Spain: November 1526, 26-30

Pages 1018-1028

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.


November 1526, 26-30

26 Nov. 621. Queen Katharine to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 224.
Most High and Powerful Lord,—I cannot imagine what may be the cause of your Highness having been so angry, and having so forgotten me, that for upwards of two years I have had no letters [from Spain]. And yet I am sure I deserve not this treatment, for such are my affection and readiness for your Highness' service that I deserved a better reward. This notwithstanding, I cannot help doing what I consider my duty, i.e., writing whenever an opportunity offers itself, and by all those who go to Spain from these parts, begging to know what your Highness' pleasure may be, and what is the state of your precious health, which I beseech God to grant as good and prosperous as your Highness can wish.
As the Bishop of Uxeter, (fn. n1) who is now going to Spain as ambassador from the King my Lord, will verbally inform your Highness of everything relating to me, I shall say no more now than to commend him to the Imperial notice, which I shall count as a favour to myself. May our Lord God, &c.—Granuche (Greenwich), 26th November 1526.—Your good aunt "Katherine."
Addressed: "A la Mag.. del Emperador."
Spanish. Holograph. p. 1.
28 Nov. 622. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 39,
f. 143.
Since his letter of the 22nd, of which a duplicate is enclosed, the news is that on the 25th four ships anchored at Gaeta with 1,800 Germans and 400 Spaniards on board. There came also a brother of the Marquis of Mantua and the Colonel of the Germans. This intelligence, as may be supposed, has been anything but agreeable to those who only a few days ago spread the news that the Viceroy's fleet had been completely destroyed by the enemy.
Advices from Naples state that a respectable force of infantry and cavalry had been raised, and was in perfect order to undertake anything that might be required. The Pope's army is still on the territory of the Colonnese, but without doing harm. There had been dissension between the chiefs, so much so, that the men had come to blows one with another, and death had ensued. Every day soldiers were deserting, and the artillery was expected back in Rome. (Cipher:) Were the Neapolitan troops to make a dash now, they might possibly get hold of their guns.
The Germans were on the 23rd inst. close to the Pò, intending to cross over to Modena. The whole force musters 16,000, without counting the volunteers (aventureros); they have 400 horse with them, and 600 more have been sent from Milan to meet them. The Duke of Ferrara is to send them eight or ten field pieces. Indeed this arrival of the German reinforcements, and of Espinar, Don Ugo's secretary, has so cheered him up, that there is no chance now of his coming to terms with His Holiness, though he has been, and is still, strongly solicited by the Guiçardino (Il Guicciardino), and by a French gentleman lately sent to him.
The deprivation of office, &c. of the Colonnese was to have taken place to-day. The Neapolitan ambassador (Muxetula) has obtained a respite from the Pope, but it is to be carried out at the next consistory.
The Pope wishes to have a security that he will not be attacked on the side of Naples, so that he may withdraw his troops from that frontier; but Don Ugo and the Collateral Council have answered, that as the Viceroy is so shortly expected and brings full powers from the Emperor, it is wiser to wait for his arrival. The Pope consequently has not withdrawn his troops from the territory of the Colonnese.
(Cipher:) A Spaniard has lately arrived in this city under an assumed name (encubierto). The Datary (Giovanni Matheo Giberti) is in secret communication with him. Who the man may be, nobody knows for certain. Some say that he is the general of the Franciscans in disguise, others that he is a different person. All agree, however, that he is now hiding at Belvedere, within the Palace, (fn. n2) and that he brings very ample powers from the Emperor to conclude peace, &c. He is a small-sized man, with red, though scanty, beard, and goes by the name of Alvar Perez de Quiñones. He landed some days ago at Genoa, whither a Papal brief was forwarded that he might come [to Rome] in all security. The brief was despatched by a man who came [to Italy] with him. His name is Maestro Avalos, a person, as Perez suspects, well known at Seville in the Archbishop's household and among his familiars. A gentleman of the Duke of Bourbon, who left Rome the day before yesterday, told him (Perez) that he had met the said Spaniard in Genoa, and suspected him at once to be a spy, as he lived in retirement, left his dwelling only at night, and besides came to ask him to deliver certain messages to the Doge and to the Imperial ambassador (Lope de Soria), which he promised to do, but never did, as he mistrusted him. His informer has since quitted Rome at the calling of Mons. de Bourbon, who sent for him.
