Spain: October 1525, 26-31

Pages 392-424

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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October 1525, 26-31

27 Oct. 239. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
P. r. a. l. Hist.
d. Esp.
Wrote on the 26th ult., advising the arrival in that town of the Bishop of Veroli (Ennio Filonardo) and the ambassadors of the Grisons on the Chavenna (Chiavenna) business, as well as the proclamation of the peace at Lyons on the 22d of September last. Has likewise announced the departure of the Duke of Ferrara for Spain, and other matters.
What he (the Abbot) has now to advise is that the Duke passed through Novara on the 3d inst., and conversed with theMarquis of Pescara, Antonio de Leyva, Lope Hurtado, and others of the Emperor's servants, saying that he was proceeding [to Spain] to offer his person and estate to the Emperor. The Duke left the day after, and has since reached Chambery in Savoy, where he is waiting for a safe-conduct to cross the French frontier. It is, however, believed that he will not get it, for, in the opinion of some people of this city, the Pope has written to the Regent [of France] not to grant the said safe-conduct, he (the Pope) and the rest of the Italian Princes not being very much pleased with his journey to Spain.
On the 18th the Abbot went to Genoa to cash the bills for 80,000 ducats. As they were not yet due he had to pay a heavy discount. Anssaldo de Grimaldo gave him bills on Rome for 23,264 ducats, and 8,000 more on Florence, the whole of which had to be negotiated here [at Milan] at a fresh discount, not to run the risk of bringing the money to the camp.
Returned to Novara on the 15th, where he found the Marquis of Pescara very unwell from pains in the stomach. On the same day, as preconcerted, Antonio de Leyva arrested Hieronymo Moron, who had come to the place on the Marquis' invitation, though it is reported that an astrologer and many others had warned him not to attend the appointment, or he would certainly be made a prisoner. (fn. n1) On the 16th Antonio de Leyva took him to Pavia, where he is now confined. Moron's secretary, one Stefano de Robio, who, last summer, went twice to France on a mission from the Duke of Milan to Madame the Regent, to ask for the hand of Madame d'Alençon, has likewise been arrested. He (Stefano de Robio) confesses that he only brought fair words from France, and a message from the Regent to the Duke purporting that she would soon procure him a wife of her own blood, and with a good dower.
On the 16th Lope Hurtado left for Rome, whither he went at the Marquis' express desire, to explain about the arrest of Hieronymo Moron. His Holiness seemed more pleased at the manner in which the arrest had been made than at the arrest itself. (fn. n2) Letters have also been written to the Infante (Archduke) and to the Venetians, to apprize them of the event. These latter are now employing upwards of 2,000 pioneers in the fortifications of Brescia, provisioning and strengthening their country as fast as they can, besides collecting 8,000 infantry, as His Majesty's ambassadors in Venice have reported.
On the 28th the Marquis of Pescara left Novara for Pavia, and the Abbot came to Milan by his order to make four demands of this Duke. The first: That ho should allow Imperial garrisons in the strong places of the Duchy. This the Duke granted at once, reserving the castles of Milan and Pavia, which he said he wished to keep himself. He begged also for another castle called Treço (Trezzo), on the Adda, close upon the Venetian frontier, because, he said, he wanted it as a place of recreation, and had already ordered several buildings to be added to it.
The second was that he should pay at once the 100,000 ducats stipulated as the price of the investiture, over and above the 50,000 paid up to the present day in money, cloth, silk and other articles for the German infantry. To this demand the Duke replied that he had already destined the new taxes (tallones) to the payment of that sum, and that whatever the said new taxes might produce should be immediately placed in our hands. The Abbot, however, begs leave to observe that, since Moron's arrest, not one farthing has come in from that quarter, the citizens having obstinately refused to pay any taxes, under the impression that, owing to his demerits, their Duke will soon be deprived of his estate, in which belief they are confirmed by the fact of the castles and strong places of the Duchy being actually occupied by the Imperial army.
To the third demand, viz., that the castle of Milan should be put in a state of defence, the Duke's reply was that he did not see the necessity at present, and that the citizens would certainly object to it, and take offence.
The fourth was that the Imperial army should be quartered on his estate. To this the Duke answered that he had no objection, provided Milan and the surrounding villages were excluded. With the Duke's answer to the above four demands he (the Abbot) returned on the 20th to Pavia, whence the Marquis of Pescara sent at once 2,000 men to take possession of Leco, a considerable fortress built on the very spot where the Adda issues from Lake Como. The place belongs to Hieronymo Moro, with the title of Count. Two hundred more men were despatched to Como, whose inhabitants, as well as the garrison of the castle, had, before the arrival of those forces, risen against the governor appointed by the Duke.
At Cremona the governor, named Thomas de Almayno, had strengthened the garrison with 400 infantry; but seeing the Duke's letters and those of the Marquis, he dismissed them, and admitted within its walls Captain Corradino with 1,500 German infantry coming from Geradada (Ghiara d'Adda). These Germans are the same who, by order of the Marquis, the day of Moron's arrest, entered Lodi, almost by force of arms; for the citizens, imagining that he (Corradino) was going to take up his quarters there, and devastate still more the city and district, had resolutely shut their gates. Corradin, however, entered it, and finding that the Marquis' subsequent orders were for him to occupy Lodi in the Emperor's name, was glad to have thus anticipated the Imperial commands. Two hundred Spaniards have since been added to its garrison, and several companies of infantry quartered in other towns of this Duchy, the castles of Cremona and Milan always excepted.
The very moment Moron was arrested the Duke of Milan gave orders to collect his forces. Cremona, as already stated, had been strengthened with 400 infantry; and as the Milanese would not admit the garrison that was offered, he (the Duke) called together the principal citizens, and proposed to them to take up arms, and defend their city. Some of the citizens voted for armed resistance, as proposed; the rest left the room without voting. (fn. n3) His Imperial Majesty may hold it as true as the Gospel that this city and all the Duchy—the castles of Milan and Cremona not excepted—wish for nothing else than to see His Majesty take possession of this estate, which they say belongs to the Emperor only, publicly asserting that they will be faithful servants and vassals to the Duke only inasmuch as he continues to be such to the Emperor. The troops quartered in Piedmont have left, excepting only a body of 100 lances, who were formerly in the marquisate of Montferrato; 300 more are to be quartered in the territory of Novara; the rest with the Spanish infantry in the districts of Cremona and Geradada (Ghiara d'Adda).
These arrangements being made, the Marquis of Pescara thought the time had come for interrogating the prisoner (Hieronymo Moron) in the presence of Antonio de Leyva and his (the Abbot). He accordingly sent for him; and on the 25th inst. Moron' made the following confession, which he (the Abbot) transcribes verbatim:—
(Cipher:) Confesses that everything he has done was by the express order and consent of the Duke, his master, though he (the Duke) was unwilling to declare himself before the Marquis had done so. (fn. n4) Confesses also the negotiations set on foot by him to bring Maximiliano (Sforza) to Milan, in case the Duke [Francesco] should die, adding, however, that the Duke had no knowledge of this design. Confesses the agreement entered into with the Switzers to come to the assistance of the Pope and other Italian potentates in any number when required. Confesses many other doings, as appears from the deed itself, which the culprit offers to sign with his own hand without the application of torture, (fn. n5) and which, when concluded, will be forwarded to Spain, that the Emperor may either punish the guilty parties, or exercise his usual clemency.
The Duke is still a cripple in hands and feet, as well as in his whole body. (fn. n6) There is a report that, on hearing of the arrest of his prime minister (Morono), he said to one Licentiate Bracamonte, who told him the news, and gave him, besides, a letter of the Marquis [of Pescara], that Morono had done nothing against the Imperial service; if he had, he [the Duke] was equally guilty. He has also told him (the Abbot) on two different occasions: "If Hieronymo Morono has been guilty of double-dealing, His Imperial Majesty must have him punished; I myself knew nothing of his doings, and only wish to live and die in the Imperial service."
Notwithstanding these protestations, it appears that the Duke has decided, knowing his own guilt, to send to Spain one of his gentlemen, named Sylvestrin (Silvestrino), very well known to the Viceroy of Naples (Charles de Lannoy), to make his excuses, and ascertain whether he will be left in the possession of his estate or not. In the meantime he means to shut himself up in this castle [of Milan], and fortify the same to the utmost, having already, within the last three days, introduced into it 400 men, to whom he intends to add 300 more, if he can. He has sent in a year's provisions for more than 1,000 men; and in this manner thinks he will be able to maintain himself, both at Milan and Cremona, until God's mercy, or some agreement with His Imperial Majesty, or the help of the Venetians and others who wish him to remain Duke of Milan, shall deliver him from his present critical position. It is to be hoped, however, that he will be wrong in his calculations, as he has been on other occasions, and that time will show how entirely His Imperial Majesty would be justified in taking away his estate from him.
Knowing the Duke's guilt, and the delicate state of affairs in Italy, the Marquis of Pescara and Antonio de Leyva (cipher) have decided to come over to Milan; and, should the Duke shut himself up in his castle, to besiege him in it, as a rebel, and take possession of the whole of his estate, providing for the government of the Duchy in the manner most suitable to the Imperial interests. They will bring with them 3,000 Germans, to be quartered in one of the suburbs, and if, required, round the castle itself, which they will attack as well as that of Cremona.
