Spain: November 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: November 1537', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888) pp. 383-391. British History Online [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "Spain: November 1537", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888) 383-391. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024,

. "Spain: November 1537", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888). 383-391. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024,

November 1537, 1-30

7 Nov.
S. Pat. Re. Div. d.
Italia, Cap. con. P.
y P. de Ita. L.,
and 593.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 13.
167. The Emperor's Instructions to Lope Hurtado de Mendoza.
The following are the instructions for you, Don Lope Hurtado de Mendoza, of Our Council, and for Doña Margarita de Rojas, your wife, appointed by Us to reside with, and be in the company of, the most illustrious dowager duchess of Florence, Our daughter.
The above-named duchess, Our daughter, having become a widow by the death of the illustrious duke Alessandro [de' Medici], her husband, it is incumbent upon Us to take care of her honor and welfare, as well as to provide for the good government of her household. Knowing, therefore, the good qualities and parts which distinguish you, Don Lope Hurtado, your attachment for Our service, as well as the zeal and intelligence you have displayed in all and every one of the charges hitherto entrusted to you, We have chosen you and your wife, Doña Margarita de Rojas, to reside with and be in the company of Our said daughter, the dowager duchess of Florence, you, Don Lope Hurtado, as her Lord High Chamberlain (mayordomo mayor), and Doña Margarita, your wife, as principal lady in waiting and Mistress of the Robes, (fn. n1) to the said Duchess, &c.
You shall go to Florence as quickly as you can, and on your arrival in that city shall deliver into the hands of the Duchess—who has already been apprised of your coming—both Our letter to her and your own credentials. This done, you shall immediately proceed to inquire, as secretly as you can, about the condition, character, connexions, and habits of all and every one of the officers and servants of the ducal household, especially the women; ascertain how the Duchess, herself, has been and is served by them, and, in fact, learn whatever else may relate to her personal surroundings, &c.
You may safely confer on these matters with Miçer Bernardo Aviete, who, since the Duke's death, resides at Florence, as We entirely trust in him, and have no doubt he will give proper advice if consulted.
Should count de Cifuentes, who by the last accounts was coming from Genoa to Barcelona, or to some port of the coast of Catalonia, have already landed, you may, before your embarkation for Italy, hold a conference with him, since being, as he is, well informed respecting Roman and Florentine affairs, he cannot fail to be of great use to you.
Respecting the Duchess' residence in future, after consulting Miçer Bernardo, and ascertaining what her wishes are, it is for you to decide, according to circumstances and the state of affairs at the time, whether she is to remain at Florence or go to Nizza; but you will not proceed to change her present domicile without previously informing Us of it, unless, however, the case was so urgent and pressing as not to allow time to wait for an answer. Should Cosmo de' Medici say anything to you, directly or indirectly, about his own marriage to the Duchess, the best thing will be for you to refer him entirely to Us without showing inclination or disinclination in the matter, and you shall take care that neither from the said Cosmo, nor from any other person whatever, do the Duchess, or the ladies of her suite, receive letters or presents.
For the said Cosmo de' Medici, the city and State of Florence, Allessandro Vitello, and cardinal Cibo you have letters also. You will tell them, in Our name, after consulting with Miçer Bernardo, Our resident, whatever you may think proper to disclose respecting Our views.— Monçon, 7 Nov. 1537.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 7.
14 Nov. 168. Don Lope de Soria [to the Emperor].
S., L. 1313, f. 12.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 17.
