Spain: May 1528, 21-31

Pages 688-697

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


May 1528, 21-31

21 May. 431. Cornelius Duplicius Scepperus to Alfonso Valdes, the Emperor's Secretary.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Cart. d. Erasmo
y otras.
B. M. Add. 28,577,
f. 238.
Has searched in vain the booksellers' shops at Antwerp, but found nothing new.
Germany is now a prey to religious errors. Flanders exposed to invasion from all sides. Hopes Spain is in a more satisfactory condition.
Leaves shortly for Poland, for all negotiations with the Scots are for the moment suspended, the reason being that the English do not seem inclined to attack the Emperor this spring. In order not to irritate them, it has been deemed necessary to suspend all negotiations with Scotland.
Nothing new concerning Erasmus.
The Bishop of Melito has left for Cologne.
Intends going by sea to the mouth of the Weser, and thence by land to Lithuania.
Sends him some arms.—Antwerp, 21st of May 1528.
Signed: "Corn. Scepperus."
Latin: Holograph, .. 1.
23 May. 432. Lope Hurtado de Mendoza, Imperial Ambassador in Portugal, to the Emperor.
S. E. L., f. 368.
B. M. Add. 28,577,
f. 249.
Mons. Du Reulx, &c.
A vessel has arrived from La Rochelle with letters from France in seven days. Among the passengers is a servant of the Portuguese ambassador in France, who says that the King was at Rouen and had been very ill. He is now much better; no traces of his illness were visible on his face." (fn. n1) It is reported that the English will not make war on Portugal, but will certainly help the French in Italy.
Mons. de Lautrec has taken Melfi, &c.—Lisbon, 23rd of May 1528.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To His Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty the Emperor, our Lord."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 2.
— May. 433. Dr. Solis to Secretary Perez.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 43,
f. 393.
Immediately after the receipt of his letter of the 28th March, he (Solis) waited upon His Holiness, and placed in his hands as desired, the copy of the Emperor's letter. The answer was —1st. Respecting the Astorga business, that either the brief relating to this business had not reached the Emperor's hands, or else the Marquis [Don Pedro Fernandez Osorio] had not made use of it. He (the Marquis) was commanded to submit the brief to the Emperor, and if the latter found that it was worded in a manner likely to create scandal, he might have its execution suspended until he (the Pope) should be informed thereof.
2nd, Respecting the church of Burgos, in which fathers and sons, in virtue of bulls granted by various Popes, are allowed to enjoy one or more ecclesiastical endowments, the son in heriting from the father and representing him in his absence, &c., the Pope objected at first that the bulls could not possibly be revoked owing to the compensation money received in each particular case; but Cardinal Sancti Quatuor, who is a sort of oracle in these matters, has since been consulted, and his opinion is that bulls granted to particular individuals now alive cannot possibly be revoked, but may be modified so that father and son will not enjoy an ecclesiastical endowment conjointly, though the son after the decease of the father may inherit it, and that in future some provision be made forbidding sons to succeed to benefices which have been held by their fathers, or by a third person (interposita persona) coming between the two.
3rd. With regard to the visitation of clerks and canons of the cathedral church of Burgos, His Holiness finds that if the exemption from visitation really exists, and they insist upon it, any change of the rules would be very dangerous, but he, as superior head of the Church, will commit the visitation to some Spanish prelate, or so arrange matters that each of them be individually visited in his own residential town.
4th. In the affair of Don Pedro de Castro, as the bulls he obtained passed through the Penitentiary Court (Penitenciaria), and Cardinal Sancti Quatuor was the expeditor, more resistance was offered. A brief, however, shall be made commanding his own ecclesiastical judges to prosecute him (Castro) for bigamy and other crimes, and, if that be not sufficient, authorising the Emperor to appoint for this particular case new judges of his own choosing.
Has once or twice mentioned in his letters the bad opinion which the Pope and the cardinals have of him (Perez). Has been assured that a Dominican friar who came from Naples, and is now a prisoner in this city, was sent by him for the purpose of assassinating the Pope. Needs scarcely say that, believing him to be incapable of such infamy, he (Solis) has done hitherto, and will do hereafter, anything that is required to clear him from all suspicion.—Orbieto, — May 1528.
