Spain: May 1531, 16-31

Pages 158-168

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

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


May 1531, 16-31

16 May. 724. Muxetula to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 853,
f. 33.
ß. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 214.
Fully intended writing by this servant of Signor Fabritio, (fn. n1) now going to Court; but as the Imperial ambassador (Miçer Mai) dislikes that mode of conveyance, and wishes to send off his own despatches this very night, he (Muxetula) has changed his mind, and decided to write by the regular Imperial courier. Has, however, nothing important to say save that, according to advices from the marquis of Alarcon, letters from Constantinople of the 17th of April have been received at Naples stating that a fleet of 160 Turkish sail may be shortly expected on the coasts of Naples and Sicily, and that a powerful land force was besides being prepared for the purpose of invading Hungary.
A secretary of the king of France has arrived here [at Rome] for the purpose of justifying his answer to Balançon about the Council. It is, however, believed that all is hut wind and vanity (aer y vanidad).—Rome, 16th May 1531.
P.S.—Fabritio's secretary having left without taking this, I send it by captain Rodrigo [Ripalta]. (fn. n2)
Signed: "Jo. Ant. Muscetula."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 2.
19 Mai. 725. Clement VII. to the Emperor.
S. E.L. 1,174.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 228.
Had the sentence about Ferrara affected only my own personal interests I should certainly not have complained of it, but those of the Church and of this Apostolic See being seriously compromised therein I cannot do less than remonstrate against it. Such as it is, however, I must needs be satisfied, and blame only the bishop of Vaison, who, disregarding the mandate given him, has adhered more to his own private opinion of the affair than to the letter of his instructions, or to Your Majesty's own wish, since I understand that every effort was made on your part to leave matters as they were until they naturally returned to their former state. (fn. n3) I can plainly see that such was Your Majesty's intention since you could not entirely agree to the demands made from hence, and that it was entirely the Bishop's fault that the sentence was delivered in the manner it was. I am, however, consoled in the midst of my displeasure by the firm belief that Your Majesty will henceforward redress as much as possible the detriment received by the Church in the manner that has been pointed out to me. To this purpose I now send to you Miçer Fabio Mignanelli, consistorial auditor, bearer of this my letter, for whom I beg full credence, as well as for my said legate at the Imperial Court. Your Majesty's two holograph letters upon this Ferrara's sentence, and about the Council, this last having been delivered by the bishop of Tortona, have duly come to hand.—Rome, 19th May 1531.
Addressed: "Charissimo in Christo filio nostro carolo Romanorum Regi, Imperatori Semper Augusto."
Italian. Holograph, pp. 2.
20-31 May. 726. Muxetula to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 853,
B. M. Add. 28,583
f. 229.
The consistorial advocate (fn. n4) has taken his departure with the Pope's final resolution about the Ferrara affair, and his offers are in exchange for the privileges forfeited by the duke Alfonso. (fn. n5)
(Cipher;) Cardinal de Grammont is negotiating with His Holiness about many things, all of them important. First of all the marriage of the duke of Orleans to his niece (Catherina de' Medici), for which the Pope says he will conclude nothing that is contrary to the peace of Italy or the Emperor's interest. Has also undeceived the Cardinal with respect to Milan, which is another thing the French are aiming at, and told him that on no account was the King, his master, to presume that the result of the Ferrara sentence was in any way to forward his views, since he (the Pope) was quite satisfied with it.
The king of France desires the matrimonial cause to be decided out of Rome, in England, in France, or otherwise in Cambray. By his orders Mr. de Grammont has officially applied for two cardinal's hats for subjects of his own, and two more for English churchmen, and besides that for the right of presentation of Frenchmen to French bishoprics, &c.
He openly told His Holiness the other day that the Council would be injurious to his interests. The Pope answered that he did not care at all for his own personal interests. He then tried to persuade him that the meeting would be exceedingly inconvenient, and produced letters from the duke of Saxony and others of his adherents, also allies of France, complaining that His Imperial Majesty had called them heretics.
There is in his opinion very little chance of the Council being convoked, for the king of France declares that if it ever take place he must be present at it, and has, moreover, raised difficulties about the place where it is to be held, &c. The Pope says that the Emperor's presence is necessary, hut that the King's is not.—Rome 20–31st May 1531.
Milan, Marquis del Vasto, &c.
Indorsed: "Abstract from the letters of Muxetula of the 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th, and 31st of May."
Spanish. Original, pp. 7.
20 May. 727. The cardinal of Ravenna to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 853,
f. 21.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 234.
