Spain: June 1526, 1-10

Pages 719-740

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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June 1526, 1-10

1 June. 440. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 335.
Encloses duplicate of his letter of the 29th ult. (Cipher:) Has heard since that the Pope and the Florentines give money and collect troops. That all the passes in the lands of the latter are being occupied, and that those who go to and fro are detained, that they may not bring intelligence of the preparations being made against this city (Genoa). At Pietradante they seized, the other day, a Spanish courier, Guillen Ros by name, who had come [from Spain] with despatches of the 12th of May. He was going to Rome; the Florentines stopped him and made him go back. Has heard since that the courier took the road to the coast, so as to go [to Rome] by sea; but it is to be feared he will meet with the same obstacles by sea as by land.
Concludes from the above that the Pope, the Venetians and the Florentines have thrown off the mask, and are about to declare themselves the enemies of the Emperor. At Genoa, the defences are being put in order. Don Ugo, the Marquis and Leyva have been written to. The Doge and Community have asked for three companies [of Italian infantry], which are expected to arrive within three days' time. They did not dare to ask for Spaniards, for fear of some outbreak. (fn. n1) He (Soria) imagines the Genoese will be soon in a condition to meet the attacks of the enemy, and that they will hold their ground by land as well as by sea, provided there is no stir within Genoa itself, of which he is very much afraid, especially with this new cry of "liberating Italy from the foreign yoke," which seems to be the motto of the confederates.
Hears that Andrea Doria has now eleven galleys under him, counting three of the Order [of St. John] of Rhodes. He and the rest seem determined to do all the injury they can to the Emperor's subjects, and therefore it is imperative that Portundo's galleys, now at Barcelona, and those of Naples, return here to defend this city and port, which is sure to be attacked first.—Genoa, 1st of June 1526.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Genoa. Lope de Soria, 1st June."
Spanish. Original in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 3.
2 June. 441. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 351.
Wrote on the 24th May last, giving an account of his visit to Genoa, the object of his journey, the money he was able to procure, and other particulars. On the 29th he (the Abbot) received the Emperor's letter of the 12th, referring him to Don Ugo [de Moncada], of whose intended departure from the French court news were received at Milan. Since then, Francisco de Luxan, brother of the warder of Gaeta, has arrived, who says he met Don Ugo seven post-houses on this side of Cuña (Cognac), where the French King now resides. We are afraid, however, that the said Don Ugo has met with some accident on the road, for he ought to have arrived by this time. At any rate, these Italians are preparing for war, and will break out one of these days, as the Emperor will judge by the letter which the Marquis [del Guasto] and Antonio de Leyva wrote the other day, by the advice and with the approval of all the Imperial ministers and officials at Milan.
(Cipher:) With the 10,000 cr. (escudos) which he (the Abbot) brought from Genoa, and 8,000 more promised by the Duke of Savoy, by way of subvention to the men quartered upon his Estate, and out of which 5,000 have already been paid, we have begun to pay the Germans, but if Don Ugo brings no money or bills of exchange, he (the Abbot) cannot see his way out of the present difficulties.
(Common writing:) There is a report here that, among other calumnies lately circulated at Court respecting the excesses of the Imperial troops in procuring food and extorting ransoms (en el comer y rescatar), one is that Antonio de Leyva received 500 cr. per day, or 15,000 ducats monthly, and that the report had reached the Emperor's ears. He (the Abbot) will venture his head that Leyva never appropriated one single penny (maravedi) of what does not belong to him. He is a gentleman of pure conscience and high honour, as may be seen by his deeds. His honesty and fidelity to the Emperor have no doubt brought upon him the enmity of some, who will lose no opportunity to slander him at Court. No greater favour could be bestowed upon him (Leyva) than to have his conduct investigated and a judicial inquiry instituted, so that the guilty parties, if any, and the calumniators, may be equally punished. He (the Abbot) begs particularly for the said inquiry; for were the said excesses and misdemeanors true, he would be guilty of not having reported them in due time.
Prothonotary Caracciolo arrived three days ago, to wait for Don Ugo [de Moncada], according to orders received from Court.—Milan, 2 June 1526.
Signed: "El Abad de Najera."
Since the above was written, the gentleman whom we despatched to Naples for money the day the Germans here rose in mutiny, has come back, bringing with him bills (polizas) to the amount of 20,000 ducats, payable, half at Milan, and half at Genoa. This is not much, considering our present wants, but it has come in time, and the money shall be spent for the most urgent wants of this army.
Forgot to mention that Bernardino della Barba, the Papal Nuncio in this city, had been holding frequent communication with the rebels and doing other things against the Imperial service. The Duke of Sessa having been informed of it, that he might complain to His Holiness, the Nuncio has been recalled, and went away post-haste quasi hospite insalutato. Mentions this fact, that His Imperial Majesty may judge whether the reports in circulation about him are true or not. Since his departure [for Rome] the movements and practices of the Milanese have lost much of their vitality.—Data ut supra.
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From the Abbot of Najera, 2 June."
Spanish. Holograph partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 2½.
2 June. 442. Commander Herrera to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 341.
Left Rome on the 20th of May to come here [to Milan]. Passed through Sienna, and told the citizens what the Emperor's wishes were. The Signory, it appears, is determined to do good service; (cipher) but as the affairs of Italy are rather in a precarious state just now, and as the Pope and the Florentines evidently have their eye upon that city, they (the Siennese) have, with his advice, determined to raise troops and prepare for defence.
Came to Milan on the 26th, to wait for Don Ugo [de Moncada], whose arrival is anxiously expected, as it is hoped that he will bring sufficient provision for the Imperial army. As the Marquis, Leyva and the others have written about this, there is no need for him (Herrera) to dwell longer on this subject.
