Spain: March 1526, 1-15

Pages 586-602

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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March 1526, 1-15

2 March. 353. Pope Clement VII. to the Grand Chancellor, Mercurino Gattinara.
S. Pat. R. Bul.
Suelt. L. I., f. 152.
Makes his excuses for not bestowing on him a Cardinal's hat, as promised. Exhorts him to devote himself to the affairs of Christendom so as to ensure universal peace. When Italy and the whole Christian world is pacified then will be the time for him to confer that ecclesiastic dignity that no one deserves better than him. Is sorry to hear that he wishes to retire from public life, and advises him to continue his good services to the Emperor. Has charged Cardinal of St. Cosmo and Damiano, his Legate [in Spain], and Baldassar Castiglione, his Nuncio, to express his sentiments of esteem and affection.—Rome, 2 March 1526.
Addressed: "Dilecto filio, Mercurino de Gattinaria Cæsareæ et Catholicæ Majestatis magno Cancellario."
Latin. Original on vellum.
2 March. 354. Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 39.
(Cipher:) Has received the Emperor's letter of the 8th February, together with the instructions for negotiating with the Duke of Ferrara. Has sent, in all secrecy, to the Duke a trusty person to communicate with him and show him the Emperor's letters, begging him to appoint another person on his side to treat about these matters.
(Common writing:) The proposals have since been made to the Duke; but until the present hour no answer has been received, which is much to be wondered at.—Venice, 2 March 1526.
Signed: "Il Protonotario Caracciolo."
Addressed: "Sacræ, Cesareæ, Catholicæ Majestati."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Prothonotary Caracciolo, 2 March."
Italian. Original. p. 1.
6 March. 355. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 66.
By their joint letter of the 22d Feb. last (fn. n1) His Imperial Majesty must already be acquainted with the fact that the negotiations [at Venice] are at a standstill.
(Cipher:) To the Imperial letter of the 8th he (Sanchez) has no answer to make, except that the Emperor's orders respecting the Bishop of Lodi (Ottaviano Sforza) shall be executed, although he (Sanchez) cannot see how he can, for, not having received any answer concerning the Bishop and his affairs, he is at a loss how to induce him to continue his services; for, the last time he communicated with him, the Bishop stated that he would not work in this affair unless he had some hope of being remunerated, and as the ambassador has had no answer to his proposals, he cannot devise means.
Thanks the Emperor for the provision about to be made in his favour. After so many years spent in the Imperial service, and with a family to support, he could not help encroaching on the Emperor's munificence.—Venice, 6 March 1526.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Venice. Alonzo Sanchez, 6 March."
Spanish. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. p. 1¼.
6 March. 356. The Same (Alonso Sanchez) and Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
ff. 44–52.
On the 23d of February last, and on the receipt of the Imperial letter of the 8th, the ambassadors waited on the Signory, and officially announced to them the agreement made with the King of France and the Emperors disposition to settle his Italian affairs, all of which was stated in very general terms, (fn. n2) according to the instructions and orders they (the ambassadors) had received thereupon. The Signory's answer was, as usual, complimentary and abounding in very fine words. They would meet and deliberate, and let us know their answer as soon as possible.
Accordingly, on the following day, one of the Signory's secretaries came to the ambassadors' palace, and informed them that the Senators were waiting for them at the College, and would be glad to hear what they had to say in the Emperor's name.
(Cipher:) Considering the state of fear and anxiety in which the Signory is known to be at present; considering the news lately received of the Turk, whereof proper notice was conveyed in their joint letter of the 22d Feb.; considering also, that if they went on speaking in general terms, the Venetians might be driven to despair, and that it was advisable to dally with them until we should see how the French King, after returning to his kingdom, intends to keep his engagements, both (Caracciolo and Sanchez) were of opinion not to wait for the result of the negotiation with the Pope at Rome, as it seemed to them that nothing was lost in making an offer to the Venetians, and, on the contrary, great inconvenience might arise from their not clearly stating at once what the Emperor's demands were. (Common writing:) Accordingly, on the 26th, the ambassadors went to the College, and, before declaring their mission, inquired whether the Signory would, as had been done on other occasions, appoint deputies to hear what they had to say, or whether the assembly was prepared to listen to them themselves; and upon their giving them to understand that they preferred the latter mode, the ambassadors proceeded, in as few words as possible, to state that the Emperor wished to know their answer respecting the confederation .... (fn. n3) for the protection of the estate of Milan, the restitution of confiscated property to the fuorusciti, the payment of the 200,000 ducats and other moneys due to the Archduke [Infante Don Fermando]; all of which the ambassadors mentioned with due courtesy and in the mildest possible terms, so as not to alarm them. Their answer was that they would meet and consult together, and let the ambassadors know their answer.
