Spain: May 1529, 16-25

Pages 33-37

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

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


May 1529, 16-25

16 May. 11. Martin de Salinas to the King of Bohemia and Hungary.
M. Re. Ac. d. Hist.
C. 71, f. 213.
Wrote on the 6th instant, advising the Emperor's arrival in this city (Barcelona). His letter went by way of the Belzeras (Welzers), as one of the partners of that firm, Henry, who is now here, shows the greatest good-will in this respect.
The Emperor seems still determined to cross over to Italy, and is making every preparation for his journey, although, as reported in former despatches, most of his councillors are of opinion that the expedition ought to be postponed, if not entirely abandoned, owing to various causes, and principally to the scarcity of provisions in Italy, which, they say, amounts almost to famine. The same may be said with respect to these Castillian provinces, in which, in consequence of the last harvest having fallen short of the usual average, and permission having been granted to certain parties to export wheat to Portugal, famine is also apprehended, if the prospects of a good harvest are not better than they look just now. If to this be added that serious fears are entertained of disturbances and riots similar to those of the "Comunidades," it may safely be said that nothing but the Emperor's stubborn resolution can prevail against so many obstacles.
The Empress [Isabella] is at Toledo in the family way, as Don Pedro de Cardoba writes from that town.
On the 15th a messenger arrived from Biscay, announcing that several ships from Flanders had entered a port of that country, laden with 40,000 fanegas (bushels) of wheat, which is the thing of which we stand most in need, 40 pieces of ordnance, and 600 casks (pipotes) of gunpowder. Intelligence has also been received by the same channel of the arrival in Flanders of Monfort and the rest, (fn. n1) and likewise that the German Diet had voted 100,000 foot and 20,000 horse against the Turk, and the clergy without distinction one half of their temporal revenues.—Barcelona, 16th May 1529.
Spanish. Original draft, p. 1
19 May. 12. The Marquis of Mantua to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1,553,
f. 325.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 281.
Thanks His Imperial Majesty for his very kind offers. Is ready to enter his service, and do his will. Hopes that poor and distracted Italy will enjoy peace at last.—19th May 1529.
Italian. Original, p. 1.
19 May. 13. Marcellus Beringharius (fn. n2), Secretary of the Duke of Ferrara, to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 1,553,
f. 336.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 282.
Thanks His Imperial Majesty for the favours bestowed on him.—Ex Palatio, 19th May 1529.
Latin. Original, p. 1.
19 May. 14. Martin de Salinas to Archduke Ferdinand, King of Bohemia and Hungary.
M. Re. Ac. de Hist.
C. 71, f. 213 Vo.
Since his two last of the 6th (fn. n3) and 16th instant nothing new has occurred. The preparations for the journey go on briskly. Orders have been sent to Cartagena for the fleet to come to this port, and messengers dispatched to the Prince [of Orange] and to Antonio de Leyva, who, it is believed, are expected here. (fn. n4) One thing, however, is quite certain, namely, that Andrea Doria (fn. n5) has been sent for. Everything shows that the Emperor is really in earnest, although, as he (Salinas) mentioned in his two last despatches, most courtiers, and indeed the whole of the Emperor's Privy Council, think that the voyage ought to be postponed or abandoned altogether, for the reasons specified in his, Salina's, despatch of the 16th instant. Will not fail to advise of any new incident.—Barcelona, 19th May 1529.
Spanish. Original draft, p. ½.
24 Mai. 15. Gomez Suarez de Figueroa, Imperial Ambassador in Genoa, to the Emperor.
S. E Leg. 1,553,
f. 397.
B. M. Add. 28,578,
f. 284.
On the 14th instant the confederates had not yet operated their junction. Mons. de St. Pol was at Vigebano, on this side of the Tessino. The Venetians had crossed the Adda, and were at Puzzuolo, between Casan (Cassano) and Milan. (Cipher:) The Duke Francesco [Sforza] strongly recommended a march on Milan, pretending that Leyva had but a small force with him, and that provisions were scarce in that city; besides which, he added, he had secret intelligence within the city. Our news, however, is very different, and as Rivadeneyra, the bearer, will be able to inform the Emperor, should the confederates attack Milan they will find Leyva quite prepared to receive them with 6,000 men of different nations, and a good supply of provisions. Nevertheless, it is not to be presumed that if left entirely to himself Leyva will be able long to resist the enemy, unless the remedy comes soon, and that must be from Spain. None is to be expected from Naples, as Venice is continually reinforcing the garrisons she has in that kingdom. Now information has been lately received that the Lord of Rimini (fn. n6) is coming with more troops by sea, and though the rumour is that his destination is Genoa, the truth is that the expedition is intended against Naples, for the wish of the confederates is evidently to remove war as far as they can from their own territory. That is why our utmost efforts should be directed towards attacking them in these parts, so as to oblige them to abandon the others.
Leyva has sent the copy of a letter intercepted by our light horse, which Joannes (Janus) de Campo Fragoso wrote the other day to the Signory. It is therein said that an experienced captain coming from Genoa had assured him (Janus) that an attack upon that city might be successful, now that most of the inhabitants, discontented as they are with Doria's rule, would easily go over to the confederates. He (Janus) was unwilling to let the French ambassador know of the good dispositions of the Genoese, and had preferred informing the Signory first, trusting they would aid him in an enterprise which offered them so many advantages.
Having discussed the point with Andrea Doria, it has been resolved to increase the defences of this city, and double the spies (espias) in order to ascertain the true sentiments of the Genoese. It was not likely that the confederates would undertake at the same time Genoa and Milan. There was no danger either of the citizens protesting so soon against a union of their own making, and yet precautions were taken and the guards doubled, &c.
Doria's galleys that went to the coast of Provence have returned without doing anything save sacking a place on shore called Sanctope (St. Tropez?) and taking 60 prisoners and two galleons laden with wheat, one of which belonged to Cervian (sic), who, they say, had a safe-conduct from Andrea himself.
Advices have come that the knights of St. John are arming certain galleys, for the purpose, as it is presumed, of allowing the French to use them even against the will of the Grand Master of the Order (Villiers de I'Isle Adam). Doria and he (Figueroa) have conferred on this subject, but as he has orders not to molest the said knights, no steps will be taken to prevent their arming.
Agostino and Stefano Grimaldo.
Captain Sancho de Prado left for Naples on Sunday, the first day of Easter. He takes with him 300 Spaniards of his own company, and others who had to remain in the hospitals of this place, (fn. n7) actually begging for charity, 100 more remain, who might be sent to Milan, provided Leyva had money to dress and feed them.
Count Lodovico Belgioioso has received letters from Leyva, desiring him to enlist 3,000 or 4,000 infantry, in addition to the 2,000 which this Signory has already. It is proposed with this force to attack the Venetians and the confederates on this side of the river Pò, so as to oblige them to come to the relief of that district, or else abandon it altogether. Milan might in this manner be relieved, as the Venetians would hardly dare remain by themselves on this side of the Adda. Money was to be raised on the cargoes of certain ships expected in this port with wheat from Sicily, but the ships have not arrived yet, and even if they do, no money is to be procured on the cargoes, for Ansaldo Grimaldo and other bankers pretend that their last bills have been dishonored by the Spanish treasury.
Lope de Soria advises that there is still a talk among the confederates of an attack upon this city. Joannes (Janus) de Campo Fragoso asks Venice to give him 3,000 men, who, joined to as many more of St. Pol, might, he says, undertake this city. But unless the said Fragoso has secret intelligences within Genoa, which is not likely to be the case, a larger force by land and a good fleet of galleys would be required for the undertaking, and the confederates cannot dispose just now of either one or the other.—Genoa, 24th May 1529.
Signed: "Suarez de Figueroa."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. Contemporary deciphering on separate sheet, pp. 10.


