Spain: June 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: June 1537', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888), pp. 351-369. British History Online [accessed 22 June 2024].

. "Spain: June 1537", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888) 351-369. British History Online, accessed June 22, 2024,

. "Spain: June 1537", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888). 351-369. British History Online. Web. 22 June 2024,

June 1537, 1-30

2 June. 148. The Privy Council to the Emperor.
S. E., l. 1459,
f. 93.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 318.
With respect to the Turk it is true that the last news from Venice is that he will not come down this year; and yet it is almost certain that, powerful as he (Solyman) is, if he does not come in person he will at least send his fleet to ravage the shores of Italy; such, at least, is the opinion of the Venetians themselves.
As to king Francis, he is certainly making military preparations of all sorts, enlisting Germans as well as Swiss, treating with the "fuorusciti" of Florence and other Italian cities, and strengthening the army he has in Piedmont. He may, moreover, possibly attack our north-eastern frontier, to judge from the forces he is collecting in and about. Narbonne.
Should the Turk send a large fleet, which he can very well do, to that frontier, Palermo and Barcelona may be in danger and fall into his hands, especially if the Turks are in the neighbourhood; for it is reported that the inhabitants of Toulon have lately received orders to quit the town, in order that, should the Turk come down, they may be lodged therein, whilst the French garrison occupy the castle.
For those reasons it is important to consider whether the force His Majesty has now in Flanders, in Italy, and in various parts of our frontiers, are sufficient to withstand the French attacks and carry on war successfully, or if that force ought to be proportionally increased.
For the present let us keep and maintain what we have; if need be in future we shall see what is to be done. Should king Francis abandon the enterprise of Flanders and direct his forces upon Narbonne, ought not the Germans now being enlisted to go to the Roussillon and Catalonia?
They might very well go to Barcelona.
Orders should be sent to the prince [of Melphi] and to the marquis del Gasto that if they hear of a Turkish or French force coming, they embark at once 6,000 Germans in the galleys. Respecting Doria's galleys, what service are they expected to do? That captain writes from Genoa that he is ready to sail with 25 of them, leaving the rest in port.
Let the Prince and the Marquis try to bring to conclusion the negociation now pending, and if the Pope's proposition is rejected by the Swiss, let Ansaldo recruit 6,000 of them to go to Naples, instead of the Germans who were to go thither. If neither of these plans can be carried into execution, let some money be sent to them to keep them quiet for a time. Are more Swiss to be enlisted, and the league of the Cantons to be revoked? If so, what answer is to be made to His Majesty's ambassador in Switzerland concerning the above points inquired about by him?
From Flanders no credible report has come, nor is it known what the French intend doing there.
It ought also to be considered that the special object of Don Antonio Dixar's mission is to awaken prince Doria and the marquis del Gasto to the necessity of their being as sparing as possible with the money hitherto remitted, or that may be remitted to them in future, and that no unnecessary expense be incurred. Cardinal Caracciolo's advice on this point well deserves attention.
To tell the marquis the strait in which we are here for want of money. That besides the 100,000 ducats which the galleys took, 150,000 more are now being collected; and that, should the rumour continue of king Francis going to Italy in person, or of his army invading Lombardy, he (the ambassador) is to claim from the Venetians the succour in men and money, which they are bound to furnish to the Italian league according to agreement. Also whether the army of Lombardy under the marquis del Gasto is to be numerically increased, or only kept up to its present strength. Whether it is to take the field against the French, or to remain in the fortified towns and districts where it is now; whether in this latter case, and being considered numerically inferior to that of the enemy in Piedmont, it is to remain in its present quarters; and if so, and no money is forthcoming for the pay of the men, what is to be done with that army? Is it to go to other districts, and where, so as to live on cheaper terms? What else is to be done with it; for if the army cannot be paid, little or no service at all can be expected from it; nor could the men live long on requisitions, (fn. n1) after the ravages which armed men are in the habit of committing, much less live upon the enemy's territory, or settle in the districts where they were quartered last year. As to their being quartered in the duchy of Milan it is out of the question, for soldiers, wherever they go, destroy and waste every-thing; and it would not do to have Your Majesty's dominions ravaged by men under your pay. The dispatches of ambassador Figueroa and others fully show the manner of living of soldiers, and the need there is of proper officers being appointed to the commissariat, &c.; also the waste there is of money.
On this point representations should be addressed to the Marquis, and somebody sent to his camp to inquire into the truth of Figueroa's report.
Parma and Piacenza.
The affairs of Florence.—Doria and the Imperial ministers in Italy insist upon the necessity of giving to count of Cifuentes full powers to act. A letter has been already prepared, telling him, if he deems it opportune, to confirm the election of Cosmo de' Medici.
Let the cardinal and president of Milan (Caracciolo), aided by Taverna, inquire into this matter, and, after examining the various deeds of investiture and other papers, summon to their presence the brother of the late Marquis, or his representative, and report their opinion of the case. Meanwhile the marquis del Gasto may invite Giovan Luigi (fn. n2) to come to him, and treat him well, for it is the Emperor's desire that no injustice should be done in this case, and that wherever the right be the vassals of Saluzzo may not be disappointed. Respecting the investiture of the marquisate of Saluzzo, which the duke and duchess of Savoy claim, alleging that they have better right to it than any other claimant, the Council calls the Emperor's attention to two facts; namely, that the Duchess says that it was promised to her at Avenas (Avesnes), and that king Francis, on the other hand, wants it for the third brother of the late marquis, (fn. n2) whom he favors, and whom he is actually sending to Italy with forces.
