Spain: November 1525, 1-5

Pages 424-445

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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November 1525, 1-10

1 Nov. 248. Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 105.
Has not written often of late owing to a severe illness from which he is still suffering. He is up now, though still unable to leave his room. This notwithstanding, he has, in company with his colleague (Alonso Sanchez) negotiated with the Signory, as His Imperial Majesty may have seen by their common despatches in date of the 21st and 27th Oct.
(Cipher:) Though it be true that this Signory has lately shown a desire of coming to a final settlement in the negotiation now pending, yet it might possibly be a feint, with a view to ascertain what is to become of the Duke of Milan. For the present Italian league has been principally formed for the preservation and defence of that Duke and his estate, as His Imperial Majesty may see by the enclosed copy of one of its articles, wherein it is stipulated that in case of the Emperor having other designs upon the estate of Milan a new form of negotiation and league would be required. It is, therefore, very urgent that His Imperial Majesty make known his determination and will in this affair, that he (Caracciolo) and his colleague (Alonso Sanchez) may negotiate in conformity therewith.
These new practices of the English King are a matter of serious thought for many people, and therefore it behoves His Imperial Majesty to come at once to such a resolution with regard to the French King and the others as may put an end to these plots, and save the expense of keeping so large a force in Italy.—Venice, 1st of November 1525.
Signed: "Il Protonotario Caracciolo."
Addressed: "Sacræ Catholicæ Maiestati."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Venice. Prothonotary Caracciolo, 1st of November."
Italian. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 2.
4 Nov. 249. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
ff. 121–2.
Prothonotary Caracciolo and he wrote the other day in common. He (Sanchez) writes again with the sole purpose (cipher) of enclosing copy of a letter just received from the Bishop of Lodi (Ottaviano Sforza), and addressed to the friar through whom they are in the habit of corresponding. As His Imperial Majesty is well acquainted with these things and their foundation, (fn. n1) it will soon be known whether the Bishop tells truth or not. (Common writing:) Has sent another copy of this letter to the Marquis of Pescara.—Venice, 1st of November 1525.
P.S,.—Had written so far when an express arrived from the Marquis, (cipher) asking for 6,000 ducats for the use of the Imperial army. The demand was so pressing that every effort was made, and, although money is not abundant in this market, he (Sanchez) has obtained that sum at a very reasonable interest. Hopes to send to the Marquis the whole sum this week, or the beginning of next, by the same express who brought him the message.
*"Potrá vedere per el capitulo que quando quella designasse altro del Stato, bisognaria fare nova forma de negociatione e de liga."
†"Metteno el cervello a partito a molti."
Sets forth his own services on this occasion; protests of his fidelity, and asks for reward.—Venice, closed on the 4th, the very day in which the money is being forwarded to the Marquis.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From the Ambassadors. Venice, xx. (sic) of November. Answered."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
4 Nov. 250. The Same to the Same.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 131.
Having written conjointly with Alonso Sanchez what occurred up to the present date, has nothing to report, except that the Marquis of Pescara, being greatly in want of money for the support of the Imperial army, has applied to his colleague, Alonso Sanchez, who, with his usual zeal for the Emperor's service, sparing no trouble or fatigue to himself, has procured and actually is sending him 6,000 ducats.—Venice, 4th Nov. 1525.
Signed: "Il Protonotario Caracciolo."
Addressed: "Sacræ Cesaræ Majestati."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. Venice. Prothonotary Caracciolo, 4th of November."
Italian. Holograph. p. 1.
4 Nov. 251. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
ff. 127–31.
Wrote on the 18th of October last in an enclosure addressed to the Marquis of Pescara, and again on the 22d by an express whom he (Soria) and some merchants of this city (Genoa) despatched by way of Lyons. Sent at the same time copy of the Archbishop of Capua's letter to him, and now sends another received since from the same (Fr. Nicolao Schomberg). No news from Rome, except the arrival there of Lope Hurtado.
The Doge [of Genoa] has received advices that Juanin (Giovannino) de Medicis and Niccolo Fregoso were together in Tuscany, and that the former was collecting troops to march upon Sienna. The news, however, is not authentic and requires confirmation.
The two Papal galleys passed by this port on the 28th ult. They brought intelligence [from Spain] that those of Genoa and the Imperial fleet were at Salou [in Catalonia]. As there can be no necessity for them in those parts, it would be highly advantageous for the Emperor's service and for the security of this city that they should return here, for Genoa without galleys is exposed to every sort of danger, not only on account of its proximity to Provence—where sea forces [of the enemy] are continually stationed—but also on account of the Fregosi faction within its walls, who are always trying to eject the Adorni and seize on the government, to gain which object they are sure to run any risk. The galleys, therefore, ought to come here, especially if the truce now existing, and which expires in two months' time, is not to be extended. The French pretend that Genoa is not comprised in it; they have never ceased capturing their merchant vessels, or seizing on their property whenever they had an opportunity. The Genoese being such good vassals and servants of the Emperor, orders ought to be issued for their being included in this truce, and in case of a new one being made, being expressly named in it, so that may live in security and navigate the seas as before.
This Doge is as much attached to the Imperial service as ever he was, and there is no cause whatever to apprehend that he will not continue so. The Emperor, therefore, ought to acknowledge this in his letters, and encourage him to persevere.
As the bearer of this letter, who is one of the Duke's servants, comes direct from Milan, it is very probable that the Marquis of Pescara and the rest of the Imperial ministers in that city have reported at the same time upon the late occurrences. Will, however, say in a few words what his advices are, according to letters he himself has received from the Marquis and from the Abbot [of Najera]. The Marquis was still at Pavia, suffering from his usual complaint, but was shortly to leave for Milan for the purpose of arranging certain matters, and urging the payment [by the Duke] of the 100,000 ducats. He was to take as an escort 200 lances and 2,000 foot, and had already, with the Duke's consent, taken possession of all the Milanese territory, fortresses as well as open towns. He had placed garrisons in all the former, except in the castles of Milan and Carmona (Cremona), which, at the Duke's own request, he had not occupied until the Emperor's pleasure should be known. The rest of the men-at-arms and of the infantry were to be quartered on the other side of the river Adda, in the district known as Enjaradada (Ghiara d'Adda), where the land of the Venetians commences. Fifteen hundred Germans had occupied Carmona (Cremona), so that it may confidently be asserted that the whole of the duchy of Milan now acknowledges the Imperial rule, except, however the two afore-mentioned castles (Milan and Cremona), which, for the above reasons, the Marquis has not yet garrisoned with his troops.
Until the present moment no movement has been made, either by the estate of Milan itself or by any other of the Italian powers, except, perhaps, the Venetians, who have sent many pioneers to Bressa (Brescia), and are fortifying that city and all others on the frontier, more with an intention, as it is believed, of guarding against an attack of the Imperial army than to take the offensive themselves. Their designs, however, and those of the other Italian powers cannot long remain concealed, for, as the Abbot [of Najera] writes, Morone has already declared what the plans of the confederates were.
Notwithstanding the truce the Marquis and Marchioness of Saluzzo retain possession of the whole of their former estates, and of the district of Carmeñola (Carmagnola) besides. For this reason the Marquis [of Pescara] is now sending thither the Italian infantry and some light cavalry to recover the same.
He [Lope de Soria] has occasionally written to His Imperial Majesty about the differences existing between the Genoese and the people of Savona, that they might be adjusted and put an end to. The former, he hears, are determined to force the port of Savona, and sink there, at its mouth, two vessels laden with stones, (fn. n2) so as to prevent all ships going in or out for the future. They say they have sustained great losses, not only by the decrease of the customs' dues, but also by that of the traffic, which, they say, they are completely losing, owing to the said port of Savona being more secure and frequented than their own. They want the people of that city to recognise them as supreme lords, alleging that Savona is as much under their rule as the rest of the cities and towns on this coast, and have already sent thither a body of troops to bring them under subjection and prevent any resistance to the contemplated obstruction of their port.
