Spain: June 1526, 21-30

Pages 761-779

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, 21-30

22 June. 468. Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 454.
No sooner had he (Caracciolo) closed his letter of the 16th, of which he encloses duplicate, than, about the 23 hours, there commenced in this city a most awful brawl (grandissimo rumore) between the citizens and the Imperial soldiers. As the Marquis and Leyva were walking the streets, they met a man whom the latter recognised as a spy of the Bishop of Lodi. Leyva immediately ordered him to be arrested and conducted to his own lodgings; but the man resisted, and began crying at the top of his voice: "Italia! Italia!" Perceiving that the people of the town flocked to the spot and tried to rescue the prisoner, one of the soldiers in whose charge he was slew him. The riot increased, and our soldiers were under arms all night, as were also the Milanese. Whilst these events were passing, he (Caracciolo) happened to be at his own quarters inside the city, surrounded by nobles (caualeri), gentlemen (gentilhuomini principali), merchants and other worthy citizens, besides the Vicar (Vicario de la Provisione), who, on the first outbreak of the mob, had come to request that he would intercede with the generals, so as to put an end to the conflict and prevent the soldiers from retaliating; for the riot in some places had assumed great proportions, the Milanese having attacked the bastions and parapets which our men had to defend with small guns. (fn. n1) Called accordingly upon the generals, accompanied by two of the principal citizens and by the Vicar (Vicario della Provisione), and found them very much incensed and well prepared (preparatissimi) to retaliate upon the Milanese. Fire-signals had been made for the Spanish infantry to come into the city, and orders sent to the lansquenets to attack the city on the side close to their cantonments. After a most severe reprimand, addressed to the deputation, who went with him—they offering as an excuse the heaviness of taxation, the shameful behaviour of some of the Imperial soldiers and the great number of banditti and criminals who had found their way into the city—the generals were moved to mercy, and gave orders for the lansquenets to desist from the attack (offensione) until the next morning, messengers on horseback being despatched to the Spanish infantry to stay where they were. This, however, on condition that the rioters would be immediately expelled from the city.
The sun was set, and he (Caracciolo) back in his bed, when he heard the alarm sound again through the city. Having inquired from the gentlemen who were with him what could be the cause of this new disturbance, he was answered that the sentries of the lansquenets having observed fire-signals in the direction of Santa Maria della Schala, thought it was the Spanish infantry that was coming into Milan, and had accordingly given their comrades the alarm. The Germans, finding their mistake, had returned to their quarters; but a furious mob paraded the streets and subsequently attacked "Il Campanone" and "La Corte," two posts occupied by our soldiers, which, being situated in the very centre of the insurrection, where they could not be succoured, had fallen into the hands of the rioters, after a stout defence by the guard, some of whom had been slain. Meanwhile, Germans and Spaniards armed themselves and prepared for the attack; and fresh orders were sent to the infantry outside [Milan] to approach. The contest lasted till the 23 hours. The lansquenets, who fought bravely (gagliardamente), had already begun to set fire to some houses, and the Spanish infantry had for the most part reached the suburbs (li burghi), when the rioters began to show signs of fear (trepidare), and the aforesaid gentlemen and honest citizens, seeing the imminent danger in which Milan was, again begged him (Caracciolo) to intercede with the generals, and prevent, if possible, the impending catastrophe. Accordingly he (Caracciolo), followed only by a score of the said citizens, at no small peril of his person, and in the midst of the fire (in mezzo de scoppetate et archibusate), waited again on the generals, and exhorted them to mercy and forgiveness. Fresh orders were issued to the Spanish infantry not to enter the town, and the greatest efforts made to appease the Germans, who had sworn to revenge the death of their comrades. Indeed, had not the Marquis and Leyva, as well as Lope Hurtado, the Abbot of Najera and others of the Emperor's faithful servants and officials, made the most strenuous efforts to calm the fury of the lansquenets, this city would have been sacked and burnt to ashes. As it was, a portion of the Spanish infantry penetrated into the city, the counter-orders not having reached them in time, and it was with great difficulty that they were prevailed upon not to take part in the conflict.
On the ensuing day, as the Marquis was absent [from Milan] for the purpose of inspecting and addressing the Italian infantry under his immediate orders, the lansquenets began to plunder the armourers' shops (armaroli); but Antonio de Leyva, by great personal exertion and disregard of danger, succeeded in stopping them, the Spaniards under his orders abstaining from similar excesses and setting the example of forbearance.
Tranquillity is now restored, owing to the laudable exertions of these captains, as Don Lope Hurtado, who will leave shortly for Spain, will not fail to inform His Imperial Majesty. But the danger of another and perhaps fiercer outbreak is still great. The Imperial soldiers are certainly very brave, but, as regards discipline and general habits, very ill-conditioned (pesimi). They are now in Milan, on no very good terms with the inhabitants, whom they daily insult by excessive demands for provisions and other necessaries of life, (fn. n2) so that only the extreme prudence of the generals, who are continually riding through the streets of the city, can avert another collision. People, on the other hand, are deserting the city by hundreds; and unless the evil be promptly arrested, the Emperor, instead of a rich and flourishing Estate, will only own half-crumbled walls, houses deserted and falling to ruins, and fields without labourers.—Milan, 22 June 1526.
