Spain: May 1527, 26-31

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 3 Part 2, 1527-1529. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1877.

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, 'Spain: May 1527, 26-31', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 3 Part 2, 1527-1529, (London, 1877) pp. 211-228. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Spain: May 1527, 26-31", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 3 Part 2, 1527-1529, (London, 1877) 211-228. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

. "Spain: May 1527, 26-31", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 3 Part 2, 1527-1529, (London, 1877). 211-228. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,

May 1527, 26-31

27 May. 78. The Abbot of Najera to the Emperor.
M. D. Pasc. de G.
Pa. r. a. l. Hist.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 212.
After the Duke of Bourbon with this very prosperous army (con este felicissimo exercito) had decided not to undertake Florence—the enterprise having been considered both long and difficult—but rather to strike a blow here at head-quarters (venir á dar en la cabeza), he marched two days through the valley of Corno (por el val de Corno) till he came to about 30 miles from Florence, whence perceiving that the whole army of the confederates was more than ten miles ahead of him, intending to defend the place, he suddenly turned round, and passing through the land of the Siennese, reached in two days' march the Roman causeway (strada Romea). Having left behind the eight pieces of ordnance which he had with him, that he might march with greater speed, and making every day 18 or 20 Italian miles, he reached Rome, and on the 5th inst. encamped with the whole of his force opposite the Borgho of Sanct Pietro, between the gates of Sancti Spiritus and Sant Pancracio. On the ensuing Monday, the 6th, at break of day, the escalade was attempted, and a most severe battle fought, which lasted two hours and a half. There was much hard fighting, so much so that the Duke, having determined to conquer or die in the attempt, came close to the city wails, and tried to mount one of the ladders, when, as his and our misfortune would have it, he was wounded by a hackbut shot in the thigh, and died one quarter of an hour after. God nevertheless was pleased to grant a most signal victory to the Imperial arms, for the Papal Palace and the Borgho of Sanct Pietro were soon occupied by our soldiers, with a loss to the enemy of upwards of 2,000 men. The Pope, confident in Renzo da Ceri's promises, had remained at the Palace, that captain having made him believe that he could, with only the 3,000 men that he had under his orders, successfully defend Rome against an army, very superior in numbers, it is true, but without artillery, and so weakened by hunger and long marching that it was stated that the men fell exhausted on the fields, and could not, had they tried, get over the walls. His Holiness, however, saw the danger of his remaining longer at his Palace, and hastily retired to Sanct Angelo, where he is at present with 13 of his cardinals, old and new, and with Renzo da Ceri, himself, and Alberto del Carpio (Carpi), Jacopo Salviatis, the Datary (Gianmatheo Giberti), and several others, though the supply of provisions is said to be very scanty.
After the taking of the Borgho, the Prince of Orange (Philibert de Chalon) and Juan de Urbina remained there some time collecting (recogiendo) the men, and preventing their spreading about and sacking the city before it was fairly conquered. I myself was directed to reconnoitre that part of Transteberi, where there are three bridges leading to Rome, and accordingly sent a trumpeter to the inhabitants of those quarters bidding them send parliamentaries, with whom Knight Commander Urrias (fn. n1) and myself might treat of the surrender, and stipulate for the payment of as large a sum as possible to save Rome from sack. The trumpeter went, but returned with so unsatisfactory an answer from the guards at the gates, that it was necessary to take the remainder of the city by force. Accordingly one gun and three small pieces of ordnance were procured, and pointed towards the gate of Transteberi and the rest of Rome when the whole of the city was sacked, irrespective of cardinals, ambassadors, Spanish or German, churches hospitals, &c. The sack has lasted until to-day, the total loss amounting to an incredible sum. Such are the mysterious decrees of Providence, for it may be said that the destruction and misery sustained by Rome on this occasion are unparalleled in history. Within the precincts of St. Peter and on the very altar, upwards of 30 men who had taken refuge there, met with their death, and the rich and gorgeous apartments (estancias) of the sacred palace were turned into stables for horses. It was the sentence of God; may those who executed it be counted not unworthy before Him.
