Spain: September 1537

Pages 375-379

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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September 1537, 1-30

15 Sept. 162. The Same to Count de Cifuentes.
S. E. Pat. Re. Div.
d. Ital. Cap. c.
Pont. L. 34, 593.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 352.
Your letters of the 19th and 30th of July, as well as the papers and deeds relating to that city, were duly received. We are glad to hear that all matters are satisfactorily settled. The confirmation of Cosmo's election, the particulars relating to the fortresses, as well as that of the persons sent by Alessandro Vitello, and other matters of government will be settled here on your arrival.
In the state in which the affairs of Florence were when you left, it was prudent and wise on your part to bring the Duchess, Our daughter, to Prato. Since then, owing to the revolutionary movements of the "fuorusciti," it has been deemed necessary to have her removed to that city, in doing which Cosmo de' Medici, and Alessandro Vitello behaved as was expected of them. The defeat suffered by the "fuorusciti" has made things quiet. Orders have been sent for Philippo Strozzi and Bartholomeo Valori, who were made prisoners on that occasion, to remain in gaol until they are examined as to the part they may have taken in the assassination of duke Alessandro, and whether they were or were not accomplices in it.
What you propose concerning the household of the Duchess, Our daughter, seems to Us very acceptable; you say that it ought to consist of a lady of rank and authority to be her companion, and of a nobleman besides to take care of her property. The duchess of Camarino having refused to continue at the head of the Duchess' household, and the duchess mother of Ridolfo Ballon (Bagliono), to whom the office was offered, having declined, We have determined to send both the gerant of the Duchess' property, and her lady companion from hence.
You did well in taking possession in the Duchess' name of all the property belonging to the House of Medici, and let Cosmo de' Medici rent the whole for a term of three years. The marquis de Aguilar has been written to that he may have the same thing done at Rome, and receive there whatever belonged once to the Medici family. The same has been done with respect to Naples and the duchy of Penna, so that the Duchess may live upon her present income comfortably, and as befits her princely rank. Miçer Bernardo Ariete will see to that, as instructed by Us. Should any thing else be required with regard to the Duchess' moveable property, and so forth, it may be settled when you come here.
Sorry to hear of your indisposition, and hope that on the receipt of this letter you will have recovered. The ambassador (fn. n1) will tell you the arrangements We have made for your safe arrival.—Monçon, 15 Sept. 1537.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 4.
2 May. 163. The Same to the Marquis de Aguilar.
S. E. Roma,
L. 866, f. 100.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 354.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
We should very much wish to show favor to His Holiness' Datary in consideration of your statement and commendation, but what he asks of Us being a thing contrary to law, and injurious to the people of that city, and principally to those who occupy posts like his, and who sometimes take advantage and commit abuses, We cannot see Our way to remunerate what you (Aguilar) call his good services. You will, however, tell him in Our name that should he be presented by His Holiness to any church preferment in Our kingdom of Spain, We shall then use Our influence with His Holiness and allow his taking possession of it.
Creation of cardinals in contemplation.
Cornelio Scepero, Our secretary, came the other day from Flanders, sent by Our sister, Mary of Hungary, to announce the truce concluded between the Dauphin of France and the commander-in-chief of Our forces in Flanders, at the same time explaining the causes of that truce, and begging Us to ratify the same within the three calendar months of its duration. The truce, it must be said, means only abstinence from war in Picardy to last for ten months, and is grounded on the mutual desire of the parties concerned to put a stop to the effusion of blood, and other evils, merely with a view to treat of peace in the meantime. For many reasons, and especially because Terbana (Therouanne), which Our army was then investing closely, has a numerous garrison and plenty of provisions, and that the siege promised to be a long one; that autumnal rains had already begun; that the men were tired and did not bear with patience the hardships of a campaign in foreign lands, and last, not least, that the Germans in Our pay asked for things which could not be granted, besides other difficulties, Our said sister, after taking the opinion of Our councillors, ministers, and worthy citizens of Brussels, agreed to the truce which We have accordingly ordered to be ratified.
