Spain: December 1525, 1-15

Pages 505-520

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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December 1525, 1-15

1 Dec. 288. Lope Hurtado de Mendoza to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 288.
Has received the Emperor's letter of the 31st October last, by which, as well as by those addressed to the Marquis of Pescara and brought by Herrera and Juan Bautista [Castaldo], he has heard of the ample provision in money and supplies made for this Imperial army. The Marquis was so pleased to hear the news brought by these two gentlemen, and likewise the marks of Imperial favour to his nephew, the Marquis del Guasto, (fn. n1) that it was thought at one time he would improve in health. Unfortunately, it has not been so, and the physicians now quite despair of his life. Sends the present messenger post-haste to inquire who is to assume the command of the army after the Marquis' decease and to take charge of Herrera's commission. The last-named gentleman left this for Rome only the other day, when he (Hurtado) took good care to inform him of what he had seen and observed during his stay in that city, for things have come to such a plight there that he (Herrera) will require all his prudence, ability and discretion to execute the difficult commission he bears, as His Imperial Majesty cannot fail to have seen by his report of the 5th Oct. last.
(Cipher:) The said Herrera was much pressed by the generals to leave behind him the instructions and other papers he had brought; but perceiving that this was contrary to orders, and that the Marquis was sinking, he refused to do so and intrusted them to his (Hurtado's) care, with the express injunction that he was not to communicate their contents to anyone until he heard from him. Expects the Emperor's orders and instructions thereupon, in case the affairs at Rome do not turn out well.
This courier will be soon followed by another, named Juan Bautista, who is to take home the legal proceedings instituted at Pavia against Hieronimo Morono, as conducted by the Abbot of Najera.
(Common writing:) The Emperor's original orders were for him (Hurtado) to return to Piedmont as soon as the generals and other functionaries here no longer required his services, there to proceed to the investigation of the damages caused by the Imperial troops. Since his arrival at Milan, he has been employed in various ways; his last act has been to send to Rome for the purpose of ascertaining the Pope's present views and politics. He can no longer be of use in that way, and therefore intends to return to his original commission in Piedmont, the more so that he has lately received a message from Madame de Savoy requesting him to begin at once the legal inquiry ordered by His Imperial Majesty.
On this point, however, he (Hurtado) begs leave to submit the following considerations: Were it possible to satisfy the Duke and Duchess of Savoy without the said inquiry, and leave matters as they were at the time when the Imperial troops evacuated Piedmont, he (Hurtado) is of opinion that all farther proceedings ought to be laid aside. He has often written to the Duke that the intrigues of the confederated powers were the only cause of the Imperial troops having been quartered in those districts, and that no very severe punishment could be inflicted upon the delinquent soldiers, for fear of their rising in mutiny. On the other hand, the proposed inquiry can only serve for the Duke and his subjects to establish a real claim against the Emperor. The expenses and ravages of the troops in Piedmont are indeed incalculable, but most of the damage was done by the Italian infantry and by the light horse, to whom no pay was issued at the time from the Emperors treasury. What the men-at-arms have consumed it would be folly to oblige them to refund, for they have no money, and any severity under the present circumstances might alienate their affections. If, therefore, the Duke and his subjects are not likely to be indemnified for their losses, what satisfaction can it be to them if, after a legal inquiry most minutely conducted, it come to be proved that the Imperial troops quartered in Piedmont have actually committed ravages and made exactions to the amount of 500,000 ducats? If the object of the inquiry be that some of the delinquents be convicted and duly punished, it must still be borne in mind that these arc not times at which such misdemeanors can be corrected, for the men being without pay and on the eve of being called out for active service, would feel it more than ever, would importune the Emperor for their arrears, and, perhaps, too, go over to his enemies.
