Spain: February 1525

Pages 697-709

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

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February 1525

3 Feb.
M. D. Pasc. d. G. Pa. r. a. l. Hist. d. Esp.
713. The Abbot Of Najera to the Emperor.
The 3,000 ducats which the Viceroy sent to Pavia have arrived there. Antonio de Leyva begs him soon to relieve Pavia. The garrison is in great want of wine and fresh meat. The finest morsel of meat which one of the captains received at the last distribution was a cat.
The army left Lodi on the 24th of last month, and marched first to Melegnano, in order to make the King of France fear that Milan would be attacked. As, however, the King of France did not leave his camp, the army marched towards Pavia. The Imperial army took a place called Santangelo, seven miles from Lodi and thirteen miles from Pavia. The garrison, which was formed of the best troops of the King of France, surrendered after a very weak resistance. The Marquis of Pescara exposes himself like a simple soldier to all the dangers of battle. The King of France did not dare to succour Santangelo, which was sacked according to custom.
Hugo de Moncada is not killed nor made prisoner, but has escaped with the greater part of his troops. It will be easy for him to beat the enemy.
Julius of Capua has defeated, near Bosco, not far from Alessandria, 2,500 men, which were sent by Renzo da Ceri to the army of the King of France.
Letters of the King of England have arrived, by which he informs the commander-in-chief of the army that he has sent Gregory Casale to beg the Pope and the Venetians to do their duty towards the Emperor in this war. That is all very well, but the exhortations of the King of England have arrived too late, as the King of France seems determined to await the Imperial army under the walls of Pavia.
The army arrived yesterday at a place four miles distant from Pavia, near the walls of the park. Thinks that a battle will be fought next day. The army, as well as the garrison in Pavia, feel confident of victory.
The Duke of Albany is near Siena, waiting for money. His (the Emperor's) letters of the 18th of December arrived on the 23rd of last month. Thanks him for the 200,000 ducats, and the troops he has ordered to be sent to Italy.
The Archbishop of Capua has not succeeded in his negotiations of peace, as the King of France has asked that Pavia should be surrendered to him.
The Bishop Juan de Laoysa has died.—Lardirago, four miles from Pavia, the 3rd of February 1525.
Addressed : "To his most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 6.
3 Feb.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 34. f. 105.
714. Richard Pace, Ambassador of the King Of England in Italy, to the Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassadors in Venice.
Is on his way to Venice. Intends to unite his efforts with theirs to persuade the Signory to send aid in some manner or other to the Imperial army. Begs them (Caracciolo and Sanchez) to tell him frankly in what state their negotiations are, and whether there is any hope that anything can be obtained from the Republic ; for if it should be clear that the Venetians cannot be persuaded to do what they ought to do, he thinks it would be best for him not to go to Venice, as he could render good services in other parts of Italy. The slight to the honour of the Emperor and of the King of England would only be increased if the Venetians refused to do what both the Emperor and the King of England asked of them.
Will wait for their answer in the house of Messire Reginald, a cousin of the King of England, who is a student in Padua.
Hopes to be in Padua next day. His servants, who are behind him, will arrive there on Monday. Can be in Venice on Tuesday.
If he comes to Venice, he will render, as usual, all the services he can to the Emperor. The King of England has ordered him to do so.
Superscribed : "Copy of the letter of the English ambassador, Richard Pace, to the Imperial ambassadors in Venice, dated Bassano, the 3rd of February 1525."
Italian. Copy in the hand of the Secretary of the Prothonotary Caracciolo. p. 1.
4 Feb.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 34. ff. 105v-106.
715. The Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassadors in Venice, to the English Ambassador, Richard Pace.
Have received his letter. Beg him to come as soon as possible to Venice. His presence will certainly be of great advantage to the Emperor and to the King of England.
The Imperial army was, according to the last accounts, only two leagues distant from that of the King of France. News of victory is daily expected.
Superscribed : "Copy of the answer of the Imperial ambassadors to the letter of the English ambassador, the 4th of February 1525."
