Spain: March 1524

Pages 606-613

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


March 1524

2 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Muñoz. 56. f. 190.
622. The Emperor to Lope Hurtado De Mendoza.
The election of the Pope was the best that could have been made. Is of the same opinion as he, that it would be a good thing to gain the goodwill of the servants of his Holiness.
Alberto di Carpi.
He says that the Pope and the Swiss hate the Duke, (fn. 1) and are dissatisfied with his proceedings. Can say nothing about it until he knows the cause of the hatred of the Pope and the Swiss.
The Viceroy and Monsieur de Beaurain are to solicit the Pope to aid the league as much as possible with money. No means will be left untried to persuade the King of England to contribute towards the enterprise on Provence also.
Marquis of Pescara, &c.—Vitoria, the 2nd of March 1524.
Spanish. Draft, corrected by Francisco de los Covos. pp. 4.
3 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 30. f. 339.
623. The Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
Details concerning the march of the army.
It is absolutely necessary to send money to Italy ; otherwise the army cannot be kept together, and it will be impossible to continue the war. Thinks that neither he nor the King of England can discontinue the war, and permit the French to do as they like. The necessary money must be sent immediately.—Milan, the 3rd of March 1524.
Indorsed : "To the King. 1524. Milan. Caracciolo. The 3rd of March. Answered."
Italian autograph. pp. 7.
3 and 7 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 30. f. 377.
624. The Duke Of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Informed him in his last letter of all that had happened up to the 29th of last month. This letter goes by way of France, together with letters from Monsieur de Beaurain. (fn. 2)
He and Monsieur de Beaurain have spoken several times with the Pope, and asked him to declare his adhesion to the league. The answer of the Pope was always the same. He swears, in such a way that it is difficult to disbelieve him, that he would rather die than forsake his (the Emperor's) friendship and that of the King of England. He will be their friend, he says, until he breathes his last, but, as he cannot work a miracle, he is unable to pay money for the maintenance of the army. It is true that the Pope is extremely poor, and that the people are discontented and ripe for rebellion. Nevertheless, the Pope will try to raise 15,000 or 20,000 ducats, and the Florentines will probably pay not much less.
The Pope is not inclined to enter the league. (fn. 3) He says circumstances might perhaps render it necessary to open negotiations (with the King of France) about a peace or a truce. If that were the case, he could render much better services not being a member of the league, especially as he (the Emperor) and the King of England can count on his friendship under all circumstances. Should, however, he and the King of England, after having been informed of the present state of affairs and of his (the Pope's) reasons for not liking to declare himself openly, still insist upon his entering the league, he would do their will. Thinks the Pope has really the best intentions, and will not permit others to exercise a bad influence on him. The goodwill of the Archbishop of Capua, of Johan Matheo, and of Augustino Folleta must be secured by all means.
The French ambassadors some days ago spoke again with the Pope about a peace or abstinence from hostilities. Does not see how such a treaty can be concluded without injuring his (the Emperor's) reputation, without the loss of Milan, and without jeopardizing the whole of the rest of Italy. If a truce were concluded, the expenses would not be diminished as it would be necessary to maintain the army. It is, therefore, much better to continue the war. If no money can be found, his (the Emperor's) subjects are ready to "pay with their blood." A truce cannot be concluded without the consent of the King of England, who has only lately declared to the Pope that he is determined to continue the war. Even if this had not been the case, so long a time would pass before the answer of the King of England could be known in Rome, that it would be shorter work to drive the French out of Lombardy. Told all this to the Pope, who answered that he would send some person in order to discuss the subject more fully with him (the Emperor). Thinks the Archbishop of Capua is the person who will be selected, and another servant of the Pope will go to see the King of England.
Tries to borrow some money in his own name and in the name of other Imperial subjects, hoping that the army will soon gain a victory over the French, which victory would render it much easier to obtain more money afterwards.
Monsieur de Beaurain has rendered good service in Rome. He possesses the sagacity and calmness of temper which are indispensable to a good diplomatist. Monsieur de Beaurain has pledged a jewel of the Duke of Bourbon, and he (the Duke of Scssa) has pledged his plate for 4,000 ducats, which will be sent to the captains of the army.
The Viceroy crossed the Ticino on the last day of February, leaving a strong garrison in Milan. He is going to Vigeveno, with the intention of cutting off the provisions of the French, who are at Biagrassa, and thus to force them to give battle.