Signed: "El Protonotario Caracciolo."
Addressed: "Sacræ, Cæsareæ, Catholicæ Maiestati."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Milan. Caracciolo, 22 June."
Italian. Original. pp. 7.
26 June. 469. Don Iñigo de Mendoca to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien, Rep. P.C.
224. Fasc. 224.
Most Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty.
I sent this morning an express to inform Your Majesty of the little chance there was of my passing through France unmolested. To-day, at noon, a courier from the Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy) to Your Majesty passed through this town; he had been detained at Bayonne, his letters taken from him, opened, and read, except a few he succeeded in hiding. (fn. n3) I mention this fact because I think matters are getting worse and worse every day, and that without a proper safe-conduct I am sure to be detained on the road much longer than is convenient. The danger and annoyance to my own person are nothing when compared to the risk of having my letters and instructions opened and read in France; and therefore I beg Your Majesty to send me his orders, for, since God did not grant me ability to serve by sea, I am anxious to do my utmost by land. If Your Majesty thinks that in the state of things above alluded to I can traverse France without a safe-conduct, I will proceed at once on my journey. I expect the Viceroy here within four days; should his advice be that I can go on without waiting for Your Majesty's answer, and that there is no need of a safe-conduct, I will follow his advice and prosecute my journey; but should he be of a contrary opinion, will wait for Your Majesty's commands and follow them punctually.—Yrun-Yranz, (fn. n4) 26th June 1526.
Signed: "Don Iñigo de Mendoça."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred Majesty of the Emperor and King."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Don Iñigo, 26th June."
Spanish. Holograph. p. 1.
26 June. 470. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 464.
Since his letter of the 13th inst., the roads from this place [Venice] to Milan, to Rome, and other cities, have been blocked by the enemy. He (Soria) has been obliged to devise all manner of contrivances and try all sorts of conveyances, and yet is afraid that his despatches do not reach their destination. All couriers through the territory of Venice or the lands of the Church are detained, the letters taken from them, and all correspondence between the Emperor's ministers in Italy seized. Has accordingly complained to the Signory. Their answer has been that there are at present in their territory people of all nations, besides many Milanese refugees, over whom they have no power, and therefore that they cannot ensure our correspondence. Consequently his despatch of the 18th was addressed to the Archduke (Ferdinand) for him to forward to Spain. This appears to him the surest route for the present, although not a very safe one either. Fears that some letters which the Archduke must have written in answer to his have fallen into the hands of the enemy, for he has just heard that one from the said Infante (Archduke) to the generals at Milan, encouraging them to hold out until he sends them considerable reinforcements has been intercepted by the Pope's people. As the Archduke, in his letter, announced his intention, as soon as he had finished with the affairs of the Diet now being held [at Inspruch], of coming down to Italy in force and invading the territory of the Signory on three different sides, so as to oblige them to recall their army and provide for their own defence, the Signory is now raising 2,000 foot and 500 light horse to send to Friuli.
Of the state of affairs at Rome His Imperial Majesty must be sufficiently informed through the letters of Don Ugo [de Moncada] and of the Duke [of Sessa], in date of the 18th, No necessity therefore for him (Sanchez) to allude to the subject, further than to say that although His Holiness promised to send the Archbishop of Capua (Nicolas Schomberg) here to consult with this Signory, the said Archbishop has not yet made his appearance. Besides, the Papal Nuncio (Bishop of Pola) and the French ambassador (Bishop of Bayeux) told him (Sanchez) the other day whilst at church, and during the religious ceremony which he attended with some of the Venetian Senators, that, according to letters from Rome, of the 21st, both Don Ugo and the Duke had left that capital. Is inclined to believe this piece of intelligence, as he has not heard from them since the 19th.
There have been several riots, more or less important, at Milan; but the generals have succeeded in putting them down; and when they wrote, on the 18th, everything was quiet again.
The Signory and the Pope do not agree as to the plan of their future campaign. The Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere), who commands the Venetian forces, wishes the Papal forces to join him in the Mantuan, thence to march upon Lombardy. The Papal general, on the contrary, maintains that such a movement will open the way to the lands of the Church to the Imperialists, and that it will be better for one army (the Venetian) to cross the Adda, whilst the other approaches by the river Po. The Duke is of a contrary opinion, and has sent Sobtello (sic) to the Pope to have his plan of the campaign approved.
Meanwhile, on St. John's day, one of the Pope's captains, named Scosso, and another of this Signory, Malatesta Ballon (Baglione) by name, followed by 100 men-at-arms and 300 light horse, having each a musketeer (escopetero) behind, proceeded secretly to Lodi and took possession of the town, one of the gates of which was opened to them by some of the Italian infantry inside, who have since entered the service of this Signory. There were in the city 1,000 Spanish infantry, but on hearing of the rising at Milan, and being anxious to participate in the sack of that city, which was reported as having already commenced, they left their positions and took the road to that city; and although the Marquis del Guasto went to Lodi to dissuade them from this purpose, no sooner had he turned his back to return to Milan than they quitted Lodi and left it almost defenceless in the hands of the Italians. This has been the chief cause of the loss of that fortress. He (Sanchez) had often written to the generals at Milan, warning them against certain secret negotiations which he knew were going on there; he was answered that there was no fear, and that every precaution had been taken. Should not be surprised to hear that the whole of the Venetian force is to concentrate there. Hears that the Duke of Urbino has written to the Signory that this taking of Lodi is the beginning and end of their victory (el principio y fin (?) de su victoria).