Italian. Copy in the hand of the secretary of the Prothonotary Caracciolo. p. 1.
7 Feb.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 34. f. 109.
716. The Emperor to Pope Clement VII.
Has received his brief, and knows that he has concluded peace with the King of France.
Has always loved him and still loves him. Is, therefore, astonished to learn that he has not only forsaken him, but has also induced his other allies to forsake him.
He says that since he has been elected Pope he has forgotten all his old hatred. But is it hatred to defend Italy and the Holy Church? His predecessors Leo and Adrian judged differently.
Is far from harbouring bad feelings towards him, whom he has always regarded as his father. Thinks that he has been deceived by the French partisans who are round him, and who exaggerate the power of the French. Milan was not defended, and the French could, therefore, easily conquer it, but the "town on the banks of the Ticino," has been besieged during three months by the King of France in person, without any other result than great losses to the French. The French troops which are said to be marching to Naples are sent for no other purpose than to frighten him (the Pope).
He says that his treaty with the King of France is the first step towards the conclusion of a general peace. Would God it were so. God and the Pope are his witnesses that he has always desired to conclude peace. Is ready to accept a peace on honourable conditions, not because he is forced to do so, but because he is a lover of peace.—Madrid, the 7th of February 1525.
Latin. Draft, written by the Chancellor Gattinara. pp. 2. Very close writing.
9 Feb.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Muñoz. 56. f. 249.
717. The Emperor to the Duke Of Sessa, his Ambassador in Rome.
Has received his letters of the 27th and 30th of November, and of the 22nd of December.
The observations which he made to the Pope could not have been more judicious than they were. He exhausted all his reasons, and if the Pope had not harboured bad intentions, the affair would have been concluded. Giovanni de Medicis has gone over to the French, and a captain from Modena has escorted the ammunition and the money of the Duke of Ferrara. From these and some other facts, he suspected that the Pope had reconciled himself with the King of France. These suspicions are confirmed by the last brief, in which the Pope confesses that he has concluded a treaty with France. The Pope says nothing of the articles which the treaty contains. As, however, the French have published it, there remains no doubt that not only the Pope, but also Florence and Venice are reconciled with the King of France.
Has good reasons to complain of the Pope. Has elevated him to the Papal throne. Has begun the war in his interest. Lived at peace with France. Had he continued to do so he would have obtained great advantages for himself. Pope Leo persuaded him to make war with France. As the present Pope was, during the reign of the late Pope Leo, at the head of the affairs of state, he is personally responsible for what was done under that Pontificate. Spent immense sums of money (fn. 1) in the wars with France, but was not afraid of any sacrifice which was likely to make the Pope respected by all the princes of Christendom. In spite of the services which he has rendered to the Pope, the Pope has forsaken him, concluded peace with France, permitted the Duke of Albany to march through the states of Florence and of the Church, and has even exhorted Venice to reconcile herself with the French, because he erroneously thinks that there would be danger to himself if he (the Pope) remained faithful to his friend.
Means are still left to him (the Emperor) to avenge himself of the Pope. Prefers, however, the peace of Christendom to vengeance. Has, therefore, written a letter to the Pope, of which he encloses a copy. Orders him to deliver the letter to his Holiness, and to tell the Pope that he is empowered to conclude peace or a truce (fn. 2) on such conditions as the Viceroy of Naples will approve. The only condition he makes is that his honour must remain intact.
He is to tell the Pope that in spite of his (the Pope's) reconciliation with France, he (the Emperor) will maintain his army, and carry out his designs, should it cost him his crown and his life. Although forsaken by all his allies, his power has not diminished. Promises that his enemies shall find him as "hard" an adversary as ever. (fn. 3) Sent 50,000 ducats by Loquinguen, and soon afterwards 100,000 ducats more. Is now sending again 100,000 ducats for his army. Enlists a new body of German infantry who are to join the German troops in Roussillon, and to invade France. Increases his navy, and has provided well for the defence of Naples.
Suffers from intermittent fever, but his illness does not prevent him from mounting very unruly horses.