The only reparation that, in his (Hurtado's) opinion, can be offered at present is in good words; stringent orders should also be given to the Marquis [del Guasto] not to allow, in future, any reprisals against the Duke's vassals, and if any such have been made to have the money and property restored to the owners. That such excesses have been committed by the Imperial troops in recent times cannot be doubted, for, even after the evacuation of Piedmont, bands of unruly soldiers entered the territory, sacked the villages, took away the cattle, and led the chief inhabitants into captivity until a sufficient ransom was paid down; an example soon likely to be followed by others if proper measures are not adopted. Whence it has followed that what with the plunder made at the time the Duke of Bourbon went through Piedmont into France, and that of the Italian bands and men-at-arms since quartered upon them, there is scarcely one Piedmontese who has not a claim of some sort to bring against the Emperor. For whoever lost then 10 ducats claims now 1,000, and those who had, perhaps, a relative slain or wounded ask for a heavy compensation.
He (Hurtado) is doing all he can to have these excesses of the troops restrained, and has frequently spoken to the Marquis del Guasto about it; but unless positive orders and instructions come from Spain, it is to be feared that the evil, instead of abating, will increase, as the said Marquis dares not show much rigour with the culprits, for fear of discontenting the army. Much good might be done by His Imperial Majesty sending the plaintiffs before the Duke's council, and if their wrongs were not properly redressed there, making such provision as would satisfy them. If, moreover, the 15,000 ducats which Madame borrowed upon her own jewels to give to the men-at-arms by way of composition were paid back to her, it might also go far towards settling the present difficulties.
From the above statement it is quite plain that the proposed inquiry can be of no avail; and since he can be of no earthly use in Piedmont, he (Hurtado) begs to be relieved from his commission and permitted to return to Spain.
The bearer of this, Bartholome de Tassis, is the person before alluded to in a former despatch as having procured valuable information. He and his uncle Simon are good servants of the Empire. If the latter could return before the expiration of the truce and bring with him the Imperial answer to the above particulars, much good might be done.
Encloses a memorandum of the Duchess [of Savoy] with advices up to this date. His Imperial Majesty might write to her in his credence and thank her for her gracious inter-ference in the affairs of Piedmont and in the matter of the compensation claimed by the Duke, her husband.
Commends to the Emperor's notice the person of Juan de Urbina, whose services ought to be rewarded, as those of a brave and accomplished officer. Since the Marquis' death the various divisions of this Imperial army feel the want of good commanding officers, for he was, without dispute, the ablest general they ever had, and knew how to keep everything in perfect order.—Milan, 1st Dec. 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 de Mendoza, 1st December."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 5.
3 Dec. 289. The Emperor to the Abbot of Najera.
Arch. Hist. Cent.
Madrid. Priv. y
Car. Re. de
Najera, f 381.
The King, Abbot of Najera, &c.—Having written to you on the 5th Nov. last by Juan Babtista Castaldo and Commander Herrera what had occurred up to that date, We shall only inform you now that We have given orders for certain bills of exchange on Genoa to be drawn and forwarded to you, to the amount of 60,000 ducats. On the receipt of the said bills you will have them cashed, and apply the money to the wants of that our most victorious army, and according to the orders of our Captain-General, the Marquis of Pescara, using in this, as well as in all matters appertaining to it, all possible diligence, as you have done on other similar occasions.—Toledo, 3d of December 1525. "Yo el Rey. By His Majesty's command. Pedro Garcia."
Addressed: "From the Imperial and Catholic Majesty. To the Abbot of Najera, Commissary-General of his most Victorious Army in Lombardy."
Spanish. Copy. p. 1¼.
3 Dec. 290. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
ff. 294–9.
His last despatch, in date of the 22d November, went by land by a courier from Naples. On the 2d instant the Imperial letter of the 31st of October came to hand. It was brought and forwarded by Commander Herrera the day before he left Milan for Rome.
This Doge and Community humbly beseech His Imperial Majesty that, in case of the present truce with France being extended, they may be expressly named and included in it, so as to remove all doubt concerning their position and put an end to the piratical incursions of Andrea Doria. They also commend to the Imperial notice the person and estate of the Lord of Monago (Monaco), who has been on all occasions a most faithful servant of the Empire.
According to intelligence received by this Doge from his agents at Milan on the evening of the 1st instant, God had been pleased to bring to an end the life of the Marquis of Pescara. May God be merciful to him, for he certainly was a perfect gentleman and a good servant of the Emperor!
