Spain: July 1526, 11-25

Pages 797-811

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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July 1526, 11-25

11 July. 486. The Same to [Lope de Soria].
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 37.
I wrote to your worship the day before yesterday (9th July), announcing the arrival of the Duke of Bourbon in Milan on the 6th inst., the attack and repulse of the enemy on the ensuing day, and their hasty retreat on Marignano, where they are now waiting for orders from Rome and Venice. We are attending to our defences, and intend soon to march out against those who, after so gallantly taking possession of Lodi the other day, came to attack us here [at Milan]. To day 300 Neapolitans, who were treacherously surprised at Lodi, and obliged to take service with the Venetians, have deserted and joined our camp. They will be placed where, in case of disaffection, they will do us no harm. He who planned the whole treason at Lodi appears to be one Lodovico Vistarino, whom I believe your worship knows. The Neapolitans are really ashamed and disgusted at their late discomfiture, but notwithstanding we shall keep our eye on them. (fn. n1)
I beg your worship to see to the speedy and favourable expedition of the steward of the Duke of Bourbon, who goes [to Burgundy?] for certain business. Yesterday a relative of the Lord of Monaco, who is going to Spain with despatches, left this for Genoa. He will be obliged to take a sea route, for Lope Hurtado de Mendoça writes [from Chambery] that all passes are closed, and nobody allowed to cross the French frontier without a safeconduct. The said Lope Hurtado writes that although the French King has decidedly joined the league, the Italian confederates are not quite satisfied with his doings, for until now there is no sign of either French or Switzers stirring.—Milan, 11th July, 1526.
Signed: "El Abad de Najera."
Spanish. Copy. p. 1.
11 July. 487. Abstract of a Letter from Naples of the 11th July.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 35.
Everyone here contrives to serve His Imperial Majesty with such means as he has at his command. The quota (rata) of the nobility (baruni) in the new gift (servicio militare) amounts to 100,000 ducats, the third of which, due next August, is to be paid down at once. In September a new tax of five carlini is to be levied on each house.
These ministers, desirous of rendering a signal service to the Crown, have lent 2,000 ducats each, that is to say, have lent their names and signatures to bills drawn at Court.
The Duke of Sessa arrived on the 7th inst. at two hours of the night. Immediately after his arrival the [Collateral] Council was assembled, and the question of the money was debated; 20,000 ducats have already been procured from bankers and merchants, to be recovered with interest on the rents of the following August.
Though the present league is made against His Imperial Majesty, hope is entertained that the Emperor will be able through his invincible power to triumph over all, as he did over the French on former occasions. People are confirmed in this opinion, not only by the arrival of M. de Bourbon in Lombardy to take the command of the Imperial army, as by the report that he brings with him a considerable sum of money.
(fn. n2)
The Colonnese have all taken service with the Emperor, with the only exception of one Giovanni Stephano Colonna, Lord of Prenestina, (fn. n3) who has gone over to the Pope's side.
We have been here in great fear of an invasion, knowing the preparations of infantry and light cavalry being made by the Pope at Rome and in the Marches. Our fears, however, have since subsided, and our frontiers been placed in a state of defence. There are 1,400 Italian infantry under the following Spanish captains: Spes (Espes?), Francisco Carrozo (Carroz), one Antonio Leva, (fn. n4) and another one whose name is unknown to me. Money has been sent to Don Ugo de Moncada, who is at Jannezano (Genençano), to recruit there between 2,000 and 3,000 infantry, Spaniards or Germans, as well as inhabitants of Romagna, 400 light cavalry under the leadership of Count Policastro, though he himself does not attend (imperò ipso non vá), of Ferranto Carrafa, who commands 100, of Diodemedes Carrafa with 60, Count Sarno (Sarni) with 100, and Ferrante Pandone with 50. No more troops are levied for the present, for there are besides 200 men-at-arms in various parts of this kingdom.