Promises "to pay the Datary afterwards" (for his bad services), but it is necessary now to dissemble with the dissembler. The Datary and others will soon repent their perfidy. The Duke of Ferrara, it is to be hoped, "will weep one day over the treaty" which he has concluded with the King of France, but the severest punishment is reserved for the Venetians. Has ordered Alonso Sanchez to force the Signory to give an unequivocal answer to the question whether they are his enemies or not.
Church preferment.
This is not a time to speak of Martin Luther.
Bull of St. Peter.
The servants of the late Pope Adrian have asked him to pay them the pensions which they formerly received. That cannot be done.—Madrid, the 9th of February 1525.
Postscriptum.—Bishop of Lugo.
Spanish. Draft. pp. 7.
17 Feb.
M. D. Pasc. d. Pa. r. a. l. Hist. d. Esp.
718. The Abbot Of Najera to the Emperor.
Informed him, in his last letter of the 3rd inst., that Santangelo had been taken.
On the 4th inst. Gregory Casale arrived in the camp, bearing an order of the King of England to pay the 50,000 ducats which the King of England has in Viterbo, or rather, more exactly speaking, in Rome. Gregory Casale had also orders from his sovereign to go to Rome to ask the Pope to aid in this enterprise, and to tell him a great many things. Casale left the army on the 7th inst. with instructions from the Viceroy and from the other captains. Richard Pace is in Venice. Is afraid that neither Gregory Casale nor Richard Pace will be able to obtain anything worth having.
The Imperial army on the 6th inst. approached very near to Pavia, and pitched their camp one league and a half distant from that city. The Imperial and the French camps were so near one another that cannon shot from the one camp reached the outworks of the other. Next day the Imperial army approached the French encampment to within the distance of a musket shot. The ground must be conquered inch by inch, until the two armies are so near that they can reach one another with their pikes. The French are strongly fortified, and have deep ditches round their camp. It is impossible to attack them at once, but they will be forced to give battle within their fortifications when they least expect it. The King of France is very obstinate, and refuses to change his position. He confides in the strength of his fortifications, in his artillery, and in the 6,000 Swiss and 2,000 German troops which he has. Skirmishes take place daily. The French are almost panic stricken, and take flight generally, even when they greatly outnumber the Imperialists.
The principal and first thing to be done is to plant the camp in such a manner that 4,000 or 5,000 men can easily invade the hostile encampment. Measures must be concerted with the garrison in Pavia to make a sally at the same time that the French camp is attacked. The Imperial troops are so animated with the desire to fight that an attack can be made on the French whenever want of money forces the captains to hazard it. The King of France has soldiers who are accustomed, and who "think it a distinction," to flee. The Viceroy, the Marquis of Pescara, and Alarcon do not sleep either by day or by night, are everywhere present, and expose themselves to all kinds of hardships and dangers. The Duke of Bourbon, the Marquis of Civita Santangelo, and the Marquis del Gasto do the same. The soldiers, infantry as well as cavalry, not only perform their military duties, but also dig the ground, and drag the fascines to the camp for the earthworks.
A letter of Antonio de Leyva arrived on the 6th. He had made a sally and killed in the suburbs of San Salvador more than 500 Grisons, had taken four guns and five barrels of gunpowder, with fifty artillery horses and many waggons, the contents of which are worth more than 12,000 ducats. Antonio de Leyva wrote that the garrison of Pavia is not so badly off that it is necessary to fight at a disadvantage. He begged that 5,000 pounds of gunpowder might be sent to him, packed on the croups of fifty horses. He wants it in order to destroy the squadrons of the enemy when they are forming. On the 9th inst. the powder was sent. The men who had charge of it, having mistaken the road, entered the hostile camp. The enemy, however, took them for the light horse of Giovanni de Medicis, and permitted them to pass their ranks unmolested. Thus the gunpowder was delivered to Antonio de Leyva, and has since done great execution. The enemy is battered everywhere, and cannot form squadrons except behind the convents of St. Paolo, St. Giovanni, and St. Lazaro, from which places they will soon be driven away by the artillery from the camp.
