Spain: May 1529, 11-15

Pages 14-33

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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May 1529, 11-15

11 May 5. Memorandum of Miçer Mai.
S. E. L. 848, f. 11.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 262.
The Pope is better now than he has been since his illness came on, and has determined to dispatch his Nuncio [to Barcelona].
Most of the conservators and "taboriones" have resigned their offices in consequence of the taxes and imposts (gabellasy y gravezas) imposed upon the Romans. He (Mai) sent them a message to say that he wondered how they could take such a step without letting him know first. His Imperial Majesty is their true senator and conservator (el verdadero Senador y Conservador de Roma) and a notice of their grievances, if they had any to complain of, ought to have been sent to the Imperial ambassadors. Had they informed him in time he might have interceded with His Holiness, or with whomsoever had the remedy in his power. The Emperor had particularly instructed him to look carefully to the interests of the Romans (pueblo y republica). the On the receipt of the above message the conservators sent to thank him ; they will meet to-morrow in Capitolio, and if necessary he (Mai) will go thither in person and attend the meeting because things have come to such a pitch that they cannot possibly be worse. Fortunately the Pope, when he heard of the appointed meeting and saw the danger attached to it, made as though the whole thing was agree-able to him, and had indeed been planned for his advantage. (fn. n1)
Advices from Naples of the 7th instant, state that on the day before Captain Acuña had gone out against the "fuorusciti," who having collected their forces were doing considerable harm in the neighbourhood of Naples. He met them and slew or hanged about 50. It is to be hoped that with this signal chastisement, and the general pardon about to be proclaimed, matters will mend in that kingdom. Had this been done before we might now be better situated than we are at Monopoli, the siege of which he fears from all accounts will have to be raised.
The Pope intended sending to Niçe, Domenico Centurione, his chamberlain, but he is not now to go, another nuncio having been appointed.
They write from Germany, that in most parts the mass has been suppressed, and the sacred images removed. A butcher at a certain village had dragged a cruifix through the streets and then cut the head off. The King of Hungary was at the diet trying to obtain redress for these great evils, and also the restoration of the mass. The Papal Nuncio (fn. n2) had arrived. The supply of German lansquenets asked from the free towns (tierras francas) did not come in from fear of the Turk.
Venice threatens with 60 galleys, which according to report are now arming, as well as with advices said to have come from Constantinople announcing that the enterprise of Hungary is about to commence, and that the Turk (Solyman) has actually started for that kingdom. It was also stated there, at Venice, that a powerful Turkish fleet was being fitted out for the Mediterranean, but this last news, as has since been ascertained, is only an invention of the Council of Ten and of the French ambassador for the purpose, no doubt, of making people believe that His Imperial Majesty would certainly en-counter two hostile fleets on his passage. This he (Mai) knows from the spies (espias) he has set to watch these ambassadors of the League.
The Colonnese and the Orsini are respectively aiming to waste each others' lands, and prevent either from reaping the harvest. Has hitherto done all that was in his power to prevent the mischief, and make them come to terms with each other. If he cannot persuade the Pope to redress this evil, he (Mai) will give them permission to break each other's heads, because if there is to be war and damage done, he considers it far preferable to inflict it than to suffer it, and certainly the Colonnese are the stronger party of the two, and besides have always been the friends of the Empire. Whoever reaps corn this year, or manages in any way to get hold of it, will be master of Italy.
The ex-Abbot of Farfa went the other day to another abbacy of his called San Salvador, close upon the frontier of Naples. He (Mai) lost patience when he heard of this, and applied to the Pope for redress. Seeing, however, that his claims were disregarded and no assistance given, and that there was no time for an answer to come from Naples, he (Mai) decided to let the Imperialists in Rome loose upon him, and sent for others who came. (fn. n3) This obliged the Pope to recall the Abbot; Mai also recalled his people and there was nothing done for the time. The ex-Abbot is now at Bracciano threatening that he will go over to St. Pol or to France. Wishes he would, for although he is not worth a straw, nor are the Romans more formidable than he is, yet he keeps us here in constant agitation by coming suddenly to the very gates of this city. And since the Pope suffers this, and will not let us stop the evil, he (Mai) sincerely wishes that he would go to France and leave us alone. There was a rumour some time ago that the ex-Abbot was arming against Siena, in union with Malatesta, Fabio Petrucci, and even the Count of Pitigliano, all of whom from some cause or other owe that republic a grudge. Has written to the Sienese bidding them be on their guard, and accordingly they are now en-listing troops for their own defence. Other accounts state that the ex-Abbot is going straight to France. Really the transformations and changes of this man during this last winter have been so great and so sudden that it is impossible to say what he is aiming at.
Nothing new from Florence since the last revolution, when the Gonfaloniero (fn. n4) was deposed, and another one appointed in his room. This last (they say) is not only low born, but a mad, scandalous, and wretched creature (loco, escandaloso, y mal fortunado).
Letters from Alessandria [della Paglia] of the 16th of April relate that St. Pol was about to march against Milan after leaving all the districts behind him well provided with the means of defence, so that the Genoese could do him no harm. His whole force mustered 9,500 men. He hoped that after crossing the Pò, the whole of the country around would declare for the League, when he and the rest of the confederates would attack Milan without loss of time. The most Christian King (Francis) was about to remit to him 100,000 fr., besides 25,000 cr.; and it was expected that the King of England would also contribute a large sum over and above what he is himself bound to pay to the League. Advices from France have been received, stating that 11 companies (banderas) of lanskenets had arrived there, and that more were expected to the number of 10,000. The King had ordered them to come as far as Namors (Nemours), 40 leagues from Lyons, where they would remain until their destination was decided upon, Languedoc or Italy, as it might happen, that town being conveniently situated for either route.
