Spain: August 1539

Pages 176-185

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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July 1539, 1-31

2 Aug. 77. The Imperial Ambassador in France to the Emperor.
P. Arch. Nat. Pap.
de Simancas,
K. 1484, No. 92.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 202.
Your Majesty's letter of the 17th ult. came to hand on the 28th by Mr. de Lordres, together with the copy of the letter to the king of the Romans, and another of the king of France to Your Majesty, in which a last allusion is made to the Tinteville despatches. (fn. n1) The day after (the 29th Aug.) Cesare Cantelmo arrived in Paris, where I was still with the Palatine duke Frederic, (fn. n2) who, I must say, when I left him was less ill-disposed than at the date of my last despatch sent by Cornelis Scepper. I am now at this village of Senlis for the purpose of hearing from the King and the High Constable (Montmorency), now staying at Chantilly, what effect Cantelmo's journey to the Levant has produced. To accomplish this object, I went straight to the High Constable, who told me at once that neither the said Cantelmo nor Rincon had been able to obtain audience from Solyman; they had only seen Ayás Bashaw, with whom they conferred according to the instructions they had from the King, giving him to understand that the whole of Christendom was now united and ready to go against him, and do him all possible injury, at the same time exhorting him to procure a truce, and offering his services and assistance in that.
The King's messengers went on to say that their master would be delighted to employ himself in that mission of peace, which he hoped to be able to bring about now better than ever, owing to his being the friend and ally of Your Majesty, who was, moreover, like the rest of Christendom, inclined to it. Ayás' answer was that the Grand Vizier was well informed of the military preparations of the Christians, which preparations were not so powerful or formidable as people gave out. The Sultan was in nowise afraid of such armaments; he would never consent to enter into a truce or negociate about it without first recovering Castilnovo, which he intended to attack and reduce by force, putting to the sword the whole of its garrison, in order that in future more respect and consideration should be paid to what belonged to him. Even if the place were now to be surrendered by capitulation, he would not receive it in that manner, but would take it by storm and slay its defenders; much less would he, now that his fleet was ready to put to sea and undertake the siege of Castilnovo, treat of a truce.
The High Constable also told me that at the request, and by the intercession of Il Gritti, the truce or abstinence from war between the signory of Venice and the Grand Turk, particularly, had been prorogued for three months more. "If so (said I to the High Constable), no help is likely to come to Christendom from that quarter, and the fears we all had will be realized; the Venetians are sure to look out for their own private interests rather than for the public weal."
A detailed memorandum of these transactions ought to be preserved, in order to make the Venetians feel one of these days the fault they have committed as well as the harm they have caused to Christendom.
Next day the Constable took me to the King, by whom I was, as usual, well received. After thanking him for his most solemn condolence for the late Empress (Isabella), I began by telling him how pleased Your Majesty was at hearing that your answer by Mr. de Brissach had given him satisfaction. The King assented, but remarked that as to the promises contained in that ambassador's memorandum, he (the King) had not the least doubt that they would all be fulfilled in time, but that Your Majesty had yet given no sign of it. As to himself, even if Your Majesty delayed the restitution of the duchy of Milan, which all people acknowledged to be the first and principal article of the peace, the assurances given by him at Aigues-Mortes would never fail, and peace would last the whole time of your and his natural lives.
I also told him that Your Majesty was still expecting news of the Venetian ambassador, and of Cesar Cantelmo's negociation at Constantinople, in order to ascertain what hope there might be of a truce with the Turk, and that since Cantelmo had returned and reported on his mission, I begged for reliable information on those points that I might transmit it to Your Majesty.
French. Original. pp. 3.
2 Aug. 78. The Same to the Same.
P. Arc. Nat.
Negot. Pap. de Simancas,
K. 1484, No. 92.
Olim B 3, 63.
On the 28th ult. Your Majesty's letter of the 17th came to hand, brought by secretary de Lordres, together with the copy of those written to the king of the Romans, and some more from the Most Christian king of France to Your Imperial Majesty, in which last allusion is made to Mr. de Tinteville's despatches.
