Henry VIII: May 1527, 11-20

Pages 1416-1423

Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 4, 1524-1530. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1875.

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May 1527

11 May.
R. O. St. P. VI. 576.
Received his letters on the 10th. Has certified the King of the new league made with the Pope, as the King will see by his letters to Wolsey. Left the Pope on 1 April, with commission from him to advertise the King of the Pope's necessities. Laurens Toscaine has been sent to France for the same purpose, and the General has also been despatched to Spain to complain of the Imperial troops. Was detained at Civita Vecchia till the 4th. Sends letters from Gregory Casale, "mentioning the successes of Rome." The Pope greatly dislikes making fresh cardinals, and said he would rather lose his right hand than do so for money. Bourbon is rapidly advancing from Florence, expecting to find Rome unfurnished, as the Pope had disbanded his army on the promise of the Viceroy. He was probably there by the 6th. If the army of the League follow they will be "put to a great after deal." Never were Infidels more cruel than the Imperialists. Savone, 11 May. Signed.
Add. Endd.
11 May.
Vit. B. IX. 105. B. M.
3111. RUSSELL to [WOLSEY].
To the same effect. Savona, 11 May. Signed.
Pp. 2, mutilated.
Cal. D. X. 54.
B. M.
3112. [CLERK and OTHERS to WOLSEY.]
*" ... yme and s ... which is shooting at rooks with ... and three more his gentlemen have ... sithens Easter. (fn. 1) He said this was his ...," for the rain, which has been co[ntinual for] 40 days, will not suffer him to go farther. In such matters he has spent a long time. From him went to my Lady. After giving her the King's commendation and Wolsey's [letters] communication was had with like resolution "w ... tions with right large words of her high co[ntentment] with the conclusion of this new treaty, saying [on her] faith that she did not rejoice so much i[n the restitution] of the King her son as she doth in this [alliance], which is now between him and the ky[ng of England]."
Went again on the morrow "and so ... coming thither the King * * * ... and domage ... lately concluded between the King's ... brother and him, which thing he said ... desire to have it amended." Said that the ... being so lately made, that anything in the instructions c[ontrary] to the treaty was rather by inadvertisement than otherwise, and he asked him to [show us] that point, that we might show him our opinion. He said his Council should show us the tr[eaty] and the instructions, and so he left us with them.
Send a copy of the article apostyled in the place misliked.
They say that it will "make principally to the Emperor's purpose to ha[ve a sus]pension of armour, and greatly to the hind[rance] ... which is now at a great * * * ... wyng that w ... obtain the suspension of arm[our] ... greatly to his purpose, therefore in n ... your Grace in their King's name that ... instructions may be so couched that ... suspension of armour unto such time th ... be perfectly concluded in such manner ... shall have no color to revoke his word t ... perfect conclusion, they say must needs [be made in] England, or at the leastwise cannot be done [in] Spain, for they here be in league with the ... and cannot treat ne come so shortly unto co[mmunication with] them, which thing, as they say, your Grace [knoweth] right well. We said that it did appear ... article, that your Grace, fearing like deme[anor from the] Emperor, and that by colour he would dry[ve over the] time ye made a provision, that the com ... subscribe the articles, they said that th ... trust to be had to that subscription ... g, thereby should not take * * * ... men knowen ... yng with him during the King's ... otherwise. Being there in council ... brought unto us your Grace's letters of the 11th of the ..." about the conversion of the intended charges against Fl[anders] and the Low Countries to Italy. Went into another room to read them, and to deliberate about changing the article, which they wished done [without] sending to Wolsey, for shortness of time.
On returning, told them that the King's mind was evidently "not only th ... no suspension of war be made, but a[lso] ... should be now during * * * ... they should h ... be cause also that the thing ... them of the Council, and that ... expectation four or five days to know ... by us concerning the said conversion ... into the wars of Italy, seeing we h[ad your Grace's] letters at that time thereof." Showed them a sum of the whole matter, which they liked ma[rvellously] well, and thanked the first inventor thereof, "saying that as to[uching] the qualification of this new contribution ... the other should have been in his time accord[ed] ... treaty. They said we should hear what t[he bishop] of Tarba would say about it, wh[o] ... declared there that the King's highness at ... had declared unto him that the said ... should be so converted, without dis ... qualification and more * * * ... King's pleasure ... [d]e Tarba, that the King's highness ... in this matter of good reason could m ... otherwise, but that if the contribution compris[ed in] the treaty should begin before the time, it was to be understond that it should begin with such quali[fication as was] expressed in the treaty;" that the King, talking to such a wise man as Mons. de Tarba, needed no other expression thereof, and they need not stick thereat, seeing that this conversion was so much to their benefit. He replied that the King ... freely and frankly, and meant no such thing. Said they had heard Tarba's report of the King's saying and "mine" of Wolsey's letters, and it lay in them to believe which should seem best, that they knew right well that I would be plain ... in the morning, and so after some merry c ... how much the one of the * * * ... in this matter ... King their master, reporting th ... without other resolution taken at that [time, they bade] us to come again in the morning.
