Spain: August 1529, 1-10

Pages 146-162

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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August 1529, 1-10

1 Aug. 88. Cardinal Santa Croce to the High Commander of Leon [Francisco de Los Covos].
S. E. L. 848,
f. 124–5.
B. M. Add. 28,579,
f. 1.
Has received an answer to the letter sent by Francisco de Leon. Thanks him for the care he takes of his affairs, and begs him to persevere. What he (the Cardinal) asks for is intended solely for the better service of God, and is quite indispensable in the present state of things.
Respecting the Emperor's reported journey we are all in suspense, and undecided as to whether it will be profitable to his interests or not. His (the Cardinal's) opinion and that of many others is that if it is to take place it should at any rate be as soon as possible, for the delay might cause inconvenience.
Whilst writing the above news has come of the treaty of friendship and alliance between the Emperor and the Pope having been concluded and signed [at Barcelona]. Immediately after applied for an audience and waited upon His Holiness. In the conversation that ensued respecting certain matters of his own profession, and touching also upon his conscience and that of the Emperor, he (Santa Croce) happened to remind him of certain promises made at Sanct Angelo respecting his very humble person, promises which being afterwards repeated to the Emperor at Madrid he seemed to hear with pleasure.
(Cipher:) His (the Cardinal's) words were as follows: "Since death is certain, and cannot be very far from us, I beg leave to remind Your Holiness of the words he said to me [at Sanct Angelo] respecting Florence: 'God forbid, Your Holiness said, that I should ever load my conscience with such a sin as to impose upon the Florentines the tyranny of the house of Medici, merely for the benefit of my family. True it is that they have offended me, and that I smart under the insult. I should therefore be glad to let them feel that it is in my power to take my revenge, with the Emperor's co-operation and assistance, not indeed to restore the former tyrannical government, or preserve the present, which is not good either, but to establish a new one.'"
The Pope owned that this was perfectly true, and that such were still his intentions. After which he added: "As you have been designated to be one of the three cardinals going to the Emperor, I shall have further occasion to inform you of my plans respecting Florence."
Thus the Pope spoke to me; whether he will fulfil his promise or not remains to be seen. All I can say is that for the discharge of his own conscience, as well as for the honour and reputation of our lord, the Emperor, his arrival in this country must bring freedom to Italy, as we, the Imperialists, continually proclaim, not rivet her chains, as our enemies prophesy. (fn. n1)
His Holiness is determined to receive the Emperor with the greatest solemnity ever displayed. Instead of two legates, as is the general custom, he intends sending three, one of each order, so as to represent the whole College of Cardinals: one bishop, who will be Farnese, though it is not customary to send bishops on such errands; one presbyter, myself, and one deacon, his own nephew, Ippolito de' Medici. He also told me that he intended sending the Duke [Alessandro] post haste to the reception.
(Cipher:) The Pope is ten days well and eight ill. People generally believe that he will hardly live till September, for, they say, he has drunk the Papal potion, (fn. n2) which generally takes effect after the first summer's heat.
(Common writing:) The Señor de Prato (fn. n3) has just this moment arrived with two pieces of good news, namely, the conclusion of the treaty of friendship and alliance, and the Emperor's speedy arrival.
The two legates and myself will leave to-morrow for Genoa, where I expect to see your Lordship.—Rome, 1st August 1529.
Signed: "F. Carlis S. +."
Addressed: "To the most magnificent Señor Francisco de los Covos, Secretary and Councillor to His Majesty, &c."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on the margins, pp. 4.
1 Aug. 89. Cardinal Santa Croce to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 848,
f. 126.
B. M. Add.
f. 3.
The ambassador's report will inform the Emperor, how, in in the space of a few days, matters have been settled to our complete satisfaction, so that with God's assistance most of the obstacles are now removed, which made us doubt the probable success of this journey.
The divorce case has been advoked to Rome, but although in the powers of attorney sent by the Queen I was named conjointly with the Imperial ambassador, Miçer Mai, it was agreed between us that the affair should be treated by him in public, and by myself in private, which has been done. There is only one danger to be apprehended, namely, that this may precipitate matters in England, and induce the two legates to act according to their unjust mandate (negra comision). To guard, if possible, against this, he (Praët) has appealed to the Pope's conscience, reminding him of the promise he made to Your Majesty through me, and begging him not to be the cause through his dilatory conduct of such a mishap.—Rome, 1st August 1529.
Signed: "F. Carlis S. +."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 2.
1 Aug. 90. Cardinal Palmieri: to the Same.
B. M. Add
f. 366.
Kisses the Emperor's hands a thousand times for all the favours shown him.—Rome, 1st August 1529.
Italian. Original. p. 1.
2 Aug. 91. Cardinal Santa Croce to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 848,
f. 9.
B.M. Add. 28,579,
f. 3.
