Spain: January 1513

Pages 85-92

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

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January 1513

1513. 11 Jan. (?)
S. E. A. L. 635. f. 17.
80. King Ferdinand The Catholic to Pedro De Urea, his Ambassador at the Imperial Court. (fn. 1)
When it was known that the Cardinal of Gurk had concluded the treaty with the Pope, and that he (Don Pedro) and Vich had consented to it, and had signed a paper excluding the Venetians from the league, the general opinion was that they had undone all that God in his mercy had vouchsafed to grant him. The French had been driven out of Italy. It had cost much trouble, an immense expenditure of money, and a great sacrifice of life to effect this object ; but the advantages were evident, and it was every day better understood that the peace of Christendom would thereby be secured for many years. The treaty they have concluded at Rome has reversed all. Nothing more favourable to the French and more detrimental to those who have undertaken to oppose the tyranny of France could have been devised than this treaty.
Not to mention other disadvantages, it was very ill advised to deprive him of one of his instruments of action without substituting another. It was, however, a much greater mistake to exclude the Venetians by means of a special convention signed by them. The respect due to the interests of the Emperor had not rendered it necessary, since the Venetians were already excluded from the alliance by the general treaty. Thus, no new advantage could accrue to the Emperor from the special treaty, whilst it placed him (King Ferdinand) at great disadvantage. By excluding the Venetians from the league, they released them from their obligation to assist him, and especially from contributing to his expenses. Another great error was the stipulation concerning Brescia. His captain-general had taken possession of it in the name of the league. All parties had entrusted it to his keeping, and now, if he were to deliver the town to the Emperor, he would lose his credit with all [paper gone]. It seems as if he had thought (the special treaty) would render the conclusion of peace with France more easy. But it would have been much wiser, whilst the negotiations with France were in progress, to have preserved him his allies, than to have forced the Venetians to become the allies of France. The French have already publicly declared that they have concluded an alliance with Venice. Even should that not be the fact, still there is no doubt that it only depends on France to enter into an alliance with the Republic. The French will not make any concessions unless they are forced to do so. It was, therefore, a great mistake to make their position stronger than before. The consequence resulting from the treaty which the Pope and the Emperor have concluded will be that no peace can be made with France, except on condition that the French recover the duchy of Milan. If they should get possession of Milan, they would again be the lords of Italy, and they would endanger the very existence of all the other princes of Christendom. Could not have believed that a man so prudent and so faithful as he is could ever have committed so great a blunder.
He may perhaps say that the Emperor was bent on excluding the Venetians, and that he (King Ferdinand) would have lost the friendship of the Emperor, if he (Pedro de Urea) had not yielded to his wishes. Cannot admit such an excuse. Had the treaty been advantageous to the Emperor, and had he tried to prevent it, the Emperor might then have resented it. But the treaty was prejudicial to the Emperor, as well as to all the other princes of Christendom. If a man were to take it into his head to throw himself down from the top of a tower, and if another man could prevent him from doing so, he would be bound to hinder him. The road opened by the treaty of Rome will lead the Emperor to ruin. He (Don Pedro de Urea) has simply deprived him (King Ferdinand) of the allies who have aided him in maintaining his army, and has promised the Emperor things which he has it not in his power to dispose of.
It is true that he (King Ferdinand) promised the Emperor to assist him in conquering Venice, if the Republic should not accept peace on reasonable conditions. But it never entered into his mind to proceed in such an extravagant manner as that now in contemplation. Is of opinion that, even if he were able to maintain his army after the exclusion of the Venetians from the league, he and the Emperor would not be strong enough to carry out their enterprise against the united forces of France and Venice. The Emperor is accustomed on every occasion to ask his advice and his assistance, but he never accepts either in such a manner as to profit by them. Things would be in a much more prosperous state now if his advice had been heartily followed. It would not be surprising that the Emperor should not act according. to his advice, if facts did not show that he (King Ferdinand) was always in the right. It was due to him (King Ferdinand) that the pride of France has been humbled, and it is due to the Emperor that, by the exclusion of the Venetians from the league, the King of France has obtained new allies and new resources. The Emperor may believe him that the Prince (Charles) has lost his duchy of Burgundy, Gueldres, and his towns in Picardy.
Revokes the powers given to him (Don Pedro Urea) and to Hieronymo de Vich ; orders them henceforth to ask his consent before they conclude any treaty or make any binding declaration.