To the Germans who are to come one month's pay is owing; and as it is to be feared that, if unpaid, they may commit excesses, he (the Abbot) has come [to Milan] to borrow 15,000 or 20,000 ducats fur the pay of the said Germans, as well as for certain companies of Spanish infantry to whom four months' pay is also owing. Up to this day, he (the Abbot) has procured 15,000 ducats from various merchants of this city, with an interest of 4%, upon bills drawn by the Marquis of Pescara, and payable at Naples and Rome at 40 days date.
Has spoken to the Duke [of Milan] and to his deputies, and inquired whether upon the ordinary revenue of this estate, or upon the taxes (tallones) lately imposed, there would be the means of raising the 50,000 ducats remaining out of the 100,000 of the investiture. They have answered that not only all the revenues of the estate, but also a tax (tallon) of a toston, or fourth part of a ducat, (fn. n7) on each hearth or family imposed some time ago, are pledged to the payment of certain sums borrowed by the Duke on former occasions, and chiefly of 37,000 ducats which he gave us on account of the investiture money. So that, in reality, there is no hope of getting a farthing out of these people, especially as the army cannot be quartered elsewhere, except on lands of the Church or of the Venetians. His Imperial Majesty, therefore, must provide the means from Spain, and not rely upon any assistance from these quarters; for if they (the Milanese) give any money at all, it will be in small quantity and is sure to come too late. The Imperial army must needs be provided with all necessaries, and, perchance, increased in numbers, since it is notorious that the intention of these Italian potentates is to prevent His Imperial Majesty from visiting them [next year]. Under such circumstances it would seem as if the best course to follow would be for the Emperor to make peace with the French King, so that with their united forces he may become the master of all Italy, and then rule over the whole world.
Gregory Casal, gentleman in waiting (gentilhombre) to the King of England, arrived [from London] two days ago; and they say has passed through this city disguised as a peasant. He (the Abbot) has not been able to ascertain whether he saw the Duke or not. All he can say is that the said Casal left for Rome or for Venice, and that the business he has come about refers to the negotiations pending between these Italian potentates.
The very day of Morono's arrest, a very rich and crafty Genoese, Domenico Sauli by name, who was a confidant of that minister, left Milan and took the route of Rome or Venice. He (the Abbot) cannot say whether Gaspar Argelensis? is also in the plot; he has likewise left [Milan]; nobody knows in what direction. After him went the Bishop of Veroli (Ennio Filonardo), who resided here, and who, as the rumour goes, was trying to persuade the people of this city to rise in arms against the Imperial army. They add that this Duke had the Bishop and Gaspar Argelensis escorted to the Venetian frontier. The Bishop, according to some, has gone to Switzerland; others assert that he has taken the route of Rome; whilst the generality think he has gone to the land of the Grisons, 4,000 of whom have lately taken up arms, and, with some artillery taken from a castle called Muscho, are about to attack the castle of Chavenna (Chiavenna) and another one called Mus, whose warden still holds in captivity the very ambassadors who came here with the Bishop to treat for the restitution of Chiavenna; for, as they were returning home with the answer, they were made prisoners by the said warden [of Mus]. The Bishop is said to have gone thither to persuade them to lay down their arms and come to some peaceable arrangement of their claims. The truth is that the Bishop has not gone on any such errand, the most probable conjecture of the three being that he has left for Switzerland.
However this may be, the Marquis of Pescara has written to the Grisons, warning them not to appear in arms on the frontiers of this estate, knowing, as they ought to know, that the Imperial army is here to defend it against all enemies. That if they will only send to his camp trusty persons to discuss the nature and validity of their claims, he (the Marquis) will do everything in his power to give them satisfaction. The Marquis has since decided to send 500 men, who, joined to the 600 which the warden of Mus has collected on the banks of Como, will see to the defence of the castles threatened by the Grisons, and ascertain whether the reported armaments have another destination.
Before the Imperial troops evacuated the marquisate of Saluzio, the Marquis of Pescara sent a message to the Count of Gineba (Geneva), telling him to get ready a sufficient number of troops to garrison, as preconcerted, the strong places in Saluzio and the Carmeñola (Carmagnola). The Count did as he was instructed; but made so scanty a provision that, upon the Marquis [of Saluccio] returning from France, at the head of about 1,000 foot and some light cavalry, he easily regained possession of the whole of his estate. The Marquis of Pescara therefore has issued orders for the greater part of the light cavalry and Italian infantry of this Imperial army now quartered in the Astesano (county of Asti) and marquisate of Cevā, to march thither, devastate the land, and recover it from the Marquis of Saluzio. If after this the Count of Gineba loses it again, let him accuse himself and no one else.
The Marquis [of Pescara] is still suffering from his complaint, which has so much reduced him of late that he is a pitiful object to behold. The disease increasing death might ensue; and in that case—which may God avert—the Imperial army would be without a general to command it. No one more suitable to take this charge than Antonio de Leyva, who, until His Imperial Majesty's arrival in Italy, or the return of the Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy), might assume the command of the whole force.
It is reported here that the Duke of Savoy has sent a memorandum to court, showing how he had dutifully paid 12,000 ducats for the maintenance of the men-at-arms of this Imperial army, at the rate of half a crown (escudo) for each man during one month. The agreement was made with him in order to prevent the recurrence of excesses, and that the soldiers should have money to buy provisions; but the fact is that the contract was never fulfilled, as there was no occasion for it, a fact which neither the Infanta nor the Count of Gineba can deny.—Milan, 27 Oct. 1525.
Signed: "El Abad de Najara."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From the Abbot of Najera, 27 Oct."
Spanish. Holograph. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 6.
27 Oct. 240. Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassadors in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 81.
Wrote on the 22d of last month, enclosing also copy of their letter to the Marquis of Pescara. By the contents of both His Imperial Majesty must already have been informed of what passed with this Signory after their hearing of Moron's arrest, and of the measures taken by the Marquis for the security of the estate [of Milan]. Yesterday the Signory sent one of their secretaries to say they wanted to speak to them [the ambassadors] respecting the pending negotiation, adding that if the Prothonotary was still indisposed, he (Alonso Sanchez) might go alone. This very morning, therefore, the latter called at the Ducal palace, when, after the usual compliments, they proceeded to say: That having received the ambassadors' verbal message, and knowing their wish to resume the suspended negotiations, they were willing to appoint a day when matters should be amply discussed, that they might thus show their readiness to comply with the Emperor's wishes, and grant the request of his ambassadors, to whom they professed great friendship and respect.
To this highly complimentary speech, his (Sanchez') answer was: That nothing had been omitted by His Imperial Majesty to show his regard and friendly disposition towards the Signory on every occasion. They knew very well his conditions and wishes respecting the convention; and since they now shewed a disposition to renew the negotiations, it was evident that they no longer persisted in their refusal to accept new terms. He (Sanchez) was very glad to hear of this their determination, and recommended the appointment of two or more deputies to treat of the matter at his own lodgings, since his colleague Prothonotary Caracciolo could not, owing to the delicate state of his health, attend the conferences elsewhere.
It was plain from the answer they made to this proposition that the Signory are anxious to come to a settlement of this business, though they continue their former refusal to grant new conditions. Very likely they will depute persons to treat; nevertheless, they promised nothing at the time, but said they would consult the Council thereupon, and let the ambassadors know the result as soon as possible.
They, moreover, said, in the course of conversation, that the Signory had received intelligence that the bridges lately thrown over the River Adda for the passage of the Imperial troops were still standing, and that the inhabitants of those districts were consequently in great fear of an invasion. State matters, they added, were very delicate (muy zelosas), and although they apprehended no attack from the Marquis of Pescara, on whose words and promises they fully relied—confirmed as they were by the advices of their own ambassador at Milan—yet, they felt very uneasy with regard to the said bridges, and to the troops quartered on the banks of the Adda, and therefore begged that the Marquis of Pescara should be written to on the subject, in order that no complication should arise.
To this last objection a suitable answer was made, in conformity with the letters of the Marquis of the 16th and 23d ulto. The copy of the Marquis' last letter (fn. n8) will sufficiently show that they (the ambassadors) have again consulted him as to the manner in which the Duke of Milan is to be mentioned in the proposed new convention with this Signory, or in the ratification of the old one; since he is described in the latter, by the Emperor's express commands, as one of the principal contracting parties. They (the ambassadors) are waiting for his answer, but nevertheless would like to hear the Emperor's views on the subject. They doubt, however, whether the instructions will arrive in time, as the Signory are showing a certain disposition to have this matter concluded. In the meanwhile they have again written to the said Marquis to procure legal advice on this matter in order to ascertain whether the inclusion of the Duke of Milan in the new treaty can in any way hinder ulterior proceedings against his person, should his participation in these scandalous intrigues be proved.
Letters of the ambassador of this Republic, who resides at Rome, (fn. n9) state that on the 21st instant the Pope was already acquainted with Morono's arrest, and with the military precautions taken by the Marquis for the security of the duchy of Milan. His Holiness had shown both terror and amazement on the receipt of such intelligence, but appeared satisfied with the reasons given by the Marquis, as conveyed to him by Lope Hurtado. He had determined to send a confidential servant to the Marquis, begging him to treat the Duke kindly, and was preparing to send another messenger to Spain for the purpose of interceding in his favour. He has also written to this Signory, begging they will use all their influence with the Emperor and with the Marquis of Pescara.—Venice, 27 Oct. 1525.