The day after (the 17th inst.), the Archbishop of Capua (Fr. Nicolao Schomberg) wrote in His Holiness' name requesting that Bartholomeo di Gattinara and myself (the Abbot), or either of us two, accompanied by one officer of the Imperial army, should go to Sanct Angelo to treat of the best means for the Pope and his cardinals going out of the castle unmolested, and throwing themselves on the Emperor's mercy [in Spain]. Gattinara went up several times and concluded the capitulation, of which a copy is enclosed, (fn. n2) but when the Germans saw the articles they refused to let the Pope and his cardinals leave Rome before they were paid in full the 290,000 ducats, which they calculate are owing to them, stating at the same time that the Pope and the persons and property of those who were with him in Sanct Angelo were the only security for the payment. Owing to this reason the capitulation made with the Pope took no effect at the time, until the Germans, perceiving that there was no other way of getting their money, consented to accept only 100,000 down, which was the sum stipulated with the Pope, on condition that the Prince of Orange (Philibert de Chalon) should promise to pay them the remainder within a month. With this resolution, on the 20th inst. (fn. n3) Vespasiano Colonna, Bartholomeo Gattinara, and myself (the Abbot) went up to the castle to have the capitulation signed by His Holiness, and agree on the manner and form of its execution. In this, and in obtaining certain securities from the bankers who were to pay down the money, four more days passed, during which the said Capua, (fn. n4) Gattinara, and myself again went to see the Pope. The capitulation drawn, and everything arranged, so that there was nothing to do but to sign and execute it, the Pope, who from the very first had been trying to gain time for the arrival of the expected succour, having that day received intelligence that the army of the League was at Viterbo, retired to consult with the cardinals and others of his Council, who were in the castle with him, as to the expediency of signing it. Most were of opinion that the capitulation ought only to be signed on the condition that if within six days' time succour came to His Holiness he should not be bound to fulfil it. Cardinals Campeggio, Ancona (Pietro degli Accolti), Cesis, and Rangone (Hercole) were of the contrary opinion, begging and exhorting His Holiness not to place his hope in the arms of the confederates, as that might be the cause of much effusion of blood, besides setting a bad example to the Christian world, and perhaps too involving the total ruin of the Apostolic See, with many evils and scandals, &c. After which consultation His Holiness sent for Vespasiano Colonna, for Gattinara, and for myself (the Abbot), who were in an adjoining chamber, and asked us whether a six days' term would be granted. (fn. n5) We told him that had the request been made at first, there would have been no difficulty, but that now we considered it impossible, as 12 days had been spent in negotiation. The soldiers suspected that His Holiness did not intend fulfilling his promises, and therefore without consulting them first, specially the Germans, we (the commissioners) could not take so great a responsibility on ourselves. Were we to make such a proposal to the Germans they would no doubt turn round upon the Prince of Orange, and exact the fulfilment of what had been promised in the first instance. The whole of the Imperial army, Spaniards as well as Germans, would thus be confirmed in their opinion of His Holiness, which might be the cause of still greater evils, and of the ruin of "Rome and of the Apostolic See, (fn. n6) the Germans having often threatened to set fire to the city if their demands were not complied with.
Hearing our answer the Pope went in again to consult the cardinals, and came out determined, as he said, to sign the capitulation and to give up next day the keys of Sanct Angelo. But whilst he (the Pope) was of this mind Alberto di Carpi came into the room, and disconcerted[all his plans, so much so that after a whole day spent in these negotiations (tratos) Colonna, Gattinara, and myself (the Abbot) returned to Rome at the 23rd hour, without having accomplished anything, and taking away in our company the Cardinal of Capua (Schomberg), who said he did not consider himself safe within Sanct Angelo, as he had so many enemies there. His Holiness, however, desired us to propose to the Prince of Orange, to Juan de Urbina, and to the rest of the captains, the six days' term which he had demanded. Should it be granted (he said) we could easily let him know that very night, either through the Archbishop of Capua, who would return to the castle for that purpose, or by means of a letter, because at the last extremity, if the term was refused, he (the Pope) would sign the capitulation if left with him at Sanct Angelo.
I (the Abbot) answered in the name of my colleagues that he was not to expect either; the capitulation we could not leave behind in his hands, neither could he (the Pope) receive an answer respecting the prorogation of the term proposed, since it was not in the power of the Prince [of Orange] nor of the other captains to grant a longer one. It was the soldiers, who in disobedience to His Imperial Majesty's express commands, in breach of the armistice concluded with the Viceroy, and against the will of the Duke of Bourbon and of the rest of the Imperial generals and ministers, had marched as far as Rome, and done what we all knew and could not help.
And so it was, for the Prince of Orange and Juan de Urbina, after consulting the other captains and members of Your Majesty's Council, decided that no answer to the Pope's message should be returned, nor further steps taken in the negotiation, but every preparation made to invest the castle and meet the enemy, news having arrived that very day that the Duke of Urbino, the Marquis of Saluzzo, and Guicciardini, the Counts Guido Rangone, and Gayaço, Frederico di Bozzolo, &c. were concentrating all their forces on this side of Viterbo, with the intention, as they proclaimed, of relieving the Pope if they could. On the receipt of which intelligence a messenger was sent to the Council of Naples, for Don Ugo [de Moncada], the Marquis del Guasto, and Alarcon to come here with the forces under their command, bringing with them provisions, and six guns with which to batter the castle. Juan de Urbina, (fn. n7) in the meantime took charge of the siege with his Spaniards, there being no engineers in the Imperial camp, nor money to hire them. The Spaniards, however, assisted by a few pioneers (gastadores) whom the Colonnese provided, have since worked so hard, opening trenches and raising parapets that after three days and nights' labour the castle is now completely invested on all sides, and the Pope and those who are with him may give up all hope of being relieved; for should the army of the League come as far as Sanct Angelo, it will meet with our trenches, and a general battle will most probably ensue, since our men are more desirous than ever of measuring their forces with those of the enemy, and already count upon a victory as signal as that of Pavia.
