Spain: February 1525, 1-28

Pages 39-59

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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February 1525, 1-28

1 Feb. 10. Louis de Praet, Imperial Ambassador in England, to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof. u. Staats. Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. No. 5.
Was about to despatch a special courier after Richard with the good news contained in the enclosed, when Madame's letters of the 22nd Jan. last arrived with duplicate of another letter from the Viceroy [of Naples]. Sends copies of both, and regrets deeply that the contents of the last should be such as they are.
Has communicated the whole to the Legate who discoursed long about it, without, however, coming to any decision. Yesterday when expecting the Cardinal's final answer, he (Praet) received a message saying he would have to wait three or four days more, for the reasons which are specified in his letters to Madame, of which a copy is also enclosed. Writes briefly and in haste that the courier may set out at once.
From M. du Reux, and the despatches he took with him, the Emperor must have heard of the state of affairs here up to the 9th of January, and of the new proposals made by the Legate. Will send further information by Richard, and especially concerning the Legate, and whether he persists in the opinion he gave him (De Praet) the day before yesterday.
Things are going badly, and there is no hope left but in battle. May God, by His infinite mercy, bring the Emperor well through it! From his (Praet's) former letters, the Emperor will, no doubt, draw his own conclusion as to the cause of this sudden change [in the politics of England]. Thinks the best way now would be to dissemble with those to whom one is scarcely under obligation, (fn. n1) and await a favourable opportunity, such as some sure way of coming to an understanding with the adverse party.—London, 1st of February 1525.
Postcriptum.—Has heard a report this morning that Pavia was taken on the 23rd of last month. Has sent to Brian Tuke to inquire the truth; his answer was that there was no foundation in it. There must, however, be some news stirring, for John Joachim went to the Legate yesterday evening after eight o'clock, and had an interview with him. Some say that Pavia was taken by storm, which he (Praet) thinks impossible; others say that it surrendered by capitulation; but unless all the accounts hitherto received from thence are false, it is hard to believe that a city like Pavia can have capitulated. Provisions may have been scarce, but it would be known in the city that the Emperor's army was at hand to introduce succour and have the siege raised.
Signed: "Loys de Praet."
Addressed: "To the Emperor, &c."
French. Original, partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering between the lines. p. 1.
1 Feb. 11. Charles de Lannoy, Viceroy of Naples, to Madame Marguerite, Governess of the Low Countries.
Arch. d. Royme.
de Belg.Doc.
Hist. III. No. 57.
Has duly received her letter of the 19th January, informing him that the King of England was about to send Messire Gregory Casal to Italy for the purpose of having the 50,000 ducats delivered, and also to induce the Holy Father, the Venetians, and others to remain firm in their alliance, and help to the support of this army, so that the French may be expelled (reboutés) out of Italy.
This news Madame gives as reported to her, but does not vouch for its truth. All he (Lannoy) can say is, that if the English King had done his duty towards the Emperor, his ally, and remitted sooner his contribution in money, the affairs of Italy would be in a more prosperous state. The Pope would not have made his appointment with the French, and perhaps the Venetians too would have joined this Imperial army.
Has fully informed her how, on the 24th of January last, he (Lannoy) left Loris (Lodi?) and went to lodge at Marignano (Melegnano), and thence to Vilante, 10 miles from Pavia, in order to take possession of a certain town and castle called Sant Angelo, a very important place on account of provisions. The Marquis of Pescara took charge of the said enterprise, with seven banners of Spanish infantry, and acquitted himself so well that, having arrived before the town on Saturday last, on the ensuing morning he took it by storm, and made the garrison prisoners, consisting of 50 men-at-arms, 200 light horse, and between 300 and 400 foot, chiefly hackbootiers (haggebutiers). We intend to-morrow to lodge at four miles from Pavia, and hope to be able to make the enemy raise the siege of that city.
A great misfortune has happened at Genoa, as Madame will see by the letter of Ambassador Soria, of which a copy is enclosed. He (Lannoy) has decided to send thither, in great haste, Commander Figouroelle (Figueroa?), with four banners (enseignes) of infantry, and another captain who is in that neighbourhood with 500 or 600 foot. Has authorised the said ambassador (Soria) to take whatever money may be required out of the 200,000 which the Emperor is about to remit [from Spain].—Ghisterin, 1st Feb. 1525.
Signed: "Charles de Lannoy."
French. Original, pp. 3.
3 Feb. 12. Louis de Praet, Imperial Ambassador in England, to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-Hof.
u. Staats. Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. No. 6.
Wrote to the Emperor on the 1st inst. Has just received by the bearer letters from Madame containing duplicate of the capitulation between the Pope and the French, which he encloses.