Has begged the Genoese to consider well what they do before they engage in such an enterprise; to act according to justice, and not give the people of Savona occasion for saying that what might have been obtained by fair means, or by first consulting the Emperor, had been wrested from them by force.
Has remonstrated against their spoiling the said harbour of Savona, because, besides its being very useful as a place of shelter for the Imperial fleet and merchant ships coming from Spain whenever pestilence prevails in Genoa, there is not in the neighbourhood a fitter place for the galleys of the Signory to anchor at. Has not yet been able to persuade them. They say they will so far injure (gastar) the port that only galleys and small vessels may go in and out. Has reason to believe that the Genoese will not execute their threats, and that all their preparations are merely designed to frighten the people of Savona, the better to reduce them to obedience and make them comply with their demands. Yet, on the other hand, they are so jealous of the Savonese that it is to be feared they will perhaps carry out their threat and inflict all possible injury upon them.
A few lines will be sufficient to acquaint His Imperial Majesty with the real cause and origin of these dissensions. The Genoese assert that Savona belongs to them, and want to exact complete obedience from the inhabitants without even leaving them the right of appeal to the Emperor. The Savonese, on the other hand, maintain that they owe Genoa no such obedience, and will never submit to their yoke, and that the only judge in any dispute arising between them is the Emperor; but that in all other matters they are quite ready to acknowledge the supremacy of Genoa, to enter into such agreements and covenants as may be thought expedient, and faithfully to keep and observe the same. He [Lope de Soria] cannot decide on which side justice lies. If Genoa be in the right, it is but just that they should carry out their point. This city is considered the head of the Republic; it is the richest and most liberal with its money for the Imperial service. If, on the contrary, the demands of the Genoese are unjust, it is a very hard thing that they should take by force that which belongs to His Imperial Majesty.
The truth of the matter is that Genoa does not choose Savona to have any port at all, and wants all merchandise to be laded or unladed at this port. They (the Savonese) are not to have high-masted vessels, nor to admit into their harbour any ship going thither for shelter, but send them on to Genoa; in fact, the Genoese wish to have all the trade to themselves. The Doge and Community are now writing [to Spain] on this particular, and will, no doubt, report much better than he (Soria) can do. It will be for the Emperor to decide according to justice.
Had written so far when the enclosed letter from the Marquis of Pescara came to hand concerning the said dispute between this Community and the city of Savona. Those which the Marquis says he has written to the Doge and Community in his (Soria's) credence, have never reached their destination. Has, in consequence, spoken again to the Doge, in the Marquis' name, and requested him to suspend the execution of their plans. The Doge's reply has been that he could not take upon himself to communicate the Marquis' message to the Community, as it would look too much like a threat just now. He would take care that measures against Savona should not be pushed on so rigorously as at first contemplated, and try to calm the irritation of his own people.
Should the Marquis' letter to the Doge and his own of credence arrive in the meantime, he (Soria) shall not fail again to remonstrate with the Doge and Community in the mildest possible terms, so as to bring some sort of arrangement between the two cities, and thus remove all cause for scandal; for, after all, Genoa must be attended to for her services to the Empire.
News has arrived of the Marquis having left Pavia for Milan on the 1st inst. He takes as an escort 2,000 Germans, owing to the hatred the Milanese bear the Spaniards. The Duke and the city had sent to make him every offer of service, and beg him to avoid, as much as possible, any ill-treatment of the citizens. Twelve conservatori have been appointed for the government of the Duchy in the Emperor's name and the Duke's conjointly. Such, at least, is the avowed purpose of the said officials, though their intentions might be different, for among the persons selected the following might be pointed out as being by no means friendly to the Imperial cause; viz:—
Giovanni Paolo, the Duke's bastard brother.
Alessandro Bentivollo (Bentivoglio).
II Cavalier di Posterla.
Antonio di Busto.
The son of Giovanni Francesco Marillano (Marigliano).
Micer Jacopo Filippo Saco.
Cannot say what the others are, but it is to be presumed that all are as much the Duke's friends as the above named.
Advices from Lyons of the 30th of October state that Busbaco, the Pope's courier, arrived there with letters from the Imperial court. He had been detained and then released, and, lastly, had left France to come into Italy. But the day after his departure another courier left Lyons, who passed through here on his way to Rome, and, though he had inquired for Busbaco on the road, could get no tidings of him. It is feared that the Pope's courier has met with some mishap on the road, especially as he was known to be the bearer of important despatches from His Imperial Majesty.—Genoa, 4th of November 1525.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Lope de Soria, 4th of Nov. Answered."
Spanish. Original, pp. 7.
4 Nov. 252. Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassadors in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
ff. 109–12.
Their last letter of the 28th October gave an account of their negotiations up to that date. Since then the Signory have deputed people to hold a conference with the ambassadors.
(Cipher:) After some conversation on general topics, perceiving that they intended them to speak out first, the ambassadors entered into the particulars of the negotiation as follows:—
Setting aside the question of an offensive league—that being a sort of proposal which they (the Signory) have always rejected as unreasonable and contrary to their interests; abandoning likewise all thought of reducing them to the defensive over and above the terms stipulated in the treaty, and for the reasons alleged at the time peace was negotiated,—the ambassadors proceeded at once to discuss the point of the money which the Venetians were expected to give in exchange for the promised infantry. (fn. n3) But this last seemed to them so hard a condition, and the Signory remonstrated so strongly about it, that the ambassadors decided to drop the question, provided the article was so worded that there should be no doubt in future as to the sort of help which Venice was obliged to furnish when necessary. This point, in the ambassadors' opinion, offers no difficulty, and may be considered as settled.
Respecting the outlaws (fuorusciti), perceiving the gravity of the case; that the Signory was likely to make great opposition, and that the very individuals with whom the ambassadors are negotiating happen to be the actual holders of the confiscated property, two expedients were devised. One is that, instead of the 5,000 ducats which the Signory pay every year, and 10,000 more which they are bound to give the outlaws by the terms of the last peace, we should make over to them 25,000, and the outlaws then would be restored to the possession of their confiscated property. Or if they preferred, to add to the 5,000 ducats 3,000 more, to make up 8,000, wherewith to pay, by way of an annual pension, the dowries of their wives.
This promise the ambassadors have ventured to make owing to the engagement taken by the Duke [of Milan] of paying 18,000 ducats of his own estates to the outlaws (foraxidos), as His Imperial Majesty is no doubt informed, and as we wrote at the time of the conclusion of the peace, and also because many of the said outlaws, discussing this matter over with us, have shown a readiness to pay a larger sum than the above 25,000 ducats, (fn. n4) provided they be reinstated in their property. This suggestion of the ambassadors is not without purpose, for by making a higher demand they are pretty sure to obtain what is wanted. Those who are not interested in the restitution, rather than see the money enter the Imperial coffers, will consent to it; whilst those who have a real interest in it, in order to shut our mouths, and prevent us from bringing forward the question of the confiscated property, are sure to obtain from the Signory the grant of the additional 3,000 ducats demanded by us.
Respecting the compensation money, the ambassadors remained firm to the 120,000 ducats. The deputies then went away, saying they would report to the Signory and return an answer as soon as possible.
