Spain: November 1539

Pages 201-212

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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November 1539, 1-30

2 Nov. 92. Mr. de Praët and the Imperial Ambassador in France to the Emperor.
S. E., L. 46,
ff. 105–6.
On the 29th ulto. Your Majesty's letter of the 22nd came to hand. I (Praët) met the Imperial courier four leagues from this town (Compiegne). Made haste so as to arrive soon after him, which I did, entering the town in the evening of the same day. At night the ambassador (fn. n1) and myself sent word to the High Constable apprizing him of my arrival, and that the courier had also brought despatches and letters for him, upon which he gave us an appointment for the morning of the next day. After dinner we both called on the Queen (Eleanor), and respectfully placed in her hands the letters we had for her. She scarcely paid any attention to them, but, with visible anxiety on her countenance, asked immediately; "What has been my brother's resolution about passing through France?" So, without the reverent and complimentary words used on such occasions, we answered point blank and without ceremony: "We can assure Your Majesty that the Emperor will come to France," and then we proceeded to read to her the whole of Your Majesty's despatch, at which she was enchanted, perceiving that her most ardent wishes were about to be soon realized.
At this moment the Grand Master (Montmorency) came in, to whom we gave Your Majesty's letter of credence, declaring that such were Your Majesty's trust in and reliance upon the Most Christian King, that in your journey to Flanders you intended to pass through France. After which we read to him that portion of the letter received from Your Majesty, omitting of course, such passages of it as might have engendered mistrust or suspicion. Some time after this my colleague and myself were summoned to the King's presence, who, having previously been informed by the Grand Master of the object of our mission, received us most kindly, and declared to us at once, in the most affectionate words, how charmed and honored he was with the prospect of Your Majesty's visit, repeating to us the same flattering and endearing expressions of which the abbot of St. Vincent had made use in conversation with me (Praët). He very much regretted that bad health and actual illness would perhaps prevent him from going as far to meet Your Majesty as he might otherwise have done; but still he would do his best to honor his royal guest, who would be as well received as in hid own kingdom. Although our answer was that Your Majesty would not for the world put him to extraordinary fatigue on your account, he (the King) is determined to leave this town for Paris on Wednesday next, and thence, if possible, go to Amboise, or as far as he can go. No one can move him from this resolution. As to the Grand Master himself, he purposes starting in a day or two, making all possible haste, and travelling by long stages until he arrives in Viscay, whilst Mr. d'Orliens (Charles de Valois) will leave three or four days hence, and ride post until he meets Your Majesty in the very centre of your dominions. Some days after the Dauphin (Henri) will do the same, though, to judge from the date fixed for his departure, he will be unable, as it is thought, to go beyond the limits of France. Besides that, the King has assured us that a number of hackneys, mules, horses, and ponies (quortagos?) will be provided, so that Your Majesty may with less trouble and fatigue travel half-post, if you please. On the road (says the King) there will be hunting and other pastimes provided from one day to another if Your Majesty feels inclined, not otherwise; and if you choose to rest on the road, suitable lodgings shall be prepared at some of his own houses, or at those of his knights and vassals. (fn. n2)
We did not forget to remind the Grand Constable that, bringing a very small retinue, Your Majesty's intention was to take temporarily into your service such officers of his master's household, as might be deemed most trustworthy and honorable, as well as most capable of serving you personally in their different charges. The Grand Constable's answer was that he had already thought of that, and believed on his honor that such choice would be made as to give complete satisfaction.
Nor have we omitted to say, in Your Majesty's name, that though nothing could have been more agreeable to you than to see and embrace your sister [the Queen], yet you begged and entreated that she would on no account be allowed to depart and leave the King, her husband, who needs her attendance and care more than ever in his present state of health. The same prayer was by us made to the Grand Master: "Though the Emperor, we said, would like to see you by his side, owing to the great trust and confidence he has in you, yet he begs you as earnestly as he can not to leave the French court, where your presence is so necessary for the management of general business, and principally of what concerns the King and me." Yet we have not been able to make him change his purpose; he will go, and has assured us that everything is in such perfect order that all will go on smoothly. He leaves behind him cardinal de Lorraine to replace him temporarily in his office about the King, and besides that has assured me that during the journey no attempt shall be made to introduce or discuss any of the points of the future peace, and, as the King himself said to me some days ago: "I would rather forfeit half my kingdom than have the worth of one penny demanded from the Emperor."
