Spain: April 1531, 16-30

Pages 126-146

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 4 Part 2, 1531-1533. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1882.

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April 1531, 16-30

19 April. 696. King Ferdinand to the Emperor.
Lanz. Corresp. d. Karl. V., Vol. I., p. 438. Since his last, dated Budvays (Budweiss), the 13th inst, letters have been received, advising that Hieronimo (Girolamo) de Lasco, and Quirós, who went with him to Constantinople in Rokendorffs name, have returned with the answer of Ibrain Bassá to the proposals of truce made by the said Lasco and Rokendorff (Rogendorf). Lasco sends a copy of the letter of Ibrain Bassá to him, as well as of those of Luigi Gritti and himself to the Bassá, from all of which he (the King) concludes that a truce is likely to be made for one year on certain conditions. Encloses the papers, that the Emperor may better judge of their contents.
Ibrain's letter came with a translation. It is not to be supposed that it can have been purposely mis-translated; but, to make sure, he (the King) has ordered a new version to be made by people residing at his court.
Rokendorff has also arrived, and as soon as the Turk's conditions have been discussed in Council, will start again for Constantinople with full powers. He tells him that Hieronimo Lasco is discontented with the Vayvod, and resolved to quit him and to take service with us, and that before he (Rokendorff) left Constantinople they had a conversation on the subject, and that Lasco still persevered in his determination, and only wanted a Royal safe-conduct to put his plan into execution, and come [to Germany]. Begs for a letter from the Emperor to the said Lasco, thanking him for his exertions to bring about this truce, and promising him reward for his services on this occasion, as well as for those he may render hereafter; for he says that, once in the Emperor's presence, he will relate many things highly important to the welfare of Christendom and of His Imperial Majesty.
Hears that the Hungarians of both parties, those who follow the Vayvod as well as those who serve under his (the King's) standard, have summoned a Diet for Ascension Day next, to discuss what conduct they are to observe under present circumstances. And as it might be that the Diet being convoked for the special purpose of promoting their own mutual advantage, might perhaps forget their own private feuds and divisions, and unite in hostile measures against the Empire, or give in their allegiance to the Turk, every effort should, in his opinion, be made to prevent the Diet from meeting. But as he might not succeed in the attempt he thinks it would be advisable that His Imperial Majesty should appoint a person to go thither and, in case of the Diet assembling, strive to make the deliberations turn to our profit. Cornelius (Scepperus) would be a proper person for such mission, for besides knowing many languages—as is requisite for such an office—he is young, active enough to undertake that long journey, and can also do the work more economically than any other Imperial subject of higher standing.
The duke of Saxony has recently sent him two treatises or books written by Luther. He has not yet had time to read them, but is told that they are more dangerous than anything the same author has written before, for he holds very daring and bold language. His Imperial Majesty will judge by their contents how matters of Faith will fare in this country with such doctrines and with such apostles to spread them, and be better able to calculate what sort of remedy should be applied to so great an evil,—Prague, 19th April 1531.
Signed: "Ferdinand."
Addressed; "A l'Empereur, mon frère."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 4.
21 April. 697. Miçer Mai to the Empreor.
S. E. L. 852,
ff. 95–6.
B.M. Add. 28,583,
f. 173.
Received on the 15th inst. the Emperor's letters of the 2nd and 3rd. Annexed are the answers of Monseigneur de Prato, (fn. n1) in French, a copy of the last letter to the Pope, and the answers to the Legate and to the bishops of Vaison and Tortona, the papers concerning the projected enterprize against the Turk, besides certain opinions on the divorce case, some from Italy, others from other countries; among the former that of the abbot of Llor.
Salinas, the courier, has taken payment twice for his journey.
The negotiations of the cardinal of Ravenna with the Scottish secretary [concerning the marriage of the king of that country] are still kept secret, but these Italians are so much inclined to make guesses that they will find out the truth sooner or later.
Matrimonial cause of Mantua, &c. — Rome, 21st April 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the most sacred Imp. Catholic Maj.."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
21 April. 698. The Same to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 853, f. 2.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 174.
Relates at length his conversation with the Pope touching the General Council. Told him plainly that it would have been much better for all parties to undeceive the Emperor at once, and say that he would not hear of it. Sanga owned to him that the Pope had never been in favour of the Council, but that in order to please His Imperial Majesty he would waive his scruples and consent to it.
Next day a congregation of cardinals took place, and the affair was discussed as Mr. d'Osma, Garcia de Loaysa, who was present, cannot fail to acquaint His Imperial Majesty. In short there is very little hope of the Pope ever consenting to the celebration of the Council; that is the reason why he (Mai) has always been of opinion that some sort of agreement (concierto) with the Lutherans ought to be made while it is yet time. Will, however, go on pressing this matter of the Council until he himself hears from home.
Relates a conversation he had with the Pope respecting the answer given to Mr. de Prat (Praët) in France, and what that ambassador replied. The Pope knew already, through the duke of Albany, Francis' ambassador, what the tenour of that answer was. The Duke (he said) had added that respecting the proposed marriage between the dauphin of France and the Infanta of Portugal there would be no change; he considered that certain.
With regard to the marriage of his own niece (Catherina) to the duke of Orleans, the Pope said he believed the negotiations would be suspended until the arrival of Tarbes, and that the duke of Mantua had also sent to ask for her hand. He said more; he told me that the duke of Albany, and likewise the king of France in his letters, always called that lady the "duchess of Urbino," and the reason for their giving her such a title, that being why the Venetians will not willingly have the Duke [Francesco Maria della Rovere] for their neighbour. The Venetians and the duke of Milan (Francesco Sforza) are very jealous and uncomfortable at the coming of Tarbes, and there is news that the dauphin of France lays claim to the Duchy, and that the king of France, his father, has sent some one to the Lutheran cantons of Switzerland (los suyço8 malos) to explain the reasons he has for so doing.
