Spain: February 1538

Pages 426-445

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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February 1538, 1-28

3 Feb. 180. The Same to the Same.
S. E. Roma,
L. 867, f. 6.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 71.
On the 26th ult. (fn. n1) We wrote to you by way of Our ambassador in Genoa (Lope Suarez de Figueroa) giving you a full account of the peace negociations, as well as of the truce concluded between Us and the king of France. Enclosed is a duplicate of that letter.
Since then yours of the 11th January, brought by the Nuncio's courier, has come to hand. We are glad to hear of His Holiness' kind disposition and goodwill in the matter of the league against the Turk, as well as of his satisfaction at hearing you declare in Our name that We should see with pleasure our daughter (Margaret), the dowager duchess of Florence, married to his grandson Octavio Farnese.
The enclosed narrative (relacion) of what passed with cardinal Jacobacis, the Pope's legate, will inform you of the progress—very small indeed —that the peace negociations are making.
With regard to the League, We are glad to hear that the contract and deeds are being drawn out; it is to be presumed that by this time everything is complete, and the deeds ready for the signature of the parties. Should it not be so, let the greatest activity be displayed in this, as well as in all matters concerning that affair, for it is very important. At any rate, you may assure His Holiness and the Signory that on Our part nothing shall be omitted to render it successful. The Venetian ambassadors residing at this Our court have lately urged upon Us the necessity of providing immediately for the defence of their territory attacked by Barbarossa. Their argument is that as the season is far advanced, and there is no sign of Our fleet being ordered out to sea, they fear that, notwithstanding Our best wishes and those of His Holiness, they (the Venetians) will be the sufferers in the end. They therefore propose that Andrea Doria go at once to Messina, collect there the galleys of Naples and Sicily, as well as those of the Pope and Signory, and sail with them in search of that corsair. Our answer has been that We are ready to do anything that is wanted in that respect, but as Our most ardent wish has always been— and is still—to secure peace, whatever sacrifices We may have to make for it, it happens that at this moment Our Privy Council is of opinion that Doria ought not to be sent to Sicily. The reason is obvious; one of the principal objects of .the peace is to secure the help of king Francis against the Turk and his joining the League, for, unless peace be concluded between Us and him, it is quite evident that the confederates will be unable to assemble the forces required for such an undertaking; besides which, having, as We have, proposed by means of the legate here that should king Francis consent to meet the Pope in Italy, We Ourselves would go thither and hold an interview with him wherever he pleased, We are naturally expecting a speedy answer to that proposal. Should the king of France reply in the affirmative, We shall want Doria's galleys in this place (Barcelona) to escort Us to Genoa; if in the negative, then Our entire fleet will be at the disposal of the League.
With regard to the Council, after praising His Holiness' good will and rightful intentions in this particular, We failed not to represent to the Legate the imminent danger and fear in which German Catholics were of the Lutherans, who, numerous as they are, and helping each other energetically, had lately become so strong that there was some probability of a general rising against them both in Germany and in England. His Holiness must already be in possession of this intelligence through the letters of the king of the Romans, Our brother, and We need not repeat here what We have said on several occasions before; "We look upon the meeting of the Council as the only sure means of stopping heresy, and, therefore, We shall give it all Our care and attention." If necessary, We will attend the Council personally, whatever be the fatigue of the journey; but His Holiness must consider that very lately, when Our commissioners for the peace addressed those of Francis [at Salses], exhorting their most Christian King to further, as he was bound to do, the meeting of the Council, they resolutely answered that the King, their master, would not mix himself up with such matters. It is, therefore, to be feared that not only will king Francis not work in favor of the Council, but will impede and prevent it in every possible way, and that peace with him, though concluded, will never be solid and lasting, much less perpetual, for there would always be the danger of his breaking it.
The Legate's answer was that His Holiness would procure that king Francis should attend the Council, or, at least, not work against it. Should he oppose it, he will be proceeded against.
There was still another consideration. Unless those Catholics, who keep to their faith, as they ought and are in duty bound to do, have some sort of guarantee, they will not dare leave their homes, appear in public, or go to the Council, for the Lutherans, We hear, have already agreed to assemble in some town or other of Germany and hold a Council of their own, and perhaps also take up arms and proceed against the Catholics before the latter can make preparations for defence.
For the remedy of this evil an agreement is about to be entered into with such among the electors and other princes of Germany, who are constant to their faith; they are to make a league for their own protection. You shall be informed of its results, &c. The object is to raise by contribution a sufficient sum for the protection and escort of those who will attend the Council. Should this not be done, it is to be feared that most Catholics will become Lutherans. A, provision like that made by His Holiness, when he sent cardinal Pole to England, would be insufficient in this case; it must be founded not on conjecture but on facts, as you will be informed by the ministers of Our brother.
With regard to the proposed marriage, one of these days We shall give audience to the Papal Nuncio, who had promised to bring Us in writing a memorandum of His Holiness' wishes in that respect.—Barcelona, 3 Feb. 1538.
Indorsed: "His Majesty to the marquis de Aguilar, by a courier of the Venetian ambassador, who went to Genoa through France.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 12.
3 Feb. 181. The Emperor to Lope de Soria.
S. E., L. 1314,
f. 198.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 77.
By a courier whom the Venetian ambassador dispatched to that Signory on the 26th ult., We wrote to you the letter of which the enclosed is a duplicate.
All your despatches of the 26th October, 14th and 25th of November, 8th, 19th, and 20th of December, and 6th January have come to hand. Our journey [to Valladolid] to see the Empress has been the cause of Our not answering sooner; but as you must have been sufficiently informed by the High Commander, as well as by Mr. de Granvelle, of the progress of the negociation, and, besides that, must have received a summary account of Our conference with the Legate, which was purposely drawn up for you and others, there is no need of dwelling any more on the subject.
The league, &c. as in No.
