Spain: June 1539

Pages 157-167

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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June 1539, 1-30

4 June. 65. The Same to the High Commander Cobos.
S. E., Sec. de
Guerra, Mar. y
Tierra, L. 15.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 15.
Has written so often that he doubts whether his despatches will not be a source of annoyance, at a time, too, when His Imperial Majesty cannot have much inclination to business. Yet, lest he should be in fault, he (Aguilar) goes on reporting every post on political and other affairs concerning Rome and the Empire.
Of His Holiness' secrets Your Signory will, no doubt, know more through cardinal Farnese than he himself (Aguilar) is able to unravel. It is doubtful whether the Cardinal's presence at that Court will lead to a better solution of many political problems now being discussed; at any rate, matrimonial questions will not advance as fast as is desired and anticipated, because, before the Cardinal's departure from this city, he was heard to say that the object of his mission to the Emperor was "a most important marriage."—Rome, 4 June 1539.
Signed: "El Marques de Aguilar."
Addressed: "To the most Illustrious the High Commander of Leon, lord of the town of Sabiote, &c."
Spanish. Original. p. 1.
5 June. 66. The Same to the Emperor.
S. E., Sec. de
Guerra, Mar. y
Tierra, L. 15.
After closing the letter to the High Commander, that goes along with this, Mme. Margarita sent for him (Aguilar), and reported a conversation she had had with the duke of Castro (Pier Luigi Farnese) on the subject of Camarino. His Holiness wished to give that duchy to him (Pier Luigi) or to his son, Ottavio, and his descendants; but if he was to safeguard the rights of the Apostolic See to that duchy, and at the same time pay a sum of money to Hercole Varana (fn. n1) for the cession, during his lifetime, of whatever rights he (Varana) might possess to it, he found that he could not accomplish both things without employing a good portion of her dowry. Mme. Margarita's answer was that she thought and expected that without touching her dowry in the least His Holiness would grant her husband and herself the duchy of Camarino. And upon the Duke replying that His Holiness, however desirous, could not possibly accomplish that object without some help, such as one-half of the 300,000 crs. deposited at Ansaldo Grimaldo's bank, it was agreed that with the Emperor's permission 100,000 should be taken out of the Duchess' dower to enable the Pope to satisfy all claimants.
Commander Valenzuela went this morning to speak to His Holiness, who told him, among other things, that as the welfare of Christendom consisted chiefly in a solid and lasting peace between His Imperial Majesty and the Most Christian king of France, he thought, the better to ensure and consolidate that peace, and render it perpetual, that a marriage of King Francis' daughter with His Imperial Majesty might be proposed. By means of that marriage (he said) the Milanese affair might be settled more advantageously for the interest and honor of the parties concerned than in any other way; for to think that the Emperor could at any time give his eldest daughter in marriage to the duke of Orleans (Charles), that was a thing which he (the Pope) could not conceive; indeed, were he to be told that it was so, he would never believe it. "For that reason (said the Pope to commander Valenzuela) have I now sent my grandson, the Cardinal, to the Emperor to propose it in my name."
The Pope further said to Valenzuela that he had heard from his Nuncio at the Imperial Court that whilst debating in Council on the English business and the King's disobedience to the Apostolic See, it had been decided to send to that country (England) two persons, one from the Emperor and another from the Most Christian, to exhort and invite the king of England to return to the obedience of the Apostolic See and of His Holiness, as otherwise they could not excuse themselves from executing the Papal commands.
Venice.—The peace between the Signory and and the Turk is as good as made, since the trade between their frontier towns is carried on by common consent.—Rome, 5 June 1539.
Signed: "El Marques de Aguilar."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
20 June. 67. The Same to the Same.
S. E., Sec. de
Guerra, Mar. y
Tierra, L. 15.
M. Add. 28,591,
f. 152.
Since his despatches of the 4th and 5th inst., the Emperor's letter of the 25th ult. has come to hand. Owing to His Holiness' absence from Rome he (Aguilar) has been unable to confer more than once with him; besides which, as the Cardinal has not yet returned from his mission, the Pope will naturally feel shy. However, the points hitherto discussed have been (1st) the enterprize against the Turk, and the peace which the Signory is trying to make with the Grand Turk. The latter, it is said, will not agree to king John being comprised in it; but the Venetians ought to be told that the peace, if made, must be general and comprise everyone.