Spanish. Contemporary copy in Perez'. handwriting.
23 May. 434. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 43,
f. 359.
The Emperor's letters of the 28th of October, 24th December [1527], and 19th of January [1528], brought by Giuliano [della Spezzia], came duly to hand on the 20th inst, two days after he (Sanchez) had closed his despatch of the 18th. In the last of which letters the Emperor informs him of the challenge made by the Kings of France and England, and commands him to take leave of this Signory as soon as possible, so that the Venetian ambassador in Spain may be allowed to quit Spain. (Cipher:) In pursuance of this order he (Sanchez) has made every preparation for departure. Indeed, he would already have quitted Venice, had not the Hungarian ambas sador (Salamanca), who it was agreed was to leave at the same time as himself, stated at the very last moment that he had instructions from his master not to move until new orders. To ascertain the wishes of the King of Hungary on this particular point, and ask the reason for this new resolution, he (Sanchez) wrote immediately to His Highness, but as no answer has come, he has despatched to Trent a trusty messenger to inquire whether there are any letters for him at that town, or news from Flanders and England, for certainly there is a rumour here that the negotiations for general peace have been resumed. Has also written to Leyva and to Lope de Soria about the new reinforcement of Germans, 6,000 at least, who in his (Sanchez's) opinion are required for Lombardy, if those under the Duke of Brunswick are expected to march on Naples.
Until a categorical answer on all these points be received he (Sanchez) does not think himself justified in taking leave of the Signory, inasmuch as he cannot at present reach the Spanish frontier, for although the Duke of Ferrara and Marquis of Mantua have both granted him safe-conducts through their estates, it is doubtful whether the King of France will.
However this may be, everything is ready for his departure from Venice, which he can quit as soon as the messenger he has despatched to Trent returns with an answer. Six days, he calculates, will be enough to obtain the information he requires; if at the end of that time no news comes of a nature to chango his resolution, he will take leave of the Signory and depart. But instead of going to the Emperor in Spain, and kissing his hands—which is what he most desires—he cannot help thinking that it would be far better for the Imperial service that he should go either to the King of Hungary's Court at Prague, or to Leyva's camp in Lombardy. He might in the former case put himself in communication with Lope de Soria, and be the bearer of part of the funds lately brought by Giuliano [della Spezzia], so as to hasten the raising the 6,000 Germans above mentioned, or else serve under Leyva.
(Common writing:) This Signory have letters from France of the 12th inst., advising the speedy arrival of Mons. de St. Pol with 10,000 foot and 400 lances. Four thousand have already reached Ybrea, and it is added that all the troops with which the King of France intended to invade Flanders are to come to Italy. (Cipher:) If this country, therefore, is to be made the field of battle, His Imperial Majesty ought to do the same, and send all his armies and fleets to Lombardy and Naples.
Five hundred light cavalry have been ordered by this Signory from Dalmatia; 300 taken out of the garrisons in that province, by leaving the towns and castles completely defenceless, and 200 more of fresh levies.
Paolo Luzzasco with his company has left the service of the Signory. Some say that he has gone to Mantua to take service with the Pope; others that he goes to Lombardy to serve under Leyva. The Signory have offered 2,000 ducats down and 500 annual pension to his heirs, to whomsoever gives him up alive or dead. Malatesta Ballon (Baglione) has also left them and taken service with the Pope, who has appointed him captain-general of all his infantry. The report is that he will go to Bologna at the head of 2,000 foot and 400 horse. At Mantua the Marquis [Frederigo Gonzaga] has raised 4,000 men for the purpose, as it is said, of defending Parma and Piacenza in case of those cities being attacked by the Imperial forces, though many will have it that it is only a pretence, and that in the end he (the Marquis) will join us.
(Cipher:) Hears that His Holiness has lately sent one of his chamberlains to treat with the Duke [Henry of Brunswick]. Please God his intentions may be pacific, and turn to the Emperor's profit, for the Signory in consequence have hastily despatched an ambassador to him (the Pope), and perchance they may feel more inclined than they have been hitherto to the restitution of Ravenna and Cervia.
