Spain: April 1525, 16-30

Pages 126-144

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 3 Part 1, 1525-1526. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1873.

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April 1525, 16-30

18 April. 77. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. de G.
P. r. a. I. Hist.
Wrote on the 29th March by Captain Bracamonte about the distribution of the army, and the efforts that were made to procure money. He now writes to inform the Emperor that the Germans of Pavia loudly demand the arrears owed to them, amounting to 125,000 ducats, that is to say, five months' pay, without including the present. They are almost in a state of mutiny, and will be completely so unless they are paid within six days. Even so, when they are paid, very few will remain in the ranks. Out of the six thousand in George Frenesperg's band more than one half are already gone home.
The sums destined for the payment of this army are those specified in the enclosed memorandum; they cannot be collected but very slowly, and some of them with great difficulty, as it is not prudent under the present circumstances to employ force, from fear of again kindling the war.
With regard to the new league made by the Pope, he has nothing to add, but refers entirely to what the bearer of the present, the Regent Juan Bartholomeo Gattinara will verbally expound, he being better informed than himself about these matters. Caracciolo, the Prothonotary, arrived here on the 6th inst. He believes that the Venetians will readily enter into a defensive league with the Emperor, or, rather, that they will much prefer remaining as they are and paying certain sums of money for not having concurred in the last enterprise (the battle of Pavia); but as to contributing towards the maintenance of this array, they will not give a farthing. No notice has yet been taken of this their determination until new orders come from Spain, but it is urgent to attend as soon as possible to this and other matters.
M. de Beurren (Beaurain) arrived here on the 16th, and to-morrow the Viceroy of Naples [Charles de Lannoy] is expected. He and Don Ugo de Moncada are going to visit the captive King of France.
By the said M. de Beurren he (the Abbot) has received the letter of the 26th March. Has no answer to make, except to thank His Majesty for the Church promotion so kindly offered to him. The 100,000 ducats came in good time, and the bills of exchange shall be soon remitted to Genoa.
On the 6th inst. the people of Sienna murdered one Alexandro Vich (Bichi), who was governing that city through the influence and favour of the Duke of Albany. He probably gave them some cause for it, but still they were not justified in taking the revenge into their hands. Out of the 25,000 ducats which they were owing on account of late contributions, the Siennese have now sent 15,000.
The 50,000 ducats with which England was to have contributed have been reduced through the exchange to 40,000; of these only 16,000 have as yet been received.
The Infante sent the other day to ask the Viceroy [Lannoy] for 300 light horse and a good and trusty captain; and the Viceroy, complying with his request, has sent them, under the command of one Julio de Capua, a noble and honourable person.
The French fleet has arrived on the coast of Provence, where the Duke of Albany and his men landed.
Don Ugo's departure has been delayed until now, waiting for the conclusion of the league with the Pope and the Venetians. He (the Abbot) cannot say whether Don Hugo, after visiting the King of France, will or will not have the good luck of being designated to go [to Spain].—Milan, 18 April 1525.
Signed: "El Abad de Najera."
Addressed: "To His Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From the Abbot of Najera. 18 of April."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 2.
20 April. 78. The Commissioners to Madame.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats
Arch. Wien.
Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. f. 68.
Whereas they have been unable to understand the contents of Madame's letters of the 6th and 7th inst., and considering that when Madame wrote the said letters and those of the 16th she could not have received the Emperor's message brought by Mons. de Bredan, nor that which this King and Legate have since communicated respecting the 3,000 horse and 100 foot, they (the Commissioners) have decided to send home their colleague (Jehan de le Sauch) that he may report on the whole, state their doubts, and bring back such instructions as may be a guide in their negotiations.
The Commissioners are also of opinion that a suitable person ought to be appointed to take charge of this embassy after their departure, as the King and Legate are very anxious to have an ambassador to treat with. — London, 20 Apr. 1525.
Postscriptum.—Since the above was written he [the President] has called upon the Cardinal to hear his opinion respecting certain matters; who, after a suitable answer, coming to the principal point now under discussion, said he hoped that the Emperor and the King, his master, would remain for ever closely united, and that the Emperor would not forsake his friends for the sake of his old enemies. He (the Cardinal) thought that the Emperor wanted the King's friendship now more than ever, for his dominions were so vast and so apart from each other that he would have great difficulty to protect them all without friends and allies.—Date ut supra.
Signed: "Adolf de Bourgogne," "J. Laurens."
Addressed: "To Madame la Gouvernante, &c."
French. Original, p. 1.
20 April. 79. The Same to the Same.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. No. 27.
p. 64.
Received through Cilly, who arrived last Thursday (13th April), the two letters of the 6th and 7th inst. On the ensuing day, which happened to be Good Friday, called on the Cardinal, and showed him the letters which the Emperor had written to the King and to him in credence of Mons. de Praet and of the said De Cilly, both of whom were there present; in the expounding of which the Commissioners took good care to state that the instructions brought by Squire de Cilly for Mons. de Praet—and which, owing to the latter's absence, had not been delivered—turned on three principal points.
