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Full text of "The history of the popes, from the close of the Middle Ages. Drawn from the secret archives of the Vatican and other original sources"

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Table of Contents . vii 

List of Unpublished Documents in Appendix . . xxix 

ADRIAN VI., 1522-1523; CLEMENT VII., 1523-1527. 

Situation in Rome at the death of Leo X. Election of 

Adrian VI. ....... I- 33 

Early career of Adrian VI. His character and habits. 
Journey to Rome. Neutral attitude towards the 
Powers. Projects of Peace and Reform . . 34-83 

Adrian VI. as a Reformer and Ecclesiastical Ruler . 84-126 

The Mission of Francesco Chieregati to the Diet 
of Nuremberg. Adrian's attitude towards the 
German Schism . . . 127-153 

Adrian's efforts to restore Peace and promote the 
Crusade. The fall of Rhodes and the support 
of Hungary ...... 154-183 

The Intrigues of Cardinal Soderini and the rupture 
with France. Adrian VI. joins the Imperial 
League. His Death 184-230 

Clement VII. His Election, Character, and the 
beginning of his Reign. His ineffectual efforts 
for Peace, and his Alliance with Francis I. of 
France .231-271 

Results of the battle of Pavia. Quarrels between the 
Pope and the Emperor. Formation of a Coalition 
against Charles V. (League of Cognac, May 
22nd, 1526) ... . 272-305 

1 Kor Bibliography see Volume VII. 




Clement VII. and Italy at war with Charles V. The 

Raid of the Colonna ...... 306-348 

The Anti-Papal Policy of the Emperor. Advance of 

the Imperial army on Rome .... 349~3 8 7 

The Sack of Rome. Captivity of the Pope . . 3 88 ~423 
The Anarchic condition of the Papal States. The 
efforts of Henry VIII. and Francis I. to deliver 
the Pope. The attitude of Charles V. The 
flight of Clement VII. to Orvieto . . . 424-467 
Appendix of Unpublished Documents . . . 469-509 
Index of Names . 511 





1521 Death of Leo X. alters the political situation in Italy; 

results in a complete reaction i 

Italian princes rejoice; critical situation in Rome . 2 
Difficulties of the Sacred College from want of money 3 
Its moral condition and party divisions ; observations 

of the ambassador Manuel .... 4 
The party of Medici opposed by Colonna and 

Soderini ........ 5 

Ambition of Wolsey ....... 6 

Manuel proposes Cardinal Adrian ; Roman opinion 

in favour of Medici ... . . . . 8 

Lampoons and pasquinades ..... 9 

Importance of the election to Francis I. . . . 1 1 

Opening of the Conclave on the 27th of December . 12 

Close watch kept over it 13 

Large number of aspirants to the Papacy ; opinion 

of Castiglione 14 

The Conclave begins in utter confusion . . .15 
The French party and the Imperialists . . -17 
Cardinal Grimani quits the Conclave . . .18 

1522 Scrutinies of January the ist to the 4th are fruitless . 19 
Chances of Farnese . . . . . . .19 

Medici's candidature hopeless 19 

He renews his efforts for Farnese . . . .20 
The final crisis ; speeches of Medici . . . .22 
And of Cajetan, which secure the election of the 

Cardinal of Tortosa . . . . . .23 

1 Unpublished documents are marked by an asterisk (*) ; documents to 
be published in " Acta Pontifkum Romanorum " are designated by two 
asterisks (**). 




1522 Amazement at this result ; "all lament" . . .25 
Opinions of Gradenigo and Cardinal Gonzaga . . 26 
The Cardinals meet with contempt and mockery 

from the Romans . . . . . 27 

Legates appointed to approach Adrian and submit 

stipulations . . . . . . .28 

Anxiety in Rome the Imperialists rejoice . . 30 
Information concerning the exemplary life of the new 

Pope ... -3 

Charles V. receives news of the election ; his remark 3 1 
Feelings of Francis I. his jests . . . .32 

Variety of expectations attached to the new Pope . 33 




1459 Humble origin of Adrian VI. ; his family ... 34 
Carefully trained by his mother . . . -35 

Educated at Zwolle, Deventer, and Louvain . . 36 

1491 Becomes professor and Doctor of Theology . . 36 

Promoted to benefices munificent in his alms . . 37 

Eminent scholars attend his lectures at Louvain . 37 

1501 Where he is chosen Chancellor and Rector . . 38 
The repute of his unspotted life extends ; is chosen 

1507 tutor for Charles, the future Emperor, and made 

1515 a member of the Duchess Margaret's Council . 39 

1515 Is sent on a mission to Spain ..... 39 

1516 And with Ximenes administers the affairs of that 

kingdom ........ 39 

Made Bishop of Tortosa, and resigns most of his 

benefices ........ 40 

The strictness of his life ; associates in Spain . . 41 

1517 On the death of Ximenes carries on the government . 42 

1518 Appointed Inquisitor-General of Castille and Leon . 42 
His inflexibility in matters of faith ; his kindness of 

heart and unspotted integrity .... 43 

1522 Announcement of his election to the Papacy . . 44 

His reception of the news 45 

Letters to Henry VIII., the Emperor, and the College 

of Cardinals ....... 46 

And to Oem van Wyngarden . . . . -47 



On tin- 1 6th of February registers ! :it to the 

i-lcction ........ 48 

And on the 8th of March makes a solemn declaration 49 
Confusion and difficulties in Italy and the States of 

the Church ....... 50 

I )iscord between the Cardinals ; reports about Adrian 51 
The Curia await him with fear and trembling . . 53 
The Cardinals urge his speedy coming to Rome . 53 
Obstacles in the way of Adrian's departure from 

Spain . 54 

On the 1 2th of March starts on his journey; many 

Spanish bishops and nobles pay him homage . 55 
His attitude towards the Emperor .... 56 
And insistence on the necessity of the peace of Chris- 
tendom 56 

Communications with Francis I., who invites the Pope 

to travel through France to Rome . -57 

Attitude of Francis I. owing to his failures in Upper 

Italy. . . . 57 

Adrian forbids the Cardinals to alienate vacant offices, 

and sets to work on reform . . . 58 

Regulations about petitions 59 

Hindrances to the Pope's journey ; he writes to the 

Cardinals on the 26th of June .... 59 
And on the 8th of July embarks .... 60 
Adrian's excuses for evading a personal interview 

with the Emperor, to whom he writes . . .61 
Incidents of the journey to Italy .... 62 
Five Cardinals meet the Pope at Leghorn ; they are 

rebuked by him ...... 63 

The landing at Ostia on the 2yth of August. Rapid 

progress of the Pope ...... 64 

Impression made by Adrian on all who see him . 65 
The plague in Rome, and state of the city . . 65 
The Pope receives the Sacred College. Address of 

Cardinal Carvajal, and reply of Adrian . . 66 
Attention aroused by his strength of character . . 68 
Prevents all extravagant display. The coronation on 

the 31 st of August. First edicts ... 69 
Courtiers of the last pontificate murmur. Small 

retinue of the new Pope ..... 70 
The simplicity of his manner of living . . 71 

Antagonism of nationality between Adrian and the 

Italians 72 

His insensibility to the beauties of antiquity . . 73 
Italian art unpalatable to him 74 



1522 His interest in St. Peter's. Restores the tapestries of 

Raphael to the Sixtine Chapel . . . -75 
Adrian's dislike of the poets and humanists; but 

exercises too little discrimination. Sadoleto . 76 
Loud laments over the transformation of the Vatican . 77 
Adrian's foreign surroundings; his three principal 

advisers -79 

His confidential friends ; Enkevoirt .... 80 
Johann Winkler and Dirk van Heeze . . . 81 
The Spaniard Ortiz, and several Italians . . .82 
All meet with dislike and distrust from the courtiers . 82 
Satirical verses by Berni. Repugnance to Adrian's 

plans for reform of the Curia .... 83 



1522 High hopes ^et upon Adrian as a reformer. Mem- 
orials and offers of advice. The " Apocalypsis " 

of Cornelius Aurelius ..... 84 

Document issued in October by Vives ... 85 
Advice of Cardinals Schinner and Campeggio ; report 

of the former and his suggestions ... 86 
Programme for reform of the Curia. " Promemoria " 

of Campeggio ....... 87 

The outspoken candour of this document ... 88 

Reforms recommended in it 89 

Zaccaria da Rovigo inveighs against abuses in ecclesi- 
astical appointments ...... 90 

Adrian's determination to remove scandals . . 91 
He speaks out his mind in his first Consistory, on 

the ist of September 92 

His severe rebukes, especially to the Rota. Cardinals 

obliged to leave the Vatican . . . 93 

Consternation in Rome ; " everyone trembles " . . 94 

Enactments about benefices, and about morals . . 95 

Suppression of useless offices. "Videbimus" . . 96 

Complaints in Rome. A few do justice to the Pope . 97 
Financial difficulties. Debts of Leo X. . . .98 

Adrian censured for sternness towards his family . 99 
Not deterred by the general dissatisfaction. The 

plague breaks out afresh in September . .100 

Adrian urged to leave Rome, but refuses . . . 101 



1522 Redoubles his activity, but, as the plague still r.i 

permits the Cardinals to quit the city . . . 102 

Cardinal Schinner dies on the ist of October. At last 

the Pope retires to the Belvedere . . .103 
And holds audiences from a window. Almost all the 

Italian officials take to flight . . . .104 
Castiglione on the fearful state of Rome . . .104 
In December the plague abates. The Pope orders 

the Cardinals to return . . . . .105 
On the 9th of December recalls indults granted to the 

secular power . . . . . . .106 

1523 On the 5th of January reopens the Segnatura . . 106 
Further reduction in number of officials. The Con- 
gregation of six Cardinals 107 

Sharp contrast with the Leonine period. Johann Eck 

arrives in Rome (March) 108 

His thorough review of the situation in Germany . 109 

Implores the Pope to take decisive measures for the 
removal of abuses; his proposals for reform of 
the German clergy . . . . . no 

And other recommendations. Attitude of Adrian to 

Eck's programme . . . . . 1 1 1 

Financial distress prevents reform of the Dataria. 