Has been told by a trustworthy Roman that the Pope, through the intermediate agency (intercession) of a very influential person, is now in treaty with Mons. de Bourbon to try and make him forsake the Imperial service. Anything that is said about the Pope in this particular may confidently be believed; but it cannot be presumed that the Duke, whose honour, reputation and advancement are entirely in the Emperor's hands, will for a moment listen to such overtures.
(Common writing:) Don Ugo and the members of the Collateral Council of Naples have sent orders to their ambassador (Muxetula) to return, since it is found that His Holiness will not desist from attacking the Colonnese. The ambassador is preparing to depart, and has asked Cardinal Giacopo Salviatis for the 30,000 ducats which he is bound to deliver instead of the person of his son, within two months. The Cardinal is using all manner of expedients for delay, and hopes that some agreement may be arrived at between the Emperor and His Holiness by which he may be exempted from fulfilling the said clause.
The Germans, marching on Lombardy, have lately had some skirmishing with the French and the Venetians, in consequence of which the Imperialists have removed their quarters to another district more capable of defence. It is confidently believed that by this time they have crossed the river Pò.
It is publicly announced here that the Duke of Ferrara has decidedly declared for the Emperor.
Mons. de Bourbon's gentleman has returned [to Rome] owing to the postmasters having refused him horses on the road, which he suspects has been done for no good purpose. He is now trying to obtain the requisite orders.
Whilst about to close this letter he (Perez) hears that the general of the Franciscans is certainly at Belvedere, and that the Spaniard now hiding in the city is a nephew of his, and a knight commander of the order of Calatrava. The general, as before stated, brings full powers from the Emperor, and it is added that the Pope is thinking of coming to an agreement with him.
Addressed: "Sacratissimæ, Cesareæ, Catholicæ Majestati."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Perez. Duplicate of the 28th Nov."
Spanish. Holograph mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet (.. 145). pp. 2¼.
29 Nov. 623. The Emperor's answer to Dr. Edward Lee, English Ambassador in Spain.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 224, No. 16.
The following is the answer made by the Emperor to a paper of Dr. Lee, ambassador, almoner and councillor of the most excellent and powerful King of England. (fn. n3)
His Imperial Majesty is pleased to hear that his brother of England is well disposed to negotiate a general peace, so that the Christian Princes may afterwards turn their arms against the infidel Turk and drive him away from Hungary, &c. The Emperor will follow the King's good advice and counsel on this particular, and do everything in his power to secure the said peace. To this end most ample powers are now being forwarded to his ambassador [in London], Don Iñigo de Mendoça, together with full instructions on all and each of the points contained in the King's letter, that he (Don Iñigo) may with the assistance and advice of the said King promote and bring about a truce, during which a general as well as particular peace may be permanently established. With regard to other points more particularly relating to the King of England and to His Imperial Majesty, there is no need to make here a more specific declaration, since they have been fully explained in Don Iñigo's instructions; besides which the roads through France are so insecure, to judge by the frequent arrests of Imperial messengers in that country, that there is danger even of the present letter being intercepted. (fn. n4) Neither would it be quite honourable (bien honneste) for the Emperor to declare his full intention on the points proposed to him before he knew how far his adversaries were prepared to work for the accomplishment of so praiseworthy an object. The King, however, may be sure that if the confederated powers entertain the same sentiments as he (the Emperor) professes, peace will be easily established on a solid foundation, when it will become manifest to the whole World that the Emperor has always been, and is still, willing to sacrifice his own private interests to those of the Christian community at large. Yet as some time ago the Emperor sent full powers to his ambassadors and agents at Rome (fn. n5) to conclude the said general and particular peace; as since then His