Spain: September 1526, 16-20

Pages 900-927

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, 16-20

16 Sept. 547. The Prior of Barletta to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 323.
Received at Lucca, on the 5th inst., a letter from the Doge (Antonioto Adorno) ordering him to repair as soon as possible to Genoa, and attend to the fortifications of the city. Though in indifferent health, has travelled post-haste, and reached his post on the 8th. Will work day and night until the city is placed in a state of defence.
Applied, in due time, to Count di Santa Severina, (fn. n1) and to the Collateral Council of Naples, for the possession of the priorate of Barletta, which the Emperor was pleased to confer on him last February; was told that they could not invest him with that dignity unless they had a previous order from the Viceroy [Charles de Lannoy] to that effect. Begs the Emperor to send his orders to the Viceroy, that he may be put in possession of the said priorate and receive the rentals thereof.—Genoa, 16th Sept. 1526.
Signed: "El Prior de Barletta."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. From Genoa. The Prior of Barletta, (fn. n2) 16th Sept. 1526. By duplicate."
Italian. Original. p. 1.
16 Sept. 548. The Collateral Council of Naples to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 324.
Have received the copy of the Imperial letter of the 14th of August last, and are anxiously expecting the promised reinforcements (los socorros de acá).
The Imperial galleys cannot go to Genoa without some danger. Don Ugo has been consulted thereupon, and if he decides that they are to sail in that direction they will do so, for they are quite ready.
Have ordered a large quantity of biscuit for the Viceroy's fleet, and that the three old galleys in the dock-yard (tara-çanal) should be careened.
The Council had long before the receipt of the Imperial letters attended, as was their duty, to the protection of the Colonnese and of their estates, sending them occasionally both foot and horse, as well as provisions, according to instructions received from the Duke of Sessa and Don Ugo de Moncada.
The Duke of Bourbon has lately applied for the galleys, also for money to pay the men-at-arms, and for saltpetre to make gunpowder. With the former application the Council is ready to comply in the manner above specified, after receiving Don Ugo's advice. Money has also been provided for the men-at-arms, as far as the exhausted state of this treasury would allow. As to the saltpetre, it seems to them that if they were to send it under the present circumstances, and when all the land passes are occupied by the enemy, it would be tantamount to furnishing our adversaries with the elements of war. They will, however, do what they can.
Enclose the late advices of the march of the Turk upon Hungary.—Naples, 16th Sept. 1526.
Addressed: "To His most Sacred, Imperial Majesty."
Spanish. Copy. pp. 2.
17 Sept. 549. Lope de Soria, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 331.
Wrote on the 3rd inst. by Espinal, Don Ugo's secretary, who left [for Spain] in a brigantine. The bills of exchange for 100,000 ducats (fn. n3) brought by Mons. de Bourbon have been duly accepted and paid for the most part. (Cipher:) But he (Soria) hears from the Treasury officials [at Milan] that the money is not applied in accordance with the Imperial commands. Mons. de Bourbon receives the whole from these bankers, and then hands over to the Imperial Treasurer at Milan whatever sums he considers proper. Neither does the Abbot of Najera concern himself, as he used to do formerly, in these payments, Mons. de Bourbon having deprived him of his office. So that, upon the whole, money affairs do not go on so regularly as before. Hears that the 200,000 paid to Mons. de Bourbon have been of little avail for the wants of the Imperial army.
(Common writing:) Has presented the bills of exchange for the 30,000 ducats exclusively destined for the fleet. They have been accepted and will be paid when due. Out of that sum Soria will remit to Mons. de Bourbon 10,000 cr. (escudos) which by his express command were laid out on certain provisions for the fleet, such as the freight of five caracks and six galleons, which are ready for sea and armed, the pay of the two companies (banderas) of Spanish infantry, lately sent for the defence of this city and port, &c. This last expense and others the Doge and Community declare they cannot at present defray, as their treasury is completely exhausted, and they dare not impose new taxes on the people. He (Soria) has therefore applied part of the said money to these various purposes, rather than compromise the Emperor's interests in these parts. For should war break out, Genoa is sure to be attacked by sea and land, and the Doge and Community have only 4,000 men for its defence, no money at all in their treasury, and scarcely any provisions in the city. Indeed the Genoese are in great fear of a famine; all supplies of wheat are cut off by the enemy's galleys, and there is not food enough left for three months. This last is no small cause of anxiety to the Imperial officers, as the Fregosi, who are very numerous in this city, will seize any opportunity that offers for creating disturbances. Even the Adorni, whose fidelity to the Empire has hitherto been very constant, complain of the heavy expenses they are put to, and show no confidence in the future. The Doge, however, is doing his utmost to place this city and port in a state of defence, but without the succour so often promised he (Soria) is afraid that all his efforts will prove vain. Should the Viceroy touch here, his galleys joined to those now in port might easily attack the enemy's fleet and drive it away from these shores. But if, as announced, the Viceroy goes straight to Naples without touching at this port, it is very much to be feared that the Genoese driven to despair, and seeing famine at their door, will be tempted to join this Italian league against the Emperor.
A good supply of German infantry is also much wanted to reinforce the Imperial camp, as it might give such occupation to the armies of the League as to impede their movements in this direction, Hears from Milan that George de Fransperg (Fruntsperg) was expected there on the 20th with 10,000 Germans, and that the Infante (Archduke Ferdinand) had arrived at Inspruch, there to hold a diet, after which he was to come down (calar) with a considerable force.
Has written to Sardinia, in case the Viceroy should touch at that island, to acquaint him with the state of things, and say how easily he might come with his galleys to Monaco, and thence to Charno (Ciarno), where those now in this port might join him. He could then, knowing the enemy's positions both at sea and on land, join with his forces wherever they were most wanted. At any rate the Neapolitan fleet of galleys ought to come. They are doing nothing at Naples, and notwithstanding our repeated applications the Council of that kingdom does not decide on sending them.
Frey (fn. n4) Martinengo, the prior of Barletta, has arrived, and is already working at the fortifications of this city. He was at a watering-place near Lucca, for his health, when the order reached him, and he immediately repaired to his post.
The Duke of Bourbon is at Milan with the army; the enemy close by. At the date of the late advices disease prevailed in both camps. The Marquis del Guasto and Antonio de Leyva were laid up with fever. The enemy had 10,000 Switzers in their pay, but there was a report that emissaries (embajadores) had come from the Cantons ordering them to return home; many had left already, and others were to follow.
The Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere), in command of the Venetian troops, was besieging Carmona (Cremona). He had erected several batteries, and made various assaults up to the 11th inst., but without success, as our people were making a most gallant defence, and had slain a good number of the enemy.
The Marquis of Saluzzo (Luigi II.), Federico de Vozol (Bozzolo), (fn. n5) and Renzo de Cheri (da Ceri), with other captains of the King of France, arrived the day before yesterday (15th Sept.) at a place called Castellaço, close to Alessandria, and twelve leagues from this city (Genoa). They had under them a force of 300 lances and about 5,000 infantry, mostly Piedmontese. It is reported that their intention is to attack this city in conjunction with some of the forces now besieging Cremona, but if the Germans come down as expected, or the Imperial fleet enters this port, it is to be presumed that they will change their purpose, and either collect somewhere else, or separate each to defend his own territory.
The Duke of Bourbon considered it expedient some time ago to grant an amnesty (acordar) to certain Milanese emigrants (foraxidos) who were in France. He thought they might thus become good servants of the Empire, and accordingly gave them leave to return. Hears that most of them have taken service under the Marquis of Saluzzo, and are now with him; among the rest one Antonio Guasco, to whom the castle and estate of Gavi once belonged. In obedience to the Duke's commands he (Soria) has surrendered that force to him without any sort of compensation. May he (Guasco) turn out as zealous a servant of the Empire as the Duke believes him to be!
Enclosed are copies of letters from Don Ugo [de Moncada] and Secretary Perez, by which His Imperial Majesty will be informed of the state of affairs at Rome. The Colonnese had agreed to a truce and suspension of hostilities on the lands of the Church. Thinks that such arrangement is for the best, as it must have been made with Don Ugo's consent and approval; but nevertheless the people of this city are very much astonished (espantados) at it, considering that now that the Pope is dismissing his troops, the men are likely to come here and enlist under the banners of the Marquis of Saluzzo and other captains on our frontier.
A letter from Alonso Sanchez, the Imperial ambassador in Venice, is also enclosed. He was laid up with fever and ague.