As the Pope, moreover, is raising troops in Romagna, the Signory will henceforward find it more difficult to make levies of men except in their own land, which they seldom do if they can help it. Thus it is that they are now trying to take a number of Switzers into their pay.
In the Piombino channel some Moorish vessels (fustas) have captured one French galley of the Baron [of St. Brancard], on board of which were 50,000 cr. destined for Lautrech. Four more galleys and one galleon had arrived in Genoa with the prisoners taken in the Gulf of Salerno, who, it was said, were to be conducted to France.
This Signory have letters from Lautrech's camp of the 16th inst. Naples continued in the same state. Out of five galleys laden with wheat from Sicily, and sent for the relief of the garrison, one had been taken by the enemy, the rest had gone into port. It is likewise stated that the portion of the kingdom, or rather of the barons, subjected to Lautrech had given him considerable help in money.
The new German army is still in the Bresciano. Leyva is besieging Lodi, which the Duke Francesco [Sforza] has hastily abandoned to go to Crema, an impregnable fortress, belonging to Venice.—Our Lord, &c. Venice, 23rd May 1528.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1528. From Venice. Alonso Sanchez. 23rd May. Duplicate." (fn. n2)
Spanish. Holograph partly in cipher. (fn. n3) Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. pp. 3.
25 May. 435. Secretary Perez to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 43,
f. 366.
On the 22nd inst., a Ferrarese gentleman named Sigismondo, who professes to be a staunch Imperialist, arrived with letters from Count Jorge Fruntsperg and from Andrea del Burgo, announcing that on the 12th inst. the Germans were in the Mantuano, and likely to advance by forced marches, as there would be no opposition at the passage of the river Pó or anywhere else on the road. Sigismond came by way of Orbieto, where the. Pope provided him with an escort to bring him to Gaeta. He assured the Prince that not only the Pope is willing to furnish provisions for the passage of the Germans through his territory, but that his master, the Duke of Ferrara and the Marquis of Mantua will do the same. Great rejoicings and illuminations have taken place here in consequence of this joyful news, which being observed by the enemy in front of this city, they fired a considerable number of shots, without, however, doing any harm to the city. The said Sigismond is now returning to hasten the arrival of the reinforcements; he goes with Joan Antonio Muxetula, whom the Prince and the Collateral Council of this kingdom have determined to send to the Pope.
On the 23rd there was much skirmishing with the French, who lost on the occasion upwards of 200 men-at-arms, among whom were several officers of note, such as Orazio Ballon, (Baglione), who was slain, and others. Count Guido Rangone has also died at Aversa of the plague. The French have felt the loss of these men very much, because in reality both were most experienced in military affairs, and almost the only two Italian captains of any note serving in their camp, for although they have with them some rebellious Neapolitan barons, they are people of no consequence. Now recently Count di Nola has gone over to them, and the Duke of Atrie (Atri) has applied for permission to retire to his estates, (cipher:) which is not a very good sign anyhow, as all those who refuse sharing our dangers under present circumstances cannot be very strongly devoted to His Imperial Majesty.
Count Sarno, married to a niece of Cardinal Colonna, is faithfully doing his duty.
Every day the infantry and light horse go out and bring into this city many heads of cattle, so that there will be fresh meat for some time to come. On most of these expeditions our men take prisoners. This very day one of these marauding parties has brought in a number of them.
The Prince of Melfi (fn. n4) has made an agreement with the French and gone to San Germano at the head of 2,000 foot, 100 lances, and 200 light horse, to assist the cause he has embraced. It is supposed that he will take the same route as the Spaniards lately come from Sicily, in order to defend those who are within Pagliano.—Naples, 25th May 1528.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: "To His most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1528. Naples. Perez. 25th May. Answered."
Spanish. Original. (fn. n5) pp. 2¼.
26 May. 436. The Same to the Same.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 43,
f. 391.
As Albornoz could not leave port yesterday, owing to the enemy's galleys being in sight, he will start in an hour for Ysola, where Count Burrello is waiting for him.