England. The Venetian ambassadors relate, &c.
Besides the above, We must tell you that having in the course of conversation with the Venetian ambassadors alluded to Barbarossa, the corsair, and said that negociations were on foot to make him quit the service of the Grand Turk, and that if anything was done in that line it would be with His Holiness' participation and intervention, as well as that of the Signory, they naturally asked Us when and where that negociation had commenced. Our answer was after the prince of Melphi (Andrea Doria) was at Corphu, about a year ago, when Barbarossa sent a confidential man of his to the Prince and made certain overtures through him. This much have We said to the ambassadors of the Signory in general terms and without entering into particulars, with that sincerity and trustfulness which We use in all Our transactions; and as it is to be supposed that the ambassadors will not fail to write home on the subject, We let you know what has occurred, not in order that you yourself should broach the subject to the Doge and Council, but that you may know what to answer if interrogated by them. We do not give you more details because We have, as yet, no news in confirmation of the report; nor is Barbarossa a man to be trusted. Should this affair have any result you shall be promptly advised.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 5½.
9 Feb. 182. The Ambassadors (fn. n2) in England to the Emperor.
S. E., L. 806, f. 59.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 80.
On the 1st inst. the letters of the High Commander of Leon (Covos) and of Mr. de Grandvelle, dated the 19th ult., and containing a summary of what has passed in the conferences for the peace, came duly to hand. We were therein ordered not to mention the facts, or in any wise allude to the conferences, unless we considered it necessary to contradict the assertion made by the French to the bishop of Vinchestre (Winchester), English ambassador in France, (fn. n3) namely, that they (the French) had refused to comply with all and every one of Your Majesty's demands, offers, or proposals, and other inducements for them to consent to the meeting of the General Council.
On the very day that Your Majesty's letter was received a courier came to the French embassy, and the ambassador went to the Royal Palace, and had audience. After his leaving, the King was deliberating with the Privy Council nearly the whole of the day, and in the evening lord Cremuel (Cromwell) sent us word that the news brought by the French courier was that no resolution had yet been taken at the conferences, but that the truce had been prorogued till the 1st of June.
This king also sent us word that he was beginning to understand clearly what we had so often assured and affirmed respecting the good and sincere good-will and perfect friendship which Your Majesty had always borne him, and that all your acts towards him had been stamped with the seal of frankness, sincerity, and true affection, not with that of dissimulation, compulsion, or other artifice.
This much the King had been able to gather from the very amiable words Your Majesty had addressed to Mr. Dudley, and lately to his ambassador, (fn. n4) telling them that should peace be made between Your Majesty and the king of France, certainly he (Henry) would be named and included in the treaty, not only as ally, relative, friend, and confederate, but as principal contractant; and that should the General Council meet, you would do all you could to prevent that there, or anywhere else, anything injurious to his honor, reputation, or just rights, should be discussed. Owing to that (said the message) the King had lost all jealousy of Your Majesty, and was very willing to treat of the marriage of his daughter (Mary) with the infante of Portugal, Dom Luiz, without insisting any longer on the two conditions he had stipulated at first, namely, that relating to the Pope, and the meeting of the General Council. In order to render that friendship firmer and closer, as well as more lasting and indissoluble, he wished that at the same time as his daughter's marriage to the Infante, his own with the widow duchess of Milan (Margaret) should be arranged. This seemed to him, considering his age and personal condition, a more suitable match than that of the infanta of Portugal (fn. n5) which had been offered to him.
The King begged us to write to Your Majesty as quickly as possible in this sense, and request that Her most Serene Highness, the queen regent of Flanders, should accompany the duchess [of Florence] to Calais, where the King was holding his court at the time, and where the two aforesaid marriages, or at least that of the infante of Portugal, Dom Luiz, with the princess of England, could be concluded.
Besides this, the King begged us to intercede with Your Majesty for the postponement of the meeting of the Council for some time to come, that he might in the interval treat of the said marriages, and also have leisure to think how he is to act with regard to the said Council; the King's messenger adding that if the delay he asked for was granted, he would contribute largely, with men or money, towards the Turkish war.
On the following day we went to call on lord Cromwell, who not only confirmed every word the King's messenger had said, but added that the King, his master, had actually written to Your Majesty respecting his own marriage to the dowager duchess of Milan. He had, however, heard since that Messieurs de Nassau and de Praët had gone to Cleves to arrange a match for the said Duchess, and therefore he begged us to write to the queen regent of Flanders not to take any resolution in that matter before he himself had received an answer from Your Majesty, which he was expecting daily.
Cromwell told us likewise that the King's ambassador residing with Your Majesty had full powers to treat of closer friendship between you and him, as well as to negociate the marriage of the Princess, his daughter, with the infante Dom Luiz, and his own with the dowager duchess of Florence, (fn. n6) but that having since heard of her marriage in another quarter, he had written to him to desist. That the King had also instructed his said ambassador to ask Your Majesty to procure that the Council should meet at some city convenient for all parties, such as Cambray, or the like of that, and if so, that he (the King) would attend in person. In reference to this last point, Cromwell said that Your Majesty had promised to give a favorable answer as soon as the High Commander and Mr. de Granvelle had returned from their mission, and that the King, his master, was anxiously waiting for it.
With regard to the report cunningly circulated by the French of their having refused all manner of offers from Your Majesty in order not to derogate from their treaties with England, and be obliged in the end to consent to the Council, lord Cromwell said that his master, the King, placed more confidence in Your Majesty's words than in those of the French. He knew that Your Majesty had assured his ambassador (Wyatt) that for half the offer, which the French pretended Your Majesty had made them, and even for less than that, king Francis would willingly have consented to the meeting of the Council, and worked for the injury and ruin of any prince whomsoever. This (Cromwell said) was the King's impression, so much so that, when the French ambassador endeavoured to persuade him to the contrary, he assumed an incredulous countenance, and deliberately addressed him in these or similar words: "How dare you propagate such extravagant and improbable things about the Emperor? He could not say them even if he were a prisoner or under restraint, much less being, as he is now, free from responsibility of any sort. What likelihood is there of the Emperor having made such offers? King Francis ought never to have rejected on my account the honorable, nay highly advantageous, terms offered, because after all I am not such a bad friend of king Francis as not to have immediately released him from his promises respecting the Council, if the offers made to him were so important as he says."