The Infante [Archduke Ferdinand] has been told to be in readiness lest his forces should be required here; for news has been received at this camp—and he (Herrera) has heard the same at Rome—that the Pope and the Venetians, with the help of several thousand Switzers lately taken into their pay, are determined to come here and oblige us, if they can, to raise the siege of this castle. Is afraid that the Imperial army will not be able to resist the enemy's fury. In his opinion the army ought to be increased, or else the Archduke ought to come down in force and create a diversion. Matters, however, are in such a state that if His Imperial Majesty applies a proper remedy in time he will easily become the monarch of the whole world. (fn. n2) If, on the contrary, the procrastinating politics hitherto pursued prevail, he (Herrera) is afraid that the worst consequences are to be apprehended. Whatever information he (Herrera) sent from Rome respecting the plans of the Pope and of the Venetians has been fully confirmed by what he has since seen and heard [at Milan].
(Common writing:) Antonio de Leyva has heard [from Spain] that His Imperial Majesty is displeased with him (no está contento dél), and he is very much hurt at the idea that the Emperor may have listened to the false reports of his enemies at Court. His services are so well known to everyone here that it would be a pity if the honour and reputation of so faithful and devoted a servant of the Empire was to be impaired by the slandering reports of his detractors. His Imperial Majesty should place entire confidence in these old servants of his, and surround them with that authority and prestige which their services deserve and which may be so beneficial hereafter to the Imperial cause, not listen to the gossip (parlerias) of those who, after all, are the Emperor's enemies. (Cipher:) These and other similar reports are propagated with a bad intention and in pursuance of a certain plan (grangeria) adopted by these Italians, and which might, in the end, be successful if the Emperor lent an ear to such calumnies.
He (Herrera) was preparing to return [to Spain], such being the opinion of the Marquis and Leyva; but seeing matters in such dangerous state and the plans of the confederates so mature, he has changed his mind and prefers staying [at Milan], where, in the event of an outbreak, he can be more useful [than in Spain].
(Common writing:) His brother, the warder (alcayde) of Tarento, arrived, the other day, on his way [to Spain] to kiss the Emperor's hands. Both the Marquis [del Guasto] and Leyva, however, thought his services were required under the present circumstances, and he therefore remains. They have offered him the command of 100 lances, (fn. n3) besides a good number of light horse, to be in the vanguard of this army. He is waiting to know the Imperial pleasure and orders.—Milan, 2 June 1526.
Signed: "Herrera."
Addressed: "To His Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Commander Herrera."
Spanish. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet (.. 343). pp. 3.
2 June. 443. Lope Hurtado [de Mendoça] to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 345.
The Imperial letter of the 27th ult.. came duly to hand. Don Ugo de Moncada is anxiously expected, (cipher) although things are in such a plight, and he has been so long on the way, that if he is to come empty-handed he had better not come at all. The wants of the Imperial army are always on the increase, as His Imperial Majesty will clearly see by his former despatches.
(Common writing:) Was about to return home, with the Emperor's permission, when the generals (Guasto and Leyva) begged him to stay [at Milan], where his services might be required. Has complied with their request.
Wrote on the 8th, mentioning the fact of certain bands of Italian infantry and light cavalry having been sent to Piedmont for quarters against the will of the Duke of Savoy. Lamentable events have since occurred in those districts, in consequence of that measure. One whole company of Italian light horse has been almost entirely destroyed, (fn. n4) and two or three more despoiled of whatever they had (desvalijadas); though the remainder—to revenge the fate of their comrades—laid the country waste as far as the Astesano, whither they ultimately retired. The Duke wrote, offering his excuses and some sort of compensation, when it was agreed that if he lent 8,000 ducats for the most urgent wants of the Imperial army, no notice should be taken of the matter. He (Hurtado) is of advice that the money offered by the Duke should not be accepted, and, if accepted as a loan, returned as soon as possible; for certainly if the inquiry he (Hurtado) has been lately instituting be correct, the Duke's subjects have lost, since the beginning of the last war, upwards of one million and a half of ducats.
(Cipher:) Antonio de Leyva is discontented; the Emperor should write to him; for certainly these are not times to have a man of his quality and parts put in bad humour. He and the Marquis are most indefatigable and most faithful servants, and deserve Imperial consideration. If, as private letters from Spain announce, they are accused of having appropriated the proceeds of certain offices and taxes, it is a most horrible calumny, the money having entered the coffers of the army, as the treasurer himself and he (Hurtado) can testify.
Miguel de Herrera and Felipe de Herrera, his brother, have likewise decided to remain at Milan as long as their services may be required.
(Cipher:) The captains and the men are all in good spirits, and ready to do service. Should the French King only remain quiet for a while, and the Imperial soldiers not be consumed by poverty in the meantime, Hurtado thinks that those who begin the dance will have to pay for the musicians. But the Emperor must bear in mind what the Marquis and Leyva have said in their last despatches, and provide accordingly, for no precaution is too great against these traitors.—Milan, 2 June 1526.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial Majesty of the Emperor, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Lope Hurtado, 2 June."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher No deciphering. (fn. n5) pp. 2½.
5 June. 444. Prothonotary Caracciolo, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 347.
Has arrived at Milan, where, according to orders, he (Caracciolo) is to wait for Don Ugo. Has since received the Imperial letter of the 14th of May last. (Cipher:) Need not mention the suspicion generally entertained that the Pope, the Venetians and all the rest of the confederates will soon take up arms; or the rumour that Doria is about to attack Genoa with his eleven galleys; or the wants of the Imperial army; or the positions which it occupies, because on all these matters the generals have already informed His Imperial Majesty. Will only say that the army is reduced to the last extremity, and the men are very much out of temper. He (Caracciolo) has somewhat recovered during his last journey, but is not well yet.—Milan, 2 June 1526.
Signed: "El Prothonotario Caracciolo."