Signed: "El Prothonotario Caracciolo," "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Venice. The Ambassadors, 27 Oct. Answered."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. pp. 4.
27 Oct. 241. Jean Jonglet, Seigneur des Maretz, to Madame.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof- u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P.C.
Fasc. 223. No. 106.
Wrote last to inform her and the Emperor of the answer given by the Legate to his questions respecting the treaty of peace lately published in France. Has also advised that a servant of the English ambassador in Spain had come post haste through France, in 10 or 11 days; a good and intelligent clerk, native of Anvers (Antwerp). Had not seen him at the date of his last, but next day made his acquaintance and invited him to dinner. He came, and they conversed after dinner about the state of affairs in Spain and the Emperor's prospects. He told him that His Imperial Majesty was in excellent health, and that Madame D'Alençon had arrived at Court, (fn. n10) and been very well received. The King of France had been very ill with fever; so much so, that the physicians had despaired of his life. The Emperor had visited him during his illness, and King Francis had been so much flattered by the Emperor's kindness and attention, and by the honour conferred on him, that he had gathered strength and so far recovered as to be already in full convalescence. The Emperor before leaving the King had kindly recommended him to Madame d'Alençon's care, adding that he was to have no concern or fear about his affairs, (fn. n11) as everything would be settled to his satisfaction. His informer was present at the interview, and saw the King of France [in bed]. The Duke of Bourbon was every day expected in Toledo; lodgings had been prepared for him at that city.
Asked him whether at his departure from Spain Richard Boullengier had arrived there. He said he had not, and that he knew him personally. The Viscount of Lombecke (Hannart) had arrived at Court, not Mons. de Praet, who was also expected. The Emperor, he said, had given him some commission to execute on his way to Spain, he could not exactly tell what.
Having asked him whether the Emperor knew anything of this peace lately concluded between England and France, he said that he did, and that the information had been conveyed to him from France. As to how the affair had been taken in Spain, and what was said about it, he replied that most well meaning people wished that the negotiations had been conducted conjointly, not by one only of the contracting parties. Being then asked what hope there was of a treaty being concluded with the French, he answered that as far as he could judge, there were many obstacles in the way of peace, but that it was to be hoped that everything would end satisfactorily.
Fancies that Madame must already know the whole of the above news; the ambassador nevertheless is bound to communicate them in fulfilment of his duty (pour son acquit). His informer seems to be both an honourable and trust-worthy man. He was the servant of the late Sir Richard Wingfield, English ambassador at the Imperial court, and preceptor (maistre d'escolle) to his children. (fn. n12)
Hears also that in Spain no great trust is placed either in the Pope or in the Venetians. Must say that the conduct of the Venetian ambassador at the court seems to him rather strange; he only visits and communicates with the French ambassadors (Jocquin and Brinon), which is an evident sign that there is a secret understanding between them, and that they are plotting something to the Emperor's detriment. It is for Madame and His Imperial Majesty to consider this, and be on the alert. The Legate, nevertheless, persists that the mutual friendship will not be impaired whatever may arise out of the present negotiations.
Jean Jocquin returned to France three or four days ago. Hears that the object of his journey is to bring back certain money (deniers) which is awaiting him there. The Captain of Guisnes (Fitzwilliam) and Dr. Taillecher (Tayler) are also going to France to have the peace ratified and sworn to.
The Spanish merchants residing in London have called on him (Jonglet), complaining that one of their ships laden with merchandise had been captured by the French in sight of the English coast (es limittes d'Angleterre). They imagined that the truce concluded with Madame, as well as the peace said to have been made with this King, would be a sufficient security for their property. He (Jonglet) has his doubts on this score, and fancies that the truce with the Emperor refers only to vessels engaged in the fisheries. The President of Rouen (Brinon) is of the same opinion, and has told the merchants so. Has been unable to offer them redress or tender advice, except that of applying to the Legate and representing to him that the capture of their ships within the limits of England is an infraction of the peace, and that the King is bound to make reparation, &c.
Hears that the said President of Rouen alleges as an excuse for this and other similar infractions that the Spaniards have been the first to break the truce by trying to take possession of Narbonne. Has inquired from the servant of the late Sir Richard Wingfield whether there was any truth in the French ambassador's statement, and has been told that there is not the least foundation for it. These are pure inventions of the French in order to lay the blame of these transactions on others.—London, 27 of Oct. 1526.
Signed: "Jonglet."
Addressed: "A Madame la Gouvernante des Pays-Bas."
French, Original, pp. 5.
29 Oct. 242. Antonio di Benaffra to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 85.
Has been sent to Rome by the Lieutenant of the Sumaria and the members of the Collateral Council of Naples, for the purpose of pleading certain law suits in behalf of natives of that kingdom. Has hitherto been successful, and hopes, with the Duke's (Sessa) assistance, to fulfil his commission, although His Holiness the Pope shows little satisfaction at it.
Has found there (at Rome) a considerable number of Siennese, who, in order to escape the despotic rule of the mob, have voluntarily migrated from the city. Indeed, it is a well-known fact that the government of Sienna has been for some time, and is still, in the hands of a most despicable set, in consequence of which the noblest and wealthiest inhabitants have been either cast into prison (confinati) or exiled to various parts of Italy, such as Venice, Lucca, Ferrara and other cities. This lamentable persecution stimulates him (Benaffra) to inform His Imperial Majesty who the said emigrants are, and by whom the opposite and now ruling faction is represented.
The citizens now in prison or exiled are those whose fathers and predecessors (fn. n13) were always friendly to the cause of Alphonso I., of good memory, of King Ferrante (Ferdinand), and other monarchs of the house of Aragon, and especially of the Catholic King Ferdinand, with whom the Republic of Sienna made close league and alliance, espousing his cause and sharing his fortunes. The populace, on the contrary, have always adhered to the opposite party, and whenever King Charles [VIII.], King Louis (XII.), and other Frenchmen came down into Italy, served constantly under their banners against the house of Aragon, persecuting and expelling from the city the avowed partisans of that illustrious family. Among the most treacherous and violent were the father, grandfather, and uncles of Hieronymo Seuerino, (fn. n14) now residing at the Imperial court as ambassador from the Republic: a worthy representative, indeed, of such a wicked and perfidious community. He (Benaffra) can bear good witness to the hatred these people profess to the Imperialists, having passed thirty years of his life among them, and having been himself imprisoned by the French for his devotion and services to the Royal house of Aragon and its descendants. In short, the government of the city is at present in the hands of those very men whose fathers exiled, imprisoned, beheaded and cut to pieces, in 1456 and in 1482, the partisans of the Empire.
Such being notoriously the state of things at Sienna, he (Benaffra) considers it his duty, as the faithful and devoted servant of His Imperial Majesty, to call his attention to it, and beg that his good old servants—those who have always shown their fidelity and devotion under the most trying circumstances—be not entirely forsaken and exposed to the increasing fury of their enemies. Measures should be taken to place the government of Sienna again in the hands of the Emperor's old servants, and deprive this vile and odious rabble, as hostile now as ever they were to the Imperial interests of any share in it. For, although they may not show their venom at the present moment, it is more owing to their not being supported than to any repentance on their part.
It is generally believed that they are now treating by means of their ambassador at that Court, and offering even a good sum of money, which, if accepted, they are sure to pay out of the property confiscated from those who have always been faithful to the Emperor's predecessors. By rejecting their present offers, three different objects may be obtained: First, the servants of the Empire will not be impoverished and ruined. Secondly, the rabble now ruling in the city will have no opportunity of executing their wicked intentions. Thirdly, those who have, on every occasion and at all times shown their fidelity to the Empire, will be saved from utter destruction and thus enabled to render new services. The popular faction, on the contrary, have shown their wickedness; for the wolf changes his coat, but not his nature; and the ass never goes forward unless he sees the stick. (fn. n15)
He (Benaffra) would not dare, as a vassal, to advance such assertions and make such a request had he not lived many years among those people, and witnessed their wicked behaviour. Humbly beseeches His Imperial Majesty to turn his attention to the affairs of that Republic, and make such provision that it may henceforwards become a place of security for his servants, and a bulwark of the Empire. For although the city be small, yet a little thorn in the lion's side makes him lame; (fn. n16) and the Emperor, as son and heir of the Catholic King and grandson of Maximilian, is bound to defend his paternal inheritance against all enemies in Italy as well as elsewhere.
Were he to be asked what measures could be adopted to ensure the tranquillity and welfare of Sienna, he would answer, without hesitation, that there are two ways of doing it, without imposing any burden on the Imperial conscience. The first, to divide the city, for the purposes of government and administration, into three monti, as it is at present, namely: Nove, Populo, and Nobili. In this manner no injury would be done to any of them, and there could be no cause of complaint. It would be necessary to reinstate all the citizens of Nove now exiled or in confinement; and as they might still consider themselves insecure, a guard might be created for their protection and defence. For the Populo having, as it has, the favour of the lower classes, and being always ready with their support to fall on the Nove at the least commotion or disturbance in Italy, it is but just that they should be protected against any attack of the populace. The inhabitants of the Populo will naturally object to such guard being placed under the command and at the disposal of Nove, but this might be remedied by the appointment of a captain, who, in His Imperial Majesty's name, should see that the inhabitants of Nove were not again expelled from their home and obliged to seek refuge in foreign parts, whilst the Populo would be equally protected against any attack of the rival faction. In this manner His Imperial Majesty (fn. n17) would hold the balance between the two parties, and turn the forces of the city to his own account, when required.
