Spain: February 1531, 16-28

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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'Spain: February 1531, 16-28', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 4 Part 2, 1531-1533, (London, 1882) pp. 64-78. British History Online [accessed 5 March 2024]

February 1531, 16-28

16 Feb. 636. Miçer Mai to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 852,
f .71.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f 33.
With regard to the English business, I hear that efforts are actually being made to persuade the king of England to come to Rome personally, or by proxy, to plead his own cause. The intelligence comes through the duke of Albany, who has written to that effect to the king of France. If so this may be of great advantage to us. His Holiness tells me that the English King's fury is somewhat abated, and that proceedings in Parliament are no longer contemplated; all that body will do for the present will be limited to granting supplies, &c. (fn. n1)
The King had written again and very pressingly for a cardinal's hat for the Auditor of the Chamber (Ghinucci), but I hope the application will be as unsuccessful as it was last time.
One step more has been gained in the cause since I wrote last. Remissory letters have been obtained to examine witnesses " in partibus," without delay in the proceedings in case the other party should not appear; (fn. n2) in this way we shall with one hand demand justice in this case, and with the other compulsory letters will be sent to Spain, Flanders, and all the world over, so as to gain time and be prepared with documentary evidence whenever we are called upon to prove our right.
Yesterday letters came from the Empress, in date of the 2nd inst. With them came also the lawyers' opinions forwarded by the President [of Valladolid], and other papers, all of which will be very useful when the proceedings commence.
Signed: "Mai."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
16 Feb. 637. Cardinal Loaysa to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 48.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 19.
I did not shew Your Lordship's letter to His Holiness because there were expressions in it which had better not go beyond us two. The Pope, however, knows your sentiments, and how fully disposed you are to be useful.
This new dodge of the English to remove the cause away from Rome has put us all to great trouble. Your Lordship may easily imagine that I was not inactive when the question was brought into the Consistory, and I can assure you that my presence on that occasion was very useful to the Queen, for the application was rejected. I have already said in my despatches that the Pope is very circumspect (respetuoso) and almost timid in this affair, whether from fear or prudence I cannot exactly tell. He loves the Emperor more than all the other princes of Christendom put together, and although fear or some other sentiment that I cannot describe makes him at times say and do things open to misconstruction, yet his will is strong and constant in what concerns His Imperial Majesty. On such terms we must keep, serve, and cherish him, for after all the Emperor has no better friend than him in the world, his brother, the king of Hungary, excepted.
Should the ambassador (Mai) write to Court contradicting this opinion of mine, and saying that His Holiness is not friendly, he must not be believed entirely.
Indorsed: " Paragraphs of a letter from cardinal D'Osma to the High Commander of Leon."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 2. (fn. n3)
16 Feb. 638. The Emperor to Doctor Ortiz.
S. E. L. 1,558,
f. 337.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 34.
His despatch from Savoy has been duly received. Has no doubt that his learning and industry will greatly contribute to make the Queen's right clear. Hopes he has already arrived at Rome, and that Miçer Mai, the Imperial ambassador, has fully acquainted him with the state of the business and what he himself is expected to do. Being quite sure that he will use all diligence and learning, and will conscientiously do his duty, he can from this moment promise not to forget his services on the occasion,—Brussels, (fn. n4) 16th February 1531.
Signed: " Yo el Rey."
Countersigned: " Covos, Comendador Mayor."
Addressed: " To Doctor Ortiz."
Spanish. Original draft in the handwriting of Idiaquez, one of the Emperor's secretaries. p. 1.
16 Feb. 639. Miçer Mai to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 852,
ff. 56-7.
B. ,M. Add. 28,583,
f. 35.
Had occasion the last time he was at Mantua to report verbally on the tyranny and misrule of those who then governed Siena, and proposed to His Lordship [the Commander] the means which, in his opinion, might be adopted to restore peace between the contending factions. Did then, as he has done ever since, make every effort to adjust the differences of the Sienese with the emigrants (fuorusciti). who, like those of other republics, generally ask a great deal more than they are entitled to have. Always objected most particularly to two of the conditions demanded by the Sienese. They were not (he said) to be allowed to extort money from the emigrants on their return, and, on the other hand, those among them who had ostensibly taken part with France were not to be allowed to go back. Mario Bandini then came to Rome, sent by the Sienese, and he (Mai) was enabled, with the assistance and advice of the Pope, to whom these "fuorusciti" generally cling, to make an agreement, the draft of which was accordingly sent to Siena for approval. Don Lope de Soria, who resides there for His Imperial Majesty, found it just and correct, but the Signory delayed under various pretences to ratify it.