I believe we shall soon hear from these ministers what their plans are for the future campaign, for both Cardinal Colonna and Signor Ascanio (Colonna) are asking for reinforcements to invade the Campagna [of Rome], and give the Pope some work in hand, or compel him to recall part of his forces. I cannot say what these ministers will decide respecting the incessant applications of the Colonnese, but ut sentio in varias sententias distrahuntur. I believe, however, that they will decide for the best. May God enlighten their judgments for the Emperor's best service, and for the welfare of this kingdom!
Harvest very bad this year. In Apulia there has been such a quantity of the worm (bruculi) that its fields, generally considered the granary of this kingdom, are literally wasted. In many parts the sickle has not been used, &c., and the measure of wheat sells for four carlini. The silk crop, however, is abundant in Calabria, and oil very plentiful at Bari, as well as at Otranto. The revenues of Calabria are calculated in consequence at 350,000 ducats.
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Genoa. Lope de Soria, (fn. n5) 4th of August."
Spanish. Copy. pp. 3.
12 July. 488. The Marquis del Guasto to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 38.
The Marquis of Pescara, his predecessor in command of the Imperial army, borrowed certain sums from bankers of this place [Milan], pledging his most solemn word that the money—which was immediately used for the pay of the Germans—should be repaid, principal and interest, out of the first remittances that came from Spain. He himself made particular mention of the debt in his will, and yet the Milanese bankers have not yet been reimbursed; and the latter, aware that the Duke of Bourbon has lately brought money from Genoa, have renewed their applications for the payment of what is owing to them. The Duke [of Bourbon] himself now writes to Court on this subject, and he (Guasto) cannot do less than join his prayers to his, and beg that His Imperial Majesty, for the honour and credit of the Empire, and the satisfaction of his own conscience as Pescara's nephew and heir, may approve the plan proposed by the Duke, and reimburse these bankers.—Milan, 12 July 1526.
Signed: "El Marques del Gasto."
Addressed: "Sacræ, Cæsareæ Maiestati."
Indorsed: "To His Majesty. Marqués del Gasto, 12 July 1526."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
15 July. 489. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
ff. 40–1.
Wrote on the 8th inst. by a brigantine bound for Barcelona, and sends now a duplicate by Leonardo Grimaldi, who comes from Milan, and is going to Spain by sea. Quite impossible to write by a land route, as all the roads in Italy are shut, and couriers not allowed to pass through France. Grimaldi will give verbal information of the last occurrences [at Milan], since he comes straight from that city, and was present at the assault of the gates by the troops of the Pope and Venetians. What he (Soria) has to advice is as follows:
A report is afloat that the Pope and the Florentines intend to attack Sienna. He (Soria) has also received intelligence (Cipher:) that the King of France is about to send Count de St. Pol with a good number of men-at-arms, and the Marquis of Saluzzo with his bands; they are to join the Papal troops and the Venetians, and attack this city (Genoa), the garrison of which is so weak and contemptible that, if assailed at the same time by sea and land, as the enemy appears inclined to do, it cannot hold out long. There are only six Imperial galleys in the port, besides three belonging to this Community. He (Soria) has often written to the Duke of Bourbon and to the rest of the generals and ministers about it, and yet no provision has been made for the defence of this city, the preservation of which is so important for the Imperial interests.
(Common writing:) Neither is the kingdom of Naples in such a state of defence as might be desired. The Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy) is absent, which materially impedes the required defence. It is urgent that His Imperial Majesty give orders for the galleys [of Naples] to be collected and united to those of this Community. Some caraks and other large ships might then be armed, with which, all united, such a fleet could be fitted out as to have the command of these seas. (Cipher:) The Emperor must be aware that, although his army is excellent and well appointed, it is very inferior in numbers to that of the enemy, who are daily increasing their forces.
Encloses copy of a letter from the Turk to the King of France, that His Imperial Majesty may know what the intentions of that Infidel are.
