Spain: April 1526, 1-15

Pages 628-638

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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April 1526, 1-15

2 April. 379. G. Salamanca (fn. n1) to Madame the Archduchess Margaret.
Arch. d. Royme de
Belg. Neg. d. Ang.
Tom. II.
Has received her letters of the 2d February; and in pursuance of her orders addressed the King and Legate on the subject of Madame de Longepierre (sic) in the best manner he could. Hopes that by means of her letter [of favour] he will be able to bring that affair to good issue.
Has since his last letter visited the King at Antoncourt (Hampton Court), and asked for an answer to Madame's overtures. After a good deal of conversation, the King said that if peace were made between the Christian Princes, he (the King) would at once give the Emperor such aid against the Turk as would at once entitle him to be called "Defender of the Faith." Even in the event of peace not being immediately concluded, as he feared was probable, he would not fail to give the Archduke some assistance. Upon the ambassador's requesting more details respecting his (the King's) intentions and purposes, he said he was about to send his ambassadors to Spain, and they would tell the Emperor what he was prepared to do. The Cardinal then happened to come into the room, when a long conversation took place on certain subjects about which he (Salamanca) will inform Madame very shortly, as he intends going over to Flanders in a few days.—London, 11 Apr. 1526.
Signed: "G. Salamanca."
Addressed: "A Madame."
7 April. 380. Lope Hurtado to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 139.
Perceiving that matters were getting better at Milan, and that the Duke of Bourbon's arrival was postponed owing to the galleys not having gone out for him, he (Hurtado), to save time, and with the consent of the captains expressly consulted thereupon, determined to come to Turin, to inquire into the damages which this country has suffered from the Imperial troops. Monsieur de Saboya (Carlo Emanuele) and his wife, the Infanta (Beatriz), were very glad to see him. Has already entered upon his work, and will use all possible speed so as to have it completed against M. de Bourbon's arrival, and will be present at his landing; for, according as the state of things may be in the estate of Milan when the Duke arrives, he will want somebody near his person to inform and counsel him. The Commander, therefore, intends to remain with him (the Duke) until he receives his recall, since he considers that there is nothing more for him to do [in Italy], and his commission in Piedmont will be at an end.
Madame the Infanta was confined of a daughter on the ..... (fn. n2) of March. She was on the point of death, but God preserved the mother, and took away the child.
The Duke is still at Chamari (Chamberi), trying to patch up the affair of Genebra (Geneva) and Losana (Lausanne), which are at present in the hands of the Switzers. He hopes to remedy this in a diet to be held on the 5th inst.
When he (Hurtado) left Milan on the 25th of April, the Marquis del Guasto, Antonio de Leyva and the Abbot of Najera were trying to procure money for the monthly pay of the Germans. The question relating to the quartering of the Imperial troops was daily increasing in gravity, as the people could not bear it any longer. Has often written on the subject, and now recommends speedy measures to arrest the impending evil without waiting for the arrival of Mons. de Bourbon.—Torino, 7 Apr. 1526.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Turin. Lope Hurtado, 7 Apr. Answered."
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
9 April. 381. The Marquis del Guasto to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 134.
Writes in favour and commendation of the bearer, Gonçalo de Ribera, who, after serving many years in Barbary under Count Pedro Navarro, and here in Italy, under the Viceroy of Naples, Don Ramon de Cardona, has been reduced to great poverty. He is a very brave officer, but from his great age and infirmities, resulting from wounds received in battle, cannot serve any longer. Asks for a pension.—Milan, 8th April 1526.
Signed: "El Marques del Gasto."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To His Majesty. From the Marquis del Gasto, 9 (sic) April 1526. In commendation of Gonçalo de Ribera."
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
9 April. 382. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 137.
Writes in favour and commendation of Filippo de Senis, Prothonotary and clergyman (clerigo de Camara) at Rome, who to escape from the late troubles and revolution at Sienna, came over here, and was obliged to take shelter at the house of Cardinal Colonna, in whose company he now is. The Siennese emigrants (fuorusciti), however, and other persons who bear him much ill-will, assisted, as they are, at Rome by influential people of their own party, are now trying to take away from him the 30,000 (fn. n3) ducats and upwards which he enjoys from his office at Rome. The said Prothonotary is one of the most able, honest and incorruptible ecclesiastics that there has been at Rome for a long time, and well deserves the Imperial protection.—Milan, 9th April 1526.
