Spain: December 1531, 1-20

Pages 317-335

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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December 1531, 1-20

4 Dec. 852. Cardinal d'Osma to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 858,
f. 140.
P.S.—Yesterday, as I was closing the present despatch, His Holiness sent for me and shewed me a long letter just received from France, and written in French, which, owing to my slight acquaintance with that language, he (the Pope) had the kindness to translate into Latin. The summary of its contents is that the bishop of Bayonne (Jean du Bellay) had just returned from England very much satisfied with the King's behaviour. Nothing could be more evident (that ambassador had stated) than his wish to please and accommodate France in every respect. Matters were in such a state there [in England] that it could well be said that the Most Christian King held his brother of England with a rope round his throat in such a way that he could not, if he wished, disengage himself. (fn. n1) The letter did not declare the cause of such a pressure (prision). but His Holiness thinks that it can be no other than the Lady mistress (manceba) of the King, of whom he is so passionately fond, that the Pope is afraid he has already married her clandestinely. Such, His Holiness suspects, is the principal cause of that king's present intimacy with France, whose friendship he wants and courts, that he may be supported in his attempts to divorce and many again.
The letter likewise mentions another piece of news of no less importance, which is that a gentleman squire of the duke of Gueldres (Charles d'Egmont), goes backwards and forwards with messages to the Most Christian King as if his master were discontented with Your Imperial Majesty, and wished to make an alliance with France. Other Princes and nobles in those your German and Flemish estates (the letter says) have taken offence, especially in Brabant, (fn. n2) where Your Majesty's Councillors and high officers are much displeased at the visitation of their respective offices lately commanded by Your Majesty, and executed by foreigners against the use and customs of the land. All are much courted by king Francis, who wishes to attach them to his service.
It is, moreover, added in the said letter that the King is stirring up the Landgrave to arm, and make other preparations for war, which he can easily do under plea of his enmity towards the count of Nassau, and that he may do this more effectually the King promises to help the Landgrave with a sum of money; but it appears that as the latter has no confidence in him he has made it a condition that the king of England, in whom he trusts, will be his guarantee. On the same terms is a negotiation being carried on with the duke of Gueldres, to whom money has been offered by way of England, whose king is said to have greater facilities for the transmission of the funds to those parts.
The letter further says that it is not the intention of the Most Christian King openly to make war on Your Majesty but indirectly to give you so much work in hand that from sheer necessity you shall be obliged to alter the purport of the letter sent by Alanson (fn. n3) on the subject of the proposed interview. Your Majesty (adds the letter) would have much difficulty in going from Germany to Italy, because the roads thither will be found impassable, not indeed from mud and water but from armed men barring the passage, which will oblige you to retrace your steps. Your Majesty, moreover, leaves those estates of Flanders and the Low Countries in the hands of a young woman who, instead of attending to government and to the administration of public affairs, will only think of pleasure and sport.
The above is the substance of the letter which His Holiness read to me. The writer is a person well versed with the ins and outs of the French Court, who addresses one of his own correspondents in Rome and of his own party, and though His Holiness said to me that he did not implicitly believe everything that was said therein, yet he ordered me to write and report home that precautions should be taken, and Your Imperial service more watchfully carried out.
If I am to say the truth, I think that the Pope spoke to me on this occasion as a true father and friend of Your Imperial Majesty, and as one who wishes for your prosperity and success in all worldly affairs. I therefore beg Your Majesty to inform me what is known for certain at Court about the above said intelligence from France, because should any portion or the whole of it be authentic, His Holiness will most likely find the means of bribing the said informer so that he may continue reporting on every event or any new idea at the French 'Court. Indeed I am told that such is the latter's position there that he can easily procure most valuable information. Were he, however, to know for whom it is destined and who reads his letters all would be lost, but His Holiness will take care that he does not find out.
In the cause of the Most Serene queen of England we have lately frequently debated (dado y tomado muchas vezes). in Consistory. Your Majesty will easily believe that I have done my best, and though I am not generally fond of consistories, and am suffering much from rheumatism (romadizo). I have nevertheless carefully attended them, that I might speak to the cardinals of our party and watch the debates. But the English ambassadors are so eager, and so cavilling, and know their case to be so far from the paths of justice, that they have forsaken them and resorted to calumny or any possible expedients for delay; thus when they heard that the Rota had secretly resolved to reject their excusator (Karne), and to deny his application, they went up to the Pope to challenge the auditors of that tribunal, and to beg that a public dispute should be held in this matter, offering to bring from beyond Rome competent lawyers to defend their case efficiently. In this way they went about visiting all or most of my colleagues, speaking very loud, blaming the Rota, and uttering all manner of threats. The consequence of which has been that this very day the College of Cardinals has warned them to have their lawyers in readiness after Nativity Day to dispute the case, for after that no more delays will be granted.
My impression is that in this business the wishes and intentions of His Holiness are the same as those of Your Majesty would have been if you yourself were judge in this cause. He feels as much for the Queen and shews as much compassion for her troubles and sufferings, and as much abhorrence of the injuries done to her, as if he were her own father. Yet the affair in itself being so important and grave he prefers to proceed cautiously and step by step until he can effectively bring the King under his ecclesiastical jurisdiction and persuade him to send people to plead for him at this Court. No occasion or opportunity will then be given to him to escape the trial, unless having lost all shame, he should decide that a bishop in his dominions at once determine and sentence the case against the express prohibition of the Holy Apostolic See. The Pope, therefore, has resolutely fixed on this course that all the world may see that he is quite impartial in the affair and if that there has been partiality it has been only in his favour and against the Queen. In this manner, when sentence is given justice will have greater force, and the Christian princes be better inclined to take part with the Queen.
