Spain: November 1525, 11-15

Pages 452-465

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 3 Part 1, 1525-1526. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1873.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


November 1525, 16-20

16 Nov. 267. The Duke of Sessa to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 186.
Domingo, the courier, arrived on the 12th inst., with despatches, and started on the following day with the requisite answer. He goes by a land route. The duplicate will be sent by a messenger daily expected from Naples.
Nothing worth mentioning [from Milan], except that the Marquis of Pescara was slightly indisposed with his usual complaint, though he saw the Duke (Francesco Sforza) often, and went on with the interrogatory.—Home, 16 Nov. 1525.
Signed: "El Duque de Sessa."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. The Duke of Sessa, 16th of Nov. Answered."
Spanish. Holograph, p. 1.
16 Nov. 268. Lope Hurtado to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 188.
(Cipher:) Wrote on the 5th inst. what passed between His Holiness and him, and the information he was able to obtain at Rome. The Marquis' indisposition, and his not having sooner concluded his business with the Duke, have delayed the departure of this courier much longer than he could have wished, as he considers it important that His Imperial Majesty should be informed of all these things before the arrival at Court of the Pope's messenger [Paolo di Rezzo].
The state of the negotiations with the Duke [of Milan] has already been reported upon by the Marquis [of Pescara] and Abbot of Najera. He (Lope Hurtado) has seen the Duke twice during the last few days. He says that he only wishes for the recovery of his health, that he may employ his whole life in the Emperor's service, and that neither the Pope nor the Venetians will ever prevail on him to do anything against the Imperial interests or commands.
(Common writing:) It would be highly advantageous for the Emperor, and for the defeat of the present Italian intrigues, that this Duke should be persuaded to give up the castles of Milan and Cremona, which he still holds. Because, were this Estate to be completely under the Imperial sway, neither the Pope nor the Venetians would dare prosecute their present line of policy, and, if they did, would be unable to carry it into effect. He (Lope Hurtado) is of opinion that one of the Duke's orators in Spain—he on whom most reliance could be placed—ought to be sent back with a message to his master, intimating the belief at Court that Morone is the sole culprit in this affair, and requesting him to surrender into the Marquis' hands all the fortresses of this Estate, as this would greatly facilitate the Emperor's visit to Italy and the subsequent negotiations with the Kings of France and England, and also with the Venetians. The said orator might also bring the Imperial promise that, immediately on the Emperor's arrival, a legal inquiry shall be instituted on the charges made against him—and of which be believes him to be innocent—and that he shall be rewarded according to his deserts. Letters conceived in similar terms might be addressed to the towns and persons contained in the enclosed memorandum.
Should the Duke give up his castles, there is nothing to be apprehended for the moment on the part of the Pope and the Venetians, especially if they do not prepare larger armaments than they have hitherto done. The Imperial army might thus be diminished in numbers, and the remainder kept at much less expense and with greater ease, the Marquises of Pescara and Guasto, besides Antonio de Leyva and the Abbot of Najera, having hitherto made efforts for its support almost incredible, considering the ruinous condition of this Estate.
The Duke of Ferrara writes to the Marquis [of Pescara] to say that Madame the Regent of France had refused him a safe-conduct to pass through France into Spain. He seems disappointed at this. Yet it would be advisable, before he returns home, to commission the Marquis or any other of the Imperial ministers in Italy to treat with him, or else that his own envoy at Court should be empowered to negotiate. For if he goes back to his capital, the Pope and the Venetians are sure to do their utmost to gain him over to their cause, such having been their intention at other times, when they openly said that this Duke [of Milan] failing them, they would try and get hold of him of Ferrara. Now that all of them are more or less hostile to the Imperial cause, there can be no doubt that they will try all they can to attach him to their interests. The Marquis of Pescara has been dangerously ill ever since the 5th inst. He is better now, though not quite out of danger. Were God to remove him, His Imperial Majesty would lose a good servant.—Milan, 16 Nov. 1525.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Catholic and Imperial Majesty of the Emperor, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Milan. Lope Hurtado, 16 Nov."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp. 2⅓.
17 Nov. 269. Secretary Noblet to the French Ambassadors in England.
Brit. Mus. Add.
28,675, f. 23.
Knowing that promises must be kept, and that what the [French] ambassadors have negotiated and concluded in England must of necessity be accomplished, every effort has been since made to obtain the ratification of, and the payment of their engagements by, the Princes and towns of France mentioned in the treaty. Owing to the census this operation has been found both difficult and tedious, so much so that hitherto the proclamation and approval of the Courts of Parliament of Paris and Rouen only have been obtained; copies of the treaty have to be sent to Toulouse and Bourdeaux for the same purpose. The amount engaged for by the Princes [of France], by this city of Lyons, and by Toulouse has been received; no time or labour shall be spared in procuring the rest. Paris has not fulfilled its part well; (fn. n1) yet he [Noblet] has no doubt the whole of the engagements will be soon ready and forwarded [to England], as a thing which is indispensable, principally this second instalment [in money], which is the most important of all. Should the ambassadors think it fit that what is already collected should be sent on, they will be pleased to inform Madame the Regent thereof, for certainly she has no other wish than to see the ambassadors perfectly free from their engagements.