Cornelio came to Us through France with a royal safe-conduct; he saw and spoke to king Francis, and told him that he was coming to Us, sent by Our sister Doña Maria, and asked whether he had or had not any commands or message to give him. King Francis, after courteously referring to Our sister, and saying that he would shortly send some one to visit and compliment her in his name, added in general terms, without specifying anything, that he was a Christian prince and wished to obviate the sufferings of Christendom; that it would not be his fault if peace was not concluded, and that he could certify that. The Queen, our sister (Eleanor), and the Grand Master of France (Anne de Montmorency), both of whom were present, expressed the same wish in warmer and more explicit terms, saying that the King was more inclined than ever to peace, and that they both would strenuously work for it, or at least for a good long truce, during the preliminaries of which peace might be settled. Both the Queen and the Grand Master added that if We only sent Our mandate to queen Mary, the former (queen Eleanor) could easily obtain from her husband (Francis) the necessary powers and instructions to treat. This Our sister has written to Us in her own hand, referring to Cornelio and to others of Our Council in Flanders.
On his return through France with Our ratification of the truce, Cornelio again visited the King, and told him in Our name that nothing would be left undone on Our part to arrive at the desired object. Cornelio was also the bearer of a letter of Ours to Our sister, the queen of France, assuring her of our love of peace in general and particularly with the King, her husband, telling her besides that a good and lasting peace was more desirable than a truce, however long, as it would be the means of Our living in harmony and brotherly union, so as to redress conjointly the affairs of Christendom, which are in a sad state.
In addition to this We have requested her, in case she should see the King, her husband, inclined to peace, to suggest that instead of committing the negociations to her and to the queen of Hungary, as proposed—rather a long process—he and We should meet at Perpignan or Narbonne, where through trusty servants and ministers of Our own the preliminaries of that peace might first be discussed, to be afterwards settled at a personal interview,—without ceremony and with a small retinue, so as to establish a solid friendship and alliance between Us and Our sons—a plan, after all, which most likely king Francis will approve, since his own ministers have said many a time that he much preferred that We both, accompanied by Our ministers, should treat of peace without the intervention of any other power or person.
As both queen Eleanor and the Grand Master of France said to Cornelio that it was thought advisable that the former should send a personage to visit Us in her name, and therefore that We should send to Narbonne a safe-conduct for that personage, whoever he may be, We have given the requisite orders to that effect.
Cornelio, being a trusty and highly discreet diplomate, is to be the bearer of a copy of the articles, which His Holiness' nuncio brought to Us, with Our answer to each of them. They may be of use during the negociation.
Should the king of France and his ministers show any scruple or reluctance at the present overtures being divulged for fear of his friends and allies taking umbrage, We have instructed Cornelio to say that it is not in Our interest that the thing should become public, and that, as far as We are concerned, it shall remain a secret. We, on our part, might go to Barcelona under pretext of being closer to Italy, and attending to the defence of Our frontiers of Roussillon and Cerdagne, whilst king Francis, on the other hand, might find some plausible excuse for repairing to Montpellier, so as to bring about an interview without Our own friends or allies becoming aware of the proposed meeting, as was the case at others of the kind, for instance, when count de Nassau passed through France to go to Flanders. Cornelio is to say that Our ambassadors will be instructed to say how matters stand. If, however, it is decided that secrecy is to be observed, no mention whatever shall be made of the arrangement.