Besides the Council a bailiff's court (balía) might be created, of fifteen members for each mountain, to be chosen among those reputed to be friendly to the Imperial cause. In this manner the government of the city would be equally divided amongst the three orders of citizens, so that His Imperial Majesty could derive benefit from all parties.
The second expedient would be to make one single monte out of the three, and to select in each of them all those who, in old times, held the government of the city, and are the wealthiest and best born. The same number of balías to be then created in the manner and with the guard above described. Only it would be necessary to select the said governors among the citizens most attached to the. Imperial service, and who may be invested with deliberative power, so that at any time, and in case of emergency, the Emperor may avail himself of the services of the Republic.
For further information respecting the state of affairs at Sienna, and the citizens who could be selected, in case of need, for the future administration of the place, the writer refers to the enclosed memorandum, (fn. n18) wherein the different modes of government that have been in use, and the names of the various governors, are specified.—Roma, die 29 Octobris.
Signed: "Servulus Antonius de Benafro." (fn. n19)
Addressed: "Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Rome. Antonio de Benaffra, 29 October."
Italian. Holograph, pp. 4.
30 Oct. 243. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Abbot of Najera.
Arch. Hist. Cent.
Madrid. Priv. d.
Sta Mar. d. Naj.
f. 378 v..
Has this morning answered by Hieronimo, a servant of the Marquis [de Pescara] now returning to Milan, his Reverence's letter of the 25th inst. Has little to add, except renewing his prayers respecting the matters contained in his answer. Since the messenger's departure we have not ceased treating for the loan of money wanted for the Imperial army. Although bankers in general are men who prefer dealing with merchants and people of their own profession to Princes and great Lords, yet he (Soria) has conducted the affair so briskly as to have obtained from them 6,000 gold cr. upon bills to be drawn on Naples, on his own (Soria's) signature and that of the Marquis of Pescara; the parties having deemed it unnecessary to have his Reverence's or Antonio de Leyva's further security for them.
The bankers will give us here gold crowns of the Sun, (escudos de oro del Sol), in exchange for gold ducats (largos), to be received at Naples, with an interest of 2% to be paid to these bankers on the 1st of January next. So that, in exchange for the 6,000 gold cr. bills are to be drawn to the amount of 6,120 gold ducats (largos) payable at Naples, according to the enclosed minute. Should his Reverence approve of the arrangement, and send the bills with the Marquis' signature on them, the money shall be paid forthwith.
In this same manner, and on the same conditions, the sums borrowed in the Viceroy's time were obtained; and there can be no doubt that when these merchants and bankers see the Marquis of Pescara fulfil his promise and honour their draft, any sum, however considerable, may be got on such security. He (Soria) is the more happy to have been able to procure these funds, that he hears the money is to be employed for an object similar to that of Morono, (fn. n20) whom may God help, since he is making such full confession, writing and signing with his own hand the declarations in his cause, without waiting for other compulsory ways, such as torture, &c.
Is equally glad to hear from his Reverence that the Duke of Milan's health is improving, and shall always feel thankful for any information his Worship may please to send him respecting that part of Italy. Cannot help, however, warning his Reverence—though in reality there is no necessity for it—about the troops now destined to Milan. Great care is to taken that no disputes arise between them and the Milanese, for otherwise the Emperor's interests could not be forwarded as his good servants wish. The pioneers (gastadores) now being raised by the Venetians at Brescia might possibly be wasted (destroyed) instead of their wasting the land. (fn. n21)
Respecting the estate of Gavy, it seems to him (Soria) that since the Marquis of Pescara is to have under his power the whole of the duchy of Milan, he might also take Gavy, and intrust it to his keeping; for the position is important, and it would be desirable to take footing in it. His Reverence is humbly requested to look to this little business, and inform him (Soria) of the result of his application.
Shall be glad to hear that the commission for Cevà in favour of Francisco Navarro has been issued.
Kisses the Marquis del Guasto hands for the demonstration he was pleased to make when he first heard of Captain Marco Antonio's shameful conduct at the village of Arqua, from whose inhabitants he seems to have extorted, not 116 ducats, as at first stated, but 240, besides laying the place completely waste.
This Doge has lately received intelligence that Juanes (Giovannino) de Medicis and Nicolao Fregoso were levying troops to attack Sienna. Does not consider the news correct; but still it is important that his Reverence should be apprized of the rumour.—Sextri, 30th of October 1525.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
P.S,.—Again begs his Reverence to bear in mind Cabrera's business; for the truth is, he is really ashamed, when he calls, not to be able to give him better news.
Should very much like to hear whether there were any Genoese concerned in Morono's treacherous dealings, that he may have them properly chastised here. Begs his Reverence to write all he knows respecting this affair, and promises to keep it secret.—"Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the most Magnificent Sir, the Reverend Abbot of Najera, the Emperor's Commissary General in Lombardy, wherever he may be."
Spanish. Copy. pp. 4½.
31 Oct. 244. The Duke of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
ff. 93–7.
On the 28th inst. advices came of the arrest of Hieronymo Morono [at Novara]. A few days after, Commander Lope Hurtado arrived, (cipher) and announced to His Holiness the cause of his arrest. The news at first created as much confusion and depression at Rome as the victory of Pavia and capture of the French King, more particularly so among the people who have meddled in these present intrigues. The Pope, after listening with great attention to what Lope Hurtado and he (the Duke) had to say on the subject, answered that Morono's arrest was of little importance, if matters remained as they are now; thereby meaning, no doubt, that he fears it will be the cause for His Imperial Majesty taking possession of his estate. He (the Pope) has despatched one of his private and most confidential chamberlains to the Marquis of Pescara, and on his return will send another one to Spain. Mèanwhile he makes no scruple in saying that, perceiving that he is not treated as favourably and graciously as he had reason to expect, since he had from the beginning entered the Imperial league, notwithstanding the advantageous offers made to him by the adverse party; seeing that the grant of those articles in which he had most interest was indefinitely postponed; that the Duke of Ferrara had been summoned to Spain, etc., all this, coupled with the old affront of having the French King conveyed [to Spain] without giving him previous notice, and by the general prevailing rumour that His Imperial Majesty was about to make an agreement with his prisoner, to his detriment and that of all Italy, he had for some time listened to the prayers of those who wished him to take their cause in hand, and replied to them severally and together. The negotiations were now so ripe that only his consent was wanted to bring the affair to conclusion. Had he not done so, he might have remained entirely isolated. (fn. n22) He, nevertheless, had not given that consent, waiting to see whether His Imperial Majesty would change yet in what concerned him. His own impression was that the Emperor wished to become master of Italy and keep it under subjection; for such a design his counsel was unnecessary; he would, such being the case, wait patiently for martyrdom with the rest of the Italian potentates. That appeared to him (the Pope) the object aimed at by the Emperor when he endeavoured to make his peace with the French King exclusively of him and of other Princes; which must have arisen from one of two things, either he wished with French assistance to destroy Italy, or to secure to himself the love of Italian potentates. This latter being his object, it could hardly enter the Emperor's views to seize on the estate of Milan; nor was the Duke's guilt, if he had erred at all, of such a nature as to deserve so severe a punishment. Knowing his temper and condition, and what Hieronymo Morono himself had written about him; knowing the precarious state of his health, and the danger he was in of life, he (the Pope) could not help thinking that if there was guilt in what he [the Duke] had done, the best thing to do was to pardon it. Three different systems might be applied by His Imperial Majesty to avoid, in future, the recurrence of similar events. He could occupy with his troops the most important places in the Duchy; he could exact homage from the governors of castles, and from the inhabitants at large, in case the Duke were again to enter into any plot against His Imperial Majesty; or, in the last place, he could marry him to any Princess of His Majesty's choosing, in order the better to secure his fidelity, and thereby calm the fears of the Italian potentates.
This was in substance the answer made by the Pope to Lope Hurtado and to him (the Duke), who tried to persuade him, though in vain, that his fears were without foundation. The fact of the matter is that His Holiness firmly believes that His Imperial Majesty aims at nothing short of the subjection of all Italy; and that he and the rest of the confederates must do everything in their power to prevent it. They consider that the safest way to attain their object is for His Imperial Majesty to make some agreement, no matter what, with the French King; for, once at liberty, he is sure to seize the first opportunity at hand to recover whatever losses he may have sustained in estate and honour. There can be no doubt that the Cardinal of England is at the bottom of these intrigues, since, perceiving that the continually increasing greatness and power of His Imperial Majesty deprive him of his influence as supreme judge and arbiter, as he has hitherto been in these matters, at the same time he has offered both to the French themselves, to the Pope and to the Venetians a good deal more than they ventured to ask. The English, in fact, profess that their joining this new league has chiefly been caused by His Imperial Majesty's declaration that, war being impossible, peace must be made at any cost; that the Emperor was the first to accept it (es el primer acceptador) and that they intend to observe the articles of the existing treaty. The truth is that their professions are anything but sincere, for they have bound themselves as closely as they could, making the article about the marriage the pivot of all their negotiations; (fn. n23) and that Cavalier Casale, who is still at Lyons, has brought the treaty with France to an end on terms much more binding than is generally believed. He (the Duke) has every reason for making this assertion, and for certifying His Imperial Majesty that the Pope has given the most ample powers for these negotiations; that the intrigues are being actively carried on, and that it is publicly announced that the Venetians are in treaty with the Turk, for they say it would be far preferable for them to become now tributaries and vassals of that Infidel than to fall with the rest of Italy under His Imperial Majesty's rule; as they might shortly after be delivered from that infamous yoke by a general crusade.
