Spain: March 1538

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: March 1538', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888) pp. 445-462. British History Online [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "Spain: March 1538", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888) 445-462. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024,

. "Spain: March 1538", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2, 1536-1538, (London, 1888). 445-462. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024,

March 1538, 1-31

9 March. 187. The Same to the Same.
S. E., L. 867,
f. 97.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 108.
Wrote on the last day of February, advising His Holiness' determination to go to Nizza, as announced to his Legate and Nuncio with His Majesty. On the 7th inst. the Emperor's of the 22nd of February on the prorogation of the truce came to hand, and about the same time another from ambassador Figueroa announcing the departure of prince Doria for Barcelona with one galley only. This of course was an unpleasant piece of news for His Holiness, who, on hearing of it, sent for him (Aguilar) and signified his disappointment, hinting that it was entirely the Prince's doing. Did all he could to convince His Holiness that there was no change in the Emperor's plans, and that if the Prince had really sailed for Barcelona with only one galley, it was entirely by the Emperor's commands. Thereupon the Pope seemed to accept the excuse and said that his departure had been fixed for the 15th inst, but that he would wait at Rome until the arrival of the courier who left Barcelona on the 28th ultimo. Another reason for delaying his journey to Nizza was that cardinal Macon and the French [resident] ambassador had written to the King, their master, inquiring whether he would or would not come to Nizza, and he (the Pope) was expecting king Francis' answer, which was due on the 13th or 14th instant.
"Should the King not come (says the Pope) I see no necessity for my going as far as Nizza, first of all because the place is incommodious, and secondly because by doing so, I should prevent the galleys of the Order of St. John, and my own under count de Anguillara, from joining those of Venice, besides which the Emperor might come to Genoa or Pisa, or anywhere he pleased."
All this in his (Aguilar's) opinion is owing entirely to French intrigues, for it is well known here, at Rome, that no sooner did king Francis hear of the ratification of the League, than he sent for the Legate Carpy (Pio da Carpi), spoke to him harshly, and so threatened him that he (the Legate) asked leave to go, which the King granted. Indeed, had it not been for the interference of the cardinal of Lorraine and the Constable of France (Montmorency), the Legate would have quitted the Court. Among the many threats uttered by the King on that occasion was that he would forthwith forsake his obedience to the Holy See. To this must be added that cardinal Macon and the French ambassador told His Holiness distinctly that king Francis had good cause to complain, for the league had been made solely against him, and that if there were no other reasons for his not attending the interview, that was a sufficient one.
His Holiness has sent to the patriarch of Aquileia a sum of 105,000 crs. for fitting out and arming his galleys, which is a sign that he is in earnest.
A few days ago he (Aguilar), hearing that cardinal Macon and the French resident ambassador had had an audience from His Holiness, called and found him more angry, suspicious, and excited than ever. He again attacked the Prince, who, he said, did not wish for the peace, was no friend of his, and would do anything in his power to prevent the proposed interview. You have witnessed my readiness to comply with the Emperor's wishes, and how, notwithstanding my advanced age and my infirmities, I have offered my personal influence in this matter and hold an interview with him from which the blessings of peace and the welfare of Christendom may ensue.
In his (Aguilar's) opinion the most important point is to show to the world who is the cause of the interview not taking place. Now that the French hear that the Prince [of Melfi] is coming back from Barcelona, though they do not expect their King to come to Italy, they are giving out that he intends to come, in order that should Your Majesty not come to Italy they may say that it was your fault, &c.
Hears from the duke of Castro that the other day, at the audience which the cardinal of Macon and the French resident ambassador had of His Holiness, the former said that there was a rumour that a marriage between his grandson Octavio with the daughter of the king of the Romans was under discussion, and that such a marriage he (the King) considered as an alliance against him. This the cardinal said in such a tone, and with such intemperate words, con palabras tan soberbias, that the Pope became exceedingly angry, and, whilst owning that it was perfectly true that there had been some talk of that, said that he could not do less than acknowledge his gratitude to the Emperor for conferring such a favor on his son and family. That king Francis had no reason to resent that; he was not a man to be led by the nose, and that if pushed to the wall he would very soon let him know who pope Paul was.
Though the French now assert that their king will come to Italy, many politicians here believe that he will not. That is the reason why His Holiness, as above said, suggests that the interview might take place at Genoa or somewhere else.—Rome, 9 March 1538.
Signed: "El Marques de Aguilar."
Indorsed: "From the ambassador at Rome: answered at Barcelona on the 24th."
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 9.
12 March. 188. Ambassador Figueroa to the Emperor.
S.E., L. 1372,
f. 2.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 113.