These are the motives, not without sufficient ground, which have induced His Holiness to listen to the calumnious reports of the English ambassadors, but he promised me this very morning that the festivals of the Nativity over, he would shew himself a severe judge, no longer a father (no padre sino juez severo). and have the process carried on in the right way without admitting of any more excuses or delays.
Such are His Holiness' present intentions, but I cannot help stating in pursuance of my duty that Miçer Mai, though a worthy man (puesto que es buen hombre) is no more fit for this task, as Your Majesty's proctor, than I am to command a galley. Indeed I have reasons to believe that had he not been so negligent we should already be in possession of a sentence by contumacy (contradíttas). and the principal cause might now be tried. I make bold to say that were I to leave Rome and Miçer Mai to remain our cause would be soon dragged on the ground, whereas if Muxetula, the regent, had charge of it, it would be quickly over the house-tops. (fn. n4) This I write under pressure of my conscience, which does not allow me to hide anything from Your Majesty. Let my warnings be kept a close secret, except perhaps from the High Commander (Covos), for they may come too late to do good in an affair of this sort, in which no provision has been made. It is not just that Your Majesty's service should suffer and I myself be blamed for it.—Rome, 4th December, l53l. (fn. n5)
Indorsed: "Paragraphs of a holograph letter from cardinal d'Osma to the Emperor."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 3½.
4 Dec. 853. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
K. u. K. Haus
Wien. Rep. P. Fasc.,
c. 227, No. 49.
The Imperial letters of the 14th ult. have been duly received, together with the papers relating to the Queen's business, which I immediately forwarded, mforming her at the same time of Your Majesty's instructions to me. She has promised to answer either by this present post or by the next.
The Papal Nuncio some days ago went, by the command of His Holiness, to see the King for three different purposes. First of all, to exhort him to contribute towards the repulsion of the Turk, in case it should be considered necessary, and to represent at the same time that His Holiness, notwithstanding his notorious poverty, had offered the king of the Romans 100,000 crs. for six months. Secondly, to request the King to grant some pecuniary aid to the duke of Savoy (Carlo) against the Lutherans of Switzerland, who some time ago threatened to invade his estates. And thirdly, to complain of the sharp and uncourteous terms in which the letter to his excusator at Rome was couched. The Papal Nuncio having spoken on these three points in succession, the King said that as regarded his contribution towards the Turkish war he had already written more than once to the Pope, to state his views (sa fantasie) about it. These were in substance that he considered it a mere joke their applying to him for help in an affair of that kind, he being the prince of Europe furthest away from the seat of war, and the least exposed to the dangers and consequences of an invasion. Since those whom the affair concerned most, and so nearly, did not make any provision to avert the danger it was not for him to give the example. Yet if he saw that the danger was real and imminent, and that the rest of the Christian princes were ready to fulfil their common duty in that respect, he would not be the last to contribute to the defence of threatened Christendom.
With regard to the duke of Savoy (Carlo), the King remarked that the thing mostly concerned his neighbours, not himself. He (the King) had already answered his application in conformity with his brother of France, telling him in plain terms that since he (the Duke) had received from the Emperor, and kept the county of Asti against the wishes of the French King, he could and ought to defend himself against his other neighbours, without the assistance of other people.
Touching the third and last point, which was the letter written to his ambassadors, the King said that the Pope had given him frequent occasions for complaint; he had, however, no reason to remonstrate against the terms of his missive, for he only said in it what was true, viz., that His Holiness made and unmade constitutions at will. "In proof of which (said the King) whenever I happen to ask for a thing that I consider just and right, the answer is that law forbids, or that the rules of the Chancery and the style of the Roman court are against it. Whereas if the Emperor asks for anything His Holiness immediately derogates all laws, rules, and styles to please him." "Besides which (continued the King) the Pope has greatly wronged me in not allowing this cause to be tried here in England, as reason and all rights, civil or canon, demand."
The King went on reciting some oí the arguments which he considered to be in his favour, as well as the opinions of several universities and of doctors innumerable by whose determination (he added) the Pope ought to abide rather than by that of Ancona or any other cardinal of his Council. And upon the Nuncio observing that in order to obtain the revocation of the cause to this country it was indispensable to send sufficient powers to one of his ambassadors to solicit and claim the same in his name, and allege the privileges and excuses for his not appearing at Court, and that otherwise he had no cause of complaint against His Holiness—the King said that he was not the man to play such a game, or join in such a dance as that; the letter he had written to his ambassadors ought to be sufficient for the purpose, and that if His Holiness had only the will, he thought the letter would do no harm to him. He ended by declaring and protesting that he had never said or done anything with an intention to displease or shew contempt for the Pope, who, after all, did not bear him much ill-will. He believed that the dread of Your Majesty's power made him subscribe to things which he would not otherwise have done, and that His Holiness would do much better to disengage himself from such bonds and rejoin his old friends and allies, and not trust too much to his reconciled foes. "I know very well (said the King) that legal proceedings are going on at Rome; but I care not, for if sentence be pronounced against me I know what to do." Many other similar things did the King say to the Nuncio all equally incisive or threatening, though it must be said, according to the Nuncio's own report to me, that the whole was without the passion he has displayed at other times.