Whilst matters were in this state, most of the emigrants having returned to Siena, there happened to be serious riots in that city, during which some of the "fuorusciti" were slain, and the rest had again to leave. Don Ferrando (fn. n5) and Don Lope then consulted us. Cardinal [D'Osma] Don Pedro de la Cueva, Mugettola (Muxetula), and he (Mai) held a meeting, and it was unanimously resolved to use moderation, inasmuch as our instructions were not to attempt anything against Siena without the Emperor's express commands. He (Mai) should have much preferred not giving his opinion in this affair, especially as being away from the place he was therefore unable to judge for himself. (fn. n6)
A new agreement was then made, the bishop of Massa, and a secretary of the Sienese going from hence to try and procure its ratification. Don Ferrando and Don Lope approved of it, but the governors of Siena, who evidently are after no good, delayed its ratification, took certain precautionary measures, and created a new military office as in time of war. (fn. n7) The better to excuse their dilatory expedients, they sent here one Ludovico Politi, with whom we have been negotiating. A third agreement (capitulation) was then concluded, of which a copy was duly forwarded to Siena. This having been approved by Don Ferrando and Don Lope, as were the two preceding ones, it was then referred to the governors themselves, who offered to ratify it. Now they appear to have altogether changed their minds, accusing Don Lope of all manner of things, and declaring that they will no longer have him among them. Under these circumstances some propose to yield to the demands of the Sienese, and appoint another Imperial minister, who may be more agreeable to them; but his (Mai's) advice is that the Emperor be consulted thereupon, and that in the meantime Gonzaga prevent the Sienese from raising men and collecting provisions, as if they were on the eve of a war.
His (Mai's) private opinion is that the Sienese are without excuse in thus endangering the peace of Italy, and that moderation being of no avail, coercive measures must sooner or later be employed to bring them to reason. Imperial authority must needs be upheld and supported in Italy, especially now after Barletta has held out for one whole year, and Florence kept the Imperial armies at bay for another. Don Lope ought to be maintained at his post, for were any other minister to be appointed to represent the Emperor in that city, the Sienese will be just as much displeased with him as with Soria, and if we once give way in these and like matters every pigeon-house in Italy will become a fortress against us. (fn. n8)
(Cipher:) The Sienese are as much the Emperor's vassals as any other in Spain, though owing to privileges badly acquired the government of the Republic is actually in their hands. Should they disobey they will forfeit those privileges, and return under the natural and direct rule of the Empire. It is a very nice bit of country (gentil estado). has important sea ports, and is only 40 miles from the kingdom of Naples. (fn. n9) With a good citadel in the heart of it, a strong garrison, and a governor of our own choosing, Siena might become as pacific and as incapable of mischief as Milan itself. A herald ought to be sent to them threatening that unless they agree to the terms lately proposed they will be dealt with most summarily in the manner above specified, and deprived of all their privileges.
Two objections may be raised against the adoption of such a plan as this. One is the cost and the danger of rekindling a war in Italy; the other the envious feeling which a measure of this sort is likely to stir up among the Italian princes. As to the former, it is very soon answered by the argument that the Emperor, having already an army in Italy, will not be at much expense, and as to the latter, there is no danger of the Italians being alarmed as they really were in the case of Milan, because Siena is neither so large nor so important as the Duchy, nor has such powerful neighbours as the Venetians and others. Siena is bordered only by the Florentines and the Romans, both of whom dislike her immensely. and would be glad to see the dominion of the city pass into the hands of the Emperor, especially the Romans, if what he (the High Chancellor) proposed to the Pope at Bologna be really meant, which was to give it to His Holiness in exchange for the territories and lands he himself holds in Lombardy, which exchange they (the Romans) want though they do not appear to desire it. (fn. n10)
He (Mai) is not of this opinion. Thinks that in case of severe measures being adopted against Siena, the Emperor ought to keep it for himself and not give it to the Pope, or else exchange it for Perusa (Perugia) and other lands close upon the frontier of Naples, which would be a more advantageous bargain than the permutation or sale of the lands of Lombardy. (fn. n11) And though the Sienese, both the faction now in power, and that of the "fuorusciti," might thereby become more intensely hostile to the Emperor, it is quite certain that as matters are now, neither from the one nor from the other shall we get the conditions of stability and peace required.
