Spain: September 1527, 26-30

Pages 396-412

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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September 1527, 26-30

26 Sept. 201. The Marquis of Astorga to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 226.
I arrived at Rome in time to share in its misfortunes, though too much weakened by disease to he able to serve Your Majesty as I should have wished.
The lansquenets started from their quarters with the intention of coming here. No entreaties or persuasions of the Imperial ministers have availed to deter them from their undertaking, and, still worse, they are known to have made certain overtures to the Venetians or to the Duke of Urbino, for they have been by themselves (solos) on the frontiers of their respective estates. Publicly they say they are coming to Rome to be paid, and live upon the citizens, for which, destroyed as the city is by plague and famine, there is but little provision. If their pay is not forthcoming they will certainly commit still greater outrages than in the past.
The Viceroy of Naples is dead. May God grant that his death be not the cause of fresh troubles in the kingdom. The general [of the Franciscans], Don Ugo, the Marquis del Guasto, and Juan de Urbina are at Naples; here we have only the Marquis [Hernando de] Alarcon, assisted by Geronimo Moron. It is astonishing how both work, and what pains the former has taken, and does take, to set matters to rights. Had the deceased (Charles de Lannoy) believed in him and followed his advice, things would not be in so bad a plight.
My only wish is that Your Majesty could see how matters stand here at Rome. Had I been able to endure the fatigue of so long a journey, I would immediately have set out for Spain, that I might fully inform Your Majesty of the stated affairs in Italy. As it is, I am making my preparations to start as soon as I have completely recovered, as my pilgrimage (romeria) is over, and the business for which I came settled —Rome, 26th September 1527.
Signed: "El Marques de Astorga."
Addressed: .To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor, our King and Lord."
Indorsed: .To His Majesty. From the Marquis of Astorga26th September."
Spanish. Original pp. 2.
27 Sept. 202. Advices from Rome.
S. E. L. 1,553,
f. 181.
B. M. Add 28,576,
f. 370.
The agreement arrived at with the Germans was principally owing to the intervention of Morono, who was sent to their camp to induce them to accept the money offered, and be content. The conditions agreed to are as follows:—
The Imperialist generals (. signori cesarei) engage to give to the Germans, before the 4th of October next, the remainder of the 75,000 cr. (scudi) promised to them, discounting from that sum the 10,000 received the other day. This sum is intended as the remainder of the two months and a half stipend promised them by the Marquis del Guasto. Two months later, that is to say, at the end of November, they are to receive the complement of their pay up to the 6th of October. As security for the payment of these sums it has been agreed that the seven hostages, four ecclesiastics and three laymen, whom the Pope offered to give up on the 5th of June last, shall remain under the custody of the lansquenets. These hostages are at the present moment kept at the house of a gentleman called Ricardo Mazatosto, close to the palace of Cardinal Monti, and are not to be released until the whole of that sum be paid, or some other security brought from Naples. The total sum owing to the Germans up to this day (the 6th of October) is said to amount to 150,000 cr. (scudi). Whence all this money is to come nobody knows.
No mention is made in the agreement of two months' pay owing to the Germans or Spaniards [before they came to Rome?], namely, from the 6th of October 1526 to the end of November.
Alarcon, fearing that the Germans might reject the offer, inarch to Rome, and commit excesses, ordered two bands (bande) of Spaniards and Italians to come by forced marches, to guard against any mishap (desastro). They were yesterday at Monte Rotondo; some even nearer to Rome, for these obedient sons (questi figlioli di obedientia) are always willing to extinguish the fire at their neighbours' expense.
The above-mentioned agreement having been made and signed, Alarcon has been trying to make the Germans return to their quarters; he has, however, been unable to convince them, for all would come and see their Rome (la sua Roma), as they call it, so filled with Imperialists, and affording such comfortable quarters. On the other hand, the Spaniards, who seem to be more numerous than the Germans, hearing of the agreement entered into with the latter, are beginning to threaten and swear that they will not leave Rome unless they too are paid. Though some ground has been gained one way, it is likely to be lost on the other, as these Spaniards will no doubt mutiny for the sake of being included in the agreement. It is, however, to be hoped that the prudence of these generals will avert any conflict, and that as soon as the Germans are paid, all will leave Rome and go wherever they are ordered.
The men-at-arms have already promised to depart after they have rested (refrescati essi si habbino) for two or three days
Alarcon is pretty well; he rides almost every day, making his rounds, inspecting the ports, &c.
Italian. Contemporary copy. pp. 4.