Holiness has offered to come over [to Spain] and meet the Emperor at Barcelona for the purpose of joining in so holy a work, and afterwards inducing the most Christian King of France to do the same; as the Emperor has accepted the Pope's offers and written to him a letter, the copy of which was sent to Don Iñigo, that he might, if necessary, show it to the King, it naturally follows, that should the Pope decide on taking this journey, should these preliminary steps or the negotiations now being conducted at Rome give some reasonable hope of a speedy settlement, the nearest and shortest way to general peace must needs be adopted, for this Turkish evil requires a prompt remedy, as the King of England very wisely observes in his letter. (fn. n6)
With regard to the objections raised by the ambassadors of the League now residing in England, who are said to mistrust the Emperor's words, inasmuch as his Italian army, instead of decreasing in number, is daily being reinforced, His Imperial Majesty can only observe that as long as the confederates will go on augmenting their forces he cannot be expected to diminish his. It would be the greatest folly for him to lay down his arms whilst his enemies maintained a war footing. Should the confederates wish to put an end to hostilities, either through a permanent peace or through a long truce, so that the arms of the Christian Princes might be turned against the infidel Turk, they will find the Emperor ready to abide by his words; otherwise they must expect that as long as the present warfare continues he will do all in his might to increase his forces by land and sea, were it for no other purpose than to save the lives of the many brave veteran soldiers who have fought his battles in Italy, and may hereafter, when peace is made, serve in the holy enterprise against the Turks. The Emperor is confident that the King of England will not advise him to act differently in a matter so deeply affecting his (the Emperor's) honour and reputation, and that he will take such care of his affairs and interests as their mutual friendship demands.
Respecting the disagreeable occurrences (l'inconvenient aduenu) at Rome and at the Pope's palace, the Emperor is very grateful for the opinion expressed by the King that he (the Emperor) had no part in it, and that all was done without his approval or consent. Such was the case, and the Emperor has regretted the event more than he can say, having already made most ample excuses to His Holiness, as the King will see by the Emperor's letter to the Pope, of which a copy has been forwarded to his ambassador, Don Iñigo de Mendoça.—Granada, 29th (fn. n7) of Nov. 1526.
Indorsed: "Lettre au Docteur Lee."
French. Original draft. pp. 2.
29 Nov. 624. The Emperor to the Bishop of Maintz (Mayence) and other Princes [Electors] of Germany.
B. N. M. M. E. 50,
f. 150.
Carolus Divina favente clementia electus Romanorum Imperator semper Augustus &c. His character and his honour cannot, and must not, be impeached. Will, nevertheless, make the following declaration in order that his enemies may never again bring accusations which remain unanswered.
Regardless of his advantages over the French King, and bent only upon securing the peace of Christendom, and of Germany in particular, he (the Emperor) gave in marriage his eldest sister (Eleonora) (fn. n8) to the King of France, his prisoner, who, had he only consulted his interests and good fortune, might thereby have been reckoned a victorious rather than a vanquished Prince on the banks of the Ticino. (fn. n9)
The Kings of France have robbed his predecessors of part of their patrimonial estates. He (the Emperor) never claimed any, except such as he could not without dishonour leave in their possession. Although some of his councillors advised him not to trust the King, he permitted him to go back to his own country. Wishing to ensure the peace of the World, he decided to place his trust in King Francis, thus preferring the weal of Christendom to his own personal advantage.
Whilst preparing to go to Italy (as preconcerted with the said King of France) and commence war against the Infidel, he (King Francis) having concluded a defensive and offensive league with the Pope and other Italian potentates, prepared to attack his Italian dominions, "divisoque inter eos Regno nostro Neapolitano, dum alter vanis pollicitationibus omnia quæ nobis promiserat se præstiturum asseverat, alter verò ad Hungariæ defensionem nos invitat, ut nos invaderet incautos et nostra ac Sacri Romani Imperii dominia hostilibus armis adgredientur."