The inclusion of the Duke of Milan in the present treaty is a thing which, as they wrote on the 27th of last month, keeps the Imperial ambassadors in a state of perplexity and doubt; for it is quite certain that, in order to give the 80,000 dueats which they are now offering, the Signory will require—as they informed the Duke of Bourbon at the time—not only powers from the Duke of Milan, as well as from the Archduke, but the Emperor's ratification also. (fn. n5) This will naturally embarrass the negotiations, though, in the end, the ambassadors intend to follow the instructions of the Marquis [of Pescara], as the person best acquainted with the practices and aims of the Italian Princes, and with the Emperor's intentions. The ambassadors propose, also, consulting legal men, and have already written to the Duke [of Sessa] to procure them a lawyer's opinion at Rome, and if it is not to be had there, to consult some of the Imperial councillors at Naples. In short, the ambassadors will endeavour, in case of a settlement being made, so to arrange matters that if the Duke really be guilty His Imperial Majesty may not be prevented from exercising his authority in that respect, though, as before stated, it would be far preferable that His Imperial Majesty should, as soon as possible, transmit them his own orders and instructions respecting this particular point.
(Common writing:) Have been informed by the ambassador of the Duke of Ferrara that his son (Hercole) has lately had letters dated from Saint André. It is not true, as reported, that Madame the Regent (Louise of Savoy) had refused his father a safe-conduct through France or sent him a message respecting his journey to Spain.
Cavalier Casal, who comes from England, has just passed through Brescia on his way to Rome. He is shortly to be followed by another ambassador from England, sent for the same purpose.—Venice, 1st of November 1525.
Signed: "El Prothonotario Caracciolo," "Alonso Sanchez."
(Cipher:) Having written so far, letters have come to hand from the Marquis of Pescara, dated the 27th and 30th of October last, stating his opinion that the Duke of Milan ought not to be included in the treaty of league, as he has been hitherto, without the Emperor's express commands, which he (the Marquis) has no doubt would arrive at an early stage of the negotiation. The ambassadors have therefore decided, in pursuance with the Marquis' orders, to prolong the conferences as much as possible, so as to await the said orders [from Court], and if they do not come, to follow entirely the Marquis' instructions in this particular.
Since Monday last, when the deputies of the Signory, as before stated, called, the ambassadors have not heard from them, and, in their opinion, the ardour for negotiation which they showed at first has much cooled since. Whether this proceeds from their having heard of the Marquis' visit to Milan, and their waiting to know what comes of it, imagining that the Duke may be thereby placed in a more critical position (terminos mas apretados) than they thought at first, or from some other motive, the ambassadors cannot positively say, but the fact is that the Signory does not show the same inclination to negotiate as they did at first. Have been told that the Pope is doing all he can to prevent these people from coming to an arrangement, but they must add that their information on this score is not authentic enough to be relied upon.—Closed on the 4th of November 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 the Ambassadors at Venice, 4th of November."
Spanish. Original. Contemporary deciphering, pp. 6.
5 Nov. 253. Lope Hurtado to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 135.
By his letter of the 25th October last His Majesty must have been informed of his (Hurtado's) journey to Rome, at the Marquis' express desire, for the purpose of acquainting the Pope with the causes of Morono's arrest, and his [the Marquis'] reasons for taking certain military precautions in the Estate of Milan. He, moreover, was furnished with a letter of credence to the Duke of Sessa, with whose consent and approval the mission has been undertaken.
On his arrival at Rome on the 20th, the Duke [of Sessa] accompanied him to the Quirinal, where he presented his letters to the Pope, and, in compliance with his instructions, said that the Marquis [of Pescara] had been obliged, for the safety of the duchy of Milan and that of the Imperial army there encamped, to arrest the person of Hieronymo Morono; and how he hoped that His Holiness, knowing the Emperor's good feeling towards him, would approve of the measures taken for his own defence. The better to impress the Pope with the sincerity of his words, he (Hurtado) handed over to him the instructions of which he was the bearer, that he might thereby be convinced of the Emperor's benevolent intentions and of the wicked and blameable practices (bellaquerias) of those who were plotting against him [in Italy].
(Cipher:) The Pope was, at first, thrown into some confusion by this address, showing neither satisfaction nor discontent at what he heard, but carefully avoiding all allusions to the plots and intrigues of the Italian Princes, and as to whether he was or was not concerned in them. He began by uttering complaints against His Imperial Majesty for not having approved of and ratified the articles about Rezzo and Rubiera, and the stipulations about the Salt, (fn. n6) as he had done the rest of those contained in the league with the Duke [of Ferrara]; which circumstance, coupled with the Duke's intended journey to Spain, and the wanton waste of the Piazzentino by the Imperial troops quartered on the inhabitants as if they were enemies, had, he said, raised his suspicions beyond measure.
Both the Duke and he (Hurtado) made a suitable answer to the above accusations, and on that day there was no more conversation on the subject. But on the next day he (Hurtado) was sent for alone, and introduced by the Archbishop of Capua, when the Pope said to him: "Tell me the reason, for you must know it, why the Emperor will not consent to the proposed restitution of Rezzo." He (Lope Hurtado) answered: "I have had nothing to do with that affair, but I should think that His Imperial Majesty is only waiting for the arrival of the Legate [in Spain] to have the matter discussed and settled satisfactorily for both parties." Upon which the Pope began to recount the manner in which the negotiation had been conducted from the beginning, showing much dissatisfaction at the Viceroy's behaviour, who, he added, was the principal cause and origin of the Duke of Ferrara's journey to Spain, that he might there come to some agreement with the Emperor. He did not deny that—seeing every Prince in Italy attend exclusively to his own particular interests—he had occasionally listened to, and even taken part in, the negotiations of the confederates, lest by the Emperor entering into an agreement with the other parties and refusing to approve of his own articles for the league, he should remain in an isolated position, without anybody to speak to, and reduced to the condition of a wild beast. (fn. n7) But the fact was that he had not come to any decision, nor would he until he knew for certain that His Imperial Majesty preferred the Duke of Ferrara's friendship to his own.
He (Hurtado) replied to the best of his ability, saying that the Emperor's good intentions were sufficiently tested by the instructions which he and his colleague, the Duke, had received, and that his past behaviour to Italy, and to His Holiness in particular, was quite enough to do away with all causes for mistrust or suspicion.
The Pope then said that the Milanese business could not fail to raise the suspicions of every Italian Prince, for (said he) if the Emperor now takes possession of that estate, everyone will think that he is about to seize what belongs to others.
At this stage of the conference the ensuing dialogue took place between the ambassador and His Holiness, which, for the Emperor's information, he (Hurtado) sets down as correctly as his memory will allow him:—
(Hurtado.)—"If the Duke [of Milan] has been ungrateful to the Emperor, how can he possibly be trusted?"
(The Pope.)—"I do not think the Duke capable of the crimes imputed to him. It might be that, before the arrival of the investiture, he let fall some expression or listened to some proposal; but if Morono has confessed his own guilt, why is the Duke to be responsible?"
(Hurtado.)—"If the Duke be innocent, he may be sure that no proceedings will be instituted against him, for had the Emperor wanted his estate, he might have had it long ago."
(Pope.)—"Should His Imperial Majesty dispossess the present Duke to give his estate to another, I think the Italians will not make a stir; but if the estate be retained by the Emperor, I cannot say what things may cometo, for certainly the Venetians will never be satisfied on that score."
(Hurtado.)—"It is for Your Holiness to consider what, steps may be taken. The Emperor is ready to take any just measures if recommended by Your Holiness."
(Pope.)—"Several might be pointed out."
(Hurtado.)—"If Your Holiness state what those measures are, or otherwise suggest a plan that may satisfy all parties, I promise to go to the Marquis and communicate it to him and write to the Emperor besides."
(Pope.)—"Willingly; but in the meanwhile I am about to send Paulo di Rezzo to the Marquis."
(The Marquis will no doubt inform His Imperial Majesty of what the said Paulo brought here [to Milan], when he came, and of the Pope's answer.)