P.S.—Have been today with the Ky[ng], and showed him Wolsey's pleasure about the ... ration of the King's contribution for the affa ... which he liked very well, "and r ... 2 points:" 1st, as to the qualifying of [the contribu]tion according to that comprised in the tre[aty, he] said that Tarba had brought the King's promise to make the contribution without qualification, which promise he did not doubt. "Secondly, he saith ... that now should be made in Italy, m ... the intent to let the enemies ... their grains, which th ... * * * ... ll your coming ... nyth cannot be before 3 weeks sho ... after that be no provision made for the ... the recolt in Italy that should come in time; th[at] this thing must be concluded and put in execution immediately, not tarrying upon your Grace's coming, or else the conversion of the King's c[ontribu]tion for the war in Italy not to be spoken of, for [it will] be but in vain." Made the best answer they could, but [he] would not be turned, asking us to report this to the King and Wolsey, and saying that he would send De Tarba again to Wolsey. He says that the Pope has sent Russell and another ... unto him desiring help against the ... [th]at they will be here tomorrow or the next d[ay] ... with the army is arrived at Ro * * *
Pp. 8, mutilated.
12 May.
Vit. B. IX. 106. B. M.
3113. ITALY.
Copy of letters written in the castle of St. Angelo.
Our misery is increased by the fact that since the arrival of Paul de Aretio from Florence we have not heard anything of you. We are in great dread of the result of the siege. If you could hasten to our succour all might be well; if not, you will hear of a more horrible destruction than you have heard of before. "Nulla est hic fides, neque in genere neque in particulari, nec quisquam est aut ulla domus quæ non vendita et recuperata centies fuerit." It is in your power to destroy entirely our gratitude and life itself, which is what they aim at. Send word as soon as possible by trusty messengers and by various ways "qu[od] mittere volueritis. Mittite Romam per anteriorem portam ct per portam s ...," by which you (fn. 2) can come securely, and give us the countersign "Chiavelluzzi." 100 good men of the Pontifical forces could mount their horses, and come here safely. But those who are willing to defend the lives of their lords ought not to require urging. If you wish to attack those that are in the city, or wherever they present themselves, as they are wholly occupied in plundering, perhaps some safety might spring out of our misfortunes. If you cannot do this, you may advance your camp so near us that you may carry us off with your horses. Begs a speedy answer. Castle of St. Angelo, 12 May 1527.
The bishop of Verona gave me this copy to urge your Lordship to hasten. If you do not intend to forsake us, give us a sign. Your Cardinal is here, and is well.
Lat., mutilated, pp. 2.
Vit. B. IX. 108. B. M.