The Turkish peril also an obstacle . . .112 

The Pope accused of greed and avarice; attempt to 
stab him ; but he refuses to relent, and treats all 
in the same way . . . . . .113 

Ambassadors complain of Adrian's dilatoriness ; the 

cause of this . . . . . . .114 

Mistake in the withdrawal of Sadoleto. Remarks of 

G. Negri (March). " Rome is no longer Rome." 1 15 

Favours granted by the Pope, though few, are just . 1 16 

Adrian not on confidential terms with any of the 
Cardinals ; his treatment of Schinner. Gian 
Pietro Caraffa summoned to Rome . . 1 1 7 

Dissatisfaction caused by this. Insults and invective 

in the " Capitolo " of Berni . . .118 

The Pope and Pasquino. The Romans very ill- 
disposed 119 

Gabbioneta describes the Pope and the state of 

Rome 120 

Inaccessibility of Adrian, and his excessive confidence 

in those about him. Complaints about Zisterer. 121 

And Enkevoirt. Opinion of Blasio Ortiz . . .122 

The Pope's devotion to duty ; he remains a stranger 
in Rome . . . . . . . .123 



1523 And in an isolated position; this aggravates the 

difficulties inherent in the situation . . .124 
In spite of times of depression, Adrian's devotion to 
his task is unflinching. Significance of his 

career 125 

To his undying credit, begins reform at the head . 126 



1522 The Diet at Nuremberg in September. Chieregati 

chosen for the mission; his antecedents and 
character . . . . . . . .127 

Enters Nuremberg on the 26th of September; his 
audience with Ferdinand. The Diet opens on 
the i yth of November . . . . .128 

Speech of Chieregati on the loth of December; his 

caution . . . . . . . .129 

1523 Puts before the Diet the intention and proposals of 

the Pope (January 3rd) ... .129 

Who recalls his sorrow at the disturbances in his 

fatherland 130 

And urges the laying aside of mutual hatred, and 
striving by all possible means to reclaim all 
instigators of error . . . . . 131 

Chieregati demands the execution of the Edict of 
Worms, and communicates to the Diet the im- 
portant "Instruction" . . . . .132 

Principles laid down in this document . . 133 

Remarkable acknowledgment of corruption, especi- 
ally in prelates and clergy . . . . -134 

Promise to reform before all things the Roman Curia 135 
But this must not be done in a hurried manner . 135 
Desires to be made acquainted with learned and pious 

Germans . . . . . . . .136 

Adrian often blamed for giving publicity to long- 
dominant abuses ; but the charge of exaggeration 

cannot be sustained 136 

The "Instruction" does not surrender ecclesiastical 
principles even on the smallest points. Definite 
line drawn by the Pope . . . . 137 


A. l>. 

1523 The genuine sincerity of the document is unintelligible 

to tin- Komans ... ... 138 

Hans vender Planit/. The four preachers. Worked 
up indignation by the Lutherans. Chieregati 
exposed to acts of violence. Vehemence of the 
preachers . . . . . . . 139 

Demands made in an aggressive form for removal of 
German grievances. Unsatisfactory result of 
negotiations . . . . . . .140 

Adrian's earnestness displeasing to the German 
prelates. Action of Planitz. Pamphlet against 
the Pope by Luther and Melanchthon . .141 

Luther's appeal to the religious orders to break their 
vows (March 28th); he reviles Adrian, making 
the canonization (on May 3ist) of St. Benno a 
pretext for this 142 

Adrian's disappointment in Erasmus . . . 143 

His Brief (December, 1522) urging Erasmus to defend 

the Church . . . . . . .144 

Invites him to Rome (January 23rd). Replies of 

Erasmus ........ 145 

Who excuses himself from writing against Luther . 146 

The Pope and Switzerland ; sends a letter to Zwingli 

by Filonardi (April, 1523). .... 147 

Conduct of Albert of Brandenburg and the Teutonic 

Order 148 

Adrian and Christian II. of Demark. Gustavus Wasa 

and Sweden . . . . . . .148 

Olaus Petri and Andrea spread Lutheranism in 

Sweden . . . . . . . .149 

The Pope sends J. Magni as legate to Sweden . .149 

The King conceals his real feelings ; demands of the 

royal council. Magni too trustful . . .150 

G. Wasa writes to the Pope about the vacant 
bishoprics. Brief from Adrian. The King 
drops his mask 151 

And determines to sever his countries from the 

Church . . . . . . . .152 

Reconciliation of the Patriarch of Alexandria, and 

hopes of reunion with Russia . . . .152 

Missionary activity in America 153 





1522 Complicated politics of the European States. The 

Ottoman power . . . . . .154 

Adrian urges the Emperor to make peace with Francis 
I. (March 25th). The Sultan prepares to attack 
Rhodes . 155 

Preparations for its defence; efforts of the Pope; 

difficulty of his position as intermediary of peace 156 

The Great Powers refuse to listen to Adrian, who 

makes another appeal to the Emperor . -157 

Mission of T. Negri. Exhortation in Consistory to 

raise funds for the Turkish war . . . .158 

Adrian collects a few troops, but is unable to send 

them to Rhodes. Fresh outbreak of the plague 159 

The Pope's action towards the Dukes of Ferrara and 

Urbino. Arrest of Malatesta (December) . . 160 

The Dukes give Adrian their loyal support . .161 

F. M. della Rovere absolved from censures (May 
nth) and reinstated in the Duchy of Urbino 
(March, 1523) 162 

Adrian restores order in the Papal States. Differences 

with the Imperial Ambassador . . . .163 

Position of Manuel ; his character and policy . .163 

Resolves to create a breach between Charles and the 

Pope 164 

Is replaced by the Duke of Sessa (October) ; he be- 
comes of the same mind as Manuel . . .165 

Conduct of Francis I., who sends Cardinal de 
Clermont to Rome. Patience of Adrian towards 
the Emperor .165 

Whose Ambassador bribes Zisterer. Tactless conduct 
of the Spaniards confirms the Pope in his 
neutrality 166 

Manuel and the French Ambassador ; the former is 

excommunicated by Adrian . . . .167 

Accident in the Sixtine Chapel (December) . .168 

The Pope's exhortation to the Doge of Venice . .168 

The Imperialists plunder San Giovanni; extreme 
excitement of the Pope, who talks of an immediate 
alliance with France . . . . . .169 

I^annoy comes to Rome and reports the fall of Rhodes 1 70 



Consistory of the 28th of January ahout this . 170 

Had news from ('.ermuny. Adrian writes to Charles V. 171 
Consistories of the i ith and 23rd of February for help 

against the Turks and the necessity for peace . 172 
Fall of Rhodes on tlie 2ist of December, 1522 . . 173 
Anguish of the Pope. "Alas for Christendom ! " . 174 
Terror in Rome; the plague breaks out again . -174 
Adrian refuses to leave Rome; again appeals to the 

Emperor . . . . . . . 175 

And to the other European sovereigns . . .176 
Bertolotti sent back to England as Nuncio . 177 

The Pope's measures for collecting funds for the 

Crusade 177 

Taxes levied on the clergy and officials in the Papal 

States (March nth to 1 8th) . . . .178 

Efforts on behalf of Hungary 179 

Concessions to Henry VIII. and VVolsey. Attitude 

of Francis I. . . . . . .180 

Who demands the restoration of Milan ; this irritates 

the Pope 181 

The Emperor reconsiders his position ; instructions 

to Sessa . . . . . . . .182 

Bribery amongst those in the Pope's confidence. . 183 





1522 Adrian's attempt to reconcile Cardinals Soderini and 

de' Medici 184 

1523 Soderini's intrigues in favour of Francis, which he 

endeavours to conceal from the Pope. Com- 
promising letters found on his agent, Imperiale . 185 
Medici communicates these to the Imperial Am- 
bassador 185 

Adrian is convinced of Soderini's treachery . .186 
And summons Medici to Rome (April) . . .187 
The Pope sends for Soderini to the Vatican (April 

27th) and places him under arrest . . .187 
He is imprisoned in St. Angelo. Medici obtains a 

commanding position in the Curia . . .188 
Neutrality of the Pope. Bull of the ^oth of April 

proclaiming a three years' truce . . . .189 
VOL. IX. b 



1523 Legates despatched to Hungary. The Romans 

object to the Turkish tax . . . . .190 
This lack of self-sacrifice distresses the Pope . .191 
His efforts to send help to Hungary. Suggestion of 

the Franciscans . . . . . . 192 

Reconciliation of Venice with the Emperor. Joy of 

the Pope . . . . . . . .193 

Who co-operates in the treaty between Venice, Milan, 

and the Emperor (July 29th) . . . .194 
The French party in Rome. Trial of Soderini . -195 
Francis I. pays no heed to the representations of the 

Pope. Threatens to set up an antipope . . 197 
And sends an insolent communication . . .198 
Accusing Adrian of favouring the enemies of France 199 
Francis breaks off relations with the Nuncio, but the 

Pope refuses to declare himself against France . 201 
Mischievous advice of some of the Cardinals . . 202 
Francis I. forbids payment of money to Rome . . 202 
Adrian VI. calls Lannoy to Rome (July i8th) . . 203 
Alliance .with the Emperor urged upon the Pope . 203 
Who is threatened by Francis I. with the fate of 

Boniface VIII. ...... 204 

Adrian hesitates in taking steps against France . . 205 
Result of the Consistory of the 29th of July ; the Pope 

joins the league against France .... 206 
High glee of the Imperialists ..... 207 
Adrian VI. breaks down under an attack of illness . 208 
His condition puts a stop to further negotiations . 209 
Improvement in his health (August i2th) . . .210 
Grants audiences and holds a Consistory (August 3 ist) 211 
Has an interview with the Grand Master of the 

Knights of St. John; this causes a relapse 

(September 3rd) . . . . . .212 

Enkevoirt created Cardinal; opposition to this . .213 
The Consistory of the loth of September in the Pope's 

sick-room . . . . . . . .214 

His last dispositions and death (September i4th). 

" In peace, piety, and holiness " . . .215 
No grounds for the suspicion of poisoning . .216 
The monument to Adrian VI. erected by Enkevoirt . 217 
The life-work of the so often misunderstood Pontiff . 219 
Who never turned aside from the path of duty . .220 
His labours for reform of the Church and union of 

Christendom against the Turk . . . .221 
Venomous abuse of the dead Pope in Rome . .222 
His whole life distorted by mendacious wit . -223 



; 1 | rallrd a barbarian and a tyrant .... 224 
(liovio's biography of Adrian VI. Judgment of 

Vcttori on the dead I 'ope . . . . .225 
Difficulty in forming a just appreciation is increased 

by the loss of documents . . . . .226 
Moring, Raynaldus, Muratori, and others defend 

Adrian's memory . . . . . .227 

The work of Burmann (1727) 228 

Judgment of the Protestant, Benrath . . . 229 

Adrian points out the principles for true reform . 230 





1523 Instructions of Charles V. concerning the Con- 
clave. Prospects of Cardinals Wolsey and de' 
Medici . . . . . . . .231 

Parties in the College of Cardinals. Report of the 

Mantuan envoy (September 29th) . . . 232 
Soderini admitted to the Conclave. Farnese the 
rival of de' Medici. Opening of the Conclave 

on the i st of October. .... 233 

Arrival of the three French Cardinals (October 6th) . 234 

The various competitors of Medici . . . 235 
Cardinal Farnese . . . . . . -235 

The first scrutinies. Demonstrations by the populace 236 
Opposition of Colonna to Medici . . . .237 

Restlessness of the Romans. Fear of a schism . 238 

Medici's party stand firmly by him .... 239 

Limitations to the activity of Francis I. . . . 240 

Letter of Sessa (October 28th). Colonna renounces 

his opposition . . . . . . .241 

Cardinal de' Medici elected on the i8th of November, 

and signs the capitulations .... 242 

Assumes the name of Clement VII. .... 243 

Popularity of the election ; high expectations raised . 244 
Courtesy and generosity of the new Pope ; division 

of his benefices ....... 244 

Amnesty to Soderini. The Coronation (November 

26th) 245 

Favourable impression in Italy. Alfonso of Ferrara . 245 



1523 Exuberant expressions of congratulation. Vittoria 

Colonna ........ 246 

Clement's weaknesses overlooked; his appearance 

and manner of life 247 

Comparison with Leo X. ; opinion of Loaysa . .248 
His devotion to business and abstemiousness . . 249 
"Full of uprightness and piety." His parsimony . 250 
The shadows on character of Clement VII. . -251 
His innate irresolution and timidity . . . .252 
Cause him to sink into a Pope of cheap reputation. 