On the 3d instant another message came from the Signory to say that the Imperial ambassadors could, whenever they chose, call for their answer, as it was quite ready; and in consequence of Prothonotary Caracciolo being still indisposed and confined to his room, Alonso Sanchez went alone, when the answer was read to him, according to the Signory's usual practice.
(Cipher:) The substance of which, after many complimentary words was reduced to this: Respecting Milan and the Duke (Francesco Sforza), they could bear witness that he (the Duke) had always adhered to the Emperor's service, and therefore trusted that, considering his well-known justice and kindness, the Duke would never come to harm. Even in case of his being found guilty, they hoped that the Emperor's merciful sentiments ....... (fn. n4) as such had always been his constant habit, and such was the wish of all Italy, where tranquillity might thus be permanently ensured. Not a word more did the answer contain about this article or about the Duke of Bourbon.
With regard to the league and confederation, the Signory did not object to the word "subsidy" being inserted, provided it was found that they were obliged to furnish one, because (they added) it had always been their intenion to do their duty. (fn. n5)
Respecting the fuorusciti, they had already stated on a previous occasion how very difficult it was to restore them their property, most of it having been confiscated and sold, but they were ready to pay them, as an equivalent, the money named in the treaty ......
Touching the 200,000 ducats, they represented that it was altogether a much larger sum than the one asked for in the first instance. They actually had not the power, though they had the wish, of raising so considerable a sum; the many expenses they had been at, and the threatening invasion of the Turk, which compelled them to arm by sea, having completely exhausted the public treasury. Notwithstanding, they would do what was proper, though they did not specify the sum.
(Common writing:) The above is the substance of their answer, conceived, as usual, in very fine words, and embodying, besides, their earnest request that the Imperial ambassadors, in writing home, should testify of the Signory's best wishes for the Emperor's prosperity, and of their readiness to comply with the Imperial orders, as if they were his most humble servants (observantissimos cultores).
He (Sanchez) replied that his colleague (Caracciolo) being slightly indisposed had not been able to attend and hear their answer; he would, therefore, communicate with him and let them know. Accordingly, on the 4th instant, the Prothonotary being still confined to his room, he (Sanchez) waited again on the Signory and told them: That their answer was a very courteous and amiable one, but that, in reality, it disagreed strangely with their professions and acts. To tell the truth, the ambassadors' instructions were not so much to make proposals as to hear what they themselves had to say. That as in their first interview the Signory seemed disposed to treat, they [the ambassadors] had explained the object of their mission. That the Signory's answer was far from being a plain categorical one, as there was every reason to expect from them. If they thought that the ambassadors' business was merely to propose certain conditions, have them accepted, and then report to their Court, they were very much mistaken; the ambassadors were furnished with ample powers to conclude the said negotiation without consulting the Emperor thereupon. They, therefore, begged the Signory to come to the point at once, and tell them what their intentions were on the three following points:—
1. Respecting the Duke of Milan, the ambassadors had sufficiently explained on a former occasion what the Emperor's wishes were, and what engagements the confederates were expected to take. The Emperor being just and merciful, as they themselves had owned, no harm could befall the Duke (Francesco Sforza), for, if he was innocent, he would certainly remain at his post, and perhaps, too, gain greater favours from His Imperial Majesty. If, on the contrary, he was found guilty, he must of necessity be visited with privation of his Estate or otherwise ....... To the above declaration the Signory had made no answer, save saying that they trusted in the Emperor's mercy. But, in the ambassador's opinion, that was not the proper way of addressing a demand of that sort to His Imperial Majesty; besides which, their answer on this point was purely evasive, as it did not state what the Signory intended to do in the event of the Emperor not acceding to their wishes with respect to the Duke (Sforza), or whether, in case of this latter forfeiting his fief, and the Duke of Bourbon being appointed in his room, they would join the confederation or not.