The Council of Naples, on the representations of Don Ugo and Alarcon, as well as of Secretary Seron, who went thither for the purpose, have decided that all the troops on the frontier shall come here under the command of Guasto, Moncada, and Alarcon. We expect them here in two or three days. It may be that on their arrival we shall make up our minds to undertake something more than merely waiting for the enemy behind the trenches. The said Council has ordered besides 3,000 tons of wheat to come from Gaeta to Terracina, as well as some artillery which the Colonnese will undertake to bring from the latter place.
Cardinal [Pompeo] Colonna, Ascanio, and Vespasiano arrived here on the 10th inst. They have ever since been doing their utmost in Your Majesty's service, and have undertaken with entire good-will and much zeal to guard with the excellent troops under their command that part of the castle of Sanct Angelo which faces the bridge, besides the adjacent quarter of the city and Ponte Molle. Transteberi is guarded by Fabricio, Marramaldo, and Luigi Gonzaga, with their Italian bands. All the rest of the Imperial forces is either encamped on the Borgo di Sant Pietro, or at the trenches round the castle.
The army of the League, on the 23rd inst., was at La Ytla (Itola), eight miles from this city. As the day after. their arrival they passed muster, we all thought that on the 25th they would be here close to Rome. Since that day, however, they have made no advance. I believe they will remain for the present where they are, for the fortifications we have erected and the reinforcements coming from Naples, of which they must be aware, will stop their progress. They are dreadfully in want of provisions, as I am assured, in consequence of which many of the Neapolitan emigrants (foraxidos) are deserting their camp, and coming over to us. Artillery they have none, except a few small pieces of ordnance (esmeriles), both the guns and carriage of which are carried by beasts of burden (acemilas).
Had the capitulation with the Pope taken effect, our plan was to send him with his cardinals to Naples, whilst this Imperial army under the Viceroy or Don Ugo, or whomsoever Your Majesty was pleased to appoint, went to Florence and got money wherewith to pay the men the remainder of their arrears; Don Ugo, or some other Imperial captain, to remain at Rome as Your Majesty's lieutenant, commanding in his name here, as well as in the rest of the cities to be delivered up by the Pope. Meanwhile Your Majesty must decide what was to be done respecting the Pope's contemplated journey, for he says that he intends going to Spain and throwing himself on Your Majesty's mercy (echarse en sus brazos), besides offering large sums, as some say, for the restitution of the Apostolic See to Rome, and his confirmation in the chair of St. Peter. Your Majesty will order in this matter what is best for his service, and inform us of his resolution, as we all hope through battle or otherwise to come out victorious, and trust that His Holiness and the cardinals shall remain under the power and will of Your Majesty. We should also be glad to hear what is to be done with this army when no longer wanted at Rome.
The Viceroy has remained at Sienna until now, being unable to come here or go to Naples either by sea or land, owing to the forces of the League having interposed and being now in occupation of the roads. The Pope, wishing to treat with him as the person of most authority among the Imperialists, and having full powers from the Emperor, I suggested that if a safe-conduct was obtained from the generals of the League, I had no doubt he would come. Accordingly, on the 18th the Pope sent one of his chamberlains, named Saposito, with three briefs, one for each of the generals of the League, the Duke of Urbino, the Marquis of Saluzzo, and Guicciardini, requesting them to furnish the Viceroy with a safe-conduct to come hither, he being the only one of the Imperial ministers with whom he could hope to arrange matters, &c. Saposito, who was accompanied by a servant of mine, was the bearer of another letter to the Viceroy, in which the Pope requested and exhorted him to come without delay. We are expecting him from hour to hour, as we believe that the generals of the League must have granted him the safe-conduct required.
(Cipher:) The Prince of Orange will not consent to the Viceroy coming to Rome and taking charge of the Imperial army. (fn. n8) He has taken his oath before us that the moment the Viceroy makes his appearance he (the Prince) shall quit Rome, as he cannot consent that the army now under his orders should be disgraced through any negotiations of his. Whether the Prince says this out of a wish to retain the command, and be appointed general-in-chief, as Bourbon was, or from other motives, Your Majesty will best be able to judge on the arrival of a gentleman of his suite, named Tentevilla, whom the Prince despatched [to Spain] on the 18th inst. with a safe-conduct from the Pope. It is doubtful whether Andrea Doria, now in command of the Papal galleys, seeing that the Pope is shut up and besieged in Sanct Angelo, will attend to his orders, and let the messenger pass; if he does, it will only be out of fear that the Prince in revenge may arrest those who went to the Viceroy. However this may be, neither Juan de Urbina nor myself gave (the Prince) notice of our sending a messenger to the Viceroy, and therefore ever since be heard of it he has been complaining bitterly of me especially, saying that I ought not to have done such a thing without letting him know first. I offered the Prince my excuses, and told him the truth of the whole matter, protesting that I was not moved by interest or affection in this affair, but merely by duty and zeal for Your Majesty's best service, and for the preservation of the Imperial army, whose general-in-chief the Duke of Ferrara was. Should the Duke choose to take the command, nobody could take it away from him, and if it were to be given to another, there was in Italy, besides the Viceroy of Naples, a general of great experience in military matters, credit and authority, (fn. n9) very capable of taking charge of the Imperial army. The fact is that the Prince is a very chivalrous and brave officer, but very young, and has neither the experience, nor the patience required at times to treat the affairs of this army. The Duke of Bourbon, whom may God forgive, gave him the command of all the light cavalry, and also of the men-at-arms of the vanguard, charges to a certain extent incompatible, since each of them requires the presence of a superior officer on the day of battle (en un dia de jornada), when the fortune of an army is at stake. I have frankly stated my opinion, which is also that of Juan de Urbina, and, generally speaking, of all the Imperial army. (fn. n10) It is now for Your Majesty to decide what is best for his service.