Indorsed: "Relacion de cartas de Miçer Mai."
Spanish Contemporary copy to be submitted to the Emperor. pp. 3½.
21 April. 699. Miçer Mai to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 852,
ff. 95-6.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 171.
(Cipher:) God knows how much I dislike having to speak disparagingly of anyone, and especially of the Emperor's servants, for the purpose of bringing upon them our master's displeasure, which I myself fear as much as that of God; but I am in duty bound to speak the truth. The Pope told me some days ago that when [in 1528] he was a prisoner in Sanct Angelo, Escalenga (De Scalenges), who was then lodging at the Altovitti, on the other side of the bridge, sent a message to say that if he (the Pope) gave him 10,000 ducats, he Escalenga would take him out in disguise and lead him to the gates of the castle.
The Imperial army will continue its march. The Marquis [del Vasto] has began to reform it. Malatesta offers to do wonders for the Imperial service as long as he is left in command of Perugia. Some time ago the Pope had some misgivings that cardinal [Pompeo] Colonna wished to marry a son of his to a niece of Malatesta; but it appears, upon inquiry, that although the marriage was actually negotiated it was not accomplished.
(Common writing:) There are letters from England of the 7th ultº about the King being very much offended, and saying that he will certainly not be in fault when called upon to help in the defensive war (defension) against the Turk. This, however, he will not do for the Pope's or Emperor's pleasure, who he says, deserve it not at his hands. He says more, he asserts that the Pope wishes to evoke the cause in opposition to the letter of the Council of Nicea, (fn. n2) which prescribes that all like suits should be determined where first commenced. As to the Imperial lawyers alleging that all this is against the style of the Roman court, he (the King) maintains that they are not in the right, and that the practice, if it ever prevailed, was fully derogated by the first commission given to the two legates. Besides which the King argues: "if the Roman style is found to be against me, not in my favour, that very circumstance proves to me that they intend doing injury to my cause. Should the Pope act unjustly towards me, I will certainly do all I can to oppose him. I shall never go [to Rome] for the trial. I know very well that the Pope and I shall quarrel on that score, but I know also that his excommunications are not to be feared when right and justice are on the other side."
Letters from France of the 7th inst. state that great efforts are being made there for the purpose of inducing the University and private lawyers to write in favour of the king of England, and that cardinal de Agramonte (Grammont) was to bring to Rome the allegations obtained in this manner.— Rome, 21st April 1531.
Signed; "Mai."
Addressed: "To the very illustrious the High Commander of Leon."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 4.
21 April. 700. Miçer Mai to the Emperor.
S. E. E. 852,
ff. 97–8.
B. M. Add.28,583,
f. 176.
Your Majesty's letters of the 2nd and 3rd inst. came duly to hand on the 15th. I immediately waited on His Holiness, accompanied by Miçer Andrea del Burgo, and Regent Juan Antonio Muxetula. Gave him the Imperial letter, which he read attentively (cipher:), and then he began to sigh deeply, as is his wont, ending with a most solemn promise that a congregation of cardinals should be summoned for the 19th, which was done. Next day I called at the Palace for the answer, and the Pope told me that the meeting had taken place, and that after a good deal of debating the resolution taken was that a Council should be convoked with the approval and consent of the rest of the Christian princes, and especially of the king of France; and that a letter should be written to the Most Christian King on the subject, hut that there had been some discussion as to the manner of the convocation, &c. (Cipher:) As I knew all this beforehand through cardinal D'Osrna, who was present at the meeting, I could not refrain from saying to the Pope: "If such be the decision of the Consistory it is tantamount to having no Council at all. It would have been far better to undeceive the Emperor, my master, a year ago; he might then have had time to settle his affairs with the Lutherans," &c.
To this observation of mine the Pope made no answer, except granting and acknowledging that I was right in what I said. Sanga after this came up to me, and either out of familiarity, or out of the deceit, which they intend to practice, confirmed the Pope's statement by saying: "His Holiness does not want the Council; he never was in favour of it; but in obedience to the Emperor's commands he has thus far consented to its convocation.'' I confess that I was not at all surprised at hearing Sanga say this, for, as I have informed Your Majesty, my opinion has always been that His Holiness is by no means fond of the Council.
Whilst talking on this subject some days ago the Pope hinted to me that means ought to be found to make war on the Lutherans. Perceiving what he aimed at, I replied immediately that the Lutherans were so obstinate, had so much money, and were so strong —having no need of foreign soldiers to defend their territory—that if they were to be conquered and subdued one after another it would be an endless work. Upon which the Pope observed: "Perhaps it would be better to make war on those of Switzerland, who are neither so numerous nor so strong as the Germans." I saw plainly what he wanted, and quickly replied (fn. n3) : "That also is impracticable, for Lutherans of all countries take up this cause as one of their own, and therefore, if war is to be made, it must be waged against all. Besides (I observed) it was unjust that Your Majesty should do battle single-handed against all of them." This His Holiness granted, and said it was very well, so much so that he believed the king of France, as well as that of England, (fn. n4) would for fear of Your Majesty's reducing and pacifying Germany secretly fan there the fire of discord so as to prevent the pacification of that country, and create constant difficulties. "The king of France, added (the Pope) is like Simon Magus of the New Testament, who wished to exchange spiritual things for temporal ones."