Addressed: "Sacræ Cæsareæ Majestati."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Prothonotary Caracciolo, 2 June."
Italian. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. p. 1⅓.
5 June. 445. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 361.
Has written by a messenger who takes letters for the Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy); but as the bearer of this might reach Court sooner, sends a duplicate by him. Has heard since from the masters of certain vessels that entered this port last night, coming direct from Xio (the island of Chio), which they left on the 11th of April, that, on the 1st of the said month, they met, ten leagues from Gayeta (Gaeta), Andrea Doria with his eleven galleys; where bound for they could not say. Fancies that Doria, knowing that the people of this city (Genoa) are on the alert and ready to receive him, has changed his purpose, and makes it appear as if he were cruizing in search of Moorish vessels (fustas). The people of Naples, however, suspect him, and have reinforced the garrison of Gaeta.
The masters of the said merchant vessels add that, whilst on the coast of Calabria, they fell in with 24 Turkish sail (fustas), which had caused much damage thereabouts, and made several prizes. They have also brought the intelligence that the Turk was arming 200 galleys, and preparing, besides, a very large land force, to invade the kingdom of Hungary.
Has just received a letter from Don Ugo [de Moncada], announcing his arrival at Turin on the 2d instant, and saying he would leave for Milan on the 3d.
Nothing new from Venice but what the Emperor must already have seen by Sanchez' despatches, namely, the frequent calls of the Milanese ambassador (Marco Foscari) upon the Doge, couriers backwards and forwards to Rome, &c.
Hears that the Imperial army is being concentrated round Milan, and all strategic points in the Duchy occupied. Intelligence had been received there that the Switzers held their diet on the first of this month, and resolved to give aid to the Pope. Most people, however, were of opinion that the Switzers will not dare do it openly, from fear of displeasing the Emperor. The French King, it was reported, had contributed some money towards that object.
The courier, bearer of this despatch, leaves in all haste with letters for Mons. de Bourbon, from one of his servants (servidores), telling him that he may now return to Italy without any fear of Doria's galleys, since they have taken the way to Naples. Please God he might come back, or the galleys without him!—Genoa, 5 June 1526.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Lope de Soria, 5 June."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. No deciphering appended. pp. 4.
7 June. 446. Don Hugo de Moncada to the Emperor.
Arch. d. Royme.
de Belg. Doc. Hist.
III., f. 207.
Lanz, Corresp.,
vol. I., p. 212.
The enclosed (fn. n6) will inform the Emperor how things are going on [at Milan?]. The affairs of Italy ought to be attended to. God knows how much he (Don Hugo) desires peace, principally with the Pope. Has often said so to His Imperial Majesty, and now repeats it again. There are three ways of bringing about a lasting peace; namely, to please the Pope both with respect to the Duke Francesco Sforza, and also respecting his claims on the Duke of Ferrara, and afford reasons for the Emperor's journey [to Italy]. 2dly. To make some agreement with the French King. 3dly. To provide quickly for the wants of this Imperial army, because, in so doing, the Emperor will be successful in all his enterprises. God will punish him who is the cause of all the harm that is done.
Will, when at Rome, endeavour to ascertain what are the Pope's intentions, the preparations for war, and the news from France. Will keep the negotiations in suspense until an answer comes to his despatch.
Knight Commander Herrera, who is shortly going to Spain, will verbally relate many particulars he knows of. The Emperor might grant him a secret audience, and interrogate him. He is a good servant of the Empire, and will tell the truth.—Milan, 7 June 1526.
Signed: "Don Hugo de Moncada."
Addressed: "A l'Empereur, &c."
French. Copy. Translated from the Spanish.
7 June. 447. The Duke of Sessa, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
ff. 374–8.
Wrote on the 19th ult.., communicating the intelligence received up to that date. Sends an express now to inform His Imperial Majesty of what he has learned since.
(Cipher:) The Pope has been making lately all manner of preparations for war, having sent to Switzerland the bishops of Lodi and Veroli, (fn. n7) and made, besides, other provision. He is in close relationship, as before, with the Venetians; though both he and the Signory have hitherto proceeded with great caution and reserve in the matter, fearing lest the King of France might be persuaded to make a fresh agreement with His Imperial Majesty. At last, the day before yesterday, at night, they received letters, dated the 26th May, informing them that the desired treaty had been concluded and signed. Such was their joy on the receipt of this intelligence that the Duke firmly believes they must have received at the same time the news of the conclusion of their mutual league against His Imperial Majesty. What the terms and conditions of this league may be, he (Sessa) cannot at present determine; but, from information gathered in various quarters, is very much inclined to believe it is, in substance, as follows: A perpetual offensive and defensive league against whomsoever should assail their liberty. The King of France to contribute 40,000 ducats every month, and 600 lances all the time the war lasts. The King of England 20,000 per month; the Venetians 800 lances and 10,000 foot; whilst the Pope is to furnish 500 lances and 8,000 infantry. The contributions in money to be appropriated for the pay of 10,000 Switzers, whom he (the Pope) has already sent for in a great hurry (con gran furia) through the mediation and assistance of France. With these forces their object is so to molest and harass the Imperial army, as to shut it up within the walls of Pavia, Lodi, Como and Alessandria, obliging it to raise the siege of the castle of Milan, so that it may be relieved by the confederated forces. They fancy by this plan to oblige His Imperial Majesty to come to terms with them, and leave the Duke in possession of his Estate. They publicly announce that the French King has expressly bound himself to support and defend the Duke (Francesco Sforza), which last stipulation is a matter of wonder to him (Sessa), unless the French King intends to observe this treaty as faithfully as others entered into with His Imperial Majesty. Count Guido [Rangone] had already collected 6,000 men at Modena, and was making more levies. He had sent a messenger to the Duke of Ferarra, asking for provisions and a free passage through Rezzo (Reggio), promising not to molest him in the least. The Duke has presented his compliments to the Pope, and agreed to the Count's proposals. (fn. n8) Joannin of Medicis is also raising 3,000 men, so that everywhere the mine is loaded and ready to explode.