Not satisfied with this, the King of France orders a calumniatory paper to be printed in his dominions and circulated, in which, whilst trying to justify himself for not having kept his oath, he heaps on him (the Emperor) all manner of injurious epithets. He (the Emperor) forbade any answer to that paper being published, as he wished to conquer his enemy and improve his own cause by virtue and moderation. Now, however, that the King of France has sent him a letter, not written, but printed at Paris (fn. n10) full of false and gratuitous accusations, the Emperor cannot do otherwise than reply, for fear it should be concluded from his silence that he admits any of the charges contained in the said document. Sends them the "Apologia" or rather "Invectiva," of the French King, together with his own answer to it. (fn. n11) Sends them also a copy of the treaty of offensive league which he (Francis) made [with the Pope, the Venetians, and others], and in consequence of which the Emperor's dominions in Italy have been invaded. (fn. n12) The result of which war has been that the Turk (Turcarum Tyrannus) has invaded Hungary (Pannoniam) and subjected it to his rule, to the discredit and shame of the Christian arms; that churches and monasteries have been profaned, many families driven away from home, and much innocent blood spilt. And although the most Christian King of France is the sole cause of such misery, yet he wishes all the time to appear as if he were the best of Christians! Intercepted letters fully prove that it was at his instigation that the Turks so furiously assaulted Christendom. Why did he dip his hands in the blood of Christians? Why did he raise new troubles and dissensions when Christendom was at peace? Why did he recommence war when, with the help of God, who favours just causes, We had vanquished him so often? All for the sake of a small strip of land in Burgundy, not the Duchy, for that the Emperor never claimed, but an insignificant territory which his predecessors robbed from the house of Austria.
The King of France has detained and imprisoned ambassadors who were sent to him (the Emperor) to exhort him to make war against the Turk. (fn. n13)
The King of France enumerates the victories of the Turks among his own triumphs, and the life of an Emperor who devotes himself entirely to God as he (the Emperor) does, appears to him a most miserable existence.
Much prefers the fate (sors) of the King of Hungary to that of the most Christian King of France. The latter prides himself upon his efforts to procure the peace of Christendom; who then forces him to make war? Quis talem comperit camarinam? If he wishes to deliver his sons from captivity, the sons he gave the Emperor as hostages for his good faith, why does he not fulfil the conditions of the treaty, and if he will not do so, why does he not return to captivity as he promised to do?
Tells them (the Electors of Germany) all these things that they may judge whose fault it is if Christendom is again involved in war. It is evident that the King of France cannot, and will not, live in peace, but whatever he may undertake or do, he (the King), the Pope, and the rest of the Christian potentates, may be certain that the Emperor will carry out his plans for the peace of Christendom, the expurgation of religion (de religione purganda), &c.
For this purpose the Emperor is now going to Valladolid, where he intends to hold "Cortes" on the 20th of January next, and ask a grant from his subjects that will permit him to send sufficient subsidies to Germany, wherewith to defend the Empire on that side. His Spanish subjects have opened their eyes to the injustice and danger of his position, and are ready to sacrifice their substance and their lives. They urge him to take up the enterprise at once.
(fn. n14)
Should, however, the King of France change his mind and sue for peace, he (the Emperor) would do everything in his power to favour him and spare his honour; would even give up some of his own rights (de jure propio) in order to quell the present dissensions and commence a vigorous campaign against the Turk.
Does not conceal from them the very wicked practices (perniciosissimas Gallorum artes) of the French, who in order to carry out their point do not scruple to sow discord among their opponents. It is for the Princes Electors of Germany to mistrust the words of the French King, but to show to the World that they are not to be persuaded by his fallacious arguments.—Granatæ, die penultima Novembris 1526.
Addressed: "Reverendissimo in Christo Patri ac Venerabilibus illustribusque Principibus amicis et consanguineis carissimis."
Latin. Copy. pp. 20.
