Spain: August 1523

Pages 573-583

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

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August 1523

2 Aug.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Muñoz. 56. f. 128.
582. The Emperor to the Duke Of Sessa, his Ambassador in Rome.
Answered his letters of the 11th and 12th of July a few days ago. This despatch will therefore be short. (fn. 1)
Thanks him for the detailed information he sends him.
The Infante has already sent his power to Venice. Hopes the alliance with Venice will soon be concluded. The Duke of Milan sends 25,000 ducats to the Infante. Renzo da Ceri.
Has sent as much money to Prospero Colonna as it was possible to do. Naples. Urbino. Is fully persuaded that the Marquis of Mantua is a faithful servant of his.
Modena. Reggio.
The treaty with the King of England of which he spoke in his last despatch is concluded in the manner expected. That is a somewhat different thing from what he (the Duke of Sessa) wrote from Rome. All the preparatory measures are being taken in order to carry out the treaty.
Is afraid that the King of Hungary is concluding peace with the Turks. Should that be the case, the Turks would perhaps march to Italy.
He is to urge the Pope to proceed energetically against the Cardinal of Volterra. He is to confer with the Cardinal de Medicis on all matters of state.
Is glad to hear that the health of the Pope is better. His death would be a calamity under the present circumstances. Naples. Imperial officers in Italy. Thanks the datary (Enkenvöert) for his good services. Has already written to the Pope, and begged him to make the datary a Cardinal.
The English ambassador who has lately gone to Rome is very badly informed of the state of public affairs. Facts show that he has been mistaken in what he told him (the Duke of Sessa). It would have been better for the English ambassador not to speak of things he does not know than to tell such stories.
Francisco (valet de chambre of the Pope). Vargas. Marquis of Mantua, &c.
Church preferment. Count Carpi.
Wishes much that the business of the sees of Granada and Palencia should be soon despatched. As, however, the Cardinal of England and Bernardino de Velasco have not yet sent the resignations of their pensions on the see of Palencia, he is to take care that the bulls of the new pensions which are granted to them are not despatched before they have resigned their old pensions on Palencia and Badajoz. If the Cardinal of England has already sent in his resignation, and only the resignation of Velasco is remaining behind, he can beg the Pope to give the bulls, declaring in them that the pension of Bernardino de Velasco on the see of Palencia is extinct.
The King of Denmark has been driven from his country. Has convoked a diet at Hamburg, in which ambassadors of the King of England, of the King of Hungary, of the Marquis of Brandenburg, and of other Princes Electors, will take part. They will try to reconcile the King of Denmark with his people, &c.
Johan Matheo, &c.—Valladolid, the 2nd of August 1523.
Postscriptum.—Affairs of Flanders.
The papal nuncio has delivered to him a bull of the Pope, in which he exhorts him to conclude peace with the King of France. Has answered that he is an obedient son of the Pope, but that it is difficult for him to conclude peace with the King of France. Orders him to tell the Pope that it is impossible for him (the Emperor) to conclude peace or truce with the King of France as long as the King of France is not only preparing an invasion of Italy, but has also really begun war on the seas. It might, however, be that the King of France may declare himself hereafter ready to accept all his (the Emperor's) conditions and those of the King of England, and that the Pope may urge him (the Duke of Sessa) to conclude the truce. In such a case he is to enter into negotiations with the French ambassador, but not to sign any treaty or agreement before he has received new instructions from him (the Emperor) expressly authorizing him to sign the truce.
Bishop of Zamora.
Indorsed : "By the King. Duke of Sessa, &c."
Spanish. Draft, corrected by Francisco de Los Covos, Secretary of State. pp. 21.
4 Aug.
S. Pap. Suelt.
583. Articles proposed by King Henry VIII. to Charles, Duke Of Bourbon.
1. As the Duke of Bourbon has concluded an offensive and defensive league with the Emperor, the King of England has declared himself ready likewise to conclude an offensive and defensive alliance with him.
2. The Duke of Bourbon binds himself to aid the King of England to reconquer all the provinces, territories, &c., which belong to him by right, but which are at present occupied by the "French King."
3. The Duke of Bourbon binds himself not only to declare himself an enemy of the King of France as soon as the King of England invades France with a powerful army, but also to render the King of England all the aid which it is in his power to render.
4. The King of England binds himself to invade Picardy with a powerful army during the course of the month of August.
5. The Duke of Bourbon binds himself to march with his whole army, and with the lansquenets which the Emperor has promised him, against the army of the French, and to give them battle as soon as the French threaten the English in Picardy with a general battle.
6. The King of England binds himself to contribute 100,000 crowns towards the maintenance of the 10,000 lansquenets under the command of the Duke of Bourbon.