The day after (29th of August) Cesare Cantelmo arrived in Paris, where I myself was still staying with the Palatine duke Frederic, whom I left there a little better disposed (as I believe) than when I met him the first time, as I wrote last by Cornelius Scepper.
I have purposely come to this village of Senlis, in order to hear from the King and the Constable's lips—now residing at Chantilly—what has been the result of Cantelmo's voyage to, and negotiations in, the Levant. To do that I went straight to the High Constable's lodgings, and asked him point blank what news the said Cantelmo had brought from Constantinople. Montmorency's answer was, that neither he (Cantelmo) nor Rincon, who accompanied him, had been able to speak to the Grand Turk; they had only seen Ayás-bassá, with whom they had talked according to the orders received from the Most Christian, explaining to him what the united forces of Christendom and their numbers were, and how it had been resolved to march against and exterminate him. After which (he said) they had recommended a truce as most desirable, trying to persuade them to procure it and bring it about, and offering King Francis' services for that purpose, since (they said) the occasion was most favorable and propitious, he (Francis) being at present a great friend and ally of Your Majesty's, and the whole of Christendom well disposed to enter into an agreement of that sort and follow your and the King's advice.
Ayas' (fn. n3) answer was that his master, the Sultan, was well informed of the military preparations of the Christians, which, however, were not so great or so formidable as they chose to represent. That the Sultan himself was not at all afraid of them, and had made up his mind not to treat of truce, much less make one, until he had recovered Castilnovo, which he intended to besiege and take by force of arms, cutting the garrison to pieces, so that in future people might forbear from interfering with his affairs or invading his dominions. For that reason, even if the garrison should offer to surrender beforehand, he (the Sultan) would not admit them to capitulation, but slay them to the last man as an example to others; and since his fleet was now ready to put to sea, there was no occasion to recall it from that service, much less make it return or suspend its action by treating of a truce.
Such was (I was told) the report of the French ambassadors [to Turkey], and yet the High Constable (Montmorency) told me that some time after, at the request of and by the intercession of Gritti, the truce or abstinence from war had been prorogued four months, though only with Venice, exclusively of any other power; from which I gather, if that be true, that no help or assistance to Christendom is to be expected from the Signory. This is, after all, a thing that falls in well with the traditional politics of the Venetians, who constantly prefer their own interests to the common weal. A record should be kept of their present doings, so that in future, and whenever the opportunity offers itself, they may be made to feel the wrong they have done in this instance, to the great inconvenience and injury of Christendom.
The day after I had audience from the King, to whom, after explaining Your Majesty's answer to the overtures made in his name by Monsieur de Brissach and the bishop of Tarbes (Antoine de Castelnau), we entered on the Castilnovo affairs. I told him that Your Majesty was expecting to hear what Cesare Cantelmo and the Venetian ambassador had negociated at Constantinople, in order to ascertain thereby what hope there was of a general truce between Christendom and the Turk, and, therefore, that since Cantelmo had returned, he would perhaps let me know what had been the result of his mission, that I might inform Your Majesty thereof. His answer was, that the Venetian ambassador to Turkey had died on the road to Constantinople, and that owing to that reason the negociations for a general truce had remained in suspense. As regards Cesare Cantelmo himself, the King spoke to me in the very same words as the High Constable, and added that he was about to send on a mission to Your Majesty L'Esleu d'Orange, (fn. n4) to inform you of the whole, and enquire how he (the King) was to proceed in the affair, whether he was to give up entirely the negociations for a general truce, or repeat his application. At this point of our conference, king Francis began to complain bitterly to me of the many lies which, he said, were in circulation against him, accusing him, among other things, that though he apparently was trying to procure that same general truce, he had nevertheless advised the Turk not to grant it, and persuaded the Venetians to conclude one of their own. His complaints, moreover, were chiefly directed against the Pope, who (he said) had, through his Nuncio in France, alluded in an indirect and rather sarcastic manner to that and other like falsehoods circulated about his royal person. (fn. n5) He was not (he added) a man to say one thing and do another, and were it not for the post which His Holiness filled, he would let the World know that such falsehoods about his person were exceedingly