Spain: November 1531, 11-25

Pages 286-296

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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November 1531, 11-25

11 Nov. 829. News from Constantinople.
S. E. L. 852,
f. 138.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 37.
Advices from Constantinople of the 11th of November give it as certain that next March the Turkish fleet, consisting of 300 large galleys, 50 "bastarde," and 70 "sottile," and 150 more sail fit for the carrying of horses and provisions, will visit the coasts of Puglia (Apulia). Abrahino (Ibrahim Pasha) with 40,000 assapi (fn. n1) and 10,000 janissaries is soon to join this fleet in whatever river is considered most fit for the embarkation of men and horses.
The Sultan himself to invade the dominions of His Imperial Majesty and of the king of the Romans at the head of 150,000 horse and an immense number of foot.
The writer being a Christian considers it his duty to tender this information, which, however, is kept so secret between the Grand Turk, Abrahim (Ibrahim) his vizier, and Aloyse (Luigi) Gritti, that nobody in these parts of the Levant knows a word about it.
The advices from Persia are that the Sophi has sent to request the Turk to allow free passage to his ambassadors, and has at the same time made his excuses (fn. n2) for what was done to Justiniano, throwing all the blame upon an old and intimate friend of his in whom he trusted. The Sophi, moreover, had caused the man to be beheaded, and sent a message that he is willing to live in terms of friendship with the Sultan, &c.
You may give our Lord good hope that if His Holiness will, or can, bring about an agreement between Christian princes, all this storm will clear away before next March.
Italian. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
14 Nov. 830. Muxetula to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 859,
f. 106.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 38.
.........................(Cipher:) Having last night inquired from His Holiness whether there was any news from France, as T heard that the ambassador of that country had been long closeted with him, he said to me: "No; there is nothing new, save that the Frenchman told me two very big lies, as he is in the habit of doing. One is that he had no letters from home respecting Mr. de Bayonne's [Jean du Bellay] embassy to England and to the Emperor, for the purpose, as it was said, of consulting his master on certain matters. The other lie was that the Emperor was daily importuning for an interview, which I know for certain is not the case."
The Pope also told me that having seen and read the letters which the kings of France and England had written to the Lutherans, he observed to the ambassador how improper it was for two Christian princes like them to write in that strain, since not only did they actually shew an inclination to help and favour the said Lutherans, but encouraged them to ask that the Council should be one of their own making, not a true and œcumenical one, as Your Majesty proposed. His Holiness added that he had asked for a copy of the said letters, but this the ambassador refused to give under various pleas.
With regard to the contribution, it is settled that since the Italian Estates will not come down with the money, His Holiness the Pope will dispose freely of what is his own, and establish the tithe at Milan, as well as at Ferrara, including Modena and Rezo (Reggio) still under dispute, &c.—Rome, 14th November 1531.
Signed: "Jo. Ant. Muscetula."
Addressed: "To His Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty."
Spanish. Holograph partly in cipher. pp. 2½.
20 Nov. 831. News of the Turk and of the Lutherans sent from Germany.
S. E. L. 365,
f. 128.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 40.
A messenger just returned from Constantinople says that the Grand Turk (Solyman) was already cured of his late disease "il morbo caduco," but was still very pale. He had given permission to four "sangiacs," or corsairs, to arm against all Christians except the king of Poland, Venice, and their tributaries.
Ybrayn Bassa had been ill with fever, but had recovered. Aloisio (fn. n3) Gritti was still at Constantinople; his brother Giorgio was sick in bed.
The ambassador of Pedro Pereni (?) arrived at Constantinople and stayed there from the 16th of September to the 18th of October. He had presented Ibrahim with a large precious stone. It was not known yet what he would give to the Grand Turk, for he had had no audience yet. It was stated there at Constantinople that Peter Pereni had asked to be the vassal of the Turk without depending upon Johannes Sceputiensis. (fn. n4)
Orders have been issued for Ibrahim and the rest to get ready for war with the king of the Romans (Ferdinand) and the whole of Germany. The Purveyor-General is to see that arms, provisions, and all kinds of ammunition be prepared. Great stores are being made at Belgrade, and likewise by sea. The Grand Turk says that he will expel the Portuguese from Calicut, for which end he is now fitting out 100 galleys in the ports of the Red Sea.
