Spain: October 1537

Pages 379-383

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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October 1537, 1-31

7 Oct. 165. The Same to Miçer Bernardo Aviete.
S. Pat. Re. Div. d.
Ital., 593 32.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 1.
We wrote to you on the 15th ult. Since then your letter of the 8th August has been received, and the ambassadors sent by Cosmo de' Medici and the Republic of Florence, as well as those of cardinal Cibo and Alessandro Vitello, have arrived.
With regard to the former, We have given orders that the privilege of confirmation and approbation of whatever count de Cifuentes has done at Florence in Our name should be at once drawn up in due form for Our signature and ratification.
Respecting the wish which Cosmo himself has manifested of marrying the Duchess, Our daughter, to speak sincerely, as We are wont to do in all our dealings, We have signified to the Duke's ambassador here that soon after the late duke's death, and before We were apprized of his own election, a proposal came from the Pope relating to the Duchess' marriage, and that We, considering that the Duchess' new marriage might be the means of ensuring peace and mending the affairs of Italy generally, and those of Florence in particular, had listened to the said proposals, though nothing has yet been decided. Negotiations are still pending, and, therefore, no engagement can he taken; but Cosmo may be sure that should the matter drop, there is no one to whom We should so much like to give Our daughter's hand as to him, and if this cannot be effected, We will undertake to have him married to his advantage to a lady of rank and wealth, so that he may thereby increase his power and authority.
In the matter of the fortresses and castles, We have declared to Cosmo's ambassador that his master may be sure that on no account is the temporary holding of them to be intended for Our own private advantage or interest, but solely for the maintenance of peace and the welfare of the Florentines, and to guard against any attempts of the enemy.
Respecting the sentence pronounced against the "fuorusciti,' We have nothing to remark, except that We have no doubt it was a just one. As to Philippo Strozzi, though the opinion of many here, as well as there in Florence, seems to be that after paying Alessandro Vitello his ransom, he should be sent to Us to deal with at Our pleasure, and for the special benefit of that Republic; yet, considering the execution that has already taken place of other "fuorusciti," and that Strozzi's guilt must be considered the same, and perhaps greater than theirs, owing to his great riches, authority, and influence over the said "fuorusciti"; considering also that he himself was a rebel, and took up arms against his own country and against the laws and government of that Republic, as well as against Our Imperial authority and service; considering, moreover, that if he (Strozzi) gets his liberty, he may well, with his great riches and the credit he enjoys, aided by his sons, relatives, and friends, work in future against the peace and tranquillity of that country, We have resolved not to take that matter in hand, but to leave it entirely to Cosmo's discretion. If, after duly consulting his Council and judges thereupon, the culprit having previously paid the whole of his own ransom to Alessandro Vitello, it should be thought advisable not to have the sentence executed, let it be so; but this must be done in such a way that people may not say hereafter that it was Strozzi's money that influenced Us or Cosmo de' Medici to grant him his pardon. Should he (Philippo) on the contrary deserve death, let the trial be revised, and let the culprit go through all the forms of justice, so as to make him declare if he really was, or not, concerned in the assassination of duke Alessandro; and if this latter crime cannot be proved, own what share he himself had in the treasonable conspiracy of the "fuorusciti," whose head and chief he is known to have been, as by doing so Cosmo may possibly make some demonstration of his integrity.
We cannot omit to mention a fact connected with Strozzi's affair. Juan Vandin (Bandini?), the late Duke's ambassador, and the same one who has succeeded him in that charge, whilst conversing the other day with Us respecting the sentence of the "fuorusciti," and principally that of Philippo [Strozzi], hinted that, although he could not vouch for it, he suspected that when the latter surrendered to Alessandro Vitello, he got perhaps from his captor the promise that his life would be spared, as is customary in warfare; and that if such was the case Philippo might be exiled to some town or place where he could do no harm, on his paying two or three hundred thousand crowns, or giving responsible sureties for the payment.
Our answer to such indirect proposal was that in the present case rigorous justice was needed, and, therefore, We command you to say, should the affair be brought before you in any way, that Our private opinion is that the ambassadors' idea must be rejected, and justice administered according to law and conscience, the more so that having the other day cautiously sounded Vitello's man, now here, as to whether his master had made any such promise, or taken such an engagement with regard to Philippo, he answered Us in the negative, adding that Vitello held his prisoner entirely at Our disposal.
