Spain: August 1526, 1-20

Pages 824-843

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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August 1526, 1-20

4 Aug. 505. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
ff. 140–1.
Wrote on the 30th last by Donato de Tassis, who left in a brigantine. Has since received letters from Milan announcing that the enemy was still encamped at a place called San Giorgio, where the hospital for the pestilence (amorbados) is. There they had a strongly fortified camp, with trenches and other defences, in which they seem to have more confidence than in their own hands. The Imperialists were re-victualling the castle [of Milan], after which they intended to march against the enemy. Six thousand Germans were close upon the land of the Grisons, only waiting for permission to pass through their territory. There was no doubt that the Grisons would grant it, since some time previous they had of themselves offered to help with two or even four thousand infantry. Upon the arrival of these reinforcements it is confidently believed that the enemy before Milan will raise their camp and go elsewhere.
The Duke of Milan was still with the enemy. After conversing for some time with the commanders he sent Sforzino to Como, to inquire whether the Imperialists were ready to evacuate the place and give it up to him. Upon the refusal of the Spaniards, who composed the garrison to do this, he despatched a certain Doctor Jacopo Filipo Sacco to the Duke of Bourbon, desiring that the city and castle should be delivered up to him according to the terms of the capitulation. Negotiations were going on, but it was doubtful whether M. de Bourbon would grant the Duke's request, for they maintain that he (the Duke) has violated the terms of capitulation, besides which Como, they say, is now a strategic point of too much importance to be left in his hands.
Lope Hurtado de Mendoça writes from Chambari (Chamberi) on the 26th ulto. to say that the King of France had refused him the safe-conduct, and that the Marquis of Saluzzo had not yet left Lyons on the 21st, but was soon to come over to Italy with the forces under his command, having sent his own brother in advance to raise troops on his estate. Count Pedro Navarro was at Marseilles with the French fleet, ready to join the 15 galleys of Venice, and advance together upon this city.
(Cipher:) Should the enemy's fleet make its appearance on this coast we shall be placed in most imminent danger. Genoa and its territory live entirely by trade, and if blockaded by superior forces the inhabitants will receive nothing from the outside, and will be reduced to extremity, besides which, being as it is a land of factions (tierra de parcialidades), it is to be feared that its people may one of these days be compelled to accept the enemy's terms. This might easily be remedied by collecting a sufficient force here to meet those of the enemy. Has often written to Naples for the galleys to come; has had no answer. With 10,000 cr. (escudos) every month, added to an equal sum which this Signory offers to lay out, a fleet might the fitted out in this port, equal at least if not superior, to that of the enemy.
(Common writing:) Has advices from Naples and Rome up to the 24th ulto. The Duke of Sessa had returned to the land of the Colonnese with troops, and the Pope was trying to increase his at Rome, but unsuccessfully, as he found nobody willing to enlist under his banners. Vespasiano Colonna had left Rome to meet the Duke and Don Ugo. The report was that Vespasiano and Don Ugo did not exactly agree (estaban diferentes). The latter was still negotiating with the Pope for a suspension of hostilities between Rome and Naples, alleging that the people of that kingdom did not take up the business of war with vigour and zeal, and consequently that it was far better to treat for a truce than go on with the war. Vespasiano, on the contrary, was of opinion that war ought to be prosecuted with the greatest vigour, so as to keep the Pope in continual fear, and prevent his forces and those of the Florentines, his allies, from attacking Lucca and even Genoa by land, as it is his avowed intention to do, whenever he feels secure of attack from Naples and the Colonnese.
(Common writing:) Enclosed is a letter from Alonso Sanchez, the ambassador in Venice, with advices from that city.—Genoa, 4th August 1526.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Genoa. Lope de Soria, 4th Aug."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 3.
5 Aug. 506. The Viceroy of Naples to the Emperor.
Arch. d. Royme de
Belg. Brux. Doc.
Hist. III., f. 103.
Arrived this morning at this place. Presented the Emperor's letter to the King of France, who spoke to him at length concerning the reply made to his ambassadors, Monsieur Dembrun (the Bishop of Ambrun) and the President (Jean de Selve) on the Bourgogne business.
The said ambassadors are now going to His Imperial Majesty to see about the conclusion of the truce, and also to make an answer respecting the above matter. Believes the King to be as well disposed to do his duty (se mettre en tous ses devoirs) as he has ever been since his capture. He has written to his sister (the Duchess of Alençon) to make haste, and intends to send Mons. de Bryon (Philippe Chabot) to France, as soon as the truce is made, to hasten her departure.
The King has again told him (Lannoy) that he wishes to remain the Emperor's friend for ever, and that, unless by obtaining his liberty he can also secure the continuance of that friendship, he would rather remain in prison all his life.
It is very important, therefore, that the said Duchess go [to Spain] as soon as possible, in order to see how matters turn out.—Jan de Lotera? Monday, 5th Aug. 1526.
Signed: "Charles de Lannoy."
Addressed: "A sa Majte de l'Empereur, etc."
French. Copy. p. 1½.
7 Aug. 507. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
ff. 146–51.