30 Nov. 625. The Emperor to his brother Ferdinand, King of Bohemia.
Lanz, Corre-
spondenz des
Kaysers Karl V.,
I. 224.
His letters of the 22nd of September, dated from Lintz, and brought by the last courier, came to hand on the 13th inst. Cannot well express his grief on hearing of the adverse fortune and death of King Lewis of Hungary. Could not at first believe the news, though they reached him from various parts.
Is glad to hear that his (the Archduke's) affairs are going on prosperously, and sends this present despatch by three different routes, by Flanders, by Italy, and also by France, in the hope that they (the French) will allow the courier to pass. This last will only contain such matter as cannot damage their common interests in case of its being intercepted.
Respecting his journey to Italy, he (the Emperor) perfectly agrees with the Archduke that it is now move necessary than ever it was. Intends accordingly to hasten it as much as he can that he may provide for the welfare of Christianity, intending to sacrifice all his treasure and dominions for that purpose, and to send him such aid that he may successfully resist the Turkish invasion and restore the Christian religion [in Germany] to purity and splendour.
When his letter came to hand the Emperor had already sent to Italy his last penny, and was, therefore, completely unprovided for the emergency. Has done, however, all he could to procure money, and will shortly send him 100,000 ducats in bills by a gentleman of his bedchamber, whom he has charged with a mission to him and their sister Mary [the Queen widow of Hungary]. Begs him not to expose his person too much, but carry on a defensive war only, until he (the Emperor) shall be able, if required, to help him with all his power.
Respecting his advice that he should come to an agreement with the King of France, gain all the allies he can, and dissolve, if possible, this Italian league, the Emperor can assure him that hitherto everything that could be done for that object has been tried. It is his intention to continue so doing in future, so that the World may never say that he (the Emperor) was an obstacle to peace. But the Archduke, his brother, must know that peace cannot be concluded without the consent of all the belligerents. Has, therefore, made up his mind, in case the war continues, to help him in the present emergency, and has already given orders for certain preparations in troops, money and artillery, to be exclusively destined for his (the Archduke's) relief.
Has likewise ordered the necessary despatches to be made out respecting Hungary and Bohemia according to the minutes lately sent. Does not see how he can help him from Spain; certainly were those kingdoms dependencies of the Empire, he would willingly make them over to him, and he declares that if anything belongs to him as inheritance from their common grandfather (the Emperor Maximilian), he (the Emperor) at once makes it over to his brother, the Archduke.
With regard to Bohemia he has no doubt that there will be competitors. Encloses him the deed of investiture as required, but as some of his councillors assert that the kingdom of Bohemia is not a fief of the Empire, advises him to have the matter properly investigated there, and if it be found that the said kingdom is no fief of the Empire, as asserted, advises him not to make use of the investiture deed lest it should prejudice his interests.
The truce with the Turk seems advisable for many reasons.
That the Archduke's affairs in Hungary and Bohemia may be the sooner settled to his satisfaction, the gentleman who is to go to him and their sister Mary, has been ordered to follow his instructions in every respect, and proceed afterwards to those kingdoms; but as, though he will ride post haste, he may be a long time on the road, owing to the great distance, the despatches for the said kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary are forwarded beforehand that a convenient use may be made of them.
Thanks him very much for the reinforcements sent to Italy under George de Wranspergh (Fruntsperg).
Affairs in that country [Italy] have been attended to in such a manner as regards supplies of men and money as to leave no doubt that success is ensured. Upon the arrival of the Germans, and other troops under the Viceroy of Naples, who sailed on the 24th of October, there will be a sufficient force, besides the army in Lombardy, to face the enemy everywhere. As to money 50,000 ducats in bills on Flanders have been remitted exclusively for the pay of the Germans under Wranspergh, and 400,000 more are now being forwarded to Genoa to meet the expenses of the army in Lombardy, as the duplicate of the letter taken by Donato de Taxis must have informed the Archduke.
