Spain: May 1525, 1-20

Pages 144-161

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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May 1525, 1-20

3 May. 85. Charles de Lannoy to the Emperor.
Arch. d. Royme de
Belg. Doc. Hist.
III., f. 23.
Commander Figueroa must already have informed His Imperial Majesty how the King of France sent for him (Lannoy) and said many things to him concerning M. du Rœulx' mission, and the message he had sent to the Queen Regent, his mother, requesting her to accede to the Emperor's demands in every respect. He, himself, wishes for peace, and is ready to make such concessions as will fully satisfy His Imperial Majesty. As the affair is of such importance, he (Lannoy) has decided to inform the Emperor by express, and requested Don Hugo de Moncada to be the bearer of this intelligence. He is to start on his errand within three days, but, in order not to lose time, he (Lannoy) despatches the present courier to inform the Emperor of Don Hugo's next arrival. Don Hugo was a prisoner, but as the Emperor is in want of good servants just now, he (Lannoy) has prevailed on the French King to have him exchanged for Mons. de Montmorency. (fn. n1) —Pizzighitone, 3 May 1525.
P.S.—Begs that nothing be resolved on Italian affairs till the arrival of Don Hugo.
French. Copy. p. 1. (fn. n2)
4 May. 86. The Commissioners to Madame.
K. u. K. Haus-Hof-
u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. No. 31,
ff. 74–5.
Received Madame's letter of the 26th April on Sunday last, immediately after which they (the Commissioners) sent Captain Guiot to ask for an audience with the Cardinal, that they might communicate the contents of the said letter, and also what the Emperor had written to M. de Praet. The Cardinal having fixed Hantencourt (Hampton Court) as the place where he would receive them, last Tuesday, at 9 o'clock, the Commissioners repaired thither, when, in compliance with their orders, they proceeded to say: How the Emperor had sent M. de Rœulx to M. de Bourbon and the Viceroy (Charles de Lanoy), to declare to them part of his intention. How the former, on his passage through Lyons, was instructed to visit Madame, the Regent of France, and learn from her certain particulars. How he was also to see the King of France, and inquire whether he was willing to make amendment to the King of England, to Mons. de Bourbon, and to others of the Emperor's allies. In case of the French King refusing to do so, it was the Emperor's purpose to compel him by force to do what was right towards them. Mons. de Rœulx had also instructions to visit the King of England, and announce in the Emperor's name his readiness to prosecute the war and adopt any other compulsory means against the said King of France best calculated to produce the desired effect, to which end he was already making all manner of warlike preparations, and hoped the King of England would do the same on his side.
Before replying to the above statement, the Cardinal complained bitterly of certain letters which had been written in the Emperor's name, both to the King and to himself, the style and meaning of which, he declared, was ill suited to those who, like the King, his master, had always done all manner of friendly services to the Emperor, and had interfered in his behalf with the Pope, the French, and the Scotch. He knew, however, that the objectionable expressions contained in the said letter came not from the Emperor himself, but were the result of the many false and injurious reports which at all times his ambassadors and those of Lady Margaret were wont to make about his person.
The Cardinal further said, in explanation of his sentimens and views in this matter, that the English ambassadors in Spain had written to say that the Emperor had three different grounds of complaint against him. One was his behaviour to Mons. de Praet, about which there was no need for him to say anything now, as he had fully explained his motives and reasons upon other occasions.
The next was, that when Mons. de Beaurain came last to England, he (the Cardinal) did not allow him to see the King, or state the object of his mission. The charge was altogether gratuitous, for when that ambassador came, the King, his master, was not residing in London, but sixty leagues off. It was, besides, the winter season, and the Cardinal had given him the option of visiting the King where he was or taking his departure. Mons. de Beaurain had chosen the latter expedient, and left England without seeing the King.
The third complaint was, that when the Emperor's affairs were in a most critical position, he (the Cardinal) had dissuaded the King from sending him the succour and assistance he so much wanted. On this point, also, the Emperor had been most notoriously mis-informed, for he had done everything in his power to preserve the amity of the Pope and of the Venetians, in proof of which he exhibited certain letters in Latin, written to the King's ambassador at Rome (a copy of which is here enclosed). After the good fortune [of Pavia], he [the Cardinal] had paid into the hands of the Imperial ministers in Italy 50,000 ducats, and done all he could to persuade His Holiness to enter into a league and confederation with the Emperor, which, though not yet made, was in a fair way of being concluded.
After which, and returning to the principal object of the conference, the Cardinal went on to say that, in his opinion, the time was come for attacking the common enemy. If the summer was allowed to pass, it would be too late. The French wanted only to gain time.
The Commissioners answered: "That is precisely what the Emperor is doing, gaining time, and trying to ascertain whether the French King will make proper amendment without resorting to war. Should he refuse, the Emperor has decided [with King Henry's aid] to force him into it."
