Spain: July 1529, 16-31

Pages 126-146

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 4 Part 1, Henry VIII, 1529-1530. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1879.

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July 1529, 16-31

16 July. 76. News from Cambray sent to [Rome] by Commander Figueroa.
S. E. L. 1,362,
f. 32.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 388.
The ambassadors of the League, that is of England, Venice, Ferrara, &c., have asked the Imperialists to communicate to them the articles of the treaty now being discussed. They were summoned to a conference, where those proposed by the Imperialists were shown and read to them.
It was the Emperor's wish to come to an understanding with France first, and afterwards to discuss the conditions on which peace with the other allies of that power (England, Venice, &c.) was to be made. It was, however, decided that the conditions of peace with such allies should be settled conjointly, and at the same time.
Venice and Ferrara were to give back to the Pope all they had taken from him, and pay besides a heavy sum of money to the Emperor.
Duke of Bari, Florence, &c.
Some of the ambassadors think these demands of the Emperor very moderate; others entertain a different opinion, and hope the negociations will lead to nothing, especially as the Emperor still insists upon the restitution by France of the duchy of Burgundy.
Indorsed: "News sent by Knight-Commander Figueroa enclosed in his letter of the 29th of August, respecting the peace which the two ladies are said to have concluded at Cambray."
Italian. Contemporary copy. pp. 2½.
17 July. 77. Andrea del Burgo to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1,553,
f. 352.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 390.
Sends him the latest news he has from Germany.
It is to be hoped that the other Christian princes will follow the good example given by the two luminaries of the earth, "el bono exemplo ui dato a duobus luminaribus mundi," and that the two diabolical enemies of Christendom, i.e., the Turks and the Lutherans, will be conquered.
The Pope, who has given King Ferdinand bulls against the enemies of Christendom, has, however, no money to assist him, &c.—Rome, 17th July 1529.
Italian. Holograph, p. 1.
21 July. 78. The Marquis of Mantua [Federigo Gonzaga] to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1,454,
f. 144
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 391.
Has sent to Venice his secretary, Malatesta, who knows that city well, and is, therefore, best qualified to negociate with the Signory.
The Venetians feel inclined to make peace, and consent to evacuate the towns and territories they possess in the kingdom of Naples, to restore Ravenna and Cervia to the Pope, and pay besides a good sum of money to the Emperor. Such at least is the information which the said Malatesta has gained from senators and private persons, especially from one, "de good" (sic), who remained in the College Hall after the other [senators] had left, and spoke very plainly on the subject.
The Venetians, however, wish to wait until the ratification of the treaty of Cambray, that they may know who is to have the duchy of Milan, if not restored to Francesco Sforza. Malatesta has assured them already, and will again repeat the assertion that the person named will be one to their entire satisfaction.—Mantua, 21st July 1529.
Italian. Original, p. 1.
24 July. 79. Treaty of Cambray.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
Salazar, A. 44,
f. 147.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 392.
In Spanish as published by Sandoval, Hist. del Emperador Carlos V., vol. 2, pp. 38-60.
Spanish translation. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
24 July. 80. Ferdinand, King of Hungary, to Soliman, the Emperor of the Turks.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
A. 44, f. 149.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 392.
His ambassadors have returned. The verbal answer they bring is rather warlike, but they faithfully delivered his sealed letters and referred to their contents. No one could be found at first capable of reading and interpreting them. At last, after long researches a prisoner was discovered who could read and translate Turkish. This, and no other, has been the cause of the delay in preparing this answer.
His (the Sultan's) letter is in contradiction with what his own ambassadors formerly said in his name. If his intentions, as he asserts, are peaceful, let him send his own conditions of peace in a sealed letter. He proposes, as it appears, an armistice and disarmament in Hungary. He (the King) is ready to accept conditionally, but is determined to wait until he receives a categorical answer to this letter. Begs him to reply as soon as possible, for war is expensive. His army, moreover, is so powerful that he will be soon in a situation not only to defend his kingdoms successfully, but also to invade those of his enemy. Hopes, however, that he (Soliman) really wishes for peace, which is so desirable for both parties. Expects a clear and categorical answer by the same man who acted as interpreter, and whom he now sends [to Constantinople], and also the receipt of a safe-conduct for the ambassador who will visit him later in his name.—Lintz, 24th July 1529.
Latin. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
24 July. 81. Martin de Salinas to the King of Bohemia and Hungary.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.,
c. 71, f. 217.
His Highness' letter of the 27th ulto has come to hand, as likewise the report (relacion) of Count Ortenburg's doings in the matter of the levies, a fact of which the Emperor had already been apprized by Madame's letters from Flanders, as well as of the birth of the Infante Don Fernando. (fn. n1) Spoke to His Majesty about the money and the demands of the Switzers; also about the 20,000 florins due to the Duke of Brunswick. Is very much afraid, however, that this last claim will remain unsettled until the Emperor goes to Germany, for by this time he is already on board his galley, and whatever business is laid before him is invariably sent back and deferred till after his landing in Italy. He (the Emperor) thinks of nothing else, and protests that the principal object of his journey to Italy is to relieve His Highness and help him against the Turk, of whose preparations and designs he is fully aware. On his arrival at Genoa, which seems to be the port chosen for his landing, a special messenger shall be dispatched to His Highness.—Barcelona, 24th July 1529.
Spanish. Original draft. p. 1.
[July ?] 82. Instructions to the Marquis of Mantua, Leyva, and Caracciolo to treat with Venice.
S. Pat. R. Div.d' It.
Venecia, A. 296.