This Signory have really written to their ambassador at Rome to begin treating of the league between His Holiness and Your Majesty, represented by your ambassador, the marquis de Aguilar; but they have at the same time instructed him not to conclude anything, but go on gaining time until they hear of Your Majesty's answer, and learn on what terms the Turk would like to make a separate peace with them as Ayas Bashaw has written to the "bailo" of the Signory at Constantinople. Indeed, the latter writes that the negotiations with the Bashaw are very brisk just now, in consequence of which the Signory have sent to their "bailo" two letters with the golden seal, that he may, if he thinks it fit and opportune, present one to the Grand Turk (Solyman) and the other to the Bashaw (Ayas). The truth is that this Signory wish to make again a good and lasting peace with the Turk, for they think that is a more advantageous and profitable course for them to pursue. Indeed, this city's nourishment and milk is the sea; all their trade is with the dominions of the Turk; should the Signory's commerce fail through war or any other casualty, they would be destroyed and annihilated. That is why there are not wanting here politicians, who maintain that it is their interest to keep on good terms with king Francis, that he may be the means of setting them at peace with the Turk, that being the reason why instructions have been sent to their ambassador at Rome to begin negociating about the league, knowing very well that the negociations cannot be brought soon to a successful issue, inasmuch as the Pope himself will make difficulties—and they fancy Your Majesty will also—with regard to the contribution allotted to each party, which must necessarily be great owing to the many items required according to these Venetians. Should His Holiness or Your Majesty back out of it, and should the Turk offer them peace, then, in that case they calculate that such a negative course will form a sufficient excuse for them to come to an agreement with the Infidel. Indeed, as far as I can judge by their words and acts, senators and councillors here have a greater desire of making peace with the Turk than of waging war against him.
I presume, therefore, that these people will go on with the negociations at Rome until they see what will be the fresh move of king Francis, whose arrival in Italy they would certainly not like to witness before Your Majesty had formally accepted his offers of peace and promised to him the duchy of Milan, as the Signory will no doubt represent one of these days. The Venetians, moreover, dislike above all things to go to the expense of collecting troops in order to fulfil that which they are bound by treaty to do, which is to defend the duchy of Milan against French aggression. They are now on friendly terms with His Holiness; they agree with him on political matters, and at the same time hold conferences with the French ambassadors, and listen willingly to what they have to say; so Your Majesty may thereby judge what their intentions can be.
I recollect having many a time written home that this Republic will never declare war to the Turk unless they themselves are attacked first. When they made up their minds to join the League, it was chiefly, I may say exclusively, owing to the Turk having laid siege to Corphu, and preparing to attack them by sea and land. They did then join it because they thought they would in that way secure Your Majesty's alliance and help; but the moment they saw the Turk raise the siege of that island, and heard what Ayas Bashaw had said to their "bailo," they showed great joy and desire of peace, as also of the new League, in order to frighten the Grand Turk. Should this latter show signs of peace, there can be no doubt that these Venetians will at once turn round, postpone as much as they can the conclusion of the League, and ultimately make peace with the Infidel. That is why I venture to advise Your Majesty not to rely on them, but do your own work independently and in the most convenient manner, since evidently they are only looking to their own individual profit. We ought, however, to dissemble with them, as I am doing, and make them believe that we all trust in their sincerity, and fancy they are working for the establishment of the League; that your Majesty is now more anxious than ever for it, and that you will contribute towards it with any contingent of troops the Republic and His Holiness may be pleased to name. In this manner they will have no excuse for refusing to join the League; if they do the World will see that they do not want it, and prefer living at peace with the Turk. On the other hand, Your Majesty's good intentions will become manifest, as well as the selfish designs of these people, and their little regard for the welfare of Christendom.
Should they not come to an agreement with the Turk, then they are sure to do their utmost (fn. n2) in begging and entreating Your Majesty to let them join the League, and they will take any engagements demanded of them; yet with all that it is evident that they wish king Francis to have the duchy of Milan in order that Your Majesty's power in Italy,—of which they are terribly afraid,—may thereby be diminished, as well as your forces at Naples counterbalanced by those of France at Milan. Could they possibly get rid of you both, that would crown their wishes.
Such is my opinion of the Venetians, and I calculate that Your Majesty is also of my opinion. If so, no time should be lost in preparing for the emergency. The fleet and the army must be got ready against the Turk and his allies, whoever they may be; for according to information received by this Republic, the Turk is sure to come down next spring against Christendom in general, and Your Majesty in particular. In the meantime one of the captain-galleys of the Republic has been disarmed and the men paid off; the others they keep armed and ready for sea until they hear whether the Turk will or will not come to terms with them. The ambassador they are now sending to Your Majesty is an honorable and noble person professing attachment to your service.