(Common writing:) Has already given notice that any remittances of money for the use of the Imperial army must come in specie, owing to the difficulty of getting exchanges at Rome, Florence, Venice or France. The last bills, however, amounting to 100,000 ducats, have been discounted here (at Genoa), and most of the money placed at the disposal of the Duke of Bourbon, who in three or four days is to receive the remainder.
After writing the above he (Soria) has heard that the Florentines are really marching against Sienna. Has also received a letter from the Abbot of Najera, (fn. n6) dated the 11th inst., and a copy of which is enclosed, giving an account of occurrences at Milan up to that date.
Lope Hurtado de Mendoça writes from Chambari (Chambery) on the 10th inst. that he was expecting there a safe-conduct from the King of France, and that the Switzers intended to hold a diet on the 25th to decide whether they were to furnish troops to the League or not, and in what number. It was also reported in that locality that the Marquis of Saluzzo was to be the commander-in-chief of the French forces in Italy.—Genoa, 15 July 1526.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Genoa. Lope de Soria, 15th July."
Spanish. Original. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 2¼
19 July. 490. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 66.
Wrote on the 15th inst. by Leonardo Grimaldo, who went home in a brigantine. There is no more passing through France; the last courier which he (Soria) despatched, on the 28th last, was detained in that country. A person lately arrived from Rome told him (Soria) that the Duke [of Sessa] and Don Ugo de Moncada had left that city and gone to the land of the Colonnese. One hundred and fifty horse left [Rome] in pursuit of Don Ugo to kill him [para matarlo], but as they found him at the head of 500 foot, the assailants dared not attack him. The Pope was daily increasing his forces, some of which, well provided with artillery, he had sent against Sienna. Perusa (Perugia) and Florence had each furnished their contingent for that expedition.
Andrea Doria has taken Porto Hercole and Talamon, two seaports of the Siennese. Hieronymo Severino, who had left Genoa for Sienna by sea, has been obliged to return, having heard that Doria lay in ambush for him. He is actually soliciting the Duke (Bourbon) to give some assistance to Sienna. Something indeed must be done to prevent that city from falling into the hands of the Pope and of the Florentines, who are everywhere showing their enmity to the Emperor. Hopes, however, that they will soon have occasion to repent of their misdeeds, and that such provision will be made as to ensure the success of our arms. If the Emperor's journey to Italy is delayed it is quite evident that war cannot be carried on successfully without reinforcements and money, for the Pope and his confederates have openly proclaimed their intention of assailing successively every one of the Imperial dominions in Italy, Naples and Sicily included.
The last news from Milan are in date of the 16th inst. Both the Duke (of Bourbon) and the Abbot of Najera write to say that the castle was reduced to extremity and could not hold out many days.
Has had letters from Venice, besides the enclosed from Alonso Sanchez to His Imperial Majesty. The league had been proclaimed in that city with great solemnity. The proveditor [Alvise Darmer] had put to sea with his 15 galleys to join those of the Pope and France. The Genoese were much afraid at this, lest the armament was intended against their city, for if the enemy should come and blockade this port, all communication [with Spain] and the arrival of supplies will be stopped. There is urgent need to send the Neapolitan galleys here with all speed, as, joined to other sea forces, they might be superior to the enemy's fleet.
To-day the steward of the Duke of Bourbon left for Milan, taking with him the rest of the 100,000 ducats which Ansaldo Grimaldo has paid in full. The sum, however, is said to be insufficient for the wants of this army.
Letters from Lyons of the 13th inst. announce that the Marquis de Saluzzo with some Italian captains had arrived there for the purpose of crossing the Alps and joining the camp of the Pope and of the Venetians. He has with him a certain number of men-at-arms and a few thousand Switzers.
The company of Captain Figueroa, (fn. n7) once the body-guard of the French King, marched as far as Piedmont to incorporate itself with this Imperial army, but on reaching a place called Sanper in the Duke of Savoy's territory they were plundered of everything they had (desbalijados), and the captain and his men had to go back to France. The outrage was committed by the men of one Filiberto, the Duke's vassal, and by the band of Joan Birago.