The Chancellor [of Alençon] is much wanted here by the Regent and the rest (la compaignie), and as to M. de Vaux, the King wishes him to remain for some time longer [in England], and has written to his mother [the Regent] from Spain, begging her to give her orders to that effect. Should another ambassador be required to help him (Vaulx) in his duties, and the Cardinal of York not object, another one shall be appointed, but on no account is Vaulx to leave England, as his services are much wanted in that country.
Monsieur Dovarty (de Warty?) the governor of Clermont, whom both the ambassadors know well, has been lately sent to England to visit the King and Cardinal in the Regent's name and in that of her son the King of France. He will show the ambassadors his instructions and the papers that have lately come from Spain, so that when an opportunity offers itself, they may speak both to the King and Cardinal respecting the overtures made by Madame the Duchess [of Alençon] for the King's liberation, and which, as the ambassadors will learn from the said De Warty, have been rejected. The Emperor's demands were so exorbitant and unreasonable that they could not possibly be accepted, and therefore the Duchess [d'Alençon] had quitted the Emperor's court, and returned to the King, to console and comfort him after his dangerous illness, and take care of him, as she has done hitherto.
The King, we are told, is perfectly recovered in health, though he shows still occasional signs of weakness.—Saint Just, near Lyons, 17 Nov. 1525.
Signed: "Noblet.
17 Nov. 270. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 192.
Had written on the 4th inst. by a brigantine that took [to Spain] Silvestrin, a servant of the Duke of Milan. The last letter he (Soria) has received bears date of the 23d of August. The courier who takes this has just arrived from Rome, bearing, as he says, important despatches, owing to which circumstance, and not to detain the messenger, he (the ambassador) will not write at any length.
This Doge, after considering the state of affairs in Italy, the plots that are on foot, and the measures recently taken by the Marquis of Pescara for the protection of his army, and against the Duke of Milan, bethought him of sending a person to inquire of the Marquis what His Imperial Majesty's orders are, and whether the Pope and the Venetians are to be trusted at the present stage of affairs, that he may shape his own conduct accordingly. The messenger left for Milan, accompanied, at the Doge's request, by a clerk of this embassy. Both have returned since, bringing the following intelligence, namely: That the Marquis [of Pescara], having summoned the Duke to surrender his castles, and being met only with evasive answers and dilatory measures, had closely invested the castle of Milan with one band of Spaniards and another of Germans. The castle had hoisted the Imperial flag, but nevertheless the people inside kept firing upon the besieging forces, and had slain some of the soldiers. In Milan itself there had been no commotion; the city was quiet. The Marquis bad published a manifesto, informing the inhabitants of his reasons for thus proceeding against their Duke. Everyone had approved of his doings, though, perhaps, inwardly they protested against them.
The revenues of the Estate were being collected at Milan in the Emperor's name, and similar orders had been sent throughout the Duchy. Cremona also fired on the Imperial troops. The Marquis was still suffering from his complaint in the stomach.
Some of the Pope's men-at-arms had lately arrived at Parma and Piacenza for the purpose, as it was reported, of garrisoning those places.
The Venetians are still making military preparations, to defend their territory as they say. They have likewise begun arming by sea, and intend to fit out 60 galleys.
The Pope has ordered 1,500 muskets to be made at Lucca.
No news of the Switzers making any stir at present.
The people of this Community have stopped up the harbour of Savona by sinking at its mouth five vessels laden with stones. They are endeavouring now to render the wharfs useless, their object being to destroy completely that port, so that all merchant vessels shall be obliged to come to Genoa. They also want the Savonese to obey them and recognize their supremacy, just as other towns of this coast do; but the Savonese refuse, alleging that they are the vassals of His Imperial Majesty, and have privileges and exemptions confirmed by the Emperors, his predecessors.
How far the Genoese may be justified in these violent acts against the people of Savona, he (Lope de Soria) cannot say. He has, in conjunction with the Marquis of Pescara, done all he could to prevent the destruction of that port, and has often spoken to the Doge and Community about it, though in vain, as they pretend that things have now gone so far and such preparations been made that it would be impossible to stop them without giving offence to the people of this city and port, whose hatred and envy of the Savonese know no bounds. To avoid complications of another sort under the present circumstances, and knowing full well the services of this Doge and Community on all occasions, both he (Soria) and the Marquis [of Pescara] have not pressed their remonstrances any further. It will be for the Emperor to decide, in view of the allegations which each party is sure to send to Court, on which side justice is.—Genoa, 17 Nov. 1525.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Genoa. Lope de Soria, 17th Nov."