News came the other day announcing riots in Lyons. In consequence of the scarcity of bread in that city and its immediate neighbourhood the infuriated mob had plundered some houses. Letters have also been received from Venice of the 25th of April, relating how Don Hercules d' Este had refused to attend mass on that very day, or be present at the Doge's dinner (al comer del Principe), as customary, on such occasions ; and that though the Papal Legate had been present, he had refused to give his benediction. Somebody having inquired of him (the Legate) why he had come to mass, knowing, as he did, that the Venetians were excommunicated on account of their retaining possession of Cervia and Ravenna, he answered that he had particular instructions from the Pope as to how he was to act under similar circumstances, and that otherwise he would never have come to Venice.
It was also rumoured at Milan that the Spaniards after the taking of Binasco were returning to that city; but the news cannot be correct, for he (Mai) has seen letters of the 28th, stating that they were then marching on Vigebano.
The forces under St. Pol do not really exceed 6,000. He is now passing muster at Marignano. Neither do the Venetians muster more at Rivolta, where they are at present encamped. The Duke of Milan is at Lodi with 3,000.
The Milanese are in some fear, for, although Leyva has considerably fortified their city, and encourages them to defend it, they have only wheat for the next two months.
The Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere) has again made his peace with Venice, and engaged to take the command of its land forces. Count della Concordia [Pico della Mirandola] has likewise accepted service under that republic.
It is generally asserted that the object of the confederates is to collect all the wheat there is in Lombardy, and have it conveyed to Lodi and Cremona, in order to defend themselves against the Imperial army in case of need.
Letters have recently come from Venice, announcing that the German lanskenets at Naples wished to go home, and had, through the Duke of Urbino, applied for safe-conducts to cross the territory of Venice. The safe-conducts (and the letters) were about to be granted. Immediately on the receipt of this intelligence he (Mai) wrote to the Prince, but hitherto no confirmation of that news has been received.
Antonio de Leyva, it is said, had lately taken the offensive. If the news of St. Pol having crossed the Pò, in order to join the confederates, be correct, that general will most likely retreat on the advance of Leyva.
Triulzo's mission to Venice. They say that on his crossing the River Pò he was watched by about 50 Spaniards, who laid in ambush for him, and were, with their cloaks and swords, purposely scattered about the country. Such was, however, the anxiety of the Spaniards to get hold of him that they assembled much sooner than was necessary, and the consequence was that Triulzo's men took the alarm, and he managed to escape.—Rome, 11th May 1529.
Spanish. Original, pp. 3½.
11 May. 6. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 848,
f. 36.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 246.
Wrote on the 1st of March, and afterwards on the 6th, 12th, 16th, 22nd, and 23rd, as well as on the 3rd of April. On the 2nd instant a courier came with letters and despatches. He could not be sent back sooner owing to the answers from Naples not having arrived, nor the one from the Pope, which has been delayed in consequence of his illness and frequent relapses. The ambassadors, besides, were waiting for the departure of the Nuncio, now about to sail in a "fusta," as no better conveyance could be found. (fn. n5)
Wrote on a former occasion that the election of a Nuncio [to go to Barcelona] could not have fallen on a better person. The ecclesiatic appointed is an excellent man, and a good Imperialist. Believes that His Imperial Majesty will have no difficulty in concluding the treaty as far as he (the Nuncio) is concerned. The Pope, however, is so bound to France and to the League that it will be very hard work to make him come to terms without their being included in the treaty. This has been the cause of much fatigue and anxiety to him (Mai), and will most likely prove so to His Imperial Majesty; but in the end everything must and will turn out well.
The Nuncio will be the bearer of the Papal bull granting the "Cruzada" and "Quarta," also that of the "Indulto," (fn. n6) as well as of the brief absolving the Alcalde Ronquillo, and those concerned in the trial and execution of the Bishop of Zamora (Acuña). Other brieves concerning the Emperor's birthday and the Empress (Isabella), besides those of Flanders, &c., will go by the same conveyance.
The Pope has frequent attacks, the last was caused by the English ambassadors publicly insulting him, as he (Mai) has had occasion to say in a former despatch (fn. n7) He was so ill in consequence that it was thought at the time that he would not survive the shock. However, he recovered, and is now better, though his principal physician says that should he have another relapse he will certainly be a dead man.
Hears from a very good source that His Holiness had by him what he believed to be a sure remedy against poison, consisting of oil, mixed with certain specifics, and that immediately after his first attack he anointed himself with it without consulting his physicians. This they (the medical men) highly disapprove, saying if there be poison in the body and the specific does not act upon it the remedy is likely to do more harm than good; if, on the contrary, there be no poison the harm done will be still greater, because they assert that the oil not finding an enemy to contend with must needs fight against its own virtues, which, they say, would be a very dangerous experiment indeed. May God restore the Pope to health, that these Romans and the confederated powers may have no cause to say that after all this negociating and intriguing he (the Pope) at last caused his own death. (fn. n8) Should he die now he (Mai) knows not how he should act [in the event of an election]. His Imperial Majesty in his letter of the 5th of March alluded to certain instructions about to be sent; they have not come to hand. Has written to Naples and the answer is that they know nothing about them. If they have not been sent by Balançon, let them come as soon as possible, for fear the Pope should die in the meantime, and most of the Cardinals quit Rome as they threaten.
Upon the whole, though this illness of the Pope has rather hindered the negociations, he (Mai) cannot complain of him. He has granted him frequent audiences, whenever the state of his health permitted, and has yielded on most of the principal points. There is one, however, on which he (Mai) has by the express commands of the Prince [of Orange] greatly insisted, and which has met with an equally strong opposition on the part of His Holiness, namely, the compensation money to the Imperial troops. After pressing His Holiness much harder than Capua, Santa Croce, or even Burgo authorised him to do, he (Mai) consulted the Prince on the subject. Wrote also to Morone, at Naples, inquiring whether all this was done in order to gain time, and wait for the arrival of Balançon, or for some sort of answer to be brought by Morone's son, who came three days ago from Milan, though without having been able to see the Duke. If so, they were to let him (Mai) know, that he may act accordingly; for otherwise, such is the versatile character of this Pope, that instead of advancing one step in the negociation we may go back. There is still another reason; things at Naples arc not as they were. When he (Mai) first came to Rome he was told in plain terms that unless the Imperial army marched out of Naples nothing at all could be done here. Wrote to all parties there begging and entreating that the army should leave at once, and assuring them that two days after the departure of the troops the Pope was sure to grant all our requests, and beg from us the very things we now beg from him.