Has nothing to advise. As regards general affairs refers entirely to Mai's despatches. His Holiness has at last granted the advocation of the Queen's case, and the proceedings have already commenced, much to the disgust of the English ambassadors, who at times beg and implore, and at others threaten.—Rome, 1st August 1529
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
2 Aug. 92. Cardinal of Ravenna to the Same.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 367.
Thanks for the intelligence communicated to him by Louis de Praët. Has always been his devoted servant; will hereafter be his most obedient slave.—Rome, 2nd August 1529.
Italian. Original. p. 1.
3 Aug. 93. Pope Clement to the Same.
S. E. L. 848, f. 73.
B. M. Add 28,579,
f. 10.
In credence of Cardinal Medici, his nephew, whom he sends to reside close to the Emperor's person until he himself is able to visit him. Has received through his ambassador, Praët, "del quale resto contentissimo," his letter containing the happy news of the peace concluded between them, and which is sure to turn out well for themselves and Christendom at large.—Rome, 3rd August 1529.
Italian. Holograph on vellum.
3 Aug. 94. Cardinal Santa Croce to the Same.
S. E. L. 848, f. 73.
B.M. Add. 28,579,
f. 11.
The Pope has ordered three different processions to be made this week, as thanksgivings for the peace; Friday at Saint John of Letran, Saturday at La Minerva, Sunday at St. Peter's. This last will be attended by all the cardinals. I have charge of the mass. Please God to give us so desirable a peace, and bring Your Majesty [to Italy] speedily and well. To these things my intention shall be directed in the mass, and such is also the Pope's wish. (fn. n4)
Signed: "F. Carlis de Sta +."
Spanish. Original. p. ½.
4 Aug. 95. Antonio Cardinal San Severing to the Emperor.
B.M Add 28,578,
f. 368.
Louis de Praët tells him that he (the Emperor) is favourably disposed towards him. Begs for pensions and a bishopric.—Rome, 4th August 1529.
Italian. Original. p. 1.
4 Aug. 96. MiÇer Mai to the Same.
S. E. L. 848, f. 52,
B. M. Add. 28,579,
Wrote by Martin, the courier, and afterwards by way of Genoa, on the 13th ulto.
On St. Peter's day the "white steed" was duly delivered according to custom. The ceremony went off very well, as it happened to be on the anniversary of the day when St. Pol's (fn. n5) defeat was known in Rome. Did not give the 7,000 ducats at the time, but promised to keep them in readiness for the day of settlement of our mutual accounts.
After the victory of our arms over St. Pol, the French ambassador, who resides here, went up to the Pope and solicited him to declare again for the League, in which case (he said) Ravenna and Cervia should be immediately given back to him. No sooner did I hear of this than I called upon His Holiness, who, being a wise politician, took no notice whatever of what the Frenchman told him on the occasion. I hear that the ambassador has since proposed a convention with the Florentines, and so importuned the Pope about joining the League that His Holiness could not help saying to him at last: "Pray, leave me alone; this League has already caused my ruin and that of the whole world."(Cipher:) At the express commands of the Prince of Orange I and my colleague have done all that was in our power to reconcile (concertar) the conflicting views of these Italian potentates. The undertaking was not an easy one. We spoke about it to the Pope, who personally sounded the ambassadors, and told us he had some hopes of the Duke Francesco, but none of the Venetians. Seeing this and imagining that what the confederates wanted was to unite in order to get better terms, we let the affair drop, and there was no more said about it. Since then the Duke Francesco has sent me [Mai] a secret message through a friar, the son of a Milanese gentleman, with whom I was once very intimate, declaring that he has no other wish than that of being useful to Your Highness. But the Duke is so restless (revoltosillo) a man that no reliance can be placed in his words.
(Common writing:) Told the Pope that the Viceroy of Naples (Philibert de Chalon) was on the point of starting; at which he gave signs of great joy, and ordered that apartments should be prepared for him in the Belvedere. We ourselves expect him with impatience, and cease not reminding him how very profitable it would be for his own reputation and that of the Imperial army under his orders, if he were now to quit Naples, already more than half destroyed—come to Rome, make the Pope declare himself, and snatch Florence from the hands of the enemy. This last would be an important acquisition for us, considering the situation of that city and the opulence of its inhabitants. (Cipher:) All politicians agree in our opinion, namely, that Your Majesty ought to conclude peace as soon as possible, for in the state in which Germany and Rome are at present no time should be lost. The Lutherans and Anabaptists, encouraged by certain princes and by those of the electors who withdrew from the last Diet, are a calamity sufficient of itself to put an end to the whole world. These are matters that cannot be settled except by reputation, and reputation cannot be obtained by other means than peace. I have written so to Madame Margaret, and also to tell her that I had seen and read letters from England, where King Henry is described as trying to prolong the negociations as much as possible. In proof of which he is reported to have said: "If the king of France thinks that he can make peace without me he is very much mistaken, for I can and will make mine before him, and I hear that the powers to that effect have already reached Flanders."