3114. The SACK of ROME.
On Saturday, 4th May 1527, Bourbon arrived before Rome, and asked the Pope's consent to his passing to Naples, offering to pay for provisions. He received a rough refusal from Signor Rans, at the instigation of the Pope, who had received for recruiting his army 300,000 ducats by creating eight new cardinals. On Sunday the 5th, drew off his troops from Rome behind St. Peter's, pretending to cross the Tiber (prendre son passage par le T.); but early on Monday the 6th, whilst there was a great mist, he prepared to assault the town behind the Campo Santo at Thurion Gate, and the said Sieur was among the first to mount the walls, where four ensigns were planted. He was there wounded, and assisted to descend, and carried into a neighbouring chapel, but when the gate of Thurion was taken he was conveyed to the church of Campo Santo. Captain Rans, who was on the wall with 4,000 men, seeing that they retreated, as many men were killed by the artillery of the assailants, cried out that Bourbon, Orange, and four ensigns were taken, in order to encourage them to return to the wall. They, however, retreated to the Place St. Esprit; but Rans left them, and went to the Castle of St. Angelo, where was the Pope, with five or six cardinals. Cardinals "Sanitate Quatuor," who was wounded, and "Ezis" (Cesis?), retired with Rans. The besiegers continued to advance; and the Romans, seeing that Rans had deserted them, tried to escape, some jumping into the Tiber. The Imperialists killed every one they met,—men, women, and children. This lasted from the morning to 2 p.m., during which time Bourbon was killed. Before his death he confessed, received his Creator, and desired to be carried into Milan, though some think that he meant Rome, for he was continually saying "à Rome, à Rome." About two in the afternoon, the Imperialists took the gate of St. Pancras, where they encountered some resistance, and then began to p[illage], which lasted at least 10 or 12 days, (fn. 3) without there being any resistance, except in three or four houses, which they mined and blew up. Many people had sent their goods, amounting to two millions of gold, to the house of the Portuguese ambassador, but they were obliged to surrender on promise of their lives. They gave out that as soon as the city was taken, the prince of Orange took possession of the Pope's palace, in which were lodged cardinals Campeggio, Cibo and Rodulpho, "et le ... Jehan d'Urbin, capitaine des Espaignaers en la chancelle[rie] ... vies'e (?) maison du duc de Millan." Both the generals tried to stop the pillage, but unsuccessfully, though afterwards the Germans obeyed the Prince, and the Spaniards Capt. d'Urbin. On May 19, the Pope was still in St. Angelo. Before the taking of the city, the Viceroy of Naples and the Pope had made a truce for eight months, during which both armies were to retire, and the Viceroy went with the Pope's maitre d'hotel to persuade Bourbon and the Imperial officers to retreat also; but they took it ill, and told him not to interfere with their affairs. It was reported that the maitre d'hotel was wounded. The Viceroy was obliged to retire to Naples, where he was on the 19th.
Negotiations were carried on between the Pope and the deputies of the prince of Orange, and it is agreed that his Holiness shall pay 300,000 ducats; the cardinals with him, who are De Monte, Farnese, SS. Quatuor, Pizano, Trivolze, Besine (?), Campeggio, Ancona, Cesis, la Minerve (?), St. Egidio, and it is said Ara Cœli, 200,000 ducats; and certain merchants who were with them, 100,000 ducats; that the Pope and eight cardinals shall go as the Emperor's prisoners to Gaeta, and surrender Ostia, Civita Vecchia, Parma, Placentia, and Lucca; and that cardinal "Calonne" (Colonna), who entered four days after the capture, with 8,000 men, shall be vice-pope. "Lequel De Calonne se mist au pallaix St. Geo ... de Campeflore, et sont avecq luy les Cardin[aulx de] Tortosa et Trefort, De Laval, De Ezarinne, (fn. 4) Senne, et T ...," who, though they were good Imperialists, have redeemed their houses at the following sums: the card. of Tortosa for 40,000 cr.; De Laval, 45,000 ducats; De Ezarinne, 35,000; De Sene, 40,000; and De Tarobanche, 25,000. After paying these ransoms, their houses were again plundered, and they have been obliged to retire with card. Colonna.
Meanwhile, the army of the League had been reinforced, and put in order to march against Rome. The Pope was informed thereof by means of a disguised page, and broke off the treaty. They arrived on May 22, and are at l'Insula, four miles from Rome, numbering 30,000, but they have great fear of the Imperialists. Provisions are dear at Rome; but there cannot be great want, as the League cannot prevent the arrival of victuals from Naples. The Pope was not taken on May 19, aud it is said that he has victuals for five or six months. News came to Ligorgne on June 3, that he was not taken.
The Florentines, on hearing of the taking of Rome, drove out the Medicis, and made a signory like that at Venice, and have sent governors to Pisa and Leghorn to govern in their name, and not in that of the Pope; but the castles still hold out for the Medicis.
The Great Chancellor of the Emperor has been sent to Italy with 30,000 d. and other commissions. "La Regente, la Reyne de Navare, apelle dame d'Alanson, Mons. Vandome, le Cardenal (mal volu) de Lorrayne, Mons. de Lottrecht et le Chanslyer." The Viceroy has written to the Emperor (this word in cipher) to come himself, "other in good time to make p." (peace), or else there is no possibility of keeping Italy longer.
Fr., pp. 6, mutilated. The last paragraph in Hacket's hand, and the last sentence in English. Endd.
3115. SIEGE of ROME.
"Il Sacco di Roma del 1527. Narrazioni Contemporanei (fn. 5) scelte per cura di Carlo Milanesi." Firenze, 1867.