29 Sept. 203. Prothonotary Caracciolo to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 228.
(Cipher:) Wrote yesterday evening to say that, the French were marching on Pavia. Hears now that the Venetians are also going in that direction, and that both armies are provided with siege artillery, ammunition, pioneers (guastatori), &c. There can be no doubt that the intention of the enemy is to attack that city now, or next winter, in the event of our receiving reinforcements. The whole of this Duchy, and Milan in particular, being completely ruined, it will be impossible for Antonio de Leyva to provide for the defence of that and other fortified towns in Lombardy. Well if he can with his small force hold the capital. Houses and palaces are deserted, and rich people fast abandoning the city. Provisions are very scarce, and of money there is none. To prevent emigration we have been obliged to impose fines of seven, eight, nine, and even ten crowns per head on the absentees, and yet such is the fear they have of our soldiers that they prefer keeping away and having their property confiscated to returning to Milan, for in reality the citizens are unequal to bear the burden of an army quartered, as this is, upon them.
Mentions this that His Imperial Majesty may better understand the miserable condition of his army. To meet its most pressing wants Leyva and the rest of the Imperial ministers have been actually obliged to sell or pawn to the Genoese bankers the rest of their jewels and clothes, &c.—Milan, 29th September 1527.
Signed: .II Protonotario Caracciolo."
Addressed: .Sacratissimæ, Catholicæ, et Cesareæ Majestati."
Indorsed: .To the King. 1527. Milan. From the Prothonotary. 29th September."
Italian. Original entirely in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp. 2.
29 Sept. 204. Antonio de Leyva to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 232.
Since the loss of Genoa has written four times by way of Monaco. Hopes that his letters have been received. Alessandria fell into the hands of the enemy in the following manner. Count Baptista Lodron had charge of that city with about l,800 Germans, two companies of Italian infantry, and 200 light horse. As he was a brave and experienced commander, a colonel in the Imperial army, and had served under him at Pavia, Leyva had perfect confidence in him. Provisions being very scarce inside Alessandria, and indeed in the whole of that district, it would appear that when the French invasion took place, part of Count Lodrone's forces were without the city. In disobedience to Leyva's commands, who had ordered him on the appearance of the enemy to concentrate his forces before the city, that commander had left two companies of Germans at Castellazo, and with the rest of his forces occupied Alessandria. The French coming up suddenly, took him unawares (sin que é1 lo supiesse ó lo quissiese sauer), attacked the Germans encamped at Castellazo, and obliged them to retire to Boscho, where after a siege of 15 days they were all taken prisoners of war. A message then came from Count Lodron, asking for a reinforcement of 300 foot, who were forthwith despatched to his assistance under Count Belgioioso, besides 100 horse with another Italian captain named Virago, with instructions to defend the city to the uttermost, but scarcely had Lautrec invested the place, when, although the attack was feebly conducted, Lodron offered to capitulate. Count Alberico did all he could to dissuade him, but in vain. On the plea that his Germans were in a state of mutiny, and refusing to fight, Lodron surrendered the place to the French on condition of the Germans returning home, and of the Italians under Count Belgioioso promising not to go to Milan for six months. Most of those who were inside Alessandria accused Count Lodron of treachery (ruyndad) on this occasion; others attribute his conduct to cowardice. He (Leyva) has not yet been able to ascertain the true cause, but if such men as the Count cannot be trusted, who can be? He (the Count) lost his wife and children at Boscho, and Lautrech very generously sent them back free; from which people suspect that, as a grateful return for that act, Lodron made no difficulty in surrendering. The fact is that the enemy's attack was so feeble, and so badly conducted, that there was no occasion whatever for the surrender of Alessandria.
Has concentrated all his forces at Milan, which is being hastily fortified, so as to meet a sudden attack of the enemy. He has with him 2,200 Spaniards, 3,400 Germans, and 1,000 Italians under Count Filippo Torniello and Pietro Botichelo (Botticela). Count Lodovico Belgioioso defends Pavia with 2,000 Italians, 30 men-at-arms, and 100 light horse. He is much beloved by the natives, who sent expressly for him. It appears that on his arrival at Pavia, as he mustered the garrison, he addressed the soldiers in these words: "Now, friends, whoever among you has not the courage to stand a siege, let him go away at once, for it is my intention to defend this city as long as I can;" upon which all bystanders, citizens as well as soldiers, swore to die in the Emperor's service. (Cipher:) The city is strong and well fortified, and has provisions for two months. The Count is so brave, and has hitherto been so fortunate, that there is no doubt he will allow himself to be cut to pieces rather than surrender.
(Common writing:) Captain Aponte, a Spaniard, is at Como with about three companies of his countrymen He will have no great difficulty in defending that place, for it is strong, and not likely to be attacked by the enemy.
Lecco is defended by Villaturiel's company, and Trezzo by Captain Diego Lopez de Sosa and his men, so that if the expected German reinforcements come they will find no impediment in their march.