The Venetians, on the other hand, from fear of their being excluded from the peace of Cambray, still threaten to bring the Turk [into Europe]. They are now doing all they can to prevent the ratification (desviar las paces), promising to help the king of France with larger sums than those stipulated in the former league, if he will only stand by them in Italy. (Common writing:) The Turk (Solyman) has lately increased his sea forces by 40 galleys. It is calculated that the war will last no less than three years, and that stores of provisions and contracts with merchants have been made upon that calculation. I am told (moreover) that Solyman has asked the Signory to let him establish his stores (magazeno) of wheat in Venice. Cannot say what the Signory has answered, but there can be no doubt that a son of the present Doge, Luigi Gritti by name, is now the leader and guide of his army. I have even heard with reference to the Doge himself, through a most confidential person, that with the Turk's favour he (the Doge) is thinking of doing away with the Republic and assuming the supreme power. (fn. n6)
Letters from Venice of the 7th ulto state that Solyman was already at Sophia, half-way between Constantinople and Hungary, and that the Vayvod of Transylvania (Zapolski) was to marry one of his daughters. If credit be given to a letter from the king of Poland (Sigismond), the Turk's idea would be to leave part of the invading army in Hungary, and with the greater bulk attack Italy.
The Duke of Savoy (Carlo) has also written and sent his ambassadors here to complain of the Swiss Lutherans, who (he says) are invading his territory, and converting his vassals to the new sect. He has sent to implore the help of the Holy See, and is more afraid than ever of his neighbours who, since the last agreement (concordia) have become much more formidable than before. To give Your Majesty an idea of the mischief these people can cause, I shall mention only two articles of their late covenant, which are strong enough of themselves. One is that the five cantons that still remain Christian (fn. n7) renounce all help the Suabian League in Germany can afford them; and the other that all Switzers may believe whatever they like in matters of Faith. And I need scarcely add that if such ideas penetrate into Italy it will be impossible to stop them, for the Romans are immoderately fond of new opinions.
About 20 days ago, as the Archbishop of Çaragoça of Sicily (Syracosa) arrived here, the Pope had him immediately arrested and sent to Sant Angelo. He well deserves this and worse treatment even, for he has certainly done very wicked things. As I happened to be a reporter (relator) in various cases of infidelity I sent for the prosecuting officer (fiscal), and told him to have him interrogated concerning them. He has written to Sicily, but it would not be amiss to consult Queen Germaine [de Foix], and also Don Juan Manuel, who know something of the crimes and deeds of that prelate, who, I hear, has been quite mad for several years back. The papers I had relating to the bishop I left in the hands of the first regent of the Council of Aragon, Phelippe de Ferreras, from whom they may be had at any time.
(Cipher:) The Imperial troops begin to arrive; but, alas, they are so accustomed to their old habits of plunder, that one company alone of Italians, under Pier Luigi Farnese, has completely sacked two or three villages. It is a great pity that one thousand men should march in the way they do, followed by a train of no less than three thousand mouths to feed, counting women and beasts of burden (acemilas). I have written to Naples about it, and represented to the Prince how indecorous it is that soldiers should march in this way against all the rules of military discipline, at a time, too, when Italians of all parties expect to enjoy in full the blessings of peace.
The Pope has appointed three legates to go and receive Your Majesty. Farnese was long considered as of the French party, but for several days past he professes to be our friend. As to Cardinal Santa Croce, who is another of those appointed, he is well known at Court. I must say of him that some time ago he discontinued those practices of which I wrote to Your Majesty, and that ever since he has served well and zealously. Medici and the Duke [Alessandro] are very young (moços), and to hear them, they adore Your Majesty's very name.
(Common writing:) The Sienese have amicably settled their differences with Count Pitigliano. This latter, who was formerly in the pay of Venice, has given me to understand that he has altogether left the service of that Signory, and wishes to be employed by Your Majesty. As he is one of the most influential among the Orsini, and has large estates in Tuscany, he may be useful hereafter.
Landing at Genoa of Mons. de Praët, and subsequent arrival in Rome.
The Pope, since his return, has been ill and very suffering for four or five days, but since it has been found that his disease is gravel and stone in the bladder, and that there is no danger of his having taken poison (yervas), as most people thought at first, there is no longer the same anxiety for his life. Besides which, Your Majesty's conduct towards him is enough to revive a corpse (resucitar un muerto).
Cardinal Cesarino and the abbacy of Montearagon, &c.
Sant Severino and the archbishopric of Taranto, &c.