  • n1. i.e. Gabriel, Sanchez, and Nogarolo or Noguerol, who sailed in the same vessel. See vol. III., part 2, p. 905.
  • n2. See Andrea del Burgo's letters of the 3rd November and 8th December 1527, where he intimates that this Berengaro betrayed to him all the Duke's secrets, vol. III. part 2, pp. 440 and 493.
  • n3. His letter of the 6th may be found in vol. III., part 2, No. 684.
  • n4. "Y su Mt. tiene inbiados ciertos mensageros al principe'de Orange y á Antonio de Leyva, á los quales creo aguardan." Thus in the original; but in my opinion it was not Chalon and Leyva who were expected at Barcelona as stated, but the messengers themselves with the answer. Those generals could not well leave the command of their respective armies to receive instructions from the Emperor in Barcelona. If to the last sentence, "á los quales aguardan," we add "con la respuesta," the passage becomes more intelligible.
  • n5. Andrea de Orio (sic) says the original, but it is not unfrequent for Spanish historians of this time to write Oria, d'Oria, and even "de Oria," which after all was the real family name of that celebrated sea-captain, taken from a town in the kingdom of Naples. See Guerazzi Vita di Andrea, Doria.
  • n6. "El Señor Vismonde de Rimini" says the original. Vismonde appears to me a mistake for Gismondo or Sigismondo, which was Malatesta's name.
  • n7. "Lleva cerea de 300 hombres que aqui quedaron de su compañia, y de las que fueron á Milan cerca de ciento, en estos hospitales, y pidiendo por Dios."