On the 10th the time expired during which the troops had promised to wait for their pay. The Germans have twice or thrice vociferated "Guelte! guelte!" (fn. 4) The Marquis of Pescara has given them from his own means 4,000 ducats, and they are all satisfied for the moment. If, however, the 50,000 ducats which the King of England has promised, and the 200,000 ducats which he has ordered to be sent, do not arrive within 12 days, the army will disband and the soldiers go home.
The garrison of Pavia has discovered in the suburbs of San Salvador, which the enemy has abandoned, four caves full of wine.
Don Hugo (de Moncada) has not escaped, but is made prisoner. He is a very prudent and gallant captain, but he is unlucky. The Duke of Albany has obtained 4,000 ducats from Siena, &c.—From the camp, one mile distant from Pavia, the 17th of February 1525.
Spanish. Autograph, partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 3.
21 Feb.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 34. f. 133.
719. Charles De Lanoy, Viceroy Of Naples, to the Duke Of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome.
The Archbishop of Capua sent Bernardino de la Barba to him on the 14th of the present month, with the proposals, a copy of which he encloses.
Answered that he has always been and still is of opinion, that a treaty of truce ought to be concluded on condition that each prince shall remain in possession of the places and territories which he at present holds ; that the King of France shall pay the pension to the King of England during the period of the truce ; and that the King of France shall either permit the Duke of Bourbon the enjoyment of his estates and rents, or pay him an indemnity for them as long as the truce lasts.
Bernardino de la Barba went with this answer to Piacenza, whence he soon returned, saying that the King of France refused to conclude a truce unless Pavia was surrendered to him. Answered that he would surrender Pavia to the King of France as soon as the King of France surrendered Milan to him. Bernardino de la Barba took his answer back to Piacenza, and has not yet returned. Entertains the negotiations only in order not to give any reason to the Pope and the Venetians for complaint.
Pushes on the war vigorously. Has this morning executed a camisada (fn. 5), which he thinks has not much pleased the French.
As the want of money is very great, he has decided to confide in God, in his good luck, but especially in the valour of the army, and to incur some risk. In three or four days his army will be united with that of Pavia, or he will be dead. Hopes he will live and be victorious. The chances are entirely in his favour.
Should, however, the money from the King of England which is in Rome be sent to him very soon, he would not give battle, but would then gain a complete victory without losing a single soldier. Fears that the money which he (the Emperor) has promised to send has been directed to Venice. If that, however, is not the case, he begs him to send it to him by a flying courier.
The difficulties under which he labours are—
1. That Naples is in danger of being invaded ;
2. That the French are behind their fortifications, where they cannot be attacked ;
3. That he is afraid his army will disband if it is not paid ;
4. That he must carry on the negotiations with the King of France.
If he received the money in time, all these difficulties would be at once removed.
Has read the brief of the Pope to the Emperor. His Holiness makes great efforts to excuse what he has done, but he does it like "the pheasant, which shows its whole body though it hides its head." His Holiness takes care not to speak of what the Duke of Albany has done. Begs he will send him news concerning the Duke of Albany.
Indorsed in the handwriting of the Duke of Sessa : "The 21st of February. Copy of the letter from the Viceroy of the 21st of February."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
21 Feb.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 24. ff. 139-143.
720. The Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassadors in Venice, to the Emperor.
Send him copies of the letter of Richard Pace to them and of their answer to Richard Pace.
Richard Pace arrived on the 9th of February. Next day he went to the Signory, and debated a long while with them, asking them to unite their forces with his (the Emperor's) army, and to fulfil the treaty of alliance which they have concluded with him (the Emperor) and the King of England. The Venetians gave their usual answer, viz., that they had very faithfully observed the stipulations of the treaty ; that the Imperial army was so near the French that every day the news of a victory might be expected, &c. The result was that the English ambassador has obtained nothing from the Venetians. Thinks he will not be more fortunate in future. The object they (Caracciolo and Sanchez) had in view when they asked Richard Pace to come to Venice was to show the Venetians that the rumours spread by the French were false, and that the King of England was still his (the Emperor's) ally. It is important that the Venetians should know that the King of England has not made peace with the King of France.
