Spain: October 1539

Pages 191-201

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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October 1539, 1-31

4 Oct. 87. The Emperor to the Marquis de Aguilar.
S. E., L. 868,
f. 138.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 228.
On the 15th ult. We wrote to you by treasurer Ravaga. Since then your despatches of the 11th and 15th Sept. have come to hand. Having apprized you of the arrival of Montepulchano, and of what was treated with him, We need not say more on that subject, and refer you to Our letters.
With regard to the Venetians, you are to use, in union with Our ambassador to that Republic [Don Diego de Mendoza], every means in your power to make them continue in the League, or, at least, if they do desert it, that they do not become Our enemies, assuring them that His Holiness and We ourselves will continue to assist and help them if attacked by the Turk.
The state of Our relations with king Francis being at present friendly, and he having shown perfect good will in what concerns the welfare of Christendom, We could not do less, after the loss of Castilnovo, than propose to him what We considered the best means for the defence of threatened Christendom, and especially a League of all the Christian princes and powers against the Turk. This king Francis accepted, telling Our ambassador at his Court that, should We send him a memorandum of the chief matters to be discussed with His Holiness' interference, he had no objection whatever. We have, therefore, written to Our ambassador at Rome, marquis de Aguilar, to beg His Holiness to enter that League in the name of the Apostolic See, and keep it secret until the time for action comes, and We have decided, in union with the Most Christian King, on the measures to be taken in May next. And should king Francis be of opinion that the Venetians ought to be invited to join it, notwithstanding their present relations with the Turk, let it be done, as there can be no harm in the invitation. Should they adhere to the new League, well and good; if not, We shall know at once that they are the friends of the Turk, and that they are perhaps acting in concert with king Francis.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 4½.
24 Oct. 88. Instructions to Don Luis de Çuñiga, sent to Italy for the purpose of making known the Emperor's Intentions to go to Flanders through France.
S. P. R. Diversos
de Italia.
Leg.1o., f. 12, y. 18.
For the causes more particularly detailed in the other set of secret instructions, which go along with these, We have decided to visit Our dominion of Flanders, passing through France. Our intention is to start by half-posts and as small a retinue as possible for those countries, in order to arrive the sooner. (fn. n1) We shall leave this on the 8th or 9th of November, and, after visiting on Our way the Most Christian king of France and the Queen, Our sister, the Dolfin (Dauphin), and duke of Orliens (Orleans), their sons, without stopping more than the necessary time for such visits, We shall prosecute Our journey to Flanders, where Our brother, the king of the Romans, Ferdinand, will already be. During the winter months We shall attend to the pacification and good order of Our Flemish dominions, that We may be free and disengaged to negociate and conclude with the king of France certain matters still pending between Us, and, among others, certain intermarriages. Both together, We shall consider what had better be done in Germany respecting matters of Faith, and others touching the welfare of Christendom, and principally the resistance to the Turk, so as to be able to attend by next spring to the welfare of Christendom. (fn. n2)
Such being our determination, We have expressly appointed you, Don Luis de Zuñiga, gentleman of Our Chamber, to go to Italy and inform prince Doria and others of Our ministers in that country of Our intended journey.
After landing at Genoa, you will call on the Prince (Doria), who must have returned by this time, and, conjointly with commander Figueroa, Our ambassador to that Republic, communicate to him the contents of these present instructions. You will ask Doria's opinion respecting the armaments for next year, the number of galleys, stores of provisions, &c., which he considers necessary for the good issue of the enterprize, taking into account that king Francis has again sent to Constantinople Cesare Cantelmo, to see if he can persuade the Grand Turk to grant a general truce.