I have been told that the King and his Council have lately been in great fear of some innovation being made in the Low Countries in matters of foreign trade; and that on this very account it had been proposed to recall the Queen to Court. And although this measure has not taken effect, she has not been sent further away, as she apprehended; on the contrary, the King has given orders for a much larger provision than usual against the forthcoming festivities. Such at least is the information conveyed to me by her physician, and if so, there is room for the conjecture that this improvement in the Queen's treatment responds to some news they have received from across the sea, and therefore that if anything serious is attempted there [in the Low Countries] likely to disturb the peace and the intercourse of trade, all hope of recalling the King to his senses may not be yet entirely lost.
I have not seen the treaty of the year 1506, which is the one on which this king founds his allegation; but it strikes me that if the King in this case, as in others, interpreted its meaning, and the promise not to have Blanche Rose executed which was made at the same time, as not binding for him who made it, one might interpret that treaty of 1506 in the same way. (fn. n6)
Two Germans, one of whom is count d'Aquila Nova from Jullers (Julliers), and the other the chancellor of the duchy of Cleves, who had resided here 12 days have just left, attended only by one servant each, after three or four audiences from the King. I have not yet been able to ascertain what brought them to this country. There is now another, who, according to his description, must be one of those who were with Your Majesty at Barcelona for the purpose of obtaining a revision of the sentence pronounced in favour of Monseigneur de Nassau against the Landgrave. He has gone already four times to Court, and is often visited at his lodgings by a head clerk of the first secretary, orders having been given to his landlord in the King's name to have him well treated. I have had him closely watched by many spies of my own, and principally by the courier who brought him here, as well as by own landlord, but I have hitherto learned nothing about him save that he is a man of letters, and a good Lutheran, and that for a whole month that the courier has been with him he has not heard mass or gone to church once. I have also been told that the letters he brought for the King had more than five or six seals. I cannot say whether the letter in question is the one which I hear from a good source the King received sometime ago from Philippe Melanton (Melancthon), and his accomplices, wherein they declare that the King cannot by any justifiable reason divorce his Queen, or whether it is one of those letters which the Lutheran princes are said to have written to the King, as I have informed Your Majesty; but I will try my utmost to get at the truth.
Your Majesty cannot fail to have heard through Master Jean de la Saulx (Le Sauch) of the condemnation and execution of the Seigneur Ris (Rice), the brother-in-law of Monsieur de Norfhoc (Norfolk), whose father was governor of Wales, and also his grandfather, one of the men who rendered most service to Henry VII. on his first starting, when he conquered this kingdom of England. The execution took place this morning, and the said Ris (Rice) was beheaded in the same spot where the duke of Boquinguien suffered a similar fate. The cause of his condemnation is, as far as I have been informed, that he would not confess that one of his own servants had solicited him to revenge the wrongs he complained of by entering into a conspiracy and subsequently taking flight to Scotland, where he could easily, owing to his influence over the Welsh, and to the general discontent caused by this divorce, have persuaded the King to make the conquest of this kingdom. And although the said Ris had not accepted the offers made to him, nor entered into the conspiracy yet, as he would not confess who it was who solicited him, he was condemned to death, notwithstanding the many apologies he made; and there is a rumour about town that had it not been for the Lady (la Dame), who hated him because he (Ris) and his wife had spoken disparagingly of her, he would have been pardoned and escaped his miserable fate.—London, 4th December anno 31.
Signed: "Eustace Chapuys."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
French. Holograph. pp. 5.
10 Dec. 854. Rodrigo Niño to the Emperor.
S.E.L. 1,308,
ff. 259-61.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 86.
On the 7th inst. the ambassador of this Signory to the Turk arrived, and next day went to the College Hall and communicated all the news he had. It appears that at the time of his leaving Constantinople on the 5th ulto there was a report that the Turk was fitting out a fleet of 200 sail composed of galleys and "palauderias," (fn. n7) which are vessels fit for the carriage of horses. An agent of the Sophi it was said had arrived at court with a message from his master to the effect that, notwithstanding the last encounters he (the Sophi) was desirous of peace, and would willingly send his ambassadors to treat of it, to which the Sultan (Solyman) had answered that he would be glad to see them at his court The latter, it was added, had already dismissed the ambassador of the Vayvod (Zapolsky), and sent another to the king of Poland (Sigismond) to treat of the affairs of Hungary.
The above information I obtained from the Doge himself who told me also that the Turk had felt much the taking and sacking of Modon by the Prior, and had ordered those of the garrison who could be found to be beheaded [for their cowardice] He was, moreover, preparing another fleet against the Portuguese in India. As to the destination of the first nothing was known for certain. It was said at Constantinople that it would be certainly for Sicily or Puglia, most likely for the former island. I have accordingly written to cardinal Pompeo Colonna, and to the duke of Monte Leone that they may be on the alert.
Having asked the Doge whether in view of these armaments the Signory was also preparing its fleet, as was the case when the Turks invaded Rhodes, he answered that he had not yet made up his mind as to what was to be done. I told him also how strange it was that their letters of the 17th of October should not say a word about the armaments of the Turk. His answer was that the affairs of that Infidel were nowadays treated with the greatest secrecy and that nobody knew anything of his movements.