Wrote on the 1st inst. by the prince of Melfi, Andrea Doria, who sailed hence for Barcelona, in a galley, for the purpose of consulting the Emperor about his movements Wrote after that to the High Commander (Cobos) on the 3rd by a courier from Rome, announcing that His Holiness was willing to come to Nizza for the purpose of promoting, as far as was in his power, the peace between His Majesty the Emperor and the most Christian king of France. On that very day His Majesty's letter of the 22nd of February came to hand, and with it the news of the prorogation of the truce for three months more. Hastened to communicate this information to the governors of the Republic, although, before his departure, Doria had heard from the marquis del Gasto that the truce had already been ratified by the French commander Montiggian and himself.
The king of the Romans is now sending an archer of his bodyguard, named Juan Valenciano, with despatches for the Emperor, describing the state of things in Germany.
Lope de Soria writes on the 3rd inst., giving news from the Levant. Enclosed is his letter, by which the Emperor will see that the news of Barbarossa's death has proved untrue.—Genoa, 12 March.
Signed: "Gomez Suarez de Figueroa."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty our sovereign lord."
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
13 March. 189. The Emperor to the Marquis de Aguilar.
S. E. Roma, L. 867,
f. 22.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 114.
On the 6th inst. We answered all your despatches, as well as those lately brought by Captain Maldonado. At the same time We sent you the privilege of Novara, and a duplicate of the note taken by Don Luis de Çuñiga to Rome concerning the marriage of Pier Luigi Fernese with the dowager duchess of Florence, Our daughter. Then came on the 9th instant the Papal courier with letters for his legate here, as well as your own of the 25th and 28th of February, advising the receipt of Ours of the 12th and 18th ultimo.
We are glad to hear that His Holiness approves of Our determination to go to Niça (Nizza) and hold an interview with him. Whether king Francis, from whom no answer has yet been received, does attend or not, We have decided to start as soon as possible, and are only waiting for Doria to come here with his galleys.
What His Holiness told you respecting the castle of Niça, pointing out, with his accustomed modesty and wisdom, the inconveniences and dangers there might be in choosing such a place for Our interview, seems to Us worthy of consideration. Whether king Francis goes to Niça (Nizza) or not, provided His Holiness is within the castle, We have no objection to trust Our royal person into his hands. Should the duke of Savoy (Carlo III.) be asked to deliver the castle of Nizza to His Holiness, We have no doubt that he will do so at our request; for, although at the time of the conferences of Marseilles between Clement VIII. and king Francis, the Duke refused to deliver up the keys of it, the situation at present differs, and there are not the same causes for his refusal. That there may be no difficulty about this, We have already sent orders to Commander Figueroa to go at once to Niça, and beg the Duke [of Savoy] to place the castle at His Holiness' disposal for the time of his residence in that city. It has been thought here that the duke of Castro (fn. n1) might hold it in the duke of Savoy's name with the accustomed oath of fealty, and proper securities. We request you to attend at once, to this, and should the castle, as We confidently expect, be delivered to the duke of Castro, see that proper and sufficient securities be given to the duke of Savoy.
You did well in procuring and obtaining through the Venetian ambassador in that Court the promise that the Signory will send to Nizza people empowered to treat with Us. From the same source I hear that Our proposals respecting the securities for the truce during Our expedition against the Turk have been considered moderate and just, and have been approved.
The Viceroy of Naples and exportation of corn—Let it be granted, but on payment of the usual customs duties.
Breves to proceed against the bishop of Plasencia—Cardinal Cibo and his property in France.
No further news has come of Barbarossa's death, nor do the letters of Our ambassador (fn. n2) in Venice mention the fact. Yet late advices from that capital reproduce the information which you transmitted to Us.
As to the king of England and the state of the negociations now carried on between Us and him, you will know by the enclosed how far they have advanced. You will inform His Holiness of it, and promise, should a further step be gained, that We shall not fail to apprise him thereof.
Respecting the French affair, and the expected arrival of Mr. de Velly with the King's answer, We have nothing to advise; things remain in the same state as before.
(Cipher.) As His Holiness proposes to reside at Nizza, whilst We ourselves are at Villafranca or Monego (Monaco), the king of France may conveniently go to Antibo (Antibes) or some other place in the neighbourhood. Even in the case of Francis not attending the conferences, it would be necessary to have a guard for Our own personal security. We have written to the marquis del Gasto (fn. n2) that, after informing himself of the places and passes that ought to be guarded, he is to let you know what number of men will be required and from what nationality for the keeping of the said passes. When you receive his letter do call on His Holiness and ask his opinion as to the escort which each of us (We and the king of France) are to have for our own individual security.—Barcelona, 13 March 1538.
Spanish. Original draft, partly in cipher. pp. 8.
16 March. 190. The Emperor to the Empress.
S. A. G. Sec. d. G.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 118.
Pope Paul has resolved to leave Rome for Nizza on the 11th inst. I shall, therefore, as soon as Andrea Doria arrives here, leave with the galleys without taking my whole court with me. My stay in Italy will not be long, and yet I send you the customary powers and nomination to govern Spain during my absence.