The Emperor is as badly advised as the King of England. If the English, when they came to Spain, had done as he advised, the King of England would by this time be master and lord of Guienne. The enterprise of Guienne was so well planned that the French could not have offered any resistance, and God alone could have prevented the conquest of that duchy. Had Guienne been conquered, how different would have been the position of France from that which she now holds! But the English were so blind as not to believe him, and thus they themselves have prevented what they most desired.
The behaviour of the Emperor greatly resembles the conduct of the English. It is the interest and the aim of the Emperor to weaken France, in order to obtain the dominions of his (grand) son, of which he has been deprived by her. When the power of France, with the help of God, had been so much lowered that she could no longer offer resistance, the Emperor himself hindered the accomplishment of his wishes, and made the King of France stronger than he had ever been before. Such things could not have happened without the interference of God. What God intended thereby is so clear that not to do His will, would be the greatest sin. God has unmistakably shown that all Christian princes must unite and conclude a general peace, in order to effect the reformation of the Church, of which it is so much in need. Has, therefore, devised the measures which are more fully explained in the instructions which he sends by Beltrian. He (Pedro de Urea) can render him no greater service than that of well conducting the negotiations respecting the reformation of the Church. Begs the Emperor, for God's sake and for his own, to help him in his undertaking. Is ready to render him in return any service he desires.
He is to show the Cardinal of Gurk his instructions, but not this letter. Since his aims are the same as those of the Emperor and of the Cardinal, and since he only wishes to attain them in a more reasonable way, it will not be difficult to obtain their assent. Believes that the King of France, even should he obtain what he desires, will not fulfil his promises. The Emperor must, therefore, demand securities. If the French should offer Madame Renée as security, he is to tell the Emperor that she is no security at all, as she will inherit nothing, neither from the King nor from the Queen of France, her parents. If the French declare themselves ready to put certain fortresses in trust of third persons, he is to declare that they did the same thing with respect to Madame Claude, and afterwards broke all their engagements. But the principal object he is to carry out is that the marriage between the Prince (Charles) and the sister of the King of England shall not be broken off. For, if that were to happen, they would lose the King of England as an ally, and France would gain him. Such a result would be very detrimental to the interests of Spain and to the house of Burgundy. All alliances which are to be concluded must be based on the condition that the schismatical council, and everything which has been done in it, be declared null and void, and that all the allies join in one general council. He must write soon.
Is glad to hear of the meeting between the Emperor and the King of England. The Emperor must do all that is possible to preserve the friendship of the King of England. If the Emperor, the King of England, and he (King Ferdinand) remain friends and allies, the French will fulfil their promises, in case peace is concluded with them, for fear of coming to a rupture with the King of England. If, on the other hand, peace is not concluded, and if it is necessary to go to war with France, the assistance of England will be worth more than that of any other ally.
Spanish. Draft, written by Miguel Perez Almazan. pp. 9.
11 Jan. (?)
S. E. Var. L. 1554. 2°. f. 276, 277.
81. King Ferdinand The Catholic to the Count Cariati, his Ambassador in Venice.
Is very sorry to hear that the Pope and the Emperor have concluded an alliance from which they have excluded the Venetians. Has not ratified that treaty. Although the Italians and especially the Venetians have behaved very badly towards him, he is to tell the Signory that he will do everything for them that he can. But they must make peace with the Emperor, and give him back Vicenza, because unless they do so the Emperor will absolutely refuse to listen to any proposal of reconciliation. After the peace they may rest assured that the Emperor will sell Vicenza to them for a sum of money.
Upon the conclusion of the peace between the Emperor and Venice depends the war which the Emperor, the King of England, and he intend to undertake against France. It is his plan, and the plan of his allies, to invade France on all sides ; that is to say, he will invade France in Guienne, the King of England at Calais, and the Emperor in Gueldres and in Burgundy. If Guienne, Normandy, and Burgundy are wrested from France by force of arms, the French armies will always find full employment at home, and it will be impossible to send them to Italy.
The Venetian ambassador has asked him to deliver Brescia to the Signory. Would be glad to do so, had not the Pope, who is the head of the league, ordered him in a brief to deliver Brescia to the Emperor.—No date. No signature.
Spanish. Draft. pp. 7.