Ibrahim Bassá is asking the Venetians to deliver into his hands the Grand Master of St. John [of Jerusalem] on account of his having attempted to take Modon from them, and he threatens that if they do not he will try, no matter how, to get him into his possession.
What was said about a man who had fallen down from Heaven was a complete hoax.
The Turk is sending much powder and shot, and all kinds of ammunition of war down the Danube to Belgrade, which is rather a sign of war.
Spanish. pp. 3.
Headed: "Abstract of letters from Bucignola of the 20th of November."
20 Nov. 832. Miçer Mai to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 853,
f. 100.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 33.
Has received the Emperor's letters of the 22nd ult. brought by Diego Jayme [de Haro]. Communicated with cardinal d'Osma and Jo. Ant. Muscettola (sic) according to orders, and gave the Pope the letter which came for him. He (Mai) and his colleagues have since pressed him hard about the contribution, and it has been agreed that a tithe shall be imposed on all those Italian churches which have not been taxed before.
His Holiness was glad to hear of the Emperor's determination to succour the Swiss, and more particularly of the election (fn. n5) made at Ratisbon. "That election (he said) will perhaps prevent the Turk from invading Germany, since the new king of the Romans is thus more bound to the defence of the empire and of Christendom at large."
All the news we have of the Turk is that he is at present strengthening his Indian fleet for the purpose of attacking the Portuguese. Rodrigo Niño's next letter will tell us whether the last news from Ragusa is true or not. He (Mai) does not enclose the account by this post because he gave it to the cardinal [of Osma] to read, and the latter has not yet returned it.
As he has already informed His Majesty, cardinal Tarbes (Gabriel de Grammont) did not leave behind him when he went away a copy of the letters which he said the duke of Saxony, landgrave [of Hesse], and others had written to the king of France. Has since discovered that he really left one which he has procured, as well as the answers from the King. Encloses them for the Emperor's perusal. (fn. n6)
A cardinal's hat for the lord of Monego (Monaco) has again been applied for. The Emperor's orders shall be punctually obeyed in this particular, and every effort made, but he (Mai) cannot help observing that the Pope seems exceedingly reluctant, and will not easily grant it. The queen of France (Eleanor) sent some time ago an express to recommend the archbishop of Toulouse (fn. n7) for one. He (Mai) spoke earnestly to the Pope to prevent this, and the consequence was that the hat was refused, but all the same Monaco did not get his.
The Venetian negotiation and appointment of a super-arbiter to decide the questions still pending between them and the king of the Romans.
Will give cardinal Pistoya (fn. n8) the Emperor's letter. The pension of 2,000 ducats which his uncle [Lorenzo] was to have may now be disposed of in favour of some other cardinal.
The Pope was glad of the arrival of Juan Vincle (fn. n9) He asked when the Auditor was coming who was to fill the vacant post at the Rota. If he has not started by this time, orders should be sent to him to Spain to hasten his departure, for certainly his presence here at Rome is most wanted just now.
Has now received from Spain the greater part of the affidavits (probanças) so that the affair is in very good train. Was told yesterday in great secrecy that this article now being interposed has already been voted in our favour, and fancies that the votes gained by the opposite party in Paris will be the cause of the justice of our cause being declared the sooner. That is the reason why he (Mai) said in his last despatch that he would take advantage of cardinal Caietano (Gaetano) having once written in our favour. (fn. n10)
With regard to the duke of Savoy's promised help there is no counting upon it just now, for the report is that he has already made, or is about to make soon his peace with the Lutherans.
Not a word more has been said about the Council since the Emperor told us not to mention it any longer. These Romans, however, dread it, because they say it will be the natural consequence of this next Diet.