The first was, to inform the said King and Cardinal of the Emperor's military preparations, and the army he was collecting in the district of Narbonne, wherewith to assail Languedoc. The Commissioners detailed the number of men, horses, &c. to be employed in that expedition, as well as the districts of France likely to be invaded, the manner in which war was to be carried on, &c., all in conformity with the said instructions addressed to Mons. de Praet.
The second point was, to express the Emperor's wish that the period of time fixed for the delivery of the Princess should be anticipated for three different reasons: Firstly, to stop any overtures that might be made [by the French] on that account; secondly, for the satisfaction of the Emperor's Spanish subjects, and of the General Estates (Cortes), all of whom wished to have the Princess among them; and, thirdly, that the said Princess might thereby become acquainted with the language and manners of the said kingdom [of Spain].
The Cardinal's answer on this point was: He felt quite sure that the Emperor had no sort of mistrust, either of the King or of himself. In his opinion the article concerning the Princess had not been put forward with his (the Emperor's) consent, but had been fabricated in London by the Commissioners themselves, in order to gild over the proposals and offers they were instructed to make in Madame's name, on their first arrival in England.
This accusation the Commissioners at once rejected, saying: The Emperor was well known to have full confidence in the King and in him. It was no mistrust or suspicion that prompted His Imperial Majesty to make a similar request, but his ardent wish to see the Princess in Spain. As to the accusation brought against the Commissioners of having forged the said article for their own convenience, and in order the better to forward Madame's views on the subject, they denied it altogether, declaring upon oath that the Emperor had written to them on the subject many a time, and had expressly ordered them to insist upon the anticipation of the period at which the said Princess, his future wife, was to be delivered into his hands.
After a good deal of conversation on the subject the Cardinal said: "The King, my master, has not made up his mind to grant the Emperor's request just now. They must first have an interview somewhere, and then the King hopes he shall deliver the Princess à l'Empereur en son lit, à Paris."
To the third and last point of the instructions, viz., that the said Cilly should, on his way to England, visit Madame, and inquire from her how many foot and horse she could give wherewith to invade the kingdom of France, the Cardinal replied: He knew very well that Cilly's instructions contained nothing of the sort, and that his mission was to offer at once, in the Emperor's name—and without previously consulting Madame—a contingent of 3,000 horse and as many foot. The King's ambassadors in Spain had written to say so, and he (the Cardinal) had every reason to believe in their statement.
To remove all suspicion on this head, the Commissioners again declared upon oath that Squire de Cilly had no such charge from the Emperor. Hearing which the Cardinal said: "That may be so, but you at least are empowered to make the offer of 3,000 horse and 1,000 foot, are you not?"—"But not to send them where the King wants" was the Commissioners' reply.—"At any rate" (said the Cardinal),"the instructions to Cilly bear that he should offer in the Emperor's name a contingent of troops to be furnished by Madame, no matter what their number may be."
This last statement the Commissioners also denied, since it was not absolutely true, the instructions limiting the aid to Picardy: a circumstance with which they (the Commissioners) thought it best not to acquaint the Cardinal at the time.
This topic of conversation being exhausted, the Cardinal asked the Commissioners: "What am I then to do to please Madame of the Low Countries?" Upon which they proceeded to explain the nature of their charge, classing it under three different heads: 1st. Considering that up to the present time all treaties concerning the French war, whether negotiated at Calais, Windsor, Waltham, Valladolid, or London, had been conducted and made in the Emperor's name, the King of England, who had lately sent his ambassadors into Spain, could give them full powers to treat and discuss there the number of men to be furnished by Madame on this occasion.
2dly. That if the King of England refused, a memorandum should be prepared for the Emperor's inspection, for him to take such a decision in the affair as suited him best.
3dly. In order to prove toth e Cardinal that Madame had no idea of exempting herself from that duty, but, on the contrary, intended to do everything in her power to promote the King's views on the subject, it was proposed that the King should send another embassy to her, with full power to treat, and thereby witness her goodwill and readiness to comply with the King's wish on this as well as on other matters.
The Cardinal's answer was, he had not made up his mind to accept any of the above conclusions, since "he could guess what our intentions were, and knew for certain we only wanted to gain time and get more favourable terms from the King of France, now a prisoner in our hands."
To the above surmise the Commissioners objected by saying they could easily prove the contrary; for the garrisons of the Artois and Hagun (Haguenau) had lately made inroads into the French territory, causing damage to the value of 100,000 florins; besides which the Imperial troops were daily harassing the French on their frontier. This last assertion of the Commissioners the Cardinal owned to be a fact, but he added: "That you do to keep up the spirits of your men-at-arms, and train them for war." "If so," (answered the Commissioners) "the advantages to be gained through such enterprises can never turn out to the profit of the Prince himself, but to that of the soldiers, who by daily exploits expose their persons and property to the perils of war." The Commissioners ended by requesting him to accept one of the three means proposed; but the Cardinal insisted on his former negative, declaring all the time that such behaviour was very improper between father and son, and that the King, his master, had decided to recall the ambassadors he had at Brussels.