Signed: "El Abbad de Najera."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Milan. The Abbot of Najera, 9th April."
Spanish. Holograph. p. 1.
11 April. 383. Lope Hurtado to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 140.
The inquiry now being made in Piedmont on the damages committed by the Imperial troops dates from the first war with France, and is contained in certain inventories drawn up by the Communities or Municipal Corporations. It will amount to a considerable sum of money, besides compensation for several manslaughters. It would be advisable that the Abbot of Najera, or some such person equally well qualified, should also draw out a list of the excesses (bellaquerias) committed against the Imperial soldiers by the people of Piedmont and Savoy, that it may serve as a counterpoise to the one which they are sure to bring forward.
The papers he is now examining show that long after the Emperor had given orders that no Imperial troops should be quartered in Piedmont, and the Marquis and Leyva had transmitted the said orders to all the captains and officers of the Imperial army, one, Fabricio Marramao by name, announced his intention of sending three companies of Italian infantry to be quartered at a village called Castillole. The inhabitants having answered him that they could not receive his men, because they were the subjects of the Duke of Savoy, and therefore considered themselves exempted from that burden, the captain became very angry, and threatened to go thither with artillery. The people, in the end, consented to redeem themselves for a sum of 1,000 ducats, which they borrowed and handed over to the said Marramao, besides 300 more which they had to pay as interest for the borrowed money. The Captain assumed that the said village did not belong to Piedmont, when, in fact, it is one of the most ancient possessions of this Ducal house.
Has mentioned this because new and express orders should be sent to the generals of the Imperial army to prevent or duly punish similar excesses. Were the aggressors punished as they deserve, the repetition of such crimes would not be so frequent as it is. But the truth is that as the principal defaulters are the captains themselves, they dare not punish the officers under them, and everyone seizes what he can. (fn. n4)
Out of the captains of light horse who, according to his (Hurtado's) account of the.......,were paid up and dismissed some time ago, seven have been reinstated in their respective commands, and the remainder have been re-admitted with the same number they had before, (fn. n5) because there is actually nothing to eat in the country. The same may be said respecting the Italian infantry, of whom some have been readmitted into the ranks of the army. If His Imperial Majesty is not intent upon war, and no orders come [from Spain] respecting this Imperial army and its ultimate destination and employment, he (Hurtado) has no confidence at all in its future success, for it will either break out into mutiny or disperse for want of means. He cannot do more than acquaint His Imperial Majesty with the fact.—Torino, 11 Apr. 1526.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Turin. Lope Hurtado, 7 Apr. Answered."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
11 April. 384. Prothonotary Caracciolo and Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassadors at Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
ff. 141–7.
After their joint despatch of the 28th March, a messenger arrived with the news of the French King's liberation [from captivity]. It is stated (cipher) that although Monsieur de Prat (Praet), Imperial ambassador at the Court of Madame the Regent, asked the King to ratify the treaty, as agreed, he (the King) refused to do so, on the plea that he must need consult his Council thereupon, such being the Emperor's practice when such matters were under discussion. Whether the above information—received through various channels—be correct or not, His Imperial Majesty can best judge, and perhaps at this moment already knows; but it is universally believed that the French King left Bayonne without waiting for his Queen, Madame Eleonor, and even before she had actually crossed the Spanish frontier, which leads many to fear that he will not ratify, especially as such urgent advices reach him from England. (fn. n6)
The ambassadors have been told that, immediately upon his arrival [at Lyons?], the French King asked to see Maximiliano [Sforza], and inquired whether he had the means of sending a message to his brother of Milan (the Duke Francesco Sforza), and that Maximiliano having answered in the affirmative, he said to him: "Tell him to have courage, and not come to an agreement with the Emperor."
They have also been told that the King of France has written to the Signory, or given them to understand by means of his ambassador, that they ought to persevere in their present attitude, and that whatever decision he (the King) comes to, he is sure to take care of their affairs; informing them, at the same time, that when he saw him last the Emperor declared his intention to destroy them (que era su voluntad destruirlos).