In the course of conversation, and whilst discussing the best means of accomplishing that aim, the Cardinal observed that the King of France ought at once, and without any previous warning, to be compelled, sword in hand, to give to each of them [the Emperor and King] that which belonged to them by right. He ended, however, by acknowledging that, all things considered, the Emperor's policy seemed to him acceptable; but he ought to have informed the King, his master, in due time of his intentions and designs, in case the King of France and Madame the Regent refused to follow the path of amity and fairness; and whether he (the Emperor) purposed to come down into France himself, or assist him with men and provisions from the Low Countries, in order that he might make his arrangements accordingly, and commence war. It was wrong of him to keep them so long in suspense, and make them spend their money to no purpose. Corn, barley, oats, salt meat, and other provisions had already been stored on board the Royal fleet, and nobody knew yet what point of the French coast was to be assailed first. Should the said victuals remain at sea a fortnight more everything would be damaged and spoilt, and much money lost.
Upon which the Commissioners replied, that until His Imperial Majesty had an answer on this point from the French King, and knew for certain that he was, of his own free will, and without compulsion, prepared to do justice to his allies, the Emperor could not say how and where the war was to commence; that being the reason why he (the Emperor) had not yet written to the King announcing his intentions. The Commissioners, however, had no doubt whatever that, a definitive answer being obtained, the Emperor would not fail to acquaint both King and Legate with his plans.
After this, and according to the orders received from Madame, the articles concerning the safe-conducts, safeguards, fisheries, and prisoners of war, were touched upon by the Commissioners, when the Legate said he had hopes of the King, his master, granting the first, in the manner applied for by Madame. As to the second, respecting the fisheries, the King was nowise disposed to allow it, since determined, as he was, to wage war on the French, his subjects would never consent to his granting safe-conducts or taking them from the enemy. The Legate, however, promised to call on the King at Winezore (Windsor), and report the matter to him, when he might, perhaps, appoint next Wednesday to hear what the Commissioners had to say.
Respecting the prisoners, and after the Commissioners had expatiated at length on the damages and losses which some men-at-arms across the sea (de dela la mer) had inflicted on the Emperor's subjects, the Legate said he was willing to appoint some person of honour and conscience to act as arbiter in this affair, to be judged and sentenced by the President and by him. But on the Commissioners refusing to adopt such an expedient, he (the Legate) said he had no objection to take the matter in hand, and would attend to it immediately after his return from London, when, he had no doubt, full justice would be done to our claims.
With regard to Princess [Mary] and the King's answer on the subject—which the Commissioners were ordered to transmit to the Emperor as soon as possible—there was no need to comply with Madame's wishes on this subject. Firstly, because the expense of sending a special messenger to Spain for this particular purpose would be too great; and, secondly, because the Commissioners had already forwarded to the Emperor copies of all their letters of the 9th March and 19th April, wherein their own overtures and the Legate's answer were fully detailed.
In His Imperial Majesty's letter mention is made of one written to him by the Regent of France. The Commissioners have not considered it necessary to make any allusion to it, as the contents are known here, and have circulated throughout England. Nor have they made any reference to the death of Blanche Rose, (fn. n3) —a fact well known in this country,—and about which it would have been rather difficult to speak in a way agreeable to these people, since he [Blanche Rose] was not respected in this kingdom, either by great or small; and it would have been impossible to mention his name in terms of commendation without giving offence to the King, to the Legate, and to the whole Council.
The Legate made great instances to have in writing what the Emperor's letter and Madame's ordered the Commissioners to state verbally. His application was at first refused, but, perceiving that he still insisted, and had actually sent a messenger after them,—as will be seen by the letter of Brian Tuke, here enclosed,—the Commissioners made an abstract of the said correspondence, and sent it to him by the same messenger.—London, 4th of May 1525.
Signed: "Adolf de Bourgogne," "J. Laurens."
Addressed: "To Madame Marguerite, Gouvernante des Pays Bas."
French. Original. pp. 6.
4 May. 87. The Duke of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 34,
ff. 271–2.
Has nothing to advise since the receipt of despatches of January, 9th February, and April. Joan Bartholome de Gattinara having left in the meantime with the news of Rome, and M. de Beurren (Beaurain) with those of the camp, he (the Duke) has very little to write about.
Since Gattinara's departure, on the 1st inst., the Pope, hearing that the Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy) had caused the league to be proclaimed at Naples, has done the same here with great solemnity. There was a splendid entertainment on the occasion at Cardinal Colonna's, and everyone here shows much satisfaction, praising the moderation shown by the Emperor after his victory. May God permit that he may soon triumph over the common enemy!
What His Imperial Majesty wrote to the Pope [after the victory] has been so much approved of and extolled that it has been made publicly known. He [the Duke] cannot tell whether His Holiness will write by this conveyance, but of this he is certain, that he has the greatest confidence in His Majesty, thus showing that his present state of feelings is the natural one, and that the last was altogether compulsory. The Datary (Giberti) does not meddle with State affairs now; the office is held by the Archbishop of Capua (Schomberg), who is well disposed towards His Imperial Majesty.