7. The King of England ratifies the general league between him (the King of England), the Emperor, the Archduke, and the Duke of Bourbon, and binds himself not to conclude a treaty with the "French" King without including in it the Duke of Bourbon.
8. The King of England wishes that the Duke of Bourbon should recognize him as his sovereign lord. This point, however, is reserved for the decision of the Emperor.
9. As it would be dangerous to admit any lawyer into the secret, it is resolved that this memoir shall, at a later time, be reduced into the form of a treaty, although it is binding from the day of its date.
In testimony of his assent, it is signed by the King of England on the 4th of August 1523.
The Duke of Bourbon has ratified all these articles, with the exception of article 2, which he says is already contained in article 1.
French. Copy. pp. 2.
Printed from another copy, which is preserved in the Archives Générates du Royaume in Brussels, by M. Le Glay, in his Négotiations Diplomatiques entre la France et l'Autriche, Vol. II., p. 589. The original of this document seems to be in Vienna.
9 Aug.
S. Pap. Suelt.
584. Louis De Praet, Imperial Ambassador in England, to the Emperor.
The Duke of Bourbon declares himself ready to serve him (the Emperor) against all and every person, whoever he may be, and to enter into his (the Emperor's) offensive and defensive league. As for the King of England, the Duke promises to render him all the services he can, as he is the friend and an ally of his (the Emperor).
The Duke of Bourbon expects in return that he (the Emperor) will give him his sister (the Queen of Portugal) in marriage, or if the Queen refuses to be his wife, Madame Katharine. The dower of Madame Eleanor or Madame Katharine to consist of 200,000 écus, whilst the Duke promises to give to his future wife a jointure of 15,000 écus a year.
It is said that he (the Emperor) intends to invade France with a powerful army on or before the last day of August, in order either to besiege Perpignan or to advance further into the interior of that kingdom.
The Duke of Bourbon expects that he (the Emperor) will give him the command of 10,000 German troops, and 100,000 écus, wherewith to pay the German as well as his other troops. If that is done, the Duke promises to invade France within eight days after he (the Emperor) begins his campaign.
If the King of England invades Normandy, the Duke of Bourbon promises him the aid of his partisans and followers in that portion of France.
The Duke expects that the King of England will contribute 100,000 écus for the maintenance of the German troops and the other soldiers of the Duke.
The Archduke (Ferdinand) is to be a party to this alliance, and neither of the allied princes is to be at liberty to conclude peace or truce without including in it the Duke of Bourbon.
As it would be dangerous to admit lawyers (fn. 2) into the secret, the Duke of Bourbon and Monsieur de Beaurain are of opinion that this note only shall be signed.—The 9th of August.
French. Copy. pp. 3.
Printed from another copy, which is preserved in the Archives Générales du Royaume in Brussels, by M. Le Glay, in his Négotiations Diplomatiques entre la France et l'Autriche, Vol. II., p. 589. The original of this document is probably in Vienna.
13 Aug.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 28. f. 577.
585. Lope De Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
Has forwarded his letters to Antoniotto Adorno and to the Duke of Milan.
Has told Antoniotto Adorno that he (the Emperor) had concluded a treaty with the King of England, according to which two great armies are to invade France on the 20th of August. One of these armies is to attack France from the side of Spain, and the other, viz., that of the King of England, is to invade Picardy or Guienne. Thus, the King of France will be fully occupied in his own kingdom, and it will be impossible for him to send an army to Italy. Said to Antoniotto Adorno that he could see thereby that he (the Emperor) did not forget Italy, and asked him not to be afraid, but to make every preparation for an attack on France from the frontiers of Italy.
News concerning the army in Italy.—Genoa, the 13th of August 1523.
Addressed : "To his Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Autograph. pp. 5.
16 Aug.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 28. f. 588.
586. The Abbot Of Najera to the Emperor.
Letters, dated Lyons, the 6th of August, have arrived in Milan, in which it is stated that it is said in Lyons and at the court of the King of France that on the 25th of July the French succeeded in provisioning Thérouanne, and that the English have retreated in a very ignominious manner. The King of France is expected in Lyons on the 20th of August, where he will meet the Constable, (fn. 3) and many other great personages. The troops are increasing every day in Lyons and in its neighbourhood. It is believed that the King of France intends to go in person to Italy.
The Bishop of Veruli writes from Constance that the Swiss are ready for the enterprise on Italy.
According to his last news from Venice, the Republic has not yet concluded peace with him.—Milan, the 16th of August 1523.
Addressed : "To his Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed : "To the King. 1523. Milan. The Abbot of Najera. The 16th of August. Duplicate."
