Spain: November 1524

Pages 673-682

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

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November 1524

1 Nov.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 32. ff. 320-332.
692. The Duke Of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Received his letter of the 18th of August at Sessa, where he had gone to see his wife, who was ill. She has died, and has left him with his infant daughters, the most miserable man in the world. Desires very much to be relieved from his post as ambassador.
Immediately after his return to Rome he communicated to the Pope all he (the Emperor) has written to him about the invasion of France by way of Roussillon. This communication, however, did not produce great effect on the mind of the Pope, who is much afraid of the French, and does not believe that he and the King of England will make such demonstrations on the frontiers of Spain and in Picardy as to repair the disaster of the army in Italy. The Pope remains neutral under such circumstances. His Holiness is perfectly well informed of all that passes in the Imperial Privy Council. If he speaks with the Pope, and tells him what he (the Emperor) intends to do, the Pope listens to him with such courtesy as a well informed person observes towards an ignorant man.
Has always told him, before and since the arrival of Monsieur de la Roche, and repeats it again, that he has very little hope that peace or even a truce can be concluded. Not only the King of France, but also the King of England, opposes it, and they make all possible difficulties. It is quite out of the question to conclude a treaty on the conditions which he (the Emperor) proposes. But even if he should lower his pretensions very greatly, he would not be able to conclude peace or a truce on conditions which could be accepted without openly dishonouring himself. Money, and much money, must be procured immediately. It cannot be found in Italy under present circumstances. The enterprise on Provence was a failure because it was not well prepared, because money was wanted, and because he (the Emperor) and the King of England did not invade France as they had promised.
The Archbishop of Capua has written that the King of France will soon be in Italy, and that the siege of Marseilles has been raised. As soon as that letter arrived he went to the Pope, and besought him openly to enter into the alliance against the King of France. Made use of all his powers of persuasion, and showed the Pope all the dangers which threatened the welfare of Christendom and the interests of the House of Medicis if the French rendered themselves masters of Italy. Asked the Pope to judge for himself what his (the Emperor's) feelings would be if he (the Pope) were to forsake him in the hour of his greatest need. The Emperor would certainly lose all his confidence in the Pope, and the consequences would be very detrimental at a time when the Church is threatened by the Turks and the heresy of Martin Luther. The Pope answered with the same love which he has always shown towards him (the Emperor), that he (the Emperor) himself is, to a great extent, responsible for the difficulties in which he is placed. Had he earlier accepted proposals of peace he might have concluded it on very honourable conditions. The invasion of Provence was a rash and ill-advised enterprise, especially as neither he nor the King of England was prepared to invade France. The Pope says the best thing that could be done at present would be that he should secretly give 100,000 ducats, the Emperor an additional 100,000 ducats, and the allies as much as they are able to give, and that all the money should be employed in reorganizing and strengthening the army. To give 100,000 ducats at once, however, is, he says, impossible for him, as he does not possess that sum ; but if the Viceroy feels sure that it will be possible to resist the French in Italy, he (the Pope) will try to get the money. To declare himself openly an enemy of France, his Holiness observed, would be of no advantage to him (the Emperor) and suicidal to himself.
The Pope is, beyond all measure, afraid of the French. The loss of the duchy of Milan seems to him to be little in comparison of what he expects will follow.
The Pope has sent Count Roberto Bosquet to the Viceroy and to the King of France, proposing a truce to them. The King of France has not yet answered. The Viceroy has declared that he is ready to sign a treaty of truce on the conditions contained in his (the Emperor's) instructions, begging the Pope to declare himself openly an ally of the Emperor and the King of England. The Pope has promised to pay at once 20,000 ducats with the greatest secrecy, and has really sent him 6,000 ducats in three nights. The Pope has sent the Datary to the Viceroy, begging him to return to Naples and to defend that kingdom. Employs the strongest measures with the Pope, but to no purpose. Agostino Folleta is the only person in Rome who remains faithful. There is nothing left to him but to reconquer Milan quickly and to recover his reputation. Some Roman barons, and especially Ascanio Colonna, have offered him their services. They are, however, animated only by party hatred.
The revolution of Siena has taken him by surprise. Has made all the arrangements he could for suppressing it speedily. French navy.