Disappointment of the Imperialists . . 253 

The two leading counsellors: Giberti and Schon 

berg. Clement's negotiations with Venice and 

Milan ........ 254 

His desire for a general armistice with a view to the 

Turkish danger . . . . . . 255 

1524 Arrival of the French envoy (February ist); Sessa 

beside himself ....... 256 

Charles V. sends another envoy, but with no better 

fortune . . . . . . . .257 

Consistory (March 9th) on the pacification of Europe. 

Schonberg sent on a mission to France, Spain, 

and England 257 

Indecision of Clement, who writes to Francis I. and 

to the Emperor. Situation of the French in 

Lombardy ....... 259 

Sessa intrigues against the Pope. Return of 

Schonberg (June i6th). The Imperial forces 

enter Provence . . . . . .260 

The Pope satisfies neither party, and still hopes for an 

armistice (August) 261 

Schonberg again sent on a mission to the Kings 

(September 7th) ....... 262 

The war in Provence . . . . . .262 

Siege of Marseilles raised ; Francis I. invades Italy ; 

retreat of the Imperial army to Lodi ; the French 

before Pavia 263 

Extreme caution of the Pope. Mission of Aleander . 264 
And of Boschetti. The French enter Milan (October) 265 
Mission of Giberti to Francis I. Lannoy refuses an 

armistice 266 

And Francis I. is unyielding. Vettori sent to Lannoy 267 
Alliance between the Pope, Francis I., and Venice; 

concessions of the French King . . . . 268 
Intrigues of Carpi on behalf of France. Proposed 

marriage of Catherine de' Medici . . .269 



1525 Clement informs tlu- Kmpnor (January 5th) of what 

has taken pb . .... 270 

Mtment of ( 'harles V. ; his letters to the Pope and 

to Sessu (1-ebruary 7th); his threat . . .271 



1525 Battle of Pavia ; Francis I. a prisoner . . .272 
Impression produced by this catastrophe. Precarious 

position of the Pope . . . . . -273 

His exhortations to the French King . . .274 
Terror of the Pope. Rejoicing of the Colonna and the 
Imperialists. Albany returns to the neighbour- 
hood of Rome (February loth) . . . -275 
Fighting in Rome between the Colonna and the 

Orsini. Clement's fears for Florence . . .276 
The Imperialists ravage Piacenza ; threat of Lannoy. 

Indecision of the Pope. Giberti and Schonberg 277 
Clement gives way, and enters into a treaty with 

Lannoy as Imperial Viceroy (April ist) . . 278 
Publication of the treaty by Lannoy (April) and the 

Pope (May) . . . . . . .279 

Salviati sent as Legate into Spain .... 280 

But the task is beyond his powers . . . .281 

Lannoy urges Charles V. not to fulfil his part of the 
treaty. Indignation of the Pope and his mistrust 

of the Emperor 282 

Anti-papal intrigues of Lannoy ..... 283 

Strong feeling in Italy against Spanish domination . 284 
Prudence of the French Regent, Louisa of Savoy, 
who employs L. di Canossa to win over the Pope 
and Venice ....... 285 

Energy of Canossa ; his hopes and plans (June-July) 286 
Is seconded by Giberti ; but Clement refuses to take 

open steps ....... 287 

Secrecy of the proceedings. Missions of Sanzio and 

Casale (July). Venetian conditions (July i8th) . 288 
The Pope's distrust of France returns. Attitude of 
the Regent. Sanzio murdered and his corre- 
spondence stolen ...... 289 



1525 Spanish oppression of Milan ; scheme of Morone and 

his overtures to Pescara . . . . .290 
Who betrays all to the Emperor ; Morone seized and 

imprisoned (October i4th) . . . .291 
Embarrassment of Clement VII. Sessa and Mendoza 

try to allay his apprehensions . . . .292 
The Pope determines to act on the defensive ; he has 

real grounds for fear . . . . . 293 

Report of Caracciolo (November loth). The object 

of Charles V. to crush the movement towards 

freedom in Italy . . . . . .294 

Death of Pescara (December 2nd). Pressure put on 

the Pope to join the League. Guicciardini's 

description of Clement ..... 295 
Herrera arrives in Rome with letters from the Emperor 

(December 6th) ; his offers not satisfactory . 296 
Clement accepts the Spanish proposal for a suspension 

of negotiations. Anger of Charles's opponents . 297 

1526 The Peace of Madrid (January i4th) and liberation of 

Francis I. .... .... 298 

Grave mistake of Charles V. Secret protest of Francis 299 
The Pope sends an embassy to the French King . 300 
Capmo arrives in France and wins Francis over to the 

League (April 8th) 301 

Endeavours to induce Henry VIII. to accede fail. 

The Pope now stands firm in spite of Castiglione's 

warnings ........ 302 

Italy cries out for deliverance from the Spaniards and 

their exactions ....... 303 

Conclusion of the League of Cognac (May 22nd) 

between Clement VII., Francis L, Venice, and 

Sforza ........ 304 

Secret clauses concerning Florence . . . .305 




1526 Real character of the stipulations of the League; 

diversity of the aims of its members . . . 306 
Outburst of warlike feeling in Rome. Orders for 

concentration of the Papal troops; their leaders . 307 
Proposed operations. Hopes of breaking the power of 

the Emperor 308 


A. I'. 

( iiu\i error of the I'ope and ( lihci ti .... 309 
Charles \ r . sends Moncada to Italy and kmn. 

(June 1 6th) .... . 309 

The Imperial Instruction of the nth of Jin 

presentations of Moncada and Sessa are ineffectual 310 
Their scheme for creating a revolution in Rome . 311 
I'.ivach between the Pope and Cardinal Colonna, 
who makes proposals to the Ambassadors of 

Charles 312 

Papal Brief of the 23rd of June .... 313 

Recounting the relations of the Pope with the Emperor 314 
Clement feels he has gone too far, and sends a letter 

in gentler terms (June 25th) .... 316 
He solemnly ratines the League on the 5th of July. The 

war begins in Upper Italy ; plan of Guicciardini . 317 
Discarded by the Duke of Urbino ; consequences of 

this difference of opinion . . . . .318 
The Imperialists repress a rising in Milan, but lose 

Lodi 318 

Obstinacy of the Duke of Urbino, who awaits arrival 
of the Swiss. The citadel of Milan surrenders to 
the Spaniards . . . . . . . 319 

The allies attempt to recover Siena (July) . . .320 
The attack fails; consternation of the Pope. Non- 
arrival of promised help from France . . .321 
Canossa asks for his recall. Clement sends Sanga to 
the French King (July iQth); but in vain. The 
Italians and the Pope isolated . . . .322 

The allies capture Cremona (September 25th). De- 
pression of the Pope 323 

Plans of Moncada and the Colonna . . . .324 
Financial difficulties of the Pope. The Colonna out- 
wardly quiet. A fresh Ambassador arrives from 

Francis I. 325 

Vespasiano Colonna and Moncada make proposals to 
the Pope, who signs a treaty on the 20th of 

August 326 

And reduces the garrison of Rome . . . -327 
Victory of the Turks at Mohacs. Clement profoundly 

shaken. The Colonna appear at Anagni . . 328 
And enter Rome on the 2oth of September . -329 
Terror of the Pope on hearing of the raid. Indiffer- 
ence of the Romans ...... 330 

The Pope takes refuge in St. Angelo. The Vatican 
quarter in the hands of the marauders, who 
plunder unchecked 331 



1526 Description by Girolamo Negri of the havoc. Sack- 
ing of the Papal palace and the sacristy of St. 

Peter's 332 

The Borgo Vecchio plundered . . . 333 

The Pope forced to confer with Moncada . . - 333 
And to accept a most unfavourable treaty (Sep- 
tember 2ist) ... ... 334 

The Colonna withdraw to Grottaferrata (September 

22nd) -334 

Self-deception of Moncada .... 334 

The Pope and Vespasiano Colonna. The Cardinals 

call for summary punishment . . . -335 
Representations of the Venetian envoy to the Pope . 335 
Clement has no intention of adhering to the treaty 
extorted from him ; he appeals to France and 
England . ... . 336 

On the z6th of September publishes a monition against 

the raiders . 337 

The Pope proposes to go to Nice to make peace 
between Francis and Charles, but gives up the 
idea ... .337 

Expedients for raising money ; 7000 troops collected 

in Rome (October i3th) 338 

Precautionary measures of the Pope . . . -339 
At the Consistory of the 7th- of November citations 

are issued against the Colonna . . . -339 
Cardinal Pompeo deprived of his dignities (November 

2ist). . . . . . 340 

Campaign of Vitelli against the Colonna . . . 341 
Frundsberg raises troops to help the Emperor, and 

advances into Italy ...... 342 

The allies unable to check his advance . . . 343 
Alfonso of Ferrara goes over to the Emperor. Death 

of Giovanni de' Medici (November 3oth) . . 343 
Lannoy approaches with the Imperial fleet. The 

Pope threatened by sea as well as by land . . 344 

Report of the Milanese envoy 345 

Desperate situation of the Pope .... 345 
The Cardinals propose (November 3oth) pardon, 

flight, or an armistice ..... 346 
Quinones entrusted with the mission to Lannoy . 346 

Panic in Florence and Rome 346 

The Pope advised to come to terms with the Emperor ; 

sends Schonberg to treat with Lannoy . . 347 
Hard conditions offered by Lannoy (December i2th) 348 
The Emperor's threat of a Council .... 348 





1526 The part of the Emperor in the raid of the Colonna . 349 
Moncada's advice to him after the raid . . . 349 
Charles's steps against the Pope; he consults canonists 350 
Effect on the Emperor of the Brief of the 23rd of June 351 
Who draws up a State-paper in reply to it (September 

i7th) . .35' 

Tenor of this document . ... 352 

Its object is to prove the disloyalty of Clement and to 

justify Charles V. . . . . -353 

Who appeals to a General Council. The Paper 

handed over to the Nuncio on the i8th of Sep- 
tember . . . -354 
Anger of Castiglione. The friendly words of the 

Emperor are meaningless . . . . -355 
As in a letter to the Cardinals on the 6th of October 

he threatens a schism . . . . 356 

Insulting conduct of Perez at the Consistory of the 

1 2th of December ...... 356 

And to the Pope 357 

Lannoy increases his demands. Agitation of the 

Pope . . 358 

Who pushes on the recruiting of troops and issues a 

monition against all invaders of Papal territories. 359 
The Colonna in close alliance with Lannoy . -359 
Frundsberg crosses the Po (end of November) and 

ravages the states of Parma and Piacenza . . 360 

1527 He effects a junction with Bourbon early in February, 

and on the 2 2nd they advance . . . -361 
The Duke of Urbino misses the opportunity to 

attack .361 

Clement addresses an admonition to Lannoy and the 

Colonna ........ 362 

The envoy of Francis I., Renzo da Ceri, arrives in 

Rome ........ 362 

The Florentines appeal to the Pope, who is in despair, 

but will not hear of a sale of Cardinals' hats . 363 
Measures for the defence of Rome .... 364 
Fieramosca arrives (January 25th) with proposals for 

an armistice from Charles V., to which Clement 

consents ........ 365 

I Vfeat of Lannoy at Frosinone ; joy of the Pope . 366 



1527 Treachery of Napoleone Orsini, who is arrested on the 

ist of February . .' . . 367 

The King of France fails to fulfil his promises . -368 
And the conduct of Venice is no better . . -369 
The danger from the North draws nearer . . -369 
Advantages against Naples not followed up, and the 