You are to acquaint His Holiness with all this for fear he should take offence at Our entering into negociations for peace without having given him previous notice. We Ourselves have already told his Nuncio here, without entering into details, or mentioning the fact that the queen of France (Eleanor) is about to send a person to Us, and that We propose meeting the King at some place on the frontier. Other particulars you will conceal from His Holiness, as We have concealed them from his Nuncio; there is no necessity to tell them that. Neither are you to mention the article relating to the divulgation of the overtures, nor speak of such matters unless the French themselves publish them, for then it would be necessary to declare and explain how matters stand, and who made the first advances. To Our ambassador in Venice (fn. n2) We now write in the same strain, but no other one of Our agents or ministers in Italy has yet been acquainted with these facts.
Bull for the sale of certain lands belonging to the Military Orders—Monasteries of the Order of St. Dominic—their administration and government to be committed to cardinal Siguença. The bull which pope Alexander V. granted to the Catholic sovereigns (Ferdinand and Isabella) in 1494, authorizing them to levy the tercias in the kingdoms of Castille and Granada, was burnt with many other papers, at Burgos, in 1521, during the War of the Commons. An authorised copy to be procured at Rome.—[Monçon], (fn. n3) 15 Sept. 1537.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 10.
15 Sept. 164. The Same to Don Lope de Soria.
S. E., L. 1313,
ff. 154-5.
B. M. Add. 28,589,
f. 359.
Since We wrote to you on the 20th ult. no news have been received. True your letters of the 15th and 27th of July came duly to hand; but there was nothing in them that required an answer. Yet We shall be glad to hear what the Turkish fleet has accomplished since it was first seen on the coast of Pulla.
No intelligence has yet reached Us, nor have We news of prince Doria after his capturing 14 galleys of the enemy.
There is no longer need of Germans and Spaniards on the frontier of Perpignan.
The restitution which the king of the Romans, Our brother, claims from the Signory, in conformity with the sentence given at Traento (Trento), must be suspended, and, therefore, you (Soria) are not to press for payment now. With the Signory itself you will maintain the most cordial relations possible, trying to persuade them to join their fleet to Ours for the defence of Christendom against the Turk.
We had proceeded so far in the task of writing to you when letters came from Rome and from Naples announcing the damage done by the Turks to the Venetian fleet, as if it were its enemy. Indeed, the marquis de Aguilar writes that, upon His Holiness hearing of it, he despatched a person to that Republic, engaging them to make a defensive league with him and with Us against the Turk. The moment seems to Us most opportune, and therefore We command you to assist His Holiness in his endeavours, and put yourself in communication with the marquis de Aguilar, to whom the negociation at Rome of such a league has been entrusted, as well as with prince Doria, and the viceroy of Naples and Sicily.
The Papal Nuncio, who came some days ago from Rome to reside at this Our coast, in lieu of the one who was there before, (fn. n4) has spoken to Us at length of the great desire His Holiness has of intervening in a treaty for peace between Us and the king of France. Our answer has been that nothing would be so agreeable to Us as to be able to secure that peace, &c.
Since then Corneli Sceppers has come from Flanders, sent by Our sister, the queen of Hungary, to announce the truce concluded between the dauphin of France and the commander-in-chief of Our forces. Copies the same paragraph (the 2d) as in No. 156.—Monçon, 15 Sept. 1537.
Addressed: "To Don Lope de Soria."
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 14.


  • n1. By the ambassador, here, Aguilar is meant. Cifuentes having applied for leave to go home, the Marquis was appointed in his room as early as on condition of holding, conjointly with his colleague, both the Roman embassy and the Florentine commission; the Count, however, remaining in office until the Marquis had been sufficiently instructed as to the course of the Emperor's political affairs in Italy. That is why some of the preceding and subsequent despatches are either nominally addressed to both ambassadors (the Count and the Marquis), or to each of them respectively.
  • n2. Lope de Soria.
  • n3. The name of the place is not given; but as the Emperor had not yet left for Valladolid, and was still at Monçon holding Cortes, I have not hesitated to fill the blank accordingly; the more so that his next letter to Lope de Soria (No. 164), the same above alluded to, is distinctly dated Monçon, the 15th of September.
  • n4. Guidiccione?