Contains accounts by Guicciardini and Buonaparte; a dialogue by Francesco Vettori; a letter from Card. Como to his Secretary, dated Civita Vecchia, 24 May 1527; and from an officer in Bourbon's army to Chas. V., dated Rome, 8 June 1527.
12 May.
R. O.
3116. ITALY.
From the letters of the Signory [of Venice], 12 May.
The Proveditor of Pisa writes on the 10th from Deruta, that the enemy entered Rome on the 6th, and plundered it, that Bourbon was killed by a musket, and that 3,000 German foot were slain.
The Pope and Cardinals, except Valla and Cesarino, have escaped to the Castle, and with them Renzo and Oratio Baleono. No one was spared by the plunderers.
Desire their ambassador to beg the King and Wolsey for the aid they have long promised, lest the enemy gain everything, and make the Emperor monarch of the world. Will do all they can, but the King knows that their strength is not sufficient to restrain the enemy. Florence has entered their league, and will supply 250 men-at-arms, 500 light horse, and 5,000 foot, till the end of the war, with all necessaries.
Lat., p. 1.
13 May.
P. S. b.
Petition of Agnes Kyng, prioress, and the convent of St. Mary the Virgin, Winchester, for a congé d'élire upon the death of Joan Legh, late abbess, on 11 May. Presented by Chr. Middilton, LL.B., John Cooke and Matthew Greston, notaries public, and Tho. Lee, dated 13 May 1527.
R. O. 3118. [WOLSEY] to LORD _.
Your godson, my lord of Northumberland's son and heir, hearing that you are "somewhat acrased," has desired permission to visit you, which [Wolsey] has granted. Begs him to be careful of his health. Has commissioned his said godson to show him certain matters, "of your onor (?)," of which [Wolsey] requires to be informed of his further mind.
P. 1. In Tuke's hand.
15 May.
R. O.
1. "Book made by me, William Danby, by my lord Cardinal's commandment, for such evidence and writings belonging to my lord of Northumberland, and other necessary things, which I, the said William Danby, doth know of for the time that I was solicitor to the late earl of Northumberland, made this 15 day of May, anno 19 Hen. VIII., as hereafter followeth."
Among the documents in this catalogue may be mentioned a patent of the stewardship of Kirkbyeshire, made by the late earl of Derby to my late lord of Northumberland,—which patent is delivered to my lady of Derby to make my Lord a new one: a patent made by the earl of Worcester to my late lord of Northumberland, confirming the said office: an indenture between the late Earl and Sir Edward Ponynges concerning lands in Kent: "an indenture quaterprited of the agreement of all the Brien lands," made 4 Hen. VII., between my Lord's father, the lord of Ormond, Sir Thos. Seymour, and Sir Edward Ponynges: an indenture between the late Earl on the one part, and Mr. Shelley and others, for payment of a bond to Thomas Seymour: an extract from the will of the late earl of Ormond, sealed by his executors, Ric. bishop of London, John Young, master of Accon College, William Frost, and John Fitzjames, giving the late Earl a title in these Brien lands: certain deeds of James late earl of Wiltshire: a warrant made by Ric. III. to my lord's father, for him to enter all the Brien lands in England: an old book, found in Southwark, covered with leather, relating to Ponynges' lands in Kent: memoranda of loans to lord Fitzwalter and others: a debt of 2,500 marks by my lord of Shrewsbury for the marriage of my lord Percy, &c.
P. 5.
R. O. 2. Mutilated document relating to the manors of Staunton Drew and Staunton Wykes, of which an estate is to be made in fee simple, before next Ascension day, to [Henry Percy, knt., earl of Northumberland], Thos. marquis of Dorset, John Arondell, Hen. Willoughby, Sir Leonard Grey, Sir Giles Strangwyshe, Sir Nic. Wadam, Sir Amias Pawlet, Sir John Dudeley, Steph. Gardyner, LL.D., Thos. Crumwell, gent., and others, who are to grant certain annuities to David Broke and Thos. Kyngdon out of the issues of the premises, and to stand seized of the residue to the use of "the said Thos. Arondell," for life, and afterwards to the use of lord Daubeney and the heirs of his body, &c.
Corrected draft, written in Wriothesley's hand on a roll of paper, of which the beginning is lost.
15 May.
R. O.
3120. LADY LUCY.
19 Hen. VIII., 15 May. Receipt by Alex. Pyrry, receiver of the abbot of St. Mary's, Tewkesbury, of 4l. 10s., from lady Lucy, for the half year's rent of the farm of Alnyskotte. Signed.