It seems that the war on the frontiers of Spain and in Picardy is carried on only leisurely. Thinks, therefore, that it would be well to send all the money which can be spared in Spain and in England to the Duke of Bourbon, in order to enable him to attack the French with the utmost vigour. Is further of opinion that it would be preferable to invade France in some other provinces rather than in Provence, where provisions are so scarce. Hopes the King of England will do what he promises.
The King of England has lately written to his ambassadors that four armies are to invade France at the same time. If the four were reduced to two good and strong armies, the conquest of France would be thereby rendered incomparably easier ; such, at least, is the opinion of the Pope and of all those who sincerely desire his (the Emperor's) aggrandizement.
Begs him not to give away the pension of the 10,000 ducats which the Pope received from the see of Toledo when he was cardinal. His Holiness intends to divide it among his servants.—Rome, the 4th of March 1524.
Wrote to him on the 18th of November, on the 29th of November, and on the 24th and 29th of February.
If he can obtain money wherewith to pay his army in Lombardy during three months longer, he will be the absolute master of Italy. Has already informed him that the King of England wrote on the 7th of February, and asked Monsieur de Bourbon to go to England, where he wished to employ him in some secret expedition against France which he intended to undertake, promising at the same time to invade France in person, at the head of an army of 20,000 men. Monsieur de Bourbon answered the King of England that he must more clearly tell him in what the intended secret expedition was to consist before he could leave the army in Italy. The answer of the King of England is anxiously expected. The Viceroy (of Naples) continues his preparations for the expedition to Provence. Monsieur de Beaurain. Paolo Victor, envoy of Florence.
The Imperial army did not cross the Ticino on the last day of February, because it rained too heavily. They crossed the river on the following Wednesday, and occupied Vigeveno without the French, offering any resistance. The Imperial army is excellent. Monsieur de Bourbon does not behave well. Monsieur de Beaurain is going to see him. It is to be hoped that he will reconcile Monsieur de Bourbon with the captains of the army. The Archbishop of Capua is going to confer with him (the Emperor) about the means of concluding peace. The Archbishop is a man of great genius, but he talks too much, and he cannot keep his own counsel. He wishes to be made a cardinal, and is often inconsistent. He must treat him accordingly.
The Pope swears daily that he is his (the Emperor's) friend, but as he suspects that he (the Emperor) wishes to keep Milan for himself, he has entered into secret negotiations with Venice.
The Archbishop of Capua is to see the King of France either on his way to him (the Emperor) or on his return. It is necessary to flatter the Archbishop, and it would be well if he were lodged in the Imperial palace. The principal thing, however, that the Archbishop must be given to understand is that the King of England is his (the Emperor's) most intimate and faithful friend. The Pope is a decided enemy of the Duke of Ferrara, and flies in a passion as often as the name of the Duke is mentioned in his presence.
The answer of the King of England is impatiently expected. It is thought that on the enterprise of which he speaks in his letter of the 7th of February depend the "Law and the Prophets."
Sends the Knight Commander Rodrigo de Majorca, who knows the Archbishop of Capua thoroughly, and who is able to give him (the Emperor) good advice.—Rome, the 7th of March 1524.
Has promised the courier 150 ducats if he makes his journey to the Imperial court in 22 or 24 days. Has paid him 70 ducats, and begs him to pay the courier there 80 ducats.
Indorsed : "To the King. 1524. Rome. From the Duke of Sessa, the 3rd and 7th of March. Answered."
Spanish. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 8.
11 March.
S. E. Var. L. 1553. f. 111.
625. The College Of Cardinals to the Emperor.
Have elected Pope Clement VII., because they knew that he would employ all his energies to establish a general peace of Christendom.
The former Emperors did not earn their great reputations by expelling the French, conquering the English, or subjecting Italy, but by making war upon the Jews, putting heretics to death, and reducing almost the whole of Africa to the obedience of the Christian religion. (fn. 4)
Exhort him to follow the example of his predecessors by concluding peace with the King of France, making war with the Turks, and trampling under foot and extirpating the Lutherans.—Rome, the 11th of March 1524.
Addressed : "To his Sacred, Catholic, and Imperial Majesty."
Indorsed : "Collegii. xi. Martis. Responsum die 25 Aprilis."