11 Jan. (?)
S. E. Var. L. 1554. f. 60.
82. King Ferdinand The Catholic to Ramon De Cardona, his Viceroy Of Naples, and Captain-General of his Army in Italy.
Has received letters from the Cardinal of Gurk, Pedro de Urea, and Hieronymo de Vich, by which he has been informed that the Cardinal of Gurk has concluded an alliance between the Pope and the Emperor, from which the Venetians are excluded. Nothing could be more favourable to the French and more detrimental to the allies than such a treaty. The league loses a powerful ally, whom France gains. His ambassadors say they have concluded this treaty in order not to lose the Emperor, but that is no excuse. Has revoked the unlimited powers he had given to his ambassadors, and ordered them henceforth to ask for his special orders respecting everything. Affairs on which the destinies of Christendom depend cannot be left to the decision of ambassadors.
Has told the Cardinal of Gurk and Pedro de Urea that the present treaty has no other object than that of preventing the Pope from making a separate peace with France, and obliging his Holiness to assist the allies if they decide on a war with Venice. It had been his plan, on the one hand, to conclude a very intimate alliance between all the princes who possess states in Italy, and to expel the French from that country ; and, on the other hand, to concert an invasion of France with the King of England and the Emperor, the King of England attacking her from the side of Calais, he (King Ferdinand) in Guienne, and the Emperor in Burgundy. The treaty with England had been then already nearly concluded. As all the attacks on France were to have been made at the same time, the King of France would have been obliged to divide his forces, and it was certain that he would have been beaten on all sides. The King of England and he ought, in his opinion, to have paid all the expenses of their enterprises, whilst the Pope, the Venetians, and the Duke of Milan would have had to pay 7,000 or 8,000 German troops for the Emperor. In about six months the King of England would have conquered Guienne and Normandy ; the Prince (fn. 2) Burgundy, Gueldres, and the towns in Picardy of which the King of France has robbed him. The King of France would also have been forced to conclude whatever treaty the allies might have chosen to dictate to him. If the King of England had reconquered Guienne and Normandy, the King of France would never have thought of attacking Italy, as he would have always had the enemy in his own country. No greater security for Italy could have been found than this.
When all was ready for execution the Emperor made everything impossible by his uncontrollable hatred against the Venetians. If the Emperor thinks he can conquer Venice with the help of the King of France, he must not forget that in order to gain the assistance of the French he must first give them Milan. The French, once masters of Milan, would soon have the whole of Italy.
God is punishing the princes of Christendom for their neglect of the Church, which stands so much in need of thorough reformation. Is of opinion that as long as the Church is not thoroughly reformed wars will never cease, and that the Emperor and he ought to do all in their power to bring about a perfect understanding between the princes of Christendom in as far as the reformation of the Church is concerned. If the King of France and the King of England will only agree on that point, the other princes will not be able, from respect to their private interests, to oppose the reformation of the Church.
All this he has told the Cardinal of Gurk ; supposes, however, that the Emperor will soon make peace with Venice.
Is ready to reconcile himself with the King of France on the following conditions : namely, that,—
1. The King of France shall unconditionally renounce his claims on the kingdom of Naples in favour of the crown of Aragon, whilst he (King Ferdinand) and the Queen his wife will renounce all their rights on Bearn, Foix, and the other dominions of King Juan d'Albret and Queen Katharine, his wife.
2. The King of France must promise never to aid the King and Queen of Navarra against Spain, whilst he (King Ferdinand) and the Queen his wife will promise never to assist the King and Queen of Navarra against France.
The King of England will make peace with the King of France on condition that the King of France pay the King of England the pensions he used to pay him, and that the former treaties concluded between them be revived.
The Emperor ought to make as good a bargain with France in respect to Gueldres and Milan as may be possible for him. It will, at all events, be necessary to give Milan back to France. As for the war with Venice, it will be best to persuade the King of France to aid with money instead of sending troops. If the Emperor can obtain money, good German troops will not be wanting to him.
The war with Venice, however, ought not to begin before the reformation of the Church is carried out.
The King of France must deliver to the Emperor, Dijon and other places in Burgundy, and the fortresses of Milan and Cremona, as security for his good faith.
The Emperor ought to take care not to break off the marriage engagement between Prince Charles and the sister of the King of England. If that match were to be broken off, the King of England would be lost for ever to them, and the King of France would gain him. Should, however, the King of England propose another marriage for his sister, that proposal might be accepted, and the prince might be married to a French princess. Even if a peace with France is concluded, the Emperor, the King of England, and he ought to preserve their more intimate alliance. The Emperor ought on no condition to conclude the treaty with France without first consulting the King of England and him, and English as well as Spanish ambassadors must be present at its conclusion. The reformation of the Church and the conquest of Venice are to be kept strictly secret.
Knows perfectly well the dangers which will follow from the possession of Milan by the French, but hopes that God will help them to overcome every obstacle as soon as they have thoroughly reformed the Church.
