Spain: November 1536, 21-30

Pages 294-300

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1888.

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November 1536, 21-30

24 Nov. 120. Count de Cifuentes to the Emperor.
S. S. de G.
M. y T., L. 9.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 112.
Has sent to ambassador Figueroa bills of exchange for the 11,000 crs. remitted by the viceroy of Naples in specie. The rate of exchange in Genoa being 7 per cent., he (Sylva) fancies that it would have been more advantageous to buy gold in Naples, which might have been easily obtained for three or three and a half per cent. Should His Majesty wish to have money in Milan there are bankers ready to undertake the operation. (fn. n1)
Pier Luigi came back from Genoa on the 18th. It is reported among other things that the Emperor had spoken to him about his marriage to a daughter of the king of the Romans (Ferdinand), and had shown greater desire of his promotion and advancement than at other times; that he and the Emperor had talked together concerning Siena, Parma, and Piacenza, and that His Holiness was much pleased to hear of that. Indeed Pier Luigi thought that such advances on the part of the Emperor would be the means of directing things into the proper channel. Both His Holiness and he were anxiously expecting the courier bearer of His Majesty's letters on the subject, &c. (fn. n2)
With regard to Camarino, His Holiness (added Pier Luigi) would already have proceeded to strong measures [against the duke of Urbino], and made levies, were it not that he is waiting for His Majesty's answer to his last letter.
He (Silva) hears also that His Holiness is at the present moment trying to come to some arrangement with the duke of Ferrara, (fn. n3) and that a secretary of the archbishop of Milan (fn. n4) is actually soliciting a Cardinal's hat for that Duke's brother, king Francis having written to the Pope on his behalf. Told the secretary that he wondered much at his master seeking the intervention and recommendation of France in an affair of that sort, knowing, as he ought to know, the Emperor's good offices, and how he had decided in his father's favor when called upon to arbitrate, &c.
His Holiness, as it would seem, has intelligence from England, purporting that the English rebels had not yet been put down. May it be so, for the last letters received here describe them as being reduced to extremities. Rome, 24 Nov. 1536.
Signed: "El Conde de Cifuentes."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2½.
24 Nov. 121. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress Isabella.
S. E. Roma,
L. 865, f. 104.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 152.
His last letters were of the 24th Sept., 19th Oct., and 6th inst., (fn. n5) which have perhaps not been received, since he (Ortiz) has had no answer to them. On the 15th ult. One came from Eustace Chapuys, Your Majesty's ambassador in England, advising that a considerable rising of the people of that kingdom had taken place in Lincouper (Lincolnshire), 80 miles from London; that the object of the rebels was not to pay the subsidy which Parliament had voted to the King, and to oppose the closing of the abbeys and monasteries lately decreed for the mere purpose of seizing on their respective temporalities. Among other things demanded by the rebels was the restoration of the English Church to its former state. The King was making great military preparations both in men and artillery to advance against them in person.
Since then letters have come from London stating that most of the rebels had thrown down their arms, and implored the King's mercy, with the exception, however, of a few, who, faithful to their engagements, preferred dying in the attempt. In another part of England a rising had also taken place; and His Holiness said yesterday that he had letters of the 13th inst., informing him that the King was much concerned at this latter rising, which seemed more serious than the former. (fn. n6) The said ambassador (Chapuys) writes that the King has sent for his daughter (the princess Mary); that he has her with him at his court, and makes her dine at his table. Perhaps he is acting thus to court her favor, and shield himself under present circumstances. (fn. n7) May it be so; and may God preserve the Princess' life, both spiritual and corporal, and place her under His special grace and protection!
Here [at Rome] lives an English gentleman of the name of Reginald Pole, who, they say, is the son (fn. n8) of the dowager duchess of Buckingham, whose husband, the Duke, the king of England [Henry VII.] caused to be beheaded years ago. This Reginald Pole was lately a student here in Venice, although at first, about six years ago, he actually went to Paris on behalf, of the king of England, to obtain the determination of that University (the Sorbonne). (fn. n9) He is now a very catholic person, and learned. His Holiness honours him much, and has given him lodgings within his own palace, and over his own apartment. Though he dresses as an ecclesiastic, he is not in holy orders yet.