With regard to Lautrech's movements, His Majesty must know that immediately after the taking of Alessandria he came here with the whole of his forces, marching through Viagrassa to a church called San Christoval, at about one mile from this city, where he encamped. On Thursday, the 26th inst., Captain Pedrarias went out to meet him with 200 hackbutiers and a few horse, and he gave the French such a hot reception that he obliged them to retreat three miles to a village called Corzo, where they remained the rest of Thursday and Friday. The ensuing Saturday they struck their tents and marched in the direction of Pavia, whither a reinforcement of three companies of infantry was despatched on the same day.
(Cipher:) No news whatever from Rome. Ever since the death of the Abbot [of Najera] he (Leyva) has had no letters, except one from Alarcon, informing him of the differences existing between the Viceroy and the Prince of Orange, the Marquis del Gasto (Guasto), and the Spanish infantry commanded by Juan de Urbina. So that it would appear that whilst this state of things lasts no good can come from those parts. He (Leyva) has written many times by way of the Duke of Ferrara and of Micer Fransperch (Fruntsperg), entreating Alarcon and the Viceroy to hasten on with the army; but no use, he can get no answer from them. Should the Duchy be lost, the kingdom of Naples would not fare better. His Majesty must indeed make peace at once, or else give us means to carry on the war with vigour. we have only provisions for two months; after these are exhausted there will be no possibility of obtaining more, as the country is entirely ruined, and neither the citizens nor the soldiers have any. Money we have none, and the Germans mutiny every week. Notwithstanding all this, His Majesty may be sure that we shall do our duty until not one of us remains alive; but in the meantime the Emperor must consider that, together with the loss of so many good servants, all the advantages gained on previous occasions may be irretrievably lost.
Besides the 56,000 cr. received from Lope de Soria, upwards of 160,000 have been spent for the support of the small army under his command, most of it borrowed from Genoese bankers, or from merchants in this Estate. He and most of the Emperor's ministers have been obliged to pawn their jewels and valuables. His Majesty may believe him when he says that he has only vest, a pair of pantaloons, and one horse left, everything else he had in the world being either sold or pawned.
If money is to be sent it had better come through Germany by way of the Fucares (Fuggers) or Belzers.
Needs not add that if the army from Rome would only come now he (Leyva) might still make easy work of our enemies, who are a wretched set of men (muy ruyn gente), and few in number.
The last letter he has from His Majesty is dated the 2nd July. Since then he has not heard from Court.—Milan, 29th September 1527.
Signed: "Antonio de Leyva."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To His Majesty. From Anthonio de Leyva. 29th of September. Answered."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet pp. 6.
30 Sept. 205. Don Ugo de Moncada to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 238.
When Mons de Vere (Veyre) arrived the Viceroy was on the point of death. He died a few days ago. Your Majesty has lost in him a faithful subject and servant. As he (Moncada) was also suffering from fever, De Vere could not then converse with either to inform them of the mission he has brought to Italy.
Since the Viceroy's death, however, he (Don Ugo), the general [of the Franciscans], and the said De Vere (Veyre) have held several consultations together as to the best manner of negotiating with the Pope. Both have already left for Rome.
The Viceroy in his last moments, and the Collateral Council since, decided that he (Moncada) should take charge of the government. His illness, which has confined him to his bed for upwards of 50 days, has hitherto prevented him from attending to business. Is still occasionally visited by fever, and obliged to dictate this letter from his bed. Hopes soon to be convalescent, when he will assume the administration of affairs until His Majesty be pleased to relieve him from a charge which his old age and infirmities prevent his fulfilling as he would wish. Meanwhile the Council attends to the business of war, as well as to the internal administration, but he (Moncada) .cannot let this opportunity pass without reminding the Emperor and his ministers that some remedy must be speedily applied to the present dangerous position of affairs, either by concluding an honourable peace, or by making such provision in men and money as may ensure our success.—Naples, 30th September 1527.
Signed: "Don Ugo de Moncada."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord"
Indorsed: "To His Majesty. From D. Ugo. 30th of September."
Spanish. Original, pp. 3.
30 Sept. 206. Count Burrello to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 240.
As Don Ugo de Moncada and the Collateral Council of the kingdom must have informed the Emperor of the Viceroy's demise, he (Burrello) need not refer to that lamentable event. Before his death the Viceroy was pleased to appoint Don Ugo to the government, who, being very unwell at the time, refused at first to accept, though being much pressed by the councillors he consented at last.
Advices from Rome have been received, (fn. n1) explaining the position of affairs in that city, the terms offered to the Germans, &c. It was confidently believed that with the arrival of the general of the Franciscans, and of Mons. de Vere (Veyre), who left this only yesterday, all matters would be satisfactorily settled between the Pope and the Imperial army. Nevertheless, the Collateral Council is about to remit to Rome the rest of the sum promised to the Germans, ...., the pay for two months and a half. Out of that 41,000 ducats will shortly be paid at Rome, and though this kingdom is entirely ruined, His Majesty may be sure that nothing shall be omitted that may help his cause.