displeasing to him. In this way did the King express himself—imputing to His Holiness that he took little care of the public weal, and thought of nothing save of his own family's aggrandizement, and that since the marriage of Mr. de Vendôme to his grand daughter had been refused, he (the Pope) had made use of angry words expressive of his disappointment (agriar y desabridas), although the refusal had been accompanied with honest and reasonable excuses. From these and other words the King has used in public, as well as from the fact that since Cantelmo's return the Papal Nuncio here has been unable to obtain an audience,—though he has applied for it two or three times,—it is natural to conclude that the present disagreement between His Holiness and the Most Christian king of France is assuming large proportions. The Nuncio, moreover, is of opinion that since the embassy to Constantinople was sent by this King's advice, conjointly with that of the Venetian ambassador and mine, it was but natural and reasonable that a certain deference should be shown to his master and himself. He feels, above all things, Cantelmo's want of courtesy, for when he first arrived here, he went to sup with the Venetian ambassador, and though he (the Nuncio) sent him word that he wished to see him, he never called upon him, proffering various pleas and excuses which were highly impertinent.
In the prosecution of his complaints to me, the King did not forget to inquire what I knew about the charges once brought against him respecting count Guillaume de Fustemberg and other Germans, which Mr. de Tarbes had mentioned in his correspondence. On this particular point the King said that never, upon any occasion whatever, had he intrusted that German nobleman to introduce motions into the Francfort diet. Such falsehoods about his own person (he said) ought not to be credited. He firmly believed that the archbishop of Lunden would, in Your Majesty's name, have done his utmost to dispossess the princes collected at Francfort of the idea that he (Francis) wished to wage war with the Emperor, and make him lose all his German friends; but that, to his great regret, was never done. He said that three months before he had sent for the bishop of Laval (fn. n6) to intrust to him a mission for Germany, and take besides Your Majesty's orders on the whole; he was still waiting to know Your Majesty's pleasure thereupon.
The King also spoke to me about Your Majesty's intended journey to Italy, without omitting one single argument of the many that have been put forward at other times to show that an interview between Your Majesty and this King at the present juncture is not only unnecessary but superfluous, owing to there having been no time yet to deliberate on the conditions proposed on either side, and also because Your Majesty had determined to hold first a conference with your brother the king of the Romans before coming to a conclusion on the whole. Though the King showed by his words that the excuse seemed to him plausible enough, yet I could perceive that he was by no means satisfied with it, declaring that his object in proposing an interview had been no other than that of giving people to understand, by means of such an interview, that his confidence and trust in Your Majesty had not diminished in the least, and removing from the envious all cause for calumny and slander. But since time and opportunity were not favorable for such an interview in Italy, it was indifferent to him when and where it took place—in Spain, Burgundy, or Flanders. He should, he said, always be ready to go and meet Your Imperial Majesty within your own dominions, and bring you into his kingdom, where you might stay as long as you pleased, and command therein as if you were the king of France.
Though Your Majesty has ordered me not to speak to the King, but only to the High Constable, of what passed between Mr. de Granvelle and the bishop of Tarbes, and the conversation they held together on the Turkish business, yet, perceiving by the King's words that he must be well informed of all that was said on the occasion, I thought that some remarks of mine on your mutual suspicions would not be amiss on the occasion. Knowing, therefore, from Mr. de Granvelle the substance of his conversation with the Bishop, and the latter's answer when interpellated as to his master's unwillingness to declare against the Turk, I openly told Mr. de Montmorency that the Bishop had then and there given hopes of a general truce with the Infidel, promising, if he refused to grant it, to join his forces to those of the Christian princes. That declaration (I said) seemed to me the fittest means to stop the mouths of calumniators, and if king Francis would make His Holiness and the Venetians understand that he himself was determined to do his duty towards Christendom, and join his forces to those of other Christian princes in order to confound and exterminate the Turk, there can be no doubt that a good effect would be produced, the Turk would give way, and the Venetians relent in their immoderate desire of keeping aloof, when their interests are concerned, from the rest of the Christian community.