Cannot say what the generals intend to do after the loss of Lodi. Hears from various sources that the castle of Milan is reduced to the greatest extremity. The report is that the Duke of Ferrara is trying to have himself appointed captain-general of this league, and that this Signory is endeavouring to settle his business with the Pope. Cannot say this for certain, but such are the rumours afloat.
This Signory has had letters from France, of the 10th and 14th inst. By the former their secretary (Andrea Rosso) informs them that the King, whilst hunting, had broken his arm. The latter state that the accident was of very little consequence. Has been told that the same post brought the bills of exchange, to the amount of 30,000 cr. (escudos), which the French King is to contribute towards this undertaking, but that the merchants and bankers of this place had refused to accept them. True or not, such is the information which he (Sanchez) has received.
There is no very reliable intelligence from the Switzers. Some say that they are coming down (calan); others that they are not. He (Sanchez) has been told for certain that one Gasparo Sormano, who was the French King's agent, had hitherto prevented their coming, and persuaded them not to arm without first hearing from his master. The King had said to Andrea Rosso that he disapproved of Sormano's conduct in the affair, and had written to him on the subject. It is added that the French ambassador residing here (Bishop of Bayeux) had written to the said Sormano to urge, by all means in his power, the descent of the said Switzers.
Forgot to say that when Don Ugo and the Duke pressed His Holiness for a definite answer to the Emperor's last proposals, the Pope told them to call the next day for it, and that when they did, they found that the whole affair had been previously discussed with the ambassadors of the league now at Rome.
Is in great perplexity as to what he is to do, whether to remain at Venice—where he can be of no earthly use—or go somewhere else. Has written to Don Ugo for advice, because though he may continue his charge, the conduct of the Signory towards the Emperor is not such as to warrant his having an ambassador here. Will not quit, however, without the Emperor's express commands. Waits for instructions, which had better be communicated to him through the Archduke, the surest channel just now.
Whilst writing the above, letters have been received from Don Ugo and the Duke of Sessa. They had been unable to make the Pope change his resolution, and therefore considered him to be from that moment the Emperor's declared enemy. They did not intend calling at the Palace except to take leave of him and apply for a safe-conduct through the estates of the Church to go wherever they might desire. They have sent him certain letters, which accompany this, to be forwarded to the Infante (Archduke Ferdinand), and left it entirely to his choice either to remain at Venice or go away altogether. He (Sanchez) is undecided, and knows not which course to take. Whatever is best for the Imperial service, that he will certainly do.
This letter goes by way of Genoa, and is the duplicate of the one sent by the Archduke.—Venice, 26 June 1526.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Venice. Alonso Sanchez, 26 June. Answered."
Spanish. Original. pp. 8.
27 June. 471. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 372.
Wrote on the 9th inst., referring to Don Ugo's letter (fn. n5) and to what Miguel de Herrera is likely to relate by word of mouth. Lope Hurtado de Mendoza, bearer of this present, will, besides, acquaint His Imperial Majesty with all the particulars of the late riot; how the Imperial army is now quartered at Milan; how the inhabitants are gradually being disarmed, and how arrests of various individuals concerned in the last insurrection are made every day; how Prothonotary Caracciolo, accompanied by two gentlemen of this city, went up to the castle and asked Francesco Sforza to surrender it; and, lastly, how, on the 23d inst., on St. John's eve, the Italian infantry took charge of the defence of Lodi, and how, on the very same night, two hours before the break of day, the said Italians delivered the city up to the Venetian army, 5,000 strong, which had come there in pursuance of a preconcerted plan.
The said Miguel de Herrera cannot fail also to inform His Imperial Majesty how the Papal troops who are at Piacenza have thrown a bridge over the Pò; how the Switzers have not yet made any stir; and how the Imperial generals—aware of the enemy's intention to relieve this castle—have decided on awaiting them, with a force amounting to 8,000 Spanish and German infantry, 700 lances and upwards of 1,200 light horse. The men, moreover, are in high spirits, and have even promised to work with their own hands at the fortifications.
We have at Cremona 2,000 Germans, 600 Spaniards and 200 light horse. Count Lodron is at Pavia, with upwards of 2,000 foot and 200 light horse, all excellent troops, and himself a brave and experienced captain, the colleague of Leyva during the last siege of that city by the French.
At Alexandria are three companies (banderas) of Spaniards, besides 1,000 Italians, 200 lances and 200 light horse, all under a Spanish captain named Aldana. (fn. n6)
Como and the rest of the castles and fortified towns in this Duchy have been provided with an adequate garrison. The Infante (Archduke Ferdinand) has been requested to send a reinforcement, as the enceinte of this city is so large that it requires more men than we have to guard it effectually. His answer is that George Frensperch (Fruntsperg) is coming down with 2,000 German infantry. A messenger has also been despatched to the Grisons, to procure the passage of these forces through their land, and another to the Archduke, begging him to come down in force and invade the territory of the Venetians, who are the chief promoters of this war.
