Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 3 Part 1, 1525-1526. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1873.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.
The present volume is a continuation of the calendar which the late Gustav Adolph Bergenroth left unfinished. At his death, which took place at Madrid on the 13th of February 1870, in consequence of a malignant fever contracted at the wretched village of Simancas, where he was residing, and under circumstances much lamented by his friends and admirers, the task of prosecuting his labours devolved upon the writer of these pages, who for some time past had taken great interest in his friend's historical pursuits, kept up a literary correspondence with him, and helped him as much as he could with materials collected for an almost similar purpose. Of Bergenroth's assiduity and love of research, untiring activity, and other qualifications of the historian, an ample testimony is before the public in the shape of two thick volumes (fn. n1) and one more of supplement, wherein most of the State papers and letters relating to English history from the accession of Henry VIII., in 1509, to the year 1525, to be found at Simancas, Barcelona, Madrid, and other archives in Spain, as well as at Brussels and Lille, are carefully abstracted and clearly illustrated. His collection, now deposited in the library of the British Museum, and consisting of 24 folio volumes, embraces the period between 1519–1556, or rather the long reign of Charles V., since it was Bergenroth's avowed intention, whilst he compiled his English calendar, to write in his own native tongue a general history of the Emperor and of the religious troubles in Germany, for which gigantic undertaking he had early availed himself of all such materials as fell into his hands.
Owing, however, to various causes this mass of transcripts, carefully revised by the collector himself, could not be made accessible to the historical scholar until last year, when, chronologically arranged and bound, they were entered in the general catalogue of manuscripts in the British Museum, (fn. n2) and placed at the disposal of visitors to the reading-room. The present editor, therefore, had to begin the work again, examine and read papers already copied, decipher several which had not their decipherings appended, and look out for such as might have escaped the vigilant and practised eye of his predecessor, which occupation, as may be supposed, took considerable time, and will be a sufficient excuse for the delay in the appearance of the present volume.
Bergenroth's collection, however, though very extensive as regards the Emperor's reign, was very far from complete in an English point of view, for he was either entirely unaware of the existence of the original correspondence of Praet, Laurens, Bèvres, Le Sauch, Jonglet, Theimseke, Don Iñigo de Mendoza, Eustace Chappuys, Vandervyst, and other ambassadors of Charles, and of Margaret of Savoy, in England, recently discovered in the Imperial Archives of Vienna, or else had no opportunity of having it transcribed.
It was through Mr. Froude's valuable suggestions that the present editor first learned the existence of such important papers as these in the Vienna Archives. Upon the application of Lord Romilly, at that time Master of the Rolls, and the kind mediation of Lord Bloomfield, a permission to see these papers was soon obtained, the correspondence carefully examined, and transcripts made of such a portion of it as related to English history. In this task the editor has the pleasure of acknowledging with many thanks the kind offices of Ritter von Arneth, the Director of the Imperial Archives, as well as the valuable services of Councillor Vocher and Aspirant Felgel, (fn. n3) also attached to the department. As the said papers and correspondence, which, as above stated, Bergenroth had no leisure to examine and include in his calendar, begin almost with Charles' proclamation at Brussels, as King of Spain, in 1517, it naturally follows that many were omitted by him, which had particular relation to the history of England. Thus the correspondence of Louis de Praet, of whom that scholar found only two or three letters in the Spanish Archives, is wholly preserved at Vienna, from the year 1523, in which year that diplomatist, after accompanying the Emperor in his visit to England, remained as ambassador instead of the Bishop of Badajoz, (fn. n4) until May 1525, when, owing to his violent quarrel with Wolsey, he was recalled.
To supply such involuntary omissions the present editor has deemed it necessary to take up the compilation, not indeed where Bergenroth left it, that is to say, on the 24th of February 1525, but at the beginning of that year; by which means he has been enabled to introduce no less than twelve very interesting letters (fn. n5) of that Imperial ambassador in England, and other important papers which will throw considerable light on the events and negotiations that preceded the battle of Pavia. In like manner, and the better to illustrate that period of Henry's reign, it is the editor's intention to give at the end of Part II. of this volume a summary and abstract of such letters and papers from 1509 to 1525 as may increase the historical evidence already brought to light.
It will naturally be asked how comes it to pass that letters addressed to Charles, as King of Spain, and bearing the signatures of his various ambassadors at the Court of England, are to be found almost exclusively at Vienna instead of at Simancas and Madrid? The reason is obvious enough. Most of the statesmen employed by the Emperor on such missions were natives of Flanders or of Burgundy. All wrote in French; each represented Charles in England both as King of Spain and Emperor of Germany; besides which the political and commercial business with England, owing to the proximity of both countries and to other causes, was chiefly transacted by way of the Netherlands. Hence it is that the correspondence of the Imperial and Flemish ambassadors in London during the long reign of Charles, as well as Granvelle's papers under Philip, were kept at Besançon, Lille, and Brussels until the peace of Utrecht in 1713. All those which, strictly speaking, related to Charles were after the battle of Fleurus, in 1794, hastily removed to Vienna, where they are now suitably arranged under the heads of Correspondence et Negociations d'Angleterre, &c.
It may, therefore, be safely asserted that without the above-mentioned letters and papers no compilation calculated to illustrate the political relations of England, Spain, and Germany during the first half of the sixteenth century, and during Henry's long reign, could be undertaken and carried out with success, however large the historical collections at Simancas and other towns in Spain. For, in the first place, during the Peninsular war the general Archives of Spain were bodily removed to Paris, (fn. n6) and, when returned, most of the State Papers relating to the reign of Francis I. and his unfortunate campaigns in Italy, the negotiations with France and England in the early part of the Emperor's reign, the correspondence of Philip's ambassadors in France during the troublesome times of the League, and all papers connected with the war of Succession (1701–13) were carefully kept back, and notwithstanding the tardy remonstrances and weakly-conducted negotiations of the Spanish government, still form part of the general Archives of France. (fn. n7)
Indeed, had it not been for a happy coincidence which I shall mention hereafter, Spain would have been deprived of almost every paper on her national history in connexion with foreign powers, and the English scholar might have looked in vain for materials to illustrate Henry's reign.