Meanwhile, and until the Viceroy, Don Ugo, the Marquis del Guasto, and Alarcon come, and until the capitulation with the Pope is fairly concluded and signed, and the person appointed who is to govern Rome [during the Pope's absence], the Prince has named Mons. de la Tour to administer justice and look to the safety, &c.
Recommends to the Emperor's charity the servants of the late Duke of Bourbon, who are so poor that to see them moves one to pity. The body of the Duke is to be taken to Milan when the army goes there, unless His Majesty decides otherwise.
Ferrando Gonzaga was present at the assault with his men-at-arms. He has done his duty admirably, and is well worthy of the Emperor's favours.
The enemy's loss amounts to 3,000, among them a poor bishop of Potença, a good Imperialist, and Paolo da Rezzo (d'Arezzo), the Pope's chamberlain, who happened to be close to the spot where the battle between the Imperialists and the Pope's troops took place. As Cardinal Sancti Quatuor was flying from the Palace to the castle of Sanct Angelo, the mule he was riding stumbled and fell, when all the soldiers, courtiers, and citizens who were hastening to Rome passed over his body. He was taken, senseless and very much wounded, within the castle, and might have met with his death, for in less than three minutes (en dos pater noster) five companies of Spaniards crossed the bridge and made their appearance on the spot. As they did not number 50 men in all, they returned to the Borgho by the same bridge, and it is really wonderful that the artillery of the castle left one of them alive.
On our side we lost, besides the Duke of Bourbon, two captains of Spanish infantry and about 50 men. The wounded were in considerable number, and several died daily.
Juan de Urbina fought bravely, as usual, and was wounded by a pike's thrust in the face.
On the 24th inst. the news came from Sienna that the Florentines had expelled the partisans of the Medici family, and proclaimed independence under Your Imperial Majesty's patronage and protection. This, however, was not accomplished without loss on both sides, from the people as well as from the Medici. The news is held as certain, though no letters have come from Florence in confirmation.
I beg Your Majesty to supply Leyva with money, and give him the command of the army of Lombardy, just as Bourbon had it, that he may look to the duchy of Milan and preserve the same for Your Majesty; nobody can do this better. The investiture of the Duchy ought not to be granted until Your Majesty comes to Italy. It will be seen then what a fine estate it is, and how important its possession if the Emperor is to be Lord of Italy, as seems ordained by God. To accomplish this, many of Your Majesty's servants in these parts think that it would be advisable to enter into an agreement with France, because after that the Venetians will be compelled to submit to and accept any conditions Your Majesty may be pleased to impose.—Rome, 27th May 1527.
Signed; "El Abad de Najera.''
Spanish. Holograph. pp, 23.
28 May. 79. Don Martin de Salinas to the King of Bohemia and Hungary
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
c. 71, f. 173
Wrote last on the 22nd, announcing the Empress's confinement. Could not then tell the Prince's name, but hears that he is to be called Philip, as his grandfather was. The baptism is to take place on Sunday next, the 2nd of June the sponsors to be the Constable of Castile (Don Iñigo Fernandez de Velasco) and the Duke of Bejar (D. Alvaro Zuñiga); godmother the Queen of France (Eleonor). Count Benavente (D. Alonso Pimentel) will carry the child in his arms, the Duke of Alba (fn. n11) the salt, and the Archbishop of Toledo (Fonseca) will officiate. The ceremony will take place at San Pablo [de Valladolid], in one of the chapels, and the font will be a very large basin of solid silver. There are to be jousts and tournaments of no less than 200 knights. (fn. n12)
There is consequently a great lull in politics, and the courtiers think of nothing save the rejoicings that are in preparation. It is true that the Emperor wonders why he has not heard from His Highness ever since the 15th of February last from Prague.
Good news from Italy; the army in fine condition, and anxious to come to close quarters with the enemy.
An ambassador from England is expected and another from France. (fn. n13) They come, it is said, to make certain proposals for the cessation of hostilities, but there is no believing their words, and though His Imperial Majesty is as desirous as ever of peace, he is not likely to trust them.—Valladolid, 28th May 1527.
Addressed: "To the King."
Spanish. Original draft, pp. 1½.
29 May. 80. Alonso Sanchez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 450.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 233.
Since he wrote on the 15th (fn. n14) news has come that the Florentines, without taking the command entirely out of the hands of the Medici, have nevertheless so increased the number of the delegates or governors of their city that the former, considering themselves in a minority, are fast abandoning Florence and repairing to a place called Massa, which belongs to a brother of Cardinal Cibo. Some ladies, among them the sister of the late Pope Leo X., and the widow of Giovanniuo de' Medici, have taken shelter here [in Venice] inconsequence. Has been told that since the last revolution the Florentines have drawn together more closely their relations with the confederates, and empowered their ambassador here to have the league renewed.