What you, the illustrious Prince Federigo de Gonzaga, marquis de Mantua, our most beloved cousin'; you, Antonio de Leyva, our captain-general in the estate of Milan, and the Reverend Marino Caracciolo, of our Council, are to treat individually, or conjointly, with the Signory of Venice, and other Italian potentates, is as follows:
1st. Before proceeding to business you will inform our viceroy at Naples [Philibert de Chalon], of the commission entrusted to you, and inquire whether he has, or has not, previously made any separate engagements with His Holiness to that effect, because should that be the case, We wish him (the Prince) and you conjointly and individually to abide by what may have been already resolved respecting the basis and preliminaries of the said treaty. Should the Prince have taken any engagements you will at once begin to treat and negociate with Venice on condition, however, that immediately, and before the commencement of the negociations they (the Venetians) will restore all the towns, castles, and lands which they still retain in the kingdom of Naples, or duchy of Milan. This being so simple and reasonable a demand, We hardly think that Venice can actually refuse to comply with it.
This point once settled with the Signory, their deputies or delegates, as the case may be, you will explain to them how unjust the fears and suspicions that caused them to keep aloof from us, and violate the treaties they had made, have been assuring them that it never entered our mind to usurp that which did not belong to us, or procure our aggrandizement at the expense of others; but that, on the contrary, We have thought of nothing else but securing by all possible means the peace of Italy, even by relinquishing some of our own rights, and thereby damaging our Imperial interests.
Should they want further securities of our good intentions towards them, you may offer them at once these two: one perpetual, to be transmitted to our successors, the other temporal, to last only during the lives of the contracting parties; and they may choose that which they like best. If the former, which is also the one We ourselves should prefer, they will be enabled to hold by a valid and firm title whatever lands they have usurped at different times from the Sacred Roman Empire, provided they offer us in compensation a sum of money adequate to such a grant, as they offered to do in Maximilian's time, though from his asking them one million of ducats, and their only offering 800,000, the question then remained unsettled. This will be by far their best security for the future, as they will remain for ever under the protection of the Empire, with privileges as ample and extensive as the rest of the Imperial estates and cities in Italy.
Should, however, the Venetians not care for the said perpetual security founded on their old possession or usurpation, or on privileges obtained from us and the Empire, and should they prefer a temporary one, such as the last treaty concluded between us and them gives them, then in that case, you will make the Venetians understand that althougd for our part We should have preferred the perpetual security, yet We have no objection, for the sake of the peace and tranquillity of Italy, to cause the said treaty with them to be renewed, provided our own rights and those of the Empire be preserved; and that We consent to all proceedings, claims, litigious suits, and so forth being suspended for a period of time to be fixed beforehand, and to continue so long as as the peace of Italy shall last, to which end a treaty of defensive alliance on reciprocal terms, shall be made for their possessions in Italy. (fn. n2)
It must, however, be observed, that Venice has no right whatever to ask for a renewal of a treaty which she herself has violated to our great damage and cost. For, in the first place, by her not sending her army to co-operate with ours in the duchy of Milan, and expel the king of France therefrom, as they were bound to do by one of the articles of that treaty, much time was lost and money spent before the arrival of the reinforcements sent by our brother (Ferdinand) when without the help of the said Venetians the French were defeated at Pavia and their king taken prisoner. And though they might then have apologized for their non-compliance with one of the articles of that treaty, and offered money instead, when our Viceroy of Naples (Lannoy) asked them for so small a contribution as 120,000 ducats by way of indemnity, not only did they refuse to pay that sum, but entered into all sorts of leagues and confederacies against us and against the letter of that very treaty, trying to make Francesco Sforza swerve from his fidelity and obedience, exciting towns and whole districts against our armies with a view to expelling them from Italy, and effectually kindling the wars that have distracted that country ever since, to the great peril of Christendom threatened by the Turk, and so much to our individual inconvenience and cost, that were We to demand from them now an indemnity of one million of ducats We should certainly not cover our expenses. Yet, as a proof of our good wish' and desire for the peace of Italy, We shall be contented with an indemnity of 300,000 ducats over and above the sum stipulated by the treaty of Worms, and we shall be glad to renew the same on condition that they will pay us and their emigrants (fuorusciti) whatever portions of former engagements (de los terminos pasados) are still owing, ensure the payment of future instalments, and in one word fulfil all the terms and conditions of the said treaty.
With regard to the estate of Milan, since the Venetians seem to think that it has been the principal cause of these late wars, you will again declare to them that should the Duke Francesco Sforza be deprived of his investiture, We do not intend taking the Duchy for ourselves, or giving it to our brother, the king of Hungary, or indeed to any other prince of whom they may entertain suspicions, but disposing of it in a manner that may give satisfaction to all the Italian potentates. But, on the other hand, as it is but just that criminals be punished for their offences, We intend the Duke to be arrayed before a tribunal of ordinary judges and other persons free from suspicion, and appointed by us. Should the Duke wish to be heard, he must not be absent or shut himself up in a castle (encastillado), or conduct his defence by means of lawyers and proctors; he must appear in person before his judges, and constitute himself a prisoner (in vinculis) that the sentence, whatever it may be, may be executed. For should he (Sforza) not appear before his judges it must be concluded that he renounces his defence and he will then be declared contumacious. If the Duke, however, consents to be heard and tried, and is declared innocent, then in that case We shall give orders for him to be restored to his estate; We will maintain him as vassal of the Sacred Roman Empire, and admit him into any leagues and confederacies or treaties that may henceforward be made for the protection and defence of Italy. Should he be found guilty, We shall use towards him such clemency, both as regards his person and estate, that the rest of the Italian powers will have reason to be satisfied. Still more, if the Duke, without awaiting his trial, should come and beg our pardon for his offences, then We shall ask the Pope to give him a cardinal's hat, or else We will grant him a portion of what formerly constituted his estate, with a competent revenue, provided there be no important towns or fortresses in the estate thus allotted to him.
As it has been suggested to us that in the event of the deprivation of the Duke Francesco Sforza, the best way of pacifying Italy and removing all causes of war for the future would be to dismember the Duchy and divide it among the Italian potentates and noblemen, who would willingly assist with money so as to enable us to take our army out of Italy, and lead it against the Turk, you will at once inquire from the Signory and from the rest of the Italian potentates what portion of the Duchy each wants for himself, and what sums they are prepared to pay. If in so doing, any estates or portions of land should remain without purchasers, you will send us a list of them, and of their revenues, that We may gratuitously grant them to such persons, whether Italians, Spaniards, or Germans, who have done us good service during the late wars; observing, however, that all previous alienations made without our consent to private individuals by any persons whomsoever are to be declared null and void unless confirmed by us, the whole of them to be held in fief from the Sacred Roman Empire.