Yesterday letters came from the king of Hungary to Andrea del Burgo and to me. Their contents shall be duly communicated to Mons. de Praët.—Rome, 4th August 1529.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the Sacred Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Sovereign Lord."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheed. pp. 14.
4 Aug. 97. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 848,
ff. 54-5.
B. M. Add. 28,579,
f. 20.
As in June last it was announced that there would be "signatura" on the 19th, I waited on His Holiness and begged him to advoke the divorce case. His answer was that he would look into it, as it might possibly interrupt the negociations for the peace of Cambray, where the affair could perhaps be settled. Told him that I was of a different opinion, as the king of England, perceiving that the case must needs be tried by competent judges, and despairing of being able to obtain his wish through favour or bribery, might probably be induced to relinquish his ideas on the subject. It seemed to me that by advoking the cause His Holiness would strike a mighty blow in favour of the peace which he had so much at heart. Such was my argument in the paper (informe) which I then sent to the Pope's referendaries; but nothing was done at the time, because two days after, on the 21st, the Pope had a relapse, and of course no "signatura" was held.
The king of England, on the other hand, has sent as his ambassador a lawyer (I cannot say whether a member of his Privy Council or not) whom the other [two] formerly at this court treat with great respect. I am told by the Pope that he is a consummate canonist and lawyer, and comes especially for the divorce case. No sooner did I hear of his arrival than I went to the Pope and petitioned him to have the case advoked to his court, promising that whatever the efficiency and good parts of the learned English doctor might be, the convenience of the measure would be clearly demonstrated, since justice was entirely on our side. Along with the English lawyer comes one Silvester Dario, lately appointed auditor to the Rotta, and I am told that the Bishop of Tarbes (fn. n8) (Gabriel de Grammont) is also coming from France. He (the Pope) had been requested by them to issue a new "decretal," to the detriment, as may be imagined, of the poor Queen. I told him that he might thereby calculate how far those parties were from the paths of justice, since they had recourse to such unusual measures (estrañezas).
On the 5th ulto I received by a courier sent by Madame (Margaret), the powers of attorney, which the Queen herself sends me to represent her here, and apply for the advocation. Don Iñigo writes to say that they have been obtained with the greatest difficulty, but once at Rome, and in my possession, we must proceed to work and plain speaking.
According to Don Iñigo the King had lately given out that His Holiness had very recently again entrusted to the two legates the cognizance of this affair, and told the Queen to prepare her defence and choose her counsel, because he wished at once to bring on the action. Many other heart-rending particulars does Don Iñigo relate in his letter about the manner in which the poor lady is treated, and the seclusion (estrechez) in which she lives.
With this letter of Don Iñigo's in my hand I went to Cardinals Sancti Quatuor (Pucci) and Ancona (Accolti), who are commonly fathers of the "signatura" (padres de la signatura) read it aloud, and told them plainly what I thought of such behaviour. Went next to the Pope, shewed him Don Iñigo's letter, and complained that whilst he kept promising us that the case should be advoked to Rome, and all proceedings in England suspended, the trial was going on in London just as before. He had only had one "signatura" since my arrival in Rome, of which I had given due notice to Your Imperial Majesty. My belief was that his reason for not having more "signaturas" was that he wished to delay as much as possible the advocation of the divorce case, and keep Your Imperial Majesty in suspense, in order to obtain better terms at the future peace. This behaviour (I said) I could no longer tolerate; he ought to know that Your Majesty wished to behave towards him as a friend and a dutiful son, out of your own inclination and not moved by any other consideration or thought (respetos ni cautelas); and that he was very much mistaken if he thought that a behaviour of this sort would serve him with Your Majesty.
To these reproaches of mine the Pope made no other reply than to excuse himself on account of his bad health, which, he said, was the only cause of his not having "signaturas" and attending to business; protesting all the time that his intentions were good, &c. Very luckily for me, Jacopo Salviati, who, though a great rogue, has not wit enough to conceal his tricks, foolishly shewed me the minute of the letter they had written to Campeggio. I declare that I never saw in all the days of my life a more stupid and knavish (bellaca) letter, such as might have been concocted in Hell, (fn. n9) because Campeggio was therein instructed never to reveal to any one that he had received positive orders not to give sentence, but go on gaining time—which, by the way, is exactly what these people consider a great favour—because were he (Campeggio) to say that he would make no declaration in the affair, it stands to reason that the Eboracense (Archbishop of York) would act by himself, since the Pope's mandate was originally addressed to the two legates coinjointly, or to one individually. The letter, the minute of which I saw with my own eyes, went on to say that if he (Campeggio) could not achieve this, he was to carry on proceedings until the final sentence, but not deliver the same without first consulting Rome. If possible, he was to keep this part of his instructions secret for fear the King should be displeased.