Respecting the outlaws (fuorusciti), the Signory was requested to declare, in a plain and resolute manner, what they intended to do. Their case being one of justice, and His Imperial Majesty determined to support their claims for the reasons already specified in some of the ambassadors' notes, they must insist on a more definite answer.
With regard, to the money owing to the Archduke (Infante D. Fernando), the ambassadors perceived that the Signory, instead of advancing, diminished their former offers. The ambassadors had frequently proposed—and the Signory had almost accepted the proposal—that the debt to the Archduke should first be paid ..... (fn. n6) and that what could not be considered as such should be left to arbitration, (à juicio de tercero). They were, nevertheless, to pay to the Archduke the whole of the money they owed him, the difference being small, and they having other funds in hand whence to make the restitution.
As to the sum of 200,000 ducats demanded in compensation for the expenses of the war, the ambassadors had not failed to observe that the Signory's answer was anything but comprehensive. They had, to a certain extent, acknowledged the debt and shown their desire to discharge at least a portion of it, but they had not stated how or when. Those were certainly not the usual terms between people negotiating a treaty, and therefore the ambassadors again requested the Signory to declare expressly how they intended to meet the Emperor's demands on this as well as on the above-mentioned points.
(Common writing:) Such was the ambassador's address on this occasion. As usual, the only answer they could get from the Signory was that they would meet together, deliberate thereupon, and let them know their decision, so that, in reality, the negotiation has not advanced one step since the receipt of the Imperial despatches ....... (Cipher:) If the ambassadors are honestly to state their opinion of the case, the Venetians are not likely to come to an arrangement on these matters. They (the ambassadors) happen to know, from more than one source, that, since their last proposals, the Signory has despatched, post-haste to France, one of its secretaries, named Andrea Rosso, who was some time ago at the Imperial court, and served under Francesco Cornaro, then Venetian ambassador in Spain; and, certainly, bona fide negotiators do not employ such means. They want, no doubt, to ascertain how far the French King will observe the treaty he has sworn when back again in his kingdom. The ambassadors have been told that Montmorency met Capino, a servant of the Marquis of Mantua, and that, discoursing together on the last agreement between the Emperor and the King of France, he declared to him that the only thing which his master (the King) wanted was to get out of captivity anyhow, a sort of language which, in the ambassadors' opinion, Montmorency cannot possibly have held, much less to a person of Capino's rank and condition. Have likewise been told, though they do not answer for the truth of the report, that the other day, when the French ambassadors called on the Signory, as above stated, to announce to them officially the conclusion of the peace, they were heard to say, in the Regent's name, that as soon as the King, her son, was restored to his kingdom the Signory would learn by her acts the goodwill she bore them. They were to persevere in the league, and trust that the King would never be in fault with them ...... This and the above report the ambassadors cannot certify, but there are many reasons to suppose that they are true in part, for although they (Caracciolo and Sanchez), on the receipt of the Emperor's despatches, did not fail to communicate their contents to them, as was their duty, and announce the conclusion of the treaty (concordia), the French ambassadors, who certainly are not either simple-minded or ignorant of their business, (fn. n7) have not called or taken any notice of their message.
The general impression among the Imperial servants is that as long as the French King was a prisoner in the Emperor's hands the affairs of Italy would go on prosperously, but the moment he was liberated the danger would begin, for, in reality, what these people fear most is the Emperor's projected visit. There is a report here that the Venetian ambassador in Spain has written to warn the Signory against accepting proposals which are only calculated to deceive them. The Emperor will not keep any of his promises, and only wants to destroy the Signory. Without assuming that their ambassador, as reported, has sent them a similar message, there can be no doubt that the Venetians are both suspicious and apprehensive, although the ambassadors have tried everything in their power to calm their fears.