With regard to Milan itself and its territory, should the dismemberment and division of the Duchy take place, it has to be considered what will be best and most suitable for the welfare of Italy: whether to leave it in the form of a republic or give it in fief to some private individual. Should the former expedient be adopted, and that city remain as appertaining to the Imperial Chamber, it will be necessary to ascertain what is the form of government in other similar republics or communities, and adopt that which may seem best for the common weal. Also what is to be done with the castle or citadel [of Milan], who is to keep it, and with what garrison, so as to defend the city against the attacks of Switzers and other potentates bordering on the Duchy. Should the estate not remain as a republic, but be given in fief to some private nobleman, then it must be considered who is to be the lord of such estate, and what title he is to have, whether that of prince, marquis, or count, and as it is not probable that a nobleman can be found to pay at once the value of the investiture, what sum by way of annual tribute may be asked for the use of the Imperial Chamber.
Respecting the Duke of Ferrara, as the agreement to be made with him will very much depend from what the Prince [of Orange] or Miçer Mai may have negociated at Rome with the Holy Father, you shall follow implicitly what both or either of them will tell you. In any case, and notwithstanding any promises to the contrary, he is immediately to restore the country of Carpi, which was only given to him and to his son (Hercole d' Este) when there was a talk of his marrying our daughter Margaret.
The same may be said of the Florentines. If it has been decided at Rome that His Holiness and the house of Medici are to be reinstated in the government and administration of that Republic, as they formerly were, you have nothing to do in the affair but follow strictly the orders of the Prince [of Orange]. If, on the contrary, the Medici do not return, and Florence remain as republic under the protection of the Empire, in such a case, and having to negociate with them, you may propose that whereas the city of Florence, besides the privileges and freedoms which the citizens pretend to have obtained from the Sacred Roman Empire, has seized and usurped other cities, towns, and lands of the same Empire, such as Pisa, Leghorn, and others, without asking or obtaining our permission or investiture, and has, moreover, taken up arms against us and the Empire, thus making her citizens unworthy of any privileges, exemptions, &c., We demand from them 300,000 ducats, which you may, if you consider it necessary, reduce to 200,000. This money and the 300,000 from the Venetians, added to the sums that may also be procured through the dismembration of the duchy of Milan, to be exclusively applied to the expenses of the Turkish war.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 18.
25 July. 83. Don Iñigo de Mendoza to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 806, f. 29.
B. M. Add. 28,578.
f. 410.
Wrote lately in cipher, by the Emperor's comptroller, relating to the most minute detail what passed in his conferences with the King and Cardinal, before the latter's departure for France and return to England. Wrote again by way of Genoa, relating in full what passed after his own departure from London respecting the divorce case, and how Her Highness, the Queen, had at last been persuaded to follow the advice of her faithful servants, and personally to challenge the legate (Wolsey), and appeal to Rome against all his decisions, past and future.
No sooner did the Queen's protest and appeal, together with the powers of attorney for Miçer Mai, reach [Brussels], than he (Mendoza) took care that they should be sent to Rome by an express messenger. On his arrival in that capital there is every reason to expect that His Imperial Majesty's favour and the justice of the Queen's own cause will induce His Holiness to dictate such measures as will tie the hands of the two legates (Campeggio and Wolsey), and stop their proceedings.
Of what has occurred since the Emperor will be informed by the enclosed minute. Fancies that Madame [of the Low Countries] must also have written the particulars from Cambray, where she is at present, though perhaps not so fully as stated in Mai's memorandum, which is also endorsed.
The Queen meanwhile is very sad and disconsolate, because though when sick in her very heart she swallowed the potion prescribed for her, she yet sees no relief at hand in her misfortune. She feels sorrow at this, as she apprehends that instead of calming her husband's irritation against her, she has rather increased it by her act. Perceiving no improvement in her pitiful state, she laments and cries, and yet she still hopes that with the Emperor's assistance His Holiness the Pope will be persuaded not to delay justice any longer, and that now he knows of her appeal he will advoke the case to his court, where it can be tried to the greater authority and reputation of the Holy Apostolic See, and decided much better than anywhere else. He (Mendoza) humbly entreats His Imperial Majesty not to forget how much the Queen, his aunt, has suffered, and is suffering, and to have the Queen's appeal strongly backed at Rome, so that the advocation may take effect.
[Cipher:] The Queen, however, writes that such are the King's disappointment and passion at not being able to carry out his purpose that the Cardinal (Wolsey) will inevitably be the victim of his rage.
[Common writing:] Is still in Brussels, owing to the oath he took of not quitting Brabant until the English ambassadors were safe on this side of the French frontier. Is expecting, however, daily, the news of their arrival, that he may leave immediately for Italy, and be there of some use to His Imperial Majesty.—Brussels, 30th July 1529.
As of the conferences at Cambray the Emperor is no doubt sufficiently well informed by way of France, he (Mendoza) need not further allude to them.
Up to the present moment the ambassador appointed to succeed him in England has not yet made his appearance in Flanders. True it is that there is no great need of him just now, as the Queen's case must be attended to in Rome, not in London, and as far as general politics are concerned it would seem as if greater reputation were to be gained in England by not having an ambassador there than by keeping one; besides which the English begin to feel that they have made a wrong move. Firmly believes that if they again do become friends and allies of the Empire, this last affair will be a good lesson to them, and that they will do their utmost in future to remain on good terms with us, for they see that with the Emperor's alliance they are somebody, and without it nothing at all.
Addressed: "To the Sacred Imperial Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on the same sheet pp. 3.
— July. 84. The Emperor's answer to the Earl of Desmond in Ireland.
Arch. d. Royme.
de Belg. Neg. d'
Ang. Tom. I., f. 17.
