Spain: May 1539

Pages 150-157

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 6 Part 1, 1538-1542. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1890.

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May 1539, 1-31

4 May. 61. The Same to the Same.
Imp. Arch.
Rep. Fasc. 231,
ff. 14–5.
I am in receipt of letters from Your Majesty of the 16th and 20th ult., together with a memorial from certain merchants, the Emperor's subjects, complaining of the mayor of this town. I had made up my mind to call on the Preveseel (Lord Privy Seal), and after hearing what he had to say in answer to the complaint of the merchants, to go, if the result were unfavorable, to the king himself and speak about it; but finding that the Lord Privy Seal was ill with fever, I had reluctantly to postpone my call. As soon as I have seen him, and perhaps also the King, I shall not fail to inform Your Majesty of the result.
The Parliament of which I wrote in my last commenced last Monday. It holds its sessions in Westminster, in the presence of the King, and of many lords of England and other countries. There is a fear that the business done therein will be rather disagreeable for us, considering that the deputies of the duke of Saxony, and others from Lubeck, have since arrived, all of whom are to be present in the English Parliament.
The ambassador of France has shown me letters he has received from the High Constable (Montmorency), wherein it is stated that the affairs between the Emperor and the King, his master, are going on prosperously, and that their friendship is gradually increasing; that, in fact, both princes are on much better terms than they ever were before. In the letter to which I allude, the ambassador is ordered to communicate with me on all matters of importance during my stay in this court, and, should I happen to go away, with my successor, whoever he may be.
The general muster of the inhabitants of this town, of which I spoke in my former despatch, has not yet been made, nor do I know now whether it will take place at all.—London, 4 May 1539.
Signed: "Maioris."
French. Original. pp. 2.
16 May. 62. The Marquis de Aguilar to the Emperor.
S. E. Roma, L. 868,
f. 2.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 131.
Since writing to Your Majesty by esquire Andalot, two envoys have come from the court of the Most Christian king of France, namely, Latino Juvenal and the Esleu d'Orange, (fn. n1) secretary to the Grand Master of France (Anne de Montmorency.)
As soon as the said Esleu d'Orange arrived the French ambassador informed me of it, adding that he had orders from his master to communicate the whole of his charge. (fn. n2) He was to assure the Pope in Francis' name of the great friendship now existing between him and Your Majesty, as well as of his perfect conformity of views with respect to the king of England, and his determination to act in that matter conjointly with Your Majesty. The ambassador wished to know my opinion on the subject, and whether Your Majesty had, or had not, written to me concerning the stipulations previously agreed to between the parties, as stated in my despatch of the 9th of March. Having answered him that I had not yet received an answer to that despatch, but that I expected to have one by the first post, it was then agreed between them not to speak to the Pope on the subject except in general terms, assuring His Holiness, without entering into more particulars, of the perfect conformity of ideas, good-will, and readiness of Your Majesty and the king of France to co-operate in remedying English affairs.
On the same day L'Esleu went to kiss the Pope's foot, and to-day he has come to me to say that he had spoken to His Holiness in exactly the same terms previously concerted with me. He had also assured him that in the negociation of the present peace between Your Majesty and the king of France nothing had happened of which he had not been informed by the King, his master. From which words, and others I have picked up from the ambassador's lips, I come to the conclusion that ere this the Pope has heard from the French something about the marriages in contemplation; or, perhaps, that they have shown him a copy of the articles relating to them. The Esleu has not yet told me what other charge he has; if he does, I shall not fail to apprize Your Majesty.
Were I called upon to give an opinion on this affair, I should say that as the Pope has often complained privately and publicly of his not having been made principal negociator and promoter of this peace, and king Francis must have heard of this through his ambassador, the King is now sending the Esleu d'Orange to give satisfaction and offer excuses, and at the same time insinuate that he is more confidential with him than Your Majesty is.
Respecting the cardinals' hats, dispensation to Commanders, and first fruits, no progress has been made, His Holiness still insisting that he will grant these three things together, that the delay is for Your Majesty's good, &c. The bull for the first fruits for the undertaking against England he will readily grant when that is decided upon.
Margaret's dowry—Medici property in Rome—Cosmo, duke of Florence.
General Council.—His Holiness wonders much that Your Majesty has not yet sent a written opinion on the Council, as his Nuncio led him to expect. Cardinal Symonetta, who is to be the next legate, has not yet left Rome.
With regard to the Confirmation of the five Hungarian bishops, I have received a letter from the king of the Romans (Ferdinand) desiring me to interfere and prevent it, because, he says, king John is delaying as much as he can the publication of the peace in his dominions, is not at all sincere in the matter, and besides that has occupied, one way or other, many territories and districts belonging to him. I have spoken to the Pope, and the King's secretary here (fn. n3) has also done so, but His Holiness persists in saying that he cannot do less than confirm the said bishops, who, by applying to the Apostolic See, show their disposition to obey its prescriptions; otherwise they might despair and do worse.
Prince Doria has sent commander Giron to Naples to urge the provision and pay for the garrison of Castilnovo. I myself spoke to His Holiness about it, representing how unjust it was that Your Majesty should bear all the expenses of a place conquered in the name, and for the exclusive advantage, of the League. He excused himself by saying that he could not contribute without the concurrence of the Venetians, to whom no application could be made until they saw clearly how their negociations with the Turk would end. (fn. n4)
There is, as I am told, some treaty on foot for the marriage of a son of Ascanio Colonna with the sister of Ottavio [Farnese], or else with one of the daughters of Sa. Costanza; and although Ascanio has hitherto been rather opposed to it, they tell me that he is no longer so, thinking he may thereby get some influence in the law-suit he has with the Prince of Sulmona. (fn. n5) Another of Sa. Costanza's daughters has to my certain knowledge been promised to Vespasiano Colonna, son of the Princess of Sulmona. (fn. n6)
The Benedictine abbey of Il Parco, in Sicily, has, it is said, been vacated by the death of one Francisco Sanchez. It is worth more than 2,000 ducats a year. Though one of Your Majesty's presentation, His Holiness has already bestowed it upon cardinal Farnese, counting upon Your Majesty's approval. I beg that if there be any means of remunerating auditor Mohedano's services with some small pension upon it, he may not be forgotten. (fn. n7)