Don Hugo's arrival at Milan is reported. He (Sessa) cannot assert this as a fact, not having received any letters from that city since the 19th May; thinks, however, he has come too late. The other day, when a friend of his asked the Pope what he thought of doing on Don Hugo's arrival, he answered: "He was so long coming through France that I could not wait for him; I will tell him so."
Il Guachardino (Guicciardini) leaves to-day for the army, of which he is to be commissary-general; the generals in command to be Count Guido [Rangone] and the Duke of Urbino, the Marquis of Mantua having refused to take charge of it.
On the receipt of the above-mentioned intelligence, he (the Duke) called upon His Holiness, and expressed his amazement at his conduct in this affair, declaring to him how sorry he was to see him on such a dangerous path, likely to bring his interests, to ruin; for (said he) if his wish really was for the Duke of Milan to remain in possession of his Estate, and he knew, as he had frequently told him, that Don Hugo was coming shortly with such a resolution on that point as would satisfy all parties, why not wait for him, rather than have recourse to arms, which, besides being so dangerous and costly an experiment, was highly derogatory to his dignity and authority. The Pope's answer to these remonstrances was: "You are right in what you say; but being already engaged somewhere else, I must needs keep my engagements."
In his (Sessa's) opinion these people have made up their mind. Their plan consists in obliging His Imperial Majesty to accept one of the two conditions proposed by them, and which have always been rejected; (fn. n9) so that the Emperor shall receive the law from them, whereas he can give it to the whole world, provided the necessary measures are taken to ensure success. In his opinion the first thing to do is to pay the arrears due to the Imperial army and remit money for the enlistment of as many Germans as would match the enemy's forces. To send to the parts of Naples or of Sienna 4,000 or 5,000 infantry and some men-at arms, with which force, added to those which can be collected in those districts, Tuscany and the Roman estates may be invaded, so as to leave the enemy no leisure to engage in other enterprises.
His Imperial Majesty must be persuaded that the Pope and the rest of the Italian Princes who have entered into this league will do everything in their power to gain their object; and though some friendly people may write from hence that they will do this and do that, and are sufficiently strong of themselves to conquer the enemy and ruin him, His Imperial Majesty should not be deceived by such brilliant offers; for it will be found that, without our money, our forces and our authority, the said parties (fn. n10) will be unable to accomplish anything. Indeed, were the said friends—scantily provided, as they are—to undertake anything against the Pope, they would only provoke him to take up arms and destroy them, which he could easily do, since they all belong to the same country (son una misma gente), after which he might invade the kingdom of Naples, which is entirely without defences.
(Common writing:) Has written to Milan and to Genoa, as well as to Naples and to His most Serene Highness the Archduke, informing them all of the new turn affairs are taking.
(Cipher:) Has likewise written to the Imperial camp about certain secret intelligence which the Pope and the Venetians are said to have there with the chief of the Italian infantry and with another German captain, for the purpose of corrupting the men under their command.
The Pope having, as intimated above, declared his intention, and there being nothing more to do at Rome, he (Sessa) is thinking of going to the Imperial camp and personally serving in the army, as he may be more useful there than here [at Rome]. Will wait 10 or 12 days more; and if Don Hugo arrives in the meantime, and he (Sessa) sees that rupture is inevitable, will carry his plan into execution, and repair to the army. Should anything occur at Rome to require his presence, he can easily return there in the course of four or five days.
(Common writing:) The brief of absolution to persons concerned in the execution of the Bishop of Zamora has not yet been obtained. They make all manner of difficulties about it, and the affair is likely to be referred to the Cardinals.
Andrea Doria is in the Levant. He is now at Ponça with eleven galleys, besides three of the Order of St. John. (Cipher:) Rather an ugly customer in those seas, where there is no force to meet him.—Rome, 7 June 1526.
P.D,.—Begs for the payment of a bill drawn by the Bishop of Oviedo (fn. n11) for the expenses of this courier.
Count Guido has already taken the road to Piacenza. The Venetians are marching on Milan, though slowly, to give time for the Switzers to arrive. All the money the Pope is now expending comes from Florence, whose citizens give out that they have 400,000 ducats at his disposal, so that he may reserve his money for a better opportunity. This last intelligence he has from a very trustworthy person.
Addressed: "To the most Sacred and Invincible Emperor, King of Spain and of the two Sicilies, our Lord and Master."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From the Duke of Sessa, 7th June."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet (.. 383). pp. 10.
8 June. 448. Il Gobbo (fn. n12) to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 373.
Complains of the officials at Naples, who do not consult him upon sea matters. Several galleys are being fitted out in that port, and his opinion has not been asked, and yet there is no one in the place who understands the business better or who is more anxious to do service. Feels it very much, not on his own account, but for the loss which the Emperor is likely to sustain through it. The said officials do not observe the articles of his (Gobo's) contract; for, instead of contenting themselves with a fifth of the value of a prize for the Imperial treasury, they want the whole of it. Only the other day his galleys captured a Moorish vessel (fusta) at sea. They not only wanted the vessel itself (il buco), but also the captain, who, according to stipulation, is a prisoner of his.
Begs for orders to the officials not to molest him as they do, and to act justly towards him.
Addressed: "To His Majesty the Emperor."
Spanish. Translation from the Italian. p. 1½.
8 June. 449. Gio. Matheo Giberto, Datary, to Messer Capino.
Lettere di Principi,
Vol. I., f. 189.
Wrote on the 5th inst., and will go on informing him of the state of affairs. Will in future address his letters to Signor Roberto (Secretary Robertet), that he may open and read them in his (Capino's) absence. The Papal Nuncio at Venice (Bishop of Pola) and Messer Francesco Guicciardino have been instructed to do the same.