Respecting matters of Faith and the German Separatists, His Holiness remarked that the ministers sent by king Francis to Germany had achieved little or nothing in that way, which circumstance made him suspect that king Francis is not the Emperor's sincere friend and ally, and would rather see him in difficulties. Had his persuasions concerning the truce been what they ought to be, and had he told Solyman that unless he did accept of a general truce, he (Francis) would be obliged, as a Christian prince that he is, to side with the rest of them, Solyman could not well have refused it and sent to Constantinople, as he has done, one "fuoruscito" from the kingdom of Naples, and another from Spain. On the other hand, the person sent by king Francis to Germany was no other than the Bishop who had been his ambassador here at Rome, who, the Pope said, was the most wicked and worst minded man he had ever known. "Were you to know (said he to Aguilar) the discovery here made, through the letters of cardinal Carpi, of his plans and intrigues at Piacenza, in France, you would be astonished, because it was a most diabolical invention and one deserving great punishment ....
L'Esleu is waiting here for the confinement of a countess who resides at Mantua, and of whose child the King has promised to be the god-father.
Castilnovo.—His Holiness is of opinion that the fortress ought to be dismantled at once, unless the Venetians agree, as it seems they are inclined to do, to pay their portion of the expenses incurred in keeping it. His Holiness suspects that this sudden resolution of the Venetians is owing to their present negociations with the Turk, and that it will be made one of the principal conditions of the peace.
Council.—Germany and the Lutherans—Half-fruits—Cardinals' hats—Dispensation to the Commanders of the Military Orders.
He (Aguilar) communicates with the French ambassador very frequently, and in the most confidential manner. Has heard from him that His Holiness had told him confidentially that the Cardinal's commission in Spain was to speak about the marriage, and also about the English business, in order that whatever might be done in the latter affair, should be the joint action of the three sovereigns, the Pope, the Emperor, and the King.
The Camarino business is settled, and the Duke (fn. n2) has already received his money. The dowager Duchess (Caterina) has refused to take the 16,000 ducats of her dowry or make cession of her rights, although His Holiness has issued orders for their payment. Of His Holiness' further plans and intentions in this affair the Emperor must have been informed by his (Aguilar s) despatch of the 5th. The whole of it is reduced to this: to take 100,000 ducats out of Mme. Margarita's dower, with which to buy an estate for Ottavio's younger brother and indemnify Hercole Varana, though the latter, having only a life interest, and being already 70 years old, will be satisfied with little. With the remainder of the dowry the Pope purposes buying in the kingdom of Naples the principality of Rosano, which he says he can get for less than 80,000 scuti, Altamura for 40,000, besides Teramo and Chivitela, which belong to the Emperor, but which Mme. would like to have, owing to their vicinity to the duchy of Penna.
Rocha Guillerma—Lope Hurtado—Prince of Sulmona, his suit with Ascanio Colonna—Costanza Frenes (Farnese), the Pope's daughter—Acequia de Aragon—Abbey of Parco.
Commander Marradas left two days ago. He will not travel fast, because, in consequence of a fall from his horse in coming here to Rome, he is still delicate.—Rome, XX. June 1539.
Signed: "El Marques de Aguilar."
Addressed: "To the Emperor."
Spanish. Original. pp. 24.
June 22. 68. The Same to the Same.
S. E., Sa. de G.
Mar y Ta., L 15.
B. M. Add. 28,591.
Wrote two days ago about D. Lope de Soria and the cession of Castilnovo (fn. n3) to the Venetians. Since then the ambassador of the Signory has seen the Pope, who requested him (Aguilar) to attend the conference, which he did this very morning. After stating what the Emperor's expenses had been in keeping the garrison of that fortress, he (Aguilar) suggested that the Pope should at once declare how, and by whom, those expenses were to be paid. The Venetian ambassador then said that, according to one of the articles of the treaty of the League, the Emperor was obliged to deliver immediately to the Signory of Venice, Castilnovo, or any other fortress taken from the Turks, and as to the expenses of keeping it up, that His Holiness might at once fix the sum which the Signory was to pay for her own share, observing that the League was bound to defray the cost of fortifying, victualling, and providing ammunition for the place, but not in any wise pay the garrison, for that was exclusively the Emperor's concern. He then read a paragraph of a letter from his colleague at the Imperial Court, where it was stated that the Emperor would be glad to pass over Castilnovo to the Signory; and that it would cost nothing to Venice, because the Spanish garrison had been sent thither merely as a place for winter quarters. He (Aguilar) replied that, supposing the Emperor had said so to the Signory's ambassador, that did not exempt her or the confederates from paying their share of the expenses according to an article of the treaty; the more so, that when Prince Doria took Castilnovo, the Venetian proveditor had not the number and quality of men, ammunition, or provisions required for keeping a place of such importance, which obliged the Emperor, if the place were to be kept, to put into it 4,000 Spaniards, &c.