Besides the two above-mentioned fleets the Turk, it is said, is preparing a most powerful army with which to invade Germany. The patriarch of Aquileia (Marco), brother of cardinal [Marino] Grimani, whom I met yesterday, tells me that at his departure from Constantinople Luigi Gritti assured him that the Turkish fleet was intended for Italy; Abrahim (Ibrahim) Pashá was to command the land forces. He charged him to tell the Pope this, and that if he chose to become mediator between the Turk and the Emperor he (Gritti) would willingly undertake the task in His Holiness' name, but that the thing must be done quickly, for the fleet had orders to sail in March, when it would be too late, &c. The Patriarch will leave for Rome in three or four days and has promised to speak to the Pope. He has already done so to count Guido who has written to Rome. I have also written to Miçer Mai that he may be on his guard and quite prepared should His Holiness mention the subject to him, for, to say the truth, this manner of negotiating, and the fact of the Signory not fitting out their fleet at the very time that they exaggerate greatly the forces of the Turk, makes me suspect that all this is intended for the purpose of obliging Your Majesty to make peace so that he may make war on the Sophi. That is why I do not believe that the latter has sent him ambassadors, nor is it likely that if Luigi Gritti really knew the intentions of the Turk he would have dared to say such things to the Patriarch. At any rate I cannot be persuaded to believe that the Signory had no news of such warlike preparations in October, to say the least it was very strange to tell me that the Turk was not making preparations then.
After my despatch of the 1st, I was told by a person in authority that the ambassador this Signory has at Rome had written to the Council of Ten to say in the Pope's name that if they promised secrecy he would communicate to them an affair of the utmost importance, and that the Council having submitted the Pope's proposition to the deliberation of the Council, they were of opinion that matters being so quiet nowadays and so well settled in Italy, it was not prudent to change their politics; and I am further told by my informer that the Doge remarked that a negotiation of this kind so commenced by the Pope could not but be injurious to Your Majesty and therefore could not be entertained, upon which many of the senators present began to speak disparagingly of His Holiness and much in commendation and praise of Your Majesty. An answer in this sense has been sent to the Pope, who, I am told, has been exceedingly disappointed. I beg and entreat that the most profound secret be kept on this matter, for if it were to be known that an official furnishes me with such information he would be ruined for ever.
The general of the Austin friars has lately come from Milan. He tells me that when he went to take leave of the Papal Nuncio, the bishop of Veroli, (fn. n8) he found him reading some letters he had just received, and that wishing to go away, as he saw him thus engaged, he pressed him hard to stay as he said he had the most wonderful piece of news he (Niño) ever dreamt of. The Bishop finished reading the letters, and then said, "What do you think? The Lutherans propose making a league with His Holiness and the king of France, saying that when that is accomplished they will return to their obedience [to the Church]." The General replied: "How is that? Is that submission and alliance to be made without the will and consent of the Emperor?" The Bishop's answer was: "The Emperor will readily agree to it," then after a pause, observing that the General was surprised and astonished, he added: "All the Lutherans hate the king of the Romans, and are afraid of his power, for they fancy that he will never fulfil what he has promised them." The Bishop did not enter into more particulars ; perhaps had the general of the Austin friars shewn less astonishment he might have revealed great secrets, and we might then know what to believe on a subject of such importance. Incredible as it may appear that the Pope is listening to overtures of this kind, it is necessary that the most profound secret be kept about these machinations, for should His Holiness come to know whence I derive my information the general of the Austin friars is sure to be destroyed.
Jacopo Banisiis writes in date of the 3rd inst. that the eight Lutheran cantons of Switzerland had made their peace with the five Catholic ones and returned to the rule of Mother Church. The Catholics had sent away the Italians they had in their pay. (fn. n9) —Venice, 10th December 1531.
Signed: " Rodrigo Niño."
Spanish. Original, pp. 4.
10 Dec. 855. Dr. Ortiz to the Same.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 116.
I wrote by the last post advising the favourable position in which the English cause now is, and what progress had been made in it after the vacations were over, for the application of the excusator (Karne) was again rejected, and the King's letter to his ambassadors, containing some irreverent and disrespectful expressions, as Your Majesty may judge by the copy I sent at the time, was not considered a sufficient mandate for them to act upon. Since then the Rota has decided by a majority of votes not to admit the excuses made [by Karne] in the kingdom's name, or his assertion that the suit could not be tried here. It was resolved that the excusator's application could not be listened to unless he brought powers from the King himself shewing reasons why he himself should not appear here personally or by proxy. And although this decision of the Rota has not yet been made public, and must first be discussed and approved in a Consistory of Cardinals, there can be no doubt that when it has passed that body, if the excusator does not produce a new mandate, sentence can be obtained by contumacy (por contradictas), and this once done it will be my turn to step in and fulfil my professional duties and have the cause so declared and established that all doubts may be removed for the future.—Rome, 10th December 1531.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Catholic and Imperial Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2.
10 Dec. 856. The Same to the Empress.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 116.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 91.
