Spain: September 1539

Pages 185-190

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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September 1539, 1-30

15 Sept. 82. The Emperor to the Marquis, his Ambassador at Rome.
S. E., L. 865,
f. 132.
B. M. Add. 28,391,
f. 216.
On the 23rd inst. your letter of the xiiith came to hand. As most of the intelligence therein contained had already been received from various quarters We need not refer to it.
Respecting Our peace and friendship with the king of France there is nothing new to be said. Some days ago the High Constable's Secretary came to this court to inform Us in the King's name of what Cesaro Cantelmo had negociated at Constantinople with the Turk, offering, as usual, his services, in that quarter, and renewing his promises of help and assistance in all cases.
Neither is there anything new to say respecting the Council, except that, upon closer examination of His Holiness' breve, it would seem as if the suspension was solely due to what We and Our brother, the king of the Romans, represented to him. But let it be known that both We and Our brother have never ceased to advocate as a necessity the meeting of the Council.
As to Germany, the resolution His Holiness has taken of making the deposit of the 50,000 crowns has been both wise and convenient.
With regard to Our journey to Italy this year, nothing has yet been decided. We refer you to Our letters.
As to the English business, We again say that Cardinal Pole's journey to the court of France is convenient and useful, that people may see that the ambassadors go thither by common agreement.—Aranjuez, 15 Sept. 1539.
Spanish. Original. pp. 2.
15 Sept. 83. The Same to the Same.
S. E. Roma, L. 868.
B M. Add. 28,591,
f. 216.
The enclosed was written and about to be closed when Juan Riccio de Montepulchano, His Holiness' Camarlengo, came here. By the letters he brought from you, and from Our viceroy of Naples, as well as by those of Venice, We were apprized of the unfortunate loss of Castilnovo and its garrison, which loss We have felt, as you may believe. If, therefore, We are to provide for the defence of Christendom, threatened by the Turk, especially if Venice makes peace with him, it will be necessary that the Pope bear with Us all the weight.
Upon matters of Faith, and the affairs of Germany and England, the said Camarlengo (Riccio) and His Holiness' Nuncio (Poggio) have held long conferences with the members of Our Privy Council, and, besides that, have given a memorandum in writing of the opinions of His Holiness, and of the Sacred College of Cardinals, all trying to prove that Our journey to England was a matter of necessity, if the relative affairs of those countries were to be remedied.
The Pope's Camarlengo and the Nuncio also spoke about Camarino, Rocha Guillermo, the right of the Duchess to the succession of the duke Alessandro de Medici, the faculty His Holiness has of drawing annually from Sicily a certain quantity of wheat, and last, not least, the voyage of Ottavio Farnese, who is likely to come to this Our Court.
With regard to matters of Faith in Germany, We refer you to the enclosed Memorandum, (fn. n1) and command you to explain to His Holiness, whenever there be an opportunity, that We consider ourselves under the obligation of again sending to that country the archbishop of Lunden, (fn. n2) because the accusations brought against that prelate have never been substantiated or proved, nor does he appear to have failed in the exercise of his duty; what he consented to at the recess of Francfort was done by force and the apprehension of greater evils, &c.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 3.
24 Sept. 84. Deliberations in Council respecting a League with France against the Turk.
S. E., L. 1459,
ff. 128–9.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 220.
With marginal notes in the handwriting of Idiaquez.
Spanish. Original. pp. 20.
24 Sept. 85. Deciphering of Letters from the Ambassador of France.
Arch. Nat., Neg. &
Simancas, 1484,
No. 21.
Since writing to Your Majesty on the 3rd, I have been waiting for news from Flanders.
24 Sept. 86. Deliberation in the Emperor's Council on the Articles of the Proposed League with France against the Turk. (fn. n3)
S. E., Leg. 1459.
ff. 128–9.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 220.
The new League is founded on the Emperor's reciprocal friendship for king Francis, and the good will and readiness of the latter to employ himself on behalf of Christendom. That considering the great efforts the Turk is making to molest and oppress the Christian community, it is important that instead of the partial league between His Holiness the Pope, the Emperor, and the Venetians, a general one be made, comprising all Christian princes, &c. On what base is the new League to rest, and how is the cessation of the preceding one to be accounted for?
The Imperial ambassador in France is to thank the King for his acceptance of the proposed general League; assure him of the great pleasure he (the Emperor) has received at hearing of his readiness to co-operate against the Infidel; that every thing will be done according to his advice, and the ambassadors at Rome of both monarchs might together inform His Holiness of the League about to be made, begging him to keep it secret until it be actually concluded. Is the League or confederacy to be between the Emperor and the king of France only, leaving room for the Pope, the Venetians, and other Christian kings and powers to join it? or are the Pope and Venice at once to be included in it, for fear they should resent the omission? In either case the thing could not remain a secret, which is what king Francis fears.
As to the Venetians, it must be left entirely to the King's choice, either to show them confidence and invite them to join it, by means of messengers from both Majesties (Emperor and King), or else let His Holiness do it according to the state of their negociations with the Turk at the time.
Let the ambassador speak only of the defensive League at first; but should king Francis give a hint about the offensive one, let Us know what his intentions are. Is the League to be merely a defensive one or offensive also?
Should it be offensive how long is it to last, and in what manner, so that the defensive may not be impaired through it.
Coming to treat about an offensive war, what part of the Turkish territory is to be attacked or invaded, and if conquered, what is to be done with it? this last being most probably a specification the French will insist upon.
Is the League to be by sea and land against the Grand Turk, Barbarossa, and the rest of the Infidels, or merely against the two former, for it would seem hard to oblige the king of France to take up arms everywhere against the Infidels in general.