Some days ago it was rumoured that His Holiness had given orders that the sentence depriving the king of England of his kingdom should be committed to print. He (Ortiz) cannot say whether His Holiness' orders have been executed or not; all he can say is, that it has not been published here at Rome, though, in his opinion, some copies have been secretly sent to England to be circulated among the people, and encourage rebellion against the King.
Until now His Holiness has done nothing with regard to the assembly of lawyers and canonists of Italy, who have been summoned to deliberate on the preliminaries of the Council.—Rome, 24 Nov. 1536.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Empress, our Queen and Lady."
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
26 Nov. 122. Count de Cifuentes to the High Commander.
S. E., L. 865,
ff. 70-1.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 154.
Wrote two days ago to the Emperor. Sent an express to Lope Suarez de Figueroa at Genoa, for the purpose of remitting bills of exchange to the amount of 11,000 crs. payable at Naples, which money he (Sylva) has borrowed in Rome at the rate of 7 per cent. At the same rate of interest bills on Milan may be procured here.
Pier Luigi (Farnese) arrived on the 18th. It is rumoured that between his Imperial Majesty and him there has been a talk of his (Farnese) marrying one of the daughters of the king of the Romans (Ferdinand). He himself has said nothing about it; but the other day, in conversation concerning his own affairs, he (Farnese) alluded to certain promises which, he said, the Emperor had made him respecting Siena, Parma, and Piacenza. However this may be, both he and his father, the Pope, are anxiously expecting the courier, who is to bring them news of the Emperor's landing. They wonder much at this delay, because they have sure intelligence that the Emperor sailed on the 15th. (fn. n10)
With regard to the Camarino affair, Pier Luigi says that until the answer comes His Holiness will not stir in that affair; by which he, no doubt, means that, should the answer be unfavorable, or tarry much longer, military preparations will be made to invade that duchy.
Hears from an authentic source that His Holiness is also urging the duke of Ferrara (Hercole II.) to come to terms with him respecting his duchy, and that a secretary of the archbishop of Milan, (fn. n11) the Duke's brother, is trying to procure a cardinal's hat for his master through the intercession of France, and letters of commendation from that king to the Pope. Would not believe it at first, but happening to meet the secretary the other day in the street, inquired from him whether the intelligence was true or not. The secretary answered in the affirmative, though protesting all the time that his master was as attached as ever to the Imperial service, and that on no account would he side with the French in their preposterous demands about Milan.
As he (Sylva) was the other day acquainting His Holiness with the English news, and telling him that, according to information lately received from England, the rebels had been defeated, and that it was believed the other insurrection in the Northern parts would also be put down soon, unless there should spring up among them a captain of note and reputation —which had not yet happened—His Holiness observed that he also had letters from England of the 3rd inst., advising that the people who had risen there in rebellion had not yet been reduced to obedience or dispersed; far from it, they had a lord at their head, whose name ended in folk, (fn. n12) and he (the Pope) had sent them some money by a trusty person he had in Picardy, to whom he had written in favor of the said rebels, promising, moreover, to help them from time to time, and showing perfect good will. However, he (Sylva), in pursuance of his instructions, has not pressed the matter.—Rome, xxiiii. (fn. n13) Novembris mdxxxvi.
Signed: "Count de Cifuentes."
Spanish. Original. pp. 5.
26 Nov. 123. The Same to the Same.
S. S. de G.
Mar. y Tier., L. 9.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 157.
Since the enclosed (fn. n14) was closed and sealed he (Sylva) has heard that in the Consistory of the 24th inst. Cardinal Tribultio spoke at length respecting his last mission, and now much he had worked to bring about a peace between the Emperor and the king of France. It must be said that the Cardinal, in his speech, spoke in very high terms of both sovereigns, praising their desire for peace, &c.
Respecting the General Council, his (Sylva's) idea is that the Pope is determined to convoke it, whether there be peace or not, because when he lately sent Pedro Forcio to Germany and Flanders to make the intimation, he had determined to have it prorogued immediately after, as the Council, he said, could not possibly meet and sit in time of war; which prorogation was not made then, nor is there a talk of it now, though the war still exists; on the contrary, he says that he will have it meet under any circumstances. (fn. n15)
There is a talk of His Holiness going to Bologna or to Perugia in February, not only on account of the Camarino business but in order to be nearer to Mantua, where the meeting of the Council is to take place, though others add out of fear of the Turk, who, they say, intends attacking Rome.