The French ambassador, notwithstanding, had positively assured this king that, although an interview at Narbonne was actually being negociated, his master was quite ready to conclude a still closer alliance with England, namely, one defensive and offensive against all enemies without excepting even His Holiness or any other prince or power. To which proposal the King had answered that there were already several treaties between them; there was no need of renewing them, but only keeping them to the letter, and now was the time to conclude a solid and durable peace on such grounds.
The same ambassador informed this king that Your Majesty was determined to go to Italy for no other purpose, as he said, than to urge the meeting of the Council, and that there was nothing in this World of which the king of England ought to be so afraid as of the said Council, inasmuch as matters highly important for him and for his kingdom would be discussed thereat. "Should you (added the ambassador) agree to make a closer alliance and confederacy with the King, my master, the Emperor's designs will be defeated."
If lord Cromwell is to be believed, this king was so annoyed by these imputations of the French ambassador, and became so angry, that he said to him: "I am not a man to make a good bargain with. I am already advanced in years, and have discretion and experience enough to know every man's weak side. (fn. n7) The Emperor's journey to Italy has nothing to do with me. Besides, I am not afraid of the Council, because, if it meets, it cannot be œcumenical or general. If the King, your master, by means of such inventions is trying to get quit of the sum he owes me, and which amounts now to upwards of 800,000 crs., he is very much mistaken, for I intend to be paid in a very short time, and have already despatched some one to ask for payment. If, however, the King, your master, dislikes the Emperor's journey to Italy, and wishes me to interfere in any way, let him speak plainly."
Thus, we are told, the King spoke to the French ambassador, saying to him many harsh words besides, so much so that the latter left the Royal, Palace suddenly and returned home crestfallen and beaten. (fn. n8)
Though the English assert that there has really been a treaty made between the two kings to oppose the convocation and meeting of the Council, that is improbable, and we do not believe it, because we heard from lord Cromwell the other day, that what the bishop of Winchester (Gardyner) begged of king Francis, at Montpellier, was the promise that nothing should be treated of at the Council to this king's injury. Indeed, our impression is that the French wish to make their profit of such a promise, just as the people once attempted to do with the French, when these latter maintained that Your Majesty had promised them such and such things if the Council met without opposition, though it is now an ascertained fact that king Francis entirely refused to give the pledge on the plea that Your Majesty had expressly treated with His Holiness to that effect to king Henry's injury, and that the proofs thereof might be exhibited; and they say that upon the Bishop asking to see the draft of the treaty, the King told him that it was kept in Paris, and that he could not then show it to him.
In addition to this Cromwell told us that the bishop of Winchester having written to king Henry respecting the Princess' marriage in France, the latter had taken it in bad part owing to the Bishop being his confessor, and knowing very well besides that another marriage was then in contemplation.
As lord Cromwell did not enter into more particulars respecting the said marriages, we, the Imperial ambassadors, refrained from interrupting him in his speech to inquire into certain matters connected with that affair, for fear of arousingsuspicion and giving these people excuse and occasion to look out for new practices and negotiations with the French. For this reason we abstained from talking on the subject, affecting to ignore what had passed at the conferences, and limiting ourselves to confirming lord Cromwell's asseverations of Your Majesty's good will, and the answer made to their ambassador in Spain, they on their side offering to do their best.
As both the High Commander and Mr. de Grandvelle had written to us to temporise with regard to the Princess' marriage until the pleasure and will of the King and Infante of Portugal should be better known, we were determined not to mention the subject in our conversations with the King and with lord Cromwell; but perceiving that there was no fear of our being taken at our word; observing that the King himself consented to treat of the two marriages conjointly, and being besides afraid of being hereafter accused of negligence and carelessness, we again introduced the subject, hinting that the Princess' marriage to the Infante of Portugal was the surest path to all other matters. Cromwell's answer, after medidating a while, was that everything would turn out well, after saying which he went away.
The very same evening lord Cromwell sent us word that he had reported the whole to the King, who was very grateful for the offers we had made, and that he particularly requested us to write home and persuade Your Majesty to make every effort to delay the meeting of the Council. That, he said, did not appear difficult, inasmuch as peace had not yet been made. Lord Cromwell did not doubt in the least that the Princess' marriage with the Infante (Dom Luiz) would in the end be accomplished. But we confess that it is not quite clear to us what Cromwell's meaning on the occasion was, whether he meant the Princess' marriage only, or the King's with the Infanta of Portugal or with the Dowager of Milan. (fn. n9) —London, 9 February 1538.
Indorsed: "Summary of letters from the ambassadors in England."
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 3.
12 Feb. 183. The Emperor to the Marquis de Aguilar.
S. E. Roma, L. 807,
f. 11.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
Three days after Our having despatched Don Luis de Zuñiga to you with the instructions and letters of which he is the bearer, yours of the 24th ult. came to hand, broughtby the Nuncio's courier. After that both the Papal Legate and the Nuncio came to Us, and said they had heard from the Papal Legate in France that king Francis had made no objection to Our proposal, and had agreed to go to Italy and hold a conference there with His Holiness, provided We ourselves went thither. The Legate had not yet reached Molins (Moulins), where king Francis was, for the purpose of ascertaining from him where and in what Italian city the said meeting and interview (acercamiento y abocamiento) was to take place; but said that as soon as the inquiry was made, and the time and place of the interview fixed, We should hear from him.