There is urgent need to have this army, cavalry as well as infantry, reformed, especially the men-at-arms, who have for the most part left the service. ,
In consequence of the attack which the Venetians and Andrea Doria meditate on the coasts of Sicily, the Viceroy of that island (Pignatello) is making preparations for defence. He has asked us for reinforcements of Spanish or German troops, offering to pay them out of the Imperial treasury at Messina, but Spaniards there are none here, and as to Germans we have only those whom Lannoy brought with him from Spain, and they are so shattered and reduced by the plague that they are scarcely fit for service. We shall, however, do everything in our power to assist the Viceroy, who by the latest accounts had hastily formed two companies with the Spaniards residing in the island, part of whom had been detached to Melazzo and Messina, and the rest to Trapani and çaragoça (Siracusa).
The scarcity of provisions generally felt in Italy may after all be the only cause for the enemy's maritime preparations, for it is said that his idea in visiting the coast of Sicily is to capture any vessels laden with wheat that may be found in those seas. Instructions, therefore, have been sent to the Viceroy to inform the merchants thereof, and prevent vessels from leaving the ports.
Considers it his duty to inform the Emperor that not all the warders (alcaydes) reside, as it is their duty to do, in their castles, which is a very dangerous thing under present circumstances. The Council has tried to correct this abuse, but to no purpose.—Naples, 30th of September 1527.
Signed: "El Conde de Burrello."
Addressed: "Sacratissimæ, Cesareæ, et Catholicæ Majestati."
Indorsed: "To His Majesty. From the Count of Burrello. 30th September. Answered."
Spanish. Original, pp. 1½.
30 Sept. 207. Don Ugo de Moncada to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 244.
Has received letters from the general [of the Franciscans] and from Mons. de Vere (Veyre), of which he encloses copy. Both agree that it is most important to make peace, or else to prosecute war with vigour; but this cannot be effected without money from Spain, for in this kingdom there is none the little there was having been sent to the Germans at Rome.
The news from Calabria is that on the 25th inst. The Venetian fleet had anchored before Colonne, a port six miles from Cotrone. It is to be feared that the enemy will also make some attempt upon Sicily, but the Duke of Monteleone (Pignatello) is well prepared, and we hope will repulse the attack.—Naples, 30th September 1527.
Signed: "Don Ugo de Moncada."
Addressed: "Sacræ, Cesareæ, et Catholicæ Majestati."
Indorsed: "To the King. From D. Ugo. 30th September."
Spanish. Original, pp. 2.
30 Sept. 208. The Same to the Same.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 41,
f. 246.
In consequence of the death of Mossen Marimon de Plegamans, the lieutenancy of the castle of Trani was conferred by Don Charles de Lannoy upon Knight Commander Don Francisco Yeart, who has done much service and is well worthy of the grant. Begs for its confirmation.—Naples, on the last day of September 1527.
Signed: "Don Ugo de Moncada."
Addressed: "Sacratissimæ, Cesareæ, et Catholicæ Majestati."
Indorsed: "To His Majesty. From D. Ugo in favour of Commander Ycart. 30th September."
Spanish. Original, pp. 1½.
30 Sept. 209. The Emperor to Don Iñigo [de Mendoza], his Ambassador in England.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hofu. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 224, No.
We have duly received your despatches, and the letter of he 16th of August in answer to ours of the 29th of July. With regard to the business of the Queen, our aunt, We are waiting to hear from you what has since been done, because the news received at this court is that the affair has blown over, and this We cannot believe until you so advise by your letters. Respecting the progress of the negotiations with France you will see what has been done here, and what efforts We have made, and are still making, for the sake of that King and Legate, and out of affection for their persons, to bring about a peace between the two countries.
On this point you are to insist (encarecer) most particularly; and moreover, in order the better to convince the King and Legate (para que les sepa mejor) of our sincerity in this respect, you shall read to them the enclosed memorandum of what has passed at the various conferences (platicas). Copies of the same have also been forwarded to the English ambassadors at this our court, our object being that all the world should witness our justification and know our good and righteous intentions.
With regard to the renewal of the old alliance, and the proposed marriage between one of our nieces and the King's illegitimate son, you will see by another memorandum, of which We also enclose copy, what our answer to the English ambassadors was when they spoke to us on the subject. For the better and more speedy resolution of this affair, We have caused certain powers and instruments to be drawn—all of which are enclosed—in favour of the persons whom Madame, our aunt, may be pleased to appoint to treat of the said marriage.