Has since had a letter from the Prince [of Orange] bidding him (Mai) suspend the negociation for some short time until the arrival of Balançon. But this must be done with dexterity, because should it appear that we are willing to leave this door open, the ambassadors of the League may pass through it.
Has been expecting all this time a summary account of the instructions which this Papal Nuncio is taking to Spain. The Pope promised it to him, but the state of his health has not permitted him to send it. The Nuncio, however, of his own accord, called yesterday at the Imperial embassy, explained to the most minute detail what his instructions were, and made him (Mai) quite at ease respecting them and the Pope's intentions, for in reality as much confidence is to be placed in him as in His Holiness. (fn. n9) The Nuncio has again to-day made the same statement, which is also confirmed by intelligence from other quarters. Indeed, the informers (espias) he (Mai) has within the Papal palace, report that for the last two or three days the Pope has been in a very good humour, which change of temper is naturally attributed to his having decided for the best. Please God it may be so; though he (Mai) dares not believe in it. Though it is not for him to speak disparagingly of the Pope, especially to His Imperial Majesty, yet is obliged to speak out openly and without dissimulation. This man (Clement VII.) is very low-minded, so much so, that His Imperial Majesty will do well to grant him a portion of what he claims for the concession of the Crusade, and whatever else he may ask, in order to keep him contented, because he will in this instance be satisfied with little, and so may be gained over for what is greater and more important. Besides which, could we only make sure of not losing him, that much would be gained. In old times many things could be got out of him by shear intimidation, but now that expedient cannot be tried, for he would fall into despair, and we should lose him altogether; besides which, some sort of reverence is owed to the Popes for what they did [for the Empire] on former occasions. Otherwise, is really of opinion that it would be for God's service to limit them to strictly spiritual power. (fn. n10)
A rumour is afloat that the negociations for peace have already commenced at Barcelona. Happened to be in a public spot (en cierta parte) when the news was first spread, and recollects saying to the bystanders, "It would be far better for the Pope to behave towards the League as Andrea Doria had behaved towards him;" for when it was rumoured at Orbieto that the Pope was likely to accept the terms brought by Santa Croce, not choosing to be excluded from the treaty, Doria at once made his peace with the Emperor. Has since been told that when these words of his were repeated to His Holiness he expressed his full approbation of them. In fact it is generally believed here that this and other similar considerations have at last convinced him of the necessity of deciding for the Emperor. For in reality he must be a good deal more afraid of the French King and His Imperial Majesty united, than of either of them individually. Indeed, Muxetula relates that upon one occasion the Pope confessed to him how he had from fear of the Madrid convention (concordia), and of the Emperor's journey to these parts of his own free will absolved the King of France from his oath, and brought him into the League.
Needs not enter into more details, suffice it to say, that three things seem to have principally disturbed the mind of His Holiness during the negociations. 1st. His being compelled to forsake his old friends, the confederates, who have done, and are still doing, all they can to retain him. 2nd. The fear of His Imperial Majesty's journey, which is still so great that it is publicly said here in Rome that the moment the Emperor sets his foot in Italy, he (the Pope) will quit his capital. And the 3rd, that the news from Germany is by no means so re-assuring as they say. Matters there are in such a desperate state that they can hardly be amended without a General Council. All these things must have cut the Pope to the quick. Indeed, they have hitherto been the real stumbling blocks in the negociation; for neither the recovery of Ravenna and Cervia, so long retained by Venice, nor that of Reggio and Rubiera, to which he still lays claim, nor indeed the re-establishment of his sway at Florence seems to have influenced him half as much as the fear of the above three contingencies.
In addition to the above causes there is another, which is that the Bishop of Verona (Giberti), ever since his arrival in Rome, has been in constant communication with the Venetian ambassador, and other agents of the League. On the other hand, all political affairs pass through the hands of Salviati, of whom His Imperial Majesty must have had sufficient notice through former despatches. He had at first nothing to do with the Florentine business owing to the Pope mistrusting him, but Cardinal Cortona, on whom the Pope relied implicitly, having died, it has since been handed over to Salviati, who has now charge of it, though, thank God, the most important part of it is already settled, as His Imperial Majesty will judge by the enclosed memorandum. (fn. n11)
The Archbishop of Capua (Schomberg) is entirely out of all political business, for he is not trusted by the Pope. He is discontented and grumbles. He publicly announced before Easter his intention to go to take the waters. He (Mai) dissuaded him, and begged him to stay, which he did; but though he has been earnestly requested since to take an active part in the business, he has not done as much as we have reason to expect from him.
Under these unfavourable circumstances the negociation with the Pope commenced, and has since made such progress as to require only His Imperial Majesty's sanction and approval of the articles which the Papal Nuncio (Bishop of Vaison) is now about to take to Barcelona.
Writes very frequently to the King of Hungary, to Madame of Flanders, to Don lñigo [de Mendoza] in England, and to Andrea Doria in Genoa, informing each and all of them of the state of affairs here, and in the rest of Italy. His correspondence with Antonio de Leyva and Lope de Soria is not so regular as it used to be from various causes. He has reason to suspect that most of his letters are intercepted by the enemy, but this is of little or no consequence, for the most important passages are in cipher.
All Italy is up in arms, or at least very much alarmed (solevantada), and though it be true that the Italian Princes do not trust each other, yet it would seem as if necessity and a feeling of common danger made them friends.