Spanish, Original. pp. 3.
17 Nov. 271. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
d. Esp. No. 52.
Wrote on the 27th of Oct. last, announcing Moron's arrest (la presa del Moron) and what happened afterwards. Since then Lope Hurtado de Mendoça, has been to Rome, and informed the Pope of the cause of his arrest. The Pope sent one of his chamberlains, named Paulo di Rezo (Reggio?), to visit the Marquis of Pescara, and ascertain how far Moron might, by his declarations, have implicated him and the other Italian Princes connected with these intrigues, and what account the Marquis had sent home. Paulo reached Pavia on the 29th, saw the Marquis, and the day after returned to Rome. The substance of what he said on this occasion the Emperor must already have learnt through the Marquis' despatch. He (the Abbot) did not see Paulo, as he was absent [from Pavia] at the time, having come here [to Milan] to procure money for the troops.
Lope Hurtado returned from Rome, and arrived at Pavia on the 31st of October. His despatches, which accompany this, will fully inform His Imperial Majesty of his business with the Pope.
The Marquis [of Pescara] and Antonio de Leyva came on the 2d inst. to Milan with 3,000 Germans and seven companies (banderas) of Spanish infantry. They were quartered in two suburbs (burgos) of this city, called Porta Tusa and Porta Romana; they are lodging with the inhabitants and paying for their daily food. Up to the present moment his time has been occupied with questions and answers (preguntas y respuestas) between the Marquis and the Duke of Milan. Encloses copy of the papers written on both sides. (fn. n2)
Considering that the Duke would on no account surrender the castles of Milan and Cremona; knowing for certain that he had written to the Pope and to the Venetians, asking for their protection, and putting himself entirely in their hands, besides requesting the latter to march on Cremona and defend the castle against the Imperial troops; that the Duke's intention had always been to shut himself up in this castle [of Milan], not indeed to wait, as he pretended, the return of Sylvestrin, who embarked at Genoa on the 1st inst., on a mission to the Emperor, but in reality to allow his friends and allies time to come to his help; that the castle of Cremona had already commenced hostilities, firing upon and killing some Germans, who—by the Marquis' commands, and for fear of the said Venetians, who were shortly expected—had begun to dig trenches and erect parapets in some of the streets leading thereto; considering also the activity and care which the Duke displayed in provisioning this castle of Milan, increasing its defences, pulling down houses, and cutting down trees in its immediate neighbourhood, &c., the Marquis, with the advice of Guasto, Antonio de Leyva, Lope Hurtado, and other Imperial functionaries (ministros) there residing, decided to invest (cerrar) the castle, and exact from the inhabitants in the Duchy the customary oath of allegiance to His Imperial Majesty. The better to effect this the Marquis sent to Pavia for the German infantry, the same men who were last summer employed in the marquisate of Saluzzo, to the number of upwards of 1,500 men. They came in on the 9th, and were quartered at a place outside this city called Porta Tessinesa. On the same day the Marquis of Pescara, though still suffering, and so weak and thin that he could scarcely stand or speak, addressed the townspeople, and told them his reasons for bringing so many troops into the city [of Milan]. He asked if they knew of any other measure for the protection of the Estate and the security of the Imperial army; if they did, they were to mention it, and it would be adopted.
On the following day (10th Nov.), Lope Hurtado and he (the Abbot) called on the Duke [of Milan] at the castle, and begged him, in the Marquis' name, to pay down the 50,000 ducats, or thereabouts, still owing on account of the investiture, adding that the Marquis was disposed to accept the hostages offered by him (the Duke) as security for the two castles of Milan and Cremona. On the 11th the Duke gave the answer which His Imperial Majesty will see by the enclosed copy. Again, on the same day, the Marquis, wishing to conciliate, sent a verbal message to the Duke, begging him to appoint a trusty person with whom he could communicate certain matters. The Duke sent his own physician, Miçer Cipion, a very honest man, who, no doubt, was chosen among the rest that he might report at the same time on the Marquis' looks and appearances, and say whether he was struck for death (estaba para morir). The Marquis said to the physician (Cipion): "If the Duke, your master, promises to pay, within three days, 30,000 ducats, and 20,000 more in a fortnight, as the complement of the investiture's price, I promise, in the Emperor's name, to accept the hostages and securities offered by the Duke, in the manner stipulated by Lope Hurtado and the Abbot of Najera on the 12th." The Duke's answer to the above proposal is also enclosed. (fn. n3)
For the better understanding of this Milanese question, it must be observed that the Duke has been hitherto in the enjoyment of all his rights. Neither have his rents been sequestered, nor his governors and other functionaries of the Estate deprived of their offices. On the contrary, the Marquis punished, the other day, very severely, one Simon de Tarssis (sic), because he dared to invest himself with a certain charge (oficio) in this city, hoping that when the Marquis, as he imagined, should take possession of the whole estate of Milan, he might be confirmed in it. On the other hand, if the Duke's functionaries and other people have not otherwise resisted the Imperial commands, it is merely owing to their conviction that the Duke, by his guilty conduct, has forfeited his estate, and that the Emperor is their only true lord and master.