Received on the 23d the Imperial letters of the 9th inst., and has seen the copy of the Imperial warrant (cedula), remitting 100,000 ducats for the use of this army. The bills were presented and duly accepted in Genoa; but the bankers will not pay a farthing of that sum until they know who is to receive it. As the Duke of Bourbon, who most likely is the person intended, has not yet arrived, the supply is of no use whatever as it is. Begs, in case of Mons. de Bourbon not bringing the powers (el cambio) with him, that they may be sent through a messenger, for the wants of the army are such that the least delay in this matter would be highly detrimental.
No news from Don Ugo since his arrival at Rome, nor is it likely that we shall hear of him, for the Pope and the Venetians keep so vigilant a watch on the roads and everywhere through their territory, that not one of the letters we write from hence to Rome, Venice, or Germany, reaches its destination. Begs His Imperial Majesty to consider how very important it is, under the present circumstances, to remain at peace with the French King, were it only the more effectually to punish these Italian potentates, who, after being so earnestly and so long requested to live on good terms with the Emperor, have at last declared war against him.—Milan, 27 June 1526.
Signed: "El Abad de Najara."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Milan. Abbot of Najera, 27 June. Answered."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 3.
28 June. 472. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 37,
f. 475.
Bartholomeo de Tassis arrived on the 22d with the Imperial letter of the 9th, and left, the same day, for Milan with the rest of the despatches. Those addressed to Don Ugo and to the Duke at Rome were to be forwarded by way of Venice, as the Pope keeps so strict a watch on the passage of the Imperial couriers, that all are arrested and the letters examined. The other day an express coming from Valladolid, who left this for Rome on the 18th, was detained and his correspondence taken from him. Other estafettes between this city and Rome have shared a similar fate; and the Pope has, besides, forbidden, under pain of death, that anyone write news or pay money to the Emperor's servants or vassals, so that all communication with the Roman estates is completely stopped. Andrea Doria, with his galleys, is close to the Piombino channel, searching all the vessels he comes across, interrogating the passengers and crews, making them speak in his presence, and, when he finds from their accent that they are Spaniards, making captives of them and putting them to the oars. All which are evident signs that both the Pope and the Venetians have thrown off the mask and intend to make war on the Emperor.
Advices from Rome of the 21st confirm the above statements, and add that since Don Ugo's arrival in that city, the Pope has been making active preparations. All this considered, and no letters having come either from him or from the Duke, the Imperial generals are inclined to think they have left Rome, or that their messengers are detained and their letters intercepted. And as His Imperial Majesty might not be aware otherwise of what is going on there and elsewhere in Italy, it has been resolved to send this express by sea to Barcelona, addressed to the treasurer Bartholomeo Ferrer, that he may have it put into the Emperor's hands as soon as possible. (fn. n7)
On the 18th the Germans at Milan made a riot (se alborotaron) and rifled some armourers' shops. The tumult was soon appeased, and the Spaniards took no part in it, showing regret at what their companions in arms had done. The Germans, however, took what they wanted from the shops, and are now well armed. Count Lodrone has since left for Pavia with 2,000 of the said Germans, who are more wanted there than here, as we have now [at Milan] 20 companies (banderas) of Spanish infantry.
Count Guido Rangone, the Pope's general in chief, Vitelo (Vitello Vitelli?) the Captain of the Florentines, and Juanin (Giovannino) de Medicis, who is in command of the light horse and of 2,000 foot besides, have arrived at Piacenza. Their united forces are said to consist of 500 men-at-arms, 900 light horse, 8,000 infantry, and well-appointed artillery. They are to join the Venetian army, who have 700 men-at-arms, a few light horse, 7,000 foot, and artillery, all under the command of the Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere).
By the enclosed letters from the generals and ministers at Milan, received yesterday, the 27th, His Imperial Majesty will be made well acquainted with the occurrences in that city. There is no need for him (Soria) to repeat the intelligence.
Has presented to Ansaldo Grimaldi the bills drawn upon him, amounting to 100,000 ducats. Grimaldi has accepted them, and agreed to pay the first instalment, a third of that sum, but until the Emperor's powers come designating the person or persons to whose order the said bills are to be paid, the credit is entirely unavailable.
(Cipher:) The Emperor says in his answer that he should be glad if Andrea Doria were disarmed and punished, but elsewhere than in the Pope's dominions. Doria is in the Pope's service, and doing all the harm he possibly can to the subjects of the Empire. It would be but just to attack him, wherever he takes shelter. At any rate, if his own (Soria's) idea is approved of, orders must come for the captains of the Imperial galleys to follow his instructions. Has no doubt that all the galleys together will be able, without waiting for the Neapolitan fleet, to destroy such a pirate as Doria is.
This Doge and Community (says the Emperor in his letter of the 9th inst.) must attend to their own defence as well as they can, as for the present no assistance can be given them. The Doge is doing all he can, as well for his own security and preservation, as for the Emperor's sake; but his means are very scanty, he has no money, and the troops at his disposal are few and not very good. The Imperial generals at Milan cannot at present, in view of the immense preparations made by the Pope and the Venetians, detach any force, so that if vigorously attacked he (Soria) is afraid that no great resistance will be made, especially as the Genoese, knowing the number and quality of their defenders, will not expose themselves to be sacked. Some assistance in men or money ought to be given to this city, for once lost to His Imperial Majesty, the affairs of Italy might go on badly.