Nothing new to report except that the enemy seems very desirous of reducing us to extremities before the arrival of the succours. They are always repulsed with great loss, and not later than yesterday (the 25th) they lost one captain of 50 lances. The body of Baglione they have taken to Perosa (Perugia), and it is added that, on the excuse of accompanying it, five or six companies of Italian infantry have left the camp. —Naples, 26th May (fn. n5) 1528.
Signed: "Perez."
Spanish. Holograph, .. 1.
26 May. 437. The Same to the Same.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 43.
f. 392.
Received some days ago the Emperor's letters reminding him of certain ecclesiastical business which in March of this year he (Perez) was ordered to negotiate, such as the suspension of the bulls obtained by the Marquis of Astorga [D. Pedro Fernandez Osorio], by Don Pedro de Castro, as well as by the cathedral church and bishopric of Burgos, &c. As when the letter was written he (Perez) had already left Rome, and the Pope gone to Orbieto, he could not attend to these matters personally. Entrusted them to the care of Dr. Solis, a very able person, enjoying great favour with Cardinal Sancti Quatuor, and whom the Pope motu proprio first created Bishop of Banarea, and afterwards of Alguer on the death of Auditor Cassador. The Doctor has negotiated with the Pope and cardinals, and obtained an answer to all the Emperor's claims. Encloses a copy of it, (fn. n6) but begs leave to call special attention to the last paragraph, where the Doctor intimates that he (Perez) is accused of having sent a Dominican friar to Rome for the express purpose of assassinating the Pope.—Naples, 3rd June 1528.
Signed: "Perez."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1528. Naples. 3rd June"
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
28 May.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 43,
f. 374.
438. Alonso Sanchez, Imperial Ambassador in Venice, to the Emperor.
Wrote last on the 23rd inst. As by this time the Emperor must have been informed by Leyva's despatch how Paolo Luzzasco, the "condottiero," has at his request deserted this Signory and accepted service under the Empire, he (Sanchez) need not further allude to that event, which has caused a deep sensation in this city.
(Cipher:) Hears from various reliable sources that this Signory is making all manner of warlike preparations, especially of light cavalry. They have sent for 500 men and horses from Turkey (quinientos hombres y caballos Turcos), and that they may not appear to be such, have remitted [to Constantinople] cloth and other accoutrements for them to be dressed in the Albanian fashion. The stuff of which their uniforms are to be made is here called "carisca." They give each man 10 ducats for enlisting. With such infidel auxiliaries in their pay Venice is not likely to prosper much.
The Germans, he hears, after stopping at Pesquera (Peschiera) and the neighbouring villages some days—perhaps a little more than was absolutely necessary—are now on their march towards Brexa (Brescia). Viagrassa, an important and well-fortified town, with a garrison of 800 men, was taken the other day by Leyva. The Venetians in consequence have abandoned Cassano, and retreated to Bergamo, where they no doubt intend making a stand. Leyva's subsequent march on Cassano, since reported, would show that he purposes crossing the Adda, and effecting his junction with the rest of the Imperial forces.
The last news from Lautrech's camp received by this Signory is that seven Spanish vessels from Sicily laden with flour, and having besides 2,000 infantry on board, had succeeded in entering the port [of Naples], and that the Imperialists were daily making sallies. Lautrech was ill and very much disheartened owing to the extraordinary mortality among his men, of whom nearly 400 died daily of the plague.
Encloses copy of a letter (fn. n7) from the Bishop of Trent.— Venice, 28th May 1528.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty, in the hands of Secretary Soria. N."
Indorsed: "To the King. 1528. From Venice. Alonso Sanchez. 28th May."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet. (fn. n8)
439. The Same to the High Chancellor.
29 May.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 42,
f. 462.
His despatch of the 20th has been detained until to-day, the 29th, for want of a trusty messenger. Meanwhile the Signory have received the following advices of the 19th and 21st from Lautrech's camp. By the former they are informed that the light horse under Hernando Gonzaga were doing much harm to the besiegers, cutting off the supplies to their camp, &c. In consequence of which Lautrech had ordered new trenches to be dug round it. The Neapolitans had sent to Sicily four vessels laden with women and men unable to fight. Moreover, whilst the French were occupied in digging the said trenches and raising parapets the Imperialists attacked them suddenly and slew 1,000 of them,— some say 2,000,—and among the rest Orazio Baglione, the captain-general of the Florentines.—Venice, 29th of May 1828.