A similar language the Pope seems to have held in the last Consistory, for I am told he said to the cardinals that the king of France opposed the celebration of the Council merely because he wished to obtain from Your Imperial Majesty some other concession in exchange. Had the French made such a confession as this the harm done would have been less, since they would thus take upon themselves the responsibility of the Council not being celebrated, or else throw it on the shoulders of those who really oppose it (fn. n5); but as they are very cunning (artificiosos). they give out that Your Majesty does not wish for it in the least, that being the reason (as they pretend) for the whole thing having been referred to His Holiness. Others allege that it is in Your Majesty's interest to keep alive this affair of the Council in order that His Holiness may remain in suspense, and submit entirely to what Your Majesty may otherwise want of him. This was told to me this very morning by two of the cardinals, to whom I made as suitable a reply as I could. For these reasons, and for fear such sinister rumours should gain ground, I have resolved to forward copies of Your Majesty's letter to me to Venice, to Naples, to Genoa, and likewise to the Imperial camp, that all Your Majesty's ministers may know and publish your rightM intentions on such matters, though this may be said of the Pope and cardinals, that provided the Council does not take place, they care not to whom the fault is ultimately abscribed.
In short there is very little chance of the Council ever being convoked. I have always said so It is no use speaking to the Pope and cardinals about it; one might just as well preach in the desert. The negotiation becomes every day more difficult, because fear naturally increases with time.
If the Council cannot be obtained my opinion is that it ought to be given up; for certainly "it is better to bend than break." That is why I ventured in my last despatch (fn. n6) to point out to Your Majesty how the settling down or German troubles could be effected without the actual convocation of a Council, for after all that would be a better expedient than recommending a measure which is so much disliked. For after all the malice (bellaqueria) of this world is patent enough; some through actual fear, others through vain and worldly considerations oppose the sane and rightful intentions of Your Majesty. I think that the sooner such a plan is adopted the better, for every day that passes makes matters worse.
I had also a conversation with the Pope respecting the answer given to Mr. de Prat (Praët) in France, and I con sidered it my duty to shew him how different our manner ot negotiating was, and how open and frank Your Majesty's ministers were in all their dealings. I found him well acquainted not only with the propositions made by the Imperial ambassador, but also with the King's answer and our own reply to it. The duke of Albany had taken care to inform him thereof, telling him at the same time that with regard to the marriage of the Dauphin to the Infanta of Portugal it would make no difference at all, since the King was disposed to grant it. (fn. n7) This is considered by His Holiness to be a much better arrangement, because were he (the Dauphin) to marry the Infanta of Spain [daughter of Your Imperial Majesty], God knows what complications there might not be in case of the succession (which may God forbid) coming down to her. (fn. n8)
With regard to the other marriage, that of his own niece (Catherina), to the duke of Orleans, His Holiness appears to take it very coldly. He said to me the other day that the marquis of Mantua had also sent to ask again for her hand. At any rate nothing will be decided until the arrival of Tarbes, who on the 7th inst. had not yet left France.
It must be observed that this niece of the Pope is always called by Albany and others "La Duchessina." The other day the Mantuan ambassador complaining to me about it, I told him that the king of France himself always gave her that title owing to pope Leo X. having invested her father [Lorenzo de Medici] with the duchy of Urbino. To make sure I interrogated the Pope about this, and he told me that the investiture [of that duchy] was really made to descend both to males and females, so that whoever married her (Katherine) would have right to her estate, and must necessarily go to law with the Delia Rovere. (fn. n9) I was glad to mention this to the Pope, and ascertain what his views were on this subject, sure as I am that if the marriage with Orleans is seriously contemplated, the Venetians will do all they can (se daran á Dios) to prevent it rather than have that Duke their neighbour.
Francesco Sforza and the Venetians are rather alarmed at this coming of Tarbes to Rome, the more so that it is rumoured that the Dauphin is evidently aiming at Milan, and has sent messengers to the Lutherans of Switzerland (suyços malos) telling him how the succession of that duchy appertains to him after his father, as nephew of king [Louis XL], and that since Francis I. has relinquished his rights it is for him to claim them. Such is the intelligence that has reached Milan from two different sources, from Venice and from the bishop Sedunensis, at the same time—Rome, 21st April 1533.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed; "To the Sacred Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Sovereign Lord."
Spanish. Original. pp. 4.
22 April. 701. King Ferdinand to the Emperor.
Lanz. Corresp.d.
.Vol.I.,f. 449.
At their parting at Aquisgran (Aachen) he (the King) spoke in favour of the projected marriage between the duke of Mantua (Federigo Gonzaga) and the daughter of the duchess of Monferrato. Since then he has had occasion again to remind the Emperor of this, both through the High Commander of Leon (Francisco de los Covos), and through count Noguerol, and to request that in the event of the separation or divorce of Doña Julia (Giulia) taking effect and the Duke's marriage not being accomplished, His Imperial Majesty would commit to him the settlement of this affair, firstly, because the duke of Mantua himself has urgently claimed his intervention; and secondly, because he (the King) might thereby get some pecuniary assistance of which he nowadays stands greatly in need. For since the Emperor is kind enough to supply his wants out of his own private purse, he (the King) has no doubt that he may be allowed to seize the present opportunity of using other people's money for the same purpose. According to information lately received, the declaratory sentence in favour of the Duke's divorce has already been issued, as His Majesty can see by the enclosed copy, and therefore he (the King) is in a better situation to help and assist (complacer y favorescer) the said Duke, who has been and is a good servant of the Empire. If the commission for arranging these matters is entrusted to him he will consider it a great favour. (fn. n10) —Prague, 22nd April 1531.
Signed: "Ferdinand."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
23 April 702. Dr. Ortiz to the Emperor
S. E. L. 853,
f. 27.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 180.
Is in receipt of the Imperial letters of the 12th. Fancies that some of his despatches wherein he (Ortiz) gave a fall account of the proceedings in the English cause must have miscarried. This compels him to repeat the information contained in them.