Mr. de Velly, who came as ambassador from France, arrived on the 3rd. Samano will take to you a circumstantial account of what passed between the king of France's and our own ambassador, and of the present state of the relations between that country and England, as well as a copy of the instructions given to Sceppero for his embassy to France.—Barcelona, 16 March 1538.
Signed: "Yo el Rey."
Countersigned: "Covos."
Addressed: "To the most high and mighty Empress and Queen, my dear and beloved wife."
Indorsed: "To Her Majesty the Empress, from the Emperor."
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
17 March. 191. Instructions to Cornelio Scepper.
P. A. Neg. & Pap.
de Simancas,
K. 1484, No. 16.
ol. B. 3, No. 30.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 119.
Instructions to Messire Cornelio Sceppero, our councillor, for his journey to France, where he is going as Our ambassador.
You shall go with the greatest possible haste to the court of France, and there deliver Our letters to the King with Our most cordial commendations and compliments, in return for those he himself sent Us through Mr. de Velly (fn. n3) some time ago.
As you must have been already acquainted with the causes and motives of Mr. de Vely's embassy, as well as with what he himself declared in virtue of his charge, and the answer that has been given to his various communications, principally to those relating to his master's consent and willingness that the peace between himself and Us be again discussed by commissioners newly appointed; that he and We should expressly for that purpose approach Narbonne or Perpignan; that His Holiness the Pope should be invited to take part in the negociations, and that his (king Francis') overtures should be discussed and prosecuted both here by his ambassadors and by you in France, We scarcely need tell you what the object of your present mission is, and yet We must add a few remarks for your information. In the first place, king Francis, or his ambassador (Mr. de Vely), seemed, in the first instance, desirous that the interview should take place in or about this frontier, having heard from Mr. de Pressin, (fn. n4) who left Us lately, that not only had We verbally expressed such a wish to him, but had actually put it down in writing in the memorandum which Matheo Stur (fn. n5) took to France. So that you must well understand that We still persist in Our determination, namely, to meet king Francis at any town he may name on this frontier, or else to approach Perpignan, whilst he himself approaches Narbonne, so that we may be closer to each other. And you will tell him besides that in so doing in compliance with His Holiness' wishes and advice, We flatter Ourselves that We are showing Our inclination and desire, so often manifested in other ways of contributing to the best of Our power to the peace with France.
Since then His Holiness, with the approval of cardinal Macon, and the ambassador of France, has decided to go to Nizza, and proposed that king Francis and We should meet somewhere in Italy. The idea seemed to Us excellent and by far preferable to the other. Indeed, if We ourselves refrained from putting it forward in the first instance, it was merely owing to the King's commissioners having left abruptly and refused to agree to any sort of interview, and to the conferences having been broken off in consequence.
Should it come à propos, you may also tell the King that his written answer to Our verbal message through Mr. de Pressin, informing him of the Pope's determination that the interview should take place in or about Nizza, appears to Us rather harsh and uncourteous. We will take no notice of it, as We then told Mr. de Vely, for We always thought, and think still, that if the interview take place at Nizza or in its immediate neighbourhood, the king of France can easily go thither with a very small retinue, since that town is closer to his kingdom than any other in Italy. As to Us, We then considered, and consider still, that whatever fatigue We might have to endure, or dangers of the sea to encounter, all would be well employed in so meritorious a work as peace among Christians,
So that the idea of an interview at some place or other between Narbonne or Perpignan first proposed by Mr. de Vely having been abandoned, you are to try your utmost to have instead that of Nizza to which His Holiness has agreed.
[Enumerates the many advantages the interview proposed by the Pope has over the other, and then continues.]
This is why Mr. de Vely has been written to that he may try and push the negociations conjointly with you, so that when his master, the King, happens to acquaint Us with his resolution in this respect, some progress may have been made already towards the settlement of the preliminaries of that peace.
We must say, however, that Mr. de Vely still insists upon knowing beforehand whether We are willing or not to give to the duke of Orleans (Charles) the investiture of Milan on his marriage, with the daughter of Our brother, the king of the Romans, as agreed; if so, within what period of time, &c. We have done all We could to persuade the said French ambassador that it was not right for Us to make such a promise unconditionally, unless the King, his master, had previously or at the same time made some sort of declaration or engagement respecting all or some of the demands made by Our commissioners, to which he (Francis) is bound by former treaties, even if there was no question at all of the duchy of Milan. Notwithstanding all Our arguments, Mr. de Vely still persists in his idea, so that in point of fact We are not more advanced than when the French commissioners rejected entirely the proposal of an interview at the frontier between Narbonne and Perpignan.
Besides which you must know that, taking for granted that the duchy of Milan is of great importance for Us, and, therefore, that We are unwilling to part with it, the said Mr. de Vely did not hesitate to say and declare before Our ministers and councillors that the King, his master, cared little or nothing for that duchy. He (the ambassador) even proposed in one of the conferences to treat of the peace without any reference to Milan, since (said he) there would be ample means of satisfying the duke of Savoy.