Perceiving that the Cardinal was not likely to change his purpose, the Commissioners dropped the subject, and asked what was the King's intention, in the event of Madame furnishinga contingent of 3,000 horse and 1,000 foot, respecting the safeconducts and safeguards, as well as respecting the herring fisheries, and the property and prisoners seized by his captains during the last war within the Imperial dominions. His answer was that the safeconducts were to be mutually revoked; as to the safeguards they had granted none; and respecting the fisheries, an equal number of armed vessels should be appointed on either side to keep the sea clear, and prevent the French from fishing, adding, that if we destined 1,000 or 2,000 men to that maritime service, they engaged to furnish an equal number. With regard to the prisoners of war, full justice should be done to our claims. All those found to be the Emperor's subjects were to be immediately released; and the Cardinal promised that on Monday or Tuesday next, at the latest, the captains in whose hands the said prisoners were would call on the Commissioners and settle the matter to their satisfaction.
Returning to the first and second points under discussion, they (the Commissioners) expressed their doubts on the expediency of having the safeconducts and safeguards revoked, as the Cardinal proposed, when he said: "If you wish them to remain as they are, I have no objection, and leave it entirely to your choice."
With regard to the fisheries, the Commissioners objected: That the poor people on the coast of Flanders had no other employment than fishing, by which they earned their livelihood, and that unless they were allowed to carry on their craft, they could not be expected to give any aid. It was, moreover, difficult to afford them the protection and security proposed, as the men had to go far out to sea in the pursuit of their trade. The Commissioners, therefore, were of opinion that it would be far more advantageous for the men to apply to France for safeconducts than trust to the protection of the English and Flemish navies. Upon which the Cardinal observed: "If you choose to do that you may at your risk and peril, but as far as we (the English) are concerned, we have decided not to grant or apply for any, but to wage open and incessant war by sea as well as by land." The Cardinal persisting in his opinion, the Commissioners proposed sending over Secretary Le Sauch to Madame to report verbally on the whole affair and obtain a final resolution, the President himself volunteering to go over on such a mission, if the Cardinal preferred it. He, however, said there was no necessity for his going, and that Secretary Le Sauch would fill the commission just as well.
Immediately after which the Cardinal began to say that no time was to be lost, and that we should never have such an opportunity as the present to attack the common enemy. That according to his information the Emperor was well disposed to help his ally the King of England, and would sell or pawn everything valuable in his Spanish dominions rather than forsake the proposed enterprise, having given his solemn promise that the moment he heard of his ally the King of England taking the field, he would invade France at the head of a powerful army.
Many other things did the Cardinal say to this purpose, which would be too long to relate, until the Commissioners interrupted him by asking how he intended to capitulate touching the 3,000 horse and 1,000 foot. His answer was that he meant the said force to go to Normandy, or wherever the King, his master, thought best. The Commissioners objected that in order to do that it would be necessary to change and alter all previous communications and consultations thereupon. They had already given a negative answer to that application, and could not entertain the subject again. On the Cardinal's own request, they (the Commissioners) had twice written home to consult the matter, and had been told that the proposal of a campaign in Normandy was to be altogether rejected, though Picardy might be accepted as a rendezvous for the Imperial troops. That, on the King's disembarkation at Calais, the Emperor's Captain-General would call upon him, or upon his lieutenant there, to inquire and discuss which was the best route to follow, the more effectually to attack France.
The Cardinal denied having ever made such overtures; when, after a good deal of discussion, and much arguing on the part of the Commissioners to convince him that he had, he exclaimed: "If I have, you must not take me exactly at my word; there is nothing settled yet, either one way or the other."
Unwilling to let matters pass that way, the Commissioners again insisted, saying: "Normandy is a province of France where our men-at-arms could not be persuaded to serve." He then asked: "How do you think that an army of 20,000 foot and 2,000 horse, under the Duke of Norfolk, is to be fed in those provinces? Our forces are to land at Calais, and if the King crosses over in person, the royal army is to be increased by 20,000 foot more. Where is food for such numbers to be procured? Our men can only take provisions for six days, and I know for certain that the Low Countries (tous les pays de par delà) could not furnish them for six days more."
To which the Commissioners replied: "If Therouanne is besieged there will be provisions in abundance."—"We got possession of it once" (said the Cardinal) "but would rather avoid it on this occasion. We shall march straight upon Monstreul (Montreuil-sur-Mer), which may be easily reduced, lay siege to Théroenne (Therouanne) and Hesdin, and then strike into Normandy by the Beauche (Beauce)." No sooner had the Cardinal finished this sentence than the Commissioners said to him: "As to our men-at-arms following the royal troops into Normandy there is no chance whatever, so we had better drop the subject and talk of something else." Upon which the Cardinal observed: "Since I cannot get your men to join our forces in Normandy, I must needs go to the King and tell him of the difficulties which attend the enterprise on both sides." He would go [to Windsor] on Monday, and on Tuesday next the Commissioners might learn from his own lips the King's decision.