His services in the matrimonial cause of the queen of England have been attended with complete success, for it is entirely due to him that the letter of the king of England, containing many irreverent and offensive expressions, has been rejected as not being considered a sufficient mandate for his ambassador to act upon. It is due to him that the majority of the cardinals in Consistory have overruled the objections of the kingdom and people of England, who assert that their king is not bound to attend in person before the Pope or the Rota in this divorce case. He (Ortiz) persuaded the cardinals not to listen to the person whom the king of England sent here to excuse his absence from Rome, who is never to be heard until he can shew full powers from his master authorising him to act as his proxy in the principal cause. This last decision of the Rota is not yet published, because the Sacred Consistory of Cardinals is to sanction it first; but as soon as the verdict of the Consistory is given the cause will begin, when he (Ortiz) will take care that it is determined in such a manner that no living creature shall ever doubt the validity of the Queen's marriage.—Rome, 10th December 1531.
Signed : "El Doctor Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Catholic and Imperial Majesty of the Empress, our Lady."
Indorsed: "To Her Majesty from Doctor Ortiz. Answered."
Spanish. Holograph. p. 1.
12 Dec. 857. Miçer Mai to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 853.
f. 117.
M. Add. 28,584
f. 93.
After disputing all this winter whether an excusator who came here on behalf of the English people (como uno del pueblo), asking that the matrimonial cause should be referred to England was to be admitted or not, the Rota voted against him and in our favour, and as I was urging for a sentence and for the publication of the votes, the English ambassador's suspicions were aroused and he ascertained what I was about. One of them then took post to England to consult the case with the King, his master. I was led to expect that this might be advantageous for the affair and yet I ceased not to press for the execution of this interlocutory.
Seeing this the English ambassadors then petitioned that the cause should be pleaded in public by our advocates and theirs, and in order to save time I said that I would consent provided no time should be lost, and that the trial should go on all the same. But as the English do not wish the matter to end, but on the contrary are always looking out for new causes of delay, they asked for time to procure lawyers from various towns in and out of Italy, saying that four or six months at least were wanted for that purpose. I so contrived, however, with the Pope and with some of his cardinals that the English desisted from this their second demand and seemed satisfied with the first, namely, that the pleading should be public. So it was determined, the Pope and the cardinals sanctioning the measure in Consistory. Whilst I was trying to hasten this decision His Holiness sent one day for cardinals Monte and Anchona, as well as for me and Muxetula, and we debated the subject in his presence. It was at last decided that to-day, the 12th inst., the disputation should begin at the Rota, and after that continue before the cardinals, and although so much disputing and debating could not but cause delay and prejudice to the case, I agreed to it provided there should be only one disputation in Consistory, before the cardinals, and before the auditors of the Rota all assembled. This being obtained I naturally thought that much time had been gained since the disputation itself, the voting and the publication of the sentence, could easily be accomplished before Christmas. But as any conclusion of this affair is decidedly not to the English taste the ambassadors began on the 10th to spread all manner of calumnious reports, saying that they intended to challenge the whole of the Rota, or at least those among its auditors who were vassals of Your Majesty, and they wished that lawyers from Rome and from other places should meet and vote here for the Pope to follow the opinion of the majority. In this manner the Rota they alleged would be without suspicion, and the auditors might debate upon their votes in writing. They asked, moreover, time for the lawyers to come, and insisted upon four or six months being granted for that purpose.
A Consistory was held on the 11th, at which I begged the Pope to repell the calumnious reports of the English ambassadors, and although on that occasion they did nothing but ask for time [to bring lawyers from beyond Rome], the Pope and the two cardinals, Monte and Anchona, sent for me, and I was upwards of one hour disputing (porfiando) with them, for although they agreed with me that the demand of the English seemed to them captious and wicked (calumniosa y mala), they still wanted me voluntarily to consent to the delay asked. As I persisted in my refusal I conclude that the Pope and the two above-named cardinals again treated the affair in that same Consistory, for it was determined that a delay should be granted until after the Easter holidays, that the lawyers (letrados) might study the case. As far as time goes no great mischief can be done, but the manner of granting the delay is decidedly bad, for it is evident that the encouragement afforded to the opposite party will render them more insolent every day, and that they will invent the most strange ways and means of carrying out their end.
Meanwhile His Holiness and his cardinals have heard from my lips all that could be said without positively offending them about the manner in which the affair is being conducted. Your Majesty may believe me when I say that these devils are to a man against us ; some take side manifestly, being openly devoted to the French or English faction; others will be easily corrupted, for every day, I hear, the English ambassadors receive bills of exchange for thousands of ducats, which according to common report are exclusively spent in bribery; a, few are mistaken fancying that the delay will cure that evil, whereas in my opinion it has gone so far that it is incurable.
However this may be, the Pope and all his cardinals have engaged their most solemn word to me that this is the last delay which will be granted. May it be so, though there is no believing in their promises. I will endeavour that the very first day after the Easter festival the disputation take place and the affair be concluded; at any rate no time shall be lost, and perhaps the ambassador who went away may have returned by that time. I believe him to be the cause of all (fn. n10) these doings.—Rome, 12th December 1531.
After the above was written I waited on His Holiness and besought him, since the evil of this last delay was already done, and could not be repaired, to promise me that no further one should be granted. The Pope with the greatest vehemence stood up, lifted his forefinger, and said: "I promise it, and will fulfil my promise," and added that he would forthwith tell the English ambassadors who happened to be waiting for an audience in the next room. (fn. n11) If His Holiness is true to his word Your Majesty may consider the delay as more advantageous than otherwise.