Papal troops desert 370 

Du Bellay arrives in Rome (March 6th) with promises 

only . . -37 

Terms of the armistice. Lannoy comes to Rome 

(March 25th) 371 

The treaty ratified on the agth of March. Pacific 

intentions of the Pope . . . . 372 

Bourbon refuses to accept the treaty. Illusions of 

Clement VII. and his advisers . . . -373 
Excitement of the Imperialist host, who are lashed to 

fury and appeal to Bourbon and Frundsberg . 374 
The latter is struck down by apoplexy (March i6th), 

and Bourbon promises the troops unlimited pillage 375 
He loses all power over the army : " Forward to 

Rome " is the cry, and sets forward on the 3oth 

of March ........ 376 

Lannoy tries to persuade the forces to return . -377 
Misdirected economy of the Pope, who continues to 

dismiss his soldiers . . . . . -377 
Uneasiness in Rome. Fanatical preachers . -378 
Prophecies of Brandano and others .... 379 
Brandano's penitential preachings .... 380 
Especially on Easter Eve, 1527. The Pope places 

him in confinement ...... 381 

Bourbon continues his march, and meets Lannoy . 381 
Advances on Florence ; his demands . . .382 
On the 26th of April strikes the road for Rome . . 383 
Clement VII. now joins the League .... 383 

Greed and infatuation of the Romans . . .384 
The Pope at last consents to creation of Cardinals . 384 
Encourages the citizens. Boasting of Renzo da Ceri 385 
Clement still sees no serious danger. Panic in Rome 

(May 4th) . ... 386 

Bourbon's soldiers, in a state of desperation, surround 

the city 387 




1527 The morning of the 6th of May .... 388 

The Imperialists u;ct ready for the assault . . . 389 

Attacks at the Porta Torrione and the Porta S. Spirito 390 

Death of Bourbon ; consternation caused by this . 391 

The soldiers break through the walls . . . 392 

And rush the Leonine city ..... 393 

Rapid flight of the Pope to the castle of St. Angelo . 394 
Narrative of Raffaello da Montelupo . . -395 

Attack on the Trastevere 395 

No means taken to defend or blow up the bridges . 396 

Bewilderment of the populace . . 397 

The Imperialists rush like a torrent through the city, 

and break away from all control . . . 398 

Carrying ruthless devastation with them . . . 399 
" Hell has nothing to compare with the present state 

of Rome " ....... 400 

The Venetian, Barozzi, describes the misery of the 

Romans . . . . . . . .401 

The landsknechts not so cruel as the Spaniards . 402 
Scorn and ridicule heaped by the former upon the 

Papacy ........ 403 

The destruction and sacrilege wrought in the churches 404 

Desecration of the Blessed Sacrament . . . 405 

And of the most venerated relics .... 405 

Terrible sufferings inflicted upon ecclesiastics and 

nuns ........ 406 

Atrocities committed in religious houses of women . 407 

Wholesale robbery of even Imperialist Cardinals . 408 

Their palaces looted and plundered .... 409 

Heavy ransoms exacted by the landsknechts . . 409 
Isabella of Mantua shelters many in her palace, but 

even she has to fly from Rome (May i3th) . 411 

Pompeo Colonna in Rome ; he is moved to tears . 412 
G roller's description of the horrors . . . .413 
Estimate of the number of deaths and the amount of 

the booty 413 

Destruction of books, archives, and manuscripts . 414 
Havoc in the Vatican, which is the head-quarters of 

Orange . . . . . . . .415 

Utter absence of discipline among the pillaging 

soldiery . . . . . . . .416 

The account by a Roman notary . . . 4*7 



1527 Bloody quarrels between the Spaniards and lands- 

knechts . . . . . . .418 

Clement VII. opens communications with the 

Imperialists (May yth), and Gattinara comes to 

the castle. On the Qth of May a treaty proposed 418 
Its terms. Attempt to rescue the Pope (May i2th) . 419 
Who remains undecided, and wishes to treat with 

Lannoy . . 419 

The army of the League makes no attempt at relief . 420 
But retreats to Viterbo (June 2nd) .... 420 
Scathing satire by Ariosto . . . . .421 

Pompeo Colonna has an audience with the Pope . 421 
Terms of the agreement. The Papal garrison leave 

St. Angelo (June 7th) 422 

Clement in the custody of Alarcon ; his sad plight . 423 






1527 The Pope treated as a prisoner (June 2ist). Rapacity 

of the Imperialists ; conduct of Gattinara . . 424 
Serious difficulties respecting the conditions of the 

treaty .... ... 425 

Rebellion of Florence . . . . . .425 

Where Republican government is restored . . 426 
Appalling condition of Rome . . . . .427 

"Nemesis." Rome becomes the destruction of the 

victors . . . . . . . .427 

Friction and strife ; hunger and pestilence. The 

account of Salazar (June nth) .... 428 
Rome turned into a "stinking slaughter-pit" 

(July 22nd) 429 

Efforts of the Pope to collect money for his ransom . 429 
He appeals to the bishops of Naples (July 3rd), and 

borrows from bankers (July 6th) . . . 430 
In Rome " men drop down dead in the street like 

flies'' . . . . . . . .431 

The landsknechts threaten to reduce the city to ashes 43 1 
But at last, on the loth of July, cross to the further 

side of the Tiber . . . . . . 43 1 

And commence their tumultuous retreat to Umbria . 432 



1527 Cruel massacre at Narni (July lyth) . . . 432 

The Pope divides to send Cardinal Karnese to 

Charles V. ....... 432 

His " Instructions" . 433 

I-'arnese starts (July i2th), but goes no further than 

Upper Italy. Salviati also evades the embassy 

to Charles V. . . 434 

And gives instructions to Giacopo Girolami ; tenor 

of these . 434 

Henry VIII. determines to help the Pope his 

motives are not disinterested and sends Wolsey 

on a mission to Francis I. (July 3rd) . . 435 

Wolsey's interview with the King of France at Amiens 

(August 4th) . . 43 6 

Measures taken by Francis I. on behalf of the Pope . 437 
Acciaiuoli's estimate of Wolsey . . 437 

Who explains the aim of his mission ; his proposal 

for an assemblage of Cardinals at Avignon . . 438 
Wolsey in reality not so disinterested as it appears . 439 
His ambitious design to become "the Pope's 

substitute " encounters the greatest obstacles . 440 
The free Italian Cardinals meet at Parma (September) 441 
Wolsey usurps the function of a Papal Vicar-General . 441 
And addresses a protest to the Pope (September 1 6th); 

language of this document ... . 442 

Salviati's excuses (September 28th) for signing it ; he 

is not deceived by Wolsey's schemes . . . 443 
Attitude of Charles V. on receiving the news of the 

sack of Rome ..... . 444 

His protest to the Christian princes (August) . . 444 
The crimes committed give the Emperor's enemies an 

opportune handle for serious accusations . . 445 
Difficulty of the situation to Charles V. caused by the 

sack . . . 44 6 

Lope de Soria's advice to the Emperor ; opinions of 

Bart. Gattinara and other Imperialists . -447 
Representations of Lannoy and of Ferdinand I. 

(May 3ist) 447 

Indecision of Charles V. ; the mutinous state of his 

army in Italy ; the Duke of Ferrara refuses the 

command ... .... 448 

Repugnance in Spain to the policy of Charles towards 

the Pope ... . 449 

Reproaches by the Duke of Alba and the Archbishop 

of Toledo ... . - 449 

But the Emperor remains undecided . . . 45 



1527 Letter of Lannoy to him (July 6th), and remonstrances 

ofQuinones . . . . 451 

Charles disclaims responsibility for the sack . -452 

He is informed at this time of Henry VIII. 's scheme 

for a divorce . . . . . . .453 

His instructions to Lannoy on this subject 

(July 3 1 st) . ... 453 

The Emperor's letters to the Pope (August 3rd) . . 454 

The demands contained in the instructions to the 

envoys (August i8th) . . . . -455 

Distress of the Pope, who issues a Bull for the regula- 
tion of an election in the event of his death . 456 

Pestilence in Rome. The situation of the Pope more 

and more unbearable ; his poverty . . . 457 

The Bull " Considerantes " which Clement has not the 

courage to publish (September) . . . -458 

The mutinous soldiers return to Rome; a second 

pillage (September 25th) ..... 459 

The account-book of Paolo Montanaro . . . 460 

Paralysis of the Emperor's authority over the soldiers 461 

Protest by Henry VIII. against the Pope's imprison- 
ment (October) 462 

After proposals and counter-proposals, the terms of 

agreement are settled (November 26th) . . 463 

Sums to be paid by the Pope to the Imperial generals 464 

The landsknechts again mutiny. Escape of the 

hostages ........ 465 

Further securities. End of the Pope's captivity. He 

takes flight to Orvieto (December 6th and 7th) . 466 



I. G. M. Giberti to N. N 471 

II. Alienation of Church ornaments from the Papal 

chapel by the College of Cardinals . -471 

III. Epitome of Cardinal Schinner's project of 

reform 472 

IV. Pope Adrian VI. to the College of Cardinals 

(May 8th, 1522) 475 

V. Pope Adrian VI. to the College of Cardinals 

(June 3rd, 1522) 476 

VI. Galeotto de' Medici to Florence . . .478 

VII. ... 478 

VIII. Giovanni Maria della Porta to Urbino . . 478 

IX. . 479 

X. Galeotto de' Medici to Florence . . . 480 

XI. Giovanni Maria della Porta to the Duchess of 

Urbino ....... 480 

XII. L. Cati to the Duke Alfonso of Ferrara . . 480 

XIII. Angelo Germanello to Federigo Gonzaga, 

Marquis of Mantua . . . . .481 

XIV. Jacopo Cortese to the Marchioness Isabella of 

Mantua . . . . . . .481 

XV. Angelo Germanello to Federigo Gonzaga, 

Marquis of Mantua ..... 482 

XVI. Consistory of the 1 1 th of February, 1523. . 483 

XVII. Girolamo Balbi to Salamanca .... 483 

XVIII. Consistory of the 23rd of February, 1523. . 483 

XIX. L. Cati to Alfonso, Duke of Ferrara " . . 484 

XX. Consistory of the 23rd of March, 1523 . . 485 

XXI. Girolamo Balbi to Salamanca .... 486 

XXII. Angelo Germanello to Federigo Gonzaga, 

Marquis of Mantua 486 

XXIII. Consistory of the 28th of April, 1523 . . 487 

XXIV. 27th of May, 1523 . . 488 


XXV. Angelo Germanello to Federigo Gonzaga, 

Marquis of Mantua ..... 488 
XXVI. Pope Adrian VI. to Ch. de Lannoy, Viceroy of 

Naples . . . . . 488 
XXVII. Alessandro Gabbioneta to the Marchioness 

Isabella of Mantua 489 

XXVIII. Consistory of the 29th of July, 1523 . . 490 
XXIX. Pope Adrian VI. to Federigo Gonzaga, Marquis 
of Mantua and Captain-General of the 