As soon as the castle of Niça is properly garrisoned with the 1,000 or at least 500 Spaniards mentioned in Pero Çapata's last despatch, there is no objection to the Infanta coming here, whilst the Duke goes to the defence of his own territory, as he says he is willing to do. The governor of Niça, however, to be appointed by the Marquis; Çapata himself to accompany the Duke. The castle of Niça must be provided with ordnance, ammunition, and all kinds of stores. Villafranca must also be fortified against any untoward event. On the other hand, the duchess of Savoy (Maria Beatrix) still insists upon going to Spain, where she considers her person safer than in any part of Italy. Pero Çapata is of the same opinion, adding that the Duchess intends taking her son with her; and that she is now in such perplexity and fear, and so determined upon quitting Nizza, that should the Imperial galleys not come soon, she is capable of going on board a common craft by herself.
As to the duchess of Milan it seems as if it were better to wait for the Queen's (fn. n3) answer, and then decide. The duchess of Florence must already know what the Emperor's intentions are respecting her. The duchesses of Milan (Christina) and Florence (Margaret).
The negociations at Marseilles, as it would appear, do not go on so briskly as was at first expected; neither is success so sure as was anticipated.
It is important to know whether Lope de Soria is to go on negociating with the Venetians, and making further proposals. Also what reward is to be given to the man who brought news from the Levant, and to his uncle.—[—— 2 June 1537.]
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 10.
2 June. 149. The Emperor's Instructions to Capn. Don Antonio Dixar.
S. E., L. 1459,
ff. 56-62.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 286.
What you, Don Antonio Dixar, captain of a company of men-at-arms, are to do in your journey to Italy, is as follows:—
You shall embark at Barcelona in the first Imperial galley leaving that port for Genoa. Once there, after delivering Our verbal message to Andrea Doria, prince of Melphi, or in his absence to Lope Suarez de Figueroa, and reading to him these present instructions, you shall start for the camp of the marquis del Gasto and do the same there; after which you shall go to Florence, or wherever count de Cifuentes may be, and read to him that portion of your instructions which relates to Savoy and Florence. But, above all, that you may fully explain to Doria and the Marquis, commanding Our forces in Italy, how We propose to meet the attacks of the French, you shall carefully attend to this memorandum of Our resources and plan of campaign.
The marquis do I Gasto, commander-general of Our forces in Piedmont, has under his orders 7,000 German infantry, exclusive of 3,000 he is daily expecting and who were due by the middle of May, and 2,000 more, who are now being levied in Germany by count Ortenburg. If to that number be added the 5,000 Spaniards the Marquis has with him, 2,000 more from Florence, as many from Niça (Nizza), besides 7,000 Italians, the men-at-arms, and the light horse, he will be soon at the head of 30,000 men, a force considered quite sufficient not only to act on the defensive in Piedmont, but likewise to invade France if required; for, engaged as king Francis is now on the frontier of Flanders, it is not to be supposed that he will be able to do much in Italy.
In Flanders queen Doña Maria [of Hungary], Our sister, and Our ministers have already assembled a considerable force, both infantry and cavalry, with a good number of Germans. More are daily expected, and money has been remitted for their pay as well as for that of the other troops. Although the general in command can have no difficulty in enlisting more men if he wants them, We have given orders for the recruiting here of 5,000 or 6,000 Spaniards; which force, We dare say, will be more than sufficient to withstand the attacks of the French on that frontier. Meanwhile We have dispatched an express agent to inquire and ascertain whether king Francis really intends invading Flanders, and what his purpose may be, because, should he persevere in his attacks, which hitherto have been limited to engagements with skirmishing parties, We will at once dispatch the aforesaid Spanish infantry, that is already enlisted, and waiting only for the ships to convey them to the Flemish coast.
As, according to advices lately received from Constantinople, the Grand Turk will not come down upon Italy this year, the provisions already made for Naples and Sicily, the infantry sent from hence (Spain), and the assistance Doria can give by sea, must be sufficient for the defence of that country, in case of the Turk coming down with his fleet,—which We are told is not at all likely to occur. Should, however, king Francis persist in his determination to invade Flanders, he will be unable to raise any considerable number of Germans and Swiss to increase his army in Piedmont, and therefore the marquis del Gasto, with superior forces under his command, will be able to cope successfully with him.
Should the Grand Turk come down, and, conjointly with the French, make an attack upon Italy, as rumoured, We could not do less than go thither in person and oppose him, whether he (Francis) perseveres in his undertaking against Flanders or joins the Turk in Italy. In either case We are fully determined to put Ourselves at the head of such forces as are already under arms here [in Spain], or may hereafter be enlisted, and We have written to Our brother, the king of the Romans (Ferdinand), to enlist and keep in readiness from 18 to 20 thousand Germans, to be sent to Italy or to Flanders, as the case may be.
Should king Francis desist from the undertaking on Flanders and send his forces to Narbonne, then, in that case, the new German levies might be destined to defend Our frontier on that side.
Both Doria and the marquis del Gasto are of opinion that king Francis will eventually desist from his undertaking against Flanders, and will ultimately invade Italy with all his forces and that We ought accordingly to reinforce Our army of Piedmont.