That the Duke is really guilty of the charges brought against him, both the Marquis, the Abbot, and all the rest of the Imperial officers [in Italy] have abundantly proved by their letters before and after Morone's arrest. It is said that, the better to establish his innocence, he (the Duke) has had six of his own physicians examined, and also one Poliçiano, once Morone's secretary, to prove that for many months past he has been unable to write, and therefore that if any letters be found bearing his ducal signature, they have all been forged by the said Poliçiano. This evidence he is now about to forward to Spain by Thomas de Almayno or some other messenger, in order that His Imperial Majesty may be convinced of his innocence, maintain him in his estate, and have the Marquis and Antonio de Leyba (sic) severely reprimanded.
In consequence of the above and other conciliatory terms having been rejected, the Marquis has actually ordered this castle of Milan to be besieged, and the Imperial troops have already invested it on all sides. The townspeople and other officials have been summoned to the Marquis' quarters, and told that the Emperor counts upon their obedience as natural subjects of the Empire. They have expressed their regret at the Duke not having fulfilled his duty towards the Emperor, so as to have all matters settled peaceably and without scandal, but said that in all other respects they would never be found in fault against the Imperial service. Senators, magistrates and other officials will next receive a similar intimation, warning each of them to administer justice or fulfil his charge in the Emperor's name, after taking from all classes the customary oath of allegiance. As to the rents of this Duchy, a proper estimate and balance is now being drawn up, that His Imperial Majesty may see at once what resources he has at his command. But he (the Abbot) cannot help declaring that the ordinary revenues of the Estate are in the worst possible condition, and that the greater part of next year's rents is mortgaged. As to the late extraordinary taxes (tallones) they cannot be increased under the present circumstances, the Marquis having promised as much to the people.
The Marquis and all the rest of the Imperial officers in this city are of one opinion, namely, that the Duke ought to be written to through Sylvestrin, if already at Court, or through any other messenger equally in his confidence, to surrender himself, his person and castles, into the hands of the Marquis of Pescara, or, failing him, into those of Antonio de Leyva, and to surrender also the persons of his secretaries Angelo Riçio and Poliçiano, until they be properly tried and it be ascertained who are the culprits. For as the Duke persists in his refusal to give up the castles of Milan and Cremona without an express order from the Emperor, if the Imperial orders come, there will then be no excuse for the Duke; and thus it will be soon seen whether he is in earnest or not. If this be quickly done, and the Duke consents to give up his castles, His Imperial Majesty will be sole master of this Estate, and his enemies will abandon all idea of invading it under the plea of assisting the present Duke. Besides which, the agreement (concierto) which the Emperor is about to make with the French King and other potentates will rest upon a more solid foundation.
As the preservation of this Estate and the goodwill of its citizens depend in a great measure upon the treatment they receive, no more taxes ought to be imposed upon them than those which are absolutely necessary. The troops ought to live at their own expense, which cannot be accomplished unless they are regularly paid. Large sums are therefore required, not only for the arrears due to the men, but to provision (avituallar) and strengthen certain towns of this Duchy, wherein, in the event of a war, the Imperial troops may shut themselves up, and await such reinforcements as His Imperial Majesty or his brother, the Archduke, may send from Germany or Spain.
His Imperial Majesty might also, for the gratification of the people of this Duchy and for the increase of the love and devotion which they profess, write a letter to this city of Milan, thanking them for their devotion, and promising justice and good government. Similar letters might be sent to Pavia, Cremona, Como, Alessandria, Asti, Lodi, Novara and other cities in the Estate.
After expending the 80,000 ducats which the Emperor sent last September in bills on Genoa, 20,000 more borrowed in this city [of Milan], 6,000 in Venice, and 6,500 in Genoa have been consumed. These last were borrowed on bills drawn by the Marquis of Pescara, payable at Rome and Naples at 40 days' date. With these various sums, amounting altogether to 32,500 ducats, the Germans and some of the Spanish infantry now at Milan have been paid part of their arrears. These last have been—some for two, others for three, months—without pay of any sort, foraging on the inhabitants, and scattered in small detachments throughout the Duchy, from fear of mutiny. Now that their wants have been remedied to a certain extent, they will pay for what they eat. In three or four days 40,000 ducats will be required for the pay of this infantry and of a still larger detachment now at Geradada (Ghiara d'Adda), and in the keeping of other towns and castles in this Estate. As it is neither just nor convenient that they should continue living upon, and exasperating, the country people, funds must be provided forthwith.