On his arrival at Rome he (Ortiz) thought that the first thing to be done was to prove that the degree of affinity between brother and sister-in-law was no obstacle to marriage except in Canon Law, and that the Pope could dispense therefrom, even if there were no other reasons for the dispensation than those alleged on our side, although many others did really exist for such a measure. To prove such an allegation he himself brought from Spain, and has since received from president (Tavera) the opinions of the universities of Salamanca, Alcalá, and Yalladolid, as well as those of the Councils and Chancery Courts throughout Spain. It has, however, caused him considerable annoyance to see that this most important step has been unaccountably delayed, for although our success is sure and certain through the manifest justice of our case, as will be shewn by the mercy of God, when the Imperial ambassador (Miçer Mai) shall decide that I address the Court on this particular article, yet it is evident that much harm is being done to the cause itself and to the Church in general when a thing so many years established and settled by the Holy Apostolic See is now brought into question.
The ambassador gave me some days ago two works by the bishop of Rochester (Fisher) different from the one printed in Spain, which I saw before my departure. (fn. n11) Great are the learning, diligence, and zeal displayed by the Bishop in these three works, and no less is his (Ortiz's) satisfaction at finding that the course he has taken to defend the Queen's indisputable right is the very one he himself intends to pursue, and that he (the Bishop) uses the very arguments which he (Ortiz) has propounded in his despatches. Indeed, he is mightily amazed and cannot well understand how it has happened that such a light as that thrown by the Bishop's doctrine—if it has ever been spread in England—has not been sufficiently strong to dissipate the obscurity and blindness of the opposite party who have so deceived the King. (fn. n12)
He (Ortiz) having never before practised as a lawyer, thought that the proceedings were to be conducted in the above-mentioned way; but the Imperial ambassador has always maintained, and does still maintain, that the said article is to be left for the end. God only knows how disappointed and grieved he (Ortiz) is at such delays. Had he known that he was to stay at Rome so long without doing any good he would have gone to Paris, where he flatters himself that with God's help he might have removed the difficulties which the opposite party have recently been raising. He still hopes that they will disappear, for he (Ortiz) has frequently written thither thereupon. There is nothing he wishes more than to see this matter argued, and a proper report sent to the College of Cardinals. On this depends the whole cause; the evidence is to be found in Rome; namely, the Holy Scriptures, the decrees of the Church, the opinions of saints, doctors, and divines, besides very many reasons that could be adduced. This being done and justice obtained, he (Ortiz) would apply for an extraordinary bull "ad perpetuam rei memoriam," settling the dispute at once. Has communicated his idea to several of the cardinals for whom he brought letters of introduction from the Empress; all approve of it. Will undertake this as soon as Miçer Mai tells him that it is time to act. Would willingly suffer martyrdom for such a cause as this.
Had some of the witnesses now here (in Rome) declared what they know about the Queen's first marriage and cohabitation [with prince Arthur] much might have been gained, for the opposite party not being prepared to answer, sentence might then have been pronounced by "contradittas." Then he (Ortiz) by proposing the instrument of the dispensation could have applied for the above determination. Now the ambassador says that the time has arrived for the presentation of witnesses, for which there has been hitherto no opportunity owing to the impediments raised by the Englishman who appealed in the King's name.
Thanks His Majesty for the post of preacher to his royal household.
A nephew whom he brought to Rome to help him with his labours has been slain [by robbers] on his way back to Spain.—Rome, 23rd April 1531.
Signed; "El Dr. Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor, our Lord."
Spanish. Original. pp.
24 April 703. Muxetula to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 852,
ff. 132–3.
B. M. Add. 28,582,
f. 188.
On the 17th inst. the Imperial army evacuated the Sienese and was quartered in the lands of the Church at Assisi and in the Perugino. One and a half month's pay, as the Marquis [del Vasto] informs me by letter, was promised them, and another besides to the Spaniards who came from Naples, on account of the arrears due to them for the time they served in that kingdom. At the hour I write, what with the money that has come from Naples since January, and what with my own remittances from hence, the Marquis has been able to issue one and a half month's pay to the whole of the Imperial army, and another one and a half besides to the Spanish infantry. He has moreover refunded the 10,000 crs. lent him by the light horse, who have been dismissed with the exception of 150. From the 1st of May the troops are to be paid out of the 25,000 crs. which I have remitted to the camp this very day, that is to say, 15,000 from Naples and 10,000 from the Pope, but a sum of 5,500 is still wanted, besides the 5,000 which Scalenga (de Scalengues) seized at Asti, and which the Pope swears he will deduct from his monthly contributions, unless they are restored to him.
Hippolito de' Medici and his differences with the Pope, his uncle. He has gone to Florence and declares that he does not want to be a cardinal. He is evidently aiming at the possession of that city.
The Council and what the Pope thinks about it—He certainly does not seem inclined to assemble a General Council upon everything, but only for reference on matters of Faith and other particulars, because, says he, that would be as much as disputing his papal authority, and stirring up other ill-humours against previous Councils. (fn. n13) To all other conditions he wil lingly subscribes, as well as to the remarks contained in the Emperor's answer, but this last he will resist as much as he can, and therefore will not consent to the intimation being thus made general, as has been the custom whenever heresies sprang up in the Christian world. If, however, this is the only obstacle it strikes me that some means might be found to obviate it.—Rome, 22nd April 1531.
P.S.—The prior of Barletta (Martinengo) has come; he is on his way first to Lucha (Lucca) to take the mineral waters, and thence to the Imperial Court. In conversation the other clay with cardinal d' Osma and with him (Muxetula) respecting the fortifications which have been ordered in Puglia, and of which he is the inspector, he (Martinengo) said that the work proceeded so slowly that it could not possibly be finished before the time when the Turk is likely to make a descent upon that coast.—Rome, 24th April 1531.
