Spain: March 1522

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

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'Spain: March 1522', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 2, 1509-1525, (London, 1866) pp. 405-412. British History Online [accessed 25 April 2024]

March 1522

1 March.
M. Re. Ac. de Hist. Salazar. A. 23. ff. 1-3.
392. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
The affairs of Naples are in a deplorable state. The Viceroy is said to be dying. The Italian captains protract the war because it is profitable to them.
Passengers have brought news that the Pope has accepted his election.
Certain cardinals have demanded the silver which is in the vestry of the Papal palace. The sexton who had it in his keeping has fled from Rome, because he was unwilling to comply with their demands. The cardinals, however, broke the doors and took the silver vessels. They would have done worse had he not opposed them. (fn. 1)
The Pope has lately written to some persons in Rome, and asked them to take a house for him with a little bit of garden attached to it. The Pope intends to live in it. Does not understand the reasons of the Pope, as God has given him the finest palace in Rome.
The Swiss. The Duke of Urbino, &c.
The French ambassador who has been taken prisoner in Siena has been sent to Gaeta, &c., &c.—Rome, the 1st of March 1522.
Addressed "To the Cœsar and King of Spain, &c."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 5.
7 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 23. ff. 34-37.
393. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Has seen letters from persons at the Imperial court, with intelligence that he was about to go to England. Hopes God will favour him. Must strongly advise him not to leave that country before he has well provided for the affairs of Italy. When he left Spain, and went to Flanders before he had made all the necessary arrangements to secure a good government for Spain, great calamities were the consequences of his hasty departure. If he leaves England before he has taken all the measures which are required for the safety of Italy, he will expose himself to still greater dangers. Spain is a loyal country, but in Italy "all is glass," and may go to pieces any moment. The Venetians, instead of concluding the alliance (with the Emperor and the King of England) aid the French, and will aid them much more as soon as they dare to do so. Nothing withholds them from openly declaring themselves his enemies excepting their fear of his power. Advises him to send directly 10,000 or 12,000 German troops into the states of Venice. The dangers with which he is threatened in Naples and Sicily are not less formidable.
Is still of opinion that he should go by way of Rome and Naples to Spain. He could easily, and with little expense, pacify Italy, if he were present. But as he has decided upon going by way of England to Italy, it is to be hoped that he will not satisfy himself with empty promises, but will see that the King of England begins directly, and before his departure from that country, actual hostilities with the King of France. He ought to insist that the war shall be carried on vigorously. The neutrality of the King of England would show that he has little friendship for him, and the advantages which he would derive from the neutrality of England would be worth even less than the aid the King of Denmark had promised him. The evil would be greatly aggravated by the loss of time, which would be squandered in the fanciful ceremonials of the "Cardinal of the King of England."
If the King of England refuses to begin war directly with the King of France, he can only advise him to conclude a good peace with the King of France. Thinks a favourable peace may be obtained from the King of France, if it is true that the Infante is near the Swiss frontiers with powerful forces which the Empire and the Suabian League are said to have granted him, and is thereby preventing the Swiss from succouring the French. Besides, the Chancellor, who is an Italian, (fn. 2) will be able to find means to destroy the good understanding between the Italians and the King of France. He may be sure that he will not only ruin himself, but also the Pope, if he leaves England without having satisfactorily provided for the affairs of Italy.
The French give money to Renzo da Ceri and others, wherewith to enlist troops. Francesco Maria only waits for a favourable moment to plunder Naples and Rome. The cardinals make common cause with his (the Emperor's) enemies and the enemies of the Church. They are not disinclined to give Modena and Reggio to the Duke of Ferrara, and to absolve him from the ecclesiastical censures under which he lies. It is even to be feared that they will absolve the King of France without waiting for the arrival of the Pope.
Sicily. Naples. The Cardinal de Medicis writes that he cannot persuade the Florentines, to unite their troops with the Imperial army. The Florentines, who will not lend him (the Emperor) 20,000 ducats on good security, have promised to send the King of France 300 men at-arms without asking any security from him. Thinks he should complain to the Prothonotary Caracciolo and to Johan Matheo of the behaviour of the Cardinal de Medicis.
Siena. The College (of Cardinals) has no authority beyond the frontiers of the Papal States. Begs him to give them a very severe answer if they really have sent him the message which they say they have.
Genoese prisoners, &c., &c. Money affairs. Milan is well fortified. The Duke of Milan passed Trent with his troops on the 1st of the present month.
Mosen Puch, &c.—Rome, the 7th of March 1522.
Addressed : "... King of Spain, &c."
Spanish. Autograph. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 5.
12 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 23. ff. 50-54.
394. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
The Viceroy of Naples died on the 10th of March.
The cardinal governors of Rome, who, according to an old law, are to be renewed every month, have done their best to plunder the Pope. (fn. 3) The "captain" of them all is the Cardinal of Ancona, who is always of the same mind as the Cardinal Colonna. The other governors were the Cardinal Fiesco and the Cardinal Ursino. But the Cardinal of Volterra is the master of them all, and, as he is ill, he governs the Church from his bed.
The French have captured a vessel with many Spanish passengers of note.
Is told that the French secretary, whom he has taken prisoner in Siena, has already confessed. Does not yet know the details of his confession.
The legates who are to go to the Pope have received the money for their journey, and no longer speak of leaving Rome.
News concerning Lucca, Milan, Naples, &c.
There is nothing new to mention in this letter concerning the money which he is trying to get from the ambassador of England. Continues, in the best possible way, his attempts to persuade him to lend the money, but has little hope that he will succeed.
Spain, money affairs, &c.—Rome, the 12th of March 1522.
Addressed : "To the Cœsar and King of Spain, our sovereign Lord."
Indorsed : "To the King. Rome. From Don Juan Manuel, the 12th of March 1522."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 7.
15 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 23. ff. 62-66.
395. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Has received his letter dated the 1st of March, and has sent the despatches for Naples and Sicily to the Prior of Barletta.
Thirty thousand ducats have been sent to him from Naples, and 10,000 ducats more are promised. The money will be employed to pay the troops in Lombardy.
Details concerning the pay of the army. Begs him to avoid all unnecessary expenses, in order to be provided with money when it is wanted. Has persuaded the College of Cardinals to send some money to the Marquis of Mantua.
According to the last news from the theatre of war, the French, Swiss, and Venetians are in the Giardino (of Milan). As the French have no money, the Swiss will soon forsake them, and the French can then be turned out of Italy, or made prisoners, and Genoa be conquered.