The latter (Guicciardino) left, the day before yesterday, for Piacenza, there to take the command of the Papal forces, which muster already 8,000 foot, between 700 and 800 men-at-arms, and 800 light horse. Signor Giovanni (de Medici) is to take command of the infantry, having under his orders Rangone and Vitello. The Venetians keep an equal force in readiness, whilst the Bishop of Lodi (Ottaviano Sforza) and the castellan of Mus (Gianiacopo de' Medici) must be by this time on the frontiers—perhaps, too, in the estate of Milan—the former with 6,000 Switzers, the latter with 2,000 Grisons. The whole of Italy is full of hope, and the Milanese themselves are prepared to defend their liberties stoutly. In short, everything goes on prosperously, and we are sure of victory. Had the most Christian King helped us with money, as he promised to do, sent the Archbishop of Salerno (Fregoso) with the fleet to Genoa, and the Marquis of Saluzzo with the French lances, we should already have heard of some good enterprise in those parts.
Needs not remind him (Capino) that the French must be persuaded to do all they can to prevent the return of the Imperial galleys, for should they anchor at Genoa, the enterprise in contemplation would be very difficult. Having allowed Don Ugo de Moncada to quit [France] and come [to Italy], the least that the King can do is not to let Bourbon come to Genoa with his galleys, as it is very important just now that the Imperial army should have two generals disagreeing with each other. (fn. n13)
Out of the 5,000 [Italian] infantry which the Spaniards had at Correggio, literally starving, Count Guido (Rangone) has managed to draw one half under the banners of the League; the other half attempted to cross the Pò at Bressello, but, finding the whole country up in arms, abandoned their captains, and went, some to Modena, and some to Parma, where they will be incorporated with the Papal forces.
As his (Capino's) exertions, coupled with those of the English and Venetian ambassadors, (fn. n14) have hitherto been so successful in bringing about the conclusion of this league, His Holiness hopes that Capino will persevere, and persuade the King of France not to listen to any proposals made by the Emperor, as by Italy becoming free and the Emperor's forces being weakened through this war, he (the King) will no doubt obtain better and more honourable conditions; the Emperor will restore him his children, and perhaps also remain his friend ever after. In this war the King cannot spend a sixth part of the sum he has offered for their ransom; and the lion's nails will be so clipped that he will become harmless.
His Holiness has sent for all the Orsini and some of the Colonnese, such as Stefano [Colonna] di Prenestina and others who follow his party. They are to be employed on the frontier of the kingdom of Naples, which is to be invaded as soon as the affairs of Lombardy will permit.
Capino is desired to correspond, as frequently as he can, with the Papal Nuncio in England, Prothonotary (Umberto di Gambara), and urge him to represent to King Henry the necessity of helping the league with money, since he has so powerfully contributed with his authority and advice to its conclusion.
On his return, by way of Switzerland, Capino will find there letters from the Bishop of Veroli (Ennio Filonardo), informing him of the state of affairs in Italy. Should it be deemed necessary to make fresh levies of Switzers, he (the Datary) is sure that the King of France will not object to advance the required funds, as such a reinforcement is likely to ensure the success of this enterprise, and wrest more advantageous conditions from the Emperor.
His Holiness considers it advisable to gain over to the French party the Reverend Bishop of Grassa, Monaco, his capital, being a very important city, whence much injury could be done to our present undertaking. The Bishop appears very friendly; and His Holiness is of opinion that if the offer was made to restore all he formerly possessed, there would be no difficulty in persuading him to join the league.
The enclosed, for Don Miguel de Silva, (fn. n15) once Portuguese ambassador in Rome, Capino is to forward either to the Legate (Salviati) or to [Castiglione] the Papal Nuncio [in Spain], that it may be safely delivered into his own hands.
Trusting that the most Christian King will use all possible speed in these matters, and that he will not listen to any overtures of the Spaniards, His Holiness has deliberately launched himself in this enterprise; and although Don Ugo—who is shortly expected here—brings, as reported, very advantageous offers (grandissimi partiti) from the Emperor, he will not be moved from his purpose.—Rome, 9 June 1526.
Signed: "Gio. Matteo Giberto, Datario."
Addressed: "A M. Capino."
8 June. 450. Lope Hurtado to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 408.
By Don Ugo's letters (fn. n16) and by what Miguel de Herrera will personally relate, His Imperial Majesty will be sufficiently informed of the Duke Francesco's intention (voluntad), as well as of the designs of the Pope and the Venetians—which have already commenced—the wants of the Imperial army and other particulars. It was well that Don Ugo arrived at this time, and Commander Herrera departed for Spain; for the former by letter, and the latter by word of mouth, will be able to say how matters stand here. The Italians seem to have entirely forgotten the favours and benefits of past times. The Duchy is entirely wasted and so poor that the inhabitants can hardly support themselves, much less an army that must of necessity live upon them. So exasperated are the country people that they look upon us as Turks and worse than Turks. A little money spent on this army might bring treasures to the Emperor, maintain his glory and reputation, and increase his power.
Intends to leave soon for Spain, in compliance with the Imperial mandate of the 12th May, which he (Hurtado) has just received.—Milan, 8 June 1526.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Lope Hurtado, 8 June."
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
8 June. 451. Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 407.
As Commander Herrera, who is fully acquainted with Italian affairs and the late occurrences, has departed [for Spain], he (Caracciolo) will not trouble His Imperial Majesty with an account of what has lately passed with this Duke.—Milan, 8 June 1526.
Signed: "Prothonotario Caracciolo."
Addressed: "Sacræ Cæsareæ Majestati."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526."
Italian. Original. p. 1.
8 June. 452. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
ff. 393–7.