To meet the above sum the Imperial generals have no resources left except 20,000 ducats which Cremona, Pavia and other towns and districts have offered to advance on the revenue of this Estate, and of which a portion might already have come in had not the Duke [of Milan] written to the parties not to make any loan even if we asked for it, on account of the investiture money, because, if they did, they would never get paid. It is therefore most important that His Imperial Majesty quickly provide funds for this army, for it is quite evident that his enemies do not so much rely on their own forces as they do eventually on the failure of resources of the Empire.
The news we have of the Venetians is that the Duke of Urbino is at Verona with the greater part of his men-at-arms, and that he is now levying between 6,000 and 7,000 foot for the garrison of Bressa (Brescia) and other strong places. It is even added that the Duke and his men utter many bravadoes (bravean), and say they will hold the land against any invader. Instead of returning an answer to the proposals which Prothonotary Caracciolo took from hence, they (the Venetians) are continually making preghe and holding meetings, with a view, no doubt, to discuss the articles of the new league which the Auditor of the Apostolic Chamber (Girolamo Ghinucci) and Gregorio Casal are said to have recently brought from England. Both of these ambassadors are now with the Pope at Rome, and the couriers pass between that city and Venice more frequently than ever.
On the Pope's side we hear that preparations of the same sort are being made. He has lately sent for some men-at-arms and infantry, and is carefully providing for the defence of Parma and Placencia (Piacenza), whether from fear of this Imperial army or from some other motive we cannot positively say. Juanin (Giovannino) de Medicis is in Romania, and some add that he is levying troops there.
No further news respecting the Switzers. Their 15 ambassadors, now at Rome, are represented as having gone thither for the purpose of claiming certain sums owing to them since Pope Leo's time.
Four thousand Grisons are actually besieging Chiavena and battering its walls with two guns, but have hitherto achieved nothing, nor is it likely they will unless the place surrenders for want of provisions, which, they say, are not very abundant. Should the affairs at Milan admit of it, the Marquis intends sending some forces to the succour of the castle, and also to occupy the Baltolina (Val Telline), a narrow valley stretching out towards Germany, which, they say, belongs also to this Duchy, and is a convenient pass for troops coming down to Italy.
For many years past Genoa has been insisting upon the Savonese closing their port, on the plea that their trade was injured by it. Notwithstanding the remonstrances which the Imperial ambassador (Soria) has addressed to the Doge on this subject, besides pressing letters from the Marquis, the Genoese have lately sent thither four vessels laden with stones, and actually sunk them at the harbour's mouth. There is reason to believe that this has been done at the instigation of the Datary (Giovanni Matheo) and of some of the chief inhabitants, his friends, with the idea that should Genoa happen to change its present form of government, and no longer admit the Imperial fleet into its harbour, neither should the port of Savona afford shelter to the Spanish galleys. These are very delicate matters, and it may perhaps be advisable not to take any notice of the affair just now. Of the Doge, there is no reason to harbour any suspicion, but the city is full of the Datary's friends, who have purposely brought about this Savona business in order to annoy the Emperor, and, if possible, prevent his visit to Italy. As far as he (the Abbot) can judge, justice is on the side of the Savonese, and the aggressors deserve punishment, though it may be prudent to dissemble for the present, and not alienate the affections of the Genoese. At any rate, the Imperial fleet ought to be sent back [to Genoa], for certainly without it the city is by no means safe.
The Italian potentates persevere in their plots and warlike preparations. They would already have declared themselves openly were it not that they wait to see what sort of agreement is made with the French King. The general opinion here [at Milan] is that His Imperial Majesty ought to come to terms (concertarse) anyhow with France, and that as soon as possible, that he may come to Italy to be crowned, and take possession of what belongs to him by right.
The Duke of Ferrara is still at San Juan de Moriliana (fn. n4) in Savoy. He wrote to the Marquis on the 4th inst., informing him that the Queen Regent [of France] bad positively refused him a safe-conduct by sea or land, either for himself or any gentleman of his household about to go to the Emperor [in Spain]. The message was brought to him by Count Ugo Pepoli. This had been done at the instigation and with the advice of the King of England, who had written expressly to the Regent (Louise of Savoy). The Duke further said in his letter that he was in despair, and did not know what to do, whether to return at once to Italy, or wait where he was for an answer from his ambassadors at the Imperial court. His case seemed to him hopeless, for, among other things which Count Pepoli told him, one was that the Queen Regent was determined not to grant the safe-conduct, whatever instances might be made by the Emperor or by her son (King Francis). The Marquis advised him to return to Italy, as he was not safe where he was. The Duke is a very important man in Italy, and ought to be retained in the Imperial service. Once back in his estate, there will not be wanting people to tempt him over to their side.