You are, therefore, sent to reside in France just in the manner and with the charge that Mr. de Vely has to Us, which is, that of promoting the said peace, as well as the interview with the Pope at Nizza. We should have wished that the said Mr. de Vely had given a more explicit answer to the points proposed by Our commissioners. He has not done so, and therefore your instructions for the present are limited, as above said, to obtaining from the king of France a categorical and decisive answer to Our question: Will he or will he not meet the Pope and Us in or about Nizza? You will tell the King, or his ministers, as you may find it convenient or opportune, that should he, before or pending Our interview with His Holiness the Pope, feel inclined to make any declaration respecting the peace, and should he tell you so, or write to Mr. de Vely on the subject, We shall be glad to hear his overtures in order that time may be gained thereby, and we three (the Pope, king Francis, and Ourselves) may the sooner come to an understanding.
Should the King or his ministers speak to you about the duke of Savoy (Carlo III.), you will say that you have no mandate to treat of him and his affairs. You will state the causes and reasons why the proposed arrangement cannot be taken into consideration, and altogether avoid any discussion on the subject
Should they speak to you of the prorogation of the truce for an indefinite period of time, or during the lives of both of Us with a view to securing the said interview or discussing the public affairs of Christendom at large, you will likewise say that you have no mandate to that effect, and will refer the parties to the next interview; and, generally speaking, should you find that the proposals made rest on a solid base, without approving or disapproving of them, you may say that if a memorandum be addressed to Mr. de Vely, We shall be glad to give it Our earliest consideration.
Should the King or his ministers make you offers of help and service for Our voyage, you will thank them with due courtesy, without, however, estimating the offers at more than their real value, since intending as we do to go to Italy by water they (the French) can neither help nor hinder Us.
You will give Our letters to the Queen, Our sister, and tell her in Our name that in confirmation of what the duke of Arscot must have told her in Our name, We still maintain Our determination to promote peace in every possible way, and in order to convince her of that truth, and let her know that it is no fault of Ours if the negociations are not more advanced, you will show her part or the whole of these instructions, and tell her that Mr. de Vely has brought Us nothing new. Should she have remained at Molins (Moulins), and not accompanied the King, her husband, to [Lyons] (fn. n6) you will do your utmost to ascertain, as dexterously as possible, from the Constable of France [Anne de Montmorency] and others among Francis' ministers, as the opportunity may offer, what may be the reason for her remaining behind, and not coming to the proposed interview ; and if you could, without arousing suspicion and with king Francis' consent, go where she now resides and, under pretence of delivering Our letter, hear from her own lips the reasons she may have for not accompanying her husband in his journey to the South, We should be well pleased to hear what she says.
The cipher you have with you is for the purpose of your corresponding with Us, with the Empress, Our wife, with the king of the Romans, Our brother, the dowager queen of Hungary (Maria), Our viceroys at home and abroad, and Our ambassadors in foreign courts, as the case may be, informing them all of the progress of your negociation and any incidents relating thereto.
Since the above was written the ambassador of France (Mr. de Vely) has asked for an audience, which We granted him at once. After a long preamble reciting part of the above, he said to Us in his master's name that should We, in Our intended visit to Italy, pass through his kingdom, or cross the frontiers of it, he would send his orders for the governors of those provinces to have every regard for Us and Our suite. The ambassador also said that if such was Our intention, his master thought that something might be done by the ministers of both parties to quicken and advance the negociations, discussing those points which seemed most difficult, and thus arriving the sooner at a lasting peace. This rather vague offer We answered in general terms, and then Mr. de Vely took upon himself to say that he had for a long time been thinking that were We to pass close to the island of Eras (Yères), the cardinal of Lorraine (fn. n7) and the Constable of France (Anne de Montmorency) might then and there communicate the King's ideas about the peace, and that ambassador gave Us to understand openly and without circumlocution that the King, his master, rather preferred to have the peace discussed by our mutual commissioners in France or elsewhere than in Italy and with the Pope's intervention, adding that there was a rumour afloat of Our having granted Novara and its territory to Pier Luigi Farnese, and that he himself had written home to announce it.