Went to-day to the Legate to communicate the above and hear his decision respecting his late overtures. The Legate said that the Pope after all was not so much to blame as might be thought at first, since he had taken no offensive steps against any one, and only sought to render his own territory more secure, and this principally in consequence of the imperative and threatening terms in which the Emperor's agents in Italy had addressed him. The Legate, however, owned, that, in his opinion, the Pope had acted thus because he wished to see the French King in possession of Milan, and the Emperor at Naples, so that through their mutual jealousy he might manage them both. The ambassador replied, as before, that this alliance between the Pope and the French King, far from being only a defensive one, as it had been alleged, was thoroughly offensive, since it mostly related to the duchy of Milan, and might eventually affect the Emperor's interests in the kingdom of Naples. That the 3rd article of the treaty by which the Holy Father and the French King engage themselves mutually to defend their persons and possessions was very significant, and that the last but one, inviting other Princes to join the league, was couched in too vague and general terms to be satisfactory. The Legate agreed that the vagueness of the articles was rather suspicious, but he did not think that the mutual defence was meant to extend beyond Italy. As to the invitation made to other Princes to join the league, the Legate said it was out of the question, and that he would never advise the King, his master, or the Emperor, to accept the offer, for it would not lead to peace, which might be brought about in time without any meddling from the Holy Father. To which he (Praet) replied that, in his opinion, the best way for obtaining peace was for the King [of England] to contribute with money towards the support of the Emperor's Italian army. This had been amply done (the Legate said) by Messire Gregory Casale, whose mission, he hoped, would produce good effects, not only at the Imperial camp, which he was ordered to visit, but also at Rome, near His Holiness, for whom he had taken letters of credence. Indeed, he added, but for the good offices of the King's ambassador at Rome (Dr. Clerk), the Emperor's affairs would he in a worse plight than they are now. His advice, therefore, was to go on dissembling with the Pope until things wore in better train, and, above all, to keep on good terms with the Pope's ambassador here. He (Praet) was to entertain and coax him, without appearing to have any mistrust. In short, though the conference lasted a long time, and the ambassador replied to every one of the Legate's remarks as best be could, yet he was unable to guess what his real sentiments are, for he seemed at one time to disapprove of the Pope's behaviour, and immediately after said that he did not blame him for what he had done, but that he could have acted better: all which is very much in contradiction with the instructions which, he says, have been given to Messire Gregory Casale. Fancies the Legate is very much embarrassed from fear of his past acts and words coming perchance to the King's knowledge, for if they should it will be found out that they have greatly tended to produce the present evils, and perhaps too have been done and said without the King's sanction.
The President of Rouen is still here [in London], but has not yet, according to the Legate's account, entered upon business. However that may be, the President yesterday despatched his third courier [to France], since his arrival 11 or 12 days ago.
The accounts from Pavia, with other small matters, will be communicated to the Emperor by bearer.—London, the 3rd of February 1525.
Signed: "Loys de Praet."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Original. pp. 3.
5 Feb. 13. Charles de Lannoy to Madame Marguerite, Governess of the Low Countries.
Arch. d. Royme.
de Belg. Doc.
Hist. III. No. 58.
Has received her letter of the 22nd Jan., also the copies of the Emperor's letters to his ambassador in England (Praet), and the answer made by the English King through his ambassador at the Imperial court. No news yet about the money which the Emperor has promised to send, and which is much needed, as on the 10th inst. there will be 100,000 ducats due to the infantry alone of this Imperial army.
Movements of the armies.—Left Lucerago (fn. n2) on the 4th, and arrived as this camp, two miles from Pavia, this morning. The French King is at Mirabel. Mons. de la Palisse, with the vanguard and the Switzers, at the monastery (cloistre) outside Pavia. (fn. n3) We yesterday detached a company of Spanish infantry, mostly gunners, (fn. n4) to guard that portion of the Park of Pavia, which is close to our camp, and next to which the enemy has erected a bastion (bastillon). After dinner the Marquis [de Pescara], Alarcon, the Marquis of Civita Sant Angelo, and himself (the Viceroy) inspected the avenues to the camp, and came up to the gate of the Park, when the two marquises and Alarcon dismounted and proceeded to reconnoitre the said bastion, with their escort, and took possession of it after slaying some of its defenders, and putting the remainder to flight. On their return to the camp about 4,000 or 5,000 of the enemy came [to the bastion] to regain possession of it and avenge their comrades, but they were repulsed [by the Spaniards] with great loss, principally among the Switzers, of whom there were 5 or 6 banners. A spot has been selected, whither we intend to go to-morrow morning early; so near it is to Mons. de la Palisse that we can offend him with our artillery. It is impossible for us to advance any further unless we enter Pavia. The enemy appears resolved to accept battle, and we accordingly expect to fight it out in a few days.
Chevalier Gregory Casal arrived yesterday, bringing letters from the King of England and Legate, with credence on three different points, the first of which relates to the late expedition to Provence. It was true (say the letters) that the King had been informed that the enterprise of Provence had failed in consequence of his (Lannoy) not having made sufficient provision, but although the report was very generally spread, neither the King nor the Legate had attached any faith to it, knowing how good and affectionate a servant of the Emperor and of them he (Lannoy) was, with plenty other complimentary words of the same kind.
The second point is that the King of England had hitherto avoided, as much as possible, to have anything to do with Italian affairs; but perceiving that if the French ever gained footing in Italy, it would greatly turn out to the Emperor's disadvantage and to his (Lannoy's) disrepute, he now begged that every effort should be made in that quarter, and that we should immediately offer the enemy battle, adding that, the better to ensure success, he had given order that 50,000 ducats which he had at Viterbo should be handed over to him (Lannoy) to distribute among the soldiers.
The third point in the letters brought by Casale is that the King of England has actually requested the Pope to be friendly to the Emperor's cause and his own against the King of France. In case of refusal the said Gregory Casal was to tell him (the Pope) that the King of England will become his enemy and do him all possible injury. (fn. n5)
Messire Richart Pace writes from Venice to say he has received orders from England to speak to the Signory and press them to join their forces to those of the Emperor, wherever they may be now.
The 50,000 ducats he (Lannoy) has accepted, and consequently Sir Gregory has written to Rome for them.
Respecting his own personal affairs, has told him (Casale) the truth, as he did on a former occasion at his passage through Ast (Asti). (fn. n6) —At the Camp, two miles from Pavia 5 Feb. 1525.
Signed: "Charles de Lannoy."
French. Original, pp. 3.
6 Feb. 14. The Marquis of Pescara to King Henry.
S. E. L. Suelt. In answer to his message by Messire Gregory Casalis he (the Marquis) can only say that he wishes to serve the Emperor and the King, as he has done hitherto. Their affairs being common he doubts not but that they will assist him in case of need. Desires no other reward for his services than that his goodwill should be made known to the King. Is now encamped two miles from the enemy, and expects to meet him in battle very shortly.—From the Camp, near Pavia, 6th February 1525.
Signed: "El Marques de Pescara."
Addressed: "To His Majesty the King of England."
Indorsed: "Copy of the letter from Pescara to King Henry VIII."