(Pope.)—"I have letters from the Legate, of the 2d of October. He informs me of the grand reception which the Emperor gave him, and how he was in hopes of advancing in his business. But neither His Imperial Majesty nor the Chancellor (Gattinara) has said a word to me about this Italian affair, which omission naturally makes me suspect that there is something wrong."
(Hurtado.)—"Perhaps His Imperial Majesty did not like bringing on the subject at the very first interview, intending to discuss it on another occasion. But even if His Majesty was silent, Your Holiness ought not to wonder at it, for he knows what Your Holiness has done to his detriment, (fn. n8) sending for Alberto [di Carpi] after he had been expelled from the dominions of the Church at the Emperor's express request; refusing to grant the Cruzade promised a thousand years ago; indefinitely proroguing the creation of Cardinals, so often and so long ago claimed by His Imperial Majesty, and successively announced for the four temporas of last year."
(Pope.)—"With regard to Alberto [di Carpi], I only wish that, instead of only one gentleman so recalled to my estates, there were four Kings. The Emperor might then perhaps pay a little more attention to my affairs. The Cruzade shall be granted in time, to the Emperor's satisfaction. The creation was postponed because most of the Cardinals were absent from Rome, and also because six was not a sufficient number, as I intended my own nephew to be one of them. (fn. n9) What do you think the Emperor will do?"
(Hurtado.)—"I cannot say for certain. I imagine that if his friends do not come to an agreement with him, he will be obliged to look out for his enemies, which would be a serious injury to Italy."
(Pope.)—"What remedy then?"
(Hurtado.)—"None whatever, except Your Holiness and the Venetians send forthwith ambassadors to His Imperial Majesty, with powers sufficient to explain the past and treat for the future; and, in case of the Venetians refusing, for Your Holiness to send alone, for, whenever applied to, the Emperor will be found a loving and dutiful son of the Church. Let not Your Holiness place faith in wicked people, but rely entirely on His Imperial Majesty, whose friendship and alliance will always bring peace to the Vicar of Christ and maintain the supremacy of the Church."
Many other similar things did the Pope tell him (Hurtado) on this occasion, which would take too long to relate. He promised, however, to reconsider the Milan business and let him have an answer. Accordingly, two days after this, the Duke and he (Hurtado) again called at the Palace, when, after conversing with the former for a good while, the Pope beckoned him (Hurtado) to approach, which he did, and the Duke went away. After a long preamble on the affairs of Italy, His Holiness proceeded to say: "The Emperor intends to carry out his views in Italy, either by sheer force or by fair measures. If by force, there can be no doubt that his power being so great, he will have no difficulty in depriving the Church of her own; and as priest I shall not be ashamed of losing it. (fn. n10) Venice he might also conquer, though the Venetians are strong and would not be easily subdued; besides which, if pressed very hard, they might call the Turk to their aid. If these reasons are not sufficient to deter the Emperor from his enterprise, there is, besides, the immense cost of maintaining the Imperial army against the will of Italy. Should the funds for its support come to fail, every Italian Prince would rise in arms, and, seizing the opportunity, strive to recover his own, which would keep the whole of Christendom in trouble and confusion, and perhaps be the cause of its destruction at the hands of the Infidel.
"If by fair means" (the Pope continued) "there is but one path to be followed, namely, to settle at once the Milanese question. If the Duke be guiltless, and His Imperial Majesty require greater securities for the future, the governors of fortified towns and commanders of troops might be made to take the oath of allegiance, and promise obedience to the Emperor in the event of the Duke failing in his duty. The persons appointed to such offices might be such as His Imperial Majesty could rely upon, and he might, besides, give him a wife of his own choosing. If the Duke be guilty, let the Emperor take the estate away from him and give it to another Prince, provided it be not to the Infante (Archduke)."
(Hurtado.)—"Who could that be?"
(Pope.)—"The Emperor might appoint the Duke of Bourbon, and have him married to Madame d'Alençon."
(Hurtado.)—"That I should think Your Holiness would never advise or recommend, from fear of the Duke's successors not being exactly of his mode of thinking." (fn. n11)
(Pope.)—"Let the Emperor appoint whom he pleases, because, that question once disposed of, all others may easily be arranged. Without that preliminary step nothing can be undertaken, for without it the Venetians will never be satisfied, nor trust His Imperial Majesty, nor will they come to any arrangement whatever, even if no money is exacted from them. Indeed, were the Emperor to agree to their offer of the 80,000 ducats, instead of the much larger sum demanded of them, my impression is that they would reject all overtures."
(Hurtado.)—"There can be no doubt that, what with Your Holiness' help and that of the English, the Venetians are very proud now-a-days."
(Pope.)—"Not with mine, because had His Imperial Majesty done what was stipulated, they would have had no object in coming and speaking to me. Englishmen are far off, and besides it has been seen how they manage their own affairs, (fn. n12) much more those of other people."
After this the Pope added: "The Cardinal (Wolsey) must have done this out of envy, for the Emperor's greatness and importance grew so rapidly that no notice was taken of himself or of England." (fn. n13)
Having then asked him whether it was true that the Auditor of the Papal Chamber (Ghinucci) and Chevalier Casal were coining [to Italy], bringing the articles of the league to be signed by him and the Venetians, the Pope answered that it was quite true that the ambassadors were coming for that purpose; but as far as he was concerned, he was not prepared to accept or sign until he knew the Emperor's views and intentions towards him. This he would soon be able to ascertain, for, immediately on the return of Paulo Rezzo (from Milan) he intended to send a fit person to His Imperial Majesty. It was his earnest wish (he added) that the person he was about to send should arrive in time to make his good intentions known to His Imperial Majesty. He had advised the Venetians to do the same. God Almighty knew that his purpose was to be closely united to the Emperor in all things.
Many more fine words of the same kind did the Pope say, and concluded with the following: "That the Imperial ambassadors may judge whether my wish ever was to embroil the Emperor with the King of England, I will tell them one thing in confidence: I take my most solemn oath to you that the dispensation and relaxation of vows which I sent to the Emperor, that he might accomplish his Portuguese marriage, was kept a secret from all parties except the Emperor, and that not a word, good or bad, was uttered on the subject."
On this last point the Pope laid much stress. He now sends a messenger to the Marquis of Pescara, begging he will make friendly representations to His Imperial Majesty respecting all these things. Has also requested him (Hurtado) to do the same, and acquaint the Emperor with his goodwill and intentions.
Having further inquired of His Holiness whether it was true, as reported, that he was sorry to hear of the Emperor's intended journey to Italy, he answered: "If the Emperor comes here, as he ought to come, nothing can give me greater satisfaction, especially if he takes, in these affairs, the course I have just pointed out. His Imperial Majesty and I may then come to an understanding about these German differences, which, with one single word from him, can be easily settled when he comes among us, and then we may think about waging war on the Infidel."
The above, besides many other fair-seeming replies and very fine words, is the substance of what passed between His Holiness and him (Hurtado). His Holiness showed great jealousy at the Duke [of Ferrara's] intended journey to Spain, as well as resentment against the Viceroy for having, as he says, persuaded him to undertake it, for in his (the Pope's) opinion the departure of the Duke [for Spain] and the Emperor's refusal to grant his request about Rezzo and Rubbiera were entirely owing to the Viceroy's suggestions.