The Duke of Ferrara (Alfonso d' Este), has not spoken for some time. Formerly his agent in this city kept visiting him (Mai), and assuring him in his master's name that he (the Duke) had signed no treaty whatever against His Imperial Majesty, but had on the contrary always declined the post of Commander-in-chief of the League. Yet he (Mai) hears that a meeting of the ambassadors of the League is shortly to take place at Venice, and that the Duke (Alfonso d' Este) is invited to be present, and has promised to go. Moreover, the Bishop of Verona (Gianmatheo Giberti) has suddenly left Rome in that direction, and as he is no more to be trusted than the rest of them, every inquiry has been made to ascertain the place and object of his journey. The only information obtained as yet is that he (Giberti) has gone to visit his bishopric.
The Marquis of Mantua (Federigo Gonzaga), perseveres in his neutrality, his ambassador at this Court making all manner of protestations [of friendship] in his name, so much so that Andrea del Burgo and he (Mai) are thinking seriously of having him included, before receiving the consent of the Prince of Orange, in the treaty of peace between His Holiness and the Emperor; though this must be said of him that his brother, the Cardinal, has always been markedly open to suspicion, (fn. n12) and very partial to the ambassadors of the League, with whom he holds frequent conferences. However, if the Pope wishes it, he (the Marquis) will be included in the treaty, were it for no other purpose than to dishearten the rest of the confederated Princes, and invite them to follow his example.
The Sienese continue, as usual, attached to the Imperial service. Had suspicions once of their being in secret treaty with the Florentines for the purpose of stopping, if possible, the march of the Imperial forces through their territory; but as the information came direct from their own emigrants (fuorusciti), residing at Florence, no faith could be attached to the report. It is true that they (the Sienese) are now at war with Count Pitigliano, their neighbour, who, though an Orsino by birth, proclaims himself a servant of His Imperial Majesty; but in this affair the Sienese only defend what they consider to be their right. Is therefore trying, just as Muxetula did once by command of the Prince, to set them at peace, the more so that the Cardinal of Naples, the Count's brother-in-law, told him (Mai) the other day that unless he (the Count) came to a satisfactory arrangement with the Sienese, he (the Cardinal) would be compelled to throw himself into the arms of the League.
In Siena, during this past Lent, a Lutheran friar (fn. n13) has been preaching in favour of his sect, or at least of some of its most important tenets. Thought at first of putting a stop to the nuisance by such means as he himself could command, but finding there was difference of opinion on this point among the citizens he (Mai) was afraid of stirring up some new excitement (mover nuevo humor), especially as Siena is so close to Florence, where all the strength of the League is now concentrated. Fortunately the Bishop (Piccolomini), who is also Cardinal of that place, had the man arrested, and his guilt was proved, for letters and papers were found on him in connexion with Germany and the Lutheran sect. The Pope then sent for him, and he (Mai) was requested to dispatch one of his secretaries to Siena to accompany the Pope's officer and bring the culprit to Rome. Villaverde was the person chosen for the purpose, but neither he nor the Papal officer, his colleague, thought it prudent to deliver the Papal brieves, and take charge of the prisoner lest some disturbance should be raised in the city, and thus the affair remains to this day.
The Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere), has left the Venetian service and retired to Pesaro. Soon after Miçer Antonio della Rovere, his relative, (fn. n14) spoke to Burgo, and to him (Mai) of the possibility of bringing him over to the Imperial service. Although the undertaking was a difficult one, on account of the Duke's quarrel with Ascanio, Colonna yet everything was tried to effect it. Intelligence has since been received that the Duke has actually made his peace with the Venetians.
Similar overtures have been made by a recognized agent of Alberto di Carpi, but his (Mai's) answer has been that unless we see this Count's own handwriting we will not listen to any. The Count has promised to write, but it is to be presumed that he never will.
Has sent to Sanctiquatuor 100 ducats; he would not receive them. Has also sent him 100 for his trouble in revising the minutes of the bull for the Crusade, but he has likewise declined, adding that he had already done much service to His Imperial Majesty and to this embassy without recompense of any sort, and that he wanted none.
With regard to His Holiness' fear of the Council;—which the people of Germany maintain is the only remedy that can be of any avail in the present disturbed state of that country—this being a perilous expedient, and rather too big a pill for the Pope to swallow all at once, he (Mai) has avoided as much as possible alluding to the subject, since it is evident that His Holiness is terribly afraid of such a Council, and does not feel sure [that it would not turn out to his disadvantage]. (fn. n15) Agreed with Burgo to set aside this last obstacle for the present, at least, and pending the negociations; since there exists no actual necessity for it, and it is unreasonable for the Imperial agents to propose a measure that may never take effect, the object being attainable in some other way. (fn. n16) Accordingly, on the 24th of April last, as Burgo was exhorting the Pope to declare openly for His Imperial Majesty, and for his brother, the King of Hungary, he told him not to be afraid of the Council, as the Emperor cared more for the peace of the world, and especially of Italy, than for all the innovations and strange measures (novedades y extrañedades) that Councils generally bring in their train. Also for the welfare of his own person, because if he (the Pope) declared for His Imperial Majesty, and concluded a good and lasting peace and close family alliance with him, the latter would be the first to defend him against all his enemies. Plenty of other means might be found for settling the Lutheran affairs. He himself (Burgo) had thought of one which consisted in appointing a number of persons, elected some by the German towns, and others by the Emperor, with an equal number appointed by the Pope, who might sit together and deliberate as to the best means of putting a peaceful end to the disturbances and delusions (tumultos y locuras) of the Lutherans. On hearing which the Pope rose from his chair and said, "By my faith, you have told the truth; that is the only course to pursue. There would be no harm then in granting some of their demands." He (Mai) must add that ever since Burgo's semi-declaration on this point both the Imperial ambassadors have found the Pope more tractable and obliging.
