Spain: May 1525, 21-31

Pages 162-182

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, 21-31

23 May. 96. Antonio de Leyva to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. de G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist. d.
Esp. No. 32.
Has received the Emperor's letter of the 1st of April. Returns thanks for the commandership (encomienda) of Inestre, which His Imperial Majesty has been pleased to grant him as a reward for his services. Begs that his conduct, both in and out of Pavia, be inquired into. Nothing could give him greater satisfaction. It will be found that he was left without any provisions or ammunition, for of the former there was not one cask of flour left, and of the latter only three small barrels. (fn. n1) Money there was none, and the men were owed two months' pay. The townspeople, seeing that Milan had been taken by the enemy and that Pavia could not hold out long with its walls and defences crumbling to pieces, had fled to a man. The garrison under his immediate command was not so numerous or well appointed as might have been desired, for it arrived from France in such a plight that one half of the men could hardly hold their arms. Handmills to grind corn they had none, for the artillery-men of Naples (fn. n2) took them all away, and the men were obliged to go to the burial-place and make some out of tombstones. Meat there was none in the city, except horseflesh, and to procure saltpetre (fn. n3) wherewith to make gunpowder, we had to search the walls and bastions of the city; though not found in such abundance as we might have wished, there was a sufficient quantity to load our arquebuses and muskets with. He managed to raise among his friends and relations 38,000 cr., with which he paid the men under his orders and kept them contented, no easy task indeed considering the secret practices and magnificent offers of the French King, who, knowing full well that his success depended entirely upon his taking Pavia, was doing everything he could to ensure its possession, by repeated assaults or indirect messages to the besieged. The city walls had been so battered by the artillery that we had to fight hand to hand with the enemy. The damage thus inflicted on the besieging forces, as well as by the frequent sallies of this small garrison, His Imperial Majesty must already know by other accounts. Suffice it to say, that he held his ground at Pavia from the 22nd of October 1524, until the 24th of February of this year (1525), during which time he has not only lost by death 47 of his own relatives and servants, but has been obliged to part with his own horses and accoutrements to appease the clamouring discontent of the Germans. Has been twice wounded, once during the battle, and on another occasion afterwards; and such have been his sufferings of various kinds that it would take him a long time to enumerate them. God was pleased to permit that his resistance at Pavia should lead to victory. Humbly beseeches His Imperial Majesty, if his services have been welcome, to grant him two very signal favours: one is to remunerate, as they deserve, those of the men who served under him; the other to have a strict inquiry made of his own conduct during the siege and in battle. This he would consider a greater boon than any reward the Emperor might confer on him. Encloses a list of those who have served under him.
Soon after the battle, he (Leyva) applied for leave to go to Spain, to visit his family and put his affairs in order. This the Viceroy would not grant, ordering him to remain in charge of the Imperial army whilst he himself went to Naples. Has agreed to do this, preferring the Emperor's service to his own convenience, and intends to remain in command of the forces till the end of next June. Begs, therefore, that in the meantime the Imperial army be provided with all necessaries of life, for the men-at-arms are very unruly for want of pay, and so are the infantry, the light cavalry and the gunners. This is the reason why Italy dares just now to negotiate with the Switzers and others to the Emperor's prejudice. Were the army in better order they would never risk it. As the Imperial forces cannot be kept together for want of money and provisions, and must needs be quartered wherever they can procure their daily food, he (Leyva) is very much afraid that, sooner or later, they may be attacked and worsted in some parts of the country. If such an event should happen he (Leyva) will do his best to remedy the evil. His Imperial Majesty, however, must not be deluded respecting the state of Italy. There is nobody here to whom the Emperor's aggrandisement can be agreeable. If an opportunity should offer itself they will not fail to show their ill-will and hostile disposition. Since God Almighty has granted the Emperor so signal a victory, let him decide at once whether peace is to be made or war to go on, before France can recover her lost strength and forget her last lesson.—Boghera (Voghera), 23 May 1525.
Signed: "Antonio de Leyva."
Addressed: "To the Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. Leyva, 23 May."
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
The following are the names of those who served under Antonio de Leyva at Pavia: (fn. n4)
Garci Manrique, captain of men-at-arms.
Sancho Lopez, lieutenant of the Count of Altamira.
Rodrigo de Vargas, lieutenant of a company of men-at-arms.
Commander Urrias, Field-Master.
Don Francisco Sarmiento, lieutenant of a company of men-at-arms.
Aponte, captain of light horse.
Rosales, ditto.
Barragan, captain of Spanish infantry.
Count [Giovanne] Batista Lodron.
26 May. 97. The Commissioners to Madame.
K. u. K. Haus- Hof-
u. Staats Arch.
Rep. P. C. Fasc.
223. No. 33.
Received by Maistre Jehan de le Sauch Madame's letters, as well as the summary of the commission taken by M. de Roeux to the King of France and to Madame the Regent, his mother; also the copies of letters from the latter to the Emperor and to Madame.
On the arrival of the said De le Sauch, which took place on Wednesday the 17th inst., they (the Commissioners) applied for an audience of the Legate, which was granted for the ensuing day. Whereat they proceeded to state in the best possible manner all the particulars of their charge.
The Legate having inquired during the conference whether M. de Beaurain had brought any further charge, and the Commissioners having replied that he had not, he said he knew for certain that the contrary was the case, and that M. de Beaurain had brought instructions to offer the King of France a wife, and another to the Dauphin, and to negotiate besides for the Emperor's marriage. Beaurain himself had said so to to the Sieur Roussel (Russell), the King's ambassador.