In consequence of advices received from Rome stating that Andrea Doria, with the Pope's consent, was about to come and stir up a revolution in this city, the Doge and Community have made all necessary provision for its defence. The last news, however, is that Andrea Doria with his 11 galleys had gone towards the kingdom of Naples, and that the Florentines had opened the passes, which were closed some time ago. If so, this would show that, hearing of the preparations made in this city, they desist from the attack. Troops, however, are still being collected, both at Parma and at Modena, and we are not without suspicion that they may be intended to act against this city.
When the Doge and he (Soria) first heard of Doria's departure for Civittà Vecchia, (fn. n17) it was agreed between them, for the better defence of this city, to write to the Marquis del Guasto and to Antonio de Leyva for two companies of Italian infantry which were then quartered on Genoese territory. The Italians came, and when at about two leagues from this city, the rumour spread that they were plundering the towns and villages through which they passed and committing all kinds of excesses. He (Soria) went out to them and ascertained that the accusation was unfounded. The men had not stolen anything; but, being without money or provisions, were naturally looking about for food among the inhabitants. During his (Soria's) absence, the townspeople rose in arms, the doors of houses and shops (botigas) were shut, the Palace-guard got in order, and some of the citizens actually went out of the city to make the Italians disgorge their supposed plunder. Perceiving that the country people were also taking up arms, he (Soria) hastily collected the two Italian companies and placed them in two monasteries, close to each other, whilst he himself went to the Genoese, explained to them that the rumour was groundless, and promised that if anything save food had been taken from the country people it should be immediately restored. The tumult being appeased, the Doge and Community still insisted upon the two said companies returning to their quarters on the frontier of Lombardy, and yesterday they marched off on the road to Milan.
(Cipher:) Such a demonstration on the part of the Genoese, at a time, too, when they most want the Emperor's protection and aid against the common enemy, is very significant. However exaggerated the news on the first instance, there was no occasion for the citizens to show such ill-will towards people who were actually coming to defend them. No forces of the Imperial army will henceforward come here when summoned; and it is to be feared that if vigorously attacked by the enemy, Genoa may, one of these days, be lost. Has written to the generals at Milan, requesting them not to take any notice of this occurrence, and devise the means of defending this city in case of attack. For if the garrison be not reinforced, there is a danger of the citizens making that an excuse to enter into some sort of agreement with the enemy, and the Doge himself, though well meaning and firmly attached to the Emperor's service, will not be able to prevent it.
The galleys of Naples are much wanted here, as without them there is no security in this port and city.
Has been told that at the time the city rose so tumultuously against the Italian infantry, some among the lowest of the Adorni and Fregosi met together and discussed the expediency of the two parties uniting, as proposed some time ago, and revenging themselves on the nobles, who, they said, were the cause of all their troubles and dangers. He (Soria) has reasons to think that unless matters in Italy take a more favourable turn for the Emperor, the Genoese are sure to seize the first opportunity to unite the two opposite factions (Adorni and Fregosi), and constitute a government similar to that of Venice. Wishes for instructions how to act, because the present Doge, as far as he (Soria) can understand, is not very far from assenting to that idea; and whether the citizens determine to accept him as the head of their new government or cast him off altogether, as some people believe, certain it is that the revolution will take place. The principal instigators are Andrea Doria and the Datary, in the Pope's name, whose interest it is that this city should proclaim its freedom. This is the reason why, on the day of the rising, the Doge sent out the Palace-guard, lest the people should take advantage of the riot to proclaim the desired union. This the Doge will never favour unless the Emperor's cause is entirely lost in Italy, and he himself is sure of preserving his place in the new government.
(Common writing:) Don Hugo de Moncada has sent him (Soria) a letter of credence, wherein His Imperial Majesty orders him to follow that general's instructions. Needs not add that the Emperor's commands shall be punctually obeyed.—Genoa, 8 June 1526.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Lope de Soria."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 5.
9 June. 453. The Same to Prothonotary Umberto di Gambara, Papal Nuncio in England.
Lettere di Principi,
Vol. I., f. 190.
The departure of the President (Guicciardino) devolves upon him the task of writing to England and elsewhere. Has written to Capino in France, and to the Bishop of Pola, at Venice, to keep him (Gambara) well informed of what is going on. The Magnifico Guicciardino is to do the same from the camp. He (Gambara) to correspond with them all, so that each may do his duty wherever he is, without waiting for further instructions from [Rome].
Should France act in concert with the confederated powers, victory is ensured. Though the King of England may not think the time has come to declare himself, he might, at least, help the confederates secretly. Thinks the King might do both with honour; that is, help the League with money and declare himself. The sole authority of so great a King would be worth another army. We do not, however, ask more than what the King of England is willing to give. The good understanding between the English ambassadors in France, the Papal Nuncio and Venetian Secretary, has no doubt been very effective for the conclusion of the league. Is to tell the King and the most Reverend Cardinal the great pleasure this has given His Holiness, and to obtain an assurance that the English ambassadors [in France] shall be instructed to persevere in their combined action, and, if possible, to improve the same, so as to keep the French King firm to his purpose of not listening to new Spanish overtures, and of fulfilling his promises in men and money, as that is the only means of recovering his sons and whatever else he may desire.
Although it cannot be presumed that the French King will fail in his promises, yet the respect which he must feel (che è per hauere) for King Henry will be a greater security. The King and Cardinal have always shown such care for the prosperity and welfare of Italy—now more than ever—that this country will for ever remain under an obligation to them and take the King for her patron. Recollects when he was last in England, at the time of the rupture between Henry and Francis, that the Cardinal of York said to him (Giberto) that the wings of so insolent a cock as the French King ought to be well clipped, so as to prevent him, in future, from disturbing Christianity. Now that the cock is chastised and has been replaced by an eagle—much more powerful and dangerous—it will appear to his most Reverend Lordship no less glorious an act to have the talons of the said eagle cut in such manner that it may rest contented with the greatness and power which God has given it.