Italian. Contemporary copy. p. 1.
10 Feb. 15. Charles de Lannoy to M. de Praet.
S. E. L. Suelt. Wrote last announcing the arrival at the camp of Messire Gregoire de Cassal, who left, however, four days ago. Wants very much the 50,000 ducats [promised by England], as the Pope's agents are getting every day more decided for the French cause. The Imperial Camp is a short mile from Pavia; the French are on the other side of the city, and so close that they can hear at night the cry of the sentries at the outposts. Would already have attacked the enemy, had not their camp being very strongly fortified. On the very day of his [Lannoy's] arrival, Antonio de Leyva sallied forth from the bulwark of San Salvatore, and killed five hundred of the enemy. The said Leyva sent to ask for powder and ammunition, which was forthwith sent to him, and entered Pavia the day before yesterday, at which the French are nowise pleased. Will do all they can to draw the enemy out of his camp and make him fight. Thinks the French will come to trouble if they do remain in their present position, between the Imperial army and the city of Pavia. Has already inflicted very severe losses upon them, for the Spanish gunners (culveriniers) know their craft, and go to work with much ardour.
Has received his letters of the 16th last, and also a copy of that which he (Praet) has written to the Emperor. Asks for further news that he may hear how matters stand in England.—From the Camp close to Pavia, 10 Feb. 1525.
Signed: "Charles de Lannoy."
Addressed: "A Mr. Loys de Flandre, Sieur de Praet, Ambassadeur en Angleterre."
Indorsed: "Copie de la lettre du Viceroy à l'Ambassadeur."
French. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
12 Feb. 16. The Emperor to Louis de Praet, his Ambassador in England.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof. u. Staats. Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. No. 9.
De par l'Empereur, &c.—We now send our Squire Claude de Cilly, bearer of the present, with the enclosed instructions to be strictly observed by you [Louis de Praet], our resident ambassador in England. But besides the matters contained in the said instructions, there is another point upon which We command you to make particular inquiries at that court, and inform us, as soon as possible, of what you may learn about it, that the said Squire de Cilly may bring us an answer on his return.
The point in question is touching our marriage with the Princess [Mary] of England. You must be aware of a rumour being afloat that the Scotch ambassadors in that court have lately proposed a marriage between their young King and the said Princess. We now hear from Italy that a gentleman of the King of England had arrived at the French camp and been in close communication with King [Francis]. It is rumoured that the object of his visit was likewise the Princess's marriage, and that after seeing the King several times, he had been sent back in haste. Now, We command you to ascertain as secretly as you possibly can, and without awakening suspicion, what truth there may be in the said report; and if you should find out that the Scotch ambassadors have in reality made such offers of marriage, to address, conjointly with the said Squire de Cilly, and in the mildest possible form and language, the following remonstrances in our name:—
(Cipher:) You will tell the King and Cardinal that, although by the existing treaties the Princess, our future Empress and Catholic Queen, is not to be given away until she has reached the age of twelve, and after we have sent [to England] our ambassadors, with sufficient powers to contract our marriage by words of presence, and after she or her father have sent us a similar embassy, yet the Estates General (Cortes) of these our kingdoms, and ourselves, are very desirous of seeing the said Princess as soon as possible [in Spain], that she may be nurtured and educated according to the manners of Castillo, and learn the language of the inhabitants. As the said Princess, our future wife and Queen, is fast approaching the age of puberty, she might, after the said solemn formalities had been complied with, come to our kingdom, and live among our subjects, whereby our mutual love and affection would be fostered and greatly increased.
You are to ask the King and the Cardinal graciously to grant this our request, assuring them both that We shall esteem it as a great favour on their part, inasmuch as We know well that the King is nowise bound to it by treaty. And this request you are to make in our own name, and in the best manner you possibly can, without awakening their suspicions or letting them know that you are aware of any similar overtures having been made in another quarter. By which means you shall be able to ascertain whether the said King and Cardinal have accepted, or intend to accept, the offers of the Scottish ambassadors; for were it so, We should shape our future conduct so as not to be placed between two fires.
What We write to you is very private and confidential, trusting that you, as our good servant and faithful vassal, will do everything in your power to procure the desired information on this particular, and, when obtained, will transmit it to us by the said Squire de Cilly, who has orders to return as quickly as he can, and bring also despatches from Madame, our aunt.—Madrid, 1st of February 1525 (fn. n7)
P.S.—After the above was written, the Sieur de Rœulx arrived, bringing your letters of the 17th and 22nd November, 2nd of December, 2nd and 9th January, by which, as well as by what the said Sieur du Rœulx has verbally related to us, we have understood the state and condition of affairs in that kingdom, and also the great and very loyal services you are doing us [at that court] whereat we feel very grateful.
As the English ambassador residing at this our court [Dr. Sampson] has lately given us a memorandum of certain offers and proposals made by the King, his master, We have caused an answer to be drawn up, whereof We enclose you a copy, that you may better conduct our affairs in that capital, and reply to any objections that might be made thereupon. Respecting the affairs of France and Scotland, you will do us great service by informing us, as soon as possible, of any new incidents that may come to your knowledge. With regard to the war and to our marriage with the Princess, you shall adhere strictly to your former instructions and to those lately sent by Squire Cilly. You will in fact do whatever you may deem most convenient and advantageous under the present circumstances and times to keep up and foster the friendly relations now existing between the King of England and ourselves, as well as the strict observance of the treaties by which we are mutually bound.—Date ut supra.
French. Original draft, mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on the margins. pp. 3.
12 Feb. 17. The Emperor to Louis de Praet, his Ambassador in England.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof. u. Staats. Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. No. 9.