We confess that the advice of such experienced captains seems to Us excellent; We wish We were in a situation to profit by it. But the truth is that We have no money. Ever since Our return to Spain We have scarcely done anything else than try to procure the funds required for the cost of the present war. The 100,000 crs. sent by Doria's galleys for the support of Our Italian army, and the 150,000 remitted afterwards for the same purpose, are the only assistance We have yet been able to obtain from the Estates (Cortes). The Marquis, therefore, must pay the Germans first, and all those who want it most, or cannot go on without pay; the rest he must beguile as long as he can with promises and fine words, as it is customary to do in times of great distress. We have no doubt that the Marquis, with his prudence and discretion, will do what is best in that line, and that out of the funds he now has in hand he will reserve a proportionate sum, in case of need, for the last extremity; procuring not to dismiss his camp, but, on the contrary, keeping it up so as to prevent the enemy from impeding the harvest in Piedmont, inflicting all possible harm on them, trying, if possible, to recover Turin, and altogether expelling the French from Italy. All this, in Our opinion; is easy enough, considering the force the Marquis has now under his command, and considering also that, should king Francis persist in his undertaking against Flanders, he cannot possibly increase his army in Piedmont.
Should, however, the king of France abandon his project of invasion, go to Italy in person, send one of his sons with another general, or otherwise reinforce his army in those parts, then, in that case, We have resolved that the 6,000 Germans destined for Naples and Sicily, and already enlisted, shall at once join the Marquis, as well as the Spaniards now sailing for that coast, since most likely the Turk, as We say, will not come down this year. And should a greater effort be required, We Ourselves shall be on the spot when required, for We always thought it preferable to risk Our own person and thus put an end to the war, than to allow Our dominions to be wasted and ruined by long and desultory warfare.
In the same manner, to prevent any designs of king Francis on the frontier of Narbonne, We have given orders that, should he attempt anything in that quarter, both the Marquis [del Gasto] and the prince of Melphi (Andrea Doria) are to agree as to the best means of sending to Colibre, or some other port on the coast of Roussillon, from six to seven thousand Germans, and as many Spaniards as can now be spared from Our army of Piedmont; the men to be embarked on Doria's galleys, and proceed thither as quickly as possible.
At sea, it was agreed that next spring, as early as possible, Doria should go to the Levant for the purpose of doing all the harm he could to the Infidel, preventing the meeting of his galleys, and, if necessary, fighting and destroying the Turkish fleet. For this purpose, Doria was to take the whole of his galleys, besides those of Naples, Sicily, and Spain, without including in that number those which could be armed m Genoa and other ports of Our dominions. Such was that captain's plan then; he has since written, in date of the 10th May, that the last news from Constantinople is that Solyman himself will not come down this year, and that if he sends a fleet at all to the Italian shores it will be by no means so strong and formidable as was said at first: that the season is too far advanced for Us to begin making preparations at sea, and, moreover, that the galleys of France are no longer fitted out at Marseilles. For these and other reasons has Doria changed his opinion. He now thinks that, leaving apart the military preparations then deemed necessary to withstand the Turk's formidable armaments combined with the French, what ought to be done is this: As soon as the Spanish galleys reach the port of Genoa, let him (Doria) take the command of them, adding to their number 15 of his own, those of the Pope, if they should be sent, and those of Malta, which the Grand Master has placed at Our disposal; all together to sail for Naples and Sicily, and thence to the sea of Levant, trying to gain news of the enemy and doing him all possible harm. Whilst Doria himself is accomplishing this, 28 or 29 of Our own galleys in Genoa will sail for the coast of Africa, visit La Goleta and Bona, furnish those fortresses with supplies if wanted, clear that coast of Turkish and Algerine privateers, and cause all possible harm to the enemies of the Cross.
We have approved of this plan, which seems to Us well formed, and have no doubt that, at your arrival in Genoa, Doria will have sailed away. However it be, Our trust in him is such that We leave it entirely to his experience of these matters, and to his love of Our service, to make such a use of his instructions as he may think fit. Should he, in order to carry out his plan for the future campaign, require the armament of more galleys, Doria may have at once, among others, those of Malaga, 28 in number, which are now taking the Spanish infantry to Naples, but he must first take care to inform the Viceroy of his determination.
As the negociations carried on at Marseilles, as well as those of Narbonne, have come to nothing—being most likely intended only to gain time and deceive Us; as Prince Doria writes that the former city has no larger garrison than the ordinary one in time of peace; as king Francis is engaged with his army on the frontiers of Flanders, and has another one in Piedmont; as the Turkish fleet is perhaps expected on that coast, Doria thinks that the inhabitants [of Provence] are not on their guard, and that a great blow might be struck. The enterprise is perhaps a difficult one; but if the report be true, and the undertaking is planned with the utmost secrecy, it may, perhaps, when carried into execution, turn out successful. We leave this entirely to the Marquis' and the Prince's consideration.