In answer to which he (Hurtado) replied: "Your Holiness must not imagine that the Duke of Ferrara can ever be the cause of His Imperial Majesty doing anything to the Pope's detriment. Besides the despatch that came after the Viceroy's arrival [in Spain] was entirely drawn up by his advice, and therefore that was enough to free him (the Viceroy) of all charges in that respect. (fn. n14)
The Archbishop of Capua, on the other hand, maintains that it is the Reggio affair, the article about the Salt, the fact of the Imperial army being quartered on the Pope's lands, the riots at Sienna, certain Royal warrants (pramaticas) issued in Spain and the present doings at Naples concerning the filling-up of ecclesiastical endowments, that have raised the Pope's suspicions, and been the cause of badly-intentioned people making mischief. In his (the Archbishop's) opinion, His Imperial Majesty ought to make some settlement, or suspend the whole, so as to make it appear that there is no real ill-will against the Pope, as he is daily told there is, and thus remove all causes for suspicion. Respecting Reggio (he says), some arrangement might be made with the Duke of Ferrara, for him to give it up in exchange for some of the territory which Venetians withhold from him unjustly. This, he added, might turn out a very profitable arrangement, because if His Imperial Majesty is to have them (the Venetians) punished some day or other for their misdeeds, it cannot well be effected without a proportionate sea force, and there is no place so fit as Ferrarara to collect a fleet. His Majesty once agreed with the Pope with regard to Reggio that if the Duke received as compensation the land which the Venetians now retain, and which might easily be claimed from them on account of the League, the Duke would be under the obligation of assisting the Emperor against them.
On no consideration ought His Imperial Majesty to break with the Pope if the two facts which he (the Archbishop) represented whilst at the Imperial court (fn. n15) be attended to. As far as he is concerned, he (the Archbishop) does all he can for the Emperor's interests; but as he is alone, he cannot do much good. Has frequently remonstrated with the Pope, who, in consequence, has often made him say or write to His Imperial Majesty one thing, whilst, at the same time, and through another channel, he was saying or doing the very reverse. This is not the Datary's fault, but that of His Holiness, who is the cause of it all, by allowing two people with different inclinations and tastes to serve him at the same time, which, being highly detrimental to his interests, he (the Pope) ought by no means to tolerate.
The truth is that, as the Archbishop of Capua says, there are in the Pope's councils two opposite parties, and that the one on His Majesty's side is the weaker of the two, because the Datary represents the Pope, and Alberto [di Carpi] represents at once the Datary and the Pope, and both are unfriendly to the Emperor. It is therefore imperative, if an agreement is to be made at all, to have these two individuals removed from the Pope's councils, for otherwise, before the ink is dry and the treaty signed, they are sure to devise some means to break through it and do His Imperial Majesty harm. This he (Hurtado) finds to be the general opinion [at Rome] as to what the said parties are likely to do in the case of His Majesty coming to an agreement, for the Pope has no power whatever over them, and is so much in their hands that things must necessarily come to a bad end unless the said Datary and Alberto di Carpi be stopped in their course. The Archbishop himself is of this way of thinking, and owns that he has no influence whatever over them. Micer Agostin Folleta (Foglieta), as well as several of the Emperor's friends to whom he (Hurtado) has spoken on the subject, are all of the same opinion and approve of his suggestions, declaring that the only remedy for the impending evil lies in His Imperial Majesty's ascendancy, and that since words will do no good, another course must needs be followed.
Micer Agostin has not called at the Palace for four months, and declares he will not see the Pope until he has dismissed from his presence those who bear him so much ill-will. Both he and the Archbishop are very determined; they are generally considered friendly to the Imperial cause, and His Majesty may regard them as such.
The Marquis of Pescara gave him (Hurtado) another private letter for His Holiness, written entirely in his own hand. He (Hurtado) was to give it to the Pope after his first conference, and insist upon its contents remaining a secret between the two. Before closing the letter the Marquis had it read to Antonio de Leyva, to the Abbot de Najera, and to him (Hurtado). It says, in substance, that His Holiness is to forgive him if his honour and reputation prevent him on this occasion from obeying his commands, but that in any other matter, should the opportunity occur, he will use such favourable influence with His Imperial Majesty that His Holiness may at once learn what a good servant of the Church he (the Marquis) is. This is intended to make the Pope understand that the Marquis will never reveal to His Imperial Majesty the whole of what has passed between them, and wishes it to remain a secret. He (Hurtado), however, has reasons to believe that the affair has already been bruited in Spain, and that the Pope knows of it, for when the Legate's letter of the 2d of October last arrived, the Pope evidently knew nothing about it, whereas by those of the 6th, which the last express brought from Naples, he must have received information from Court; for when the Duke of Sessa, after putting the said letters of the 6th into the Pope's hands and conferring with him, came back to his palace, he (Hurtado) happened to mention to him certain reports [from Milan], and, among others, that which blamed him for knowing nothing about these Italian intrigues, upon which he (the Duke) replied: "How am I to know when the actors are of such a quality? Write to the Marquis of Pescara, and tell him that since he knows who the parties concerned are, he must not wonder at my not understanding the allusion" (fn. n16)
Cannot help relating another conversation, which proves to him (Hurtado) that the Pope is aware of the fact. Talking the other day with Micer Agostino Folleta (Foglieta), he heard him exclaim: "Look ye, and what madness! They wanted to make a traitor of Pescara, and allured him with the crown of Naples!" Has mentioned this, because he deems it very important that such matters touching the Imperial service should be kept secret. People here are exceedingly prudent and reserved, and things might happen which it would be very dangerous to keep from the Emperor (fn. n17) or his ministers.
His Imperial Majesty has, no doubt, ere this been informed of Cardinal Colonna's retirement from Rome. He neither chooses nor dares to return, at which the Pope is greatly annoyed. As the Marquis [of Pescara] wrote both to him and to Ascanio, in Hurtado's credence, they, immediately upon his arrival at Rome, begged him to pay them a visit, for which purpose the Cardinal was to come up as far as Marino to meet him. Hurtado promised to call the next day. No sooner did the Pope hear of it than the Archbishop [of Capua], at his desire, sent for him and said: "His Holiness knows you are going to visit Cardinal Colonna; he wonders much what you have to say to him; his suspicions are aroused." The ambassador's answer was: "It is true the Marquis gave me a letter of credence for him. I am to acquaint him and his brother [Ascanio] with Morono's arrest, and tell him the reasons the Marquis has had for this measure, for people attached, as they are, to the Imperial service should be dealt with befittingly. But if His Holiness objects, I shall not visit him, lest His Holiness should think that the Emperor's ministers mix themselves up with his private concerns." Upon which the Archbishop told him (Hurtado) that he might go, and he accordingly went and visited the Cardinal at the place where he was then residing. Found him in high glee at what the Marquis had done, and not only he but Ascanio and all the Emperor's servants in that locality approved highly of the Marquis' measures, saying it was the only way of His Imperial Majesty becoming in time supreme lord of Italy. The Cardinal further said to him (Hurtado) that he had left Rome because he knew what the Pope was about, and as he could not witness such things and be unfaithful to His Imperial Majesty, he had joined his brother Ascanio. They would call together their kinsmen and relatives, and obey the Marquis' orders as the Emperor's Lieutenant and Captain-General in Italy. His brother Ascanio made the same professions, adding that they were about to procure 50,000 ducats, wherewith to raise troops if necessary, and be ready to enter Rome when required. They and their relatives and friends would then reside in the city and serve the Emperor's cause, in spite of all opposition. But until things came to an issue, or orders arrived from Spain, he (the Cardinal) had decided to keep away and not return to Rome. Both he and Ascanio begged him (Hurtado) to write to the Emperor to appoint there, at Rome, a trusty person to guide them in their conduct, for these they said) were not times to leave things as they were. (fn. n18) Vespasiano [Colonna] had refused to attend the meeting, but they assured him (Hurtado) that he would, when required, follow their steps in every particular. His Imperial Majesty should bear in mind these offers of service from the Colonna party, because if no agreement is made with the Pope, it will be advisable to favour the Cardinal and his party.