The Pope told me in confidence that he hoped doctor Benet, who had gone to England, would do good offices there, and undeceive the King, his master, as to the state of the affair. "I have (he said) great trust in him." My answer was: "What Your Holiness considers an advantage might after all prove a greater evil, for if Dr. Benet succeed in undeceiving his master as to the real state of opinion here, at Rome, and if he convince himself that a sentence must at last be given against him, then the money he would otherwise have to spend in defending himself he is sure to employ in offending his opponents, especially if he find help in the French, to whom he keeps offering money, as if he wished to escape from and evil, cast it at another man's door, for such in my opinion is the meaning of that lose friendship and the offers of money with which king Henry is at present cajoling his brother of France. (fn. n12)
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: " To the Sacred Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Indorsed: "From Mai, on the English business. Rome, 12th December."
Spanish. Original partly holograph. pp. 6.
12 Dec. 858. Muxetula to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 853,
f. 127.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 96.
Having the other day asked His Holiness whether he had any news from France he told me that he heard that the French were doing all they could to prevent Your Majesty's return to Germany and Italy, spreading rumours that it is not so easy as Your Majesty thinks, that the duke of Gueldres (Ghelders) is in treaty with king Francis, and that he and another neighbour of his have offered to do the King's pleasure. Similar negotiations are going on in Brabancia (Brabant), and besides the kings of Fiance and England have come to an agreement, by means of Brion, to attempt something against Your Majesty. They propose helping the landgrave [of Hesse], whose quarrel with the count of Nassau is well known, with money, that he may disobey Your Majesty and do what the two kings want in helping the duke of Ghelders' movements. The king of England they say offered a large sum of money to king Francis, provided he should declare war against Your Majesty, and owing to what Brion had told him, was pretty sure that king Francis would not fail him.
The same letter stated that the king of France placed great trust in the count of Geneva, whom he had secretly stirred up against the duke of Savoy, &c.—Rome, 12th December 1531.
Signed: " Jo. Ant. Muscetula."
Addressed: " Sacræ Ces. Mti et Cathoce."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 3.
13 Dec. 859. Miçer Mai to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 853,
f. 116.
B. M. Add 28,584,
f. 98.
After closing all the despatches that go with this present letter, I went to the Pope to complain of what they did yesterday to Don Alonso, (fn. n13) and asking that the guilty parties should be punished. He agreed with me that the act was a most reprehensible one, and that he would order the case to be investigated and the aggressors punished.
Having then told him that I was about to dispatch a courier to the Emperor, and wished to know whether he had any messages (cipher:) he answered that he had none, except that the French ambassador had again applied for a cardinal's hat for Tolosa, (fn. n14) and said in the course of conversation that the Emperor's affairs were not quite so smooth and prosperous as people imagined, for that he might be so shut up in Germany that perhaps he would not be able to come to Italy at all, or return to Spain. And upon His Holiness inquiring the reason of that, the French ambassador replied: "Has not Your Holiness received a letter from the Vayvod?" "Yes, I have," said the Pope. "I knew that," replied the ambassador, "similar letters have been formally addressed to all the princes of Christendom, and such a fire will soon be kindled as never before was seen, which most certainly will give Your Holiness infinite trouble." The Pope representing that that was tantamount to a breach of the peace and violation of the existing treaties, the Frenchman replied that his king would no doubt keep strictly to the letter of the treaty of Cambray, but that outside of it he might and would do that which was most convenient to him. The Emperor wished to be alone and rule the World, it was for them (the French) to let him know that it would be better for him to behave well towards the King, his master. And on the Pope remarking that certainly he did not understand how the Emperor could do more for the king of France than give him his own sister (Eleanor) in marriage, he (the ambassador) said: "the French expect a good deal more, and as they see that the Emperor cares not for them they will create such troubles that the Emperor will rue it."
All this His Holiness told me confidentially and with the greatest reserve, and upon my observing that I could not imagine what the French trusted in when they thus threatened to create disturbances and throw obstacles in the Emperor's path, he said to me that their trust was in the Vayvod and in the Lutherans, as well as in these last differences which had lately sprung up between the duke of Savoy (Carlo) and his relative the count of Geneva, &c. I asked him then whether he had any suspicion of French intrigues in Italy. He answered that he had none, he knew the Venetians and the duke of Milan to be sincerely attached to Your Majesty, and therefore there was nothing to fear on that side. "Should anything occur (he said) I will let you know immediately, that you may inform the Emperor."—Rome, 12th December 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. pp. 3.
15 Dec. 860. Queen Katharine to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 853, f. 22.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 148.
Your Majesty sent me the copy of a letter from your ambassador at Rome, Miçer Mai, by which and by what he himself tells me in Your Majesty's name, I can see the continual care that is there being taken of my affairs, as well as your own solicitude in procuring from the Pope as soon as possible redress for this fiery dissension lighted up between the King, my Lord, and me, by the Enemy of Mankind. I am also aware that the said Miçer Mai has often begged and entreated Your Majesty to encourage His Holiness to enforce justice, as his own duty and the quality and importance of the affair require, because the ambassador fancies that the Common Father of the Faithful is as cold and indifferent now as when the suit began. Indeed, I am amazed at His Holiness' behaviour and that, knowing what harm the past delays have caused, the danger in which this kingdom is, and the differences likely to arise between Christian princes, at a time too when conformity of ideas and mutual help are so desirable, he can allow a suit so scandalous for the whole of Christendom, and so detrimental to the conscience, honour and reputation of my Lord to remain so long undecided.