Having afterwards inquired what was the charge of the English ambassadors at the Imperial court, the Cardinal answered that their mission was: First, to request His Imperial Majesty personally to invade France for the accomplishment of the great enterprise agreed to between them; secondly, to ask for 3,000 horse and as many foot, to join the English army wherever the King, his master, chose to go. They consented, if required, to a reduction of the number of troops to be furnished by the Emperor for the next campaign, and would be satisfied with 25,000 infantry and 5,000 horse.
Respecting the Papal auditor (Ghinucci), mentioned in Madame's letters, the Cardinal said he had not yet arrived in England, but was shortly expected. The President has since seen Sir Gregory Casale, who confirmed the news.
At Easter the Commissioners called again on the Cardinal, having previously been invited to attend Divine Service and dine with him. After dinner they showed him the copy of the letters which Madame had written to the King and to him (the Cardinal) respecting the affair of Mons. de Praet. This ambassador had lately returned from Douvres (Dover) to London, and the Commissioners considered it their duty to inform the Cardinal of that circumstance, and state his reasons for so doing. On his arrival at Dover, Mons. de Praet had heard that some ships from Boulloingne (Boulogne-sur-Mer) were cruising in the Channel. He had not been able to procure—though he did try—any armed vessel in which to cross over; the wind, moreover, was contrary; and the Easter festivals being close at hand, he (Praet) had decided to come back to London. He was, however, thinking of leaving England and crossing the Channel with the Commissioners, provided their departure took place immediately; otherwise he would embark at Dover, and ask for a King's herald to see him safe on the Flemish coast.
The Cardinal's answer was: "There is no need of a herald; Mons. de Praet can go without in all safety. He need not be afraid of me, for I bear him no ill-will, and am ready, notwithstanding his bad behaviour to me, to intercede for him with the Emperor, and even to grant him men-of-war for his passage, if he requires them."
After this and other devices, the Commissioners went on informing the Cardinal that they had that very day received orders from Madame to ask his consent for the capitulation about the 3,000 horse and 1,000 foot being entirely referred to the Emperor. Hearing which the Cardinal exclaimed: "I perceive that you will not assist us in this matter. I have already warned the King that it would be so, and that Madame's only object was to gain time." The Commissioners immediately replied by the following words: "Madame's reasons for acting thus are very different. She wants to leave all the honour of the transaction to the Emperor, as it would be deemed very unrespectful on her part to arm without his permission, and before knowing his intentions." "I know full well" (replied the Cardinal) "that we shall never get any assistance from you; but we shall do our best, either by contracting alliance with the Turk, or making peace with the French, by giving the Princess's hand to the Daulphin, or otherwise declaring against the Emperor, so that the war between us may last a whole century, and the hope of all amity and good feeling betwixt this kingdom and the Low Countries vanish for ever."
"The Emperor, we are sure, will never give occasion for that," replied the Commissioners, after which they abruptly left the room, having first asked congé for Mons. de Beures (Bevre) and President (Jos. Laurens), and offered to leave La Sauch behind until the Emperor should send another ambassador in room of Mons. de Praet. The Cardinal said, and he repeated the sentence many times: "If you wish to go, I cannot prevent you; if you choose to remain, matters may be suitably arranged by trusting in me. But I must warn you that if you leave this court at this time and in the manner you do, everyone shall be made acquainted with the cause and mode of your departure." And he ended by informing the Commissioners that next day he would see the King and let them know his final resolution.
The conference at an end, and two of the Commissioners having taken leave of the Cardinal, as above stated, the President alone remained behind to talk over certain private business of his own, after which the Cardinal remarked: "I advise you, Monsieur le President, to consider what I have just told you. The King, my master, can at this very moment conclude a league with the Pope, the Switzers, the Venetians, the Florentines, Lucca, Sienna, and other Italian powers, as well as with the French, who, provided the King grant them the hand of the Princess for the Daulphin, would be glad, in two months time, to have the latter crowned as King of France. The French care little or nothing for King Francis, and would not give one crown (escu) for his ransom. The above league once made, it would be an easy matter to have the Imperialists ejected out of Italy."
To the above threat, uttered by the Cardinal, the President replied: "I believe the Bang will never be so badly counselled as to forsake his old allies and confederates, who never have broken their faith with him, nor contravened the treaties and made common cause with the enemy." The Cardinal's reply was. He did not mean what he said, but still we ought not to drive him to despair, lest he should execute his threat. Once before, on a similar occasion, he (the Cardinal) had given Madame due warning; he now did the same, that we should not become too proud in the midst of our success.
With regard to the safeconducts and safeguards—the revocation of which, as before stated, the Cardinal had left to the Commissioners' choice—he again insisted in his determination neither to grant new ones, nor keep the old. Respecting the fisheries (he observed), the King, his master, had resolved not to ask for safeguards, nor grant any; and as to the prisoners of war, express orders had been issued for all the Emperor's subjects to be released at once, and without ransom; after which declarations, he (the President) took leave of the Cardinal, and left the room.
