Spain: December 1521

Pages 381-386

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

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December 1521

1 Dec.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 21. f. 339.
365. The Cardinal Of Santa Croce to the Emperor.
The same day, 1st of December, at 8 o'clock at night, the Pope died. Begs him to send his orders for a good and holy election.—Rome, the 1st of December 1521.
Addressed : "To the Sacred Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed : "To the King. Rome. From the Cardinal of Santa Cruz, 1st of December. Answered."
Spanish. Holograph. p. ½.
2 Dec.
M. Re Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 21. f. 340.
366. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
His last letter was dated the 27th of November.
After that letter had left, the Pope fell ill, and his illness became so bad that it was suspected he "had eaten or drunk something that he should not." Begs him to read with attention the preceding sentence. As soon as he was informed of what was suspected, he wrote to Naples, and gave orders to keep the Neapolitan army in readiness, and to take all possible measures of precaution, &c.
Wishes he were younger. It is a very unlucky circumstance that his debts amount to 30,000 ducats, and that he has no money to buy his bread with. The death of the Pope, if he should die, would be an event of the greatest gravity.
Has retained this letter some days, in order to see whether the Pope would recover. The Pope died last night, four hours before day.
Has just received his letters, but has not yet deciphered them.—Rome, the 2nd of December 1521.
Addressed : "To the most sacred Cœsar, King of Spain, &c., our sovereign Lord."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 2.
5 Dec.
M.Re Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 21. f. 348.
367. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
The Signory has received news from the Venetian ambassador in Rome that the Pope died on the 2nd instant, at 11 o'clock, according to Italian computation, that is, at 4 o'clock after midnight.
Has not delivered a copy of the treaty (between the Emperor and the King of England) to the Signory, but has only sent a secretary of the legate to read a memoir to them, without leaving a copy of it. The enclosed paper does not contain what the legate said, without his (the ambassador's) knowledge, respecting the promises of the Pope and the King of England. —5th of December 1521.
Addressed : "To his Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty, our Emperor and King."
Indorsed : "To the King. Venice. From Alonso Sanchez, 5th of December. Answered."
Spanish. Holograph, p. 1.
11 Dec.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 21. ff. 357-364.
368. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Has informed him, in his letter of the 2nd, of the death of the Pope.
Is exceedingly sorry that a truce must be concluded. Would gladly accept the truce, if it would only give him (the Emperor) security or reduce his expenses, but is afraid that neither the one nor the other advantage can be obtained. Begs God to enlighten him, and to inspire the King of England with more friendly sentiments towards him than he has hitherto harboured.
Is very uneasy that no news from Spain has arrived.
Delivered a long address to the College of Cardinals as soon as the Pope was dead. Told them that he (the Emperor), as the natural protector of the Church and her ally, was disposed to show them all favour and to defend them if necessary. Asked them to send money to the army in Lombardy, and to write to the Swiss and the captains of the army. The cardinals sent some money, but it was only a small sum.
Rome is quiet. The streets and houses are full of armed men and of artillery. Went to the houses of all the cardinals, he and his followers being armed only with swords, although his house contains a considerable number of well armed soldiers. Cardinals and others who are not cardinals are constantly coming to his house to confer with him. They ask him who is to be the Imperial candidate for the Papal throne. Has to contend with two great difficulties ; the one is that he has no experience of the intrigues of an election of a Pope, and the other is that it is repugnant to his nature to stoop to such means as must necessarily be employed ; for all is founded on avarice and lies.
No money has arrived from Naples. Unfavourable news is intentionally spread in Naples. News from the army in Lombardy. Monsieur de Lescun, brother of Lautrec, has been made prisoner in Switzerland.
To the cardinals who ask him which of the candidates he will favour, he has proposed to make a list of a dozen cardinals to whom every one of them may give his vote as he likes, provided, however, that they promise not to vote for any other candidate. Thinks that in that manner he will incur less responsibility, and not make enemies of those who are disappointed.
Two letters of the King of France have been intercepted. Sends copies of them.
Good news from Spain has arrived, &c.
The French say that the King of Scotland is dead, and that the Duke of Albany has succeeded to the throne. They rejoice very much at this news, and threaten the whole world. It is clear that the King of England likes the French more than he is liked by them. Although the friendship of the French costs the King of England dear, he (Juan Manuel) does not like to call it (the friendship) "of the King, but of the Cardinal of England, with the French." (fn. 1)
The College of Cardinals sends him (Juan Manuel) two letters, one for him (the Emperor) and another for the Infante. (fn. 2)
Has given orders that the Imperial galleys shall come to the harbour of Civita Vecchia.—Rome, the 11th of December 1521.
Addressed : "... sar, King of Spain ... Lord."
Indorsed : "To the King. Rome. Juan Manuel. 11th of December 1521."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 5.
19 Dec.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 21. f. 383.
369. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor elect.
The galleys have not yet sailed to Naples.
The money from Naples is not yet paid to him.
Reduction of the army. Lautrec is in Cremona, the only place he still holds in Lombardy.