You will then go to the marquis del Gasto, our governor of the state of Milan, and order him in Our name to go personally to Venice and apprize the Signory of Our determination, which is to make war upon the Turk in the spring of next year. The Marquis is to assure the Venetians that, in negociating with king Francis, We shall take care that no harm be done to them, and that, whatever stipulations are made between us two, may not be to their disadvantage, but solely and exclusively for the welfare of Christendom at large and the repulsion of the Turk. That both His Holiness and the Signory will be consulted as to the best means of carrying Our warlike plans into execution, and that We hope they will help and assist as befits a Christian Republic. And should king Francis wish to back these representations of Ours, and send thither an embassy for the purpose, We have directed that copies of these very instructions should be forwarded to Mons. de Praët, and to Our ambassador at the French court, in order that he may, if he approves of them, write to his ambassador at Venice accordingly.
You will afterwards proceed to Rome, and, having delivered to the marquis de Aguilar the letter you have for him, you and he will call on His Holiness and communicate the whole of these instructions, assuring him at the same time that nothing shall be discussed or done at Our future interview with king Francis of which he will not be immediately informed, and that every regard and respect for his person, dignity, and authority shall be shown.
Should you find an opportunity, you will, with the Marquis' advice, speak in favor of the prince of Sulmona, and try that justice be done in the lawsuit in which he is now engaged. The same may be said respecting that of the monastery of Santa Catarina de Sena with the High Commander of Castille. (fn. n3) —Madrid, 24 Oct. 1539.
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 8.
26 Oct. 89. Secret Instructions to Don Luys de Çuñiga, who left Madrid for Italy on the 24th of October 1539.
S. P. to R1., Diver-
sos de Italia, L. 1,
ff. 9–11.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 240.
Besides the general instructions (fn. n4) which you, Don Luys de Çuñiga, gentleman of Our Chamber, received the other day for the purpose of announcing to His Holiness Our determination to repair to Flanders, passing through France, We have given orders that another set of secret (fn. n4) ones, further explaining the reasons and motives of Our journey thither, be prepared, that you may individually and in detail inform Prince Doria, and the rest of Our ministers in Italy, of the purpose of Our journey and passage through France. But let these instructions remain a secret between you and those with whom you may communicate; for, although the reasons and motives therein contained are all true, and there would be no harm in making them public, yet for the present it is better that they should be confidential and only known to a few.
Considering the danger in which Christendom lies, owing to the repeated invasions of the Turk; the unsettled state of affairs in Germany, which, as is well known, is a principal member of the Christian family; considering Our own particular relations with the kings of France and England; and last, not least, that Our kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, as well as the islands and fortresses We hold in Africa, and, what is more, that the coasts of Catalonia and Valencia have been for some time, and are now more than ever, in imminent peril from the Turk—whose formidable armaments are sure to be directed against Us next year—considering likewise that the Venetians notwithstanding their league with His Holiness, the Pope, and with Us, made for the sole purpose of saving themselves and the whole of Christendom, did some time ago, without His Holiness' knowledge or Ours, agree first with the Turk to a suspension of hostilities, and then to another, in order to treat of a truce in the meanwhile; and that when called upon to join their forces to Ours for the defence of threatened Christianity, they excused themselves—considering that the Pope himself is unable for want of means to contribute, as he promised, towards the expenses of the League, or arm his own galleys; that Our own means are insufficient for such armaments as are required in the present emergency; that Our kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, as well as Spain and the Indies, are literally exhausted, so that it is impossible for Us to make war single-handed—considering also the revolutionary movements, by no means trifling, which are perceptible in Our Flemish dominions, and which, if unsuppressed, might offer a pretence for the Separatists and the neighbouring powers hostile to the Empire to forward their own wicked ends:
For the above reasons We have thought it important for Us to go over to Italy, as stated in the general instructions, in order to retain, if possible, the Venetians within the League, and agree with them and with His Holiness as to the best means of resisting the Turk. We naturally counted upon the king of France's assistance, whose good will and friendship towards Us have so much increased of late that he has actually offered to exert his influence with the Turk to induce him to make a general peace with Christendom, and, should he refuse, join his forces to Ours and march against him. But in making such an offer king Francis counts, no doubt, upon Our deciding in his favor certain matters, which still remain undecided between him and Us; otherwise he would not show such alacrity in coming forward.