(Common writing:) Lope Hurtado left Milan on the 25th. He will personally inform the Emperor of the state of affairs there, and how the warder (alcayde) of Tarento was mortally wounded in the face at Lodi, whither he followed the Marquis del Guasto.
This morning, after writing the above, the Duke of Bourbon arrived in port with his six galleys. Great is the joy of all the Emperor's servants in this city, for he comes just at the right moment, and when he may be able by his presence to overawe the enemy. He is shortly to depart for Milan.
Intelligence has been received that the Pope's troops have crossed the Pò and marched in the direction of Lodi, to effect their junction with the Venetians there.
These galleys of Mons. de Bourbon will be very useful. Would to God Portundo had come also! His presence here is very much wanted. He might come as far as Monaco without any risk, and there see how matters stood, and give help wherever most wanted. He (Soria) is afraid that the Neapolitan galleys will not come to Genoa for fear of Soria's fleet.
A boat (barca) entered the port of Savona three days ago, coming from Rome. The master says that when he left, the Duke of Sessa had already taken his departure, and that the Colonnese were assembled in great force to attack the city. The Pope was raising troops for his own defence, and Rome was much agitated (habia muchas revueltas en Roma). He (Soria) does not know what to believe, but certainly the kingdom of Naples and the Colonnese might become very troublesome neighbours to the Pope.
Encloses letters from the Duke of Bourbon, who has given him (Soria) one from his Imperial Majesty, commanding him to obey his orders, as he did those of the Viceroy of Naples (Charles de Lannoy) when he was commander-in-chief of the Imperial forces.—Genoa, 28 June 1526.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Genoa. Lope de Soria. 28 June. Answered."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 4.
28 June. 473. Lope Hurtado [de Mendoça] to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
ff. 52–59.
Don Hugo [de Moncada] left for Rome on the 10th inst. Up to the 25th, which was the day of his (Hurtado's) departure from Milan, there was no news of him, nor had there been any letters from Rome or Venice. It is to be feared that they have been intercepted.
No sooner had Don Ugo left than the Milanese showed symptoms of arrogance (soberbia) and rebellion. They appointed four captains, chosen from amongst the greatest scoundrels (los mayores bellacos) of the city, under the plea that they were wanted to guard the gates and punish night marauders, of whom there happened to be a great many in the city itself and in the thoroughfares leading to it. So great was the nuisance, that in three days upwards of fifty Spaniards were assassinated, and it was with great difficulty that the Imperial camp could be victualled.
The Marquis [del Guasto] and Antonio [de Leyva], wishing not to break altogether with the citizens, and in order to obviate the difficulties pointed out in their last despatches, which Knight Commander Herrera took to Spain, bore the outrage patiently as long as they could, hoping that a remedy might soon be applied to such evils, without actually coining to a rupture. On the 16th the generals happened to meet a man, whom they at once recognised as a spy of the Bishop of Lodi (Ottaviano Sforza). They gave orders for his immediate arrest, but the man began to make a noise and cry out at the top of his voice, merely for the sake of attracting attention. He was told to be quiet and hold his tongue; he refused, and the soldiers of the escort slew him. No sooner did the people of Milan hear of this than they rose everywhere in arms against the Imperialists, stormed the Palace and the Duomo, and put to the sword a company of Italian infantry that was in guard of those two buildings. (fn. n8) They then rang their large bell (campanon), calling on the people to rise in arms. It was, however, of no avail to them, for everywhere in the streets they met with a stout resistance from both Spaniards and Germans, who performed wonders on that day, and inflicted serious losses on the rioters. This state of things lasted from Saturday evening till Sunday at the same hour, during which time there was nothing but fighting night and day. The nobles (gentilhuomini), it must be remarked, took no part in the popular rising; on the contrary, they tried all they could to put it down. Hearing that Juan de Hurbina (Urbina) was coming up with ten companies of Spanish infantry, the Milanese laid down their arras and asked for mercy, having previously expelled that very night from the city Pietro di Pusterla and about three hundred more of the principal rioters. Next day the ten companies of Spanish infantry came into the town, and were quartered [in the suburbs]. Several more came in afterwards, without their captains being able to stop them, under the plea that they wanted to revenge their comrades.
On the ensuing day, though the city was as quiet as a country village, the Germans attempted to sack it. They gutted the armourers' shops, and some more houses from which the people had fired upon them (con escopetas). Things would have gone much farther had not our Spaniards, at the persuasion of their captains, refused to take part in the affair. Tranquillity was at last restored through the exertion of the generals. Count Lodrone with his band [of Germans] was sent to Pavia for food, for there was none in the city, and also to stop the Spaniards, who, as before stated, were flocking to Milan from all parts of the Duchy. The Italian bands, under Fabricio Marramao, in a mutinous state, were also marching on the city. The Marquis (del Guasto) went out, addressed them, and calmed them with the promise of entrusting to Fabricio the keeping of Lodi, which was accordingly done, the Marquis sending orders to Corvera and other captains to come to Milan with the very few Spaniards who, faithful to discipline, had not forsaken their banners.
