Spain: February 1526, 21-28

Pages 576-586

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

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February 1526, 21-28

22 Feb. 342. The Marquis of Mantua (fn. n1) to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 26.
Sends his most sincere congratulations on the peace just concluded with the French King, and thanks the Emperor for his great kindness in informing him of it. As a most devout servant and vassal of His Imperial Majesty, he wishes, perhaps more ardently than anyone else, his prosperity and aggrandisement. Is glad to hear that Italy and the rest of Christendom are to obtain, at last, that peace and quietness they so greatly need, and which the Emperor's well-known intentions and merciful acts are likely to ensure; for nothing, indeed, is more appropriate and fitting for a great King than to be merciful after victory, to have pity on the afflicted, and to help them in their misfortunes. After this peace nothing will be so easy for the Emperor as to place himself at the head of his invincible army and of those of other Christian Princes, and march against the common enemy of our faith.—Mantua, 22 February 1526.
Signed: "March, de Mantua."
Addressed: "Sacratissimo Cesari et Invictissimo Domino meo Supremo."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Mantua. From the Marquis, 22 Feb."
Latin. Original. p. 1½.
22 Feb. 343. Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 28.
The peace with France is a cause for mistrust to many who will not rest until they hear the Emperor's decision respecting the affairs of Italy. As he (Caracciolo), has always been in the habit of giving his honest opinion and telling nothing but the truth, so he will on this occasion state what he thinks on these matters. Everyone knows with what reluctance the Emperor took up arms against a Christian Prince, and with what alacrity and goodwill he has, after victory, agreed to a general peace, that he may turn his arms against the Infidel. For such good and praiseworthy intentions God has been pleased to grant him His protection, and permit that he should triumph over his enemies. He (Caracciolo) is certain that His Imperial Majesty will be merciful towards those who have offended him, and avoid the many calamities that war between Christian Princes generally engenders. That, turning his invincible arms against the Infidel, he will relieve Hungary menaced by the Turk, &c. And though it be true that most of the Italian powers have deviated from the right path, and shown themselves ungrateful to the Emperor on this occasion, he will show them mercy and forgive the injury they have done him, so as to be able to direct their joint efforts against the enemy of our faith. The greater the offence the greater the glory and reputation to be gained by such an act of clemency.—Venice, 22 Feb. 1526.
Signed: "Il Protonotario Caracciolo."
Addressed: "Sacræ, Cesareæ Majestati."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Venice. Prothonotary Caracciolo, 22 Feb."
Italian. Original mutilated, pp. 2½.
22 Feb. 344. Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassadors in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 30.
Their last was dated the 15th inst., and contained news of the warlike preparations being made by the Turk (Cipher:) What they have now to advise is that this Signory, holding for certain that in the peace between His Imperial Majesty and the King of France no mention is made of them as of other Italian powers, they are in great fear lest the Emperor should make war upon them, the more so that ever since the conclusion of the peace they have had no news [from Spain]. They have been told that within the last week the Signory has sent two brigantines with messengers to their ambassador residing at Constantinople. The person to whom they (Caracciolo and Sanchez) owe the above information assures them that the object of the messages is no other than to solicit the Turk's favour and co-operation. Do not vouch for the truth of this report, but consider it their duty to inform the Emperor of it, especially as the shores of Pulla (Apulia) and Sicily are so unprotected.
(Common writing:) The French ambassadors here [at Venice], on the receipt of the news about the peace, which Madame the Regent [of France] communicated to them, waited upon the Signory, and were closeted with them upwards of one hour, for what purpose the Imperial ambassadors cannot say; however, they will try their best to ascertain. However this may be, certain it is that since the news of the peace the said French ambassadors have not altered their demeanour in the least, but treat them just as before, which, in their opinion, is no good sign.—Venice, 22 Feb. 1526.
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. 1526. Venice. The Ambassadors, 22 Feb."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 2.
24 Feb. 345. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. a. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
d. Esp., f. 64.
The two Imperial letters of the 7th and 8th inst. were duly received yesterday, together with those for the Doge and Community of Genoa, and for Commander Ycart, and the rest of the captains of the Imperial galleys.