Between His Holiness and the signory of Venice negociations are going on at present, and it is believed will be pushed on with more vigour the moment the Emperor returns to Spain.
The Pope is urging the enlistment of 3,000 Swiss, on the plea that he wants to reinforce the garrisons of Bologna, Parma, Piacenza, and other towns.
Having heard that there was to be soon a creation of cardinals, and likewise that Camarino was to be attached soon, he (Sylva) asked Pier Luigi to interfere and ask His Holiness to desist from his idea for the present The creation of cardinals at such a moment would be impolitic; so would any attempt to recover Camarino by force. Pier Luigi executed his commission faithfully, and, having sent for his (Sylva's) secretary, told him that His Holiness was willing to suspend for a time the creation of cardinals, especially until he heard of His Majesty's pleasure in this particular matter, and whether he was willing or not to fulfil certain promises made to him at Genoa. The Camarino affair, however, was one on which he could take no pledge.
According to the above-mentioned secretary, Pier Luigi having, in the course of conversation, alluded to Siena, the Pope interrupted him by saying, "Perhaps that is not so sure as we imagine;" and that Pier Luigi retorted, "Well, if that cannot be, it will be some other town, for the Emperor has plenty of things to give away." The Pope agreed, and then the conversation turned on Milan, both being of opinion that if that could be accomplished at the same time with Pier Luigi marrying the daughter of the king of the Romans their common wishes would be fulfilled. His Holiness then would have no objection to furnish money, if wanted; would persuade the Venetians to help in the defence of Florence and Genoa; would openly declare against the French, and do anything else the Emperor might wish for.
In this matter of Milan the secretary, who was present at the conversation, said nothing, nor does he (Sylva) intend taking any notice of it should Pier Luigi broach the subject to him.Rome, 26 Nov. 1536.
Signed: "Conde Cifuentes."
Spanish. Original. pp. 5.
29 Nov. 124. Dr. Ortiz to the Empress.
S. E. Roma,
L. 865, f. 106.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 160.
Yesterday the news came from England, the date of the letters being the 5th inst., that the rebels against the King's authority amount to 70 or 80,000, and are so well provided with arms that they can easily defeat the Royal army, being, as they are, all sworn and in great order and discipline. On All Saints' Day three of them, all men of substance and good position, went to London under a safe-conduct, after previously getting some of the King's officers as hostages and security. (fn. n16) The day after their arrival they went with the duke of Nofolc (Norfolk) and other Royal captains to the King's court. Their demands, they say, are limited to this: they ask that the Pope be considered and respected in England as in former times; that the King's marriage to the blessed queen Katharine be declared valid, and her daughter (Mary) legitimate, and consequently as having a right to the succession of the Crown, since they hold her as such, and wish her to inherit the throne of England. (fn. n17) They also ask that the abbeys and monasteries be preserved, and that all the statutes and ordinances made some time back be revoked owing to their manifest wickedness; that Parliament be held, as in times of old, without the King's servants, or any one else drawing salary or pension from him being allowed to sit in it.
It appears that before deputing the three persons above mentioned the rebels communicated with the King's men, and told them of their plans and intentions; declaring that their object was not to shed blood, but merely to insure the weal of the kingdom at large. (fn. n18) And although it is generally believed that the King, not to appear as if he were forced, will not accede to all their demands, many think that he will grant some of them for fear of bringing on his own ruin and perdition; for the rebels are strong and in considerable number, and most of the King's men are little inclined to fight for him, so that he will be ultimately compelled to grant a portion at least of what the rebels ask;—a very fine opportunity indeed for the whole kingdom of England returning to the Holy Catholic Faith, and for the King, unless he does also return, being punished as he deserves, and her most Serene Highness the Princess exalted, as I trust in God's infinite bounty that she will.—Rome, 29 Nov. 1536.
Signed: "El Doctor Ortiz."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2½.


  • n1. On the margin of this paragraph is the following : "Valençuela is already gone thither to receive the money and bring it here."