On the 23rd of June, St. John's eve, Fabricio (Marramao) entered Lodi with his force, 1,500 men strong, and on the following day, though the Marquis del Guasto had previously made them swear fidelity to the Imperial cause, the Venetians having arrived during the night, one of their officers, a lieutenant of Luys Çiçiliano, (fn. n9) who no doubt had a secret understanding with the enemy, let them into the city by one of the gates, took the garrison by surprise, slew many, and caused the remainder to take flight. Fabricio [Marramao] succeeded in reaching the fortress, though wounded.
On the morning of St. John's day the news came to Milan that Lodi was lost. It was at first decided that the Marquis should go thither with six companies of Spaniards, but he took only those who could be accommodated behind the horsemen of his escort; the men moreover went reluctantly, fancying it was a false alarm to send them out of Milan. No traces of the enemy did the Marquis find till he reached Lodi. Having entered that city by one of the gates close to the castle, he immediately attacked the Venetians, who had already barred the streets leading to the castle. Our men, however, were so few, the Marquis having only taken 200 with him, that after fighting for several hours, taking one banner and slaying a good number of the enemy, they were obliged to fall back upon Milan. Our loss consisted of six or seven men. Felipe de Herrera, the warder (alcayde) of Tarento, was shot through the jaws, and taken inside the castle, where Captain Quesada remained with about 50 men.
On the very night of the Marquis' return to the camp a council of war was held, wherein it was resolved, after garrisoning Pavia and Alessandria, to concentrate the rest of the Imperial forces, men-at-arms, as well as light cavalry, and send to the former city for more artillery; with these forces to keep the field and manœuvre, as the occasion might require, as the whole of the Venetian army was now at Lodi, and nothing certain was known about the Pope's troops.
(Cipher:) As Knight Commander Herrera must by this time have informed His Imperial Majesty, part of our army is at Carmona (Cremona), Pecigueton (Pizzighitone), Lecco, Trequo (Trezzo), and Como. The 2,000 Germans of Count Lodron, three companies (banderas) of Spaniards, two of men-at-arms, two more of light cavalry are at Pavia, whilst here, at Milan, we have 3,000 Germans and twenty-four companies of Spaniards, making in all about 6,000, all very good troops and as anxious as of old to do their duty, so that one could not wish for better soldiers. About 1,000 more Italians remaining, the generals intended to place them in various positions so as to keep the roads, and ensure the victualling of the army. This is, in the Marquis' opinion, the principal point to be attended to, because for soldiers to fight for food and keep their ground at the same time, is a thing next to impossible. The enemy seizes all provisions wherever he can find them; the rest the country people hide, or else allow their wheat to rot in the fields rather than give it to us. That was the cause of the garrison of Pavia being nearly starved out the other day, of there being no food at all in Alessandria and of the scarcity felt here at Milan, for it is really wonderful how the Duchy can furnish food for so many men. Indeed, it is positively amazing how the inhabitants of this city can go on feeding so large a force, for according to our calculations it must cost them (the Milanese) 10,000 ducats daily.
Such was the state of things when he (Hurtado) left Milan on the 26th. The remedy, according to general opinion, lies in the Emperor's hands. He must either acquiesce in the demands of the Pope and of the Venetians, or make such an agreement with the King of France, and with other friendly powers, as will permit the war to be carried on with the utmost activity. And since the Pope wishes to throw a brand into Christendom, let His Imperial Majesty kindle the flame everywhere, (fn. n10) that those who have taken up arms against him be chastised as they deserve, and the Church reformed (reformar la Iglesia). If war is decided upon, money must be provided as soon and as abundantly as possible, since the 100,000 ducats lately sent are nothing in comparison with the daily wants of the Imperial army. His Highness the Infante (Archduke) is to come down as soon as he can, with the largest possible force, and by the road too which may appear most advantageous. Some think that he might come through the Mantuan and the Cremonese to Bologna; as at every one of these places His Holiness, as well as the Florentines, might be made to feel the presence of the Germans. Should the Archduke come down in person, Mantua, Ferrara and other Italian powers might be induced to join their forces to his, and a good deal more accomplished than is expected from us.
Bourbon has been so long coming that he has fallen into discredit, and the Milanese will no longer have him as their lord. Besides which, our people do not consider him so good a general as might be desired under the present circumstances. His Imperial Majesty must not for his sake risk the reputation of his arms, but maintain his personal glory given to him by God. (fn. n11) If a general is to replace him, let him come as soon as possible, for the army feels the want of an able commander, and feels more than ever the loss of the Marquis [of Pescara]. Of those who are now in command, one is not loved, the other is not feared. Antonio [de Leyva] is so ill that he is not expected to live. Alarcon would be on better terms with the army. (fn. n12) New captains should be appointed, for there is great need of them, especially for the men-at-arms and light cavalry.
Other measures will be required if war is to be carried out to our advantage: To come to an agreement with the Duke of Ferrara. Powers to treat with the Grisons and secure their friendship. Instructions to negotiate with the emigrants (foraxidos) of this Estate, since the Milanese themselves will not take up arms for our cause.
Paulo Chasco has refused to serve against the Emperor. He is now at Mantua. The Marquis (del Guasto) and Antonio de Leyva are of opinion that His Imperial Majesty should write him a letter in acknowledgment of his behaviour, and offer him good terms (partido), for he is an excellent captain.
