Spain: October 1529, 11-20

Pages 282-289

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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October 1529, 11-20

11 Oct. 186. Micer Mai to the Emperor.
S. E.L. 848, f. 100.
B.M. Add. 28,579,
f. 203.
Friday evening, the 8th inst., Mons. de Praët left Civitta Castellano, taking with him the last news from this place and especially the draft of the five articles (capitulos) which the Capuan (Schomberg) took to the Prince, and two more which the Pope has since added in his own hand.
Called this very day on Mesdames Julia and Isabella Colonna and begged for an answer to the Imperial letters which Mons. de Praët and he (Mai) presented to them. Their answer was that they would remit it to Bologna. This was no doubt suggested to them by His Holiness, for both mother and daughter went to kiss his feet the day before, and complained of their grievances. Doña Isabel, in particular, was I am told very clamorous [cipher], representing the bad treatment she experiences at the hands of the Cardinal (fn. n1) under whose care she now is.
At midnight a courier arrived from the camp. It appears that the Prince [of Orange] has determined to attack (batir) Florence; he is, however, in want of money and pioneers. Called accordingly on the Pope, who on the very same day sent him 4,000 ducats, and gave orders for a number of pioneers (gastadores) to be recruited at Arezzo, Perugia, and other towns of his estate. He promised besides more money, which he says he expects to have at Bologna. Shewed him (Mai) letters from Florence giving him great hopes of the surrender of that city, but he strongly recommended [cipher] that a proclamation (bando) should be issued forbidding the Imperial soldiers to make prisoners and receive ransoms, because, said he, if that is duly announced, no resistance will be made, that being the thing which the Florentines dread most, for as to the sack and its consequences their minds are already made up (ya lo tienen tragado).
The Pope exhibited also a letter from Milan with an account of the military rising there, in which no less than 1,000 men took part. Some people here pretend that Antonio de Leyva was the sole cause of it, as they say he wishes this state of things to continue in Milan and the whole of Lombardy, that he may go on governing the Duchy. His Holiness and he (Mai) discussed the matter together, but neither could find a clue to the affair. As to him (Mai), though he attaches no faith to the report, and besides cannot imagine what could be Leyva's object in thus promoting insubordination among his men, yet he considers it his duty to inform the Emperor of the rumours afloat.
Delivered at Teranni (Terni) His Imperial Majesty's letters with the news of Hungary. The Pope was very much affected by the intelligence, could not help thinking that treason had something to do with it, for he says, the succour was ordered in May, and was to have been ready in August.
Having humbly suggested to him that it was desirable for that very reason that his arrival at Bologna and interview with Your Majesty should take place as soon as possible, the Pope answered: "I cannot, on account of my present sufferings make greater haste, I am already greatly fatigued from yesterday's travelling. It is better to lose two days in this way, and arrive in good health at Bologna, than not to arrive at all." Must not omit a circumstance connected with this affair. The day before the Pope spoke in this way he (Mai) happened to say to Sanga : "Methinks that Master Scipio (the physician of Duke Francesco, who attends the Pope in his convalescence), is purposely [cipher] making him and us travel by short stages in order that his master may negociate in the meantime." Sanga replied: "Do not imagine such a thing; on the contrary, Scipio knows very well that the health of his master depends entirely upon the issue of these negociations."
(Common writing:) His Holiness expects to be at Bologna on the 27th, or the day after at any rate, some time before All Saints; but, he says, His Imperial Majesty [cipher] ought not to come to Bologna till three days after that [common writing], those being days for mass and much Church ceremony.
[Cipher:] Respecting the Lutherans, the Pope agrees that some sort of remedy must be thought of in time. He thinks that their pertinacious errors (locura y pertinacia) may be condoned (condonados) to a certain extent, provided they do not touch on matters of Faith. In all other things he says he cares not a straw, even if they should be left in possession of their churches. (fn. n2)
Yesterday, Sunday, we arrived at Teranni (Terni), which is the one of the Italian cities most attached to the Imperial service.
Letters from Venice have been received. The news is, that in the two or three last preghai the votes of the majority had been favourable to the peace, on condition, however, that the Duke Francesco should remain in possession of the Duchy. Since then letters of the 27th have come saying that a certain coldness was observed, which nobody could account for, unless it were caused by hopes in a certain quarter, or perhaps also fear of the Turk.