The duke of Castro (Pier Luigi Farnese), at His Holiness' instigation, has lately proposed that since Your Majesty has not yet given him the lands and vassals promised in Naples for the investment of the 15,000 crs., and there is so much delay in that, His Holiness might take the 300,000 crs. of the dower, and give to Ottavio the Camarino estate. To the person who came to me with the message, I said that Your Majesty will never consent to that. The money is to be laid out in Naples according to contract, and His Holiness, in consideration for the advantages of a marriage like that of the Duchess, is bound to do both the one and the other. Enclosed are two breves for the Crusada.—Rome, 16 May 1539.
Signed: "El Marques de Aguilar."
Addressed: "To His Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor, and King, our Lord."
Spanish. Original. pp. 9.
19 May. 63. The Same to the Same.
S. E., L. 15,
Sec. de G. M. y T.,
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 141.
After writing by Andalot, there came here (to Rome) Latino Juvenal, accompanied by the Esleu d'Orange, the Constable's secretary. No sooner had he arrived than the ambassador of France sent me a message to the effect that he (Latino Juvenal) had orders from the King, his master, to communicate to me the substance of his mission to the Pope. This consisted of two points: one was to inform His Holiness of the continuance, nay, increase, of friendship between Your Majesty and the king of France; the other to acquaint him with his entire consent and readiness to join in any plans that might be formed respecting England. Having asked him whether his master had reliable intelligence from Spain as to that, the ambassador answered me in the negative, upon which it was agreed between us that the Esleu had better speak of the matter in general terms, and limit himself to mentioning his master's conformity and goodwill concerning the remedy of the evils in England.
Let the Imperial ambassador treat the French one confidentially, and live on friendly terms with him, in pursuance of the instructions already forwarded to him; but let him at the same time be on his guard, and try to ascertain whether he has some other charge from his master. On the very same day of his arrival, (fn. n8) the Esleu went to kiss the Pope's foot, and state the object of his mission. He spoke to him in the very terms preconcerted between us, laying a stress on the peace between Your Majesty and the king of France, and assuring him that nothing had occurred during the negociations of which he had not been apprized. But from a few words which he (the Pope) uttered in reply, and others I have heard elsewhere, I fancy that His Holiness must already have known something about the proposed marriages, and that even some articles of the treaty referring to them had previously been shown to him. That is, at least, what the Esleu has told me; should I learn anything more about this I will report.
Our information here is that he went to Rome chiefly for the purpose of soliciting a cardinal's hat for the archbishop of Paris. (fn. n9) In my opinion the real object of L'Esleu's mission has been to give some sort of satisfaction to His Holiness for his not having been made principal promoter and head, as it were, of the peace now being negociated.
In the affair of the hats and half fruits, as well as in that of the dispensation to the Commanders [of the Military Orders], (fn. n10) no progress whatever has been made; nor do I see any hope of success for the present, the Pope being discontented and in bad humour, owing (as he says) to this peace not being a complete one, but merely a truce or suspension of hostilities, likely to endanger Christendom.
As to the half fruits, His Holiness intends only to grant them for the enterprize against England, not for any other purpose.
The viceroy of Naples [Toledo] writes that there is no available means at present of giving the Pope the 15,000 ducats annual rent which he asks for. He will, however, do his best to have the 300,000 duc. deposited in Ansaldo's bank. His Holiness shows displeasure at Your Majesty not having decided in favour of the Duchess (fn. n11) the suit for the Medici property [at Florence], and causing the action to be suspended. Though he himself has said nothing to me about it, I know that he has complained in other quarters, saying that Your Majesty had shown more partiality for the duke Cosmo than for him (the Pope) or for the Duchess, your daughter. I have told him that if the suit is actually suspended it is for the sole purpose of inquiry, &c. Another of his complaints is that no answer has come to his letter on the business of the General Council.
Cardinal Simonetta, His Holiness' legate a latere for the Council has not yet taken his departure.
The Duchess [Margaret] is in better health and spirits since she has been residing at her own house.
I have received letters from the king of the Romans ordering me to prevent the confirmation by His Holiness of the Hungarian bishops. Spoke to the Pope about that, though in vain; for he says that the prelates of that kingdom have asked for it, and that he cannot see his way to refuse their application. Were he to do so, greater inconveniences might result. He will, however, do his best to prevent it, but he fears that he will not be successful.
Prince Doria and Castilnovo.—A rumour is afloat here of the marriage of Ottavio Farnese's sister, and of one of the daughters of Signora Costanza, with the son of Ascanio Colonna; and although the latter has been rather hard at first, he is no longer so, owing to a law-suit of his with the Prince and Princess of Sulmona, in which he expects to be assisted by the Farnese. Another daughter of Signora Costanza is to be married to Vespasiano Colonna, son of Doña Isabel Colonna.
The ambassador did well in rejecting a proposition of that kind. That is a thing not to be thought of. It would be a disreputable transaction altogether. The duke de Castro says that since Your Majesty will not give him the 15,000 duc. on Naples, the Pope had better take the 300,000 crowns (scuti) and give Camarino to him.
To thank the Pope for them. Breves (two) of the Crusade.
Praises to the ambassador for his conduct in this affair, and let him continue, as hitherto, attending to what the King may write to him on the subject. With regard to the Council, the Pope said that since his Nuncio in Spain had represented the difficulty there would be for the prelates to attend, and that of Germany says that any hasty proceedings in that matter might cause some alteration in the good beginning and demonstrations the Separatists have lately made, and L'Esleu having told him that such was the desire of the king of France, he had resolved to go on slowly with it and await events; the more so that the Venetians on the expiration of the truce had refused to give Vicenza for the purpose.
The abbey had already been granted to another. The Pope ought to have more respect for such things than he has. The abbey of Parco, given to card. Farnese. The Pope is expecting Your Majesty's presentation.
Spanish. Original. pp. 4.
19 May. 64. The Same to the Same.
S. E. Roma,
L. 868, f. 3,
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 147.
Has learned by the Emperor's letter of the 2nd inst. the Empress' death. (fn. n12) Told the Pope of it, who is about to send cardinal Farnese to offer condolences, &c. Believes that the Cardinal will also be the bearer of instructions on other matters.
His Holiness, while on the subject of the General Council, told him (Aguilar) what his legate [in Spain] had written respecting it. In the Emperor's opinion there would be some difficulty in the prelates attending. The king of the Romans (said the Pope) had given his Nuncio to understand that should the proceedings be hurried on, some impediment might arise and check the good beginning and demonstrations of the heretics. L'Esleu d'Orange had made the same statement on behalf of the king of France.
Has heard that after the armistice the Venetians refused to give up the town of Vicenza for the celebration of the General Council. Will try to ascertain how the Pope will act after that.—Rome, 19 May 1539.
Signed: "El Marques de Aguilar."
Spanish. Original. p. 1 1/2.


