Spain: January 1537

Pages 308-310

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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January 1537, 1-31

17 Jan. 128. The Same to the Same.
S. E. Roma,
L. No. 866, f. 2.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 178.
Commends the services of Pier Luigi Farnese since his return from Genoa. Describes what passed at the audience he himself had from His Holiness in Luigi's presence, and what the former answered to the overtures made in the Emperor's name.
Could not persuade His Holiness to decide against France. His argument was, that should he declare against king Francis, the latter might perhaps forsake his obedience to the Apostolic See, and cause a schism in the Church, whilst he himself might be called the promoter of that schism from his having decided against the French in the present contest.
The Turk.—In view of the threatening invasion of Christendom by the Infidel, His Holiness is thinking of sending nuncios both to the Emperor and to king Francis, exhorting them to make peace as soon as possible, and save Christendom from the imminent danger in which she lies. Such a peace, the Pope thinks, might also be of use to settle the differences lately sprung up in matters of Faith in Germany, as well as in England; it might likewise help towards the celebration of the General Council, and be beneficial to all parties.
Milan.—Having heard what the Emperor is reported to have said at Genoa respecting that duchy, and his formal declaration that on no account would he give it to king Francis, whatever the conditions might be, the Pope says openly that, although he fully approves of such a determination, which he considers wise and prudent, yet he cannot understand why the investiture of the duchy should not be conferred on the duke of Angoulême (Charles), as proposed at one time. Such like argument the Pope used the other day in his (Sylva's) presence. It was met by a number of considerations more or less pertinent, among which was the following : "Such is the Emperor's love of peace, that I have no difficulty in declaring that, should Your Holiness assure and convince him that, by bestowing the duchy of Milan on the duke of Angoulême, the tranquillity and welfare of Italy, nay, of Christendom at large, would be ensured, and king Francis deterred from his hostile practices, he (the Emperor) would willingly give him the investiture of Milan. And yet, added I, it seems a very hard thing for the Emperor to throw away such a jewel as the duchy on the son of his bitterest enemy !!" "You are right in that," said the Pope, "but Milan might be placed in the hands of a third person (en terceria) until proper security should be obtained from his father, the King." My answer was, that Your Majesty had formally declared on a previous occasion that in that case neither in Ferdinand's hands nor in those of any other prince would you consent to place the Duchy. "I have thought" (said the Pope) "of another expedient likely to conciliate all parties. Let the Emperor hold Milan, Pavia, Cremona, or Lodi, which are the principal and best fortified places in Lombardy, and the rest be given to the Duke after the consummation of his marriage, the Emperor to keep possession of the three above-named fortresses until king Francis has fulfilled all the conditions of the treaty." I then asked him whether he spoke in the name of king Francis. He answered, "No, the idea comes not from the King, nor from his ministers; it is exclusively mine."
His Majesty the Emperor must know, through ambassador Capucio (Chapuys) that the rebellion in England is spreading fast. Besides that ambassador's intelligence, news (says the Pope) has come from Flanders and other parts, confirming former accounts of that affair, and advising that two-thirds of the inhabitants of the northern provinces have risen against the King; so much so that Henry will soon be obliged either to quit England, or submit to what his rebel subjects demand of him.
His Holiness, as he (Sylva) has already written, made Master Polo (Pole) the king of England's kinsman, (fn. n1) cardinal of the Roman Church, not only on account of his many virtues, but also with a view to send him to England with money for the English rebels. Though His Holiness has made certain overtures concerning the said Polo, he (Sylva) has taken no notice whatever of his words, for reasons Your Majesty can fully appreciate. He has limited himself to saying that should His Holiness determine to send him on, it must be done with the utmost secrecy, not otherwise, for he keeps telling everybody of it, and should the king of England become aware of this, Polo's life would be in danger. The Pope has promised to do so, considering that if the thing is kept secret, Master Polo will have greater facility in joining the rebels in the North of England.
Mentions these particulars because, should Master Polo really go to England, he will necessarily have to pass through the Imperial dominions in Flanders, where he can get such help and assistance as may be requisite for his enterprise, whether it be public or secret.—Rome, 17 Jan. 1537.
Spanish. Original. pp. 4.


  • n1. See above, p. 275.