Whilst writing the above, intelligence has been received that the Marquis of Saluzzo had left Castellaço with all his forces, and gone to Tortona. A relative (fn. n6) of this Doge took four of his light horsemen prisoners, from whom it has been ascertained that the Marquis has orders to join the camp of the League, in front of Milan, and that a vigorous attack is in contemplation before the arrival of the Germans, or of the Viceroy's fleet. Being asked why they did not come this way as was anticipated, the prisoners replied that it was already settled between the confederates and the Doge, that if Genoa was not succoured within a certain time, he was to surrender the city and join the Italian league. But these and other similar reports are not to be trusted in, as they are purposely spread by the captains themselves to encourage and cheer the men under their orders. There is no reason to believe the Doge has made any such agreement; on the contrary, he is as firmly attached as ever to the Imperial cause.
The enemy's galleys have captured 14 ships coming from Sicily laden with wheat for this city; among them three caracks and other good vessels that may be useful for war purposes. (Cipher:) Great discontent has been created by this loss, not only because provisions are getting very scarce, as before stated, but because the enemy's sea forces are daily increased by such prizes, and will in the end become superior to the Viceroy's fleet. This notwithstanding, were the Imperial galleys soon to make their appearance, there can be no doubt that the enemy's fleet would be dispersed and the prizes and wheat recovered, &c.—Genoa, 17th Sept. 1526.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Lope de Soria, 17th Sept. Answered."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. No deciphering appended. pp. 6.
17 Sept. 550. The Emperor to Pope Clement VII.
M. B. N. Mad.
E. 50, f. 44.
On the 17th of September 1526, at nine o'clock before noon, in the city of Granada, Mercurino di Gattinara, Great Chancellor of the Emperor, exhibited to the undersigned notary and witnesses a letter, written on 22 sheets of paper, which letter he (Gattinara) said was the Emperor's answer to the brief of His Holiness Pope Clement VII., dated the 23rd of June 1526, which Count Balthasar Castiglione, Apostolic Prothonotary and Nuncio, had delivered to the Emperor in the Pope's name; the tenor of which answer is as follows:
His Imperial Majesty was very sorry to hear that the Holy Father and Vicar of Christ was entertaining schemes likely to injure him and the dignity of the Holy Roman Empire. But his astonishment was boundless when a brief dated the 23rd of June, and delivered by his nuncio on the 20th of August last, was read to him. (fn. n7) The Pope therein condemns him and his policy in the severest terms; speaks of his wars, violences, threats, avarice, ambition, and unmeasured lust of dominion and conquest. Such language is by no means becoming the shepherd and guardian of the Christian flock, nor has he (the Emperor) ever deserved it, since his veneration for the Apostolic See has always been great. He is in duty bound to refute such false accusations.
Respect and veneration for the Vicar of Christ are innate in him. Though frequently warned that His Holiness intended to do things detrimental to his (the Emperor's) dignity and authority, he could never believe his informers. To wage war against Christians is not in his nature; he has never taken up arms but for his own protection and defence. France invaded his Italian dominions, and Pope Leo in consequence concluded a treaty of alliance with him, the object of which was to protect and defend the authority and the rights of the Holy See, as well as those of the Roman Empire. At the instigation and by the advice of the said Pope (Leo X.), he (the Emperor) took up arms in Lombardy and Liguria. The Papal forces joined his, and the present Holy Father (Clement VII.) was then Legate with the Pontifical army. Calls him to witness whether his instructions during the said war were not free from all suspicion, and whether he (the Emperor) ever evinced a wish save that of restoring peace and prosperity to Italy. However successful in his wars, he was always ready to conclude peace on honourable terms. His own letters to Rome in Pope Adrian's time, and since his (Clement VII.) accession to the Pontificate, bear ample testimony to his peaceful intentions. His offers were rejected, and he was compelled to prosecute war in his own defence.
His Holiness asserts that he has never neglected the duties of his office as supreme guardian of the Christian flock. The Emperor does not wish to impeach the veracity of such an assertion; leaves it for God to judge; but he cannot help remarking that the information he has received, and the Pope's own deeds, tend to prove the contrary. Indeed, how can the Vicar of Christ on Earth venture to say that he (the Emperor) has constantly rejected his offers of friendship and thought of nothing else but oppressing Italy? Where is the proof? As always, in case of doubt, the best must be presumed until the worst is proved, His Holiness ought not to have condemned him without sufficient proof. The Emperor leaves it to him to decide whether the Pope's behaviour in these last transactions is in accordance with his own honour and reputation, and the welfare of Italy, or whether it is not calculated rather to lessen his authority as Father of the Church. The enemies of Christianity, like so many hungry wolves, are only waiting for an opportunity to devour the flock of the Faithful, to sap the foundations of Christian religion, and spread far and wide their heinous errors and doctrines.
The Pope's intention (says the brief) has always been to defend himself, and to harm no one. Nothing would be more laudable had the deeds suited the words, but unluckily such is not the case. Why should the Pope put himself on his defence when nobody attacks him? Has the Emperor ever tried to impeach his authority or deprive him of his estates? Certainly not, for to be always ready to sacrifice his own life and estates in his (the Pope's) defence, as is the duty of a Christian Emperor, is the very reverse of that unjust accusation. Why then, if he only intended to defend himself, was Milan, a fief of the Empire, attacked before his (the Pope's) declaration of war had reached the Emperor? Why was Lodi surprised and taken by a most treacherous contrivance?
The Pope (in the words of the brief) always favoured the Emperor's cause whilst a Cardinal; but this is again a premise which the Emperor is not disposed to grant. For at the time when his grandfather (Maximilian) was negotiating with the Princes of Germany for the election of a successor, he (Charles) was on most intimate terms with the King of France, whose daughter (Charlotte) had been promised to him. Notwithstanding the intended alliance, the negotiations for which were so far advanced that the French King used to call him in public "his son," that monarch was so influenced by Rome and by his own personal ambition and lust of the Imperial crown, that he did not scruple to calumniate him and cast such blemishes on his character as would necessarily incapacitate him for the Empire. When, however, it became clear that the King of France could not carry out his own election, efforts were made to exclude both of them, the Emperor as well as the King, from the Imperial dignity, and to start a new competitor (fn. n8) without power or reputation, who would have been more apt to obey than to command. The Elector's virtue triumphed in the midst of such intrigues. He (Charles) was unanimously elected, and yet would not accept the Imperial crown unless he first obtained the Pope's permission to retain the kingdom of Naples, and hold it as a fief of the Church. New difficulties were then raised and fresh attempts made to lessen his power and tarnish the glory and splendour of the Empire. Every effort was made to prevent, or at least to postpone, his coronation at Aix-la-Chapelle. Papal nuncios were sent for that purpose to different countries, papers and letters written, and a plan concocted to frustrate if possible the deliberations of the Diet of Worms.
Has been informed that the present Pope, then a cardinal, was no stranger to the treaty which Alberto Pio, Count of Carpi, concluded in the King of France's name with Pope Leo X., his predecessor and uncle; the object of which treaty was no other than to wrest from him (the Emperor) Sicily and Naples, and so to divide his Italian dominions between France and Rome that the Pope and King Francis should become absolute masters in Italy. Intercepted letters which the Emperor has in his possession leave no doubt whatever as to the plans of his enemies at that time.
The King of France, moreover, instigated the rebel Robert de la Mark to invade Belgium, and in Italy Reggio was wrested from Pope Leo. When this was done, not before, it must be owned that Clement, then a cardinal, persuaded the Pope to conclude a defensive league with the Emperor, the object of which was to recover the possessions of the Church, and give back the Duchy of Milan to its rightful owner [Francesco Sforza], then a prisoner in France.
Forgetting all former injuries, the Emperor allied himself with Pope Leo X. for the defence of Italy, imagining that with the present Pope's intervention and help—which he is ready to admit—they might both resemble the two great luminaries of Heaven, and remaining for ever united, ensure the peace and welfare of the world. (fn. n9) In consequence of the said treaty of league the Papal forces were united to the Imperial army, to which the present Pope was appointed Legate; the French compelled to evacuate Italy; Parma and Piacenza restored to the Church, and Francesco Sforza reinstated at Milan; all which was accomplished by Prospero Colonna, the Marquis of Pescara, and other Imperial captains.
In this manner the Church gained possession of two important estates [Parma and Piacenza], and yet a new tribute (census) was imposed on Naples and Sicily, notwithstanding the Emperor's very liberal donation to the present Pope, then a cardinal, of an annual pension of 10,000 gold crowns on the archbishopric of Toledo.