As Morono's arrest and the military precautions taken in the estate [of Milan] have been the cause of so much wonder and surprise among these people—those who are unfriendly to the Empire saying that he, with one hand, had given the Duke the investiture, and, with the other, taken the estate from him—it would be advisable to write to the College of Cardinals, and especially to those who are the Emperor's good servants, and to all other persons to whom it may seem fit, informing them in the most suitable terms of the plots that are on foot. (fn. n19) Of what has been done hitherto some are glad, others are sad and fearful, especially those who have taken part in these intrigues. Which last circumstance and what he has heard at Rome make him (Hurtado) think that no reliance is to be placed in these people respecting His Majesty's intentions of taking possession of the Duchy or visiting Italy, because of past favours they have no recollection whatever, but, on the contrary, imagine that His Imperial Majesty is in their debt.
As to the Pope's ministers, he (Hurtado) has already stated his opinion of them. Let the Emperor look to his power and supremacy [in Italy] and to the means of maintaining them, that God may preserve them from what these people would have them come to. The remedy, in the opinion of all, lies in the Emperor making his peace with France, taking the duchy of Milan for himself—which is what they most fear, and would be equivalent to bridling them for ever—and wresting from Holy Mother Church both Parma and Piacenza. Hears that the Pope, fearing a determination of this sort, has lately given orders to repair the fortifications of the former city. Has seen the works there with his own eyes, and been told, besides, that the Pope had given orders for a fit garrison to be placed in both those cities.
The Legate (fn. n20) is considered by the Archbishop [of Capua] and by Micer Agostin [Foglieta], to be a good servant of His Imperial Majesty. The Nuncio, likewise, is held in the same light, and that is, perhaps, the reason of his not receiving so much attention as others at this court. (fn. n21) Micer Agostino [Foglieta] told him (Hurtado) the other day that the Archbishop [of Capua] had lately conceived certain suspicions about him (Cardinal Salviati), owing to the circumstance of his having sent to his father, Jacopo de Salviatis, a copy of his letter to the Pope of the 6th, with two paragraphs in cipher more than were in the original. Jacopo Salviatis and all the rest are very glad to hear of the favours the Emperor has bestowed on his son. He declares he is determined to do service; few, however, believe in his protestations.
Fifteen captains of the Switzers have visited Rome of late; some say to claim from His Holiness certain arrears of stipend due to them since the days of Pope Leo [X.]; others that their visit has another and a different object. Time will show the real truth. Met, at Rome, the Warder (alcayde) of Gaeta, who was returning home. He has, it appears, made an arrangement with the Duke of Sessa. The latter is to give him, in exchange for his wardership (alcaydia), 800 ducats in ecclesiastical benefices, provided His Imperial Majesty approves of the exchange, and Alarcon does not want that office for himself. On those terms the warder is willing to let the Duke have it. Under the present circumstances it would seem as if Gaeta were not safe with so slight a garrison and without a governor. His Imperial Majesty should mention this to the Viceroy [Charles de Lannoy], now in Spain, that means for the defence of the castle may be provided, at least during the present unsettled state of affairs in Italy.
Has been told by the Archbishop [of Capua] that the Venetians are now treating with the Turk in the event of a rupture with His Imperial Majesty. The Turk is to help them with money in case of war [in Italy], and the Venetians, on the other hand, engage to deliver to the Turk Napoli di Romania whenever they may choose to come down with a fleet upon the island of Sicily. On this account, and as the Venetians are powerful at sea, and generally very dangerous people in all Italian affairs, thinks it advisable—unless some agreement be previously made—to strengthen the Imperial fleet, as there can be no doubt that these people (estos) have their eye on that Island.
Has tried to ascertain what amount of money the Pope has at his disposal. Has been told by some that he has 150,000 ducats. Just now, by creating Cardinals,—which he says he does to please His Imperial Majesty,—he will increase that sum by 50,000 more, for the Cardinals are to be seven in number, and each of them will give more or less money. Of course none will be friendly to the Imperial cause, for the Pope does not so much look to the present and to the means of procuring money, as he does to the future and to the succession to the Pontificate, so that the election may turn out unfavourably for the Empire. Such, at least, is Micer Agostin Foglieta's opinion.
These people have shown to the Duke [of Sessa] the letter which His Imperial Majesty wrote to them, desiring that no Cardinal's hat should be conferred upon any vassal of the Imperial crown unless His Majesty expressly applied for it. The Duke is offended at this mandate, (fn. n22) and complains (se quexa) of people accusing him of being the cause of the present Italian league. He (Hurtado) has been told that the Duke has applied for congé, that he may go to Spain and explain his conduct. His Imperial Majesty would lose nothing by granting his request, and the Duke himself might gain much in the estimation of all the Emperor's servants, who are by no means satisfied with him. He (Hurtado) has no complaint to make of him; he has treated him very well, yet he feels it his duty to state what he considers right for the Imperial service.
The Marquis of Pescara and the rest of the Imperial ministers at Milan must have informed the Emperor of the state of affairs [in Italy]; he therefore need not dwell any longer upon this subject. One thing, however, he must not omit to say, namely, that the delay in answering their former despatches and sending suitable orders to the Marquis has already been very inconvenient, and may ultimately prove highly detrimental to the Imperial cause. It has already had the effect of aggravating the Marquis's physical sufferings, for, not hearing from home, and not knowing how to act in the present emergency, he was actually in great despair. He is now in better health.
Was told by the Cardinal (Colonna), the other day, that, owing to a false investigation (informacion) made in Sicily, the Datary would soon be raised to the rank of Cardinal. His opinion is that His Imperial Majesty should order the Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy) to ascertain how the said investigation had been conducted, and to have a new and true one made, to be forwarded to Rome and exhibited in the College whenever the appointment of Cardinals is announced, so as to introduce a protest against the Datary's nomination. Campeggio, Lavalle, and Egidio (Cardinal of San Matheo) complain (estan quexosos) because they say His Imperial Majesty did not confer any favours on them when the opportunity offered itself. His Majesty would do well to bear them in mind, for our influence in the College is daily decreasing.—Milan, 5 Nov. 1525.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty of the Emperor our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Milan. Lope Hurtado. 5 of Nov."
Spanish. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 11.
6 Nov. 254. Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez to the Marquis of Pescara.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
ff. 147–50.
Received, yesterday, his letter of the 2d inst., though too late to call on the Signory. Prothonotary Caracciolo being still unwell and unable to quit his room, he (Sanchez) called next day at the College, and addressed them as follows:—
The rumour was afloat that either the Duke of Milan or some other power in Italy was trying to persuade them to take possession of Cremona and its castle. And although the Marquis of Pescara did not, for many reasons, give credit to the report, yet he considered it his duty to inform them, as the Emperor's friends, of anything that was said against their reputation. For certainly, were the report true, not only would it prove a contradiction to the many fine words they had said to us, and to the messages lately sent through their deputies, but it would be equivalent to taking up arms and declaring war against the Emperor, which would be contrary to their avowed desire of peace, especially as the matter did not concern them.
Their answer, after showing great surprise, was, of course, to deny, under all manner of oaths and protestations, their having ever received, either from the Duke of Milan or from any other person, proposals to that effect, much less having thought about it themselves. It was true that at other times offers had been made to the Signory, which might have been listened to and accepted, but they had refused, because their intention had never been to make accessions to their territory, but merely to keep their own. They professed the greatest respect for His Imperial Majesty, with whom they wished to live in peace and union, since their only desire was the tranquillity of the World and the welfare of Christianity, for which they were making daily prayers to the Almighty.