The Venetians have not yet come to a satisfactory arrangement, although they profess to be willing to do so. It is high time they should.
From England there is nothing new to report. It is said that they (the English) are making military preparations to be ready when the Emperor's intentions, which, after all, is to be the supreme law there as well as here, shall be made known; and in the event of France not accepting the proposed conditions of peace, prosecute the war with undiminished vigour. It would seem, however, as if much time were lost in this negotiation, thus giving the enemy time to recover, and increasing considerably the debt to the Imperial armies.
From Germany the news is that the Lutherans are daily increasing and getting stronger. The Pope shows some anxiety about this, seeing that no measures are taken to arrest the movement.
Begs the Emperor to issue orders for the payment of the sums borrowed by him (the Duke) to provide for the defence of the kingdom of Naples. As the money was borrowed on his (the Duke's) personal responsibility, if the bills are to remain unpaid, he must needs constitute himself a prisoner. Had he the means, by selling his own property or otherwise, to satisfy his creditors, he would consider it a great felicity.
Has received orders from the Viceroy to go to Sienna and put things in order there. He is not sure of success, for where such confusion and variety of opinion prevail, it is no easy matter to make people come to an understanding. His own opinion respecting the last disturbances in that city, is, that the assassination of Alessandro Vic (Bichi), and of his friends and relatives, was a most unjustifiable act; that the provocation came from Severino [Girolamo], who, taking advantage of the authority and influence he had with the Emperor's ministers, was the principal actor in the drama. The cry for liberty, in the sense in which the Siennese take it, very much resembles that raised in Spain by the late Comunidades, and although they profess that His Imperial Majesty will be much better served through it, he (the Duke) is of a contrary opinion.
A letter has come from Joan Bartholomé de Gattinaria, of the (fn. n4) ... past, announcing that he was on the point of starting [for France] that very day, if he only obtained a permit, and that he was already provided with a safe-conduct.—Rome, 4th May 1525.
Signed: "El Duque de Sessa."
Addressed: "To His Majesty the Emperor and King."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Rome. The Duke of Sessa, 4th of May."
Spanish. Original in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 4.
6 May. 88. The Same to the Same.
Arch. d. Royme de
Belg. Doc. Hist.
III., f. 91.
Wrote on the 3rd, after Mons. du Rœulx' departure, enclosing summary of the conversation he had with the King [of France]. Don Hugo [de Moncada] leaves to-morrow, in all possible haste, to inform the Emperor of all particulars, as well as of the state of affairs in Italy. Begs and entreats that nothing be concluded in these matters till Moncada arrives, and that proper instructions be sent to him, which may easily come by Peñalosa or Manuel, both of whom have safe-conducts to come here by a land route.—Pizzighitone, 6 May 1525.
7 May. 89. President Laurens to Margaret of Austria.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. No. 32,
ff. 76-7.
Has duly placed in the Legate's hands the letter announcing the death at Lyons of the Grand Master of France (fn. n5) and of the Duke of Alençon; (fn. n6) also the news that the Regent [of France] and the Estates had offered to M. de Bourbon in marriage the French King's sister [Margaret of Orleans], widow of the said Duke d'Alençon; and that M. de Saint Pol (François de Bourbon) had been set at liberty, which last piece of intelligence took the Legate by surprise.
The Commissioners informed him at the same time that the Duke of Albany had arrived on the coast of Provence with 5,000 men. That the Duke de Vendome (Charles de Bourbon) and M. de Lautrec had had words together, Madame the Regent having declared in favour of the latter, whilst Robertet [the Secretary] and others supported the Duke, who was governor of Picardy and of the neighbouring districts, and had for his lieutenantt he Count of Brienne. The said Lautrec was governor of Languedoc and Provence, and M. de Guise governor of Bourgogne. The ban and arrière ban had been published everywhere, and it had been resolved to revictual Thérouanne. Boulogne had a garrison of 1,200 men, and was well supplied with provisions.
Told the Cardinal that Madame [Louise of Savoy] had sent besides the copy of a letter written by the King of France to that of England, from Thunes, and which had been sent by Bannisis? to the ambassador of the Duke of Milan. (fn. n7)
The Cardinal has dismissed most of his workmen. As to the grant in money lately demanded from the people, there is great reluctance to pay. He (Laurens) thinks that it will, in the end, become entirely a gratuitous one, and that nobody will be compelled to pay.
The Milanese ambassador has had letters from Italy, intimating that Captain Brion is going to Spain with Don Hugo de Moncada, to present to His Majesty, the Emperor, the Prince of Oringer (Orange).—Londres, 3 May 1525.