In the ambassadors' opinion the present negotiation must be put an end to by some means. Experience shows the inconveniences that have already arisen from its not having been sooner ended, and it is to be feared that if longer in suspense the evil will still be greater. If His Imperial Majesty's service is to be furthered by this agreement (concierto) 30,000 or 40,000 ducats more or less ought not to be an obstacle in the way, as the sum is too insignificant to affect the Emperor's greatness in any way. They therefore ask for an ampler commission, so as to enable them to conclude this business at once, and make a reduction in their claims. It would not do, in matters of such importance, to have to send home for advice on every little detail in the negotiation. If properly authorised to reduce the sum of 200,000 ducats—and the Emperor may be sure that there will be a good deal of bargaining about it—the ambassadors will try all they can to have this matter settled and get from the Venetians all the money they can. The Archduke's claim, however, will not be so easily settled, for unless the Venetians pay him their debt before the restitution to the fuorusciti, he will not sign the treaty, though we might agree on every other point.
Think that their powers ought to be altered or replaced by others, not only on account of the late political events which have changed the nature of things, but also because the name of the Duke Francesco Sforza figures in them. No mention, however, should be made in the powers, when renewed, of the blame which this Signory has incurred; they will not hear of it.
(Common writing:) Have written to the Duke of Sessa [at Rome], informing him of every step in this negotiation. When he wrote last he had not yet begun to treat with the Pope, but expected to do so very shortly.
(Cipher:) Have been told that His Holiness has despatched to Bayonne one of his men, named Paulo Victorio, to wait there for the French King, and congratulate him upon his liberation. If true, the Duke must have spoken to him before Ms departure.
(Common writing:) Gave in their last the news they had about the Turk. Since then the Signory has had letters [from Constantinople], in date of the 5th January, advising that the Infidel had imposed a capitation tax of two fifths of a ducat on all the inhabitants of his various dominions, from which he would raise a very considerable sum of money. That by the moon of March he (the Turk) intended to have 100 new galleys, besides innumerable vessels of a smaller size. Have written by last post what, in their opinion, ought to be done in view of such preparations, and now write to Naples and Sicily accordingly. Some add that the Turk is also preparing a considerable land force wherewith to invade Hungary, whilst others assert that no credit ought to be given to such news, generally very much exaggerated.
Bishoprics in the kingdom of Naples, &c.
Recommend ........ for a vacant office in the Sumaria of that kingdom.
After writing the above, the ambassadors have received a message from the Signory to the effect that on the confirmation of the recent news about the peace between the Emperor and the King of France, they had sent one of their secretaries to congratulate him upon his deliverance from captivity.—Venice, 6 March 1526.
Signed: "Prothonotary Caracciolo," "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Venice. From the Ambassadors, 6 March."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 3¾.
8 March. 357. The Same to the Same.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 71.
Their letter of the 8th, which goes with this, was closed and sealed but had not yet been delivered into the messenger's hand, when he (Sanchez) was summoned to the Signory's palace, his colleague (Caracciolo) being still unable to leave his room.
(Cipher:) A memorandum was then read to him containing the following paragraphs in answer to their former demands:
The Signory wished as much as anyone to come to a final settlement of pending affairs, because the Venetians were in every respect His Imperial Majesty's most obedient servants. With regard to the proposed league and the Duke of Milan, they believed that their first answer could not fail to give full satisfaction, since they considered him (the Duke) a faithful servant of the Empire. They hoped the Emperor would decide in his favour, and even should the Duke be found guilty, that the Emperor would pardon his offence for the sake of Italy, who wished—for her future peace and quietness—to see matters remain as they were. Such being also their own wish, they could not understand why the Emperor was not satisfied with their answer; they had no other to give. Respecting the fuorusciti, they answered in the same terms as before (fn. n8) ...... As to the Archduke, that they were prepared to meet their engagements, and hoped there would not be any difficulty about the restitution. An agreement would be made between the Signory and the Imperial ambassadors; and they (the Venetians) would stand to their engagements. Respecting the 200,000 ducats, the sum, they said, was so excessive, considering the exhaustion of their treasury and the expenses they will have to incur against the Turks at sea, that they were at a loss what to say about it. They were, however, prepared to do the Emperor's pleasure (gratificar) in this particular; and, moreover, the chief foundation of the present treaties being the article about the league and the maintenance in his possessions of the Duke of Milan, that point once settled to their satisfaction, they would contrive to make a suitable settlement of what we (the ambassadors) considered their debt to the Emperor.