The Turks are making progress in Hungary, having conquered the Castle of Severino.
Cardinal Salviati. The Pope has concluded a treaty with the Duke of Ferrara.—Rome, the 1st of November 1524.
Addressed : "To the most sacred ... King of Spain."
Indorsed : "To the King. 1524. Rome. Duke of Sessa. The 1st of November."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 10.
4 Nov.
19 Oct. M. D. Pasc. d. G. Pa. r. a. l. Hist. d'Esp.
693. The Abbot Of Najera to the Emperor.
Wrote in his letter of the 27th of last month that the Imperial army had left Milan, that the King of France had arrived in Italy, and that he (the Abbot) had gone to Rome. Arrived in Rome the last day of October, communicated his instructions to the Duke of Sessa, and went with him to see the Pope. His Holiness had not received any news from the army since it had retired from Milan, and thought that it had not been able to make a stand in the duchy of Milan, but was on its way to Naples. The Pope has been and still is in great fear of the French.
Before his arrival in Rome the Pope had sent the Datary, Johan Matheo, to the Viceroy (of Naples) with instructions to go to the King of France, and to ask him to content himself with the duchy of Milan, but not to advance further. Met the Datary at Rosilion, (fn. 1) 24 miles from Rome, and told him the news from the army. The Datary is still at Florence, pretending that he is ill, but in fact, as it appears, waiting for new instructions.
The Duke of Sessa, in spite of his great affliction caused by the death of his wife, has done all he could to persuade the Pope to declare himself openly in favour of the Imperial cause, to order the Papal and Florentine troops to join the Imperial army, and to give some money. The Pope harbours friendly intentions towards him (the Emperor), but all those who are near him, with the exception of Folleta, are partisans of France. The Pope declared that he is fully aware of the great prejudice it will be to himself and to Italy in general if the French remain victorious ; but he added that he must remain neutral, in order to be able to become the mediator of a peace or a truce between France and him (the Emperor) and the King of England. Thinks the Pope temporises, and wishes to see whether the French will conquer Pavia. If he (the Emperor) be prosperous, the Pope will send troops and money. It is said he has already collected 150,000 scudos at Florence for that purpose.
The Pope declared that he had no money, but would try to collect as large a sum as possible, and send it in secret. Although his Holiness may be sincere, it is to be feared that he will do nothing before he sees that the French cannot take Pavia. Would already have left Rome and returned to the army had he not been informed that on the 28th of last month the King of France had arrived at the Certosa, five miles distant from Pavia, and had begun the siege of that place. Antonio de Leyva is in Pavia with 6,000 German troops, more than 500 Spanish foot, 250 lancers, and as many light horse. Hopes every day to hear that the French are unable to take Pavia, and thinks that as soon as that is known the Pope will give money.
The Venetians are assembling an army of 13,000 foot, and are arming a powerful fleet. If the Imperial army is successful, and if it defeats the enemy during the winter, the Venetians will employ their army and fleet against the French. If, however, the contrary should happen, they will remain in alliance with the Pope, and come to an understanding with the King of France.
On the 2nd instant a servant of the King of France, called Clemente, arrived, and brought carte blanche from his master for the Pope, promising him Parma, Piacenza, Modena, Reggio, Ferrara, and the kingdom of Naples, together with many other advantages. The Pope knows what French promises are worth, and the French begin to lose their credit in Italy. The Cardinal Trivulzio and other cardinals of the French party have ordered great festivities. Another French ambassador, Monsieur de St. Marsau, is daily expected at Rome. His Holiness knows that the French are in a much less satisfactory condition than they were when they crossed the Alps. Clemente confesses that the King of France had hoped to arrive at Milan and to conquer the whole duchy before the Imperial army had returned. When the King of France crossed the Ticino he was informed that the Imperial army was in the duchy, and he considered this news to be as calamitous as any he had ever received.
Begs him not to despair of ultimate victory, because his captains in Italy are confident that the King of France will lose his credit and his army, and finally be either killed or made prisoner, as has been predicted to him by astrologers and prophets. The arrival of Monsieur de Loquinguen with money, and the news that his (the Emperor's) fleet had entered the harbour of Genoa, are the beginning of the fulfilment of these prophecies. The fear felt by the Pope has somewhat diminished.