The Venetians are secretly helping the French, &c.—Venice, the 21st of February 1525.
Addressed : "To his Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed : "To the King. 1525. From Venice. From the ambassadors, the 21st of February. Answered."
Spanish. Autograph, partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 5.
24 Feb.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 34. ff. 150-160.
721. The Duke Of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
Received, on the 22nd of January, his letters of the 15th of November and 15th of December. No later despatches from him have arrived in Rome.
Informed the Pope of the contents of his despatch of the 15th of December.
[Cipher:] Encloses the answer of the Pope, who has also sent a brief to him. Begs him to keep the answer of the Pope secret, since the Pope wishes it.
The 200,000 ducats which he (the Emperor) writes that he is sending, and the navy which he is arming, will render good service just at this conjuncture. His honour and the fate of Italy depend on the fulfilment of his promises. Is sorry that the money is so slow in coming. It is said that the French have intercepted one of his (the Emperor's) couriers who was the bearer of bills of exchange. The French have, moreover, postponed the fair of Lyons, hoping to postpone thereby the payment of all bills of exchange payable at that fair.
[Cipher :] Has sent him a copy of the treaty of the Pope with the King of France. Whenever he remonstrates with the Pope, he receives the same answer, viz., that the Pope is neutral. Believes that the intentions of his Holiness are really good, but that he is governed by the Datary, who is a fanatical partisan of the French. Thus, although the Pope is apparently neutral, he is, in fact, his (the Emperor's) enemy. Of what the Pope has done in Venice the Imperial ambassadors in that city have written to inform him (the Emperor) ; but that is not all. The Pope and the Datary have tried to persuade the English ambassador to make common cause with the Pope and to request the Viceroy (of Naples) to accept the truce on the conditions which the Pope has offered. The Pope and the Datary begged the English ambassador to tell the Viceroy that he would be much offended if he (the Viceroy) should make difficulties about concluding the truce. He (the Datary) has even promised the ambassador that the Pope would pay his pension to him (the King of England) during the truce if he (the Emperor) and the King of France should refuse to do so. That is a fine stratagem of the Datary, who wished to make it appear that all the princes are on the side of the Pope, and that the Imperial party is weak.
The English ambassador gave a very good answer, saying that he was not authorized to conclude any truce except with the consent of the Imperial agents, and on such conditions as were approved by them. The only thing he had to take care of was that the pension to the King of England should be paid. Thus the Datary and the Pope did not succeed, as it is to be hoped they will not succeed, with their plan to invade Naples by means of the Duke of Albany.
The reason which induced the Pope to ask the Duke of Albany to invade Naples was to create for him (the Emperor) as many difficulties as possible, and to force him in that way to accept the truce.
He (the Emperor) has never believed him (the Duke of Sessa), and always thought the Pope would openly or secretly help to free Italy from the French. Hopes he will now believe him.
Has always told the Pope that he (the Emperor) would not forsake him, but it was to no purpose. The Pope complains that the Viceroy has used harsh words when speaking of him, and threatened him.
[Common writing :] The army of the Viceroy is within musket shot of the French. The French are encamped in the park. Their camp is defended by ditches, walls, and bastions. Montmorency is posted on the island, to prevent succour from entering Pavia from the side of the river. Daily skirmishes take place. The enemies show little courage, except Giovanni de Medicis and his light horse, who are always in the thick of danger. The garrison in Pavia have carts in abundance, bread, cheese, pickled horseflesh, and a good number of live horses. Of all other things they are short, especially of wine and powder. 5,000 pounds of powder have lately been sent to Pavia by 50 light horse. The troops in Pavia not only perform manly deeds, but show almost supernatural valour. The army before Pavia is courageous, and demands every day to be led against the enemy, as though it were the personal interest and the ambition of every soldier to win a great victory.