In consequence of which answer he (Sanchez) waited this very morning on the Signory, and told them that between their first and second reply he saw no difference at all. He begged them to consider that, instead of advancing, the negotiations were every day getting more intricate and difficult, thus endangering the future peace of Italy. He saw by their mode of treating, and by their insisting particularly on one article and leaving the others unnoticed that they were determined to stop the negotiations. Their reply was that they wished to come to a settlement, and that if that had not yet been achieved it was owing to the difference existing between a negotiation on matters already defined and settled, and one entirely new. That the Duke's case had already been prejudged in the last treaty, (fn. n9) as likewise the affair of the fuorusciti and the matters relating to the Archduke.
Upon which the ambassador observed that if their answer was a definitive one, he had nothing more to say to them. His Imperial Majesty would not consider it at all satisfactory. Late events had considerably changed the letter of old treaties, and that was the reason why he had asked them to renew the former ones. They replied that they trusted to the Emperor's kindness and clemency to make everything turn out well, adding: "What is soon done is well done." After which he (Sanchez), perceiving that not one word more was to be got out of them, withdrew, having first announced that he would write to the Emperor and inform him of the Signory's last and definitive answer.
The Duke of Sessa writes to say, in date of the 3d inst., that owing to the difficulties which the negotiation has encountered [at Rome], everything is in suspense there, until the Emperor's pleasure shall be known. The Duke had sent Commander Herrera to Spain to consult on certain matters and doubts of the Pope, &c. Considers these and other dilatory practices [of the Italians] very prejudicial to the Imperial interests, and thinks they ought to be stopped at once.—Venice, 8 March 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. From Alonso Sanchez, 8 March. Answered."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 4.
10 March. 358. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist. d.
Esp., No. 67.
Reported by Arana how the city [of Milan] had taken the oath of allegiance, and how the peace had been proclaimed there and in other cities and towns of this Estate. Wrote since on the 13th, 26th and 28th February last, advising what had occurred up to that time.
Nothing new has happened since, except that the city [of Milan] has appointed two ambassadors to go to His Imperial Majesty; one a Count Pietro Francesco Visconti, a rich and influential member of that illustrious family; the other a doctor-at-law, named Mercurino Barbanara. The object of their mission is to represent to His Imperial Majesty the miserable state of their country and the damages caused by the army. They are to take, besides, a memorandum of certain articles and petitions to be obtained in Spain, which memorandum he (the Abbot) showed to a very eminent lawyer of the place, named Hieronymo de Castion, a copy of whose opinion is enclosed. (fn. n10)
The fidelity shown by the citizens of Milan on all occasions, and the patience with which they have borne the almost intolerable burden of taxation and quartering of troops among them; the honourable character of the ambassadors now being sent to His Imperial Majesty are well deserving of attention to their suit, as well as of the Emperor's munificence, so that they may, by their letters, console their countrymen in the midst of their present afflictions and encourage them for the future.
All cities and towns of this Estate have sent in their allegiance precisely in the same form and manner as was done here at Milan; and public rejoicings have been held for the peace just concluded with the King of France.
Of the moneys which His Imperial Majesty advised as coming from Rome and Venice there is no trace. Neither has Naples yet remitted one farthing of the sum applied for. Indeed, had it not been for 18,000 cr. borrowed here upon the rent of the excise, and 4,000 more which a rich merchant of Cremona, named Ludovico Afeyta, has likewise advanced, it would have been quite impossible to pay the Germans their arrears and send, besides, to those in that city a sum of money wherewith to buy shoes.
As to the Spanish infantry and the men-at-arms, as they have not been paid for such a length of time, and they find nothing to eat in the country, they are so discontented that a mutiny is apprehended. Begs to call the Emperor's attention to this point, because, unless money is immediately provided, the worst consequences are to be apprehended.