That His Imperial Majesty has received his letters, and heard the report of his own chaplain. (fn. n3) Thanks him for his goodwill, of which he is convinced. If at any time he (the Earl) or any of his friends and vassals should require his assistance, he may be sure that they will be welcomed, favoured, and well treated in all the kingdoms and dominions of the Emperor. And as His Imperial Majesty is now on the eve of departing for Italy (as the Earl's courier may have perceived), this letter is limited to say that once in that country the Emperor will write to him according to time and requirement, and hopes that he will likewise write whenever an opportunity offers itself.
French. Original draft. p. 1.
29 July. 85. Christoval Barroso to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1,553,
f. 369.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 395–8.
Wrote a few days ago to Señor de Gattinaria (sic), the Grand Chancellor, on matters connected with the Imperial service. An answer has now come, ordering him (Barroso) to draw out a memorandum and state his opinion respecting Naples. In obedience, therefore, to the Imperial mandate, he (Barrosa) goes on to say:
1stly. It is well known that in the original infeudation-deed of Naples it was expressly forbidden that the said kingdom should be held conjointly with the Empire, &c. True it is that Pope Leo X. of glorious memory, at the request of my humble person, acting then as Imperial solicitor, granted Your Imperial Majesty full exemption from that rule, on the payment, I believe, of 7,000 ducats every year. By another article of the said infeudation-deed it is prescribed that whoever possesses the kingdom of Naples is not to be lord of Milan, &c., but, it strikes me, that now is the time to obtain the required dispensation for Your Imperial Majesty and all his successors in perpetuum, so as to hold Naples and Milan at the same time with the kingdom of Spain, whether they be emperors of Germany and kings of the Romans or not. Also to ask for the remission (relaxation) of the 7,000 ducats.
All this is treated at full length in the first three articles of my memorandum, of which a copy is enclosed The fourth relates to Parma and Piacenza. The fifth to the division of the churches and ecclesiastical benefices of Naples and Milan, of which Your Majesty ought to have no fewer than thirty.
This is with regard to Italy; Spain, and in particular Castille, must follow another rule, &c.—Rome, 29th July 1529.
Signed: "Cristoval de Barroso."
Addressed: "To His Sacred Imperial Majesty."
Spanish. Holograph partly in cipher. pp. 9.
86. Memorandum of Christoval De Barroso to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1,553,
f. 358.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 399.
Gives his legal opinion on the various tenures of the fief of Naples.—Rome, 29th July 1529.
Latin. Original. pp. 21.
30 July. 87. Louis de Flandre, Sieur de Praët, to the Emperor.
Lanz. Corresp. d.
Kais. Karl V.,
pp. 318-29.
I have written twice from Genoa and from Piombino, giving an account of my arrival at those places. Will now relate in more detail the rest of my journey to and reception at Rome.
Anchored at Civitta Vecchia on the evening of the 20th inst. and passed the night there, the master of the vessel being unwilling to proceed at night on account of the Moorish pirates infesting that sea. Was well received and honourably entertained by the governor, who, in compliance with orders received from His Holiness, conducted me to his dwelling in the town, gave me supper and bed, and exhibited letters from Jacopo Salviati, implying how pleased His Holiness was with my coming, and leaving it to my choice either to sail for Hostia (Ostia), in the same galley that brought me to Civitta Vecchia, or take the land route, though strongly recommending the former mode of travelling for fear of the Abbot of Farfa and others of the Orsini, who at times infest the lands of the Church.
Was likewise requested by the governor in His Holiness' name not to send back the galley, but keep her in port for some days, for the Pope having determined upon sending the Duke Alessandro and the Cardinals [Medici and Santa Croce] to His Imperial Majesty at Genoa, their going by sea was considered preferable to their passing now through the territory of Florence. Answered that the galley would be at His Holiness' disposal whenever he chose to make use of her, and accordingly on my landing at Hostia (Ostia) on Wednesday the 21st, about 4 o'clock, she was sent back to Civitta Vecchia.
Was well received by the governor, and as there were no post horses to be had, spent the night in the place. Received in the evening a letter from Miçer Mai, and was also visited by one of the Papal chamberlains, the bearer of a letter of credence, wherein His Holiness expressed his satisfaction at my coming, and wished to know how and when I intended making my entry into Rome. Should my wish be (the Pope said) to enter without pomp or ceremony, as Mai had informed him, horses would be prepared for the ambassador and his suite, besides a suitable escort of 20 horsemen. Thanked the chamberlain for the honour His Holiness was pleased to confer upon me, but declined the offer, observing that as I came posthaste, and the friendship between the Emperor and His Holiness rested more on facts than on ceremonies, I was determined to start at daybreak, so as to reach the hotel of the embassy before noon. And so I did, being met one mile from Rome by Miçer Mai, and by the king of Hungary's ambassador [Miçer Andrea del Burgo].
Arrived at the hotel I begged the said Papal chamberlain and the steward of the nuncio [Selade, bishop of Vaison], who had accompanied me from Barcelona to go and ascertain at what hour His Holiness would allow me to kiss his feet; but no sooner did His Holiness hear of my arrival than he sent Jacopo Salviati and his own secretary, Sanga, to welcome me and offer his services. Told me that on the previous night His Holiness had had a touch of his old complaint, and that they feared he would not be in a condition to receive me immediately. Answered that I was exceedingly sorry to hear of His Holiness' illness, and would wait patiently for his pleasure. Gave Salviati and Sanga Your Majesty's letters to them, as well as my own credentials, and said all that was proper on the occasion. Nothing could be more courteous or flattering than their answer, and the desire both of them showed for a lasting peace and union between Your Imperial Majesty and His Holiness.
Was shortly after visited by the Duke Alessandro and also by the Cardinal de' Medici; the latter came privately and without ceremony. I have since returned their visit, and spoken to both in conformity with my instructions. Both answered me in most courteous language. The Duke is very young, as Your Majesty will soon have occasion to observe; and has the appearance of a very bold and determined man, as people say he is. As to the Cardinal, he is also young, learned, and in my opinion very graceful in manner. Both are about to sail for Genoa in the aforesaid galley, and there wait for Your Majesty's arrival. They should be honourably treated, for there is nothing His Holiness wishes for so much as their advancement. I believe that if at their first interview they were presented by the Emperor with some fine Spanish genets they would esteem it a great boon.