Reminds him how Cardinal Volterra, (fn. n10) favoured by Pope Adrian, became at one time his competitor, and tried to snatch from him (Clement) the government of Florence; how he (the Emperor) took him and the whole of the Medici family under his protection; and how, suspecting the Cardinal of conspiring with the French, he persuaded Pope Adrian to have him arrested and punished. On the death of that Pope, however, the College of Cardinals set Volterra at liberty.
Of his (the Emperor's) alliance with Pope Adrian no special mention need be made here. No sooner was he (Clement) elected to the Pontificate than he refused to ratify the said alliance, in which all the other parties wished to continue.
Did not and does not forget that he has occasionally done him (the Emperor) service in former times. When he decided to invade France he advised him not to do so, as in his opinion such an invasion of the French territory would be followed by more powerful attempts on Italy, and by the loss of the Duchy of Milan. The Emperor could not then follow his advice, as he was bound by treaty towards the Duke of Bourbon and the King of England to carry out the expedition [to Provence]. God was not pleased to grant him victory on that occasion, but his captains brought back his army safe to Italy.
Has been informed by trustworthy persons that the French King invaded Italy at his (Clement's) instigation. The results of that campaign are well known; the Viceroy of Naples delivered Francis a captive into his (the Emperor's) hands.
He was compelled (the Pope says) to make a treaty with France; could not help himself, as the Emperor knows. Is inclined to accept his explanation and excuses in this particular, although it is quite plain that he (Clement) was nowise compelled to accept the said treaties. The Emperor himself knew nothing about them, as they were kept secret. Besides, did he not favour as much as he could the French plan for the conquest of Naples? And yet that kingdom is a fief of the Church, and just as the vassal has duties and obligations towards his lord, so has the lord towards his vassal, and if he does not fulfil them he can be deprived of his rights.
Since then the present Pope has virtually concluded a treaty with the Imperial agents in Italy, according to which, as he says, 100,000 ducats were handed over to the Imperial generals, on condition, however, that this money was to be paid back in case the Emperor did not ratify the treaty. Denies that the treaty contains any such clause. The obligation to return the money in the event of the treaty not being ratified is mentioned in a separate article, not in the treaty itself. The Pope refused to exchange the ratifications except on condition of the two separate articles being included, but as those articles contained important innovations respecting Milan and the sale of salt in that duchy, the Emperor could not accede to it.
His (the Pope's) ambassadors proposed that he (the Emperor) should grant him the dominium utile of Parma and Piacenza, on the payment of 100,000 ducats and the recognition by him that the dominium directum of those two cities and their territory belonged to the Emperor. But this proposition in the form it was made could not be accepted. Nor can the Emperor persuade himself that the Vicar of Christ on Earth would shed a single drop of Christian blood for the acquisition of an estate.
The Marquis of Pescara is accused of having entertained treacherous plans to his detriment; but the truth is that the Marquis only feigned to do so, that he might the better unmask treacherous friends, and ascertain their intentions. The conspirators, accordingly, admitted him to their deliberations, and revealed to him their most secret designs. A Papal brief was issued promising the Marquis the investiture of Naples on condition of his assisting the confederates in their plans, which were nothing short of the annihilation of the Imperial army in Lombardy, and the conquest of that kingdom with the assistance of French and Swiss troops. In this manner did the Marquis acquire the conviction that His Holiness (Clement VII.) was at the head of the conspiracy, and that his intentions were not only to deprive the Emperor of his Italian possessions, but, if possible, to wrest from him the whole of his patrimonial dominions and Imperial crown also. The Marquis did still more. In order the better to ascertain the designs and resources of the confederates, and also gain time to write home, he feigned to have certain scruples as to whether he could conscientiously and without breach to his honour join the conspiracy. He asked for a delay of 15 days, that he might consult thereupon certain Roman doctors, whose answer was that he was perfectly justified in doing this, and could very well, without either breaking his allegiance, injuring his honour, or being otherwise guilty of high treason, go over to the Pope's side, and accept from him, as his suzerain lord, the investiture of Naples. This delay allowed the Marquis time to write home and inform the Emperor fully of what was going on. To the very day of his death the Marquis confirmed the truth of the above statement, which can, if necessary, be strengthened by collateral evidence. Now it may be asked, is this a proper behaviour for a Pope, the head of the Church and Vicar of Christ on the Earth? Great scandals and greater calamities still are likely to result from such conduct. Indeed, so unprecedented has it been on this occasion, that it seems to us a dream rather than a reality.
Upon the whole it is sufficiently demonstrated that it is not the Emperor who has rejected the Pope's offers of friendship, but the Pope who has done, and is doing, everything in his power to harm the Emperor. The Pope will no doubt allege that the reports of the Marquis were mere words, nothing but words; that there was no foundation for the charges brought against him (the Pope); no beginning to the execution of the plans attributed to His Holiness and to the rest of the confederates; but if so, why did he, the very moment he heard of his having been betrayed, write to Spain, proclaim his innocence, and accuse the Marquis himself?
The Emperor is inclined to judge the Pope leniently, but he must answer his most unjust accusations. It is stated in the Papal brief, that when the castle of Milan was besieged, the whole of Italy, nay, most of the Princes in Christendom, so urged him to interfere that he (the Pope) could not resist the pressure they put upon him; and yet when Knight Commander Herrera arrived in Rome, bearing proposals of peace, the Pope positively told him that he had abandoned all his schemes and rejected the offers made him by the Christian Princes, that he might make his peace with the Emperor, who in return for his affection and constant sacrifices had always treated him with contempt. Were such a grave accusation to remain unanswered, he (the Emperor) would be a most abominable wretch, well worthy of the fire of Hell, not a Christian Prince, as he professes to be. In order to refute this and similar accusations against his honour and reputation, it is necessary for him (the Emperor) to enter into details, and relate some of the events that took place before and after the siege of the castle of Milan.
Francesco Sforza I., grandfather of the present Duke (Francesco Sforza Visconti), made himself duke of Milan after the extinction of the male line of the Visconti of that Duchy. He had no right whatever to the ducal crown, as he was only related to the Visconti family in the female line; (fn. n11) but being a daring and successful soldier, as well as an able statesman, the Milanese acquiesced in his rule. Neither he nor his son Galeazzo Maria Sforza, nor his grandson (first-born of Galeazzo), Giovanni Galeazzo Sforza, ever obtained the investiture of that duchy from the Emperors. Lodovico [Il Moro], the father of the present Duke Francesco, succeeded to the Duchy, and having married a kinswoman (fn. n12) of the Emperor Maximilian, obtained the investiture for himself and his descendants "ordine primogenito servato."
This Lodovico Sforza, who was first invested with the duchy of Milan, was still alive when Louis, duke of Orleans, afterwards King Louis XII. of France, declared that if the Duchy was to be transmitted in the female line he had the better right to it, as he was descended from Valentina, the legitimate daughter (fn. n11) of Philippo Maria, the last duke of Milan, whilst the Sforza were only related to the Visconti through an illegitimate connexion. King Louis, accordingly, made war upon Lodovico Sforza, seized the duchy of Milan, and took him prisoner to France, where he died. A treaty was subsequently concluded between Maximilian and Louis XII., according to which he (Charles) was to marry Madame Claude, daughter of the King of France, upon which the Emperor, having first cancelled the investiture in favour of the Sforza, invested King Louis and his daughter Madame Claude with it. It was, however, stipulated that in case of the marriage not taking place through a cause independent of his (Charles') will, the said investiture should be null and void, and the Duchy go direct to him (Charles). The marriage did not take place, and, therefore, he (Charles) received the investiture of Milan, his father Philip acting as proxy for him.
Again the Emperor Maximilian gave the investiture of Milan to King Louis, for his daughter Madame Claude and for her husband Francis, at that time duke of Angoulême. His reason for doing so was that he knew very well that the right of Charles to Milan was perfect, and could not be invalidated according to law, as he was at the time a minor under the guardianship of his grandfather.
The investiture was after this made over to Maximilian Sforza, the brother of the present Duke, who having made common cause with the enemies of the Empire, naturally forfeited all his rights, when the Duchy again devolved to the Empire.
When Francis I., the present King of France, in the name of his father-in-law and predecessor, King Louis XII., took possession of Milan, he never applied for, much less obtained, the investiture from the Emperor Maximilian or from him (Charles). Even if he had had any right to the Duchy, he would have forfeited it by his hostile acts, &c.