Neither the Pope nor the Venetians are to know anything of the contents of this letter, and he is to do all in his power to persuade the Venetians to give back Vicenza to the Emperor and to make peace with him.
It would be a good thing if he could maintain his army and avoid the necessity of disbanding it.
Spanish. Draft. pp. 13.
18 Jan. (?)
S. E. Pat. Re. T. c. I. L. 5. f. 135.
83. Miguel Perez Almazan (?), First Secretary to King Ferdinand The Catholic, to Juan Dalbion and Cabanillas, Spanish Ambassadors in France.
Letters from Rome state that the French are trying to sow dissension between his master and the Emperor. If that be true, all the negotiations of the French there (in Spain?) are false pretences.
This courier is going to England. If they think that the French will not permit the courier to accomplish his journey, they are to put the letter in another envelope, and to direct it to Madame Margaret in Flanders. As soon, however, as the courier has passed the French guards on the frontier, he is to change his route and to go to Calais, tearing off from the letter the false envelope.
After having read these lines they must burn them.—No date. No signature.
Spanish. Enclosure in the foregoing letter. p. 1.
Jan. (?)
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist. Salazar. A. 9. f. 183.
84. The Clauses of a Projected Treaty which were Settled between Margaret, Archduchess Of Austria, in the name of the Emperor Elect, and the English Ambassadors in Flanders. (fn. 3)
Madame Margaret, in the name of the Emperor her father, and the Ambassadors of the King of England conclude the following treaty :—
1. All former treaties between the Emperor and the King of England remain in full force, in as far as they are not expressly abrogated by this treaty.
2. The contracting parties bind themselves to assist one another in defending the Church and their own present dominions, as well as those which they may conquer in future, against any aggressor whatever, and especially against the King of France.
3. The contracting parties bind themselves to declare war on the King of France within [blank] after the conclusion of this treaty, and to begin actual hostilities within [blank] after the declaration of war.
The Pope is to make war on France in Dauphiné, Provence, and Italy.
The Emperor binds himself to make war upon the King of France in France and in all parts out of Italy.
The King of England is to carry on hostilities with France in Aquitaine, Picardy, Normandy, and other provinces of France.
4. The allies bind themselves to forbid their subjects, under pain of death, to take service with the King of France, or to assist him.
5. The Emperor binds himself to recall the prelates of the Empire and of his other dominions who are in Pisa, and who are taking part in the schismatical council.
6. The Pope binds himself to excommunicate all the enemies of this league.
7. The King of England binds himself to pay the Emperor 125,000 gold scudos, of which 25,000 are to be paid as soon as the treaty is signed and ratified by the Emperor. The remaining 100,000 gold scudos are, at the same time, to be deposited by the King of England in the hands of some third trustworthy person, and are to be employed to pay the army of the Emperor.
8. Prince Charles is not to form a party to this treaty, but the allies are bound to defend him if his dominions are invaded by the French.
9. The Pope and the King of Aragon are to ratify this treaty within two months ; the Emperor and the King of England are to do the same within one month.
[Added in another handwriting :]
10. The article respecting the woad (?) merchants is to be left out. (fn. 4)
11. A more important place is to be assigned to the King of Aragon, the common friend of the Emperor and the King of England.
Indorsed : "The clauses which Madame has concluded with the English ambassadors in Flanders."
Latin. Draft. pp. 5.
This document is the rough draft of the treaty of the 5th of April, 1513. It seems to have been sent to King Ferdinand for his approval.


  • 1. The treaty concluded by the Pope and the Cardinal of Gurk, which excluded Venice from the league, is dated the 19th of November 1512. Since this despatch is a protest against the treaty, it is not probable that it was written later than about the middle of January 1513, that is to say, about eight weeks after the conclusion of the treaty. As King Ferdinand, in his letter to Hieronymo de Vich, L. 847. f. 103, states that he disapproved the treaty of the 19th of November 1512 in his letter of the 11th of January, it seems highly probable that this protest also was dispatched on the same day.
  • 2. Charles.
  • 3. This document is the rough draft of the treaty of the 5th April 1513. It had, most probably, been sent to King Ferdinand for his information, and to enable him to make observations upon its contents. If this supposition is true, it was sent by Muxica, who arrived in the month of February at the court of King Ferdinand, and must have been despatched in the month of January.
  • 4. "Articulus mercatorum de lutera ommittetur." Sic. Lutra is the otter, lutrum is woad. We think the latter is meant.