Rome is quiet, but all danger of a revolt is not yet removed.
The election of the Pope is delayed, as the Cardinal of Ivrea was detained in Pavia, and the cardinals refused to enter into conclave before his arrival. It is said that the Cardinal de Medicis, who has a strong party in his favour, caused the detention of the Cardinal of Ivrea from jealousy. This suspicion is unfounded. Safe-conduct for the Cardinal of Ivrea.
Has not hitherto shown much favour to the Cardinal de Medicis, who, although he possesses many votes in his favour, has the whole French party and the Cardinal Colonna against him. Has asked the Cardinal Colonna to vote for the Cardinal de Medicis, promising that he (the Emperor) will reward him for such a signal service. The Cardinal Colonna, however, has not even sent him an answer, but has openly said that he (Juan Manuel) has been asking for votes for the Cardinal de Medicis. It is very difficult to deal with the cardinals in this conjuncture. The French party and the Cardinal Colonna threaten a schism.
Archbishop of Valencia. Count Galleazo. News has arrived that Fuentarabia is taken by the French.
Does not know what to answer with respect to his communications about England. It seems that the Cardinal of England is right in what he does and says. It would, however, be well to add German veterans to the Swiss troops. Prothonotary Gambara, &c.—Rome, the 19th of December 1521.
Addressed : "To the most sacred King of Spain, our sovereign Lord."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering, pp. 3.
24 Dec.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 21. f. 406.
370. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor elect.
Viceroy of Naples.
Retains this courier until the cardinals enter into con Thinks that "there cannot be so much hatred and so many devils in hell as among these cardinals," and is afraid that, in consequence of the passions of the Cardinals, the French will gain in Rome as much as they have lost in Lombardy.
Want of money. The Venetians assist the French. Francesco Maria, Duke of Urbino. Marcantonio Colonna, &c.
The cardinals quarrel with one another, and do not yet assemble in conclave. Some of them wish to bring about a schism. Cardinal Colonna behaves worse every day. The cardinals who are ready to serve his (the Emperor's) interests are Cardinals Vich, Valle, Siena, Jacobacius, Campegio, de Medicis, Sion, Santiquatro, and Farnese. Other cardinals are also ready to be useful to him, but as they are only the servants of others, it is not worth while to speak of them. They are Cardinal Cesarini and others. Thinks Cardinal Santa Croce will do his duty. The Cardinals of Ancona and Volterra are believed to be his enemies. Of the Cardinal of Mantua it is not yet known to which party he belongs. Regards the three Venetian cardinals, and the Cardinals Fiesco, Monte, Grassis, and Cardinal Minerva as suspicious. De Medicis has eighteen votes in his favour, but twenty votes against him. Generally there are two or three cardinals who endeavour to be elected Pope ; this time every one of them aspires to that dignity.
Has arranged with Cardinal de Medicis that, if his election is impossible, he is to give his vote and the votes of his supporters to the candidates whom he (Juan Manuel) will designate to him. If Cardinal de Medicis keeps his word, a thing which is not usual in Rome, the arrangement would not be bad.
The postal arrangements are bad. Alarcon.
Rome, the 24th of December 1521.
The cardinals have decided to assemble in conclave the day after to-morrow, which will be Thursday, the second day of Christmas. News from Valladolid.
Addressed : "To the most sacred King of Spain, &c., our sovereign Lord."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering, pp. 4.
28 Dec.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 21. f. 417.
371. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
The cardinals did not enter into conclave on Thursday, as they had decided, but on Friday. Does not live in the palace, as his predecessors on former occasions did, as he has been given to understand that his presence would be considered a restriction on the freedom of the conclave. Sent to the palace, as his representatives, Ascanio Colonna, the Bishop of Alghero, (fn. 3) and Enkenvöert. Should it appear necessary, he will go in person and stay in the palace. The fight will be very close between the Imperialists, on the one part, and the partisans of France and Venice, on the other, as they have proposed different cardinals as candidates.
Has arranged with Cardinal de Medicis that, if he sees that his election is impossible, he will give his vote and the votes of his followers to certain candidates who are good Imperialists, and whose names have been made known to him (de Medicis). Cardinal Farnese is the last on the list. As he has sometimes been suspected of being a partisan of France, it has been arranged with him that he shall give his second son as hostage for his good and faithful behaviour towards him (the Emperor). The Cardinal has already delivered his son, who has been sent to Naples. Farnese belongs to a very great family, and has many supporters. He has two sons and two daughters, both married.
It may happen that the cardinals will decide on electing a cardinal who is not present in the conclave. Has proposed the Cardinal of Tortosa as Imperial candidate in such a case.
The Cardinal of Ivrea, who had been detained in Pavia, has arrived, and entered the conclave. Sent some person to see him on his way to Rome. He promised to render good services to him (the Emperor). Does not know whether he will keep his word.
Naples is still in its usual disorder. News concerning the army, which is not paid.
Has not yet received an answer to his letter in which he announced to him the death of the Pope, although the answer should have arrived three or four days ago. Begs him not to neglect so important an affair as the election of the Pope.
Rome, the 28th of December 1521.
Addressed : "To the most sacred Cœsar, King of Spain, &c., our sovereign Lord."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 3.


  • 1. No quiero dezir del Rey mas del Cardenal de Inglaterra con Franceses.
  • 2. Ferdinand.
  • 3. Town and bishopric of the island of Sardinia. Juan de Laoysa was Bishop of Alghero from 1514 to 1524.