Francesco Sforza, therefore, had no right whatever to the Duchy, except what he (Charles), as a favour, would grant him. Neither could he transfer to his posterity what he did not himself possess. Even if the first investiture had been valid, he would not have been justified in granting it to him as long as his elder brother Maximilian was alive.
To the objection raised by the Pope, namely, that he (the Emperor) had concluded a treaty with Pope Leo X. in favour of Duke Francesco, the answer is that the Duke could not derive any right from a treaty to which he was no party. The paragraph runs as follows: "Item quia Illustrissimus Franciscus Sfortia, Dux Bari, pretendit ducatum Mediolani sibi debere ex vi investituræ felicis memoriæ Maximiliani Cæsaris factæ, attenta renunciatione fratris sui primogeniti, per quam si primum successionis locum obtineret actum extitit et conventum quod si idem Franciscus Sfortia ducatum ipsum recuperaverit, præfati contrahendo eumdem in suis iuribus conservare curabunt et ab omni violentia tuerii nitentur." No new right was transferred to the Duke, besides which the condition "si ipse Dux recuperaverit" does not exist, since he (the Duke) did not recover his duchy by conquest.
(fn. n13)
The Emperor's titles to the possession of Milan are numerous; he need not specify them; considerable have been his trouble and expense to retain the same and protect it against the attacks of his enemies. If, notwithstanding all this, the Emperor readily gave up to Francesco Sforza so rich and coveted an estate, it is sheer insanity to accuse him of cupidity, ambition, and so forth on that score. Such accusations only give rise to the suspicion that those who proffer them have other secret aims in view, besides the peace of Italy and the weal of Christendom as asserted.
Has been magnanimous, not only in words, but also in deeds. Gave Francesco Sforza all the cities, towns, fortresses and castles in the Duchy; all the revenues, rights and authority in the land. Has always mentioned him in all his treaties with Pope Adrian, with the Venetians and others as the true and rightful Duke of Milan, and lastly has granted him the formal investiture, through Cavalier Bilia, his ambassador, without any other condition but that of repaying the Emperor about one quarter of the expense incurred in the recovery of his estate.
The Duke fell dangerously ill. The Pope, the Venetians and other Italian Princes began then to make their calculations, and try to ascertain who would be his successor in case of death, whether the Duchy would revert to the Empire, be retained by the Emperor himself, or given to his brother, the Archduke Ferdinand. Envy and fear were at the bottom of those inquiries. The Pope then exhorted the Emperor, through his legate in Spain (Salviatis), in case of such an event taking place, not to keep the Duchy to himself, nor give it to his brother Ferdinand, but to bestow the investiture on some Prince of whom the Italians might not be afraid. The Pope proposed either the Duke of Bourbon, or George of Austria, the natural son of Emperor Maximilian. To remove all cause for suspicion he (the Emperor) resolved to give it to Mons. de Bourbon. Was it an act of cupidity to deprive himself and his brother of so rich and valuable an estate in order to ensure, as he was told, the peace of the Christian world?
Whilst the Emperor was thus sacrificing his interests and those of his family, he was informed by the Marquis de Pescara that the Duke Francesco Sforza, ungrateful for so many favours, was plotting against him, and had finally entered into a secret league, the object of which was to wrest Milan from the Emperor, whilst his brother Massimiliano and the French attacked the Imperial army.
In order to fathom the Duke's purpose, the Marquis of Pescara held an interview with him, and the Duke had no scruple in owning that the conspiracy really existed, that he had been invited to join it, but since he had received the investiture of the Duchy, he would no further countenance the conspirators.
The generals of the Imperial army then asked to make sure of the Duchy, and applied for an increase of the forces under their command, instead of disbanding them almost entirely, as the Emperor had decided on their doing. They alleged that in view of the dangers threatening the Italian army, it was necessary to keep it intact, and perhaps also to increase it. The Emperor ordered them not to undertake anything against Milan, except, 1o, in the case of the Duke's death; 2o, of the French and Switzers invading Lombardy; 3o, of the confederates taking the field and attacking the dominions of the Empire in Italy. In either of the above cases he authorised them to take possession of the Duchy.
About this time Hieronymo Morone, the Duke's Prime Minister, and, as reported, the head and soul of the whole conspiracy, imagining that the Marquis de Pescara was at the bottom of it, kept urging him by letters to prepare everything for that event, since the intrigue was ripe, and within eight or ten days at the most the Imperialists were to be surprised in their quarters and put to the sword. Then it was that, with the advice of the generals expressly consulted thereupon, the Marquis had Morone arrested, and having hastily reinforced the garrisons of some fortresses, returned to Milan, concentrated the Imperial forces round that city, and demanded from the Duke the delivery to him of all the fortresses and castles on his estate. The Duke surrendered them all with the exception of the castles of Milan and Cremona, which he said he wished to keep until the Emperor's pleasure should be known; offering, however, to give hostages, and swearing not to attack or molest the Imperial army in the meantime. The generals perceiving the danger to which the Imperialists were exposed, as long as the two principal castles in the Duchy remained in the hands of Francesco Sforza, insisted on their demand, and summoned him under "pæna læsæ Majestatis" to give up the two castles. The Duke refused, shut himself up in his castle, and the generals asked the Emperor's permission to besiege him in it. The Emperor was sorry for what happened; he did not at the time approve the behaviour of his captains, for he had not altogether abandoned the hope of having the affair settled in a peaceable manner. Now that the whole treason has become manifest, he cannot but think that his captains were right in what they did. The Duke's crime against his suzerain lord was of such magnitude as perfectly to have justified his being committed to prison, like any other common criminal, put in chains, and tortured until he should confess his guilt and the names of the conspirators. This could not be done, as the Duke could hardly be expected to answer the accusation from the castle to which he had retired with all his attendants and friends. As the Duke, however, though duly summoned, did not appear before his judges to answer the charges brought against him, he was according to law declared "contumacious," and subject to have all his property confiscated, as is usual in such cases.
His Holiness and the rest of the Christian Princes ought not to bestow their pity on a rebellious subject guilty of such crimes against his suzerain lord, but rather on the Emperor himself, who very much against his will has been obliged to adopt such harsh and severe measures, calculated, as it would appear, to disturb the peace of Christendom.
Fully believes the Pope's assertion that all the Princes in Christendom were exceedingly sorry to see the Duke Francesco Sforza treated in this manner, as well as that not one of them was prepared to take up arms in his defence. Of the opinions and sentiments of the Kings of Hungary, Poland, Denmark and Portugal, the Emperor has certainly no reason to doubt; they are his friends and allies, and think as he does on this matter. "Anglus, autem, etsi ejus fœderis conservator et procurator nominatur, nobis tamen apertè suis litteris significavit se nequaquam in id fœdus consensisse, nec mandatum dedisse, nec talem protectionem acceptasse nec acceptare velle, licet ad id partibus Vestræ Sanctitatis interpellatus ac instanter requisitus stiterit, se pacis quam semper efflagitavimus mediatorem offerendo.
"Gallus, vero, etsi cum Vestra Sanctitate et aliis Italiæ Potentatibus fœdus percusserit, ut eo medio mitiores, si posset, quam iam ex nostro fœdere obtinuerit a nobis pacis conditiones exhauriat, liberosque obsides recuperet, retulit aperto ore quod Vestræ Sanctitatis impulso ac suasu, etiam priùs quam liber in regnum suum committeretur, de ipso novo fœdere ineundo sollicitabitur. Et sunt qui affirmant, ut ex quibusdam litteris percipimus, quod Vestra Sanctitas, ipso etiam Gallorum Regi non patenti eidem juramentum relaxaverit quod nobis præstiterat pro fœdere nobiscum prius inito (quod tamen credere nolumus quandoquidem res talis omnino a pastore Christi Vicario aliena esse deberet) ne ipsius jurisjurandi sine causa spreta religio ad deteriora innocentium præberit; merito tamen Vestra Sanctitas his verbis utitur, dimmissis conciliis et conspirationibus, si verbis adeatur effectus, si vero omnis conspiratio dimittatur quam secundum certam intelligentiam crimen denotat."
Another of the assertions contained in the Papal brief is that the draft of the treaty, which Knight Commander Herrera took to Rome by his (the Emperor's) order, was but slightly modified and altered by him (the Pope). This assertion the Emperor completely denies, as the alterations introduced were so many, especially in articles 12, 13, 14, and 15, as entirely to change the nature and object of the treaty. Thus for instance art. 12th, respecting Reggio and Rubiera. The original draft stipulated that the Pope was to take possession of those estates within a certain time, and hold them as before. The Emperor added that, once in the Pope's possession, he should give them back to the Duke of Ferrara to hold as a fief of the Church, since it could not be expected that the Duke would consent to such a spoliation except by sheer force, whereby the peace of Christendom would again be disturbed. When His Holiness returned the draft, this article was so altered that, in compliance with the stipulations of the defensive league, he (the Emperor) would have been compelled to declare war against the Duke of Ferrara and wrest those territories from him, to give them back to the Pope.