The Duke of Ferrara has not yet obtained his safe-conduct to pass through France, on the plea that they (the French) want first to consult the King of England. It is here believed that the Pope has had something to do with this refusal, under the impression that the Duke is being summoned to Court by one of the Imperial ministers. He (the Pope) says that there is double dealing on the Duke's part in the matter, in order to get at Lyons the required safe-conduct to proceed to Spain.
(Common writing:) Things at Sienna continue in the same state as they were. Although he (the Duke) and the Marquis of Pescara also have often written to them not to proceed criminally against absentees (foraxidos), as they have done till now, they take no notice whatever of their warnings, and go on persecuting them and confiscating their property, as before.
He (the Duke) has commissioned Miçer Antonio di Menafra, (fn. n24) who, besides being a good and faithful servant of His Imperial Majesty, has great experience of Italian affairs, and was governor of that city for 30 years, to write the enclosed report, showing the origin and cause of the evils that distract that Republic, in order that His Majesty may apply a remedy to them.
Cardinal Colonna persists in his refusal to return to Rome, notwithstanding the Duke's efforts to persuade him that his person is not suspected, and that he has no real danger to fear.
Cavalier Casal is expected here every day. They say he comes in company with the Papal Auditor (Ghinucci), both as ambassadors of the King of England to the Pope. Casal, however, brings the secret (fn. n25) of Alboraçen (Wolsey).
Letters from Venice state that the Signory were increasing their army, and fortifying the country, and that they no longer answered the Imperial ambassadors on the subject of the money claims.
The Pope had given him (the Duke) hopes that, immediately after the return to Rome of Cardinal Sanctiquatro, the matter of the Crusade should be looked into. The Cardinal has returned, but nothing has been done; (cipher) and when pressed to take a resolution, his excuse is that he is waiting for His Majesty's answer.
As these people suspect that His Imperial Majesty wishes to take possession of the duchy of Milan, they have introduced all manner of changes in the wording of all the investitures of the kingdom of Naples, adding a clause, among others, to the effect that His Imperial Majesty cannot possess estates in Tuscany or Lombardy without losing the tenure of the fiefs of the Church. But he (the Duke) is of opinion that true right resides in power; his mentioning it at this time is to show that these people not only contemplate defending themselves with arms, but also justifying themselves legally.
(Common writing:) He (the Duke) did not write by Busbaca, because, knowing him to be the bearer of the dispensation brief, and having heard that His Imperial Majesty was not pleased that he (the Duke) should know the nature of the despatches taken by the said Busbaca, he thought it more prudent to keep silence on the occasion. Begs and entreats His Imperial Majesty, if his services are not acceptable at Rome, to remove him from the embassy and send him elsewhere. Knowing how little trust is placed in him, and how few are his abilities, it would be a satisfaction to him to be sent where he could be of more service, and devote his life to the promotion of the Imperial interests.
A few hours since Cavalier Casal and the Pope's Auditor (Ghinucci) arrived in Rome. As soon as he (the Duke) ascertains what they bring, he will not fail to inform His Majesty.—Rome, 30 Oct. 1525.
Signed: "El Duque de Sesa."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Invincible and Imperial Majesty, the King of Spain and of the two Sicilies, our Sovereign and Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From the Duke of Sessa. Rome, 30 Oct. 1525."
Spanish. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 8.
31 Oct. 245. The Emperor to the Duke of Sessa, his Ambassador at Rome.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Muñoz, A. 83,
ff. 278–85.
The King. Most Illustrious Duke, our Cousin, &c.—Your despatches of the 14th July, 1st, 3d, and 25th August, have been duly received. We thank you for the intelligence contained in them about the Pope's negotiations with France, England, Venice and other Italian potentates. His Legate (Cardinal Salviati) has arrived, and been received in due honour. We hope not only that he will soon inform His Holiness of our good intentions and filial respect, but also that, by his presence at Court, all pending business shall be conducted as befits a Christian republic. The Pope will no longer have occasion to negotiate [with the Italian powers]; but, on the contrary, may cause such negotiations to be broken off, that the whole of Italy and the rest of the Christian world may enjoy universal and lasting peace.
Concerning the alleged discontent of the English about which you have written, We see no real cause for it. If they insist upon keeping aloof and forsaking us, it will be their fault not ours, though We cannot imagine why they should at this moment forsake our friendship and alliance to take up that of another Prince less friendly to them. If they do, they may have occasion to repent, as happens every day. We fancy that their principal object in negotiating a treaty with France is to obtain payment of the pensions owing to them, since they profess, nevertheless, to keep our friendship and alliance, and do not object to our marrying the Princess [Isabella] of Portugal. The reliance placed on other Italian potentates seems to us equally futile, for the Duke of Milan has no reason to be discontented, especially at a time when he has just received the investiture of the Duchy. And since the Duke of Ferrara has not been pressed until now to make restitution of Rezzo and Rubiera, as preconcerted, there is no visible cause for discontent; whilst the fears of His Holiness and other Italian Princes respecting an agreement with France to their detriment must needs be calmed by the arrival of Mons. de Bourbon, who is shortly expected in these kingdoms.
About the injury which His Holiness pretends to have received in being subordinated to the Duke of Ferrara, and the appointments by us made to certain ecclesiastical livings, We have given our reasons to the Pope's Legate here [in Spain], and will again put them in writing when the matter comes to be discussed. We do in nowise mean to prefer the Duke of Ferrara to His Holiness, but His Holiness ought not to give occasion for acts to the detriment of the most Sacred Empire. (fn. n26)
Neither the Pope nor the Venetians have cause for suspicion on account of the Viceroy's journey to these our realms of Spain. He (the Viceroy) has only done what he considered best for our service, and brought with him the King of France. There is no occasion to fear war; for, since the Viceroy's arrival, We have sent an ambassador to Venice to confirm our treaties with that Republic, and the road is open to them to make the best possible terms. As to their applying to the Turk for assistance—a thing which We cannot be persuaded to believe—if they do, their amount of love and respect for religion will become manifest, and God will visit them accordingly. The intrigues of the Datary will, We hope, end in smoke after the provision We have lately made.
You were quite right in gaining time respecting the business of Alberto Carpi. We will treat of the affair here with the Legate.
His Holiness does well to show contentment at our purpose of visiting Italy, since it will be beneficial to himself, to the Apostolic See in particular, and to Christianity in general. We shall do everything in our power to put matters in such order that our journey may not be delayed. Whoever advised you from Lyons of the supposed detention of the Papal Legate (Cardinal Salviati) in that city, was misinformed, though he may have told you the truth in other matters. You can easily perceive this by what has happened since.
Concerning the affairs of Sienna, We have seen what you say in your various despatches; also the report of Commander Aguilera. Our wish is that no change be made, for the present, in the government of that Republic, until We send thither some fit person to inquire into and report on the state of affairs in and out of the city. Meanwhile the citizens are not to lay hands on the property of the fuorusciti, and you may rest assured that whatever applications they (the Siennese) may make here, by means of their envoys, We shall not come to any resolution on their affairs until the said report has been drawn up and properly considered.
What you did to prevent the appointment of an ecclesiastic (fn. n27) to the see of Barcelona, We hold as a good service to our crown. The infraction [of what We consider to be our right] lies not so much in the appointing as in the taking possession, as you well know. You were equally right in presenting our warrants (cedulas) in favour of Don Alonso de Castro and Don Pedro de Urries. Considering the little regard they seem to have there [at Rome] to our jus patronati, you could not do otherwise; and We inform you that the Rota of Aragon has lately given sentence against the said Don Alonso [de Castro]. Still, if it were the Pope's wish that the recognition of all the appointments that are now in litigation should be committed in partibus to unsuspected persons, as We have already requested His Holiness to do, We shall be glad to forward such an arrangement.
Respecting the sums borrowed by you from the Bishop of Salamanca (Bobadilla), and Cardinals Vich and Tortosa, the payment thereof is to be made at Naples, since there it was that they were spent, and We have no means of providing for such payment in Spain. But We distinctly tell you that if the Bishop of Salamanca wishes to be paid he had better come here to our Court. Cardinal Vich being dead, his heirs also will have to sue here for what was owing to him.
We thank you for the judicial inquiry on the attempted assassination of Severino and the persons therein concerned. On the arrival of the report which is to be made concerning Sienna and its late disturbances, We shall provide a fit governor for the city or any other form of government that may appear most convenient.