Has received almost at the same time two Imperial letters, one concerning the business of England, the other relating to his vote at the last creation of cardinals. Thanks the Emperor for the acknowledgment of his small services. Was always his admirer, and intends to persevere in what he considers his duty. Offers again his services on every occasion.—Rome, 20th of May 1531.
Signed: "B. Carlis Ravennat."
Addressed: "To His most Sacred and Victorious Majesty the Emperor."
Spanish. Holograph, p.
21 May. 728. The archbishop of Toledo to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 22, f. 36. Came to Ocaña when he heard of the Empress' determination to leave [for Avila ?]. She started on her journey Wednesday, the eve of Ascension Day, and though the road through Toledo is a little longer, yet to avoid the passage of the ferry boat, Her Majesty came that way, and slept there Friday night. Saturday next she came to this town of Ylliexas (Illescas). She will continue her journey to-morrow, and we are in hopes that by next Friday, before the festival of the Holy Ghost, she will reach Avila. Her Majesty is in very good health; also the Prince and the Infanta.—Illiescas, 21st May 1531.
The letter (fn. n6) which I told Your Majesty had been found [at Toledo] touching the Queen's cause I shewed to Liete Medina and Dr. Beltran, both of whom are here, engaged for the defence. They tell me they do not think that it will be of much use, certainly not of so much as I thought at first. However, they ask for time to deliberate, and the document is still in their hands to be examined, &c.
Signed : " A. Toletanus."
Addressed: " To the Imperial and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Spanish. Original partly holograph, pp. 2.
23 May. 729. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.
S. E. L 854,
f. 118.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 235.
Has received Her Majesty's letter of the 28th March, but is much surprised to hear that his own despatches ever since last February have not reached their destination. They were three in number, containing the substance of what has been done here, at Rome, for the Queen's cause since his arrival. Will now copy some of them for the Empress' information. [Transcribes literally his despatches of the 11th and 23rd of April, and then continues :] I have received a letter from Her Highness the queen of England, ordering me privately to explain to His Holiness how very unjustly her case is being conducted here, at Rome, and although such an explanation is not within the boundary or limits of the process, yet that His Holiness may be more particularly informed of the manifest justice of the Queen's cause, I intend, according to her orders, to go to the Pope at certain hours. I am sure he will hear me with benevolence, as at other times, for he wishes—as I have been told by some lawyers whom he occasionally consults on the case—to be fully informed thereof. The cardinals, likewise, feel much disposed to acknowledge that justice and right are entirely on the Queen's side.
At the last Consistory it was again resolved not to admit any excusator from England unless he came fully provided with powers of attorney from the King to represent him at the proceedings.
His Holiness was very much pleased at the receipt of a letter from the Queen, but has only sent her a verbal answer through his Nuncio for fear his letter should fall into the King's hands, and thus afford an excuse for his challenging him as judge.
I received from England instructions to examine St. Gregory's answer, "ad quintam quæstionem Augustini Anglorum episcopi," presented to the English Parliament by a certain friar as an argument that the King can divorce and marry again. It was, moreover, stated that the King's partizans laid much stress on it. I immediately sent thither by duplicate, and through two different ways, copies of the conclusion which I once maintained at Salamanca on this very point, and which in my opinion offers no difficulty. I also forwarded another copy to the bishop of Rochester with a letter begging him to add or take out whatever he pleases, because he is a very worthy man, a good servant of God, and one who has laboured strenuously for the success of this cause.
Enclosed is a copy of my said conclusion that it may also be examined by lawyers and divines in Spain, and if any amendment or correction be required, that it be introduced in time, for, as I said before, this is a point on which the opposite party trust most of all.—Rome, 23rd May 1531.
Signed: "Dr. Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Catholic Imperial Majesty of the Empress and Queen, our Lady."
Spanish. Original, pp. 5.
23 May. 730. The Same to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 108.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 241.
Thanks for the 300 crs. which the High Commander Covos remitted to him, and also for the annual pension of 500, which the archbishop of Santiago [Tavera], president of the Royal Council writes to him, is to be in future assigned for his maintenance as long as he stays at Rome.
In the affair of the queen of England he (Ortiz) has nothing new to report except that having received a letter from her, requesting him particularly to inform His Holiness of the justice of her case, he has done so on three different occasions, and has found the Pope very well disposed to listen to him and to help her.
The Imperial ambassador (Mai) has his witnesses ready—at least such as are at Rome—to present them in the cause. It would have been desirable that this had been done long ago, because as there was no agent of the English king to answer for him the application of his excusator having been rejected— sentence could easily have been gained by "contradittas." Now this will be very difficult, if not altogether impossible, for it is reported that the King's ambassadors have mandate to state their master's excuses, and as they must of course be heard first, the short time intervening between this day and the vacations will be spent in examining the King's excuses, seeing if they are legitimate or not, and answering them so as to be in a condition to pronounce sentence.