The ambassador of the Marquis of Mantua (Soardino) should also be thanked for the refusal which his master has sent to the Pope's offers, and for his not choosing to side with him; and orders sent to Naples to provide him (the Marquis) with money, gunpowder, and anything else he may want for his defence.
If Bourbon still tarries, orders to be given to the galleys to come back, for it is now too late to place any reliance (fiarse) on Italians, and, besides, the Germans could not easily come down unless in considerable numbers. If His Imperial Majesty can send us those who are at Perpignan, so much the better.
To arm by sea in the most efficient manner, as there is a rumour that the Venetians have fitted out 20 of their galleys. In his letter to the Emperor, Don Ugo mentioned the conditions (partidos) that were to be offered to the Duke of Milan. After the last riot the Marquis [del Guasto] and Leyva sent Prothonotary Caracciolo to him. The Duke's answer was the same as on former occasions, and therefore no more reliance can be placed on him than on the rest of the Milanese. The people's cry is Duke, Duke! Marco, Marco! Church, Church! This the Milanese are said to have adopted in consequence of the scarcity of provisions, and the famine with which they are threatened. (fn. n13) Since the Commander's departure nothing more is known [about Milan].
Bartholome de Tassis reached that city [Milan] on St. John's Eve, with the bills of exchange for 100,000 ducats, but without powers to receive the amount. He (Tassis) told the generals that Mr. de Bourbon was to send the credentials, but up to this date they have not been received, though the money is much wanted. Has already reported the sum as insufficient for the wants of the Imperial army. The Germans at Cremona are owed 30,000 ducats, due this very day. At Genoa the Imperial generals have borrowed 10,000 from private individuals, and at other places various smaller sums, so that very little is left of the original credit. Out of the remainder the Germans' pay is due, so that the 100,000 ducats and a much larger sum are required if things are to be made right.
He (Lope Hurtado) will leave Turin shortly, and take with him the legal inquiry (information) on the damages caused by the Imperial army in Piedmont. Madame (Beatrix of Savoy) is here in very good health; the Duke, her husband, at Chamare (Chambery), through which town he (Hurtado) intends to pass on his way to Genoa, to take leave of him. If he can procure bread and wine, which are much wanted at Pavia, he will stop [at Chambery] three or four days more. Will try also, if possible, to ensure the passage of couriers, as the roads are by no means secure. Only the other day Bartholomeo [Taxis] was well-nigh murdered at Mondudi. Imperialists, and particularly Spaniards, can no longer travel safely through the country.
(Common writing:) Will soon follow the gentleman bearer of this letter, who is a brother of Count Gayaço and his lieutenant. A military man himself, he will be able to inform His Imperial Majesty of everything appertaining to war. Meanwhile, as his (Hurtado's) journey is likely to be a long one, should His Imperial Majesty despatch couriers (cipher), let them go at once to the Duke [of Savoy], who, as prearranged, is to direct them to the Infanta (Beatrix), and thence to Milan, for these people can do all they choose in these parts, and are, besides, greatly inclined to serve the Emperor's cause. As a proof, they (the Duke and Duchess) told him the other day that a vassal of theirs, and native of Savoy, Mossen de Villanova by name, is now raising two companies of infantry for the Venetians. If the intelligence be true, the intention of the Signory must be to cut the roads and, waste the lands (gastar la tierra) leading to Piedmont, for Villanova's band could hardly cross over to them now, and besides, the Venetians have more troops than they want. Has also been told that the Marquis de Saluzzo is coming down with 400 men-at-arms, and that the Carmagnola is already occupied by 700 infantry under Juan Birago. No one knows yet what their intentions are.
(Common writing:) Count Gayaço possesses an estate in Naples. He is a perfect gentleman, and in the war of the Admiral (fn. n14) served His Imperial Majesty at his own cost. At Pavia, when the King of France was taken prisoner, he happened to command a company of light horse. He is married to one of the Pope's nieces, and has a fine estate in the Parmigiano. The Pope summoned him to take service with him, but he refused, saying he could not take service with him, but he refused, saying he could not take up arms against the Emperor, and accordingly presented himself at the Imperial camp with 100 light cavalry and 100 hackbutters. He is an excellent captain. In consequence of his refusal the Pope has confiscated the Count's estate, he being, perhaps, the only Italian nobleman who has taken part for the Emperor. It is but just that a petition, which he now sends to Court, and is strongly recommended by the Marquis del Guasto, by Antonio de Leyva, and by the whole of us, should be taken into consideration.
His father had once property in the Cremonese, producing a rental of four thousand ducats a year. When the Venetians took Cremona his estate was confiscated, though restored soon after, when the French King [Louis X.] became master of that city. Again the Duke Maximilian [Sforza] took it away from him, and the King of France gave it to the Admiral [Bonnivet?]. The Count brought an action against them all and gained his suit, but on the accession of the present Duke [Francesco Sforza] the estate was again taken from him and given to the Marquis of Pescara, at whose death it became the inheritance of the Marquis del Guasto. The Count is now sending [to Spain] his own brother and lieutenant with the above petition, himself being unable to attend the Court in person. The Marquis favours him very much, and would willingly pass the estate over to him if proper compensation was made, as both the Count's messenger and Juan Baptista [Castaldo the Marquis' agent] will inform His Imperial Majesty. Both deserve to be rewarded for their services, and the Emperor might send orders to the commander-in-chief of this army, whoever he may be, to treat him as a person of quality and trust, the Marquis and Leyva having already placed under him the greatest part of their cavalry.