We told the Legate and the Nuncio that they both ought to take care and be on their guard lest king Francis' intention was only to gain time, and make the confederates lose it in their military preparations against the Turk. Letters lately received from France, as well as the testimony of certain gentlemen coming to Us from Savoy, on a mission from the duke Carlo, all of whom state that the King had planned a hunting party beyond Moulins, show that instead of approaching Italy, he was then getting farther off. All this led to the belief that king Francis was not sincere in the matter, but on the contrary wished Us and the rest of the confederates to lose time. This (We said) was to be avoided, and, therefore, the Legate in France ought to be instructed to insist upon the designation of time and place for the interview. As to the time, We thought that the sooner the better; the place most convenient for all parties, and most appropriate, seemed to be Niça (Nizza), because, were Piedmont or Lombardy chosen, king Francis would naturally take thither a large force for his protection, and We ourselves should be obliged to make a similar armament, all of which would require time, and what is worse, would weaken the army which the League destines against the Turk. To Nizza, being as it were within his own kingdom, king Francis might easily go with a comparatively small escort, and We with our galleys might sail thither, without requiring greater armaments. His Holiness might also go thither from Rome, and a few days' interview would be enough to settle all matters in an amicable way. This being done, the expedition against the Turk would be resolved upon, and the forces start from that very city.
The Legate and Nuncio further said that letters from Rome, which they had received, advised the near departure of His Holiness for Lombardy, so as to be there at Candlemas, and that if We deigned to cross the sea to Genoa, We might hold an interview with him (the Pope) whether king Francis attended it or not. Our answer to such a suggestion was that We had already offered to go to Italy for the sake of the peace, for the promotion of the Council, and for the purpose of forwarding the league against the Turk. For any of these mighty objects, or any other likely to promote and ensurethe welfare of Christendom, We were ready again to undertake the journey; but that if We were to go to Italy alone, and meet His Holiness, as he seems to desire, that would give occasion to king Francis to recover himself and gather strength for a future campaign, whilst We, ourselves, should be over-fatigued and exhausted. For this reason We wanted repose, that we might be prepared for any emergency. They replied that, even in the case of king Francis not approaching Italy — which was most improbable—much good might be worked, as Our own relations with His Holiness might thereby become closer and more intimate. So much did the Legate and Nuncio insist upon their proposal that, at last, We promised to write to prince Doria, as We have already done, that in case His Holiness decide to go to Nizza, he is, without further order from Us, to come here with his galleys, that We may cross over and land at any time His Holiness likes to fix.
This is in substance what has passed between Us and the Papal Legate. You may show this letter to His Holiness, and, although We have no doubt that both the former and the Papal Nuncio cannot fail to have written also in conformity with the above, yet We desire you to say to His Holiness expressly that whether king Francis goes to Italy or not, We are ready to cross over, and feel greater inclination to go thither than to remain here. (fn. n10) But to tell you the truth, and under reserve, Our promise to the Legate about Doria and his galleys was caused by His Holiness' desire that We should make a formal declaration on that point, and as We disliked making further excuses, and on the other hand were unwilling to show reluctance, We could not do less than promise as above.
That you may be guided in your conversations with His Holiness, We will tell you what Our real sentiments in this matter are; were any benefit to result for Christendom from Our voyage to Italy, such as the establishment of the peace with France, the meeting of the Council, or the promotion and advancement of the League against the Turk, We should not hesitate for one moment; otherwise We should prefer remaining here, in Spain, to rest and attend to any provision wanted in future.—Barcelona, 12 February 1538.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 6½.
19 Feb. 184. The Same to the Same.
S. E. Roma, L. 867,
f. 14.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 89.
After despatching Don Luys de Çuñiga, and writing to you on the 12th inst., by a courier of the Nuncio, the letter of which the enclosed is a duplicate, We came to this town of Perpignan, leaving behind Us at Barcelona the Court and the members of Our Privy Council. Our object in so doing was merely to inspect these frontiers and then return [toBarcelona]. Here, at Perpignan, We met the gentleman whom Jacobacis, the Legate, had some time ago sent with despatches to cardinal Carpy, (fn. n11) the Papal Legate in France. He was then returning from France, and among other letters of which he was the bearer there was one of that Cardinal for Jacobacis, containing, no doubt, king Francis' answer to Our proposal of an interview in Italy. Though the Legate's gentleman courier said something to Us of the contents of that letter, yet We immediately wrote to the High Commander of Leon and to Mr. de Granvelle, who remained behind at Barcelona, to learn particulars from Jacobacis himself, and let Us know as soon as possible. Then Covos wrote, saying that he and his colleague (Granvelle) had had a long conversation with the Legate and with the Papal Nuncio a propos of the Cardinal's letter, of which they sent Us a copy, that We might instruct you as to what you were to say to His Holiness.
You will observe by the enclosed copy of the Cardinal's letter to the Legate here (Jacobacis) that king Francis, though he tries to dissemble, conceal his thoughts, or colour his arguments, shows very little or no good will at all towards the peace; much less does he wish for His Holiness' intervention in it. This We gather from the casuistical answer he has made to the Legate, attempting to justify himself in general terms, and so content His Holiness for the time, impede altogether the remedy of public evils, and above all prevent the meeting of the Council, as well as any expedition against the Turk for this present year. So much so that, independently of the Legate's letter to which We allude, We have seen another, in which that Legate (Carpy) writes to cardinal Jacobacis that king Francis had positively declared to him that he could not see the possibility of his going to Italy before next July, and, therefore, that the present truce might and ought to be prorogued till September.