The Signory has appointed one Piero Lando proveditorgeneral for the sea.
(Cipher:) Since his last, nine [Venetian] captains have left for their respective destinations to raise troops, &c. Cannot ascertain the object of these levies. Some say they are intended for Naples; others that they are to go to Milan. Has informed Leyva of these rumours.
(Common writing:) The enclosed copies of letters from the Bishop of Trent will inform His Majesty of the state of negotiations between the King of Bohemia and the Swiss.
(Cipher:) Has reasons to suspect that in the event of the Pope becoming the Emperor's prisoner, (fn. n15) this Signory will take possession of Ravenna, for they have quite lately sent to Pesaro much wheat and flour, besides 150 casks (barriles) of gunpowder. These stores cannot be intended for Rome, which is too far off on that side; they must be for Ravenna, where they say a gentleman of this Signory is at present with a small force on pretence of guarding it against the enemy.
(Common writing:) When the King of Bohemia and Hungary wrote last to him (Sanchez), the news of the sack of Rome had not reached [Vienna]. The enclosed letter from his Secretary [Castillejo] and that from the Bishop of Trent will inform His Majesty better than he (Sanchez) can of the news in those parts. The latter is a wise and experienced man, extremely zealous for the Imperial service, &c.
(Cipher:) Said in his last that this Signory, hearing of the entrance of the Imperial army into Rome, and that the Pope was about to come to terms, had secretly sent to the Turk, inviting him to Italy. It appears that they have again sent an embassy [to Constantinople], advising the Turk to invade Puglia with a considerable force, whilst they themselves with their galleys will attack some other point. Whatever they decide to do ultimately, the season is too far advanced for any undertaking of the kind this year. Has, however, written both to Sicily and to the Marquis de la Tripalda, the governor of Puglia, warning them to be on their guard.
(Common writing:) Hears that the Pasha of Anatolia has revolted against the Turk. The news has come from a Venetian gentleman living in those parts.
(Cipher:) The statement above made respecting 150 casks of gunpowder turns out to be exaggerated ; only 30 were sent of the ammunition generally used for arquebuses and hand-guns (scopetas); but that words have passed about Ravenna between the Pope and this Signory seems quite certain.
(Common writing;) Has been told that on the 24th the generals of the League granted a safe-conduct to the Viceroy to go to Rome. What has been done there His Majesty will know best.—Venice, 29th May 1527.
Addressed: "Sacre Cæse. Cathce. Mti."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. 5.
30 May. 81. The Emperor to Don Iñigo de Mendoça, his Ambassador in England.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 227, No. 20.
The King, &c.—We have duly received your letter of the 9th of May, (fn. n16) brought by the courier of the English ambassadors (Lee and Ghinucci), who have since requested us to send safe-conducts for the Bishop of Tarbes (Gabriel de Grammont) and for Master Poyntz to come hither. We have accordingly sent them a pass (carta de passo) in due form, stating in it that Master Poyntz, being an Englishman, required no safe-conduct for entering or leaving our dominions, it being well known that all subjects and vassals of the King of England are by our desire regarded and treated [in Spain] as if they were our own, and as becomes the ancient friendship and alliance existing between the houses of Castile, England, and Burgundy. We hope that the said Bishop and Master Poyntz will soon be here, when we shall gladly listen to the terms they bring, and accept the same should they be of just and reasonable nature, acting thus in accordance with our constant desire for the peace of Christendom, and in such a manner that the King of England and the Legate and the whole world may recognize the sincerity of our professions.
After such like representations made in our name, you (Don Iñigo) shall take the earliest opportunity to inform both the King and Legate (with all possible courtesy) that various reports have been made to us, such as that of their having lately concluded a defensive and offensive alliance with France for the purpose of making war upon us and invading our dominions [in Flanders] with a considerable force, of which 10,000 men are to be furnished by England, should we decline joining the said alliance, in which it is said an honourable place has been reserved for us ; and moreover that the said Bishop of Tarbes and Master Poyntz are coming here with a king-at arms for the purpose of declaring war against us, should we refuse their conditions of peace; also that the Legate is soon to cross the water to meet the King of France, and that the King of England himself will soon do the same, with many other similar reports concerning the various articles said to have been agreed upon with the French ambassadors in England.
You shall state in our name that we attach no faith whatever to such reports, confident as we are that the King and Legate [of England] will never consent to the adoption of such measures if they only bear in mind the ancient friendship and alliance between our houses and subjects, our personal mutual affection, the many kind acts of the King of England towards us, and the total absence at the present moment of any cause of disagreement or quarrel. It is true that we are in debt to the King of England, but as we have never refused to acknowledge our engagements, and nave always shown great desire of peace with all the Princes of Christendom, to ensure which we are ready to give up a portion of our rights and even of our patrimonial dominions,—as, moreover, out of pure love and affection for the said King and Legate we have entirely placed in their hands, as they seemed to desire, the settlement and conclusion of this peace,—we are at a loss to understand what could have prompted them, if the reports be true, to forsake their old alliances and take part with our natural enemy.