The Commissioners' reply was, that they could not believe that statement, as they knew for certain he had no such charge. They had read M. de Beaurain's instructions, and could positively state they contained nothing like it; on the contrary, the Emperor and Madame had, in their last letters, ordered them to ask for an anticipation of the period appointed for his marriage with the Princess.
After which, and whilst on the subject of the principal commission brought by the Sieur du Reulx, the Cardinal said that the demands [made to the King of France] were moderate and satisfactory enough, and that it would be a great boon to Christianity at large if France could be made to accept such conditions, but he feared much that the negotiations would come to nothing, or be of little profit. The Cardinal, however, appeared very well satisfied with the tenor of the article concerning the King of England, as explained in the second paragraph of their instructions declaring that, although the King, his master, considered himself justly entitled to the whole kingdom of France, he would be contented with Guienne, Normandy, and Picardy.
To this last proposition the Commissioners tacitly assented, rather than bring on an interminable altercation, especially as matters are not yet so ripe as to demand an immediate discussion, besides which the claims and rights of each party are amply provided for by the treaties of Winesore (Windsor) and Calais.
To their positive and formal denial of the supposed overtures made by the said Du Rœulx [in France], the Cardinal made no reply; but when the conversation fell on the third article, wherein mention is made of the ambassadors sent to the Emperor and to Madame by the said King of France and by his mother, the Regent, he said: "I am nevertheless given to understand that negotiations have already commenced with the French King. I pray to God they may have a good issue, and prove advantageous to both Majesties, the Emperor and the King, my master." To which the Commissioners replied, saying: He was very much mistaken if he thought that matters between the Emperor and the King of France were sufficiently advanced to open a negotiation; on the contrary, they could assure him that nothing was farther from the Emperor's mind at present than the idea of such a treaty, besides which he would never attempt to treat without consulting first his ally, the King of England.
The Legate, however, insisted on his conjectures, alleging as a reason that when Jehan Joachin was last in England, they (the Commissioners) had put forward the same presumptions and doubts about him, although truth was entirely on his side, as he might easily prove, by the fact that neither the King of France, now a prisoner in our hands, nor his mother, nor the nobles of that kingdom, could say that there had ever been the commencement of a treaty between them.
The Commissioners replied that their presumptions at the time had a better and more solid foundation, resting, as they did, on the fact of Jehan Joachin having stayed six or seven months in England, and having been joined here [in London] by the President of Rouen (Brinon) just at the time when the Emperor was about to lead his army against the common enemy, and when his affairs were in extreme danger—all which circumstances were absent from the present case.
No objection was offered by the Legate to the 4th and 5th articles, wherein mention is made of Count St. Pol, of the Sieurs de Flourenges, Saint Valier, and Pointhievre, as well as of the restitution to be made to Madame, to the Queen Germaine [de Foix], the Princess of Orange, the Marquis d'Aerschot (Aarschot), the Counts de Gavre, d'Espinoy, and others.
In the 6th, relating to the safeguards, no change was made.
On the 7th paragraph, concerning the prisoners of war, the Legate made no remark whatever; nor did the Commissioners offer any objection to it, for the following reasons: The President, after thoroughly investigating the affair, had taken so much trouble, often conferring with the royal deputies, and with the captains in whose bands the prisoners were; he had presented so many papers and memoranda in their favour, and especially in that of receiver Rollencourt, who still remains a prisoner, that it was considered unwise and highly impolitic to allude to their case until Madame had been made acquainted with the whole affair, and with the negotiations previously carried on with the Legate and with Captain Jarninghen (Jerningham). For the President, after showing that the said receiver could nowise be considered a good prize for the reasons alleged in his memorandum, and which would take too much time to enumerate in this despatch, had always asserted the right of the said receiver (fn. n5) to be released without ransom, since he had been taken prisoner under the Emperor's safeguard; whilst his owner, Captain Farninghen, pretended, that as the Receiver had taken up service for—and sworn fidelity to—the French King, and had besides offered 200 gold crowns for his ransom, for which the agent of M. de Lannoy, in that town, had promised to stand security, he could not allow his prisoner to go without paying some ransom. He, the Captain, had already set free no less than fourteen other prisoners of war without taking any ransom from them, excepting his own expenses, and he could not afford to lose all the profits of the campaign; he claimed at least the said 200 gold crowns offered by the prisoner. Upon the President objecting that that would be equal to paying ransom, a thing which he could by no means sanction, Captain Jarningham replied that he was ready to liberate his prisoner without any ransom, if he would only declare upon oath that he had not served the French King nor taken the charge of a castle for Count de St. Pol.
To put an end to the altercation, the Legate had proposed that the Captain should be contented with one half of the above sum, or 100 gold crowns, besides the expenses, and the President, without accepting or rejecting the proposition, had offered to submit it to Madame's approbation.
The Commissioners, therefore, wish to know how to act in this case, and whether they are to accept or not the terms offered for the Receiver's deliverance; namely, one hundred gold crowns, besides his own personal expenses, to be paid to Captain Jarninghen, that they may communicate with him at Calais, where he is now residing, and where, if need be, they may assist the agent of M. de Lannoy in the payment of the said sum.
With regard to the paragraphs 8 and 9, chiefly relating to the safe-conducts and fisheries, the Commissioners considered it their duty to repeat the remonstrances made on former occasions. The Legate then offered to consult the King, his master, though he added, he had no hope of any change being made, for the reasons detailed in a former despatch, alleging, besides, that to grant safe-conducts in the manner and form demanded would be equal to making peace with his enemies. Nevertheless, if the ambassadors consented to treat unconditionally about the 3,000 horse and 3,000 foot to be furnished by Madame, he (the Cardinal) hoped the King would grant their request. This proposition the Commissioners rejected, saying they were not empowered to take any such engagement.
