Spain: December 1536

Pages 300-308

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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December 1536, 1-31

1 Dec. 125. Count de Cifuentes to the Emperor.
S. S. de G.
M. y T., Leg. 9,
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 112.
The Emperor's letter of the 15th ult. has come to hand. Pier Luigi will again be sounded according to the new instructions received.
This very day His Holiness is about to bring forward in Consistory a bull for raising the tithe (decima) throughout Italy for its defence against the Turk. (fn. n1) —Rome, 1 Dec. 1536.
Spanish. Original draft. p. 1.
23 Dec. 126. The Same to the Same.
S. S. de G.
M. y T., L. 9.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 162.
The Papal Nuncio has certainly shown here a breve, wherein His Holiness states his reasons for the creation of cardinals. Those alleged, however, do not seem sufficiently well founded. As to the hat that has been offered, the Emperor has neither accepted nor refused it. Hearing that His Holiness was about to create a number of cardinals, I called upon him, and made the observations and remarks contained in Your Majesty's letter of the 15th ulto. (fn. n2) His Holiness' answer was that he was in nowise moved by family or party interests, but merely by a wish to have the College of Cardinals strengthened and fortified by qualified and virtuous men, and that he had accordingly decided to appoint the Datary, the Verulan, Teatino, Syponti, Sadoletto, the Englishman, the ambassador of England in France, (fn. n3) one of the sons of the duke of Gandia, and two more that he reserves in pectore to appoint in future, namely, one for Your Majesty, another for himself.
With regard to Gandia the Nuncio said that His Holiness would be glad, but that no prayer or request had come from Spain on his behalf. He would not receive the breve, but transmit it to the Emperor, that he might send it on, or keep it by him, as he thought best. Since among the future cardinals His Holiness named the ambassador of France, I had no scruple in calling his attention to the fact that French cardinals had no liberty to vote in Church matters, all being subject, as it were, to their king. His Holiness replied that the Frenchman to be appointed was only one, whereas the Spaniards were two, hinting that he could not do more for the present on account of the neutrality which he professes. He, no doubt, intends Your Majesty to be grateful for the two hats for Spaniards.
Seeing the Pope so determined, I asked him for eight different cardinals' hats to be bestowed on such persons as Your Majesty would like to designate, or would meet with your approval. His answer was that had I not made the prosposal he would never have thought that it came from Your Majesty, for you had never said a word of this to Pier Luigi. He then made a number of excuses for not complying with Your Majesty's request; among others that Clement, his predecessor, had been much criticized for those he had created at Marseilles.
Finding him so obstinate on this point I begged him to wait till next Ash Wednesday, so as to make the acquaintance of, and collect information concerning the persons he intends to appoint; but although Pier Luigi has since addressed the same prayer to him in my name, His Holiness has not deigned to accede to it, but has since made the aforesaid creation and reserve in the manner above described.
At the very beginning of this negotiation His Holiness asked me point-blank, "Why do you not apply for a cardinal's hat for yourself?" that is the way in which Spanish cardinals are generally made, and he pressed me to accept one. I refused as modestly as I could, until it was settled to leave this matter entirely in Your Majesty's hands. If it was your pleasure that I should accept, well and good; if not, let another Spaniard be designated; at any rate one hat would (he said) be reserved for Your Majesty.
That he has acted wisely in the matter. Should His Holiness again make the offer, and the Count be willing to accept, His Majesty will see his nomination with pleasure. His Holiness further told me that Pier Luigi, in conversation with Your Majesty, had hinted that I ought to be made a cardinal. I myself knew nothing of this, and I must say that in order to avoid any suspicion of vainglory I would willingly have kept the thing secret, had I not learned afterwards that Pier Luigi had actually spoken to Your Majesty about it. But in order to show how far I am from wishing to become a cardinal, I here declare that when I told His Holiness to refer the matter to Your Majesty, my object was only to gain time, and not offend the Pope by saying "No" so many times, but oblige him, as it were, to dispose of the hat in favor of another Imperialist. I beg and entreat that this declaration of mine be considered as made in earnest, and that, if His Holiness returns to the subject, my name be not mentioned at all in connexion with the cardinalate, because this is a matter in which I fully intend to disobey Your Majesty's commands.