The remedy of the German evils, and the putting down of the popular movements in Flanders, is another cause for Our projected journey. We have been patiently waiting all the summer for news of the Turkish fleet, and of Doria's return to Genoa with his galleys, but in vain; summer and autumn have passed away, We are already in winter, and yet no reliable intelligence has reached Us up to the present. Had Doria returned from his cruize, though winter is far advanced, and the navigation at such a season is difficult and even dangerous, We would willingly have exposed Our person to the perils of the sea. Even then We could never have reached Genoa before Christmas, hardly soon enough to attend to the military preparations of next year against the Turk, which if neglected would drive the Italians, and especially the inhabitants of Naples and Sicily, to despair. We should have been unable to visit Our duchy of Milan, where Our presence is needed for a few days; besides which the journey to Flanders, which is Our principal object, being a long one, We might perhaps not have arrived there in time to pacify the troubles of that country. In order to reach that country We should have been obliged to pass either through that part of Savoy which king Francis occupies—which, after all, comes to the same thing as passing through his own kingdom—or across Switzerland, which is also very inconvenient, or through the dominions of the Signory, in which case We should have been obliged either to trust entirely to them, or else to show a sort of mistrust, which might lead them to suspect that We meant no good; they might have armed, and We should have done the same. Neither of these routes, all long and tedious, would have been more secure than the one through France, especially if the Lutherans and Separatists of Germany took it into their heads to stir, because in such an event it would have been necessary for Us to have an army, and expend considerable sums thereupon, which might be better employed in a war against the Infidel.
For the above reasons, as specified in your general instructions, We have decided to pass through France, the more so that there is still some pending business to transact between Us and the king of that country, which cannot well be settled except by Our personal and mutual understanding, as well as by Our having first conferred with Our brother the king of the Romans, Ferdinand, and with Our sister Maria, the dowager queen of Hungary and regent of the Low Countries, as well as with the States-general of Flanders.
The help and assistance against the Turk which king Francis has promised—and without which the above specified matters pending between Us and him could not be satisfactorily settled—is another cause, perhaps the principal one, of Our resolution. For in order to have that king declare himself and assist Us efficiently, it is needful that many doubtful points under discussion, and still unsettled between Us, should be cleared up, without which king Francis might perhaps embarrass Us with the Turk, or else molest Us in Germany and Flanders. Having no occasion now, as at other times, to negociate with him in Italy, Our journey thither would have been perfectly useless, for in going hence to Barcelona, waiting there for Doria's galleys, embarking for Genoa, spending a few days in Milan, and then taking the long and tedious route to Flanders, much time would have been lost. Even if We had reached France in time to treat with the Most Christian, and the latter had agreed—which We have no doubt he will—to aid Us in the war contemplated against the Infidel, it would have been too late for the King to have made the necessary preparations for the campaign of next year.
Considering, therefore, that without king Francis' efficient co-operation the undertaking against the Turk cannot succeed; that the remedy of German and Flemish affairs will have to be postponed or will foil altogether; that both the king of France and his sons, knowing the position of Our affairs, have frequently and earnestly begged and entreated Us not to expose Our person to the dangers of the sea during these winter months, but consent to pass through their kingdom—offering Us at the same time all manner of securities in writing, as well as pledging their faith and honor in deeds and letters subscribed with their names—(copies of which are already in your possession), We have, as above stated, decided to pass through France on Our way to Flanders.
To this determination of placing Ourselves, as it were, in the hands of the king of France, some of Our Privy Councillors did strongly object, alleging that Our reconciliation with king Francis was of a very recent date, that mutual friendship had not yet been consolidated, and that, although the interview at Aigues-Mortes had terminated so well, it was unwise to rely too much on precedents of that sort. (fn. n5) Our trust and confidence on that occasion had only lasted one day and one night, whereas at present it must continue for several days and nights, during which many untoward events might happen, such as the death of the King, the Prince's succession, and altogether a new government; and even if no attempt was made against Our liberty, the French might yet compel Us to treat of Our common affairs within the limits of their kingdom, or at least exact from Us the promise of concluding those very affairs to their profit and satisfaction.