Respecting the marriage of Hipolito de Medicis to the Pope's niece, and the Cardinal's hat promised to the son of Lorenzo (de Medicis) We leave the matter entirely in the hands of His Holiness, to do what he thinks best, knowing, as We do, that in these matters both the Datary and the Capuano (the Archbishop of Capua) follow their own inclinations, (fn. n28) and that Agustin Folleta (Foglieta) is not in favour [with His Holiness].
The determination come to by the Pope on the subject of the Crusade is anything but just and equitable. His Holiness ought to consider that the longer the grant is delayed, the longer the war against the Infidel and the preservation of our African conquests are retarded. The Lutherans will increase in number, and We have no other means left to provide for so many expenses. Since His Holiness is not to be out of pocket by it, and the concession is to result so much to the advantage of the Apostolic See and of the whole of Christendom, We cannot understand why the Pope is so long in granting our request. You must again apply to him, in our name, and beg for the concession of the said Crusade, which so many of his predecessors have granted to Spain on similar occasions, to be spent in war against the Infidels, as well as for the protection of our African conquests.
The Pope's Nuncio has not yet told us what has been His Holiness' decision respecting the revocation solicited by us of certain Chancery rules derogating from what Pope Adrian established with regard to the Spanish Church. (fn. n29) We order you to attend to this business, and bear in mind that the said derogation has been, and is still, the cause of innumerable quarrels and lawsuits between different parties, and that now, lately, a certain Miçer Vives, (fn. n30) residing in that city [Rome], has instituted a lawsuit against Secretary Soria, regarding the deanery of Bar. (Bari?), and that they are sure to do the same with regard to all the livings which Pope Adrian gave away, thus molesting our natural subjects beyond measure. We have written to His Holiness on this subject in general, and particularly in the case of our Secretary Soria, whom We wish to remain in quiet possession of what was granted to him by the said Pope. You are therefore to manage matters in such a way as to make the aforesaid Miçer Vives desist from his claim.
We have heard of the commission which Mons. de Bourbon sent you to prosecute Count Mirandula (Giovanni Tomasso della Mirandola). We order you not to proceed against him until you hear from us again. In the meantime you are to keep the matter secret, so that the Count may not have his suspicions aroused, for he (the Count) having been, as reported, a good and faithful servant of the Emperor Maximilian, our grandfather, and not having otherwise taken up arms against us, or in favour of our enemies, it would not do, on so trifling an occasion, to do him injury.
We do not wonder at the truce with France not being exactly to the Pope's liking; but whether he liked it or not, his remarks to you on the occasion had no weight whatever, for at the time he made them the truce was not yet signed.
We are not at all pleased at the appointments made by His Holiness to the vacancies caused by the death of Cardinal Vich, and We can assure you that unless the persons appointed be natives of these our realms, We shall not give them possession; indeed with regard to those ecclesiastical benefices which belong to our jus patronati, We do not intend to admit any presentation on his part, even in favour of Spanish subjects.
At the same time We are glad to hear that His Holiness has sent new powers to his Legate here. Should he speak to you about the Ferrara business, you will tell him that We shall do everything in our power to adjust matters to his satisfaction.
The Dauphin's marriage to the Princess of Wales (Mary), and the agreement between the French King and ourselves are matters about which no certain statement can be made just yet; time only will show what truth there is in the report. The Grand Master of St. John (fn. n31) has not yet arrived; and though it is reported that he comes without sufficient powers from his Order, yet We are ready to do anything to promote his wishes.
We were very sorry to hear of Cardinal Vich's death; he was a good and faithful servant of ours. As to the filling up of the vacant see [of Barcelona], certainly the Pope ought to have considered that he was a native of these realms, and that Barcelona forms part of our dominions. The Pope, therefore, must not be surprised if, upon the application made by these realms for redress, a Christian ruler should try to repair their wrongs. It is our intention, in future, whenever a vacancy of this sort occurs belonging to our jus patronati, not to give possession of it to ecclesiastics appointed by His Holiness; neither shall We grant possession in the case of those appointments reserved to His Holiness, unless they fall on natives of these realms, which, after all, have not been less important or fruitful than other Christian estates, whenever an opportunity has occurred of showing zeal for the defence and exaltation of the Church of God.
Secretary Soria was in treaty with Cardinal Vich for the cession of the archdeaconry of Belchite, in the cathedral of Saragossa, on condition of his renouncing the rents thereof. The Cardinal died in the meantime, and the affair remained unsettled. Among other benefices vacant by his death, We wish that the above-named archdeaconry of Belchite, or at least the title of it, should be granted to the said Secretary, and We have written on the subject both to His Holiness and to the Cardinal de Rangon (Rangone), on whom, it would appear from your despatches, that the said archdeaconry has been conferred. We beg of you to do your utmost to persuade the said Cardinal (Rangone) to renounce the same in our Secretary's favour, promising him a suitable pension instead, and, if that cannot be obtained, for the Cardinal to reserve as ecclesiastical pension the revenues of the said archdeaconry, and pass over the title to Secretary Soria. This, We presume, will not be difficult to obtain when the Cardinal becomes aware of our intention not to give him or any other foreigner possession of the said livings in our gift.
To your despatches of the x., xi., xii., and xviii. September since received our answer is as follows:—
With regard to Luther and the Pope's declaration to you that the best remedy for the extirpation of his sect is our presence in those parts, We entirely agree with him; but His Holiness ought so to dispose matters that it may be done to his own satisfaction and the rest of the Italian potentates, and as a Catholic Prince, We shall not be wanting. We wish We had at present a sufficiently qualified person to send to those parts, who might manage matters so as to prevent any action to the Pope's detriment; but not having here by us any other but Jean Hannart, (fn. n32) who is not acceptable to our brother the Archduke, or the Provost of Valcheuek, who at present is unwell, and incapable of such work as that demanded, it will be necessary for us to think of some other expedient. You will tell His Holiness, in our name, that We are extremely sorry that, at the present moment, We cannot apply a remedy to such evil; but in order to stop the exorbitant demands there made against the Church, We have written to the Archduke our brother and to the Electors and other influential members of the Diet not to meddle with matters that may turn against the Holy See; and if they can break up the Diet to do it as soon as possible.
Had His Holiness considered well the necessity in which our brother the Archduke finds himself, or had he been sufficiently informed of the difficulty of his position, he would have had no reason to be discontented with the articles he granted. For His Holiness must be aware that the Archduke, surrounded as he was by the rebel peasants, could not do otherwise than dissemble with them in order to get free.
The Legate Cardinal (Salviati) is here. He brings powers from the Pope which We have not yet examined. If these are deemed sufficient, and the Legate's real intention is to establish a firm and true union between His Holiness and ourselves, he will always find us ready to promote the cause of the Holy See, of the Church in general, and of the Pope in particular. You are to speak to him in terms such as these, calm his fears, if he has any, and try to find out the intrigues in which he may be concerned.
You have already been told that the Rezzo and Rubbiera business is to be reserved for discussion here with the Legate. We are glad to hear that the Marquis of Pescara has sent you a copy of the articles of the truce.
We have heard of the Duke of Milan's recovery, and thank God for it. We approve of what you said to His Holiness on this subject; and you may assure him that were God to call the Duke to his presence, We would follow his advice and provide for the succession to his estate in the most suitable manner for the peace of Italy. His Holiness, however, was quite right in taking offence at what you told him in Pescara's name concerning the 150 men-at-arms to be quartered on the estates of the Church. It is but just that the Pope, who is the Vicar of Christ on Earth, should be treated with due respect, more even than any other Prince in Italy; and We have written to the Marquis to tell him so. You will take care that he (the Pope) is made acquainted with these our sentiments towards him, and assured also that it is not in our thoughts to offend him in the least. As to his saying that he has condoned 10,000 ducats which were owed him for certain corn taken up by us during the vacancy of the Toledo see, you will tell him that We have no knowledge whatever of that transaction, and that when sufficiently informed, We shall not fail to thank him for the said condonation.
The state of affairs at Sienna causes us much displeasure. We are now writing both to the citizens inside and to the absentees outside (fuorusciti) not to move or proceed against the persons and property of the said absentees until We send a proper person to hear them and report the result to us.
Respecting the confirmation of the league, there is no occasion for you to say anything until We inform you of what has been agreed with the Pope's Legate here.
The English have made a treaty with France; and although they pretend that it is in nowise to our detriment, or to that of the friendship they bear us, yet there can be no doubt that their doings bear a contrary construction.
Intelligence has been received here of the arrival at Venice of Prothonotary Caracciolo; but up to the date of Alonso Sanchez' letter, who writes about it, he had not advanced one step in the negotiation.
About the money lent by Cardinals Vich and Tortosa, and the Bishop of Salamanca, We have already sent you instructions. It is important that the last named (the Bishop) come to Court, and therefore you will tell him so, whatever excuses he may offer.
By what you write on the Santa Christina business, We clearly perceive that there is a determination at Rome to do away with all the Church patronage that belongs to us by right; and that if We are to keep and preserve our own, proper measures must be taken. The deeds and other testimonials which Narciso, our physician, has sent to Rome are by no means so prejudicial [to his case] as they make them out to be.
The ill-treatment which the Pope's galleys and their crews are said to have received at our people's hands has caused us considerable grief. We have forthwith ordered an inquiry to be made, and the guilty parties shall be punished accordingly. But at the same time that We deplore acts accomplished without our knowledge and against our will, We are very much indebted to the Pope for having allowed the Duke of Bourbon to make use of the said galleys for his passage to Spain, and We quite approve of the expedient that was taken of making it appear as if they had been pressed into our service.