After which, having delivered into the Cardinal's hands copies of the letters written by the King [of France] and by Madame the Regent, as well as the answers made to them by Madame [Marguerite], the Legate carefully examined their contents. The Commissioners, however, retained and did not show the summary of the instructions given to M. de Roeulx, and this they did for three principal reasons:
1st, because, whereas on the very first paragraph of the said instructions a claim is established upon all lands and territories granted by the Kings of France to the Dukes [of Burgundy], the Emperor's ancestors and predecessors, before and after the treaties of Arras, Peronne, and Conflans; in one of the last articles the claim is limited to those only which the Duke Charles held at the time of his death, a species of contradiction which would lead to much uncertainty and doubt.
2d, because the affairs of the King of France are everywhere subordinated [in the instructions] to those of M. de Bourbon, which would be found strange and contrary to use.
3d, the last and principal reason, that whereas in the 3rd article it is said that the King of France shall restore to M. de Bourbon all the estates and lands he possessed before the late war, to be held as a separate kingdom, it is also a well-known fact that the said De Bourbon has done homage for the whole to the King of England, and therefore it would have been unwise to put into the hands of the Cardinal the copy of such an article.
Nor have the Commissioners thought it expedient to communicate to the Legate the memorandum of what was due to the Imperial army on the day of the battle [of Pavia]; for when, according to instructions, they came to mention the sum of 50,000 crowns as the one stipulated, and out of which only 16,000 had been paid, the Legate exhibited a receipt of the Duke of Ceze (Sessa), showing that 18,000 had been paid into his hands at Rome, besides letters from the English ambassador in that city, announcing that four days afterwards he was to give the Duke 4,000 more, besides 22,000 in bills on Venice.
For the above reason, and from doubting whether the Cardinal would take it in good part, the Commissioners would carefully have avoided any allusion to this subject, had they not received express orders to bring the point under discussion. No sooner had they mentioned the fact, when the Legate observed that the King, his master, was not bound by treaty to the payment of the said 50,000 crowns, and that if he had already contributed a portion, it was out of pure generosity, and without being compelled to it, notwithstanding which we (the Imperialists) were continually complaining and addressing reproaches thereupon. Hearing which the Commissioners tried all they could to appease the Legate, begging him not to take the hint as a reproach, but merely as a means of reminding him of how and in whose hands the said 100,000 crowns had been paid.
The case of the ship called "Les Monnaies" was likewise omitted at the interview, the Legate having allowed it to pass without any observation.
The above being furnished, the Commissioners asked for their congé since their mission was terminated, and they had nothing more to do in England; upon which the Legate promised to ask the King's pleasure as to the day when the Commissioners could kiss his hand and take leave.
There is still another point concerning which the Commissioners have taken upon themselves the responsibility of acting against their orders. When M. de Cilly arrived from Spain the Commissioners understood they were to help him in the fulfilment of his charge [in England] and keep him here until the Emperor's pleasure should be known. This the Commissioners could not well do, for the following reasons:—
1st. Because the said Cilly himself told them, upon his arrival, that he had the Emperor's express orders to communicate certain matters to Madame, which he could not reveal to the Commissioners or to anyone else.
2d. Because Viscount de Rollez, who came with him, had also particular instructions of his own, which he would not impart to anyone, not even to his own colleague, with whose commission he seemed to be but slightly acquainted.
3d. Because the said Cilly having been despatched [from Spain] before the victory of Pavia and capture of the French King, it was natural for them (the Commissioners) to presume that, matters having changed considerably, some alteration would be made in his instructions.
4th. Cilly's charge contained the explicit grant of 3,000 horse and 1,000 foot for the prosecution of the war in Picardy. Such being the Emperor's order it was not for them (the Commissioners) to go against it, as in doing so they would have exceeded their powers and run the risk of a rebuke for their disobedience; on the other hand, had they given cognizance of the said article to the Legate, both the Emperor and Madame would have been compelled to fulfil it, or else to disavow the acts of the Commissioners, which would have brought shame and discredit on their persons. As it is, they think they have done right in not acting immediately upon the instructions brought by the said Cilly, as subsequent events and the Emperor's letters have since shown.
The above reasons and others have influenced the Commissioners to act as they have done. But as it might be surmised at court (Brussels) that Cilly's sudden departure from London, without delivering the letters and despatches he brought for this King and Legate, had raised some suspicion in the minds of these people, the Commissioners take this opportunity to declare that such is not the case, for Cilly left London of his own free will, and applied to Brien Tucke (Brian Tuke) for his passports. The Legate, moreover, showed no discontent at his leaving; only when the bastard Du Rœulx brought letters for this King and for the Legate, respecting the affair Praet, the latter remarked it was very strange that they contained no news whatever, and referred merely to that ambassador's case. Hearing which, and in order to efface any bad impression and mistrust likely to arise from that circumstance, the Commissioners hastily made an abstract of all the letters addressed by the Emperor to the said Praet, a copy of which was at the time forwarded to Brussels, thereby showing that the said bastard De Rœulx was not fully acquainted with the Emperor's will and ideas, who, believing the said Praet to be still in London, had addressed to him, as his ambassador, certain news to be communicated to the King and Legate.
The Commissioners have considered it necessary to enter into the above details, that Madame may be duly acquainted with what is going on, and they themselves excused for what they have done.