But before sending the said papers, as well as the enclosed letter, to Madame, our aunt, you will try to ascertain by au possible means whether the King and Legate really feel inclined to treat about the renewal of our mutual friendship, as well as the marriage alliance now proposed, informing them that, such being the case, you have our mandate to send to Flanders for some personages of note, with sufficient powers to bring the said affair to conclusion. According as the King's answer may be, so you may keep back or send our letter to Madame, our aunt, that she may read it, fill in the names of the persons appointed, and despatch to England those personages who are to help you in this negotiation, which We wish you to hasten as much as possible, so as to obtain a definite answer, yes or no, before We set the sons of France free.—Palencia, 30th of September 1527.
Spanish. Original draft, pp. 2.
30 Sept. 210. The Same to the Same.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hofu. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. C.
Fasc. 224.
Don Iñigo, &c.—You well know what We once wrote to you about bringing over the Cardinal of England to our service. As he has now terminated his business in France, it seems to us as if he could not refuse doing the same towards us that he has done towards the French King. We therefore command you again to offer to the said Cardinal the payment, within the term he may choose to appoint, of all arrears of his pensions, such arrangement being made for the future that the whole of his ecclesiastical endowments, amounting yearly to the sum of 9,000 cr., be punctually paid. Besides, We are willing to assign to him, on that department of our revenue which may happen to be most unencumbered, 6,000 more ducats every year until We have procured him a bishopric, or some equivalent pension in these our kingdoms. In addition to which pensions and payment of arrears, which must amount in all to a very respectable sum, if it be true, as We have been informed, that he has not been paid for five years, We promise him that whoever may be Duke of Milan shall give him in our name a baronial estate within that Duchy, with the title of Marquis or Count, as the Cardinal may choose, and an annual income of 12,000 ducats.
Should this sum appear to you insufficient, you may raise it to 15,000, promising the Cardinal in our name that whoever may be hereafter Duke of Milan shall take care to have the necessary instruments and deeds drawn so as to ensure him during his lifetime the possession of the above said estate and income, or if he should appoint an heir and successor, for such heir and his posterity in perpetuity.
All this we promise to do, as you will inform His Reverence the Cardinal in our name, if he will only consent to work, as he did on past occasions, and can, if he chooses, do again, for the common and mutual benefit of the King, his master, and our own, as well as for the weal of Christendom at large.— Palencia, 30th September 1527. (fn. n2)
Spanish. Original draft, pp. 2.
30 Sept. 211. Instructions to the Grand Master and President of Rouen, going as Ambassadors to England.
B. Arch, du Royme.
J 965
B. M. Add. 2,857,
f. 374.
Firstly, they are to present their credentials and letters to the King and Cardinal, and assure them both of the very cordial affection he bears them, which they will find to be sincere, firm, and indissoluble, and which he hopes will be equally so on their part. After thanking them for their kind exertions for the liberation of his children, the ambassadors are to tell them that the King will never forget the favour received at their bands, and that whenever the King of England may want his co-operation and help, he may count upon it, so that he may see that he is not ungrateful. His sons, besides, will never forget their good offices, and the time may come for their proving that they are not ungrateful.
They are likewise to thank the King for his sending the Cardinal of York to France, who has conducted with his wonted prudence and dexterity all affairs pending between them, the liberation of the Princes, his sons, and other matters concerning the honour of God and the welfare of the Church. He has managed matters in the best possible way, and deserves universal praise for it.
They are further to say that the object of their mission to England is to obtain the ratification of the treaties of lasting peace, and others lately concluded between himself and the King, and to witness the solemn ceremony of swearing to the preservation and keeping of the said treaties. To ascertain also what the King's wishes are respecting other matters contained in their instructions, and know what commissioners the King will be pleased to appoint to treat with them.
Respecting the privileges of English merchants in Flanders, this is a matter well worth consideration, and which requires careful examination of the original treaties, in order to ascertain whether such privileges really existed before and after the last war; for it must be borne in mind that the reason why the King of England wishes his subjects to enjoy similar privileges [in France] (fn. n3) is probably because he fears that in the event of war the Flemings may deprive them thereof, and so wishes to guard them against loss of property and damage. Were the English, during this war, prevented from trading with Flanders, they would naturally bring their merchandize to France. For this reason the privilege must, if possible, be granted conditionally; that is to say, cither they will no longer trade with Flanders, and therefore will do business with France, or else the Flemings depriving them of their privileges, they will ultimately trade with us. The privilege, therefore, must be granted conditionally or pure ct simple. In either case it must be specified in a clause that French merchants, if they choose, are to enjoy the same privileges that the Flemings once had in England.
With regard to the maritime war, and the stipulation that the King is to maintain 1,000 men, whereas the King of England is only to give 500, the ambassadors will try to gain, if possible, some improvement upon this; if not, let them agree to the article, but not to worse terms.
The clause "sans rien ennover des autres traictez" must by no means be omitted; on the contrary, all previous treaties must be corroborated and confirmed.