Ever since the 5th inst., when he went out with Antonio de Leyva to inspect the works round the city, till the 10th, the Marquis of Pescara has been so dangerously ill that we thought it was all over with him. He is now better, but so exceedingly weak that we fear a relapse. Arrangements should be made for Antonio de Leyva, in case of the Marquis' demise, to take the command of this army until His Imperial Majesty or the Viceroy of Naples (Charles de Lannoy) come to Italy, which ought to be as soon as possible, and certainly before these people have time to concoct any plan to the Emperor's detriment in Naples, Sicily, or Genoa, or even with the Turk's assistance, if they cannot otherwise. The latter, in the end, will be their counsellor and abettor, (fn. n5) whilst His Imperial Majesty will have God on his side.—Milan, 17 Nov. 1525.
Signed: "El Abad de Najera."
Post scripta.—The warder of Gaeta arrived here posthaste, and is now going to Spain. Does not know what his business is, nor when he will leave [Milan].
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. The Abbot of Najera, 17 Nov."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 7.
18 Nov. 272. The Duke of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
M. He. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 196.
On the 13th inst. Domingo, the courier, left this with the new dispensation brief. Copies of both are now sent. (fn. n6) Hopes to God they will reach Spain in safety! Wishing this present courier to take also the duplicate [of brief], he (the Duke) has done all he could to get it drawn out, but in vain, the Pope (cipher) having declared that it would be a great pity, and also very detrimental to his interests, if the briefs were to fall into the hands of the French. He (the Duke) has not ceased applying for their despatch, but to no purpose, no doubt because the Pope thinks they may arrive at a time when present matters are being discussed with his Legate, and if so, that negotiations may turn to his disadvantage. Will not desist from the application, and, when obtained, will forward the said duplicate by the shortest possible route.
Intelligence has reached Rome that the Marquis [of Pescara] has closely invested the castle of Milan. The garrison had protested against, and were firing upon the besieging troops. People here are much concerned at this event; in fact, it may be confidently asserted that the tighter the rein is drawn in Lombardy, the warmer grow the plots of the confederates, for they cannot bear the idea of His Imperial Majesty wishing to take the Duchy [of Milan] for himself. No more news worth reporting.—Rome, 18 Nov. 1525.
Signed: "El Duque de Sessa."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred and Invincible Cesar, King of Spain and of the two Sicilies, our Sovereign and Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Rome. Duke of Sessa, 18 Nov. Answered."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet, pp. 2.
20 Nov. 273. The Emperor to Louis de Praet, his Ambassador in France.
Arch. d. Royme de
Belg. Doc. Hist.
III., f. 157.
Has received his two letters of the 4th and 9th inst., with the account of his conference with the Queen Regent of France.
In order that you (De Praet) may be advised of the state of the negotiations with the King of France, We have caused the present despatch to be addressed to you.
The French ambassadors returned here [to Toledo]. Their first overture was: That the King, their master, consented to pay a ransom of three millions [of ducats]. A marriage to be concluded between the said King and our sister, Madame Eleonor, having as a dowry that portion of the duchy of Burgundy and its dependencies which We claim as our own. The remaining articles of the treaty to be equitably adjusted between us.
Our answer was that We never intended taking money from their master or demanding a ransom from him; that the only thing We wanted of him was restitution of territory, as specified in the draft of the treaty, principally of the duchy of Burgundy, and therefore that We demanded a direct answer on this point, as, without it, We were determined not to go on with the negotiations; nor need they (the ambassadors) come to our Court unless they were previously agreed upon the said restitution in principle. The ambassadors again came to us some days since, alleging that it was quite impossible for their King to make the restitution demanded unless he were set free and on the spot, for otherwise (they said) his orders would not be obeyed. Their King once at liberty within his kingdom, means might perhaps be devised of accomplishing the said restitution, the French giving proper hostages on their side, whilst We might give equal securities that, in the event of the arbitrators deciding against us, We should give back the said Duchy.
To this We answered that their King was not to be set at liberty unless We had first the possession of Burgundy, with formal ratification of the whole treaty. That our right being so clear and manifest, no arbitration was needed nor were any hostages required on our part. The ambassadors then inquired what hostages We were prepared to offer for the security of their King in case of France consenting to give up the Duchy previous to the prisoner's release. We told them that they might begin to consult upon the matter; We would do the same on our side; and when they and our deputies met they could discuss the best means of effecting the said restitution and deciding what sort of hostages were to be delivered as security [for their King]. To-morrow the communication on the remaining articles is to be made. We shall take care that you are promptly advised of the result, that you may know what language to hold there. (fn. n7) —Toledo, 20 Nov. 1525.
French. Copy. p. 1¼.
20 Nov. 274. Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassadors in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 200.
Their last letter was of the 10th inst., containing a full and detailed account of what the deputies said to them on that occasion and the answer they (the ambassadors) intended to give on the ensuing day.