P. 1.
15 May.
R. O.
Acknowledgment by Albert de Prato of a debt of 19l. 15s., to Raphel Maruffo, 19 April 1527.
Receipt by Rafael Marruffus of the above sum by the hands of Sir Henry Wyatt, treasurer, 15 May 1527.
Lat. Endd.: Alberto de Porto.
16 May.
R. O. St. P. VI. 578.
Wrote in his last of the sack of Rome. Repeats the contents of his letters, in case they have miscarried, and sends copies of news from the Venetian camp. The Senate have received letters to the same effect as he wrote before, and as he heard from D. Camillus Ursinus, who was present at the storming of the suburbs. The Pope, believing Rome could be defended by 3,000 foot, refused to leave the city, and issued an order forbidding any one, on pain of death, to take anything out of it. This was on the 1st May, when it was reported the enemy had reached Sienna, from which they came by forced marches in five days, and, arriving at night, attacked the town in the morning. Particulars are given in the annexed copies. The enemy arrived before the bridges could be destroyed. If the Pope be not relieved immediately, he will be driven to ignominious conditions.
When the news first came Casale urged the Senate to write to the camp for the duke of Urbino to march to Rome, who was only waiting for orders. Was backed in this by the other ambassadors, and insisted that, even if one army were defeated, they would receive the support of all Christian princes against men who had conducted themselves worse than Infidels. Told them that if their army advanced they would liberate the Cardinals from the castle of St. Angelo, and that they would have the Pope and Florence at their disposal. The Council accordingly, yesterday evening, gave orders to this effect, though they do not expect the city can be recovered, for the Imperialists will fortify themselves, and cannot be driven out. Gives some arguments that he used in answer. Hears that they have appointed Frederic Bozzolo, with a body of horse and foot, to try and relieve the Pope. The same thing is being attempted by signor Rangone, but it will be difficult unless the whole army follow. Hears also that on the 14th the duke of Urbino had advanced towards Rome, and part of his forces had arrived at Orvieto, two days' journey from the city. The Milanese have attacked our forces again at Lodi. Venice, 16th May 1527. Signed.
Lat., pp. 5. Endd.
16 May.
Vit. B. IX. 107. B. M.
3123. ITALY.
From the Signory's letters, 16 May.
We have heard from your letters of the 24th and 27th April that the Legate is quite recovered. By letters of the 14th we have heard that our Pisan proveditore has gone to Orvieto, and thence towards Rome, with all our forces, to rescue the Pope from the castle. He thinks that can be done the more easily as Gentile Baglione had left Perugia. Fred. de Bozolo has been sent with forces to liberate the Pope and the Cardinal from St. Angelo. Twelve days ago resolved to elect a captain-general, and increase our forces by sea and land. Are hopeful of the King's support.
Lat., mutilated, p. 1.
17 May.
R. T. 137. R. O.
Commission to bishop of Bath, Thos. Bullen, lord Rocheford, and Sir Anthony Browne, to take the oath of Francis I. to the treaty of closer alliance between the two crowns. Greenwich, 17 May 1527.
17 May.
R. O.
3125. For SIR RALPH ELLERCAR, jun.
Lease, by the advice of John Daunce and John Hales, of certain sheepcotes called Chesehousecote and Wethercottes, with "le coote Garrele," in North-west Marshe, with le crofts in Kenigham Marsshe, in the lordship of Brustwick in Holderness, Yorkshire, parcel of the lands of Buckingham. Westminster, 17 May 19 Hen. VIII.
Original Patent, cancelled. Endd.: My lesse off the marche in Holdernes.
20 May.
R. O. St. P. VI. 581.
I wrote on the 26th ult. of the receipt of letters from the King and Wolsey. Visited the king of Poland; complimented him on keeping the Lutherans out of his dominions. He was very well pleased, and said that neither in his nor his predecessor's time had any English ambassador been in Poland. Was extremely well treated. On his return saluted duke George of Saxony. The king of Bohemia will leave on the 21st, to invade Hungary. The waywda has little power to resist him, except he is assisted by the Turks, He is favored by the king of Poland, whose first wife was the Waywda's sister. The Diet at Ragensbruck makes no progress. Bresslle in Slesia, 20 May 1527. Signed.


  • 1. 21 April.
  • 2. Duke of Urbino? See Casale's letter of 16 May.
  • 3. Over these words is written "3 ou 4 jours."
  • 4. Cæsarinus.
  • 5. Another account will be found in Schardius, II. 230.