The Doge says that he can only send with the Duke of Bourbon three of his galleys, because the fourth being disarmed it would take too much time to fit her out for sea, besides that he has no ready money for the expenses, &c. The above three galleys shall, however, be ready for the first day of March, as likewise the two of Sicily, and one of Il Gobo, because the other is so old that she could not be sent to sea without great danger to her crew. They will be six in all, well appointed and provided with every necessary, under the command of Don Francisco and Don Berenguer de Requesens, and of the son of Il Gobo. Three more galleys of the Viceroy of Naples (Charles de Lannoy), one of Il Gobo, and the Calabresa will sail for Naples on the same day, under Commander Ycart, to change their old water casks there and be repaired. But as the instructions of the said Commander are to be at Naples at the beginning of March, and there wait for orders, it will be necessary to inform him of His Majesty's wishes, that he may be here in time, when the galleys now taking M. de Bourbon to Spain may be back in this port to convey and escort His Imperial Majesty in his proposed visit to Italy.
Respecting the four carracks, the Doge and Community have promised a definitive answer for the next day. He (Soria) has no doubt that they will serve His Majesty with them on the terms agreed last summer.
Shall not fail to borrow upon exchange whatever money may be required for stores of biscuit and other necessaries for the two Sicilian galleys.
Both the Doge and Community have shown great pleasure at the news of the peace just concluded with the French King. Thanks be given to God for it, and may it be a solid and lasting one, so that the Imperial arms may at once be turned against the Infidel!
Andrea Doria has captured, within the last two months, some vessels belonging to natives of those kingdoms, and taken all Spaniards on board for the service of the oars in his own galleys. As this is done in contravention to the treaty signed by the King of France, it would be God's service if the said prisoners should be released from captivity.—Genoa, 24 of February 1526.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Genoa. Lope de Soria, 24 Feb."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2⅓.
25 Feb. 346. Lope Hurtado to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 33.
Has received the Emperor's letter of the 8th inst. The Viceroy's presence in Naples will be most beneficial, both for Roman as well as for other affairs. The Colonnese, in particular, are very glad of this intelligence, as they will be able to confer with the Viceroy, know how they are to act, and on whom they can rely.
Gratefully kisses the Emperor's feet, and thanks him for the news of the peace. Needs scarcely say that all His Majesty's good servants are exceedingly pleased at it, whilst those Italians who dislike his aggrandisement manifest their sorrow in all manner of ways, and say that it cannot be durable.
Everyone here approves of the measures taken respecting the Duke of Milan, and of the speedy arrival of the Duke of Bourbon. It is, in his opinion, the right way to settle matters at once.
Has received the Imperial letter commanding him to go to Piedmont, there to make legal inquiry on the damages committed by the troops, and return afterwards to Milan to wait for the Duke [of Bourbon]. Unless new facts are brought to light, the operation cannot last long, and therefore he (Hurtado) intends to start [for Piedmont] in a few days, and then return to Milan, so as to be present on the Duke's arrival. But since His Imperial Majesty has not been pleased to grant him on this occasion the congé he has asked for, he hopes that—the inquiry over and the Duke of Bourbon at Milan—the Emperor will allow him to go back [to Spain], as he (Hurtado) cannot remain in Italy longer unless some provision be made in his favour, as is customary with other officers and Imperial agents in Italy.
The letters of the captains and of the Abbot of Najera have, no doubt, sufficiently informed His Imperial Majesty of the precarious state of his army and Estate [of Milan] and of the number of men they have decided to dismiss, in order to curtail expenses. Should the Pope and the Venetians come to an agreement with His Imperial Majesty, his (Hurtado's) opinion is that more men ought to be dismissed, for the Estate cannot, in reality, bear so heavy an expense, and it is an affair of consequence not to impoverish the Milanese more than has been done already. The keeping of castles and fortified towns might be intrusted to the Spaniards, and if His Imperial Majesty should come over soon, nothing would be easier than to raise a sufficient number of foot and horse for the occasion. The Imperial ambassadors at Rome and Venice cannot fail to give information on this point, and the Emperor may then decide what is best for his service.
Sent to the Grand Chancellor (Mercurino Gattinara) an account of what the Spanish infantry [in the Estate] costs annually, and of the number of gentlemen attached to each company. This is a thing that requires a prompt remedy, because there are too many captains, and not all as they ought to be. The gentlemen soldiers exercise a prejudicial influence on the infantry and the men-at-arms, because, their salary being high and they themselves not under the immediate orders of a captain, all naturally try after the same privileges. (fn. n2)
Such is also the opinion of Antonio de Leyva, who is about to write again on the subject. Should His Imperial Majesty decide upon making this reform, it would be advisable that it should be done previously to M. de Bourbon's arrival, for fear that the parties who are to be dismissed from the army should attribute the reform to him, instead of being, as it actually is, imperatively demanded by the wants of the army.