Notwithstanding the above remarks, should the Sienese agree to admit Field Master Urries with his 500 men, as agreed at first, we shall no longer insist (sobreseheremos) on the return of Don Lope to Siena, but shall wait until the Emperor transmits us his orders. Upon Don Lope's return Urries to go away. Is afraid, however, that even these terms will not be accepted.—Rome, 16th February 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: "To the very illustrious and very magnificent lord the High Commander of Leon, first secretary to His Imperial Majesty."
Spanish. Original partly in cipher. pp. 4.
18 Feb. 640. Muxetula to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 852,
f. 115.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 46.
To-day one of the Pope's secretaries has arrived from Brussels. He has brought no letters from the Emperor, but the intelligence is that nothing has yet been decided upon the points which prothonotary Gambari took owing to the Emperor having consulted his brother, the king of the Romans, thereupon, and not yet received an answer. Several captains have left the camp on leave. Ferrante Gonzaga has been written to about it.
Seven Moorish fustees are infesting the coast of Naples as far as this river (Tiber). About Pumblin (Piombino) 22 fustees, and they add two of Barbarossa's galleys, attempted the other day to take possession of an island, but left it immediately for fear of being discovered. Doria's galleys, those of Naples, Sicily, and Rhodes ought all to go together and chastise the insolence of these pirates.
His Holiness does not seem at all inclined to yield in the Ferrara business. He maintains that right is on his side, and that he had far better give up Modena entirely than consent to the rights of the Church being infringed. He has sent to consult Decio, the lawyer, about it.—Rome, 18th February 1531.
Signed: " Jo. Anto. Muscetula."
Addressed: " Sacre Cæsa. et Cath. Mti."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 2.
21 Feb. 641. Eustace Chapuys to the Same.
K. u. K. Haus-
Wien, Rep.P.Fasc.,
c. 227, No. 10.
Your Majesty's letters of the 9th inst. have duly come to hand together with various enclosures and a table of contents; the packet was perfectly closed and sealed and bore no signs of having been tampered with. After perusing the papers I hastened to communicate with the Queen, who was greatly comforted and pleased at hearing of Your Majesty's good health and prosperity as well as of the continual care taken of her and her affairs. Indeed, the Queen well needed some such consolation and encouragement, for besides the many annoyances (fascheries) she has experienced of late, as I wrote in my last despatch, she was shewn a few days ago some letters which the English ambassador, residing at Your Imperial Court, had written to this king announcing that the king of the Romans (Ferdinand) on his return from [the Diet], had been taken prisoner by the princes of the Lutheran sect, which sad news had caused her so much anxiety during three or four days that she actually dared not send to me to inquire for fear I should confirm the same.
Respecting her own business she has been disagreeably surprised to hear what little progress has been made in it at Rome, and how weak the provision is that comes therefrom; for according to the information received there was every reason to expect that the Pope himself, as the Queen wished,and Miçer Mai and the other Imperial ambassadors at Rome expected, would at once, according to his most solemn promise, declare the King to have incurred the penalties and censures of the first brief, and see that the Lady [Anne] was dismissed from Court (fn. n12) Now since these people have understood the substance and tenour of the brief lately issued, which is much less strong and binding than the first, and perceived that the Pope is so timid that he dares not carry out his point as reason and justice demand, they have taken courage and spirit, and instead of sending away the Lady, as there was some talk, they suffer her to remain at Court as defiantly and with more authority than she ever had. The Act which I mentioned in my last despatch has been passed against the Pope, it begins thus: "Hujus cleri et ecclesiæ anglicanæ dominum ac protectorem singularem, eiusque unicum, summum ac supremum caput quantum per legem Christi licet regiam Majestatem agnoscimus et confitemur." By which Act, however moderately and dissemblingly expressed, not only the Queen's interest but the Pope's authority will be affected, as I have frequently had occasion to write to Miçer Mai and explain here to the Nuncio himself.