The same day most of the Roman cardinals sent their secretaries or stewards to visit me with all manner of compliments. My answer was that I was very thankful for their courtesy, and would soon visit all and each of them in Your Majesty's name.
Friday, the 23rd, about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, Miçer Mai, Andrea del Burgo, and myself called on His Holiness. I thought we ought all to go together, for Miçer Mai has really done much service to Your Imperial Majesty in these parts, to the great satisfaction and with the approval of His Holiness, and of most of his cardinals; and I considered this mark of deference to the ambassador's services a sure way of cementing the Pope's favour for the future. To have acted otherwise would have been, in my opinion, humiliating for the said Mai, and detrimental to Your Majesty's interests. Respecting Miçer Andrea [del Burgo], I found that for many months before my arrival at Rome he had purposedly joined Mai in all negotiations with the Pope, in order that people might see that Your Majesty's affairs and those of the king of Hungary were one and the same. This turned out to be a very advantageous move, and one which has caused great displeasure to Your Majesty's enemies, besides which, as far as I can judge up to the present time, the said Burgo is a very wise man, and has worked very judiciously for the advancement of Your Imperial Majesty's affairs in this court, and is highly esteemed by His Holiness and by many of the cardinals besides, as I hope soon to be able to inform Your Imperial Majesty verbally.
But to return to my purpose. We found His Holiness in bed, and certainly looking like a man who had had a long illness. I knelt before the bed in order to kiss his feet; but this he would not allow, and I had to kiss the counterpane at the spot where I imagined the feet might be. This done, I presented to His Holiness the letter I had for him, which he read through with visible signs of content. After which the Pope, without waiting for an address from me, began to answer its contents at great length, expressing his joy at the treaty of alliance and friendship just concluded at Barcelona between himself and Your Imperial Majesty, as likewise at the great desire Your Majesty showed for the tranquillity and repose of Italy, the universal peace, the repulsion of the Turk, and the extirpation of all Lutheran heresies, all of which, he added, were very meritorious deeds, and worthy of so good and Christian a prince. Nor was his pleasure less (he observed), at hearing that Your Imperial Majesty was willing to grant the hand of Margaret to his nephew, the Duke [Alessandro], which he considered a great honour for his family and lineage. With regard to Your Majesty's visit [to Italy] he said that, though for a long time he had disbelieved in it, owing to Your Majesty having often written in a doubtful manner, he now saw by your letters and by my coming to Rome, that it was quite a settled thing. He was very glad, and looked forward to it with all his heart, being quite prepared to place himself and his Holy Apostolic See in the hands and under the protection of Your Imperial Majesty. Respecting the powers which I (Praët) had brought to treat for general peace, he could only say that he was ready to do his part as regards the dignity of the Empire and the welfare of Italy and of Christendom at large, with many other equally friendly and confidential things which would take me too long to relate.
Perceiving that His Holiness had thus, at our first interview, responded to the principal articles in my instructions, I immediately changed my line of conduct, and instead of alluding to the extent of my credentials, or fully explaining the nature of my charge, as I thought of doing at first, I merely introduced my instructions by way of reply to the Pope's memorandum in answer to Your Majesty's letter, and in this manner I indirectly told him what I had come about, and what my orders were.
The Duke of Amalphe (Amalfi) came to Rome on the same day as my arrival on a mission from the Prince of Orange, at Aquila, and asked for an audience from His Holiness. He is likely to stay four or five days more for the purpose of settling the best way and time for the undertaking against Florence, which I hear has for some time past been discussed between the Pope, the Prince, and Your Majesty's ambassador (Miçer Miguel Mai). Which negociation, of course, I intend helping with all my power, since I consider it very beneficial for Your Majesty's interests, for in the first place it will be the means of securing the Pope's friendship, and obtaining money for the support of the Imperial army either through a composition with Florence or otherwise, besides which the Prince may afterwards enter Lombardy with greater reputation and security, as he will leave no enemies behind. If attended with success, as I have no doubt it will be, the undertaking may induce the Italian potentates to follow the example of that Community. Last, not least, the Pope might, out of gratitude and reward for an expedition undertaken entirely at his wish, grant all our requests respecting the Crusade, the "Quarta," &c. Moved by these and other considerations I have, conjointly with Miçer Mai, spoken to His Holiness, and begged him not to let this opportunity of attacking Florence, and reducing it under his sway, as it was before, pass. His answer was that there was nothing he desired so much, but as he mistrusts Jacopo Salviati in these matters, he bid us communicate with Cardinal Sancti Quatuor, also a Florentine, though strongly attached to the Pope and to the Medici. And certainly for the Prince to have thus been able to withdraw the greater part of his army from Naples, seems to me nothing short of the work of God Himself.
On Saturday Mai and I called upon Cardinal Sancti Quatuor, who, after hearing what I had to say respecting my credentials and instructions, assured us both that he was entirely at the Emperor's service, and would do everything in his power to forward his views. Miçer Mai tells me further—and indeed I myself have found it so since my arrival in Rome—that this cardinal enjoys great favour with the Pope just now, and that the speedy termination of all ecclesiastical affairs now pending, such as the grant by the Pope of the Crusade and "Quarta," &c., rests entirely with him. If he fulfil the promises made to Santa Croce, Mai, and myself, Your Imperial Majesty will be under great obligations to him, for although part of the concessions now asked from the Pope in virtue of the treaty concluded at Barcelona can offer no difficulty, yet there are many points in them to which Sancti Quatuor might possibly object, if he felt so inclined. After this we began to treat about Florence, when he (Sancti Quatuor) told us many things which it would take too long to relate, and it was agreed that on the Prince's arrival in Rome the matter should be thoroughly discussed. It was but just that it should be, for besides his being the principal minister on this side of the Alps, and the commander-in-chief of the Imperial armies, none other is more fit than he is for such an undertaking. In this manner, upon the Prince coming, as he intends, to Rome, a sum of money can be obtained from the Pope much more easily than if he were absent. I firmly believe that His Holiness will not object to contribute 20,000 or 25,000 ducats monthly towards the pacification of Florence and of the whole of Italy, provided his family is restored to the government of that city.
