Spain: July 1525, 21-31

Pages 252-262

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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July 1525, 21-31

21 July. 145. The Emperor to Pope Clement VII.
S. E. L. 1554, f. 457. Has declared to the Papal Nuncio, Count [Baldassar] Castiglione, and written to his ambassador, the Duke of Sessa, what his intentions are concerning a general peace. He (the Emperor) really wishes to pacify Christendom and quiet Italy, as may be shown by the treaty he has just renewed with the Venetians, and by the fact that he is trying to settle affairs in a conference to be held in Spain with the French, English and other plenipotentiaries convoked for that express purpose. Begs him not to withhold his sanction from these conferences, and hopes the time will soon come when a general war against the Turk may be undertaken.—Toledo, 21 July 1525.
Addressed: "Summo Pontifici, etc."
Latin. Original draft, written by Alfonso Valdes, and corrected by the Grand Chancellor, Mercurino Gattinara. p. 1.
21 July. 146. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 35,
ff. 89–91.
Most Sacred Imperial Majesty.—On the 16th inst. I informed Your Imperial Majesty of the good offices (buenos oficios) that Gregory Casal, agent of the King of England, was rendering at Rome, trying to persuade His Holiness the Pope and the rest of the Italian potentates to enter with his King into a league against Your Majesty. What I have now to advise is that the said Gregory Casal arrived here, at Milan, on that very day, the 16th, and, after spending four days in almost complete seclusion, went away on the 20th, without having communicated with any of the generals of this army or servants of Your Imperial Majesty. We do not yet know whether his (Casale's) journey to England is to be through France or through Germany, but it is an understood thing that his object is to cement a union between his King and that of France and the Italian potentates, who, all without exception, are very solicitous in forwarding the liberty of Italy, as they call it, to Your Majesty's detriment. This is a fact that cannot be doubted, and for this purpose a secretary of Alberto Carpi, named Sigismundino, has lately gone to France, and was to arrive at Lyons on the 20th or 21st inst., and, after despatching his commission, return home in great haste. The Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere), general of the Venetian forces, has lately been spending a few days in Venice, and after holding several conferences with them has come to Brescia, where he has collected much artillery and placed it in the castle.
(Cipher:) In view of these preparations, the Duke of Bourbon, the Marquis of Pescara, and Antonio de Leyva resolved to come back from Novara to Milan, in order better to watch the progress of the intrigue. It is their opinion that Your Imperial Majesty ought as soon as possible to enter into some sort of agreement with the King of France or with the King of England and the Italian potentates, and, that being done, to inform them of Your Majesty's wishes that they may keep this army ready in order, and in the most suitable positions, before the enemies become aware of Your Imperial Majesty's intentions.
(Common writing:) It is also most needful that Your Majesty should have this army provided with money, because otherwise it will be impossible, as the Marquis more particularly writes in his last despatch, to keep it together.
The Duke of Milan has been, and is still, suffering from a tertian fever, caught through playing at ball with excess, and longer than is required for bodily exercise. He is now a little better. God be thanked for it!
On the 18th inst. a brigantine came from Barcelona with a courier said to be going to Rome in haste. Lope de Soria, Your Majesty's ambassador in Genoa, writes to say he has letters from Bartholomew Ferrer, at Barcelona, of the 11th inst., advising the arrival there of the King of France, who had afterwards left for a place called Venisalo. He [Lope de Soria] has had other private letters from Barcelona, telling him how the marriage of Your Majesty with the Princess of Portugal was considered certain, and a report is here current that the King of England will give his daughter in marriage to the King of Scotland.
Captain Sancho Lopez arrived here from Naples on the 17th, with advices that a servant of the Marquis of Pescara who had been sent thither to raise money on his estates and pay the 15,000 escudos borrowed at Milan for the wants of this army, had been successful in his negotiation, and had accepted the bills conjointly with the Council of Naples. The same Captain Sancho Lopez has brought bills of exchange for 13,000 escudos more, equivalent to 15,000 ducats of the kingdom (of Naples), besides the promise of 10,000 more that were to follow as soon as possible. We are now trying to have these discounted here, giving as security the Duke of Bourbon's jewels and certain promissory notes of the Marquis of Pescara and of Antonio de Leyva. The Marquis has again written to Naples, ordering everything he possesses there to be sold for the maintenance of this army, and it would seem to me that Your Imperial Majesty cannot fail to take into account this and other sacrifices of the Marquis, especially at times so perilous as the present.—Milan, 21 July 1525.