The Queen and those of her party fancy that His Holiness has no great desire of seeing this question settled, thus justifying the opinion of many here that what the duke of Norfolk said once to me was substantially true, viz., that His Holiness would be delighted to keep up some sort of dissension between the Christian princes for fear lest being closely united they should agree together to reform the Clergy. And to say the truth, had His Holiness wished to decide this case, he might long ago have done it judicially without further proroguing the affair, under the excuse of asking for a copy of the original proceedings in England, as he is doing just now, which copy, if not recovered from cardinal Campeggio, it is quite impossible to procure here, still more to establish proofs on certain points forwarded to me by Miçer Mai, which in my humble opinion are entirely superfluous and irrelevant to this case. For since the opposite party is contumacious and refuses to bring forward proofs against the legitimacy and authenticity of the bull and brief of dispensation, it is quite plain that no other proof is required. True, among other articles sent to me from Rome, there is one of such importance that whoever of the parties could prove it or the contrary might gain his suit without difficulty of any sort; I mean if it could be proved that the Queen had never been known by prince Arthur. But then this is itself almost impossible to prove, and all those who know anything about the matter here have already been warned beforehand and. corrupted by the King, so that if it were needful to establish such proof it could not be done without examining those mentioned in the letter of the president of Castille, which would entail much delay. However, as the justice of the Queen's cause is quite evident without that, and as cardinal Egidio has lately written to her that the Pope and the whole Consistory are determined to prosecute the affair vigorously, nothing more is wanted than to observe the ordinary terms of law, which could be easily done in one month or six weeks at the utmost, and then pronounce sentence without waiting for further proofs.
I have written on the subject to Miçer Mai, and also remonstrated strongly with the Papal Nuncio here, who has openly avowed to me that there could be no doubt that the Pope has committed an error, not intentionally but through ignorance of the nature and character of these people, whom he thought he could reduce by persuasion. There might also be some of the timidity and fear which are constitutional with him, and which now and then overpower his reason and carry him away. To remedy this Your Majesty would do well by all means to encourage and fortify His Holiness, bearing in mind that this his Nuncio is fully disposed to write in that sense and cooperate for the good issue of the matter in question.
Had His Holiness made a provision for the actual separation of the King and the Lady [Anne]. there would have been no occasion or necessity for the King thus assuming the sovereignty of the Church in England, as he has done, for as far as I can learn, she (the Lady) and her father too have been been the principal promoters of this measure. Indeed the latter, speaking some days back about this same affair to the bishop of Rochester (Fisher), said that he was ready to dispute and maintain with the testimony of the Sacred Scripture that when God departed from this world he, left behind him no successor or vicar on Earth. No one except perhaps a few who have taken part in this affair approve of such a step as this. Indeed, I have heard many worthy individuals speak of it with horror, and have been told of others who have expressed themselves in equal terms. The Chancellor himself is so horrified at it that he wishes to quit office as soon as possible. The bishop of Rochester (Fisher) is quite ill in consequence. He has made, and is still making, as much opposition as he can to the measure; but as he and his followers have been threatened with death, by being cast into the Thames, (fn. n13) they have been obliged to accede to the King's wishes in this respect, and it is to be believed, since the bishops have not dared to resist, and that Papal authority has been thus disregarded, that whenever they are called upon to take proceedings against the Queen they will do whatever they are ordered, especially when they see the Pope's coldness and indifference in this affair. Many there are who dislike this measure, not so much out of zeal for religion and its ministers as for the scandal that may arise therefrom, imagining that should the Pope declare this king schismatic and deprive him of his kingdom, which is a tributary of the Apostolic See England might be in great danger of war, and even if there were no other evil to be apprehended, he (the King) might easily lose for ever the title which he pretends to have over France, as well as all the pensions he receives therefrom, and the payment of other debts owing to him.