Don Ugo is expected with great offers (partiti grandi), but military preparations will not be stayed on his account. Wishes he could make sure that the French King will not recede out of parental tenderness.
Messer Francesco Guicciardino is so generally esteemed for his affability, prudence and discretion, that there can be no doubt that he will be on the best possible terms with the Venetian commanders, the Illustrious Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere) and the Proveditore (Pesaro), especially as the instructions which the latter has received from the Signory are exactly the same as those of the President (Guicciardino). Indeed, as the Papal Nuncio (Capino) and the Venetian Secretary (Rosso) agreed so well in France about the conclusion of this league, it is to be hoped that the union and understanding between the generals will be equally firm and profitable. The Nuncio, moreover, is to acquaint the Signory with the fact that, long before the arrival of the news from France announcing the conclusion of the league, His Holiness had decided to send the President (Guicciardino) to the army, and that he left three days ago (the 6th of June), that being the reason why the task of writing to him (Gambara) and other Nuncios abroad has devolved upon him (Giberto). Begs him to communicate this letter to the Bishop of Bayeux (Canossa), to save him the trouble of writing again.—Rome, 9 June 1526.
Signed: "Gio. Matteo Giberto."
Addressed: "Al Protonotario Gambara."
9 June. 454. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 410.
Don Ugo de Moncada arrived here on the 5th with less provision in money than this city and the Imperial army had been led to expect, owing to which reason both the citizens and the generals (the Marquis and Leyva) are rather discontented. Begs and entreats that more money may be speedily sent, for war is imminent, and the Pope and the Venetians are making levies of men and preparing artillery.—Milan, 9 June 1526.
Signed: "El Abad de Najera."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Abbot of Najera, 9 June."
Spanish. Holograph. p. 1.
10 June. 455. Gio. Matheo Giberti to Monsignor di Pola, Papal Nuncio in Venice.
Lettere de Principi,
Vol. I., f. 114.
The Pope has appointed Francesco Guicciardino his Commissary and Lieutenant at the army. Everything may be expected from his valour and discretion. Count Guido Rangone is to arrive to-day or to-morrow at Piacenza with his 4,000 men, after leaving sufficient garrisons in Modena and Parma. Vitello also is to go to Bologna with his band; and as Giovanni de Medici has received similar orders it is to be expected that the whole of our forces will meet at Piacenza in six or eight days at the farthest. Giulio Leno, an able engineer, is to command the artillery.
His Holiness is waiting to hear the Signory's determination respecting the galleys that are to be sent to the coast of Apulia, as well as those destined for Genoa. It is most desirable that the Imperialists should be attacked at various points, and, above all, that the Emperor should be prevented, by the seizure of Genoa, from remitting money to his troops. Orders have been issued that no bills drawn upon merchants of this city or Florence are to be paid. The Signory ought to do the same there.
Letters from France of the 21st and 25th ult. state that the King had informed the Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy) of his intention to join the league, and that every possible entertainment and hospitality were being offered him, in order to gain time and prolong the negotiation. It had not yet been decided who was to command the auxiliary troops, some saying Mons. de St. Pol, and others Mons. de Brion, the King's great favourite, now Admiral of France.
Has written to the Nuncio (Chiapino) to urge the despatch of the supplies of men and money, as well as of the galleys for the Genoese enterprise. Has directed him to act in conjunction with the Venetian Secretary (Rosso) and the English ambassadors (Tayler and Fitzwilliam), and endeavour to keep the King firm and prevent his listening to the Emperor's overtures. Has also written to England, desiring them to encourage the French King and keep him in the right path, and also to ascertain whether secret aid is to be had from King Henry, and whether he is willing to declare himself in such good company. (fn. n18) —Rome, 10 June 1526.
Signed: "Gio. Mattheo Giberto, Datario."
10 June. 456. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 417.
Wrote on the 7th inst., and sent his despatch to Milan for Commander Herrera to take. Don Ugo was to leave next day for Rome. He had gone into the castle, accompanied by Prothonotary Caracciolo and Knight Commander Herrera and spoken to the Duke (Francesco Sforza), who is still suffering from his usual complaint (con la debileza de miembros acostumbrada), and said he wished to live and die in the Emperor's service. After this Don Ugo went to Monça, to speak to Hieronymo Moron.
The Switzers are not yet stirring, though it is reported they have received money from the Pope and from the Venetians.
The bearer of this comes from Rome with the Duke of Sessa's despatches. All along the road he has seen musterings of troops and a certain animosity against the Imperialists. News have come from Bologna, Modena, Parma and Piacenza that those cities and many more in the Papal estates are arming, and that the whole force is being concentrated at Piacenza. Unless Don Ugo's presence at Rome put a stop to such warlike preparations, the dance will begin soon. Fancies that Don Ugo has come too late to stop it.
Count Guido Ringon (Rangone) is in command of the Papal troops, and will shortly take the field with 7,000 foot, 700 men-at-arms and a good number of light cavalry. (fn. n19) The Venetians, on their side, are raising a strong force, and a large body of Switzers is expected.
The Imperial army is concentrated round Milan. The generals (Guasto and Leyva) are only waiting to see whether the Papal troops will cross the Po, and the Venetians the Adda. They will fight the first who comes, or both if they cross the river at the same time.
(Cipher:) The soldiers are in excellent spirits. Nothing is wanting save money; and if remittances come, victory is sure to be ours.
Begs to remind the Emperor of the defenceless state of Genoa, which port is so necessary for the Imperial army. All communications with Spain by land and sea may be cut off one of these days, especially if the French King be in the Pope's league and Andrea Doria come here with his galleys. This Doge is making such provision for the defence of this city and port as his very scanty resources will allow; but many of the citizens, as announced in former despatches, have conceived the project of a union [of the two rival factions], and, if reduced to extremity and no succour at hand, are likely to carry it into execution.