On Friday, after the conference with the Legate, the Commissioners received notice that His Majesty would see them at Winezore (Windsor) next Sunday. They accordingly went thither, when, after explaining the various articles of their charge, as they had done to the Legate, they made all possible endeavours to obtain that of the fisheries. All their efforts were in vain on this point, the King having reproduced the same arguments as the Legate, and declared that he was not disposed to grant it. But on the Commissioners asking the King whether, in case of the Emperor furnishing the 3,000 horse and 3,000 foot, he (the King) would grant the safe-conducts for the said fisheries as well as for other merchandise, he answered in the negative, saying that since the Emperor and Madame [Marguerite] were not disposed to treat immediately and without conditions of the said assistance in horse and foot, he (the King) would not consent to the safe-conducts, as this would bring discredit upon him, if he were to allow his enemies in time of war freely to visit his ports and those of his confederates, which would be a sort of peace.
After which the King having incidentally touched on the affair of the marriages, and found it very strange that nothing had been said on the subject, when he was sure, from the advices of his ambassadors [in France], that certain overtures had lately been made by the Emperor, the Commissioners replied, as they had done on the previous days to the Legate, and even in more explicit terms, as they expect soon to have occasion to explain by word of mouth, when in Madame's presence.
The Legate having afterwards requested them to write to the Emperor's chamberlain (maistre de la chambre), now at a port on the coast of Cornwall, asking passage for a gentleman about to be sent to Spain by this King, the Commissioners dared not refuse it, and have accordingly written to the said chamberlain to take on board his ship the said King's messenger, lest the Legate should hereafter allege he had not been allowed to communicate in time with His Imperial Majesty.—London, Friday, the 26th of May 1525.
Signed: "Adolf de Bourgogne," "J. Laurens," "Jehan de le Sauch."
Postscriptum.—The above being written and signed, the Commissioners' luggage loaded, and themselves on the point of mounting their horses, Richard, the messenger, arrived with a packet of letters from the Emperor, addressed to M. de Praet or to whomsoever might be in his place, as appears from the enclosed envelope and direction in the handwriting of Maitre Jehan Lallemand [the Secretary]. After consulting upon the case together, the Commissioners decided to break the said envelope and seal, and read the contents of the letter, since, not having yet taken their departure, they might still be of use and forward the Emperor's interests in London. Under the said envelope were:
1st. Instructions and letters for the said Praet, for Hesdin, or whoever might be in the room of the former, as well as for Captain Peñalosa, which instructions and letters the Commissioners now forward home, for the reasons specified hereafter.
2d. Letters for the King and Legate, which the Commissioners keep by them until they hear whether they are to be delivered or not.
As the said instructions are written in cipher, and the Commissioners have no deciphering key by them, and even if they had, could not act until the said Peñalosa arrived,—the instructions being addressed to him and to whomsoever might be in Praet's place,—as, moreover, from the quality of that ambassador, and from the look of the instructions, it is to be presumed that he (Peñalosa) has charge to communicate verbally with Madame, the Commissioners have resolved not to keep the said instructions and papers here [at London], but send them home to be deciphered, that they may thus save time and know as soon as possible Madame's decision respecting the 3,000 horse and 1,000 foot to be furnished to this King, begging at the same time to have them returned as soon as deciphered, that they may act and negotiate according to them, whether Captain Peñalosa be arrived [at Brussels] or not.
The Commissioners think it would be desirable to send another ambassador in the room of Sieur de Praet, as Madame will see by the said instructions being addressed in his absence to Hesdin or to whomsoever may fill his place, besides which both the King and the Legate are very desirous to have this affair of the embassy settled.—Date ut supra.
Signed: "Adolf de Bourgogne," "J. Laurens," "Jehan de la Sauch."
Addressed: "A Madame la Gouvernante des Pays Bas."
French. Original. pp. 10.
27 May. 98. The Same to the Same.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. f. 79.
As the Cardinal had heard of Richard's arrival, and the Commissioners wished to avoid any cause for suspicion or mistrust, they called on his Reverence, and reported how the said messenger had brought certain letters and instructions, addressed to Mons. de Praet and to Commander Spinaloza (Peñalosa); but the said instructions being partly written in cipher, and the said Sieur de Praet having carried away the deciphering key with him, the instructions themselves, referring in most of their articles to the said Commander (Peñalosa), who had not yet arrived in town, they (the Commissioners) had sent them home to be deciphered, and therefore begged he would wait until the Commander's arrival, which was shortly expected. The Cardinal made no objection, and seemed satisfied with the excuse.
The Cardinal has required them to have the inspeximus of the safe-conducts granted by Madame ready, that he may see which are to be kept and observed by him. He likewise proposes to send his own, that the Emperor's people may do the same on their side. Their answer has been that they had already written home in quest of the register or entry book; therefore unless Madame give her orders for the said inspeximus to be immediately forwarded, it is to be feared that our merchants may be the losers by it, since we shall be obliged to admit and sanction their own safe-conducts, whilst ours are still being examined.—London, 23 May.
Signed: "Adolf de Bourgoigne," "J. Laurens," "Jehan de le Sauch."
Addressed: "To Madame la Gouvernante des Pays Bas."
French. Original. p. 1.
27 May. 99. Joss. Laurens to Madame.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. f. 80.
Thanks Madame for the honour of having his child held over the baptismal font. If he was before bound by the many benefits conferred upon him, he is now more than ever attached to her service.
M. de Beures and he (Laurens) were ready for departure and on the point of mounting their horses, when Richart, the messenger, arrived, bringing news from Spain. Fear of Madame's displeasure, and the thought that their services might be required, has caused them to remain in London until new orders reach them.
At the time they took leave of the Legate the Commissioners tried all they could to ascertain the Cardinal's views and sentiments respecting the affairs of the Emperor and Madame. What he (Laurens) then gathered, he hopes soon to be able to communicate verbally. Having asked what mission Maistre Gregoire Casails (Sir Gregory Casalis) had in Italy, the Cardinal said he had no other than to deliver into the hands of the Emperor's ministers in Italy, and for the use of the Imperial army, the 50,000 ducats which the King, his master, had there at his disposal, and also to ask M. de Bourbon what he intended to do next. The brother of the said Gregory [Casalis] will shortly leave London, and pass through Brussels, there to present his respects to Madame. Every attention should be paid to him, that he may report favourably to His Holiness.