After this Sancti Quatuor took us to see the Pope, whom we found in bed as the day before. He sent for one of his secretaries named Evangelista, in whose presence, after many frank and flattering words, he swore faithfully to observe all and every one of the articles of the treaty just concluded between Your Imperial Majesty and himself. That very evening and the following there were at the Papal Palace, and, indeed, in those of most cardinals, as well as in that of Duke Alessandro de Medici, and at the castle of Sant Angelo, much rejoicing and many bonfires, at which we failed not to be present. Next Sunday, the 31st of August, a solemn mass of thanksgiving is to be said, which His Holiness will attend, if the state of his health permits, and which Your Majesty's ambassador (Mai), and myself will also make a point of attending for many good reasons. It appears that after the mass Balbus, the bishop of Gurce (Gurk), is to deliver an oration, as customary on such occasions.
Next day, which was the festival of Santiago (St. James), Your Majesty's ambassador (Mai), that of Your Majesty's brother, the king of Bohemia and Hungary, (Burgo,) and myself went to hear mass at the church of that Apostle, where no less than 18 cardinals were present. Most of whom, the mass being ended, approached my seat, complimented and welcomed me, each and every one of them protesting their desire to serve the Empire. I answered as well as I could, telling the cardinals that I had orders from Your Majesty to visit them individually one by one at their lodgings, which I have done since, calling upon four or five of them each day. My principal task has been to inform them officially of the peace of Barcelona, to assure them of the pleasure Your Imperial Majesty has felt at its conclusion, and impress them with Your Majesty's good intentions towards the Holy Apostolic See, as well as your constant desire for the peace of Italy first, and general peace afterwards, that the forces, and if possibly also, the persons of all Christian princes may be employed against the Turk, and the prevailing [Lutheran] heresies put down. I find that Your Majesty's ambassador (Miçer Mai), a very wise and excellent person, has already done in this respect all that could be expected of him, and therefore I do not hesitate to say that what with the efforts and persuasions of my said colleague, and what with my own, the greater part of the Sacred College are at the present time more attached to Your Imperial Majesty than to any other Christian prince. To write down in detail all and every one of the answers that the cardinals made on this occasion to our overtures, their professions of devotion, and constant attachment to the Empire, &c., would take me too long to relate; besides I know that my colleague has already fulfilled this part of his official duties. I will only repeat now what I recollect having frequently said to Your Majesty whilst in Spain, that it is very important to maintain this Sacred Apostolic College entirely at your devotion by distributing among the principal cardinals 20,000 ducats every year in the shape of pensions and ecclesiastical benefices in Spain, Naples, or Flanders, yielding from one to three thousand each. This is a sort of thing which befits Your Imperial Majesty better than any other Christian prince; firstly, on account of the multifarious ecclesiastical and political affairs to be transacted in this capital, for which the sanction of the cardinals is often required, and principally because, in case of a new election, it is highly important to have a majority in the College, if not for the purpose of having a Pope of our own, at least to prevent the nomination of one favourable to our enemies. I beg Your Imperial Majesty to forgive me for having been so bold as to express my sentiments on this subject, but the fact is that I have always considered the measure in question as one of the utmost importance, persuaded, as I am, that if Your Imperial Majesty wishes to secure and preserve the friendship of these cardinals, it is necessary that each of them individually may perceive his own private interest and profit by it.
With regard to the peace with Venice, Miçer Mai and I have visited Cardinal Cornaro and conferred about it. The day before my said colleague and Miçer Andrea del Burgo had called upon him, and found him well disposed in every respect owing, firstly, to his being, as his father and family have always been before him, much inclined towards the Empire; and secondly, because the present doge [Andrea Gritti] is particularly hostile to him. He answered us in the same strain, promised his help, and said to us that he knew of no difficulty on the Signory's side in the way of peace. Venice did not object to the surrender of the towns and fortresses she held in the kingdom of Naples, nor to the restitution of Ravenna and Cervia to the Pope, nor even to the payment to the king of Hungary of the sums stipulated by the last treaty; but she was mightily afraid of Your Majesty's aggrandizement and preponderance in Italy, that being the chief and only reason why she still clung to France. Indeed, the said Cornaro told us distinctly that if the Venetians could only be sure that the duchy of Milan was not to remain in Your Majesty's hands, or to be given away to the king of Hungary, they would not hesitate to commence the negociations at once. Our reply was so conclusive that Cornaro himself was obliged to own that the Signory's fears were unfounded, and that Venice herself had nothing to apprehend from Your Majesty; and yet he persisted in his opinion that Milan was the only difficult point, and the one which must be settled beforehand. Respecting the Duchy we told him in general terms, and without taking any sort of engagement, that knowing, as we did, Your Majesty's love of peace, and ardent wish for the welfare of Christendom at large, we doubted not but that some agreement might be made with His Holiness' advice and intervention, so as to satisfy the Venetians, and calm their fears for the future. The conference ended the Cardinal promised to write to Venice, having first expressed the hope that the answer would be favourable. This, in my opinion, will not be so easy as he (Cornaro) imagines, for it will be rather hard work now to separate the interests of Venice from those of France, notwithstanding our continual and urgent representations to Cornaro and the rest of them that whenever Your Majesty chooses nothing will be easier for him than to make the king of France abandon Venice altogether. Our Holy Father has since spoken to Cornaro in the very same terms.
From last Sunday to yesterday, the Pope was much worse than before. Thanks to God he is much better now, his disease having terminated in stone and gravel, and yesterday was able to receive us (Mai and me), and gave us two hours audience, when, after discussing at length the affairs of Florence, which he seems to have much at heart, waiting only for the arrival of the Prince [of Orange], who is expected tomorrow, we went on to treat of other points contained in the instructions, after which we called on Sancti Quatuor and transacted business with him.