His Holiness had promised to take into his pay 10,000 or 12,000 Swiss for the defence of Italy. These would have been most useful, not only as regards assistance against the Turk, but because it would have been equivalent to taking so many men from the French, since it is known that for some time back they have been trying to enlist troops in Switzerland. Since then His Holiness has answered so coldly Our reminders on the subject that We begin to fear no help will come to Us that way: and whereas the Pope is not likely to aid Us in this matter, We have decided that should the Turk come down in force, and should the Marquis and the Prince deem it necessary, they may enlist 6,000 Swiss in Our name, and arrange with Ansaldo [Grimaldo] for the pay thereof, on condition, however, that every effort shall be made first to obtain from the Pope the fulfilment of his promise to pay for the said Swiss. Let, therefore, Our ambassador in Genoa know of this that he may write to Our representative in the cantons, and inform him of Our views in this matter. Should, however, the Turk not come down this year, and should there be no occasion for Swiss levies, Our agent in Switzerland is to do his utmost for the revocation of the league the Cantons have made with France, and for preventing the Swiss from taking service under the French. And as experience shows that these things cannot be accomplished without money, We have ordered our resident ambassador in Genoa to remit to that of Switzerland 4,000 crs., besides the money previously sent to him from Milan; the whole of that sum to be employed in gaining the affections of the Swiss cantons, or at least preventing them from enlisting under the banners of France.
You, Don Antonio D'Ixar, will tell the Marquis and the Prince that the utmost care must be taken of keeping on good terms with the Republic of Venice, and should the king of France go to Italy in person, or otherwise increase his army in Piedmont, they are to solicit from the Signory the contingent of men they are bound to furnish for the defence of the duchy of Milan according to agreement entered into with Us.
The above matters to be communicated by you and by Our ambassador in Genoa to prince Doria, if he has not sailed on his intended expedition when you reach that port. Should prince Doria not be in Genoa when you arrive, you shall leave a copy of these instructions in the hands of Our ambassador Figueroa, which copy may be forwarded to the Prince, wherever he may be at the time, by a, trusty and diligent messenger. This done, you yourself shall go to the camp of the Marquis del Gasto, and do the same there, telling him that We trust he will use all care and vigilance in the execution of the measures and plans above specified.
On other matters more or less connected with the above subjects you shall take the following memoranda as a guide. With regard to the duke and duchess of Savoy, you must know that the latter has urgently applied to Us for leave to come to Spain, and remain in the company of the Empress, Our wife, until there be a settlement of Our common affairs. She complains that she is left at Niça (Nizza), to her great personal inconvenience and danger, both from Frenchmen and from Turks. And as Pero Çapata (fn. n4) has written that, should the Duchess be invited to stay in this Our kingdom, the Duke (Carlo III.) might perhaps be persuaded to deliver up that fortress for Us to put a Spanish garrison inside; and that in order to obtain her wishes, the Duchess will easily persuade her husband to give up Niça (Nizza), into which, otherwise, he would admit neither Spaniards nor Germans, We have readily consented to that to please the Duchess, and because the castle itself is too important to let it fall into the hands of the enemy. Pero Çapata has been written to on the subject, and the Duchess may come to Spain with her son, and stay with the Empress (Isabella). You or Çapata will take care that when she is ready to start orders be sent to Genoa for a number of galleys to be ready for her conveyance. In the same galleys count Cifuentes, if he has by that time finished his commission at Florence, might come and act as an escort. But let it be well understood that the Duchess is not to undertake her voyage before the castle of Niça (Nizza) is fairly in Our hands, and before We have placed a Spanish garrison inside, that We may defend it against any attack as long as the war lasts.
Respecting Saluzzo and its investiture, in order the better to investigate and examine the right of the various pretenders, and also owing to the pressing solicitations of the Duke, who claims it, We have decided to commit the business to cardinal Caracciolo, to the president of the council at Milan, and to chancellor Taberna, that they may interrogate the parties, and after hearing the brother of the deceased Marquis give their opinion, &c.
As count de Cifuentes (Sylva) has Our full powers to settle the Florentine affair without further consultation, and as most likely, when you (Don Antonio) arrive at Genoa, he (the Count) will have finished his task, no further instructions on that point are needed, save saying that the affairs of Florence must be attended to with growing interest, and that, having already promised to confirm Cosmo's election, We are ready to do it as soon as official information reaches Us of a final settlement.
We had decided that the Dowager Duchess, (fn. n5) our daughter, should be taken to Gaeta; but on Doria's advice, who wrote that she could very well be at Pisa, and on the representations of the Florentines themselves addressed to Us through the late Duke's ambassador, desiring that she should reside within their territory, We have changed Our plans, and written to count Cifuentes, that if he considers it advisable the Dowager may remain at Pisa.
Both to Alessandro Vitello and to cardinal Cibo We have offered to reward their services as they deserve. The former is to enjoy a considerable annual pension on Our treasury at Naples; the latter is to have some part in the government of the Duchy.—Valladolid, 2 June 1537.
2 June. 150. The Emperor to Don Antonio Dixar. (fn. n6)
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 51 b.
Enclosed is the written instruction of the matters communicated to you at Saragossa, and which, on your return to Italy, you are expected to do. (fn. n7) Enclosed are also all the papers and documents relating thereto, as well as the letters in your credence for the marquis del Gasto, prince Doria, Gomez Suarez de Figueroa, Pero Çapata, and others of Our ministers in Italy. They are not ciphered for want of time, and, therefore, you are requested to take the utmost care of them, and not let them fall into the hands of the enemy.
Among the despatches there is one from the archbishop of Saragossa, (fn. n8) commanding him to put you on your way to Barcelona, where you will find an Imperial galley ready for your passage.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 54.