Long before the above-mentioned spoliation, to which Bergenroth frequently alludes in the introductory pages to his two volumes, a considerable portion of the Simancas papers, especially those relating to the reign of Ferdinand the Catholic, Archduke Philip his son-in-law, and Charles was handed over to certain royal historiographers, who in Castille, as well as in Aragon, were commissioned from time to time to write the annals of those countries. That Fray Prudencio de Sandoval consulted them for his ponderous history of Charles (fn. n8) cannot for a moment be doubted, for it is evident that the good bishop copied some of them in full, and made use of others, without, however, condescending to inform us whence he took the materials of his work. That Leonardo y Argensola, Andres y Ustarroz, Lanuza, and before them the learned and conscientious Geronimo Zurita, (fn. n9) all of them historians of Aragon, had also access to them, not indeed at Simancas, in Castille, but at Saragossa or some other city of Aragon, where they must have been removed for their special use, appears also evident; lastly, on the suppression of the office of cronista or royal historiographer in Aragon, during the reign of Philip V., a portion of the papers, at least, must have passed into the hands of Don Luis de Salazar y Castro, the last royal historiographer of Castille, at whose death in 1734 they were first transferred to the church and hospital of Monserrat (fn. n10) at Madrid, thence to the Palace of the Cortes, and lastly to the Royal Academy of History, where they are now kept, together with the vast collection of manuscripts once belonging to the Jesuits, and others no less important for the history of Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
In this manner and by a most happy coincidence a considerable portion of the Spanish national Archives escaped the flagrant spoliation above alluded to, and constitute at the present day almost the only source whence the lovers of history can gather information respecting the political, commercial, and other relations of England and Spain during Henry's reign. The papers, which are original and mostly of an official character, are chronologically arranged and bound in volumes. They have occasional notes in the handwriting of Zurita, (fn. n11) Leonardo, and other Aragonese historians, thus favouring the conjecture already alluded to that they must have formed at some time or other, perhaps soon after the foundation of the Simancas Archives by Charles V., in 1543, a separate depôt for the exclusive use of the royal historiographers of that kingdom. They are to be found under the appellation of Coleccion Salazar, from the name of its last owner, (fn. n12) and are kept apart from other papers of a similar character, and having perhaps the same origin, such as the correspondence of Martin de Salinas, Ferdinand's ambassador at the court of his brother Charles, (fn. n13) the minutes of certain letters of the Emperor to Pope Clement, to the Duke of Sessa, and to the Abbot of Najera, all in the handwriting of Valdés, Garcia, Soria, and others of Gattinara's clerks. (fn. n13)
About the authenticity of such papers, as well as of those preserved in the Archives of Simancas and Barcelona, no doubt can be entertained, the point having been often discussed by Bergenroth in a manner to make it unnecessary for me to return to the subject. Most are written in cipher, but as the decipherings are usually appended, or placed between the lines by Pedro de Soria, one of Gattinara's secretaries, there has been in general no great difficulty in having the papers transcribed. Now and then an important paragraph is omitted, or a proper name wrongly spelt, which obliges the reader to have recourse to the deciphering key, when it exists at Simancas, or else make use of other expedients for arriving at the real meaning. In such cases, which fortunately are not frequent, the present editor has secured the services of Don Manuel de Goicoechea, the sub-librarian of the Academy, a scholar well versed in paleography, and whose proficiency in those particular studies Bergenroth has fully acknowledged on more than one occasion. (fn. n14)
To the great disappointment of all scholars engaged in historical pursuits the papers are mostly kept at that wretched and inhospitable village called Simancas, (fn. n15) two leagues from Valladolid, and in the very castle which Charles first, and Philip afterwards, prepared for their reception. There was lately some talk of having them removed, either to the Escurial or to Toledo, at both which places there is plenty of room for them, besides better accommodation and more comfortable lodgings for the students, but the idea, suggested no doubt by people who wished to render that fountain of modern history more accessible, seems to have been altogether abandoned or indefinitely postponed.
Besides the original letters and papers quoted in Bergenroth's volumes as preserved at Simancas, Barcelona, the Royal Academy at Madrid, &c., new repositories have been since discovered, which the present editor has had occasion to visit, and of which a short notice will be required, since a few of their contents have already been, or will be, calendared in course of time. Such are, 1stly, the newly-created Archivo Historico Central, wherein the charters, deeds, grants, and other historical documents, some of great antiquity, (fn. n16) belonging to the suppressed monastic corporations, have been carefully collected from all parts of the Peninsula; 2ndly, the National Library, lately increased by several hundred packets of State Papers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, originally at the Foreign Office (Secretaria y Consejo de Estado); 3rdly the libraries of the Escurial and Particular of the Royal Family, (fn. n17) within the precincts of the Palace, both of which are to be incorporated with the National, already very rich in manuscripts, though without a detailed and classified catalogue of them; 4thly, the rich collections once belonging to the Archbishops of Toledo, and now constituting separate archives in that old, musty and fast-decaying city; 5thly, that of Alcalá de Henares, 25 miles from the capital, once the seat of a famous university founded by Cardinal Cisneros, and whither at the present moment many hundred cart-loads of papers on the internal government, administration, and finances of Spain, together with those relating to the Holy Office of the Inquisition and the lay brotherhoods (hermandades), are being removed from the central bureaux in the capital. In all which repositories, if carefully examined, papers will be found more or less connected with the subject of the present calendar.
Some sort of explanation is also due with regard to Bergenroth's frequent quotations from original letters and State papers in the possession of D. P. de G., the present compiler. This collection, consisting of nine thick volumes, was purchased at Saragossa towards the end of 1836, from a broker who had just bought most of the books and manuscripts of the convent of Aula Dei, burnt and sacked by the mob in the autumn of that year. It is very far from complete, for the volumes are respectively numbered on the outside, 7, 9, 10, 11, 35, 42, 45, 57, 59. The first of these (fn. n18) contains letters and papers relating to the reigns of Juan I., Martin, Juan II., and Ferdinand—in whose time the union of Aragon and Castille was effected—whilst the last has original correspondence of Philip II. with Don Bernardo de Bolea, Vice-Chancellor of Aragon; with the Marquis of Mondejar, President of the Council of Castille, and other high functionaries between 1562–77. The intermediate volumes comprise only a portion of the letters of Sessa, Guasto, Leyva, Marin, Soria, Don Hugo de Moncada, and the rest of the generals or agents of Charles in Italy. Imperfect as it is, the collection was by the writer of these pages placed at the disposal of Bergenroth, who not only considered it very important, (fn. n19) but used it very freely for his calendar. It will henceforward s constitute one of the sources of the historical compilation begun by him, and which the present editor has undertaken to bring to a close.