Should Captain Juan de Mercado be at Court the Emperor might inquire of him respecting the above abuses of the army and their correction, as he was the first who complained of them and pointed out to him (Hurtado) the excessive number of gentlemen soldiers, as Captains Urbina, Corvera, and others have done since.—Milan, 25 Feb. 1526.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord"
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Milan. Lope Hurtado, 25 Apr."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2½.
26 Feb. 347. Marquis del Guasto to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
d. Esp., f. 60.
Has received the Imperial letters of the 18th concerning the affair of Secretary Pero Garcia, as well as those of the 26th on the business of the peace, two more of the 7th, and the last one of the 8th.
As both Arana, the servant of Antonio de Leyva, and Giovani Batista Castaldo are going direct to Spain, he (the Marquis) and the said Leyva have decided that they should be the bearers of the present despatch as well as of a written instruction, to which they (the messengers) may refer, when interrogated, respecting the present state of affairs in Italy. Begs that full credit be given to them in all matters, and a speedy resolution taken, so that he (the Marquis) may act accordingly.
Great and general have been the rejoicings at the news of the peace just concluded with the French King. Has had it proclaimed [at Milan], according to the Emperor's orders, and sincerely hopes that it will prove a solid and lasting one.
It has been quite impossible to obey the Emperor's commands respecting Secretary Garcia, as no money can be drawn at present from the Estate [of Milan]. Sufficient land, however, shall be allotted to him to make up for the grant of 4,000 ducats which the Emperor has been pleased to make him.
Thankfully kisses the Imperial hands for the promises of remuneration to the captains, gentlemen and notaries (escribanos de racion) of this army, whose past and present services are certainly well deserving of the Emperor's munificence.—Milan, 26 Feb. 1526.
Signed: "El Marques del Gasto."
Addressed: "Sacræ, Cæsarese, Catholicæ Majestati."
Indorsed: "To His Majesty. From the Marquis del Gasto, February 1526. Answered."
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
26 Feb. 348. The Same to the Same.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 38.
Has received the Imperial letters appointing the Duke of Bourbon Lieutenant-General in Italy. Firmly believes that his arrival will be beneficial to the army in general and to the estate of Milan in particular. People here have long been wishing for a commander-in-chief, faithful and wholly devoted to the Imperial service. Thinks that no better one could be found in the whole world.—Milan, 26th of February 1526.
Signed: "El Marques del Gasto."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and very Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To His Majesty. From the Marquis del Gasto, 26th February 1526."
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
26 Feb. 349. Antonio de Leyva to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
d. Esp., f. 61.
Has received by Bartholome de Tassis the Emperor's letters. His Imperial Majesty may rest assured that he (Leyva) will do everything in his power for the preservation of this Estate and army. Wishes he could, single-handed and out of his own resources, provide for the wants of the Imperial troops; he would not then trouble the Emperor as often as he does. Sends his servant Harana (Arana) to report verbally on the state of affairs, and begs that credence be given to him.—Milan, 26 Feb. 1526.
Signed: "Antonio de Leyva."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To His Majesty. From Anthonio de Leyva, 26 Feb. 1526."
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
26 Feb. 350. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
d. Esp., f. 65.
The letters of the 13th inst., which Arana was to take, were signed and sealed, when Capin, a gentleman of the Duke of Mantua, arrived, announcing that, within two or three days at the most, Bartholomeo de Tassis would be in Milan with new despatches from His Imperial Majesty. This was the cause of Arana's departure being postponed. He now takes with him, not only the said letters of the 13th, but also the answer to those brought by Bartholome [Tassis], who arrived on the 21st.