Whether the above reports are true or not His Imperial Majesty best knows. They (the ambassadors) cannot vouch for the veracity of their informers, except that they are persons of quality, &c., and that one of them thinks that there will be a war.
Have written to the Imperial ministers at Milan, to keep an eye on the castle, and prevent Maximiliano's agent from entering it and seeing the Duke. Have also heard that the French King, should he break his engagements, will not be considered guilty of perjury, because, on his accession to the throne, he took a most solemn oath not to alienate any part of his Estates.
Should the French King refuse to ratify the treaty and fulfil his engagements, it is all important that His Imperial Majesty prepare himself, as effectually as he can, for war, and let the preparations be of such nature and so overpowering that, having God on his side, as hitherto, the Emperor may again vanquish his enemy and bring him to terms. His Imperial Majesty must also try to gain over to his side these Italian powers, or most of them, by offering them such conditions as may be readily accepted and win their affections. The Emperor's ministers and agents in Italy ought to receive instructions how to act in certain matters and especial cases, so as not to be obliged to write home in consultation, because the distance between the two countries being great there will be, in case of war, but little time for sending and receiving intelligence. Have considered it their duty to proffer this advice, because, should the French King break his engagements, as there is every reason to fear, the affairs of Italy are in the worst possible plight, with so many enemies about, with few captains [to command the Imperial forces], without any money, and with an army insufficiently numerous for the occasion; with little or no love on the part of the people, rather, with the intense hatred of the inhabitants, owing to the excesses which the soldiers have committed. In addition to which it is to be feared that the French King will find these people (the Venetians) very well disposed to join in the intrigue.
(Common writing:) This Signory has lately appointed two ambassadors to go [to Spain] and congratulate the Emperor upon his marriage, after which one of them is to go on to Portugal. The other ambassador, as they have been informed, is to come back [to Venice] straight. Two more ambassadors have been appointed to go to the King of France.
(Cipher:) The message which the French King is said to have given to Maximiliano Sforza, to transmit to his brother [Francesco], was not conceived in the words above transcribed. It would appear that what the King did was to write a letter to Theodore de Trivulcis and request him to send a message to Maximiliano. This latter was to send on a trusty person to his brother at Milan, and encourage him to hold out [in the castle]. The person to whom the Imperial ambassadors are indebted for the above information adds that, in his opinion, the King's message had no other object than that of persuading the Duke Francesco not to come to terms with His Imperial Majesty.—Venice, 11 Apr. 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, 11 April."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher, and slightly mutilated. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 4.
14 April. 385. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. d. G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist. d.
Esp., f. 70.
At the risk of being considered importune he cannot do otherwise than return to the subject of his letter of the 26th March. (fn. n7) The Imperial army has since then been reduced to such extremity for want of money and food that unless prompt relief is sent within six days, at the most, nobody can calculate the calamities that may ensue. The soldiers of this army have neither clothes nor shoes to put on, the small sums which this Estate contributes for their support being immediately handed over to the citizens at whose houses they are quartered, that they may, at least, provide them with the necessary food. This, however, has become so scarce of late, owing to the country people having deserted their villages, that it is with great difficulty that a loaf of bread can be procured. Indeed, it is a wonder to him (the Abbot) and to the rest of the Emperor's officers and ministers at Milan how so considerable a force has been fed up to the present time, unless it be that the Almighty has been pleased to work some such miracle as that of the loaves and fishes. May He be thanked for it!
No help in money is to be expected either from Rome or Venice. Prothonotary Caracciolo writes from the latter city that until he gets an answer to his last despatch respecting the instructions and commission lately brought by the governor of Pamplona (Herrera), he cannot promise any assistance from that quarter. Out of the revenues of this Estate, and by pledging the excise and other rentals, nearly 140,000 ducats have hitherto been obtained; but for the next three months every branch of the revenue is mortgaged, and credit entirely gone, so that the army must needs be sent elsewhere, as there is no possibility of keeping it up here without either food or money.