He (Laurens) also asked what was the Bishop of Vigorine's (Vigorniensis (fn. n6) ) commission. The Cardinal replied: "None whatever, for although at the time the Bishop left Rome he had one for us, he has since received counter orders; only being so near the end of his journey he would not go back without visiting his see. He therefore went first to present his respects to the King, after which he will visit his bishopric, and thence return to town, where he has taken the same lodgings which M. de Praet had.
Respecting the Venetian ambassador (fn. n7), the Cardinal said he was ignorant of what commission he brought, as he had not yet presented his credentials, but he rather thought the object was to solicit the abolition of certain duties imposed on their merchandise from the time of Henry VII. of glorious memory, and especially that of one noble upon every butt of malmsey.
Having afterwards interrogated him about the commission given by him to a gentleman (fn. n8) who went the other day to Spain, he assured him (Laurens) that he was only gone for the purpose of announcing to the Emperor what had been agreed upon concerning the 3,000 horse and 1,000 foot, and also to instruct the ambassadors of the King, his master, to use all possible diligence in the present negotiations.
Concludes by strongly recommending the speedy despatch of an Imperial ambassador, as the King and the Legate wish it very much.—London, 27th of May (1525).
Signed: "J. Laurens."
Addressed: "To Madame, etc."
French. Holograph. pp. 2.
29 May. 100. The Emperor to Louis de Praet, his Ambassador in England.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. f. 84.
His letter of the 25th March has been duly received; it requires no answer, save to refer him entirely to the enclosed instructions, written in cipher, and which are sent by express messenger. He (De Praet) is to follow strictly the said instructions, and let the Emperor know as soon as possible the result of his negotiations, as the course of affairs depends greatly on his report. Is not to move from London until he receives orders to quit that court, which, however, shall not be much delayed.—Toledo, 29 May 1525.
French. Original minute. p. 1.
29 May. 101. The Emperor's Instructions to the Ambassadors in England.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. f. 85.
The Emperor, &c.—In the business which our good aunt (Lady Margaret) will communicate to you, it is our pleasure that you should follow entirely the instructions that the said Princess shall forward to you under our hand and seal; according to which you shall negotiate as from your loyalty and discretion We have reason to expect. Of the progress of your negotiations you shall not fail to inform us, by express, as soon as possible, as the conduct of our affairs in general, and of the said business in particular, depends in a great measure upon the information we may receive from that court. We further request you not to move from that legation [of England] until you hear from us, which will be shortly, and when We have received the news of the embarkation of Sieur de Praet.—Toledo, 29 May 1525.
French. Minute. pp. 2.
29 May. 102. The Bishop of Trent (fn. n9) to Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 34.
ff. 327–8.
Has received intelligence brought by a member of the [Imperial?] Council, just returned from the court of the Archduke, that the peasants of Alsatia, his subjects, having joined those of the Duke of Lorraine, have lately made an inroad into the estates of the latter. The Duke, however, had marched against them with 3,000 cavalry, and in three different encounters slain upwards of 20,000, after which he had placed himself and his men at the service of the Archduke.
Those among the Alsatian peasants who are the Archduke's subjects are, if possible, worse inclined than those of the Duke [of Lorraine], fancying that by their tumultuary risings and insolence they will compel him (the Archduke) to accede to their wicked designs. It would be advisable that His Imperial Majesty should now show the true love and affection he bears to his brother by coming to his help.
The Duke and Elector, Frederic of Saxony, is dead, leaving a brother and sons at variance with the other dukes. The peasants of his estates have also risen in arms.
Similar riots are said to exist in England. Friends write from that country that the King's subjects are everywhere rising against his authority, and principally against the Cardinal of England (Wolsey); and it is firmly believed that popular risings of the same nature will take place in other countries.
The army of the Suabian League is marching towards Francfort, where the bulk of the rebellion is. They (the peasants) have nearly expelled from that district the Marquis Casimir of Brandenbourg and his brothers; they have been besieging a castle of the Bishop of Herbepoli (Wurtzburg) for nearly three weeks, and have plundered all the country around. In Franconia they have destroyed 30 fortresses, and sacked 80 monasteries or rich abbeys. He (the Bishop) would very much like to know how matters stand at present between His Imperial Majesty and the Venetians, and whether they are in or out of the confederation, in order to inform the Archduke how far he may rely upon them in case of need.—29 May 1525.
Indorsed: "Copy of letter of the Reverend Bishop of Trent to the Imperial Ambassador in Venice."
Italian. Contemporary copy. pp. 2¼.
31 May. 103. Instructions to the Imperial Ambassadors in England.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. No. 30.
ff. 71–3.
Instructions and memoranda of what the Sieur Louis de Praet, our chamberlain and councillor, our ambassador now residing in England, and in his absence any other whom Madame [Margaret of Austria], our good aunt, may be pleased to name, and Commander Peñalosa, severally and conjointly, are to say to the King of England and Legate:—
1st. After the usual presentation of their credentials and customary salutations to the King and Queen of England, the said ambassadors are commanded to say, in the presence of the Legate: That, albeit We have heard of their intention to send an embassy to congratulate us upon our recent victory and treat certain matters touching our common affairs, yet, not knowing what general powers the said ambassadors may bring, and considering the inconveniences often arising from delay in the expedition of despatches, as well as the uncertainty and dangers of a sea voyage, We feel it our duty to draw the attention of the King and Legate to certain points of the utmost importance for the good issue of our common affairs.