Church ....... 490 

XXX. 491 

XXXI. 493 

XXXII. Pope Clement VII. distributes his benefices . 493 

XXXIII. Consistory of the nth of January, 1524 . . 494 

XXXIV. A. Piperario to Federigo Gonzaga, Marquis of 

Mantua . . . . . . 495 

XXXV. Consistory of the igth of September, 1526 . 495 
XXXVI. Francesco Gonzaga to Federigo Gonzaga, 

Marquis of Mantua 496 

XXXVII. 497 

XXXVIII. Nicolas Raince to Anne de Montmorency . 499 

XXXIX. Landriano to M. Sforza, Duke of Milan . . 500 

XL. Galeotto de' Medici to Florence . . .500 

XLI. Landriano to M. Sforza, Duke of Milan . -501 

XLII. 501 

XLIII. Consistory of the igth of December, 1526 . 501 

XLIV. Francesco Gonzaga to Federigo Gonzaga, 

Marquis of Mantua . . . 502 

XLV. Bull of Pope Clement VII. against the Colonna 502 
XLVI. Francesco Gonzaga to Federigo Gonzaga, 

Marquis of Mantua. .... 503 

XLVII. 503 

XLVIII. Matteo Casella to the Duke Alfonso of Ferrara 504 

XLIX. Cardinal Salviati to Baldassare Castiglione . 505 

L. Giovanni Battista Sanga to Uberto da Gambara 507 

LI. Pope Clement VII. to the leaders of the 

Imperial troops . . . 509 



THE death of Leo X. in the prime of life, coming un- 
expectedly, altered the whole basis of the political situation 
in Italy. So strong was the reaction, that everything 
which had hitherto been accomplished became once again 
an open question. The victorious career of the Imperial 
and Papal forces in Lombardy came to a standstill, while 
simultaneously, in the States of the Church, the enemies of 
the Medici lifted up their heads. Cardinals Schinner -and 
Medici had to quit the army of the League and hasten 
to Rome for the Conclave, while at the same time the 
funds, which had been supplied almost exclusively by 
the Papal treasury, were cut off at their source. In con- 
sequence Prospero Colonna was obliged to dismiss all 
his German mercenaries, and his Swiss to the number 
of five hundred men. A portion of the Papal forces 
withdrew, under Guido Rangoni, to Modena ; the 
remainder stayed in Milanese territory with the Marquis 
of Mantua. All further movements depended on the 
result of the election. The Florentine auxiliary troops 
marched back home to the Republic. Had it not been 
for the caution of Guicciardini, Parma would have fallen 
into the hands of the French. To the latter, provided 

that they were resolutely supported by Francis I., the 


opportunity lay open of recovering all their losses in 
Lombardy. 1 

No one rejoiced more over the death of Leo than the 
Duke Alfonso of Ferrara, who ordered a medal to be 
struck with the circumscription : "Out of the Lion's paw" 
(de manu Leonis). Making use of the favourable moment, 
Alfonso at once occupied Bondeno, Finale, the Garfagnana, 
Lugo and Bagnacavallo ; his successful progress was not 
checked until he reached Cento. The deposed Duke of 
Urbino and the sons of Giampaolo Baglioni, Orazio and 
Malatesta, also rose in arms. Francesco Maria della 
Rovere recovered without difficulty his entire dukedom, 
with the exception of the portion in the possession of 
Florence ; he also made himself master of Pesaro. Orazio 
and Malatesta Baglioni entered Perugia on the 6th of 
January 1522. At the same time Sigismondo da Varano 
drove out his uncle Giammaria, who had been made Duke 
of Camerino by Leo X., while Sigismondo Malatesta seized 
Rimini. Under these circumstances the fear that the 
Venetians might snatch Ravenna and Cervia from the 
Papal States was not groundless. 2 

The situation in Rome also was critical ; but Vincenzo 
Caraffa, Archbishop of Naples, who had been appointed 
Governor of the city, knew how to maintain tranquillity. 3 

1 GUICCIARDINI, XIV., 4 ; cf. Op. ined., III., 505 seqq., and CHIESI, 
99 seq. *Cuncta quidem ex morte Leonis misceri coepere atque 
turbari, writes S. TIZIO, *Hist. Senen., Cod. G, II., 39, Chigi Library, 

2 With GUICCIARDINI, XIV., cf. ALFANI, 296 ; VETTORI, 340 seq. ; 
CARPESANUS, 1338 seq. ; Bollett. p. PUmbria, V., 687 ; VI., 69 seqq. ; 
UGOLINI, II., 224 ; BALAN, Storia, VI., 57-58, and BOSCHETTI, I., 180 
seqq. See also Arch. d. Soc. Rom., XXVI., 427 scg. 

3 C7".* Letter of B.Castiglione, of December 3, 1521 (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua) ; BERGENROTH, II., n. 368, 369, and * Diary of CORNELIUS 
DE FINE (National Library, Paris). 


In the meantime the government of the Church was carried 
on by the Sacred College, 1 whose members were un- 
remitting in their endeavours to maintain peace and order 
in all directions.' 2 Their difficulties, however, were increased, 
during this period of political tension, by the exceptional 
drain on the exchequer which had been brought about by 
the prodigal and random expenditure of Leo X. In 
order to meet the most pressing necessities, almost all the 
treasures of the Holy See, which had not already been 
pawned, were gradually put into the hands of the money- 
lenders ; the mitres and tiaras, the ecclesiastical ornaments 
of the Papal chapel, and even the precious tapestries 
designed by Raphael were pledged. 3 At the time of 
Leo's death a detailed inventory was taken of all the 

1 Cf. the * decree of the Sacred College, dated Romae, in Palatio 
Apost., December 2, 1521 Sede vacante, appended to *Acta Consist., 
1492-1 5 1 3, f. 56. Consistorial Archives of the Vatican. 

2 See * Letter of the Cardinals to the castellan of Assisi, dated Rome, 
December 2, 1521, in Cod. 1888, f. 20-21, Bibl. Angelica, Rome ; and 
to the Swiss, dated December 19, 1521, and January 12, 1522. Cf. 
Archiv fiir schweiz. Ref., III., 451, by DAMARUS, in Histor. Jahrb., 
XVI., 85, and WlRZ, Filonardi, 56 seq. Also the * letter of the 
Cardinals to the castellan of Spoleto of December 7. 1521, in *Acta 
Consist., f. 59. 

3 Together with SANUTO, XXXII., 252, 290, 4 17, and Appendix, No. 2, 
see the * letter of B. Castiglione to the Marquis of Mantua, clat. 
Rom., December 16, 1521 :* lo ho il cervello tanto pieno di confusione 
e fastidio che non mi pare di poter satisfare a cosa alcuna di quelle ch'io 
debbo con V. Ex. ; pare facendo quanto io posso parmi essere excusato 
e piu serei, se quello potesse vedere il stento ch'io patisco ; non e 
poverth. al mondo ne meschinita sopra quella che si vede in questo 
collegio, che s'io la dicessi come e non si crederia. Oltra li debiti grandi 
lassati da Papa Leone s ae mem. sono dopo la morte sua impegnate tutte 
le gioie, tutti li panni di arazzo, dico quelli bellissimi, e mitre e regni 
e paci e argenti della credenza e si 6 dovuto far queste exequie tanto 
povere che non so qual cosa al mondo sia povera e pagare li fanti della 
guardia e far le stanze del conclave. Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 


precious contents of the Vatican, including the ponti- 
fical mitres, tiaras, pectoral crosses, and precious stones. 
This catalogue shows that the current report, that Leo's 
sister Lucrezia Salviati had rifled l the Vatican of all its 
most costly belongings, was, to say the least, a gross 
exaggeration. 2 

Worse than the political confusion and the want of 
money was the moral condition of the Sacred College, which 
consisted for the most part of men of thoroughly worldly 
character, who offered only too true a picture of that spirit 
of faction and enmity which was then the disintegrating 
factor in Italy and Christendom at large. 3 The divisions 
of party among the electors were so great that it was the 
belief of many that the Church was on the verge of schism. 4 

Manuel, the Ambassador of Charles V., mentions as 
true Imperialists the Cardinals Vich, Valle, Piccolomini, 
Jacobazzi, Campeggio, Pucci, Farnese, Schinner, and Medici; 
Cesarini as not having a mind of his own ; the three 
Venetians, Grimani, Cornaro, and Pisani. as well as Fieschi, 
Monte, Grassis, and Cajetan, as doubtful, and Accolti and 
Soderini as decidedly hostile. 5 The leader of the Imperial- 
ists was the Cardinal Vice-Chancellor Glulio de' Medici, 

1 Gradenigo in ALBERI, 2 Series, III., 71. 

2 In the inventory of jewels belonging to Leo X., the missing pieces 
are named. (* Inventario havuto da M. Earth, a Bibiena guardaroba 
di P. Leone X., a di 6 di Decembre 1521. State Archives, Rome.) 
The additions to the * Inventario delle robbe rulla foraria di P. Leone 
X. mention several missing pieces and give information as to their 
whereabouts (e.g. some went to Serapica, Maddalena de' Medici), but 
Lucrezia is not here named. That pieces from the guardaroba of Leo 
X. were stolen, Castiglione also says expressly in a * letter of February 
22, 1 522 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

3 HOFLER, Adrian VI., 72. 

4 Cf. Clerk in BREWER, III., 2, n. 1895. 
6 BERGENROTH, II., n. 370. 



\vho had already reached Rome on the nth of December 
1521. On his side were by no means all, but only a 
portion, of the Imperialists and those younger Cardinals 
who had been nominated by Leo X. 1 Among the circum- 
stances which weighed strongly in favour of the candi- 
dature of the Vice-Chancellor was the extraordinary 
reputation which he enjoyed, grounded on the assumption 
that he had had untrammelled direction of Leo's policy, 
along with his connection with Florence and his wealth, 
which would prove of great assistance in relieving the 
financial necessities of the Papal government. 2 

The Imperial Ambassador, who was supported by the 
representatives of Portugal and of the Florentine Republic, 
did all he could to secure the election of Medjc.i, although 
the candidature of the latter was opposed not only by the 
Franco- Venetian party, but also by the senior Cardinals. 
The latter, many of whom desired the tiara, laid great im- 
portance on the fact that no one under fifty years of age was 
eligible for the Papacy. From another quarter came the 
objection that it would be a discredit and danger if Leo 
were succeeded by a member of his own family, the heredi- 
tary principle being thus introduced into a Papal election. 
Many who had imperialist leanings were disinclined to 
accept Medici, while Cardinal Colonna showed more and 
more his decided hostility. 3 To all these enemies were added 

' 1 Jovius(Vita Adriani VI.) says that among the younger Cardinals 
not only Colonna, but also Trivulzio, Jacobazzi, Pallavicini, and Vich were 
against Medici. The latter placed his suit before the Emperor in 
a * letter of December 18, 1521, Cod. Barb, lat, 2103, f. 191 seg. y 
Vatican Library. 

2 See BERGENROTH, II., n. 374, and SANUTO, XXXII., 262. 

3 GUICCIARDINI, XIV., 4; SANUTO, XXXII., 260, 288; KRAI i i. 
Hriefe, 33. * Colonna si e scoperto nemico capitalissimo di Medici, 
reports Giov. Maria della Porta in a * letter, dated Rome, December 
25, 1521. State Archives, Florence, Urbino, 132. 


the Cardinals who, for one reason or another, had become 
dissatisfied with Leo X. Next to Colonna the most im- 
portant leader of the opposition was Soderini ; 1 since the 
discovery of the conspiracy of Petrucci, he had lived in 
exile and discontent, and had often said openly that he 
would do all in his power to prevent a return of the 
Medicean tyranny. 2 Medici could count on a sum total of 
fifteen or sixteen votes; 3 all the others were against him. 
Disunited as these opponents were on other points, they 
were unanimous in their determination that in no case 
should a Florentine Pope again ascend the chair of Peter. 4 
Not less eagerly than Medici did the ambitious Wolsey, 
who remained in England, strive after the tiara. He was 

1 Cf. the * Report of the Nuncio Raince, January 10, 1522, Beth., 
8500, f. 91 seq., and FONTANIEU, 191, f. 9 (National Library, Paris). 
G. M. della Porta writes, Jan. 9, 1523: * lo vi dico che havemo 
infinite oblige al card. Colonna, che se non fosse stato esso havres- 
semo giapapa Medici. State Archives, Florence, Urbino, 132. 