The Queen of England's cause had been settled (despeche) two or three days before my arrival in Rome, as Your Imperial Majesty will learn by Mai's despatches. I am, however, afraid that the Pope's decision has been so much delayed that before the brief of inhibition reaches London the king will have proceeded to some scandalous act. It is certainly not the ambassador's fault, for he has done all he could in this affair. I have spoken to His Holiness, and warmly represented to him that this matter of the divorce concerns him personally as much as Your Imperial Majesty, not only on behalf of every Christian nation and the authority of the Holy Apostolic See, but likewise on account of the Lutherans and others, who will no doubt seize this opportunity of slandering him and attacking his Papal dignity and prerogative.
A courier has lately been arrested, who had, among other letters, one from the English ambassador residing here to Jean Jockin (Giovan Gioachimo) at Venice, in which he describes his master's position of affairs in this city as quite desperate. We have shown it to His Holiness, and enclose it (fn. n4) for Your Majesty's perusal.
Nothing has yet been done in the Crusade affair, except that Sancti Quatuor has promised carefully to attend to it, and have it prepared for the Pope's signature, with all and every one of the clauses contained in those granted by his predecessors. Respecting the "Quarta," or fourth of all ecclesiastical revenues, some difficulty has been offered as to the time fixed, both the Pope and Sancti Quatuor being of opinion that three years is too much. We have not, however, lost all hope of succeeding. I dare say the reduction of Florence, if achieved, will accomplish it.
"Indulto Quadragesimal" in Spain and Flanders—Utrecht, &c.
The permission for the knights of Alcantara and Calatrava to marry, as well as the administration of the masterships of the four military orders by the Empress, will I am confident soon be granted. The only difficulty I foresee is the amount of money to be paid for the expedition of the bulls. Your Majesty's brother, the king of Hungary, is likewise to obtain the grants of the Crusade, &c. he has asked for, as Miçer Mai has no doubt reported. The whole matter is in the hands of Sancti Quatuor, who proceeds very briskly about it. As to the "Indulto" for Flanders, I fancy that it will not be granted as full and comprehensive as Your Imperial Majesty wishes it to be. Nothing, however, shall be left undone either by Mai or myself to get it as complete as possible.
I have written both to the king [of Hungary] and to Madame Margaret informing them of my arrival in Rome. The latter has been duly informed of Your Majesty's commands respecting these Italian affairs, as well as of your wish that all negociations with Florence and Ferrara be conducted in the presence of Our Holy Father. Caracciolo, who is still at Mantua, has likewise been acquainted with the Imperial wish.
Letters have been received here from Cambray, of the 17th inst., stating that hopes were entertained of a peace with France being soon concluded. May it be so, for the more I mix with politics and consider the various parties into which Italy is at present divided, the more I see the great obstacles intervening in the way of its tranquillity and peace for many years to come. I should consider Your Majesty very lucky if through your visit, which must not be delayed on any account, the affairs of this country could be so well settled that peace could be ensured, and a defensive and offensive league formed, which Your Majesty of course would join as king of Naples, each power contributing a proportionate sum of money towards the expenses of the war, if any, and the defence of the country. The league once made Your Imperial Majesty might enter into the politics of this country not as principal, as before, but as the Catholic King [Ferdinand] did in his time.
My private opinion of the Holy Father is that we ought not to put too much trust in him. As to getting assistance in money for Your Majesty's wants, as I often heard courtiers and councillors say whilst at Barcelona, I fancy that it is entirely out of the question unless it be by having Florence restored to him, and increasing in some measure his Papal authority and reputation, which, as Your Majesty well knows, are not very high just now. Jacopo Salviati and Secretary Sanga are continually at his side and conduct his political business. As far as I can judge, neither of them is capable of doing much. I have seen better statesmen in my life. The Pope is timid by character, and as the two individuals above-named are wanting both in courage and experience, and perhaps are not so devoted to His Holiness as they profess to be, they frequently represent danger as existing where there is none, that being undoubtedly the reason why His Holiness is so irresolute. Had I found the Archbishop of Capua here on my arrival he might have been of use for general as well as ecclesiastic affairs. We do, however, our best and show confidence in Salviati and Sanga, and get on well with them. It would not be amiss to say something to them in acknowledgment of their services which might be shown to them.
I forgot to mention that His Holiness has chosen three cardinals, Farnese, Santa Croce, and Medici to go and meet Your Imperial Majesty at Genoa. They are to leave on Monday next. The former has hitherto been rather unfriendly to Your Majesty, but now shows affection. Your Majesty ought to dissemble with him he is ambitious and wishes for honour and has not lost all hope of being elected to the pontificate in case of a vacancy. As to Santa Croce, Your Majesty knows him; he has no great credit at this Court. I cannot say whether it is that he feels discontented at my not having revealed to him the whole of my commission, or what else may be the cause, but the fact is that he has not been over friendly to me. He is very poor, and yet keeps a very good house at Rome.
This afternoon news has been received that the Turk was on the 8th inst. at Belgrade, where the Vayvod of Transylvania and he were concocting plans for a future campaign; and yet as the news comes directly from Venice, and has not been confirmed, that I know of, from other quarters, many, and I among others, disbelieve it. I make, however, as if I attached faith to the report, as I consider it a good excuse to spur on the Pope and make him grant the Crusade and "Quarta" more easily.
News has also been received of the agreement lately made between the seven Lutheran cantons of the Switzers and the five that still remain Christian, though the advantage and majority being in favour of the former, the intelligence is by no means agreeable.
Respecting Your Majesty's visit to this city, or the Pope's journey to Genoa or Bologna for the purpose of the announced coronation, not a word has yet been said. Nor is His Holiness' health good enough just now to think of this matter. I have hitherto avoided making any allusions to this subject, but will not fail to inform Your Imperial Majesty as soon as His Holiness announces his intention.—Rome, 30th July 1529.