  • n2. In this letter of December he acknowledges the receipt of the one here alluded to, and promises to speak to His Holiness. Note by Covos.
  • n3. His Imperial Majesty will be delighted to hear that the Pope is on good terms with the duke of Ferrara, provided it does not turn out to be an intrigue of the French.
  • n4. Ippolito d'Este, son of duke Alphonso, and brother of Hercole II.
  • n5. Those of the 24th of Sept. and 6th inst. have already been abstracted but that of the 19th Oct. is not at Simancas. See Nos. 95 and 110, pp. 238 and 276.
  • n6. "Pero Su Sd me dixo ayer que tiene cartas de xiii. de Noviembre por las quales significavan á Su Sd que el pueblo levantado tiene puesto al rey en mucho aprieto, mas que el anterior."
  • n7. "Quizá sea, por el tiempo en que está el Rey, para favorecerse con le Serma princesa."
  • n8. "Hermano," the doctor says by mistake, instead of "hijo" son.
  • n9. "Aqui está un cavallero que se llama Renaldo Polo; diz ques hermano (sic) de la duquesa de boquinquam viuda, cuyo marido degolló en el tiempo pasado el Rey de Anglaterra, y este Reynaldo Polo estava agora en el estudio, aca, en Venecia, aunque al principio ha seys años que fue á paris para procurar la determinacion de la Universidad en favor del Rey," &c. Aqui (here) must be meant for Rome, where Pole was living at the time, but "el estudio" must be that of Padua.
  • n10. According to Vandeness the Emperor did not sail from Genoa until the 18th. Several ships were lost in the voyage, and he landed at Barcelona on the 26th of December.
  • n11. Ippolito d'Este from 1520 to 1559. See above, No. 120, p. 295.
  • n12. "Que aquel pueblo que se avi a levantado no se havia deshecho, y que tenian una persona principal que los governaba, que la ultima silaba de su nombre se acabava en folc, y que [él] les avia embiado unos pocos de dineros con una cierta persona que tenia [de] secreto en Picardia, y escripto que los favoresciese, y que de mano en mano no dexaria de ayudarles todo lo que pudiesse." There is hardly any need to say that neither the duke of Norfolk nor he of Suffolk could possibly be at the head of the rebels of Lincolnshire and the North. The latter, on the contrary, was from the very beginning of the rebellion, the commander of the Royal forces. Blunders of this sort are frequent in Sylva's correspondence, and particularly in that of Dr. Ortiz, to both of whom Chapuys was bound to transmit from time to time the news of England, and, I must add, with remarkable correctness as to facts and proper names. That the Emperor's various agents at Rome, and especially Dr. Pedro Ortiz, did frequently exaggerate the former and mistake the latter has already been stated. See Vol. IV., Part I., Int. p. xviii.
  • n13. xxiiii. must be an error of the copyist for xxvi., which appears to be the real date of this letter, that is two days after that to the Emperor.
  • n14. That of the 24th.
  • n15. "porque quando embió á Pedro Forcio á Alemania y á Flandes para intimarlo, havia determinado de darle despues de intimado una prorrogacion, que no se podia hazer por respetto de la guerra. La qual no se la dió ni menos se habla agora en ella en caso que aya la misma guerra, antes dize [está] con determinacion de quererlo hazer asi."
  • n16. "Y el dia de todos sanctos vinieron tres personas honrradas dellos á Londres, con seguridad de los señores principales del exercito del Rey, que se dieron en rehenes."
  • n17. "Y por tal sea tenida, y tal la quleren, y que no se deshagan las abadias ni otras y glesias, y que se deshagan todos los estatutos hechos de cierto tiempo acá, que son todos los malos que se han hecho, y que los parlamentos se tengan conforme al uso pasado sin criado ni persona que tengan salario alguno del Rey. Y antes que embiasen estas tres personas al Rey, communicaron esta su intencion y deseo con los que estavan de la parte del Rey para que viesen que no querian sangre sino el bien del Reino."
  • n18. The deputation was composed of Sir Marmaduke Constable and Sir Edward Madyson, to whom Henneage, the commissioner, was joined, perhaps to save him from being murdered by the priests.—Froude, vol. iii., p. 103.