His last was in date of the 26th July. The castle of Milan surrendered on conditions already known to His Imperial Majesty. The Duke Francesco Sforza left for Como after spending three or four days at the enemy's camp. (Cipher:) Whilst there he was so much pressed (fn. n1) by the Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere) and by the Venetian proveditor, (fn. n2) as well as by the commander of the Papal forces, not to keep his word, that he sent a trumpeter to Como to ask those in keeping of the place to evacuate it at once. Their answer was that they were ready to obey his orders, but could not evacuate the city, as they had to attend to its defence. Upon which the Duke returned to the enemy's camp, and thence to Lodi, where he now is. Some people believe that in going to Como his (Sforza's) intention is to garrison the castle with 800 Venetians, and that on his arrival at the camp the commanders of the Papal and Venetian forces had presented him with 4,000 ducats, 2,000 each. He is now at Lodi, intending to come as far as Padua for the baths, and thence, as the report goes, to this city (Venice). Cannot say whether this last piece of intelligence be true or not; all he knows is that his ambassador (Taverna) left on the 3rd inst. for Lodi, to hold a conference with him, and is soon expected back.
On the Duke's arrival at the camp this Signory held a council of Pregay, at which, as he (Sanchez) has been informed, it was resolved to use every endeavour to persuade him to break his word. One of the councillors was of opinion that he (Sforza) should be left alone to do his own will in the matter. The Signory (he said) had fulfilled their engagements towards him; some means might be found to put an end to a war which might otherwise go down as an inheritance to their children. (fn. n3) Another councillor maintained a contrary opinion; he said it would be a shame for the Signory, after entering into the league against the Emperor, not to do everything in their power to help the Duke. There was much discussion, and the former proposition being put to the vote, it was rejected by 125 noes against 25 ayes. About the time when it was rumoured that the Duke Francesco wished to fulfil the conditions agreed to with Mons. de Bourbon, Sanchez happened to meet at Church the Milanese ambassador (Taverna), who was once a great friend of his; told him he would be glad to speak to him on business, and accordingly the ambassador came to his lodgings one night (the 3rd inst.) in disguise. The Duke in the meantime, not having been received at Como as he expected, had come back; whereupon, as Sanchez was aware of it, the following discourse took place between him and the Milanese ambassador (Taverna): "When I said I wished to speak to you (said Sanchez) it was under the impression that the Duke Francesco wished to keep on good terms with His Imperial Majesty; but as I find that he is of a different opinion I have nothing to say to you. Should the Duke remain in possession of his estate, which can only be effected by the Emperor's favour and grace, nobody will rejoice more than myself; otherwise you must do your duty and I mine, which is to do each other all possible harm. There is one thing, however, I wish to impress upon your mind: the only honourable and profitable path for your master to follow is to conciliate the Emperor and ask his forgiveness; all others are fraught with danger, and can only bring ruin and desolation on your master."
Many other things did Sanchez tell him to the same purpose, which would take too much time to relate, the Milanese ambassador agreeing with him on most points, and producing a letter from the Duke, dated the 27th of July, from the camp of the Venetians, wherein he warned him (Taverna) not to negotiate with this Signory anything that might displease the Emperor, whose friend and servant he wished to be. He (the Duke) was resolved for the sake of honour and reputation to fulfil his promise, and begged the ambassador to inform Sanchez of his determination.
The Milanese ambassador went on to say, how upon the receipt of his master's letter he had applied to the Doge for an audience, and that on the 29th inst. he had gone to the College Hall and read its contents to the assembled councillors, when, after consulting with the Pope's nuncio and with the French ambassador (Bishop of Bayeux) for one whole hour—during which time he (Taverna) was kept waiting in an adjoining chamber—they sent for him and begged he would wait two or three days for the answer. This was the reason why he had not called before upon Sanchez, as he wished to know first what the Signory had to say to the Duke's note. He had not heard since from his master, but had been told by some of the councillors that he was returning from Como, and about to go to Lodi; lamenting that M. de Bourbon had not fulfilled his agreement, since he (Sforza) had not been admitted into Como, after it had been expressly stipulated that he was to have the city left free and open.
His (Sanchez) reply was thus conceived: he was no judge in the matter, not being acquainted with the articles of the capitulation. He thought, however, that even if the Imperial generals had not intended to keep their agreement, they had at any rate granted the most essential part of it, which was to let his master go freely wherever he pleased. Upon which the Milanese ambassador observed, "That was done on purpose, and as it were to lead the Duke into a snare, both M. de Bourbon and Antonio de Leyva, who is my master's mortal enemy, wishing to shut out thereby all chance of his ever securing the Imperial grace." Sanchez answered, "Let the Duke, your master, conduct himself with prudence and keep his promises, and I warrant you that both the Duke of Sessa and Don Ugo de Moncada, invested as they are with full powers from His Imperial Majesty, will do all they can to arrange matters satisfactorily for him. In case of the war continuing. ....... (fn. n4) It might happen also that the King of France, believing the Estate of Milan to be for himself, or at least for the Duke Massimiliano, (Sforza) helped the confederates more than he does at present; but still I should like to see the Duke, your master, to hold his promises and keep his word, because by so doing the league would be somewhat lamed (quedaria coxa), and if the Pope wished to desert it, he could find a good excuse (justo color y titulo) for such an act."
In the course of conversation Sanchez told the said Milanese ambassador, "You will soon witness such a vigorous move on our part that the Emperor's affairs [in Italy] will be in a more prosperous state than they have ever been." "And yet," replied Taverna, "certain letters of M. de Bourbon and other generals to the Emperor, which these people have lately intercepted, are far from confirming your assertion." "You are not to wonder (was Sanchez's reply) at the contents of those intercepted letters, or any others that the Imperial generals and ministers [in Italy] may have addressed to the secretaries [in Spain], for it is customary for those who want help and assistance to exaggerate the danger of their position. I myself, who knew the real state of things, describe them as in a most perilous condition in order to hasten the expected succour."