Three are the letters brought by the latter, namely, one of the 26th ult., with the news of the peace just concluded between His Imperial Majesty and the King of France; another of the 7th inst., ordering the payment of the sums borrowed for the maintenance of this victorous army, as well as the 6,000 ducats lent by the Marquis del Guasto; and a third of the 8th, in answer to his (the Abbot's) despatches of October last, November and December, to all of which he answers as follows:
On the 22d inst. the peace was proclaimed here with great solemnity in the midst of processions and rejoicings, which lasted for three consecutive days. On the 24th a solemn mass of thanksgiving was celebrated at the Duomo, attended by the Marquis del Guasto, Antonio de Leyva, Lope Hurtado, and other captains, gentlemen and servants of the Empire, as well as by the senators, magistrates and principal citizens of this place. The same day, after dinner, the town syndics took the customary oath of allegiance to the Emperor, in the form and words taken by Arana, the courier. The same form of oath will be administered in a week to all those towns and castles in the Estate that are in the habit of doing so.
People here consider the coincidence of the proclamation of this peace with the anniversary of the battle of Pavia, and also of the glorious birth of His Imperial Majesty, as quite marvellous. (fn. n3) They confidently expect that the Emperor will keep this Estate to himself—as it is his own—and will not give it away, but will maintain it in peace and justice against any Princes who might attempt to take possession of it.
Respecting the moneys to be paid to the Marquis del Guasto, Antonio de Leyva, and himself (the Abbot) for advances made to the army, the greater part has already been recovered in Genoa out of the 60,000 ducats lately sent from Spain in bills of exchange. His letter of the 14th inst. will show how an additional 33,000 cr. of gold has been procured here and at Venice upon the dacii (taxes) of this town and those of Cremona; besides this 9,000 scuti and a fraction have been borrowed of late, payable at Naples, whence the advice has come, though not from the Council itself, that bills to that amount had been duly accepted by the Imperial treasurer. Encouraged by the above acceptation of bills and the orders lately sent to Naples by His Imperial Majesty, the generals and he (the Abbot) are now trying to procure an advance of 15,000 or 20,000 gold cr. wherewith to pay the German infantry quartered in Milan, as likewise the Spaniards who are to escort the Duke of Bourbon. The hopes thrown out by the Emperor of obtaining money from Rome and Venice might, after all, be frustrated, as there is no depending upon the promises of such people. Even if they did pay their contingent [towards the expenses of the last war], as agreed, the assistance would come too late and be ineffectual. Owing to the above reasons, it behoves His Imperial Majesty to provide other means in case those fail. They themselves will spare no trouble in procuring all the money they can from the Estate [of Milan], although little or nothing can be expected from a country so ruined and exhausted, as long as the Imperial army is quartered on it and its ordinary revenue pledged in advance.
Seven thousand gold crowns are also owing to Antonio de Leyva, which he advanced out of his own purse for the maintenance of this army at various times. It is but just that this claim of Leyva, as well as similar ones of the Marquis [del Guasto] should be settled, that they may again, when required, employ the same for the support of the Imperial troops.
With a view to lessen the expenses and relieve the inhabitants of this Duchy from part of the burden they have to sustain, the Imperial generals have resolved to dismiss all the light cavalry, with the exception of 600 or 700, as well as 200 and odd German horses hired for the carriage of field guns. The cost of these last is 1,000 gold cr. per month, and upwards of 12,000 are already owing to the contractors. The Italian infantry is to be reduced to 1,500 or 2,000 men, at the utmost, and a son of Duke Camarino, who commands 50 men-at-arms in the service of the Duke Francesco Sforza, is likewise to be paid up and dismissed. In fact, nothing is being spared to reduce the expenses of this army, so that the men may support themselves until the Emperor's pleasure be known.
On the 24th Bernardino de la Barba applied to the Marquis del Guasto and to Antonio de Leyva for a gentleman of their suite to accompany and escort through this Estate three Nuncios whom the Pope is about to send to Spain, France, and England with the news lately received from Ragusa of the immense preparations the Turk is making to invade the kingdom of Hungary, and take the city of Buda. The Archduke (Ferdinand) is evidently ignorant of these movements of the Infidel, or else he would have sent intelligence of these warlike preparations of the Turks. If, however, this news be true, it will have the effect of accelerating the Emperor's journey and arrival in Italy, so much dreaded by certain parties, who will do everything they can to prevent it. A quick and speedy resolution in this particular would, therefore, disconcert the plans of the Pope, of the Venetians, and of all those who have reasons to dread the Emperor's visit to these parts.—Milan, 26 Feb. 1526.
Signed: "El Abbad de Najera."