Has already written what proposals of peace or truce the Pope had made before the army marched to Pavia. Now he proposes that Pavia should be delivered into his (the Pope's) hands, and into the hands of the King of England, and they are to promise to give it back to him (the Emperor) if peace is not concluded. The Viceroy answered that every prince must remain in possession of what he holds at present, or that he will deliver Pavia into the hands of the King of France, if the King of France delivers Milan to him. The Pope then proposed to the King of France and to the Viceroy that the King of France should deliver Milan to him (the Pope), the Duke of Milan surrender the castle, and the Viceroy Pavia. Does not yet know the answer of the King of France. The Pope keeps his negotiations very secret.
[Common writing :] The King of England has sent Cavaliere Casale to the Imperial camp. When Casale left England his (the Emperor's) letter of the 20th of December had already arrived, in which he promises to send 200,000 ducats and a navy to succour his army in Italy. Casale went first to the camp, and from thence to Rome. He told the Pope that the King of England is firmly resolved not to forsake him (the Emperor), to do his duty as a friend and ally, and strictly to fulfil the treaty which he had concluded with him (the Emperor). He (the King of England) begged his Holiness not to show so much favour to the French, and in especial not to aid the Duke of Albany in his enterprise on Naples.
[Cipher :] The Pope gave an evasive answer. He is by no means satisfied to see that the English begin to exert themselves a little more than is their custom. The English ambassadors are inclined to conclude a truce which would secure the pension of the King of England. They have spoken with him (Sessa) on this subject, and asked him whether he has sufficient power to give security for the payment of the pension.
[Common writing :] Cavaliere Casale brought an order from the King of England to pay the 50,000 scudos, which the English have in Rome, to the Viceroy if he should fight a battle with the French. Asked the English ambassador to send the money immediately to the Viceroy, who has already reduced the King of France to such a state that he must either raise the siege of Pavia or accept a battle on disadvantageous conditions. The English ambassadors know this very well, but they excuse themselves. They say that they have already realized their bills of exchange, and keep the money ready. They wait only for a more ample mandate, ordering them to make the payment unconditionally.
[Cipher :] Thinks the Datary has persuaded them to use this subterfuge, hoping that if the English ambassadors do not send the money, the army before Pavia will soon disband. Hopes the Datary will be mistaken, but there can be no doubt that the English ambassadors will not pay the money if they do not receive new orders.
The Venetians conduct themselves as usual. Casale brought an order for Richard Pace to go to Venice. The presence of Pace in Venice has not produced any good effect. The Venetians say they cannot do anything without the Pope ; and the Pope says he cannot do anything without the Venetians. They understand one another, and avoid a decisive answer. The Pope pays compliments to the English ambassador as often as he speaks with him, but whatever the Pope does is at the instigation of the Datary.
The Archbishop of Capua is at Piacenza, laid up with gout. It is said he has gone there to wait for the answer to his proposals of peace, but the truth is that the Datary is only keeping him absent from Rome. Agostino Folleta behaves as a brave man, but he can do nothing.
[Common writing :] The Duke of Albany has been very well received in Rome by the Pope. He lives in the house of one of his (the Pope's) nephews. The cruelties committed by the Duke in Siena are horrible. It is said that the Datary has instigated him, but the Pope denies it. Sends him (the Emperor) a list of the troops of the Duke of Albany. It is the plan of the Duke to go in person to St. Germano, whilst the Abbot of Farfa, with the troops of the Orsinos, is to attack Tagliacozzo, and Renzo da Ceri is to invade Naples by way of Aquila. It is not credible that the Duke of Albany would undertake to conquer Naples with so bad an army as he has if he did not think he should find friends in Naples, or if the Pope had not promised him assistance. Otherwise it would be madness.
[In cipher :] The Council of Naples has not done anything for the defence of the kingdom. Everthing is in great disorder there, &c.
The Bishop of Veruli has been sent to Switzerland.
[Common writing :] Hugo de Moncada. Genoa.