These last words were said intentionally, and against his (Sanchez's) own conviction, he knowing full well the danger in which all the Imperial servants are, not having received ever since the commencement of this war any help whatever, either from Spain or Germany, and our army being inferior in numbers to that of the enemy, so that it requires miracles of valour and devotion for them to stand their ground as they have done hitherto.
In his (Sanchez's) opinion there can be no doubt that the Pope and his confederates will soon receive help from France and from the Switzers.
The Duke of Sessa and Don Ugo de Moncada have sent their answer respecting the Archduke. Both approve of his (Sanchez's) idea, and have written to the Collateral Council of Naples, asking for a sufficient sum of money to enable the German infantry to come down. They also inform him that a suspension of hostilities between Bolonia (Bologna) and the frontiers of Naples was being negotiated with the Pope. Of what use the said suspension, if obtained, can be to us he (Sanchez) cannot discover, for the kingdom of Naples cannot well stop in its warlike preparations, if it is to be defended against the enemy, and it will not prevent the Pope from taking up arms, whenever it suits him. Nor is the period assigned sufficiently long for Naples to receive in the meanwhile the expected succours in men and provisions. The agreement therefore, if made, can only bring discredit on His Imperial Majesty, and enable the Pope to send a larger force into Lombardy; whereas if Naples, the Colonnese and other Imperialists were to wage war in those parts, and invade the Papal estates, there is not the least doubt that the Pope would relax (aflojar) with regard to Lombardy, and perhaps, too, come to terms with the Emperor. On the other hand, should the Switzers come down to the assistance of the confederates, as reported, the suspension of hostilities between Rome and Naples can only be beneficial to the Pope, for the enemy will collect such a force in Lombardy as to be able to detach part of it for the invasion of that kingdom, in conjunction with that of the Pope.
Such at least is his (Sanchez's) opinion on the matter. Has written to the Duke and to Don Ugo, submitting the above considerations to their superior wisdom and knowledge of affairs, although with the scanty forces now under their command—only 3,000 foot and 500 light horse—they can hardly be expected to accomplish much in those parts.
The ambassador (fn. n5) of the Duke of Ferrara called on the 1st inst., and brought him (Sanchez) a letter from the secretary of the Doge of Genoa, of the 23rd July. Showed him also one which the Duke (Francesco Sforza) had written to him, saying that all his (Sanchez's) letters directed to Genoa had been duly forwarded by express messenger, and offering his services for the future. That was the only sure way (he said) of communication [with Spain], and the Duke would be glad to employ himself in the Imperial service, &c. The ambassador added that the affairs between his master and the Pope were in a worse plight than ever. The Duke of Sessa and Don Ugo, however, write on the 29th to say they are not at all pleased with the answer made by the Duke Alfonso to their overtures, and that they had sent a confidential person to know his last resolution.
His Imperial Majesty is no doubt already acquainted with the failure of the enemy's attempt on Sienna. The confederates were routed with heavy loss in men and artillery, of which no less than 24 pieces were taken by the Siennese. He (Sanchez) hears that the enemy is preparing a second attack, and that the Florentines are to contribute 50,000 ducats monthly for that purpose.
This Signory has lately sent to the camp a person of quality, the father of Cardinal Pisani. (fn. n6) Some say that he goes to replace the Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere), who is discontented at the slighting manner in which people speak of him and of his military qualities, and wishes to resign the command of the army. Others say that he and the Venetian proveditor (Pesaro) are not on good terms, and that Pisani is gone to the camp for the purpose of reconciling them. However this may be, certain it is that this Signory is displeased with the Duke [of Urbino], and that division reigns in the enemy's camp.
(Common writing:) The warder (alcayde) of Mus, a castle still held by the Duke Francesco Sforza, has lately detained two ambassadors which this Signory was sending to France, on the plea that he (the warder) had not been paid for his advances in money to certain Grisons ordered for the service of the Venetians.
(Cipher:) The Duke of Sessa and Don Ugo have written to him (Sanchez), in date of the 29th, not to move from Venice till further orders. Though not actually within Rome, they were so close to it that it was almost as if they were inside. He (Sanchez) might be useful at Venice to report news and communicate both with the Archduke and with the Emperor through Genoa. And so it is, for although he has not yet found means of safe communication with Milan, except through Genoa, the truth is that he can be of use in many ways Of the good offices of the Marquis of Mantua he (Sanchez) could not, if he wished, make a favourable report. His ambassador (fn. n7) residing in this city never comes to see him, though he used to visit him almost daily in former times. He is continually with the ambassador of the Duke (Francesco Sforza), and pays frequent visits to the Pope's nuncio and French ambassador (Bishop of Bayeux).