Signed: "Alonso Sanchez."
Spanish. Holograph, .. 1.
29 May. 440. Juan de Salzedo to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 43,
f. 383.
Is one of the oldest officers in the army, having served in Italy and elsewhere for upwards of 30 years. This emboldens him to speak out plainly, and state what reforms are urgently required in the Spanish infantry, so as to render it more useful and reliable. There are too many captains in it; 6,000 men do not require more than 20 captains to command them, whereas for the same number there are upwards of 60. The lieutenants and sub-lieutenants (alfereces), sergeants, &c. are in proportion. Each captain has 40 ducats per month, which at the end of the year amount to 480; each sub-lieutenant (alferez) 15 ducats, or 70 every year; the sergeants 8 ducats each, or 96 every year. There are 80 drummers too many at 8 ducats [a year?]; 40 trumpeters (pifaros) at 8; 80 physicians and clerks (clerigos) at 3 every month, making altogether many thousands, without counting what the captains themselves purloin. If to this be added that, owing to the excessive number of captains, the men are badly officered,—for when one of them finds his company decreasing through the casualties of war he naturally tries to decoy and enlist the soldiers of other captains,—His Imperial Majesty cannot fail to see the necessity of a reform.
Though the oldest captain in the Imperial service, he (Salzedo) is quite willing that the reform begin with his own company.—Naples, 29th of May 1528.
Signed: "Juan de Salzedo."
Addressed: "Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Indorsed: "From Juan de Salzedo. 29th May. Answered."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 2½.
31 May. 441. The Captains of Spanish Infantry.
m. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 43,
f. 385.
Credentials in favour of Pedro Davalos, one of their number, charged with the following mission, viz., to inform His Imperial Majesty of the reasons which their general, the Marquis del Guasto, had for going on board the galleys, though it was not his duty, and also to beg that the liberation of the said Marquis be procured, as he is greatly needed for the command of the Spanish infantry.—Naples, the last day of May 1528. Follow the signatures:—Juan de Salzedo; Juan de Urbyna; Mendaña de Yebra; Juan de Ribera; Andres Mendez; Luys de Benalcaçar; Machycao; Po. de Bracamonte; Antonio de Alfang (?); Ruy Sandis de Vargas; Alonso Basurto; Andres Davalos; Alonso de Morales; Juan de Santacruz; Lope Osorio.
31 May. 442. Alarcon to the Emperor.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 43,
f. 99.
Writes in favour of the Duke of Melfi (Amalfi), (fn. n9) and presents him for the command of a company of men-at-arms. Begs that the first vacancy in such a force be given to him. —[Naples], 31st May 1528.
Indorsed: "Relacion de diversas cartas, &c."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. 1.


  • n1. Two letters dated respectively the 1st Dec. 1527 and Jan. 1528, giving an account of a secret malady of King Francis, have been published by Gachard, Analectes pour l' Histoire de la Belgique, p. 57.
  • n2. In the same volume, fol. 361.
  • n3. The original has "Entiendo que en el Caasal de Pomblin han tomado fustas de moros una galera de Franceses, del Baron de San Brancard que llevava á Lautrech cinquenta mil escudos, y que con quatro galeras y un galeon cran llegados en Genova los prisioneros que hixieron en las galeras, que los llevaban á Francia."
  • n4. The same Sergiano Caracciolo mentioned in other places as having been made prisoner at Melfi, on the storming of that town by Lautrec. In consequence of his defection he was outlawed, and his estate subsequently given to Andrea Doria.
  • n5. Duplicate at fol. 368.
  • n6. No. 433, p. 689.
  • n7. See No. 425, p. 680.
  • n8. Duplicate of this letter and deciphering at fol. 379.
  • n9. This Duke of Amalfi of the Piccolomini family must not be confounded with Sergiano Caracciolo, Prince of Melfi, as some Spanish writers of this time have done, taking Melfi and Amalfi to be one and the same place.