The above representations are certainly prudent and well meant, but, considering the need in which We are of king Francis' assistance and help for the sake of threatened Christendom, and of Our dominions in particular, and that, in order to obtain his help and co-operation against the Turk, it is first necessary to clear up certain matters between Us and him, unite and bind Ourselves together, and that this kind of business cannot possibly be attended to in Italy, but in Flanders, where We must first meet Our brother (Ferdinand) and Our sister (Maria), besides consulting the General States of Flanders, and that, even in the case of Our brother being able to come to Italy for the purpose, Our sister, the queen of Hungary, could not; that business of this kind cannot well be done by a third person or by letter, for fear of delay and confusion, We have made up Our mind to repair to Flanders by way of France.
Such are the causes of and reasons for Our determination. You will inform prince Doria and the rest of Our ministers in Italy on this point; but let the thing remain secret, for fear of some scruple or inconvenience arising on account of Our passage through France. Copies of your general instructions (not of these secret and confidential ones) have already been forwarded to Mr. de Praët and to Our ambassador in France, in order that both may show confidence and trust, and, should the King approve of their contents, a memorandum might be made and circulated to that effect.
Doria to be asked to state his opinion in writing about the number of galleys required for next year's campaign, ammunition, provisions, &c, and also upon what the marquis del Gasto is to say and do at Venice during his stay there.
Should Doria not be at Genoa on your landing there, let ambassador Figueroa have a copy of these secret instructions, as well as of the general ones, that he may show it to the Prince on his return.
After this you will go to Milan and Rome, there to do the work specified in your general instructions. Immediately after your arrival at Genoa you will send an express to the marquis de Aguilar, that he may in general terms acquaint His Holiness with the object of this your mission, taking good care, when you reach that capital, to apprize him most particularly of the whole, and assure him in the presence of the Marquis—who will accompany you on that and other occasions—that whatever We may hereafter treat with the king of France shall be communicated to him.
Another express to be sent to Our ambassador in Venice.
Should the Marquis consider it necessary for you to remind His Holiness of certain particulars relating to pending negociations with him, such as that of the cardinals' hats, prince of Sulmona, High Commander of Castille, count de Sant Segundo, &c, you will apply to him in Our name, in conformity with Our wishes and instructions to the Marquis. After staying at Home as many days as you and the Marquis may deem strictly necessary for your business, you will go first to Genoa to visit prince Doria, and ask his opinion respecting Our inquiries about the armaments of next year, &c. This being done, you will join us in Flanders or France, wherever We may be.
You will visit Our daughter, the Duchess (Margarita), informing her of Our determination, and telling her to try and give satisfaction in all matters to His Holiness, to the duke of Castro, and to all the members of the Farnese family, not forgetting to take Lope Hurtado's advice as to that.—Madrid, 26 Oct. 1539. (fn. n6)
Spanish. Original draft. pp. 8.
29 Oct. 90. The Marquis de Aguilar to the Emperor.
S. E., L. 868,
f. 19.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 254.
Wrote on the 21st inst. by an express going to Portugal, who was at the same time the bearer of the two breves for the half-fruits. Answered in full all the questions contained in the letter brought by treasurer Rabago. Since then one from the Emperor has been received, which requires no answer, inasmuch as its contents refer almost entirely to the orders brought by the said treasurer. He [Aguilar] is waiting for news of what Mr. de Saint Vincent may have negociated in France concerning the universal League against the Turk. Meanwhile, and in obedience to the Emperor's commands, the whole affair shall be kept secret, but he (Aguilar) cannot help thinking that the French ambassador may already have said something about it to the Pope, for in conversation with the latter, and whilst we were both commenting upon the answer given by the Grand Turk to the Venetian ambassador respecting a particular peace with the Signory, His Holiness told him plainly that he was now working to make the Venetians re-enter the League, giving their ambassador here to understand how fit and convenient it would be for them to do so, especially now that peace and amity between the Emperor and the Most Christian King was getting closer than ever, that they should remain firmly attached to the League, the end of which would be, as he hoped, that king Francis would inevitably be obliged to concur in the undertaking against the Turk; "for (added the Pope), from some particulars I have from the French ambassador, and the intelligence received from my Nuncio in Spain, I have no doubt that peace will shortly be made."