No further proof is, in our opinion, wanting of king Francis' unwillingness to accept his Holiness' mediation for the future peace. It is quite clear to Us that all his shiftings are directed to one sole end, namely, that there may be one whole year's delay in the meeting of the General Council und the enterprise against the Turk. His commissioners themselves did no sooner hear of the approach of the legates, who, at His Holiness' express desire, were coming here to assist in the negociations for the peace, than they suddenly quitted the place. King Francis did the same, for, notwithstanding the mandate expressly given to the said legates, and their having from the beginning taken an active part in the negociations, he has purposely gone away to where he is at present, setting down as a condition that before going to His Holiness hemust needs justify himself completely, and that without referring to his past communications on the subject, or proving in anywise that reason is on his side. Nevertheless, as We would not have it said at any time that We have been an obstacle to the conclusion of the peace, We still hold to the same resolution. We will go as far as Nizza. If king Francis wishes to do the same (it must be soon, and in conformity with what We wrote to you on the subject) there is no difficulty at all on Our part, and the interview can take place almost immediately. And since both the Legate and the Nuncio here have lately been inquiring from Our ministers whether We are or are not willing to hold thereat an interview with His Holiness—though king Francis may refuse to attend—We are quite prepared for it. You will say so to His Holiness, and explain to him that if king Francis has a shadow of good will left in him, he can easily go to Provence, and thence to Nizza, where he will not want a large escort, since that city is almost within his kingdom. Should king Francis refuse to do so, it is quite plain to Us that he can no longer find plausible excuses to delay the negociations unless it be, as We imagine, that he wishes to please the king of England, to whom, We hear, he has lately sent the bishop of Tarbes (Antoine de Castelnau), (fn. n12) making him great promises and mighty offers, as well as to the separatists from the Faith in Germany, all this with a view to embarrass and impede the meeting of the Council and the rest of the affairs in hand. Yet, should His Holiness think that in the event of king Francis refusing to go to Nizza, some good might still be worked, We have no objection to go thither and hold a conference with him, provided it lasts only a few days, and We are not detained longer on the hope of the king of France attending it also. The interview might take place in March, at the latest, and should king Francis send some one to the Pope, as he seems inclined to do, to work for his own justification, and accuse Us in his own defence of being an obstacle to peace, We scarcely need refer you to Our previous communications on the subject, or to what Don Luis de Zuñiga will tell you. You will find in them plenty of arguments to defeat those of Our adversary.—Perpiñan, (fn. n13) 19 February 1538.
P.S.—After delivering this into your own hands, Don Luis has orders to go to Andrea Doria in Genoa, and inform him of the whole.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 9.
20 Feb.
S. E., L. 806,
f. 62.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 94.
185. D. Diego Hurtado de Mendoça to the High Commander.
Your Signory's letter of the 12th inst. came duly to hand. With respect to political affairs here m England, your Signory will see by my despatches to the Emperor how matters stand just now. The appointment of Don Francisco for the Goleta seems to be excellent and as made by you. May God give him good luck! for I can assure your Signory that he goes to a place where he can gain both honor and profit; before the taking of that fort I had reason to think so. (fn. n14)
I am in good health, and yet, though there has been no cold weather this winter, I am as frozen and dead with it as if I had been living in Russia. On the other hand, the sanitary conditions of this place have not improved, and therefore, as a man tutored by experience, at each stroke of the bell, I take your Signory's advice and fly fifteen miles hence. (fn. n15) Should there be an opportunity to favor us, I beg and entreat your Signory to think of my colleague and of me; of him because he has already done good service, and of myself that I may have wherewith to serve in future, for I can assure you that since I suffered from glandular tumor (landres) my avarice has increased two-fold, and, seeing that I was on the point of dying poor, I could not bear the idea of it. (fn. n16)
I have had letters from Don Antonio at Mexico, dated the 19th of July 1537. He is in good health, and writes at length concerning His Majesty's affairs in that country. In my opinion he is right in all he says; his advice is excellent and, if followed, might do much good. The marquis de Aguilar will also report to your Signory, and state his own opinion on the subject, as far as that can be done by proxy. On all other points relating to the Treasury, and the Imperial finances in New Spain, the revenue, &c., I myself will state my verbal opinion when I go there [to Spain], or else will write it down in cipher and send it on, as soon as I know that the enclosed deciphering key has reached your Signory's hands. The cipher is the same that Señor Don Francisco (fn. n17) gave me at my departure, and therefore I have made use of it for the following paragraph on a separate sheet.
Of many other things does Don Antonio write to me, and above all of the marquis del Valle, (fn. n18) who, he says, is so jealous that both he and It is wife keep a register of the letters theywrite to each other, and that he (the Marquis) has his wife shut up in a house with only one hall and one chamber or bed room, the key of which he always carries in his pouch. (fn. n19)
To my Lady, your Signory's wife, I kiss her hands, as well as those of Señor Don Diego, and Señora Doña Maria, to whom I have sent from hence one small jar (jarrilla) by way of Juan Martinez.
The hack (jace) saved from the French I myself send to your Signory with two salt-cellars (saleros), which seem to me very handsome. These are not included in the accounts (fuera de cuenta) because I myself paid no money for them; I won them in your Signory's name, betting that this present truce would be prorogued, as it has actually been. (fn. n20)
This king has invited my colleague and myself to a banquet at Antoncurt (Hampton Court), to see the Prince, his son (Edward). I wish I could pass these festivities with the Grand Mos. of Saragossa (fn. n21) as frequently as I do here, but I must confess that, although this is pretty good living for one who is somewhat used to it, I would much prefer being at Barcelona.
Another paragraph of Don Antonio's letter reads as follows: "And that His Majesty may believe that neither those who in Spain talk about Mexico, nor the merchants even who trade with this country know anything about it, I must tell you, that should the Emperor grant to a person I will name the privilege of importing and selling wine in the provinces of this New Spain, the contractor is willing to pay annually the cost of 20 horsemen serving wherever our Emperor pleases. He further engages to keep always abundant stores of that article, and not to sell it dearer than the usual price in the land. Should, however, the privilege be extended to other articles of first necessity, the party engages to defray the expenses of two horse. By this means the rents of the almojarifazgo (fn. n22) and other rights, dues, and rents His Majesty has in these parts, will be insured and their amount increased, especially if black slaves are included inthe privilege. And let it not be supposed in Spain that it is by merchants that a country is peopled, because I can assure you that at the present moment of dealers and pedlars together there are not one hundred in New Spain, and these are such that I tell you candidly, I should prefer in case of need having with me 30 esquires to 200 of the others.