Letters have since been received from the Diet purporting that the affair of the Council is still being strongly pressed (anda muy estrecho), and that the King of Hungary (Ferdinand) promises it in order to see if in the meantime mass will be re-established. Although, he adds, some of the electors wish for the Council immediately, and do not care for the re-establishment of the mass. Both Burgo and he (Mai) are of opinion that it is unsafe to relate such particulars to the Pope, for fear he should again fall into one of his vacillating moods; they have therefore transcribed only that portion of the King's despatch which is more in conformity with what Burgo said to him on a previous occasion. This is, in the opinion of the ambassadors, the only course to be pursued in order to persuade this man to declare for the Emperor. It is so advantageous and so preferable to any other that, although there can be no doubt that His Majesty will be the first to touch upon some of these things on the Nuncio's arrival at Barcelona, yet as zealous and well meaning servants of the Emperor, his ambassadors at Rome could not help expressing their opinion on the pending negociations, and the best measures to be adopted to oblige His Holiness to declare against the League. And now that His Imperial Majesty is aware of all the circumstances of the case, let his pleasure be done, for on the side of the ambassadors the affair remains, as it were, intact. No engagements have been taken, no compromises accepted. What Burgo told the Pope about the Council was not said in the King's name, but as his own private opinion. And let the Emperor believe him (Mai) when he says that not only this stratagem but all the most subtle devices in the world are required to make this man declare himself in a proper manner, and that far from this expedient being the last, they (the ambassadors) will have to try two dozen similar devices before they have done with him, and yet His Imperial Majesty will still have his part as well to play at Barcelona with the Papal Nuncio.
The latter went away the day before yesterday. He could not be the bearer of this despatch owing to the Prince's answer, which came only yesterday afternoon, not having arrived in time.
Enclosed is a "Relacion de nuevas particulares," also the copy of a letter written by an inhabitant of Barletta to a Roman nobleman.*—Rome, 11th May 1529.
13 May. 7. Antonio de Leyva to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1553,
f. 319.
B. M. Add.28,378,
f. 268.
(Cipher:) The letters brought by Knight Commander Figueroa came duly to hand. The answer went by Knight Commander Ribadeneira. Those of the 20th of April, by Antonio de Ubeda, asking his (Leyva's) advice respecting the measures to be taken in anticipation of the Emperor's journey, were also received. His (Leyva's) answer is as follows: (Cipher:) It is very urgent that the Germans come as soon as possible, if not all the force asked for, horse and foot, at least the latter. If there be enough money in Germany to pay them, they can easily be here [in Lombardy] by the end of this month, or before the 10th of June. He (Leyva) sent 40 days ago a special messenger to the King of Hungary (Ferdinand) begging him to press the enlistment. Count Chiavenna, who was the person sent with the message, is well acquainted with the roads, and has been often employed in guiding the German bands. No doubt, therefore, can be entertained about his having fulfilled his mission. Besides, as the Emperor informs him (Leyva) in his letter of the 20th of April last that proper provision has been made for the pay of the Germans, he feels no anxiety whatever on that score, and confidently expects the lansquenets at Milan. Has written to the King to beg that if the 10,000 men cannot be had at once, at least 6,000 may be sent now; the remainder can follow afterwards. With regard to the question, whether in case of the Germans not arriving in time, anything can be undertaken with the force that the Emperor is to bring from Spain, joined to that under his (Leyva's) command, his answer is, that unless the enemy increase greatly in number they never will be able to oppose the junction, but if they do, as is to be apprehended, by adding 5,000 or 6,000 Germans or Switzers to their actual force, it will be rather a hazardous enterprise to effect the intended junction. True it is that the French will have some difficulty just now in procuring Swiss levies; but they muster already 14,000, and if they do succeed and get that additional strength, it will be almost impossible for him (Leyva) to join the Emperor, nor will His Majesty with his own force, from the place selected for landing, be able to force his way. Should, however, the Germans come in time there will be no difficulty at all.
(fn. n17)
The united forces of the confederates, amounting to about 14,000 men, are quartered as follows: the Venetians, with the Duke Francesco Sforza, at Puçol (Puzzolo), 18 miles from this city, mustering 7,000 foot and about 500 horse, besides 400 men-at-arms. St. Pol at Vigebano, 20 miles hence, with about 5,000 foot, a few horse, and hardly any men-at-arms. Most of his force consists of Germans, Switzers, and Grisons, of whom there may be about 1,800; the rest are Italians, and a few Frenchmen. They are about to join the Venetians, for the purpose, as they say, of attacking him (Leyva); but he hopes to God that if they come near him, they will return to their quarters much more quickly than they left them.
Our force in the estate of Milan, including garrisons and small detachments, amounts to 3,000 Germans, the finest and best armed set of men that ever was seen, and about 3,000 Spaniards, also excellent soldiers, for those newly arrived [from Spain] are already as good soldiers as the old ones. Has besides 2,000 Italians, the flower of the country, who, in spite of want of pay, hunger, and other disadvantages, have always done good service; and lastly, about 140 men-at-arms and some light horse. (fn. n18)
Has been endeavouring of late to persuade Andrea Doria to increase the forces of Genoa by 4,000 foot, and to enlist 3,000 more on his (Leyva's) account. St. Pol having left Alessandria, Asti, and the blanks of the Pò unprotected, an incursion might easily be made with 7,000 men into the territory of Alessandria, when St. Pol could not fail to hasten to the relief of that city. If so, he (Leyva) would fall upon the Venetians and the Duke Francesco, and give them such a thrashing as they should recollect all their lives.
Such being the advantages of the enlistments now being made at Genoa, he (Leyva) has sent thither, at the request of Andrea Doria, who approves highly of this plan, one of the Imperial captains who has done most service in this campaign, namely, Count Lodovico Belgioioso, to hasten the recruiting and arming of that force.