(Cipher:) They also write to the Doge that the Imperial army appeared not very much pleased with the appointment of the Marquis del Guasto and Antonio de Leyva to command them, a piece of intelligence much to be wondered at, considering that both are men of great military talents and repute as well as good servants of the Emperor. He (Soria) doubts not they will agree in all matters relating to the Imperial service. Most of the captains in command of the men-at-arms happened, at the time, to be absent from the camp.
(Common writing:) Only a few days ago he (Soria) remitted to the Marquis of Pescara and Abbot of Najera a sum of 6,500 ducats, borrowed here (at Genoa). He was about procuring 12,000 more on the same terms when the news came of the Marquis' death, besides vague rumours of changes and troubles likely to arise in consequence. The merchants who were to lend the money having heard, also, that some bills drawn at Milan upon Naples had not been accepted, suddenly withdrew their offers. This notwithstanding, he (Soria) hopes to prevail on the said merchants to grant the proposedloan, as they have positive intelligence from Spain that remittances both in specie and bills have already been made. Joan Baptista and Thomas de Ferrariis have lent the sum sent to Milan in the first instance; of the second and larger loan the same parties take a good portion, the remainder to be furnished by Nicolao and Stefano de Grimaldo.
This very day news has been received of certain Turkish vessels having made their appearance in the Channel of Pomblin (Piombino) and taken possession of Elba. It will be discussed to-morrow whether the Imperial galleys and those of this Community shall go to the Strait and give them chase.
The courier who takes this [despatch] comes from Rome, sent by the Duke of Sessa. He goes by land. A second one is to go to-morrow by sea with duplicate despatches from Alonso Sanchez. The latter writes to say that the Venetians are very backward (andaban muy perezosas) in their negotiations with the confederates.
The Duke of Ferrara has given up his projected journey [to Spain], and returned to his capital, alleging that the French have refused him a safe-conduct.—Genoa, 3 Dec. 1525.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Genoa. Lope de Soria, 3 Dec."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 3.
5 Dec. 291. The Same to the Same.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
f. 303.
Wrote, the day before yesterday, as by duplicate enclosed. Has since received letters from Milan, stating that the Marquis of Pescara died on the morning of the 3d, not on the let, as the Doge was incorrectly advised. (Cipher:) Besides which, there is no ground for the report that the Marquis del Guasto and Antonio de Leyva did not agree; on the contrary, there was perfect conformity of ideas and sentiments between them, and they were sure to work in common for the welfare of the army intrusted to their care. This notwithstanding, it behoves His Imperial Majesty to appoint, as soon as possible, a commander-in-chief, as the confederated Princes persevere in their secret plots, and the death of the Marquis might give them courage to declare themselves openly.
(Common writing:) The Marquis died as a Christian, having previously disposed of his worldly affairs, and intrusted the command of the army to the Marquis del Guasto and to Antonio de Leyva conjointly, until such time as the Emperor should be pleased to appoint his successor. He also begged the Senate and citizens of Milan to obey all orders of those generals.
The Marquis [del Guasto] has since written for money, of which the Imperial army stands in great need. Has already remitted to Milan 6,500 ducats, and hopes, in a couple of days more, to make another remittance of 12,000.—Genoa, 5 Dec. 1525.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Genoa. Lope de Soria, 5 Dec."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on the same sheet. p. 1⅓.
6 Dec. 292. Lope Hurtado de Mendoça to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
ff. 308–9.
By Bartholome de Tassis, the courier, who left this on the 1st instant, His Imperial Majesty was informed of the Marquis' approaching death. He ended his days on the 3d, and no slight suspicions are entertained of his having been poisoned, for when the physicians made the post-mortem examination, it was found that the lower end of his heart was completely gone and in a state of corruption. Up to a very few minutes before his death he preserved his senses, when, sending for the Marquis del Guasto and Antonio de Leyva, he begged them to take charge of the army, and live on friendly terms with each other, so as to forward the Emperor's best interests. He did the same with the captains of the lansquenets, making them promise fidelity to the Emperor, by which acts the Marquis has proved to the last his stanch devotion to the Imperial cause.