2 June. 151. The Same to Count de Cifuentes.
S. Pat. Re. Div. de
Italia, Cap. con.
P.P. y otros Pot.,
L. 59.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 313.
Your despatches of the 22nd and 25th of February, 19th and 28th of March, 3rd and 4th of May, besides those written conjointly with the marquis de Aguilar, nave all come to hand, as well as your letter to the High Commander of Leon (Cobos).
With regard to the sorrow you say the Pope has experienced at hearing that king Francis had renewed for three years his truce with the Grand Turk, there is nothing to say about it, except that it is one of Our principal reasons for urging His Holiness to declare openly against him.
For the loss of the castle Clissa, situated as it is, We are extremely sorry. We have written to Our brother, the king of the Romans, urging him to do his utmost for its recovery. (fn. n9)
Respecting cardinal Pole's journey to England, and the advice you (Sylva) gave him to change his route and pass through France instead of Flanders, We entirely approve of it. In other matters concerning him We cannot for the present say more, except that We are anxiously expecting news of his arrival in England. Until We hear of it, and of the result of the negotiation entrusted to his care, We cannot really express an opinion, though it seems to Us that, being, as you say, so scantily provided with funds, he (Pole) can scarcely be successful in his mission.
We also approve of your answer to the Pope when he proposed that you and the rest of the foreign ambassadors— that of France included-should meet some of his cardinals, and discuss in their presence the best means of arriving at a lasting peace. Your reasons for refusing to attend such a meeting, and discuss matters so often brought forward, seem to Us excellent, as well as wise and discreet. (fn. n10)
Your journey to Florence, We hope, will be the means of appeasing the dissensions which are now disturbing the peace of that city, and of preserving it in Our service. Besides the instructions sent to you on previous occasions, We now empower you to confirm and approve in Our name the election made in the person of Cosmo de' Medici, promising that We ourselves will confirm and ratify it if in the present state of things you should consider that necessary. With respect to Alessandro Vitelli, should he agree to deliver the citadel of that city, as well as those of Pisa and Liorna (Leghorn), into the hands of the person or persons whom you should appoint in Our name, We have no objection to assign to him at once an annual pension of 3,000 ducats. You will tell him this, and promise in Our Imperial name that the said sum shall be regularly paid to him during his lifetime, and, moreover, that We shall favor him and cardinal Cibo as they both deserve. Should you be told, as many seem to think, that in case of Cosmo's election being confirmed and ratified, it will be expedient to appoint him a partner in the government of the city, you will act in that respect as you think proper and convenient.
Though some are of opinion that Our daughter, the Duchess, should be removed to Gaeta, others think that for the present she had better not leave the Duchy, but live at Pisa. The ambassador who resided here for the deceased duke (Alessandro) tells Us that the Florentines would greatly feel the Duchess' departure from Tuscany, and would like her to remain within the territory of Florence. We entirely defer to your opinion on the subject. Should you think that it is convenient for us all that she should reside at Pisa, and that she may live there in perfect safety, and in a manner befitting her rank, you will take care that she shall go to that city and remain there until fresh orders.
With regard to the right the Duchess may have to her husband's inheritance, you will take care that she has full justice done her. Miçer Bernardo Ariete, the lawyer, who, no doubt, during his short stay in that city, has looked into the Duchess' affair, as instructed by Us, will give you the legal advice required.
As to Pier Luigi's man, who was arrested at Pisa on the charge of trying to seduce and bribe the governor of the castle, you did well not to take any notice of the affair, and allow the man to be released and set free. It would not do under the circumstances to show that We have any suspicion of him.
Of the bishop of Pavia, (fn. n11) we have heard nothing unfavourable. Being, as he is, the friend and relative of Alessandro Vitelli, he cannot fail to be sincerely attached to Our service. The latter has written to Us in his favor, and therefore We have no doubt that he will be attached to Us in future.
We hear that captain Pozo, of the late Duke's light horse, wishes to remain in our service. As We hear he is a good and experienced officer, you will report where and how he can best be employed. The same recommendation has been addressed to the Marquis del Gasto.—Valladolid, 2 June 1537.
Spanish. Original. pp. 5½.
2 June. 152. The Emperor to the Marquis de Aguilar. (fn. n12)
S. E., l. 866, f. 89.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 316.
Pier Luigi [Farnese] has again given Us to understand that according to what was treated at Rome, We ought to give him possession of Novara. We should have made no difficulty; and in fact, at our departure from Rome We gave orders that it should be delivered to him. Had not His Holiness expressly requested Us through his nuncio here with Us not to do it, adding that not only would he not have it, but would be highly displeased were We to do so, Pier Luigi would already be in possession. Although We can see no reason for Pope Paul opposing such an arrangement, yet, wishing to fulfill the promise We once made to Pier Luigi, and at the same time not to offend His Holiness by acting against his will in that respect, We command you again to speak to His Holiness on the subject, and let Us know his answer as soon as possible.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 2.
4, 7, & 8 June. 153. Oaths of Fealty of the Castellans of Florence, Pisa, and Livorno, in the hands of Count Cifuentes.
S. Pat. Re. Div. de
It., Cap. c. P.P. y
otros Pot. and 593,
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 324.
Alessandro Vitello takes the oath for Florence on the 4th of June 1537.
Arthem Sablentinus de Fabriano for Pisa, on the 7th.
