Spain: September 1526, 11-15

Pages 892-900

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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September 1526, 11-15

12 Sept. 542. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 289.
After his two letters of the 31st of August and 9th inst., of which he sent triplicate copies, nothing particular has occurred. These late news from Naples brought by Medrano, the Pope's equerry, have thrown the Romans into a state of consternation. Cremona is still making a stout defence, and in one of the assaults made by the Duke [of Urbino] no less than 15 officers (personas principales) had remained dead on the field. At Milan a lieutenant of Giovannino de' Medici was killed the other day, and the Imperialists of Carpi surprised at a village called Crabacor (?) near Bologna, a whole company of horse under Hernando Maçote, taking their baggage, &c.
The gentleman of the Duke of Bourbon arrived at Monaco on the 28th of August, and left the day after for Genoa.
Has been told that Medrano remains at Naples by order of the Pope, who does not wish him to come [to Rome] for fear he should divulge the unpleasant news he brings from Spain.
The Portuguese ambassador, Don Martin de Portugal, deserves much praise for what he has done, and is still doing, for the Imperial service. When the question lately arose of a cessation of war between Naples and Rome, he did all he could to bring it about, having often visited Don Ugo at Marino. After which he says he wrote to the Emperor in January last, offering his services, but has had no answer. He ought to be encouraged, &c.—Rome, 12th Sept. 1526.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: "Sacratissimæ, Cesareæ, Catolicæ Majestati."
Indorsed: "Al Rey. 1526. Rome. Perez, 12th Sept. Answered."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2.
12 Sept. 543. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 293.
Has not written since the 7th of August owing to his being in bed ill with fever. Received on the 25th the Imperial letters of the 21st July, in which, among other things, he (Sanchez) is desired to say when and where his despatches have been intercepted, that precautions may be taken for the future.
(Cipher:) All he can say is that his despatches up to the 18th of June last always used to go by way of Milan, directed to the Abbot of Najera. They were, as he hears, duly received, and sent on by way of France, and therefore if any are missing, it is quite evident that they have been seized in that country. Has been in the habit of forwarding the duplicates of his letters by way of Genoa, but as they may have miscarried also, the enemy occupying all passes, he now forwards the triplicate of all his despatches from the 4th to the 18th of June. No need for him to repeat those between the later date and the 7th of August, since he is sure of their having been received.
The Pope, he hears, sent the other day for the Venetian ambassador (Marco Foscari) and told him that he had engaged in this war thinking the Imperialists were few and would be easily overcome; he now perceived, however, that the contrary was the case. The Confederates had not been fortunate. The King of France had not sent the promised assistance [is men], and Don Ugo and the Colonnese were close upon Rome, increasing their forces daily. The time had come to enter into some sort of agreement with the Emperor. Upon which, and lest the Pope should feel inclined to propose terms himself, the Signory had promised to pay him 12,000 ducats every month, for the pay of the 4,000 foot he had at Rome, on condition that no mention should be made of peace. The King of England, it would appear, wishes to mediate between the belligerents, and put a stop to the war; at least, such is the general belief, for it has been remarked that the King [of England] is not named in the treaty; nor has the league been duly proclaimed in England, although the English ambassador residing here gives out that his master has formally joined it. Some time ago an ambassador (fn. n1) of this Signory left for England. The French gentleman mentioned in one of his (Sanchez's) despatches as having lately come to this city had no title or appointment whatever. He certainly called twice at the College Hall, accompanied by the Bishop of Bayus (Bayeux); went hence to Ferrara and afterwards to Rome; but as far as he (Sanchez) has been able to ascertain, he brought no particular mission; all he said and did was to utter some bravadoes (bravear) and say that his master was to do this and do that, send so many men, &c.
The Milanese ambassador (Taverna) went to Crema to see the Duke Francesco Sforza. Since his return he has called upon all the ambassadors of the League, one after another. He (Sanchez) has not seen him.
Hears that some of the captains of the German peasants have lately come to offer their services to this Signory, and that they have been accepted on account of their comrades' gallant behaviour at the siege of Cremona, where it is reported they were slain to a man. It is even said that not a few of the captains and chiefs of the Suabian league have offered to bring from four to five thousand men, and that their offers have been accepted. Hearing which he (Sanchez) wrote to the Archduke and to the Regents at Hispruch [Innsbruck] as well as to Castro, the Archduke's servant at Trent, to have the passes watched, so as to prevent the said peasants and other Germans from coming down [to Italy]. Castro writes that one of the said captains and four or five more officers (cabos) who were bringing men to the Venetians had been arrested at one of the passes, and their recruits obliged to go back.