The Marquis has made certain provisions in his will, to be attended to by his nephew and heir, the Marquis del Guasto. Besides the dower to be handed over to the Marchioness, (fn. n2) his widow, there are debts to be paid upon his estate, amounting altogether to 200,000 ducats. His nephew is more likely to spend his revenue in the Emperor's service than to discharge the late Marquis' debts, and therefore he (Lope Hurtado) and all the ministers and functionaries [at Milan] humbly beseech His Imperial Majesty to have the said will executed, so that those who may come after him may be encouraged to serve as faithfully and truly as Pescara himself did.
The Marquis [del Guasto] and Leyva live like brothers, and are very anxious to show their fidelity and devotion to the Emperor. The better to acquaint him with the state of things here, they have decided upon despatching Juan Bautista Castaldo [to Spain], who is to report verbally on certain matters that could not be safely committed to paper, and which the poor Marquis, before he died, secretly communicated to him.
On his return from Rome he (Lope Hurtado) wrote to say what the opinion of the Emperor's good servants there as well as here was respecting the present state of affairs. (Cipher:) All think that Italians in general being people on whom no reliance can be placed, as appears from past events, it would be now more expedient than ever to enter into some sort of agreement with the King of France. For the loss of the Marquis is very much felt. Large sums are owing to the army, as may be seen by the enclosed memorandum (fn. n3) and the daily expenditure is also very considerable. Were this to be reduced, badly-intentioned people might take advantage of it to unite and encourage the confederates, and—war breaking out—this army could not easily hold its ground against so powerful an enemy by sea and land, unless the Emperor came to Italy in person. Without the assistance of France the confederates would not dare undertake anything; perhaps, too, they would come with their hands tied to receive the Emperor's decision. As it is, they will not come to terms. The Pope said to him (Hurtado) the other day that the Venetians would never consent to the payment of the 80,000 ducats indemnity, much less to the Duke of Milan being deprived of his estate. He (Lope Hurtado) believes the Pope to be of the same opinion, and that unless His Imperial Majesty arrive shortly in Italy the confederates will not give in respecting these two radical points. We shall soon see whether Commander Herrera's commission and the instructions lately sent to the Imperial ambassadors at Venice will have the effect of obliging the confederates to declare their intentions and wishes.
Has heard from the agent of the Duke of Ferrara residing at Milan that his master felt some uneasiness about this mission of Commander Herrera. He (the agent) has been told that in case of the Pope not accepting the conditions proposed to him, the Duke will have no reason to complain of His Imperial Majesty. His own opinion is that the Duke's cooperation ought to be secured before the confederates get hold of him.
(Common writing:) The Dowager Marchioness of Pescara had arrived at Marino on the frontier of Naples. She was coming to see her husband when the news of his death reached her. As she is now so close to Rome, His Imperial Majesty might give orders to Commander Herrera or to Secretary Perez (fn. n4) to visit her in his name, she being the widow of such a man and the daughter of another (fn. n5) whose services to the Empire were most signal.—Milan, 6 Dec. 1525.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Milan. Lope Hurtado de Mendoça, 6 Dec."
Spanish. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 4.
7 Dec. 293. The Abbot of Najera, Imperial Commissioner in Italy, to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist. d.
Esp. No. 53.
On his return from Pavia, whither he went for the purpose of taking Hieronymo Morono's confession on the 26th ult, he (the Abbot) found that Juan Batista Castaldo and Arana had arrived in Milan. Three days after, on the 29th, came Commander Herrera, who, without leaving behind the letters and powers he had for the Marquis [of Pescara], started the next day for Rome.
The Marquis, after setting in order the affairs of his soul and making his notable will, and appointing the Marquis del Guasto and Antonio de Leyva his successors in the command of this army till His Imperial Majesty's pleasure should be known, died on Saturday, the 2d instant, between 9 and 10 at night. He was buried at a Benedictine monastery, in one of the suburbs of Milan, called Sant Pedro Inyessa.
It is generally believed that his death was caused by slow poison, for when his body was examined, the physicians found the heart full of holes, and somewhat decayed towards the extremity (fn. n6) Whoever gave it him has greatly sinned against God and also against His Imperial Majesty by depriving him of the best servant and most faithful vassal that Prince ever had.