Farrius de Pisa de Johanne de Vacherinis for Livorno.
Latin. Original. p. 1.
2 June. 154. The Emperor to the Marquis de Aguilar.
S. E. Roma
L. 866, f. 89.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 316.
Pier Luigi has given Us to understand that, according to the grant made to him whilst We were in Rome, he would wish to take possession of Novara. We make no difficulty at all as to that, so much so that before our departure from Rome We had given the necessary orders to that effect. The thing would have been done according to orders, had not His Holiness expressly signified to Us through his nuncio, and repeatedly afterwards in writing, that on no account did he approve of such a proceeding, but would be, on the contrary, highly displeased at it. Though it then seemed to Us, as it does seem now, that His Holiness had no reasons to oppose such a grant to Pier Luigi, and We ourselves should have been glad of its acceptance, yet, considering His Holiness' repugnance to the thing, we have hitherto refrained from complying with his wishes, though We are still willing to fulfil Our engagements. You will inform His Holiness of this, and let Us know as soon as possible the result.
To other particulars mentioned in your despatches of the 25th of February, 19th and 24th of March, full answer shall be given in a few days.
With regard to the grief which you say His Holiness has felt at king Francis having renewed for three years his truce with the Turk, may God permit that there be no more mischief under cover of that truce than that which is naturally to be apprehended. You will tell His Holiness that this seems to Us a just cause, apart from others, to induce him to declare at once against Francis.
The loss of Clissa We have felt greatly, not only on account of the Christians who fell there, but likewise on account of the situation of its castle. We have written to our brother, the king of the Romans, about it, &c.
Respecting cardinal Pole We wrote to Sylva on the 2nd of June, and refer you to Our letter.—Valladolid, 2 June 1537. (fn. n13)
Indorsed: To the Marquis de Aguilar. Taken to Genoa by D. Antonio Dixar.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 3.
155. Monsignor Guidiccione, Papal Nuncio in Spain, to ————.
S. E. Cor. de
Castille, L. 40,
f. 113.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 325.
With regard to .the General Council, His Imperial Majesty says, and all these noblemen affirm, that His Holiness must be aware of the many injuries heaped upon the Apostolic See and Roman Church at the diet of Smalcald; and that, owing to the mutinous and rebellious behaviour of the electors and princes who attended it, the Emperor did not then consider it advisable to declare which city seemed to him the most fit for the celebration of the Council, much less fix upon or consent to one without ascertaining beforehand how the Lutheran sectarians intended to behave. In this difficulty the Emperor with great ability managed to persuade the electors of the Empire, or their deputies, to consent to the Council being held in some Imperial city; and the Lutherans, believing that it would be one in Germany, readily agreed; Mantua, which, though Italian, is in point of fact an Imperial city, being accordingly chosen. The Lutherans then declared that they had been deceived, and that the Emperor was trying to have the Council in Italy under the influence of the Pope. They, accordingly, did protest, and it is now stated that they have lately come to the resolution of disobeying the Imperial commands in that respect, and, should the Council meet in Italy as proposed, convoking another of their own, though it may only be a provincial one, in Germany. The Emperor wishes to have His Holiness' advice and assistance upon this most important point, for he knows well that the Catholic princes of Germany are afraid that whilst they are attending a Council in Italy, the Lutherans themselves will set up another in Germany.
In addition to this, you must know that His Imperial Majesty, for the sake of inducing the duke elector of Saxony (fn. n14) to attend the General Council, has offered him, in case of the present duke of Ghelders and Juliers' only son (an exceedingly weak and wretched youth) dying in the meantime, (fn. n15) to make over to him those two duchies which, on the Duke's demise without male children, are by right to devolve on him (the Emperor). Notwithstanding this brilliant offer, it is doubtful whether the duke of Saxony will attend the Council, for he still persists in his determination not to go to it; though, on the other hand, I am told that quite lately there has been some hope of his being present, and that, if officially summoned, he will go, whichever may be the place of meeting.
Indorsed: "From the Papal Nuncio in Spain on the business of the Council." (fn. n16)
Italian. Original. pp. 2½.
19 June. 156. Instructions to Juan Mosquera de Molina, going to Prince Doria and Marquis del Guasto.
S. E., L. 1459,
ff. 52-4.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 326
Advices lately received from France confirm the report that king Francis is about to abandon his enterprise of Flanders, reinforce his army in Piedmont, and, in combination with the Grand Turk, do Us all possible harm in Italy and elsewhere. To this end, and in order to divert Our forces, it is his avowed intention to attack Our frontiers of Navarre and Catalonia. An army of foot and horse, well provided with artillery, and under the command of Mr. de Labrit, (fn. n17) is to march to the former province, whilst the latter will be assailed by the Perpignan frontier. For this purpose, the King is said to be directing his forces on Languedoc, and himself going to Moulins, a convenient place for both those undertakings.
Yet it seems to Us as if, whilst threatening two of Our provinces bordering on his dominions [Catalonia and Navarre], king Francis would, in preference, invade the former, because almost all his forces are being directed upon Perpignan and the Roussillon, where he evidently expects to have the co-operation of the Turkish fleet on the coast, an6d also because the enterprise of Navarre cannot appear to him as easy as the other; Pamplona and other towns being now strongly fortified, and the passes in the Pyrenees well guarded.