Signed: "El Abbad de Najera."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Holograph. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 4½.
21 July. 147. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor Charles V.
Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 35,
ff. 81–85.
The Bishop of Lodi (fn. n1) sent some time ago a friar to him (Sanchez), saying he wished to be the Emperor's servant and hold a conference with the Imperial ambassador. Went secretly to see him at a monastery where he was staying. The Bishop repeated to him his offer to serve the Imperial cause and forsake that of the King of France. Having asked him what he knew about France and the French, the Bishop answered that the Pope was at the bottom of all these intrigues. It was he (the Pope) who had caused the mother of the King of France and Monsieur de Lautrec (fn. n2) to send the Bishop of Bayeux as ambassador to Venice, that he might induce the Republic, by great promises, not to conclude an alliance with him (the Emperor). The French, added the Bishop, do not care much about the liberation of their King, as, whether a peace be concluded or not, they are sure to invade Italy soon. They (the French) are now negotiating with the King of England, and have no doubt that he will favour them. The Bishop returns to Ferrara to-morrow, and has taken with him a cipher, by means of which he purposes writing to him (Soria).
The Pope urges this Republic to make peace with France. He himself would already have concluded an alliance with the French had the Venetians been ready to do the same. The Venetians, however, say that the power of the Queen mother [of France] is not sufficient, to which the French ambassador replies that the English have already made peace with France, and find the power of France sufficiently strong to accomplish the aim of the Italian league.
The Pope and the French propose what they call the Concordia of Italy.
News concerning different Italian states.—Venice, 21 July 1525.
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Alonso Sanchez, 21 July."
Spanish. Holograph in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 7.
21 July. 148. The Emperor to Pope Clement VII.
S. E. L. 1557,
f. 457.
Will hear through his Nuncio, the Venerable Balthasar Castiglione, how much he (the Emperor) wishes for peace. The Duke of Sessa, his Lieutenant (Vicegerens) in Italy, will also inform him how the better to obtain that blessing, which is the constant aim of his life. He (the Emperor) is now trying to settle the affairs of Italy, to renew his alliance with the Signory of Venice, and to hold a congress here [in Spain] with France, England, and the rest of the Christian potentates, (fn. n3) where with his (the Pope's) counsel and advice some measures may be adopted to ensure the tranquillity of the Christian world.—Datum Toleti, xxi. Julii 1525.
Latin. Original draft. Corrected by Gattinara.
21 July.
S. E. L. 1454,
f. 105.
149. Memorandum of what Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez are to demand from the Doge and Signory of Venice.
It was stipulated in the treaty of alliance concluded between us and the Signory of Venice on the 25th day of July 1523 that the Doge and Signory of Venice should pay us 200,000 gold ducats (ducentum millia ducatorum auri largorum) in the following manner:—25,000 on the next festival of the Nativity of our Saviour; 25,000 more on a similar day of 1524; and so on every year until the completion of that sum. That by way of indemnity to the outlaws (exteri), a sum of 5,000 gold ducats should be paid to them or their heirs, annually, as a compensation for their confiscated property, until an equivalent in land yielding the above sum in rent should be distributed among them. The Doge and Signory agreed to raise for the defence of the Duke and duchy of Milan a force of 800 lances "more italico," 500 light horse (levis armaturœ), and 600 foot, with competent artillery, ammunition, &c., all at the Signory's expense, till the end of the war. They, moreover, bound themselves to furnish 15 galleys (triremes), with their crews, to be employed in the defence of our kingdom of Naples, if attacked by the enemy.
Not one of the above stipulations having been fulfilled by the Signory, notwithstanding our frequent demands, especially at times, when pressed by the enemy our army most required the promised assistance, we have decided to appoint the Reverend Marino Caracciolo, Apostolical Prothonotary, and Alonso Sanchez to be our orators and ambassadors at Venice, that they may cause the above treaty with the Signory to be confirmed and executed, or negotiate a new one, &c.—Toledo, 21 July 1525.
Latin. Original draft. pp. 3.
24 July. 150. The Duke of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 35,
ff. 95–99.