On the following Monday the Commissioners received summons to appear the day after at Grunewys (Greenwich), where, some time before Mass, and previous to their introduction to the Royal presence, the Cardinal, having alluded to the principal point under discussion, said: He had lately been thinking about the Commissioners' last communication; and, all things considered, in his quality of common adviser and counsellor both of the King, his master, and of the Emperor, he could not but approve of, and recommend, the whole affair being referred to Spain. But he could not conceive why we, of the Low Countries, should not treat immediately for Picardy, since we could, conjointly with the English army, invade France by Peronne, Guise, and Saint Quentin, and, passing by Rheims, march straight upon Paris.
On the above proposition the Commissioners asked time to reflect during Mass, promising to give a conclusive answer.
After dinner the King came to the hall where the Commissioners were discoursing with the Cardinal, and upon his inquiring what they were talking about, they began imparting to him the substance of their previous conversation with the Cardinal, whose overtures, they said, seemed acceptable in as far as he approved of the whole matter being referred to the Emperor's decision. As to the troops of the Low Countries being sent to Picardy, they (the Commissioners) had no objections to offer; but they had no powers to capitulate thereupon. In order, however, to please His Majesty the King, the Commissioners offered to write home, and obtain as soon as possible a clear and categorical answer on that subject, which Secretary Le Sauch might bring back. The King then said: "It appears to me that this Picardy business ought to be capitulated upon at once, without referring it to the Emperor. Madame must have given you full powers to that effect; if she has not, she ought to have done so." The Commissioners immediately replied that Madame was only Regent and Governor in the Low Countries, and that just as he (the King) had a Lieutenant of the Sea, and would not like him to take out his forces without letting him know first, so Madame could not presume to move in so important an affair without the Emperor's express command. "Were I in the room of my Lieutenant" (said the King) "I should not hesitate to do that which was for my master's honour and reputation, especially knowing, as I do, that the least delay in this matter is likely to cause great injury to his interests." "Your Majesty is born King, suzerain Lord in his own kingdom, and therefore cannot exactly define the opinions and sentiments of a Lieutenant, Regent, or Governor, as Madame is to the Emperor." These and other arguments having convinced the King that, in reality, the Commissioners had no powers to treat of that particular affair, he approved of their sending Le Sauch home—as they now do—in demand of fresh instructions. They, moreover, take this opportunity to say that the King's real intention and wish is that Madame should contribute with 3,000 horse and an equal number of foot to the proposed enterprise; as regards the infantry, he (the King) has no objection to have the matter referred to the Emperor, for him to decide whether the number is to be limited to 1,000.
After this the King informed the Commissioners of the overtures made by His Holiness and by some Frenchmen to his ambassador at Rome, namely, to form a defensive and offensive league between the Italian powers, the King of France, and himself. By giving his own daughter in marriage to the French Dauphin, he (the King) would have the government of France during his life. The Commissioners' answer was: "We sincerely hope that His Majesty will not listen to such practices." "No, We shall not" replied the King; "our ambassador has already declared our intentions, and hopes to conduct matters in such manner that His Holiness make league with the Emperor and with me against our common enemy, and bring, besides, all the Italian potentates to his opinion."
Before their departure from the King's presence, the Commissioners took the opportunity of again introducing the question of the safeconducts, and ascertaining his opinion about them. He had no objection (he said) to keep the old ones, provided they were in favour of his English subjects, or of those of the Low Countries, but nowise in favour of the French. Any safeconduct granted by Madame or by him would be mutually respected; but no French merchandise should be allowed to come into England or go to Flanders, whether in French or foreign bottom. Respecting the safeguards, he again declared his resolution not to grant or keep any, nor apply to France for them, as it would be a disreputable act to be at war with the French and ask for permission to fish on their coasts.
Squire Cilly was present at the Commissioners' interview with the King. He is now returning to Spain, and takes with him a summary of the Commissioners' transactions since their arrival in England up to this date.—London, 20th of April 1525.
Signed: "Adolf de Bourgogne," "J. Laurens."
Addressed: "To Madame."
French. Original. pp. 17.
20 April. 80. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 34,
ff. 235–237.
Wrote on the 5th by a brigantine that left for Barcelona, and on the 6th by a carack, in which Martin de Landa, His Majesty's Notary, went, besides two ambassadors from Venice, and one from this Doge of Genoa, named Jacopo Centurione.
Nothing new has occurred since those dates, except the departure from Rome of Joan Bartolomeo Gattinara, with the treaty of defensive and offensive alliance concluded between the Pope, the Emperor, and the Italian potentates, under certain conditions and stipulations as to payments, to be settled by His Holiness and the Emperor. It is altogether very advantageous for the Imperial service and the good of Christianity; but it has not yet been published, owing to the said Gattinara wishing to communicate it first to the Viceroy [of Naples].
He (Gattinara) arrived there on the 11th instant, and is afterwards to return to Spain by way of land, with a safe-conduct of France. The despatches and the articles of the treaty are to go by sea, and a caravel is here getting ready to take them as soon as they come from Naples.
With the arrival of M. de Beurren (Beaurain), who is every day expected at Nice, and the departure of Joan Bartolomeo [Gattinara], it is to be presumed that the presence of Don Hugo [de Moncada] in Spain will no longer be required.