We have also made the King and the Grand Master understand the motives of Don Luys de Avila's mission to prince Doria and to the Pope, as well as the marquis del Gasto's preconcerted journey to Venice. We have read to them Your Majesty's instructions to the former, and explained the cause of the latter's journey. The King has found them so just and suitable that he has decided to send to Rome the Sieur de Giez, (fn. n3) and to Venice marshall Hannebault, lieutenant-general of Piedmont, that they may testify and declare on his part whatever Your Majesty's ambassadors have done. With regard to England, it has been deemed sufficient that the King and the Grand Master (Montmorency), write to the French ambassador residing in that country to explain, conjointly with the Imperial one, the causes and motives of the journey, and the Grand Master has also promised us to write, &c.
Although it was Your Majesty's desire that before my departure, I (Praët) and my colleague, St. Vincent, should forward as much as possible the negociations for the new treaty of League against the Turk, nothing could be done on our side until an answer came from those parts to the statements made by the abbot of St. Vincent and myself with reference to the treaty in contemplation, especially as this King's Council has given its opinion that the negociations ought to be carried on solely in Your Majesty's name and in his own, exclusively of the Pope, the Venetians, or any other power. So that I (Praët) have thought that since I cannot be of any use here for the present, I had better go to the queen of Hungary, the regent in the Low Countries.
Since the above was written we have heard that Mr. de Brissac (fn. n4) is going by post to meet Your Majesty.—Compiegne, y Noviembre 2 de. 1539.
Signed: "Loys de Praët—El Abbad de Sanct Vincent."
Spanish. Original. pp. 3.
29 Nov. 93. The Marquis de Aguilar to the Emperor.
S. E., Roma,
L. 866, f. 120.
B. M. 28,591,
f. 24.
Wrote on the 12th inst., to say that he was in receipt of His Majesty's letter of the 24th ultimo, which, together with a copy of the general instructions, Don Luis de Zuñiga forwarded to him from Genoa. Left immediately for Civitta-vechia, where His Holiness was staying at the time, and communicated to him the whole of their contents. After that Don Luis himself arrived, and presented his credentials to His Holiness, who seemed highly pleased at the Emperor's determination, regretting however much, as he said, that the Emperor was not able to come to Italy, that both might converse together on public as well as on their own private affairs, and Madame the Duchess be able to kiss her father's hands, as she had been wishing for a long time back. Nothing, he added, would have more tended to induce the Venetians not to desert to the League than the Emperor's visit; for, attending, as they generally did, on all occasions to their own particular interest, it was to be feared they might choose that line of conduct which was most injurious to all parties, and of no benefit to themselves.
To write to the ambassador acknowledging the receipt of his letters, and telling him that His Imperial Majesty approves of, and is highly pleased with, his dexterity and tact in transacting business. His Majesty would also hare been equally pleased to see His Holiness; but his anxiety to repair as soon as possible to Flanders prevents his going to Italy first. However, considering the Emperor's object, which was principally to gain time, and considering also his promise to come next year to Italy, he (the Pope) entirely approves of the determination taken by him, and hopes and trusts that peace will shortly ensue, and that, in drawing up the articles of it, the authority of the Apostolic See will not be forgotten. He could not help saying that negociating with the French was a sort of food (manjr) that must be eaten quite hot; and that, besides peace, which, no doubt, was a very desirable thing, there were many other affairs to attend to, as, for instance, that of the king of England, who was daily spreading his venom in all quarters, as appears from the marriage he has lately contracted, and from his new league with the Lutherans.
The state of affairs in Germany is daily waxing worse and worse. The true medicine, in his opinion, would be the convocation of the General Council; but, if the matter be postponed, and the enemy remain behind one's back, how can the enterprise against the Turk succeed?
He (Aguilar) assured His Holiness that everything would be done according to his wishes; nothing should be treated and acted upon without his authority and advice.
The answer to this paragraph to be in conformity with the resolution to be taken in council. He greatly approved of the marquis del Gasto's mission to Venice, conjointly with Mr. de Hanybao (Hannebault), saying that he had no doubt that if king Francis' ambassador spoke to the Signory privately, as it was reported he had done in public, much good would come of it, and the Venetians be perhaps induced to enter into the general League. As to him, he would do all he could with the Signory's ambassadors and ministers, and, if unsuccessful, would withdraw from them the spiritual annual subvention which he had granted.
Nothing positive is known as yet; when the affair is decided, the Pope will he apprized of the result. He also desired to know what were the marriages talked of; but Don Luis said that he had no mandate on that topic, and, besides that, he knew nothing about them.