Has just received a message from the Lord of Monago, informing him that the 16 galleys (fn. n20) in the port of Marseilles are being armed with all speed, and that their destination is Villafranca di Niça. Doria's two galleys at Antibes are also ready; and if these 18 galleys come down, as it is feared, upon Villafranca, both Monago and Genoa may be placed in great straits.
The Doge has applied for money to assist in the defence of this port; and his ambassador at Court has been instructed to urge the point as much as possible. His father-in-law, Count della Mirandola, is now here attending to the defence of the place and doing good service.—Genoa, 10 June 1526.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Lope de Soria, 10 June."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 4.


  • n1. "Que nos envien tres banderas de las buenas, porque temen este Duque y Comunidad de algun escandalo en la tierra."
  • n2. "Lo de aqui está en terminos que si V. Magd lo remedia con tiempo, será señor del mundo."
  • n3. "Hanle dado cargo de cien lanzas espesadas y de una buena banda de caballos ligeros, que seran los de la avanguarda ó batalla." The word espesadas, which seems derived from the Italian spessa (cost, expense), means, if I am not mistaken, men-at-arms serving at their expense, with a fixed stipend, differently from those who drew rations of food from the inhabitants.
  • n4. See above, No. 433.
  • n5. The deciphering to this letter is not in the volume, but has been made out with the assistance of a key preserved in the Archives of Simancas.
  • n6. The letter alluded to by Don Hugo, in which he, no doubt, related at full the riots at Milan, on the 23rd and 29th of April, was intercepted in France, as the Nuncio (Capino) informs us in one of his despatches to the Pope. The above not being original, but only a copy of the French translation made at the time, the circumstance of one letter being found in the Belgian Archives, whilst the other, its enclosure, does not exist, may be thus satisfactorily explained.
  • n7. "Al obispo de Lodi y al Verulano (Ennio Filonardo).'
  • n8. "Y el Duque hizo aqui su cumplimiento con Su Santidad y se contenta."
  • n9. "Estos piensan forzarle á ninguno (á uno?) de los partidos que le anteponen y fasta agora se les han negado."
  • n10. Probably the Colonnese.
  • n11. Don Francisco de Mendoza y Cordoba, from January 1526 to the end of 1528. He was Sessa's uncle.
  • n12. A Genoese admiral in the Imperial service.
  • n13. "E poi che è fatto questo di lasciar venir Don Ugo, non si lasci almeno passar' altri, che a gran proposito è che l'essercito de nimici si troui con due capi discordi." In the absence of Bourbon—who did not return from Spain until the end of June, having landed at Genoa on the 28th, and reached Milan on the 6th of July—the Imperial forces remained under the command of the Marquis del Guasto and Antonio de Leyva. If any disagreement existed between them, not a word is said in the Abbot's correspondence, who would not have failed to report it to the Emperor.
  • n14. The English ambassadors in France at this time were Sir William Fitz William and Dr. Tayler; the Venetian, Andrea Rosso.
  • n15. The letter here mentioned may be found in Vol. I., p. 197, of the Lettere di Principi, le quali, ó si scrivono da Principi ó a Principi, ó ragionando di Principi, a most important collection, formed and published by Thomasso Porcachi in 15. ., and several times reprinted. I use the edition of Ziletti, Venice, 1581, in three volumes, 4to., which is considered the best, and has considerable additions. The letter is addressed to Don Michele di Silva, and dated Rome, the 10th? of June. The Datary informs him that the league between the Pope, France, Venice and the Duke of Milan, has been concluded, a place being reserved for the King of England. He regrets to hear that the Portuguese have procured the Emperor 200,000 ducats, destined for his Italian army. Will try and see whether, in the meantime, Genoa cannot be reduced, so that the Emperor may not remit the money thither. As to the Infante of Portugal having the duchy of Milan: "Sono sogni e barrerie." His Holiness meditates the invasion of Naples: "Faremo che Cesare conosca quanto perde per essere stato si ingrato á Dio e gli huomini del mondo; senza forza, son certo non ne possiamo aspettare altro che male, nessun conto della sede Apostolica, una sete infinita di regnare per fas et nefas e tanti mali che spero in Dio non sia per sopportar tanto disprezzo delle cose sue." Begs to hear from him as soon as possible; nobody is to see his letters but the Pope. If the Emperor is not furnished with money, the cause of the league is gained. Don Ugo left France on the 23d, with very fine offers, as is said; but having thrown off the mask (essendo già scoperti), we cannot trust his words.
  • n16. Don Hugo's letters of the 6th, and Commander Herrera's of the same date, were intercepted, as may be seen in one of Chiappino's, the Papal Nuncio in France, abstracted by Brewer, IV., p. 1000. Yet it is remarkable, as I have observed elsewhere (p. 726, note), that his letter of the 7th, wherein he says that he has enclosed the intercepted one, should have been preserved.
  • n17. "Quando entendimos que Andrea Doria era partido en Cività Vieja."
  • n18. "Quando non voglia ancora scoprirse con si bella compagnia!" Most of the letters of Gianmatheo Giberti and others contained in Porcacchi's Collection have been abstracted by Dr. Brewer. See Letters and Papers, vol. IV.
  • n19. In a later letter of Prothonotary Giovanni da Casale, the English ambassador in Venice, dat. 5th June, the following passage occurs: Count Guido Rangonus, the Papal captain, was enlisting soldiers even before the treaty was concluded. He is very courageous, and as hostile to the Spaniards as the Devil to the Cross. See Brewer, Letters and Papers, &c., vol. IV., p. 996.
  • n20. "Que las seze que estan en Marsella," &c. If not a mistake of the decipherer—for this paragraph is in cipher—seze must be for diez y soys in Spanish.