2dly. As We have lately had occasion to inform the King by our letters, as well as by our ambassadors residing at his court, our intentions from the beginning were to use all courtesy and kind behaviour towards the King of France, now a prisoner in our hands, since We always preferred resorting to peace rather than continuing at war. We did not, however, disarm, but prepared as best We could for an emergency. We thought that if the said King of France agreed to comply with the terms offered to him, so that We and the King of England could recover at once that which by right belonged to us, our common object might be attained by peaceful means. If, on the contrary, the King of France refused, both of us would be justified in again taking up arms, and compelling our enemy to satisy to our just claims.
Such was our purpose, but as it would appear that Madame the Regent of France, the said King's mother, not only shows reluctance to accept the conditions of this peace, a copy of which was lately forwarded to her, but declares that she will not consent to any dismemberment of the kingdom; as it is moreover, to be feared that such a resistance on her part will influence the King, her son, to reject altogether the articles of the treaty, it becomes incumbent upon us to prosecute the war as briskly as ever, and join our common efforts to obtain the desired satisfaction.
But in the accomplishment of this, two difficulties stand in the way, which must needs be removed if success is to attend our enterprise; one, and perhaps the chief of the two, is, that if war is to be prosecuted with renewed vigour We must quit our Spanish dominions and take the field in person, a thing of all others which our faithful subjects and vassals in Spain most dislike, having often petitioned us in their Cortes, or popular assemblies, not to forsake them without leaving our future wife, the Princess [Mary] of England among them as a sort of consolation during our absence, and that she may, before the consummation of our marriage, learn the Castillian language and the manners of the people. On such conditions our subjects are willing to vote us a sum of 500,000 crowns for the prosecution of the war with France.
The other difficulty lies in our total want of funds. For owing to the enormous cost of a campaign like the past, by sea as well as land, our dominions are so exhausted that We could not, without the powerful assistance of our allies, meet the expense of new armaments for the vigorous prosecution of the war.
We, therefore, have sent to the King of England, our father, as one in whom we place all our trust and reliance, to acquaint him with the above difficulties, and likewise to call his attention to the enormous sacrifices made by us during the last campaign; to the exploits of our victorious army against the common enemy; and to the advantages to be gained from the continuation of hostilities, if persevered in with ardour and abundance of means. If, on the contrary, either from want of money or from any other cause, war were to be discontinued,—and certainly without the King's co-operation and pecuniary assistance it would be impossible for us to prosecute it,—all the aforesaid advantages and others that might be mentioned, would irretrievably be lost for both parties; the signal victory just gained by our arms would be of no avail, and people might perhaps attribute to want of courage or gross negligence that which, in reality, was only caused by scarcity of funds.
With regard to the former difficulty standing in our way, and preventing, as it were, the accomplishment of those plans formed for our mutual interest and profit, We can only repeat the request made some time ago through our ambassadors, Mons. de Praet and Squire de Cilly, namely, that the King of England, our father, be graciously pleased to anticipate the time at which the Princess, his daughter, our future wife, is to be given into our hands, and send her, as soon as possible, to our Spanish dominions.
As a remedy to our other difficulties, We propose that the said King of England be pleased, as soon as possible, to pay into our hands the said Princess's dower, with which sum, added to those which our Spanish subjects may grant, and those We may borrow elsewhere, We shall be able to attend to the expenses of the army with which We intend to invade France.
That besides the said money to be paid in consideration of the Princess's dower, the said King of England be pleased to furnish us with a considerable sum of ducats—no less than 200,000—towards the keeping and maintenance of our army in Italy that is to invade also the kingdom of France on that side, and join the forces we purpose sending across the Pyrenees.
To the above proposal the King and Cardinal may possibly object that the time appointed for the delivery of Princess [Mary] into our hands, as our future wife, has not yet come; and, moreover, that We have promised to deduct from the said dower certain sums which our grandfather, the late Emperor Maximilian, and ourselves borrowed from him. They may also object that We owe them a large sum of money by way of indemnity—offered at the time of our alliance—in consideration of the losses which the said King of England might sustain through the French King not paying him his usual pension. Such being the case, the said Sieur de Praet and Commander Peñalosa might reply that before their departure [from Spain] both and each of them had received verbal instructions from us to meet the said objections on the part of the King and Legate, in case they should be raised, by declaring: How, out of love and affection for the said Princess, who is to be our wife, We wish to see her as soon as possible in our dominions, that she may, as above stated, before the consummation of our marriage, adopt the air and habits of this country, and learn its language. That for that purpose our subjects and vassals here [in Spain], who desire above all things the presence of the Princess as their Queen, have conditionally offered us a good sum of money to help us in the present war. And, moreover, that the sincere wish We manifest for the prosecution of this war — on which our own honour and welfare depend, as well as those of the King, our father—and the fear of the obstacles that might arise in our common path, should We abandon our present plans, are more than sufficient incentive for us to request, as earnestly as We can, the delivery of the said Princess and of her dower. Besides which the said ambassadors may say to the King and Legate of England that the French, who are subtle and crafty politicians, have always tried—and are still trying—to separate our interests from those of the King, our father, to obtain which they have often made us great promises and offers, as We have no doubt they have done both to the King and Legate. To remove, therefore, such hopes as the French might cherish of separating our common interests, thereby disheartening them, and reducing them, either by force or reason, to do justice to our mutual claims, and sign a treaty of solid and permanent peace, our present request respecting the Princess of England and her dower is principally directed.