Our answer to the French ambassador was the same as on other occasions. We considered the Pope incapable of acting or advising unjustly; We trusted in him and were sure that he would do everything in his power to promote peace, &c. If the Cardinal and the Constable of France wished to see Us at Our passage by the island of Eras (Yeres), We should be glad, appreciating, as We do, their personal qualities and virtues, to meet them, even if they brought no mandate whatever from king Francis. If they brought one so much the better; that might considerably facilitate the ways of peace. With regard to Novara Our answer was in conformity with what Our ambassadors have answered by Our command when interrogated on the subject. You must, therefore, when this matter is brought before you, say that We shall be most happy to receive the Cardinal and Constable and hear what they have to say, whenever they come to Us, with or without a mandate from the King, their master; but mind, We do not promise to go out of Our way or stop any time at the island of Eras (Yères) for the purpose. This, however, must be said in such a manner that the French may not believe in and spread the rumour that We are glad of an excuse not to hold an interview with His Holiness. You must, moreover, endeavour to ascertain for what cause king Francis dislikes His Holiness to be the mediator of the peace in contemplation, whether it is because he wants to make himself agreeable to the king of England or to those princes who have swerved from the Faith and deny the authority of the Holy Apostolic See in Church matters, or whether it is for the sake of the Turk, with whom he appears to have made alliance, or again for fear of His Holiness the Pope and Christendom at large, who would then witness his unwillingness to accept honorable means in order to procure peace, and would perhaps provoke a civil war in his kingdom.
Even after getting Our answer to his proposal, king Francis might insist through his ambassador on Our stopping for awhile at the island of Eras (Yères) so that Our commissioners and his could discuss the preliminaries of the peace. Were this done (said the ambassador) the interview might be held wherever we both might agree. Our answer has been the same as above, and, therefore, you will speak in that sense.—Barcelona, 17 March 1538.
Spanish. Contemporary copy, partly in cipher. (fn. n8) pp. 10.
19 March. 192. The Marquis de Aguilar to the Emperor.
S. E., L. 867, f. 97.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 108.
Wrote on the last day of February, advising His Holiness' resolution to go to Nizza. On the 7th the Emperor's letter came to hand, announcing the prorogation of the truce for three months.
By the same courier ambassador Figueroa wrote from Genoa advising the departure of Doria for Barcelona on the 10th, with only one galley, there to take the Emperor's orders.
Having informed His Holiness of the prorogation of the truce, as well as of Doria's departure, he (Aguilar) observed that this last piece of intelligence was not exactly to His Holiness' taste. Told him that Doria's voyage to Barcelona would in no wise impede the Emperor's coming to Italy, since orders had already been dispatched for the rest of the galleys to sail for Barcelona, that the Emperor might embark and come to Italy, no actual delay would take place. No doubt the French are doing all they can to instil diffidence into the mind of His Holiness, and especially of the Venetians, who, remembering what passed at the beginning of the League, and the mistake then committed—a mistake which was not easily repaired, as is well known—have been rather surprised at the news of the Emperor's sudden resolution.
His Holiness had fixed his departure for the 15th inst., but will delay it till the courier dispatched from Barcelona on the 28th ulto. shall go back with his own answer to the Emperor's letter, fancying, no doubt, that both the courier and prince Doria must have reached that city at the same time. Another reason for the delay seems to be that cardinal Maron (sic) and the French ambassador at this court have written to king Francis, their master, inquiring whether he really intends coming to Nizza or not. They say they expect an answer on the 13th or 14th inst. Should king Francis refuse to come, His Holiness thinks there is no necessity for going as far as Nizza, a most inconvenient and uncomfortable place to reside in, thus preventing the galleys of the Order of Malta, those of Venice, and his own under the command of count of Anguillara from joining the Imperial fleet. His Holiness says that, king Francis not agreeing to the proposed interview, or trying to put it off indefinitely, Genoa, Pisa, or any other port on that coast might do as well for it.
What they say here is, that upon king Francis hearing of the ratification of the League, he got into a towering passion, and broke out in threats against the Papal Legate, Carpi, so much so that the latter was obliged to reply in rather angry words, and ask for leave to quit, upon which the King actually said to him: "You may go whenever you like." Indeed, had it not been that cardinal de Lorraine and the Constable (Montmorency) interfered in the quarrel, and calmed them both down, the Legate would certainly have left. As it was, the latter wrote to His Holiness how the thing had passed, and what king Francis had said to him, though in more modest terms, for it is reported that the King actually threatened to withdraw his obedience from the Holy See. They add that upon cardinal Macon and the French [resident] ambassador trying to explain the matter in the King's name, alleging that the League had been designed and made entirely to their master's prejudice, and that, owing to that, he greatly disliked attending the proposed interview, the Pope got into such a passion that both the Cardinal and the ambassador were obliged to ask his pardon and beg for he continuance of his grace, promising to write to king Francis, begging him to answer categorically whether he intended to come or not. An answer is daily expected.
His Holiness has sent 100,000 cr. to the patriarch of Aquileia to fit out the Papal galleys. This is a proof that he is really in earnest, and wishes to co-operate efficiently to the purposes of the League.