Since the packet of letters came to hand the King has been amusing himself (a este a l' esbat) at the country seat of his Grand Equerry until last evening that he returned to town. This morning I went to Court to treat about the affair of the Andalusian merchant, whom Your Majesty was pleased to recommend to me by letters of the 31st ulto, and also to present the letters of the king of the Romans announcing his election and coronation; which letters he (the King) did not open in my presence, nor did he inquire particularly about the health and doings of the said king; he only asked in general terms what news I had from Germany, and upon my replying that it was from him that I expected some since I myself had none to communicate, he related how the Imperial army had, after some loss, actually raised the siege of Buda, and then he remarked that in his opinion, subject to correction, neither the Emperor nor his brother had been very wise in thus irritating and provoking, merely put of a hankering after the kingdom of Hungary, such a dangerous and ferocious beast as the Turk endangering the rest of Christendom, at a time when the affairs of Germany were as far from being settled as ever, and the Christian princes not so closely united as they ought to be for such an enterprize, especially considering that the Turk himself seemed to be quite willing to withdraw his army and keep aloof (se tenir coy) provided the kingdom of Hungary was not invaded.
To these remarks of the King I failed not to make a fit reply, proving with many arguments that neither Your Imperial Majesty nor the King, your brother, could decently, and acting as true Christians, abandon the recovery of Hungary, not out of ambition, as he said, or for the sake of wordly gain (emolument) accruing to either of you—as nothing was further from your mind than that—but only for the protection of Christianity thus endangered, and for the defence of a kingdom which has for the last 80 years valiantly withstood all the attacks of the Turks, and saved the whole of Christendom from their furious onset. Indeed, should the said bulwark fall into the hands of the Infidel, which is what the Turk most desires, and is only waiting for a fit opportunity to accomplish, and should his people, who are allowed to visit and inspect the said kingdom at pleasure, become more practically informed of its resources and defences, it would be almost impossible to drive him away, inasmuch as he has attempted to build a strong fortress on this side the rivers, on hearing which most of the Hungarians who had in former times followed the party of the Vayvod had now written to the king of the Romans to protect them from the said danger. As to the provocation to which he (the King) had alluded, I observed that certainly none had been given when the Turk this last September had, of his own accord and without any plausible reason, overrun part of Austria, nor when he desperately assailed the dominions of the last king of Hungary [Louis]. And that it was to be apprehended that unless the Turk had some occupation at home he would try to worry and molest Christendom at its weakest points. That for this very reason, even if there were no others, it was advisable to irritate and goad him, and draw him out more on this side than on any other, since his coming to the frontiers of Hungary with an army was for him a work of more labour and difficulty than to cross over to Italy. And also that the elements of defence were much greater in Germany than elsewhere, for however bad the position of affairs in that country, as he (the King) seemed to insinuate, it had nevertheless made very reasonable offers of help. Should the Turk advance on that side it might come to pass that the Germans would unite for the defence, and that like two dogs fighting for a bone they would both fall on a third coming for the same purpose, and perhaps that would facilitate the meeting of the Council, and the settlement of their differences in point of religion and worship. With regard to the want of union among the Christian princes, to which he had also alluded, I observed that I saw no cause for the ties of peace and amity lately sworn to being loosened; I saw no symptoms of it anywhere; even if some slight scruple still existed anywhere among them, I had not the least doubt that, if not out of pure and disinterested affection, at least out of repulsion from the common enemy and cruel tyrant of the Church, such scruples would be waived and forgotten. Otherwise, whoever should out of his own private interest or affection impede or retard such a meritorious and more than necessary undertaking, or consent out of envy and other private motives to prepare his own ruin for the sake of working that of others, might, indeed, consider himself unfortunate. As to him, I added, I had not the least doubt that when he saw the rest of the Christian princes uniting in the enterprize against the Turk (as I hoped) he would not be the last to join.