Knowing, as I do, how important it is that the cardinals attached to your service should reside at Rome, I beg that the person recommended be one well qualified for that dignity, not too old, and enjoying good health.
Orders have been issued for the son of the Duke to go and reside at Rome. His Holiness gives me to understand that he is about to send to Spain the duke of Gandia's servant with the bulls and breves granting his son a cardinal's hat. If so, it seems to me as if Your Majesty ought to command him to come forthwith to Rome and reside.
The Englishman alluded to in the beginning of this despatch is the King's kinsman, a person of quality, much opposed to his erroneous views in matters of religion, and sincerely attached to your interest. I think, upon the whole, that Your Majesty ought by no means to refuse this hat, because no more have been given to Your Majesty; after accepting it Your Majesty will still be at liberty to complain.—Rome, 23 Dec. 1536.
Spanish. Original. pp. 6.
26 Dec.
S. E., L. 1024,
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 165.
127. The Privy Council of the Emperor on the negotiations with Pier Luigi Farnese and Pope Paul.
Count de Cifuentes has sent his secretary to ask for fresh instructions, and our opinion is that the duke of Urbino should be informed as soon as possible that His Holiness still insists upon the possession of Camarino, making it a "sine qua non" condition of all his negotiations. It is with great difficulty that a suspension of the Pope's warlike measures against him, &c. has been obtained.
It is therefore important to know, before all things, what His Majesty intends doing in favor of Pier Luigi, or of his sons, in the way of ecclesiastical benefices, or in secular endowments.
At present in Rome there is no graver business than the Pope's pretension that all Spanish bishoprics vacant by the death of their owners at Rome be filled up by the Holy See; for, besides the present Pope having disposed of that of Jaen, (fn. n4) there is now some difficulty raised as to the dispatch of the bulls of Tortosa in favor of one Fr. Calcenas (fn. n5) presented by Your Majesty, on the plea that Cardinal Enkefort, (fn. n6) who held it formerly, has died at Rome. Dr. Guevara should draw out a paper for the use of the ambassador at Rome, stating reasons why such appointments cannot be legally made nor tolerated.
The General of the Franciscans (Fr. Vincencia Lunel) says he has letters from cardinal Santa Croce, and from His Holiness' confessor also, bidding him to return immediately to Rome. If so, it would be advisable, in case of any further instructions being required for the pending negociation with Pier Luigi, that he (the general) should be the bearer of them.
Milan.—With regard to Milan nothing more can be said of it until Antonio de Leyva's and Lorenço Manuel's letters come to hand. Respecting the deceased Duke's bastard brother, (fn. n7) and others of his family, who are trying to secure pensions or grants in the duchy, the best plan would seem to be to beguile them with fine words until Caracciolo's arrival in that city. Having left Rome some weeks ago, that cardinal cannot be long in coming, and then it will be seen what services each of those has rendered the Emperor, and what may be expected of them in future; also what is to be done with the duchy in order to please the Pope, the Venetians, and the rest of the Italian powers ; and, above all, what is king Francis likely to do when he hears of the duke Francesco's death; for he himself being under the treatment of his physicians, and the Grand Master (Montmorency) away from Court, in Languedoc, they cannot yet have thought seriously about it.
With regard to the Council of State, it would seem that as long as the Emperor remains at Genoa, (fn. n8) Andrea Doria and the viceroy (Toledo) ought to form part of it. The same might be said of the marquis del Gasto, of the duke of Alba, and even of the ambassador at Rome, count de Cifuentes.
The demonstration which, in the Council's opinion, Your Majesty ought to make, after the Duke's death, is this:—As the news arrived when you were journeying towards Genoa it seems as if there was an excuse for not putting on mourning. If Your Majesty will attend the solemn services for the Duke's soul in cloak and cap made of black cloth, it will be quite sufficient. And let this be as soon as possible, not only on account of the deceased duke having been married to Your Majesty's niece (Christina), but because after his reinvestiture in the duchy the deceased was always most attached to Your Majesty.