Art. 13. The sale of salt in Milan. In this article the Pope erased the words "ad eius vitæ decursum," thus trying to make the obligation perpetual. But it was neither just nor wise for the Emperor to grant such a "servitus" on a fief of the Empire, and exclude for ever his own brother, the Archduke, from the Milan market, where the salt of his own estates ought to be sold as well.
Art. 14. At the end of this article, which refers entirely to the duchy of Milan and the Duke Francesco Sforza, the Pope has added the following paragraph:—
"Et quia ipso Francisco Mariæ Duci (fn. n14) nonulla imputantur [quæ] contra Cæsarem aut a sua Majestati sibi concessam investituram et feudum perpetraverit, eadem Majestas, quantum in se est fovere Italiæ quietem, quæ servari non posse creditur cum ejusdem Ducis a statu et Ducatu remotione, ideò conventum est quod ipse Dux in statu ipso emaneat, et quatenus opus sit in eo per Cæsarem de novo confirmetur, non obstantibus quibuscunque per eum contra Maiestatem suam, ut supra dictum est, attentatis, etiam si caperent crimen læsæ Majestatis. Cæsar, enim, Ducem ipsum pro innocentem habere vult, et ex nova liberalitate sua ac totuis Italiæ intuitu talem sibi remittit et indulget, si etiam plus quam dicitur et creditur errasset."
A very slight alteration indeed, and one likely in future times to encourage treacherous subjects and vassals against their natural lords! "Quum egregiam præberet formam augendi et conservandi Sacrum Romanum Imperium a Deo institutum, a Prophetis predictum, ab Apostolis predicatum, et ab ipso domino nascente, vivente et moriente approbatum."
The above article had, for his Holiness' satisfaction, been altered as follows:—"Ut autem nihil dubitationis nec suspicationis in hoc fœdus relinquatur, sed omnis scrupulus de medio tollatur, cum in priori fœdere potius sub nomine proprio quam appellativo includi videatur Illustris Franciscus Sfortiæ Dux Mediolani, qui aliquibus jam mensibus grave vexatur ægritudine, et in summo vitæ discrimine constitutus fuit, etiam de felonia, ac læsæ Maiestatis crimine accusatus seu inculpatus, etsi hunc aut naturali morte aut civile (iustitia previa) ab ipso Ducatu Mediolani excidere contiger it hæsitari posset an feudum ipsum ad aliud in eodem Ducatu ex Cæsaris concessione vel dispositione succedentem pretenderetur. Ideò, ad ampliorem ipsius fœderis declarationem actum extitit quod sive ipse Illustris Franciscus Sfortia vitam obierit, et ab hoc sæculo migraverit, seu per viam iustitiæ dicto Ducatu fuerit privatus, in eum casum Cæsarea Majestas pro Italiæ quiete, et contemplatione Sanctissimi Domini nostri ipsius ducatus Mediolani investituram concedit illustri Domino Carolo Duci Borbonii et Aurelianæ, (fn. n15) ita ut Sanctissimus Dominus noster ac cæteri confœderati qui in hoc fœdere voluerint comprehendi, sint et teneantur adstricti ad defensionem ipsius stati Mediolani, etiam ad opus dicti Illustris Ducis Borbonii, dum de ipso ducatu Mediolani fuerit investitus; quo casu quantum ad omnia in fœdere contenta, tamquam suffectus in locum dicti Francisci Sfortia fungatur omnibus honoribus quibus ille vivens, et in tale statu permanens fungi debuisset."
The above addition is quite as equitable as the one proposed by His Holiness. He (the Emperor) cannot be expected to forgive and forget such heinous offences as Francesco Sforza has committed.
Art. 15. Pretended attempts against the liberty of the Church. The Pope suppressed the whole of this article and substituted another. The Emperor, nevertheless, accepted the alteration and added only the following words:—"His modis et formis quibus per Ferdinandum Regem Catholicum eius antecessorem observatæ fuere, et juxta ipsius Regis privilegia ac jura." Certainly this addition can hardly be called an innovation; it is only a manner of preserving the Emperor's right to the kingdom of Naples.
Has in nowise changed his conduct towards the Pope since the conclusion of his treaty with King Francis, as implied in the Papal brief. Has, on the contrary, frequently asked his advice and consulted him thereupon, sending Commander Herrera long before the treaty was concluded. Would much sooner have despatched an ambassador to Rome had he not been informed that His Holiness was sending a Nuncio to him with ample powers to treat. When the Nuncio (Baldassar Castiglione) arrived in Spain, and the negotiations had nearly been brought to an end, a delay was asked that the Nuncio might consult with his Court.
The Pope complains of the answer made to his holograph letter. He says, among other things, that whilst he implored mercy for the Duke, the Emperor declared that strict justice should be done. The Emperor does not even now retract his words, for certainly without retributive justice an estate cannot be maintained, nor the peace of the World ensured.
The Emperor is further accused of having charged the Holy Father with crime. That is a mistake. He wrote the answer in his own hand, and can assure the Pope that he used no expression in his letter implying such a thing.
The Pope further complains of the Emperor having extorted from him the concession of the crusade, the tithes, &c., and applied the money of the Church, not to make war on the Infidel, but on Christians. The answer is that the Emperor considered himself fully entitled to such concessions, since he was then waging war in Africa. He did not spend the proceeds in the African war, which was over at the time the grant was made, but he employed it against the Turk in Hungary. He, however, addressed no reproaches to His Holiness on this head; but only pointed out the danger to Christianity and the evils likely to ensue were he (the Pope) to refuse to grant his request.
With regard to the cap (pileus) he merely observed that it was the first favour he had ever asked the Pope since his accession to the Pontificate, and yet it had not been granted. When offered, he thankfully accepted it, and took that opportunity of proffering his services and his person in defence of the Holy Father and of the Church.
The Pope further complains of having been ill-treated by the Imperial agents. If that charge be proved, the guilty parties shall be punished as they deserve.
Sienna. That Community is one of the oldest fiefs of the Empire. The Emperor, therefore, was bound to look to its welfare, and see that it was well governed. The city had long been in the power of tyrants, first of Pandolfo Petrucci, then of his son Borgherino, who was expelled therefrom by Pope Leo. X., and lastly of Cardinal Petrucci, who, having promised to pay 10,000 "aureorum" every year, succeeded in the command. After the death of Cardinal Francesco Borgherino, Petrucci was his heir, but the Pope having entered into close relationship with his kinsman, Julio Petrucci, the latter was assisted in assuming the command of the place. Julio, however, sided with the Duke of Albany, and attempted to make Sienna a republic under French protection. The people revolted and proclaimed it a free republic under the Empire. The Emperor ordered Commander Herrera to go thither, institute an inquiry, and report on the state of affairs. Would have settled all matters to the Pope's satisfaction and advantage had he not been prevented by circumstances.
Then a faction corrupted by money resolved on the ruin of the republic, and introduced a number of emigrants and malefactors through certain subterraneous passages into the heart of the city. The conspirators were caught "in flagranti," condemned, and executed. The Pope cannot make himself "particeps criminis" of such traitors and malefactors, whose intention was to murder all the nobility of the place.
Cruelties and ravages perpetrated by the Imperial soldiers in the lands of the Church is another of the charges made in the Papal brief. The Emperor can only say that if such crimes can be individually proved the perpetrators shall not escape without punishment, but it must also be said that the Pope's duplicity greatly exasperated both captains and soldiers.