[In a modern hand, written on the back of the document :] "Beautiful letter from the College of Cardinals to the Emperor, exhorting him to make peace with France, and war with the Turks and Lutherans." (fn. 5)
Latin. Original. p. 1.
11 March.
S. E. L. 2005. f. 73.
626. Instruction given by [blank] to the Archbishop Of Capua (fn. 6) Respecting The Conclusion Of Peace between the Emperor and the King Of France.
The Pope sends him to the Emperor and to the King of France to bring about a peace between them. Adds to the commands of the Pope some observations which, perhaps, will be useful to him. Does so because he (the Archbishop) has asked him to guide him in the execution of the difficult task which is intrusted to him.
The cause of the war between the Emperor and the King of France is that each of them wishes to conquer not only the duchy of Milan but the whole of Italy. The King of France cannot brook the dishonour of having been expelled from Milan, whilst the Emperor is resolved to make the best of his victory. The King of England is allied with the Emperor. He seems to have been induced to conclude that alliance by the irritating injustice of the French, the almost puerile manner in which the King of France announced to him the war, his friendship for and his relationship with the the Emperor.
The principal parties, as well as their followers, are very obstinate, and refuse to make even the smallest concessions to each other.
Whilst the objects which the Emperor and the King of France have in view are plainly intelligible, the aim of the King of England is as incomprehensible as the causes by which he is moved are futile. He may, perhaps, wish to revenge himself for the slights he has received from the King of France and from the Scots, or to punish the King of France for his disparaging language ; or, seduced by the flattery of the Emperor, he may have nothing else in view than to help the Emperor ; or he may, perhaps, really wish to preserve peace in Italy, and therefore declares himself an enemy of any one who disturbs it. It is even not impossible that the King of England expects to be rewarded by the Emperor after the victory, and hopes, perhaps, to get Normandy.
The duty to protect the Christian Church is common to all Christian princes without exception, especially as the Christian Church is seriously threatened by the Turks in Hungary, Sicily, and Apulia. In order to do their duty to the Church, Christian princes are, therefore, bound to make peace with each other. Their subjects are very much dissatisfied with their continual wars. Hungary is ruined by sedition and civil war. Germany is in a miserable state, and infected by the Lutheran heresy. The French are hostile to their King. Spain, in consequence of the last civil wars, is utterly exhausted, and is still agitated by party spirit. The only remedy against so many great evils and still greater dangers is to conclude peace, or at least a long truce, between all the princes of Christendom. It belongs to the Pope to be the mediator of the peace or truce.
He (the Archbishop) must begin the work which the Pope has entrusted to him by reconciling the Emperor with the King of France. The King of England is much more an accessory than a principal actor in this war. The Emperor and the King of France make war upon one another rather with spiteful words and demonstrations of hatred than with armies and in battles. They would be deaf to all reason if it were not that their resources are utterly exhausted. It is quite impossible for them to continue their wars for any length of time. At first sight, it would seem that the King of England is the natural and unavoidable arbiter of war or peace. His pecuniary resources are far from being exhausted. But, on the other hand, he has no clear object in view, and he is easily influenced by the counsel of the Pope. There is scarcely any doubt that it will not be difficult to lead him. The other allies of the Emperor and of the King of France are not in a position seriously to oppose the conclusion of peace.
He is to behave in a different manner towards the Emperor and the King of England on the one side, and the King of France on the other. To the Emperor and the King of England he is to say that by concluding peace they would render a great service to the Pope and to the whole of Christendom, whilst, if they continue the war, the Pope would entirely disapprove of their conduct, and they would load themselves with ignominy, for it is certainly ignominious for Christian princes obstinately to continue a war which is ruinous to their own subjects and detrimental to the interests of Christendom.
To the King of France he is to repeat the same general reasons, and to add that it is not the love of glory, but simply cupidity, which instigates him to conquer the duchy of Milan. He (the King of France) must, however, know that the conquest of Milan is not an easy thing, and that he will never accomplish it. His true glory does not consist in making unjust wars, but in furthering the welfare of Christendom.
He (the Archbishop) is to propose in the name of the Pope a peace, or at least a truce of some years, to the Emperor and to the King of France.