Signed: "Jo. Ant. Muscetula."
Spanish. Oiginal. PP.4.
24 April. 704. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 823,
f. 25.
B.M. Add. 28,583
f. 193.
After the enclosed was written the Pope shewed him (Muxetula) the draft of his answer about the Council and the instructions he has given to his agents. Both from what he writes to prothonotary Gambara, and to Your Majesty, he (Muxetula) concludes that His Holiness is very much dissatisfied at the future Council being celebrated against the wish of the Christian princes, and especially of the king of France, alleging among other reasons that the Lutherans will most likely find assistance in that quarter, and perhaps be for ever lost to Your Majesty and to the Church. He says that both the kings of France and England would willingly summon another Council at some place in their dominions on the plea that they did not consider themselves secure in Italy, and if so, that a schism in the Church might eventually spring up. This is in short the Pope's principal objection; all other minor ones he is prepared to waive, and willingly submits to Your Majesty's decision.
The fact is that this opposition of the French king is the sole cause of all his hesitation in this matter. Some will have it that the Pope himself has brought it about; that might well be, but I fancy that the king of France would all the same have opposed the meeting of the Council, for certainly his love of the Pope is not such as to prompt him to act in the Pope's favour and against his own interest, which has always been, and continues to be, to oppose Your Majesty in every possible way.
It might be, as I said before, that when this affair of the Council was first talked of His Holiness opened his heart to the King and stated his objections, but I firmly believe that the latter would have tried to prevent it all the same, because if we see him secretly negotiating with the Turk (fn. n14) so as to bring matters to a state which he (the Pope) can accept, it is to be presumed that he will do the same with regard to the Council if he can by that means promote his own interests and create confusion and trouble in Germany. However this may be, there can be no doubt that the last advices from France have exercised great influence over the Pope's mind, and rendered him exceedingly suspicious and touchy on these points. He still says that he is ready to follow Your Majesty's advice in this matter, and act in conformity with your wishes, but that he cannot help raising objections against the Council—Rome 24th April 1531.
Signed: "Jo. Ant. Muscetula."
Addressed: "To the Sacred Majesty of the Emperor."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 4.
24 April. 705. Miçer Mai to secretary Covos.
S. E. L. 852,
ff. 101–2.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 186.
(Cipher:) Was about to solicit that the English matrimonial cause (lo de Inglaterra) should be determined when he found that the English asked to be allowed to report (informar) to the cardinals. If their petition is granted it will be necessary to wait for another Consistory, and then we also shall have to draw a report.
Has heard through a most confidential quarter (and the thing must be kept a profound secret) that the Pope has communicated to the commissary of the matrimonial cause certain allegations which the English gave him. Fortunately they are of small importance, and have made no impression whatever on the cardinals. Your Lordship ought to remind the Emperor of doing something for the man whom our opponents have thus tried to gain in every possible way, for seeing that they could not by fair means they are now saying—which is a falsehood and a calumny—that when he related the facts (hiço la relation) he completely altered them.
He is a man of family, first cousin of cardinal Cesarino, and very commendable by his authority and letters. He feels greatly the injury done to his character and reputation, and as it is our interest both on this account as well as to propitiate him in future, it would be advisable to keep him contented.
It may well be that some of us wish again to see Your Lordship and the Emperor in Italy, and that in Spain others are equally anxious for your speedy return by the shortest route. For my own part I can only say that if anything is to be done with the German Lutherans, it will be better to treat the mat ter before going to Germany, or else not enter that country at all without knowing first what is to be the probable end of all this business, and without having some hope of success, for if there should be none, it is far preferable that the king of the Romans should attempt it and fail in the undertaking than that the Emperor, our master, should be exposed to a defeat. I must add that if the Council is not to take place [in Italy], I cannot see the advantage or utility of the Emperor visiting us at the present time; on the contrary, I see many inconveniences likely to arise therefrom, and also that if anything should remain for" the king of the Romans to do, it would be a profitable as well as desirable thing if some person, knowing the Emperor's habits and wisdom, could be appointed to the King's Council, because, to say the truth, his councillors are at times rather too hasty (salteadores). and here, in Italy, they are considered as such.
Spanish. Original entirely written in cipher.
24 April. 706. The Same to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 852,
ff. 101–2.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 186.
(Cipher:) Whilst soliciting that the English trial should be proceeded with, I have found to-day that the English wish to report to the cardinals, and that it will be necessary to wait till another consistory. We ourselves shall have to do the same.
I have learned from a very private and confidential source, and therefore it must remain a profound secret between us, that the Pope has communicated with the commissary of the cause touching certain allegations presented to him by the English. I hear, however, that they are not of sufficient importance to make any impression upon him. Your Lordship ought to remind the Emperor that some sort of recompense is owing to this man for what he has already done, and is prepared to do, for our adversaries have tried several times to gain him over by fair means; and seeing that they cannot do this, they are now following another tack, and saying that the report (relation) which he made the other day is entirely false. He is of a good family, a cousin of cardinal Cesarino, and enjoys good reputation as a man of authority and letters. I consider it very important to secure him, as he may be useful in this as well as in other matters.—Rome, 24th April 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
24 April. 707. Muxettjla to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 852,
ff. 132–3.
B. M. Add. 28,583
f. 188.
The Imperial army evacuated the Sienese territorry on the 17th and is now quartered in the Assissi and Perugino. Provision for the payment of the infantry till the 1st of May. Scalenga must be made to disburse the 5,000 crs. which he took; otherwise the Pope is sure to discount them from his monthly contribution towards the expenses of the army before Florence.