Should His Majesty take into his own hands the commerce of this country, pass it over to a fit person, or else forbid people from trading unless each merchant or trader undertook to defray the expense of an armed esquire, be sure that His Majesty would then have here as good and efficient a force to garrison the fortified placestaking into account their distance from Spain and other circumstancesas he would no doubt to defend his European provinces or even kingdoms, from an enemy, and that without any expense whatever. Nor would commerce be at all affected by that, because, though any innovation in matters of trade is sure to cause at first some disturbance, my opinion is that by the articles of wine and black slaves only, 30 mounted men might be maintained, and thatthose who took the contract would besides make considerable profit, even if wine did not sell dearer than at its present price, or each slave for more than 100 "castellanos" each. Should Covos be willing to favor a contract of this kind, I know for certain that he will get more profit from it than he did in the pastel affair. That is why you and I, his friends, are bound to let him know of anything likely to bring him honor and profit. Write at once to him and let him believe me; if the thing is left to me, I undertake to increase the Emperors revenue in this country, and as to himself, I will fill his house with gold. I speak so confidently on the matter because I know perfectly well my way to it, and will apply all my attention to this business; but I know also that we, poor people, never say a thing that is believed, though it may be excellent.
It seems to me that, though there may be, as Don Antonio says, the danger of not being believed, it is still proper and fit to take notice of it, and, therefore, I have written to him to tell us the name, condition, and quality of the person or persons likely to take the contract, as well as the particulars of the affair, because the house is large, and it seems to me that it is high time to begin filling it.
Don Antonio also writes that he has news from the coast of Panama of a pearl fishery Lately discovered in those parts, and begs me to let your Signory know of it, because, though the news is not precisely authentic and official it would not be amiss to send him a schedule or warrant in your Signory's name, and he will take the necessary steps though the fishery in question, as I say, does not fall under his government.
Nor are these the only profitable results for the Imperial treasury in New Spain which Don Antonio's letter to me points out. Lower down, in the same letter, he says:
"I have just heard Fray Antonio de Ciuda-Rodrigo, the Provincial of the Franciscans, say that if they only let him and his friars act, he will take the engagement that within two years' time he will make the Indians take bulls to the amount of 300,000 crs. every year, without His Majesty having to expend 10,000 in that service, because just at this moment (says he) the Indians are most tender in matters of Faith, whereas if the present opportunity is allowed to pass, he could not anticipate the same result. As the Provincial of the Franciscans is very intelligent, wise, and well versed in Indian matters, I have no doubt that should this affair be left entirely to him and to his friars, it cannot fail to succeed. I have written to Spain for black slaves because I consider them indispensable for the cultivation of the land and the increase of the Royal revenue.
"Do report to Court on this because it is important."
Many other things does Don Antonio mention in his letter to me, which are more interesting even than the negro-slaves he asks for. Of these we shall talk when I next see your Signory, as well as of the property (hacienda) which your Signory has in those parts, besides some other private business of Don Antonio. (fn. n23) Of the most illustrious Señora, your wife, it is long since I have received such a full and detailed account as the one you give me.—Londres, 28 February 1538.
Signed: "Don Diego de Mendoza."
Addressed: "To the most illustrious lord, the High Commander, Adelantado de Cazorle, lord of Saviote," &c.
Spanish. Partly in cipher. pp. 6.
25 Feb. 186. The Marquis de Aguilar to the Emperor.
S. E. Romo, L. 867,
f. 93-4.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 98.
Sent on the 9th inst. Captain Rodrigo Maldonado with the news of the confirmation of the League by His Holiness, which had been signed the day before by the Venetian ambassador and himself (Aguilar). On the 15th following the Emperor's letter of the 3rd was received, of the contents of which His Holiness was quickly apprized. In the interval the French, who do not seem much pleased with such holy confederacy, began to spread all manner of false rumors, such as that the Emperor had already quitted Catalonia to go back to Castille, and, therefore, had given up all idea of coming to Italy. At first His Holiness, who knows the bad passions of the French in all that concerns the Empire and Spain, attached no credit to the news, but said he should be extremely sorry had such a thing happened. Now they openly say,—and have tried to convince His Holiness of it,—that the Emperor has again requested king Francis to send back his commissioners, and returnto Montpellier, owing to His Imperial Majesty wishing to conclude peace anyhow, and on any terms whatsoever. All this the French here have been spreading with a view to make His Holiness believe that the Emperor wishes to make peace without his intervention. They have also spread the report that a, marriage had been arranged between the infante of Portugal (Dom Luiz) and her most Serene Highness, the princess of England; that the duke of Orleans had been invested with the duchy of Milan; and that Don Luis de Avila (fn. n24) had expressly come here (to Rome) to inform His Holiness of it; that another gentleman had been dispatched to England on the same errand. As he (the ambassador) was the other day with His Holiness,—cardinal Triulzo being also present in the room,—a news-letter from France was put into the latter's hand, which he opened and read aloud, and afterwards gave to him (Aguilar) to peruse. These and other similar news are daily invented by the French with a view to persuade His Holiness that the Emperor does not desire his intervention in the matter of this peace, and to sow discord, increasing the displeasure which the Pope already feels at the unsettlement of the Novara affair, by asserting that the Emperor does not wish that matter to be settled, and is delaying it as much as he can. The truth is that His Holiness is really much annoyed at the delay, and has signified his discontent to the duke of Castro, (fn. n25) hinting that as the privilege charter, such as it is, is not forthcoming, notwithstanding that he himself has often written to his Nuncio in Spain that he will be satisfied with it, such as it is, he begins to fear that the marriage question will also fall to the ground.