The ambassadors are to insist, as much as is in their power, upon obtaining again two months' pay for the French infantry in Italy, that is for November and December.
They will recover the ratifications of the treaties of peace and others [here] concluded with the Cardinal, as likewise that which was delivered to the Cardinal at Ardres, and of which he himself gave an acknowledgment (schedule), which will be immediately returned to him.
They will write often to the King and inform him if anything occurs likely to impede the negotiations.
The Grand Master, who is also a Knight of the Order of St. Michael, will present to the King of England the diploma electing him member of the said order, and exact from him, with the necessary limitations and modifications, the customary oath as chief of the Order of the Garter. It will be the King's pleasure to receive the insignia of the order from the hands of King Henry, so that both Princes may be united under the same bond.—Compiegne, 30th September 1527.
Signed: "Françoys."
Countersigned: "Breton."
French. Copy.
30 Sept. 212. P. (fn. n4) de Veyre to the Emperor.
B. Arch. d. Royme.
Doc. Hist. IV.
f. 73.
Wrote from Barcelona and embarked the day after, but as the wind was contrary had to land again. Next morning, by the advice of the pilots, rode to Colibre, there to wait for the brigantines. It was at that port that he first received the disastrous news of the loss of Genoa. Was sadly put out by the intelligence, and began to entertain fears about his own safety, considering that the six vessels hired for his passage were Genoese, and that two of them had left suddenly without taking on board certain soldiers appointed to escort him. Feared lest the other four brigantines, instead of sailing for their destination, should take him to France or to Genoa, or put him in the hands of Andrea Doria. Thank God, the masters of the vessels turned out to be honest, and, weather being fine landed him and his suite at a port in the Island of Corsica called Celin (?). As it happened, some time before their arrival there, three of Doria's galleys had just left the port. Thence after gathering the necessary information respecting the loss of Genoa, and the dangers of the road, he proceeded by sea but was soon obliged to return to the coast and anchor at a place called Benvenire, belonging to the sister of the Lord of Monego (Monaco), where they stopped one whole day. That lady having sent him word that the enemy was arming certain galleys and other smaller vessels with the intention of invading Naples or Sicily, he sailed next day, and with favourable winds reached Civittà Vecchia, where be landed, that he might inquire news of the Pope and of the Viceroy. Was told by Don Alonso de Cordova that the Pope was still at Rome, which he (Veyre) was greatly astonished to bear, and that the Viceroy (Charles de Lannoy) was no longer at Gaietta (Gaeta), but at Aversa. Cordoba told him likewise that the Imperial troops were encamped 15 miles from Rome, at which he (Veyre) wondered even more than at the news of the Pope. Having obtained the above information, set sail again, and landed at Gaeta, where, as Don Alonso had rightly conjectured, the Viceroy no longer was, his wife, the Princess of Sulmona, having left the day before, owing to the bad state of his health. Wished to take post-horses, but Knight Commander Yquart (Ycarte) told him that the road was anything but safe, and that if he waited until the next day he would take him to Naples in his own galleys, which he did. Arrived there on the 19th inst., and on the ensuing morning took post horses to Aversa, where he found the Viceroy extremely ill in bed, so much so that he had no opportunity or time to communicate to him the substance of his instructions, as he died on Monday, the 23rd. His Imperial Majesty has lost in him a good servant, at a juncture too when matters are in a most horrible state of confusion, and when nothing but a good and honourable peace can mend them.
As the Imperial ministers at Rome and in other parts of Italy must have fully acquainted him (the Emperor) with the piteous state of his affairs, he (De Veyre) will not dwell on the subject, save to say that immediately after the death of the Viceroy he called on Don Ugo [de Moncada] to ask his advice respecting the manner of carrying out his instructions. For he (De Veyre) expected to see the Pope fairly out of Rome, but now finds that he is still there, which is a great drawback under present circumstances, as one fine day the Germans and Spaniards may take him away with them. Such he hears is now the rumour current in the Imperial camp, and whilst writing these lines letters have come frorn Alarcon and Jeronimo Moron announcing that the Germans quartered in the neighbourhood of Rome have started for that city with some such intention. This is not to be wondered at if it be true that a messenger of the Duke of Ferrara has lately arrived at Rome, and is trying to persuade the Germans to secure the person of the Pope and take him to Lombardy, where they might obtain any sum, however large, for his ransom. Is assured that this is perfectly true, and that the Marquis del Guasto is retaining the Ferrarese messenger at his own quarters for fear of his going to the camp of the Germans and doing some mischief there. Secretary Seron here [at Naples] tells him that the Duke, in the Viceroy's lifetime, had threatened that unless the Imperial army returned to Lombardy he must make his peace with the French, and that he has besides flatly refused taking command of the army, saying, "When the Emperor pays his men, then it will be time for me to accept office, not before."