His last letter to the Emperor is of the 14th instant. It went by a courier who was to start from Naples, and who took also the duplicate of his letter of the 12th. What he now has to advise is:—
(Cipher:) The explanation given by the Pope respecting the reported armaments in the Mantuan territory has since proved to be correct; somebody must have spread the rumour on purpose. The Pope, however, begged him to write home that things in Italy were in great confusion, and the people in a state of anxiety and suspense owing to the Viceroy's sudden departure without having previously settled any of the then pending matters. He (the Pope) had always been, and was still, requested by many parties to enter into a league [against the Emperor]. The English wanted it above all things. They were trying for a new convention to be entered into, but hitherto His Holiness has not acceded to their wishes, nor will he in future, as he has repeatedly instructed his Nuncio [in Spain] to tell His Imperial Majesty, notwithstanding that he has sent such as good and sincere advice on this matter as any father can bestow on his own son. If after such advice so affectionately proffered, he (the Pope) was disbelieved, and no attention was paid to his warnings, he considered that he had done his duty towards God and towards the Emperor, and would leave matters to be decided by future events. He could not but complain bitterly of being ill-treated, not only on account of the preference given to the Duke of Ferrara in the settlement of his claims, but also with regard to Church preferment. He said he knew for certain that the Viceroy [Charles de Lannoy] had left for Spain under a very unfavourable impression respecting him; that the Venetians made the same complaints, pretending to know, through M. de Bourbon, that the chief object of his (the Viceroy's) journey to Spain had been to persuade and encourage His Imperial Majesty to declare war against them. "This" (added the Pope) "appears to me almost incredible; and yet one thing is certain, namely, that they (the Venetians) hold it as a fact, and are in great fear of the consequences, and out of despair have already entered into secret negotiations with the Emperor's enemies. In my opinion," said the Pope, "should they not find in France or England what they expect, and try to obtain for their own remedy and security, they will undoubtedly apply to the Turk."
This is the substance of what His Holiness told him (Sessa) in the last audience, after begging him to acquaint the Emperor with his sentiments; and though the ambassador, in his late despatches, has often written on this subject, he cannot help referring to it again, the Pope having particularly requested that he would so, and having since reminded him of his promise thrice in two days.
The Venetians are actively at work. Scarcely a day passes without their ambassador (Marco Foscari) going to the Palace or despatching a courier. Cannot find out exactly what he is about, for the whole affair is conducted between His Holiness and the Datary. Even the Archbishop (of Capua) cannot penetrate the mystery, and confesses his ignorance. The confederates lay great stress on the discontent of the English, which is openly talked of. Presumes that Alonso Sanchez, the ambassador, has kept the Emperor au courant of what is going on at Venice, and of the frequent and secret audiences the Signory has given to the Bishop of Bayos (Bayeux), who is already declared ambassador of France to that Republic. The news of this court are his (Sessa's) business, and he shall not fail to advise when necessary.
The day before yesterday letters were received in this city (Rome) from England. The last dates are the 28th of June. Joachino (Passano) had arrived at that court; and the Cardinal had said to the Pope's Nuncio (who has since forwarded the intelligence to this Papal court) that the French ambassadors had already been provided with safe-conducts, and were shortly expected in England. That there was no other news of importance, and especially no rumour of war. They (the English) had heard of the arrival of the French King in Spain, and were shocked at it. They complained bitterly that the thing had been done without consulting them, and otherwise manifested their discontent at the whole transaction. (Cipher:) Cannot help thinking there is under all this some mystery which he cannot unravel. Hopes that upon the return of Chevalier Casal, of whose sudden departure he has already informed the Emperor, the whole thing will be cleared up. Mentioned the other day the departure of Gismond, the King of France's secretary, who resides here with the French ambassador. He has no doubt gone to France to inform Madame, the Regent, of what is going on here. Four days after his departure, Alberto del Carpio (Carpi) came, who, after spending upwards of one month at Viterbo, on the plea of taking the baths, returned to Rome. The truth is that he went there on account of the league entered into between the Pope and His Imperial Majesty, there to hide his shame, (fn. n4) and then migrate to some other country, since by the article of the capitulation concerning the rebels he is forbidden to enter Rome or any other town in the territory of the Church. In his opinion Carpi's return is entirely owing to these new intrigues; he is a good hand at this sort of thing. The Datary sees him often; but until now he (Carpi) has not been seen at the Palace.
Has not yet imparted to the Pope his suspicions about the aforesaid personage [Alberto di Carpi], but intends doing so as soon as he knows the Pope's decision respecting the ratification of the league. Has given His Holiness a new draft [of the treaty of league], according to his desire, and after consulting the Imperial lawyers thereupon. Encloses a copy of it.