P.S.—After writing the above the Legate sent for him (Laurens), and read a letter announcing the arrival at Boulogne of 2,000 Italians and 400 Albanese. The better to be informed on certain particulars respecting the safe-conducts and safeguards to be given, the Commissioner called again at the palace, and, among other things, exhibited the answer given by Madame to the [English] ambassadors' demand; when, after much discussion, the Cardinal came to own that he considered it just for Madame not to decide thereupon before consulting the Emperor. He would have done the same in her place, but begged her to continue as friendly and kind towards him as she had been when the alliance between the Emperor and the King, his master, was first made.—London, 7th of May [1525].
Signed: "J. Laurens."
Addressed: "To Madame, &c."
French. Original. pp. 2.
8 May. 90. The Commissioners to Madame.
K. u. K. Haus- Hof-
u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. No. 32,
f. 77.
After their letter of the 7th inst., and on the Legate's promise that he would be back in London for the 6th, when he would answer all points put forward at Hantin Court (Hampton Court), the Commissioners called upon him yesterday, three hours after dinner, when he proceeded to say:
On the subject of the safeguards, the King was disposed to do Madame's pleasure in every respect, in the same form and manner specified in their letter.
Respecting the prisoners of war, they had already been released without paying any ransom, with the one exception of the Receiver of Rollencourt, who, if proved to be a native of Flanders, would be set at liberty like the rest, but if found to be a French subject, and to have been taken prisoner whilst in the service of M. de Saint Pol, must be considered a good prize.
After some observations on this particular case, the Legate told the Commissioners that they ought to be satisfied with his decision.
Concerning the Scotch ambassadors the King's resolution was that if a peace or a truce was concluded with them, we were to be included in it. If, on the contrary, war was decided upon, we were to consider them as our enemies. If, however, it was found that, notwithstanding the said state of war, English subjects frequented Scotland and traded with the inhabitants, we should be at liberty to do the same. In short, the King's intention was that we, in either case, should treat the Scotch as his own subjects did.
On the particular of the safe-conducts, the Legate told the Commissioners that those that had been granted would be respected and kept on either side, in the same form and manner as they were issued; but the King, his master, had not made up his mind to grant or keep any of those which might have been granted to subjects of His Imperial Majesty, his allies and confederates, for such goods and merchandise as they might be introducing into the enemy's land or bringing out of it. But in case of any safe-conduct being granted in future for the French or Scotch, for their goods and ships, it cannot be stipulated that his men (the English) are bound to keep and observe them.
With regard to the fisheries, the Cardinal was glad to hear that the Imperials were in treaty with the French to grant each other the required safe-conducts to carry on that trade. He had nothing to do with that, but nevertheless the King, his master, was not prepared to grant any to the French, or allow his men to make use of them. On the contrary, he should consider it lawful for his subjects to seize and capture the said Frenchmen when at sea, even if they had safe-conducts from the Emperor or Madame for the said fisheries. The Legate added: "The King, my master, would have been glad to please you on this affair of the fisheries, but he found it incompatible with his honour and interest to allow the French to fish and trade close to his coast and harbours whilst he was at war with them, since he could hardly design any military enterprise without the enemy being previously made aware of it. Besides which, it would be greatly to the King's dishonour, if, whilst blockading some maritime town of the enemy's, he was compelled, in observance of the said safe-conducts, to allow vessels to go in with provisions and other necessaries of war."
This, after a good deal of discussion, the Cardinal said was the King's final resolution and his own concerning the fisheries. He then pointed out the case of the ship belonging to the Admiral (Duke of Norfolk), still unsettled, saying it was desirable to have it finished anyhow, and the sooner the better.
After which the Cardinal brought on the affair of the currency (monnaies), complaining that the treaty of Calais had not been observed in some of its articles, and that the inhabitants of the Low Countries did not buy English wool, on all which points (he said) he intended shortly to send people to communicate with the Commissioners. When this is done, and their complaints and griefs have been put down on paper, they (the Commissioners) will not fail to draw out a memorandum for Madame's inspection.
Have received her letters of the 4th inst., together with the duplicate of those of the Emperor of the last day of March, and the copy of the answer made [by Madame] to certain articles delivered by the ambassadors of this King. The better to ascertain the Legate's sentiments, and what he thought about Madame's answer, the Commissioners called on him one afternoon, when he said: "I should have wished for a better answer; but since Madame is not willing to give it, we shall have patience and wait." After which he went on to say that the Emperor was losing time, and, that this summer gone, it would be too late to attack the enemy. If the French were allowed to breathe and take courage, they would become stronger than ever they were. He had lately received intelligence that they were preparing an army to send beyond the mountains, so as to release their King from captivity and recover Lombardy, and that the Switzers had promised to help them with 23,000 men.
The Commissioners' answer was: "The King of England and the Legate will soon hear from His Imperial Majesty, and know what preparations he has made against these and other eventualities."