(Cipher:) Had the galleys now at Naples joined those we have in this port, there can be no doubt that Andrea Doria would by this time have been disarmed. Even if they come before the Venetians, and the French can effect their junction with them, he (Soria) is sure of success, especially if Doria remains in the ports lately taken from the Siennese.
(Common writing:) This is the chief reason why Admiral Portundo ought to come here as soon as he can, and the Neapolitan galleys also. If, however, this cannot be effected, this Signory could at an expense of 20,000 ducats per month fit out a fleet of caracks and other large ships, much superior in number and artillery to that of the enemy. The Signory might furnish one half of the above sum, and the Emperor the other half. It is very important that some measure of this sort be soon taken (Cipher:) because Andrea Doria is already capturing all vessels bound for this port with provisions. This Doge has applied for 500 Spaniards or Germans to garrison the place, promising to give them the usual pay. Hitherto the Duke of Bourbon has not granted his request, but he will probably do so shortly, as he must know how defenceless this city is, and how essential its preservation.—Genoa, 19th July 1526.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To His most Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Genoa. From Lope de Soria, 19 July."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 3.
20 July. 491. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
ff. 71–2.
Wrote on the 9th by Don Ugo; the duplicate is enclosed. What has occurred since is that the Duke of Sessa has gone to Naples to raise men and money. Don Ugo remained at Genençano with the Colonnese, from whence he has begun negotiating with the Pope respecting Sienna. The conditions to be as follows:—Orders to be sent to the Papal forces not to proceed in their march against that city. The outlaws (foraxidos) to recover their confiscated property, and enjoy it at Sienna or wherever they most like; to hold public offices according to what is customary in the city; and to be pardoned all their crimes and misdeeds, &c. The government of the city to remain in the hands of those who now hold it, and the guard to be entrusted to a person of the Emperor's choosing, that the outlaws (foraxidos) may confidently return home. It was further proposed that Vespasiano Colonna should go to Sienna, take the government of the city into his own hands, and transfer it to the person His Imperial Majesty might afterwards appoint. The Pope wanted both Vespasiano and Don Ugo to become responsible; but as they were not sure that the Siennese would accept, they naturally wished, before taking any such engagement, to send one of their followers to Sienna, and ask the citizens' consent. This, however, the Pope would not grant, objecting that "if the Siennese came to hear of the proposed agreement, they were sure to refuse." Don Hugo and Vespasiano insist on that condition, and thus the matter stands. He (Perez) believes that the Pope will not accede to it. They are again to insist. It is doubtful whether the Pope will grant their request. If he does, it is an understood thing that there is to be a suspension of hostilities between Rome and Naples, and that traffic is to be carried on as before. Don Ugo agrees to this, but only on condition that the affairs of Sienna are to be settled first.
(Cipher:) What Don Ugo and the Colonnese will be able to effect is more than he (Perez) can say, because they are evidently waiting for the decision at Naples. The Council there seems inclined to accept the propositions about Sienna, and consequent suspension of hostilities, because they would rather not make war upon the Church. Such being the sentiments of the Neapolitans, no good (ninguna buena cosa) can be done in these parts, and such being the case, the Pope will be able to dispose of his entire forces in Lombardy. Even here, at Rome, he is very strong, for he is daily increasing his forces, and preparing artillery with its cars, its ammunition, and the buffalos to draw it from one place to another. He gives audience twice a day to the ambassadors of the confederated princes. The Datary and Jacopo Salviatis are continually with him transacting war business. The Datary no longer occupies his time with "Datas" as he used, for there is now another functionary named Meçer Felice, bishop of Civita Vecchia, who attends to that department. If therefore His Imperial Majesty wishes anything to be undertaken against the Pope (fn. n8) an express mandate must come for the Council of Naples seriously to take the affair in hand, and help by land and sea with men, money, provisions, ships, and anything else that may be required; for if the report be true that 14 Venetian galleys and an equal number of French ones are coming to join 11 the Pope has, their whole number will amount to about 40. Even if they were only 35 it will be a formidable armament, and were the enemy with such forces to make an attempt on Genoa or Naples the Imperia army would have enough to do to attend to so many things at once. Andrea Doria has already taken Porto Hercole, which belongs to Sienna, and will probably do the same with a neighbouring castle (rocca), and two more ports belonging to that Signory. In fact, wherever the enemy sees a chance of success, there we find him ready for an attack.