Cardinal Tarbes has lately come to this court. The Pope tells me that he urges him to commit the cause to some place nearer to England, either Cambray or some other town, where the King (Henry) may more readily learn the course of the proceedings. The question now is whether this application of the king of France, and the reasons that no doubt will be alleged by the English in support of that measure, will be considered sufficient. I believe not, and for my own part will do everything to prevent it.—Rome, 25 th May 1531.
Signed: "El Dr. Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our lord."
Spanish. Holograph, pp.
25 May. 731.Miçer Mai to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 853, Duke of Mantua.
B. M. Add. 28,583
f. 247.
Prothonotary Gattinara.
Has stated in a former despatch how necessary it is that the papers he has applied for should come and be delivered into the hands of the auditor of the Rota. That would not only be beneficial to the Queen's case, but advantageous also in a thousand other ways.—Rome, 25th Mai 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To His Sacred Majesty the Emperor and King, our Sovereign Lord."
Spanish. Holograph, pp. 2.
25 May. 732.The Same to the Same.
S. E. L. 853,
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 243.
The sentence of Ferrara, &c.
(Cipher:) I called the other day on cardinal Tarbes, who is staying at the [Papal] Palace, and he told me so many lies and absurdities (mentiras y vanedades) that I am quite amazed. He spoke to me in the most positive manner of the great friendship now existing between Your Majesty and the King, his master, of the interview which was shortly to take place, and of the great confidence both of you had of doing each other service. This last sentence he repeated several times to me, adding that in the short time he intended remaining at Rome (for he says that another bishop is coming to replace him), he (the Cardinal) would do wonders for the Imperial service, &c. Took great care to contradict every one of his assertions the next time I myself had an audience from the Pope.
(Common writing':) Respecting the General Council the above-mentioned ambassador told the Pope, not me, that if the King, his master, had hitherto made difficulties, it was entirely for the sake of His Holiness. It was (he said) through fear of such Council that Your Majesty got your brother to be made king of the Romans, and it is now through the same fear that you purpose to pacify Germany. Nowise (said he) would the King, his master, attend the Council in person unless he himself had equal possessions to those of Your Majesty [in Italy], the Council to be convoked for some town out of this country, and no more crowned heads asked to attend, except as represented by their respective ambassadors, as stated in the first answer given to Mr. de Prato (Praët) in France.
(Cipher:) The truth is that this matter cannot possibly be in worse plight (estragada) here. I have always said from the beginning that the Pope will never, if he can help it, consent to a Council. Muxetula and the rest entertained at first a different opinion, but now begin to be of my mode of thinking, owning that the whole matter is exceedingly disagreeable to the Pope. His Holiness, moreover, tells me that according to late advices from France the King has answered, or is about to answer, to Mr. de Prat (Praët) that he will certainly not come to Piacenza or to any other city of Italy. This and the insistance of the French about the marriage, the frequent interviews he (the Pope) has with Tarbes, &c, persuade me that there is some intrigue going on.
The Most Christian King, moreover, takes a particular interest in the affairs of the king of England, and is now doing all he can to promote his views here. Tarbes himself told me the other day that some expedient ought to be found by means of which the cause of England might be suspended so as not to drive the King to despair. I made a fit answer to such proposals on the part of Tarbes, who, I am told, has assured the Pope and others that this wretched matrimonial suit will ultimately cause the ruin of the World. The king of England (he said) must not be driven to despair, lest he should proceed to extremities, for in that case the Most Christian King, though much against his will, could not possibly abandon him. He (Tarbes) had already dissuaded his master from practically helping the king of England in certain measures he was contemplating, and which might have been seriously inconvenient. (fn. n7) His wish (he said) was to procure a commission for the cause to be sent out of the Roman Rota.
Such is for the present the avowed purpose of the French. The better to carry out their end and deceive us they assert that a marriage is presently to be negotiated between a son of the Most Christian King and the princess of Wales (Mary), which in my opinion is not substantially true. Tried to answer as best I could these overtures of Tarbes, patronized as they seem to be by His Holiness; but perceiving my determination to execute Your Majesty's orders in every respect the Pope dropped the subject and there was no more said about it. Next day he (the Pope) told Miçer Andrea that perhaps it would be better not to grant expressly a delay in the proceedings but to go on with the suit slowly and with greater calm. " If in the meantime (said the Pope) the proposed marriage took effect the cause of itself would be settled (caheria de suyo)." Andrea, however, in reply to the Pope's overtures observed that Your Majesty had forces enough to settle the quarrel by yourself. "Not so much as you think (replied the Pope), for in the first place the Turk is sure to come down next year, and Tarbes has shewn me letters from the duke of Saxony and from the Landgrave [of Hesse] and others, announcing that some free cities have made offers to the Most Christian King from which I calculate that the Emperor may and will be in trouble."
