Spain: March 1526, 26-31

Pages 621-628

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, 26-31

26 March. 373. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador at Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 126.
On the 18th instant Donato de Tassis left this place with despatches for the Duke of Bourbon. Wrote at full length to the Emperor. On the ensuing day (the 19th) the Doge and he (Soria) had occasion to despatch a messenger to the Viceroy, who also took letters of his (Soria's) to His Imperial Majesty. Through both channels the Emperor must now know the reasons why the six galleys destined to bring the Duke back from Spain have not yet left the port, the object of the present despatch being to inform the Emperor of what has happened since.
Considering that Andrea Doria and other sea captains of the King of France had been summoned to Asaiz (Aix) in Provence, and that in consequence of orders there received they again put to sea, captured the carack Lomellina belonging to this city of Genoa, with several Spanish passengers on board, besides two more merchant ships coming from Spain, he (Soria), on the receipt of such intelligence, which was sent by the Lord of Monego (Monaco), agreed with the Doge that the galleys ought by no means to sail [for Spain] until the reason for such unprecedented attacks should be satisfactorily explained on the part of the French, because as the six galleys had necessarily to pass in sight of the coast of Provence, where the French are known to have no less than twelve vessels well armed, it was evident that they might have encountered great dangers, besides that to which this city would have been exposed in the event of the enemy choosing to come upon it. That M. de Bourbon should be fully informed of these particulars, Donato de Tassis was despatched to Spain. The other messenger, a citizen of this place, the ambassador sent to the Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy), who, being with the French King, might remonstrate with him about these doings of his people, and tell us what is to be done with regard to the said galleys and other matters. As by taking the said precautions the departure of the galleys could only be delayed 10 or 12 days, the Doge and Soria preferred putting the Duke to some inconvenience to exposing the galleys and this city to a most imminent danger. As it is, ever since the Emperor's mandate was received in Genoa the weather has been unfit for the galleys to sail, so that, in reality, there has been no time lost by the delay.
(Cipher:) The truth is that as far as he (Soria) can judge, the Doge seems determined not to let his galleys go on this expedition until he hears of the French King's final liberation and what he is likely to do when free. This news he expects to receive from day to day, but as it does not come, his fears of some new complication gradually increase. That is the reason why he (Soria) yielded to the Doge's opinion on this particular, for certainly the danger to which the galleys might be exposed and the risk this city might run without them are certainly worthy of consideration.
(Common writing:) In his (Soria's) opinion, the King of France will fulfil his engagements and give orders to his captains to abstain from hostilities. If so, the Genoese galleys will be enabled to take to sea, and go wherever they choose in complete safety; and as soon as a certainty of this can be obtained will depart without losing one hour's time.
Andrea Doria himself told the master of the carack [Lomellina?] that he had captured her in compliance with orders received from the Council of France, as he had been instructed to detain all those he could find at sea. This one (la Lomellina) he offered to let go—and it is reported that he has actually done so since—on condition of her master paying 8,000 ducats caution and promising to be on the coast of Provence whenever he (Doria) returns from his expedition, there to serve the King of France, if agreeable to him.
This Community is ready to supply His Imperial Majesty with the four caracks for the conveyance of the Imperial train. The Doge wants to know at what time and in what port they are likely to be wanted, so as not to have to pay the crews' wages before the time of their service.
Commander Herrera has sent a packet, here enclosed. Since then, on the 20th instant, has written to the Marquis del Guasto and to Antonio de Leyva the letter a copy of which goes with this. It was in cipher and sent open, no doubt for the ambassador's perusal. (Cipher:) Its contents will sufficiently inform the Emperor of what is going on at Rome, which, upon the whole, seems to him (Soria) very different and, indeed, contrary to what the Duke of Sessa wrote under the same date; since whilst the latter distinctly says that the Pope wishes to be closely united to the Emperor, most people disbelieve in such professions, and think, on the contrary, that he will do his utmost to prevent his coming [to Italy]. This, it must be observed, is Vox Populi, which sometimes happens to be Vox Dei. (fn. n1)
Hears daily from Milan that the Imperial army is without money, and in constant danger of a mutiny. The towns and villages are deserted by their inhabitants, who take refuge in the lands of the Church or in that of the Venetians and marquisate of Mantua. Articles of food are extremely scarce in the country, and people have been so driven to despair by the excesses of the soldiery that what little food they possess they hide under ground, and there is no corn to be got for love or money. The Marquis del Guasto, they say, was at Vigebano, and did not intend to return to the camp at Milan until the Duke of Bourbon had arrived to take the command of the Imperial troops.
