Spain: August 1527, 21-25

Pages 338-344

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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August 1527, 21-25

22 Aug.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
C. 71, f. 181.
162. Don Martin de Salinas to Ferdinand, King of Bohemia and Hungary.
Had already sent his last, in answer to the letter brought by Plus Ultra, His Highness' herald, when Costilla, (fn. n1) the courier, arrived with despatches. In consequence of which he (Salinas) waited on the Emperor, and asked him for the investiture of the Duchy of Milan. His answer was that he was most willing to make the grant, and had ordered the Secretary (Lallemand) to have the papers drawn out &c.
Some days after this the Emperor having said to Lallemand in his (Salinas') presence that His Highness had applied to him for the investiture of the Duchy, but that he (the Emperor) was hesitating owing to certain difficulties which he foresaw, Lallemand failed not to use every sort of argument to convince the Emperor, as he succeeded in doing, of the expediency and justice of the grant. It was then resolved that the matter should be kept a profound secret between the Secretary and Salinas, and that the Emperor should write in his own hand to his brother announcing his consent. Salinas spoke to the councillors, and the affair was going on very successfully, when the day after Costilla's arrival the ambassadors of France and England sent in certain proposals of peace, a copy of which is enclosed, demanding among other things that Francesco Sforza should be reinstated in the Duchy of Milan. This naturally caused great agitation in the Council, some of its members being still in favour of His Highness, whilst the majority, thinking that the appointment might become an obstacle to peace, were of a contrary opinion. Has since been told that great offers have been made to the councillors of pensions and other gratuities, enough to tempt the very Devil. Secretary Lallemand has been offered 6,000 ducats perpetual rent if he will only help, and it may be suspected that the rest of the councillors have been tempted with similar or larger bribes. Needs not add that the Secretary has rejected their offers, and that the Emperor's answer to their proposals in general was anything but satisfactory. Seeing this, the French ambassadors called upon the Secretary, and told him that the King, their master, was ready to fulfil every one of the conditions of the treaty of Madrid, except that of the cession of Burgundy. The Emperor might grant the investiture of Milan to whomsoever he pleased without his offering the least opposition. Upon which, Secretary Lallemand spoke to the dissenting councillors, repeated the words of the French ambassador, and begged them to desist from their plans. Meanwhile his Imperial Majesty prepared the letter herein enclosed, and which no doubt contains all that passed between him and the Secretary at the last audience, as well as a most solemn promise of the aforesaid grant. It is important that upon the receipt of this present despatch His Highness should write at once to the Emperor, thanking him for all his favours, and also ratify and approve all the offers and promises which he (Salinas) has made in His Highness' name. It is needless to say how much Secretary Lallemand has worked in this last affair, and how deserving he is of the Royal consideration. The 10,000 florins so long promised should be settled upon him at once. Letters should also be written to all the members of the Council of State, and particularly to Don Juan Manuel, thanking them for their exertions.
The Emperor is still undecided as to the expediency of His Highness now passing over to Italy, being so averse to any measure likely to entail trouble upon his dear brother, and place him in a dangerous position. Certain it is that had the passage been effected when proposed, the Emperor's affairs might now be in a better plight, and we should not be obliged to beg for the Duchy of Milan. As it is, the affair itself requires much consideration, for if His Highness is to wait for approval and consent from this Court, it will never be granted, owing to the reasons above stated; and as to passing over now, without sufficient cause, or without asking for leave first, it would not look well. On the other hand, were the King of France to send troops to Lombardy, His Highness might cross over to Italy without first consulting the Emperor. It would be a very nice opportunity of showing devotion to the cause, and the Emperor would then no longer hesitate in granting the investiture of the Duchy. Had this been done before, as he (Salinas) has recommended in several of his despatches, we should not have to beg so long. But better late than never, and if the opportunity offers His Highness must not let it pass.
His Highness must bear in mind that those among the councillors of State and others who disapprove of the grant will bring in support of their view every possible argument, besides the very strong one that all the resources of the Austrian dominions and of the new kingdom of Bohemia are consumed by the Hungarian war,—which is a fact. It is therefore important, in order to defeat such arguments, to put the most speedy end possible to that war anyhow, especially as the assistance to be expected from these parts is from various causes so small and so long delayed, notwithstanding the Emperor's good wishes. Nor can the ambassador pass over in silence the fact of the Chancellor (Gattinara) having lately written to advise that the Duchy of Milan should be given to Prince Philip. (fn. n2) What the Chancellor's intentions are in proposing such a measure, he (Salinas) need not say, since they are well known to His Highness. Suffice it to say that the affair is one in which tricks and cunning devices of every description are daily being employed.
This despatch has been delayed until now, owing to the arrival of Commander Figueroa with news from Italy, principally from Rome and from the army. The Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy) writes to say that the Imperial army is without a commander-in-chief. He strongly recommends His Highness' passage to Italy, as the best expedient to be adopted under the present circumstances. The rest of the captains are of the same opinion. Though the Emperor had offered the command of the forces to the Duke of Ferrara, it was uncertain whether he would accept or not, and therefore the army had sent a deputation to Lannoy, begging him to take the command. This Lannoy had refused until he should hear the Emperor's pleasure.