The Duke of Ferrara has taken some places belonging to the Church. Francesco Maria (of Urbino) has reconciled himself with the Cardinals and with Florence.
Was already informed of the answer he has given to Johan Matheo. Lucca. Cardinal Campegio is a faithful servant of his. The same may be said of Cardinal Valle.
Finds he has determined to go to Spain before coming to Italy. Wishes him good success, but must beg him to be on his guard against the Cardinal of England, who will do all in his power to detain him, and to make him lose his valuable time. Is of opinion that a good peace with France would be attended with great advantages for him, but the Cardinal must in nowise be employed as mediator in his negotiations with France, which can be entrusted to his Belgian servants, as they are best acquainted with the state of affairs in that kingdom.
It is necessary to provide well for the security of Flanders before he leaves, or to persuade the King of England to declare himself publicly "Defender of Flanders." The French intend to attack that country during his absence.
The state of affairs in the kingdom of Naples since the death of the Viceroy is even worse than before. Sends him letters from Mendoza, who writes that he is going to Spain to see the Pope. He must ask the Pope to excommunicate the King of France and his subjects.
The Turks are making great preparations for war.
News has just arrived that the Swiss have forsaken the French, and that the French have been beaten. Money for the army is wanted.
The English ambassador sent to tell him that in his opinion a war between England and France is inevitable. If that is true, he and the King of England will have an excellent opportunity to take vengeance on the King of France, if he refuses to conclude a reasonable peace.—Rome, the 15th of March 1522.
Addressed : "To the Cœsar and King of Spain, &c., our sovereign Lord."
Indorsed : "To the King. Rome. From Don Juan Manuel, the 15th of March."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Deciphering in the handwriting of the Secretary of State, Alfonso de Soria. pp. 5.
15 March.
M. D. Pasc. d. G. Pa. r. a. l. Hist. d. Es.
396. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
Has received his letter of the 24th of last month. Told the Signory what he had ordered him to tell them, namely, that the Venetians, if they liked to conclude the alliance (with the Emperor and the King of England), must first propose the conditions of their alliance, and leave it to him to decide whether their proposals can be accepted or not. His (the Emperor's) intention, he said, was to establish peace in Christendom, and especially in Italy, and afterwards to turn his arms against the Infidels. Reproached them because they had broken their treaty with him (the Emperor), by uniting their troops with the French army, and by lending the artillery they had in Cremona to the French.
The Doge answered that he would confer with his Council and inform him afterwards of their decision.
The Doge spoke also of the lansquenets who are on their way to Lombardy under the command of the Duke (of Milan), adding that the greater in number they are the more of them will perish, as they will not find any provisions.
Whilst writing this letter he received his despatch of the 1st inst. Will take care that the negotiations shall not lead to a rupture, and is persuaded that the Venetians do not wish for an open rupture.
The lansquenets under the command of the Duke of Milan have very dexterously executed their march into Italy. They took the Clusa, and held it until all their troops had marched through that pass.
The Venetians have no longer any doubt that he and the King of England have concluded an alliance, but they do not believe that the King of England will carry on war in France. Is persuaded that the Venetians endeavour to put off the conclusion of a new treaty with him and the King of England.
Knows positively that the Venetians are enlisting 5,000 more troops.
Andrea Gritti and Theodor Trivulzio have quarrelled with one another.
The Doge and the Signory collect secretly as much money as they can.
Victuals are very scarce in Italy this year.
The Doge told him that, according to letters from Constantinople of the 28th of February, the Turks are making great warlike preparations by land and by sea.
Has received news from Lombardy and from Spain ; the tidings from the latter country do not yet mention the election of the new Pope.
Count Bernardino.
The Doge has not given him an answer yet concerning the new alliance (with the Emperor and the King of England).— Venice, [blank.]
Indorsed : "To the King. 1522. From Venice. From Alonso Sanchez, the 15th of March. Answered."
Spanish. Contemporary deciphering. The despatch in cipher is not extant. pp. 6.
15 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 23. ff. 76-78.
397. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Chancellor Mercurino De Gattinara.
Has received his letters of the 24th of last month and of the 1st inst.
Has not yet communicated to the Venetians what the King of England promises them. Thinks that in the present state of affairs the English promises would produce little effect on the mind of the Venetians, but that there may soon be an opportunity of making use of them with great advantage. Is persuaded that, under certain circumstances, it would be possible to sell dearly the favour of the King of England to the Venetians. Although he (the Chancellor) may order the (Venetian) galleys to be detained in Spain, he advises him to let them go to England and Flanders unmolested. They will take in valuable cargoes of merchandise there, and then sail back the same way. If an embargo is laid on them in Spain on their homeward voyage, the business will be much more profitable, as laden vessels are worth more than empty ones.—Venice, the 15th of March 1522.
Addressed : "To the very magnificent Lord, the Chancellor."
Indorsed : "To the Chancellor, from Alonso Sanchez, the 15th of March 1522."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 2.
22 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 23. ff. 100-102.
398. Juan Manuel, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Has received his letter of the 8th inst. The copies of the letters of the Pope were not enclosed in it. Had already suspected that a thunderstorm was near at hand.
Money affairs. Naples. The navy. Turks, &c.
Rome, the 22nd of March 1522.
When this letter was finished he saw a letter from an Italian who lives with the Pope on intimate terms. (fn. 4) According to this letter the Cardinal of Santa Croce has sent Astudillo to the Pope, and told him that he has taken the tiara from his own head and placed it on the head of the Pope against his (the Emperor's) will. The Cardinal wished to be legate in Rome, and asked many other things. The Pope believed at first what the Cardinal told him, and did not speak well of him (the Emperor) during some days. It is probable that the King of France was at the bottom of this intrigue.
Afterwards a servant of his (the Emperor's) arrived, and caused the Pope to speak in another manner. When Astudillo arrived the Pope said that the fault did not lie with him (the Emperor), but with those who are about him. There is not much hope that the Bishop of Palencia will have the cardinal's hat. Thinks it would be only justice to deprive the Cardinal of Santa Croce of his bishopric of Placenzia, and to hang Astudillo if he returns (to Spain). It would even be possible to punish him in Rome although he says that he is the Camerero Secreto of the Pope, and although he may really be so.
Is sorry that he (the Emperor) has not any person near the Pope such as he had recommended. The Pope is a man who can be imposed upon in a hundred ways. Those in whom the Pope confides serve him for money, and people who think only of making money are bad servants, although they may be thought to be clever, and others may be believed to be fools. —Rome, the 22nd of March 1522.
Addressed : "To the Cœsar and King of Spain, &c., our sovereign Lord."
Indorsed : "To the King. Rome. From Don Juan Manuel, the 22nd of March 1522."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 5.