Spanish. Autograph. pp. 3.
18 Aug.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 28. f. 590.
587. The Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassadors in Venice, to the Emperor.
The Venetians published the league with him and the King of England on the 15th of August, with great solemnity, accompanied by popular rejoicings.
Have received news from Milan concerning the intended invasion of Italy by the French.
News concerning the army.—Venice, the 18th of August 1523.
Addressed : "To the King. 1523. From Venice. From the ambassadors, the 18th of August."
Spanish. Autograph. pp. 2.
22 Aug.
M. Bib. N. MSS. E. 59, f. 129.
588. The Emperor to the Pope Adrian VI.
His former letters and his whole life bear him full witness that he has always been and still is animated by the love of peace. From the moment he was called upon to assume the government of his states he has always been desirous to preserve the peace of Christendom. When he was forced, against his will, to wage war with France, and when, with the help of God and his ally, the King of England, he was victorious, driving the French armies in utter confusion from Italy, neither he nor the King of England harboured any selfish plans, but were only anxious to secure public tranquillity and security. As often as proposals of peace were made to him and the King of England, they gave them a willing hearing, and were, in the public interest, ready to restore peace on any conditions which could be accepted. It will be impossible to doubt their love of peace when it is remembered that, as soon as proposals of reconciliation were made to them, they gave full and ample powers to their ambassadors to conclude a treaty of peace or truce on whatever conditions seemed likely to secure the welfare of the Christian community, and to enable them to make war on the common enemies of the Church, in order to repel whom they had vowed to sacrifice, if necessary, the Empire and their kingdoms and dominions. It is superfluous to remind him (the Pope) that when he communicated to him (the Emperor), through his nuncio, Bernardino Pimentel, his bull enjoining him, under the "most holy commination of censures," to conclude a truce for the next three years, he was ready to obey his orders.
But the King of France is, from his very nature, a despiser of the Christian religion and consequently did not desist from agitating and disturbing "land and sea." He increased his army, raised tumults in Italy, threatened Sicily, and converted his men-of-war into vessels of pirates, continually harassing the coasts of Spain. Under such circumstances, he (the Emperor) thinks, neither his honour nor his Christian devotion can be exposed to any danger of misrepresentation if he, in common with his august ally the King of England, resume war on all sides by land and by sea, in order to chastise the disturber of Christendom, and to exterminate the Turks. The greater the difficulties are, the more is he resolved to serve with pious resignation the cause of Christ.
Begs him to believe what his ambassador, the Duke of Sessa, will communicate to him on this subject.—Valladolid, the 22nd of August 1523.
Latin. Draft or register. pp. 2½.
22 Aug.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 28. f. 596.
589. The Abbot Of Najera to the Emperor.
Is informed that the Pope has concluded a treaty of alliance with him (the Emperor) and the King of England. As soon as this news had reached Milan, the Duke of Milan, Prospero Colonna, and other captains assembled, and held a council, in which it was concluded that the invasion of Italy by the French must be averted by all means ; for if a French army were in Italy the alliance of the Pope would be of little use. It was likewise considered that the inactivity of the army in Italy was detrimental to it. It was, therefore, resolved that as soon as the peace with Venice is concluded, the Italian army is to invade Provence. Have informed the Duke of Sessa and the Viceroy of Naples of this their decision.
Particulars concerning the Italian league and the composition of the army which is to invade Provence.
It is not likely that he (the Emperor) will again be able to dispose of the Pope, the King of England, and the whole of Italy. Begs him, therefore, not to lose time, and to lower the pride of France. The more the King of France is humiliated, the greater will be his (the Emperor's) power and reputation.
Festivities in Milan, &c.—Milan, the 22nd of August 1523.
Addressed : "Imperial and Catholic ..."
Indorsed : "To the King. 1523. Milan. The Abbot of Najera. The 22nd of August."
Spanish. Autograph. pp. 22.
23 Aug.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Muñoz. 56. f. 148.
590. The Emperor to the Duke Of Sessa, his Ambassador in Rome.
Has received his letters of the 16th and 17th of July.
The French have broken the peace, their fleet assailing the coasts of Catalonia and of Majorca. Has ordered Hugo de Moncada to sail with his fleet in search of the French. Orders him (the Duke of Sessa) to tell this to the Pope.
The Infante has sent his power to Venice. Spanish infantry. Cardinal of Volterra. It is necessary that the Marquis of Pescara should return as soon as possible to the army. Should Prospero (Colonna) die, the Marquis is to take the command of the army.