Meanwhile, the Marquis del Guasto and Antonio de Leyva lose no time in paying up and sending away the bands dismissed from the service, namely, 700 light cavalry; almost all the Italian infantry, with the exception of 1,500 or 2,000 who were present at the battle of Pavia; one company of lances, commanded by the son of Duca Camarino; and upwards of 240 Flemish horses for the service of the artillery. Were it possible to dismiss a still greater number, the Imperial generals would not hesitate, as, by diminishing the forces of this army, there would be greater facility in paying and feeding the remainder.
Some of the Italian infantry have gone to the marquisates of Mala Espina (Malespina) and Pontremoli, on the Genoese frontier, in consequence of which the Florentines have sent thither upwards of 2,000 men to watch their movements.
Parma has also received some infantry under Count Guido Rangone, owing to the 200 Germans dismissed from the garrison of Cremona having taken up their quarters on the other side of the River Po, and close to the Parmesan; but they have since received orders from the Marquis and Antonio de Leyva to return to this side of the river, that the Pope's fears and suspicions of an intended attack upon his lands may be calmed.
No advices either from Rome or Venice, and consequently no hope whatever of their sending money for the support of this army. (Cipher:) The reason is that they fear above all things His Imperial Majesty's visit to Italy, and are very sorry at the agreement entered into with the French King, who, they hope, will not keep his engagements. It is therefore but natural to suppose that until these people consider themselves secure that way, neither Rome nor Venice will give the promised money. His Imperial Majesty must therefore look out elsewhere for a remedy to the threatening evil.
(Common writing:) Giulino came out of the castle at night, with the Marquis del Guasto and Antonio de Leyva's permission. He was accompanied as far as the frontier of this Estate by Bartholomeo de Tassis, by the order of those generals, to prevent his foolish gossiping, which, as reported in a former despatch, had well nigh created a commotion in this city. He well deserves to be punished for the mischief he has caused. The day after his departure, which was on the 3d instant, a man was seized by the guards in the act of furtively leaving the castle. He was searched, and letters were found upon him written in cipher and directed to Rome and Venice. They are now being deciphered, and if their contents be of importance, a copy shall be sent to Spain. Other letters were seized from private people inside the castle, the substance of which is to announce to their friends and correspondents Giulino's arrival with the good news that before the 10th of April next they will be allowed to leave the castle and the Duke to remain on his Estate, as before. The inmates of the castle write according to their inclinations and wishes; those outside think differently on this matter.
The galleys that are to bring back the Duke of Bourbon had not left Genoa on the 4th instant; neither have those that were to go to Naples for repairs left the port owing to contrary winds.—Milan, 10 March 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, 10 March 1526."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 6.
12 March. 359. Lope Hurtado to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 79.
By some messengers whom this city [of Milan] dispatched His Imperial Majesty must have been informed of what has occurred since the departure of Arana, Leyva's servant, on the last day of February. Letters from Rome and Venice have since been received, of that date and the 8th inst. respectively. Those of the Duke of Sessa and Commander Herrera are enclosed. The news from Venice is that the Signory is making so many difficulties that the Imperial ambassadors in that city had been obliged to write home and consult on various points. No money is to be expected from those quarters, and therefore His Imperial Majesty must settle what is to be done with this army.
(Cipher:) There can be no doubt that Rome and Venice are working together, and that one will not join the proposed league without the other. He (Hurtado) always suspected as much, and when at Rome wrote home saying that neither the Pope nor the Venetians would ever come to an agreement with His Imperial Majesty except upon compulsion, much less now that they are waiting to see how France will fulfil her engagements. Should the King be true to his word and the Viceroy of Naples (Charles de Lannoy) return to his post, his (Hurtado's) advice is to send him orders to be on the alert, and, watching his opportunity, invade the Estates of the Church; for they (the Pope and the Venetians) are sure to commence war whenever they have a chance, and for that purpose alone have lately been saving money. His Imperial Majesty in the meanwhile goes on expending his own, and the Imperial army has so utterly destroyed this Estate [of Milan] that there will be soon but two ways left, either to evacuate the Duchy altogether, or pay the men, so that they may buy provisions for their daily food.
Were that portion of the Imperial army which is not absolutely wanted for the keeping of the two castles (Milan and Cremona) to be sent to the camp of Lorenzino [de Medici], the Pope might do through fear what he refuses to do from good motives, or he might give Lorenzino a good sum of money, and even contribute in future to the support of the army.