The intelligence from Trent, however, is that 12,000 Switzers, half for the Pope, and the other half for the Venetians, were getting ready, besides 10,000 for the King of France. The destination of the latter was unknown, but it was believed that they were intended for Flanders. It is rumoured that the French King is to give a larger contingent than the one he has promised, and also to increase his monthly contribution to the expenses by 20,000 crowns (escudos); that the Pope and the Venetians are to subsidize 10,000 men more each, and that all these forces are to be sent against the kingdom of Naples. Although the rumour is hardly credible, if such preparations are truly being made, he (Sanchez) is afraid that the intentions of the Confederates are as described. Need scarcely point out the necessity of succour either from Spain or Germany. Had this letter come a month ago, as expected affairs might have taken a better turn and victory been ensured. As it is, success becomes now every day more difficult, as the enemy is getting stronger every day.
Has been told that the French King sent this Signory 25,000 cr. not six days ago. The Marquis of Mantua's contract for serving the Pope and the Florentines with a number of men (condotta) ended on the 15th of August last. It has since been renewed. What other bad services (malos oficios) the Marquis may have done since, he (Sanchez) cannot tell, but certainly those of his ambassador (Giovanni Battista de' Malatesti) residing at this city cannot be worse than they are.
Has written to the Archduke advising him to go to Innsbruck, as from thence he can at once either turn his attention to the Turk, or cross over to Italy, as need may be; also to have inquiries made at Augusta (Augsburgh) of the merchants there respecting the 200,000 ducats which, according to Soria's, letter of the 17th ult., have been remitted by His Imperial Majesty, and above all, since the money has been provided and our danger is so great, to send us without delay a considerable body of Germans.
His Imperial Majesty must already have heard of the Duke of Sessa's demise. At the date of Don Ugo's last letter (26th of Aug.) he and the Colonnese had retired to the frontiers of Naples, owing to the Collateral Council of that kingdom being averse from an invasion of the Papal estates. Part of the Imperial troops were going back to Naples; the other remained for the protection of the towns and lands which the Colonnese own within the territory of the Church. Don Ugo and Cardinal Colonna were to start for Subiaco, and there wait for the Emperor's orders, unless something happened in the meantime to make them change their plans. The said D. Ugo had written to the Duke of Ferrara, making him offers more advantageous than at first, but the Duke's answer was not so satisfactory as had been expected. He (Don Ugo) thinks the Duke is waiting to see how things turn out before he decides. He (Sanchez) shares the same opinion.
The Pope (writes Don Ugo) had given out that some bills of exchange amounting to 150,000 ducats, which the Emperor was sending to Flanders and Germany to his brother the Archduke, as well as an Imperial despatch addressed to him (D. Ugo), had been intercepted in France.
The Papal galleys and those of Venice had joined at Civittà Vecchia, and were to sail for Genoa on the 27th of August, to meet the French fleet there.
About the Turk there are so many different reports that one knows not what to believe. This Signory, in order to improve their own case, exaggerate the resources of the Infidel. Most say that he is very powerful, whilst others assert that the King of Hungary has greater forces under him, and is soon to offer him battle. The Turk, however, seems to have gained possession of a castle called Petro Bernardi (Peterwaradin), the strongest in that country, though not without losing a great number of men in the various assaults, the garrison, which was chiefly composed of Bohemians, having made no less than fifteen successive sallies (dieronle quince batallas).
Nothing new from Cremona since the 21st. The siege of the place continued, and the Duke of Urbino had arrived. The Signory had issued orders for all provisions and cattle (bestiames) to be brought inside the fortified towns, either for their own security in case of invasion, or to prevent the Germans getting hold of them when they came into Italy. He (Sanchez) has written to Castro, informing him of this.
Has just received from the Infante (Archduke Ferdinand) the letter that accompanies this. It is in date of the 28th August, but not in answer to his last. Heard from Castro on the 2nd inst.
At that date the Archduke had not yet received any orders or money from Spain. Neither had the merchants and bankers [of Augsburgh] received advice of any bills having been drawn upon them. He (Sanchez) cannot account for this, unless the despatches, as stated, have been intercepted in France.
At that date the Archduke had not yet received any orders or money from Spain. Neither had the merchants and bankers [of Augsburgh] received advice of any bills having been drawn upon them. He (Sanchez) cannot account for this, unless the despatches, as stated, have been intercepted in France.