Sends his equerry, Claude de Cilly, to England with these despatches. Needs not enter into particulars, which are contained in the instructions. Louis de Praet must be guided by circumstances. Has full confidence in him. Wishes he could send money, but has found it impossible for the present. Has assigned salaries to his ambassadors, and will send what is due to him (Louis de Praet) as soon as possible. Has another reason for sending Cilly to London besides what is stated in the instructions, namely, that he may obtain a true and categorical answer touching his (the Emperor's) marriage with the daughter of England. He (Louis de Praet) must know the report in circulation, viz., that a marriage between the Princess and the young King of Scotland is in contemplation. Has heard by a letter from Italy that a nobleman bearing important despatches, on the subject of this marriage it is said, from the King of England to the King of France, had arrived in the French camp, and returned in all haste to England. Wishes him (Louis de Praet), therefore, to do all he can, without exciting suspicion, to find out whether there is really any foundation for such reports. Should there be any, the Emperor wishes Louis de Praet and Cilly, carefully concealing any suspicions they may have, to represent in his (the Emperor's) name to the King and Legate that " (fn. n8) though by treaty the Princess, future Empress, and Catholic Queen, is not to be given away to the Emperor before attaining the age of twelve and after his (the Emperor's) ambassador has arrived in England with full powers to contract by proxy the marriage between him and the Princess, and after the King's ambassadors have been sent to Spain for the same purpose; yet that the Estates of his (the Emperor's) dominions and himself being so greatly desirous to have the Princess sooner among them, especially now that she is approaching her twelfth year, and "can be solemnly affianced by proxy," that the Princess may be early acquainted with the manners and customs of Castille, for the strengthening of the love between the Princess and himself, "prays the King and Legate to grant this his request, and inasmuch as this will be an act of favour and not of obligation, he (the Emperor) will be more than ever bound to them (the King and Legate)," desiring nothing more than to observe faithfully all his treaties with England.
This proposal must be placed in the most favourable light possible, and the answer reported to him (the Emperor) by Cilly on his return to Spain. By this means it will clearly be perceived whether there is any wish for the marriage with Scotland, for should there be such a wish, he (the Emperor) must at once look to himself, as the King has done, or else he may, placed between two stools, fall to the ground (pour non demourer entre deux selles). Wishes his ambassador to write very fully to him, and to see that Cilly returns as soon as possible and brings the letters from Flanders.
Postscriptum.—Since writing the above has received the letters sent by the Seigneur du Reux, who has fully informed him of the state of affairs in England, and of Louis de Praet's zeal and loyalty, for which the Emperor heartily thanks him.
Encloses for Louis de Praet's guidance the English ambassador's proposals in the King's name, and his (the Emperor's) answers.
Wishes Louis de Praet to keep himself "au courant," of the affairs of France and Scotland, and inform him (the Emperor) of them, to carry out the instructions given to Cilly touching the war and the marriage, and to cement, as firmly as possible, the friendship between the King of England and himself. Trusts entirely to his (Louis de Praet's) judgment.—Given at Madrid, February 12, 1525.
Addressed: "A l'Ambassadeur d'Angleterre."
French. Minute. pp. 3.
21 Feb. 18. Charles de Lannoy to Margaret of Austria.
Arch. d. Royme.
de Belg. Doc. Hist.
III. No. 59, f. 9.
Has written on the 10th and 18th inst. No letters from the Emperor; no news either of the 100,000 ducats he was to remit, or of the money which Gregory Casal was to send from Rome. The army is in great want. Three months' pay is owing to the Spanish infantry; to the Germans one month on the 25th inst. Has found means of distributing half a gold florin to each man, and promised another half for to-morrow, but whence this is to come is more than he (Lannoy) can say.
Last Saturday, after dinner, the garrison of Pavia made a sally. Jennyn (Giovannino) de Medicis with his company went out to skirmish against them, but was beaten back with loss. The said Jennyn received a hackbut shot, which disabled him. He is said to be badly wounded, and has applied for a safe-conduct to go to Piacenza by water.
The French King has fortified his camp, and we hear from prisoners, and by intercepted letters also, that he has been advised not to offer or accept battle, but to remain in his strong position until we are compelled, from want of money, to break up our camp. In consequence whereof, and perceiving that whatever we did, we could not force him out of his entrenchments, yesterday, early in the morning, 2,000 Spanish infantry, divided into three columns, attacked the enemy's camp, took one of their bastions, and penetrated over the trenches into it, slaying 500 of them, and taking 1,000 or 1,500 prisoners. They took also part of the enemy's artillery, nine guns, slaying all those who served them, and, among others, the Sieur de Susanne, lieutenant of the master of the artillery, and a nephew of the Seneschal d'Armagnac. No more prisoners were taken on this occasion, because our men gave no quarter. Some of our Spaniards penetrated into a large tent (grand pavilion), where they slew fifty or sixty men. The name of the owner has not yet been ascertained, but he must have been a prince or some person of great rank, for the tent (they say) was full of silver and gold vessels, cups, flasks, and so forth. The Marquis of Pescara, who was at the time over the trenches, told his trumpeters to sound the signal for retreat, and our men came back to the camp.
Yesterday evening we gave them another alarm with 1,000 hackbutiers (collubreniers) by two different sides. Does not know yet what loss we have inflicted on the enemy, but it must be considerable. No opportunity is lost of causing the enemy injury, and if we had only money to engage pioneers, which we have not, makes no doubt we should already have forced the French King in his entrenched camp.
Lodewick Palvesin (Luigi Pallavicino), who had taken service with the King of France, came the other day to the district of Cremona with 2,000 foot and 200 light horse. When the Duke of Milan heard of it he sent against him an equal force, which defeated him and slew 300 of his men. Palvesin (Pallavicino) then retreated to a town called Casalmajore in the Cremonese, but the Duke having again sent against him Messire Alexandre de Bentivoille (Alessandro Bentivoglio), with the garrison of Cremona and three guns, Casalmajore had been taken by storm, and the whole garrison, including the commander and himself, made prisoners of war; a good piece of news for this army, whose provisions might have been cut oft' had the enemy gained a footing in the Cremonese.