The very same remark was by me applied to the Separatists. If the King, his master, would only declare that he was ready to help Your Imperial Majesty, unconditionally, in whatever remedy might be proposed to mend matters of Faith, according to his most solemn promise at Aigues-Mortes, no slander whatever would fall on him.
This the Grand Master answered in general terms, saying that his inclination and will were that his master's calumniators should be promptly confounded, and truth become manifest. Yet I could not persuade him to adopt at once either of the two means proposed, and that immediately after Your Majesty's answer to the letter taken by L'Esleu d'Orange measures should be taken in that line.
After this conference the Grand Master went into the King's chamber and remained a long time closeted with him, conversing, as I do believe, on the above matter. Two hours after he sent for me, and received me in a small cabinet (salecica), where he and I held another conference on the very same topic. Nothing, however, was done or said at it save the repetition of nearly the same arguments on my part, and the promise on that of the High Constable that on the arrival of Your Majesty's answer everything should be satisfactorily arranged.
Among the suspicions which these people entertain concerning Your Majesty, and which, by the way, have been confirmed by the Bishop's letters, one is that Your Imperial Majesty is not in earnest. This assertion is in the mouth of every courtier, accompanied by jokes (burlas) of every description. (fn. n7) The King, however, pays no attention to them, and has done all he could to baffle their intentions, and follow the ways of true and cordial friendship without feint or dissimulation of any sort. As to what was said that the interview at Aigues-Mortes had not improved at all the condition of public affairs, the High Constable observed that it was just the reverse, since after the prorogation of the truce a peace had been concluded to last the lives of the two monarchs, and besides that marriages had been proposed, through which peace would subsist between your successors. True it was that those marriages, the investiture of Milan, and other things then promised were only conditional and dependent upon other articles, on which there was to be perfect conformity, that being, perhaps, the reason why the King did not work as much good as he might have done in the business of which I had spoken to him. Neverthless, he could assure me that whatever might be the course of affairs, the peace would last as long as Your Majesty's and the King's lives. This he (the High Constable) assured me on his honour and life.
Such speeches from the mouth of the High Constable will show Your Imperial Majesty what these peoples' intentions may be. In my opinion they will go on assuring us that peace will not be broken by them, and they will faithfully observe, as long as this King lives, whatever comes out of the present negociations; yet they are not sure of the proposed marriages taking effect. The High Constable has told me openly that until peace be definitively concluded, and the remaining difficulties solved, there will not be on the side of France all the good that we might and ought otherwise to expect. He has, moreover, declared to me, as it were in passing, and even out of season, that his master is both powerful and rich, and that this year he is no longer poor as before, but affluent, and has plenty of ready money. My answer has been that I am very glad to hear it, as his master will thus be enabled to help Christendom against the Turk efficiently.