Accordingly, on the 11th inst., both (Caracciolo and Sanchez) sent notice that they were quite ready to receive the deputies (fn. n8) at the embassy, when they would return an answer to their proposals. That and the next being feast days, the deputies did not call until the 13th, when, in conformity with their common letter of the 10th, a suitable answer was given to their objections and counter propositions. (In cipher:) But in so doing, they insisted upon knowing what was the deputies' opinion upon the subject, as it was neither just nor convenient that they should try to elicit the ambassadors' views whilst they kept their own intentions and thoughts a secret, that being a style of negotiation which, if persevered in, would unavoidably bring upon them His Majesty's displeasure. To which they replied that the pivot on which the confederation turned being the Duke of Milan and the actual movements of the troops, it was but natural that it should be made the principal topic of conversation. But they (the ambassadors) objected, on the plea that if the confederation entitled the deputies to treat of several points in common, and of this one in particular, the Imperial ministers and agents were equally justified in asking their opinion on the general bearing of the negotiations. The deputies, however, went away soon after without saying one word more on the subject. It is very doubtful whether they will ever return to it. The impression of the ambassadors is that they never will, and will let matters stand as they are until it is convenient for them to decide, and that they will then follow that line of conduct which may suit them best.
The Bishop of Bayus (Bayeux) went away many days since to Verona, of which place he is a native, there to attend the marriage of one of his nephews, as they say. At the time of his departure, the report was that he would not return to Venice, except upon business of the greatest importance. He came back on the 13th, and on the next day both he and the other French ambassador (fn. n9), who resides here, spent nearly two hours at the Senate, in public audience, the negotiations being no longer secret, since they have been committed to the Council of the Pregadi. What the object of the interview was the ambassadors do not know for certain; but what they have heard from different sources is this: That the said Bishop of Bayeux had brought full powers from Madame the Regent and from the whole kingdom of France to conclude a treaty of alliance with this Republic, some going as far as to say that the said Bishop has with him a draft of the articles. This report the ambassadors believe to be true, and also that the Venetians will have no difficulty in signing it, as they cannot conceal their disappointment and rage at the idea of His Imperial Majesty taking the duchy of Milan for himself, which they have no doubt he intends to do. If, therefore, the Republic finds people to assist them in their plans, they are sure to do all the harm they can, especially as it is well known that they have never borne goodwill to the Emperor. The general report is that there will be war, and that 13,000 Switzers are coming down into Italy.
(Common writing:) Advices from Lyons state that, according to letters dated from Court on the 17th of October last, the treaty between His Imperial Majesty and the King of France was not in a fair way of being concluded; that Madame d'Alençon was on the eve of returning to France; and that the Emperor was shortly to go to Seville for the Portuguese marriage. But perhaps this is only a rumour artfully spread by the French in order to induce the Venetians and others to treat with them.
(Cipher:) The ambassadors have heard that the courier which this Republic despatched some days to Rome, after so many preghe, was for the purpose of informing the Pope, by means of their ambassador, that much time had been lost in words and negotiations, and that the hour had come for striking a blow, as the Imperialists had lately done at Milan.
They have also heard that in case of attempting an attack it is the intention of the confederates to begin by Genoa, because by doing so they may stop the supplies of food and money for the Imperial army, as well as cut the communications with Spain by sea. Though this last intelligence comes to them (the ambassadors) from a person of no great standing or rank, the news is of such importance that they consider it their duty to acquaint His Majesty with it. They have likewise written to the Marquis of Pescara, whom they daily inform of everything they hear concerning the future plans of the confederates.
This Republic is continually increasing its army; and the report is that infantry is secretly pouring in by small platoons from Romania (Romagna).
(Common writing:) On the 13th inst. the ambassadors received a visit from the agent of the Duke of Milan, who resides in Venice (Taverna.) He came to tell them how, only a few hours before, a man called Joan Antonio de Preda, who professes to be the Duke's messenger, had entered his dwelling, and told him, in secret, that he had come to Venice to ascertain from the Republic how soon they would be ready to come to his help, and with what forces. The Duke's agent added that as the man had brought no letters of credence for him, and was, besides, a notorious rascal, and considered as such by the Duke himself, he had placed no faith in his words, believing him to be a sort of spy or informer, sent to ascertain what his opinion was in the matter, since the Duke, he knew, would never apply for help save to the Emperor. He, moreover, begged the ambassadors to take note of his words, that they might attest, in case of need, to his having been the first to inform them of the fact, adding: "The man is still at my house, and I am going to try to have him arrested and properly punished by the Republic."
The ambassadors had written thus far when letters came from the Marquis of Pescara, of the 15th inst., informing them that the castle of Milan was completely invested, and that other measures had been taken against the Duke, in consequence of the discovery lately made that he was inciting the Milanese to rebellion, and obstinately refusing to grant any of the securities demanded. As the Marquis requested the ambassadors to inform the Republic of this determination, one of them (Alonso Sanchez)—his colleague, Caracciolo, being unable to attend on account of his bad health and the inclemency of the weather—went and communicated to them the substance of the Marquis' letter, adding that he had gone thither with reluctance, and rather to fulfil a duty and obey orders than otherwise.