Parma and Piacenza. The Pope has no claim whatever on these two cities. When his legate (Cardinal Salviati) came to the Imperial Court he declared that he had no special commands to treat with the French King, but only to be a mediator between him (Charles) and Francis. His services were not wanted. That legate could in nowise interfere in the settlement of a peace between the Emperor and the French King, since he had not, as he said, express powers for that purpose. He was, however, treated with due respect, and duly informed of the progress of the negotiation. Whilst the King of France was still a prisoner [in Italy] he (the Emperor) not only informed the legate what his terms were, but communicated to him the proposals which the King of France himself had made, and of which Don Ugo de Moncada was the bearer, one of them being to rekindle the war in Italy for the Emperor's sole interest and advantage, and regardless of his own. These offers he (the Emperor) rejected for the sake of peace. Informed the legate in due time of the counterproposals which he was about to forward to the King, which became more moderate when King Francis was brought to Spain, and his sister, the Duchess of Alençon, conducted the negotiations. The answer made by Francis to his counterproposals the Emperor failed not to communicate also to the legate, that he might in his turn inform His Holiness. The same was done respecting the articles touching Burgundy and other matters. The negotiations were then suspended, owing to the sudden departure of Madame d' Alençon for France, and not resumed until the 13th January of the present year. Never refused to show the original treaty [of Madrid] to the legate, and give him copy of it. Even now he is still ready to do so if required. There is nothing in that treaty or in the negotiations that preceded it to make him ashamed of his acts. All the stipulations in it tend to ensure general peace among Christians, and make war against the Infidel possible, as well as to exalt religion and promote the Pope's personal welfare.
The Pope's legate and nuncios were at perfect liberty to write to Rome whenever they pleased; nobody ever thought of preventing them.
If there were at any time Imperial councillors or other people advising him (the Emperor) to do the Pope wrong, or otherwise act against him, he was not influenced by their counsels. His edicts and proclamations in Spain are a testimony of his reverence for the Holy See, and for the Pope in particular. In one of them he goes so far as to propose the appointment of umpires to decide on the questions now at issue. Never dreamt of doing the Pope any harm, but nevertheless he cannot waive the rights and privileges of his Spanish subjects.
The Viceroy of Naples (Charles de Lannoy) went to France not to negotiate any new treaty secret or public, but to insist on the fulfillment of that which was already made and signed.
He (the Viceroy) could not visit the Pope at Rome for want of a safe-conduct through France, which was refused. Indeed the French themselves maintain that it was owing to the repeated applications of the Pope and the Venetians that the said safe-conduct was denied.
Don Ugo's stay at Milan was indispensable for the settlement of certain business there; it did not exceed five days. It was the more needful because on his arrival at that city Don Ugo found letters from the Duke of Sessa, informing him that His Holiness had already joined the league against the Emperor, and that when asked to grant a delay of one month he had resolutely answered "Not one day, not even one hour." Don Ugo was also informed that all the roads and passes leading to Rome were already occupied, the Imperial couriers detained, and all letters from Milan intercepted. Don Ugo, himself, was obliged to wait for a safe-conduct from the Papal captains.
Neither has the Pope any reason to complain of Don Ugo's interview with the Duke of Milan, since it had no other object than that of persuading him to give up the castle of Milan, and surrender himself to the Emperor's justice and mercy. Had his negotiations with the Duke been successful, the principal obstacle to the league between His Holiness and the Emperor would have been removed.
Another accusation is that he (the Emperor) has attempted to get possession of Parma by treason. This must be a calumny invented and propagated by their common enemies. Parma and Piacenza are both fiefs of the Empire. Had the Emperor wished to unite them to his other dominions he would have done so openly and legally, not clandestinely and treacherously. Prefers, however, the peace of Christendom to the acquisition of territory.
The above will be sufficient to prove that the Pope has no reason whatever to suspect and mistrust him (the Emperor) and seek for protection among such mighty Kings as he alludes to in his brief, excite their hatred, and make them take up arms in his defence. Even if he continues to foster the actual league against his person and estates, the Emperor sincerely hopes that the Pope will not cease to be the shepherd of the Christian flock. "Sicque merito cum Psalmista dicere possumus: Quare fremuerunt gentes, et populi meditati sunt inania? Astiterunt Reges terræ, et Principes convenerunt in unum adversus, non inquam Dominum et Christum, sed adversus ministrum et agnum divinitus institutum ab ipsomet Christo, a quo omnis pendet nostra auctoritas et potestas, qui propterea disrumpit vincula et ligam eorum et projicit a nobis jugum ipsorum, prout in sua divina benignitate et clementia recta nostra intentione et conscientia fieri plenè confidimus."
Two things, however, have particularly attracted the Emperor's attention, and indeed filled the whole Christian world with amazement. One is that he did not wait for the arrival of Don Ugo, whom he knew to be already on the road to Rome, but whilst accusing him of delay, precipitated the conclusion of his mischievous and scandalous league (damnosi et scandalosi fœderis). The other, that he pretended not to be able, even for the sake of the peace of Christendom, to accept Don Ugo's offers, even if they had come sooner, as he was already bound by other treaties to make war and shed blood. "Dura quidem hac difformitas in ipso Pastore et communi Patre qui omnibus æqualis esse debuisset!"
It is not correct to say, as asserted in the Papal brief, that the warlike preparations the Pope is making are only intended for the defence of Italy and the protection of the Roman See. Nobody thinks of attacking them. The present war is carried on, not for the protection of the Church, but for her utter ruin, as it is calculated to exhaust her treasures, to offend Christ, and bring on the destruction of the whole Christian community. Public scandal and danger to the Church are the only probable results of it.
If the Pope stops to consider without prejudice or passion who the Emperor is, and what his acts have been ever since the commencement of his reign, he will find there is no prince in Christendom to whom the Apostolic See is more indebted than to him; no more obedient son of the Church, or who desires more the increase of Papal authority. From the Emperor's dominions the Pope has greater returns than from all the Christian Princes put together. "Si enim ad ea rectè advertat Vestra Sanctitas, comperiet quod ex imperio regnisque de dominiis nostris Hispaniarum, utriusque Siciliæ, Germaniæ, Galliæ, Belgicæ ac Superioris Burgundiæ plus quam ex cæterorum omnium regnis ac dominiis simul iunctis, lucri ac commodi Sedis Apostolicæ ac Romanæ Curiæ, accedit. Qualia autem sint ea lucra ex centum illis gravaminibus nationis Germaniæ colligi poterit, quibus tamen ex ea devotione et observantia qua semper Vestræ Sanctitati ac Apostolicæ sedi affecti fuimus nusquam aures præstare curavimus, nec his animum adjicere, quod si justa aliqua ratione vel causa Apostolica Sedes lucris careret non essent claves aureæ quæ bellorum archivia pro libero aperire ac claudere solent," nor would he (the Pope) be able to raise an army against him.
The Pope will, he says, even now conclude peace on equitable terms if he (the Emperor) will only abandon his ambitious ideas, and his plans of cupidity and conquest suggested to him by some of his advisers. The Emperor harbours no such thoughts: he is quite ready to lay down his arms. The Pope is right in saying that the Emperor and he are in duty bound to preserve the peace of Christendom. "At hæc duo magna luminaria a Deo instituta ita sibi invicem debito ordine correspondent et ministrant ut inde orbis universus rectam illustrationem recipiat, nec pro ipsorum luminarium eclipsis in christiana religione et doctrina causari et generari, seu diutius sustineri valeat in maximum christianæ reipublicæ detrimentum."
Speaks from the bottom of his heart. Desires to see Italy free, and the World in general at peace. Has never uttered an untruth. If peace is to be preserved, all must consent; if one dissents war can again be rekindled. That is the reason why his (the Emperor's) peaceful policy has never prevailed.
Begs the Pope to disarm. If he does, his allies will do so also, and there will be an end to the war.
The Turk will be conquered. The Lutheran and other sects, either suppressed or reunited with the Roman Church, will be the most loving and dutiful sons to the Holy Father. Is ready to sacrifice his kingdom and his blood in defence of the Church.
If "quidquid sinistri" should happen to the Christian religion it will not be his fault.
Promises to forget all that has passed.
If, however, the Pope does not admit these his vindications; if he is not disposed to give peace to Christendom; if he exercises not the functions of a father, but those of a partisan (patris sed partis), not of a shepherd, but of a wolf (non pastoris sed incursoris), then the Emperor intends to appeal to the judgment of a general council of the whole of Christendom, which he begs the Pope at once to convoke "in loco securo," to heal the wounds of afflicted Christianity.
Has decided to communicate this letter to the Apostolic nuncio (Castiglione).—Datum civitate Granatæ die decima septima mensis Septembris anni 1526.
After which, the above Grand Chancellor, Mercurino di Gattinara, handed the letter to him (the undersigned notary) and to Alphonso Valdés, who read it aloud to the Nuncio, then sealed it with the Imperial seal in presence of the said Nuncio, and delivered it to him, begging he would forward it as soon as possible to Rome.