It was also reported that Vernes (?) had returned to France without obtaining the restitution of the towns and territories which they hold in Puglia. The Venetians had told him: "The King, your master, has not looked into this affair as he ought; we have already spent four millions of gold, and are ready to spend still more for the deliverance of his sons— for after all the last war and league had no other object—and yet we have been maliciously excluded from this peace;" to which the French ambassador replied: "That is not correct your ambassador was called in but would not attend." In short, they say that they will wait for the arrival of the Admiral [of France], and that they wonder that Your Majesty did not apply for those territories, because they say, in case of restitution, why should he [the King] of France get the thanks?—Teranni (Terni), 11th October 1529.
Signed: "Mai."
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
11 Oct. 187. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 848, f. 99.
B. M. Add. 28,579,
f. 201.
The enclosed will inform Your Imperial Majesty of what passed with the Pope at Civittà Castellana, and afterwards at Trani (Terni). Last evening I spoke to him here, at Spoletto, and found him in great glee, in consequence of the taking of Pavia, and above all, of the news he had received respecting the Duke Francesco and the Venetians. It appears that when the Papal Nuncio went to Cremona to speak with the Duke Francesco, he found the Venetian ambassador there. Being present at the conference, the Venetian wrote home, giving particulars, and the consequence was that the Doge and Signory have now written a polite letter to the Pope, assuring him that they are ready to restitute the fortresses in the lands of the Church, as well as those in Puglia, and make peace at once, the only difficulty being the security to be given for the execution of the terms and conditions of the peace. They also shew a wish that the Duke Francesco be maintained in his estate of Milan.
This last courier, who left Venice on the 6th, brings news of the taking of Buda and Possonia by the Turk, where they say no less than 5,000 Christians were put to the sword. Vienna, however, had a garrison of 20,000 men, and as the women and children had been sent out of the city, there was provision for four months. A report was also current that in one of the provinces of Turkey those called green turbans (los de las berretas verdes) had rebelled, which was a sufficient cause for the retreat of the Turk to his own dominions.
On the same day, the 6th of October, news was received at Venice that the Duke of Urbino (Francesco Maria della Rovere) had had a relapse, and was in great danger of his life; yesterday morning a letter came from Perugia to Malatesta, who is now in Florence, advising the Duke's death.—Foligno, 12th October 1529.
P.S.—This letter is not sealed, that Mr. de Praët may, if he chooses, peruse its contents. (fn. n3)
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To His Majesty the Emperor."
13 Oct. 188. King Henry VIII to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
Hof-u.-Staats Arch.
c. 225, No. 57.
The most Christian King [of France] has sent an application concerning the jewel, known as the "fleur de liz," which he says ought to be delivered to him according to the letter of the treaty lately concluded at Cambray. It is the same which the Emperor, Maximilian, once pledged to his father Henry VII., for a sum of 50,000 crs. Wishes to know what the Emperor's will is in this respect.—Wyndsore, 13th October 1529.
Signed: "Henry."
French. Original. p. 1.
13 Oct. 189. Cardinal Santa Croce to the Emperor.
S.E.L. 848, f.129.
B. M. Add. 28,579,
f. 207.
Owing to sciatica (dolor de ijada) which has considerably troubled him of late he has been unable to make greater speed. Will, nevertheless, ride post until he meets the Pope, and administers him the medicine (xardbe) he meditates, (fn. n4) such as a Pope can receive from the hands of a cardinal, to purge him of the bad humours which this dark affair of Florence must necessarily have created in his constitution, and give him to understand how befitting it is for him and for the Church to adopt a fitter course [respecting that Signory] than the one hitherto followed. For since His Imperial Majesty is disposed to fulfil his promises, and even to act against his own interests, those of his brother and country, and he (the Cardinal) might add of God, (fn. n5) there is no plausible cause for the Pope being so remiss. The better to satisfy His Holiness on this point it would be advisable to shew him a certain protest, which the Imperial ambassador, (fn. n6) bearer of this letter, and he (Santa Croce), have framed and discussed together. Should His Holiness entrust his affairs to the Emperor, as confidently and deliberately as the latter takes charge of his; should he lay open the treasures of Jesus Christ, which, after all, were for no other purpose placed in the hands of ecclesiastics, much good might be worked. This being accomplished, and his (Santa Croce's) opinion on these matters openly and sincerely delivered to His Holiness, without giving the Imperial ambassadors notice, so that it may not appear as if the draft came from them, but from the hands of a cardinal he (Santa Croce) has no doubt that everything might be settled to the Emperor's satisfaction. This once done, he will rejoin his colleagues.—Bologna, 13th October 1529.
