May 1538


Institute of Historical Research



Pascual de Gayangos (editor)

Year published





Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Spain: May 1538', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 5 Part 2: 1536-1538 (1888), pp. 474-479. URL: Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


(Min 3 characters)

May 1538, 1-31

10 May.200. Cardinal de Tournon to Cardinal Carpi.
S. E., 1314, f. 71.Monsieur: I hear that you have shown to His Holiness the copy of a letter, written, as you suppose, to me by Monsignor the cardinal of Macon, and the bishop of Lavaur, (fn. 1) which letter, as you say, has miraculously come into your hands. I must sincerely tell you that if you cannot work miracles in matters more certain and true than the one you speak of, you cannot expect me to attach faith to your asseverations. Indeed, if you have shown His Holiness the letter you allude to, I can tell you that nobody ever did play such a hoax upon our Holy Father as you have done; for the very moment I heard of it I caused the most diligent search to be instituted among my papers, and specially among the letters received from the said cardinal and bishop Della Vaur, and I can assure you nothing has been found in them bearing the least resemblance to what you have shown to the Pope as written by him and addressed to me. It requires indeed a very lively imagination on your part to invent words as pronounced by His Holiness, and then have them reported to His most Christian Majesty's ministers. You must, therefore, own that you have been either too hasty and light-headed in showing His Holiness the copy of an apocryphal letter, or that you have forged it yourself for the purpose of annoying the most reverend cardinal Triulzo, for whom, as you yourself have owned to me, you have not professed much friendship for a long time back. You ought to consider, Monsignor, that both horns of this dilemma are equally derogatory to the rank and dignity you hold in the Church, as well as of the estimation in which His most Christian Majesty and all his ministers and servants have hitherto held you. As to me, I cannot conceive what reason or excuse you can allege in defence of your lying assertion, so unworthy of ecclesiastics who, like you and me, wear the purple. You have been the cause of much indignation having arisen here, and in France, against those who have committed no fault whatever. Even if the contents of that letter of yours had been perfectly true, its notification to His Holiness could not in any way help towards the good issue of the affairs in hand, which were the cause of your coming here [to France] as legate. You cannot deny that you have always found, on the part of the most Christian King or his ministers, great disposition and willingness to listen to and follow His Holiness' kind and pious admonitions. You yourself are witness how lately, when the most Christian was with his court at Molins (Moulins), though in delicate health, you made him, on the simple intimation of His Holiness' wishes, abandon his most pressing affairs, and undertake a journey to Italy merely for the welfare of Christendom. What more could be asked of him! And yet those whom you intended to harm and slander with your spurious and apocryphal letter, were the first to recommend to the most Christian King that praiseworthy measure, instead of doing the contrary, as your false and calumniatory letter intimates! That is why I have said, and now repeat, that I cannot conceive how and for what reason a gentleman and legate, as you are, held in esteem by every honest man, and always having words of peace in his mouth, could, on his return from his legation in France, sow such discord as to prejudice against His Holiness not only all and every one of these French ministers, and even the most Christian Majesty himself (if it had been in your power to do so) and thereby destroy in one single moment the building you yourself had erected during the month you were here. (fn. 2) Though it must be owned that you have not failed to propose on the Pope's behalf, and in fulfilment of the mission intrusted to you, all that you thought fit for the interest of the Apostolic See and his own, yet I must tell you that, in order to satisfy your own private revengeful passion—a sort of conduct which certainly does not befit persons of your rank and dignity—you have caused incalculable mischief by your malignant and slandering tongue. As far as I am concerned I do not hesitate to say that you could not have inflicted so much harm on any one as you have on me, for I was always your friend, was always ready to stand by you, maintain, praise, and defend what came from you, notwithstanding which you have carefully kept by you during two or three months, without informing me of it, a letter addressed to me, as you thought, and what is still worse, you have shown and published it at a place where my lord and master (il patron mio) has heard of its contents long before I knew of it.—Valenza, 10 May 1538.
Italian. Holograph. pp. 5.
11 May.201. The Emperor to the Empress.
S. E., L. 12.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 167.
Most serene, most high, and most powerful Empress and Queen, my dearest and most beloved wife: On the 4th inst., from Las Pomegas, in sight of Marseilles (Pomègues), I despatched a courier to you announcing my arrival there, as you will see by the duplicate of my letter which I now enclose, less what happened since my arrival before that city should have prevented the courier from reaching Spain.