Five days ago cardinal [Ippolito de'] Medici left Rome, with the Pope's permission, and went to Florence accompanied by 10 of his retainers riding post. On his arrival thither he wrote a letter saying that the reason for his leaving Rome was that he could not possibly live and sustain his rank, and that unless the Pope gave him 700 crs. pension every month from offices or ecclesiastic benefices he should certainly not return [to Rome]. Knowing this to be a mere pretence, and that his intention is by some means or other to get possession of Florence, and prevent his brother (fn. n15) Alessandro from obtaining it, the Pope got into a most towering passion when he heard the news, threatening to do him all the harm he could if he did not return immediately. We shall soon see how matters will end. He (Ippolito) says that he does not choose to be a cardinal but a layman, and that the Florentines care not a straw which of the Medici it is who rules over them. Perhaps his being a Frenchman at heart is the reason of the Florentines preferring him, as having less chance of becoming a friend of yours, &c.
Reports a conversation with the Pope about the Council. —Rome 22nd April 1531.
The prior of Barletta (Martinengo) has arrived on his way to Lucca to the baths, and thence to the Imperial Court. His report about the fortresses of Puglia, &c.—Rome, 24th April 1531.
Signed: "Jo. Ant. Muxetula."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. pp. 3.
24 April. 708. The Same to the Same.
S. E. L 853,
f. 25.
B.M. Add. 28,583,
f. 193.
Since writing the enclosed, the Pope has shewn me the draft of the circular addressed to his agents abroad respecting the Council, and the resolution taken by his cardinals; also the reply to the answer made by Your Majesty to prothonotary Gambara (sic). He has besides shewn me the draft of his letter to Your Majesty, and as far as I can gather from the one and the others, His Holiness will be much grieved (mal contento) if the Council after all is to be convoked and held without the concurrence of other Christian princes, and principally of the king of France. Should it take place, he says, without due notice being given, there might be another in France, which Englishmen would also attend, and in this way a schism be created in the Church. The Pope, in short, believes that it is absolutely indispensable to obtain the consent of the French king, &c.—Rome, 24th April 1531.
At this moment a letter comes from the Imperial camp dated the 22nd inst. The marquis del Vasto acknowledges the receipt of the 25,000 crs., but says that they will not be sufficient for the pay of the infantry on the 1st of May. After all reforms 6,000 more will be required.
Signed: "Jo. Ant. Muxetula."
Spanish Original pp. 1½.
27 April. 709. King Ferdinand to the Emperor.
Lanz, Corresp. d.
. I. f. 442.
The Emperor's letters of the 3rd inst., and the copies of papers and documents that came along with them, have fully acquainted me with Your Majesty's great solicitude and care in trying to persuade our Holy Father and the king of France to consent to the Council. It is quite clear from the answers given by both, and the difficulties they raise, as Your Imperial Majesty observes, that the Pope will consent but reluctantly, and will be on the look out for the means of preventing it, attending, perhaps, on this occasion rather to the dilatory expedients proposed by the French king than to Your Majesty's honest prayers and admonitions. I agree with Your Majesty that the king of France wishes to protract the settlement of this affair by words and dissimulation, and to keep us in suspense until he finds a fit opportunity for his plans, which, if we are to judge from the past, do not recommend themselves either by sincerity or straightforwardness. My impression is that we shall never prevail upon the king of France to take in this affair of the General Council the active and sincere part that is required, unless it be by means of the intermarriages and alliances now talked of, and even then, I have no confidence that he will. My advice, therefore, is that since we cannot get anything else from him we must be on our guard, and try to ascertain what his real intentions are; and since you have fulfilled your duty towards the Pope and towards him, you may rest satisfied in the event of any disagreeable occurrence to either, or both of them, and should they happen to complain thereof, you will have an honest and fit excuse to give them.
On the other hand the opposition or coldness which Your Majesty has met with in this matter of the Council both from the Pope and from the king of France, can be no reason for abandoning the idea altogether, and yielding in a matter of such importance, on which depends not only the welfare of Germany, but also the preservation of the Faith throughout Christendom. For were the hope of this Council to vanish— which nowadays both good and bad Catholics entertain in Germany—there can be no doubt that the Lutherans will become worse and worse every day, owing to the increasing strength and advantages which their sect is gaining every day, and that heresy will spread far beyond Germany, as it has already begun to do. Should such a precarious state of things continue, it will be impossible to enjoy repose or tranquillity within the limits of the Empire, and consequently we shall live in perpetual fear of the Turk, whether at peace or at war, especially having such enemies at our back.
Fortunately, as far as can be gathered from Girolamo Lasco's despatches, there is every certainty that the present truce will not be broken, at least for one year. For the renewal of it nothing shall be left undone on my part, Rokendorff (Rogendorf) and other Imperial councillors having been expressly sent [to Constantinople] by me to that effect. And since God has been pleased that a truce with the Turk should be concluded, and as there will be plenty of time to prepare for the General Council, it strikes me that this is the opportune moment for insisting on its convocation moderately, and in the manner prescribed to your ambassadors.
Your Majesty is of opinion that, considering the opposition made, and the difficulties raised by the Pope and king of France in this matter of the General Council, the electors and other princes and qualified persons of the Empire ought to be duly apprized thereof, and officially informed of the fact that Your Imperial Majesty has done whatever was in your power to bring about the said Council, as promised, inducing them at the same time to deliberate in secret and to present the draft of an agreement or covenant, in which, apart from matters essential to Faith, other business should be transacted appointing the Elector Palatine and the cardinal of Maguncia (Maintz) to treat of it as they have offered to do, and to deliberate what had better be done in case of the Council not being assembled; Your Majesty sending thither persons who with my advice may treat with the Lutheran princes, and find out the way of living in conformity, and directing our energies to a good end. In short, Your Majesty suggests that if the means proposed should not meet with my approbation, I ought to point out by way of advice those which I consider best suited under present circumstances.