Having said thus much about the papers and letters abstracted in the present calendar, some notice of the writers themselves will be required, for the better understanding of their despatches, and the sentiments by which they may have been actuated in the fulfilment of their respective charges. And first let us speak of Praet, Charles' ambassador at the Court of Henry VIII., at the commencement of the year 1525, previous to the battle of Pavia.
Louis de Flandre, Lord (Sieur) of Elverdinghe, Praet, and other places in the Low Countries, was the son of Louis de Praet (fn. n20) and Isabelle de Bourgogne. When, in consequence of the troubles that broke out in Castille, best known in history as the "Wars of the Commons" (Guerras de las Comunidades), Charles decided to revisit his Spanish dominions, Praet was one of the Flemish councillors appointed to attend him on that voyage. He was at the time bailiff of Bruges, chief magistrate of Ghent, member of the Privy Council, and First Chamberlain to the Emperor, who, having crossed over from Calais to Dover for the purpose of holding a conference with Henry (June 15th, 1523), employed him conjointly with Mesa (fn. n21) in the negotiations which took place about that time. On the Emperor's departure for Spain he was left behind in England to replace that ambassador, who, owing to his advanced age and bad health, had repeatedly tendered his resignation. He was, therefore, the first of the Imperial ambassadors in England during the period embraced by this calendar, and as such he had, whilst forwarding Charles' interests in England, to contend against Henry's vacillating policy and the crafty devices of his High Chancellor.
Indeed, ever since the unfortunate expedition to Provence and the hasty retreat of the Imperial army a great change had been perceptible in the politics of the wily Cardinal. Notwithstanding his many protestations of friendship, and his oft-repeated assurance that he was ready to maintain the Spanish alliance, there can be no doubt that the aim of his policy was to conclude an advantageous peace with the common enemy, in spite of the Emperor, and without his knowledge. He had often given audience to a secret agent of Francis, the celebrated Jean Jockin, and sent also a safe-conduct to Jean Brinon, who was ready to cross over to England for the double purpose of making a separate peace with Henry, and securing to the French King the possession of Milan. Praet suspected as much, and failed not to report on what he styled "the Cardinal's duplicity and ungrateful behaviour." His despatches to the Emperor and to the Dowager Duchess of Savoy, at that time governing the Low Countries, are full of similar accusations. "The Legate (he said) was trying all he could to transfer to London the settlement of all matters, so as to become the sole arbiter of peace, thereby increasing his own reputation and that of his master. (fn. n22) Unless the Emperor could manage to hold Milan and his other possessions in Italy at his own expense, execute the great military enterprise against France, and pay the whole of the indemnity due to King Henry, sooner or later the Duchy would be irretrievably lost, as the Cardinal would otherwise get the game into his hands and oblige the Emperor to give up the intended marriage, and accept such conditions as might best suit the King and himself." (fn. n23)
So great were his dislike and mistrust of the Legate that he did not scruple to accuse him of venality, declaring in the most explicit manner that unless the arrears of his several pensions on Badajoz, Palencia, and other sees in Spain were immediately made over to the Cardinal, and a better settlement made for the future, there was no chance whatever of securing his services, and inducing him to reject the French offers. "Your Majesty knows full well (said he on the 3d of January) how the Legate is to be dealt with. Whoever wishes to ensure his friendship must needs pay ready money." (fn. n24)
On the other hand, whenever Praet in his conferences with the Cardinal remonstrated against what he considered to be double dealing and want of sincerity on his part, this consummate politician seldom failed to complain of the many infractions of the existing treaties committed both by the Emperor and by Margaret of Savoy; of the former's unwillingness to repay the money borrowed from Henry on various occasions; of certain promises made at Bruges and not fulfilled; of the Emperor's obstinacy in defending Milan, which he added would cause his ruin in the end; and last, not least, of various secret negotiations which, before and after the expedition to Marseilles, Margaret had caused to be set on foot in France without informing King Henry of her intentions. (fn. n25)
Such mutual recriminations could not fail to produce mutual hatred and mistrust. Baffled in his plans, and meeting with a repulse both in Spain and in Flanders, the Cardinal suspected Praet of being the principal cause of his failure. His suspicions were fully confirmed when, on the 11th of February 1525, having had a messenger of Praet stopped and searched, and his correspondence deciphered and read, certain paragraphs were found in Praet's official despatches to the Emperor and to Margaret, as well as in his private letters to John Lallemand and the Count of Hoochstraëte, which were deemed highly injurious to Wolsey's character and reputation. Praet's despatch to the Emperor, giving an account of the occurrence, and laying all the blame on the Cardinal, has been preserved, (fn. n26) as likewise Henry's autograph letters complaining of the Imperial ambassador and asking for his recall. Soon after a memorandum (fn. n27) was drawn up by Wolsey, and sent to all the courts of Europe, for no other purpose than that of exculpating himself and his sovereign from so flagrant a violation of an ambassador's rights. Charles thought it prudent to dissemble for a time, had Praet recalled, and in acknowledgment of his services and conduct on the occasion, which he fully approved, appointed him his ambassador at the French Court, and later, in 1531, created him Knight of the Golden Fleece.