After the above arguments and others, which are too lengthy to relate, the King replied to the first point that the considerations I had just brought forward were certainly just and well put, and yet he could not help repeating what he had said from the begginning by way of friendly advice to Your Majesty. He still persisted in his opinion; the Turk being then at war with the Sophi [of Persia] would have been glad to make a truce with Christendom, and truce once made one could have trusted him, since it was proved by experience that Solyman was a man of honour and good faith. And upon my observing that on many occasions the said Turk had broken his faith and utterly disregarded his promises, the King interrupted me by saying: "No more has it been kept at Florence, where several executions have taken place." I explained to him what had happened in that city; he retorted that he cared not for the Florentines, he had nothing to do with their affairs, and only looked after his own. He wished that other princes would not mix themselves up with other people's concerns. He was most likely going to say that Your Majesty ought not to interfere in his private affairs with the Queen, but he stopped short and said nothing more about it. I paid no attention to this last remark, and only said that I fully agreed with him that the right moment for pouncing upon the Turk was during the Persian war, and when he was occupied at home, instead of waiting until he had routed the Sophi, for then, his forces being increased and united, we Christians could not well cope with him; an observation with which the King, after some more talk, entirely agreed.
I must, however, add that however cutting his remarks about the Turk, and the inopportuneness as he called it, of our demand for help, he was still more bitter when he spoke to the Queen some days ago, for he was heard to dispute with her and say that it was not wrong for him to ally himself with the Turk for the sake of opposing a tyrannical prince.
Respecting the second point, the King said that Germany was not so easily settled as we imagined, and that it was to be feared that on the arrival of the Turk many would go over to him. With regard to the Council he wished it had already begun, provided it should be held at a fit place. Having asked him which city he considered best for the purpose, he said Avignon, and upon my representing to him the many drawbacks of that place, and the greater convenience of Milan, he replied that no doubt after Avignon, Milan was the fittest. He, moreover, stated as his opinion that if the Turk came to Europe the Council could not meet and deliberate, but having stated my reasons to the contrary, he assented and passed on to the third point.
This was, as I said before, the union of the Christian princes. On this subject the King observed that in order to cement and strengthen that union more things were required than the common danger of a threatening Turkish invasion. I declined asking which those were, knowing very well what he meant thereby, and that he only wanted to introduce his own private affairs. Many other things were said, and other topics touched upon of which I will say nothing in this my despatch, for fear of annoying Your Majesty, having perhaps been already too prolix. Neither the duke of Norfolk nor any of the grandees (grans) were present at this conference, all being absent from Court at the time or attending the sessions of Parliament.
The Nuncio has gone to day to the King on business connected with the collectorship of Ireland, which the Pope has lately given to one of his bishops. The King answered that he would have the bulls examined, and that anything he could do in the business he would most willingly do to help His Holiness. After which the Nuncio having broached the subject of this new pontificate (ceste nouvelle papalité) constituted in England, the King asserted that it was nothing of the sort, and that nothing should be attempted against Papal authority provided His Holiness had for him the regard he was entitled to, otherwise he (the King) should know how to act.
At last the King complained to the Nuncio of the Pope having issued certain remissory letters (remissions) for Spain with a view to prove that prince Arthur had not carnally known the Queen, and likewise of a provision having been posted up in all the bye-lanes of Flanders, as the merchants of that country had written. I must, however, say that according to the Nuncio's account these complaints of the King were not uttered, as at other times, in violent language, but on the contrary in very mild terms, and that no disagreeable words passed between them at the interview.—London, 21st February [1531].
Signed: " Eustace Chapuys."
French. Holograph. pp. 9.
21 Feb. 642. The abbot of Llor (fn. n14) to the High Commander.
S. E. L. 854,
f. 147.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 48.
Has replied to his last, and given his answer to the Imperial ambassador (Mai) for him to forward. Inside is a letter from cardinal Egidio, his master, to the Emperor. Having been requested by the ambassador (Mai) to shew what he himself had written on behalf of the Queen to cardinal Trani, that he might know the arguments of the opposite party, and particularly those of the said Cardinal, he did so; and had the satisfaction of meeting all his objections in such a manner, that with all due submission to his red hat (su cappello rosso) he (the Abbot) came triumphant out of the contest. Omits repeating what the ambassador kindly said of his insignificant person before several grave men there present, and how he commended the small services he has done the Emperor, because he considers such to be only his duty as servant and vassal of His Imperial Majesty.