Eight days have already passed, and no answer from the Pope has come, though he (Sessa) has often applied for it. Can easily understand that the Pope will delay it as much as he can, till he hears how things turn up there (in Spain), and what beginning is made here. Will do his best to find out what the plans of the confederates are, but at the same time it behoves him (Sessa) to entreat His Imperial Majesty no longer to keep this affair in suspense, and to take at once such a decision as may be best for the Imperial service.
(Cipher:) About the Emperor's coming here (to Italy) much is said. The Pope seems to wish for it, especially if matters could thereby be more firmly established than they are at present.
His Holiness told him yesterday of a certain letter he had received from the Count (fn. n3) of France, and related to him (Sessa) most of its contents. Has since procured the letter itself, and had it copied. Sends it enclosed. Begs the Emperor not to show it to the Pope's Nuncio, because if he comes to hear of it, he (Sessa) will not be able to obtain any more letters in the same way. Thinks, however, that a copy of it will be sent to the Nuncio. Fancies that these people are not glad of the Legate's journey [to Spain], for they are doing everything in their power to prevent it. Should they not succeed in their attempt (for it is said that he has already sailed), they will persuade the Pope to recall him. This would seem to be in contradiction with what has been said about their secret plans; but in reality it is not so, for it must be borne in mind that when Sigismondo arrived, the King's mother had not yet made that provision, nor had Alberto Carpi returned here, nor Cavaliere Casal arrived in England, nor the Bishop of Bayos (Bayeux) begun his negotiations with the Venetians; all this having occurred almost simultaneously.
(Common writing:) Pescara has taken possession of the whole of Saluzzo, the Marquis having gone over to France with some of the infantry he had left. M. de Bourbon has returned to Milan. They tell me that he can hardly keep his men together for want of pay.
From Germany the news is that the Suabian League has again defeated the peasants who were coming to the assistance of Cardinal Salsburki (Salzburgh). The Infante (Archduke) had been advised not to make any arrrangement with the rebels of that province, as they (the leaguers) intended soon to go there and punish them.
Commander Aguilera has just returned from Sienna, and is about to write—at Sessa's request, and for the Emperor's perusal,—a report of the late events in that city. Severino and another man whose name he does not know are going as ambassadors to His Imperial Majesty. Hears that the object of their mission is to offer 10,000 ducats, and if these are not considered sufficient, 10,000 more, to obtain permission to proceed judicially against the absentees (foraxidos), on the plea that they have plundered the public money, and to offer 80,000 ducats more out of the confiscated property.
By the above-mentioned letters from England and others since received, we hear that the demands made by Commander Peñalosa in the Emperor's name for the hand of the Princess [Mary] and 400,000 ducats had been made public in that court, and were considered exorbitant. It was further believed that this had been done in concert with France.—Rome, 24 July 1525.
Signed: "El Duque de Sessa."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred and Invincible Emperor, King of Spain, of the Two Sicilies, &c."
Indorsed: "To the King. Duke of Sessa. Rome, 24th of July."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 8.
25 July. 151. The Emperor to the Abbot of Najera, his Commissary in Lombardy.
Arch. Cent.
Madrid. Priv. y
Cart. Re. d. Sta
Mar. d. Naj., f. 378.
The King, &c.—Knight Commander Lope Hurtado de Mendoça, our councillor, whom We now send as our ambassador to Savoy, has received orders to pass through Lombardy and deliver to you certain verbal messages of ours respecting the affairs of Italy. We beg you to give the said Lope Hurtado full credence, and to put at once into execution the orders of which he is the bearer.—Toledo, 25 July 1525.
Signed: "Yo el Rey. By His Majesty's command: Alonso de Soria."
Addressed: "From His Imperial Catholic Majesty to the Abbot of Najera, his Commissiary at the Imperial Army of Lombardy."
Spanish. Copy. p. 1.
28 July. 152. Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 35,
ff. 114–6.
Sacred Imperial Majesty.—I wrote to Your Imperial Majesty by various ways, on the 9th and 21st ult., and 17th inst. (Cipher:) Since then Micer Gregorio Casale, the English ambassador, has passed through this city; and, according to the statement of Hieronimo Morone, with whom I have conversed, he (the ambassador), whilst visiting the Duke, who is still unwell, has thrown out words similar to those which he used at Rome, thereby showing that his King is dissatisfied with Your Majesty's greatness and growing power. The said ambassador is supposed to have a safe-conduct to pass through France, and to have followed that route. This is confirmed by the report here that Sigismondo, the secretary of Micer Alberto [Carpi], has actually left for that country.