His Holiness is quite convinced of the Emperor's good intentions towards him. Neither respecting the Ferrara business nor in the matter of the intercepted letters has he now any suspicions. He denied having ever given orders to enlist troops in the estates of the Church, and as to the commissary, who was collecting the tithes at Modena, the thing was actually stopped before the Emperor's letter arrived.
With regard to the Duchessina's marriage (fn. n11) the Emperor's instructions have been followed to the letter. Told the Pope that were there any chance of that peace being solidly established through the marriage of his niece to the son of the king of France, His Majesty would have no objection whatever to make; but as he did not believe in that he much preferred the other alliance (that of the duke of Milan). The Pope approved of this, and said to him smiling: "The French ambassador at the Emperor's court is a liar and a scoundrel; you should always be on the alert with him."
The man who spoke to the Pope about the reduction of the city of Nuremberg and of the duke of Saxony was a private merchant (privado mercader). His Holiness says that the Emperor's advice shall be followed in this as in other matters.
Respecting the Duchess' journey, (fn. n12) he said that she might come when the Emperor pleased, but that winter having now set in he thought she had better remain where she was until next summer.
The duke of Milan (Francesco Sforza) has been requested by the king of France to marry a sister (fn. n13) of Mr. del Abrid (Labrit). His answer was that his marriage was to be treated with the Emperor. These negotiations have been carried on by a certain captain Maravella, of Milan, the same gentleman who afterwards went to Venice to try and engage count Guido Rangone for the service of France. As the Count happened not to be in Venice at the time he (Mai) has not heard anything more about him.—Rome, 20th November 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the Sacred Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Sovereign Lord."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. pp. 5.
22 Nov. 833. Queen Katharine to Eustace Chapuys.
S. E. L. 22, f 228. Ambassador: Your letter by the Licentiate (.) was duly received, as likewise that which came with it [from Rome]. I will not conceal from you that both gave me much pain, for they re-opened all my wounds, proving as they do that justice which should never be refused to any human creature, is entirely withheld from me and from my daughter. Indeed, that justice which we all are bound to seek and give is forcibly taken from us under colour of political considerations. I do not ask His Holiness to go to war, because that is a thing that I would rather die than provoke. I only ask for true justice, for I have been appealing to him, the Vicar of God on Earth, and to his Court and Rota for nearly six years, and his tardiness in sentencing my case has caused me such distress as is patent to everyone. Now that I am almost at the end [of my troubles] should definitive sentence be pronounced in this my case I shall have to begin by accepting certain proposals which two years ago my Lord, the King, and his Council made me, and which I, for the sake of my soul and conscience, then refused, certain as I was that they were only devices to prolong the negotiation that I might in the meantime be conquered by a greater power than the one at my command. Since then I have received most grave injuries, and when I think of my innocence in this case, of the separation between my Lord and me, of his leaving me behind at Windsor without any knowledge on my part of his reason for so doing, and of his having since married another woman without obtaining a divorce I am almost in dispair. As this last act was done whilst the suit is still pending at Rome, and in defiance of him who has the power of God upon Earth to whom only I applied for justice, I cannot do less than pen these lines which I cover with my tears for the purpose of confiding to you as a friend what I feel and suffer at heart, and to beseech you for the love of God to help me to bear this cross of tribulation, and write to His Majesty to relieve my sufferings by commanding his ambassadors at Rome to solicit the definitive sentence as soon as possible. I have no other remedy left but this. Should a just one be pronounced many souls that are now in danger of perdition shall be saved, since far from profiting by what was said and treated at Bologna, they took it as a sort of encouragement for this second marriage, though in truth it was not so. This next Parliament, I am told, is to decide whether I and my daughter are to suffer martyrdom, which I hope to God will be for her and for me a meritorious act as we shall suffer for the sake of truth, trusting that although all the world abandon us in this emergency we shall not lose the joy and pleasures of the other. Many thanks to you for the trouble you are taking for our sake.—Bugden, 22nd November.