As it is, in order to pay the Germans who are encamped round this castle, the Imperial generals have been compelled to levy among the merchants of this city, by compulsory means and threats of confiscation, a tax of 15,000 crowns, which is to be exclusively destined to that purpose; 10,000 have already come in, and the remainder will, most likely, be paid, though with considerable reluctance and great discontent on the part of the said merchants, notwithstanding that the Marquis del Guasto, Antonio de Leyva and himself (the Abbot) have given their own personal security for the loan, and promised that the entire sum, with interest, shall be reimbursed out of the first remittances from Spain. By which means, and by distributing the money among them, in proportion as it comes in, the Germans have hitherto received a portion of their monthly stipend, amounting to 19,000 crowns.
It cannot be concealed, however, that this measure, just as it is, has caused general discontent among the Milanese, to whom a solemn promise was made, when the Imperial army first came in October last, that no new taxes or burdens of any sort should be imposed upon the people. They also fear that should the sums in specie which the Duke of Bourbon is said to be bringing not come in due time, and no other provision be made, they (the merchants), and even the gentlemen of this city, will again be called upon to contribute to the wants of this army, an expedient not to be thought of under the present circumstances, and the idea of which has never crossed the mind of the Imperial ministers in this Estate.
Such being the state of things and so imminent the danger, he (the Abbot), in his own name and in that of his colleagues, humbly beseeches the Emperor to make such a provision as may stop the dispersion of this victorious army, (cipher) and to hasten his visit, since, by his speedy arrival in these parts, everything is sure to be made right; money will be abundant, and other advantages obtained which belong by right to His Imperial Majesty. Besides that, were this Duchy and even the kingdom of Naples to be given away, it would not prevent the Italian potentates from impeding, as much as was in their power, the Emperor's visit to Italy, and inducing the French King to break his faith and promise—on which last point there would seem to be already active negotiations on foot, on the part of the Pope and the Venetians. If, however, His Imperial Majesty's visit did not take place next June, but in September—as those who most wish for it here seem to announce—in that case it would be necessary to maintain the army until then, a thing, in his (the Abbot's). opinion, next to impossible, especially if it is to remain in the Duchy. A few days ago the governor of Pamplona, who is at Rome, wrote to the Marquis del Guasto and to Antonio de Leyva, informing them that one of the Pope's prothonotaries, named Toscano, had left with powers and letters of credence for the Kings of France and England, and that it would be advisable to secure his person and get his papers. The Doge of Genoa having sent similar intelligence, orders were issued for his arrest, wherever he could be had, but no trace of the said Prothonotary has hitherto been found.
(Common writing:) The Duke of Milan is still dangerously ill, and crippled in all his limbs. He and all those who keep him company inside the castle are in very great distress for want of provisions, and very desirous, as they give out, of the Emperor ordering them to quit and surrender the castle to whomsoever it may be his pleasure to give it. They expected, on the 10th inst., Giulino—who, they now say, will not arrive until the 17th—imagining that the excuses whereof he was the bearer have been considered as just and truthful at Court as they themselves make them to be here, though, in reality, they are only false pretences; and that His Imperial Majesty will not only preserve the Duke in his Estate and dignity, but punish all those who have given him annoyance.
There are many weighty reasons why His Imperial Majesty should take possession at once both of this castle and that of Cremona and keep it until the Duke's innocence or guilt be proved. The Marquis del Guasto, Leyva and Garci Manrique, who arrived four days ago, besides other servants of the Empire, are all of one opinion: that the Duke, or the governors and warders commanding in his name, ought to be summoned to deliver the castles into the hands of the persons appointed to receive them. It is generally believed here that, far from disregarding the injunction, the Duke and his followers would be glad to comply with the Emperor's orders. Sforzino himself and some of the Duke's principal adherents have made similar declarations many a time. Only five days ago one of Leyva's servants—who entered the castle on pretence of taking a kid and a couple of chickens he had been asked for, but really to announce to the besieged the peace concluded between His Imperial Majesty and the French King, and the consequent liberation of the latter, so that they might abandon all hope of succour from the Pope and the Venetians—was assured that such was the wish of all, and that they were anxiously expecting the Emperor's orders on that point. They did not allow him to see the Duke, who, they said, was very ill, but expatiated at length on their sufferings and discontent, declaring that by remaining at the Duke's side they had no idea of offending the Emperor, but, on the contrary, were ready to do his pleasure whenever they received intimation of it.