Having received intelligence of the interview of cardinal Macon and the French [resident] ambassador with the Pope, and the excuses both had offered for their master's intemperate language to the Legate (Carpi), he (Aguilar) called at the Palace in search of authentic information. Not only did His Holiness confirm the above statement, but added that on those ministers remarking that they had heard of a projected marriage between His Holiness' grandson (Octavio Farnese) and the daughter of the king of the Romans (Ferdinand), and asking whether it was true or not, because if true, it was tantamount to a league against France, he (the Pope) answered the question in a most dignified manner. He (Aguilar) hears from the duke of Castro that the French ambassador's words were so immoderate that His Holiness, unable to bear them any longer, answered in a passion: "It is perfectly true that for many months past there has been a question of that between the Emperor and me. I do not hesitate to say that I feel most grateful for the honor which His Imperial Majesty is willing to bestow on my son (Pier Luigi) and his family. The King, your master, has no reason whatever to be offended at it, much less to try to lead me by the nose, and press me to act according to his wishes; if he persists in doing so, I will let him know who Pope Paul is."
This notwithstanding, the French are still trying, as above stated, to bring the Pope over to their party, by sowing discord and creating suspicion. As a proof they are circulating rumours of all kinds likely to produce mistrust, such as saying that Mr. de Vely had positively asserted that the last prorogation of the truce had been solicited by the Emperor; that it was the intention of the latter to come to Italy, and that when the prince of Melphi sailed for Barcelona, in his own galley, he never left orders at Genoa for the rest of the fleet to get ready—all these being certain proofs that the Emperor does not intend to come at all. Though His Holiness affects not to believe in such false statements, yet he has no trust in Doria, who, he says, is not his friend, and he fears that if he (Doria) can in any way prevent the interview he will attempt it.
Don Luys de Avila has not yet arrived with the answer to His Holiness' despatch, which circumstance naturally increases his fears.—Rome, 9 March 1538.
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
Indorsed: "Relacion de lo que scrive el marques de Aguilar á ix. de Marzo de 1538."
Spanish. Original, partly in cipher. pp. 8½.
23 March. 193. The Marquis de Aguilar to the Emperor.
S. E. Roma, L. 867,
f. 100.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 124.
Wrote on the 18th inst., advising king Francis' readiness to come to Nizza, and His Holiness' determination to start for that town. On the 20th the Nuncio's secretary arrived, and was the bearer of His Majesty's letter of the 9th ulto. to him (Aguilar) as well as the copy of the instructions given to Don Luis de Zuñiga, and another letter of the 6th instant. What with His Holiness' hasty departure [this very morning] and much press of business in consequence, he (Aguilar) has been unable to write sooner.
The truce—
Has, according to orders, informed His Holiness of the letter which Carpi, the legate in France, is said to have written to the Nuncio residing at the Imperial court. In that letter it is dexterously surmised that the Emperor had gone further in the negotiations for the peace than had been preconcerted between him, the Legate, and Nuncio; in fact, that His Majesty had written that he would be glad the whole thing should pass through the hands of the English king. Although the Imperial officers at Rome knew what had passed in the affair, and were aware of the fact, the letter came very à propos for him (Aguilar) to show it to His Holiness, and further convince him of the intrigues of the French, who are trying by all possible means to arouse suspicion and so forth in the minds of friends, &c.
Respecting the matrimonial alliance, he [Aguilar] told His Holiness what the contents of the last letter were. Begged him to show it to the duke of Castro, which was done on the ensuing day, the Duke expressing his gratitude at the immense honor His Majesty, the Emperor, is willing to bestow on him. His Holiness agrees that the whole thing must be kept secret until the marriage deed and settlements are quite ready.
With regard to the duchy of Penna [in Naples], the interested parties hint that in the memorandum which the count de Cifuentes once gave of the property belonging to the dowager Duchess (Margaret), a pension on the duchy of Penna was among the items. There will be no difficulty in redeeming the same for a sum of 15,000 ducats.
Delivered into the hands of His Holiness the deed of privilege of Novara. Was particularly requested by the Duke and by his father, the Pope, to thank the Emperor in their name. Must, however, say that the condition therein imposed of redeeming the rents at 15 per cent., in case Novara should hereafter be annexed to the duchy of Milan, seemed both to the father and to the son rather a hard one. Told them in general terms that the Emperor would always do his best for them in that affair and others.
His Holiness left in Rome as his legate the cardinal of Naples, and sent to Vicencia, for the council, cardinals Campeggio, Simonetta, and Brindisi (cipher), but he (Aguilar) understands from an authentic quarter that the Council will not meet until he (the Pope) has held his interview with the Emperor.
Spoke to him on the vacancy and coadjutorship of the bishopric of Liege; he promised not to do anything in the matter until after the interview.
Crusade. — Bulls for the Military Orders. — Cardinal Guinuciss (Ghinucci) and the bishopric of Malta.