Have sent the articles concerning the 3,000 cavalry and 1,000 foot. The French and Scottish ambassadors have left. The prisoners are released. The King's final resolution concerning the fisheries, the safe-conducts, and safeguards is likewise known; and Madame has seen the letters that have been addressed to His Imperial Majesty on this subject. There is nothing more left for them to do, and they ask permission to return home.—London, 8 May [1525].
Signed: "Adolfe de Burgoigne," "J. Laurens."
12 May. 91. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 34,
ff. 283–5.
Wrote on the 27th of April, in answer to the Emperor's letter of the 26th March, the last received. The bills of exchange for 80,000 ducats which came with it have been presented to Ansaldo de Grimaldo, who not only has accepted them, but has already paid a portion of the sum, and will pay the remainder when due, perhaps before, as the Viceroy [of Naples] is very desirous of having the whole sum at once for the wants of the army.
(Cipher:) Has received a letter from the Viceroy [Charles de Lannoy], saying that he will come here (to Genoa) with the French King about the 17th instant, in order to take him to Naples. The galleys are in order, and well provided with every necessary for the voyage. They are fifteen in all, counting the four of Genoa, besides some brigantines and other small vessels.
(Common writing:) Don Hugo de Moncada left Milan on the 10th instant, on his way to Spain by land. He has been graciously liberated by the King of France, without paying any ransom, in exchange for Montmorency, whose ransom is to be paid by the said King. Of this agreement, and others entered into at Piciguiton (Pizzighitone), where the Duke of Bourbon, the Viceroy, the Marquis of Pescara, and the said Don Ugo [de Moncada], with other captains, have met, His Imperial Majesty shall be more particularly informed, and therefore there is no need for him (Soria) to dwell any more on the subject.
Has sent a brigantine to reconnoitre the French fleet, and has since received letters from those who went in her, and from the Lord of Monego (Monaco), advising that Andrea Doria and the Baron of Sant Brancat have armed two more galleys, making in all twelve, besides three galleons. The larger ships they had entirely disarmed; but it is rumoured that with the said twelve galleys and three galleons they intend to sail for Catalonia or come to this coast. His (Soria's) opinion is that the real object of all these preparations is to see whither the French King is taken, in order, if possible, to attempt a rescue.
Grassa and other towns in Provence are being fortified in the event of the Imperial army invading that province.
From this city there is nothing new to report. Perfect tranquillity prevails, and both the Doge and Community seem desirous of remaining faithful to His Imperial Majesty, and certainly neither in this league nor in any other affair will they do anything without His Majesty's consent.
There has always existed some difference between this Community and that of Savona; it is now more marked than ever, the people of this city pretending that they are the masters, and that in case of any disputes or dissensions arising among the citizens of Genoa and those of Savona, the affair ought to be referred to this Senate. The people of Savona, on the other hand, say that they are willing to submit in everything, except in having their cases decided by Genoa, adding that His Imperial Majesty ought to be their judge.
On the 30th ultimo the Pope went to St. John of Letran, where Cardinal Colonna said Mass. The league between His Imperial Majesty, the Pope, the King of England, and the Infante Don Fernando was then proclaimed with due solemnity. Rome was illuminated, and the Cardinal entertained at dinner His Holiness and the rest of his colleagues.—Genoa, 12th May 1525.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To His Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on the margins. pp. 3.
13 May. 92. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Viceroy of Naples.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 34,
After your Lordship's letter of the 6th, that of the 8th was brought to me by Gaspar Costa. This was on the 11th, and on the very same day I called on the Signory, and addressed them in conformity with your Lordship's instructions. And as these people during the conference gave me clearly to understand their intention to remain in the same peace and confederation as they were at the time it was concluded, I did not deem it advisable to ask upon what terms they proposed to live with the Imperial army. I only expressed my wonder at their dilatory excuses, and summoned them in your Lordship's name to declare at once whether they were willing or not to pay the 120,000 ducats. They asked me for time to deliberate. Yesterday they made their prega, and this morning I called on them, when they caused a paper to be read to me, which, leaving out all the preambles, fine words, and excuses, of which there are plenty, contains, in substance, that they will pay now 50,000 ducats or escudos, and 30,000 more at a year's date. I answered that it was not in my power to listen to such a proposal; that the object of my call was merely to know whether they intended or not to pay the 120,000 ducats, and that it seemed to me as if they had no such intention, since, instead of coming down with the money, they tried to make a fresh bargain; that I was, moreover, instructed by your Lordship to inquire from them on what terms they intended to live with the Imperial army.
Somewhat disconcerted by this speech of mine, their answer was that they wished to live in peace and harmony with His Majesty's army, and under the same confederation alluded to above; that the sum of money which they proposed to pay was more as a gift of love to His Imperial Majesty, and as a sort of indemnity for the great expenses he had sustained during the late war, than otherwise; they believed themselves never to have been in fault, but to have strictly complied with the capitulations.