  • 1. "... estos cardenales han demandado cierta plata que havia en la sacristania de palacio y porque el sacristan que la tenia se partio de acqui por no jela dar han fecho quebrar las puertas y la han tomado, y peor harian en otras cosas si no se les fuese a la mano."
  • 2. Gattinara.
  • 3. "Han acabado de robar al Papa."
  • 4. "Acabando de escrevir esta vi una carta que scrivio un Italiano que es mucho del papa aun su pariente amigo mio de los despaña que dezia que el Cardenal de Sta.† havia enbiado a dezir al papa con astudillo que el se havia quitado la tiara de la cabeza y la havia puesto en la suya contra voluntad del emperador y demandava ser legado aca y otras cosas y que el Papa lo creyo por algunas dias y no hablava bien en vuestra Md. creo que el rey de francia cupo en esto y diz que despues vino uno de V. Md. que hizo hablar al Papa de otra manera diz que dizia el Papa quando llego astudillo que no dava la culpa sino a los que estavan cerca de V. Md. y puedese creher piadosamente que esto no ayudaria nada al capelo del obispo de palencia mas yo seria de opinion que al Cardenal de Santa Cruz no le quitassen el capelo mas que se le quitasse la renta del obispado de placencia y que ahorcassen a este astudillo si alla tornasse y si V. Md. mandare aqui se puede castigar alunque se llama camerero secreto del Papa y alunque con effecto lo sea mucho me pesa que no tiene V. Md. con el papa persona de las que yo querria que toviese y V. Md. ha dilatado en esto del Papa mas de lo que era menester y el es hombre para tomar mil irronias y los que aqui tiene el Papa por suyos no son hombres sino para ganar dineros y no pensar ni saber otra cosa y hombre que esta puesto en garnar dineros no vale nada para servir a otro ahunqne al cabo son tenidos estos por cuerdos y los otros por locos. A xxvii de marzo.—J. M."