Heard a few days ago that the English agents had been tampering with his master, the Cardinal, trying to induce him to quit Rome and go to Viterbo, or perhaps farther still, in order that his vote should not count in Consistory. This was proposed to the Cardinal, in order to ascertain how he opined in the matter, but his answer was such as befitted an ecclesiastic of his dignity and learning. True he (the Abbot) took good care to warn him first to be firm and not yield to the temptations of the English, but remain at Rome as long as the suit lasted. Told him clearly enough that should he comply with the wishes of the English he might consider him as no longer belonging to his household. The eight years he (the Abbot) has spent in his service at his own cost will be an acceptable sacrifice to God who will fully pay him for them. The Cardinal has promised not to fail in doing the service of Your Majesty, (fn. n15) &c.
Has heard from his relatives in Catalonia that the bishop of Girona is dangerously ill.—Rome, 21st February 1531.
Signed: " Llabat Llor."
Addressed: "To the High Commander Francisco de [los] Covos."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 1½.
26 Feb. 643. Miçer Mai to the Same.
S. E. L 852,
f. 15.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 556.
The Sienese seem determined not to admit Don Lope de Soria within their walls. Opinion of Don Fernando [Gonzaga] on the subject—Commander Urries, on the other hand, makes difficulties, and refuses to take the command of the Spaniards.
The Imperial camp is getting very full in consequence of the many soldiers who flock to it from Sicily, Milan, and Como. This is decidedly an evil, because if the money provided for the Imperia army falls short, some mutiny may be apprehended; already symptoms of it are visible, many of the soldiers asking to go to Naples. Reform is very necessary and must begin with the heads.
Venice and Genoa refuse to contribute; the same is feared of Lucca and Siena. Malatesta has offered his services and those of 2,000 men of his "condotta" if they should be wanted against the latter city. His offers have been refused with many thanks.
All efforts have been made to persuade His Holiness to come to some sort of agreement with the duke of Ferrara, though in vain; the Pope will not hear of it, and the Duke (as Don Alonso writes) is not at all inclined thereto.
Queen Isabella (fn. n16) declares that she will not go on with her daughter's matrimonial suit, and has accordingly revoked her proctor.
Differences between the Pope and the Venetians respecting bishoprics in the Signory's territory.
Is doing all he can to prevent a cardinal's hat being given to the auditor of the Apostolic Chamber (Ghinucci). As to the one for the archbishop of Toledo (Fonseca) the Pope referred him to cardinal Ancona, who said he thought he might have a much better chance when the Council met. (fn. n17)
Sends brief for the division of the commanderies of Belvis and Benfayan (Benifayó?), and copy of advices from France.
Spanish. Contempory copy. pp. 5.
26 Feb. 644. Miçer Mai to the Same.
S. E. L. 852,
f. 74.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 50.
Could not write on the 16th inst. all that passed between His Holiness and himself (Mai), when the former announced that the king of France was ready to attack Alessandria [in Egypt]. Represented to him in terms as strong as possible the fallacy of such an offer, if it was ever seriously made. If he (the Pope) took the French at their word he would find that their object was only to gain time, and that neither conjointly with the Emperor nor by himself would king Francis draw his sword against the Turk. So strongly did he (Mai) and Muscetola, who was also present at the interview, urge this argument upon His Holiness that he seemed convinced, &c.
Owing to the way in which the Turkish pirates are now infesting the Mediterranean, the Pope is of opinion that the Imperial galleys, those of France and Rhodes, ought to join and go in chase of them. Agreed and promised to write to His Majesty about it, but doubts whether the French would consent to serve under Andrea Doria. As to the Imperial galleys being under any other admiral, that was entirely out of the question, &c.
Four days ago the Pope held a congregation of cardinals on this Turkish affair, at which he spoke highly of His Imperial Majesty's power, &c.
A ship from Alessandria arrived the other day at Venice. Great preparations of biscuit and other provisions were being made in that port and throughout the whole of Egypt. The Venetian galleys that went thither had returned empty, owing to the Turk having recently given orders that the Spice trade should be transferred to Constantinople.
Advices have come that Barbarossa has presented a fine galley to the Grand Turk.