My reply was that I would report the whole to your Lordship, but as their proveditore (purveyor) had held a very different language respecting the money, when he was at Naples, it could not be expected that your Lordship should relax in his demands.
(Cipher:) I may be mistaken, but I firmly believe that were your Lordship to insist on this claim, and to speak a few angry words to the said proveditore and to their resident ambassador in that city (Milan), and were the Imperial army to move in the direction of their frontiers, they would come to terms and pay the whole of the sum demanded. To leave things in the state in which they are, after having gone thus far, appears to me a very dangerous experiment, for though they may protest that they are willing to observe the articles of the confederation, if they see that their offer is not accepted, they will naturally conclude that the Emperor is not satisfied with them, and has reasons to doubt their fidelity. Their suspicions will then be roused, and as they are generally disaffected towards the Empire and the house of Austria, they are sure to plot against it and do all the harm in their power, not only on account of the territory they hold belonging to the said house of Austria, but also on account of the fear which those suspicions are likely to cause them. If,—which God prevent,—His Imperial Majesty were to be in need of their services, I hold it as certain that not only they would entirely disregard the confederation to which they declare themselves to be bound, but would show themselves open enemies. To accept such a small sum, after having so long insisted upon the whole, would be, in my opinion, a discreditable act after so signal a victory. If war is to be made upon them—and my own private opinion is that they will not risk it, but will rather pay the sums demanded—it is very important that some warlike demonstration should be made as soon as possible. It is now harvest time, and if their country is invaded, the nobles,—rather than lose the rents of their lands on the continent, which amount to a much larger sum than the one demanded,—would strain every nerve to have it paid. To leave matters as they now stand would be, in my humble opinion, rather prejudicial to the Imperial cause.
(Common writing:) If, notwithstanding the reasons I have just stated, your Lordship should decide not to press matters, but to leave them as they are, it would be advisable to tell them that since they profess to hold the confederation as binding, they must at once fulfil its various articles and pay their debt to the Infante, who will then give back what he is bound to restore by the said capitulation; and if there was any difference between them to appoint a third person as umpire to settle the question in dispute, since it would not be proper that one or other of the parties should be judges in their own cause. That ample justice must be done to the claims of the foraxidos, (fn. n8) paying what is owed to them, or making due compensation for their losses, instead of ill-treating them, as they do at present, in complete disregard of all stipulations.
Should your Lordship decide upon this line of policy, I should require fresh instructions as to the manner in which I am to conduct the negotiation. A commissary sent by the Infante for the purpose of the restitution has arrived in this city (Venice), but I am putting off the affair as much as I can, and neither he nor I will move in it until we hear your Lordship's pleasure. Certainly in this matter of the money owed to the Infante, these people have behaved most shamefully, and the fault is entirely theirs.
I cannot but inform your Lordship that there is a rumour abroad that the French have lately raised large sums of money, and show signs of preparing for war; also that these people (the Venetians) are doing their utmost to establish some sort of understanding between the Kings of France and England, believing that if they succeed in their attempt, they will have nothing to fear [from the Emperor].
Gaspar Costa, the bearer of this letter, will deliver to your Lordship the 10,000 crowns paid by the English ambassador. It has been impossible to get a larger sum from these merchants; even this has been obtained with great difficulty, and owing entirely to my interference in the affair, though, as I have already stated on other occasions, it is no fault of the English ambassador, who is very willing to do everything in his power towards the settlement of this business.—Venice, 13 May 1525.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Headed: "A copy of what I wrote to the Viceroy on the 13th May."
Spanish. Deciphered copy. pp. 6.
14 May. 93. The Marquis del Guasto to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
Has received the letter of the 27th, addressed conjointly to him and to Antonio de Leyva. Both return most heartfelt thanks for the goodness His Imperial Majesty has been pleased to show them, and the promise of speedy remittances wherewith to supply the increasing wants of the Imperial army. He, in particular, feels exceedingly grateful for the Emperor's kind acknowledgment of his services, and begs that full credence be given to Juan Batista Castaldo y Gutierrez, whom he now sends to Spain, that he may verbally report on matters concerning the Imperial service, as well as his own honour and reputation which he confidently places in the Emperor's hands.—Milan, 14 May 1526.
Signed: "El Marques del Gasto."
Addressed: "Sacræ Cæsareæ Catholicæ Maiestati."
Indorsed: "To His Majesty. From the Marquis del Gasto, 14 May 1526."
Spanish. Holograph. p. 1½.
18 May. 94. The Duke of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A.,
ff. 300–5.
Has very little to say in answer to his letters of 10th January, 6th and 9th February, and 5th of April, Joan Bartholomé Gattinara having departed in the meantime with a detailed account of the doings at Rome.
The proclamation of the league, as he informed His Majesty on the 4th instant by a land route, was made with all solemnity in Santo Apostol, Cardinal Colonna giving a splendid entertainment on the occasion. His Majesty's confirmation was not waited for, owing to intelligence received here [at Rome] that the Viceroy of Naples [Charles de Lannoy] had proclaimed the league at Milan, and in the Estates of the Church.