We have, therefore, given orders that the fortifications of Perpignan, already far advanced, should be at once completed until the town be placed in a state of defence; that all the fortresses in Roussillon and Cerdagne be amply provided with ammunition and stores; and that most of the levies made here, in Spain, and destined for the frontiers of Flanders, be directed to the defence of Catalonia conjointly with some companies of horse. Nor is Navarre to remain unprovided, although it is not likely, as above stated, that king Francis will move in that direction.
Should, however, king Francis march his forces on Languedoc, and attack Perpignan—as the advices from France announce, and there is every reason to fear—then, in that case, We are determined to oppose any French designs on Roussillon, and have ordered the marquis del Gasto, our general in Italy, to detach 5,000 or 6,000 Germans and 2,000 Spanish infantry to reinforce the existing garrisons, and help in the defence of those provinces.
This matter being so important, We have selected you, Juan Mosquera, to go to prince Doria and the marquis del Gasto to inform them both of the state of things, and tell them, in Our name, that the very moment they hear of the French army in Languedoc taking the direction of Perpignan, they are to send in all possible haste to the Roussillon the said Germans and Spaniards.
Although you are the bearer of a copy of the said advices from the frontier, and, besides, that Don Frances de Beamont, captain-general of Our forces in Perpignan, writes that he knows from his spies that the French are stirring in Languedoc, their design being to attempt some blow or other on that frontier; yet, to make sure of French designs and intentions, you shall ride post to Perpignan, and ascertain from the said Don Frances whether the last reports he has received agree with Our information from other quarters, and if so, proceed at once on your mission to the Prince and Marquis. You will find at Barcelona a "galeota," which our ambassador at Genoa (Don Gomez Suarez de Figueroa) sent some time ago. Orders have been sent to our viceroy, the archhishop of Saragossa, (fn. n18) to keep it in readiness; it will take you to Colibre, and from thence, after speaking with Don Frances, to Genoa, where you will confer with Our ambassador. Should prince Doria be absent from that port, as there is every reason to think (for he must by this time have sailed with his galleys to Naples, Sicily, and the Levant), you will read to ambassador Figueroa these present instructions, and leave a copy of them in his hand, that he may, on the Prince's return, inform him of their contents, and in the meantime get ready the number of galleys required for the passage of the aforesaid infantry, ammunition, stores, &c.
From Genoa you shall go to the marquis del Gasto, and after reading to him these instructions, as well as the copy of the late advices from France, and the information you may have received from Don Frances de Beamont, you will tell him how important it is for Our honor and reputation, in case king Francis should make an attack on the frontier of Perpignan, that he should at once detach from his army 5,000 Germans at least, and 2,000 Spaniards. Should the Marquis think that on Francis increasing his force in Piedmont, it will be impossible for Us to recover Turin, or cause harm to the French there and in Tuscany, where they are trying to promote a revolution, you will tell him that he may write to count Ortenburgh in Germany to send him out of the force already enlisted for Our service as many men as he thinks necessary to replace the 2,000 Spaniards, and that he himself may levy 2,000 Italians. Tell him that the receptor of Thionville, who went to those parts along with Don Antonio Dixar, has received orders from Us to take 50,000 florins of gold out of the sums which he is to negociate.
If, however, the Marquis should think that if king Francis does not increase his forces in Piedmont, there is no need for the present of making such an effort, and that the enterprise of Turin may be abandoned, reserving Our forces for a better opportunity, at the same time keeping a vigilant eye on Parma and Piacenzo, so that the enemy may not get hold of them; as Pier Luigi must already be back let the Marquis concert with him how those two cities are to be defended from an attack of the French.
Genoa to be watched.—The discipline of the army to be kept up. In case of Navarre being attacked, which is very improbable, orders have been sent for 5,000 of the Germans there to be immediately embarked for the coast of Biscay; for although they could not arrive in time to serve in Perpignan, owing to the great distance by land between the port of disembarcation and the Roussillon, they may still be useful in Navarre and other northern provinces. However this may be, wherever French attacks are directed it is very important to provide for the defence of Pepignan and its frontier, and therefore you (Mosquera) are particularly instructed to tell the Marquis in Our name that on no account must he forget to detach from his army the above-mentioned 7,000 Germans and Spaniards, and send by sea to Colibre or the coast of Catalonia, and that We trust his well-known fidelity and military experience will not be in fault on this occasion.
To His Highness the king of the Romans, Our brother, and to Our ministers in Germany, letters have been addressed, informing them of all this; and Our ambassador in Switzer-land has likewise been written to, and furnished with letters of credence for the Cantons in order to prevent, if possible, their serving now under France, their excuse last year being that they were about to defend France, whereas now they want to offend Us and favor the Turk.
All this being done you will return to Us as quickly as you can with such information as you have been able to collect during your mission, namely whether Doria was, or was not, at Genoa on your arrival, what the state of affairs in Italy is, and what measures the Marquis and the Prince are already taking, or will take to meet the present emergency. Figueroa, the ambassador, has been instructed to provide you with a fustee or caravel for your passage to Barcelona. (fn. n19)
Spanish. Original draft. pp 24.
19 June. 157. The Emperor to Count de Cifuentes.
S. E. Pat. Re. Cap.
c. Pont. L. 593, 36,
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 339.
We wrote to you on the 2nd inst., the bearer being Don Antonio Dixar. (fn. n20) Since then We have not heard from you, but have reason to suppose that matters at Florence are already settled.