About this time Julle (Julio) di Capua, who is governor of Alessandria, hearing that 17 banners of Italian infantry in the service of France were quartered at a village called Castras, (fn. n9) he went thither, defeated them, slew many, and made the rest prisoners.
The Duke of Albany (John Stuart), after collecting some forces at Ponte-Couronne (Ponte-Coronna) in the land of the Orsini, is gone to Rome with a slender escort, in order there to have an interview with His Holiness. The enterprise of Naples, on which he (the Duke) is intent, is full of danger for that kingdom, deprived as we are of means to succour it, and, indeed, of resources of all kinds. There is no other road open for us than try a battle, however to our disadvantage it may be.—From the Imperial Camp near Pavia, 21 Feb. 1525.
Signed: "Charles de Lanoy."
24 Feb. 19. George de Fransbergh, (fn. n10) Captain General of the Lanskennets, to Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria.
Arch. d. Royme.
de Belg. Doc. Hist.
III. No. 157.
Account of the battle of Pavia, followed by a list of the slain and prisoners among the French nobility.—Dated Pavia, 24 Feb. 1525.
French. Copy executed in 1786 by a clerk in the Archives named Wynants.
25 Feb. 20. Louis de Praet, Imperial Ambassador in London, to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 223. No. 15.
Has written several times, the last by Richard, and by a gentleman of the Archduke Ferdinand, named Meneses. Fancies that this time, at least, his letters have crossed the sea and reached their destination.
On Sunday the 12th inst. one of the agents of the Fouchers (Fuggers) arrived in London; he left the same day in the afternoon for Bristol or Plemua (Plymouth), intending to embark for Spain; and was also the bearer of a letter of his (Praet's) advising news up to that date.
It happened, however, that on the very day of the agent's departure, he (Praet) called on the Cardinal, who gave him all manner of good and rejoicing news. (fn. n11) Owing to which circumstance the ambassador thought of again writing a few words, which he did, sending an express with the letter to overtake Fugger's agent on the road. After journeying all night, the ambassador's man was stopped by the servants of Maistre Moore, who taking away from him the packet of letters, conducted the bearer to that functionary's lodgings. This was on Monday morning; Moore was still in bed, and the packet of letters, closed and sealed, was delivered into his hands in the very presence of the man who was in charge of them. Though the said Moore knew that the letters were written by him [Praet], as the messenger told him, and moreover saw by the superscription that they were addressed to His Imperial Majesty, he, notwithstanding, bid the man not to stir from the house, and went off immediately to the Legate's apartments, where the said packet was unsealed and its contents read. There happened to be among the letters a confidential and private one for Mons. de Bouclans (Jean Lallemand), wherein the ambassador spoke about the Legate and censured some of his doings; which he (the Cardinal) opened and read, as well as other letters to Mons. de Hoochstraete (fn. n12) and Treasurer Marnix, (fn. n13) which the ambassador had that very morning forwarded to Brian Tuke, the postmaster-general, for transmission to Flanders. On the inspection of which letters the Legate immediately sent an express after the said agent of the Fuggers, forbidding his passage, with express orders to all the ports and harbours of this kingdom not to allow him or any other courier of the ambassadors to cross over to Flanders. He (Praet) has reason to fear the said agent has been stopped on the way, and the packet of letters taken from him; but hopes to God that both Richard and Meneses, who also took despatches, have long before this reached their destination.
To excuse and colour his acts the Legate pretends that immediately after the arrest of the messenger and seizure of the letters by the servants of Moore, the packet was opened and its contents examined by them; when finding that the letter addressed to Mons. de Bouclans contained certain calumniating expressions about the Legate, they, of their own accord, submitted the whole to Moore's inspection, who called immediately on the Legate and reported on the affair. His Imperial Majesty may judge whether a similar story can have any foundation. Even if it were true, those who did the trick ought to have been severely punished for it, and the letters returned to the ambassador with proper apologies. Nor was there any excuse for opening the other letters, which the ambassador, as above stated, was sending to Madame through the postmaster-general, Briantuck (Brian Tuke). The affair passed as the ambassador has just related, and the man himself declared, in the presence of three witnesses, all of them subjects of His Imperial Majesty, summoned for the purpose, that they may give evidence in case the courier, who is an Englishmen by birth, should hereafter deny the facts.
Before he (Praet) knew anything of this matter, the said Legate sent for him on the ensuing Wednesday, (fn. n14) when, in the presence of the Duke of Nortfock (Norfolk), of the Marquis [of Dorset], of the Bishop of London (Tunstall), and of the said Masters Moore .and Brian tuck (Brian Tuke), he exhibited the said packet of letters unsealed and open, and said in a very angry tone: "Monsieur l'ambassadeur, albeit you have behaved most shamefully to me, I shall not alter my conduct towards the Emperor, and will take the same interest as before in his affairs." The ambassador's answer was he had no idea that reporting faithfully to Madame and to her councillors what he thought about him (the Legate) and pending affairs, could be considered a crime, especially when his duty was to promote, by all means in his power, the Imperial interests. And he proceeded to remind him of the conversations they had had together for the last eight or ten months concerning Jean Jockin's practices and several other matters; telling him besides, as he had previously informed Mons. de Hoochstraete, that he had no objection to state in writing his reasons for doubting his (the Legate's) sincerity. He would, with the Emperor's permission, address a memorandum to the King [of England] showing how the Legate's late practices and deeds had done considerable damage to the Emperor, and were the cause of the difficulties raised in the estate of Milan.
Upon which, and after a good deal of talking and disputing, the Cardinal ended by owning he had done most of what the ambassador imputed to him, though it was out of zeal and affection for the Emperor. But since he (Praet) was so bad an interpreter of his deeds and sentiments, he would take the earliest opportunity to write to His Imperial Majesty, offering his excuses and asking for the punishment of those who had so offended him; at the same time commanding the ambassador never to appear again in the King's presence or his own; and not write to the Emperor or to Madame.