Signed: "Katharine."
I beg of you to send off these letters as soon as possible, that the many offences being done to God may be avoided. It is far worse to suffer his punishment for having neglected this duty, and I am more afraid of that than of all the tribulations and sorrows which in this world may come over me. Let the Imperial advocates at Rome insist on the cause being determined without waiting for an answer from their Lord and master. Such is my determination and will; His Majesty commands it. Write for God's sake to the High Commander of Leon (Covos) and to Monseigneur de Granvela thanking them in my name for the care they take of my affairs, and begging them to excuse me if I do not write to them.
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2½.
23 Nov. 834. Dr. Ortiz to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 99.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 42.
Wrote by the last post that in consequence of the English king's letter to his ambassadors having been rejected, he (Ortiz) had profited by the circumstance to push on the proceedings. The Rota has since confirmed the sentence then given, and decided that the English excusator shall not be heard. The decision, however, must pass through the Consistory, and that being done we shall go on with the suit. Of course the English ambassadors will throw as many impediments in our way as they possibly can, pretending to adduce proofs and lawyers' opinions to shew that their king is not obliged to appear here at Rome personally or by proxy, but when the decision of the Rota comes to be confirmed in Consistory—and there can be no doubt that it will be done, and soon—then we shall proceed by contumacy (por contradictas) unless the King's excusator produces a new mandate.
The cardinal of Santiago de Compostella (Tavera), has sent us the affidavits (probanzas) from Spain, and likewise the summary of certain legal inquiries (informaciones) to ensure the better issue of this cause, in which I intend to present two different allegations, one short and concise, intended for the cardinals and the auditors of the Rota, another more extensive, which I have decided to put into print.—Rome, 23rd November 1531.
Signed: "Doctor Ortiz."
23 Nov. 835. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 99.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 42.
Wrote by the last post advising the progress made in the English business since the vacations, and sent a copy of the King's letter to his ambassadors, w hich was not accepted as a mandate for them to plead in his name. After this the majority of the auditors in the Rota decided that the English excusator (Karne), who had come to Rome on behalf of the kingdom should not be heard. It now remains for the Consistory of Cardinals to confirm the said decision, which it is to be hoped will soon be done, though the English ambassadors and the excusator himself are throwing every possible obstacle in the way of that body saying that they wish to bring forward lawyers' opinions to prove that the King, their master, is not obliged to appear personally or by proxy in this suit.
As soon as the Consistory of Cardinals shall confirm the above decision of the Rota, the cause shall be proceeded with by contumacy (por contradictas). unless there should be a new mandate.
The cardinal of Compostella (Santiago) has sent the evidence obtained in Spain, besides certain documents to be exhibited in the defence, of which it is his (Ortiz's) intention to make two different abstracts, one short and concise, to put into the hands of these cardinals and auditors of the Rota, the other fuller, to have it printed.—Rome, 23rd November 1531.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Addressed; "To the Catholic and Imperial Majesty of the Empress and Queen, our Lady."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2.
25 Nov. 836. The Same to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 114.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 45.
Has received the Imperial letter of the 22nd ult.. Nothing new has occurred in the English cause since the vacations, except the rejection by the Rota of the excusator's application. It has been decided that the King's letter to his ambassadors could not be taken as a mandate or new commission to plead. It is for the Cardinals' Consistory now to approve of that determination, and for the Rota to proceed by contumacy. This once done a sentence will be obtained on the principal point, so that the cause may be perfectly declared and settled and no more doubts entertained for the future, which is the principal point in his charge.
The last portion of the apology written by the bishop of Rochester (Rofense) has come to hand, which is such as was to be anticipated from his great learning and sound doctrine. He (Ortiz) loves and respects the Bishop for his strenuous efforts to uphold our holy Catholic Faith, and also because he is adorned with the learning, gifts, and virtues which all cardinals ought to have.