On this point you shall say whatever you think most fit and conducive to the preservation of our mutual friendship, trying above all things to calm and propitiate the King and Legate by telling them-that when we make these professions and statements it is not from fear, but only from the wish we have of proving to the World our constant desire of peace, as well as our regard for all Christian Princes, the King of France even not excluded. You must represent to the King and Legate how strange (fn. n17) it would appear in the eyes of all impassionate men if, after the King of France has so flagrantly broken faith with us, and so badly requited us for all our kindness to him, His most Serene Highness the King of England should now, as the most Christian Prince that he is, favour and support him of France in his unjust cause, showing him the singular honour of crossing the sea to visit him. Indeed, should the King of England act thus, knowing, as he does, from experience the artful designs of the French, nothing else could ensue but renewed wars and dissensions, and the kindling of a fiercer flame than ever there was throughput Christendom, to the great offence of God. That we therefore beg them [the King and Legate] to continue to work for the common weal of Christendom, as they have always had the reputation of doing, and as we doubt not that they will do hereafter, For our part you may assure them that they shall always meet with confidence and affection, and that should they be willing to undertake the labour of settling this peace, we will willingly place it in their hands, trusting, as the English ambassadors have assured us, that they will take as much care of our interests as of their own.
In order to frustrate their bad designs (malas obras), if any should be contemplated, you are to speak and act in virtue of the letters of credence, now, sent to you, carrying out our instructions as may appear best for our service, so that should peace not be attainable you may use all diligence and discretion in gaining time, that being the principal object which you must have in view, never departing from the most gentle words and means, and above all continually assuring both the King and Legate that we attach no faith whatever to the report of new treaties being made to our prejudice, and have not been moved to suspicion on that account.
Of the answer which the King and Legate will no doubt make to our representations; respecting the warlike preparations made in that country, as well as concerning our negotiations with the French, you shall advise us both by return of this courier coming by land, as well as by another whom you shall despatch by sea. But let those couriers come with all possible speed that we may have time to treat with the Bishop of Tarbes and Master Poyntz to our advantage, or at least give such answer to their offers as shall oblige them to refer to their respective courts, and afford us an opportunity for obtaining further information on the subject and purpose of this new alliance, defensive and offensive, between the Kings of England and France.
We shall not fail to inform you in the meantime of whatever is being done here with regard to the French and English ambassadors and their commission. We shall likewise apprise Madame, our aunt; but as the cipher which you possess is safer than hers, we will use yours, for the purpose of transmitting our orders and wishes thereupon. It would, not do that such important matters as these should fall into the hands of our enemies, so that by deciphering the contents of the despatches they might gain any advantage. Meanwhile you will write to Madame in our name, that without appearing to distrust the English in any way, she may, as of her own accord, immediately provide for the defence of the frontiers both by sea and land, in Flanders as well as in Holland and Zealand, and remember what His Reverence the Legate of England said on a previous occasion, that once the Flemish frontier being broken in upon, the conquest of the land would be an easy matter. (fn. n18) Should Madame require our assistance for the protection of our dominions in those parts, you will tell her in our name that we shall do our utmost to provide her with money and troops for the emergency, and that she is to inform us, as soon as possible, of the military preparations she intends making; in doing which Madame is to use your own cipher, of which a copy shall be sent to her immediately, that she herself may write to us, if she so prefers.
You will neglect no opportunity of speaking on this subject to the Queen [of England], to the Duke of Norfolk, or to any other persons whom you know to be well disposed towards us, and in short use your wonted diligence and discretion in these affairs.—Valladolid, 30th May 1527.
Spanish. Original draft pp. 4.
30 May. 82. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
m. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 40,
f. 445.
B M. Add 28,576,
f. 236.
When his letter of the 18th inst. (fn. n19) was closed a capitulation had been concluded with His Holiness to the effect that he would give up the castle and place himself in the Emperor's hands, Regent Gattinara and the Abbot of Najera having gone to Sanct Angelo for that purpose. That very evening, however, the two commissioners returned much annoyed, for when His Holiness was asked to sign he refused to do it unless it was stipulated that, if the army of the League came to his relief, he (the Pope) should not be bound to fulfil his engagements. The generals in command of this Imperial army, considering that all the Pope's proposals, past and present, were only made with a view to gaining time, gave immediate orders for the investment of the castle, causing trenches to be opened all round, &c. The reason assigned for the Pope's refusal is said to be that when he was about to sign the capitulation he received tidings of the arrival of the confederates; and so it was, for they are now seven miles from this city, and daily skirmishes are already taking place between their outposts and ours. The report is that the enemy will soon be here, at which our men are highly rejoiced, because they say that will be the means of putting an end to the Italian wars at once.