Has been told that on the 3rd inst. Joannin (Giovannino) de Medicis for the Pope, and Malatesta Ballon (Baglione) and Camillo Ursini (Ursino) for this Signory, encamped at Cremona with a force amounting to 300 men-at-arms, 400 light horse and 5,000 foot, besides 3,000 more which they have in the Bressana and Bergamasco. By means of the watchword (contrasignos) which the Duke Francesco procured them, they had introduced into the castle 300 hackbutiers (escopeteros), and had been cannonading the city for the last three days. Among their troops were those 1,500 Lutheran peasants, about whom he (Sanchez) wrote some time ago, as having been taken by the Signory into their pay. Has heard also that when the Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere) heard of this he wrote to the above-mentioned captains (Medicis and Baglione) that if it was true that lansquenets were coming down [to Lombardy] he strongly advised them to raise the siege of Cremona, wait for them in the plain of Bergamo, and offer them battle. An ambassador from the King of France is also daily expected here (Venice), and the report is that he has already arrived in the Bressano. (fn. n8)
No news from the Archduke, or from Germany. His ambassador in this city, however, has letters from Trent of the 3rd inst., advising that 3,000 Germans had arrived in that city, and that at Brilinon, (fn. n9) a day's journey from Trent, there were nine more companies of them. The officials (rigientes) of Innsbruck had received orders to make fresh levies, and they (the Germans) were only waiting the Archduke's mandate to pass over to Italy.
Six captains of the Imperial army have just been brought to this city; five of them were taken prisoners at Lodi, the other one at Monza. Sends a list of their names. (fn. n10)
There is a report that the Pope intends to make a second attempt upon Sienna.—Venice, 7th August, 1526.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Venice. From Alonso Sanchez, 7th August."
Spanish. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 11½.
9 Aug. 508. The Emperor to the Duke of Bourbon.
S. E. L. 1454,
f. 62.
Sends 100,000 ducats to Flanders for his army in Italy.—Granada, 9th Aug. 1526.
Addressed: "Duci Borbonico."
Latin. Original draft. p. 1.
11 Aug. 509. The Archbishop of Monreale to Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 164.
Has received intelligence from the Stratico and jurors (jurados) of Messina that on the 7th inst., at the 18th hour, 13 galleys, believed to be Venetian, were observed to pass by the Pharo, wind right aft. A frigate was immediately despatched after them, but the wind being high, she could not overtake them. Her commander reports that there were among them four "bastardas," and that, whilst in front of the Pharo, signals were made to them, which they did not answer, and consequently three shots were fired from the tower.
See this ambassador's letter of the 24th July (No. 495).
Has thought it advisable to inform the ambassador of this occurrence, that he may see to the safety of the Imperial galleys now in the port of Genoa. There are here [at Palermo?] a number of merchant vessels ready to put to sea, and measures have been taken as to the best route for them to take, so as not to fall into the enemy's hands.
Encloses the letter of the Stratico. (fn. n11) —Palermo, 11th Aug. 1526.
Signed: "El Arzobispo de Monreal."
Addressed: "To the most magnificent Sir, and almost brother, Don Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa."
Indorsed: "The Archbishop of Monreale, 11th of August."
Italian. Holograph. pp. 1¼.
13 Aug. 510. Declaration of War made by the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1454,
f. 48.
Carolus Imperator universis et singulis, &c. Has always preferred peace to war, and consequently concluded a treaty with the King of France, his prisoner. Instead of being thankful for it, the Queen Regent of France (Louise de Savoie), the Pope, and other Italian powers have attacked Milan, which is a fief of the Empire. Has been obliged to take up arms in its defence.—Granada, 13th Aug. 1526.
Latin. Original draft in the hand of Alfonso Valdés.
13 Aug. 511. The Emperor to Don Hugo de Moncada.
S. E. Prin. Ital.
L. 1454, f. 112.
Empowers him to treat with Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, and endeavour to win him over to the Imperial party. Is to promise in his name:
1st. The confirmation of all the fiefs he holds from the Empire.
2dly. The marriage of his eldest son to Margaret, the Emperor's natural daughter, with a good dower.—Granada, 13th of August 1526.
Addressed: "Hugoni de Montecatena, Priori Messanæ, &c."
Latin. Original draft. p. 1.
13 Aug. 512. Alonso Sanchez to Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 187.
Wrote to him on the 9th ult., by the same conveyance. Has since received his two letters of the 1st and 2nd. Regrets to hear the news they contain, for if money, as he says, has arrived from France, recruits will not be wanting for the enemy's army, and the Switzers will come down in numbers. What gives him (Sanchez) greater uneasiness is that there is no news from Castro, from which he concludes that the Archduke's answer has been unsatisfactory. He is the more inclined to believe this as he has a letter from His Highness of the 28th July last, wherein he dwells at length on his total want of resources; and although at the time His Highness wrote he might perhaps not have yet received the letters of Micer Jorge Fransperg (Fruntsperg) and of the Regents (regentes) of Innspruch, yet from the delay in his answer any mishap may be anticipated. Indeed he (Sanchez) fears that unless money is immediately sent to Germany, either by the Emperor himself or by the generals at Milan, the expected reinforcement of Germans will not be forthcoming.
The enemy who attacked Cremona, after the assault in which they were repulsed, moved their camp to another position. Has received letters from that locality, stating that on Saturday last they again attempted to carry the place by storm, but were completely routed with the loss of upwards of 1,000 men.
His last letters from Secretary Perez are of the 6th inst. At that date the Duke of Sessa was very ill with tercian fever at Marino, and Don Ugo [de Moncada] was keeping her ladyship (fn. n12) (Su Señora) company. It was no longer question of a suspension of hostilities. In his (Sanchez') opinion there never was a more unprofitable or disreputable transaction than the one proposed, for had the suspension of arms been agreed upon, the Pope would have been left in complete liberty to attack us in Lombardy. Instead of fruitless negotiations, the Imperial ministers ought to have done their utmost to remit funds to the Archduke. Had they done so, the German infantry would already be near Milan.