After Praet's recall the Emperor's affairs in England were jointly conducted by Josse Laurens and Adolph de Bourgogne, who had come over as special commissioners for Margaret of Savoy and the Low Countries. The first-mentioned statesman, who was Lord (Sieur) of Tardeghen and President of the Grand Council of Malines (Mechlin), had been in 1521 one of the delegates (fn. n28) for the signature of the treaty of offensive alliance against France, concluded at Calais in November. Adolph de Bourgogne, Lord of Bèvres, (fn. n29) Vere, and Ulisinghem, was already Knight of the Golden Fleece and Admiral of Flanders, which appointment he inherited from his father, Philip, when Charles first visited his Spanish dominions. It was he who in 1517 commanded the fleet which took the young monarch to Spain. After his return from the English mission he obtained the presidency of the Council of Flanders, and was employed on various delicate missions until his death, which occurred at Bèvres on the 7th of December 1540.
Jean de le Sauch, (fn. n30) who first acted as secretary to the above-mentioned commissioners, remained in charge of the Imperial embassy in England when Laurens and Bourgogne left for Flanders. Neither he nor the two last-named diplomates seem to have been accredited by Charles at the Court of England, their principal charge consisting in procuring the settlement of certain affairs relating chiefly to the Netherlands. All three, however, corresponded from time to time with the Emperor, who since the recall, or rather dismissal, of Praet had not considered it either prudent or consistent with his reputation to appoint a new ambassador. On the whole, Margaret's agents seem to have been placed in a most awkward position. Charles' vacillating policy; his letters and instructions frequently at variance, and in open contradiction with those sent from Flanders; the consent given by Margaret to a truce with France, without informing King Henry, had considerably loosened the ties of friendship between the two countries. Conflicting interests did the rest. Loud were the complaints of the Cardinal at what he called Margaret's uncourteous behaviour and want of faith. (fn. n31) In his conferences with Le Sauch, and whilst discussing the affairs of the Low Countries, he had often uttered threats, which, reported, and perhaps exaggerated, by Le Sauch and his colleagues in the embassy, had produced a coolness between the parties, and led to angry words on both sides. "The Emperor (Wolsey was reported to have said) had not one ducat to send to market for his daily provisions. Council there was none, either in Spain or in Flanders. Neither country could boast of one single man capable or of sufficient experience in State affairs to conduct them to the advantage of both kingdoms (England and Spain). The Emperor, himself, was a liar; Lady Margaret a ribald; and Archduke Ferdinand a child; Bourbon a traitor (fn. n32), &c." On the other hand, Charles was not backwards in replying to such abuse. "Wolsey was a selfish and avaricious man, on whom no reliance could be placed. Disappointed in his ambition, and ungrateful for the many favours received, he fancied that his failure at Rome was entirely owing to Charles' ambassadors, whereas nothing had been omitted to promote his election to the Pontificate."
Under these circumstances, with such bitter feeling prevailing on both sides, Le Sauch's position must have been untenable. He was evidently no match for the Cardinal, whose superiority he acknowledged, and whose shrewdness and craft he dreaded above all things. "If compelled to reside in England and take charge of the Emperor's affairs, (fn. n33) he was sure sooner or later to get into trouble, as he had neither the patience nor the coolness required for diplomacy.
Le Sauch was succeeded in August by another Fleming named Jehan Jonglet, Seigneur des Maretz, (fn. n34) an old and infirm man, who the very moment he set his foot in England began to ask for his recall, as he did not consider himself fit to conduct so intricate and perplexing a negotiation as the one entrusted to his care. He resided in London until August 1526, when he was replaced by George Theimseke, Provost of Cassel, (fn. n35) of whom no letter occurs in the present compilation, since his stay in England must have been short. Neither of the above-mentioned diplomates made much progress in the negotiation, their excuse being, when pressed by the Cardinal, that they were waiting for direct powers from the Emperor.
The next Imperial ambassador after Praet was Don Iñigo de Mendoza, (fn. n36) son of Don Pedro de Zuñiga, second Count of Miranda and of Catalina Velasco, daughter of Iñigo Fernandez de Velasco, eighth Constable of Castille and second Duke of Frias. Though the Zuñigas or Stuñigas, originally from Navarre, were considered of the noblest blood in Spain, he was, according to a custom very prevalent in Spain, named Iñigo Lopez de Mendoza, after his grandmother Doña Mencia de Mendoza. Dr. Edward Lee, Henry's ambassador in Spain, in a letter to Wolsey, (fn. n37) describes him as "a man having "spiritual lands, an abbey with other things, but not as "yet within orders, or bearing the habit thereof, 50 years "old, and wise." He was, however, abbot of Santa Maria de la Vid in Castille, and bishop of Coria when he left Spain for England; was subsequently promoted to the see of Burgos, and afterwards created cardinal by Clement VII. He reached London on the 26th of December, 1526, having been detained in France upwards of four months. That he was endowed with much wisdom and considerable talent for diplomacy is at once visible from the nature of his despatches to the Emperor, wherein he relates his conversations with Wolsey, and the arguments he put forward to detach Henry from the Italian or Clementine League, of which he had proclaimed himself the protector.
In Italy—the theatre then of most of the events recorded in the present calendar—the Emperor had various ambassadors and agents, whose despatches have been carefully abstracted. The Duke of Sessa in Rome, Caracciolo and Sanchez in Venice, Lope de Soria in Genoa, Herrera, Hurtado de Mendoza, and Don Hugo de Moncada in Savoy, Sienna, and other countries, and lastly the Abbot of Najera in Lombardy, corresponded with the Emperor, or with his minister Gattinara, informing them with the most minute detail of the general march of affairs, military as well as political, as likewise of every fact that came under their notice. Some account of such agents and officials will not be amiss for the better understanding of the history of the time.