The last letters received here [from Spain] are of the 11th of January; but there is news from Milan of the arrival in that city of a servant of Count Gineua, (fn. n1) who went to Spain with the news of the victory [of Pavia]. Through him intelligence has been received of His Majesty's good health and M. de Beurren's near arrival.
News have also come of the French collecting forces at Nice in Provence, with a view to the occupation of certain passes in this country, from fear of the Imperial army invading France. Some infantry has, therefore, been despatched in that direction on board the Genoese galleys, with orders to occupy Vintemilla (Vintimiglia) and other passes; for, at all events, Marseilles ought, sooner or later, be attacked and reduced, so as to have the command of the Mediterranean, ensure navigation, do away with pirates, and remove all causes of anxiety to Genoa, Naples, and Sicily. If to attain this purpose a fleet were required, a very good opportunity now offers itself, since the Genoese have lately newly careened and fitted out some of their caracks, besides the "Grimalda," which is the largest ship they possess, and has just arrived from the seas of Levant.
The French fleet, with the Duke of Albany and Renço da Cheri (Ceri) on board, has reached the coast of Provence; but four galleys of Baron de San Brancate and one of Andrea Doria must have foundered at sea, for, having sailed from Corsica to Provence, they met with a very heavy storm in the Gulf, and nothing more has been heard of them. It is to be hoped that all lives are lost, and the souls saved.
Respecting the Imperial army, there is nothing new to report or to do until the Emperor's wishes are known. It is now quartered in various parts of Lombardy and Piedmont, and waiting for its pay. Every effort is being made to procure money; and he (Soria) has contracted with Ansaldo de Grimaldo for a sum of 30,000 ducats, to be paid in Naples at the end of June; out of this Agustin Centurion is to receive 7,000 due to him since the year 1521 for the remainder of his account of exchanges.
A soldier just arrived from Milan reports that the Marquis de Pescara was suffering from ague. May God restore him to health, for he would be a great loss to His Imperial Majesty!
Advices from Rome of the 8th inst. say that the Pope shows much goodwill in every matter of business relating to the Emperor; that the Duke of Sessa's illness had been very slight, and that he was well again. The Prince of Bisignano had made his entry [at Rome] on the same day.
On the 6th there was at Sienna a popular rising, with the cry of "Empire and Liberty!" The infuriated mob murdered Alexandro Bichi and his son, and four or five of the principal citizens who had been appointed by the Duke of Albany to the government of the place, besides several soldiers of their body guard. Hieronimo Severino was present, but the rioters did not attack him, nor did he interfere or try to allay the tumult, thinking he would thus serve better the Imperial cause.
After writing the above, the brigantine not being able to leave the port owing to bad weather, the Emperor's letter came, dated the 8th February. It was brought on the 18th inst. by the Portuguese courier in company with Captain Corbera; both landed at Monego (Monaco), and having proceeded thence by land, owing to bad weather at sea, reached Final, where the Captain determined to take the route to Milan. The courier, however, came straight here, and was immediately sent to Rome, whilst the despatches he brought for Prothonotary Caracciolo and the Abbot of Najera were forwarded to Milan, and those for Alonso Sanchez to Venice. Those that came for this Dux have been personally delivered to him, as well as the verbal message from His Imperial Majesty.
The bills of exchange for 100,000 ducats, destined for the pay of the troops, shall, when received, be negotiated without delay among the merchants of this city, who are all very well disposed to the Imperial service; especially one Stephano de Grimaldo, who, on other occasions, has taken a good portion of them. He (Stephano) and two of his brothers, who reside at court, well deserve the Imperial favour.
This Doge has been ailing for some days with his habitual infirmity, the gout, and at present the attack is stronger than usual, though no danger of life is apprehended.
He and the Community at large are very grateful for the acknowledgment of their services, as contained in the last Imperial despatches.
(Cipher:) Of the misdoings of the Duke of Ferrara and other Italian potentates there is no occasion to treat at present. His Imperial Majesty will in time punish them according to their deserts.
He (Soria) has never been able to ascertain the name of the gentleman sent by the English King to that of France, only that he and M. de Lançon's chancellor (fn. n2) returned together to the King of England, and the report is that the object of their visit is to treat of a marriage.
(Common writing:) The Marquis de Pescara has recovered from his illness.
These galleys are quite ready and fit for any sea service that may be required.—Genoa, 20 Apr. 1525.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To His Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Lope de Soria, xx. April."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 5.
23 April. 81. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Viceroy of Naples, Charles de Lannoy.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 34,
ff. 239–41.
Since he wrote on the 19th inst. has been waiting for an answer to the note he sent to the Senate. After many excuses for the delay, they have at last sent a paper for him to read, which is to be forwarded to their ambassador for his (the Viceroy's) perusal. The contents of the paper read to him, after their usual fine words, are: that they hear from their ambassador in Spain that the Emperor approves of their confederation, and holds it as firm; and that, in order to gratify His Imperial Majesty, they are willing to pay a good sum of money. That, as regards the Infante [Ferdinand], though they did not consider themselves bound to give him any money until the restitution to the outlaws (fuorusciti) was fairly made, yet, to please him, they would advance further sums, under the certainty that he [the Infante] will achieve the said restitution.