The following, I hear, are the articles proposed to His Holiness for the formation of the League against the Turk: "A fleet of 200 galleys and 200 minor vessels (naves) to be fitted out conjointly by His Holiness, the Emperor, and Venice, each of these three powers furnishing one-third of the whole naval force. An army of 50,000 men, and 4,000 light cavalry to be enlisted, namely 15,000 Spaniards, 15,000 Italians, and 24,000 Germans. The artillery, ammunition, war-stores, and provisions, &c. required for such an armament to be got ready by thirds after duly appointing the places and ports whereat the respective fleets and armies are to meet, and the provisions to be stored. The king of the Romans (Ferdinand), together with the free towns of Germany, to join also the League, and to levy besides a force of 25,000 men to be supported at the expense of Germany without the men having any claim on the League, nor the League on them.
Last night letters came from the ambassador of this Republic in Rome, and I hear that he writes to say that upon calculation of the expense to be borne by the contracting parties, it has been found that each will have to pay 160,000 ducats monthly. Thereupon the Pope said that on no account would he pay such a large sum; he ought not to contribute as much as Your Majesty and the Venetians; his patrimony was small, &c. The marquis de Aguilar observed that Your Majesty had many other expenses to encounter in maintaining armies against infidels and others, and that it would be unfair on that account to charge you so much. These objections and others raised at the meeting are here interpreted by a desire on the part of His Holiness and of Your Majesty to throw all the weight of the war on this Republic, owing to which they will try harder than ever to make their peace with the Turk and forsake the League, and as they desire it so much, any excuse, however trifling, will be enough for them.
The day before yesterday, I am told, there was "pregade," and it was resolved to suspend the sending of the letters with golden seals appended, of which I spoke at the beginning of this letter, one for the Grand Turk, the other for Ayas Bashaw until an answer came from Your Majesty.
King Francis has asked the duke of Ferrara (Hercole II.) for a loan of 100,000 ducats, and His Holiness has agreed to have the same discounted from the 160,000 which the Duke has engaged himself to pay for the confirmation of the sentence once pronounced by Your Majesty, as well as the promotion to the cardinalate of his brother (Ippolito d'Este), now residing at the Court of France.—Venice, 14 Nov. 1537. (fn. n3)
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Spanish. Original. pp. 6.
18 Nov. 169. Eustace Chapuys to the Emperor.
S. E., Port. 371,
f. 199.
[Abstract of letters from the ambassador in England giving account of the rising of the people in rebellion from the 5th to the 18th of November 1537.]
Has heard from a gentleman, one of the principal officers in the Royal army, that the duke of Norphoc (Norfolk), Talebot (Talbot) and the Marquis and count Rotellan (earl of Rutland), and other captains, have gone to hold a parley with the people of the North, who have risen in arms against the King. The said gentleman says that never did the aforesaid captains act so prudently as on this occasion, for had they not done so there is no knowing what might have happened, and king Henry's life and crown would have been placed in jeopardy.
All the nobility of the county of Diorcque (York), numbering 40,000 fighting men, including 10,000 horsemen are in open rebellion against the King, keep good order and military discipline, and have taken for banner a Crucifix. In the rebels' army are the archbishop of York, and Monsieur de Arci, whom the King incriminates more than any other nobleman, saying that he is one of the principal causes of the rising.
Neither the duke of Norfolk nor his colleagues in command wish for a fight. All and everyone of them are good Christians, showing tacitly enough that the demands of the people of York are founded on right, so that they will most likely give the rebels hope that the King will ultimately grant their petition. The ambassador believes that the Duke has come to Court, not so much for his own justification, as to assist and help the ambassadors of the people of York in their application, one of whom is Master Raphael Endercherche, one of the four gentlemen of the King's chamber; the other is an advocate named Master Vos. They have only been granted a term of 15 days, that is to say, 12 to come to London and go back, and three more for negociating.
The more to bind the King the delegates of the people ask that their demands and petition be authorized by Parliament, and that henceforward that body be held in the old way, all King's officers and pensioners without distinction being excluded from the assembly. That is the way in which the people think they can remedy the Princess, and other affairs, and prevent the King from levying taxes on his subjects except in case of war with France or Scotland. Their instructions to the delegates have been signed by the greater part of the gentlemen of Yorkshire.