(Common writing:) The five galleys of Commander Ycarte met, on their voyage to Naples, with four fustes of Turks not far from Pomblin. Two were captured; the other two escaped; but considering the great ravages which these Infidels have lately wrought at sea and on the coast of Italy and Spain, the Commander's services on this occasion deserve much praise. Has heard that the galleys had arrived at Gayeta (Gaeta).—Genoa, 26 March 1526.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To His most Sacred Majesty, &c."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Genoa. Lope de Soria, 26 March."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 4.
26 March. 374. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist. d.
Esp., f. 69.
Wrote on the 13th inst. about the wants of this army and the danger of a mutiny, as there was no money to pay even the Germans quartered in front of this castle and that of Cremona. Since then matters have got so much worse that the generals have resolved to send a special messenger to Spain, to represent the state of things to the Emperor.
The army is in despair. There is neither money nor food. The country people desert their villages, and leave the fields without cultivation, so that famine may be shortly apprehended. On the other hand, the announcement of the illustrious Duke's return from Spain, and the hope that he is bringing money to pay all arrears due, have hitherto prevented an outbreak. But the soldiers will not wait any longer, and openly proclaim those promises and hopes to be illusory, seeing that the galleys that are to attend upon and bring back the Duke of Bourbon have not yet left Genoa. From Rome and Venice not one farthing is to be got; Naples will not send a quatrino; and as to Milan, the treasury is quite empty. Sixteen thousand cr. obtained on the excise (daçio de la mercantia), and distributed among the Germans here, have hitherto kept them together; but they are loudly demanding their last month's pay, and as, for want of credit, this cannot be raised for them, a mutiny is apprehended. At Cremona, the Germans who are in front of that castle forage for food among the citizens; and it is with the greatest difficulty that 13,000 cr. have been procured this month, and sent to them to buy shoes. To the rest of the army not one farthing has been paid for a long time, so that His Imperial Majesty may consider what must be the state of their minds when even the said Germans, who have hitherto been paid by small instalments every month, are discontented and grumbling. He (the Abbot) sees no remedy at all to the impending evil unless the Duke of Bourbon sends beforehand some of the bills of exchange that he is supposed to intend bringing with him, or some other provision be made in the meantime. Prothonotary Caracciolo has been written to to make use of the commission and instructions received from the Emperor, so as to obtain, if possible, some money from the Venetians; for his negotiations at Rome tarry; and, according to the Duke of Sessa's last letter, there is very little chance of the Pope giving assistance. Even if he does, any help that His Holiness or the Venetians may tender is sure to come too late for the increasing wants of this Imperial army. Indeed, unless money is immediately provided, everything will go to ruin and the advantages gained by the last campaign will be entirely lost. It is in the expectation of such a calamity that these Italian potentates dally and postpone the proffered peace and alliance with the Emperor, and perhaps also in the hope that the French King will not observe the treaty.
The Genoese galleys have not yet put to sea, owing principally to contrary winds, and to the intelligence received at that port that Andrea Doria and the French fleet were capturing all vessels bound from Genoa to Spain, a sort of proceeding which, to all appearances, is contrary to the terms of the agreement made between His Imperial Majesty and the French King. Nevertheless the Doge of Genoa has been instructed—after formally protesting against such a breach of faith—to send his galleys to Monaco, whence they may, with greater ease, and waiting for a favourable opportunity, cross over to Spain. The Doge, however, hesitates to send out his fleet, fearing less Andrea Doria and the French, seeing Genoa undefended, should pounce upon it; but his fears have no solid foundation, as the forces that the Imperial generals have sent beyond the Po, on the very confines of the Genoese territory, will at any time be sufficient for the protection of that city.
The Duke of Bourbon and Viceroy of Naples (Charles de Lannoy) have also been duly informed of all this, that the former may calculate how far his sea voyage is secure, and the latter remonstrate with the King of France against so flagrant a violation of the treaty. The galleys that left Genoa for Naples some time ago met in the Piombino Channel four Turkish sails; they captured two, setting free the Christian captives who served the oars; the other two escaped.