With regard to Milan, they had always been of opinion that the best thing for the Emperor to do, if he wished for the peace of the World, was to establish and confirm (establecer y firmar) the Duke in his estate. They could not, however, help remarking that as the reports made to the Emperor about them were false from beginning to end, similar calumnies might have been circulated about the Duke by some one, who, in order to excuse himself, was trying to cast all the blame upon him. They trusted in the Marquis' prudence and wisdom as a statesman to enable him to distinguish falsehood from truth.
Replied that their answer was in consonance with what your Lordship and ourselves thought about them. We had no doubt the Signory had rejected the offers made to them on this occasion. As to the reports circulated about them, (Sanchez) again declared that your Lordship did not believe in them. The accusations against the Duke might equally prove to be false, but still they had so good a foundation that the Emperor's ministers in Italy could not help taking notice of them. No one would have acted differently than your Lordship had done, and everything was meant for the best, as I and my colleague (Caracciolo) had told them on a previous occasion.
Concerning universal peace, I told them that whoever was not absolutely blinded by passion could easily perceive that His Imperial Majesty's actions, before as well as after the victory of Pavia, had been constantly directed to that end. "Would to God, "I added," that other parties had been as sincere in their wishes for peace as the Emperor has been." This they did not deny; on the contrary, they owned to me that His Imperial Majesty might, after his victory, have done many things, &c., which he did not do.
The above is the substance of my conversation with the Signory, and the answer they made to my applications. I did not consider it prudent to ask them on what terms they intended to live with the Imperial army. (fn. n23) If your Lordship still wishes it, I will make the inquiry, but they are sure to answer, in general terms, about their goodwill and desire for peace, &c.
(Cipher:) Considering that they tell us nothing about our pending negotiation, and that after the visit of their deputies, eight days ago, we have received no intimation on the subject, as though such negotiations did not exist; that they have had since two pregas, one of which has lasted until five o'clock in the afternoon, we have reason to believe that since they are not for us they are against us. We cannot exactly say how matters stand, but our impression is that they are plotting something unfavourable to the Imperial cause. Perhaps they are trying to join the league proposed by the English King, for they have had letters from Rome, stating that the Auditor of the Apostolic Chamber (Ghinucci) and Cavalier Casal, ambassadors of the King of England, had arrived at that city on the 31st of October last. We are the more inclined to suspect them at the present moment because one of their number who used to furnish us with occasional information now keeps away and avoids all intercourse, and because they are making pregas almost daily, which is their habit whenever they are in difficulties, or are called upon to deliberate on some arduous point; besides which, it is evident that they are neither satisfied nor tranquil just now. Whatever intelligence we may henceforth get on this subject, we shall not fail to communicate to your Lordship.
(Common writing:) The ambassador of the Duke of Ferrara tells us that he has received letters from his master, from Morlian, close to Sant Andrea, on the 18th of last month, purporting that he (the Duke) had returned from the Regent's court without accomplishing his object, notwithstanding that he had offered to send on a gentleman of his suite, and declared his intention, which was to go to Spain, if they would let him, and if not, to await there the return of a messenger he had sent to his ambassadors in Spain, that they might acquaint His Imperial Majesty with his case.
(Cipher:) The Signory have again a pregha to-day. We hear it is for the purpose of deliberating what they are to do respecting this league. An express is to leave for Rome, this very night, to acquaint the Pope with their answer. Everything leads us to believe that they are by no means well disposed towards His Imperial Majesty and will not take his side.
(Common writing:) As soon as the Signory's decision is known we shall not fail to apprize your Lordship of it, but in the meantime we consider it our duty to say that the Signory have lately received letters from Rome purporting that the Pope was in great fear [of the Emperor], and wanted to levy troops, &c., having already imposed a tax of two tenths (decimas) upon all the offices and benefices at his court.—Our Lord, &c., Venice, 6th of November 1525.
Signed: "El Prothonotary Caracciolo," "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To His Lordship the Marquis of Pescara."
Spanish. Copy partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 4⅓.
10 Nov. 255. Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassadors in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 156.
Wrote on the 4th inst. through the Marquis of Pescara, and again by way of Genoa. On the 5th two letters came from the said Marquis, dated the 2d, from Binasco, of which a copy is enclosed, that His Imperial Majesty may be duly apprized of their contents.
The very same day that the Marquis' letters were received, the ambassadors called on the Signory, and held a conference with them, the substance of which will be better understood by the appended copy (fn. n24) of what they wrote to the Marquis in reply. No need for them, therefore, to expatiate further on this subject.
Had written so far when, after a lapse of 12 days, the deputies of this Signory called upon them (the ambassadors), bringing, as they said, an answer to their proposals. After a good deal of courteous phraseology and many protestations of their good feeling towards the Emperor, as well as of their wish for universal peace, they stated in substance: (Cipher) That they had faithfully delivered our message to the Signory, who had ever since been reflecting on each point, but that these last movements in the estate of Milan made them hesitate, because the Duke happening to be one of the chief contracting parties, and they being called upon to ratify and sign the last treaty, they wished first to know what view the Emperor took of that affair, and how it was proposed to get over the difficulty.
The ambassadors' answer was conceived in similar terms to their own as to His Imperial Majesty's goodwill towards them and constant wish for peace. On this last point (they added) there was no necessity to insist, since it had been apparent in all the Emperor's doings ever since the victory of Pavia. Lope Hurtado de Mendoza had been despatched to the Duke of Milan with the announcement of the investiture, and also with full powers to treat. He had, besides, brought with him orders for a good number of the men-at-arms to withdraw at once into the kingdom [of Naples], and for the German and Italian infantry to be paid up and disbanded. All of which were evident signs of the Emperor's ardent love of peace and of his wishing to remove the Imperial arms from Italy." "May God forgive," they added, "those who are the cause of the present disturbance, for certainly what the Emperor is now doing is not without sufficient foundation."
As to the difficulty they saw in the Duke being one of the contracting parties in the former treaty, and their wishing to hear the ambassadors' advice thereupon, they were told that, after mature deliberation, an answer should be returned when the deputies came next, for, surely, since the Signory had been twelve days consulting together before they gave their answer, it was but just that they (the Imperial ambassadors) should also have time for consultation. "Indeed," said we to the deputies, "we have been waiting so long for an answer to our proposals that we thought the Signory intended to reject them altogether."
Upon which the deputies took their leave and went away. What the Imperial ambassadors intend to answer to-morrow or the next day is that when they called on the 30th of last month they were fully aware of the movements and stir of arms to which they allude, for Morono was arrested on the 15th, and they had since been fully informed of all the circumstances of the case. That whereas on that occasion they had expressed a wish to be made acquainted with certain particulars of the negotiation, and had inquired about them, without making the least allusion to that event or to the military precautions consequently adopted by the Marquis, it was but just that they should reply categorically to the proposals tendered by the Imperial ambassadors. When they had done so, any questions they wished to put should be answered, and they would be fully convinced of the Emperor's innate benevolence and justice which are manifest to all the world. This is, in substance, what the ambassadors intend to say when the deputies next come, but His Imperial Majesty will easily understand from the above summary of their conversation with the said deputies, that these people are at present in a bad path. It is much to be feared that they will ultimately join the enemy. Indeed, it is generally believed in this city that war is inevitable. Have been told, as a positive fact, that ammunition in large quantities, and artillery, besides 8,000 or even 12,000 pikes (picas), have been sent to Verona. Hear also that they are raising all the money they can, and have just now imposed a new tax on this city, besides the one of last year, which is calculated to yield a sum of .... (fn. n25)
All these days the Signory has been making preghe and holding meetings, the last of which lasted until six hours of the night. Yesterday morning they sent an express to Rome, and in the evening the deputies came with the answer mentioned above. The ambassadors' belief is that no reliance is to be placed on the words of these people; that the present negotiation will not bear any fruit; and that they will soon be the declared enemies of the Empire, unless future events compel them to make a virtue of necessity. Under such supposition, it is for the Emperor to decide what is best for his service.