Signed: "F. Cardlis S. +."
Adressed: "Sacrae Cesaræ Catolique (sic) Majestatti, &c."
Spanish. Holograph. p.1½.
16 Oct. 190. The Archbishop of Bari to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 848,
f. 109.
B. M. Add. 28,579,
f. 208.
His two colleagues and himself (fn. n7) met the day before yesterday in secret (in sigello). when the instructions and papers were duly examined and read. Called afterwards on His Holiness to whom he (the Archbishop) communicated all he had to say in the Emperor's name.
Respecting the invasion of Hungary by the Turks, and the fear of their marching as far as Vienna, the Pope was very much concerned at hearing the news; he trusted, however, that the Emperor would be soon disengaged, and able to arrest their progress. He would on his part do all that was in his power, and hasten his journey to Bologna, where he expected to be on the 24th inst.
On the following Friday, at Calli (Calle), in the land of the Duke of Urbino, His Holiness sent for him (the Archbishop) and for his two colleagues, and reported the summary of a conversation he had had with the Venetian ambassador, whom he had pressed, as on previous occasions, to come to a decision. The ambassador's answer had been that it was not the custom of his country, or the practice of ambassadors, to decide on political matters, however unimportant, without first consulting the Signory. He would that very night dispatch a messenger to Venice asking for instruction; yet he was very much afraid of two things, namely, that a formal declaration of war against the Turk would be very unpopular just now, as it might be the cause of serious inconvenience to the Signory; and secondly, that they wished before all things to see Francesco Sforza reinstated in his dominions.
Having then told His Holiness that Your Imperial Majesty left entirely in his hands the pacification of Italy, and that anything he (the Pope) proposed would be gladly accepted, he replied that he trusted entirely in Your Imperial Majesty and cared not for his own interests: "Let the Emperor (he added) do as he pleases; and cut off one of my hands, and if necessary the two; I shall not complain. If money is wanting for this enterprize against the Turk it shall be procured, and I may add as a proof of my intentions, that in order to prepare the means for such aid, I am actually on my road to Bologna, where I hope, with God's help, to arrive alive."
As this was spoken in general terms he (the Archbishop) begged His Holiness to go more into particulars. He then said: "Of the four [Italian] estates which have not yet accepted peace, namely, Venice, Milan, Florence, and Ferrara, the two latter are in a certain measure subordinate to the other two; peace once made with the Signory and with the Duke Francesco, Florence and Ferrara must soon follow in their train. Nay, the question may be reduced solely to Venice, for if that be fairly settled, the Duke Francesco cannot possibly refuse. On the other hand, should the latter come to terms without consulting the Venetians, the Signory cannot but give in soon after." "Respecting Ferrara," the Pope added, "I have nothing to say, I place myself entirely in the Emperor's hands." Having then suggested that in case of settlement with those powers a good sum of money might perhaps be obtained towards the expenses of the Turkish war, the Pope replied that, although no doubt the Duke (Alfonso d' Este) was in better condition than any other Italian prince to furnish funds, having a good treasure at home, yet he advised us not to expect too much from him. He then inquired whether any overtures had been made, and upon our answering that nothing had yet been said or done except in the presence of his Nuncio at the Imperial Court, he continued: "Let the Emperor do as he pleases both at Ferrara and at Florence. I shall offer no resistance, and will willingly subscribe to anything he decides with respect to them both, for after all at Florence the interests of my family are only concerned, whereas at Ferrara it is those of the Church. This last sentence His Holiness uttered with his hand on his breast, as if he wished to imply that these last were the far more sacred to him. (fn. n8)
With regard to Florence, our opinion is that although His Holiness evidently wishes to see as soon as possible the end of an affair, which he describes as very advantageous for Your Imperial Majesty, yet he wants to appear very generous and disinterested (se haze del mui liberal y disenteresado), often repeating these or similar words: "If the Emperor thinks that the liberty which the Florentines are asking for be beneficial to the Commonwealth in general, let him grant it to them at once, and take from them a smaller sum of money than he would otherwise have demanded; (fn. n9) if, on the contrary, the liberties asked are considered detrimental to the State, in that case let the Florentines be taxed in much greater proportion."