I have heard from Mr. de Lordres' lips the result of his negociations in Portugal, and fancy that the king (of Portugal), from his having asked for time to deliberate, is not much inclined to the marriage of the Infanta Da. Maria with the eldest son of the king of the Romans. Da. Leonor (Eleanor), (fn. n8) her mother, present queen of France, has been sorry to hear of that, and the Infanta herself is greatly disappointed. The former has written desiring me to procure her from Flanders a copy of the will of the Infante of Portugal, her former husband, containing the obligations under which the present king of Portugal [Dom Joaõ III.], his heir, is of seeing her married, with what dower, and so forth. I am told that an attested copy of the marriage settlement has already been forwarded to her; she herself has shown me a transcript of it, the provision being that on her reaching the age of 16 the Infanta (Maria) will be at liberty to go and reside wherever she pleases. Queen Leonor, therefore, commands me to write to Your Majesty and say that she wishes to remove her daughter from Portugal by some good and honest means; and, if so, that Your Majesty will allow her to live in company with your daughters, (fn. n9) the Infantas of Spain, and that king Francis, her husband, proposes to assist her coming from Portugal and receive her in his household, offering all manner of securities as to her not marrying without the express consent of Your Imperial Majesty and of the Queen, her mother. But this is not what queen Eleonor wants; she would much prefer that Your Majesty received her daughter in Spain, though, on the other hand, she would be glad to have her nearer her person. It appears that king Francis is in favour of that, for the other day, happening to discuss this affair with the Queen, his wife, he said to her: "It might be, after all, that in the course of time a marriage with the Dauphin (Henri) might be arranged, that is, in the event of anything happening to his present wife, the Dauphine, who is much subject to catarrhs (catarros), and is continually in bad health." I cannot say whether king Francis' ideas go beyond that, for all here are sorry that such a marriage did ever take place, owing chiefly to her having no children yet. (fn. n10)
Spanish. Original. pp. 17.
Aug. 79. King Francis to the Emperor.
P. Arch. Nat.
K. 1484, No. 94.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 2106.
Having heard from various quarters that malignant persons, sworn enemies of Christendom, envious of the brotherly friendship which now unites them, have lately been trying to circulate rumours and engender suspicions in order to injure the said friendship, he [king Francis] takes up his pen to assure the Emperor that he is, and will ever be, his true friend and ally, will help and assist him when required, and is quite ready to forward his plans in Germany and elsewhere. In proof of which knowing, through the Imperial ambassador, the need there is of a French prelate attending the future diet, he (Francis) is about to dispatch thither his beloved and faithful councillor and ambassador residing near His Imperial Majesty, the bishop of Tarbes.—Chantilly, Aug. 1539.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 2.
13 Aug. 80. The Marquis de Aguilar to the Same.
S. E. Roma.,
Leg. 868, f. 10.
B. M. Add. 28,591.
Cardinal Farnese arrived on the 21st of July. A conference was next day held between His Holiness, the duke of Castro, and secretary Marcello, he [Aguilar] being present.
With regard to the continuation of the peace between Your Majesty and the king of France, the Pope showed confidence that nothing would be treated of without his knowledge and through his means, though he still suspects that king Francis does not proceed with sincerity, especially since the result of Cantelmo's mission has been made known.
That the marriage of the King's daughter (Margaret) was proposed by him for the sole purpose of better consolidating the peace and alliance between them.
Respecting the Council, His Holiness was glad to hear that the means proposed by him to prevent its assembling, or rather to suspend it, have met with the Emperor's approbation. As to the affairs of Germany, His Holiness is now forwarding to his Nuncio in Spain the report sent by card. Brundusino of his own and Dr. Mathias' doings, and their negociation with the king of the Romans. In that report it is stated that the archbishop of Lunden did not conduct himself with sufficient dexterity, having granted [to the Lutherans] things which the Emperor ought not to approve of in any way. That the Diet ought not to be held at Vürtemberg, but in some other imperial city where His Majesty may be residing at the time. The report itself has been sent to some cardinals for inspection.
The Pope asked him whether the Emperor had decided anything about his coming to Italy. Answered, as at other times, that he (Aguilar) had no news of that; but believed that if needed the Emperor would not be wanting. His wish was to come; but he must needs first put his affairs in order, and Barbarossa being at the head of so formidable a fleet, he could not, without a powerful one to oppose to him, think of putting to sea. His Holiness then said that his intention was to repair to our Lady of Loreto at the end of this month; should he (Aguilar) hear of the Emperor's embarkation, he will take up his road towards Lombardy, and if not, come back and pass the winter at Rome.