(Cipher:) By what precedes His Imperial Majesty will be able to judge whether the Cardinal's intentions and designs have been for a long time as good as he professes. In the ambassador's opinion he has tried, by using very bad language and heaping all sorts of injuries on his (Praet's) person, to make him say or write things which might furnish occasion to injure the Imperial cause. This he has been unable to obtain, the ambassador having always replied modestly and in courteous terms to his injurious reproaches. By opening and reading the ambassador's letters he has tried to discover some expression or sentiment which might afford him good footing for his plans; whence it will be seen that the ambassador's suspicions, often expressed in his correspondence, that both the Cardinal and Briantucke opened and read his despatches to the Emperor, as well as Madame's letters to him, are not without foundation.
Great injury has been done to the Emperor's honour and reputation by such an act. For a thousand years past there is no instance on record of ambassadors of allied and friendly Princes having their correspondence violated and divulged, much less of their being forbidden to write to their Kings and masters. For one of the first clauses inserted in a treaty of alliance, such as Princes are in the habit of making between themselves, prescribes that their correspondence and that of their ambassadors should be respected; without which mutual obligation all such treaties would fall to the ground, and the contracting parties lose all confidence in each other.
He (Praet) cannot say for certain whence comes the blow aimed at his person. It may proceed from people who bear him no goodwill without his having done anything to deserve it. Whoever may be the originators of it, there can be no doubt that they have done greater injury to His Imperial Majesty than to himself. Indeed it might be fairly presumed, as before stated, that the Cardinal had done all this in the hope of finding in the intercepted correspondence some expression or fact which would enable him to play the Emperor a bad trick, since he is known to have been, and is still, in treaty with the French.
The Cardinal has no doubt forwarded to the English ambassador at the Imperial court copies of the intercepted letters, thereby to ruin, if he can, De Praet's reputation. Most likely he has also prevailed upon this King to write in his own favour and against the ambassador. Hopes the Emperor will do justice to his motives, and will not allow his faithful servant and vassal to be thus overruled and ill-treated, as this would be a bad example to those who after him had the charge of ambassador. Besides which, Christian Princes,—among whom the Cardinal's unjustifiable act is already becoming known,—are pricking up their ears to hear how His Imperial Majesty will take this affront made to his ambassador, in order to shape their conduct accordingly, and do as the Cardinal has done without incurring the Emperor's indignation.
Even now the Cardinal insists upon the ambassador not writing home or to Flanders without his reading first what he has to say in his own defence, a most unwarrantable condition, to which the ambassador has not thought proper to submit, as it would have been highly dishonourable for the Emperor. Besides which it is certain that if the Cardinal saw in the said letters anything he dislikes, he would stop them, and he (Praet) would never have an opportunity to disclose and reveal the motives of the Cardinal's extraordinary conduct in this affair. But so little afraid is the ambassador of his sentiments being made known, that he begs His Imperial Majesty, if necessary, to send the Cardinal a copy of this despatch.
The ambassador has likewise been prevented from seeing the King, who, without hearing his excuses, has undoubtedly been persuaded to write against him. He (Praet) humbly beseeches His Imperial Majesty to recall him as soon as possible to his presence, under good guard and escort, that he may verbally relate many things he has to say, and which cannot be put on paper, as they refer to others who are also good servants of the Emperor. After hearing which, if His Imperial Majesty finds that he (Praet) deserves death, or any other punishment, whatever it may be, he will submit and bear it patiently, as the case demands, he being the Emperor's natural subject. If, on the contrary, as he (Praet) has reason to hope, His Majesty finds nothing reprehensible in his conduct, and that he has acted as a loyal and faithful servant, he begs for the continuance of the Imperial favours, and that his honour be saved from blemish, since the seizure of his letters cannot in any way be attributed to imprudence or neglect on his part.
This request of the ambassador the King and Cardinal cannot well refuse; yet, for greater security, His Imperial Majesty would do well to retain and keep the person of the English ambassador at his court until he (Praet) should be allowed to proceed on his journey home. Madame also ought to be written to do the same with the one accredited near her, and with Maistre Pace, now residing in Germany. He (Praet) will write, if he finds an opportunity, and acquaint her with the whole affair.
Certainly whoever will reflect on the discourses which the said Cardinal and many others have often held about the Emperor, about Monseigneur [the Archduke Ferdinand], his brother, (fn. n15) and about Madame herself and the members of her Privy Council; whoever will examine the reports drawn up by the English ambassadors respecting His Imperial Majesty and the above-mentioned personages will surely conclude that the warnings and cautions he (Praet) has given, and the doubts and suspicions he has expressed, are all founded upon fact, as he will be able to prove in due time. His would be, indeed, a very dangerous office to fill, if ambassadors were precluded from writing to their own masters and Kings, or to those about their persons, what they heard and saw at foreign courts, giving occasional advice, according to conscience.
There are three things, however, which cause the ambassador greater annoyance than any harm done to his own person. One is the injury inflicted upon the Emperor's honour and reputation, which is of such nature that there is no record in history of a similar one for upwards of one thousand years. The second is that the ambassadors of France here residing have been fully informed of the whole affair, and will not fail to make their profit by writing thereupon to the King their master, who will communicate it to the Pope and to the rest of the Italian powers. To make his case better (he, the King of France,) will probably assert that the measures adopted by the Cardinal were directed, not so much against the ambassador himself, as against His Imperial Majesty, out of the mistrust these people have in him. He (the King) will have no difficulty in persuading his friends to that, since the appearances are so strong in his favour. When the Sieur de Beaurain last passed through this kingdom, without seeing this King, Jean Jocquin immediately spread the rumour throughout France and Italy that it was entirely owing to the King refusing to see him.