What resolution the King is likely to take in this matter it is very difficult to guess; it is, however, much to be feared that his own arrogance and the persuasions of those who surround him, will prevent his acquiescing in the demands of his subjects, particularly as he boasts that the king of France has offered to assist him personally with 40 or 50 thousand fighting men. The people of York, however, are sufficiently numerous to defend themselves, and there is every prospect of their numbers being daily increased if they only had a little money to dispose of. His Holiness ought to see to that. The ambassador hears that he has lately decided to send Master Pole to England, which can easily be done, for Pole is now at Rome.
Among the 15 or 20 articles proposed by the ambassadors of the northern counties there are two really exorbitant; one is, that they wish to know what king Henry has done with the treasure in money which his father left him, as well as the incredibly large sums which since the beginning of his reign he has exacted and received from his own vassals, ecclesiastic as well as laymen. The other demand is that in future no confiscation or sequestration of property take place for crimes of "læsæ majestatis" or any others, but that the goods and property of convicted criminals be reserved for their legitimate heirs. They ask likewise that the property of the late duke of Boquingam (Buckingham), which the King and his ministers at the time took from him, be restored to the legitimate heirs and successors of that nobleman. Yet it is to be believed that should king Henry accede to the remaining 15 or 20 articles, which have not yet been put forward in a formal manner, the delegates of the rebels will not insist upon the two above and other similar demands.
The rest of the nation do sincerly wish that the rebels of the North may persevere in their rising, and march upon London in order that they may also join them, or at least remain firm without listening to the promises the King has made, and is still making, to disarm them and introduce dissension in their ranks.
It is, however, to be feared that the people of York will ultimately allow themselves to be deceived, principally as their leaders have no money to dispose of. Therefore, if the Pope, as it is rumoured, would send Master Pole with a sum of money, however small, some good might be done, and the people would hold together much longer, especially if a band or two of hackbutiers came [from Flanders], that being one of the things which the rebels lack most.
The answer given to the delegates of the people has been: that in nowise will the King consent to innovate change or cancel any of the measures voted by his Parliament, and, therefore, that he refuses to grant the demands made by the people of York, much less reform his Privy Council, which is one of the things the people ask for most loudly. That, the King said, was a matter with which the rebels against his Crown have no business at all. He has, however, letters patent prepared, pardoning all those who have taken part in the rising, with the exception of 10 or 15 of the principal chiefs.
A province bordering upon that of York having since risen in arms, the delegates had not been suffered to depart from London. It was believed that owing to that new outbreak the rebels will most likely obtain better terms, the duke of Norfolk being quite willing to help them in that.
The ambassador (Chapuys) cannot omit a circumstance which shows this king's inconstancy or dissimulation. No more than eight days ago he was heard to say in the presence of several courtiers that he was under great obligation to king Francis, who, notwithstanding he well knew his daughter (Mary) to be a bastard, had applied for her hand for his son, the duke of Orleans. (fn. n4)
The delegates quitted London with no other answer than the aforesaid, with this addition, namely that the King will lose his crown rather than be limited in his action, and bound by his own vassals. He has, it would appear, sent the duke of Norfolk and the Admiral of England to the chiefs of the rising, to try to gain them over and abandon the cause of the people, though it is to be hoped that they will achieve nothing of the sort, but will on the contrary be made prisoners by the rebels. It is conjectured that both the Duke and the Admiral secretly wish for that, and that if they only could be taken prisioners without any affront or stain on their reputation, they would gladly run the risk of it. The King in the meanwhile boastingly declares that should the people of the Northern counties persist in their rebellion, he himself will take the command and go thither, and that for that purpose he has given orders that five or six ships of his should be fitted out.
Since the above was written lord Usei (Ussey) has sent word to Chapuys that the people of York have grown so strong and so numerous that they can successfully cope with the Royal troops. They are more numerous than them by one third; they have abundant provisions, and a tolerably good sum of money. They would, however, feel most grateful for some succour from Flanders or any other part of the Emperor's dominions, and trust that their request will be attended to.