I have long considered this matter, and although the ways and means proposed by Your Majesty appear to me good and acceptable, I am still very much afraid that they will prove insufficient for the work we now have in hand, and that such a protracted negotiation as Your Majesty recommends will only be so much time lost; not only because it is very difficult, not to say impossible, to keep these matters secret—when they have to be treated and discussed with people far apart from each other, and differing in opinion—but because they (the princes) will never meet together, much less adopt a general measure in common, by the medium of individual negotiation. Besides which, if Your Majesty, as is very natural, wishes, before your return to Spain, that some settlement he made, through which we may hereafter live in peace, it is quite evident that the settlement of these matters will be delayed until the result of the overtures which Your Majesty desires me to make be known; because the parties themselves are sure to postpone the agreement as much as they can as the experience of other negotiations of this sort can shew. And, moreover, as all the princes, electors, and communities hang, as it were, on the hope of this Council, if without giving them some other means or advice in substitution, that hope is taken away from them, no reasons or arguments of ours can persuade them to yield; on the contrary, the evil will grow to such an extent that it will be almost impossible to cope with it.
My opinion, therefore, is that before Your Majesty's return to Spain, a Diet be held in the town best suited for that purpose, according to time and circumstances, wherein in Your Majesty's presence, a full and detailed account be given to the princes and electors of Germany of whatever has been done by Your Majesty in this matter of the General Council. Your Majesty might then lay before them your own efforts for its convocation, as well as the dilatory expedients invented by the Pope and the king of France. In this way the said princes would be convinced of Your Majesty's exertions in this particular, to which they might, perhaps, attach no credit if the intelligence, instead of coming directly from Your Majesty in person were communicated to them through a third person. Then the princes might be consulted as to what was to be done, or some means proposed for the celebration of the said Council, so that the Lutheran princes and their allies may not for want of it persevere in their dissension.
Your Majesty will believe me when I say that whether the princes be entirely alienated from us, or led away by others of their sect, or merely divided in opinion (quexosos, resabiados, ó divisos) it will be a difficult matter to bring them to such a conclusion as that which we expect, and that much tact and discretion will be required, especially if the negotiation is to be conducted in the absence of Your Majesty, for the concord and conformity which are now ordered and recommended between me and those who follow the new sects, and the steps calculated to put an end to the grievous offences (desacatos) against Faith and the excesses daily committed to the detriment of our Christian religion cannot possibly be brought about by myself alone. For this purpose it is absolutely necessary that Your Majesty be here present so that we may be all together, make and receive overtures, address replies, &c., and bring matters to the state in which Your Majesty wishes them to be, namely, some sort of agreement without detriment to Faith, or offence to its essential points, which agreement I consider might be brought to a good issue, provided the means were not wanting. In short, to treat of such matters it would be necessary that we should be near one another, because otherwise the negotiations will never come to an end and Your Majesty would be terribly disappointed and annoyed at the delay.
These matters of the Faith once settled, we might, even if the hope of a General Council was entirely lost, devote all our energies to the repulse of the Turk, for which there would be a better disposition among the Christian princes and others than there has been hitherto. The Lutherans likewise might help with greater ardour for the common cause, if once ensured concerning their false creeds and opinions, in which, after a time, some improvement might also take place with God's help, provided the evil was arrested no matter how, for at present, as Your Majesty is aware, their blind obstinacy is so great, and so fierce the fire kindled everywhere, that the more water is thrown upon it the greater the flame, and such is their blind obstinacy (enbebecimiento) that they think of nothing short of maintaining their opinion by fas or nefas. This accounts for their thinking it right and lawful to call the Turk to their assistance without considering what they are doing; the more they are contradicted the closer they adhere to their error; whereas the present evil being stopped and not increasing, and they themselves having no fear either from Your Majesty or from me, it may be expected that they will in the end open their eyes and see the injury the Turk may inflict upon them, and then be more easily persuaded by Your Majesty's presence and authority to assist and help in the common cause.
The opposition shewn by the duke of Sassa (Saxony) and other German princes to my election as king of the Romans is another weighty consideration. I need not tell Your Majesty how dangerous it would be to leave an affair of this importance unsettled to the great detriment of Your Majesty's reputation and of my own honour. To remit the case to me would be time lost, and besides an injury to my reputation, for people would say that attention had been paid to my interests alone. Letters of favour will be of no use whatever, because those who wish me ill will not yield to my solicitations or those of my friends. Bribes it would not be honourable to employ, and, besides, my purse is too empty to defray them. As to force of arms I am too weak just now to think of it, besides which Your Majesty knows well that our purpose is to live in peace with everyone. I see, therefore, no remedy to the evil unless Your Majesty come [to Germany] in person. This sort of thing cannot well be done by letter and as the Spanish proverb goes, barva a barva onrra se cata. (fn. n16)
Such is my advice under present circumstances. If Your Majesty approve of it, measures shall be taken to convoke a Diet. Meanwhile the Count Palatine and the cardinal of Maintz, who in the hope of such a Diet will be better able to do Your Majesty's will, might go on preparing the minds and gaining the confidence of the electors, that they may obey and conform with Your Majesty's opinion, and not come to the Diet so crude and rough as they might otherwise do. (fn. n17)
What Your Majesty writes about prothonotary Caracciolo and his appointment as super arbiter in the differences between the Venetians and me cannot be, since the Signory has actually refused to accept his arbitration, on the plea that he is Your Majesty's vassal and servant, notwithstanding that the Venetian ambassador, cardinal Cornaro, Your Majesty's ambassador and my own had all agreed on that point. I have written to them to appoint another one instead of the said Prothonotary, but I doubt whether such a person can be found, for the Venetians are so sharp (hilan tan del gado) that it is impossible to negotiate with them unless under evident disadvantage, and they will be glad if they themselves do not procure it, of any delay for the payment of the 250,000 ducats thev owe me.