The Pope added that he had written in that sense to the Capuan and to his ministers now residing with the Prince, and as far as we could gather from his words the conditions he asks are: that all his relations and friends he allowed to return to Florence and recover their property and lands; that his niece, Katharine, be restored to him; and that the fine which Florence shall have to pay be equally divided between those who are now in the city and those who may be absentees from it at the time of the surrender.
He said more: He had heard that the Prince [of Orange] had lately granted safe-conducts to certain ambassadors of Florence now going to His Imperial Majesty, though he understood there had been no suspension of hostilities granted. Considering this a favourable opportunity to hint at a point which has never been to the Pope's taste. he (Mai) observed that it would be advisable to make the Florentines contribute a good sum [towards the Turkish war]. No sooner, however, did he (Mai) throw out the hint than the Pope exclaimed: "By no means; I wish to be frank with you; if money is to be obtained from Florence it must come through me, and after I have been restored to the full possession of my rights. Then my friends will willingly give for my sake a much greater sum than they would otherwise have given by the command of the Republic."
Such is the substance of our conversation with the Pope on these subjects. Should things not turn out exactly as he wishes, we recommend that he should not incur the Emperor's displeasure for a mere trifle, because though we know him to be very well disposed, he is so very prudent (sabio) that he often withholds the expression of his real feeling (siente mas de lo que dice). and since His Majesty has laboured so much to gain his friendship, every effort should be made to preserve it, because though he himself may not shew his displeasure, there are others near him who might take advantage of it and do mischief.
We are to leave Calli (Calle) to-day, and purpose being at Pesaro to-morrow, though the Pope tells us that the night before last he had a slight touch of fever.
Galeaço Ballon (Baglione), the nephew of Malatesta, has met us on the road and made the same offers as on a previous occasion. As soon as his uncle, Malatesta, who is still in the pay of the Florentines, is disengaged, he shall (he asserts) be happy to take service under His Imperial Majesty.
Having told His Holiness that the Emperor was ready to indemnify him in the estate of Milan for any losses he might sustain through the relaxation proposed, he told us to thank him and say that he would take nothing in compensation.
Before closing this letter Secretary Sanga and Jacopo Salviati called on us, and said that last night the Pope received the ambassador of the Duke Francesco, who said he was ready to treat with him.
[Cipher:] Not knowing exactly what His Majesty wishes to be done in this affair we beg for instructions.—Calli (Calle), Saturday 16th October 1529.
Signed: "G. Ar. Barensis. (fn. n10) —Loys de Praët.—Mai."
Spanish. Original. pp. 13.


  • n1. "Mauifestaudo el sentimiento que tiene de la mala vida que la da el Cardenal." The Cardinal might be Pompeo Colonna, whose niece Isabella was; but as this one was then in Naples, I conclude that Cardinal Innocenzo Cibo must be meant, for he was also her uncle on the mother's side.
  • n2. "Que destas otras cosas no se le dara nada aunque se les dexe lo de las yglesias. Esto me dixo acerca de aquellos discursos, pero en fin todo lo remite á Boloña, y que entretanto se piense."
  • n3. "Van abiertas y sin cifras para que de camino las vea el Señor de Praët."
  • n4. "Y darle [he] el xarope que llevo pensado, cual conviene recibir a un Papa de mano de un Cardenal purgando los umores malos que esta negra de Florencia ha engendrado."
  • n5. "Tan puesto en guardar vuestra palabra que por no quebralla faltais a vuestro bermano y patria, y si dixesse á Dios, no mentiria.
  • n6. Probably Mr. de Praët who was about this time already at Piacenza with the Emperor.
  • n7. Don Estevan Gabriel Merino, bishop of Jaen and archbishop of Bari in Puglia, created cardinal in 1533. Soon after Charles' landing at Genoa he was sent on a mission to Pope Clement. He died at Rome in 1535.
  • n8. "Y pusose las manos á los pechos como señalando que eran intereses eclesiaeticos estos ultimos."
  • n9. "Con tanto menos, como pensará por alii hacer bien á aquella tierra."
  • n10. Gabriel, archbishop of Bari; his full name was Don Esteban Gabriel Merino, bishop of Leon, 1520, of Jaen, 1523, and lastly, in 1533, cardinal of St. John and St. Paul. See above, p. 286, note.