  • n1. A Roman ecclesiastic employed by Pope Paul III. on various missions. As to L'Esleu d'Orange, or bishop elect of that place in France, Montmorency's secretary, his name was Cristophe de Surennes.
  • n2. This despatch, like many others, has marginal notes in the hand of Cobos. The first, facing this paragraph, reads thus: "Let the Imperial ambassador treat the French one confidentially, and be on friendly terms with him, in pursuance of the instructions forwarded to him; but let him at the same time be on his guard, and try to ascertain whether he has another charge from his master. All we know about him here is that he has gone to Rome, principally to procure a cardinal's hat for the archbishop of Paris."
  • n3. Gabriel Sanchez.
  • n4. It would be but just that all the confederates should contribute towards the defence of Castilnovo; but all excuse themselves, and consequently the expense falls on His Majesty. The ambassador is to insist upon that.
  • n5. The Imperial ambassador is to try that the law-suit remain as it were in the hands of His Imperial Majesty, according to instructions sent on the subject; if so, the marriage will in a certain manner depend upon His Majesty.
  • n6. This princess of Sulmona was the widow of Lannoy. At her husband's death, in 1527, she married Ascanio Colonna, whose son, Vespasiano, inherited the title and the estate.
  • n7. The abbey had already been disposed of, His Majesty having bestowed it upon an ecclesiastic of the kingdom [of Naples].
  • n8. On the 13th. L'Esleu d'Orange, Montmorency's secretary, must be Cristophe de Surennes, v. Vol. V., Part II., pp. 460–2.
  • n9. Jean du Bellay.
  • n10. The dispensation for them to marry, which was at last obtained in 1541.
  • n11. Margaret, the Emperor's natural daughter, already betrothed to Ottavio Farnese, son of Pier Luigi.
  • n12. The Empress Isabella died after her confinement at Toledo, at that time the capital of Spain, on the 1st of May of this year. She was the daughter of king Dom Manoel of Portugal and Maria, daughter of the Catholic sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabella, and, therefore, Charles' first cousin. Born on the 25th of October, she married the Emperor in October 1525. See Florez, Reinas Catolicas de España, Vol. II. p 362.