The ambassador (fn. n13) of the Duke Francesco Sforza went the other day to see his master. He has since returned and visited one by one all the ambassadors of our enemies; has not called upon him (Sanchez).
Having lately received letters from Spain through the medium of Micer Julian, (fn. n14) he (Soria) concludses that the way to correspond is through him; has accordingly addressed to him his own despatch of the 24th ult.. The news from Cremona is confirmed; the enemy was really defeated with considerable loss. At Milan an arrangement had been made with the Grisons for the passage of the German infantry through their territory, as likewise for their furnishing a certain contingent of troops.
There is a report here (at Venice) that the Prince of Orange (Philibert de Chalon) is coming to help Milan at the head of 250 Burgundian spears and 4,000 infantry, and that he is already in the territory of the Duke of Savoy. May it be so!—Venice, 13th Aug. 1526.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
P.S.—Has just heard that the Switzers have held their diet, and resolved not to allow the French King to make levies in their land, unless he pays down 250,000 ducats owing to them in past times.
Addressed: "To the most magnificent Sir, Don Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador at Genoa."
Indorsed: "Copy of Alonso Sanchez' letter to Soria, the ambassador."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 1½.
14 Aug. 513. The Collateral Council of Naples to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 375.
Beg for instructions how to act. Report the message which Don Ugo de Moncada sent them, and their answer to Sancho Zapata, who brought it. All things considered, and after hearing Don Ugo's opinion on the subject, they have approved of Ascanio Colonna's departure for the army.
Have written to Don Ugo asking for particulars about the Duke of Camerino, for although he (Don Ugo) informs them that he has offered to send 5,000 or 6,000 ducats, and to come to this kingdom (Naples) to serve His Imperial Majesty, letters from Rome advise, on the other hand, that he was expected there with a considerable force, with which he was to garrison the castle of Sanct Angelo.
Repulse of the Florentines at Sienna.
The suspension of hostilities, agreed to between Don Ugo and the Pope, not valid until the Emperor's ratification be obtained.
Report on the movements of the Venetian fleet, which Doria's galleys are soon to join. Have in consequence written to Garci Manrique, now at Gaeta, to Commander Ycart, and to the rest of the captains of galleys on that coast, as well as to the Archbishop of Monreale, to be on the alert, and report as often as they can on the movements of the enemy, Have learnt since that the Venetian galleys and those of Andrea Doria had reached Civitta Vechia, and that the intention of the commanders was to attack Genoa.
The Doge as well as the Imperial ambassador [in Genoa], Lope de Soria, had urgently applied for the Neapolitan galleys to be sent to the succour of that city and port, but Il Gobo had been of a contrary opinion. His report had been forwarded to Don Ugo, as captain-general of the sea forces, for decision; when the orders of the latter arrive they will be punctually executed by Commander Ycart.
Have heard from Don Ugo. His answer to the message which Sancho Zapata took back is that after mature deliberation it had been resolved that Ascanio Colonna, instead of going to Sienna, as proposed, should remain on the frontier of the Colonnese estates, and defend the same against the enemy. Don Ugo has also written asking them to appoint a general in the room of the Duke of Sessa, just deceased; their answer was that they did not consider themselves sufficiently authorized to make such appointment. Don Ugo himself had better take the command of the whole force until the Emperor's pleasure was known. A heavy loss has been sustained by the death of so faithful a servant of His Imperial Majesty as the Duke [of Sessa] was; fortunately it took place when Don Ugo was at the camp.
It had been decided by common vote to make some sort of attack on the frontier of the Roman estates, so as to divert the enemy's attention and encourage the Siennese. Ascanio Colonna was well disposed to do service; he had been appointed to the command of the forces, once under Sessa, and provided also with money and victuals to the end of October; but in their opinion the principal aid was to come from Germany, for without it nothing important could be undertaken, their own resources being very scanty, whilst the enemy's forces were very considerable, besides their expecting the aid of Switzers and of France.—Naples, 14th Sept. 1526.
Spanish. Copy. pp. 3.
16 Aug. 514. Commander [Luis de] Ycart to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 378.
Went to Gayeta (Gaeta) with the galleys. The confederates have a fleet of 21 galleys at Terracina: 13 of the Venetians and eight of the Pope. Great want of provisions exists at Rome, especially of wine and victuals (vituallas) owing to his stopping them whenever he can.—Gaeta, 16th Aug. 1526.
Signed: "Ycart."
Addressed: "To the Emperor, our Lord, &c."
Spanish. Copy. p. 1.
17 Aug. 515. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
ff. 168–9.
Wrote on the last day of July. Since then the Pope continues collecting troops, infantry as well as cavalry; the infantry to invade the Genoese territory, and it is said they are only waiting for the arrival on that coast of the 13 or 14 galleys of the Venetians to make the attempt. It is rumoured also that the Pope has some understanding in certain towns of the coast of Naples; if so, that kingdom might also be invaded. The cavalry the Pope intends for Sienna, which the exiles (foraxidos) think of attacking a second time. Meanwhile his troops and those of the Florentines are doing all the injury they can on the territory of that Signory; two places on the coast (Porto Hercole and Talamon) have been taken, and Doria is about to attack others, whilst a son of Renço de Cherri (da Ceri), with his company of men-at-arms and some light cavalry in the Pope's pay, is overrunning the Siennese territory.
