he is to have.
[Written on the margin in the handwriting of the Chancellor Gattinara :] His Majesty perfectly agrees with him, for it is right that every one should know what he is to have, and that the Pope should also know what his portion is to be.
The English ambassador has said nothing to him about the treaty. When the ambassador went to see the Pope he did not make any observations worth mentioning, and only promised his Holiness to come and see him (Juan Manuel). The Pope asked the English ambassador whether he had received the treaty, to which question the ambassador replied he had not. His Holiness did not tell the ambassador that he had already seen the treaty.
[Written on the margin in the handwriting of the Chancellor Gattinara :] The Cardinal (Wolsey) has excused himself, saying that it was not necessary to send the treaty to the English ambassador, as all parties placed much more confidence in his Majesty (the Emperor) than in him (Wolsey).
The Pope said that before the time arrives when the treaty is to be executed, (fn. 2) many things may happen to prevent its fulfilment. It would, therefore, be safer to begin the war at once.
[Written on the margin in the handwriting of the Chancellor Gattinara :] That is very true, and would be all we could wish, if it were possible.
Spoke to the Pope about the truce, and asked him to say whether he thought it would be well to extend it to Italy as well as to the other parts of Christendom, or whether he was of opinion that Italy ought to be excluded from it. The Pope observed that it would be best to continue the war in the north of France, where there are only two strong places. As soon as they were taken, the army could be easily maintained in the open country, and money even could be got there.
[Written on the margin in the handwriting of the Chancellor Gattinara :] The Pope would be quite right if Mézières were taken. As Mézières, however, is in the power of the enemy, it would not be safe to advance further, since the army could not be provided with provisions. The want of money being so great, it is necessary to conclude a truce with France. As the King of France refuses to conclude any truce but a general one, his Holiness must resign himself, and propose such conditions as the King of France will accept.
If he (the Emperor) is forced to conclude a truce with the King of France, his Holiness says, an article ought to be framed according to which neither he (the Emperor) nor the King of France will be allowed to send more troops, either by sea or by land, to Italy. As the Imperial army in Italy is superior to the army which the King of France has there, and as he (the Emperor) could, before the conclusion of the truce, send the 300 men-at-arms of the rearguard and the Spanish foot to reinforce his Italian army, the advantage of such a clause would be great.
[Written on the margin in the handwriting of the Chancellor Gattinara :] That would be true, if the King of France would consent to such an article ; which is, however, not at all probable.
The Pope continued that evidently he (the Emperor) could never trust the French, whether he were to conclude a truce with them or not ; and that as long as he (the Emperor) wishes to continue the war with France, he (the Pope) will never be found in want of money.
[Written on the margin in the handwriting of the Chancellor Gattinara :] If His Majesty could say the same himself, it would not be necessary to speak of a truce.
His marriage with the Princess of England and his alliance with the King of England were made public by merchants in England before they were concluded. The Pope thinks that, whatever the Cardinal may conclude, his only true intention is to increase his reputation, and to force the French to make him greater presents.
[Written on the margin in the handwriting of the Chancellor Gattinara :] It is clear that the Cardinal deceives either the one or the other party.
The Pope has rejoiced much at hearing that Mouzon has been taken, especially as the French had pretended that Mouzon could not be conquered in a year.
[Written on the margin in the handwriting of the Chancellor Gattinara :] Mouzon is as important as Mézières.
False news is spread in Italy by his adversaries. Church preferment. Lodovico de Gonzaga. Cardinal's hat for the Bishop of Liege. News from the theatre of war, &c.—Rome, the 16th of September 1521. (fn. 3)
Addressed : "... King of Spain ... our Lord."
Indorsed : "To the King. 1521. Rome. Don Juan Manuel. 16th of September."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 8.
Sept. (?)
S. E. Pat. Re. T. c. I. L. l.
361. King Henry VIII. to All Persons.
Swears to the treaty of alliance, marriage, and friendship concluded on the 25th of August 1521, by the Cardinal Archbishop of York, in his name, with the Archduchess Margaret and Jehan de Berghes, in the name of the Emperor elect.— No date.
Latin. Autograph. p. 1. On parchment.
S. E. Var. L. 1554.
362. The Emperor to All Persons.
Ratifies the treaty of marriage and everlasting friendship concluded between him and the King of England on the 25th of August 1521.—Brussels, [blank] September 1521.
Latin. Draft. p. 1.
Printed in Lanz, Actenstuecke und Briefe zur Geschichte Kaiser Karl V.


  • 1. Carried on at Calais under the presidency of Wolsey.
  • 2. "... is to be brought to a rupture" in the original deciphering. This evident mistake has been corrected from the original despatch in cipher.
  • 3. Although the date and the indorsement are the 16th of September, it is clear, from the contents of the letter, that it was written later than the preceding despatch, which bears the date of the 26th of September. As the date is written in Latin numbers, it is probable that one X has been omitted by an oversight. If that is the case, both this and the preceding document were probably sent by the same courier. It was not unusual to affix to letters, written on different days, the same date, if they were sent by the same messenger.