A messenger was taken prisoner the other day as he was trying to escape from the castle. He was the bearer of certain letters to the generals of the League, urging them to hasten to the Pope's assistance. As the letters were written in cipher they could not be read, but in a note which Cardinal [Francisco] Pisani wrote to his father, the Venetian proveditor (comisario general), and which was also found on the messenger, it was stated that the Pope placed all his confidence on him (Pisani) as his saviour and as one destined to protect Faith [against the infidels]. It is therefore to be presumed that the ciphered letters to the Duke of Urbino and Guicciardini contained similar requests. Other spies have since been discovered at the [Imperial] camp and hung.
The Archbishop of Capua (Schomberg), who came out of the castle with the Pope's refusal, has not returned thither; he is staying at the Palace, in the apartments of the Abbot [of Najera]. He is very sorry that the capitulation, for which he has worked so much, did not take effect, but it is generally believed that no resolution the Pope takes will be permanent, whilst he has by his side such men as Alberto di Carpi and others, who are the sworn enemies of His Imperial Majesty.
They say that the castle is provisioned for the whole month of June, and that Swiss troops are coming in numbers. On the other hand we expect soon Don Ugo, the Marquis del Guasto, and Alarcon with the army of Naples; on their arrival the castle will be more closely invested, and we shall thus be enabled to attend to the enemy outside.
The Pope's chamberlain, who went to Sienna in quest of the Viceroy, has not yet returned; neither is it known what answer he will bring. As the message was sent by the advice of the Abbot, and without the knowledge of the Prince [of Orange], it is said that some angry words passed between them two on that score.
(Cipher:) There is great need for the Emperor to appoint a fit commander for this army. The Prince of Orange, as a German, shows a decided leaning towards his own country men, thinking, as they are the more numerous, to subjugate the rest of the army through, them and keep it devoted to himself. The Spaniards, on the other hand, are fully aware of his intentions, and are likely to oppose his plans, whence serious dissensions might arise between the men, and be perhaps the cause of our losing whatever advantage has been gained [by the taking of Rome]. Sees no better remedy for the impending danger than the Emperor's visit to Italy.
(Common writing;) Revolution in Florence. The Medici and those who took side with the Pope expelled from that city, &c.
Four deputies have been appointed to represent the different classes of people in Sanct Angelo: the Datary for the prelates, Alberto di Carpi for the ambassadors, and the English ambassador, Cavalier Casal by name and a Roman by birth, for the citizens; Julian Lelio is to represent the merchants and artisans; so that in reality the Pope cannot do anything without consulting these four deputies, though it is to be presumed that they will not act against his will.
Cardinal [Pompeo] Colonna and his brothers Vespasiano and Ascanio are indefatigable in watching over the defence of the city, visiting the guards at the gates, &c In a late engagement with the enemy, 40 of their cavalry and 30 hackbutiers were taken prisoners. The horse belonged to the company of Paolo Chasco (Ciasco), whose lieutenant was captured also. Since then upwards of 300 hackbutiers have come over from the enemy, and more are expected daily. They say that provisions are so scarce at the camp of the League that the men are actually starving, and that the Swiss refuse to advance on Rome. It is true that we have now such strong positions, within and without this city, that 60,000 men would not be enough to make us lose one foot of ground. Recommends Miçer Agostino Foglieta and his petition for the grant of the "post or ferry-boat of Piacenza" which is supposed to be worth 600 ducats annually.
On the 28th the Viceroy arrived, but, without stopping or speaking to any one, went out [of Rome] again. The only person who saw him was the Abbot, who, being informed of his passage through Rome, mounted his horse and galloped after him. At about two miles from this city the Viceroy met the Marquis del Guasto, Don Ugo, and Alarcon coming from Naples, who persuaded him to return to Rome, where he now is, lodging at the Colonna's. The rest of the travellers went to the Palace, but will shortly remove to Cardinal Salviati's house in the Borgho, though every day they come to Rome to hold counsel with the Viceroy and the Colonnese.
The Pope's chamberlain, who came back with the Viceroy, wishing to re-enter Sanct Angelo, was forbidden to do so by the generals of this army, though they consented to write a letter acquainting His Holiness with his return, as well as with the arrival of the Viceroy and the rest with the Neapolitan forces. The chamberlain wrote, and the Pope's answer was that he knew it already, and was much pleased with the intelligence, and particularly with the Viceroy's arrival, but that he (the Pope) wondered that his chamberlain was not allowed to return to the castle, since the generals had given him a safe-conduct to go in and out freely. No offers from him have come to the Imperial camp, and therefore his chamberlain will not be allowed to go back. He is now with the Archbishop of Capua (Schomberg) at the Palace. Meanwhile batteries are being erected round the castle, and the men kept ready to march against the enemy, if need be, so that either by defeating them in the open field, or by storming Sanct Angelo, the war may be finished at once.