The deputies' answer was that they felt very grateful for the information received, and had to thank the Marquis and the ambassadors for it, but they did regret that matters should have come to such a point as to render such measures and precautions against the Duke necessary. They could not conceive how the Duke had been led to expect help and protection from any other quarter than the natural and ordinary one of the Emperor, his master, for, said they: "What can a man, shut up in a castle by himself, do, especially after four months' illness?" To this last sentence, delivered, no doubt, merely with a view to suggest the improbability of the Duke having ever plotted against His Imperial Majesty, the ambassador (Sanchez) replied that the military precautions the Marquis had taken for the security and preservation of the Imperial army had a sufficient foundation and were dictated by prudence. They themselves, who proceed so cautiously in all their affairs, would scarcely have acted otherwise.
After which, the deputies having expressed their sorrow that such an event should have happened at a time when Italy had every reason to expect the blessings of peace, as well as their confidence that the Emperor, by his well-known prudence and discretion, would remove all such obstacles as should arise in the way of it, he (Sanchez) considered it his duty to observe that the Emperor's views and intentions were too well known to them to require further explanation. That their ambassador just returned from Spain, and who was there present, (fn. n10) could bear witness how and on what conditions and nvestiture had been granted to the Duke [of Milan], and that Lope Hurtado had brought [to Italy] orders for the disbanding of the Imperial army. If such peaceful intentions on the Emperor's part could not be realised it was no fault of his, but of others. May God forgive them for the trouble and anxiety they have caused!
The ambassadors of France had upwards of one hour's audience on the 17th inst., when an answer was given to their propositions of the 13th. It is rumoured that they offer to furnish 10,000 Switzers paid by them, besides 5,000 lances under Maximiano (Maximiliano Sforza), who is also to lead into Italy a large number of emigrants (fuorusciti).
(Cipher:) With such forces, and with the help of the Venetians, who are to join them by sea and land, the confederates flatter themselves that they will easily expel the Imperial army from the estate of Milan. What these people have replied to such offers, they (the ambassadors) cannot say for certain. Some imagine that this Republic has resolved to make a league with France, and that negotiations have actually begun to that effect. Others assert that the powers of the French ambassadors not having been deemed sufficient, and the Republic not being yet ready to enter into an agreement with France, a dilatory and evasive answer has been returned. Cannot vouch for the truth of either report, but think that the former of the two is more likely to be true.
There is still another report worth mentioning, i.e., that this Signory intends to arm 40 galleys next spring. The ambassadors have not yet had the means of ascertaining whether this is true or not, but they are of opinion that the coasts of Apulia and even those of Sicily ought, at all events, to be fortified, not so much on account of the Venetians as of the Turk, whom these people are daily inciting to come over, as their recent embassy to that Infidel with a rich present in brocades and silks would seem to indicate.
In this city resides a Spanish merchant by whose means they (the ambassadors) obtain from time to time valuable intelligence. He is a very honest man, and shows much devotion to the Imperial service. He wants the appointment of President of the Sumaria at Naples, and has begged them to recommend his suit. As his services are valuable and he promises to continue them, he deserves encouragement.
Concerning the Bishop of Lodi (Ottaviano Sforza) and his confidential advices, he (Sanchez) expects instructions, that he may know what sort of engagement he is to take with him.—Venice, 20 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, 20 Nov. Answered."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 4.


  • n1. "Mais entendez que Paris s'est tres mal acquitté."
  • n2. Not in the volume, probably from the cause assigned in p. 307, note.
  • n3. Neither of the papers here mentioned is in the volume. The reader, however, may consult Guicciardini, Istoria d'Italia, lib. XVII., where these transactions are minutely recorded.
  • n4. Probably San Giovanni or San Gian di Moriana, the usual residence of the Duke of Savoy. See p. 451.
  • n5. "Encomendandose quando mas no pudiessen al Turco, el qual al fin será con ellos y Dios con V. Mag."
  • n6. See above, Nos. 262 and 263.
  • n7. Published in Lanz Correspondenz, p. 188.
  • n8. The deputies were three: one of the Signory's Councillors, a Sage of the Council, and a Sage of the main land, with a customary, the same who called on the Imperial ambassador on the 10th. See above, No. 255, and Rawdon Brown, Venetian Papers, &c., vol. iii., p. 500.
  • n9. Ambrosio or Ambrogio da Fiorenza.
  • n10. Contarini or Priuli, both of whom left Spain in August, Andrea Navagiero remaining in charge of the Venetian embassy. At their passage through Lyons they held a conference with Praet. See above, p. 363.