Advices from France state that the King, after fortifying and provisioning Hesdin, and leaving garrisons on the frontiers of Picardy, marched with his army by way of Paris. Towards the end of May he was en route for Molens (Moulins), near Lyons, a territory conveniently situated for the quartering and provisioning of an army, as well as for an advance on Perpignan, which seems to be Francis' object for the present. To that purpose King Francis, it is rumoured, is sending forces to Languedoc, and it is asserted that he has also offered troops and artillery to Mr. de Labrit, (fn. n21) that he may attempt something on the Navarrese frontier.
To put an end to the Spanish Cortes, We are determined to go soon to Monçon. (fn. n22) —Valladolid, 19 June, 1537.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 3.


  • n1. "Ni tampoco podra durar mucho tiempo el vivir á discreccion segund los desordenes que se hacen." "Vivir á discrecion ó comer á discrecion," are expressions commonly used during these wars, meaning that soldiers took their food wherever they found it, without paying.
  • n2. Michele Antonio XII. marquis of Saluzzo, who died in 1528, was succeeded by ms brother Giovan Luigi, after whom came Francesco, who died in 1537.
  • n3. Most likely Mary of Hungary, regent in Flanders and the Low Countries, unless the empress Isabella, as queen of Spain, be meant. This latter, as a close connexion of the duchess (Christina), must naturally have been consulted.
  • n4. Pero Çepata, or Zapata, one of the Emperor's agents in Italy, had been appointed since the beginning of the war to accompany the duke Carlo III.
  • n5. Margaret, the widows of Alessandro de' Medici.
  • n6. Don Antonio de Hixar (now written Hijar, a town in Aragon) was captain of Spanish men-at-arms at the battle of Pavia in 1525. In September 1527 Charles de Lannoy sent him to treat with the mutinous German lanskenets. In June 1528 he was entrusted with a delicate mission to Philippino Doria, who was eventually detached from the service of France and induced to pass over to the Emperor. His name is variously written Dixar, D'Ixar, and Dijar, but the correct spelling would be De Hijar, neither of the letters h and j being guttural but soft, which accounts sufficiently for its being written at the time when the apostrophe in the Romanic language was more generally used, De'Ixar. See Vol. III., Part II., pp. 395, 701, 704.
  • n7. On the 26th of December 1536 the Emperor landed at Barcelona on his return from Italy, and shortly after joined the Empress at Valladolid, where he remained till April in the following year, 1537. He then went to Monçon to hold there the cortes or estates of Aragon. It was most likely at his passage by Saragossa on his journey to that town, situated on the confines of Aragon and Catalonia, that both the letter and the instructions were drawn up; though it must be observed that the date appended to the instructions can hardly be reconciled with those of the Itinerary, as published by Bradford, p. 505.
  • n8. Don Fadrique de Portugal from 1532 to 1539.
  • n9. "De la perdida de Clissa nos ha desplazido mucho por el daño que se ha recibido en perderse los Christanos que alli se perdieron, come el castillo, por estar en la parte en que está."
  • n10. See Sylva's despatch of the 22 February, No. 134.
  • n11. Giov. Hieronimo Rossi from 1530 to 1544.
  • n12. A duplicate of this letter, though dated the 2nd of July, is at fol. 317 of the same volume of Bergenroth's. transcripts from Simancas, the 18th of the Collection.
  • n13. In Bergenroth's volume, the 18th of the collection, this document is described as belonging to 2nd of July 1537. This is a manifest error; it ought to be dated the 2nd of June, that being the date in which all the papers and letters delivered to Don Antonio de IIijar for his diplomatic mission to Italy were signed by the Emperor. It might, however, have happened that after writing to the marquis in June it was considered necessary to renew on the 2nd of July the instructions about Novara, which is the principal topic in both despatches.
  • n14. George, duke of Saxony.
  • n15. Charles d'Egmont, duke of Juliers and Ghelders, from 1492 to his death in 1538. His son had died a few months before.
  • n16. Monsignor Guidiccione, bishop of Fossombrone in the Roman States, was at this time papal nuncio near the Emperor. Several of his letters to the cardinal legate Agostino Trivulzio, dated Aix (Axais in Savoy) between August and September 1536, were published by Girolamo Ziletti in the third volume of his collection, entitled Delle Lettere di Principi, le quali si scrivono da Principi o a Principi, o ragionamento di Principi. Venetia, 1581, small 4to. The present one has neither date nor address, but it may be presumed from the tenour of it that it was intended for the Pope's perusal, and probably addressed to his secretary, Ambrogio de' Recalcatis.
  • n17. Henri Il d'Albret, titular king of Navarre.
  • n18. D. Fadrique de Portugal, archbishop of Saragossa and viceroy of Catalonia.
  • n19. A note in Covos' hand has the following: "Although it is said that you (Mosquera) are to come back as soon as possible with the Marquis' answer, let it be understood that your coming must he in case of the Marquis' deeming it advisable to send the irfantry forthwith; should he think otherwise, or decide to wait for an opportunity, you will remain in Italy until further notice.
  • n20. See above, No. 149, p. 355.
  • n21. Henri d'Albret, son of Jean d'Albret and Marguerite de Valois. See above, p. 366.
  • n22. The Cortes of Monzon began in April 1537, and were closed in December.