Spain: May 1537

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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, 'Spain: May 1537', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888) pp. 349-351. British History Online [accessed 28 May 2024].

. "Spain: May 1537", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888) 349-351. British History Online, accessed May 28, 2024,

. "Spain: May 1537", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888). 349-351. British History Online. Web. 28 May 2024,

May 1537, 1-31

16 May. 145. Lope de Soria to the Same.
S. E., L. 1313,
f. 128.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 279.
As I was on the point of dispatching the messenger, bearer of this letter, the Doge and Signory sent me word to delay until to-morrow the closing of my despatch, and call on them in the morning, as they had something important to communicate. So I did, and then the Doge, in the presence of the Ten and of the College, said that all were very angry with their deciphering secretary, owing to his having, at the request of one Miser Clesio, of this city, a great partisan of France, undertaken to decipher a letter written conjointly by count Cifuentes and marquis d'Aguilar to Your Majesty's ambassador in England, which letter (they said) had incidentally fallen into the hands of the French ambassadors to this Signory.
Enclosed is a copy of that letter. It appears that when the secretary had deciphered it and given back to Clesio the original at the same time as the deciphering, he kept by him a copy, which he put into the hands of one of the councillors, informing him of the fact, and begging to apologise if he had done wrong, though he considered that the letter had no importance whatever. It happened, however, that the councillors thought very differently; for, suspecting there might be other dealings between their secretary and Clesio, they met, discussed the affair together, and decided that the secretary should be severely punished for his breach of faith, and that both should be sent to prison. I must say that I highly approve of the measure, for it would not do to leave the Imperial deciphering key in the hands of one of the Signory's clerks, who might, one of these days, sell it to the French and other enemies of the Empire. Indeed, I have been told that the aforesaid secretary is so clever in deciphering, and has so much practice in it, that there is no cipher in any language whatever that he cannot make out at once. He will, no doubt, be severely punished. As to Clesio, he is to be exiled from the territory of the Signory, which will be a very great disappointment and loss for the French; for Clesio, being a native of this city and of noble lineage, though a bastard, very shrewd and insinuating, and having many friends and plenty of means at his disposal to bribe and so forth, was a most invaluable agent of the French party.— Venice, 16-7 May 1537.
Indorsed: "Relacion de cartas de Lope de Soria."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
18 May. 146. The Duke of Ferrara's agreement with Pope Paul.
S. E., L. 1459,
f. 94.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 281.
Germany.—The news of that country is that the Lutherans greatly object, nay refuse, to have their religious or ecclesiastical affairs looked into before the meeting of the Genera Council. All those who, since the Diet of Nuremberg, have declared that they adhere to their Faith and confederation, to enjoy the same immunity as before that Diet. They, will have no Council convoked by the Pope, but one of their own, entirely free, and to be held within German territory, where the Pope has no secular authority to exercise. That an Imperial Diet be held for the purpose of providing means against a Turkish invasion, but unless they (the Lutherans) obtain previously proper security that they shall not be molested in future in religious matters or disturbed in the possession of the ecclesiastical property they may have acquired, they will not attend the Diet, but stand on their guard, and provide for their own defence.
(fn. n1)
They show great discontent at Dr. Mathias insisting upon the peace of Nuremberg being faithfully observed, and the question of ecclesiastical property decided by the Imperial Chamber.
In such an extremity it is worthy of consideration whether the advice of the king of the Romans is to be followed or not. He proposes that powers be given to the archbishop of Lonen (Lunden) and to Dr. Mathias to treat with the Lutherans, and make certain concessions to them in accordance with the pressure of these times; and if this cannot be done, decree the suspension of all action by the Imperial Chamber against those who may have purchased ecclesiastical property, as agreed at Nür6emberg again; and if this cannot be brought about, and it is thought less injurious for the purpose, to convoke an Imperial Diet.
Spanish. Original. pp. 3½.
27 May. 147. The Marquis d'Aguilar and Count de Cifuentes to the Imperial Ambassador in England.
S. E., L. 1313,
f. 133.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 283.
Your letter of the 24th of March came duly to hand. We both thank you extremely for the transmission of news from that country. I (the marquis d'Aguilar) in particular, who am to remain at this court as Imperial ambassador to His Holiness the Pope, shall be extremely glad to receive from you any information likely to enlighten me as to the politics of that country [England], just as my colleague, count de Cifuentes, was in the habit of receiving. He (Cifuentes) will leave in the course of four or five days for Florence, where I myself was sent some time ago by the Emperor to adjust the differences in that city. Any letters, therefore, addressed to us conjointly here at Rome will be opened by me during the absence of my colleague.
What you write about the rebels in the North of England having accepted the conditions offered to them in the King's name has, I can assure you, been a most unpleasant piece of news for us all, for we thought at one time that the rebellion would have been the means of recalling king Henry to the pale of the Church.
With regard to the marriage you speak of between the Infante of Portugal (Dom Luiz) and the Princess of England, people here see no harm in it, provided it brings what we all are wishing for, namely, the peace and welfare of the Church.
You must be aware by this time that king Francis, with the bulk of his army, has invaded the county of Artois, belonging to our Emperor. Both of us wish very much to know what people in England think about this, and whether king Henry has written to Francis, as he did last year write to the Emperor when he was in Provence, deprecating the invasion of France.
The last news of the Turk is that he will not fit out such a fleet this year as he did last, for he is actually gone or is going to Constantinople, in order to march thence against the Sophy of Persia, who has been for some time molesting him and harassing his Asiatic provinces.
It is rumored here that, on the 20th ult. His Holiness sent for all the foreign ambassadors residing in this capital, and announced to them that he intended to prorogue till November the meeting of the General Council, which was to have begun at Easter; the reason for that decision being that he would not run the risk and defray the expense of the one thousand foot, and as many horse, at least, required to garrison the town where the Council was to assemble; nor offend the Lutherans and others who might take umbrage at such an armament, though only intended for the protection of those attending the Council, and, perhaps, be thereby prevented from coming, on the plea that its deliberations could not be carried on in liberty where there was a garrison paid by the Pope. Accordingly he (Paul) had decided to avoid that probable cause of offence, and prorogued the meeting, in order to consult the Christian princes in the meantime.— Rome, 1st May 1537.
Signed: "Count de Cifuentes—Marquis d'Aguilar."
Italian. Original deciphering. pp. 4.


  • n1. "Separatistas ó los que se han separado de la Fé" is the term used and the Dame given to all those who about this time swerved from the Faith, or rather protested against the doings of the Church of Rome. It is remarkable enough that on the margin of one of Cifuentes' despatches of the year 1534 from Rome there should against the word "separatistas" used by that ambassador the following note: "es decir luteranos, calvinistas, zuinglios, anabaptistas, y toda clase de herejes."