His Holiness started this very morning, Saturday the 23rd, at sunrise. He has taken the straight road to Piacenza, the physicians here having advised him not to go by sea owing to his advanced age and infirmities. From Piacenza he intends going to Saona (Savona), and thence by sea or land to Nizza. He is expected to arrive at that place on the eve of Palm Sunday. He will stay there all Easter unless he receives in the meantime news of the Emperor's departure. He (Aguilar) will leave to-morrow, and precede His Holiness one day's journey.
To-day, the 23rd, the abbot of Laura (Llor) has died almost suddenly. Through his demise the abbacy of Sanct Pedro de Galicante at Gerona, which is worth 150 ducats a year and belongs to the Royal patronate of Aragon, becomes vacant. Begs that it may be given to Conchano, a naturalized Spaniard, who not only served most efficiently in Sylva's time, but is now working as clerk in the Embassy's secretariat. Llor possessed likewise the abbacy of Rosas, but though a consistorial one owing to its having become vacant in Curia, the Emperor's presentation would not (he believes) be attended to.—Rome, 23 March 1538.
Signed: "El marques de Aguilar."
Addressed: To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our lord.
Spanish. Original. pp. 11½.
25 March. 194. The Emperor to the Marquis.
S. E. Roma, L. 867,
f. 24.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 130.
By a courier dispatched by the Papal Nuncio at this court We wrote to you on the 13th inst. Since then, on the 18th or 19th, your despatch of the 9th came to hand, telling Us of the displeasure His Holinesss seems to have had at prince Doria's arrival here (at Barcelona) without leaving orders for the fleet to get ready, which he (the Pope) thought was a sign that Our interview was to be postponed, if not altogether abandoned. Considering His Holiness' unfounded suspicions about prince Doria, whom he believes to be averse to peace at this moment, opposed to our interview, as well as professing no good-will towards himself; considering the mistrust and suspicion which the French are daily instilling into His Holiness' mind, We do not wonder that Pope Paul, influenced as he is by ambassadors and cardinals of the French party, may believe that Doria's arrival at this port of Barcelona with one single galley is indicative of Our intention to delay the interview agreed to.
We dare say that by this time you have already explained Our reasons, but in case more arguments are required, the following may be of use:—
Whether king Francis attends the interview or not, there can be no doubt that much good may come out of it, because not only would it be settled thereat what is to be done against the Turk in virtue and execution of the defensive and offensive league lately contracted for the security of Italy, but some resolution might also be taken in all matters concerning the General Council, and appertaining to the Faith as well as to the welfare of Christendom. We have not the least doubt of that, and yet the same result might easily be accomplished without the interview if treated and discussed by our mutual ministers, for His Holiness may be sure that on no account would We fail in the respect and friendship that We profess for him, especially at a time when the marriage of his grandson Octavio Farnese with Our own daughter, the dowager duchess of Florence, is in contemplation . . . . . . . . .
Most of this We Ourselves declared to His Holiness' Legate and Nuncio, assuring them at the same time that nothing was further from Our mind than to try and escape from the engagements We had taken with him. Yet (We said to him) the interview is to take place with the full consent of the Venetians, not otherwise, and until that consent is obtained — which We believe to be an easy task considering His Holiness' friendly relations with them at the present time, and their having willingly joined the League—We cannot give orders for Our fleet to come to Barcelona. This last observation of Ours was evidently distasteful to the Legate and Nuncio, for they began immediately to say that after accepting the offer of meeting His Holiness at Nizza, after his writing to king Francis on the subject, and exhorting him also to attend the interview, and making the thing, as it were, public, he (the Pope) could not well retreat and undo what he had done, &c.
In short, notwithstanding the above considerations and others which We omit for the present, We have decided to leave this business entirely to His Holiness' will and discretion. If, after examining and weighing carefully, as is due to matters of such importance, His Holiness would let Us know what the result of his deliberation is, and what he considers to be most convenient for the welfare of Christendom at large, We shall be most happy to follow his advice. You will, therefore, assure him that, as far as We are concerned, there will be no failing or change on Our part; that We shall always be the same towards him; if he thinks that We ought to go to Nizza, and hold an interview with him there, We, upon hearing of his final determination, will immediately put to sea, having already given orders to the prince of Melfi (Andrea Doria) to return to Genoa and get his galleys ready for Our psssage. Since then the Legate and Nuncio have hinted that they thought it better for Doria to remain here [at Barcelona] with his galley, and send his orders to Genoa to have the rest of the fleet prepared for sea. We would not displease them on this point, and Doria shall remain here; orders having been transmitted to his second in command at Genoa to keep the galleys in readiness, and the moment he hears, through Our ambassador (Aguilar) of His Holiness' determination, to sail for Barcelona.
This letter goes by captain Maldonado, who, if you should consider it fit, will see His Holiness and communicate its contents.
Respecting the castle of Nizza, everything that could be done has already been tried with the duke of Savoy. He has not yet acceded to Our request, making every day new difficulties, though We have offered to give him Our word of honor and personal security. You may say this to His Holiness, and let him try and convince the Duke.