Sessa. Don Luis Fernandez de Cordoba was the eldest son of Diego, third Count of Cabra and Lord of Baena. By his marriage, in 1520, with Doña Elvira de Cordoba y Figueroa, only daughter of Gonzalo de Cordoba, better known as the "Great Captain," he acquired the title of Duke of Sessa, which he afterwards used in all his despatches. In his early youth he followed his father Diego to the Moorish wars, and was present at the surrender of Granada in 1492. He then went to Flanders with two of his brothers (Pedro and Francisco), and attended the court of the young Charles, the future King and Emperor, whom he accompanied to Spain, (fn. n38) when, on the death of his grandfather Ferdinand (1517), he took possession of his maternal dominions. Whilst at Brussels, Sessa gained the favour of the youthful Prince by his dexterity in the knightly exercises and gorgeous tournaments so much to his taste. Equally fitted for the labours of the field as for the work of the cabinet, he was appointed, in 1522, Imperial ambassador at Rome, in the room of Don Juan Manuel, no longer acceptable to the new Pope (Adrian VI.). Some time before, and whilst holding a command in Naples, he had been recommended by Cardinal Santa Croce (Bernardino de Carvajal) as the fittest man to take the command of the Imperial forces, then without a general. (fn. n39) At Rome, Sessa appears to have been invested with more than ordinary powers, and to have united to his charge of ambassador at the Papal court, the superintendence of all political affairs in Italy, for some of the letters addressed to him by Mercurino Gattinara. in the Emperor's name bear the following superscription: "To "our most beloved cousin, the Duke of Sessa, our orator "and vicegerent in Italy;" and indeed Lannoy, as well as Pescara and Bourbon, the Abbot of Najera, and other minor agents in Italy, failed not to consult him on almost every occasion.
Rome was at that time the centre of European diplomacy. Julius II. and Leo X. had worked hard to increase their own temporal power. Adrian VI., a weak old man, who owed his election entirely to the Emperor, was not very successful, but Clement VII. followed most efficiently in the line of conduct initiated by his predecessors. The circumstance that Italy had again become the theatre of a fierce war between Francis and Charles seemed to him a favourable opportunity for asserting his country's independence and increasing Rome's temporal power, and he accordingly devoted all his skill and energy to those highly patriotic objects. However great Sessa's experience of affairs and talents for diplomacy, they seem to have been greatly overrated. Either he was completely deceived by Clement—one of the most shrewd politicians of his time— or else he was unable to fathom Charles' real sentiments towards the Pope and Italy; certain it is that not one of the objects for which he had been sent to Rome was fairly accomplished. No advantage was derived from the victory of Pavia; Clement became more and more afraid of Imperial supremacy, and a league was soon formed called "Holy" and "Clementine" from the name of its originator, which nearly defeated the Emperor's ambitious designs.
It has been surmised by more than one contemporary historian that in order to gain his confidence, and make him shut his eyes to his insidious practices, Clement endeavoured to bribe Sessa, then a widower, (fn. n40) with a cardinal's hat, and that he succeeded so far in his purpose as to persuade him of his constant affection for the Emperor, and of his earnest wish to become his friend and ally, thus giving him time to mature his plans, and to cement the formidable league which both Henry and Francis afterwards joined against the Emperor. The charge is a serious one, and though not mentioned by Sandoval or by any of the Spanish historians, is nevertheless plausible enough. For it had been long a practice of the Popes to confer the highest dignities of the Church on ministers and agents of foreign kings who might serve the Papal interests, and certainly Clement was not backward in using all such means of corruption at his disposal. His numerous creations of cardinals were made for no other purpose than that of obtaining money to carry on war, or otherwise serving his political views. That he tried the experiment upon Sessa there can be but little doubt, for as early as July 1525, and pending the negotiations for the first Italian league—favourable to the Emperor, but which, as is well known, took no effect—a hot-brained Spanish ecclesiastic, Pedro Jordan de Urries, long a suitor at Rome for the abbacy of Monte Aragon, in the bishopric of Huesca, wrote to the Emperor, "I humbly "beseech your Imperial Majesty to appoint as his am- " bassador here [at Rome] one who may not run after a " cardinal's hat for himself, and who may prevent the " Pope's Datary (Gianmatheo Giberti, Bishop of Verona) " from interfering as he does in your Majesty's private " affairs" (fn. n41) Some time after, Cardinal Montemayor wrote in rather disparaging terms of the Imperial ambassador, (fn. n42) and when the Colonnese, encouraged by Charles and by his agent, Lope Hurtado, prepared to invade the Roman territory and espouse the Imperial cause, they earnestly solicited the appointment of an ambassador capable of guiding them in their enterprise. Hurtado himself in a letter in cipher to the Emperor said, "The Duke has " applied for permission to go home that he may " explain his conduct. His Imperial Majesty would " lose nothing by granting him his request, and the " Duke himself might gain much in the estimation of all the Emperor's servants, who are by no means " satisfied with him." (fn. n43)
The accusation, however, whether true or unfounded, must have reached the ears of Charles, for on the 5th of October his Grand Chancellor, Gattinara, wrote to Clement VII. a holograph letter, desiring him, in the Emperor's " name, not to grant Cardinals' hats to Spaniards or vassals " of the Empire without consulting him first;" when the Duke, greatly offended at what he called the loss of the Emperor's confidence, renewed his resignation, tendered some time before (fn. n44), begging that, since his services were no longer acceptable, he might be removed from his post and sent wherever he could best forward the Imperial interests. Indeed, had not Don Hugo's arrival, and his own departure from Rome, and the subsequent bold attempt of the Colonnese faction precipitated events, he would have been removed from the embassy. It must nevertheless be said in Sessa's defence, that however great his affection and regard for the Pope, whose honourable intentions he frequently commends in his despatches, however strong and pressing his own advice to the Emperor, urging him to adopt such policy of conciliation as might detach Clement from the League, the sincerity of his professions cannot be doubted, and that when the rupture of the negotiations obliged him to quit Rome his behaviour on that occasion was such as to deserve the Emperor's full approbation. It is related by one of his biographers, (fn. n45) that as he and Don Hugo, surrounded by a strong escort of Spaniards and Germans armed to the teeth, went to take leave of Clement, and announced their intention of joining the Colonnese, such threatening language was used by the Imperial ambassadors that the Pope gave immediate orders for their arrest, which would have taken place as both went out of the Quirinal, had not the German guard to whom the order was entrusted refused to obey, and accompanied Sessa and Don Hugo to their lodgings, where, having hastily collected eighty horsemen from their own friends and retainers, besides three hundred foot, consisting of Spaniards and Germans, they succeeded that very evening in breaking through the guard at the gates, and reaching the Colonnese camp.