Intelligence has reached us through the Marquis of Pescara that Joanin de Medicis had made an agreement with the Marquises of Malespina. It is to be hoped the outlaws (foraxidos) of Lucca will now desist from their attacks.
Joan Baptista de Divicys has been of late disputing the possession of the Abbey del Poyo with Don Martin de Avila y Carvajal, son of Doctor Carvajal, of our Council, to the detriment of our Royal patronage and of the privileges of these our realms. We now hear that the said Divicys, in despair of gaining his cause, is thinking of transferring his rights to Cardinal Campeggio, under the belief that this prelate, being more influential and powerful, will more effectually molest the said Don Martin in his possession, which is nothing more than a cunning device to gain his end. We do not suppose that the Cardinal will accept the said renunciation in his favour; but still, as it is probable that Divicys, having gone so far, will persist in his determination, and conceal the truth from Cardinal Campeggio, We order you to speak or write to the said Cardinal on the subject, and tell him We are sure that when he knows how matters stand, he will not be the cause of such detriment to our Royal patronage and privileges, or of further molestation to the said Don Martin. That We expect from his friendship to us that he will reject the proposed resignation which is to be made in his favour, or, in case of accepting it, will make over the said benefice to Don Martin.
The Pope, through his Legate at this court, has offered to grant us the Crusade for the period of one year, to commence at the expiration of the jubilee. You will insist upon the grant being made at least for three years; for, in truth, We cannot conceive how, when the effects of the grant are to be so much to the advantage of the Christian religion, there should be so much delay in this affair, when it is well known that our African and other possessions are in danger of invasion from the Turk.—Toledo, 31 Oct. 1525.
Spanish. Original draft in Gattinara's own hand, pp. 16.
31 Oct. 246. The Same to the Same.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Muñoz, A. 83,
ff. 272–4.
The King. Illustrious Duke, &c.—By our letter of this date full answer has been given to the different heads of your despatches. What We have now to say is this: That the Duchess of Alençon's journey to this our court has been of no avail, for not only has the progress of the negotiations not been advanced by it, but it would seem as if with her presence the offers made by the French King to Don Ugo de Moncada, before his arrival in Spain, had been to a certain extent modified or withdrawn. At all events, the said Duchess has taken her departure (fn. n33) without accomplishing anything; and we firmly believe the cause to be no other than the agreement lately made between England and France, and the reliance which they (the French) place on the negotiations now pending in Italy.
The Duchess has lodged at Madrid with her brother the King [of France]; and it cannot be reasonably supposed that he (the King), being a prisoner in our hands, (fn. n34) they will altogether withdraw from the negotiations, especially when our demands have been so reasonable. For in the article relating to Burgundy, which seemed the most disputed of all, the only obstacle has been that the French wished the Peers of the Realm, together with the Parliament, to take cognizance of the justice of our claims, whereas We wanted the whole thing to be submitted to the arbitrage of a third person. To this last condition the Duchess had already agreed, but the councillors (fn. n35) she brought in her company having told her that she could not do it, she has gone away without coming to any definite settlement in the affair.
We have taken care that the Papal Legate (Salviati) should be informed of every particular concerning this negotiation, of the proposals as well as of the answers made on both sides, and of the right and justice of our demands. It must be owned, also, that the Legate has done everything he could to persuade all parties to peace, and bring about a settlement of our mutual differences. On what more particularly concerns His Holiness We have often conferred with him, and the draft of a treaty, explanatory of the former league, has been made for his inspection, of which a copy is enclosed. The Papal Legate, to whom the draft has been read, makes no difficulty about any portion of it, save the article referring to the 200,000 ducats demanded by us to withdraw our infantry from Italy, and fit out a fleet against the Infidel. This, he alleges, is an innovation, and he has no power to agree to it; besides which the sum named appears to him rather excessive. We could reduce it to 150,000 ducats, payable in four months, provided the whole sum should be deposited previous to the departure of our infantry from Italy; but in order to show His Holiness that all further reduction is impossible, We enclose you an estimate of what the fleet will cost monthly.
In the affair of Rezzo and Rubera the Legate wished that it should be left to the Pope's choice either to give it in fee to a person of his own choosing or to mortgage that estate, (fn. n36) whilst We wished to be the sole arbiter in the matter. In short, the Legate has consulted the Pope thereupon; and as much time might be lost in going backwards and forwards, We have resolved to send you a draft of the treaty, that it may be discussed there, and, if accepted, published immediately.
To accelerate the conclusion of a league as important to the peace and tranquillity of Italy as to the welfare of Christianity, His Holiness ought not to heed such a small contribution as the one now demanded, since it is destined to withdraw our infantry from Italy and fit out a fleet against the Turk, whereby peace shall be ensured and all cause for jealousy and suspicion removed. Should the sum of 200,000 ducats appear excessive, We would consent to reduce it by one fourth, but no more, on condition that the whole of that money shall be deposited before the infantry actually leaves the country. And that His Holiness may see the insufficiency of a smaller sum for so mighty an operation, We enclose you a detailed account of the ships, seamen, and other things required for such an armament as that required to bring back the said infantry and use it against the Turk.
With regard to Rezo and Rubera there is nothing to abate from our former demands, as it is quite impossible for us to accept the article as it was drawn at Rome. Should, however, His Holiness consent to erase the clause concerning the mortgage as it stands in the Legate's memorandum, or to choose at once between the two means, viz., the mortgage or the giving in fee to a third person, so that only one part of the alternative and no power of choice remain, We are ready to acquiesce in it, provided it be done speedily and at once, and that by the return of this courier, who is to wait for an answer, We may know whether the proposed league is accepted or not. Should His Holiness agree to the above conditions, with the amendments above specified, but not otherwise, you will at once sign it in our name, and, when signed, have it published, so that the contracting parties may be acquainted with the treaty of league, and settle among themselves the amount of contribution to be paid by each of the Italian potentates.
Should you perceive, on the contrary, that His Holiness uses dilatory expedients, waiting, perhaps, for the issue of overtures made in another quarter, you will at once inform us by this same courier, in order that We may know how to conduct a negotiation in which, as the Pope cannot fail to have seen, We treat him as a true father, and prefer him to everyone else, without exception.
Notwithstanding the agreement lately entered into by England and France, the ambassadors of the former country residing at this our court have received full powers to consent to our marriage with the Princess of Portugal upon certain conditions, as well as to a renewal of our mutual friendship, assuring us that in their recent treaty with France nothing had been done to our detriment, and that they wanted still to be our friends without, however, breaking with France, since their object was to obtain from that country better conditions and a larger indemnity. We therefore sent full powers to Portugal (fn. n37) to conclude our marriage with the said Princess, which, thanks to God, is by this time accomplished by proxy. As We wish, moreover,—for the satisfaction of our subjects and at the request of our Realms, assembled in the last Cortes,—to consummate and solemnize the same as soon as possible, We order you to procure for us the required brief of dispensation from the Pope, for although We were already provided with a general one for every degree of consanguinity or affinity, excepting the first—which was applied for and obtained for the English as well as for the present marriage—it would appear that the several degrees of consanguinity between us and the said Princess of Portugal, our betrothed, require a fuller dispensation, as detailed in the enclosed memorandum lately sent to us from Lisbon. We are now writing to His Holiness, in our own hand, to inform him of our present request, and beg he will, at the same time, grant us the Crusade for a period of three years, since the revenues of one year would be insufficient to preserve our conquests, still more to wage war on the Infidel.
Should you observe, as aforesaid, that His Holiness purposely delays the conclusion of the treaty, waiting for the issue of the negotiations now pending between the Italian potentates, and that the said negotiations are getting more brisk, in that case you will immediately inform us of the circumstance, and tell the Pope, besides, as if it came from you, that you know the cause of the delay; that he ought to consider the present state of affairs and the ever increasing sect of Luther, and bear also in mind that We have always been a dutiful son of the Holy See and a friend of his in particular ever since he was in minoribus. That by not forwarding with all his might the peace and tranquillity of Italy and of the Christian community at large, he runs the risk of making an enemy of us. For the French King being in our hands, and, as it were, at our mercy, it is just as easy to increase our demands upon him, as it is to loose the bonds of his captivity, and make such terms as will allow us both to unite our forces and take satisfaction and revenge of those who may have offended us. You will also tell him that We have particularly charged you to acquaint us immediately with his (the Pope's) determination, that We may take our measures accordingly, and that our orders on this point are so pressing that you must have, as soon as possible, a categorical answer.
Of course your language to His Holiness on this occasion ought to be such as not to produce any scandal, (fn. n38) but at the same time plain enough for him to see the danger of delay, and know what our intentions are in the event of his refusing to ratify the treaty. If you saw that, notwithstanding the Pope's dilatory behaviour in this affair, the negotiations of the Italian potentates relaxed or were suspended, then, in that case, you will not take extreme measures with His Holiness, but will go on temporizing with him, and pretending that you want to consult us upon the difficulties that arise in the negotiation.