On Sunday the 5th, after leaving Pomègues, our galleys in the van saw ten sails divided into three or four sections coming towards us. At first thinking that, according to advices lately received from Naples, Sicily, and other parts, those galleys might very well be part of the twelve, which king Francis had sent last year to the coast of Turkey, and that returning now therefrom—in company, perhaps, with a larger force of the Grand Turk—they came to these seas to inflict all possible harm on the Christian republic, and especially on us, I at first believed them to be Turkish. Being more and more persuaded of that owing to the said galleys, though they saw plainly enough by the standards and flags with our Imperial arms hoisted at the top that our fleet had an admiral or captain general of the sea on board, making no sign or salute whatever, as ships of all nations are wont to make at sea whenever they meet their superiors, especially in time of peace or during a truce, some of our galleys went in chase, and those of the French taking to flight, four of them considered to be Turkish were captured, their crews being armed and having even fired on us with their hackbuts. It was, however, soon found that the galleys were French, not Turkish, as was thought at first, and, therefore, I, unwilling on my part to break the truce and suspension of arms, which, having first been agreed upon between us and the king of France by land, was afterwards extended to this Mediterranean sea, for the time of this interview and one month after, and was notified to me at Barcelona the day of my embarkation, I determined to let the said galleys go free. So, on the very same night, and notwithstanding that from a small fort under cover of which the said four galleys had fled, and from the galleys themselves several shots were fired upon ours, which had anchored not far from there for the purpose of collecting and all together attending to the release ordered by me—which, resistance by the way, would have furnished me sufficient cause to have had them taken and their crews punished, which might have been easily accomplished with respect to two more which had taken refuge close by — yet, as I say, honest considerations and my wish to keep treaties to the letter made me send to the commander of all the French galleys then within the castle a message by one of our prisoners, explaining how the thing had happened and that if he would on the following day (for it was already night) come and take charge of the four galleys we had captured the day before, at the same time assuring him that he could do that with perfect security, that the galleys would be delivered forthwith without paying regard to his inconsiderate action in firing upon us from the castle and galleys. In this way I waited until the morning of the next day, to my great personal inconvenience, for I wanted to arrive at my destination as soon as possible. At last the commander came, and the four galleys, with whatever could be found of the spoil taken by our men, were delivered to him, and he took them away, having assured him before parting that I could not possibly make any longer stay in those waters, but that if he would institute a formal inquiry as to the articles missing in everyone of the four captured galleys, and send me here [at Villafranca] an attested report, I would immediately supply the deficiency or indemnify the parties.
After writing to our ambassador at the French court a letter describing the whole affair, that he may report to the King, it seems to me as if there was no occasion for his taking offence; on the contrary I think he ought to be satisfied with our conduct. It is I who ought to complain of him, since after all his galleys might have been the cause of the truce being broken had I not respected the treaty. So much have I said to the King in a private letter of mine that he may know the truth.
I have also sent orders to Don Frances de Beamont and to the viceroys of Catalonia and Navarre that, in keeping the present truce, they must be careful and vigilant lest the French on this or some like occasion should attempt something by land or sea, in order, if they do so, to provide beforehand.
On Monday morning we prosecuted our voyage, and although the wind was contrary — as it had been ever since we left Barcelona—we anchored here at Villafranca on Thursday last, the 9th instant, in the morning, with all the fleet. Although my intention had been to sail immediately for Sahona (Savona), where His Holiness arrived yesterday, to kiss his feet and then escort him to Niça (Nizza), I found here messengers from him, saying that, lest king Francis should take offence and conceive suspicion at our holding a communication together, His Holiness considered it more prudent and wise that I should remain here [at Villafranca], and send some galleys in quest of him. To this effect I ordered that 15 of ours should go, and our Master of the Horse in one of them to kiss the Pope's feet in our name. I am now waiting for his arrival, which will most likely take place in four or five days.
The king of France has been lately somewhat indisposed; but, they say, is now better. His Holiness is about to urge on him again the convenience of his coming nearer to Italy in order that in his very presence, or through the ministers on both sides, if it should be agreeable, the affairs of the peace may be discussed. Being so near to one another, any matter connected with that peace might be consulted upon, or any difficulty arising solved without loss of time.