(Common writing:) In the present state of the Imperial army he (Hurtado) cannot see how the Emperor is to come to Italy, even if the fleet at Seville were ready for sea, which it is not; for this estate of Milan is completely ruined, and the general opinion is that the Imperial army cannot keep together one month. There are no other places in Italy where the men can go for quarters. Upwards of 600,000 ducats are owing to them, and the soldiers can no longer live upon the inhabitants or destroy and waste the country, as they have done hitherto, because, in reality, there is nothing to take. Every month that passes His Imperial Majesty increases his debt, already very considerable, by 60,000 ducats, between the pay to the German and Spanish infantry, without including the men-at-arms, the garrisons of towns and castles, and the ordinary expenses of this Estate. To this increasing debt and to this state of starvation some remedy must be applied forthwith. And let not His Imperial Majesty imagine that the expected arrival of the Duke of Bourbon is likely to mend matters; for although it be true that the announcement of his bringing money with him has greatly helped to maintain the men in obedience, and the citizens to suffer with patience, should he come without it there will be a nice mutiny among the soldiers, and both they and the Milanese will give themselves up to the Devil. (fn. n11) Humbly beseeches His Imperial Majesty to provide for the wants of the army and give his orders to the Duke of Bourbon, that he may immediately upon his arrival [in Italy] know what he is to do, and whether he is to live in peace or be at war with these people, for, as matters now stand, his (Hurtado's) opinion is that the situation is fraught with danger. Should the King of France stand by his word and fulfil his engagements—and without his open or secret aid these people will not be able to accomplish anything—His Imperial Majesty must find a way of bringing them to reason. Thinks that the Duke of Ferrara will side with the Emperor. Sends the present through the ambassador at Genoa, Lope de Soria, that he may forward it without delay.—Milan, 12 March 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, 12 March."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 2.
13 March. 360. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 83.
Has sent the news [of Milan], first through Arana on the 27th of February, and then with the ambassadors who went to Spain. As the said ambassadors might not be able to travel thither with the required celerity, encloses a duplicate of his last. Again calls the Emperor's attention to the state of the army. There is nothing left [in the estate of Milan] that can either be mortgaged or sold, and, even if there were, nobody would buy or lend money upon it. As to bankers, our credit has fallen so low that neither here nor at Venice can one be found to lend us a real. In three days hence one month's pay will be due to the German infantry round this castle of Milan, and until this day, although we have done what we could, not one quatrino has been obtained towards it. The men who are quartered in other districts of this Duchy are of course equally distressed.
Donato de Tassis arrived yesterday bringing letters of the Duke of Bourbon, dated Saragossa, the 6th inst., asking for the galleys to go to Spain. These have been at Genoa ever since the beginning of this month, waiting for fair wind to sail to Saona (Savona), where they are to take on board 200 Spanish arquebusiers. The said Donato (de Tassis), bearer of the present, has been intrusted with a message to the Duke informing him of the near departure of the galleys, and begging if he has with him any bills of exchange (poliças de cambio) for the use of this Imperial army, to give some of them to the said Tassis or to any other courier coming this way, that they may have them discounted and applied to the wants of the army. The Duke's voyage by sea might be a long one, and things might be brought to a most dangerous state before his arrival.
Letters from Rome that came this morning announce that the Pope had caused great rejoicings to be made in that city and others of his Estates for the peace just concluded with France, of which he entitles himself maker and preserver (autor y conservador). May God permit that His Holiness and the rest of the Italian Princes may preserve peace of their own accord, and without waiting to see how the French King, after recovering his liberty, intends to keep it!—Milan, 13th March 1526.
Signed: "El Abbad de Najera."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty, &c."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Milan. The Abbot of Najera, 13 March."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2⅓.
14 March. 361. The Duke of Sessa to the Marquis del Guasto and Antonio de Leyva.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 85.
Has delayed writing to them what little news he had to communicate, as he has been engaged in preparing a long despatch for the Emperor.