The Nuncio received the letter and promised to forward the same to His Holiness. He declared at the same time that although it was quite true that he had received a letter from His Holiness ordering him at once to put into the Emperor's hands the brief which the Chancellor had just mentioned, yet that he had since received another letter from the Pope commading him not to deliver the brief, if he had not already done so, and enclosing a new brief dated the 24th of June, a day later than the former, which he was to give to the Emperor instead of the first. In this second brief the Pope declares he is ready to disarm. The Nuncio, nevertheless, promised to forward the above answer and declaration of the Emperor to the Holy Father.
Actum in civ. Gran. in the lodgings of Estevan Centurion of Jaen, at whose house Chancellor Gattinara is staying.
Witnesses :—Bartholome de Gattinara, Chancellor for the Crown of Aragon; Juan Aleman, Lord of Bouclan, first secretary, and Alphonsus Valesius.
Latin. Copy. pp. 27.
18 Sept. 551. The Same to the Same.
M. B. N. Madrid,
E. 50, f. 48.
Is sorry that his answer to the Papal brief of the 23rd of June last went on the 17th inst. The Nuncio has since delivered into his (the Emperor's) hands another brief written ten days later, in which His Holiness seems to entertain a better opinion of him as regards his sentiments and intentions towards the Christian republic generally and the Apostolic See in particular. Was, nevertheless, very glad to hear that the Holy Father wished for peace, was more equitable and just in his appreciations, and acted more leniently (blandius) towards him. Wishes it were as much in his power to foster the affairs of decaying Christianity (labentis christianœ reipublicœ rebus consulere) and ensure universal peace, as it is in the power of others to create war and disturb the Christian world.
To tell the truth the Emperor never thought the Pope could have been capable of judging him so unfavourably, as he did in his brief, had not those whose interest it is to keep Christianity in a continual state of agitation frightened him by false representations. Hopes that God will work a change in the Pope's mind, and that he will consult the peace and tranquillity of his people, "potius quam privatis quorumdam affectibus atque dolis." Will always do everything in his power to further the interests of the Holy See. Begs and implores him, for the sake of the blood which our Saviour shed on the cross, to put an end to the many calamities from which Christianity is suffering at present.
Though the Pope seems to believe that he does not care for God, the Emperor is ready to prove by his deeds that he has been, and will be, an obedient son of the Church, and will promote with all his might his cause and that of Christianity.
"Quæ omnia Sanctitas vestra facilè experiri poterit, si non privatis sed publicis rebus consulere, nostrumque animum (qui a Sanctitatis vestræ observantia dum earn Christi vices gerere recolimus minimè abesse potest) tamquam communis pater amplecti, christianisque rebus in deterius prolabentibus, prout latius in aliis litteris nostris ad Sanctitatem Vestram scripsimus, pio studio abesse. (sic) voluerit. Quod ut faciat Sanctitat Vestram etiam atque etiam rogamus ulloque rerum Deo optimo Maximo felicitatem ex animo optamus. Datum in civitate nostra Granatæ die XVIII. mensis Septembris anno domini MDXXVI, regnorum vero omnium undecimo. Carolus Divina favente clementia electus Romanus Imperator semper Augustus ac Germaniæ Hispaniarum, &c. Rex. Yo el Rey. Alphonsus Valdesius.
Latin. Copy.
18 Sept. 552. The Emperor to Pope Clement VII.
Lanz Correspon-
, &c., Vol. 1,
p. 219.
Whilst enumerating the favours he has done the Emperor, the Holy Father singularly forgets to mention those which We have rendered him, for certainly the Pope must be aware that it was through our intercession and help that he (Clement) was raised to the Pontificate. When We ourselves were elected to the Empire we did not accept it until Pope Leo had approved our election and granted us the investiture of Naples. And yet His Holiness knows full well how much Count Alberti di Carpi and he himself (the Pope) laboured to snatch from us that very kingdom of Naples.
When Reggio (Reghium Lepidi), which is a fief of the Church, was attacked by the French We took up arms for its defence. The Pope must recollect the circumstance, for he was Leo's legate at the time, and he received an annual pension of 10,000 gold cr. upon the archiepiscopal see of Toledo. The French having been defeated and expelled from Italy by Bourbon, We caused France to be invaded, that we might thereby recover that which the French King had taken from us. The expedition was unfortunate; the siege of Marseilles was raised, and King Francis renewed the war in Italy, very much at the present Pope's instigation, as generally asserted.
Owns that the kingdom of Naples is a fief of the Church, and yet had the Pope made war on his vassal he would have forfeited all his rights to it. Cannot deny either that previous to the French King's capture [at Pavia] certain overtures for peace were made at his suggestion; but the object of those overtures was no other than to take possession, under cover of a deposit placed in his hands, of the whole duchy of Milan, the Venetians and Florentines having failed in their engagements on that occasion and withdrawn their forces, solely at his (Clement's) instigation.
It was also at his solicitation that the French King, even before his return from Spain, entered into a new league [with the Italian powers], and, as we believe, was released from the oath he made us.
Lastly, hostilities were commenced by the Pope long before the declaration of war reached us in Spain, his avowed purpose being not only to drive our army out of Italy, but to deprive us of the Imperial dignity, as the letters of the Marquis of Pescara [Fernando Davalos], to whom the crown of Naples was promised, sufficiently demonstrate.
We might have kept for ourselves the duchy of Milan, as it had been recovered by our arms and was a fief of the Empire, but we preferred the peace of Italy and gave it away to Francesco Sforza. When the latter, however, fell dangerously ill, and was not expected to live, the Duke of Bourbon, as is well known, was selected by us to succeed him. He (Sforza) was afterwards besieged in his castle of Milan for no other reason than because he had, with the Pope's assistance and connivance, made himself guilty of the crime "læsæ Majestatis," had refused to surrender the castles of Milan and Cremona, which our generals after having detected the conspiracy, asked for their security, and, moreover, would not purge himself from the charges from treason brought against him. True we were at the time requested to pardon and forgive the Duke's guilt, but this we could not do, as it might have been henceforth a bad example to vassals against their liege lords (sed neque possui nec debui ne pessimo exemplo beneficiariis in patronos delinquendi fenestram tram aperirem).
If our soldiers took provisions and other necessaries of life at Parma and Piacenza no blame is to be attached to them, for certainly those cities and their territories do not form part of the Church estates, but belong notoriously to the duchy of Milan.
The conditions of our peace with France were known to the Pope's legates. There was no reason for keeping them secret, since our object was merely to ensure the welfare of Christianity and make war on the Infidel. The laws published in our Spanish dominions were exclusively intended for the protection of our right of patronage on certain churches, rights and privileges granted to us by Pope Adrian, and to suppress which, several attempts have since been made at Rome.
"Sed vide quanta sit rei indignitas." Greater emoluments and profits accrue yearly to Rome from our dominions than from the rest of the Christian kingdoms put together; "id demostrari potest ex illis Germaniæ principum postulatis quando de curia Romana graviter conquesti, remedium adhiberi volebant. Ego autem pro mea in ecclesiam Romanam observantia quærimoniam illorum tunc posthabui."
Requests him to lay down his arms; the Emperor on his side will do the same, "et cum a Deo simus ambo constituti veluti luminaria duo magna, demus operam ut per nos illustretur orbis terrarum, neque per nostrum dissidium oriatur eclypsis, et cogitemus de universa republica, de profligandis barbaris, de sectis et erroribus comprimendis." (fn. n16) —Granatæ, 18th Sept. 1526.
Latin. Copy.
18 Sept. 553. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 321.
Since his letter of the 15th a courier has come from Posuania (Possonia) with advices from Buda of the 31st August., and Vienna of the 5th inst. Both confirm the disaster of Mohatz. The former state that the King of Hungary had saved himself; the latter that he got into a boat with others and was drowned. Which of the two accounts is the true one he (Sanchez) cannot tell. The Papal nuncio in this city received the courier, and immediately sent him on to Rome. Has not heard either from the Archduke or from Castro, but the Austrian ambassador in Venice has had letters from Innspruch and Tient, of which the enclosed are copies.
(Cipher:) No letter has come from Don Ugo. That which he wrote on the 10th inst. was probably intercepted. Has written since through a surer, though much slower channel. As soon as he hears from Rome he will quit Venice and go wherever he can be of most use to his Imperial Majesty.—Venice, 18th Sept. 1526.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To His Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1526. Alonso Sanchez. Venice 18th Sept. Answered."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 1½.
18 Sept. 554. Commander Luis Ycart to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 38,
f. 378.