Respecting England some final resolution is urgently needed, because Chapuys' servant has arrived here, and it would be highly inconvenient to make him wait longer, especially now that a decision must be come to one way or other in the Pope's personal affairs, as well as relating to Milan. In matters of this kind more causes of delay intervene than could be thought of at first; and although the matter in itself is both important and dangerous, yet it seems to us that no resolution ought to be taken suddenly and in haste, but that the business should be put into the hands of a person of trust and discretion, who may sedulously inquire into it, and calculate the chances of success. Should such a person be found, and should he think that the undertaking can be carried into execution at once, at the same time having regard to the danger in which the Princess now lies, and that should she be out of England and in our hands, both the English and French would be wonderfully cheated, this might afford a good base and excuse for Your Majesty to dispose of the duchy of Milan at will. Yet this being, as aforesaid, a most important point, it would seem as if Your Majesty ought to consult over it with Prince Andrea Doria, and with Mr. de Praët among others, that they may meet together and discuss what had better be done under the circumstances.
It has been debated in Council whether the Pope, whose just indignation against the king of England at this moment is well known, ought, or ought not, to be secretly informed of all this; but, considering that secrecy is indispensable in affairs of this sort, that His Holiness cannot help effectually, and, what is more, has no real interest in the matter, it has been resolved that it is much better not to say anything to him, for it might be that he himself would not be so sorry for the death of the Princess now as he might be after her father's deprivation, by which he might be enabled to dispose of England at will in virtue of the Papal sentence, whereas, once out of England, the Princess might easily defend her rights.
Germany.—In Germany there seems to be at present no business of importance to attend to, save perhaps the final resolution to be taken with the elector of Saxony, and writing to the king of the Romans (Ferdinand) and to the archbishop of Lunden that, should the Waywode's ambassadors persist in coming to Your Majesty, and should there be any appearance of their being in earnest, he (the Archbishop) is to come to Italy with them, well instructed as to the King's intentions in that affair, that Your Majesty may, if possible, adjust the Hungarian question.
Portugal.—We have no remarks to make respecting the affairs of that country and the defensive alliance which Your Majesty is trying to make with king Dom Joaõ. This, however, we must say: the proposed marriage of the daughter (fn. n9) of the queen of France (Eleanor) with one of the sons of the king of Portugal does seem to us rather disadvantageous (poco conveniente) to our cause; and yet Your Majesty is bound to encourage it, based as it is on the treaties of Madrid and Cambray, in that part at least which concerns equally the king of France and his Queen (Eleanor). The opinion of this Council is that Your Majesty ought not to impede it; on the contrary, the union ought to be favored with all your power, for, were it to be opposed, it would be unjust to persist in the king of France observing his part of those treaties. To this may be added that, all things considered, it might perhaps be more advantageous that the Dauphin (Francis) married the Infanta of Portugal than that he should marry elsewhere; for it may well be supposed that the mother (Eleanor) as well as the daughter (Maria) will be better inclined to peace and friendship with Your Majesty than any other princess the Dauphin might take for a wife; the more so were the King, his father, who is now in delicate health, and not likely to live long according to the prognostics of his physicians, to die in the meanwhile. Even if king Francis were to live many years, that marriage might possibly be the means of curbing his bad passions.
Things having gone so far, and considering the state in which the affairs of Christendom are at present, it is quite evident that no better marriage could be sought for the Emperor's sons and daughters respectively than either in the family of the king of the Romans, or in that of the king of Portugal.
Savoy.—As to the assistance which the duke of Savoy (Carlo III.) asks against the people of Verna (Berne) and Geneva, his ambassador may be told that, considering that the season is far advanced, and that the Swiss do not generally remain much longer under arms at their own cost; considering also the declaration lately made by the Catholic cantons to that of Berne and their difference of opinion in matters of Faith, which would eventually prevent the latter from going far away from home to fight other people's battles, the assistance claimed by the Duke is not needed for the present. Besides which it would be highly impolitic in the state in which the duchy of Milan is, and immediately after the death of duke Francesco, to remove any of the Imperial forces therefrom.