Receives from all sides news that the French are preparing an invasion of Italy. Under such circumstances, rejoices the more to hear that the Pope is not disinclined to enter the league. (fn. 4) All depends on the decision of the Pope. If he becomes a member of the league, Italy is safe and France can be humbled. Waits impatiently for news from Rome. He is to do all he can to persuade the Pope, promising him to keep the league secret and to do his will in all other things. As the Pope wishes it, he may make an estimate of the expenses of the league during three months, and the Abbot of Najera may pay his (the Emperor's) share.
He writes that the French show no signs that they would accept peace or truce. Hopes soon to reduce the French to so low a state that they will not only accept peace, but beg for it. He is not to conclude any treaty of peace or truce without having been expressly commanded to do so. Feels quite sure that the English will carry out all they have promised him, whilst he (the Emperor), on his part, is resolved to fulfil most punctually every article of the treaty, and not to give the King of England even a pretext for complaints. He (the Duke of Sessa) advises him (the Emperor) soon to begin war with France on the frontiers of Spain. Thanks him for his frankness, and assures him that the war shall soon begin.
Army in Italy. Milan. Ferrara. Reggio. Modena. Venice. Approves the election of the Marquis of Mantua as captain-general of the Florentine army. Lucca. Siena. Power to conclude the league. Cardinal of Volterra. Sicily. Renzo da Ceri. Promises to the cardinals who favour the Imperial cause. Church preferment.
He writes that he receives despatches and instructions signed by other secretaries than the one who is entrusted with the Roman correspondence, and that these instructions contradict one another. Knows nothing of such instructions. If he in future receives any despatch from him which is signed by another secretary than the ordinary one, he is not to execute it, but to send it back to him (the Emperor).
The nuncio of the Pope has asked him to publish the edict which he has given during the Diet of Worms, prohibiting the printing and reading of the works of Martin Luther. Has done so, and sends him a letter for the Pope in which he informs him of the measures taken against Luther.
Bull of St. Peter. Quarta, &c. — Valladolid, the 23rd of August 1523.
Indorsed : "By the King. To the Duke our Cousin and ambassador in Rome."
Spanish. Draft. pp. 14.
23 Aug.
M. Bi. N. MSS. E. 59. f. 130v.
591. The Emperor to the Doge Of Venice.
Congratulates him and the republic of Venice on having concluded an alliance with him, "the best of Emperors," and with the King (of England), his confederate.—Valladolid, the 23rd of August 1523.
Latin. Register. p. 1.
24 Aug.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Muñoz. 56. f. 160.
592. The Emperor to the Duke Of Sessa, his Ambassador in Rome.
Has received his letter of the 28th of July. The Archdeacons of Tarazona and Figueroa have arrived, together with the servant of Alonso Sanchez, who was the bearer of the treaty of alliance (of the Emperor and the King of England) with Venice. Is satisfied with that treaty.
Has also read the treaty of the league (between the Pope, the Emperor, the King of England, and Venice). Is glad that the league is concluded. Has sent orders to Prospero (Colonna), the Marquis of Pescara, and the Abbot of Najera, to invade Provence as soon as they have taken the measures necessary for the security of Lombardy. All the circumstances promise complete success.—Valladolid, the 24th of August 1523.
The pension of 6,000 ducats which Bernaldino Velasco received from the see of Palencia is to be transferred to the sees of Toledo and Granada.
Superscribed : "By the King. To the Duke our Cousin and ambassador in Rome."
Spanish. Draft. pp. 3.
27 Aug.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Muñoz. 56. f. 144.
593. The Emperor to the Duke Of Sessa, his Ambassador in Rome.
So good an opportunity having offered itself to weaken the enemy, and to shut the "gates of Italy" for ever against him, he (the Emperor) has decided to make use of it.
Has an army of 10,000 lansquenets, 8,000 Burgundians, (fn. 5) and 500 lances ready to invade Burgundy. Having many friends in that duchy, hopes his enterprise will be easy.
Intends to increase his army in Lombardy, and with it to invade Provence. His fleet will at the same time attack the coasts of that province.
In order entirely to secure the success of this enterprise, and to exclude the French for ever from Italy, it is very desirable that the Pope should convert the defensive league which he has just concluded into an offensive league.
He is to try to persuade the Pope and the other Italian allies to conclude an offensive league (with him and the King of England).
Ecclesiastical revenues. Quarta. Spanish rebels.
A courier, who left England last Friday, has brought him news that 15,000 foot and 1,000 horse had already embarked from England, and have probably invaded France by this time. At Calais they will be joined by 3,000 horse and 4,000 German foot, a considerable number of armed peasants, and 2,000 sappers and miners.