Considering, moreover, that in virtue of the said matrimonial alliance the dominions and territories by us possessed must also belong to the said Princess, our future wife, and that those now held by the King and Queen of England will, in course of time, and in case of our surviving them, devolve likewise on her, or otherwise on her posterity; considering that from the prompt delivery of the Princess into our hands and payment of her dower and of the said 200,000 ducats, the vigorous prosecution of the war with France is naturally to ensue, whereby the King of England and ourselves are likely to increase our dominions and revenue; since the money which the King is to give us is to be entirely spent to our common profit and advantage, and will in time return to the said King, Queen and Princess, our future wife, our present request seems to us both just and acceptable.
Should, however, the King and Queen of England, in spite of the above representations and others that might be made by the Sieur de Praet and Commander Peñalosa or any others residing in London as our ambassadors, withhold their consent from the said delivery, in that case the said ambassadors, after expressing their regret, both in words and countenance, are to request the King, in our name, that since the actual delivery of the Princess, our future wife—which would be such a boon to our subjects and such a source of terror to the French—cannot be granted, they may be pleased at least to advance us the said Princess's dower, besides the 200,000 ducats to be entirely spent in war, and applied to the promotion of our common interest.
If the King and Legate still made difficulties about advancing the said sum upon the Princess's dower,—a demand which We consider very just, inasmuch as our persons and fortunes are one and the same, and We and the King's daughter, our future wife, only one body and one soul,—in that case the ambassadors are to apply for the said sum simply by way of loan. Should the King, however, find the sum excessive, and our ambassadors see no other means of obtaining the whole, in that extreme case they are to ask the King to lend us 400,000 ducats; that is to say, 200,000 immediately, and the remaining 200,000 in two months, at the rate of one hundred thousand monthly, but without deducting from that sum any loans previously made or indemnity promised.
Whichever of the above expedients be adopted by the King, our good father, it cannot fail to produce the desired effect, which is the vigorous prosecution of the French war, and the advance of our common interests. The ambassadors are to promise in our Imperial name that immediately after the receipt of the said money We shall be prepared to invade France in person with a numerous and well-appointed force; and that our Italian army besides, or the greater part of it, shall also cross the Alps, and meet us wherever We may think it most convenient and advantageous.
As to the King of England himself We beg and entreat him also to invade France at the head of a powerful army, to which end, notwithstanding the very heavy expenses which the subjects of our Low Countries and Spanish dominions have had to sustain, We engage to assist him with 3,000 cavalry and 1,000 foot, that being the contingent he has asked of our aunt, Madame Margaret; and he will be allowed, besides, to raise and enlist in our said kingdoms as many men as he pleases at his own expense.
We likewise request the King of England that, in order to treat and decide on the best means of carrying on war, and what French provinces had better be invaded, considering that the season is passing away, he be pleased to send such full powers to his ambassadors here, the Archbishop (sic) of London (fn. n10) and Sir Richard Wingfield, that they may have no occasion to write for fresh instructions, but may decide at once on such vital points.
Our said ambassadors, the Sieur de Praet and Commander Peñalosa, are requested to adhere entirely to these our instructions, and otherwise to promote our common interests, advising us and Madame, our aunt, of whatever progress they may make in the negotiation, that We may shape our conduct accordingly.—Given in this Our city of Toledo, on the 1st of May of 1525.
Signed: "Charles."
Countersigned: "Lallemand, Secretary."
"Collated with the original at Brussels on the last day of May 1525, by me, L. Dublioul."
Note in a secretary's hand, relating to the above instructions.—Whereas before the arrival at this court [of Brussels] of Commander Peñalosa, Mons. de Praet had left England, Madame, having heard the commission brought by the former, and not knowing whether the person of Mons. de Praet would be agreeable to the King and Legate, not to irritate them further, has given to the said Sieur de Peñalosa, to Monsieur de Laurens, President of the Great Council of the Emperor, and to Maistre Jehan de le Sauch, her ambassadors at the court of England, the commission and mandate to hear and examine the charge brought by the said Peñalosa, and conjointly with him to declare and expound the same to the King and Legate, as if the said commission had been addressed to them. She also requests and orders the said Peñalosa to communicate his commission and instructions to such of her own ambassadors as may be in London at the time.—Thus ordered by Madame at Brussels, the last day of May 1525.
Signed: "Margueritte," "Moy present, L. Dublioul."
French. Original deciphering (the instructions being entirely written in cipher). pp. 4.
31 May. 104. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. d. D. Pasc. d.
G. Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
d. Esp. No. 23.
Has not written since Don Ugo's departure. The Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy) and Alarcon arrived here in company with the French King on the 24th inst. They lodged him at this castle, and brought him by the mountain road, without passing through the city or its suburbs.
This morning, after Mass, the King left the castle under escort, and without crossing the city, by a road close to the walls and gate, reached the wharf, and was there received on board the galley (Capitana) of Castille, commanded by Admiral Portundo. Alarcon accompanies him, and has charge of his person. The Viceroy will also attend on him, although another galley called "La Estrella," captain (capitana) of those of Naples, under Commander Ycart, has been prepared for him. The Duke of Trayetto goes in the chief galley of Govo (Gobbo), and Don Hernando de Toco (sic) in another. The whole fleet consists of 15 galleys, besides one caravel with the luggage, men and horses that they could not hold. They are manned by 1,500 Spaniards, most of them arquebusiers, without counting the sailors. Besides being armed [with guns] and victualled, the galleys are well provided with every necessary for the sea, and the King's comfort has been carefully attended to. Portundo's galley, which is certainly the largest and finest that can be found on these seas, has been magnificently decorated for the occasion, her captain having spent upwards of 1,000 ducats on the flooring (pavimento) alone of the King's cabin. The fleet set sail for Naples with so favourable a wind that it is to be hoped it will soon reach that port.