Since M. de Beurren's return no letter has come from the said Viceroy, and therefore he [the Duke] is ignorant of the state of the negotiations. He only knows, by a letter of the 6th inst., that the Viceroy was about to send a messenger to inform him (the Duke) of everything.
His Holiness the Pope has determined to send Cardinal de Salviatis as his Nuncio to the Emperor, and the appointment has been announced in the Consistory, not much to the satisfaction of Colonna, who wanted that office for himself, that being the reason why they have so hastened the provision. The object of his mission is to congratulate His Imperial Majesty upon his recent victory, and to treat about the past, and see whether a universal peace can be secured for the future. He (De Salviatis) will no doubt give satisfaction. His Imperial Majesty ought to be grateful to him for his past good offices, for he certainly showed himself a good servant of the Emperor just at the time when others drew back. He says that he will start upon his journey soon after June, but that will very much depend on the intelligence that may come from Spain.
Nothing new to report about Ferrara. The said Cardinal [de Salviatis] has gone to Milan to hold a conference with the Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy), and see what sort of arrangement can be made, as the Pope wishes very much to have that duchy returned to him.
(Cipher:) He [the Duke] cannot help thinking that the restitution of the duchy of Ferrara to His Holiness would be, under the present circumstances, a great advantage, for the Emperor could take the 100,000 ducats which the Pope has in hand for the pay of the army, besides the 20,000 more that are still due by him on account of the league, and the payment of which could not then be reasonably delayed.
(Common writing:) From England letters have come of the 28th ult., giving as certain that the King was making great preparations of war to invade France in person as soon as he had an answer from His Imperial Majesty. This he would do in compliance with the articles of the convention agreed to between the Emperor and himself; but he (the King) is not likely to undertake anything until he hears from his ambassadors what resolution is taken by His Imperial Majesty in the affair. Out of the 50,000 ducats which that King ordered to be paid to the Viceroy only 32,000 have hitherto been received, and those with infinitely more trouble and a greater discount than if they had been procured in any other way. They now send the Chevalier Casal to His Majesty's camp; and it is reported that he (Casal) will also come here to the Pope. As soon as intelligence can be obtained of the object of his visit, he (the Duke) will not fail to advise His Majesty of it.
The manner in which His Imperial Majesty received the news of the victory [of Pavia], the words he uttered on the occasion, and the letter he wrote are highly commended here, the Pope himself extolling above all things so valorous and Christian a behaviour. The letter was first read in Consistory, and afterwards committed to the press and circulated, together with the account which the Pope's Nuncio [in Spain] sent of that glorious event.
Nothing has yet been settled concerning the claims on the Venetians. The Viceroy has consented to reduce the sum, but the ambassador (Sanchez) writes to say that there is no longer any question about the settlement of the claims of foraxidos, that and other articles of the convention having been abandoned, and that the only thing demanded is the 120,000 ducats. He (the Duke) cannot help thinking that if in the first instance the claims had been more vigorously pressed, better conditions might have been obtained, without any loss to His Majesty's reputation.
With regard to the disturbances at Sienna and the assassination of Alessandro Vique (Bichi), His Imperial Majesty has no doubt received already full information. He (the Duke) tried everything in his power to calm the passions of the people and temporise with them until the Viceroy should amicably settle their differences. Knowing the inordinate passion of the populace for change; knowing also that Severino (Girolamo) was rather too warm in his defence of the Siennese, he (the Duke) kept him in Rome for some days, promising him a prompt settlement of the questions at issue between the people and their governor (Bichi). When he went away, he (the Duke) begged and entreated him to wait quietly, since in a very short time his wishes would be fulfilled. He (Severino) promised to do so, but it would appear that his own private passions got the best of his judgment, and the public good was accordingly sacrificed. When he arrived in the city, where one of His Majesty's captains was at the time collecting the 15,000 crowns with which the citizens had agreed to serve the Emperor, and which had to pass through the hands of the said Alessandro [Bichi], the people suddenly rose and murdered him, with about 20 more of his friends and partisans who attempted to defend him. Alessandro was the citizen of most substance in the place, and was fully prepared to govern the city in the Emperor's interest. On his death most of nobles and those who followed the part of Monte de Nueve (Nove) left the city out of fear. The mob then changed the government, and prorogued the Council and the Bailiff's office (Baylia). They have since attempted to exile and prosecute some of those who have left the city (confinar algunos de los que estan fuera), and about one hundred more, all men of quality and substance, but have desisted at his request. The Viceroy, when he first heard the news of the rising, wrote to him (the Duke), ordering him to go thither and try and arrange matters. He was at the time suffering from illness, and could not undertake the journey. He is now getting better, and hopes to start for Sienna within three days.