With regard to the interview which the Duke himself solicits, his ambassadors may be told that Your Majesty cannot yet fix the time and place at which with Your Majesty you both can meet, but that as soon as that can be determined he shall be apprised.
Mantua.—The same may be said to the ambassadors of the duke Frederigo Gonzaga.
Florence.—The bishop-ambassador of the duke of Florence (Cosmo), the same who called upon Your Majesty at Palermo, is now in this city (Genoa) for the purpose of treating of his master's marriage with Your Majesty's daughter. He is the bearer of an affidavit to show that the castle of Florence is in a state of defence, and that the Duke, his master, is ready to pay the money into the Imperial treasury, and fulfil the other conditions stipulated at Madrid. Your Majesty, after perusing what Pero Zapata writes on the subject, might give him an evasive answer calculated to gain time, and yet not let him think that Your Majesty can in any way have forgotten what the Privy Council promised him at Madrid.
Treatment of the cardinals, who are to go to Genoa.
As to whether at Your Majesty's entrance into Rome you and your escort ought to be armed, the Council is of opinion that Your Majesty must be preceded by an armed escort of foot and horse.
Venetian ambassadors; their treatment, and how to negociate with them—
Naples.—In the first place, the estates of that kingdom ought to be convoked for the 30th of December. Such is the opinion of the viceroy (D. Pedro de Toledo) and others who have been consulted on the subject. The memoir sent by him reporting on the various branches of the administration there, and the different councils and courts, (fn. n10) such as the Collateral, Santa Chiara, Summaria, and Vicaria, with the number and names of the councillors in each, and so forth, has been carefully examined by us, and Your Majesty will soon receive our report as to which may be augmented and which diminished.
Fernando (Ferrante) Gonzaga (fn. n11) writes concerning the marquis de Petrapeçia (fn. n12) and his accomplices in the death of his own father. The case is so monstrous, and has been so public, that Gonzaga ought at once to order the action to be instituted, and the guilty parties sentenced according to law.


  • n1. On the margin is the following note by Idiaquez : "Let the answer to this paragraph be, that, should there be a talk of laying a tithe on ecclesiastical property, he (Sylva) must resist it as much as he can, unless the Emperor's consent be first obtained, Sicily, Naples, and Milan being expressly excluded. Should the Imperial ambassador hear of the measure passing in Consistory, ho must at once protest, for that is a thing that cannot he tolerated; and let a circular be sent to all viceroys and governors that if any bulls or breves on this matter should be presented, they must at once, and with due respect, direct petitions against them, leave the action in suspense, and report home.
  • n2. That is Reginald Pole, who was created cardinal on the 22nd December.
  • n3. Thus in the copy from Simancas, but it must be an error instead of the French ambassador in England, that is Grammont.
  • n4. After the death of cardinal Merino at Rome in July 1535 the bishopric of Jaen was vacant for two years and a half, until Francisco de Mendoza was appointed, the Emperor having refused to recognise the bishop appointed by Paul III.
  • n5. Fr. Antonio Calcena, bishop of Tortosa from the 5th of October 1537 to 1539, when he died.
  • n6. William Enchiforr, or Enkewoert, who died in June 1534 at Rome.
  • n7. His name was Gian Paolo, marquis de Caravaggio, who married Yolanda Bentivroglio, daughter of Alessandro. Gian Paolo was the son of Ludovico Maria Sforza, called Il Moro (1494-1508).
  • n8. If the date of this paper or consulta of the Privy Council be correct, the Emperor had landed at Barcelona five days before in December 1536.
  • n9. Maria, the Infanta of Portugal.
  • n10. "Consejos y tribunales.
  • n11. Gonzaga, the viceroy of Sicily.
  • n12. Petrapieça, or more correctly Pietra Perzia, is the name of a town in Sicily (Caltanisetta).