There is no great probability for the present of the confederates being able to increase their forces, nor is it known that they are making any great preparations for war. Switzers they cannot have now, for the King of France owes them such large arrears, that unless he pays the greater part of his debt to them they will not move; besides which, they are so divided amongst themselves respecting the Lutheran and Christian faith (la Fé Lutkerana y la de Christo), that neither of the two parties will dare send their people out of the country. The King of France has been trying in vain to make them of one mind. We are doing here all that is possible to support those who maintain their Christian faith. Believes that all the manœuvres of the French King will not make them agree on that point, and consequently, though he has applied for 7,000 men, he has been hitherto unable to obtain 50. And as without Germans or Switzers the confederates cannot possibly increase their forces—most of the Italians being actually in the service of the League or the Empire—there is no fear of the enemy increasing immediately their present force.
His Imperial Majesty wishes to know his (Leyva's) opinion as to whether in case of not being able to operate his junction with this army, it would not be advisable for him (the Emperor) to join that of Naples, and together come to the relief of Lombardy. His answer is, that he (Leyva) could not possibly wait so long, because there is neither wheat nor provision in the Duchy to last beyond this next June; the stores are empty and the new harvest not yet gathered in.
Two things are, in his opinion, required for the prosperous issue of the Emperor's journey, namely, the speedy arrival of the Germans and a supply of money. Without the former he (Leyva) cannot possibly keep the field against the enemy and get in the harvest, and if the latter be wanting, His Imperial Majesty may be sure that the Germans will not be here in June. Has already stated that he can hardly maintain himself and support his army to the end of June, and that it will be a wonder if he can go on till then, for there are no provisions at Milan, and as to their coming from the outside it is out of the question, the enemy occupying all the passes.
In view of these difficulties his (Leyva's) advice is, that if money has not yet been remitted to Germany, it should be forwarded by all possible routes,—especially through this one, which is the shortest and surest,—so that we may have the answer before the end of May. Were the Germans here at Milan before July everything might go well. On the other hand, it is not likely that the Emperor can arrive in Italy before the Germans. If he did, two expedients might be adopted. If the enemy had not by that time increased his forces, he (Leyva) could easily effect his junction, and do whatever else may be required for the success of the enterprise. If, on the contrary, their numbers are increased, and the Germans have not arrived, then the Emperor could go to Naples, and make there such provision as indicated above. But this going of the Emperor to Naples is not a desirable thing either for the following reasons. The first and principal, that if the Emperor is compelled to go thither, the whole of Lombardy may eventually be lost; for it may happen that His Imperial Majesty will not find there, as he expects, a sufficiently strong force to come up here [to Milan], inasmuch as the enemy being in the field with considerable forces, it will be necessary for us to leave behind most of the men-at-arms and light horse, besides the Germans, who are in small number. The Emperor must therefore consider that the 8,000 or 10,000 Spaniards he brings with him, besides 3,000 Germans from Naples, are by no means an adequate force for such an enterprise, as the League might very well, being disengaged in the rest of Italy, improve their position in Lombardy and the Duchy of Milan, and even stop the Emperor's march, and oblige him to send for more Germans. The Imperial armies in the meanwhile might lose reputation, and the League gain courage for the defence of their respective estates, or even for the refusal of the terms offered to them. This is the cause of the confederates having already rejected all offers of peace; for undoubtedly what they, and specially the Venetians, dread most, is the Emperor's intended visit, and the immediate invasion, as they imagine, of their respective estates, because, that being accomplished, they are sure to lose the allegiance of their subjects and the opportunity of raising money. They (the Venetians) will be obliged to recall the troops they still have in the Kingdom of Naples, and place themselves on the defensive, in which case the men-at-arms and light horse might easily come up without being molested.
The confederates, however, do not seem to agree. His (Leyva's) opinion is that the Florentines will give no money to the League, but spend what they have in strengthening their city, and making other warlike preparations. The King of France pretends that it would be far better for him to attack the Emperor in Spain. Venice and the Duke Francesco [Sforza] insist upon the armies of France coming to Italy, as they say that without them they cannot possibly make a stand against the Imperialists. Until now nothing has been decided by them. Firmly believes that before they come to an understanding the Emperor will have time to come and destroy them all; but, on the other hand, if the march on Naples is decided upon, the confederates are sure to follow one of the courses above alluded to. The Emperor must needs land at Genoa. Once there he will be better able to judge which road to take.
With regard to the Marquis of Mantua [Federigo Gonzaga], his ambassador has passed through this city with the Emperor's letters to him. No answer has yet been received. Is about to dispatch a messenger to him inquiring whether he really intends to take service under the Empire or not. If he answers in the affirmative he can be of much use, situated as his estate is in the very heart (l'anima) of the Venetians. As to his being able to raise, as he says, 6,000 foot, 300 men-at-arms, and 500 light horse within a short space of time, he (Leyva) cannot believe it. Two thousand infantry, 150 men-at-arms, and 200 light horse, is the most that can be expected of him, and even then he is likely to take so much time about it that it will be cheaper and shorter to have the same number of men from Germany. However, if the Marquis chooses to take the field with that, or even a smaller force, he can be of much use. No labour will be spared in attaching him to our interests, but as to giving him 20,000 ducats, as His Imperial Majesty commands, that is entirely out of the question, unless they are remitted from Spain, as he (Leyva) has no money or credit, and until Ansaldo de Grimaldi and Francesco d'Adda be paid their advances, he cannot raise a "carlino."
With regard to Venice and the Florentines, the Emperor's instructions will be punctually observed.—Milan, 13th May 1529.
Signed: "Antonio de Leyva."
Addressed: "S.. C.. Mte."
Spanish. Original. Cipher. pp. 10.
15 May. 8. Marguerite's Instructions to Maistre Jehan de le Sauch.
K. u. K. Haus-Hof-
u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. P. Fasc.c.224, No.21.