For God's sake, Sire, make peace with the French as soon as possible, that you may effectually punish traitors like this Duke and others who play Your Majesty such vile tricks! I see no other remedy for Your Majesty's affairs when those who are considered our friends fail in this manner. I beg Your Majesty to forgive me if I thus dare speak out, but the truth is that tears gather in my eyes whilst I write, at the reflection that a Prince so good, so virtuous, so loyal, should be treated in this manner by the wicked people on whom he has conferred so many favours. I again beseech and implore Your Imperial Majesty to conclude peace as soon as possible, to save further loss of reputation (pour perdre moins .'honneur), and leave yourself more leisure to chastise those who, instead of helping, do us all possible harm. I hear from Alarcon that Cardinal Colonna is in treaty with the Germans, who are going back to Rome, in the hope that one of these days, if not paid their arrears, they will mutiny, and murder the Pope. To prevent such a misfortune money has been procured here, and shall be sent this very night on board two galleys, in sufficient quantity to issue two pays to the Germans. It has, moreover, been arranged that, should they go to Rome with such intentions, the Pope is to escape down the Tiber to Hostia, where his galleys are stationed, and thence to Gaeta. Your Imperial Majesty may judge by this what the obstacles have been to having His Holiness removed to that city, as was intended at first. The Viceroy had often written to Alarcon to bring the Pope [to Naples], but this he would never do, saying, "God forbid that I should be the man to take the Vicar of Christ to prison." (fn. n5) This the brave Alarcon has done from no bad intention, but because he is over scrupulous in these matters.
With regard to the army, Sire, things are very different from what Your Majesty believed them to be when I left Spain. Your Majesty believed that the soldiers were paid; not only are they not, but there is the greatest difficulty in procuring money for them. The Pope, who according to our accounts was to have contributed 400,000 ducats, has only paid down 150,000, and declares that he cannot give more, as he has no means left. Your Imperial Majesty thought also that the Florentines would contribute 300,000 ducats; not one farthing of it have they paid, though our army was sufficiently strong to force them to disburse that sum. Your Majesty believed that his army had marched on Lombardy, and it is now again marching towards Rome, which is the very reverse. And, moreover, the men behave so badly, and there is so little justice done—in fact none at all—that the captains dare not live among their own soldiers, and have no command whatever over them. The Marquis del Guasto and Juan de Urbina are now here [at Naples], and Don Ugo is trying to induce them to return to Rome. I cannot say whether they will consent to go under the present state of things in that capital; to me they seem most determined not to go back without money to pay the troops, and, most likely, when this is obtained I myself shall have left for Rome. One of the Marquis' servants tells me that his master really intends joining the army, knowing, as he does know, the importance of his presence among the men, but the great difficulty lies in this late nomination of the Prince of Orange to be Your Imperial Majesty's lieutenant-general in Italy. Of the Prince himself I have no news, and therefore cannot say what he is doing, but Your Imperial Majesty may be sure that if there be any remedy for. These matters, however inefficient and temporary (bien debille et de peu, de duree) it may be, it shall be promptly applied.
After Lannoy's demise, Don Ugo, though in poor health himself, owing to his late dangerous illness, assumed the command. This was done in conformity with the wishes of the dying Viceroy, who appointed him to conduct, conjointly with the Collateral Council, the affairs of this kingdom until Your Imperial Majesty should be pleased to name his successor. This must be done as soon as possible, Your Majesty selecting for the Viceroyalty an honest man (ung homme de bien), one chosen without regard to party spirit or favour, for certainly these are not times to yield to such pressure. Don Ugo wishes me to add that the election should fall on some personage in Spain, "for all those who are here put together would not constitute half a Viceroy (ung bon demi Viseroy), such as is wanted under present circumstances." In repeating Don Ugo's words I only execute his commands; I express no opinion of my own; were I to do so, I would say that he himself is a brave man of good heart and intelligence, and quite capable of doing Your Majesty's behests in these parts. (fn. n6) But Your Majesty is so wise that I need not offer advice on such matters. He (Don Ugo) has been acting with great zeal since the Viceroy's death. I have communicated to him my instructions as I would have done to the deceased, and it has been settled between us that to-morrow I am to start for Rome.