Thanks to the duke of Castro for his affectionate interference. Let the marquis del Gasto know how matters stand. Orders have been sent to Naples and Sicily for the stores of provisions for Our galleys against the Turk.
Cosmo de' Medici and Florence; the tithe, and the Hospital of Altopaso; all theseare affairs the management of which We entrust to your care.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 18.
27 March.
P. Ar. Nat. Pap.
de Simancas,
k. 1484, No. 87.
195. The French Ambassador's Statement in the Emperor's Privy Council according to Instructions lately brought to him by L'Esleu, (fn. n9) the Secretary of the Constable of France.
That the King, his master, having heard of the proposal made by him (Mr. de Very) respecting an interview and communication of the parties at the islands of Eras (Yères), as well as the answer made to that proposal by His Imperial Majesty that he was willing to see and meet in the islands the cardinal of Lorraine and Constable [Montmorency], provided no delay in his [the Emperor's] passage to Italy was occasioned by it, has charged him to say that since His Holiness has decided to go to Nizza it will be better to leave all matters for the interview that is to take place in that town.
That respecting the request addressed by the Emperor's ministers to him (the ambassador) that he should declare more openly what his master's intention was with regard to the interview, and the preliminaries of the peace to be discussed therein, the instructions received by him were as follows: The King, his master, would be glad to restore to the duke of Savoy (Carlo) his estate at the same time that he (the King) came into possession of the duchy of Milan, reserving, however, to himself, and retaining in his power the towns that he himself has strengthened or fortified, or those he may hereafter fortify during his occupation of Milan, until such time as His Majesty has restored to Mr. de Labrit (Henri d' Albret) his kingdom of Navarre.
That the king of France will give up Hesdin whenever Tournay is restored to him.
The treaties of Madrid and Cambray to remain as they are, without any alteration being made in them, and without their being again ratified.
The King, his master, having heard (Mr. de Vely did not say where and from whom) that it was His Imperial Majesty's intention to ask him to use his influence with the Swiss, and induce them to restore also the towns and lands which they had taken from the Duke, king Francis disliked very much to interfere. That was an affair (the ambassador observed) with which king Francis did not like to meddle; it was no business of his, and besides that, the Swiss were of old his good friends and allies; the King, therefore, wished to preserve their friendship and not in any wise molest or annoy them.
The King was also desirous of keeping up with the Imperial and free cities of Germany that good understanding and those friendly relations which he has hithorto maintained without directly or indirectly causing them any harm.
After the above declaration, some of the Imperial councillors having approached Mr. de Vely, and replied to some of the articles, as above, the ambassador confirmed each and every one of them, declaring that so had he received them in writing from France, with express order to word them as he had done. And, although the councillors have since spoken with the bearer of the instructions, (fn. n10) and asked whether that was really and truly the King's intention on such points, both he and the ambassador replied that such were the King's express words without adding or suppressing one single letter.
The Privy Councillors then said, "If such be the case, We have no answer to make; let things remain as they are until the meeting at Nizza." Upon which, the ambassador, (Mr. de Vely) perceiving that he could not make the councillors speak their mind, said, no doubt in order to draw them out, "Well and good; my master has provision and strength enough not to be compelled to do anything against his will." Our answer was, "That is not a thing to be discussed here and at this moment."
After that the ambassador added, "I have always done, and will do, good offices." We replied, "You must recollect, as well as We do, what passed, especially aftery our last arrival from France: everything must be left for Nizza."
The ambassador also said that the person who had lately come from France with the instructions had called upon the Papal Legate, and told him, in his master's name, that the whole of the affair would be remitted to Nizza.
Indorsed: "What the French ambassador said at Barcelona, on the 27th of May, before the Privy Council, and the answer that was made to him. A copy was sent to Rome on the 7th of April."
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 3.


  • n1. That is Pier Luigi, the Pope's son.
  • n2. "Lope de Soria."
  • n3. Charle Dodieu de Vely, the same mentioned in the preceding letter of the Emperor to the Empress.
  • n4. Sometimes written Pressia and at others Pressin in the same document. I have decided for the latter reading, which seems to me the most probable.
  • n5. Matheo Stur, who can he be?
  • n6. The name of the town is omitted, but most probably Lyons was meant, as Francis is known to have visited that city in the spring of 1538.
  • n7. About this cardinal, whose name was Charles, and is better known as Charles de Guise, cardinal de Lorraine, see above, p. 418.
  • n8. A copy of this was sent to the Empress by sec. Samano on the same day; another was forwarded to Rome on the 25th.
  • n9. A note on the margin of the document says that his name was Christoval (Christophe?) de Syresmes (Surennes?). L'Esleu or L'Êlu, means "the elected."
  • n10. Montmorency's secretary, Christophe, the bearer of the instructions to Mr. de Vely (Claude Dodieu). See above, p. 460 note.