(Common writing:) The news from Milan is what His Majesty must already have heard through another channel. (Cipher:) All he (Perez) can say is that the Pope and his friends are very much concerned at the repulse and retreat of their army before that city, though they maintain that it was effected without loss of men and artillery, contrary to the general report. (Common writing:) The Pope has lately received intelligence that his army, with that of the Venetians, reinforced by 3,000 Switzers, and a number of men-at-arms daily expected from France, is to attempt a second time to relieve the castle of Milan, which, according to all accounts, is reduced to great extremity.—Rome, 20 July 1526.
Signed: "Perez."
Before closing this letter he (Perez) must not omit to say that Vespasiano Colonna went to see the Pope, and what with Don Ugo's message, and what he himself represented, the permission was granted for one of Sessa's men to go to Sienna and propose the above-mentioned conditions to the citizens. Encloses memorandum (fn. n9) of them. They are exactly the same which Commander Herrera sent from hence on a former occasion. Don Ugo is coming to-day to an abbey of Cardinal Colonna, called Gruta Ferrata, two leagues from this city, in order to be more at hand for the negotiations of the truce, &c.
Articles of capitulation with the Siennese are also enclosed, and the Pope has promised, in case the stipulations are agreed upon, to give back Porto Hercole.
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Rome. The Duke of Sessa (sic), 20th July."
Spanish. Holograph. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 3.
21 July. 492. The Emperor to the Abbot of Najera.
Arch. Hist. Cent.
Madrid. Priv. y
Car. Re. f. 383.
Has received his letters in date of the 2nd and 8th of June. No answer is required till the arrival of fresher ones, which are anxiously and daily expected; perhaps they have been intercepted, as there is every reason to think. Begs him to send duplicates of all he has written since that date, and to inform him at the same time where and when he suspects the said letters to have been intercepted or detained, so that proper care may be taken for the future, and the despatches sent by another route.—Granada, 21st of July 1526.
Signed: "Yo El Rey."
Countersigned: "By His Majesty's command, Alonso de Soria, Secy."
Addressed: "From the Imperial and Catholic Majesty to the Abbot of Najera, his Commissary to the Imperial army in Lombardy."
Spanish. Copy. p. 1.
24 July. 493. Capitulation of the Castle of Milan
S. Pat. Re. Milan,
L. 1. f. 18.
Articles of the treaty made by the most Illustrious and Excellent Lord the Duke of Bourbon, Lieutenant and Captain-General of His Imperial Majesty in Italy, on one side, and the Duke Francesco Sforza on the other, the 24th of July 1526, at Milan.
1. Francesco Sforza to surrender the castle and rocha of Milan to the Duke of Bourbon.
2. To retire to Como, where he is to enjoy jurisdiction, as well as the revenues of the city and bishopric.
3. To receive from other ducal revenues at Milan a sum of 30,000 ducats every year.
4. Personal security to be ensured wherever he choses to go.
5. Not to be molested for the past, neither himself nor his servants.
6. The same security to be granted wherever Francesco Sforza wishes to go.
7. Similar stipulations to be understood in favour of those of his servants who have remained by him.
Italian. Contemporary copy. pp. 1½.
24 July. 494. Lope Hurtado de Mendoça to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
ff. 90.