The Duke of Bourbon and the Viceroy are with the army near Lodi and Cremona. The Marquis of Pescara and Hieronymo Morone escort to Lodi all the provisions they can find. It is very fortunate that the King of France has marched to Pavia, which is defended by such a man (as Antonio de Leyva), and so well provided with all that is necessary. The Duke of Bourbon thereby gains time to fortify Lodi.
Renzo da Ceri leads the troops from Alessandria to Genoa, where they are to embark.
Ascanio Colonna and Roberto Ursino have offered their services.
The King of France has not entered Milan, lest the city should be sacked by his troops.
The Viceroy tries to obtain money.
The Duke of Ferrara has promised to restore to the Pope Reggio and Rubiera. It remains to be seen whether he will keep his word.
The Duke of Milan is at Cremona, where he has collected a sum of money amounting to 14,000 ducats. He has promised to contribute from 18,000 to 25,000 ducats towards the expenses of the war. The infantry has been partly paid with the money procured by the Duke of Milan, and that which the Viceroy has provided.
It is impossible to obtain a single real of the 100,000 ducats which the King of England has sent to Italy. His agents refuse to make any payment unless they are ordered to do so by the King or the Cardinal of England. Begs him to ask the King of England to order the 10,000 ducats which are still unpaid of the first 100,000 ducats which he has sent, and one half of the 130,000 scudos which was spent in France before the army recrossed the frontier of Italy, to be paid without delay. The King of England is bound to pay these sums of money, as he has undertaken to carry on the war at the common expense of himself and the Emperor.
Richard Pace has gone to Mantua. It is not known what he will do hereafter.
The King of France has made a very hasty invasion of Italy, and it is not easy for him to return to France without risking his life and all that he possesses in this world. He finds the conquest of the duchy of Milan so difficult that there is no doubt he is persuaded that ruin is more probable than success. All his (the Emperor's) servants are of opinion that this is the most propitious moment for the King of England to invade France in earnest. He will find it easy work, as the King of France is so far away, and in greater want of money than can be imagined. The Pope is also persuaded that the King of France will be lost if he is vigourously attacked by England and Spain.
The Pope has asked the King of France to give a safeconduct to the Archbishop of Capua, who was detained in Lyons, and has ordered the Archbishop to proceed immediately to Spain, to begin negotiations of peace with him (the Emperor).—Rome, the 4th of November 1524.
Addressed : "To his most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Autograph. pp. 9.
10 Nov.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 32. f. 336.
694. Treaty Of Truce between Antoniotto Adorno, Doge Of Genoa, and the King Of France.
A truce of one month, beginning on the 10th of the present month, is concluded between the King of France and the republic of Genoa, in the French camp near Pavia. The treaty is subscribed and sealed by the Count of Pontremoli on the part of Genoa, and by the King of France in person.
Indorsed : "Copy of the treaty which the Genoese have concluded with the King of France."
Italian. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
15 Nov.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Muñoz. 56. f. 237.
695. The Emperor to the Duke Of Sessa and Johan Bartholomeo De Gattinara, (fn. 2) his Ambassadors in Rome.
The Secretary Perez wrote to him on the 20th and 28th of September. Begs him (the Duke of Sessa) to return from Sessa to Rome, and to take charge of the important negotiations which are pending with the Pope.
Letters from the Abbot of Najera.
Thanks God that his army has effected its retreat from Provence without heavy losses. Sends 100,000 ducats to the Viceroy of Naples, and orders him to do all in his power to keep the army in such a state that it can resist the French if they invade Italy. Letters from Lyons state that his (the Emperor's) army is entirely defeated, but these are French stories.
They are to do all in their power to comfort the Pope, and to see that he does not forsake the league (between the Emperor, the King of England, &c).
Siena. Bishop of Osma. (fn. 3) —Espinal, (fn. 4) the 15th of November 1524.
Spanish. Draft. pp. 3.
17 Nov.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 32. f. 408.
696. The Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
The Viceroy and the other captains thought it impossible to defend Milan, which city is so much reduced by the pestilence that only a few men able to bear arms could be found. Neither flour, nor wood, nor forage was to be obtained there. Lodi is in the power of the army. Antonio de Leyva has gone to Pavia, where he found Count Zollern with 5,000 German troops, and a few Spaniards and Italians, &c.