The third cause for annoyance, and that which vexes him most, is that this King has thereby cast an indelible spot on his reputation, and will lose his credit with the other princes of Christendom; for the truth of the matter is that he [King Henry] bears great affection to His Imperial Majesty, and hates the French, his natural enemies, as he (Praet) has often written home; and though he may occasionally have spoken about the Emperor in angry terms, is upon the whole well inclined towards him, and would have acted otherwise had he not been ill-advised [by the Cardinal], and had the ambassador been able to report on certain matters according to truth. (fn. n16)
His Imperial Majesty knows the ins and outs of the whole affair much better than he (Praet) can describe, and therefore there is no need for him to dwell any longer on the subject. The whole business lies at the Emperor's pleasure and discretion; for if the Cardinal's purposes, words, and acts, as detailed in some of the ambassador's letters, and briefly explained in the enclosed memorandum; if those about which Mons. de Beaurain cannot fail to have reported to His Imperial Majesty, and many more which he (Praet) intends to disclose, when in the Emperor's presence in Spain, do not appear a sufficient ground for an ambassador and loyal servant to form a judgment and express his opinion about the said Cardinal, in the manner he has done in his private letters to Mons. de Hoostrate (Hoochstraten) and Mons. de Bouclans; in that case he (Praet) is ready to confess he has done wrong, which is the point the Cardinal most insists upon, since the Cardinal evidently prefers matters going in that direction to having the affair properly investigated and discussed. So much so, that the other day he, of his own accord, said to the Pope's ambassador at this court, that if he (Praet) would only retract his words, he (the Cardinal) should be satisfied and matters might remain as they were formerly. He evidently is sorry for what he has done, but nevertheless the ambassador, happen what may, will not retract any one of his words and sentiments about him, unless His Imperial Majesty, after mature consideration of the reasons and motives above stated, decide that he is in the wrong; in which case he will offer no opposition, but will make any apologies required, since it is but just and proper that the Emperor's pleasure, not his own, should be done in an affair of this kind. He (Praet) has every reason to expect that the Emperor, unless his views and opinions are totally changed of late, will pronounce judgment in his favour. It might still happen that the Emperor, though approving of his ambassador's conduct in this affair, would like to dissemble for a time with the Cardinal, in order to gain his point; in which case the best thing to do, in his opinion, is to recall the ambassador, under the plea that he (the Emperor) wants to hear from his own mouth the reasons he may have had to express such opinions. He (Praet) will bear with patience the Emperor's decision, and do anything he is ordered, provided no blemish is cast upon his honour, which is the only thing he prizes more than his life.
(Common writing:) Begs His Imperial Majesty to take the above sentiments of his faithful servant in good part, as dictated by his affection and zeal for the Imperial cause.—London, 25th February 1525.
Addressed: "To His most Sacred Imperial Majesty."
French. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 10.
25 Feb. 21. Charles de Lannoy, Viceroy of Naples, to the Emperor.
Arch. d. Royme. de
Belg. Doc. Hist.
III., f. 35.
The King of France has spoken from his prison, and shows great confidence in the Emperor's magnanimity, as Commander Peñalosa has by him been entrusted to represent in his name. His Imperial Majesty ought to thank God for thus having his enemy under his power. He (Lannoy) will keep good guard on the prisoner. Begs and entreats the Emperor to make haste about his coronation, and send him instructions through Peñalosa how to act.
The Marquis [dc Pescara] has done so much service on the occasion that he well deserves the Emperor's munificence. Begs that the estate of Carpi be bestowed upon him, since its late lord [Alberto Pio] has behaved so shamefully. If he (Lannoy) can only lay his hands on the traitor he will be locked up in a place of safety, where ho can no longer do mischief.
The son of the late King of Navarre is a prisoner in the Marquis' hands. If His Imperial Majesty be pleased to have him ransomed, the Marquis will profit by the price, which must be considerable. If otherwise, a proportionate reward ought to be given to him by way of indemnity.
Novi might so be granted as a fief to Antonio de Leyva, who has served on this occasion as usual. It is a small town within the territory of Genoa, which the Duke of Milan and the Doge claim equally as their own. By giving it to Leyva, with a title of marquis, all disputes would be at an end.
With regard to Alarcon there is every reason for the Emperor to do him honour and reward him for his services. As through the rebellion of Camillo Oussine (Orsino) the whole valley of Trenta, in the Brussa? has become Crown land, it might be granted to him as a fief, since the estate is not a large one and only yields 800 ducats per annum, out of which he [Alarcon] will have to pay the expenses of three [unmarried] sisters. Something else might be added with a larger revenue, such as an encomienda of Santiago, or some such office as His Imperial Majesty might be pleased to confer on him.
The Abbot of Najera has done his duty. He might be remunerated with the bishopric of Mondoñedo, now vacant at Rome by the death of its late holder.
Commander Pinaloze (Peñalosa) has served well for a long time. If the company [of light horse] vacant by the death of the Marquis of Civita Sant Angelo be not given to his brother the Marquis de la Toyalda, as it is but just that it should, since Sant Angelo died in the Emperor's service, he (the Viceroy) begs to propose and recommend for the vacant post the said Commander Peñalosa.
George Fransberg (Fruntsperg), Marc Sitig, and Count Salme have equally well behaved on the occasion, and are well deserving that the Emperor should write to them letters of commendation and approval.—Pavia, 25th Feb. 1525. (fn. n17)
Signed: "Charles de Lannoy."
Addressed: "A sa Majesté de l'Empereur Roi d'Espagne."
French. Copy. pp. 2.
25 Feb. 22. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
d. Esp.
Wrote yesterday (the 24th Feb.) advising the victory and the capture of the French King, who was made a prisoner with two slight wounds in his face, as it was believed at first by all those who were close to him and saw the blood drop, but in reality with no wounds at all, save a contusion in the leg, and a mere scratch between the fingers of his hand. The Marquis of Civita Sant Angelo has been found to-day among the dead, with several slight wounds, and a tremendous gash in the face caused by a spear or double-edged sword. Most likely he forgot to put down his vizor whilst charging. He was a very valiant knight, and a good servant of His Imperial Majesty.