Arrived at Chambery with the judicial inquiry (informacion) on the damages caused by the Imperial troops in Piedmont. Has not gone further, because he is aware that Spaniards travelling through France without a safeconduct are arrested on the road. Has applied to the Duke of Savoy to procure him one. The Duke has written to France, and been refused, but is about to renew his application through one of his secretaries now going to Spain. In this manner the Emperor will know whether the safeconduct has been granted or not. In case of non-success he (Hurtado) wishes to know what he is to do.—Chamari (Chambery), 24th July 1526.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty of the Emperor, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Chamari, 24th July."
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
24 July. 495. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
ff. 76–80.
(Cipher:) His last letter was of the 7th inst. Cannot write as often as he used, owing to the roads being closed. Hears only occasionally from Rome, and, therefore, has little or no intelligence to communicate.
This Republic is making all manner of military preparations. Every day their army is strengthened, and so is the Pope's. Though not yet sure of obtaining the help of the Switzers, it is to be feared they will ultimately gain their object, such are the pressing solicitations of the Pope and of the King of France. Indeed, it is reported that the Bishop of Lodi (Ottaviano Sforza) has already joined the camp of the league with 2,000 Switzers and Valesians.
Has lately received letters from Juan de Castro, a servant of the Archduke, formerly at Milan, and now at Trent, asking for a safeconduct from the Signory to go to Milan, where he had a message of his master's to deliver. The said Juan de Castro had been sent thither (to Trent) by the Emperor's generals, on a mission to the Archduke, and was now returning with the answer. Believing that it was far better for the Archduke's ambassador to apply for the safeconduct, he (Sanchez) requested him to go to the Signory about it; because were the Signory to refuse, it would then be quite evident that they wished also to break with the Archduke, whose friends they profess to be. The ambassador accordingly made his application. The answer was, that as their own army was in Lombardy, it was imprudent to grant safeconducts to people going [to Milan]. They would not for the world fail in the stipulations of their league.
In consequence of the Signory's flat refusal, he (Sanchez) had advised Castro to communicate to the Imperial generals at Milan the message he had from the Archduke, through various ways, and in the most secret manner. Had accordingly sent him his own alphabet and deciphering key, and placed besides at his command a trusty person well acquainted with the roads between Trent and that city. Has since heard that Castro had succeeded in making the Imperial generals [at Milan] acquainted with his mission.
Has received several letters from His Highness the Archduke in answer to his of June last. One particularly, in date of the 6th inst., stating that he has express orders from His Imperial Majesty not to move [from Spira] until the diet is closed, and that he is doing all he can to finish that business, which is one of great importance. Knowing, however, the state of things in Italy from him (Sanchez), as well as from the Imperial generals at Milan, and lastly from Commander Herrera on the 10th of June, he (the Archduke) was in great perplexity as to the best course to pursue, especially as he had no orders from Spain. He was, nevertheless, getting ready 2,000 infantry to reinforce the Imperial army, and would soon put an end to the deliberations of the diet, when he would be able to cross over to Italy with the whole of his forces.
In his letter of the 8th the Archduke announces that the German peasants have everywhere been defeated, and would soon be so far reduced as to allow the troops employed in their pursuit—eight thousand strong—to be sent over to Italy. This would prove a most important addition to the Imperial army, since besides strengthening its ranks it would baffle the hopes of the Venetians, who have been trying to get the aforesaid peasants into their pay. The Archduke further says that the cost of pacifying his own estates, besides maintaining 5,000 men during eight months in the Tyrol at the express desire of the Marquis of Pescara, has been so excessive that he is without funds. Begs him (Sanchez) to procure money in any way he thinks best; otherwise he will not be able effectually to help the Emperor's cause in Italy. Sanchez has replied to the Archduke that he has neither money nor the means of procuring it; that even if he had bills of exchange on Venice he could not have them cashed, for the Signory does not allow him to take more than 20 ducats at a time for his own daily expenses. He had written to the Duke [of Sessa] and to Don Hugo to devise means of procuring the required sum in Naples, or at least enough of it for the maintenance of the said 8,000 men, until an answer came from Spain or from the Duke of Bourbon at Milan; for it would be a very disreputable thing if those men, now so near the Italian frontiers, should be obliged to return home for want of pay, and worse still if they were to enter the enemy's service.