2 Cf. SANUTO, XXXII., 252, 260, 288. 

3 At first it was stated, on an exaggerated calculation, that Medici 
could count on 20 votes (SANUTO, XXXI I., 262, 263). Manuel on 
December 24 reckoned on 18 (so also SANUTO, XXXII., 275), on 
January 6 only on 15 or thereabouts (BERGENROTH, II., n. 370, 372). 
Clerk also (BREWER, III., 2, n. 1895), N - Raince (* Report of January 
9, 1522, Beth., 8500, f. 95 ; FONTANIEU, 191, f. 6 (National Library, 
Paris), and GUICCIARDINI (XIV., 4) give 15 supporters; Jovius 
(Vita Adriani VI.), 16. Giov. Maria della Porta speaks in his 
* report of December 25, 1521, as well as in that of January 2, 1522, of 
only 13 certain votes. State Archives, Florence. 

4 Giov. Maria della Porta reports on December 25 that Medici is 
almost sure of 13 votes: *ma all' opposite tutti gli altri se gli sono 
coniuncti contro et deliberato primo morire che di vederlo papa, pur 
tra essi non sono poi concordi in la electione ; chiaro e che non vogliono 
Fiorentino in alcuno modo. State Archives, Florence. Cf. also 
despatches in Arch. Stor. Ital., Nuova Serie, IX., 4-5. *E1 card. 
Medici sta forte per far se, writes Naselli on December 25, 1521. State 
Archives, Modena. 


ready, he declared, to pay 100,000 ducats in order to reach 
this goal. From England, at the instance of the King 
himself, the Emperor was besieged with formal entreaties 
to intervene in favour of his election. The shrewd Haps- 
burger gave fair promises, but took no serious steps to fulfil 
them. 1 It was impossible, in the existing conditions of 
things, that an English Pope, and above all such a man as 
Wolsey, could be acceptable to the Emperor. 2 Wolsey on 
his side, strange to say, placed a delusive trust in the 
Emperor's assurances ; he even suggested unblushingly to 
the latter that he should march his troops on Rome and 
compel the Cardinals by main force to carry his election. 3 
Charles V. paid so little attention to this that it was not until 
December the 3Oth that he specifically named Wolsey as a 
candidate in a letter to his Ambassador Manuel. 4 The 
time for this recommendation, as for the coming of the 
English envoy, Richard Pace, had passed. 5 The latter, by 
his stay in Rome, could only have been strengthened in 
his conviction that the candidature of the English Cardinal 
had never been seriously considered. 6 

Among the other numerous candidates for the Ponti- 
ficate, Grimani, Carvajal, Soderini, Grassis, Gonzaga, and 
above all Farnese, were prominent. The last named did 

1 LANZ, Briefe und Aktenstiicke, I., 501 (No. 155) ; cf. BREWER, III., 
2, n. 1906 ; REUMONT, Wolsey, 17 seq. 

2 BROSCH, Engl. Geschichte, VI., 154 ; cf. MARTIN, 348 seqq. 

3 LANZ, I. 523 (No. 162). 

4 See MIGNET, Revue d. deux Mondes, XIV. (1858), 168. SAG- 
MULLER, Papstwahlen, 148. 

5 Cf. BUSCH, Vermittlungspolitik, 181. Manuel certainly did nothing 
towards Wolsey's election ; cf. BROSCH, op. cit. 155. 

6 Cf. MARTIN, 351. LEPITRE, 148, like many other historians, takes 
Wolsey's candidature too seriously. It is interesting to see how 
Schinner, in a * letter dated Rome, March 6, 1522, comforts the 
ambitious Wolsey. Cotton MS., Vitellius B. V , f. 45, British Museum. 


all in his power to win Medici and Manuel. 1 The Cardinal 
Vice-Chancellor and the Ambassador did not shut their 
eyes to the fact that a united combination of their op- 
ponents would render the election of a second Medici 
Pope impossible. It was therefore agreed upon between 
the two that the votes of the Imperialist party should be 
transferred to another candidate acceptable to Charles V. 2 
Under these circumstances Manuel reminded the electors, 
upon whose pledges he could rely, that, in the case of their 
being unable to vote unanimously for one of the Cardinals 
in Conclave, they should bethink themselves of Cardinal 
Adrian of Tortosa, then resident as Viceroy in Spain. 3 
At this juncture nothing more was done, since Medici 
continued to hope that he might yet carry the day, if not 
for himself, at least for one of the Cardinals present, on 
/ whose devotion he could thoroughly rely. 

Public opinion in Rome had been from the first almost 
entirely on the side of Medici ; before his arrival he had been I 
marked as the future Pope. This Cardinal, it was stated in a 
report of the I4th of December 1521, or some other of his 
choosing, would receive the tiara. 4 Next to those of 
Medici the chances of Grimani and Farnese 5 were in 
advance of all others ; there were also some who con- 

1 Cf. BERGENROTH, II., n. 370, 371, and * letter of Naselli of 
December 25, 1521 (State Archives, Modena) ; also Jovius, Vita 
Adrian! VI. * Bona openion si ha di Farnese et di Grassis .... 
Alcuni propongono Aracoeli et Egidio, reports Giov. Maria della 
Porta on December 25, 1521 (State Archives, Florence). For Gonzaga 
see his letter in Giorn. d. lett. Ital., XIX., 83. 

2 BERGENROTH, II., n. 370. 

3 Manuel's despatch of December 28, 1521, in BERGENROTH, n. 371, 
and DE LEVA, II., 128, n. 2, where the passages in question are given 
in the original phraseology. 

4 SANUTO, XXXII., 282 ; cf. 275. 
6 Ibid.) 260, 284. 


sick-red that Cardinals Gonzaga and Piccolomini had a 
favourable prospect. 1 The elevation of Wolsey or any 
other foreign candidate was wholly impossible, owing to 
the highly developed consciousness of their nationality and // 
civilization to which the Italian people had attained. 

The strong tendency to satire which characterizes the 
Italian is especially marked among the Romans, whose vo- 
cabulary is uncommonly rich in humorous and mordant ex- 
pressions. A vacancy in the Holy See invariably gave them 
an opportunity for turning this vein of satire on the electors 
and candidates. On the present occasion this mischievous 
habit was carried beyond all previous limits. Like mush- 
rooms after rain, lampoons and pasquinades sprang up in 
which first the dead Pope and his adherents, and then the 
electors of the future Pontiff were, without exception, 
attacked in unheard-of ways. It was now that the statue 
of Pasquino assumed its peculiar character as the rallying- 
point for libellous utterances and raillery. 2 The foreign 
envoys were amazed at the number of these pasquinades 
in prose and verse and in different languages, as well as 
at the freedom of speech prevailing in Rome. 3 Among 
the Cardinals there were not a few whose conduct deserved 
to be lashed unsparingly ; but there were also many to 
whom failings and vices were attributed only for the sake 

giving vent to scorn and ridicule. 

The master-hand in raising this rank crop of abusive > 
literature was that of Pietro Aretino, who turned the favour- 
able opportunity to account without scruple. His epigrams 

1 Cf. letter of B. Castiglione of December 28, 1521 (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua) ; also SfcRASSi, I., 5, and KRAFFT, Briefe, 31. 

2 See, Pasquinate di P. Aretino ed anonime per il conclave e 1' elez. di 
Aclriano VI., publ. e ill. da V. Rossi, Palermo, 1891. Also Giorn. d. 
lett. Ital., XIX., 80 seqq.) XXXIII., 78 seqq., 470. 

3 Cf. Clerk's letter to Wolsey in BREWER, III., 2 n., 1895. 


sparkled with wit and intelligence ; in originality and biting 
sarcasm he had no equal, but his language was foul and full 
of a devilish malice. 1 Only a portion of the malignant 
allusions contained in these lampoons is now intelligible to 
the reader; contemporaries were well aware at whom each 
of the poisoned shafts was aimed. In this way, in the 
eyes of the people, each of the Cardinals whose candidature 
came up for discussion, was morally sentenced in advance. 
As many of these pasquinades made their way into 
foreign countries, a deadly blow was then given, as Giovio 
remarks, to the reputation of the Sacred College. 2 

The longer the hindrances to the Conclave were pro- 
tracted, the larger was the scope afforded for the satirists 
and newsmongers. As soon as the obsequies of Leo X. 
were brought to an end on the i/th of December 1521, 
attention was at once directed to the Conclave, when the 
news arrived that Cardinal Ferreri, who was on the side 
of France, had been detained in Pavia by the Imperialists ; 
hereupon it was decided to wait eight days longer for the 
Cardinal, whose liberation had been urgently demanded. 3 
In diplomatic circles, moreover, it was confidently asserted 
that as early as the beginning of December the French 
envoy had formally protested against the beginning of the 
Conclave prior to the arrival of the French Cardinals. 4 

Already in the autumn of 1520, when Leo's health 
gave no grounds for anticipating his early death, Francis I. 

1 The opinion of FLAMINI, 224. 

2 Jovius, Vita Adrian! VI. 

3 Besides SANUTO, XXXIL, 273, see BREWER, III., 2, n. 1879; 
BERGENROTH, II., n. 369 ; Paris de Grassis in GATTICUS, 440. 

4 Castiglione reports on December 3, 1521 : *Lo ambasciator di 
Franza stato hoggi udito in questa congregatione stimati che abbia 
protestato che non si proceda a la elettione del pontefice se non si da 
tempo a li cardinal! che sono in Franza de potervi si trovare. Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua. 


had been eagerly occupied with the question of the Papal 
succession ; it was then stated that the King was ready to 
spend a million of gold thalers in order to secure at the 
next conclave a Pope after his own mind. 1 Since then the 
question had become one of still greater importance for 
Francis I. If the choice were now to fall on a nominee 
of the Emperor, Charles V. would command not only in 
Italy but in all Europe a crushing preponderance over 
France ; it can therefore be well understood that Francis 
should have made his influence felt in Rome. He took 
steps, however, which went beyond what was just and 
permissible, and threatened a direct schism if Cardinal 
Medici were chosen. 2 The repeated expression of such 
menaces by the partisans of Francis in Rome did as little 
to further the French prospects as the churlish proceedings 
of Lautrec. 3 An emissary of the latter demanded of the 
Cardinals, who were administering the affairs of the Church, 
the withdrawal of the Papal troops ; to the carefully pre- 
pared answer that they must first await the issue of the 
election, he replied with threats, so that the Cardinals in 
anger remarked that they must take measures for the 
security of Parma and Piacenza, whereupon the Frenchman, 
in corresponding terms, rejoined that these cities were the 
property of his sovereign. 4 

1 Cf. BERG ENROTH, II., n. 281, 293. 

2 Cf. BREWER, III., 2, n. 1947 ; MIGNET in Rev. d. deux Mondes, 
XIV. (1858), 619 ; SAGMULLER, Papstwahlen, 149. 

3 Cf. BERGENROTH, II., n. 369, 370. 

4 Castiglione to the Marquis of Mantua, dated Rome 1521, December 
26 : *Un gentilhuomo, qual si dimanda Grangies, 1' altro giorno parlo 
alii deputati che sono 1' Armellino, Monte, S. Quattro e Cesis e Siena 
dn parte de m. de Lautrech pregandoli a voler revocare le sue genti 
d'arme : li fu resposto modestamente che bisognava aspettare il novo 
pontifice ; lui replico con arrogantia e quasi minacciando di modo che 
quelli signori entrarono in collcra e dissero che volevano essere sicuri 



Under such gloomy auspices the election began on the 
2/th of December 1521. After the Mass of the Holy Ghost, 
Vincenzo Pimpinella delivered the customary address to 
the Sacred College, and immediately afterwards, amid a 
press of people in which life was endangered, thirty-seven 
Cardinals proceeded to the Vatican for the Conclave ; two 
others who were ill, Grimani and Cibo, were carried there in 
litters, so that at evening, when the doors were shut upon 
the Conclave, 1 the total number of electors amounted to 
thirty-nine. 2 Forty cells had been prepared which were 
distributed by lot. The persons upwards of two hundred 
who are thus confined, wrote the English envoy Clerk to 
Wolsey, have within the electoral enclosure as much room at 
their disposal as is contained within the great apartments of 
the King and Queen, as well as the banquet-hall and chapel, 
at Greenwich. According to the same informant each cell 
was only sixteen feet long and twelve broad : they were 
all situated in the Sixtine Chapel. 3 

de Parma e Piacenza e Grangies rispose che erano del re. Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua. 