The Emperor will perhaps find a pretext in his alliance with the King of England, and say that he cannot conclude either peace or a truce without the consent of the King of England. It is, therefore, necessary to overcome the hatred of the King of England towards the King of France. The best means to obtain such a result is to frighten and to flatter at the same time the King of England. There are no other dangers with which the King of England can be threatened than those arising from the enmity of Scotland, and from the doubtful loyalty of his own subjects. He is to make use of these as arguments, but on no condition is he to excite the Scots against the English, or the subjects of the King of England against their master. It is necessary, however, to frighten the King of England, for if he had no fear he would, according to the fashion of the English, indefinitely postpone his decision, and thereby either delay or prevent the conclusion of peace, of which the whole of Christendom stands in so great need. After having frightened the King of England, he is to tell him that his name is honoured and reverenced in the whole world, that he is famous for his goodness and piety, and that it cannot be expected that he should willingly renounce so brilliant a reputation, instead of still more increasing his glory. He can add that if the King of England consents to make peace with the King of France, he will henceforth be considered not only as a symbol of strength in war, but also as a symbol of the harbinger of peace. He is to remind him of all the good services he has in former times rendered to the Church and to the person of the Pope, and to assure him that his Holiness is more concerned about his happiness, glory, and fame than about all the rest of Christendom. When he has thus flattered the King of England he is to tell him that Italy is entirely exhausted, and that if the war should be continued all the expenses of it would have to be borne by England alone. If, on the other hand, a truce should be concluded, Italy would gain time to restore her resources, and the war could afterwards be begun under more favourable circumstances. Influenced by fear, flattery, and financial considerations, it is to be presumed that the King of England will be persuaded to reconcile himself with the King of France.
The Cardinal (Wolsey) is to be treated in the same manner as the King of England.
Superscribed : "Instructions to the Archbishop of Capua concerning the peace between the Emperor and the King of France which he is going to negotiate."
Italian. Copy from the original document in the Papal Archives in Rome, procured by Johannes Berzosa, at the command of King Philip II. of Spain. pp. 14.
15 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 30. ff. 421-425.
627. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
News from the army.
The Signory has sent the French ambassador his passports.
Received his letter of the 24th of January on the 27th of February. It requires no answer. The small results obtained by him (the Emperor) and the English in the north of France produce a bad impression on the Italians, who, judging by the past, do not believe that either he or the King of England will perform great things this spring.
Monsieur de Lautrec is staying at the French court, as it is said that France is not threatened with any danger from an invasion of her enemies.
The Venetian ambassador at the French court, who had been recalled, has lately received counter orders, &c.
News from the army.—Venice, the 15th of March 1524.
Addressed : "To his Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed : "To the King. Venice, 1524. Alonso Sanchez. The 15th of March. Answered."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 5.
16 March.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Muñoz. 56. f. 192.
628. The Emperor to the Duke Of Sessa, his Ambassador in Rome.
Has not received any letter from him since his (the Emperor's) last letter left. This interruption of his correspondence with Rome places him in a most difficult position, as, without knowing what the Pope intends to do, he cannot decide on any measure of importance.
The Pope has sent Bernardino de la Barba and Paolo Victor to the Viceroy, who is in Lombardy, and has told him that he will pay his part towards the maintenance of the army of the league, and send the Marquis of Mantua as captain-general to the Papal army. His Holiness further informed the Viceroy that the King of France had begged him to conclude a peace or a truce with him, and had offered to marry his second son to a niece of the Pope, to give them the duchy of Milan as dower, and to help him to conquer the duchy of Ferrara. But his Holiness has not accepted these offers, saying that he cannot forsake him (the Emperor) and the King of England. He is to speak with the Pope, to thank him, and to beg him to continue to be his (the Emperor's) friend.
After Fuentarabia had been taken, his army returned to the interior of Spain, being in great want of reorganization.
Bayonne. Church preferment, &c., &c.—Burgos, the 16th of March 1524.
Spanish. Draft. pp. 8.


  • 1. Duke of Bourbon.
  • 2. Beorren in the original.
  • 3. With the Emperor, the King of England, and the Italian States.
  • 4. Scimus enim majores tuos non Gallo expulso, Anglo superato, Italo domito, sed debellatis Judeis, necatis hereticis, universa fere Africa Christiane fidei subjecta tanta cognomina iure optimo impetrasse.
  • 5. Hermosa carta del Colegio Cardenalicio, &c.
  • 6. Nicolas Schomberg, Archbishop of Capua from 1520, cardinal from 1535.