On the day after (3d of December) the Marquis del Guasto and Antonio de Leyva wrote to the Pope and to the Infante (Archduke), as well as to the Venetians and to the rest of the Italian potentates, advising them of the Marquis' death, and offering to treat, serve and respect them in the same manner that the deceased general had done. Similar letters were sent to the towns of this Estate, to the governors of castles and officers in command of this army.
No change whatever has been made with regard to this city and Estate, nor respecting the Imperial army, which continues to occupy the same quarters. It is impossible to say whether our neighbours, who are ill disposed, will undertake anything against us or not; but if so, it is to be hoped that those who have succeeded to the command of this army will behave as its late commander would have done.
In order that the Emperor's service in these parts may be done as effectually as possible, he (the Abbot) thinks that five points ought to be attended to:—1st. To provide money for this army, several months' pay being now owing to the men.
2d. (Cipher:) To come to terms with the King of France, because in doing so His Imperial Majesty will be able, with his assistance, to take and retain what belongs to him in these parts, and will, besides, have money and power enough to become universal ruler; otherwise we are certain that the Pope, the Venetians, England and France will declare themselves, as soon as the present truce is over, and do their utmost to prevent His Imperial Majesty from taking possession of this Estate and coming over to Italy, two things to which the Pope and the Venetians will never consent except by force. Should His Imperial Majesty decide on taking this Duchy for himself, some use could be made of the Duke of Ferrara, who, besides being a good servant of the Emperor and a very important man, is in a position where, in case of war, he may greatly contribute to its success.
3d. It will be advisable for His Imperial Majesty to keep Naples, Sicily, and Genoa in a state of defence, and send his orders (cipher) to Commander Ycarte not to take to Naples the two or three old galleys that require refitting, but to keep them at Genoa, where they are most wanted at present, as the Marquis del Guasto, Antonio de Leyva, and he (the Abbot) wrote on the 4th instant, intelligence having been brought here that 20 Moorish fustas had lately taken possession of the island of Planosa, in the Pumblin (Piombino) Channel, against which force all the Imperial galleys in Italy have received orders to sail.
4th. That His Imperial Majesty appoint at once the person or persons who are to have the command of this army and Estate, to be governed, as heretofore, in his name, under the title of Emperor, without adding "Duke of Milan," in order not to give occasion for people to say that His Majesty takes the Duchy to himself before pronouncing sentence against the Duke.
Neither this city nor the Estate have yet tendered the customary oath of allegiance to His Imperial Majesty, but they will do so in three or four days at the latest, and when the city has, all the other towns in the Estate will, follow the example, as well as several noblemen whose names Antonio de Leyva sends in a memorandum. Among them is one Luis Galara, a citizen of this place and a good servant of the Emperor, who, owing to his well-known fidelity to the Imperial cause, was not very well treated by Hieronymo Morone, and has, since the latter's arrest, done several signal services. He is the brother of Juan Francisco Galara, a rich and influential citizen, residing at Niça de Villafranca, who, at the time this army crossed over to France, did much service, as the Duke of Bourbon can testify. The said Luis (Luigi) and Juan Francisco (Giovanni Francesco), his brother, wish to obtain the fief and capitanata of Galara, which is here close to Milan, and whence they take their name; also to be allowed to take some water from a navilio called Martesana, with which to irrigate certain lands of their own. Any of the above grants will be an honourable distinction to confer upon these two good servants of the Empire, and be an encouragement to others.
Encloses Morone's confession, and also a memorandum of what, according to jurisprudence (a judiciaro y autentico), is wanting to follow up the case. It is required (cipher) that the Milanese gentleman (fn. n7) to whom the Duke declared the whole of the intrigue be examined at once, because, if interrogated, he will not be able to deny how the Duke sent Domenicho Sauli to Rome, with letters for the Pope and Datary in the Duke's own hand, and how he (Sauli), on his journey through Lyons, en route to His Imperial Majesty's court, had charge to speak, as he actually did, to Madame the Regent, to Roberteto (Robertet), and to the Duke Maximilian (Massimiliano Sforza) concerning certain matters. Secretary Juan Angelo Riccio is another who can, if he chooses, give evidence, for, according to Morone's confession, he can prove that the Duke was the soul of those secret intrigues. His person ought to be secured, for Domenicho Sauli has fled, and is now supposed to be at Venice.