The answer to this article is that the Imperial ambassador in France ought to sound the King respecting this point. Should king Francis find it hard to contribute with money or men to the defence of those countries, let him stipulate at least that the King may help in some way or other by assisting the king of the Romans in those parts, and inducing king Jean Zapolsky to take up arms. Are Hungary and Sclavonia to be included also in the League, so that, if attacked by the Turk those countries may be defended, or is an offensive war to be carried on through them? If so, the French are sure to say that this matter is the exclusive concern of the king of the Romans, and the states of the Empire.
This is to be managed with great dexterity, for fear king Francis should allege, as he has done at other times, that we tax or rate his good-will. The contribution should be left entirely to his choice, sure, as the Emperor is, that the great friendship he now professes, as well as the duty imposed upon him as Most Christian king of France, will be a sufficient stimulus on the occasion. Should he ask with what sum His Imperial Majesty is likely to contribute, the ambassador will answer "one third: the other two thirds being paid by His Holiness and the Venetians," as stipulated in the preceding treaty of League, or that if the Venetians do not join, their part be paid by His Holiness and the king of France. What will be the contingent in men and money to be furnished by the parties according to their dignity and quality and also to the greater proximity of their dominions to Turkey.
This is to be understood repecting the defensive war, for if it is to be offensive, it is but just that the expenses should be borne, one half by the Emperor, the other by the King.
The ambassador will try to ascertain what the King is likely to do without pressing him too hard. As the Pope cannot arm his galleys, it has been agreed that he will pay his contingent in money, and therefore, should king Francis prefer this, he may do it, and fix at once the sum with which he is willing to contribute. What is to be stipulated respecting other minor expenses, such as ammunition, the provisioning of the galleys, and the pay of the infantry?
The ambassador is to feel the King's pulse on the subject, and try to ascertain what his real motives are, but this to be done without arousing suspicion or suspending the negociations. How and at what time are the remaining Christian princes to be invited to join the League since the king of France wishes it to remain secret?
The ambassador is to take care that the stipulations be express and clear, so that everything may be ready for next year during the month of May without fail. How and in what form to treat with them, so that with or without their intervention the defensive League may go on without impediment?
After declaring that the Emperor is not at all desirous of greater authority for himself and his ministers than that which the King has a right to, the ambassador must try discreetly, and through the medium of the Queen, the cardinal of Lorraine, and the constable of France, to procure that the King allow the command of the forces to be given to Doria, who, besides his great experience in sea matters, was reconciled with him at Aigues-Mortes last year, and is sure to treat the French galleys and crews with the utmost care and attention. Who is to be the head and chief of the defensive League, and are its captains to be under the Commander in Chief?
During the month of May, 1540, as above said. When is the League, if offensive, to commence, taking for granted that the king of France accept its terms as proposed?
The ambassador to read this article to the King, and ask his pleasure thereupon, although the truth is that the condition as to time had better be left for a separate treaty Is the above condition to be stipulated in the treaty of League itself or communicated to the King separately, which would seem a more honorable way of doing the thing?
Yes, in France, and let full powers be sent to the Imperial ambassador. Is the League to be negociated in France as the King wishes?
The Imperial ambassador in France is to be particularly instructed as to this point. That there be no difficulty or impediment in the negociations, it is important to declare and explain in detail every incident connected with the League, as for instance: should king Francis object to the articles of the treaty being submitted to the Pope's judgment or declaration, what is to be done?
That may be settled here, and will come under the head of mutual securities to be obtained from the contracting parties. And again, how and in what manner is it to be stipulated that neither of the contracting parties is to treat separately with the Venetians unless the consent and knowledge of the other be previously obtained? And what security is to be asked?
It has always been thought best not to take more obligations than those that are absolutely necessary; and yet, considering the terms on which we are with the Turk, and that the date fixed for fulfilling mutual engagements is close at hand, there will be no harm, on the contrary much good, in taking further obligations, since the French might thereby become more confident, and overcome their scruples, if they had any, at this security having been offered by them over and over again without any corresponding offer on our part. It would, therefore, be more honest and straightforward to make the said security a general one. There can be no objection as to Germany, because, as subjects are not to be included, there is hardly any possibility of treating any thing important with them, even if the king of France were to interfere; if, by God's will, a perfect and complete peace be made with him—the date fixed being close at hand—it stands to reason that all German affairs would then go on smoothly, and, if necessary, be settled by our common participation in them. Will it be enough for the purpose to accept the offer previously made, and actually renewed by the king of France, of not treating with other Powers?
This matter, however, is so important that the Imperial ambassador at the court of France will be written to, that he may continually inform the Emperor of any incident that may occur during the negociations of the above and other points, and also of the King's and ministers' will. (fn. n4) —24 Sept. 1539.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 15.


  • n1. Not in the packet.
  • n2. About this archbishop, whose name was Torbern-Bilde, see Vol. V., Part II., p. 350. He was succeeded in the See by John Vesalius or a Vessa.
  • n3. The same paper as that under No. 84, only fuller, and apparently original.
  • n4. The marginal notes (apostillas) are in Covos' hand.