Next day Mr. de Gie, (fn. n5) gentleman of the Chamber to king Francis, arrived for the purpose of acquainting His Holiness, in his master's name, with all that had been negociated already with the Imperial ministers respecting the League. That being done, he and the French resident ambassador called on him (Aguilar), who next day returned their visit.
That the Cardinal shall be welcomed, and His Majesty much pleased at his coming. Nothing shall be hidden from him, and he will have full knowledge of the negociations. His Holiness had said to them that as the Most Christian had recently requested him, as well as cardinals Ferrara and Trivulzio, and others, members of the Sacred College, to attend the conferences, or appoint a Legate who might report on all points therein discussed and requiring the intervention of the Apostolic See, he was about to send to France cardinal Farnese, with a number of learned ecclesiastics in his suite. He himself could not go, as he would have wished, but the Cardinal would go and attend the meeting. Hearing this, the French ambassadors praised His Holiness' determination, and remarked that the Emperor had resolved on his passage through France—not, however, to make any stay, or transact official business of any kind—and that the King, their master, had agreed to it. Upon which His Holiness said that so he understood and that the Cardinal would not reach France until the Emperor had left for Flanders. After visiting the Most Christian king and queen of France, and offering his congratulations, the Cardinal would go to reside in Flanders, near the Emperor's person.
That, on the day after, the Legate's journey was put under discussion in consistory, when, with some slight opposition, the majority of the cardinals voted in favor of it, and that, accordingly, the Cardinal left on the 28th, travelling by short stages, half-post (á media posta).
That after Mos. de Gie and the French resident ambassadors had taken leave, he (Aguilar) called on the Pope, and communicated certain particulars of his instructions, such as the cardinal's hat for the bishop of Geneva, &c. On this point His Holiness answered that during the "temporas" of December next, that is to say, before the Emperor reached Flanders, the bishop would be created cardinal without fail. With respect to other cardinals' hats, his intention was to give one to the other son of the Duke of Gandia, and the remainder to the son of Giovan Battista Sabello, to prothonotary Gambara, and prothonotary Bartholomeo Guidichon, his vicar, and other confidential familiars and servants of his, all men of quality and parts greatly attached to the Imperial cause.
After this, cardinal Fernes (Farnese) declared to him (Aguilar) and to Don Luis [de Zuniga] that one of the hats would be for secretary Marcello, bishop of Neocastro (Novocastro), who accompanied him once to Spain, and who is also to accompany him on his present mission; another for the bishop of Arrimini (Rimini), His Holiness' treasurer, and a third for the bishop auditor of the Apostolic Chamber. Besides the above, the general of the Servites, a native of Benavente (Benevento), also was to have one.
Most likely when this letter reaches Rome the intended creation will have taken place, and yet His Imperial Majesty had reason to expect that, owing to the intimacy and friendship existing between the two, he (the Emperor) should have been apprized beforehand of His Holiness' intentions in the matter. Though the ambassadors intimated their wish that the Emperor should be informed of this before the creation was finally made, the answer was that the Emperor could not but be highly pleased with the appointment, since all of them were sincerely attached to the Emperor's service.
That the Most Christian is still pressing for the appointment of the archbishop of Orleans is a known fact, and, therefore, the ambassadors applied to the duke of Castro, to know what His Holiness' intentions were as to that, for since the hat for the bishop of Geneva was given exclusively at the intercession and prayer of the king of the Romans, it was but just that another hat should be reserved for the ecclesiastic named by the Emperor. His Holiness' answer was that he would endeavour to resist, as long as he could, the pressure exercised by France, and, if he could not, would give a hat to archbishop Colonna, recommended by the Emperor. He will not appoint Orsino, the abbot of Farfa, though the illustrious Madame Constancia is greatly in his favor; but, if he does resist that lady's entreaties, Colonna will not be appointed.
His Imperial Majesty would certainly have wished that his recommendations had been attended to in this case, Poggio, the Nuncio, being a man of great merit, and who has done good service. But since the thing is done, the ambassador had better not mention the subject again. The ambassadors, as ordered, have recommended, in the Emperor's name, Poggio, the Nuncio. His Holiness' verbal answer had been that other distinguished ecclesiastics sent as nuncios to foreign courts had made the same application, and would be offended if Poggio got a cardinal's hat. He hoped, however, to live long enough to make other creations, in which case he (Poggio) would not be forgotten.