The emissary sent by Don Ugo de Moncada to Sienna returned three days ago. He was imprisoned and nearly put to death by the citizens, who could not be persuaded that he was an Imperial agent. He reports that the Siennese are in very high spirits, and much opposed to any sort of arrangement with the emigrants (foraxidos), whom they despise and refuse to admit into their city. Believing that they will again make an attempt, they have applied to Don Ugo for some Imperial troops to assist them in the defence of their homes. The general belief, however, is that the emigrants will not return thither for the present, but will go on wasting the lands of the Siennese as heretofore. (Cipher:) If they do, the Siennese will be obliged in the end to come to terms with the enemy, without consulting His Imperial Majesty, which would be highly detrimental to his interests [in Italy]. Cannot say what Don Ugo's intentions are, and whether he will be able to help the Siennese, for he seems much dissatisfied with the councillors of Naples, who, he says, do not provide the necessaries of war. He (Don Ugo) is still at Marino and Grutta-Ferrata with a few foot and horse, doing nothing except maintaining that frontier against the Pope. Indeed, unless he soon receives reinforcements from Naples, it is believed that be will be obliged to retreat.
The other day negotiations were again set on foot between the Colonnese and the Pope, and apparently without Don Ugo's knowledge, to bring on a suspension of hostilities between Rome and Naples; but the Pope refused to grant the truce unless Don Ugo pledged his solemn word not to succour Sienna or Genoa if attacked, and not to invade the Papal territory. This condition, of course, Don Ugo could not accept, and, therefore, matters remain as they were. It is not likely that negotiations will be again resumed, for the Pope wants to be at liberty to undertake any expedition against those two Signories (Sienna and Genoa) that may prove beneficial to his interests.
The servant of the Datary, (fn. n15) whom the Pope sent to the King of France, has not yet returned, but is expected back soon. These people are in hopes that he has obtained the desired co-operation in France. Don Ugo himself had some days before offered to return to Rome, if His Holiness felt disposed to come to some agreement with His Imperial Majesty. The answer was that the Pope wished first to ascertain the intentions of the French King, and ascertain whether any of the confederates forsook the league or not. Since then nothing more has been done or said in the matter, and he (Perez) does not go to the Palace for fear they should think he is going to solicit them. The Pope holds daily councils with the ambassadors of the confederated powers, with the Datary, and with Jacopo Salviatis, all about war and the operations of their army, with which, however, they are anything but pleased. The other day the Pope sent to the camp one of his private chamberlains (camarero secreto), named Paolo di Rezzo (Reggio). It was suspected that the object of his mission was to detach a portion of the army and send it against Genoa, but as the Venetian fleet has not yet arrived on the coast, it is presumed that his mission had another object. There are a thousand different reports about the Germans, some saying that they have already arrived in Italy, others that they will never come. The truth is that there are no positive news about them, and that the Pope and the confederates dread much their coming; for should they make their appearance in Italy before the Switzers, they consider their cause as utterly lost. A portion of the enemy's army has gone to Cremona, where, they say, they have met with a warm reception, in consequence of which they raised their camp, after placing a garrison in the castle.
(Common writing:) Has no news whatever from Milan. Andrea Doria has taken Porto Hercole and Talamon, two places on the coast belonging to the Siennese.
The Duke of Sessa has been dangerously ill ever since the beginning of this present month, and in fact there have occasionally come rumours of his death. Not wishing to die at Marino, he was brought to Rome [in a litter] at his express desire. (fn. n16) He is still suffering from double tercian fever and is not expected to live.
Has heard that the object of Paolo Rezzo's visit to the camp was to bring about a reconciliation between Count Guido Rangone and Juanin (Giovannino) de Medicis, (fn. n17) who had quarrelled; the cause of the quarrel being that the latter had struck (dió de palos) the Count's lieutenant.
It has been reported here that His Imperial Majesty was already at Barcelona (cipher), a piece of intelligence not much to the taste of these people, though thousands rejoice at it, and pray to God that it may turn out true. It is also reported that the bishopric of Burgos has been conferred on Cardinal Colonna, which has given great satisfaction to all the Colonnese faction and filled them with hope.—Rome, 17th Aug. 1526.
Signed: "Perez."
(Common writing:) When about to close and seal this letter he (Perez) hears that the Duke of Sessa is so ill that he cannot live many hours.
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty," (by duplicate of the 17th August).
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Rome. Perez, 17th Aug."
Spanish. Holograph, partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 3.
19 Aug. 516. Lope Hurtado de Mendoça to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
ff. 174–7.
(Cipher:) His last letter was of the 27th ult.., viâ Genoa. On the same day the secretary of Mons. de Savoy (Carlo Emanuele) took his departure for France. He has since written to the Duke, his master, that he saw the most Christian King and Madame (Louise of Savoy), and showed them the despatches whereof he was bearer. Both approved of their contents, saying there was nothing to suppress or to add. The secretary left for Spain on the 8th. He will inform His Imperial Majesty that the French King has positively refused to grant him [Hurtado] a safe-conduct. Begs His Imperial Majesty to send him instructions how to act.
(Common writing:) Has begged the Duke [of Savoy] to forward his report to Spain, since he could not take it himself. The Duke has answered that he (Hurtado) had better keep it until he himself goes to Spain.