No news from England has arrived since the retreat and the loss of Milan. Cavaliere Casale and Monsieur de Bur [paper gone] have been sent to England. The ambassadors of the King of England refuse to pay the 100,000 ducats which the King sent to Italy for the army in Provence.
The Abbot of Najera.
The money he has sent is very welcome. He and the King of England have never had a better opportunity of conquering the enemy than the present, the King of France and so many of his noblemen having advanced so far into Italy, and being so distant from their country.—Cremona, the 17th of November 1524.
Addressed : "To his Sacred [paper gone] Majesty."
Indorsed : "To the King. 1524. Caracciolo. Venice. (fn. 5) The 17th of November. Answered."
Italian. Autograph. pp. 4.
23 Nov.
S. E. V. L. 1553. f. 137.
697. Richard Pace to the Emperor.
In answer to his letter of the 2nd of October, he declares that he has never written or said to the King his master that he (the Emperor) had asked for only 30,000 scudos for his enterprise on Provence. Had he done so he would have been a liar. The truth is that, in three several letters to his King and to the Cardinal, he said that he (the Emperor) had asked for 200,000 scudos for the said enterprise. But it is also perfectly true that the Duke of Bourbon did not find any money when he was marching with his army to France, and arrived at St. Laurent, where, according to the treaty, 100,000 scudos should have been paid to him. The Duke of Bourbon was, therefore, obliged to stay 17 days at St. Laurent, and when the money at last arrived it amounted to only 33,000 ducats. Has never said that he (the Emperor) or any of his servants have committed any error in this affair, but has always asserted that the merchants of Genoa were in fault, as they did not fulfil their promises.
Begs him to interpret his actions and words according to what they really are, and not according to what his enemies wish that they should appear to mean.
When the Imperial army was in Provence the King his master was making preparations to send a fleet to attack France. Does not know whether the fleet will be sent as the Imperial army has retreated from Provence, and the French have invaded Italy. Has not had any letter from England since the retreat of the army.—Mantua, the 23rd of November 1524.
Ri. Paceus.
Postscriptum.—He has asked him his opinion. Is persuaded that "totis viribus laborandum est ad opprimere lo commune inimico." The King of England is still in a position either entirely to ruin the King of France, or to force him to accept a reasonable peace. Has done his duty and written to the King of England, asking him to make use of the present opportunity to humble the pride of the French, who are bent on taking the honour and life of the Emperor.
Addressed : "To his Sacred and Imperial Majesty."
Italian. Autograph. The postscriptum is a holograph written in Italian mixed with Latin. pp. 3.
27 Nov.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 32. f. 448.
698. The Duke Of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Church preferment.
Cardinal Colonna, &c.
Does not know that the Cardinal of England has any pension on the see of Toledo. As he had made difficulties, and refused to pay one half of the annates and the taxes for the bulls, the affair remained in the state in which it was formerly, and the pensions of the cardinal are still paid out of the revenues of the sees of Badajoz and Palencia. Has not been instructed to take any further steps in this matter, and if he had been ordered to do so, he would not have known how to execute the order.
Church preferment.—Rome, the 27th of November 1524.
Addressed : "To his most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
"Duplicate. The 27th of November."
Indorsed : "To the King. 1524. Rome. From the Duke of Sessa, the 27th of November."
Spanish. Autograph. pp. 3.
30. Nov.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 32. f. 482.
699. The Duke Of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Wrote to him on the 1st, 4th, and 5th of the present month.
The Abbot of Najera has been to Rome, but has again left the city without having obtained anything from the Pope, except general promises. The love of the Pope for him (the Emperor) cannot be greater than it is, but he says he cannot do anything. The Pope is at the disposal of the conqueror. The behaviour of the Pope has improved very little since it was known that the French have been repulsed in their first attack on Pavia, and defeated by the Marquis of Pescara at Melzi.