The same courier brought him news that 4,000 German foot had embarked from Zealand. They are destined to reinforce the German troops in Spain, and have probably already arrived at San Sebastian. The 10,000 German foot which Monsieur de Beaurain had enlisted, and which are commanded by Count Felix, (fn. 6) were marching towards Burgundy.
Venice, &c.—27th of the same month.
Indorsed : "By the King. 1523. From Valladolid. To the Duke of Sessa. The 25th and 27th of August."
Spanish. Draft. pp. 7.
27 Aug.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 28. ff. 622-635.
594. The Duke Of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Sent him his last letter by Gomez Suarez de Figueroa on the 28th of last month.
Wednesday, the 29th of July, the Pope assembled a consistory of cardinals, and communicated to them his intention to conclude an alliance with the Emperor and other princes. After the letter had been read which the King of France had written to the College of Cardinals, and which in all essential parts was identical with his letter to the Pope, the cardinals voted almost unanimously in favour of the alliance. Of the 28 cardinals who were present, only Fiesco, Monte, Ursino, and Trivulzio gave their votes against it. The alliance was published with great solemnity, and is very popular in Rome.
The day before the publication of the league news arrived from Venice that the Signory had concluded the alliance (with the Emperor and the King of England). The Pope thinks that he has most materially assisted in concluding the alliance, as in fact he has.
These two treaties have entirely changed the state of politics in Europe. The Pope, however, has fallen ill in consequence of his excessive work. As one party urged him to conclude the league, and another party advised him not to do so, he was in a perpetual state of excitement. His illness, which is a bad kind of rheumatism, is serious. The Datary having fallen ill at the same time, all business is at a standstill.
Prospero writes that the French have not abandoned their project of invading Italy. Contributions of the league for the maintenance of the army. Lansquenets. Lucca. Genoa.
Prospero writes that he wants 60,000 ducats a month, if he is to invade Provence. Cardinal de Medicis. Money affairs. Modena. Reggio. Ferrara.
The courier Bernardino arrived on the 10th with his (the Emperor's) letter of the 13th of last month.
Is glad that he approves his not accepting the truce for two months which the King of France had offered. The garrisons in Monteferrato have committed great excesses, and entirely ruined that marquisate. Florence. Lucca, &c.
Modena and Reggio. Cardinal of Volterra. Church patronage. Rewards to the servants of the Pope. Quarta. Bishop of Zamora.
The treaty which he has concluded with the ambassador of the King of England, concerning the invasion of France on the frontiers of Spain and in Picardy, has produced a most favourable impression in Italy. Read to the Pope the passage of his letter which refers to it. His Holiness entirely approves the enterprise on France, although he does not dare to declare himself clearly, for fear that he might be considered bound to take part in the offensive war. If the war in Picardy and on the frontiers of Spain has already begun, the Italians will lose hope and keep quiet. Hopes God will favour him (the Emperor) as He has hitherto favoured him. Repeats that the Pope approves the invasion of France, and is so impatient to hear that war has begun that he counts the hours until the news can arrive.
Thinks it will be difficult for Prospero to invade Provence at the same time (as he and the King of England attack France).
The affair of the churches of Seville and Cordova is not yet despatched ; the illness of the Pope has delayed it. Besides, a new difficulty has arisen, as those who receive the pensions (Cardinal Wolsey and Bernaldino Velasco) ask to have them paid in heavy gold ducats, whilst those who have to pay them offer the pensions in ducats de camera, in which such payments are generally made. Begs him to decide this question.
Abbacy of Santa Marta, &c. Cesare Imperatore. Secretary Soria, &c. The pestilence diminishes.—Rome, the 27th of August 1523.
Indorsed : "To the King. Rome. 1523. Duke of Sessa. The 27th of August. Answered."
Spanish. Autograph, partly in cipher and partly in common writing. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 12.
29 Aug.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 28. f. 639.
595. The Duke Of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Viceroy of Naples. Prospero Colonna. The Pope has paid the first instalment of his contribution towards the maintenance of the army.
The Pope is ill. He is suffering in his kidneys, and is very weak. His death would be a great misfortune.
He must not forget to reward the servants of the Pope.
Cardinal Grimani, &c.—Rome, the 29th of August 1523.
Addressed : "... Emperor and King ... our Lord."
Indorsed : "To the King. Rome, 1523. Duke of Sessa, the 29th of August."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 2.


  • 1. One and twenty pages folio.
  • 2. Gens de longue robe.
  • 3. Duke of Bourbon.
  • 4. With the Emperor, the King of England, and the Italian states.
  • 5. Infantes paysanos.
  • 6. Count Felix Fuerstenberg.
  • 0. The King of England and the princes and republics of Italy.