The governorship of Milan has been conferred upon Antonio de Leyva on the same terms that the Duke of Bourbon held it.
The Emperor is sending Millao (Migliao) (fn. n3) to Rome to visit the Pope and express his regret for the late occurrences. After his departure the general of the Franciscan friars (Quiñones) arrived at court. He was one of those who, a few months ago, brought about the last truce, and as the Emperor knows him to be very virtuous and acceptable to the Pope, he is now about to be sent back to Rome to soothe His Holiness' irritable temper, and, if possible, to conclude a lasting peace.
The French offers continue the same. They propose complying with all and every one of the articles of the treaty of Madrid, with the sole exception of the one relating to Burgundy. In compensation for this they offer to pay 2,000,000 crowns (escudos), 1,000,000 down, out of which the King of England is to be reimbursed the sums which the Emperor owes him. For the payment of the other million they ask such long dates that it is very doubtful if they will ever liquidate their debt. The Cardinal of England (Wolsey) is now in France negotiating an alliance with the King against His Imperial Majesty. What will come out of it nobody knows for certain; but whatever the issue, we trust that God will support the justice of our cause.—Valladolid, 22nd August 1527.
Addressed: "To the King."
Spanish, Original draft pp. 4½.
23 Aug.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist,
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 102.
163. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
Wrote on the 8th and 11th inst. Since then this Signory has had letters from Pietro de Pesaro, dated from Boscho, the 16th, advising that Andrea Doria had sent by land one of his nephews, called Filipin, with 1,000 men to take Portofino. There was there a body of Imperial troops amounting to 800 men; and besides, when the Genoese heard of it they despatched upwards of 1,500 men to the assistance of the besieged, who, on their arrival before the town, attacked the enemy, and routed him with great loss, taking prisoner Filipin himself and four or five of his captains. Hearing of the disaster, Andrea Doria came to Portofino with his galleys and those of France, cannonaded the town and port, sank one of the Imperial galleys, and captured all the shipping inside the harbour; to wit, eight vessels laden with wheat, one large ship from the Levant, laden with spice, and other merchandise, valued at 150,000 ducats.
Meanwhile Cesaro Fragoso, son of Janus Fragoso, the captain of this Signory, with about 1,000 of Lautrech's infantry, approached Genoa. He found the city greatly terrified and without defence, owing to its garrison having gone to Portofino, in consequence of which the Genoese asked to capitulate. It is believed that they have already surrendered.
Has no news of the High Chancellor, but believes that he sailed for Monago on the 13th inst. (Cipher:) This is a sad piece of intelligence, and a disaster for which the Imperial army alone is responsible by its disorderly and mutinous state. If it does not come soon, the whole of Lombardy and the Duchy will be lost.
The above-mentioned Pesaro writes further that Lautrech intends laying siege to Alessandria, and that now that Genoa has fallen, he will put part of his troops on board the fleet and sail for Naples or Sicily. If so, all communication with Spain will be closed, and no remittances in money will come. In future he (Sanchez) intends sending his correspondence by way of Flanders, to Madame, as the only safe conveyance under present circumstances. If the King of Hungary and Bohemia could only conclude a truce with the Vayvod, and come over at the head of his troops, all might still be saved. It is evident that the confederates aim at nothing less than expelling the Imperialists from Lombardy and the whole of Italy. Their maritime forces are so considerable that, if they invade Sicily, there is no knowing what will happen, for the island is badly provided for defence.
Has reported in his letter of the 7th the answer of the Duke of Ferrara, and his excuses for not accepting the command of the Imperial forces as long as the men are unpaid, &c. The courier despatched by the Duke, informing the Emperor of this determination, was captured by the men of Count Gayatço (Gaiazzo), in the Parmesan. The letters were brought here to Venice, and deciphered, together with some of his (Sanchez's). Cannot ascertain which they are, or of what date, or else he would send triplicate by the first opportunity. This Signory has sent to Lautrech 50,000 ducats by the ambassador who left the other day for the camp. Has been told that they have since remitted 50,000 more.
The Bishop of Trent writes in date of the 15th inst. that the Paleologue, or black man, (fn. n4) as he is called in the country, was slain in battle by a cannon shot. His head has been cut off and taken in triumph to the Vayvod (Zapolsky) at Buda, who had in his army two sangiacs and 15,000 Turks.
Stated in one of his former despatches that the Signory had laid a tax of 100,000 ducats on the clergy. Finds that they have received 20,000 over that sum, and that without the Papal authority. Two bishoprics now vacant, those of Treviso and Cividad (Civita di Friuli?), they intend granting to two Venetian ecclesiastics, in opposition to the rules established by Pope Julius. From Ceruia they have extracted a large quantity of salt, said to be worth 100,000 ducats. As the people of Trieste, who took some from the lands of the Pope and paid for it, were going back to their country, the Signory ordered the bark to be seized and the salt taken. They have since refused to give it up, saying that they did it by the Pope's express commands.