Hieronimo Morone has been removed from Pavia to another castle called Treço, on the Venetian frontier towards Bergamo. He will be in greater security there, with less escort, and also less facility for communicating with his friends than he had in his former place of confinement.
Two soldiers entered the castle yesterday, with the Marquis del Guasto's permission; one a servant of Antonio de Leyva, the other one of those who hold Gavi, on the Genoese frontier, for the Duke of Milan. This latter came to say that unless the garrison of that castle was quickly relieved, they would surrender into the hands of these generals or those of the Imperial ambassador [at Genoa], Lope de Soria, with whom they were already in treaty. The man was hindered from seeing the Duke, on the plea that he was indisposed, and could not see anybody, but he saw Sforzino, the Duke's nephew, also his lieutenant and warder of the castle, who told him that his uncle, the Duke, could not help them in any way, but recommended that they should hold out as long as they could, or surrender on the best possible terms. The same Sforzino took apart the servant of Antonio de Leyva, and told him that the Duke was really indisposed and confined to his bed.—Milan, 26 March 1526.
Signed: "El Abad de Najera."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Milan, 26 March."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 5.
28 March. 375. Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassadors at Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 130.
Wrote on the 8th inst. what passed in their last conference with the Signory, and what their ultimatum seemed to be. Their joint despatch was sent in duplicate, one addressed to Lope de Soria, Imperial ambassador at Genoa; the other to Milan, under care of the Abbot of Najera. Have nothing to add on that particular subject, except that they (the ambassadors) are anxiously expecting an answer.
This Signory has received letters from Constantinople, dated the 7th of April, informing them that the Turk was collecting considerable land forces to march against the King of Hungary; he (the Turk) was to take the command of his army, and lay siege to a city called Buda, where the said King of Hungary [Ladislas] generally holds his Court; he had, moreover, launched 100 new galleys, to repulse the Christians at sea in case of their coming to invade his territory. This intelligence the ambassadors have not received from any other channel save the letters of the Signory. If true, there is no reason why it should not have come by way of Hungary. However this may be, it is but prudent to be on one's guard; and consequently the ambassadors have communicated the intelligence to the Archduke (Ferdinand), to the Duke of Sessa, and to the viceroys of Naples and Sicily.
(Cipher:) The ambassadors have been told that the Signory have lately had letters from their agent in England, of the 11th inst., stating that the King of that country was about to send a messenger (persona) to the French King, and that the Cardinal [of York] had said to him (the Venetian ambassador) that matters would not go off between His Imperial Majesty and the King of France so smoothly as people imagined. Others pretend that what the Venetian ambassador writes is not exactly to that purpose; he merely reports a conversation with the Cardinal, in which the latter told him: "He was sure that Italian affairs would now take a good turn and be soon settled." Without attaching faith to either report, the Imperial ambassadors have considered it their duty to mention it in their present despatch.—Venice, 28 March 1526.
Signed: "El Prothonotario Caracciolo," "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Venice. The Ambassadors. Answered."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. No deciphering appended. pp. 2.
30 March. 376. The Emperor to the Duke of Sessa.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Muñoz, A. 83,
pp. 299–300.
Illustrious Duke, our Cousin, &c.—You are well aware of the many crimes committed by the late Bishop of Zamora (Don Antonio de Acuña), who, having been the principal promoter of the popular rising by which these our realms were disturbed, was at last taken prisoner, sentenced to death, and executed. The said Bishop succeeded at first, with other chiefs, equally criminal, in alienating from us the love of a considerable portion of our Spanish subjects causing them to rise against our authority and that of our viceroys, and separating them as it were, into two parts, one obedient to, the other rebellious against, our rule. It pleased God to give us victory over the rebels, who were everywhere defeated and subdued. It happened, however, that the said Bishop, in his flight to France,—where he had friends and abettors, and where, despairing of success at home, he endeavoured to set on foot an invasion of our kingdom of Navarre,—was taken prisoner near that frontier and conducted to the castle of Simancas, where—by commission of Pope Leo X., first, and of Pope Adrian, afterwards, and, lastly, of His Holiness [Clement VII.] himself—he was tried by certain judges delegated by the Apostolic See for that purpose. Seeing that his detestable crimes, which he fully confessed, were likely to bring on him condign punishment, he attempted, with the help and favour of some of his accomplices, to fly from his prison. Having slain with his own hand the governor of the castle [Mendo de Noguerol], who entered his cell unsuspectedly, as was his custom every morning, he slipped down from the walls of the fortress, and would have effected his escape had not the people of the neighbouring town (Simancas) prevented him. The gravity of the case and the fear of new scandals arising prompted us to appoint an Alcalde (Judge) of our Court, who, after inquiring into the affair and putting to the rack a clergyman (fn. n2) who had helped the Bishop in his flight, afterwards frustrated, should inflict on the culprits the deserved punishment. The Alcalde put Acuña and his accomplice to the torture, made them confess their guilt—the Bishop declaring that he had slain the governor (alcayde) with his own hand—and sentenced him to be strangled, which took place on the ensuing day.