Herrera. Knight Commander Miguel de Herrera, gentleman-in-waiting to the Emperor, Lope Hurtado de Mendoza, and Don Hugo de Moncada were occasionally sent to Rome to help Sessa in his long and intricate negotiations with Clement. The former was an officer of some repute; he had distinguished himself during the French invasion of Navarre in 1521, and was also present, together with his brother Felipe, the warder of Tarento in Naples, at almost all the engagements fought in Lombardy (1523–5). He, himself, obtained the wardenship (alcaydia) of the Castle of Pamplona, which a kinsman of his, Francisco, gallantly, though unsuccessfully, defended against Monsieur d'Asparroz, the commander of the French forces. (fn. n46) Herrera was sent by the Emperor to Italy for the double purpose of ascertaining the state of affairs at Milan, and offering Clement what he considered to be a settlement of the existing difficulties, and a temptation to him to abandon the Italian League. His proposals, however, were rejected, and it was with great difficulty that a truce of two months was allowed for consulting the Emperor, at the expiration of which time hostilities commenced on the part of the Pope and the Venetians.
Hurtado.Lope Hurtado, a scion of the noble house of Mendoza, was the grandson of Lope Hurtado de Mendoza, who in 1445, under the reign of John II. of Castille, was Lord of La Corçana and chief incumbent of Viscay. (fn. n47) He entered when very young the household of Prince John, the son of Ferdinand and Isabella, whom he served as page until his death in 1497. When the war of the Commons broke out in Castille, Charles sent him from Brussels to Burgos with a message for the Admiral (Fadrique Enriquez) and the Constable (Iñigo Fernandez de Velasco), who, together with Adrian, governed Spain during his absence. In February 1522 he was sent by Charles to Vitoria, that he might congratulate his tutor, Adrian, upon his recent election to the Pontificate. He subsequently accompanied that Pope in his voyage from Tortosa to Ostia in the Roman Estates, (fn. n48) and commanded, conjointly with Sessa, the fleet prepared for that purpose. He was afterwards employed on various important missions to Savoy, Sienna, and Rome, and when the war broke out, in 1526, served under Guasto (fn. n49) and Bourbon at Milan, and ultimately returned to his native country, where he is said to have died at the age of 90. (fn. n50) He must have been on no very good terms with Sessa, or disapproved of his manner of negotiating with Pope Clement, for in a remarkable despatch of his, dated Milan, 5th of November 1525, he made himself the echo of unfavourable reports about his colleague, and strongly advised the Emperor to accept his resignation.
Sanchez. Concerning Alonso Sanchez and Lope de Soria, who respectively conducted the affairs of Charles at Venice and Genoa, very little is known beyond the few facts to be gathered from their official correspondence. The former, who seems to have been some time treasurer at Naples, was probably the nephew or a close connexion of Mossen Luis Sanchez, who in 1520 held a similar post at Valencia. He must have been either a native of that city or of the kingdom of Aragon, for he frequently alludes in his despatches to his long services under Ferdinand, the Catholic King of Spain, whose subject he was. (fn. n51) In 1521 Charles appointed him his ambassador at Venice. He was the first to announce the death of Pope Leo X. (1st Dec. 1521), and succeeded, under Adrian, in inducing Venice to join the league between Henry and Charles against their common enemy, Francis.
Soria. Lope de Soria was either the brother or the cousin of Alfonso de Soria, one of Gattinara's chief clerks, probably the son of Diego, who filled a similar post under Almazan, Ferdinand's chief secretary for the kingdom of Aragon. He must have been attached to the Emperor's household as early as 1520, for the original deed granting him certain rentals for life in the town of San Juan de Pie de Puerto in Navarre has been preserved. (fn. n52) Soon after the taking of Genoa by Pescara and Prospero Colonna he was sent thither as ambassador to the Doge, Antonioto Adorno, whose wavering fidelity he managed to maintain during the troublesome times of the Clementine League. Genoa being at the time the only port of Italy whereat the Imperial galleys could touch with safety, to bring reinforcements and money, all communication through land being stopped after Francis' release from captivity and consequent return to his kingdom, it became a point of the utmost importance to ensure the friendship of that community, and prevent the hostile faction of the Fregosi from seizing the supreme power. At one time, through the closing of all other land routes, those of Flanders and Austria included, the Imperial generals and ministers in Italy had no other means of corresponding with their court than the slow and dangerous one of a sea voyage from Genoa or Monaco to Barcelona, and Soria, on whom the difficult task devolved of providing funds for the Imperial troops, as well as that of directing all official correspondence, fitted out for that special service a number of brigantines and other small vessels, and displayed an activity and zeal of which his numerous despatches give abundant proof.
Caracciolo. Marino Caracciolo, (fn. n53) once prothonotary and Papal nuncio in Flanders, entered the Imperial service in 1523, and was subsequently employed on various important missions, such as that of recovering from the Signory of Venice, after the battle of Pavia, the sums stipulated as part of their share in the war expenses. Though a Milanese by birth, be was entrusted in Sept. 1526 with the delicate mission of examining Girolamo Morono and writing down his confession, a task which he appears to have performed to the Emperor's satisfaction, notwithstanding his intimacy with that statesman. (fn. n54)
Moncada. The gallant and unfortunate Don Hugo dc Moncada was another of the diplomates employed by Charles in the difficult task of conciliating Pope Clement and attaching him to his interests. It was he who in June 1526, after a short stay at the court of France and at Milan, was the bearer of the Emperor's ultimatum. A native of Chiva in the kingdom of Valencia, where the Moncadas (fn. n55) possessed considerable domains, he was the vassal and subject of Ferdinand of Aragon, generally known as "the Catholic King of Spain," who in 1510 appointed him Viceroy of Sicily, prior of Messina, and bailiff of Santa Euphemia in Calabria. (fn. n56) Previous to that time Don Hugo had distinguished himself in almost every engagement with the Moors in Africa, or the French in Naples. His rule, however, appears to have been obnoxious to the Sicilians, for as early as the year 1516 he had to suppress a most formidable rebellion at Palermo, and the year after, when the news of Ferdinand's death reached the island, the people again rose in arms and refused to recognise him as Viceroy until his appointment should be confirmed by that Monarch's successor. Unable to put down the insurrection and re-establish his authority, Don Hugo retired first to Messina, where he had a few friends among the nobility, and ultimately repaired to Flanders to explain his conduct. Charles' councillors did not consider it prudent that at the very beginning of his reign Don Hugo should be restored to his viceroyalty against the will of the Sicilians, and accordingly the Duke of Monteleone (Hector Pignatelli) was sent in his room. Nevertheless, the command of a fleet then fitting out against the African pirates, who were incessantly threatening the coasts of Spain and Apulia, was given to him, when he succeeded in taking possession of the island of Gelves. (fn. n57)
A few years later, in 1524, he attended with his galleys Bourbon's ill-fated expedition to Provence, but was obliged to abandon his position in front of Marseilles owing to a sudden attack of Andrea Doria with superior forces. About the same time the Prince of Orange was taken prisoner at Villafranca di Nizza, and Don Hugo himself, having some months after imprudently left Genoa, at the head of a small force, for the purpose of surprising the castle of Voragine in Liguria, recently occupied by the French, was defeated and taken prisoner by the Marquis of Saluzzo. He was, however, one of the first to obtain his liberty after the battle of Pavia (24th Feb. 1525), having been exchanged for the Constable of France, Anne de Montmorency. Lannoy sent him on a mission to the Emperor with Francis' offers, and, when at Rome, prepared that famous conspiracy against Clement which ended in the sack of St, Peter and the palaces of the cardinals considered as disaffected to the Empire.