Refers to the report (consulta) of the Council. The Viceroy is anxiously expected there [at Naples], not only on account of the fleet he is to bring, but also for the better administration of justice and other government affairs, which suffer much from his absence.—Naples, 18th Sept. 1526.
Addressed: "To His Imperial Majesty."
Spanish. Copy. p. 1.
18 Sept.? 555. [Francesco Guicciardini] to Proveditor Pesaro.
S. E. L. 2010,
f. 9.
Your Lordship is no doubt aware that His Holiness perceiving the danger of his position in the event of the Viceroy's fleet touching at Gaeta or at the coast of Sienna, earnestly requested his allies to raise the siege of Cremona, and send a strong detachment of Switzers with some thousands of Italians to Genoa, where, besides creating a diversion, there might be a chance of the inhabitants declaring in favour of the League. I recollect very well that your Lordship, not wishing at the time to desist from the siege [of Cremona], disapproved of this project, but promised that immediately after the arrival of the Marquis of Saluzzo with his [French] bands at the camp, 4,000 Switzers and as many Italian foot, newly raised at the expense of the League, should be detached against Genoa for the express purpose of carrying out His Holiness' plans. I have this day received a letter from Rome, in date of the 14th inst., implying that His Holiness is willing to wait for the arrival of the Marquis, who is expected very shortly, provided Genoa be attacked in the manner above described, without waiting for the issue of affairs at Cremona. (fn. n17) As there is no certainty as to the time when the Spanish fleet is to sail, nor how long it will be at sea; as it might also happen that the Switzers came too late, His Holiness thinks that the Genoese expedition ought first to be attended to, as sooner or later it must be attempted. We are so situated here that we cannot think of parting with any of our Switzers, unless the Marquis [of Saluzzo] arrives with his bands. Without him it is quite impossible for us to retain our positions here [before Milan]. His arrival, however, may soon be expected unless he delays at Cremona, (fn. n18) in which event he might remain so long there that it would be too late for relief here. Your Lordship is well acquainted with the condition of these countries (paesi), and knows that if the Viceroy were to come now he would find the Pope weakened (fn. n19) and would ultimately cause his ruin and that of the undertaking; and although there is no positive certainty of the Spanish fleet soon coming to these coasts, yet there is no ground to assert the contrary, and in things of such importance it is always prudent to secure oneself, rather than be exposed to danger and placed at the enemy's mercy. It is better to err on the side of too much than too little.
Immediately on the receipt of the above said letters from Rome I communicated their contents to the Magnifico Pisani, in the presence of Count Guido [Rangone], of Signor Giovanni [de' Medici], and Signor Vitello [Vitelli], After a good deal of discussion it was resolved to make every possible effort for the Marquis to continue his march, so that on his arrival we may be able to spare 2,500 or 3,000 Switzers. Before they reach Piacenza, there is every probability of our knowing the issue of the siege of Cremona, and if matters are then in such a state that a sufficient force can be detached for the Genoa enterprise, well and good; if not, the Switzers may go by way of Rome, where, joined to other forces in that territory, they will have nothing to fear from the Imperialists. At any rate before the said Switzers reach Piacenza, perhaps even before they have left this camp, I am sure to have an answer from Rome to the despatch which I intend sending this evening, perhaps too the news from Spain may throw light on the question. The only danger I see in this resolution is from the Marquis' dilatoriness (fn. n20) which has been exceedingly annoying to me, and the consequent delay in the plans to be made at Rome, which plans cannot possibly be carried out unless the Marquis is here. I therefore beg the Illustrious Duke of Urbino and your Lordship, not only to allow the Marquis [of Saluzzo] to come here, but to send him a message, as we will also do on our side, to the effect that the siege of Cremona has been commenced without the assistance of his bands, and that you (the Venetians) intend to carry it out.—Casaneto, 18th November. (fn. n21)
Addressed: "Al Provedditore Pesero." (fn. n22)
Italian. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.


  • n1. Andrea Caraffa, Conte di Santa Severina, Lieutenant-General of the kingdom of Naples, in the absence of the Viceroy, Charles de Lannoy, from October 1525 till June 1526, the time of his death. He was succeeded by another Caraffa, Conte di Policastro, who, as President of the Collateral Council of Naples' administered the affairs of that kingdom, and signed despatches until the arrival of Lannoy in December. See Parrino, Teatro Eroico e Politico de' Governi de' Vicere di Napoli, 1692, 8vo.
  • n2. Fr. Gabriele di Martinengo.
  • n3. The original has "cien mil ducados."
  • n4. No doubt the same Chevalier of Rhodes mentioned in a letter of Gasparo Contarini to the Signory of Venice, dat. Vitoria, 1st Feb. 1524 (Rawdon Brown, Venet. Pap., III., 354). His name seems to have been Gabriel. Soria prefixes to his name the word Fray, in Italian Fra; but it is a mistake, for knights of the military orders in Spain were always called Frey (from freire or frère), not Fray, which on every occasion signifies a "friar" or "monk."
  • n5. The same condottiero, called elsewhere Federigo di Bozano and di Bozzolo, whose real name was Federigo Gonzaga da Bozzolo. See above, p. 792, note.
  • n6. Most likely Count Giovanni Francesco Pico della Mirandola, mentioned elsewhere, and whose letter to Soria has been abstracted at p. 654.
  • n7. The substance of this Papal brief is in Sandoval, lib. XV., cap. XVII. He also inserts (cap. XVIII.) a translation of the Emperor's answer, which he says was printed at Alcala, with other papers relating thereto, and largely circulated: "Vastanos dezir que se imprimieron [estas cartas] en Alcala, y se derramaron por la Christiandad, y juzgauan dellas segun la passion que cada uno tenia."
  • n8. Frederic Duke of Saxony, one of the electors.
  • n9. "Ut nihil aliud putaremur quam duo magna orbis luminaria, vestræ Sanctitatis opera adeo inseparabiliter conjuncta censeri, ut in mutua horum correspondentia orbis universus illustrari posset, ad perpetuamque unionem et quietem reduci." Strange enough nearly the same expressions are to be found in a letter of Pope Leo. X. (14th Nov. 1520), congratulating Charles on his election to the Empire. See Bergenroth, Spanish State Papers, &c., vol. II., p. 326.
  • n10. Francesco Soderini Cardinalis Volaterranus.
  • n11. Francesco, the first of the Sforza, married Maria Blanca Visconti, natural daughter of the last Duke of Milan, Filippo Maria.
  • n12. Beatrix d' Este, of the house of Ferrara.
  • n13. The sister, not daughter of the last Duke.
  • n14. The Duke of Milan is sometimes called Francesco [Maria] Sforza by San doval and other writers, as in this document, contrary to Guicciardini and most of the Italian historians, who simply name him Francesco Sforza de' Visconti, duca di Milano e di Bari.
  • n15. Alverniæ? (Auvergne), for Aurelianæ is Orleans, and Charles de Bourbon had never that title.
  • n16. The original minute of this letter, published by Lanz (vol. I., p. 219), from a copy in the Archives of Bourgogne, at Brussels is not at Vienna among the papers I have examined. If the date be correctly given (18th Sept. 1526), it may be inquired whether it was written before or after the two letters of the Emperor, immediately preceding, and addressed also to the Pope. I am inclined to believe that it was intended as an answer to the Pope's letter of the 30th of June (see above, No. 474), and therefore written after the receipt in Granada of the Papal brief of the 23rd that roused the Emperor's anger and prompted so warm a reply from him.
  • n17. Cremona surrendered on the 1st of October.
  • n18. "La venuta sua era facile ad aspettare se non se divertisse à Cremona."
  • n19. "Si erri piu presto nello havere tenuto piu del bisogno che manco."
  • n20. "Che il devirtire di corto il Marchese."
  • n21. The date of this letter, which appears to have been written between the sack of Rome by the Colonnese, in August, and the taking of Cremona by the army of the League, is evidently mistaken, for that city capitulated in the last days of September, and ultimately surrendered on the 1st of October. As the siege of Cremona is therein mentioned as being actually conducted by the Venetians, it is evident that Guicciardini, who is no other than the celebrated historian of those times, and the Pope's Lieutenant-General, must have written to Pesaro about the 18th of September, on the same day that he received the instructions from Rome, dated the 14th. It is probable therefore that his letter, with others, was intercepted by the Imperialists, and a copy forwarded to Spain. Whoever made the transcript may easily have mistaken 7bris. (Septembris) for 9bris. (Novembris).
  • n22. Piero de Cà da Pesaro, called Pesero in this copy.