So grave, indeed, were the contents of the minute shown to me by Jacopo Salviati that I lost all patience, and next day Miçer Andrea del Burgo and I went to the Pope and told him: "We have seen the instructions sent to Cardinal Campeggio; they are of such a nature that were we to inform the Emperor of their contents, he would undoubtedly resent the manner in which he is treated here. We will not do this for fear of preventing so great a boon as the peace now being negociated between Your Holiness and him. And yet we cannot refrain from speaking our mind plainly. Let Your Holiness hear us with patience."
"This letter to Campeggio (I continued) is a breach of the faith so often pledged by Your Holiness to the Emperor, first through Cardinal Santa Croce, afterwards through Muxetula and myself, and lastly through the Papal Nuncio (Selade), now at Barcelona, that the divorce suit should be advocated to Rome. The breach of such a promise, and the writing to Campeggio to go on with the proceedings, is in my opinion a greater insult and offence to the Emperor than the commision given to that cardinal in the first instance. It is a wonder to me how lightly Your Holiness holds promises made in accordance with justice and reason, because the advocation of the case is only an act of justice at which no one can take offence, whereas the non-advocation is a decided injury to Your Majesty, &c."
"An offence of this kind (I remarked) bears so much on the honour and reputation of the Emperor, of the kings of Hungary and Portugal, and of all the princes of the Imperial family, and even on Your Holiness, that it cannot be expected His Imperial Majesty will put up with it. It is a rule of canonical and civil law (los derechos) that whenever judges are suspected of partiality either in trying or sentencing a case, they can be challenged by the parties. The present suit is highly injurious (perjudicial) to the Queen, because at some stage of the proceedings, such as the calling in of witnesses, &c., the poor lady might faint and abandon her defence, or not prosecute it in a suitable manner. Besides which the want of security of the notaries, proctors, and witnesses employed in the suit is a circumstance equally open to suspicion' (por ser el lugar sospechoso), as regards not only the proceedings, but the judgment (judicatura) itself. There was still another difficulty (inconveniente): were the trial to he conducted and sentenced in England according to the King's wishes, it was enough for him to request Campeggio once or twice, and ask him whether he wished or not to give sentence in the cause, and in case of refusal the duty would then devolve entirely upon the other legate (Wolsey)." (fn. n10)
Concluded my address by earnestly requesting His Holiness to advoke the case, lest in England they should proceed de facto and by "contumacia," for although it is not likely that they will act so in a case of this sort, yet anything may be apprehended from people so outrageously mad upon this point that they are only looking for an excuse to catch at (asidero). His Holiness should be careful not to add fuel to the fire now raging among Christians.
In this last part of my argument I (Mai) was so strongly supported by my colleague (Andrea del Burgo) that the Pope could not help making his excuses, and deliberately said to me: "What I have hitherto done in this matter was intended for the best, to facilitate general peace among Christians, and keep on good terms with all; but since they (the English) are so mad (locos), and you have the Queen's powers to act for her, let a petition be presented in her name, and justice shall be done."
After this, on the 10th of the same month (July), the copy of a letter dated London, the 21st of June, came into my hands through a very respectable channel. It stated that the suit had actually commenced, three acts had been passed, the Queen's appeal had been rejected, and the judges declared competent, (fn. n11) notwithstanding the suspicions alleged. The Queen had been declared contumacious, and the case tried as such. Called on His Holiness, in company with Miçer Andrea; told him the indignity practised against the Queen, and Campeyo's (Campeggio's) bad behaviour. I entreated him not to delay the advocation any longer, but appoint a day for the "signatura" and decide at once, as otherwise it might be too late. This time the Pope was touched, and seemed to take more interest in the affair; he ordered a "signatura" to be announced, and notwithstanding the opposition of the English orators and their adherents, who did all they could to prevent it "en hecho y derecho," on the 13th inst. the Pope had "signatura," and the advocation was actually decreed, with this circumstance, that the Pope's decretal contains a clause to the effect that everything done after this date is to be considered null and void.
The Pope, however, for greater security and the better to discharge his conscience, wished this decision to pass through a consistory of cardinals. Three more days were thus lost during which the English orators bethought them to petition that these acts should not be intimated in Spain or Flanders but sent to the Queen in England. As they have been so lucky hitherto in all their follies respecting the divorce, the orators found means (hallaron aparejo de ser creidos) of persuading the Pope that their demand was just. They were on the point of obtaining what they wanted, when having heard of it I waited upon His Holiness and said: "That cannot be; it is only a device of the English ambassadors who know very well that the Queen will never dare present the inhibition brief. Your Holiness ought to have it affixed here and in Flanders first, as customary in such cases, after which it may be sent to the Queen and delivered into her hands, if possible."