Lannoy. Of the generals commanding the Imperial forces in Italy some notice will also be required. Charles de Lannoy was the third son of Jean, Seigneur de Mingoval and of Philippa de Hantes. From his early youth he enjoyed the favour of Maximilian and of his son Philip of Austria (Charles' father), by whom he was successively appointed governor of Tournay, Lord Chief Steward of the Imperial household, Viceroy of Naples, and commander-in-chief of the armies in Italy. A Fleming by birth, Lannoy was much disliked by the Spaniards. An historian of that nation (fn. n58) says of him that, though a great favourite of Charles, he possessed no other merit than that of being a good horseman; he goes as far as to doubt his courage or his ability to command the Imperial forces in Italy, and attributes to Pescara and Antonio de Leyva, the former a Neapolitan, though originally from Aragon, the latter a Castillian, the whole of the success at Pavia. The fact is that much jealousy and dissension prevailed at that time between the Imperial generals. Both Bourbon and Pescara openly accused Lannoy of having been the cause of their failure in the expedition to Marseilles (1524); and when the Viceroy of Naples, after the battle of Pavia, decided to remove his royal prisoner to Naples, and ultimately conveyed him to Spain, loud were their complaints against the man whom they charged with cowardice in the time of danger and insolence after victory, to which, they said, he had not contributed either by his valour or his conduct. Whether Lannoy's bold step was taken with the Emperor's consent and approval, after Mons. de Roeulx' secret mission to Prance and Italy, and at the express desire of Francis, who, trusting in Charles' generosity, flattered himself that he might in a personal interview with his enemy obtain better terms; or whether he was prompted by the mutinous spirit of the Germans, who loudly claimed for the arrears of their pay, threatening to lay hands on Francis and set him at liberty on the payment of a heavy ransom, is more than we can determine in view of the papers preserved at Vienna or Simancas. Certain it is that the Viceroy carefully concealed his project from Bourbon and Pescara, and having set sail for Naples, changed his route and landed with his royal prisoner at Palamós, on the coast of Catalonia, to the great disappointment of his colleagues in command of the Imperial army. (fn. n59)
"Cierto era (Lanoy) favoreeidisshno del Emperador, tanto que sin auer en el otro valor mas de ser muy buen hombre de cauallo, le dió la tenencia de Napoles en competencia do muchos grandes señores que la pedian y la merescian por muchas calidades que todas le faltaban à Lanoy."—Illescas, in the Life of Clement VII., p. 431.
Bourbon. Bourbon, in particular, was so much incensed at what he termed "Lannoy's disgraceful trick," that he asked for leave to appear personally at the Emperor's court, and bring a formal accusation against him. He feared lest the Viceroy's sudden resolution—so contrary to what had been previously agreed to at a council of war attended by Pescara, Leyva, and himself—might be the cause of the Emperor's losing the affections of the Pope, the Venetians, and other Italian potentates, besides endangering the alliance with England. "He had purposely left him without money or the means of regaining the confidence of the discontented Germans; he had spread abroad many reports injurious to his personal character, and managed to have his letters, wherein he complained of him to the Emperor, intercepted in France." Sandoval relates in minute detail the interview which the two generals held in the Emperor's presence, in which so loud were the recriminations, and so high the words, that he was obliged to interpose his authority and reconcile them, at least in appearance.
But Bourbon himself was not liked by the Spaniards. One of the above-mentioned historians (fn. n60) says that on his arrival at Toledo, where the court was then residing, the Emperor summoned a certain nobleman to give up his house for the Constable's reception, and that the proud Spaniard, though he obeyed the Imperial orders, replied to the messenger: "Tell His Majesty the Emperor that I " cannot, in obedience to his commands, refuse my house " to the Frenchman, but that nothing shall hinder me " from setting fire to it as soon as the traitor goes out " of it, for ire Spaniards are not fond of traitors."