His Imperial Majesty ought to send orders to this Duke to give up the castles of Milan and Cremona, and appear before him in Spain, there to vindicate himself from the accusations brought against him. Also to give up the persons of the said Angelo Ricio and Policiano, his secretaries, as he has already been summoned to do. He (the Abbot) thinks, however, that the Duke will obey none of the above orders, because he expects assistance from all quarters, and specially from France, whence, as the report goes, the Duke Maximilian is to come to his help with 500 lances and 10,000 Switzers whom he has engaged, though it must be observed that until now no certain intelligence has been received of such levies, and that, on the contrary, the Infante (Archduke) writes that there is no stir among the Switzers.
He (the Abbot) begs His Imperial Majesty to send orders to Naples for the payment there of the men-at-arms in the Duchy, to whom is owed, to some two, and to others four months' pay. As the men are poor and have no means of procuring food, they naturally take it wherever it is to be had, and in so doing lay the land waste, thereby causing the ruin of the inhabitants.
Recommends to the Emperor's notice Antonio de Leyva, the Marquis del Guasto, and Juan Bautista Castaldo. The former has served so much and so well that he fully deserves to have his company of men-at-arms increased. (fn. n8) All the Emperor's officers and ministers [in Italy] would be gratified by his promotion. The same might be said respecting the Marquis del Guasto. As to Castaldo, who has volunteered to be the bearer of the present despatch, he was an intimate friend of the late Marquis [of Pescara], and deserves also, like Lope Hurtado de Mendoça, to be amply remunerated for his services in the castle of Pavia, which would ensure the greater security of the prisoners Monsieur de Labrit and Hieronymo Moron. His Imperial Majesty will decide what is to be done with the one and with the other.
Begs His Majesty for a speedy answer to this present despatch, that the next courier may still pass through France before the expiration of the truce. After that it will be requisite to have a number of caravels always ready at sea to send and bring back the couriers, because brigantines at this season are not at all safe.—Milan, 7 Dec. 1525.
Signed: "El Abad de Najera."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From the Abbot of Najera, 7 Dec. 1525."
Spanish. Holograph. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 9.
7 Dec. 294. Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
ff. 312–17.
Yesterday, on the receipt of the Imperial letter of the 31st of October last, the ambassadors called upon the Signory, and asked them what was their resolution in the pending negotiations. The situation of affairs (they said) was anything but pleasant, and a decision urgently called for. The Emperor's intentions were good for the welfare of Christianity at large, and of Italy in particular. He could no longer be kept in suspense as to those of the Signory, and therefore had ordered them (the ambassadors) to ascertain, so far as they could, what course they (the Signory) meant to pursue. In the last conference held with their deputies, far from answering categorically certain questions of the ambassadors, they had attempted to draw them out and discover their views, a manner of negotiation which did not suit them at all.
It was further mentioned to them by the ambassadors that the Emperor was well informed of their secret dealings and negotiations, as well as of the offers that had been made to them; and that although he (the Emperor) had also been warmly solicited in another direction, and tempted by the most brilliant offers, owing, no doubt, to the valuable pledge in his hands, he had always declined them for the sake of universal peace and the tranquillity and welfare of Italy.
To the above remarks of the ambassadors, the Councillors replied in their usual polite words that although they considered themselves bound by the terms of the late treaty they were still glad to hear the Imperial message, and would meet and deliberate so as to return a speedy answer.
(Cipher:) The ambassadors imagine that the deputies' principal argument, when they meet next, will be the future destiny of the duchy of Milan, and, if so, it is their intention to declare that in the event of the Duke (Francesco Sforza) being able to prove his innocence, the confederation is to remain as it is; but should the Duke be found guilty, or come to die, in that case the name of his successor is to be substituted for his, as there can be no doubt that the person appointed will be properly qualified to inspire them with confidence and promote the welfare of Italy, that being the Emperor's principal object. They (the ambassadors) have written to Milan to inquire whether they are justified in saying thus much. As in the last letters received from Court, no mention whatever is made of this late Milan affair, but merely of the probable event of the Duke's death, the ambassadors find themselves in the dark respecting these particulars, which they have sent to consult, for fear the answer expected from Spain should not arrive in time.