Since the above was written the Imperial letter of the 14th of August has come to hand, ordering him (Sanchez) to quit Venice and repair either to the Archduke's court, or to the camp of Don Ugo, or to the army at Milan. Has written to Don Ugo, consulting him. Cannot but think he would be more useful at Naples in his office of Treasurer. Should he go to the Archduke's, begs to be invested with the character and title of ambassador. Is ready to obey orders, and is already preparing to go, though not yet recovered from his late illness. Will write three days before he leaves, that His Imperial Majesty may dismiss also the Venetian ambassador (Navagero). The Archduke's agent is also to leave at the same time as himself.
Has heard from Mons. de Bourbon, enclosing him letters for the Archduke and for the two captains of German infantry, Jorge and Marco Sitig. Will forward the letters to their destination by the same person he has hitherto employed, or through the Duke of Ferrara, which is another safe channel for his correspondence. His ambassador (Jacopo Theobaldo) who resides here told him (Sanchez) that the Signory offers to mediate between him and the Pope, so as to bring his master into the League. His (Sanchez's) impression is that the Duke will go on refusing without deciding either for the Emperor or the confederates until the Pope gives up Rezzo (Reggio), &c.
The ambassador (Marco Antonio Venier) whom these people were sending to England was taken prisoner by the Grisons. He is the same who was formerly at Milan, when the Duke Francesco Sforza was there.—Venice, 12th Sept. 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. Sanchez, 12th Sept."
Spanish. Holograph partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 8.
14 Sept. 544. News from Germany.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 344.
The Provincial Diet of Innsbruck lasted three days. The Assembly had consented, on the Archduke's application, to raise and maintain at their cost, for a period of five months, a force of 5,000 infantry, to be employed wherever most wanted. Should, however, the county of Tyrol be invaded by the enemy, whoever he might be, they pledge themselves to defend it with all their might; also to raise funds to help the Archduke, who on the 11th of this month left Innsbruch for Lintz, on his way to Vienna, "ex causa quia Turcus obtinuit conflictum contra Regem Hungariæ et etiam non scitur ut rex sit vivus aut mortuus."
The inhabitants of Austria are so frightened at the victorious march of the Turks, and the recent defeat of the Hungarians, that they desert their homes "quod fugiunt et ad fugam se disposuerunt, uti Hungari facere solent." This makes the Prince's presence in those parts necessary, that he may provide for the defence of his own estate.
The great Vayvod of Hungary (John Zapolski) and the Count of Transilvania (Transilvanorum comes) are collecting their forces, (fn. n2) which, added to the 10,000 men promised by the Empire to the Bohemians and ourselves, will, it is to be hoped, be sufficient to defend Germany against the Turkish invasion.
George Fransperg (Fruntsperg) is to go to Augusta (Augsburg) to make levies of foot destined for Italy.—Trent, 14th Sept. 1526.
Latin. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
14 Sept. 545. Don Ugo de Moncada to Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 319.
Need scarcely tell him how much he has laboured ever since his departure from Rome for the settlement of the Emperor's affairs, both in Lombardy and in that city; what efforts he has made, seeing the Pope's evil intentions (dañada intencion) and ingratitude, to procure money for the Imperial army, preserve Genoa and Sienna, negotiate with the Duke of Ferrara, &c. But as matters continue the same at Milan; as Genoa is threatened by the enemy; as he has reason to fear that when the reinforcements come it will be too late, and that neither Milan, nor Cremona, nor Genoa, nor Sienna will be much benefited by them, especially if Frenchmen and Switzers come down to Italy, as reported, he has come to the resolution, together with the most Reverend Cardinal (Pompeo) and the rest of the Colonnese, to help and assist the Imperial cause, all other means failing, with their own persons and acts. To that end a truce has been concluded between the Pope and the Colonnese, that he (the Pope), having laid down his arms, may be thereby taken unawares. For His Holiness, considering himself safe in that quarter, knowing that the governors of Naples do not wish to make war on him, and imagining that therefore no serious invasion of the Roman territory need be apprehended, considers himself so far secure that he has only kept 200 foot and 100 horse at Rome, having sent the rest of his forces either to Sienna or to Genoa, with the exception of 200 horse he has posted on the frontiers of Naples, at Sora. For that purpose, and the better to accomplish his object, which is evidently to disperse the forces of the Colonnese on this frontier, he has been lately soliciting [from the Council of Naples] that Ascanio Colonna should march with his bands to the relief of Sienna, saying how discreditable it would be for them to allow the Emperor's dominions to be lost, and his authority to be impaired, whilst they were paying 800 horse and 2,000 foot. The Council of Naples, therefore, have decided that the said forces shall march to the assistance of Sienna under the command of Ascanio, who is to have the title of Governor-General of that Signory. He is now at Sora, collecting the troops stationed on that frontier. But although the Councillors of Naples believe—for we have told them so—that the forces under Ascanio Colonna are destined for Sienna, we mean them to go in quite a different direction. Our intention is to attack Rome, and we have accordingly made the following preparations. We have here 800 horse and 2,000 foot paid by Naples, besides 2,000 secretly levied in the Abruzzo many days ago, and 1,000 of Cardinal Colonna, amounting altogether to 5,000 infantry and 800 horse. The six galleys of Naples are now at Gaeta, and the very moment we start [for Rome] orders will be sent to Garci Manrique to go on board of them with 1,000 men, and proceed to the port of Ostia. Confident hopes are entertained that they shall be able to give His Holiness so much work by land and sea that he will be obliged to look to himself and bring back his army. The above plan is to be executed in six or seven days in conjunction with Ascanio. Your worship may be sure of this. Indeed, had the Councillors [of Naples] believed him (Don Ugo), and given him the help he required, the whole thing might have been done days ago.