Pescara. Don Hernando Davalos de Aquino, though a native of Naples, was descended from an ancient Spanish family, in the province of Toledo. He was the son of Alfonso Davalos, first Marquis of Pescara, in the Apulia, whose grandfather, Ruy Lopez Davalos, had been in 1442 Great Constable of Castille. (fn. n61) His mother belonged to the illustrious family of Cardona, whose chief at the time was Don Remon, Viceroy of Naples (1509–22). It was under him that Pescara made his first campaign in 1512, at the unfortunate battle of Ravenna, where he was dangerously wounded and taken prisoner, together with his father-in-law, Fabricio Colonna. At Pavia he commanded in chief, both Bourbon and Lannoy having willingly resigned the command into his hands; and when the latter, to whom the French King had chosen to surrender, conveyed his royal prisoner to Spain, he resented, quite as much as Bourbon did, the sudden resolution taken by that general, who, he said, wished to reap exclusively all the honour of so signal a victory. His despatches to the Emperor are not very numerous, but enough is left of them to show his dislike of Lannoy and his discontent with the Emperor, who did not reward, as he deserved, his eminent services on that memorable occasion. The Viceroy had taken Francis to Spain without his knowledge. Though the fiefs of Carpi in Lombardy and Sora in Naples had often been promised to him as a reward, the grant had not been made, owing to Lannoy's mischievous interference at the court of Charles. His application to set his prisoner Henri de Labret (fn. n62) free upon the payment of a ransom of 80,000 ducats had been completely disregarded; nor had his long and eminent services been remunerated as he had reason to expect that they would be. So loud were Pescara's complaints, and so public the offence, that both the Pope and the Signory of Venice attempted to make him forsake his duty and turn traitor. Girolamo Morono, Chancellor of Milan, and chief secretary to its Duke Francesco Sforza, whose restless ambition and fertile genius were well known all over Italy, became the soul of an intrigue which had for an object to rescue that country from the yoke of foreigners. Pescara was tempted with the kingdom of Naples, which, being a fief of the Pope, might be conferred upon him at any time, and promised the command in chief of the army that was to save Italy from the invaders. By distributing the Germans and Spaniards under his orders through the villages of the Milanese, they might in one night be destroyed by the inhabitants, and Pescara himself, a Neapolitan by birth, become the restorer of his country's liberties.
It is said that Pescara, amazed at the boldness and extent of the scheme, listened attentively to Morono's propositions, and that, allured by the brilliant prospect of a crown, he promised his co-operation in the plans of the conspirators, and went so far as to ask securities from the Pope, and insist that some learned casuists should give their opinion as to whether it was lawful for a subject to take arms against his immediate sovereign in obedience to the lord paramount of whom Naples itself was held. It is added that deeming it more prudent to ask the duchy of Milan from the Emperor, as a reward for the discovery of the plot, than to aim at a crown purchased by such treacherous proceedings, suspecting also that the Emperor had already received full information from another quarter, he shrank from the attempt and determined to reveal the whole conspiracy. Such is the account of Guicciardini. (fn. n63) who knew Pescara and Morono well; but it may be doubted whether his wish to exculpate the Pope, whose councillor and general he was, did not influence his statement when he assures us that the Marquis gave his unconditional promise to Morono, and that the Pope was to warn the Emperor of the danger, and advise him to attend to the claims of his captains, so as to keep them contented. I need scarcely say that neither Sandoval nor Illescas, nor Pescara's biographer, doubted his fidelity for a moment, and that, if it be true, as asserted, that Morono's overtures were made in the presence of Antonio de Leyva, carefully concealed behind a tapestry prepared for the purpose; that Arana and Castaldo left Milan in August with a message for the Emperor, informing him of the plans of the conspirators and asking for instructions,—no such a spot can be cast on his reputation. An abstract, besides, of Morono's original confession, as preserved in the Archives of Simancas, leads us to the belief of Pescara's innocence on this particular point.
Guasto. After Pescara's death (Dec. 1525), his cousin Alfonso, son of Iñigo, first Marquis del Guasto, (fn. n64) assumed the command of the Imperial forces until the arrival of Bourbon, who returned from Spain early in July 1526. It was during his time that the riots at Milan took place, and that the defection of the Italian infantry caused the loss of Lodi. Though a brave commander and much loved by the army, he was unable to maintain discipline. His own letters, as well as those of Leyva, (fn. n65) who commanded the Spanish infantry, will show to what extremities the Imperial forces were reduced for want of money, quartered as they were in the Milanese, and what efforts he and Leyva made to prevent its dissolution.
Najera. This condition of the Imperial forces is well exemplified in the correspondence of Hernando Marin, Abbot of Santa Maria de Najera, in the Rioja, a man of great abilities and unusual veracity, whose numerous reports are a model of prudence and discretion. He was Commissary General to the army of Lombardy since 1522, and had probably filled the same post at Naples during the war which Maximilian of Austria and Ferdinand the Catholic of Spain made against the French. He was temporarily deprived of his office by Bourbon, with whom he was at variance respecting the distribution of the sums which so scantily and at long intervals reached the Imperial camp; but this measure being disapproved at Court, he continued to report on all matters connected with his charge, the movements of the Imperial army, the progress of the Italian League, often tendering the advice of a clear-sighted and consummate politician.
Such are, besides others of less importance, the writers of the letters abstracted in the present calendar. With the exception of what may be strictly called "English correspondence," in the shape of letters and despatches written in this country by the ambassadors of Charles and Margaret, all the rest refer almost exclusively to the campaigns of Italy, in which Henry first had a share as the Emperor's ally, and no slight influence afterwards, when, in consequence of Francis' release from captivity and subsequent formation of the Italian League, he accepted the title of "Protector," offered to him by Clement and the Venetians. Of those papers and letters, in which England is but incidentally mentioned, the editor has only abstracted that portion having reference to the operations of the belligerent armies, or the negotiations at Rome, by which the politics of England were necessarily influenced.
In the transcript of proper names a great variety will unavoidably be observed in this as well as in other compilations of the same kind. According to the nationality of the writer, whether a Frenchman, an Italian, or an Englishman, to say nothing of Germans and Spaniards, the names of the personages are written in various ways, and, strange to say, the writer himself, at times, spells his own name differently, so as to create considerable doubt and hesitation. Thus, for instance, the Duke of Milan's Chancellor signs his name "Morono," and yet his own countrymen called him "Il Morone," and the Spaniards "Geronimo Moron." The experienced veteran who led the German bands at the memorable battle of Pavia is variously called, (fn. n66) even by the writers of that nation, Frantsberg, Frenesperg, Frundsberg, &c.; whereas in one of his original despatches to the Emperor, dated the 19th of September 1527, which will be abstracted in the ensuing volume, he signs Georgius à Fruntsperg. Guasto appears also under the various appellations of Gasto, Basto, and Vasto. Lannoy and Sessa (fn. n67) sometimes omit the double letters in their names, and Fernando Marin, the abbot, writes Najara and Najera indifferently. It need not be remarked that, to avoid confusion, the editor has conformed with the usual practice of enclosing between brackets the real name of the individuals, as far as they could be ascertained.