The French ambassadors (fn. n9) are more pressing than ever, and had, the other day, an audience at the College Hall, which lasted nearly an hour. They propose to join the league on the terms specified in their former despatch; besides which, the King of England offers to deposit at Venice 100,000 crowns, wherewith to meet the expenses of the war for four months, and also to give hostages for the security of a whole year's pay.
It is, moreover, added that the French offer to give securities for their 80,000 crowns and to fit out 13 galleys, the crews to be paid out of the 40,000 crowns which they have engaged to contribute monthly.
This Republic is still somewhat in suspense about the Pope and mistrustful of his acts, having heard that the treaty between His Imperial Majesty and Cardinal de Salviatis has at last been signed.
Respecting the outlaws (fuorusciti) and other particulars, everything shall be done according to the Emperor's instructions. The ambassadors beg for a speedy reply to their letters concerning the person to whom they are indebted for most of their information.
(Common writing:) The Duke of Ferrara has returned to the capital of his estates.
Having written thus far, the ambassadors received letters from Milan announcing the demise of the Marquis of Pescara and the delegation made by him of all his powers and offices to the persons of the Marquis del Guasto, his nephew and heir, and of Antonio de Leyva. Having been requested to apprize the Signory of that lamentable event, and to assure them at the same time of the goodwill and respect of his successors in command, the ambassadors applied for an audience, and were received at the College Hall, when they again requested an answer to their proposals, which was promised them for the next day or after.
The ambassadors have reason to believe that the Signory have had news from England of the 17th November by special messenger. The letter is from their ambassador (fn. n10) at that Court, and although the contents have not yet been divulged, surely they are not favourable to the Imperial cause in Italy.—Venice, 7 Dec. 1525.
Signed: "El Protonotario 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 Imperial Ambassadors, 7th Dec."
Spanish. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 5.
7 Dec. 295. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 36,
ff. 322–4.
(Cipher:) To the contents of the Imperial letter of the 31st of October last, he (Sanchez) has nothing to answer, except that it is by no means easy to maintain secret intelligence with the Bishop of Lodi (Ottaviano Sforza) unless what he proposes in his last despatch be accepted. About other matters, he (Sanchez) refers to the contents of his despatch of the 29th Nov., written conjointly with his colleague (Caracciolo). Is very anxious to know whether his last letter and the copy of those intercepted from the Milanese ambassador have been received at Court. His suspicions have since been confirmed; the intrigues of the confederates grow warmer every day; the Duke's ambassador (Taverna) keeps aloof, and is in close communication with our enemies.
(Common writing:) His letters will show how, on the 4th of November last, at the express request of the late Marquis of Pescara, he (Sanchez) remitted to Milan 6,000 ducats borrowed upon his own personal security. Although there can be no doubt that the generals who have succeeded the Marquis in command of the army will attend to the reimbursement of this sum, when due, he (Sanchez) humbly beseeches His Imperial Majesty to give orders to the Council of Naples that, in case of their engagement not being fulfilled, the said sum be paid out of the first funds in the Royal treasury. In this manner, and his credit not being impaired, he (Sanchez) shall be able, in case of need, to borrow much larger sums for the use of the army, as he has done on other occasions.—Venice, 7th Dec. 1525.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Venice. Alonso Sanchez, 7th Dec."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on the same sheet. pp. 2.
13 Dec. 296. Louise of Savoy to her Ambassadors in England.
Arch. Imp. Paris,
J. 965.
Sends them the "obligations" of Amyens in Picardy and Rhems (Rems) to deliver into the hands of the Cardinal, and take receipt thereof, as customary in such cases. The remainder she will send as soon as they come in, for she wishes to comply with the treaty in all its parts,—Sainct Just, on Lyons, 13 of December 1525.
Signed: "Loyse."
Countersigned: "Noblet."
Addressed: "A Monsieur le Chancellier et Mons. de Vaulx, Ambassadeurs en Angleterre."