P.S.—After the above was written the Prince of Orange arrived, on Saturday last. On Sunday the peace was sworn to and ratified with great pomp and solemnity, the Pope appearing in full pontificals and taking more share in the ceremony than the state of his health would perhaps justify. On the two following days (Monday and Tuesday) Miçer Mai, the Prince, and I waited upon him to discuss the best means of carrying out the undertaking against Florence, which the further we advance the more fitting and advantageous we find for Your Majesty's interests in Italy. True enough, we are in great want of funds, and the Prince declares that, even supposing, which is not very probable, that Florence makes her submission, there will not be enough money left in the Imperial treasury to take his forces into Lombardy, since, notwithstanding the ruinous bargains he has been obliged to make at Naples, he has been unable to obtain a sufficient supply; besides which the Pope, though ardently desiring the restoration of his family at Florence, is, or professes to be, so poor that he cannot possibly help the enterprize with money or credit. We expect that to-morrow without fail some sort of agreement will be made; if so Captain Rodrigo de Ripalda shall be dispatched to Your Majesty with the intelligence.
On his arrival at Rome the first thing the Prince inquired about was how much money Your Imperial Majesty was bringing to Italy. My answer was that he could learn from Ripalda. He replied that his information was that Your Majesty would bring from five to six hundred thousand cr., and he (the Prince) added that he considered that sum insufficient to defray such undertakings as Your Majesty had upon his hands. His forces consist of about 12,000 infantry Germans and Italians, whose monthly pay amounts to nearly 55,000 ducats, exclusive of the men-at-arms or the light horse. I have told him that Your Majesty intends bringing so numerous a force that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to support them all. The Prince, on the other hand, observed that he could not go into Lombardy with a smaller force than the one he had now, and that it was for Your Majesty to decide whether he was or was not to take that route. According to his calculations, on Your Majesty's arrival in Italy, and after the German auxiliaries have joined, there will be, with the Spaniards in Naples and those of Milan under Leyva, upwards of 9,000 men. Almost all the Spanish infantry under Guasto (Vasto), and part of the Italian, mustering altogether about 8,000 men, are now in Puglia and other provinces of Naples. Should the Prince achieve the reduction of Florence soon, he might perhaps be able to dismiss all his Italians, although he considers, as we all do, that the measure would be an imprudent one under present circumstances, for they might go over to the enemy as all mercenary soldiers generally do. Your Majesty will no doubt transmit his orders to the Prince. He has spoken to me about certain disorders in the administration to which Your Majesty alludes in one of his letters. He has taken pains to inquire into the truth of the affair. He esteems and regards Morone, whom he considers a man of talent and wit, much attached to Your Majesty and always ready to do his duty, though he has owned to me that he had once had some suspicion of his being rather inclined to peculation. He has, however, sent some one to Naples to inquire secretly into his conduct, as also into that of Bernardino Martirano, his secretary, though I perceive that this last functionary has completely won his heart and possesses his unlimited confidence. He told me besides that he will take care soon after Your Majesty's landing at Genoa to produce an account of all the monies raised in the kingdom of Naples and spent on the army, so that every one may see what has become of it. My answer to the Prince on these points has been such as to convince him that Your Imperial Majesty in advising him of the above things has shown him the greatest confidence, and certainly the affection he has for Your Majesty and zeal for the service are exceedingly great.
This evening news has come from the king of Hungary announcing the actual arrival of the Turk at Belgrade, as Your Majesty will see by the enclosed note of his ambassador at this Court. We (fn. n5) are all daily requesting His Holiness to do all he can in the present emergency, and provide means for arresting the progress of the Infidel.
I beg Your Majesty's pardon for not having sooner sent off this lengthy despatch, begun many days ago; the multifarious affairs of this embassy have been the cause of the delay. His Holiness and all of us are anxiously expecting news of Your Majesty, for, according to our account, the landing at Genoa must have been effected by this time.
Some days ago I spoke to the Pope about the cardinals' hats for the High Chancellor and the Bishop of Mauriana. He gave me a very courteous answer and promised to think of them both at his next creation. It would not be amiss to speak to the Nuncio now with Your Majesty, that he may, when opportunity occurs, remind His Holiness of his promise.—Rome, 3rd August 1529.
The present courier not having left until to-day, I have deemed it necessary to add two short paragraphs to the present despatch. The first to announce that no definitive agreement has yet been made as to the Florentine expedition, the Pope still insisting on his extreme poverty and his inability to procure ready money towards it, whilst the Prince declares that he himself has none, nor does he expect any from the kingdom of Naples, which being, as it is, nearly destroyed by the last war, must be defended against the Venetians, who are still in Puglia and get reinforcements every day. Indeed, I consider that should the Prince march into Lombardy without reducing Florence first, that kingdom would be in danger.
The second paragraph relates to the Pope's behaviour in this affair. I know as a fact that His Holiness is putting off the concession of the Crusade and "Quarta," or fourth part of all ecclesiastical revenues, until he is sure that the undertaking against Florence will commence at his bidding, and that the greater our success the more liberal he will be about it.
On the other hand, letters from Cambray of the 14th July have been received to-day. At that date the Archbishop of Capua (Schomberg) had arrived, and Madame Margaret said that she entertained hopes of a speedy settlement of the peace. To-day letters of the 25th from France have come, stating that it had been concluded, but the terms are said to be such that the whole must be a lie.—5th August 1529, begun on the 30th of July.
Signed: "Loys de Praët."
French. Original. pp. 12.


  • n1. His eldest son, who did not succeed, having died before his father.
  • n2. "Por el tiempo que será concertado, y la paz durara, y se haga para ello una liga deffensiva, y capitulacion reciproca por lo que los dichos Venecianos en Italia poseen."
  • n3. This letter must have been written at Barcelona before the Emperor sailed for Italy. It is badly placed in Bergenroth's volume after December 1529. The chaplain was Gonçalo Fernandez; his instructions dated from Toledo, the 24th of February, are in Vol. IV., Part 2, p. 907.
  • n4. Not in the bundle.
  • n5. That is Burgo, Mai, and the writer.