His Imperial Majesty will judge by the Archduke's answer to his (Sanchez's) pressing solicitations how far the promised help is to be relied upon. The affairs of Italy are in great danger. It is imperative to make such provision as will ensure success. The enemy is daily increasing his forces; the Switzers, perhaps the French too, will ultimately join them, and although the Imperialists have hitherto held their ground and performed miracles fighting single-handed against so many foes, yet it is to be feared that, the enemy's forces increasing, they may be worsted in the end.
A captain, named Gaspar Mar, and several other knaves (bellacos) lately in command of the German peasants, arrived here some days ago, and offered their services to the Signory. They had (they said) left at the frontier 1,500 men, who had escaped from the last encounters with the army of the Swabian league, and wished to know whether, in case of their services not being accepted, a free passage to Rome through the Venetian territory would be granted to them. No sooner did he (Sanchez) hear of their arrival and intentions than he called upon the ambassador of the Archduke and begged him to go to the Signory and remonstrate against their admitting into their service men so criminal, who have destroyed and plundered more than 1,000 monasteries and other places of worship. As the Pope's confederates they could hardly give shelter to people who were the enemies of all religion, and persecuted by the Archduke and the Swabian league. Were the Signory to grant them what they asked, it would be equivalent to declaring against His Highness and the Holy League. Their answer was that they would not take them in their pay, but could not refuse them passage through their territory, because they were Christians after all. Notwithstanding the above promise made to the Archduke's ambassador, notwithstanding a message which the chiefs of the said Swabian league sent through a trumpeter, purporting that if the Signory admitted the said villains into their territory they were to consider the league as dissolved, and look forward to an invasion of their lands by the Archduke, he (Sanchez) hears that a certain pay has been assigned to the said Germans. Has been told so by a spy he has among them, and accordingly requested the ambassador to write to the Archduke and to the captains of the Swabian league, informing them of the Republic's behaviour in this particular. Gaspar Mar and the others have a priest in their company, who, two or three times a day, and at every village where they halted in Germany, used to preach their Lutheran doctrines. A pretty thing, indeed, that such people, persecuted as they are by the Imperialists, as the sworn enemies of religion, should find favour and protection among the confederates, (fn. n10) and be incorporated into the Papal army!
Simon de Tarsis, the postmaster at Milan, who left that city on the 25th last, has arrived here (in Venice), and, as a good servant and minister of His Imperial Majesty, waited on the Signory, though he has not visited him (Sanchez) from fear of awakening suspicion. He says that a despatch which Bartholomé de Tarsis had received for him (Sanchez), containing certain powers and instructions from the Emperor, had been forwarded on the 23rd of June last by the ordinary post. As he (Sanchez) has not received it, he concludes that the Signory, wishing to spare him the trouble of reading its contents, has intercepted it.
Bills of exchange, to the amount of 40,000 cr., drawn by English merchants, and payable to the order of this Signory, have been received. Some people, however, assert that the money comes from France, not from England, and that the French, not being able to procure bills in Lyons, had the money sent to London. Has not been able to ascertain whether the sum remitted is really on account of England or of France. The Signory have had letters from this latter country, stating that the King was to go to Blois, and thence to Paris. It is added—though the report may turn out untrue—that the King's journey was for the purpose of paying the King of England a visit.
In case of the castle [of Milan] surrendering and the Duke falling into our hands, it is the intention of the Italian confederates, as he (Sanchez) has been informed, to confer the duchy on the King of France, thinking that by so doing they will ensure his co-operation with a large force.