Postscriptum. — Camillo Giulino has just arrived and obtained permission to enter the castle. He has publicly announced on the road and, since his arrival in this city, to all those who would hear him, that the Duke Francesco is not guilty, and that His Imperial Majesty has never thought of taking away his Estate. This was the cause of so much scandal and tumult last night that soldiers and citizens well nigh came to hand with each other, and the city was on the eve of being sacked, It pleased God that the tumult—caused principally by boys, who, believing Giulino's words, went about crying "Duke! Duke!"—was soon appeased. A few men of very bad mien and wretched appearance who went along with the boys were taken and hanged, and things soon returned to their natural state. Inquiry is being made as to the origin and cause of the riot. The citizens sincerely deplore the event, and are much afraid lest 500 men-at-arms and 4,000 infantry should be sent for, as the rumour is, and quartered in the city. They have sent in a deputation, begging the Marquis and Leyva not to bring in any more forces, and their request will be granted, as there is no appearance of guilt.—Data ut supra.
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King, 1526. From Milan. Abbot of Najera, 26 Feb."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 5.
27 Feb. 351. Lope Hurtado de Mendoza to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
d. Esp. No. 62.
Has received the Emperor's letter of the 12th inst. informing him that His Imperial Majesty's journey to Seville has been the cause of the provision for this army having been postponed. Hopes that on his arrival in that city the Emperor will attend to it, as any delay in this matter may prove of serious inconvenience. So exhausted is the country, and so empty the treasury, that no relief can be expected from either, and M. de Bourbon, on his arrival, will find the debts of the army increased beyond measure. Meanwhile the Marquis [del Guasto] and Antonio de Leyva, as well as the Abbot of Najera, will do everything that is in their power to procure funds, but their joint efforts will, he is afraid, be unavailing.
Respecting the Duke of Savoy and his complaint that these generals are again thinking of quartering a certain number of troops upon his lands, there seems to be no foundation whatever for his fears. He (Lope Hurtado) has spoken to the generals about it, and though the want of proper quarters for the army is greater than ever, they have positively declared they had no such intention.
The Duchess of Savoy (Beatriz) has applied for 1,000 Spanish infantry and 400 light horse for her guard. It was not deemed expedient to give Spaniards, on account of the heavy arrears owing to them; but an equal number of Italians, besides the cavalry, have been offered instead, on condition, however, that she is to pay for them, as there is no money here to attend to that service.
Juan de Urbina has served so well on all occasions that he is well worthy of the Emperor's most signal favours. Rather than get his due reward at the hands of these generals, he would prefer some slight token of the Imperial regard and consideration for his services.—Milan, 27 Feb. 1526.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Milan. Lope Hurtado, 27th Feb."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
28 Feb. 352. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist. d.
Esp. No. 66, f. 66.
His last despatches were sealed, and Arana on the point of departure, when Bustamante arrived with the Imperial letters of the 12th inst., to which no answer is at present required, save saying that the army is more than ever in want of daily food, the county being completely exhausted, and the villages deserted. Unless the Emperor, immediately after his arrival at Seville, makes due provision for its maintenance, all efforts to keep it together will be unavailing.
It has never been the intention of the Marquis del Guasto and of Antonio de Leyva to quarter troops in Piedmont, as the Duke of Savoy has represented through his ambassador at Court.
On the 15th inst. the said Duke and the Infanta, his wife, sent to ask for 1,000 Spaniards and 400 light cavalry to defend their Estate against a threatened invasion of the Valesians. The Imperial generals offered to send an equal number of Italians, as the Spaniards could not be depended upon, and certainly would refuse to go thither, owing to the great arrears owing to them. To this the Duke consented, accepting the proffered contingent, in case the said Switzers or Valesians made their attack; but not having heard since from him, it is to be inferred that the rumour of the projected invasion has subsided.
Writes in commendation of Arana, the bearer, who has served for many years in a company of men-at-arms with great zeal and devotion.—Milan, 28 Feb. 1526.
Signed: "El Abad de Najera."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Milan. The Abbot of Najera, 28 Feb."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2.


  • n1. Frederico Gonzaga.
  • n2. "Los gentileshombres gastan la infanteria y la gente darmas, que por ser el sueldo que les dan tan bueno y no estar debaxo de capitan todos trabajan de sello."
  • n3. Charles was born at Ghent on the 24th of February 1500. On the same day and month of 1525 the battle of Pavia was fought, and, as it would appear, the proclamation of the peace with France also took place at Milan on St. Matthias' day.