All these are very fine words; but his (Aguilar's) impression is that His Holiness is anything but satisfied at the prospect of a peace being concluded without his intervention, and he fears lest something or other should turn up to his prejudice. He (Aguilar) loses no opportunity of allaying the Pope's misgivings in the matter, assuring him, in the Emperor's name, that he will be promptly informed of whatever is treated at the conferences, and that nothing will be done without his immediate intervention.
Poggio (said the Pope) had written concerning the Emperor's resolution to come to Italy; he was delighted to bear of it, and wished to know from him (Aguilar) whether the report was true, and what he (Aguilar) knew of it. Answered that the Emperor had certainly resolved to come to Italy, and that should Prince Doria arrive in Genoa before the end of October, he had orders to sail immediately for Barcelona. That there was also a talk of His Imperial Majesty coming [to Italy] through France, and was expected to pass the Carnaval at Milan. However, he (Aguilar) had no positive news as to that, and believed that the time of the departure had not yet been fixed upon. As soon as he knew he would let the Pope know, &c.
England.—With regard to England, His Holiness said some days ago that the ambassador of the Most Christian king of France had told him that the king of England had contracted a marriage with the sister (fn. n7) of the duke of Clèves. He (Aguilar) happened to meet shortly after the French ambassador, who, being interrogated on the subject, owned that the intelligence was true, but had not come to him officially from king Francis' ministers, only from a confidential friend of his, who gave the news as certain. He (Aguilar) doubts this, because three days ago he received letters from Eustace de Chapuys in Flanders, (fn. n8) and from the archbishop of Palermo, (fn. n9) with news of those countries, and yet not a word is therein said about the King's marriage.
The French ambassador also told him (Aguilar) that he had lately received from king Francis a memorandum, or, rather, an account, of all that had passed from the beginning until now in the negociations carried on by Cantelmo and Rincon, in his name, at Constantinople with the Turk respecting the general truce; also the result of the enquiry instituted by his order after Cantelmo's return to France. These documents, the ambassador said, had been forwarded to him to place in His Holiness' hands, conjointly with the cardinal of Ferrara, (fn. n10) who entered this city on the 27th inst. Fancies that all this has been done by king Francis, with a view to excuse himself from the reports circulated at Venice and other places that Cantelmo and Rincon, his ambassadors, had done anything but good offices for the League [at Constantinople].
Heard also from the said ambassador that within the last week he himself had asked His Holiness, in his master's name, to admit the resignation which his Legate at Avignon intends making in favour of Cardinal de Xalon (Chalon), (fn. n11) and that His Holiness had answered coldly that he would consider the case. Though His Holiness has not said a word about it, yet he (Aguilar) fancies that he has felt great displeasure at an application of this sort having been made at this time; nor is it likely that he will ever grant the permission asked for, since on its being reported here the other day that the legate of Avignon had died, the Pope immediately appointed cardinal Farnese (Alessandro) to the vacant legacy.
Hears also from a most reliable quarter that His Holiness has ordered a letter to be written to his Nuncio in France, and another to his brother here, saying that they may write in confirmation of the appointment, enjoining him at the same time to procure by all possible ways and means reliable information respecting the above point, and, should he get it, to let him know immediately, as he considered that the greatest service that could be rendered him on the occasion.
Advices have come from Don Diego de Mendoça, stating the answer made by the Grand Turk to the Venetian ambassador on his taking leave of him, and what the Signory had said to Don Diego, hinting that the Emperor could not do less than prepare for next year. Having talked to His Holiness about this in order to sound him, he answered: "Should the Turk insist on the conditions he has asked from the Venetians for a particular peace, I consider it most certain that they will not give him a foot (palmo) of land; much less will they join the Turk against me, His Imperial Majesty, or the king of the Romans, &c."—Rome, 29th Oct. 1539.