As the Venetian ambassador withdrew, he (Aguilar) remained alone with His Holiness, who said to him: "Will you be satisfied with the Signory paying the sum that I shall fix?" "Certainly I shall, provided His Holiness fixes at once the sum they (the Venetians) are to pay," but he (Aguilar) thinks that it will not be done, because, by fixing the Venetian contribution, the Pope himself, as a member of the League, will have to pay the same.
Meanwhile the Signory is pressing for the delivery of Castilnovo, saying that they fear the Turkish fleet will on that account enter the Gulf. On the other hand His Holiness is in possession of advices from Dalmatia, stating that Cesare Cantelmo was going post-haste through that province for the purpose of overtaking and, if possible, meeting Lorenço Gritti, and that he had actually offered a considerable reward in money to whomsoever should procure him an interview with the Turk a few hours before Gritti's arrival [at Constantinople].
His Holiness also announces having received letters from Germany, purporting that to the Diet about to be held on matters of Faith his Nuncio or representative had not been admitted, and that Dr. Mathias had said that the Emperor was far from being pleased at it, and very sorry that the bishop of Lumbden (sic) had allowed it.
Lope Hurtado's affair continues in the same state. Madame has resolutely declared to the Cardinal [of Santiago], to Lope Hurtado, and to him [Aguilar] that certain German servants of her household, called "Los Dubrines," were those who advised her to quit Florence.
The Sienese are in commotion in consequence of cardinal Frenes (Farnese) going to them, and owing also to the departure at the same time of the duke of Castro for his own estates [in Tuscany] owing to his want of health. They have written in great fright; he (Aguilar) has answered them that there is not the least occasion for fear.—Rome, 22 June, 1539.
Signed: "El Marques de Aguilar."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty of the Emperor and King, our Lord."
Spanish. Original, partly in cipher. pp. 7.
26 June. 69. Advices from Genoa of the 26th June.
S. Sa. de Ga. Mar.
y Tierra, L. 15.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 71.
On the 25th came letters of Il Gritti (fn. n4) from Constantinople, of the 14th and 15th May, in which he says that he arrived on the 12th, and that on the following day (the 13th) he called on Aiás Bassa (Ayás bashaw), and having expounded his commission from the Signory, that vizier said that upon the arrival of ambassador Zeno (fn. n5) a day would be fixed to treat of peace, but on condition (he said) that the peace was to be solely and exclusively with the Signory, in nowise with the Emperor or the Pope. Upon which Gritti suggested that the present truce should be prorogued, and that was the only thing he (Gritti) was empowered to contract. Aiás' reply was that his master (Solyman), even in the event of Zeno not coming, would have no difficulty in promising that during a certain period of time no harm should be done to the Signory's subjects. This the Turkish vizier stated, adding that should the Signory act with prudence his master would always have a good understanding with them.
The same Gritti writes that 130 galleys were being armed in various ports of Turkey, whilst the fustees and other small craft will exceed 200. What the destination of that force is no one knows, though it is surmised that it is meant for the invasion of Naples, Castilnovo being too strong to be carried by a "coup de main," as it has been fortified during a whole year, and has a considerable and well-appointed garrison for its defence.
In Venice it is generally believed that the agreement (accordo) with the Turk cannot fail, and that the Council of the Ten are making use of such delays to induce their companions to believe that they are casual, and not premeditated so as to cause jealousy. It is believed that their Corfu fleet, and any other galleys they may arm, will sail either to that island or to Sibinecco (fn. n6) or to Cattaro, and it is also thought that they will apply to His Holiness for money to arm against the Turk, as if they still doubted his willingness to prorogue the truce.
A vigilant eye should be kept on Ancona, &c
Italian. Contemporary copy. pp. 2.
29 June. 70. The Marquis de Aguilar to the Same.
S. E., L. 15.
No. 15.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 173.
His last of the 22nd must have informed the Emperor of the conference which the ambassador of Venice and he (Aguilar) held with His Holiness concerning Castilnovo and the cost of its keeping. That Andrea Doria, who is now at Civita Vecchia, had been consulted by His Holiness, and that as soon as his answer and that of Lope de Soria came from Venice the affair would be definitely settled.
The Signory's answer has come, sent by Soria. They will be glad to have Castilnovo immediately, and are quite willing to pay the sum to be fixed by His Holiness; and upon Soria telling them that the money must be got ready, as the Spanish garrison would certainly not leave the place unless they were first paid their arrears, the Councillors made no difficulty.