His Imperial Majesty has, no doubt, had advices from Rome. The Duke of Sessa writes, in date of the 4th inst., that the intrigues there were brisker than ever. Here at Venice they have not rested for many a day. It is therefore essential for the Emperor to decide quickly, and not keep his ministers in suspense as to the line of conduct to be followed, and allow the plans of the enemies to get to maturity.
(Common writing:) Must not forget to say that the ambassador (fn. n26) of the Duke of Milan residing at this Court [Venice] said, three days ago, to me (Alonso Sanchez) that this Signory had sent his master a message through one of their secretaries, reporting the whole of his (Sanchez') conversation with them about Cremona, and assuring him that they had flatly denied the accusation, and taken their solemn oath, as they really did at the time, that no such instigation had come to them on the Duke's part.
Enclosed is the copy of a letter whereby His Imperial Majesty will be duly informed of the invasion and consequent devastation of some of the Archduke's dominions by the Turk. (Cipher:) Are in great anxiety from fear that the Venetians have had a hand in it, for, certainly, unless they come to some sort of agreement—which they do not seem inclined to do—they are sure to do all the harm they can, and even bring the Turk to Sicily or Naples. For this reason it would be advisable to have the coasts of Apulia and those of Sicily well provisioned, and placed, as soon as possible, in a state of defence.—Venice, 10 Nov. 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. From the Ambassadors, 10 of November."
Spanish, mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering, pp. 5.
10 Nov. 256. Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 152.
Wrote on the 1st inst. separately, and also conjointly with his colleague (Alonso Sanchez), all that occurred up to that date. Matters have since come to such a plight that it is most needful to decide upon the course of politics to be pursued. (Cipher:) This Signory are so frightened and concerned at the late events in Milan, that, in his (Caracciolo's) opinion, all idea must be abandoned of their ever coming to a settlement, unless the Duke of Milan be included in the proposed treaty. This they openly proclaim, adding that were His Imperial Majesty to become master of that Duchy, as well as of Naples and Germany, there would be no security for the rest of the Italian estates, and they themselves would be reduced to the condition of vassals, and live in constant fear and apprehension. The rest of the Italian potentates are of the same opinion, as His Imperial Majesty has no doubt heard from his ambassadors and ministers at the various courts. As to the Venetians themselves, it is a well-known fact that they are secretly making preparations for war, under the impression that, with the assistance of their Italian neighbours and others who may join in their plans, they will be able to prevent the Emperor from seizing on Milan, that being the thing of all others which they most dread. He (Caracciolo) can hardly believe that the Venetians will ever dare to attempt anything single-handed; but he fears that they will bring down the Turk upon the Emperor's estates, and indeed this commencement made by the Sangiac of Bosnia against the Archduke (Ferdinand) has a very ugly aspect and seems to confirm his apprehensions.
In short, intrigue is hotter than ever. The Pope and the Venetians hate and fear two things above all, namely, the Emperor's arrival in Italy, and his supposed intention of seizing on the duchy of Milan. To prevent which they will do everything in their power, and if they can begin to-day, they certainly will not wait till to-morrow. It therefore behoves His Imperial Majesty to take such a decision in this matter as may utterly defeat the plans of his adversaries. Were it possible to sever this alliance between the Pope and the Venetians, great advantages might ensue. In his (Caracciolo's) opinion, the Pope could be more easily managed than the Venetians, if his own private affairs were attended to, his doings in the last war forgotten, and some demonstration made in favour of his own partisans; and if the Venetians once saw themselves alone, they would, no doubt, grant from fear that which no other consideration would ever induce them to accept.
The Emperor, with his usual prudence and foresight, will, no doubt, weigh these things in his mind, and take such a speedy resolution in the affair as may ensure the future destinies of Italy. If any time is lost, he (Caracciolo) holds it as certain that the arms of France, England, and the rest of Italy—perhaps, too, those of the Turk—will be turned against the Empire; Naples and Sicily placed in jeopardy, &c.—Venice, 10 November 1525.
Signed: "El Protonotario Caracciolo."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Venice. Prothonotary Caracciolo, 10th Nov."
Italian. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 4.


  • n1. "Y pues sabe las cosas con el fundamento que son se servirá dello en lo que le pareciere y vera si dice verdad."
  • n2. "Y esfrondar á la boca del dos naves cargadas de piedra."
  • n3. "Quanto al dar despacho en lugar de la infanteria," &c.
  • n4. In the original "que daran ellos mucha mayor suma de los xx. mil ducados," which is evidently a mistake for "xxv. mil ducados."
  • n5. "Que no hay duda que no espediran [sin] poder del Duque de Milan, que se le pidieron al Duque de Borbon juntamente con el del Sr. Infante y la ratificacion de V. Md."
  • n6. "De no haber V. Mag. aprovado lo de Rezo, y la Sal como los otros capitulos de la liga que el Duque hizo."
  • n7. "Su Beatitud quedaba como una bestia."
  • n8. "Pero aunque se recatasse S. Mag. Vuestra Beatitud no se maraville segun lo que ha tractado Vuestra Sanctidad en su perjuicio."
  • n9. "Porque los Cardenales estaban fuera de Roma, y con seis no los quise hacer, porque quiero hazer á mi sobrino."
  • n10. "Que si era por fuerza con su grandeza podria quitar á la Iglesia lo suyo, que á un clerigo no se le enverguenza por ello."
  • n11. "Esso no lo aconsejaria Vuestra Beatitud porque los succesoves no serian quizá como agora es Mosiur de Borbon."
  • n12. "Yo no, que si S. Mag. hubiera hecho lo que se assentó excusada tenian mi habla. Ingleses caen lexos, y ya se ha visto lo que hazen en sus cosas propias quanto mas en las agenas."
  • n13. "Estas cosas debe de haber hecho el Cardenal de envidia que la grandeza del Emperador subia tanto que dél no habia memoria ni de Inglaterra."
  • n14. "Y que el despacho que V. Mag. habia enviado, despues de llegado el Visorey, habia sido con su parcerr y esto le salvaba."
  • n15. The Archbishop of Capua had resided some time in Spain as Papal Nuncio.
  • n16. "Esto pienso por lo que me dixo el Duque de Sessa despues que vinieron [las cartas] y habló al Papa. Diciendole [yo] que aca le culpaban de que no sabia nada de los tractos que habia, dixome: 'Como lo habia de saber andando las platicas entre quien andaban? Decidlo al Marques y pues su Señoria sabe quienes son, no se maraville si yo no lo entiendo.'"
  • n17. "Esto digo porque conviene que V. Mag. mande que haya grande recato en que no se sepa acâ lo que V. Mag. viere que no conviene á sa servicio, porque todos estan muy recatados y podria ofrecerse cosa que dañasse mucho no osar decilla." The passage is somewhat obscure, but Pescara, Sessa and the Pope are evidently alluded to.
  • n18. "El y Ascanio me dixeron que escribiese a V. Mag. que pusiesse persona alli que los dixesse lo que habian de hacer, y aun de quien se fiassen, que agora no era tiempo para estar lo de alli como V. Mag. lo tenia."
  • n19. "Conforme á la manera que V. Mag. lo querra tomar."
  • n20. Cardinal Salviati.
  • n21. "Y a la causa acá otro es mejor tratado."
  • n22. The Emperor's order was personal against the Duke, whose application for a Cardinal's hat at this time had been encouraged by the Pope.
  • n23. "En como entienden vivir con esse fellicissimo exercito."
  • n24. See above, No. 254, p. 445.
  • n25. There is a blank in the original, and the sum is not stated.
  • n26. Francesco Taverna.