1 SANUTO, XXXII., 325, ^osegq. ; GATTICUS, 318. 

2 Not 38, as given by Gradenigo in ALBERT, 2 Series, III., 73 ; and 
also not 35, as VETTORI, 340, says. 

3 Cf., with Blasius de Martinellis (GATTICUS, 318), and the despatches 
in PETRUCELLI DELLA GATTINA, I., 520, the report of Clerk in BREWER, 
III., 2, n. 1932. Differing somewhat from SANUTO, XXXII., 329, 
Tizio, *Hist. Senen. (Chigi Library) gives the following detailed 
description of the Conclave Hall : 


Trivulzi, . 




Ridolphi, . 



1 7 









Colonna, . 



. 21 


. 22 




. 24 




. 26 



S. Quattro, 
S. Croce, 

. 28 
. 29 


Since the Swiss, on account of their close relationship-; 
with Cardinal Medici, were distrusted by many, a levy of 
1500 men was raised to keep watch over the Conclave. 1 
So strict was their vigilance that next to nothing of the 
proceedings in Conclave reached the outer world; 2 con- 
sequently, there was ample room for rumours of all sorts. 
In the prevalent mania for betting, wagers would often be 


. ii 


. 10 




. 8 

Farnese, . 



. 6 





Jacobacci, . 


Hec secunda 





Ursino, . 




La Valle, 


Cibo, . 



- 35 

Araceli, . 

. 36 



Cornaro, . 





. 40 

Porta del choro della 

Petrucci, . . I Porta della Cappella. 

Two reports of the conclavist of Cardinal S. Gonzaga, of December 
13 and 14, 1521, to Isabella d'Este, have recently been published by 
A. Luzio in Arch. d. Soc. Rom. 

1 SeeSANUTO,XXXII.,285,29i,302. Cf. also CANCELLIERI, Notizie, 
17 seq. ; BREWER, III , 2, n. 1895, 932, and the *letter of Castiglione 
of December 26, 1521, in which he says : *Dimani che e venerdi alii 27 
s'entra in conclavi. N ro Sig. Dio mandi el Spirito Santo che ve n'e 
grandissimo bisogno. Oltre la guardia de Suizeri che sono 500 al 
palazzo, il quale e benissimo fortificato de gran sbarre, porte murate, 
artigliarie de sono ancor fatti mille cinquecento fanti altri e datasene 
la cura al sig. Renzo et al sig. Prospero da Cavi per guardar pur il 
palazzo. Roma e pienissima de genti, non se fanno pero desordini de 
importanza. II card, de Ivrea intendo che questa sera e gionto. 
Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

- SANUTO, XXXIII., 332. For the close watch kept on the doors 
see also BREWER, III., 2 n. 1932 ; also for the system of signs made 
use of for purposes of communication. Cf. also JOVIUS, Vita Adriani VI. 
IJ. Castiglione reports on January i, 1522 : *Perche questi signori sono 
anchor in conclave e fannosi le guardie strettissime non se li po dare 
lettera alcuna se non fosse directiva a tutto il collegio. Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua. 


laid in the gaming-houses on as many as twenty names in 
a day. 1 Outside Rome opinion was still more divided. 2 At 
the different Courts the most varied surmises were current, 
all of which were more or less inconsistent with the actual 
facts. Of the thirty-nine electors who were present on this 
occasion, all were Italians save three, the two Spaniards, 
Carvajal and Vich, and the Swiss, Schinner; of the 
remaining nine foreigners, not one appeared in Rome. 3 

The disunion among the Cardinals present was extra- 
ordinarily great. 4 Besides the division, so frequently 
observed, into junior and senior Cardinals (of the thirty- 
nine electors, six had been nominated by Alexander VI., 
five by Julius II., and twenty-eight by Leo X.), another 
cause of dissension was added by the sharp opposition of 
the Imperialist to the Franco- Venetian party. But an 
even more potent factor of disunion was the immense 
X number of aspirants to the Papacy. So calm an observer 
as Baldassare Castiglione was of opinion, on the 24th of 
December 1521, that many, if not all, had a chance of 
election ; " Medici has many friends, but also many 
enemies ; I believe he will have difficulty in fulfilling his 
wishes, at least so far as he is personally concerned." 5 
The same diplomatist wrote two days later that there 

1 PETRUCELLI, I., 521-522. Cf. SANUTO, XXXII., 262, 332 seq. ; 
ROSSI, Pasquinate, XV. seq. ; Giorn. d. lett. Ital., XIX., 83. 

2 Cf. Tizio, *Hist. Senen., Cod. G, II., 39 (Chigi Library, Rome). 

3 The names are in ClACONlUS, III., 425. 

4 Cf. BERGENROTH, II., n. 369,370; and TIZIO, *Hist. Senen., ut 

6 **Letter of December 24, 1521, in Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 
V. Albergati reports on December 20, 1521, to Bologna : *Oggi et ogni 
giorno mancho se sa et se intende queste pratiche pontificale che non 
si facea el primo di et questo procede perche vechi, gioveni, richi, 
poveri, docti, practici tutti concoreno a questo disio sancto. State 
Archives, Bologna. 


had not been for two hundred years such diversity of 
opinion in a Conclave ; certain of Medici's opponents were 
so ill-disposed towards him that, in the view of most men, 
his election was held to be impossible ; in such an event, 
he had given promises to Cardinal Gonzaga. 1 After the 
Cardinals had entered the Conclave, Castiglione repeatedly 
remarks that on no previous occasion had there been so 
great a want of unanimity on the part of the electors ; 
" perhaps," he adds prophetically, " God will yet bring it to N 
pass that the final result shall be better than anyone has 
dared to anticipate." 2 

As a matter of fact, the Conclave began in utter con- 
fusion. As soon as Soderini brought forward his motion 
in favour of secret voting, parties came into collision. 3 
On the other hand, unanimity prevailed in the settlement 
of the election capitulations and the subsequent distribu- 
tion among the Cardinals of the cities and offices of the 
States of the Church. 4 In the opinion of contemporaries, 
the binding force of these arrangements on the future 
Pope was already discounted ; it was lost labour, thought 

1 *Questi sig ri cardinal! sono varii d' opinione quanto forse fossero in 
al caso cardinal! mai da ducento anni in quk e monsig. de Medici ha 
alcuni inimicissimi quanto dir si possa, di modo che la maggior parte 
estima, che lui non possa essere papa. Sua S" 3 rev ma ha promesso non 
potendo essere, aiutare Mantua ; presto vedremo. To this is added in 
cipher : *Io ho operate, che Medici ha dato la fede a Mantua, che 
non potendo esser lui, aiutara Mantua. Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

2 Letter of Castiglione's of December 27, 1521, in Lett. dipl. di B. C. 
(Padova, 1875), 23-24. Cf. also the *report of N. Raince of January 9, 
1522 (National Library, Paris). 

3 BlasiusdeMartinellisinGATTlCUS, 318. Cf. SANUTO, XXXI I., 260. 

4 HOFLER in the Denkschrift der Wiener Akademie, XXVIII., 223 
seqq., gives the text of the capitula and the distributiones oppidorum, 
etc. Cf. Adrian VI., 82-86, where, however, the names of places are in 
part incorrect. 


a Venetian, since the Pontiff on election could observe or 
ignore the capitulations at pleasure. 1 Moreover, it is clear, 
from the absence of all provision for such a contingency, 
that the Cardinals had then no anticipation that their 
choice would fall on an absentee. 

The far-reaching divisions among the electors opened up 
the prospect of a prolonged Conclave, although the condition 
of Christendom, as well as that of the imperilled States of 
the Church, called urgently for a speedy decision. In the 
event, no less than eleven scrutinies were necessary before 
a decision was reached. The reports of various conclavists 
on the votes of individuals are extant, but they disagree on 
important points ; without the disclosure of new and more /( 
reliable sources of information, we are not likely to 
succeed in establishing the full truth as regards the process 
of voting in individual cases. The difficulties are less 
in considering the principal phases of the Conclave, since 
here there is substantial agreement on the essential points. 2 

1 SANUTO, XXXII., 332. 

2 Among the reports of the conclavists are two of special importance 
contained in versions which certainly in parts do not agree. The first 
of these is that published by Struvius and Papenbroch, and repro- 
duced by BURMANN, 144 seqq. (The text is that of Struvius, with 
Papenbroch's variants in the notes ; cf. also LAEMMER, Beitrage, II.) 
In essential agreement with this is the report taken from the papers of 
J. Berzosa, from which BERGENROTH, II., n. 375, gives an extract. A 
second and fuller account, with copious and interesting data, is that 
of a conclavist in Cod. lat. 5288 of the National Library, Paris, of 
which HOFLER was the first to make use (Denkschrift der Wiener 
Akademie, XXV., 357 seqq.}. Of this I found a better version under the 
title *Ordo et gesta conclavis post mortem Leonis X., in TIZIO, Hist. 
Senen., Cod. G, II., 39, f. 92-98 (Chigi Library, Rome). Cf. also 
Cod. Vat, 3920, f. 33 seg., Barb, lat, 2103, f. 124 seq., and Vallicella 
Library, Cod. J, 39, f. 33 seq. Then to the above must be added, in 
the third place, the letter in SANUTO, XXXII., 377 segq. (cf. especially 
384-385, the remarks on the results of the eleven scrutinies), and 412 


The Medicean party had at their disposal more than a 
third of the votes. They could thus exclude any un- 
desirable candidate, but were not strong enough to carry 
the election of their leader Giulio de' Medici. Since not 
only the French party but also a portion of the Imperialists, 
led by Pompeo Colonna, declined to support the cousin 
of Leo X., the latter soon recognized the hopelessness of 
his candidature; he now strove to transfer the majority 
of votes to one of his friends. His candidate was Cardinal 
Farnese, who, in the belief of many, would also be 
acceptable to the group of senior Cardinals. After the 
first scrutiny on the 3<Dth of December l the junior 

seqq. ; and fourthly, the *Commentaria rerum diurnalium conclavis, in 
quo creatus fuit Adrianus Papa VI. Africano Severolo auctore (existing 
in numerous copies. Besides Vatican copies specified by Domarus 
in his well-informed essays on the sources for a history of Adrian VI. 
[Hist. Jahrb., XVI., 89 seqq.], I also note : Court and State Archives, 
Vienna, Cod. 971, f. 29 seqq. A second copy is in the Bibl. Capilupi, 
Mantua ; a third in Cod. 6324, f. 345 seq., in the Court Library, 
Vienna ; and a fourth [by O. Panvinio] in Cod. lat., 151, f. 288 seq., 
in the State Library, Munich), which are, in many places, in verbal 
agreement with the version of Berzosa mentioned above. HOFLER 
(ut supra, 358 seqq.) has made use of these commentaries without 
noticing that many passages had already been printed by GATTICUS, 
318 seqq. The author is here wrongly called Sevarolus. He must 
have been a conclavist of Cardinal Cesi (cf. for him, Regest. Leon is X., 
n 16121, 18009). I n GATTICUS, ut supra, is also the narrative of the 
Master of Ceremonies, Blasius de Martinellis. The ambassadorial 
reports take less notice of the more than usually strict isolation of the 
conclave. Among moderns, cf. HOFLER, ut supra, as well as the 
Sitzungsberichte der Wiener Akademie, LXXII., 147 seq., and Adrian 
VI., 80 seq. 