With regard to England, he (Aguilar) stated what he had been written to on the subject, and both cardinal Farnese and secretary Marcello related all that had passed between them and the Emperor's Councillors, it having been decided that it was inconvenient to proceed with the affair before those of Germany had been fairly settled. Upon which His Holiness made a long speech (razonamiento), lamenting himself that the delay might be the cause of the king of England doing worse and worse, and that whilst His Imperial Majesty urged that cardinal Pole should go to the king of France in order to talk over the affair, the latter excused himself by saying that the Cardinal's visit to his Court would be ineffectual unless he brought with him some particular resolution as to the measures to be taken in case of the exhortation to be made by the Imperial ambassadors and his proving insufficient, and the King of that country remaining in his pertinacious obstinacy. Even if king Francis should agree to the Cardinal's visit in the manner and with the mission arranged with cardinal Farnese, and the ambassadors were sent to England, Pole's journey to that country would be useless, especially if it was not immediately followed by a suspension of all trade with that country. He (the Pope) saw no other remedy for the present than to keep the thing alive until a better opportunity, lest the king of England should imagine that his misdeeds had been forgotten. What grieved him most (added His Holiness) was that he did not consider king Francis to be firm and constant enough to persevere in the good purpose he now was in.—Rome, x. August 1539.
Signed: "El Marques de Aguilar."
Addressed: "To the most Sacred, Imperial and Catholic Majesty, &c."
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
20 Aug. 81. Pope Paul to the Emperor.
S. E. Roma, L. 868,
f. 76.
B. M. Add. 28,391,
f. 214.
Condolence on the death of empress Isabella.
Respecting the affairs of which Your Majesty spoke to Our grandson, cardinal Farnese, and which have since been communicated to Us by your ambassador here, We have only to say that, wishing always to be agreeable to Your Majesty in all things depending upon Us, and yielding also to the continual and urgent applications of Our grandson (Ottavio) and of his wife, Madame, your daughter, whom We love so much on account of her many and singular virtues, We have determined to send to you the bearer of this present letter, Micer Giovan Riccio, who, possessing all Our confidence, being well informed of all Our affairs, as well as of those of Germany and the Turk, will be able, attended by Our Nuncio (Poggio), to tell Your Majesty how matters stand. I beg that, as soon as the said Riccio has fulfilled the mission which We have entrusted to him—which, besides having reference to public affairs, touches also on those of Our family—he may be allowed to return immediately to Us.—Rome, 20 August 1539.
Indorsed: "To His Majesty, from the Pope, in his own hand, by Juan Riccio de Montepulchano."
Italian. Holograph. p. 1.


  • n1. Qua hacian mencion de los de Tinteville. Mr D'Inteville, as his name is sometimes spelt, was Francis' ambassador at Rome since 1537. See Vol. V., Part I., pp. 129, 142, 143, &c.
  • n2. The same already mentioned as having married Dorothea, daughter of the king of Denmark.
  • n3. Ayás, Ayax, or Ayash. See above, p. 176.
  • n4. Coadjutor Lud. Pelissier, 1529–42.
  • n5. "Lo qual era como dezir cosa falsa, y no era el para usar tan mal venturadamente, quexandose en gran manera del Papa que se lo havia hecho dar á entender por su Nuncio, que aqui reside, con palabras cubiertas y muy picantes."
  • n6. There was no bishopric of that name in France. Could it be a mistake for Lavaur? If so, the bishop alluded to was George de Selve (1529–43).
  • n7. "Y que cada dia andavan cerca dal dicho señor Rey para imprimir las mayores burlas del mundo con (en?) las quales él no [se] paraba, y queria rechazar todas aquellas intenciones, y yr el camino de verdadera amistad."
  • n8. Leonor, the Emperor's sister, and wife of Francis I., had first been married to the Infante of Portugal, Dom Joaõ, son of king Dom Manoel.
  • n9. At this time the Emperor had two daughters: Maria, born on the 21st of June 1528, who was married to the emperor Maximilian, and died, a widow, on the 26th of February 1603; and Juana, born in 1535, and who died in 1573.
  • n10. "Y nosé sy él piensa alguna cosa más adelante, y temo que sy, porque les pesa mucho obeste caramiento, y de que ella no haze hijos."