As to giving an equivalent in money whenever their contingent of infantry is required, they say that it is notorious how well their troops behaved in the last war, and that it is not customary in warfare for an ally to furnish men-at-arms, light cavalry, and artillery without infantry; that whenever they might be wanted they would send their contingent of troops, of all sorts, as stipulated in the treaty.
Such is in substance the answer, much more elaborately worded, that they have made to his (Sanchez') memorandum, insisting at the same time on their poverty and on the great expenses they have had to sustain on account of the Turk.
He (Sanchez) answered them that they ought at once to specify the sum they proposed to give, since he (the Viceroy of Naples) had fixed the lowest that could in conscience be accepted. To this they replied, that although they could not then name the sum, their good intentions were well known; and that with regard to the Infante, leaving apart the two last articles, the affair would be soon concluded to the satisfaction of all parties.
He (Sanchez) did not proceed any further in his objections and remonstrances, for reasons that will be hereafter stated, for the Viceroy ought to know that these people show great satisfaction at the letters they daily receive from Spain, which is perhaps owing to the mild words they contain, and they cannot be induced to believe that the Viceroy may treat them angrily. This, however, is only a suspicion of his.
The Emperor's letter of the 26th last, directed to Prothonotary Caracciolo and to himself (Sanchez), has come to hand. Though he believes him (the Viceroy) to be better informed than himself of His Majesty's will, he (Sanchez) sends him a transcript of what the Emperor has lately written to the Signory, which is in substance very different from what is now being negotiated. That is the reason why he (Sanchez) has not replied so angrily as he might otherwise have done to the objections presented by the Signory. He (the Viceroy), who holds the whole of this machinery in his hands, and knows the state of the negotiations with the King of France, will decide that which is most advantageous for His Majesty's service. If he wishes to be well informed of the manner in which he is to treat with these gentlemen, he had better consult Prothonotary (Caracciolo), for he knows them right well, and has often conversed with him (Sanchez) on the subject before his departure. Should he decide upon war, he (the Viceroy) must bear in mind that the best season to invade their territory is a little before the harvest time; first, because they will not be so well provided with food as afterwards; and, secondly, because several private gentlemen who have estates in the Bressano (country of Brescia), in Bergamasco, and in the Veronese, from fear of losing the produce of their lands, will strive for a peaceful arrangement. If, on the contrary, he should prefer coming to terms with them, in that case he (Sanchez) must be informed in due time. The Pope's persuasions will be of little avail, because they (the Venetians) are in general ill-disposed. Perhaps if they were told that His Holiness will side against them, in case of their not agreeing immediately to the proffered conditions, and if the Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere) were, by His Holiness's orders, to come to this city, the desired object might be attained. For although the said Duke, who is an honourable gentleman, might refuse to visit this city, he would, from fear of losing his estate, persuade them to enter into some agreement. The Pope's Nuncio has for some days past been at work, trying to bring them into this league, but they have made no answer, and from what they themselves have told him (Sanchez), it is quite obvious that they do not intend to give him satisfaction on this head. Should war be decided upon, the Infante ought to be advised in time, that he may make his preparations and send his men to Rivoli. Otherwise, as these people are well prepared on their frontiers, and His Highness is not, they might do more harm than could be inflicted upon them in those parts. It is for him (the Viceroy) to consider the state of affairs in France at present, and what probability there is of the King helping them in war, for one thing is certain that they have secret understandings in that country, and that there is actually in Venice an agent sent by the French King's mother.
If on all other points an agreement be arrived at, some means might and ought to be found of settling this difference about the infantry. They could be asked to furnish a certain contingent of troops, men-at-arms, light cavalry, and infantry, and the whole number might afterwards be reduced by a compensation in money, thus averting the danger of their only giving cavalry. This idea is his (Sanchez'); he has not communicated it to anyone save to the Viceroy. As to getting money out of them on this score he considers it exceedingly difficult.
The English ambassador is trying to get the 20,000 cr. (escudos) from these merchants, but the premium asked is so exorbitant that he dares not take upon himself the responsibility of the negotiation. He is otherwise very willing to bring the affair to an end, and hopes that to-morrow or after something will be done.—Venice, 30 April 1525.
Indorsed: "Copy of what I (Alonso Sanchez) wrote to the Viceroy on the 23rd of April."
Spanish. Contemporary copy and decipherings. pp. 4½.
28 April 82. Instructions to Mons. d'Embrun. (fn. n3)
Captivité de Fran-
çois I., p. 174.
The Bishop is to inform the Emperor that the principal object of his mission is to thank him, on behalf of Madame the Regent, for his kind and honourable treatment of the French King, and to request that she may frequently receive news of her son's health. He is then to inform the Emperor that she has always desired the peace of Christendom, even before the battle [of Pavia], and principally a union between the Emperor and the King [her son], which she is ready now to conclude, if honourable conditions be granted, to the satisfaction of the realm, the administration of which is now entirely in her hands. The demands made by Mons. de Beaurain were exorbitant. Should the Emperor appoint some great personage to treat with him (D'Embrun), he is to declare that any hope the Emperor may entertain of gaining towns or territory by means of the proposed peace must be abandoned at once. He is then to negotiate for the marriage of the Duke of Orleans to Eleanor, daughter of the Queen of Portugal, with a view to the said Duke [of Orleans] being nominated Duke of Milan. He is likewise to negotiate respecting Naples, the towns of Hesdin and Tournay, and the King's rights over Flanders and Artois. Above all, the Bishop is to endeavour to obtain the release of the King, her son.—Lyons, 28 April 1525, after Easter.