Enclosed is the duplicate of the list of securities (seurtes) which we have resolved to ask from the Pope, following Your Imperial Majesty's instructions. God grant that I may succeed in my mission, but I am greatly afraid that before we can set the Pope free, he may himself give us the slip; (fn. n7) for already, since he knows that the French are prospering in Lombardy, he utters bravadoes and does his worst. I hope, however, to tie him down so tight (le lier si court) that, if he has the will, he will not have the power [of doing us mischief]. Your Imperial Majesty will have timely information of all my doings, but my advice is that the prospect of a peace with the Pope ought not to be a cause for neglecting that with King Francis, for I am terribly afraid of the former and his doings. Sire, that I might the better understand Your Imperial Majesty's wishes I have carefully examined the Viceroy's papers, as well as the letters in cipher and those which Your Majesty wrote to him in his own hand. In one of these last express orders were given for the building of certain galleys. Now, as Your Majesty might be under the impression that the work had actually commenced, and thus be deceived, I must begin by stating that not one has yet been placed on the stocks. Don Ugo begs me further to make this statement in his name, and to add that those now in port are in the worst possible condition, their crews literally dying of hunger for want of biscuit and money, as they have not been paid for the last 22 months. In short, so reduced and impoverished are they, that I doubt whether the captains of these six galleys would dare engage as many fustees ( fustas).
Generally speaking, I have found Your Majesty's affairs in such confusion and bad order that I can see no help but in peace.
Don Ugo has been duly informed on every point of my instructions, which are also those of the general [of the Franciscans]. There is, besides, another set of instructions most secret, and written entirely in cipher, which I dare say Your Imperial Majesty recollects. By the first of those instructions the general and myself are commanded to admit Don Ugo into our commission just as the Viceroy was, and this has been done. We all believe that the greatest advantage to be obtained by the Pope's liberation will be the payment of the 250,000 ducats, which I intend and hope getting out of him as complement of the 400,000 promised by the last treaty.
Sire, news has been received of the taking of Alessandria by Lautrech, who is coming this way. Don Ugo begs me to mention this fact, and also that the Prince of Orange writes to say there is no chance of taking the army out of Rome unless it be paid first. The Archbishop of Capua (Schomberg), who is here, has heard that the fleet of the confederates is to set sail for this coast on the 25th inst. At Cotrone, in Calabria, there are 28 Venetian galleys getting ready for a similar purpose. Don Ugo has begged me to write to the Prince about this, and to say that in the event of the French coming to Naples he intends going and serving under him, as be would under Your Imperial Majesty, until a Viceroy be appointed. He (Don Ugo) is now despatching Gropain (Gruppen), the bearer of this despatch, that he may verbally inform Your Majesty of the state of affairs here, as well as at Rome and throughout the rest of Italy, for as he has been an eye-witness of most of the late events he will be better able to report. He (Gropain) is charged to entreat Your Majesty for an immediate answer, which in the present state of things cannot admit of delay.
As soon as I have spoken to His Holiness I shall report thereon. Don Ugo thinks, and I am also of his opinion, that in 'the powers sent by Your Majesty to treat with the Pope my name ought to be inserted, or fresh ones be sent from Spain. This would certainly give more authority to the transaction, as otherwise the Pope might think that I was considered [in Spain] too young and 60.inexperienced for such negotiation. I am confident that I can do good service to Your Majesty, and besides will never conclude anything without first consulting Don Ugo and the general [of the Franciscans]. The former says that he is not well, and therefore strongly recommends my nomination, which I should never have suggested had not he and the general mentioned it in their despatches. One or both of them might die, and the negotiations with the Pope be suspended.
Private matters. Recommendation of the widow and children of the Viceroy. Juan de Urbina and his services. Archbishopric of Constanza to be given to Hanibal Pinotetti (sic). Count Burello, son of the Viceroy of Sicily, now at Naples. It was he who bought the estate of Count Gayaço. He is afraid that some day or other they may refuse to give him back his money (que lon na lui veuille rendre largent quiculque jour).
The "bailliage des bois "in Henault, now vacant by the death of the Viceroy, in case His Imperial Majesty did not give it to his children—which would be but just—the writer (de Veyre) would like to have for himself. Starts for Rome after dinner. Will execute his commission, but cannot say what the Pope will do after he recovers his liberty.—Castil del Ovo, near Naples, 30th September 1527.
Signed: "Pierre de Veyre"
Addressed: "A Sa Mté de l'Empereur."
French. Original, pp. 12.


  • n1. In date of the 27th. See No. 202, p. 397.
  • n2. Published by Brewer, Letters and Papers, &c, vol. iv., part ii, p. 1569.
  • n3. "La cause pour quoy le Roy veult que les Angloys usent de semblables previleges en son royaume est pour doubte que les Flamans, &c."
  • n4. Pierre de Veyre, Sieur de Migliau, and Baron of Saint Julien, elsewhere called Vere, Bere, and Beere. This letter, giving an account of his voyage and stay at Naples, was first published by Lanz, i. pp. 248-57.
  • n5. "A Dieu ne plust qu'il amenast le corps de Dieu en prison."
  • n6. "Que la out est sa personne il ast homme de beaucoup de valleur et qui ast sens et cucur pour vous sçavoir ferre service."
  • n7. "Ja crains que avant que aions mis le pape en liberté, que ne nous fache du cheval escappe."