Has received letters of the 8th inst. from the Abbot of Najera and from Lope de Soria. The latter announces that Genoa is now placed in a good state of defence. Both communicate to him the agreeable intelligence of the defeat of the Florentines before Sienna. The Duke of Sessa, Don Ugo de Moncada, and the Colonnese are close upon Rome. The Abbot adds that an agreement has been made with the Grisons, who not only will let the Germans through their territory, but consent to furnish 2,000 men of their own troops; that the 2,000 Valesians whom the Bishop of Lodi (Ottaviano Sforza) and the Warder of Mus (Medici) had brought over at the request of the Duke Francesco Sforza had been disbanded, and were returning home, as nobody offered to provide their pay.
The Duke (Francesco Sforza) is at Crema, still insisting upon having Como. M. de Bourbon objects on the plea that the Duke has violated the capitulation by going over to the enemy's camp, &c. A messenger has been despatched to the Archduke, through the land of the Grisons, to hasten the march of the 6,000 Germans under the Captains Jorge [Fruntsperg] and Marco [Sitig?]. The confederates are a short mile from Milan, in very strong positions. There is every day much skirmishing, in which the enemy is always worsted. The Imperialists have plenty of corn, and handmills to grind it, besides provisions of all kinds in abundance. They are only waiting for the arrival of the Germans to take the offensive. Advices had arrived from Captain Pedrarias, who commands at Como, stating that the Warder of Mus had seized 15,000 ducats which the Pope and the Venetians were sending for the of pay the Switzers, and that he had also taken prisoners and shut up within the castle the 25 horsemen who escorted the money.
When Hurtado left Milan he charged a friend, well versed in military affairs, to write to him occasionally, for which purpose, and for fear of his letters falling into the hands of the enemy, he entrusted him with a copy of his own cipher. The friend has written; his last letter contains the following paragraph: "These gentlemen are not at all pleased with the Commander-in-Chief, Monsieur de Bourbon, who seems determined to be absolute. He has given the governorship of this castle [Milan] to a Frenchman; has removed Bracamonte from his office at Capua, and appointed in his stead another Frenchman called Monsieur de Lamothe. The Marquis del Guasto is the only one who enjoys some credit with him, for Antonio de Leyva is not in favour, and the Abbot [of Najera] still less, owing to his being a friend of the latter. He has tried to supersede the captains appointed by these generals (Guasto and Leyva) and replace them by Frenchmen of his suite. This, however, Leyva will not tolerate. The spirit of the soldiers is far from good; they have refused two months pay that was offered to them on account, declaring that they will not take the field unless the whole of their arrears be paid up, which in the present scarcity of money is next to impossible. We do no good. The captains of this army are not treated with due consideration. Milan is in despair at having to feed us. We eat like lords at the expense of our hosts (con salva de los patrones), because we are told that they wish to poison us; this being the chief reason why the army remains so long at this place without marching, as it ought, against the enemy. Everything is very dear, and the country exhausted. Food cannot be procured except with the greatest difficulty. Help we expect none, either in men or money, so that we are on the verge of ruin. Your Worship may thank God that he is not here with us.—Milan, 8th of August."
If His Imperial Majesty will only cast his eye over the above lines and bear in mind what he (Hurtado) wrote many days ago on this very subject, he cannot but acknowledge the urgency of the case, especially now that the enemy is being reinforced.
(Common writing:) The Marquis of Saluzzo left Grenoble on the 9th inst. for the capital of his estates, followed by Fedrico (Federigo) di Bozano, at the head of his men. They were to pass review at Saluzzo, and be paid there. It is reported that they muster 500 spears and 4,000 infantry in all. They have no artillery with them; his the Marquis is to take from his own estates. The infantry is not so numerous as reported, and is bad besides. The Marquis has left the road leading to Susa, and taken that of Saluzzo, (cipher) from which people conclude that he intends to march on Genoa. This is the more probable, as intelligence has been received that the French fleet is ready to sail thither, and the Archbishop of Salerno (Fregoso) and Pedro Navarro to go in command of it. Perhaps, too, the Marquis with his forces intends to attack Alexandria, where he is reported to have secret friends, or else take up a position on the road to Genoa, so as cut off the supplies in money which Monsieur de Bourbon receives from that city. Whatever the Marquis' intentions may be, his movements must be watched, and this he (Hurtado) has written to Mons. de Bourbon.
(Common writing:) There is a report that the Switzers are no longer coming down. They had actually started for a place where they were to be paid, but after waiting some days, finding that the money was not forthcoming, they returned home. This letter goes by express, directed to the Imperial ambassador at the court of France (Praet), who will perhaps find the means of transmitting it to Spain. The bearer goes for the avowed purpose of asking for the safe-conduct so often denied to him (Hurtado). Should this means of communication succeed, His Imperial Majesty may correspond with him in the same manner, or enclose the letters to the Infanta [Duchess of Savoy] who is as devoted as ever to the Imperial service.
Has letters from the Lord Chief Steward (fn. n18) stating that two couriers bringing Imperial despatches, and two more servants of his with messages to the Emperor, had been detained in France. He and the Prince of Orange (Philibert de Chalon) had provided for the defence of the county (condado). (fn. n19) He (Hurtado) communicates frequently with the Lord Chief Steward, sends him Italian news, and directs his own letters to the Archduke that way, as no other road is secure from the enemy.