On the eve of the day appointed for the consistory the Pope had another attack, and we (Burgo and I) were told by Cardinal Sancti Quatuor (Pucci) that the consistory could not take place. It was (he said) for us to consider whether the inhibition was to be sent to the Queen just as it was, and without passing through consistory, or whether we preferred waiting until one could be held. I confess that when I heard this I again lost patience, and made to Sancti Quatuor many angry remarks, which I omit for brevity's sake. I then proposed one of three things, viz.: 1. Either to give me at once the decree of advocation without its actually going through the consistory of cardinals, for me to use, as is just and customary in such cases, instead of handing it over to the English ambassadors whose bad purpose (cautela) was visible in the matter. 2. Or for His Holiness to hold a consistory for that express purpose, since however unwell, it was his (the Pope's) duty to have it immediately assembled, and if unfit to attend it, to call together a congregation, as they call the meetings whereat His Holiness is not present. 3. If neither of these expedients was adopted to let us (Burgo and myself) know immediately; we would then drop the subject altogether and never again bring it before His Holiness, sure as we were, that if justice were absolutely denied to the Queen, her nephew, the Emperor, could and would find other means for her protection. Concluded by begging Sancti Quatuor's pardon for the warmth (aspereza) of my speech. He went up to the Pope, reported my conversation, and the result was that a congregation was summoned for the next day, and that the cardinals [of our party] having been spoken to beforehand, the matter was fully discussed, some of the members present going so far as to speak warmly of the disgraceful character and injustice of the whole thing. The motion, therefore, passed without much opposition, and it was resolved that the advocation should be communicated to the Rotta, there to be formally declared after having been propounded in consistory.
Thus the cause, thanks to God, is for the present safe enough (al seguro) because, as I said before, all that has been hitherto done will be revoked here in three different ways: firstly, by reason of the "litis pendentia" alleged by the Queen; secondly, by her own appeal against the unwarrantable proceedings of the opposite party (por via de atentado); and thirdly, by the clause of the decree (del decreto irritante) which has been committed to the Dean of the auditors (decano de los auditores), Miçer Paulo Capisucci, who is sure to do his duty in this affair, since before his appointment to that charge I made sure of him through Cardinal Cesarini and others.
In spite of all this the English ambassadors have since been trying hard to have the summons (citacion) sent straight to the Queen, for what purpose. I need not repeat. One of them came especially to see me, and I undeceived him, as well as the Pope, who spoke to me on the subject, till at last His Holiness told me I might do what I liked in this respect.
Six copies of the acts have, therefore, been made to be affixed at six different places. One for Rome to be affixed on the 23rd inst. Two more for Flanders to be affixed at Bruges and Dunkerk. The remainder to be sent by different routes to Her Highness Madame [of the Low Countries], for her to forward to Her most Serene Majesty the Queen of England, or to whomsoever may be thought best. I must add that there came in Mr. Praët's suite a gentleman of the Queen's household, who landed with him at Genoa. He brought me letters from Your Majesty, as well as copies of the proceedings enacted [in England], that I might apply legally for the advocation. This having been accomplished, the gentleman left yesterday for Germany. He takes with him one of the above-mentioned copies, and if necessary will take some more. Others shall be forwarded through the Pope to the Capuan (Schomberg) to give or forward to the most illustrious Princess, the Lady Margaret [of Flanders].
I hear that the Pope has written to Campeggio, who, however, as I said before, has behaved very badly in all this affair, if I am to judge from his letters which the Pope himself gave me to read.
I have told the Pope and the Cardinal of Ancona, as well as the English orator here, that a papal brief ought to be addressed to King Henry, exhorting him to live with his wife, the Queen, this new brief supplying any deficiencies there might be in the dispensation [of Julius], and praising him (the King) for his efforts to ascertain the truth for the satisfaction of his own conscience. As the cause must needs come out of the kingdom, and excite the passions of the people, this last expedient appears to be the best, for the King may by these means not only purge his past sins, but also gain the reputation of an honest and conscientious man. (fn. n12) I cannot say whether such a brief has been made out and sent. I fancy it has, because every one here, the English ambassador included, applauds the idea, though I believe the affair will be kept a secret for the sake of the parties concerned.
The news from England is that this business of the divorce is being pressed more than ever it was, either for the sake of the Eboracense (Wolsey) who wishes afterwards to go to Cambray, or perhaps for fear of this advocation, which has at last been obtained. The latter conjecture seems the most probable, for the same letters announce the nomination of the Bishop of London [Tunstall] to the post of ambassador at Cambray. The letters mention also the fact of the Bishop Roffense (Fisher), a most learned and virtuous prelate, having on the 25th of June ulto made a public speech (orado publicamente), in which he said that he had for many years past carefully studied the divorce case, and that he was bound to declare, for the discharge of his conscience, that the matrimony of King Henry and Katharine was perfectly valid, and so legitimate that it could only be dissolved by God. Many in England began to share the bishop's opinion, and it was to be hoped, with God's mercy, that the King himself would be arrested in his career and the sentence delayed, although, if I am to judge by what Campeggio writes about him, there is very little chance of his ever repenting what he has done.