I must say that such conduct on the part of His Holiness pains me to the soul, and that if he do not make up his mind to apply a prompt remedy to this evil (which he can very easily do by putting such an end to this business as is to be expected from a person of his authority and example), if he do not attend to the representations and complaints of this kingdom which has been so many years waiting for his decision, I must perforce declare that he has no charity.
I, therefore, most humbly beg Your Majesty, as one who is in extreme need, for God's sake, and for the love and relationship (deudo) existing between us, to be pleased to bestow on me, besides other most signal benefits already granted on former occasions, this one favour of again encouraging and urging His Holiness in every way that may be considered most efficacious, to uphold justice in this my case, removing from his mind all fears and apprehensions which the contrary party may cause or suggest, and assuring him that the issue of this affair cannot fail in the end to establish peace and quietness between him and the King, my Lord. I say the same to Your Highness, knowing, as I do, who is the cause of all this evil, and being convinced that God will never allow the wickedness of my enemies to prevail and impede a work so pious and so necessary to Christendom, for I still hope that the King, my Lord, when free from the bonds in which he has been caught, will readily acknowledge that God has enlightened his mind and restored his reason.
Your Majesty may be certain that no good can come of the cause remaining in its present state, because those who have prevailed upon the King to act as he does goad him with lances like the bull in the arena, sometimes giving him vain hopes, at other times suggesting false arguments and reasons. It is a pity that a person so good and virtuous should be thus deceived and misled every day, and I shall never cease praying God to enlighten his mind, sure as I am that my prayers, so just and pious, shall in the end be heard. —From Mur (More), separated from my husband without having ever offended him—the 15th of December [1531]. Your Majesty's humble aunt.
Signed: "Katherina."
Addressed: "To the most high and most powerful Lord, the Emperor and King, my nephew."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 3.
20 Dec. 861. Miçer Mai to the Same.
S. E. L. 853,
f. 126.
B. M. Add. 28,584,
f. 100.
Your Majesty must be aware that the Turk is threatening to come to Italy with a formidable sea force and to invade the northern part [of Europe] with an equally powerful army.
Luigi Gritti said as much in Constantinople to the patriarch of Aquileia, (fn. n15) who, on his return from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, visited that capital, and embarked on the same galley which had taken thither Zeno, the Venetian ambassador. The news is confirmed by Zeno, who writes to the Signory. I have been unable to ascertain whether the Patriarch's information, and that of the ambassador—which the Signory has just communicated to the Pope—proceed from the same source, but I hear that similar news has reached Genoa.
The news in itself is very suspicious and may have been circulated for some special purpose. My reasons for this opinion are: 1st, because the last letters that came from that Venetian ambassador announced that the Grand Turk was entirely engrossed in fitting out in Egypt a powerful fleet against the Portuguese in the Red Sea, which news turned out to be true since it was confirmed by advices which came to Florence from Alessandria and Cairo; 2nd, because it is not likely that the Turk will at once prepare three different expeditions such as this one in Egypt, the one which they say is to come to La Velona, and the land force which is to attack Belgrade.
What the people say about Abrahin Bassá coming down with 40,000 acappos (spahis) and 10,000 janissaries and 300 sail, seems also a hoax, for even supposing that number of sail, 50,000 men could not possibly be crowded on board them, &c. Nor is it easy to believe that at this very moment, when the Turk is represented as having such forces under his command, the last successes of the sophi [of Persia] against him should be confirmed; (fn. n16) and above all (cipher:) it is doubtful whether Luigi Gritti is so situated at the court of the Grand Turk, and has such influence over him, as to be able to give advices so important, or that the Venetians should make such a fuss about it, as not only have the Signory written to the Pope, but their ambassador has told cardinal d'Osma and myself and many others in Rome, whereas in former times not only were they chary of communicating information of this sort, but denied it positively.
There are many other reasons to make me suspect that the whole is an invention of the Venetians, or perhaps of the French themselves. Luigi Gritti has a rich archbishopric in Hungary, and as he knows that things in that country do not last long, it might be that he is seriously thinking of coming over and saving the rentals of his see. There are not wanting people who say that Gritti has an eye on the crown of Hungary, and this might be a consideration for the Venetians, who have always dreaded the power of the king of the Romans, and might after all live on much better terms with a neighbour like Luigi Gritti or the Vayvod. I fancy that I have heard, but I cannot say when and where that in a secret agreement with the Vayvod the Signory had stipulated that in the event of his being left in undisturbed possession of the kingdom of Hungary he (the Vayvod) was to make over to them part of Dalmatia and I know not what other advantages, and it may well be that the journey [to Constantinople] of George Gritti and of Renzo da Ceri's secretary is closely connected with all this, &c.
I have sent an express to cardinal Colonna at Naples requesting him to dispatch a brigantine to Le Velona, where they must know more about the Turk's military preparations; also to persuade the marquis de la Tripalda, who had at all times very good intelligences in Turkey, to cultivate them still further. I have written in the same strain to the viceroy of Sicily, begging him to go to Saragosa (Saracosa) which, owing to certain feuds and differences between the municipal authorities (regidores) is just now in a very pitiful state, for although the whole of that city and district belongs to queen Germaine [de Foix] and to the duke Ferdinand [of Calabria], I fancy that they will approve of it for the Emperor's sake.