Commander Peñalosa takes the list of the dead and wounded among the most important of the enemy, and will besides relate the particulars of the battle, at which he was present. The King has given him a safe-conduct to pass through France, accompanied by one of his gentlemen, and has also permitted that Don Ugo de Moncada, who was a prisoner at Saluzzo, should come here on parole.
The King shall be kept under a strong guard either at this castle [of Pavia], or in a small but very strong tower, called Pecignyton (Pizzighitone) on the banks of the Ada, between Lodi and Carmona (Cremona). The other prisoners of importance, whom the Viceroy is now trying to recover for a suitable consideration from the parties who took them, will be destined to various fortresses. It is for His Imperial Majesty to decide what is to be done with them, and what with the kingdom of France, which is entirely at our mercy, having lost its King and all its nobility.
Has received the Imperial letter dated the 10th January, and is very much astonished to hear that some of his (the Abbot's) have not reached their destination. They must have been lost at sea.
Remittances have arrived to the amount of 100,000 ducats in very good time, though the sum is insufficient to pay the arrears due to the garrison of Pavia and to the rest of the army.
The letters which His Imperial Majesty has lately written to the Pope and to the various Italian Princes will, he has no doubt, be of some avail now that God has been pleased to grant him such a signal victory. That portion, of the enemy's army that was at Milan evacuated the city, and went to cross the Tessino (Ticino) at the highest point they could towards Novara. Immediately after the citizens [of Milan] went up to the castle in great glee, and made their allegiance to the governor. Hieronymo Morone is also gone thither to-day, for the purpose of attending to the government of the city.—Castle of Pavia, 25th Feb. 1525.
Signed: "El Abaci de Najera."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Pavia. From the Abbot of Najera. 25th of February."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 1¼.
26 Feb. 23. The Duke of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador at Rome, to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
d. Esp.
Congratulates him on the victory of Pavia, the news of which was communicated to him (Sessa) by the Pope himself, with the greatest possible satisfaction and contentment. No time is to be lost, but there [in Spain] as well as in England, the greatest efforts must be made to ensure success. The experience of the past shows how matters ought to be conducted at present. He (Sessa) will use all his influence with the Pope, and will not fail to advise of anything that occurs in the meantime. As to the Duke of Albany, he shall, if he comes, meet with a proper reception.—Rome, 26th of February 1525.
Signed: "El Duque de Sessa."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Rome. Duke of Sessa. 25th February."
Spanish. Holograph, p. 1.¼


  • n1. Ceulx auxquels l'on nest de guieres obligé.
  • n2. Thus written in the copy. Bergenroth has Lardirago. See the letter of Lannoy, dated from this place on the 3rd. Calendar, &c., p. 69.
  • n3. La Certosa.
  • n4. Bergenroth's copy in Brit. Mus. Add. 28574 reads collunteniers, which I believe to be a mistake for coulveriniers, in Spanish culebrineros, or men employed in the handling of culverins, a sort of very light artillery used in those times.
  • n5. "Il a charge de luy dire des choses jusques à donner à entendre de luy faire le pis qu'il pourra."
  • n6. "Quant à mon particulier je luy en ay repondu la verité comme j'avoje bien informé le dit Messire Gregoire passant par Ast."
  • n7. The date in the heading is 12th Feby. 1525.
  • n8. The whole of this paragraph between asterisks is in Gattinara's hand. Upon the whole this minute is but a duplicate, with additions and corrections, of the preceding one.
  • n9. Near Bosco, not far from Alessandria, as stated in a letter of the Abbot of Najera to the Emperor, of the 3rd Feb., abstracted by Bergenroth, Calendar, &c., Vol. II., p. 697.
  • n10. The name of this captain is so variously written in the State Papers of the time as to render it very difficult to ascertain its true spelling and pronunciation, some authors giving it as Fransperg, Frensberg, Frendsperg, Freundsberg, or Fronsperg, whilst Bergenroth, himself a German, writes Frundsberg. Dr. Lanz, in his Correspondenz des Kaiser Karl V. (Leipzig, 1844), frequently has Wranspergh. I should have hesitated in adopting any of the above readings had I not found in the Archives of Simancas a Latin letter of that celebrated captain of the German lansquenets at Pavia, addressed to the Emperor, and dated 19 Sept. 1527, in which he signs: Georgius a Fruntsperg. This, in my opinion, dispels all doubts as to his real name; although, on the other hand, it will be observed that many of the personages whose letters are abstracted in the present volume signed their names in two and even three different ways.
  • n11. "Qui me compta tout plain do bonnes nouvelles." Those of the victory at Pavia (24th of Feb. 1525), did not reach London until the 9th of March, and therefore those contained in Pace's letter of the 11th of February must be meant. See Brewer, Letters and Tapers, &c. vol, iv., pp. 508 and 542.
  • n12. Antoine de Lalaing or la Laing, Seigneur de Montigny, and Count de Hoochstraeten, Knight of the Golden Fleece and Chef des Finances des Pays Bas.
  • n13. Jean de Marnix, Seigneur de Thoulouse, treasurer of Margaret of Austria.
  • n14. Perhaps a mistake for Tuesday. See above.
  • n15. "Et certes qui regardera bien les propos que le dit Cardenal et plusieurs autres ont tenu de vous, de monseigneur votre fils, de Madame et de la pluspart de votre conseil," etc. In this passage fils is undoubtedly a mistake for frère, as the Emperor, who was only 25 years old at the time, was not yet married; no doubt his brother, the Archduke Ferdinand, is meant.
  • n16. "Par faulte que ne l'ay peu advertir des choses à la verité."
  • n17. The original of this letter was published by Lanz, "Correspondenz des Kaisers, Karl V.," Leipzig, 1844, vol. I., p. 152. Another letter of Lannoy to the Emperor written, probably, on the very day of the battle, is in the same volume, p. 150.