Has no doubt that the news of the sack of the Pope's palace and church [of St. Peter] at Rome has reached him. Has told the Nuncio (Castiglione) how very sorry he (the Emperor) was at what had happened, and that any cause should have been given to the men to commit such an outrage. For the greater satisfaction of His Holiness, and in order to show that the said sack was accomplished without his will and intention, the Emperor has sent to him Cesare Ferramosca with a letter in his own hand, of which a copy is enclosed, exculpating himself from all blame, &c.
Must also have heard that His Holiness proposed in the College of Cardinals to come over here [to Spain] in order to treat of the general peace. Should His Holiness carry his plan into execution, nothing could be better for the service of God and the weal of Christianity. Has no confidence, however, in his coming; but whether he does come or not, shall not omit anything that may lead to the establishment of the said peace, to conclude which his Viceroy of Naples is sufficiently empowered, even if he knew that the Emperor was to lose by it part of the advantages gained.
The King of France lately sent here one of his gentlemen called Dages(?), with no other message except one concerning the treatment of his sons. He returned as he came, without transacting business or making any overtures.
Respecting the Archduke's private and other affairs mentioned in the letters brought by Presintgher and by the last courier, and about which Salinas has also spoken to him (the Emperor), an answer will be sent through the said Presintgher, who is to accompany the above-named gentleman in his mission. Begs him to reply as soon as possible to this letter, by whichever of the three messengers reaches him first.—Granada, the last day of November 1526.
Addressed: "To Ferdinand, King of Bohemia."
French. Copy.


  • n1. So written in the original instead of W[or]xeter, as the ambassador could not be any other than Girolamo Ghinucci, auditor of the Papal Chamber and Bishop of Worcester.
  • n2. "Y que está ascondido en el Belveder, que es en palacio."
  • n3. See a despatch of Andrea Navagero, the Venetian ambassador, abstracted by Rawdon Brown (Venetian State Papers, vol. III., p. 620).
  • n4. The Emperor's answer was taken back by Osborne Echingham himself, and, therefore, as it could not be supposed that the French would stop an English messenger and take his despatches, the contents of this memorandum, which was probably enclosed to Don Iñigo, must be looked upon as a sort of excuse for the Emperor not having sooner declared his intentions about Milan, &c.
  • n5. Cesare Ferramosca, the general of the Franciscans, and others mentioned in a previous despatch.
  • n6. The Emperor was loath to accept Henry's mediation, and would have much preferred referring this matter to the Pope. Navagero says in his despatch of the 2nd of December: "The Emperor uttered much abuse of Cardinal Wolsey, saying that he was the cause of whatever the King did, and that he does not further this business for the welfare of Christendom, but from personal ambition, and because he wishes the whole world to be dependent on him."—Rawdon Brown, Venetian State Papers, vol. III. p. 621.
  • n7. The day of the month is in different ink, as if it had been filled up when the paper was fairly transcribed for the Emperor's perusal and signature.
  • n8. Born on the 15th of November 1498. Charles, who was the second son of Philip and Joanna, on the 24th of February 1500.
  • n9. Ut si ipse suæ felicitati non invidisset, in Ticcinense conflictu non modo cæcidisse sed vicisse ab omnibus videri potuisset.
  • n10. The "Apologia dissuasoria Madricii conventionis," which was printed at Paris and profusely circulated. Sandoval, the historian, published a Spanish translation of it.
  • n11. This, which was anonymous, but said to be the work of his Grand Chancellor Mercurino Gattinara, was printed at Alcalá.
  • n12. The treaty of this league, called "Santissima" and "Clementina," may be seen at full in Sandoval (lib. XV., cap. III.) and elsewhere.
  • n13. The Archbishop of Capua (Schomberg), whom Pope Clement sent to Spain in 1524, was actually detained in France. Don Iñigo de Mendoza's detention has also been recorded, p. 1014.
  • n14. Francis had addressed to the Princes and Electors of the Empire at the Diet of Spires a letter the substance of which may be seen in Sandoval Historia del Emperador Carlos V. lib. XV. cap. XV., in answer or refutation of which the above document was drawn out by Alfonso Valdes, Latin Secretary to the Imperial Chancery.