Signed: "El Marques de Aguilar."
Addressed: "To the Sacred, Imperial, and Catholic Majesty, of the Emperor and King our Lord."
Spanish. Original. pp. 4.
30 Oct. 91. The King of England to the Queen of Hungary.
Wien, Imp. Arch.
Rep. P. Fasc., C. 231,
Most high and most excellent Princess, Our dearest and most beloved sister and good cousin, as affectionately and heartily as We can We commend Ourselves to you.
Having just now received intelligence of the answer which the Emperor has made to Our ambassador residing near his person, in reference to certain letters of Ours addressed to you, delivered by Sentleger (Saint Leger), gentleman of Our Chamber, on the safe-conduct and passports of Our dearest and most beloved cousin dame Anne de Clèves, &c., which letters to the Emperor We had written purposely, and by way of precaution, lest you yourself should have been unable to satisfy our request, We lose no time in informing you that the Emperor's answer has been so satisfactory and conclusive, as you will be able to judge by his letter addressed to you—and of which a copy was given to Our ambassador at the Imperial Court—that nothing more could be desired from Our good brother and friend, the Emperor.
We have, therefore, decided without loss of time to send you this present letter, together with those of Our good brother, the Emperor, and Our most perfect assurance that We take much to heart the effect of the said Imperial letter, and thank the Emperor for it, begging you, most excellent Princess, Our dearest and most beloved sister and good cousin, that, taking into consideration the purport of the Emperor's letter, as well as Our own desire, as expressed in Our last letter—and, if necessary, reproduced by Our ambassadors residing at your Court, or by one of them—you may be pleased, for the personal security and comfort of the said lady and suite, to add to her passport such full orders and favorable commendations as may be required and it is in your power to give, since such is, as We can see, the good intention of our said brother, the Emperor.
We have not the least doubt that, considering what has happened, you will willingly comply with this Our request, and do Our pleasure in regard to it, assuring you at the same time that, desirous as We are of fostering and increasing the old friendship and alliance between Us and you, as well as between the subjects of both countries, We shall not fail, as your brother and ally that We are, to remember the service We ask of you, and that, in all matters likely to give you pleasure and satisfaction, you shall always find Us as prompt and ready as you might wish.
Most high and excellent Princess, Our dearest and most beloved sister and cousin, &c. Written at Our palace of Westminster, this 30th day of October 1539.
Signed: "Henry."
Addressed: "To the most High and most Excellent Princess, our dearest and most beloved sister and good cousin, the Queen dowager of Hungary and Bohemia, etc., regent and governess for the Emperor in his Low Countries."
French. Original. pp. 2.


  • n1. Yendo a media posta, y con la menor compañia que se pudiere para llegar más presto allá.
  • n2. "Y declararemor y assentaremos cos el dicho Christianissimo Rey las que entre Nos y él quedan por aclarar tratando algunos casamientos [de familia] para mayor confirmacion y asseguracion de la dicho nuestra amistad y de los nuestros, y miraremos ambos lo que se deura hazer en las de la fee y de Alemania, y en las otras del bien publico de la Christiandad, y principalmente en lo que será necessario para la resistencia del dicho Turco."
  • n3. D. Luis de Zuñiga to whom these instructions are addressed.
  • n4. These are the secret instructions above alluded to. See No. 88.
  • n5. "La prudencia no quiere que muchas vezes se hagan semejantes cosas por la mudanza que podria hauer en las voluntades."
  • n6. The date bears Madrid à xxvi. Octe de MDXXXIX., and yet, according to the Vandenesse's Itinerary (p. 512), the Emperor left Madrid on the 12th, was at Valladolid on the 20th, and thence took post to France.
  • n7. Anne, sister of Jean La Mark, duke of Clèves.
  • n8. Chapuys was then in Flanders. See p. 135.
  • n9. Jean de Carondelet, from 1520 to 1544.
  • n10. "Hippolito d'Este."
  • n11. Giov. Salviati. Xalon is for Chalons.