You know already the nature of the conferences that have been held with the Duke of Ferrara about Modena. Should His Holiness persist in his procrastinating policy, so as to give you occasion to send back this courier without any hopes of the treaty being concluded, you will again open negotiations with the said Duke, and promise him the restitution of Modena on condition of his making up the sum of 200,000 ducats, after deduction of what he has already disbursed. (fn. n39) The affair to be conducted with great caution and secresy, letting us know the result as soon as possible, and informing the Marquis of Pescara also of the intrigues of the Italian potentates as well as of the Pope's real intentions.—Toledo, 31 Oct. 1525.
Spanish. Original draft, docketed in Gattinara's own hand. pp. 6.
31 Oct. 247. The Emperor to the Abbot of Najera.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 88.
The King. Abbot of Najera, &c.—We thank you for the intelligence conveyed in your letters of the 21st July, 20th and 24th of August, and 8th Sept., to which this present is an answer. With regard to the necessity which, as you and our generals think, exists of pressing the negotiations for peace with France and the Italian Princes, providing money for our army, and attending to other matters connected with our service, We need not say anything here, having written at length to the Marquis of Pescara on this subject, besides ordering him not to fix Mons. de Labret's ransom. (fn. n40)
Your own application to have the yearly pension of 500 ducats on the bishopric of Ciudad Rodrigo transferred to that of Valladolid, cannot at present be entertained, as you well know that similar transfers must not be effected without the previous consent of the bishops themselves.
We quite approve of your having sent 3,000 ducats to the Lord of Monago, to provide for the defence of his estate in case of attack.
We have also forwarded to the Marquis of Pescara a memorandum of the conditions under which the grant (privilegio) is to be made, hoping he will be satisfied with them.
Having written thus far, your letters of the 10th and 25th September came to hand. Thank you for the intelligence they contain and the advices of our army. We have given orders that the Marquis of Pescara should be written to in our name with a full answer to every one of the points therein contained and specified.
What you say about the Germans shall be looked into and suitably arranged for on the arrival here of Mons. de Bourbon, who, We hear, has already landed [at Barcelona].
The advices you sent to our brother, the Archduke, We quite approve of. It was wise to let him know the state of affairs in Italy, that he may procure the means of paying George Fransperch (Fruntsperg) and his Germans their arrears, and be prepared for any emergency.
We deem it far preferable that the Marquis of Pescara should send us here the person of Mons. De Labret, as We have commanded him to do, than keep him a prisoner at Pavia.
Glad to hear you have received 40,000 cr. out of the 80,000 remitted to you in bills, and hope you will use all possible diligence in getting the remainder.
We have letters of Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez, our ambassadors in Venice, reporting on the state of their negotiations with that Signory. A suitable answer has been made to them by our command, and they shall also be provided with funds to the utmost of our power.
It is not to be wondered at if the alacrity and goodwill with which We have sent the Duke [of Milan] his investiture has not been a sufficient cause to allay the fears and remove the suspicions of the Italian Princes, for, before the said investiture was granted, passion ran so high, and the people were so excited, that it will take some time before their apprehensions subside. It is, therefore, necessary to calm them down little by little, and separately, so that with prudence and good management everything may turn out well to God's service and our own.
The cause of the Verulano's journey to that city (Milan) will soon be made public, and therefore there is no occasion at present to plunge into a world of conjectures; although, on the other hand, what they say about his going to the Grisons may, after all, be the right one. At any rate, it behoves you and the generals of that army to be prepared for any emergency.
Your suspicions about the Bishop of Lodi (Ottaviano Sforza) and his sudden departure may turn out true; but it appears to us that he is not the fit person to be sent on such commission as you represent.
About the peace which you say has been proclaimed at Lyons [between England and France], it is one of those tricks whereof Frenchmen are so fond, they being in the habit of publishing news to their advantage, however improbable or untrue. Even if it were so, it is a matter of very little importance.
We are sorry to hear of the Duke of Milan's indisposition, though the swelling of the legs might rather be a sign of better health than of dropsy.—Toledo, 31st of October 1525.
Indorsed: "From the King. 1525. Toledo. To the Abbot of Najera, 31st of October."
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 4¼.


  • n1. "Y esto mesmo dia, segund que de hartos dias antes estaba concertado, Antonio de Leyva prendio a Hieronimo Moron, el qual por una letra quel Marques le escribio que viniesse habia venido el dia antes á Novara. Quiso Dios que viniesse no obstante que un astrologo y otras muchas personas le dixeron expressamente que si venia seria presso."
  • n2. "Su Santidad diz que holgó de entender la manera como Hieronimo Moron fue preso, mas que de la prision."
  • n3. "Y como no quiso recibir [en Milan?] los que le ponian, mandó juntar los desta ciudad y proponelles que tomassen las armas y se hiciesse de manera que esta ciudad se defendiesse."
  • n4. "Aunque el dicho Duque no se habia querido declarar fasta que el Marques [de Pescara] se declarasse."
  • n5. "Y confessó otras muchas cosas de que sin tormento el mismo escribirá, y firmará de su propia mano el processo."
  • n6. "Tullido de pies y manos y de toda la persona."
  • n7. "Todas las rentas ordinarias y un tallon (taglione) que se habia puesto los dias passados de un toston, que es un quarto de ducado, por fuego," &c.
  • n8. See No. 237. pp. 378–82.
  • n9. Marco Foscari.
  • n10. The Duchess of Alençon arrived at Madrid on the 1st of October 1525, accompanied by the Grand Master of Rhodes Philippe Villiers de l'Isle-Adam. She left Aigues-Mortes in Roussillon, in September, escorted by Doria's galleys, and six more under Fr. Bernardin de Paulx and Baron de Saint Brancard. She landed at Barcelona. Cotta, Memorias de Carlos V., M.S.
  • n11. "Disant qui il ne se merancoldast (melanconiast?)."
  • n12. Sir Richard died at Toledo on the 20th of August.
  • n13. "Questi che son fuori (sic) et cofinati son quelli che loro et li loro antecesori," &c.
  • n14. The original says Scurrino by mistake. His name was Girolamo, which Spaniards turned into Hieronymo.
  • n15. "Perche lo lupo muta bene il pelo ma non il vitio, et lo asino non camina mai senza il bastone."
  • n16. "Et ben che la citá sia piccola, multe volte una piccola spina fa soppicare un grand leone."
  • n17. "Et in questo modo V. Mata Ces. havrebbe la bacchetta in mano di fare quello che secundo la qualita de tempi li fosse necessario et utile. Et piu fare una balia ultra lo Consiglio del populo de quindeci per monte.
  • n18. Not in the volume.
  • n19. He signs his name Benafro, though the endorsement in Secretary Soria's hand has Benaffra. He was probably a native of Venafri in the Abruzzo.
  • n20. "Pues dizen han de servir para otro efecto semejante al de Moron."
  • n21. "Los gastadores que proveen en Brescia los Señores Venecianos podria ser que fuesen para ser gastados." Guastare and Guastatori in Italian, are synonymous of gastar and gastadores in Spanish. Pioneers are still called "gastadores" in Spain; hence the jeu de mots in which Soria indulges.
  • n22. "Y que el quedaria como bestia sin tener ningun arrimo."
  • n23. "Y el matrimonio in capite."
  • n24. Thus in the original, probably Benaffra or Benafro, as he signs himself. See above, No. 242.
  • n25. "Pero el Casal trae el secreto de Alboracen," i.e., Alboracensis, Eboracensis or of York.
  • n26. "Tampoco debe Su Beatitud dar lugar á que se haga cosa que pueda prejudicar al Sacratissimo Imperio."
  • n27. Cardinal Cortona.
  • n28. "Pues el Datario y el Capuano van al peso (paso?) que suelen, y Agostin Folleta muy apartado."
  • n29. "La revocacion de las reglas de Canc. (Cancilleria?) hechas en derogacion de lo que hizo Papa Adriano quanto á las iglesias de Spaña."
  • n30. Probably a brother or relative of Juan Luis Vives, a Valencian theologian and writer, at this time residing in England.
  • n31. Philippe Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Grand Master of Rhodes. He had not yet reached Spain at the date of this letter.
  • n32. Jean Hannart, Viscount of Lombeke, Chief Secretary and Audiencer of the Council of Flanders.
  • n33. The Duchess of Alençon left Toledo for Madrid on the 19th of October. After a short visit to her brother Francis, still a prisoner at the latter place, she undertook her journey towards France.
  • n34. "La Duquesa ha parado en Madrid con el Rey su hermano, y no se ha de creher por razon que teniendo tal prenda en nucstro poder dexen la negociacion assi irresoluta, habiendonos specialmente puesto tanto á la razon."
  • n35. "The Bishop of Embrun, the first President of the Parliament of Paris (Selve) and the Constable of France, Anne de Montmorency."
  • n36. "O de tomar el feudo para la persona que [el] nombrare ó lo del empeñoramiento."
  • n37. Poupet de Lachaulx and Juan de Zuñiga were the ambassadors sent to Lisbon on this occasion. See their letter to the Emperor, under No. 231, p. 369.
  • n38. "Passandolo assi todo blandamente con Su Beatitud, por manera que ni se escandalize, ni se le dexe de poner todo ello delante."
  • n39. "Asentando con él que haga el cumplimiento â los doscientos mil ducados sobre lo que tiene dado restituyendole la posesion de Modena conforme á lo platicado."
  • n40. "Que no se haga la talla de Monsieur de Labret."