Such is the state of things at present, but Your Majesty may be sure that everything will be done on my part to prosecute the terms of Law. If the sentence can be gained before the holidays by contumacy (contradittas) well and good, if not, we must wait. Meanwhile witnesses might be examined in Spain, and the process will thus be well constructed. (fn. n8) —Rome, 25th May 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher, pp. 5.
26 May. 733. The Same to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 853
f. 1.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 229.
In the last Consistory His Holiness proposed the nominations and cardinals' hats asked by Tarbes, also that of the lord of Monaco; the Capuan's was not mentioned. The cardinals refused the one and the other, and with regard to the nominations, it was decided not to grant them, and as to the causes and reasons of the application that a proper inquiry should be made. Tarbes is very much offended at this. Upon the whole, though the Emperor's application has also been disregarded, the refusal of the French candidate makes the game equal, the more so that the objection made to Monaco was his being a Grimaldo, and a very cruel man, having committed murders, &c.
Hears that the cardinals being so numerous, the Pope is about to issue a bull enjoining that three days after the death of a Pope a conclave should be held. All cardinals absent from Rome at the time, or arriving at the expiration of the three days not to be admitted, which in my opinion will prove a rather difficult matter to be put in practice.
Speaking about his negotiations with the French he (the Pope) said that he had been so pressed by the ambassador (Tarbes) that he must needs come to a rupture with them. To avoid this he had committed to cardinal Salviati and to his father (Jacopo), as well as to Sanga, the charge of negotiating with them on the proposed marriage.
News recently come from Hungary and confirmed by the Venetians, state that the Sophi of Persia has completely routed the Turk.
Antonio Doria, (fn. n9) formerly in the French service, has gone to Genoa with three or four of his galleys. Not knowing whether the Emperor was willing to employ him, he came here and offered his services to the Pope, who has not yet made up his mind to accept them. It would be advisable to seize this opportunity and detach him at once from the French service, because without these four galleys and those which may soon follow their example, the French cannot possibly arm by sea.
Spanish. Contemporary abstract, pp. 2.
31 May.
S. E. L. 853,
f. 29.
B. M. Add. 28,583:
f. 248.
734.Muxetula. to the Emperor.
(Cipher :) The king of France, as His Holiness tells me, fearing lest by his giving his niece to the duke of Milan in marriage, all hopes of acquiring that estate should vanish, has lately been urging him to marry her to his second son [the duke of Orleans], and send her at once to France until the marriage could take place. In the meantime the King thinks he will defeat any attempt to marry her to the Duke, or elsewhere, and then he will allege that his son does not like her, and make him marry some other princess. Perceiving his insistance on this point, the Pope at first had some suspicion of the King's real intentions; but we have since proved to him that such is his evident purpose ; he has, therefore, declared in the most solemn manner that he will listen to no overtures, nor send his niece to France until she is of competent age to sign the contract and consummate matrimony.
It is for this express purpose that Tarbes came [to Home], and I presume that as he has gained his aim he will soon return to France to see whether the King will again propose simply the marriage without the express condition of the future bride being taken immediately to France. The Pope tells me that he is doing this only to gain time. He does not seem to object to his niece marrying the duke of Milan, although the state of the Duke's health on one hand, and the proposal which the Pope himself made some time ago, that upon the death of Francisco Sforza without male children, the Duchy should devolve upon the king of France, seem rather to be a drawback. Asks for instructions how to act, and what to say in case of His Holiness broaching the subject again—Rome, 31st March 1531.
Spanish. Cipher. Contemporary deciphering.
31 May. 735. Pietro Paolo Parisio to the Same.
S. E. L. 1,456,
f. 242.
Having heard from Pedro Rolans, Your Imperial Majesty's servant, that the cause of Her Highness, the queen of England, is being carelessly conducted at Rome, and by no means with the diligent zeal shewn by the opposite party, I cannot refrain from offering my services, and introducing the present bearer, who will explain my views on the subject.—San Giovanni di Verdara, at Padua, 31st May 1531.
Signed: "Jo. Pablo Torrellas, regular Canon."
Addressed: "Sacro Cesari Catholico Carolo quinto Imperatori Maximo."
Indorsed: "To His Majesty from Petro Paulo Parisio, in credence of Pedro Rolans."