Cannot help thinking that this offensive league against the Turk proposed by the duke of Albany may give rise to very serious apprehensions. Is very much afraid that it is only a cunning device of the French either to prevent any agreement with the Grand Turk—which in his opinion would be justifiable under present circumstances considering the conduct of most of the Christian princes—or else to incite the Turk to arms, that being, as they have been heard to say, the only corrective against the Emperor's growing power. Again, it may be for the purpose of informing the Turk of any preparations made against him, for certainly anything may be apprehended from the French.—Rome, 26th February 1531.
Signed: "Mai."
Addressed: " To His Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty.''
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
27 Feb. 645. Muscetula to the Emperor.
S. E. L. 852,
f. 116.
B. M. Add. 28,583,
f. 58.
(Cipher:) The king of Sweden (Gustavus Vasa) has sent one of his secretaries to the Pope to ask for the hand of his niece (Catharine). On the other hand, the king of France has also written in favour of his suit, and ordered the duke of Albany to intercede. Yet whilst the latter is treating about the marriage Your Majesty knows His Holiness, the Pope, answers in general terms, because, as I understand, he wishes for no other husband for his niece than the duke of Milan (Francisco Sforza), as he has already written to Your Majesty.
Rome, 27th February 1531.
Signed: "Jo. Ant. Muscetula."


  • n1. See above, Nos. 584 and 588, under the date of the 1st and 10th of January.
  • n2. The examination of witnesses in virtue of the "remissory letters " took place in various towns of Spain in the presence of proctors appointed by the Queen. At Saragossa, in Aragon, one Joan de Pilares, notarius causidicus ac cives Cæsareauyustanensis, represented her whilst Henry was declared contumacious, no one having appeared for him.
  • n3. There is another letter to the Emperor dated the 13th, the substance of which is nearly the same as this.
  • n4. On the 16th and 17th the Emperor was at Liège en route for Brussels, which he did not reach till the 25th, I, therefore, conclude that there must be some error in the date, and that instead of the 16th the 17th ought to be read.
  • n5. Ferrante Gonzaga, at this time Commander-in-chief of the Imperial forces in place of the Marquis, afterwards duke of Mantua (Federico).
  • n6. "Estando lexos de la negociacion donde ne se puede hablar sino como de talanquera."
  • n7. "Pusieron dilaciones en ello y cerraronse y hizieron descripciones y creharon un oficio de oecho (?) como en tiempo de guerra."
  • n8. "Si Seneses se salen con la suya, no havrá palomar en Ytalia que no se nos atreva."
  • n9. "Y no ay del moyon del al moyon del reyno de Napoles mas de xl millas."
  • n10. "Antes pienso quo acá se holgarian dello por las speranças que les queda[n] de que la platica que el Cardenal movió á (sic) bolonia de dar este estado al papa al encuentro de las tierras que tiene en lombardia, y paresce que lo quieren aunque no lo dicen ni muestran elaramente."
  • n11. " Oen caso que se oviesse de dar a la iglesia, se diesse por una perosa, y otras tierras vezinas al rreyno, porque este scria provecho perpetuo y meyor (sic) de quanto dinero se podria sacar vendiendo aquellas tierras de lombardia."
  • n12. "[Elle a esté bien esbaye du petit] exployt que a este fayt [a Rome, et de la froide provision] que lon a envoyé de la, ear a ce que la royne vouloit et que [messire may] et aussy les aultres [ambassadeurs] de ce ont plusieurs foys cscript] il se tenoit ici pour certain que le [pape] suyvant ce quil avoit dit et maintes foys promis [déclaireroit les peines et censures du premier briefz],et quil porvoyroit que [la dame vuydat de la cour.]"
  • n13. "Mai estant menassé luy et ses sequaces destre mis en la riuiere il fut forcé de consentir a la voulente du roy."
  • n14. This abbot, who was a Catalonian by birth, and signs his name abbot Llor, in Latin Laurus and Lauro, was promoted in time to a bishopric in his native province; his Christian name must have been Peter (Pedro).
  • n15. The author with the peculiar orthography used in Catalonia, says: "y que los otxo anos que con mi gasto le servidc dios me los satisfará y me los paguará."
  • n16. The dowager queen of Naples so often mentioned in these pages.
  • n17. "Que en el concilio se hará mejor."