I am now trying to procure the writings of a doctor and member of this Rotta called Staphileo, who was the real originator of all this madness (autor desta locura), in order to see on what ground his opinion rested, and, if necessary, be prepared against his arguments; also in examining certain papers the Pope has lately received from England. Expenses incurred in procuring the advocation, &c.—Rome, 4th August 1529.
P.S.—I have at last ascertained the reason why the English orators opposed as long as they could the affixing of the edicts in England. Not only was it to gain time, as I imagined at first, but because the people of that country, being sincerely attached to their Queen, might be discontented at it, and form too great an idea of Your Majesty's power if such things were obtained at Rome through your influence. As a proof of this, Praët, who has just arrived, tells me that among a quantity of letters intercepted the other day by one of the Imperial captains on the road to Venice, there was one from these English ambassadors to the Signory begging them to guard the frontier passes well so as to prevent the summons and inhibition from reaching their destination. However this may be, knowing the character of these English orators, and the danger of the edicts being intercepted, I have, as I said before, given one copy to the Queen's gentleman who left the other day; another has gone by way of the Marquis of Mus. (fn. n13) I am now sending a third to Figueroa at Genoa, and a fourth to the Capuan (Schomberg) at Cambray. This last under cover of the Pope's letter to his Nuncio, and in the most secret manner possible for him to put it into the hands of the Lady Margaret.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "S. Cæs. Cath. R. Mti."
Spanish. Original. pp. 15.
4 Aug. 98. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 848, f. 59.
B.M. Add. 28,579,
f. 29.
His letter of the same date will inform His Imperial Majesty of what has been accomplished in favour of the Queen. The present will refer exclusively to State affairs.—The Traietto business, &c.
Enclosed is the brief for the Empress Isabella to administer during the Emperor's absence the masterships of the four military orders in the kingdoms of Castille. (Cipher:) Finding that the people here assert that the concession of Pope Adrian was snatched from him on his death bed, shortly before he breathed his last, he (Mai) has applied to Sancti Quatuor for a confirmation of the bull of the incorporation of those masterships to the Crown. That cardinal has promised it, and it may go with this.
(Common Writing:) Respecting the duplicate of the dispensation brief for Your Majesty's marriage issued in Sessa's time, notwithstanding all the research made we can find no traces of it in the register books of this embassy, most of which, as Your Imperial Majesty knows, have been lost. Two attested copies (fn. n14) have therefore been made from the one Your Majesty sent us.
With regard to the permission to marry asked by the knights commanders of the orders of Calatrava and Alcantara the negociation continues. The Pope is willing to grant such permission to the future knights themselves, and to those who have not yet professed, but not to the commanders (comendadores). However, as Francisco de Vibero, the solicitor for the Military Orders, informs him (Mai) there is some hope that His Holiness will ultimately accede to this request. That granted to the knights has already cost 12,000, which the Pope says are destined for the king of Hungary to carry on war against the Turk.
Crusade, &c.—Rome, 4th August 1529.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the Sacred Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord and Master."
Spanish. Original. pp. 5½.
5 Aug. 99. News from Hungary extracted from letters received by Andrea del Burgo and the Imperial Ambassadors.
S.E.L. 848, f. 76
B.M. Add. 28,579
f. 32.
The Turk is boldly advancing upon Hungary. Three things have hitherto impeded his march. 1st. Great floods and inundations. 2nd. The plague which has broken out in his camp. 3rd. The dread of our Emperor and of his armies. This, notwithstanding, he has already passed Belgrade, and is making forays as far as Buda.
The King's army is not yet ready to meet the enemy, and, therefore, the whole of the kingdom is in danger.—Lintz, 5th August 1529.
Italian. Contemporary copy. p. 1.
5 Aug. 100. Miçer Mai, Imperial Ambassador in Rome, to Nicolas Perrenot de Granvelle.
S. E. L. 848, f. 9.
KM. Add. 28,579,
f. 28.
Relates all that has occurred in the advocation of the divorce case, and how he has caused the Papal decree to be affixed in various parts of Rome, and forwarded [to the Low Countries and to England] in three different ways. (fn. n15)
That he has requested the Pope and his cardinals to write to the king of England exhorting him to live with his wife. That they have approved the measure, and he (Mai) believes they have done so.
The law costs amount already to 50 ducats or thereabouts. Has informed the Queen of England of it, that she may provide the funds, and in the meantime the money will be advanced from the Imperial treasury.
One of the Imperial captains has stopped on the road to Venice a courier carrying letters for that Signory, the whole of which have been put into the hands of M.. de Praët. Among them was one [from the English ambassador residing here at Rome] requesting the Venetians to place a good guard on their frontiers so as to prevent the inhibition from reaching England.