Moreta (La Morette) arrived here four days ago with letters from Madame the Regent (Louise de Savoie) for the King, her son, consoling him [in his affliction], and wishing him a prosperous voyage. The said Moreta had some idea as he himself asserted, of remaining in his master's service, but as this was not much to the Viceroy's taste, he left this very morning in a brigantine, bound for the coast of Provence, where he is to express the King's wishes and orders for the French fleet not to come to these coasts, and to set at liberty all Spaniards who may be prisoners on the galleys. This has been our constant aim ever since the King was prisoner, and although there can be no doubt that he has more than once ordered the release of the prisoners, his commands have not yet been obeyed. Doubts whether Moret, who is now taking a similar message, will be more successful. This is a sign that the French do not wish to disarm. Their fleet consists of ten galleys in perfect order, besides two more which they are now fitting out. The other ships (naves) have no crews to man them, and, as it would appear, they do not intend to make use of them for the present. The Bishop of Grasse, Lord of Monaco, is more interested than anyone else about the movements of the French fleet, and will take care to report whatever he hears from that quarter. Monsieur de Montmorency arrived yesterday evening at the 24 hours. Cannot guess what may be the object of his coming, except it be to visit the King before his departure, and perhaps too, to acquaint him with the result of his mission to France, and what has been done there in the way of armaments by sea and land since the King left Pizzighitone. It is firmly believed that he (Montmorency) will soon return to France.
The French King is not at all pleased with this voyage, although he tries to hide his discontent, playing and joking as usual. He firmly hopes that His Imperial Majesty will receive him as a friend and brother. Please God it may be so, for the better service of the Emperor and the welfare of Christianity!
He (the Abbot) came to Genoa four days previous to the Viceroy's arrival, in order to inspect the quarters selected for the illustrious prisoner, which he did, attended by the Imperial ambassador, Lope de Soria. Has since then given his attention to matters connected with the fleet, and principally to the recovery from Ansaldo Grimaldo of the 80,000 ducats brought by M. de Beurren (Beaurain), and of the 20,000 sent afterwards through a gentleman retainer of the Duke of Bourbon. As the said sums had come in bills of exchange which were not yet due, and as it was very urgent to pay the Spanish infantry and the Germans of Pavia who, though now quartered at Vicla towards Piedmont, are always in a state of mutiny, and ask for their pay the very same day that it becomes due; as the Duke of Bourbon, on the other hand, claimed the 20,000 ducats which the Emperor destined to him, he (the Abbot) applied to Ansaldo Grimaldo, who has readily advanced one half of the above sum (50,000 ducats), promising the other half for the end of this week. Has already remitted to the Marquis of Pescara in Lombardy 50,000, and the remainder he intends to take with him when he returns to Milan.
It must, however, be observed that the last 20,000 are only payable at Rome, for Grimaldo says that the bills are drawn on Genoa, Rome, Florence or Venice, according as they may be better discounted at each of those places, and that they are payable in such Genoese coin as the bankers choose, which is, upon the whole, a sort of arrangement subject to much loss of time and money. Begs His Imperial Majesty well to consider this matter of the bills of exchange, for otherwise one half of the funds destined to this Imperial army goes in commission, interest, change, &c., besides the heavy cost of bringing the specie to the camp.
The Venetians persist in their resolution to give only 80,000 out of the 120,000 which they were bound to pay; that is to say, 50,000 now, and 30,000 at one year's date. The Viceroy is of opinion to take now what they offer, in order to supply the pressing wants of this Imperial army, and to have it stated in the receipt which he (the Abbot) is to give them, that the said sum is accepted as a proof of their love for the Emperor, and for the maintenance of his army, as they themselves say. He (the Abbot) fears that the Venetians are only making fine promises, and do not intend to pay; in the end the Emperor will be obliged to treat them as they deserve.
His Holiness claims the possession of Rezzo (Reggio) and Rubiera; and the Viceroy excuses himself by saying that the Pope has not yet paid the 100,000 ducats of his debt to the Emperor, without including in that sum, as he seems to do, the 25,000 which he gave on a former occasion. Everything shall be done to make His Holiness' interests conincide with those of His Imperial Majesty.
Three thousand Spaniards who came here [to Genoa] in guard of the French King, and who were quartered in the city, round the castle, have, according to a lamentable custom among soldiers when they have no pay, committed certain depredations. Their month's pay was due on the 17th instant, and as it was not forthcoming, they took from the citizens the articles of food and clothing they wanted most. The damage caused is calculated at upwards of 3,000 crowns, which the Viceroy has promised to pay in equivalent licenses to export corn from Naples or Sicily during the six ensuing months.
Captain Corbera left yesterday with the companies of infantry returning to Lombardy.—Genoa, 31 May 1525.
Signed: "El Abbad de Najera."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. Abbot of Najera. Genoa, 31st May."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 4.


  • n1. "Con solos tres barriles de polvora, y sin un tambano de farina, y sin un carlin."
  • n2. "Porquel artilleria del rreyno los llevó."
  • n3. "Era menester buscar el salmitre (sic) por los muros y carcavas de la cindad."
  • n4. This is on a separate sheet, appended to the preceding letter, and in the handwriting of Levya.
  • n5. This individual, whose name does not appear, was receiver or collector of taxes at Rollencourt, in the bailliage of Hesdin, for M. de Lannoy.
  • n6. Girolamo Ghinucci, Papal Auditor, Bishop of Ascoli and Worcester, generally called in papers of the time "Episcopus Vigorniensis."
  • n7. Lorenzo Orio, who arrived in England on the 24th of May.
  • n8. Roger Basyng?
  • n9. Bernardo Clesi (1514–39), created Cardinal in 1530.
  • n10. Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of London and Vice-Chancellor of Eñgland.