The duke of Savoy (Carlo) had at first very great reluctance in delivering the castle of Niça (Nizza) into the hands of His Holiness for the time or rather days that he would have to stay in that city; yet my arrival here, and the considerations I have laid before him, have since prevailed with him, and he has now decided to leave the thing entirely at my disposal provided the securities offered be forthcoming, which will be fixed and settled as honesty and justice demand, so that he (the Duke) may be completely satisfied. Of his own and his son's affairs the utmost care shall be taken.
By way of Venice, and before I sailed from Barcelona, I received advices from Turkey, which have since been confirmed. They say that king Francis has made, and is still making this year great military preparations by sea and land; the Grand Turk (Solyman) is to come in person and with a large force invade Italy by way of Friul. This last intelligence is not certain, but no one doubts here that if Italy is not invaded, at least the Turkish fleet will ravage the coasts of the Mediterranean. As soon as the Pope comes here, as well as the ambassadors whom the Republic of Venice is about to send to attend the interview, and those who reside with us or come with the Pope, it will be considered what is to be done to resist the Turkish aggression. All this and the rest of our affairs in hand will be attended to as quickly as possible, so that I may the sooner return to Spain.
The provision of money must be particularly attended to as recommended in all my letters.
The defensive works at Perpignan must be pushed with vigour. If the 25,000 crs. out of the Peruvian gold and silver which, while at Barcelona, I destined for that service, have not been remitted, let them be sent immediately, for it is very important to have that town and others on our frontiers well fortified. And let Don Frances, the governor, know in time when he is to expect the remittance, in order that, should the money he has in hand be spent, he may borrow some, and go on briskly with the works.
As to the rest of the bullion that came from the West Indies, after paying our bills and consignments on that fund, let it be kept, as well as what came for private persons, until my return, which, God willing, will be soon, save the portion that may have come in coin, for that I shall want in Barcelona on my arrival there.
If Alonso de Baeça has not yet remitted the money for the payment of Doria's galleys for May and June, let him do so immediately.—Villafranca de Niça xi. of May 1538.
Signed: "Yo el Rey."
Countersigned: "Covos."
Addressed: "To the most serene, most high, and most powerful Empress and Queen, my dearest and most beloved wife."
Spanish. Original. pp. 9.
13 May.202. The Emperor to Lope Hurtado de Mendoça.
S. E. Roma,
L. 867, f. 34.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 172.
Relates the incidents of his voyage and arrival at Villafranca, and then continues:
The enclosed letter is for the most illustrious dowager duchess of Florence, Our daughter, to whom you will offer Our commendations. Cosmo de Medici's ambassador, who left the other day, took also one from Us.
As to the private letters received from you whilst We were at Barcelona, there has been no time to answer them, besides which We wished to enclose the deed of the grant made to Alessandro Vitello, and Our resolution in the case of Philippo Strozzi. Neither the one nor the other was ready before Our departure from Barcelona; but both are expected here soon. You shall have an answer to all your communications, and We hope that in the particular charge entrusted to you no further commendations are needed on Our part.— Villafranca de Niça, xiii. of May 1538.
Spanish. Original minute. pp. 2.
22 May.203. Deliberations concerning the Levant Fleet.
S. E. Roma,
L. 867, f. 37.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 173.
Let those of Genoa, and two that are here, be employed; if any more are wanted for the artillery they may be chartered.Prince Doria to be consulted as to what galleys and ships the fleet is to be composed of; whether those of Naples and Sicily are to be added, in case there should not be in Genoa transports enough for the carriage of the artillery.
LetAdan [Centurion] and the ambassador Suarez de Figueroa attend to that.What amount of provisions is to be stored, and who is to be appointed at Genoa for that service?
Juan Gallego, the accountant.Who is to take charge of the artillery?
Antonio Voto has already been named.Who is to be provision master?
Ten thousand men are required to man the fleet. Let 6,000 at least be Spaniards, and if not as many as possible, including those under Francisco Sarmiento.Should the infantry at Naples not amount to the number of 8,000, is the deficiency to be supplied with Italians?
Of the Italians Colonel Agostino Spindola and two more appointed by the viceroys of Naples and Sicily; the whole force to be under Ferrante Gonzaga.Who is to have the command?
Giron.Who is to be veedor (proveditor) to the fleet?
30 May.
S. E. Pat. Re. Cap.
y Trat. con Pont.
L. 2, ff. 51–2.
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 175.
204. Instructions to Commander Giron, appointed veedor to the Imperial fleet.
19 June.205. Cardinal Siguenza to the Empress.
S. E., L. 44,
B. M. Add. 28,590,
f. 179.
Your Majesty's letter of the 8th inst., containing an account of what passed and what business was done at Niça, came duly to hand. If I am called upon to give my opinion on the whole, I must say that no news that has come thence is satisfactory save perhaps the certainty that His Majesty, the Emperor, will soon return to these his kingdoms.


1 Vescovo della Vaur, that is, George de Selve, bishop of Lavaur, in the dep. of Tarn.
2 "Et per consequentia ruinar in un momento tutto quello edifitio, che havavete fatto, ai quanti mesi vii erauate stato di qua."

April 1538
June 1538