The Siennese have sent an ambassador to the Pope, with a memorandum similar to that which was forwarded to His Imperial Majesty. The impression here is that the form of government which the Siennese have adopted is intended to bridle both the Pope and Florentines. On the other hand, it is evident that, forgetting that they are His Majesty's subjects, they have applied to His Holiness and also to Florence, offering friendship and confederation, and asking for protection, though preserving their freedom and independence. He (the Duke) has always been of opinion that since His Imperial Majesty consents to give them liberty, their government must be in the hands of good and honest people, not in those of a disorderly mob, who would only abuse their power.
The affairs here (at Rome) are differently conducted from what they were before. The Cardinal Archbishop of Capua manages now all state business; the Datary only the ecclesiastical.
Humbly reminds His Imperial Majesty of the 25,000 ducats which are still unpaid. He (the Duke) borrowed them on his own personal responsibility, and with the signature of several respectable Spaniards dwelling at Rome, to meet the expenses of the troops that were to oppose the Duke of Albany. The money was borrowed by order of the Viceroy and Council of Naples; the bills drawn upon Alonso Gutierrez, at that time Treasurer-General; but he (Gutierrez) being removed from his office in the meantime, they were not accepted. He (the Duke) thought at first that the bills might have been paid with the proceeds of Lucca and Sienna, but it could not be so, for the 25,000 ducats that came from those places were immediately applied to the pay of the army.
The Bishop of Salamanca [Don Francisco de Bovadilla] has sent in a memorandum of his suit-at-law with the Archbishop of Santiago [Don Juan Tavera]. The former seems rather too fond of the exemptions of his Church.
If His Imperial Majesty insists on a Cardinal's hat for the Bishop of Moriana, there is no doubt but that it will be granted soon.
Other ecclesiastical affairs: Brief of Revardisano, Monte Aragon, Bishops of Huesca and Lugo; the Pope's chamberlain and priorate of Santa Christina.
Things in Germany are rather worse. Enclosed is the copy of a letter received by Jacopo Banisio (fn. n9) for His Majesty's perusal.—Rome, 18 May 1525.
Signed: "El Duque de Sessa."
Addressed: "To His Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty, the Invincible King of Spain and of the Indies."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Rome. From the Duke of Sessa, the 18th May."
Spanish. Original. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 5½.
20 May. 95. Instructions to the Imperial Ambassador in England.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223.
The ambassador is to keep the King of England and the Legate well informed of the circumstances of the victory lately gained over our common enemy, which has been effected comparatively without effusion of blood on our side, whereas the losses of the enemy cannot possibly be greater than they are. He may tell them that not only in several encounters, taking of towns and castles, but also through famine and plague eight months before, the losses of the French have been so immense, that out of 1,500 men-at-arms that they had at the beginning of the campaign, only 350 have re-entered France, and those in a most miserable condition. Very few of the captains, lieutenants, ensigns, and gentlemen soldiers (autres bons personaiges) who were engaged in the battle [of Pavia] escaped death or captivity, and the few that remain are so wounded and maimed that they cannot serve again. Of the Switzers there were no fewer than 6,000 slain, and the remainder, in number about 4,000, deserted the French camp for want of pay, and, as the report goes, took Admiral de Montmorency prisoner, and carried away the artillery and ammunition that had been entrusted to them.
The ambassador is to tell the King and Legate, in our name, that since God has been pleased to grant us so signal a victory, We are fully determined to follow it up and not to give our enemy time to breathe, intending to attack the dominions of the French King, our prisoner, in pursuance of whichever plan may be adopted out of the three specified in our former instructions, &c.
Addressed: "To Mons. de Praet, (fn. n10) Imperial Ambassador in England."
French. Original draft. pp. 2½.


  • n1. Anne de Montmorency, Grand Steward of France.
  • n2. Published in Lanz, Correspondenz, &c., p. 161.
  • n3. Richard de la Pole, mentioned at p. 96.
  • n4. A blank in the original.
  • n5. René, the bastard of Savoy, son of Duke Filippo.
  • n6. Charles, who died the 14th of April.
  • n7. The sense of this passage is rather obscure; it stands thus: "Ci vous envoye avecq cestes la copie d'une lettre la quelle le dit Sieur Roy, avoit escript au Roy de Thunes? la quelle Bannismes a envoyé á l'ambassadeur du Due de Milan." Bannismes is probably meant for Jacobus à Bannisis, Archbishop of Bari.
  • n8. Foraxido in Spanish is a corruption of the Italian "fuoruscito," meaning an exile, an emigrant, outlaw, &c.
  • n9. Jacobus à Bannisiis, archbishop of Bari, one of the secretaries of Emperor Maximilian. See above p. 146 note. The letter alluded to is not in the Royal Academy's volume.
  • n10. Praet having already quitted London by this time, the above instructions must have been addressed either to Ruy Diaz de Peñalosa or to Madame's Commissioners.