On the other hand Doria's opinion is that Castilnovo should be immediately delivered to the Venetians upon their promising to reimburse the Emperor for all his expenses. He feared, however, that the Spaniards who composed the garrison would not go out of it unless they were first paid, and, therefore, advised that the Signory should at once remit 15,000 or 16,000 ducats on account of the arrears of pay owing to the garrison, and that His Holiness should give besides what he pleased for the same purpose. He [Aguilar] called on the Pope and communicated Doria's advice, which seemed to him good, though he said he wanted to consult the Signory's ambassador thereupon. The latter has this very evening dispatched a courier to Venice, and he (Aguilar) has written to Lope de Soria, so that there is now a chance of the Castilnovo affair being soon settled one way or other.
Letter of advice from Constantinople, &c.
The bishop Lanchano (Lancciano) died here (at Rome) a few days ago. His bishopric is worth 300 ducats a year. As there was no other Spanish auditor in the Rota but him, Dr. Mohedano was appointed to the vacant place. Recommends him.—Rome, 19 June 1539.
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
29 June. 71. Lope Hurtado to Cobos and Granvelle.
S. Sa. d. Ga.,
L. 15.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 177.
If I was a year ago considered a fit and right person to serve this lady; if you both have heard through my letters, as well as by my taking her out of Florence—not at all against her will—that l am not the bad and undeserving man that people say, I will esteem it a favor from you to be assisted in the present emergency and in my most urgent request, which is to resign my post. I have no doubt that whoever comes to replace me cannot fail to acknowledge the purity of my intentions and my honorable conduct in all that regards my mistress, the Duchess, and at the same time expose the wickedness of those who have misinformed His Holiness with regard to me. This will be, I take it, a most profitable step, as it will serve to prevent calumny from spreading and taking another direction, which might perhaps be worse still. (fn. n7) It will also serve to prove that His Imperial Majesty holds this lady in the esteem and consideration which she so justly deserves by her good qualities. Indeed, living as she does at Rome, young as she is and unhappy, in the midst of a city and people who far from being holy are a set of wretches, all favor is required to prevent her from falling into despair until her husband becomes a man and can serve and content her. (fn. n8)
Cardinal Santiago, who always on previous occasions has approved my conduct and taken my part, told His Holiness some days ago what had passed, and after his conversation wrote to me the enclosed letter, the substance of which is that it was Marradas who had informed him, and that he (the Pope) attached more faith to his report than to that of others. It appears that the said Marradas, who brought a letter of credence for His Holiness on the Camarino business, and has been nearly two months negociating upon it, reported great many things about the Duchess, True, I must confess that I and my wife (Doña Margarita) occasionally told Marradas, also an Imperial servant, several things which these people might have, but had not, done to keep Her Excellency content and in good humour. No doubt Marradas himself went and told the Pope of this, and made him believe that what I and my wife said about the treatment of our mistress, and our wish that she should be treated otherwise, had been previously communicated to her by us two by way of warning and advice. Hence the ill will that His Holiness and those of his family bear me. You may imagine how this Marradas, Cherubino, he of del Aguila, and others, whose names I do not mention, have worked upon His Holiness so as to make me fear that one of these days I may be the sufferer. Already, and in order to influence His Imperial Majesty against me, they have given Marradas, who is shortly to return to Spain, a letter for the Emperor, in which all sorts of complaints are made against me. I will not repeat what Marradas said to me on his arrival here, because I gave him my word never to do so; but you must believe me when I say that he [Marradas] was of very little use in the affair for which he came here, and that had not the Marquis [de Aguilar] and Valenzuela helped, nothing at all would have been done.
We are trying to make the Cardinal take away his brother, Ottavio, without this latter attempting to make another trial of his very juvenile forces, which will not do. If these people desire this lady to be satisfied and happy, I see no other remedy than the husband's absence during some time to come until he be of sufficient age to do the duties of marriage. (fn. n9)
It would not be amiss if Monseigneur de Granvelle would write to Her Excellency (the duchess Margaret) a letter in French, saying that since this marriage of hers was effected of her own free will, and she herself knew how to win the affections of the Emperor, who loves her so much, she must take care not to offend him, nor fancy that she can desert her husband and enter a convent; for even if she could, the Emperor, her father, would never allow it. I have repeatedly told her that she came here voluntarily, and that she ought to be much indebted to the Emperor for having allowed her to carry out her will.
Her dowry.—Not far from Civita di Penna and Campo are two villages called ——— and Civitela del Tronto, the revenue of which may amount to 2,000 crowns a year. They might be bought for her.