French. Original. p. 1.
15 Dec. 297. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
d. Esp. No. 55.
On the 7th inst., by Giovanni Battista Castaldo, the Abbot announced the death of the Marquis [of Pescara]. On the day of Santa Lucia, the 13th inst., Mons. de Labret took his flight from the castle of Pavia, with all his servants, amounting to 20 in number, besides two out of the six halberdiers appointed by the late Marquis for his special guard. His escape, which took place during the night, was not discovered until late the ensuing morning, at the usual hour of the prisoner's rising. Immediately upon which, Nofre del Monte, the governor, sent an express to the Marquis del Guasto and to Antonio de Leyva, informing them of the event. Messengers have been sent in all directions to Asti and Piedmont, on the side of Vercelli, with orders to the Imperial troops quartered in those districts, as well as to the frontiers of this Duchy, to stop the passes, &c. A man named Loaysa, formerly a servant of the late Marquis, and sent by him to take special care of the prisoner, has been arrested on strong suspicion of having assisted him in his escape, though he denies the charge altogether. An inquiry has been set on foot at Pavia, and the whole affair is being investigated. Captain Nofre del Monte arrived last night in order to establish his innocence, after ordering the arrest of the soldiers who had the prisoner in their custody. We expect to hear what route Mons. de Labret has taken, in order to have him followed and retaken, if possible. Meantime the bearer of this letter is sent posthaste to Lyons to inform Mons. de la Prata (Praet?) of the occurrence, that he may with all possible speed inform His Imperial Majesty thereof. Should the inquiry now being made here and at Pavia bring any facts to light, we shall despatch Captain Nofre del Monte to Spain, that he may verbally relate what commission the Marquis gave him two days before his death. The Captain is an honest man and hitherto no criminality can be attached to him, not even negligence in the discharge of his duty as governor
No news from this place, except those that Castaldo took lately [to Spain]. The wants of this Imperial army are always on the increase. The sums borrowed we shall not be able to pay when due; all credit is lost, and nobody will lend us a farthing.
This castle [of Milan] is now completely invested. The Duke is sending to the Emperor a gentleman of his chamber named Cipion de la Tela, who will, this very day, leave this castle and go by sea, owing to Thomas del Mayno (Almayno) having refused to embark on a similar errand.
Is expecting news from Rome respecting the resolution taken by His Holiness, to whom the governor of Pamplona [Commander Miguel de Herrera] had presented his credentials eight days ago, and with whom he expected a long audience for the ensuing day.—Milan, 15 Dec. 1525.
Signed: "El Abad de Najera."
Antonio de Leyva does not write by this post owing to a touch of sciatica in his right hip and to a tumour in one of his hands, both of which evils have been caused by excessive night work round this castle and in the trenches.—Date ut supra.
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1525. From Milan. The Abbot of Najera, 15 December."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 2½.


  • n1. Alfonso Davalos, nephew and heir of Ferrante, or Hernando, Marquis of Pescara (Peschiera).
  • n2. Vittoria Colonna, much celebrated by the poets of the time.
  • n3. The same mentioned in Hurtado's letter of the 1st, at p. 506.
  • n4. Juan Perez, Sessa's secretary in Rome.
  • n5. She was the daughter of Fabricio Colonna, Grand Constable of the kingdom of Naples.
  • n6. "Tienese por cierto que el mal del Marques fue tosigo porque se le halló el corazon agujerado y algo gastado en la punta dél; quien quiera que gelo dió ticne gran pecado ante Dios y de V. Mag. porque la ha privado del mejor servidor y vasallo que ningun principe en el mundo tenia."
  • n7. "Y pues por la dichá confession verá como el caballero Milanes, una de las personas a quíen el Duque de Milan confessó y dió parte de las praticas que hacia, convendrá le mande V. Mag. examinar luego porque no podrá negar," &c.
  • n8. It consisted at this time of 100 men.
  • n9. The Bishop of Bayeux (Lodovico, Count of Canossa) and Ambrosio di Fiorenzá.
  • n10. Lorenzo Orio. His letter to the Doge and Signory is in Rawdon Brown, Venet. State Papers, vol. III., p. 504.