That, having spoken to His Holiness concerning his promised deposit of 50,000 crs. for Germany, he replied that bills for that amount on the Fucares (Fuggers) were actually being prepared.
He will be treated as he deserves. About Ottavio Farnese's journey to Flanders, His Holiness said that he had not already started, because he (the Pope) thought the Emperor was coming to Italy; now that he knows for certain that his determination is to pass through France, he has given him orders to prepare immediately for his departure for Flanders. He is to start in a fortnight hence, taking with him Giovan Battista Sabello, as governor, and a numerous and well-appointed suite of gentlemen.
Don Luis [de Zuñiga] spoke to Madame (Margaret), as well as to Lope Hurtado and his wife, respecting Ottavio's journey to Flanders, telling them that the latter's presence at the Imperial Court was necessary, in order that both he and she should know the Emperor's intentions.
Camarino—Lawsuit between the prince of Sulmona and the nun of Valencia—Marquis del Vasto and the Venetians.
Don Luis, in a private audience he had from the Pope, communicated to him the news sent by prince Doria and the viceroy of Sicily concerning the agreement with Barbarossa. His answer was that, if any proper and honorable agreement could be entered into, the negociations ought to be prosecuted.
Don Diego de Mendoça writes from Venice that the ambassador whom the Turk so unceremoniously dismissed from his court had already arrived at Andrinople, and that his dismissal, coupled with the harm that corsair is doing in the territory of the Republic, has had the effect of making the Venetians change their mind respecting the League.
The new creation of cardinals will not take place until after the Cardinal Legate has returned from his mission.—Rome, 29 Nov. 1539.
Indorsed: "Abstract of letters from the marquis de Aguilar, concerning the mission of Don Luis de Zuñiga."
Answered from Paris on the 6th of January 1540.
Spanish. Contemporary copy. pp. 10.
Nov. 94. Abstract of Letters received from Italy.
S. E., Roma, L. 46,
f. 108.
B. M. Add. 28,591,
f. 271.
Letters of the 21st and 29th of October have been received from Rome. Among other things the marquis de Aguilar says that His Holiness, the Pope, has written to his Nuncio at the court of France, ordering him to inquire and ascertain, if possible, what negociations His Imperial Majesty and the king of France are now carrying on. No service, the Pope adds in his letter, could be more acceptable to him under present circumstances.
That in conversation on the affairs of England, the Pope told him (Aguilar) that he had heard from the ambassador of France that the king of England was about to contract a marriage with a sister of the duke of Clèves. (fn. n6) He (Aguilar) did not attach much faith to the report, inasmuch as the letters lately received from Flanders did not mention the fact at all.
That the Venetians having been apprized of the bad result of their embassy to the Grand Turk, had determined not to give him one single foot of land; and, therefore, that they cannot do less than join the new League. So the Pope told him (Aguilar), at the same time assuring him that he will do his best to confirm them in their determination without showing any resentment at their former behaviour.
Sends duplicate of breves for the half-fruits.
That the viceroy of Sicily (Gonzaga) has not yet given the required permission for exporting the corn to which His Holiness is entitled by the capitulation of Naples; and that, although he himself has written about it, and the Pope sent thither one of his own familiar servants, nothing has yet been obtained. The Pope is very much hurt at this, and fancies that the Viceroy does it out of spite and to revenge the loss of the abbey of Montferrato.
Cardinals' hats—bishop of Geneva—bishoprics of Siguenza and Leon, &c.
That Prince Doria writes on the vii. of November having received from Juan Gallego a letter in which the latter relates his interview with Barbarossa. Gallego had since landed at Messina, but as the Prince himself intended to sail to Sicily in three or four days after the date of his letter, he gave no details of Gallego's mission, reserving this till after he had seen the Viceroy (Gonzaga).
Ambassador Figueroa writes that the marquis del Gasto had left Milan on a visit to prince Doria at Genoa.
Lope de Soria says that certain defamatory lampoons (carteles infamatorios), of which he sends a copy, had been posted in the streets [of that city] with a view to incite the people to rebellion; but that one of the culprits had already been arrested, and judicial investigation was going on in order to arrest and punish the remainder.
That the duke of Savoy (Carlo) had asked the Prince for four of his galleys as an escort to go to Genoa, and have an interview with the marquis del Guasto (sic), but the weather being foul, and the winds contrary, the Prince had not acceded to the Duke's request.
The Prince's plate is still in pawn for want of the money or bills of exchange for the pay of his galleys. That is a thing which Doria feels above all else, though he does not complain in public.