Your worship had better communicate the contents of this letter to the Infante (Archduke Ferdinand), to the Duke of Bourbon, Marquis [del Guasto], and Antonio de Leyva, &c.—Suviaco, 14th Sept. 1526.
Addressed: "To Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 3.
15 Sept. 546. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 323.
Wrote last on the 12th inst. For the last three days there has been a rumour in this city that the King of Hungary had been defeated by the Turk. The news at first was not credited, but is unfortunately too true. This morning a clergyman arrived from Augusta (Augsburgh), who left that city on the 9th, and is going to Rome. He says that, the day before he left, a courier had come from Lintz with the intelligence that the Hungarians had met the Turk five miles from Buda, but had been defeated with great loss (con grandissima estrage) on the 29th of August. It was not known what had become of the King. At night another post came announcing that the King's body had been found lying on the field of battle. The Queen was at a place called Bresburg (Pressbourg), and it was doubtful whether she could escape the enemy's fury, because the place was invested on all sides, and the garrison anything but numerous. The people of Lower Austria, however, were making every effort to extricate the Queen from her dangerous position and conduct her safely to Lintz.
The said clergyman adds that he passed through Innsbruck on the 10th. At that time the Tyrolese Diet had terminated its deliberations, and had resolved to supply the Archduke with 5,000 infantry for six months against the Turk, in consequence of which he had left immediately for Lintz.
Merchants' letters from Vienna of the 3rd, and from Augusta (Augsburgh) of the 8th inst., confirm the intelligence brought by this clergyman.
(Cipher:) Has already informed His Imperial Majesty that on the receipt of the Imperial letter of the 14th Aug. he (Sanchez) wrote to Don Ugo de Moncada, inquiring where he thought his services would be most acceptable, whether at the camp of the Colonnese, at Milan, or elsewhere. The letter, however, never reached its destination, for the post from this city was detained on the 10th about 20 miles from Venice, and sent back with the merchants' letters, when another postman was procured to take on their own correspondence and that of the ambassadors of the confederated powers only. This is the first time that the Signory has done anything of the kind. Has reasons to think that his letters, though cautiously placed under cover to a private individual, have been intercepted and deciphered, as he knows that the Signory possesses keys to all ciphers. Has since written to Don Ugo through another channel. Hopes to have an answer soon, and will then leave Venice. Had not the Emperor announced his intention to dismiss the Venetian ambassador [in Spain], he would certainly have remained, for he can still be of use, and this last news about the Turk is likely to render his presence in Venice necessary.
Whilst writing the above the Austrian ambassador has received news from Petonia (Possonia?) of the 3rd confirming the above sad news from Hungary. Nothing certain was yet known about the King, whether he had been slain in the battle, was prisoner or fugitive. About the Queen no doubt was entertained that relief would reach her and that she would be taken to Vienna.
No news from Lombardy, except that the Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere) was preparing for another assault on Cremona to-day or to-morrow.—Venice, 15th Sept. 1526.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Venice. Sanchez 15th Sept."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 3.


  • n1. At the beginning of June Francesco Contarini was elected ambassador to replace Lorenzo Orio, who died in London on the 12th of May, but having resigned on account of ill health, Marco Antonio Venier was elected on the 25th. He left on the 29th of July. See Rawdon Brown, Venetian State Papers, vol. III., p. 574.
  • n2. I believe this to be a wrong statement, Zapolski, who caused himself to be elected King of Hungary, being Vayvod of Transylvania; perhaps the Ban of Croatia is meant.