Ever since the return to Rome of his own servant, Pero Hernandez, the Duke has been trying to persuade His Holiness the Pope to come to a resolution; and although it was evident that the new draft of treaty was not much to his liking, owing to the alterations introduced in some of its articles, when compared with the first draft brought by Commander Herrera, yet there was a hope that, in the end, we should be able to conquer his reluctance. His Holiness has now all of a sudden announced his determination again to consult His Imperial Majesty and wait for the arrival of the Viceroy, fancying, no doubt, that the latter may be the bearer of more ample powers to improve his (the Pope's) position in the treaty. Under which impression the Pope shows, more than ever, his inclination to be the Emperor's friend and ally.—Rome, 14 March 1526.
Signed: "El Duque de Sesa."
Addressed: "To the most Illustrious Lords, the Marquis del Guasto and Antonio de Leiva, &c."
Indorsed: "Copy of a letter from the Duke of Sesa to the Marquis del Guasto and Leyva, 14 March 1526."
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
14 March. 362. Agustino, Bishop of Grassa, (fn. n12) to Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador at Genoa.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 104.
The galleys of Andrea Doria have captured La Lomelina and unloaded her artillery at Antibo (Antibes); also La Mosica (Moxica?), which they have taken to Porto Baçan in that neighbourhood. Those of the Baron [San Brancate] have also captured a Viscayan ship not far from the Isles of Eres (Hyères). These last, we hear, are now at Marseilles, together with those of Fr. Bernardino. Four of Doria's galleys sailed yesterday in the direction of Corsica, to meet, as we presume, the five Imperial galleys that went from hence to Naples. We have no certainty of this last news, and yet have written to Ansaldo Grimaldi to inform your Worship of the rumour.
One of the Spanish gentlemen who are here in our pay arrived this morning from Nizza with the intelligence that Doria's galleys attacked, yesterday, La Portunda, which fought gallantly, and was enabled, through the wind being favourable, to escape from the enemy. The bearer of this intelligence, however, could not ascertain on what authority and for the sake of whom the above-said prizes and others had been taken. We are aware that the peace has been publicly proclaimed at Lyons and in several other cities of France and Languedoc, but we know also that in Provence and its coast, which is the passage for our galleys, it is neither proclaimed nor observed.
Whereas, as your Worship writes, it is very important that our galleys should go to Spain to fetch Mons. de Bourbon, our advice is that they ought to come first to this port. Peace might in the meantime be proclaimed in Provence and throughout the French dominions, and we might ascertain the whereabouts of the French galleys; for if the French fleet is collected in one port and the peace not proclaimed in those parts, there will be no security for our galleys. If, however, those that Doria has in these seas do not increase in number ours may safely sail on their voyage, being superior to those of the enemy, though it is to be presumed that they may attack them on their return from Spain. Micer Gaspar Villafrancha was taken prisoner and conducted to Asaiz? (fn. n13) where he was set at liberty, not without all his letters being taken from him and read.—Monago, 14th of March 1526.
Signed: "Agustino Episcopo de Grassa."
Addressed: "To the most Magnificent, the Ambassador at Genoa.
Indorsed: "To Lope de Soria."
Italian. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.


  • n1. No. 344, p. 577.
  • n2. "Todo en palabras generates segun el orden y mandamiento de V. Magd." The above is written in cipher.
  • n3. The original is mutilated in various places.
  • n4. Mutilated.
  • n5. "Quanto el asiento de la confederacion, que les plaze que se pong an las palabras para mas declaracion de su subsidio, en caso que le hayan de dar, porque siempre haran lo que deben."
  • n6. Mutilated.
  • n7. "Que ciertamente no yerran por ignorancia, ni por simples."
  • n8. Owing to the paper being torn at this place, three lines of the deciphering are quite illegible.
  • n9. "Que el assiento del Duque de Milan y conservation del estava ya echo en la capitulation passada."
  • n10. The paper here alluded to is not in the volume.
  • n11. "Llegando sin dineros, pues acá no los hay, podria hauer un gentil motin porque los unos y los otros se darian al Diablo."
  • n12. The Lord of Monaco mentioned in former despatches.
  • n13. "Micer Francesco Villafrancha da brassa (sic) fo conducto asais," in one copy; in the other: "fo conducto esais e hibi relassato." (Aix in Provence?)