It seems as if the Viceroy did not counsel or act in these affairs as general, but as a private individual, and out of love for the Emperor's service. All look to the Prince of Orange as their head. He no doubt shows much zeal for the service, but is too young, and has not the experience required for such a charge. His Imperial Majesty should appoint a general who would be obeyed and feared by the men, and especially by the Germans, who just now, under the excuse of looking for wine, of which there is a scarcity in Rome, are again sacking houses, &c. He himself was twice in peril of his life from some unruly lansquenets, who attempted to break into his lodgings in search of wine, as they said, but no doubt to plunder it of everything else, as they have done in other people's houses. And in truth he (Perez) does not know how it is possible to stop them, for such is the dearth of provisions just now that if the army remains longer at Rome thousands will die of hunger. Wheat is so scarce that a measure— something less than a load (carga) of Castille—sells for 50 ducats and upwards, and even then an armed force is required to obtain and secure it at that price. Meanwhile the Romans quit the city by thousands, and if this state of things lasts there will be none but the Imperialists left in Rome. Orders have been sent to Naples for wheat and other provisions. May they come in time!
Cardinal Colonna has been suffering from fever for four or five days. He is better now.—Rome, 30th May 1527.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: " To His Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty.'
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 6.


  • n1. Don Pedro de Urries, about whom see part I., p. 148.
  • n2. See above, No. 77.
  • n3. The original has on the 30th, which must be a slip of the pen, since the Abbot's letter is dated the 27th. This last interview with the Pope took place on the 20th, as appears from Gattinara's letter to the Emperor, already mentioned, p. 54.
  • n4. Evidently a mistake for Colonna.
  • n5. "Alla fine sollicitato da noi che si resolvesse perche noi non volevamo più aspettare, disse : Io voglio parlare libero. Io tengo avviso come l' essercito della Liga e quà vicino per socorrermi; per tanto desidero che datte alcun termino nel quale possa aspettare detto soccorso; è venendo il termine farò tutto quello che è stato trattato nelle capitalazione, e non è cosa grande quella che vi demando, perche mi contentaria del termino di sei giorni, e sempre che alcuna fortezza si abbia da rendere non se sogliano negare simili condizione. Gattinara's Relazione, &c., p. 50.
  • n6. "Io replicai a Sua Santita, e a detti Cardinali che l' essercito di Vostra Maestà poco timeva di simili soccorsi, perche era sempre vittorioso, e che Sua Santita pensasse che portando tal risposta alli capitani, teneriano per certo che in Sua Santita e Cardinali fosse stato sempre inganno nel trattare per guadagnar tempo; che io teneva per certo, che havendo tal risposta la pigliariano per una vera rottura, e si metteriano subbito all' espugnacione del castello e l' espugnariano, e trattariano tanto male, che volendo poi accettare le trattate conditioni e offerendo forsi migliori non sariano udite, e non saria luogo al pentire, e saria la perpetua perditione della Sede Apostolica." Gattinara's Relazione, p. 50.
  • n7. In the absence of the Marquis del Guasto, Juan de Urbina commanded the Spaniards. In Gattinara's Relazione to the Emperor, which, as I have stated elsewhere, was written in Italian, he is called Giovanni d' Urbino instead of Urbina, thus leading its editor, Baron Trasmondo Frangipani, into a most singular error, such as that of mistaking the Spanish captain Urbina for the Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria delk Rovere, general of the League). Note 11, p. 77.
  • n8. Gattinara in his letter to the Emperor says: "Rispose il principe d'Oranges che lui haveva riconosciuto Monsignor di Borbone per quella persona che era, ma che non staria sotto il vice-re, & dicendo alcuni che il Duca di Ferrara veniva al carico di capitano genorale di Vostra Maestà rispose il detto, che quando venisse detto duca, che lo riconosceria, e per allora non essendo altro deputato da Vostra Maestà nou voleva esso tenersi per capitano; nè tam poco voleva che altri lo fosse, convertendo tali parole verso Giovanni d'Urbina," p. 51.
  • n9. Probably Antonio de Leyva, or Don Ugo de Moncada.
  • n10. See also Gattinara in his letter to the Emperor, p. 52.
  • n11. Don Fadrique Alvarez de Toledo, second duke, father of Don Fernando, the celebrated governor of the Low Countries.
  • n12. A detailed account of the festivals and entertainments given on this occasion may be seen in Sandoval, Hist, del Emperador Carlos V., lib. xvi., l5. See also Florez, Reynas Catholicas de España, tom, i., p. 855.
  • n13. The Bishop of Tarbes and Sir Francis Poyntz.
  • n14. No letter of Sanchez has been found under this date.
  • n15. "Que si el Papa venia en manos del exercito de Vra Magestad."
  • n16. See above, No. 66, p. 178.
  • n17. "Que paresceria muy mal á todos hombres sin passion que, aviendo el dicho Rey de Francia faltado á su fee de tan mala manera como él ha fecho, y aviendo recibido de nos tanta gratitud, y por recompensa nos ha fecho, y haze tan malas obras, que su Serenidad, como Christianissimo principe lo queriesse favorescer y adherer en tan ynjusta querella ny haserle tanto favor ny darle tanta honra y reputacion."
  • n18. Owing to several holes in the original letter, which seems to have been damaged by damp, the sense of this paragraph is not so clear as might be desired. It stands thus: "Y que se acuerde que ya otra vez el Reverendissimo Legado dezia que sabia. . . . . que rompiendo las [fronteras] se ganarian dichas tierras."
  • n19. See above, No. 71, p. 201.