Had written so far when he received a letter from Turin stating that on the 15th inst. Pedro de Martinengo, a Venetian captain, had passed through that city on his way to Saluzzo with 50 horsemen, and 60,000 ducats destined to the Marquis for him to pay his troops with and march on Genoa.
The Duke [of Savoy] has had a letter from Bressa (Brescia) of the 15th inst., informing him that Monsieur de Bourbon had marched out of Milan, and that the Spaniards under him had mutinied. His Imperial Majesty should write a letter to the captains of the [Spanish] infantry, stimulating their zeal and good discipline under the present circumstances. Antonio de Leyva is so ill that he cannot be expected to live.
Post Data.—Has received a letter from the Archduke, dated Espira (Spires) 8th of August. He says that if M. de Bourbon wants him to send Germans he must provide the money. His Highness does all he can for His Majesty's service. Not having a cipher at hand, he cannot say in plain writing the many causes, besides the absolute want of money, which prevent his sending the said force. It is upwards of two months since he has had letters from Italy. Commands him (Hurtado) to write as frequently as he can; in compliance with which orders, he (Hurtado) has sent him the news from Italy and from the Imperial camp in Lombardy, besides communicating to M. de Bourbon the substance of his letter.
(Common writing:) The steward (mayordomo) of the Prince of Orange has arrived. He landed yesterday at Savona. The Imperial courier who came with him started immediately for Genoa.
Monsieur de Claramont took the horses that came with those of Bourbon, fifty-two in all, besides several mules and beasts of burden, after making the Marquis of Cebá and his escort prisoners. (fn. n20)
(Cipher:) Some of His Imperial Majesty's servants, and he (Hurtado) among the rest, think that since things have gone so far, it would be advisable to have the Dauphin confined where the French could not hear of him, because whilst continuing where he is at present, it is equivalent to his being at Bles (Blois). Were the King of France to be without any news either of him or of his brother, it is probable that he would make greater efforts to recover them. (fn. n21)
Asks for some credentials or appointments? in blank to be filled in with the names of those who are the Emperor's servants in Italy. A few only are wanted, for their number unfortunately is not considerable.—Chambarin (Chambery), 19th Aug. 1526.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty of the Emperor our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Lope Hurtado."
Spanish. Original mostly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering. pp. 5.


  • n1. "En este tiempo hubo tantos martinetes y combates por el Duque de Urbino y el provehedor de estos [Venecianos] y los otros del Papa," &c.
  • n2. "Piero da Cà da Pesaro.
  • n3. "Y hubo uno que propuso que era major dejarlo correr con su voluntad, y pues habian cumplido con él ver si habia alguna buena forma, pareciendole que desta guerra habria para sus hijos."
  • n4. Owing to a crease in the paper at this place of the deciphering a whole line is illegible.
  • n5. Jacopo Theobaldo.
  • n6. Probably Alvise Pisani, the father of Francesco Pisani, Cardinal in Porticu, who, conjointly with Pesaro, commanded the Venetian forces in October, as appears from a letter to the Doge and Signory, dat. Lambra, 18th Oct. See Rawdon Brown, Venetian State Papers, &c., vol. III., p. 614.
  • n7. Giovanni Battiste de' Malatesti.
  • n8. See this ambassador's letter of the 24th July (No. 495)
  • n9. The same place, elsewhere called Brixinon (Brixen). See above, p. 806.
  • n10. Not in the volume.
  • n11. The letter, dated "Civita Messana, die VII. Augusti, XIIII. indictione MDXXVI.," is at fol. 165 of the same volume, A. 38. It is followed by some Latin distichs of Hyeronimus Borgius, dated Neapoli idibus Augusti, describing the appearance of three suns in the sky, entitled: Ter gemini solis interpretation.
  • n12. The Duke, who, as will be seen hereafter, died on the 18th of August, had been married to Doña Elvira de Cordova y Figueroa, daughter of the Great Captain Gonzalo de Cordova, but his Duchess is said to have died two years before, at Sessa. See Lopez de Haro Nobiliario Genealogico, &c. If, however, instead of "Su Señora," as in the original, "Su Señoria" was intended, this apparent contradiction might be avoided, since the latter expression Su Señoria (his Lordship and his Ladyship) would apply to the Duke himself.
  • n13. Francesco Taverna
  • n14. Elsewhere called Giuliano (Giulino?)
  • n15. Capino da Mantova.
  • n16. "Antojosele que [no] habia de morir en Marino, y por esto le trageron aqui."
  • n17. "According to a letter of Pisani and Piero da Pesaro, the Venetian Proveditors General, to the Doge and Signory (dat. Oct. 1526), Giovannino de' Medici slew on that day Ipolito da Lucha, a military commander, recommended to the Signory by the King of England, but by comparing dates and statements this must be another assault of the many that the celebrated condottiero is said to have committed about this time. Compare Guicciardini (lib. XVII.), who often praises "la sua ferocitae la sua virtù"
  • n18. "El mayordomo mayor me ha cscrito, &c."
  • n19. By "condado" the writer means the county—not the Duchy—of Burgundy, which Charles held at this time.
  • n20. "Monsieur de Claramonte tomó los caballos que venian con los de Borbon, que eran todos cincuenta y dos y otras mulas y acemilas; prendió al Marques de Ceba y los otros."
  • n21. The King's sons were soon after removed to the castle of Pedraza, near Segovia. See Sandoval, Hist. del Emp. Carlos V., lib. XV., cap. XXV.