The viceroy of Sicily (Gonzaga) writes in date of the 14th and 15th of October about Gallego's arrival, and how Barbarossa perseveres in his purpose of passing over to the Emperor's service, and taking his part against all enemies, whoever they may be. This offer the corsair had never made before. As Gonzaga, however, intended to take his departure soon, and might possibly arrive before his letter, he gives no more details of this affair, but will certainly before he leaves dispatch a messenger to Xio (Scio), and then to Constantinople, to inform Barbarossa of his coming here [to Spain], and induce him to persevere in his determination.
Gonzaga does not answer the last letters received from the Emperor through Hieronymo Ortiz, because he will explain his ideas verbally. He has left to preside in his absence the marquis de Terranova, whom he considers the fittest person for the charge.
Don Juan de Luna (fn. n7) writes [from Florence] on the 3rd of November, that he has done his best to make the duke Cosmo de Medici and cardinal Cibo friends. They talked and shook hands together, and became friends in appearance, though he (Luna) cannot say that they will continue so for any length of time. Certain arrangements had been made with the Duke respecting the works of the castle, the cost of which will amount to 12,000 ducats every year.
Letters of the viceroy of Naples of the 28th October have come, announcing the death of the marchioness, (fn. n8) and asking for leave to kiss the Emperor's hands, under the belief that the latter was about to visit Italy.—n.d.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 5.


  • n1. Bouvalot, abbot of St. Vincent.
  • n2. "Y demas de esto nos ha dicho el Rey que hará llevar una buena cantidad de hacaneas, mulas, caballos y quartagos para que con menos trabajo V. Md, si le pluguiere, pueda hacer tan buenas y tan grandes jornadas como á media posta, y dize que hara dar á V. Md por el camino pasatiempo de caça todas las veces que lo quisdcra, y no de otra manera, y proueerá que de un dia á otro V. Md terná la comodidad deste pasatiempo ó de ser bien alojado en sus casas, ò de algun cavallero su vasallo."
  • n3. Giez, elsewhere Gie; Hannebault, or Annebaut, as his name is otherwise written, was at this time Francis' lieutenant-general in Piedmont.
  • n4. Charles de Cosse-Brissac, marshall of France and lord High Chamberlain of Francis, who in July 1538, after the interview of the Emperor and king Francis at Aigues-Mortes, was sent by the former to Barcelona on a mission (see Vol. V., Part II., p. 566). He has frequently been mentioned in the pages of this volume. See above, p. 75.
  • n5. Elsewhere Giex. See p. 203.
  • n6. That of Anne of Clèves took place in January 1540. On the 9th of July she was divorced.
  • n7. A great grandson of the celebrated Don Alvaro de Luna, count of Santisteban, and high constable of Castille, a favorite of John Il., who died on the scaffold at Valladolid on the 2nd of June 1453. D. Alvaro left two sons, D. Juan and D. Pedro, besides one daughter, Dona Maria, who was married to D. Juan de Luna y Mendoza, her cousin. Don Pedro had a son named D. Alvaro, who was captain of the body guard of the Catholic sovereigns, Ferdinand and Isabella, whose sons were: 1. Pedro, 2. Alvaro, 3. Juan, 4. Antonio. It was Don Alvaro who in 1546 published at Milan, of whose castle he was governor at the time, the Cronica del Maestro Don Alvaro de Luna, and it is to be supposed that his brother Juan, who about that time was also governor of the castle of Tortona in Lombardy, may have been a few years earlier employed at Florence as the Emperor's agent. None, however, of the descendants of the Constable and Grand Master of Santiago inherited the title of count of Santisteban and duke of Trujillo, which the former enjoyed during his life, those and other fiefs of the Crown having been confiscated and having passed into the hands of the marquis de Villena. It is to be regretted that Don Juan Rizzo y Ramirez in his remarkable essay Juicio critico y signification politico de D. Alvaro de Luna, prize essay, published in 1865 at Madrid, should have omitted this and other details equally interesting under an historical point of view.
  • n8. Da Maria Ossorio-Pimentel (or Pimentel-Ossorio, as Lopez de Haro calls her), daughter of D. Luis Pimentel and Juana or Beatriz Osorio, first marquises of Villafranca del Vierzo. D. Luis having died in 1497, his daughter inherited that title, and was the second marchioness. She married D. Pedro de Toledo, son of Fadrique, second duke of Alba. and uncle of Fernando, the third duke, governor of the Low Countries for Philip II.