About this affair the Duke has lately spoken his mind to him (the ambassador), wondering how the Papal Nuncio in Spain could have written on the authority of the High Commander and of Granvelle that some days ago he (the ambassador) had written to say that His Holiness had not yet accepted the lordship of Novara for his son. His answer was that since he (Aguilar) knew of His Holiness' acceptance he had written home; the delay could not be long now, and everything would be settled to His Holiness' satisfaction, &c.
With regard to the proposed alliance, he (the ambassador) read to His Holiness the last letter from His Majesty. He was delighted to hear that His Majesty is ready to please him in that respect. In the ambassador's opinion, though the Pope's intentions are good, as he has shown in this last affair of the League, and in others, he still thinks a good deal too much about his family's aggrandizement, and anything done for their promotion or advancement is sure to secure his affection, at least, for the moment, and as long as he is in expectation of it. The other day, having shown him(Aguilar) letters from his legate at Barcelona, of the 3rd announcing that Don Luis de Avila was coming to Rome, he eagerly inquired: "Do you think he brings the Emperor's resolution about the marriage?"
On Sunday, the 10th inst., the confirmation of the Holy League took place, and after mass, instead of the prayers usually said on such occasions, His Holiness caused the articles of the treaty to be read in church. After that the ambassador (Cifuentes) and he (Aguilar) dined with His Holiness, and at night Rome was illuminated, &c. Spoke to His Holiness respecting the wish expressed by the Venetian ambassador that Doria's fleet should at once sail for Messina, and what the Emperor's answer to them had been. The Pope was of the same opinion; he considered the Emperor's visit of greater importance than the immediate sailing of the galleys; one month, more or less, made no difference, as he himself said to the Venetian ambassador residing here at Rome. Moreover, when he heard of the immense preparations being made in Spain against the Grand Turk and Barbarossa, he (the Pope) could not help showing great satisfaction and content, as did also the Venetian ambassador.
Had again a long conversation with His Holiness respecting the League, and communicated the substance of former despatches in this particular, telling him that the Emperor's wish was that the undertaking should take place within this present year, whether there was peace with France or not, since the truce might be easily prorogued at His Holiness' request, with the intervention of Venice and the good will and consent of the duke of Savoy. For such a purpose (the ambassador added) the Emperor would want two securities; one is that whilst engaged in so glorious an undertaking against the enemies of the Faith, the king of France will not make war by himself, or cause war to be made against any of His Majesty's dominions, or against Italy or Germany, and that in the event of king Francis breaking the truce, and declaring war, His Holiness himself, and the Signory of Venice should help and assist against whomsoever disturbed peace. The other security was that in case king Francis, during the Emperor's absence, invaded any of the latter's dominions, he might,after leaving wherever he chose a sufficient force against the enemy, come back with the rest of his army and fleet against king Francis. His Holiness' answer was that these two conditions were so natural and so just that he had no doubt the Signory would grant them at once.
Has written on the subject to Don Lope de Soria, who says there is no difficulty at all on this point.
The Legate in France wrote on the 10th. Has seen the letter; the Pope showed it to him (Aguilar). The principal points, after praising king Francis' ardent desire for peace, were that king Francis intended to send a personage [to Rome] to justify himself. He has no objection to come as far as Turin, but does not wish to sec the Emperor unlessthere be a probability, if not a surety, of the peace being soon concluded, for by the basis of the last treaty [of Cambray] he could very well guess how little could be gained from the Emperor. (fn. n26) As to coming to Turin with only a small escort, that he could in nowise do in April, if the truce was to conclude in May; and as to bringing with him an army or a sufficient force for his personal security, that he could not do either before the end of July; but nevertheless, if the Emperor agreed to the truce being prorogued till September, then he might engage to be at Turin in April, since if there be a prorogation, he wants no army with him, but only a small escort.
The Legate adds that badly intentioned people had tried to sow discord between His Holiness and the King, but that he trusted that in the end everything would turn out well.
Talking the other day about the prorogation of the truce, His Holiness said that, in his opinion, the Emperor ought to accept it at once, because (he says) the approval of the Emperor, and the king of France with him, could not be anything but profitable to the parties, even if the peace was not concluded. Answered him that the prorogation seemed advantageous for king Francis. His reply was that it might perhaps be further prorogued on account of the operations of the Holy League, &c.
His Holiness is anxiously expecting letters from his Nuncio informing him of the Emperor's decision. His own departure he has fixed for the 11th; everything is ready for that day, and on Captain Maldonado's return he will send a message to the Patriarch of Aquileia, the admiral of his fleet, to fit out his 36 galleys.
Spoke to the Pope under reserve about the Council, and the answer of the French commissioners when the matter was introduced at the conferences; consulted him also respecting the securities required for the Catholics to leave their home and attend the Council, inasmuch as the separatists were threatening not only to attack the faithful, but intended, as it was rumoured, to hold one of their own in some city of Germany. Did not deem it prudent to tell him that measures were being taken to guard against that contingency, and that a body of troops destined for the protection of the Catholics was to be paid by the powers, because under present circumstances, and when His Holiness begins to spend his substance for the wants of the League, he (Aguilar) did not consider it wise to make him contribute, &c. Two days ago the Pope had letters from his Nuncio in Germany advising that the Landgrave of Hesse (Philip) was beginning to stir, and that letters from Vicenza reported that Germans were securing lodgings in that city.
Lope de Soria writes from Venice that, according to letters of the 10th and 12th received from Constantinople, Barbarrossa had died of a fit of apoplexy on the 12th. (fn. n27) His Holiness has been particularly pleased at the news.