Indorsed: "Summary of letters from Miçer Mai of the 4th and 5th of August."
6 Aug. 101. Pope Clement to the Emperor.
S.E.L. 848, f.6.
B.M. Add. 28,579,
His brief absolving all those who were present at, or consented to, the sack of Rome.—Rome, 6th August 1529.
Countersigned: "Evangelista."
Latin. Original on vellum.
6 Aug. 102. News from Cambray, sent by Hieronymo Francho.
S.E.L.496, f. 70
B.M. Add. 28,579
f. 36.
On the 5th the Bishop of Cambray said mass, after which the two ladies, (fn. n16) attended by the Papal Legate, Salviati, by the ambassadors of King Ferdinand and of the king of England, swore to the treaty with great solemnity. Then the Dean of Cambray announced in a loud voice that peace had been concluded between the Pope, the Emperor Charles, Francis, king of France; Ferdinand, king of Bohemia and Hungary; and Henry, king of England. After which a separate peace between King Henry and Madame Margaret [of the Low Countries] was proclaimed.
The confederates were not mentioned in this solemnity. Before leaving the ambassadors were called to a conference, where the article relating to the Signory was shown to the Venetians, who had not seen it before. They feel most aggrieved by it, &c.
Indorsed: "News from Cambray of the 6th August, sent by Miçer Hieronymo Francho."
Italian. Original. pp. 2.
7 Aug. 103. News from France.
S.E.L.496, f.69.
B.M Add. 28,579,
f. 37.
A letter from St. Quentin, in France, addressed to Pomponio Triulzio, at Lyons, says that on Thursday morning [5th Aug..] (fn. n17) the peace between the Pope, the Emperor, the kings of France, England and Scotland, was published with all solemnity, mass said, money thrown to the crowd, theatricals performed, and various other entertainments, &c.
Italian. Contemporary. p. 1.
8 Aug. 104. Cardinal of Siena to the Emperor.
B.M. Add. 28,578,
f. 369.
Begs to acknowledge receipt of the letter brought by Signor Praët, and thankfully places himself under the Emperor's orders.—Rome, 8th August 1529.
Italian. Original. p. 1.


  • n1. "Porque á su venida conviene [el] nombre de libertar á Italia como sus servidores publicamos, y no de tiranizarla como los contraries dizen."
  • n2. "Por que se tiene por cierto que ha recebido medicina papal la qual suele hazer su operacion pasados los calores."
  • n3. As it has been remarked elsewhere, Italians and Spaniards residing at Rome called Praët, i.e., Louis de Flandre, Sieur de Praët, &c., Prato, which was the italianized name of Antoine du Prat. Hence the frequent mistakes which occur in this correspondence.
  • n4. "Y tales son tambien los deseos de su Santidad."
  • n5. St. Pol's defeat and capture at Landriano happened on the 21st June 1529.
  • n6. "Y aun del mesmo duque he entendido por parte muy secreta que con el favor de ellos tiene pensamiento a alçarse con la señoria de Venecia."
  • n7. "El uno es que los cinco cantones, que son Christianos, han renunciado a valerse de la liga que tienen en Alemania."
  • n8. Written Torba in the copy; the original had, no doubt, Tarha, for Tarbes, on the Adour (Hautes Pyreneés). The bishop was Gabriel de Grammont, often mentioned in these despatches.
  • n9. "Y vi la mas necia y bellaca carta que se pudiera hacer en el Infierno."
  • n10. "Que a ser hecho el processo aliá, si le evocasen, si queria [n] juzgar en él no era menester mas de requeriral Campeyo una vez ó dos si queria juzgar ó no, y constituyendose en mora podria juzgar el [Eboracense] solo."
  • n11. "Y declaradose por jueces competentes."
  • n12. "Y alabandole de lo que hasta agora habia querido trabajar en saber la verdad por seguridad de su conciencia; pero pues la causa ha de salir del Reyno y crecer pasiones, que es mejor esto, y á todos les parece bien, que no solo purgará con esto la sospecha de lo pasado mal hecho pero ganará nombre de justo y de bombre concienzudo."
  • n13. Gian Giacopo de' Medici, Marquis of Mus, and afterwards of Marignano.
  • n14. "Una despachada por breve, otra por plomo."
  • n15. On the margin is a note in Granvelle's handwriting thus worded: "Está may bien," after which follows, on the same sheet, an abstract of Santa Croce's despatch of the 1st concerning the Queen's case.
  • n16. That is to say Louise de Savoie and Margaret.
  • n17. According to Sandoval, Histaria del Emperador Carlos V., lib. xvi., the meeting at Cambray took place on the 5th of July, the conferences began on the 7th, and were closed one month after, on the 5th of August.