After showing his credentials and being admitted to the presence of the King of England, Maistre le Sauch will tell him how often she (Margaret, the Governess of the Low Countries) has been requested by the Duchess of Angosmois (fn. n19) and Anjou, King Francis' mother, to listen to overtures of peace.
In consequence whereof, and having occasion to send to Spain on certain business of her own, the Sieur de Rosymboz, her chief steward (premier maistre d'hostel), and Secretary Des Barres, she took the opportunity to inform the Emperor of the overtures made, and the Emperor, not wishing to be an obstacle to the said peace, sent her at once full powers to treat with all Christian Princes in general, and with the most Christian King and his mother in particular. This fact having been communicated to the Duchess of Angosmois (Louise) measures have been taken to appoint a time and place wherein the preliminaries of peace may at once be discussed and settled.
Madame has no doubt that the King of England will be glad to hear the news, and will co-operate to the utmost of his power to the establishment of peace. For her part she need scarcely say how glad she will be to labour for so meritorious a purpose.
Should the King of England put any questions concerning this affair, Maistre le Sauch is to answer that he knows nothing further than that the Emperor has sent his full powers to treat of peace.
The above, or part of it, as may be required, to be communicated to the Legate, as well as to Mons. de Bourges (Don Iñigo de Mendoza), should he happen to be still in London. If the latter, however, wishes to be present at the audiences and take the lead (porter les parolles), there is no objection, he may do so.
Maistre le Sauch will return as soon as possible after delivering his embassy, taking good care to hear, and commit to memory, every word the King and Legate may say on the occasion, so as to know what impression the announcement of the proposed meeting has produced on each of them.—Brussels, 15th May 1529.
Signed: "Marguerite." Par ordonnance: "Des Barres."
Indorsed: "Instruction."
French. Original, pp. 1¼.
15 May. 9. Marguerite to the Legate.
K.u.K. Haus-Hof-
u. Staats Arch.
Wien. Rep. p
Fasc. c. 224, No.24.
Monsieur le Legat, mon bon fils.
Credentials in favour of Maistre Jehan [de] le Sauch, going as ambassador to the King of England.—Brussels, 15th May 1529.
French. Original draft, p. 1.
16 May. 10. The Emperor's Instructions to the Prince of Orange.
S. E. L. Cor. d.
A. 267.
As our intention is to contribute with all our might to the entire pacification of Italy without delay or other consideration of any sort, you shall, conjointly with Antonio de Leyva, Federigo Gonzaga, Prothonotary Caracciolo, our Grand Chancellor for the Duchy of Milan, and Miçer Mai, our ambassador at the Papal Court, follow implicitly the contents of these present instructions, though they may differ slightly from those sent first to Don Ugo de Moncada, (fn. n20) and afterwards to Antonio de Leyva.
Respecting the Duke Francesco [Sforza] and the estate of Milan, which is the most important point of all, a proposal has been made to us to divide the same among the neighbouring lords (señores comarcanos) in such a way, that by their giving us some help in money, We may immediately withdraw our troops from Italy and employ them wherever they may be wanted for the service of God and the welfare of the Christian Republic. In this manner, it is alleged, all ambitious designs upon a large and flourishing estate like the Duchy of Milan shall cease, and if attacked, it can be more easily defended by the Italian Princes among whom it may be divided. You will hear what the Venetians and other Italian potentates have to say about this proposed dismemberment and division, and what part of the Milanese territory each potentate wants for his own share; and when you have ascertained who are to be the purchasers, and what proportionate sum is to be paid by each of them, at what dates and in how many instalments, and also what are to be the terms and conditions of the investiture, you shall inform us in detail, that We may act accordingly; and, if after taking into consideration any such proposals, you should find that there still remains any portion of the estate or estates not applied for, you will cause a careful description and valution of the said portions to be carefully made out, so that they may be opportunely and graciously divided among those persons who have suffered most for our service. You shall, however, take notice that We do not intend including in the said partition and division as aforesaid, all those estates and lands which may have been granted by our commanders in Italy, or otherwise taken possession of by private persons, for of these We purpose disposing at our pleasure, either by confirming the said grants or bestowing them on others.
With regard to Milan and its immediate territory, should the said dismemberment and partition finally take place, it must be considered whether it had not better be constituted into a republic, as others in Italy, or given in fee to some private lord. If the former, it would be requisite to treat with the Italian potentates, as well as with the principal citizens as to what sort of republic is to be established, whether one in imitation of other communities, or a special one that will ensure more effectually the peace and welfare of the Milanese; and such being the case, to ascertain who is to keep the castle of Milan, and what measures can be adopted for the better defence of the said republic in case of attack from the Switzers and other neighbours. If it should be decided to give Milan and its territory to some private lord as a fief of our Imperial Chamber, then it must be considered whether such a person, whoever he may be, is to be called duke, or simply marquis or count Such being the case, as it cannot be expected that the lord invested with Milan will be able to pay the sum required for the investiture, it will be necessary to impose by way of taxation some reasonable tribute to be paid annually to our Imperial Chamber.
After ascertaining the opinion of all and every one of the Italian potentates on these various points, and knowing what part of the Milanese each wants for himself, what price he intends giving and at what dates, as likewise what your own opinion on these matters is, you will take care to inform us that We may at once decide what is best for our interests and the peace of Italy.