Bartholomeo [de Taxis] told us the other day that the Pope's legate was at Cadiz, most probably with the intention of returning home. If so, His Imperial Majesty ought to keep him there until it is known how the Pope intends to behave towards the Duke of Sessa and Don Ugo.
(Common writing:) The Marquis [del Guasto] and Antonio del Leyva agree perfectly well on all matters. Both those generals and all the captains down to the lowest soldier are resolved to die for His Imperial Majesty's service. Juan de Urbina does better work than he ever did. Since His Imperial Majesty has been so good to others, he [Urbina] might also be rewarded with a robe (habito) of one of the military orders, Alcantara or Calatrava. He is so brave an officer that it will be a wonder if he has time to wear it out.
Letters have come from the Archduke, dated 26th inst., announcing that he was about to send 2,000 infantry. They will have great difficulty to pass the mountains.—Turin, 28th June 1526.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Lope Hurtado de Mendoza, 28th June."
Spanish. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering by duplicate. pp. 7½.
30 June. 474. Pope Clement VII. to the Emperor.
Lanz. Corresp.
I. 217.
Reminds him of his good offices. Did for his sake reject the brilliant offers which King Francis made him, and when taken prisoner at Pavia remitted to the generals of the Imperial army 100,000 ducats, at the same time revealing the plans of the enemy. At the time that Francesco Sforza was besieged in his castle of Milan he was invited by persons of great weight (magnis quibusdam viris) to join the league. The Emperor knows quite well that he refused.
In return for so many favours "pessime jam a te mihi refertur gratia!" For, in the first place, one of his captains (fn. n15) has treated him and the Church with contumely, and not one of the conditions of the treaty has been fulfilled, nor the money given on that occasion returned.
How very differently he (the Pope) has been treated requires no demonstration. The Emperor would not impart to him the conditions of the peace made with France; his prayers and intercessions in favour of Francesco Sforza were obstinately disregarded, and, lastly, both in Spain and in Naples laws were promulgated contrary to the liberty of the Roman Church, and to his (the Pope's) dignity, to say nothing of the war rekindled in Italy by Bourbon's expedition to Marseilles.
Owing to the reasons above stated he (the Pope) has been obliged to conclude a union and confederacy with those who love the peace of Italy and the weal of the Christian Republic. If, therefore, the Emperor is anxious for peace, this is the opportunity for ensuring it. If not, let him know that he (the Pope) will not be wanting in courage and means to defend Italy and the Roman community.—Rome, the last day of June 1526.
Latin. Copy.


  • n1. "Et con bastioni et artillaria piccola se combatea in diversi locchi."
  • n2. "Viven hora dentro de la città con assai superchiaria non solo in parole ma anchora in la qualità e quantità del vivere, che e gravissimo."
  • n3. "El qual fué detenido en Vayona, y abiertas muchas cartas de las que traya, y las que no se abrieron fueron escondidas."
  • n4. Yrun-Yranzu is the ancient name for Irun, the last town of Spain on the frontier of France.
  • n5. Don Ugo's letter to the Emperor was probably intercepted, for it is neither at Simancas nor in the Archives of the Royal Academy of History at Madrid.
  • n6. The father or uncle of Francisco de Aldana, a celebrated Spanish captain, who was killed at Kasr al Kiber in Africa, serving under King Sebastian of Portugal, in 1578. Both he and his brother, Cosme de Aldana, resided long at Milan, where their poetical and other works were printed by Pablo Gotardo Poncio, 1589, 8o.
  • n7. The Emperor was at Granada. He arrived in that city on the 4th of June, and left it on the 26th of August.
  • n8. "Mataron una compañia de Italianos que estaba en la guarda," &c.
  • n9. See Guicciardini: Istoria d'Italia, lib. XVII.
  • n10. "Y pues el Papa quiere fuego en la Christiandad, V. M. le encienda por todas partes hasta castigar los que han tomado armas contra su exercito y reformar la iglesia."
  • n11. "La venida de Borbon ha tardado tanto que ya no trae credito, ni en el ducado lo querrian por Señor, ni aun nuestra gente no le tiene por tan buen capitan como en este tiempo seria menester V. Mag. por sus cosas no debe dexar su exercito perder, y sostener la gloria que Dios le ha dado."
  • n12. "Los que agora hay al uno no aman, al otro no temen. Antonio [de Leyva] está tan malo que un dia morirá. Alarcon estaria mejor con el exercito."
  • n13. "El apellido que la gente llama es Duque, Duque! Marco, Marco! Iglesia! Este llamaban los de Milan de (por?) la necesidad que tienen de vituallas."
  • n14. "En la guerra del Almiralle servió á su costa á S. Magd." By "Almiralle" Bonnivet (Guillaume Gouffier, Sieur de,) Admiral of France is no doubt meant, who in 1523 invaded Lombardy at the head of the French forces. He was subsequently slain at Pavia.
  • n15. In this passage Moncada can hardly be meant, for he had not yet attempted anything against Rome. The Pope must allude either to Lannoy or to Pescara.