French. Copy.
29 April. 83. President Laurens to Madame.
K. u. K. Haus- Hof-
u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. No. 28.
Has again communicated with Master Gay and with the King's Equerry, and with Captain Garninghem (Jerningham), Clarence (Clarencieux?) the herald, and others, respecting the prisoners of war. After a good deal of conversation, they told him that if we wished to have the prisoners "d'escuelles," they would willingly make us a present of them. His reply was, that they had not come to England to receive presents, but to execute orders. Gave him at last the safe-conduct of the receiver (recepteur) of Rollencourt, so much solicited by Mons. de Lannoy. The Cardinal promised to show it to the King; also to report the ambassador's conversation respecting the rest of the prisoners, and afterwards return an answer upon the whole. Will do anything in his power to aid these poor people.—Londres, penultieme d'Abril.
Signed: "Laurens."
Addressed: "A Mme. la Gouvernante des Pays-Bas."
French. Holograph, p. 1½.
30 April. 84. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Viceroy of Naples (Charles de Lannoy).
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar A. 34,
ff. 239–41.
Wrote on the 23rd instant, enclosing the answer of this Signory. The letters went by way of Mantua, and he now hears that they have reached their destination. Is anxiously expecting an answer, as does also this Doge, who is very desirous of establishing on a firm footing his relations with the Emperor.
Has been told that the Signory has lately sent to Padua a gentleman, formerly a purveyor (proveditore), with 400 men. The reason (he fancies) is, that as our troops are fast approaching the Polesen (Polesino) district and the territory of Padua, and your Lordship has not yet answered their letters, their suspicions have been raised. It would be advisable to let him (Sanchez) know how he is to conduct this present negotiation, that he may act accordingly and devote himself to the Emperor's service.
Informed the Viceroy in his last of what the English ambassador had done respecting the 20,000 cr. One of the merchants for whom he had letters of credit has agreed to give him 10,000 next week; and it may happen that the said merchant, who is also a friend of his (Sanchez') may be persuaded to increase the sum to 15,000. At any rate, the payment of the 10,000 is certain, so that the Viceroy may at once dispose of the money, or say what is to be done with it. Ought to observe, however, that the English ambassador insists upon his having such powers to receive the money as those forwarded to the Duke of Sessa on a former occasion.
As to the remainder of the sum agreed upon with England, there is at present no means of getting it, for this ambassador (Pace) says that the merchants of this city ask him a most exorbitant premium and a month's time to procure the money. He himself shows much goodwill in this affair, but the merchants are not very well disposed to take the bills, and for that reason their demands are preposterous. Should his friend, the banker, take the 15,000 cr.—for which he is trying with all his might—he (Sanchez) believes it an easy matter for this ambassador to write to his colleague at Rome to pay the remaining 5,000.
Had written thus far, and was about to close this letter, when the Viceroy's despatch, in date of the 26th, came to hand. Went immediately to the Signory, and told them what came to his mind about his Lordship's kindness and generous disposition in thus consenting to relax his demands. Explained to them that the two articles—namely, that of the outlaws (foraxidos) and that of the money as an equivalent and compensation for infantry—would no longer be insisted upon, provided, however, the claims of the said outlaws should be attended to out of the money they owe to the Infante (Archduke Ferdinand), and they should pay immediately in cash 120,000 gold ducats. They showed much satisfaction at hearing that his Lordship no longer insisted upon the fulfilment of the two articles, saying that, as regards the foraxidos and the money to be paid to the Infante, there would be no difficulty at all, and as to the principal demand, viz., the 120,000 ducats, they would consult the matter and let him know. This cannot be either to-day or to-morrow, Sunday, but on Monday next, though a Church festival also, they are to make their prega, and send their answer on Tuesday. Doubts whether the docility and kindness shown by his Lordship in this affair will not induce the Signory to try and make a closer bargain, and obtain a reduction of the sum demanded; but to guard against this, he has told them beforehand that his Lordship is not disposed to abate one single farthing out of the 120,000 ducats.
Their having sent troops to Rome is more out of fear and to keep their own than for any other purpose, and the same may be said of the forces destined for various parts of their territory.—Venice, 20th Apr. 1525.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Headed: "Copy of what I (Alonso Sanchez) wrote to the Viceroy on the 30th."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 2½.


  • n1. Philip of Savoy, Count of Geneva, brother of the Duke of Savoy, Carlo Emanuele.
  • n2. Instead of Lançon, as in the original, Alençon is meant. Jean Brinon was the Chancellor of that duchy.
  • n3. François de Touruon, Archbishop of Embrun.