Doria says that out of 20,000 men to be enlisted in Germany, one half at least ought to be Swiss, and attend so glorious an expedition as the one in contemplation. Should the peace not be concluded that would be so many men taken from the French.
The viceroy of Naples (Toledo) will write about the article of the treaty prescribing that the exportation of grain for the confederated powers should be allowed; the parties, of course, to pay the usual customs duties, as otherwise Sicily would get no profit thereby.—Rome, 25 February 1538.
P.S.—In the French legate's letter there is a paragraph relating to cardinal Cibo. King Francis has, it appears, no objection to restore him his revenues, provided the Emperor does the same towards those cardinals friendly to France whose property was sequestered. He (Aguilar) said to the Pope that if cardinal Triulzo is alluded to, nothing more just; but if by cardinals of the French party the Florentine are meant, who, when the Turk invaded the kingdom of Naples, furnished money to the "fuorusciti" to invade Tuscany and put Christendom in danger, that could not be allowed.
The courier despatched by the Papal Nuncio in Spain has arrived, and by him the Emperor's letter of the 12th inst. Don Luis de Zuñiga, however, has not yet made his appearance.
Spanish. Original. pp. 19.


  • n1. "A los xxvi. del pasado os escrevimos ultimamente." Pasado is crossed over and presente written instead; but as the letter itself is dated the 3rd of February, 26th inst. cannot possibly be meant. It mast be said, however, that the letter alluded to, if written at all, is not in Bergenroth's collection of transcripts from Simancas.
  • n2. That is Don Diego de Mendoza and his colleague. See above, p. 336.
  • n3. Stephen Gardyner.
  • n4. Sir Thomas Wyat.
  • n5. Mary, the daughter of king Dom Manoel of Portugal and Eleanor, the Emperor's sister, afterwards married to king Francis.
  • n6. Margaret, the widow of Alessandro de' Medici.
  • n7. "Tengo ya edad y discrecion para conocer de quo pié coxquea cada uno."
  • n8. "El mas confuso y maravillndo hombre del mundo."
  • n9. A note in a different hand, probably that of secretary Idiaquez, has the following:—After this, and before the departure of the courier, bearer of this letter, the one which His Majesty wrote hence to Barcelona ordering the prosecution of the negociations for the Princess' marriage to the Infante, as well as those relating to the proposed marriage between the Dowager duchess of Milan and king Henry, must have been received by the ambassadors in England. Don Pedro Mascareñnas, at Lisbon, was informed of the fact, but as this happened after the departure of the courier, Don Pedro knew nothing then, and, therefore, had not yet spoken to the King and Infante about it.
  • n10. O para acercarnos en caso que el Rey de Francia fuesse, y aun cuando esto cesasse, para vernos con su Sd, mas inclinado á passar que á dexar la yda."
  • n11. Pio da Carpi, bishop of Faença.
  • n12. He had formerly been Francis' ambassador in London. Sec part I., pp. 525, 534, 570, 594.
  • n13. According to the "Itinerary of Charles V." published by Bradford, the Emperor was still in the Roussillon in February 1538. He passed through Gerona and Figueras, and, after spending some days at Perpignan and its neighbourhood, returned to Barcelona through Elna, Colibre, and Gerona.
  • n14. "Y esto conoci yo antes que se tomasse la misma Goleta."
  • n15. "La sanidad de este lugar no está nada mejor; yo, como hombre espantado, á cada golpe de campana tomo el consejo de Va Sa y huyo á xv millas.
  • n16. "Y de my porque tenga con que servyr, que despues que tuve las landres estoy con doblada avaricia, y viendo que moria pobre no podia tener paciencia."
  • n17. Covos' christian name was Francisco, but there were at the time several privy councillors so called, such as Don Francisco de Zuñiga y Avellaneda, count of Miranda, who died in October 1536.
  • n18. The marquis del Valle [de Oaxaca], that is, Don Hernando Cortés, at this time living in Mexico. His wife was Doña Juana de Zuñiga y Arellano, daughter of Don Carlos de Arellano, second count of Aguilar.
  • n19. "Otras cosas munchas me escrive y entre ellas que es el marques del Valle (Cortés) tan celoso que tienen él y su muger un libro de quenta de las cartas que se eseriven, y él la tiene encerrada en una casa [en] que no hay sino sala y camara, y trae siempre la llave de la camara donde ella está."
  • n20. "La jaca que se escapó de los franceses ansi mesmo embié á Va Sa con dos saleros que me parccen muy bien. Los saleros van fuera de la cuenta porque los gané apostando en nombre de Va Sa que se concluyria esta tregua."
  • n21. "Yo querria passar estas xiras con el gran Mos. de Çaragoça tanto como aqui, que aunquc esta es buena vida para quien está mostrado (acostumbrado?) á ella yo tuviera por mejor la de Barcelona." Who the Gran Mos. of Saragossa may be, nor what is meant by Gran Mos, unless it is intended for "Gran Monseñor," I am at a loss to determine. If the archbishop of Saragossa be meant, D. Fadrique de Portugal, of whom mention has frequently been made in the pages of this calendar, is the person intended.
  • n22. "Almojarifazgo" means the office of the collector of taxes, or duties on goods imported or exported; also the tax itself; the collecting officer being called in Span, almojarife, i.e. al-mokháref, from kharafa, to collect taxes.
  • n23. Don Antonio de Mendoza, viceroy of New Spain or Mexico.
  • n24. That is D. Luis de Avila y Zuñiga, about whom see above, pp. 433 and 430.
  • n25. Pier Luigi Farnese, who took first the title of duke of Castro.
  • n26. "Porque en el tractado pasado (de Cambray?) le paresce haber visto el fondo de lo que con S. M. se podia concluir."
  • n27. "Cartas de Constantinopla en que se decia con fecha del 10 y del 12 que Barbarroja era muerto de apoplexia."