The Datary, Johan Matheo, who has been sent to the King of France, acted at first honestly, but soon gave way to his inordinate passion and the hatred he has of him (the Emperor). He magnifies the power of the King of France, and intentionally underrates his (the Emperor's), advising the Pope to do what is best for the Apostolic See. The Pope showed him the letters from the Datary of the 12th and 15th, but did not permit him to see those of the 17th and 30th (of October). Has, nevertheless, seen the letter of the 17th, and read with his own eyes what he has just mentioned. But the Datary writes worse things. He tells the Pope that the King of France is sending troops to attack Naples, and begs the Pope to give the French troops free passage through his states. He (Sessa) and Johan Bartholomeo (de Gattinara) do what they can to persuade the Pope to send a negative answer, but the Pope excuses himself on account of his impotence to resist the French. Begged the Pope to consider how necessary the friendship of the Emperor was to him, having such enemies as the Turks and Luther, and the Germans clamorously demanding a general council, and no other countries of Christendom obeying him except the kingdoms and dominions of the Emperor. Asked the Pope to tell them whether he received any advantages from France and from England. Reminded the Pope that he owes his election to no other person than to him (the Emperor). All was to no purpose. His Holiness suffers so much that his health is impaired, but he gives only evasive and dilatory answers.
The Pope has letters from his nuncio in England, dated the 29th and 30th of October. When the letters left, it was known only in England that the Imperial army had raised the siege of Marseilles. The English severely criticised that measure, and the Cardinal declared to the nuncio that if the Imperial army should retreat without giving battle to the French, either in France or in Piedmont, the King of England would not pay a penny towards the enterprise on Provence. If, on the other hand, the Imperial army should fight a battle, the King of England would invade France in person at the head of a powerful army, even if the Imperial troops should be beaten. That is what the Pope has communicated to him, whilst the English ambassador has not spoken to him on this subject.
Giovanni de Medicis has gone over to the French.
The Duke of Ferrara offers to the Pope Reggio and Rubiera. Sends him copies of the last letters from the Viceroy. The Infante has written a very good letter to the Pope, &c.
As the Duke of Albany is going to invade Naples, the Ursinos have declared themselves in his (the Duke of Albany's) favour, whilst the Colonnas and the Cavaliere Ursino do all they can to oppose him (the Duke of Albany).
Has asked for the testimony of the investiture of Naples, and has received it.
Things at Siena are in a very bad state.—Rome, the 27th of November 1524.
Post datum.—Sends him a copy of the answer of the Pope to the Abbot of Najera. The Datary wrote again on the 24th. Encloses a copy of his letter. The Duke of Albany, who has already crossed the river Po with all his troops, intends to take the direct route by way of Bologna, and to invade Naples from the side of the Abruzzi.
Letters from the King of England, dated the 10th of October, have arrived. The loss of Milan was already known. Robertet was the first to forward the news to England, adorned with the usual lies of the French. The loss of Milan made a great impression on the English. The Cardinal begged the Papal nuncio immediately to send a courier to the Pope, advising him, in the name of the King of England, not to await the King of France in Rome, but to go to Venice, and to remain there until he sees what turn the affairs of Italy will take.
The news which the Archbishop of Capua had sent, arrived afterwards and quieted the English to some little extent. The English ambassador has, nevertheless, been ordered not to pay the 50,000 scudos which he has in his keeping. The King of England has also sent a power to his ambassador to conclude a truce with France for one year, to begin on the 1st of April after the date of the treaty of truce. The truce, as proposed by the King of England, would extend over the time during which the "great enterprise" which he (the Emperor) had settled with the King of England should have been executed.
The Pope is of opinion that the King of France would now accept the clause according to which each prince is to remain in possession of what he holds at present.
Has informed the Viceroy of all that passes in Rome. Thinks no treaty can be concluded.
Sealed the 30th.
It is said, but does not know on what authority, that the arrival of the lansquenets has induced the Duke of Albany to recross the Po.
Addressed : "To his most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed : "Duplicate, the 27th and 30th of November."
Spanish. Autograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering, corrected from the original in cipher by Don Manuel de Goicoechea, keeper of the Archives of the Royal Academy of History in Madrid. pp. 8.


  • 1. Ronciglione (?)
  • 2. Brother of the Chancellor Mercurino de Gattinara.
  • 3. Fray Garcia Laoysa, Confessor of the Emperor.
  • 4. Espinar (?)
  • 5. Sic.