Notwithstanding the above protestations of fidelity, it must be owned that the people of this castle go on playing their artillery and occasionally skirmishing with the Germans in front, whereby their real sentiments against the Emperor are daily being tested.
The Pope is still fortifying Parma, and between 3,000 and 4,000 pioneers are now employed on the works at Piacenza. Some say that these military preparations are only intended against the Turk, whose invasion is much dreaded, and that the Venetians are also arming a certain number of galleys for the protection of their coast. Others believe them to be directed against the kingdom of Naples. However this may be, the Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy) has been written to, and warned to be on his guard.
On our side, and notwithstanding the scarcity of money, the works of repair have not been discontinued, and the fortifications of several towns, especially those of Pavia—which is Leyva's pet—are being put in order.
This city and estate of Milan are well satisfied and contented with the administration of justice by the Imperial officers. The inhabitants are peaceful and quiet, wishing for no other master than the Emperor, but expecting also that, at a future time, when circumstances will allow, they will be delivered from the almost intolerable burden of having this army quartered upon them.
The remains of the good Marquis de Pescara, as well as those of the Marquis de Civittà Santangelo, and Don Joan de Cardona, Pescara's lieutenant, all of whom were slain at Pavia, left this very day for Naples, there to be buried.
The Genoese galleys left the port three days ago. May God give them a prosperous voyage!—Milan, 14 April 1526.
Signed: "El Abad de Najera."
Postscriptum.—After writing the above, letters have been received from the ambassador, Lope de Soria, advising how the galleys that sailed the other day to fetch the Duke of Bourbon had been obliged, by contrary winds, to put again into port, but were expected to sail on the following night. The ambassador also sends intelligence that on the 3d inst. Andrea Doria captured a Spanish vessel coming from Valencia; but that on her master producing a safe-conduct from the governor of Provence, he let her go, adding, however, that he had nothing to do with the peace between the Emperor and the French King. It is, moreover, reported that the said Doria has lately taken service under the Pope, who pays him 25,000 crowns for his six galleys, besides 10,000 more for two Papal ones under him, so that he has now eight galleys and 35,000 crowns, which is no more than he deserves. It behoves His Imperial Majesty to bear in mind the scandalous conduct of this notorious pirate and robber, in order to have him properly punished whenever an opportunity occurs. If what he is now doing is with the Pope's approval and consent, he (the Abbot) cannot conceive how His Holiness can put up with it, and have it said that he is actually breaking the peace and waging war upon the Emperor's subjects. He cannot reconcile himself to the idea, and yet thinks that the Pope ought to be closely watched, as well as the Venetians, who are reported to be now arming some galleys, of which two have already been launched. The more time is left them to carry out their wicked plans the more difficult it will be to put a check upon them, as they will, no doubt, be emboldened by our patience, and perhaps, too, find people to assist them in their purpose.—Data ut supra.
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Milan. The Abbot of Najera, 13th April."
Spanish. Holograph partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 11.


  • n1. Probably a relative of Count Salamanca, the Archduke's treasurer, who, in a letter of Augustino Scarpinello, Milanese ambassador in England, to Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, dated 19th March 1527, is described as "Il Magnifico Salamanca." The object of his mission is not specified anywhere else that I know of. He was probably sent by the Archduke, the son-in-law of Louis I. of Hungary, whose dominions were at this time threatened by the Turk. A copy of his letter is in Bergenroth's Collection, vol. III., f. 175.
  • n2. Date left out.
  • n3. Thus in the original: xxxm ducados," which appears an excessive sum.
  • n4. "Como son los principales los que las hazen [tales cosas] no castigan los oficiales y cada uno por su parte rapa lo que puede."
  • n5. "Y á los otros dexado en el numero que tenian sobre no haber ya que comer en ninguna parte."
  • n6. "Muchos recelan que no ratificará, en especial con los martinetes que de Inglaterra le habran llegado."
  • n7. No. 374, p. 622.