Thinks that the patriarch of the Indies (archbishop of Bari) must have reported on the injury inflicted at Guadalajara by the servants and retainers of Don Martin de Mendoza, upon an Apostolic Nuncio sent expressly for the purpose of putting him (Ortiz) in possession of an ecclesiastical benefice. This being the cause of the Holy See rather than his own, he (Ortiz) cannot do less than claim the Emperor's favour. The Pope knowing the justice of his case has ordered his Apostolic Chamber to proceed in this affair, but he (Ortiz) has declined to send in the report (information). which at his own request came from Spain, until he hears whether the Emperor is willing for him to prosecute, after nine years' unlawful detention his just claim to what belongs to him by right, as secretary Covos cannot fail to report.—Rome, 25th November 1531.
Signed: "El Dr. Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 3.
25 Nov. 837. The Emperor to prothonotary Marino Caracciolo.
S. E. L. 1,558,
f. 204.
R. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 44.
(Cipher:) Respecting the Switzers, We told you at the time what our intentions were, and what We intended doing by way of helping them against the Lutherans. After writing to His Holiness on the subject it was agreed that a succour of 8,000 ducats and 2,000 Italian hackbutiers should be sent to them, half on our account and half on that of His Holiness, though to avoid further complications and not to raise the suspicions of our neighbours, it was resolved that it should appear as if His Holiness, out of his own free will and without any assistance from us, had furnished the whole.
You must try to persuade the duke [of Savoy] to do the same, for it is but just that he also should help the enter-prize, and let him not excuse himself by saying that the Lutheran cantons complain of his having allowed people from his estates to go to the assistance of the Catholics. You will endeavour to induce him [the Duke] to temporize with the said Lutherans and nowise furnish them the 2,000 hackbutiers for which they say they ask him.
We have written to His Holiness, as We now do again, to send to Switzerland some person of trust to encourage the Catholic cantons.
We do not consider it prudent under present circumstances to take any part of our Italian army for this or any other service, and therefore you will take care that the hackbutiers be all Italians and none of our own, for they can be easily recruited.
We have seen the articles sent by the castellan of Mus.
Spanish. Ciphered minute in the handwriting of Idiaquez.
25 Nov. 838. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus-
c. 227, No. 48.
The letters which Your Majesty was pleased to send by Master Jean de la Saulx, (fn. n14) were duly received, together with the papers and instructions relating to the intercourse of trade, about which we both have been negotiating, but as the said La Saulx [on his return to Brussels] cannot fail to make his official report, and relate all the conversations and debates we have had on the subject with the King's Privy Councillors, I shall only add that I am afraid the work will be more costly than profitable, for considering the manner in which these people proceed, and that they are already in possession of all the advantages of international trade with us, it will be very difficult, if not altogether impossible, to make them come to the point and listen to reason. But, on the other hand, if this affair is of such importance for Your Majesty and for your subjects of the Low Countries as Master La Saulx represents, and if at the time when the peace of Cambray was concluded and sworn to it was considered both reasonable and equitable to attend to the mutual requests and representations of the parties at the conferences to be held at Cambray as well as here, it strikes me that we can now, without infringing the said treaties, look to our interests and have them revised, which might, in my opinion, be the means of bringing these people to their senses. (fn. n15) Indeed the opportunity seems to me most favourable, for the English, who are certainly very fond of Your Majesty, will find their affection for you diminish in proportion as their interests are attacked, and will naturally impute the injury of the said measures to a retaliation for their poor and wretched treatment of their queen. There will be plenty of means of inculcating this idea in the minds of the people, especially through the merchants frequenting the ports of the Low Countries, who will not fail to acquaint their correspondents in England with the prevailing state of things. In this manner merchants and workmen of this country will be induced to address petitions to Parliament, and strongly remonstrate against the manner in which the Queen is treated (this being considered the principal cause of Your Majesty's displeasure), or at least to prevent the King from carrying his plan into execution. This would seem a more profitable, honourable, and safe course to pursue than that of using harsh and strong language as the Queen recommends.