Spanish. Original, p. 1.
31 May.
S. E. L. 1,456,
f. 244.
736.Don Pablo Torrellas to the Same.
Has heard from Pedro Rolans, &c. [as in the preceding, after which he continues : ]
Wrote many days ago to Rodrigo Niño, stating what he thought of the Queen's case, and how it was proceeded with at Rome; told him that in his opinion the suit was very slovenly conducted ; that people could not or would not go on with it. Gold and silver (he said), which after all are only a handful of earth, ought by no means to be preferred to the honour and glory of God and of Your Majesty. He (Torrellas) can well see what zeal and diligence the opposite party displays in this affair, and that no money is spared to bribe right and left. (fn. n10) Indeed, it is said that the English agents have already spent upwards of 3,000 crs. in this city [of Padua] alone, distributing them among all those who could be of any use, by writing in favour of their king. Said at the same time to Nino that he (Torrellas) was positively sure that all the [Paduan] doctors, who had already concluded in favour of the King, would again decide in favour of the most Christian [queen] his wife, provided some sort of compensation were allowed to the doctors for their labours and fatigue, and for the time and money spent at the Studio (University). Recommended that three at least among the best and most learned whom he (Torrellas) knew to be inclined to favour the Queen should be retained by him (Niño), although it was understood that each of them had received 100 crs. in advance [from the opposite party] for studying the case.
The ambassador answered that he did not think he (the Emperor) would like to appear in a case of this sort, for fear the English king should complain, and say that the said doctors wrote through intimidation more than for love of justice. He (Torrellas) has no patience with these erroneous impressions on the part of the Imperial ambassador (Niño), knowing, as he knows, that the king of England on his side is doing all he can to gain his object. Indeed, it seems to him incredible that whilst the King is trying every possible dodge, and has already corrupted and gained over to his cause almost all the doctors in the World (quantos ay en el mundo). His Majesty should be told that it is much better for us to hold our tongues and remain quiet. He (Torrellas) wishes he was of some worth, for he would certainly sell himself downright for the defence and benefit of such a just cause as the Queen's. Will say no more at present on this subject, but refers entirely to the bearer, who, knowing his inmost heart and his good intentions will be able to report faithfully on the state of opinion [in Padua], and that some of the principal doctors of its studio (University) are ready to write in favour of the Queen.—San Giovanni di Verdara, 31st May 1531.
Signed: "Don Pablo Torrellas, regular Canon."
Addressed: "Sacro Cesareo Catholico Carolo quinto. Imperatori Maximo."
Spanish. Original, pp. 2.


  • n1. "Yo pensava con este del S. Fabritio embiar las carthas á Su Mtad: y Por che esta noze (sic) l'embaxador chiere despazar, y no le ha parezido embiar las carthas con el presentc hombre, yo embio tambicn las mias con las otras.' Fabritio is probably meant for Fabricio Colonna.
  • n2. "Partiose l'hombre del S. Fabritio primero che yo le diesse esta cartha; por esto la embio por el capitan Rodrìco."
  • n3. "Habbi piu credito all' opinion sua che alia Mta. V. dalla quale uedo che non restò di lasciar correr' il tempo senza far alcuna resolution et tornar le cose nel termine di prima, poi che non poteva resolversi nelle modi scritti de qua."
  • n4. Fabio Mignanelli ?
  • n5. "Y lo que Su Santd. ofresce por la investitura de los dercchos de que cayó el Duque."Against this paragraph is a marginal note in the hand of Covos, thus worded: "The answer which the Emperor gave to the consistorial advocate has already been communicated to the ambassador (Mai), and, therefore, no more need be said about it."
  • n6. No. 710, p. 145.
  • n7. "Que ya le ha desviado de alguoos inconvenientes en que comenzaba [a] aparejar [se] el dicho señor Key de Anglaterra."
  • n8. "Y el proceso con la ayuda de Dios será bieo fornido."
  • n9. A nephew of Andrea.
  • n10. "Y que no se devia preponer oro ni plata, que era una poca de tierra, al onor de Dios y de vra Mag y que veia que los contrarios con su grande sollicitud y que no perdonarian alia (sic) bolsa, que es fama han gastado ya tres mill escudos en esta cíudad en quantos se han podido ymaginar podian servir, ho (sic) en fauorescer ho (sic) en escrivir en este negocio, y que tenia por cierto que quantos avian escrito por el rey escriuirian por la christianissima, reconociendose (sic) en alguna parte las fatigas de los dotores que para esto han trabajado y gastado lo que tenian en ell estudio para bivir (sic) dél."