From Rome, as well as Venice, Your Majesty no doubt has daily information respecting the practices there going on. As the rumour from various parts was that this Duke [of Milan] not only listened, but even adhered to, the said practices—though the report seemed to me incredible for many reasons—I called on his Excellency, who has not yet recovered from his long illness, and had a long conference with him, showing how prejudicial the said rumours, if true, might be to him, and how contrary it was to his obligations and interests to take part in such intrigues. I used at the same time such words as seemed most applicable to His Holiness' conduct on this occasion. He (the Duke) swore to me that it was a calumny, and that he was innocent of the guilty practices attributed to him, adding by way of confirmation: "May I remain for ever laid on this couch, and never recover from the disease under which I am labouring, if what they impute to me be true. You do not, I hope, consider me such a rogue, or such a fool, or such an unfeeling brute, that whilst owing this my estate to His Imperial Majesty, and after having done with my subjects throughout more than could reasonably be expected from us, exposing our lives and property to utter ruin at times when success was doubtful, should, now that His Highness is so exalted by victory, condemn myself to perpetual infamy and manifest ruin by adhering to those very parties, who not only have shown me no love at all, but were at one time the cause of my expulsion from my estate. How could I, besides, take part in such intrigues against His Majesty when I am expecting from the Imperial benignity to be confirmed in my estate, as I have lately been informed by Micer Camillo [Giulino], my secretary, who assures me of His Imperial Majesty's goodwill and kindly disposition towards me?" The Duke ended by saying that, when firmly established in his estate, as he had no doubt he should soon be, through Your Majesty's benignity, no one would be found a more loving or faithful subject of the Empire.
It would be impossible for me to explain the feelings of mistrust which the whole of Italy now entertains of Your Majesty's designs. The Bishop of Baius (Bayeux), who is now in Venice as ambassador from France, does not rest one moment, and the manifestations of the English ministers rather increase the said suspicions. My opinion is that all this proceeds from fear they have that the questions at issue [between Your Majesty and the King of France] will not be settled to their advantage. I consider it convenient and even necessary that Your Majesty should at once come to some determination, because otherwise these people might advance so far in their intrigues that they could no longer retreat. Irresolution seems to me most dangerous at the present moment; and I fully believe that were they to be convinced of Your Majesty's goodwill and kind intentions towards them, they would desist from such practices, for it is in the Pope's interest to be on good terms with Your Majesty for many reasons, whilst the Venetians, in case of war—which they dislike—have everything to dread from the Imperial arms. Though reluctantly enough, the Venetians might yet be induced by necessity and their natural disinclination to war, to refrain from hostile practices, especially as the two foundations on which they would have to raise their structure are very unsound. One is France, and they know very well that the moment Your Imperial Majesty comes to an agreement with its King, the whole building will come down. The other is England, a country too far off, whose people do not throw away their money, and who act, as we have seen, principally when they are away from home. It is therefore very important to come to some resolution, inasmuch as the army consumes much treasure, is badly paid, and behaves licentiously, as the Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy) and other generals cannot fail to inform Your Majesty.
Whoever could at the present moment bring about a universal and permanent peace would, in my opinion, do a very meritorious act in the eyes of God; but at the same time France, Italy, and the whole world ought to acknowledge and testify to the immense benefit received at Your Majesty's hands by delivering them of such terrible calamity as war is, and turning the Christian arms against the enemies of Faith and religion.
Camillo [Giulino], the Duke's secretary, is about to return to the Imperial court, to solicit and promote his master's affairs.—Milan, 28 July 1525.
Signed: "El Protonotario Caracciolo."
Addressed: "A la Sacratissima Cesarea Real Maestà."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Prothonotary Caracciolo. 28th July."
Italian, Holograph partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering, pp. 4½.


  • n1. One of the Sforza family, and a relative of the Duke Francesco. His name was Ottaviano Sforza, son of Galeazza Sforza. It was he who first revealed to the Imperial ambassadors the plans of Morone.
  • n2. Odet de Foix, Sieur de Lautrec.
  • n3. "In generalique conventu isthic habendo cum Gallis, Anglis et cæteris ad id evocatis." This is added in the minute, or rather interlined by the Chancellor himself.
  • n4. "El qual era en Viterbo, son mas de xxx dias con color del estar á los baños, pero la verdad fue por la liga hecha con V. Mag. para no sallir vergonçosamente y de alli tomar la derrota que le conviniesse, que por el articulo que trata de los rebeldes no puede estar en Roma ni en otra tierra de la Iglesia."