I submit this plan to Your Majesty's consideration, and beg to be excused if I have ventured to offer my poor advice on such matters. My own duty, the pity I feel for the Queen, and the wretched state of her affairs—which is growing worse and worse every day—compels me to offer the above remarks. Indeed, not only is there no probability at present of the King sending for her, but on the contrary it would seem as if he wanted her further off, for the Lady commands absolutely, and her will is done in all things, so much so that Jocquin having told her some days ago that she would soon be Queen and that Your Majesty would make no opposition, she answered deliberately that she was nowise anxious for the crown, or for her own happiness, if they were to come from your hands.
The King has had his book printed in English and has caused it to be distributed all over the kingdom, that he may (as I presume) attract the attention and win over the people to his opinion against the new meeting of Parliament. The bishop of Rochester has also completed his answer to the King's book. I enclose the last part, that it may he forwarded to Rome, for it is a remarkable work of its kind and cannot fail marvellously to help the Queen's cause.
Not to trouble Your Majesty further I omit other news, as I have no doubt that Master Jehan de la Saulx will duly report them on his arrival.—London 25th November anno XXXI.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador in England, the 25th November. Received the 9th of December."
French. Holograph. pp. 2.


  • n1. Assaphi, or spahi, a Turkish Militia.
  • n2. "Et si e scusato di quella cosa dil Justiniano, imputando un suo grande et vecchio [amico] al quale prestaua molta fede, et li ha fatto mozzare la testa come piu a pieno lo fara intendere per essi oratori, et che vuol esser suo figliuolo et servitore [e] che non duvitano punto di quelle bande."
  • n3. Alvise or Luigi, though the copy from Simancas reads distinctly Alouso. The "Gritti," both natural sons of doge Andrea, were two, Giorgio and Aloisc or Luigi. They are often mistaken one for the other in this correspondence. See above pp. 210 and 219.
  • n4. Johannes Sceputiensis is meant for Giovanni Sepusio, as the Italians generally called John Zapoli or Zapolski, the vayvod of Transylvania, who assumed the title of king of Hungary.
  • n5. That of Ferdinand as king of the Romans, which took place in November 1530; the coronation on the 10th of January 1531.
  • n6. Not in the Archives.
  • n7. Jean d'Orleans from 1503 to his" death, on the 24th of September 1533. Seven months before, in February, he had been appointed cardinal Sancti Martini in Montibus.
  • n8. Antonio Pucci or Puggi, for I find his name written in both ways, bishop of Pistoia in Tuscany, and cardinal Sanctorum Quatuor ; his uncle (Lorenzo) mentioned a little lower down, died on the 16th of September 1531.
  • n9. An individual of this name, an engraver by profession, lived about this time at Saragossa.
  • n10. "Y por esta causa dixe [en mi ultima] que me aprovecharia del cardenal Cayetano por haver escrito en favor nuestro."
  • n11. Catherine or Caterina de' Medici, generally called la Duchessina, or the little Duchess, owing to her being the daughter of Juliano, duke of Urbino.
  • n12. By "the Duchess " Margarita, the Emperor's natural daughter, who was to be married to Alessandro de' Medici, duke of Penna, is here meant.
  • n13. Jeanne, daughter of Henri II., she married in 1541 William duke of Cleves.
  • n14. Jean de le Sauch was his name; not to be mistaken for La Chaulx (Charles), as many before me have done. The former was ambassador Margaret to Henry in 1525–6.
  • n15. "Pourquoy sembleroit [il] si cest affaire este (estoit?) de telle impourtance et preiudice pour vostre maieste et ses subiectz que ma fait entendre le dit Maistre Jehan, et quil fust trouve par raison et equite, actendues les requestes et interpellations, de dresser iournee tant a Cambray que yci du temps que la paix fust iuree, et maintenant que lon peust sans infraction des traictez pourveoir des maintenant."