Venice, they say, will arm 50 galleys; if they could only convince themselves that an attack upon the Turk would be successful they would willingly join in it; at any rate should Christendom be in real danger they will do their duty as Christians.
Ansaldo Grimaldo said yesterday that he wondered much at this last news, for he had letters from his correspondents in Venice, who had heard from Constantinople one month before, and the news was the same as that contained in former despatches, namely, that the Turk was only thinking about Egypt and the fleet, which was being fitted out there against the Portuguese.
In short it would seem that the first thing to he done in this case is to ascertain whether this news of the Turk be true or not, and if it should turn out to be, as there is every probability, an invention of Luigi Gritti, or of the Venetians and French combined, it would be advisable for the king of the Romans to negotiate through the king of Poland (Sigismond), or in some other way, either a peace or a prorogation of the truce with the Turk.
After writing the above, I was told that the French ambassador took advantage of these Turkish news to ask the Pope for a cardinal's hat for the archbishop of Toulouse [Jean d'Orleans], and that he spoke much and uttered many bravadoes on the occasion, and though His Holiness looks upon him, and not without reason, as a sort of madman, yet every time he calls at the Palace he is a source of annoyance to him. —Rome, 20th December 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the Sacred Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Sovereign Lord."
Spanish. Original. pp. 4.
20 Dec. 862. Cardinal Ravenna to the Same.
S. E. L. 853,
f. 109.
B.M. Add. 26,584,
f. 105.
The Emperor need not thank him for what he has done in the Scotch business; as long as His Majesty considers his services of any use he (the Cardinal) will be amply repaid by the simple acknowledgment of them. Has again written to the king of Scotland soliciting him to send his ambassadors to the Imperial court.—Rome, 20th December 1531.
Signed: "Be[nedict], card. [of] Ravenna."
Italian. Original.


  • n1. Y dize que los negocios del Rey estan ally en tales terminos que se puede desir que cl xprianisimo tiene al Rey preso con una soga á la garganta, que no puede ya apartarse de su amistad, y aunquc la carta no declara la causa, &c."
  • n2. Y que ansy estan otros en esos vuestros cstados en especial Brabança, y los que son ò han sido del Consejo."
  • n3. "Pero por ìndirectas os dará tanto que hazer que de necessidad mudareys la habla en otra de aquella que le enbiastes con alanson (sic) sobre las vistas. Instead of Alanson, as in the text, I should think that Balanson is meant, who was probably the bearer of the Emperor's despatch which seems to have given much offence in answer to Francis' proposal of an interview. Balanson's name was Gerard de Rye.
  • n4. "Todavia no dexaré do avisar à vrã mat. como vuestro servidor, que Miçer May (sic) puesto que es buen hombre, no vale mas para esta procuracion que yo valgo para governar una galera, y persuadome con razon que sy su negligencia no ovyera sído tan grande, tuvyeramos ya sentencia por contraditas, y estuvieramos agora en el punto principal, y oso desir que si de aquy faltara yo, anduvyera nuestra causa por el suelo, y sy el Regente Muxetula la tuvyera á cargo estuvyera mvy enzima de los tejados."
  • n5. "Yo escryvo esto movydo por sola mi conciencia, que la ternia por escrupulosa sino os avisase desto, y suplico á vrã magt esto nadie lo sepa, sino solo el comendador mayor, porque ya que no aproreche, pues nada se provehe, no es justo que me daüen my servicio."
  • n6. "Je nay point veu le traicte de lan six, quest tout le fondement de ce roy, mais il me semble que comme autres foys il a interprete mal la promission de non faire executer Blanche Rose, que fut faicte en ung mesme temps, nobligeant le promettant, aussi bien pourroit on interpreter le dit traicte."
  • n7. The word is not to be found in Jale's Glossaire Nautique, Paris, 1848, 4to, but I presume that it comes from palude, a lake or marsh, and means a flat bottomed vessel fit for the carriage of horses, artillery, ammunition, and war stores.
  • n8. Ennio Filonardo, mentioned at p. 312.
  • n9. Those commanded by Stephano d'Isola. See above, pp. 312-3.
  • n10. "Y podrá ser que para entonces sera buelto el embaxador que se fue de aqui, el qual ereo que ha dado ocasion á todas estas chanchas (chanzas?)."
  • n11. "Y con la mayor vehemencia del mundo salió, y alzo su dedo y dixo que me lo prometia, y que lo compliria, y que lo mismo diria á los embajadores de Inglaterra á la misma hora, por que estaban en la sala esperaudo audientia."
  • n12. This last paragraph is holograph.
  • n13. Don Alonso Cuevas, Imperial solicitor and public notary at Rome. See vol. iii., part 1, pp. 1039, 1046, and part 2, p. 991. What the nature of the offence was, for which redress was asked, does not appear.
  • n14. Jean d'Orleans, archbishop of Toulouse.
  • n15. At this time Marco Grimani, a Venetian, was patriarch of Aquilcia; he was succeeded in 1533 by Marino Grimani, who died in 1546.
  • n16. "Que á este mismo tiempo confirma las nuevas del Sophi tan favorables con el Turcho como las blasonan."