We have addressed to His Holiness a letter, which goes with this, begging him to absolve us and the said Alcalde (Ronquillo) and all others who—before or after—have interfered in this business, from any guilt or censure which We may have incurred on account of the said execution, ordered and done, as We said before, to prevent greater scandals. (fn. n3) —Seville, 30th March 1526.
Addressed: "To the Duke of Sessa, our Ambassador at Rome."
Spanish. Original draft, docketed in Gattinara's hand. pp. 4.
31 March. 377. The Emperor to the King of England.
S. E. L. 1554.
f. 557.
There is nothing in this world the Emperor has so much at heart as the peace of Christendom. Owing to which, he not only concluded and signed, on the 14th of January last, a most solemn treaty of peace, but, in order to preserve the Christian world, in the future, from the calamities and horrors of war, has made with the said King of France a treaty of alliance, defensive and offensive, in which the King of England, his most beloved brother and uncle, is also included.
Takes this opportunity of informing him of this happy event, as he has no doubt he will rejoice at the news. For his own part, he (the Emperor) will devote himself entirely to the protection of Christendom now threatened by the Turk.—Seville, on the last day of March 1526.
Addressed: "To the King of England, my most beloved Brother."
Indorsed in Gattinara's hand: "Minute of letter of the Emperor to the King of England."
Latin. Original minute. (fn. n4) pp. 2.
31 March. 378. The Emperor to the King of England.
S. E. L. 1554.
f. 557.
Informs him of the peace concluded with his brother-in-law (sororio), the King of France, on the 14th of January last. His only wish is to put an end to the wars and calamities that afflict the Christian world. Has made with the said King a defensive and offensive alliance against all those who would attempt to disturb the peace of Christianity. Should the King of England wish to be included in it, he must send, within six months after the proclamation of the said peace and alliance, letters patent to both parties (the Emperor and King of France) ratifying the same. Has no doubt that the King of England, out of the mutual love and affection so long existing between them, will approve the said alliance, which is intended to restore peace to the world and enable the Christian Princes to turn their arms against the Infidel. (fn. n5) —Seville, on the last day of March 1526.
Addressed: "Angliæ Regi."
Latin. Original draft in Secretary Valdes' hand, corrected by Gattinara.


  • n1. "Y esto es voz de Pueblo, que suele ser voz de Dios."
  • n2. Bartolomé Ortega, the castle's deserving chaplain.
  • n3. This is followed in the volume by the draft of a letter from the Emperor to the Pope on the same subject, and almost in the same words.
  • n4. Similar letters seem to have been written to the King of Hungary (Louis II.), of Poland (Augustus I.), of Denmark (Christiern III.), of Portugal (Emanuel), of Scotland (James), to the Switzers, to the Emperor's brother (Archduke Ferdinand), and to his aunt, Margaret of Austria, also called by French writers Marguerite de Savoie, Governess of the Low Countries.
  • n5. A note at the end of this draft headed: In simili forma mutatis mutandis, in Mercurino Gattinara's well-known hand, gives the names of the Kings and powers to whom similar letters were to be addressed; namely, Regi Hungariæ, Poloniæ, Daniæ, Portugalliæ (Serenissimo et Excellentissimo), Scotiæ, Helvetiis, S[erenissimo] Archiduci, D[ominæ] Margarete, &c.