Hears that Count Cayatzo (Gaiazzo) is coming to Venice, and that the Signory will give him the command of 150 horse and 1,000 foot. He has already arrived. Also that the Marquis of Mantua is in close negotiation with these people, and that they offer him at the King of France's recommendation the supreme command of all their forces.
(Common writing:) This present letter was commenced three days ago. Has kept it open that he might add to it the confirmation of the Genoese disaster. No news came yesterday, but to-day the Signory has received letters from Pietro Pesaro, their ambassador at Lautrech's camp, in date of the 19th, announcing that he was about to start for that city, by order of that general, for the purpose of settling the terms of the capitulation, (cipher:) which is a proof that the city has surrendered. Indeed, after the loss of the ships at Portofino, it could not hold out long for want of provisions.
(Common writing:) Whilst writing the above has received letters from the Bishop of Trent, in date of the 19 th, advising the prosperous campaign of the King of Hungary and Bohemia, whose army was already at Buda or very close to it, (cipher:) so that there is reason to anticipate that some sort of arrangement may be concluded with the Vayvod, which will enable His Highness to come over or send a good reinforcement.
(Common writing:) The confirmation of the news about Genoa has arrived. The letters are dated the 17th. It is said that Andrea Doria, after capturing the ships inside the harbour of Portofino, sailed for Genoa with his galleys. A storm blew at sea, and he was obliged to go to Leghorn. The Genoese, 4,000 in number, then sallied out against Cesaro Fragoso, who had only with him 1,000 regulars, and as many volunteers (aventureros), but so stout was Ins resistance that the Imperialists were repelled and beaten off. Followed in their flight by the enemy, Genoa was taken without difficulty. If the account be true, it is rather strange that 2,000 men should have taken possession of so populous a city.
(Cipher:) Andrea del Burgo writes in date of the 18th from Ferrara that the Prince of Orange had sent to the Duke a gentleman of his suite from Sienna, congratulating him upon his nomination, saying that he was quite ready to obey his orders and asking for instructions. The Duke's answer was that the Imperial army ought to march immediately to the succour of Lombardy, now threatened by the enemy. The gentleman told Burgo that the Imperialists were as usual encamped at Narni. Upwards of 4,000 Germans and 24 captains, 2,000 Spaniards and two captains, had died of the plague. There remained still 8,000 Germans, as many Spaniards, 4,000 Italians, 600 lances, and 2,000 light horse. If these forces were not already marching on Lombardy, they would at all events start as soon as the Prince came back from Sienna.
Such is the information sent by Burgo. He (Sanchez) knows not what to think about it. Now that Genoa is lost, he doubts much the expediency of the Imperial army going to Lombardy, for certainly the enemy's fleet will invade Sicily and Naples, whilst leaving the Marquis of Saluzzo and Duke of Urbino behind with the rest of the forces they will keep Leyva in check.
The very moment that he (Sanchez) heard the news about Genoa he wrote to the King of Bohemia, asking for reinforcements. Doubts much whether the latter will be able to send them for the reasons above stated. Has written likewise to the Viceroy, from whom he has not heard for an age.
Some say that Lautrech intends dividing his forces; one part is to go to Lombardy, the other to Tuscany.—Venice, 23rd of August 1527.
Signed: "Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1527. Sanchez. Venice. 23rd August."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet, pp. 9½.
25 Aug. 164. The Bishop of Castellamare (fn. n5) to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1,005,
f. 15.
B. M. Add. 28,576,
f. 327.
The Emperor must have been so fully informed of the late events at Rome, that there is no need to trouble him further on that head. But perhaps the Emperor is not aware that he (the Bishop), though a staunch adherent of His Imperial Majesty, was one of those who suffered most on the occasion, his house having been sacked, and he himself obliged to pay a heavy ransom for his person and servants. Next to the injury done to the Church, the conduct of the Imperial soldiers has chiefly alienated the affection of the people. He, nevertheless, continues the same as he was, and wishes for nothing more than an opportunity to show his devotion.— Castellamare, 25th August 1527.
Signed: "The Bishop of Castellamare."
Addressed: "Al Serenissimo invictissimo Cesar Rey de España y nuestro Soberano Señor,"
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 2.


  • n1. Though Costilla is a common name in Spain, I should not b Castillo, was intended, the custom being in those times to give especially heralds or kings-at-arms, appellatives derived from the co they served or in which they were born.
  • n2. The Emperor's son, only three months old at the time, since he was born on the 21st of May 1527.
  • n3. Mons. de Verey, or Veyre, as he is called elsewhere.
  • n4. Evidently the Giovanni Nero and Juan Negro of former despatches.
  • n5. His mime was Centellas, a native of Catalonia.