[Cipher :] The Pope has tried to corrupt the Doge of Genoa, but has failed. The King of France buys the servants of the Pope, even the highest, with money. The only exceptions are the Archbishop (of Capua), Folleta, one chamberlain, whose name is Rezzo, and the Majordomo Vicente.
[Common writing :] Has obtained with great difficulty 23,000 ducats.
[Cipher :] Affairs in Naples are in an exceedingly bad state.
[Common writing :] Intends to go to Naples and defend that kingdom, or to die on the field of battle.
Begs him to send as soon as possible the 200,000 ducats for the Viceroy.
[Cipher :] Thinks it is his duty to speak openly and without reserve with him. The Pope is his enemy. The Venetians are as bad as the Pope ; and Florence, Siena, and Lucca are not worth speaking of. Each of the two armies hopes to be victorious. Want of money renders the Imperial army uncertain. The garrison in Pavia expects soon to be relieved. The fate of Naples depends on what will be done in Lombardy. In fine, affairs in Italy are in a most perilous state. He (the Emperor) must either play for Italy, and be satisfied with the loss or gain, or he must make an inglorious compromise, or thirdly, he must in real earnest make such good provision for his army in Italy as it deserves.—Rome, the 24th of February 1525.
P.S.—The Duke of Ferrara has again lent the King of France 50,000 ducats.
Indorsed : "To the King. 1525. Rome. Duke of Sessa. The 24th of February. Answered."
Spanish. Autograph. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 13.
24 Feb.
M. D. Pasc. d. G. Pa. r. a. 1. Hist. d. Esp.
722. The Abbot Of Najera to the Emperor.
Wrote the day before this that it had been decided by the Viceroy (Lanoy) to attack the King (of France) in his fortifications, entering into them by the park. Antonio de Leyva was informed of this plan.
At midnight the army began to move. The soldiers penetrated into the park by three openings they had made in the wall. At daybreak the enemy attacked the rearguard, and the Imperial German and Spanish troops engaged the Swiss, German, and Italian troops of the King of France, who soon fled as they heard that the "good" Antonio de Leyva was in their rear.
The victory is complete. The King of France is made prisoner. He has two very slight wounds in the face. His horse has been killed. When he fell to the ground the Viceroy placed himself immediately over him. The King has also an insignificant wound in one of his legs. The whole of the French army is annihilated.
The Admiral of France died in his (the Abbot's) arms, not 50 yards from the place where the King had fallen. La Palice is dead. The King of Navarra, Lescun, Montmorency, and other captains are prisoners.
A great number of French infantry have been drowned in the Ticino. The Imperial army is still pursuing the enemy. It is expected that at the end of the day 10,000 of the enemy will have been killed.
The Marquis of Pescara has done wonders. He has three wounds. Antonio de Leyva and Alarcon are also wounded.
Fifty-three pieces of artillery have been taken from the enemy. The Imperialists had 16 pieces of artillery, but not a single shot has been fired.
Thinks Milan will surrender, and the Duke of Albany will not escape.—From the palace at Pavia, the 24th of February 1525.
Postscriptum.—"To day is the feast of the Apostle St. Mathias, on which, five and twenty years ago, your Majesty is said to have been born. Five and twenty thousand times thanks and praise to God for his mercy! Your Majesty is from this day in a position to prescribe laws to Christians and Turks according to your pleasure."
Addressed : "To his most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2.


  • 1. "Un pozo de oro," that is, a well full of gold.
  • 2. The peace or truce in question was not only a peace or truce between the Emperor and the King of France, but between the Emperor and the King of England on the one part, and the King of France on the other part.
  • 3. "Nos hallen duro adversario como en lo passado."
  • 4. Geld, money.
  • 5. A camisada is a surprise of the enemy during the darkness of night, on which occasion the soldiers who make the attack put on shirts over their clothes and armour, in order to distinguish their friends from the enemy. The Spanish and Italian word for shirt is camisa, and therefore such surprises were called camisada ; not only in Spanish and Italian, but also in other languages.