The report is that the Pope has lately made an agreement with the Duke of Ferrara, who is to give up Rezo (Reggio) and Rubiera on condition of receiving Ravenna in exchange, and it is publicly stated also that the Duke is to be commander-in-chief of this Italian league. Nothwithstanding these rumours, he (Sanchez) has not heard of the Duke having made any movement.
On the 8th inst. the league was publicly proclaimed in this city, as will be seen by the enclosed copy of the proclamation. On the 22nd all the ambassadors residing here went to the College Hall, that of England (Prothonotary Casale) among the rest, for the purpose of swearing the league, though more likely to ratify it.
The Archduke's ambassador has late advices from Friuli, stating that the Hungarians had defeated the Turks and slain forty thousand of them, besides taking possession of five bridges they had thrown over the Danube. He (Sanchez) believes the news to be true, although being favourable to the Imperial cause, the Venetians avoid giving it publicity. Yesterday the ambassador of the Duke of Ferrara called and gave him (Sanchez) a letter from the Secretary of the Doge, at Genoa, adding that the Duke [of Ferrara], his master, would willingly take charge of any correspondence of his. Thanked him for his kind offer; told him many things important for the Imperial service, and entrusted to him the present despatch to be forwarded to the Doge's secretary at Genoa. Whilst conversing with the said ambassador, he (Sanchez) mentioned the report of the Duke, his master, having, at the Pope's suggestion, agreed to exchange Rezo (Reggio) and Rubiera for Ravenna. Not only did he show the most profound disgust at hearing what was said of his master, but declared that the Duke would never come to an arrangement with the Pope. May it be so! His Imperial Majesty, however, will know the truth of this affair through the Duke of Sessa and Don Hugo. He (Sanchez) has not received letters from either of them for many a day.
There is a report here that the Pope is about to create three Cardinals, natives of this Republic, from whom he is to get as much as 100,000 ducats. Cannot vouch for the truth, but the fact is that all offices are sold [at Rome] for money, and that the Pope gets a very good revenue from such customers as the Venetians.—Venice, 24th of July 1526.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Venice. From Alonso Sanchez, 24th July."
Spanish. Original in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 9.


  • n1. "Estos se hallan tan engañados y mal contentos quanto al mundo se puede pensar; non obstante esto se terná ojo á las manos."
  • n2. "Esperando lo que el Papa y la Señoria les avisaran que hagan con nosotros."
  • n3. The original has "Prenestino."
  • n4. The Italians of these days called Antonio de Leyva Leva; but if the christian name of the captain mentioned in this passage be really Antonio, there must have been two so called serving in the Imperial army. Probably the writer made a mistake, and wrote Antonio instead of Giovanni, or Juan de Leyva, who was his nephew.
  • n5. This letter seems to have been addressed to Soria [at Genoa] by some Neapolitan official. He no doubt had it copied and transmitted to Spain along with his own despatch of the 4th of August.
  • n6. See No 486., p. 797.
  • n7. "La compañia del Capitan Figueroa que estuvo en guardia del Rey de Francia." No doubt the same which escorted him from Vitoria to Bayonne, after which they probably attended on the person of the Viceroy. A reference to this event is made in one of Giberti's letters. See Lettere di Principi, &c., fol. 216.
  • n8. "Si vuesta V. Mag. es servido que se faga algo contra el Papa."
  • n9. Not in the volume. Those forwarded by Commander Miguel de Herrera may be consulted under No. 312.
  • n10. On the 19th of July, and probably the very day that the Doge made this statement to the Archduke's agent, a letter was despatched to Gasparo Spinelli, Venetian Secretary in England, informing him, for the Cardinal's satisfaction, that 1,500 lansquenets of those who sided with the peasants in Germany had appeared on the borders of Cadore and Cividal, requesting passage through the Venetian territory on their way to the Valtellina. If necessary, the State would make use of them for the present war.—Rawdon Brown, Venetian State Papers, vol. III., p. 588.