His Holiness inculpates me, and says that my wife leads me. If she does, it is certainly not in matters touching the Imperial service. Besides, I consider it far more honourable to obey than give her cause for discontent, as I find that those who rule over their wives very rarely escape without some feast or other.—Rome, 29 June 1539.
Signed: "Lope Hurtado."
Addressed: "To the most illustrious lords, my Lord, the High Commander of Leon, and Monseigneur de Granvelle."
Spanish. Holograph. pp. 5.
30 June. 72. Lope de Soria to Cobos.
S. E., L. 15.
Add. 28,591,
f. 180.
No letter from your Lordship has come since I wrote on the 28th inst. I then gave all the news of this place. Lorenço Gritti had written from Constantinople on the 2nd, that on that very day Barbarossa had sailed for Gallipoli with 70 galleys, there to join the Turkish fleet, and all together attack Castilnovo. Since then I have heard that the Turkish fleet is going out chiefly at the request of the king of France, and that Rincon and Cantelmo have worked rather against than in favor of the general truce. Lorenço further writes that he had been invited by the Turk to accept a separate truce with Venice, promising that their fleet would not molest or do any harm on the coasts of this Republic. Gritti, however, had refused to accept the offer, having no commission to that effect from the Signory. He was anxiously expecting the arrival of Zeno, who had recovered from his illness, and was journeying towards Constantinople by short stages. The other ambassador sent by this Signory was following closely. His instructions are that if he cannot conclude a general truce, he must try to secure the special one with them. Meanwhile these Venetians show every disposition to stand by His Imperial Majesty. They have given orders to their proveditor to divide the fleet, and keep one half in the Gulph, the other half outside, with instructions to keep aloof as much as he can from the Turks, and yet not to join Doria.
Yet, notwithstanding the good news lately received from Gritti, the Venetians have by his advice collected the greatest maritime force they ever had. They are now arming in all haste 25 galleys, which, joined to those they have in various parts of the Adriatic, will eventually swell the number to 85. In Dalmatia they have 2,000 foot, and other forces with their captains in various places on that coast.
I am anxious to know what declaration His Holiness has made about Castilnovo.
Nothing more to advise, except that the bishop of Montpellier, (fn. n10) the king of France's ambassador, has called to-day on the Signory for the first time, and that I fancy he will come to me to-morrow, for I am, as usual, seized with fever and ague.—Venice, 30 June 1539.
P.S.—Before closing the above a letter from Ragusa arrived, with intelligence from Constantinople of the 4th inst., brought by a person who left that town some days ago. The news is that two days before the writer of the letter had witnessed the departure of Barbarossa with his fleet of 150 sail, bound for Castilnovo, and that the Beglerbey of Greece with seven sanjacs (fn. n11) was already at Sophia, only waiting for seven more galleys to sail against that fortress.
A letter of Lorenço Gritti has also been received, in which he gives more hope of the general truce, owing to Pietro Zeno, the Venetian ambassador, being shortly expected at Constantinople; adding that if a general truce be not obtained, at any rate a separate one with Venice is sure to be concluded sooner or later, and that in the meantime the Signory is not to show hostility to the Turk. Such are Gritti's words in the letter to which I refer; but I cannot help suspecting that the Turkish armament may after all be intended for La Goleta of Tunis.
Signed: "Lope de Soria."
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.


  • n1. The cousin of Giovan Maria Varana, duke of Camarino. He was the son of Rodolpho IV., who died in 1494, he himself having died in 1546.
  • n2. By "the duke," Hercole Varana is no doubt meant. See above, p. 158.
  • n3. See the preceding letter, p. 160.
  • n4. Lorenço Gritti. See above, p. 145.
  • n5. Pietro, Venetian ambassador to Turkey.
  • n6. Sebenico on the coast of Dalmatia.
  • n7. "Aprovechara para que á Su Exea no lebanten otra cosa que quiça seria peor."
  • n8. "Que estando en Roma tan moça y tan descontenta, y entre gente, que no es sancta, y tan miserable, todo favor es manester para que no se desespere hasta que su marido sea hombre que la pueda servir y contentar."
  • n9. Con el Cardenal se proeura que lleve à su hermano sin que torne á provar las fuerças de sus pocos años, que no conviene; si ellos desean que esta señora esté contenta agora no sé yo otro remedio, &c.
  • n10. The name of this bishop was Guillaume Pellicier.
  • n11. "Iten que el beglarbey de la Grecia con siete Sant Jaques se hallava ya en Sophia adonde esperava otros tantos." Sant Jaques (thus written) is for sangiac, a Turkish word meaning a regiment.