If, notwithstanding, these concessions, which We are prepared to make, you should find that the Italian potentates are still dissatisfied, and persist in their demands about the Duke Francesco, wishing us to pardon him unconditionally and restore his estate without waiting for the issue of the judicial proceedings instituted against him; and if you should think that by our not yielding to their requests the treaty of League with the Pope might be endangered, then in that case We declare to you that out of love and consideration for the said Italian potentates, and that all may be convinced of our willingness to treat them as friends and confederates rather than as enemies, We are contented to forgive the said Duke, restore him to his estate, and admit him into the new League, on this condition, however, that this be done without impeachment to our honour (reservando nuestra honra), and in such manner that our mercy and graciousness in forgiving his faults and crimes against the Empire be clearly set forth, and the Duke remain, as before, under our sway and allegiance, under the same terms and obligations as stipulated at Toledo with his ambassador, Cavalier Billia (of which a copy is enclosed), (fn. n21) when We first invested him with the Duchy. Provided also, that all Milanese, his subjects, who during the late wars have followed our banners against him, be allowed to remain in their houses and enjoy their property freely without impediment or annoyance of any kind. We further promise, that should the Duke require longer time to pay us the remainder of the price of his former investiture, as stipulated in the covenant of Toledo, a prorogation of the terms will be granted to him; and, moreover, that should he otherwise be prevented from bad health or other causes from coming to us, as he ought, to renew the oath of fidelity and vassalage, he may be allowed to take it at Milan by means of a third person, for which purpose We have just transmitted to the Grand Chancellor of the Duchy (Marino Caracciolo) the original deed of investiture drawn up for that purpose.
With regard to the Venetians, you will treat with them in conformity with our previous instructions lowering, if you think proper, our demands from them. If, however, you were to see that notwithstanding our concessions, the Signory of Venice was unwilling to accede to our terms, you will try to obtain from them the best you can. First, and above all things, the complete restitution of the towns, lands, and fortresses they may have occupied in our kingdom of Naples or in the estate of Milan, without which previous restitution nothing can be done, and then as much money as you can for the pay of our troops, even if the sum thus demanded should be much less than in the former instructions, taking at the same time proper care of our brother's affairs and the claims of the emigrants (foraxidos), without, however, being too exacting for fear of coming to a rupture with them, for on no account would We let this opportunity slip of concluding a peace, now more necessary than ever for the settlement of our affairs here [in Spain]. (fn. n22)
Respecting the Florentines, if no agreement has been made with the Pope, or if there has really been one, and they have been left out of it, should they still refuse to pay the sum mentioned in our former instructions, one of the two following expedients may be proposed to them after first exhausting all means of persuasion: 1st. They may either remain free and independent as a republic, and preserve all their privileges without acknowledging the authority of a tyrant, though under our protection, or else they may adopt any form of government they choose, provided they accept within the walls of their city a captain of ours and a small body of troops to defend them against the common enemy in case of need, just as the Sienese have done. In either case We shall be glad to deduct from the sum mentioned in our former instructions whatever amount you and your colleagues may consider proper, and even remit the whole, if it should be considered necessary, in order to establish on a more solid footing the peace of Italy; but you will on no account come to this last conclusion except at the greatest extremity, and after exhausting all other means of conciliation. (fn. n23) —Barcelona, 16th May 1529.


  • n1. "Por que está tan rasgado todo que no puede ser ya mas, y ha sido buena suerte que el Papa quando lo ha sabido, lo ha mostrado tener en servicio."
  • n2. Campeggio.
  • n3. "Y como io perdi la patientia con el Papa, solté á los de V. M. que viniessen."
  • n4. Niccolo Capponi. See vol. III., part 2, p. 917.
  • n5. "Y como hasta agora no ha tenido en que ir, me demandó el Papa esta fusta, y dixele que era contento." "Fusta," was the name for a light vessel some what approaching in form our modern schooner.
  • n6. The "Quarta" and "Indulto Quadragesimal." For an explanation of these terms see vol. III., part 2, pp. 931, 976.
  • n7. See above, No. 3, p. 9.
  • n8. "Dios nuestro señor le dé salad porque no digan que tanto ha siempre tractado y revuelto que á la poatre se aya muerto de su mano."
  • n9. "Y dexome harto satisfecho, por que á decir verdad tanto fio dél como del Papa."
  • n10. Aunque de un semejante de su Santd. no se haya de hablar sino con acatamiento, maxime con V. M. Cesa., por otra parte su imperial servicio me astringe á hablar clara y abiertamente; y es decir á V. M. que este hombre es muy baxo en grand manera, y que V. Md. hará lo mejor si le da algo de lo que pide de la Crnzada, y de todo lo que podrá tenerlo contento, porque contentarse ha de poco, y ganaremoslo para lo mucho; y aunque no sea sino asegurar de no perderle es harto. Otro tiempo á malas se havian dél muchas cosas, pero agora no conviene porque se desesperaria, y deveseles todo acatamiento, á lo menos en compensa de lo pasado, porque otramentc pienso que seria servicio de Dios reducirlos á la Spiritualidad."
  • n11. Not in the bundle.
  • n12. "He tenido siempre sospecha de él, y agora mas porque siempre estan con él los embaxadores de la Liga, y tiene malas entrañas."
  • n13. "Alli en sena predicó esta quaresma un fraile Lutherano la secta de Luthero."
  • n14. No person of this name is mentioned in Mr. Dennistoun's most careful and detailed memoirs of the dukes of Urbino.—London 1851, 8vo
  • n15. "Por lo que arriba digo de lo que su Santd. siente lo del Concilio, que dicen los de Alemania que se ha de hacer por fuerça para remediar lo de allá, visto que es materia peligrosa para hacerla tragar al papa, que en fin parece que no se puede asegurar desto."
  • n16. "Pues no ay obligation para ello, y porque los ministros de V. M. no es razon que digan, ni asseñalen cosa que no aya de ser, pudiendose concertar de otra manera."
  • n17. None of the documents here referred to was in the bundle.
  • n18. The number of the latter is left blank.
  • n19. Louise de Savoie, Duchess of Angoulême, and mother of Francis I.
  • n20. The instructions to Leyva, reciting those sent to Moncada on a former occasion, are also in the volume.
  • n21. Not in the volume.
  • n22. "Por que hallamos sernos para lo de acá necesario.
  • n23. Copies of these instructions were also sent to Leyva, Mai, Caracciolo, &c.