To Vitello's man, who came here to make the usual offers of service in his name, and to request Us to relieve him from the wardenship of the castle of Florence, the following answer has been given. The promises which count de Cifuentes made him in Our name shall be fulfilled. As soon as the report of Our viceroy of Naples (D. Pedro de Toledo) comes to hand, and We know on what treasury or on what entailed property Vitello's annual pension is to be consigned, We will inform him of the amount. You will tell him that should the Viceroy designate the duchy of Penna as the estate on which the said annual pension had better be fixed, We shall be glad of such a settlement, and that in addition to that We will favor and honor him as he deserves. As to the wardenship of the castle of Florence, We cannot for the present accede to his request; be must still remain in charge until We find him a fit successor, as trusty and experienced as he himself is.
To cardinal Cibo, who has also sent his man here, We have addressed words of gratitude and acknowledgment for his services, and with regard to the income which he says he has lost in France in consequence of the sequestration of his property, We have promised him that when a similar measure is taken in Naples respecting the property of the cardinals who helped the Florentine "fuorusciti," he shall receive full compensation for his losses.
This is what has been said in Our name to Cosmo's ambassadors, as well as to the other agents (Vitello's, Cibo's, and so forth) who came at the same time. Letters for the Duke and the rest are enclosed.—Monçon, 7 Oct. 1537.
Addressed: "To Miçer Bernardo Aviete."
Spanish. Original draft, partly ciphered. pp. 8.
31 Oct. 166. The Same to Ambassador Figueroa.
S. E., L. 41, f. 17.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 8.
We wrote to you lately by the bishop of Casale, who must have reached Genoa by this time. After his departure from this Our court your despatches of the 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th of September, and 4th inst. came to hand, and together with them several letters from Our army's camp in Piedmont, from Rome, Naples, Venice, and other parts.
Provisions for the war.—Money sent to Gasto and Doria.
The armourer arrived at Barcelona and brought the armourpieces (fn. n1) and arms. As to the silks and brocades, We wish they had come at the same time. Perhaps they had not come to Genoa when the galley sailed. If so, let Us have them as soon as possible by the very first safe conveyance.
As to Niça and Our daughter the Duchess, We have nothing to say, but refer you to former despatches.
The ordnance cast in that city may be mounted and sent to Niça, and the ammunition that came from Saona (Savona) may remain there [at Genoa] until further orders.
Pensions to Micer Agostino and Stephano Spinola.
In Our letter of the 15th We informed you that secretary Cornelis came to Us with a message from Our daughter, the queen of Hungary, and the proposal of a truce. Cornelis came and went back through France, having been furnished with a proper safe-conduct. In coming here he saw king Francis, and spoke to him, as well as to queen Eleanor, Our sister, and to the Grand Master of France (Anne de Montmorency). The substance of their conversation was: (copies almost literally the letter to Aguilar, (fn. n2) and then adds)—
After that Cornelis started on his mission, and the person appointed by king Francis came here to Us. Yet, as We are not sure of what king Francis wants, what his conditions will be, &c., We think the matter ought to be kept secret. We requestyou not to mention it to any living person except to prince Doria and marquis del Gasto. Meanwhile We send you a memorandum of what passed between Mr. de Velly, (fn. n3) Francis' ambassador near Our person, and Mr. de Grandvelle, for the former having been interrogated on the subject, answered expressly that he had neither commission nor mandate from his master to treat of peace. This information you will keep to yourself, without communicating it to anyone except to the Prince and the Marquis, as the matter is of the utmost importance.
At the publication of the league concluded between His Holiness and the Signory of Venice against the Turk, We have rejoiced immensely, as it may be hereafter the cause of much advantage to Christendom. Both the marquis de Aguilar and Lope de Soria have been instructed to express Our sentiments on the subject, and assure both His Holiness and the Venetians that We shall not fail in the fulfilment of Our duties as one of the contracting parties.
Since the above was written, Micer Adam Centurion arrived with your letter of the 9th of October, and duplicate of those of the . All of them will be answered shortly.—Monzon, 30 November 1537.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 10.


  • n1. Probably one of the magnificent suits of armour still preserved in the Royal Armoury (Armeria Real) of Madrid.
  • n2. See above, No. 163, pp. 373-8.
  • n3. Claude Dodieu.