Measures taken in Flanders for the execution of the bull of the Crusade. Gabriel Sanchez, &c.
Marriage of the duke of Mantua to the heiress of Monferrato. (fn. n18)
Marchioness de Brandenbourg. Her letter has been forwarded to her husband, the Marquis. (fn. n19)
Count Nogarol and Danish affairs.
Desiderio Simandres, the King's secretary.
The letters found on the friar who came from Constantinople are being read and examined. Should it be found that he is a spy of the enemy, as is generally believed, he shall be punished as his crime deserves. Hitherto appearances are entirely against him.
Thanks for the permission to mortgage or sell a portion of my rent at Naples.
I hear that the abbacy of San Isidro de Leon, in Spain, is vacant. I want it for my secretary, Castillejo. I had one for him in Hungary, but the Vayvod took possession of it. —Prague, 27th April 1531.
Signed: "Ferdinand."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 7.
30 April. 710. The archbishop of Toledo. (fn. n20) to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 22,
f. 35.
At Toledo, where he came for the Holy Week, and to provide for certain matters of his diocese, the Emperor's letter of the 10th inst. was duly received. Being in this city when the last courier left, he had no time to write by it; nor has he now, owing to his stay here, anything to report about Court matters.—Toledo, 30th April 1531.
P.S.—Yet a letter has been found in these Archives among the papers of ambassador Rojas, which in his [the Archbishop's] opinion is very important for the present case. It would appear that when the Queen's first husband [Arthur] died, she had not been carnally known by him. It is thus stated in a letter of the Catholic King Ferdinand to his ambassador at Rome (Rojas), whom he instructs to apply for a dispensation in the manner that it was drawn, nor that there was any real necessity for it, but to satisfy the importunities of the English.
The document itself will be forwarded to the president [of Castille], that he may, if required, send it to Rome.
Signed: "A[lphonsus] Toletanus."
Addressed: "To the Imperial and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Spanish. Original partly holograph. p. 1.


  • n1. The chancellor, Antoine Du Prat, at this time, archbishop of Sens (Senonensis) and cardinal.
  • n2. "Y mas dize que el Papa contra el Ccnsilio (sic) Niceuo, quiere evocar 1 causa, disiendo el Consilio que se ha de acabar adonde se començó y que á lo que dicen que es contra estilo de la Corte, que en la primera comission se derogó á todo esto, y [que] pues los stiles (sic) se hallan contra déll, y no por éll, que conosce que le hazen aggravio; y que si el papa le hase iniusticia éll procurara á hazer tambie lo que podrá, y que él nunca verná á la causa, y que bien sabe que luego vernemos á las mauos, y que tambien sabe que la excomunion no se ha de temer quando es injusta."
  • n3. "Y paresciome que hera (sic) decir hechar el mal allá y pasar este vado, y por eso le respondi."
  • n4. "Tanto mas que creya que el Rey de Francia, como decia este otro, porque V. M'.no tenga reducida y pacificada la Alemania, lo estorbaria."
  • n5. "Con esto seria menos el mal bì ellos se cargassen en sy el destorbo deste concilio, ó sobre quien lo quiere destorbar."
  • n6. On the 14th. See No. 688, p. 119.
  • n7. "Y hallele prevenido en las respuestas que dieron a Prat, que el duque de Albania se las avia mostradas, y dixome que le avia dicho que quanto al casamiento del Dalfin con la Infanta de Portugal que no avia diferncia, porque lo tomarian; y al Papa pareseele muy bien, porque á darle la Señora Infanta de España seria aventurar mucho para en caso, lo que Dios no quiera, uviese lugar en ella la sucesion."
  • n8. Doña Maria, born on the 21st of June 1528; her brother, Philip, then six years old, was said lo be in delicate health.
  • n9. The descendants of Francesco Maria, who in 1516 was excommunicated and deprived of his estate.
  • n10. The original letter in Spanish is in the Archives of Brussels. An Italian translation sent to Miçer Mai at Rome, and enclosed in another of the High Commander (Covos) may be found at Simancas, though dated the 24th instead of the 22nd.
  • n11. De Causa Matrimonii Regis Angliæ; Compluti (Alcalá) 1530, small 4to.
  • n12. "Como tan verdadera lumbre, como es la de su dotrima, si alla se ha publicado, no ha bastado para quitar la ceguedad y caligen de la parte contraria."
  • n13. "No está en intimar coneilio general sobre cada cosa, mas [solo] en lo de la fe y otras cosas particulares."
  • n14. "Porque si vehemos (sic) que hace estas pratichas en las cosas del Turcho adonde esta ya, cierto que el papa viene en el como conviene."
  • n15. The word used is Aliacqua, which I presume to be a blunder of the decipherer.
  • n16. Literally: "Beard to beard, or face to face the questions of honour must be treated."
  • n17. "Disponcry ablandar los pensamientos y pvopositos de los electores."
  • n18. As will be seen hereafter, the Duke's marriage to the heiress of Monferrato (Margaret) was strongly recommended by king Ferdinand.
  • n19. Probably Elisabeth, daughter of John, king of Denmark and Sweden, who died in 1555. She was married to Joachim called "Nestor,"fifth margrave elector of Brandemburgh.
  • n20. Fonseca, formerly of Santiago.