The same nobleman says that they would willingly have supplemented their demands by adding some article relating to the restoration of the Princess to her rights, had they not been afraid of the King doing her some bodily harm in consequence.—London.
Spanish. (fn. n5) Original draft. pp. 6.
19 Nov. 170. The Emperor to Luis Sarmiento [de Mendoza].
S. E., Port, L. 371,
f. 161.
B.M. Add. 28,590,
f. 24.
Your letter of the 12th has come to hand. Glad to hear that the king of Portugal approves entirely of Our readiness to accept the offers of peace, and that he is thankful for Our proffered help in the affair of the East Indies. (fn. n6)
The safe-conduct for the Frenchmen, who are to come to the frontier of Fontarrabia, has been made out. As to pending negociations, you will inform the King that the person who brought the message from king Francis went away, promising that on the 5th inst. at the latest We should hear of his master's resolution. You were not then made acquainted with this fact, because really We could not tell at the time what would come out of it. Since then Mr. de Velly, the same person who came to Us, has arrived. He has spoken to Us at length about the peace, for which he says his master is as anxious as before in view of the welfare of Christendom, and to avoid the evils and losses consequent on war. In short, you will be glad to hear that a truce has at last been made between Us and king Francis, which will allow us both to come to a lasting peace. We have already sent an express to France, and so has the French ambassador, Mr. de Velli, (fn. n7) in order to have the said truce published and promulgated. For that purpose, We ourselves will depart hence (fn. n8) and return to Barcelona, going first post to visit the Empress, Our wife.
You will inform the King of these particulars, and ask him whether, in case of a peace being concluded between Us and king Francis, he wishes some private business of his own to be introduced in it.
A few days ago the king of France sent an army to Piedmont, under his son the Dauphin, (fn. n9) assisted by the Grand Master of France (Montmorency), the object being to relieve Turin and other towns of which they (the French) took possession some time ago. We do not know yet what has been the result; but should the truce be broken, We shall take our measures to assist and help wherever it may be required.
The king of England has lately sent a gentleman of his household to let Us know that the Queen, his wife, has been confined of a male child, of which We dare say you have already had the news there; and although in the instructions about the infante Dom Luiz' projected marriage, it was expressly stated that in the event of the King having a son, the negociations for the Infante's marriage with the Princess were to continue, We still consider it Our duty to inform the King and his brother of what has happened, that they may act accordingly. Whatever be their determination on this point, let Us know of it as soon as possible, that We may apprize Our ambassadors in England, (fn. n10) and let the King's answer come quickly, for Henry's ministers are already complaining of Our procrastination in that affair.—Monçon, 19 November 1537.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 5.


  • n1. Camarera mayor.
  • n2. "Alora (sic) meteran cuero y correas y suplicaran con toda instancia."
  • n3. A note on the indorse of this despatch has the following:—"Another copy was sent to Alvaro Mendes in Portugal for him to show to the King (Dom Joaõ III.), and to the Infante (Dom Luyz).
  • n4. That is Francis' third son, formerly duke of Angoulême, who by the death of the Dauphin, and the promotion of Henri, became duke of Orleans.
  • n5. Most likely a translation from the French, in which language Chapuys' despatches are generally written.
  • n6. "Y holgamos mucho que se satisfaciese de la voluntad que teniamos y tenemos para ayudar á lo de la India."
  • n7. Velly, or rather Veilly, is the name of a place in the Còte d'or (France), of which Francis' ambassador at the court of Charles was then lord or seigneur. His name was Claude Dodieu.
  • n8. The Emperor was still at Monzon, on the frontiers of Aragon and Catalonia, holding Cortes.
  • n9. Francis' eldest son (François de Valois, duc de Bretagne, and dauphin du Viennois), having died on the 10th of August 1536, at the age of 19, his brother Henri, duke of Orleans, became Pauphin, whilst Charles, duke of Augoulême, Francis' third son, inherited the title of duke of Orleans. After the death of his father on the 31st of March 1547, Henri II. became king of France. Charles died on the 9th of September 1545.
  • n10. That is Eustace Chapuys and Don Diego de Mendoza, about whose instructions in common, see p. 165.