1 The reports in BURMANN, 147 seqq., and BERGENROTH, loc. tit., 
combine the first and second scrutinies ; they are therefore useless. 
Differing from SANUTO, XXX II., 384, according to the *Ordo et 
Gesta of the Chigi Library, in the first scrutiny Farnese received 12, 
Schinner i, Accolti 5, Ponzetti i, Adrian of Utrecht 2 votes. 

VOL. IX. 2 

A J 




Cardinals agitated so strongly for Farnese that the 
conclavists looked upon his election as secured. But 
the senior Cardinals stood firm, and watched through- 
out the whole night. 1 At the scrutiny of the following 
day, Farnese had only a few votes ; 2 his own followers 
had not kept their word. 3 On this very 3ist of 
December a circumstance occurred which has not yet 
been sufficiently cleared up. Cardinal Grimani askecT^ 
leave, on grounds of health, to quit the close quarters 
of the conclave, which were filled with smoke and foul 
air ; it was only after his physician had sworn on oath 
that longer confinement would endanger the Cardinal's 
life that Grimani's petition was granted. 4 Whether his 
condition was as critical as was represented, is open to 
question. Probably other motives, mortified ambition 
and disappointed hopes, led the Cardinal to take this 
1 remarkable step. 5 

The third scrutiny, held on the ist of January 1522, was 
again without result ; whereupon Medici once more tried 

1 Ordo et Gesta of the Chigi Library, * Opinion generale e chel papa 
sia Farnese. G. M. della Porta, December 31, 1521 (State Archives, 
Florence). Cf. also the * Letter of the Abbate da Gonzaga, January 
2, 1522 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

2 Four according to Sanuto and * Ordo et Gesta. The latter source 
differs from Sanuto in attributing in this scrutiny 5 votes to Medici 
and 2 to Adrian of Utrecht. 

3 According to Jovius (Vita Adriani VI.), it was Farnese's friends 
among the French party who obtained information of his dealings with 
the Imperial Ambassador. 

4 GATTICUS, 319 j^. 

5 Thus SANUTO, XXXII., 348, 414. Giov. Maria della Porta reports 
the same in *his letters of the 2nd and 6th January. State Archives, 
Florence, Urbino, 132. See also BURMANN, 148, and Gradenigo in 
ALBKRI, 2 Series, III., 73. The Abbate da Gonzaga, on the other 
hand, in his * letter of January 2, 1522 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua), 
considers Grimani's illness dangerous. 


his fortune on the candidature of K.-irm.-sc. 1 The yon 
Cardinals also worked during the following days in this 
direction,- but without avail; the seniors maintained a 
stubborn opposition, and the fourth, fifth, and sixth 
scrutinies (from the 2nd to the 4th of January) were 
fruitless. The reports which continued to come in from 
without, of the growing danger to the States of the Church, 
and of the approach of the French Cardinals, did as little 
to unite the electors as the orders, already issued on the 
fourth day, to reduce the appointed rations. Many con- 
clavists believed that Farnese's prospects still held good, 
while others thought that the tiara would fall to Fieschi, 
and a few had hopes of Schinner. 3 

By the beginning of the new year it was the opinion of 
the majority in Rome that the candidature of Medici or 
one of his adherents was hopeless ; the chances seemed all 
in favour of Farnese. It was rumoured that together with 
the latter Egidio Canisio and Numai had also been pro- 
posed by Medici. Among the Cardinals of the opposite 
party Fieschi, Grassis, and Monte were named. 4 

* Finite prandio card, de Medicis cum suis complicibus cepit 
renovare electionem Farnesii, sed magnis viribus seniores obstiterunt. 
* Ordo et Gesta. Chigi Library. 

'- On January 2, after the fourth ballot: * Paulo post alii juniores 
cardinales sequuti partes cardinalis de Medicis convenerunt in cappella 
Nicolai ibique per horam disceptantes tandem fuit decretum, quando 
seniores conatui r. card lis de Medicis contradicebant eligeretur ex 
senioribus qui maxima probitate niteret nee partes foveret, sed imprimis 
priorem conatum de adjuvando Farnesio tertio non obmitterent. 
*Ordo et Gesta, loc. cit. 

*Ordo et Gesta. Although Jovius and Guicciardini say nothing 
about Schinner's prospects, it is yet certain that the latter received no 
inconsiderable number of votes in various scrutinies. The opposition 
of the French party, however, was too strong for him. Cf. Anz. fur 
schweiz. Gesch., 1882, No. 5, P, 89 ; see also BLOSCH, 18. 

1 See * Letters of Giov. Maria della Porta of 2nd and 6th January 


Ever since the 29th of December the couriers had been 
in readiness to carry the news of the election to the ends 
of the earth. 1 The longer the result was delayed, the higher 
rose the expectation and excitement, and Rome was buzz- / 
ing with contradictory rumours. On the report that Farnese 
had been elected, his houses were at once set upon for 
plunder ; it was not only in Rome that this bad custom 
prevailed in Bologna, Cardinal Grassis fared no better. 2 

Masses and processions were celebrated in Rome, but 
still no decision was arrived at. " Every morning," writes"! 
Baldassare Castiglione, " one awaits the descent of the Holy : 
Spirit, but it seems to me that He has withdrawn from 
Rome. So far as one knows, Farnese's chances are the 
best, but they may again easily come to nothing." 3 

On the 5th of January it was reported that Medici had 
made an attempt to secure the tiara for Cibo. Perhaps the 
cleverly constructed plot might have succeeded had it not 
been betrayed by Armellini, so that, at the last moment, 
Colonna was able to make an effectual counter - move. 4 
Thereupon Medici, on the following day, renewed h'is efforts 
on behalf of Farnese. No stone was left unturned, and at 
the eighth scrutiny Farnese received twelve votes, where- 
upon eight or nine Cardinals proclaimed their accession. 
At this point, although the two-thirds had not been 

1 522, in State Archives, Florence. Cf. the ** report of the Abbate da 
Gonzaga of January 3, 1522, and that *of Castiglione of January 5, 
1522, in Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. See also GATTICUS, 320. 

1 SANUTO, XXXII., 333. 

2 With Clerk's report in BREWER, III., 2, n. 1932, cf. PETRUCELLI, 
I., 527 seqq. 

3 See the **letters of Castiglione of January 7, 1522, in the Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua ; cf. RENIER, Notizia, 15. 

4 See SANUTO, XXXII., 413-414 (cf. 378-379) ; * Ordo et Gesta in 
Chigi Library; Severolo in HoFLER, Adrian VI., 87, and Blasius de 
Martinellis in CREIGHTON, V., 188 ; cf. STAFFETTI, Cybo, 35 seq. 


obtained, Cardinal Pucci called out " Papam habemus." 
. ishc-d in this way to create an impression so as to 
;^ain over the four or five hesitating Cardinals. The result 
was the reverse of his expectations : Cardinals Colonna 
and Soderini, the two most irreconcilable enemies of 
Farnese, insisted on the proceedings being carried out in 
strict conformity with rule. 1 Not only had Farnese not 
received the requisite number of votes, but the older 
Cardinals now formed a more compact body of resistance. 2 
For some time it seemed as if the Medicean party really 
intended to push Farnese's election at any cost, but now 
at last they practically abandoned his candidature, and at 
the tenth scrutiny on the 8th of January he had only four 
votes. 3 Thereupon Medici consented to the putting for- 
ward of Cardinal Valle, and negotiations were carried on 
into the night, but without result; 4 some still clung to 
Farnese, while the elder members of the College refused to 
hear of him, Valle, or Medici. 5 The Medicean party on their 

1 Cf. SANUTO, XXXII., 413; Blasius de Martinellis in GATTICUS, 
320; *Ordoet Gesta ; BURMANN, 148; BERGENROTH, II., n. 376; 
Clerk in BREWER, III., 2, n. 1960; Gradenigo in ALBERI, 2 Series, 
III., 74; * report of the nuncio Kaince of January 9, 1522, in the 
National Library, Paris ; cf. MlGNET, loc. cit., 621, and HOFLER, 88. 

- * Deinde viso periculo, in quo seniores fuerant, causa fuit, ut ipsi 
seniores facto consilio deliberarent, ut unanimiter se cohererent. 
*Ordo et Gesta. 

3 SANUTO, XXXII., 348, and *Ordo et Gesta. 

1 Blasius de Martinellis in GATTICUS, 320, and report of the nuncio 
Raince of January 9, 1522 (National Library, Paris). 

*Demum hora prima noctis pars seniorum congregavit se in 
ultima aula, in qua congregatione unanimiter deliberaverunt non velle 
consentire nee Farnesio nee card 1 ' 1 de Valle nee card. Medicis praeter 
card lcm Cavallicensem qui persistebat in prestando suffragio pro 
card 1 ' de Valle, et rev" 1 ' Senensis, Tranensis, Cornelius et Pisanus erant 
in favorem Farnesii et etiam card 1 ** de Mantua et Medicis, et deinde 
iverunt ad cenam. * Ordo et Gesta, Chigi Library. 


side emphatically rejected either Carvajal or Soderini. 1 Yet 
they were not wholly to blame for the delay in the election ; 
Colonna and Soderini, close confederates, did all in their 
power to worst every candidate put forward by Medici. 2 

While the factions were thus opposed more sharply than 
ever, the final crisis arose. Informants whose reports could 
be relied on announced that Francesco Maria della Rovere 
had made a compact with the Baglioni to make an attack 
on Siena. The special representations of Cardinal Petrucci 
were hardly needed to convince Medici of the danger to 
which Florence was thus exposed. This consideration 
wrought in him a change of mind. As the electors on 
the Qth of January were gathered together for the eleventh 
scrutiny, Medici rose in his place : " I see," he said, " that 
from among us, who are here assembled, no Pope can be 
chosen. I have proposed three or four, but they have been 
rejected ; candidates recommended by the other side I 
cannot accept for many reasons. Therefore we must look 
jr around us for one against whom nothing can be said, but 
he must be a Cardinal and a man of good character." , This 
met with general agreement. On being asked to name 
one of the absent Cardinals, Medici, who knew that the 
person whom he was indicating was one acceptable to 
the Emperor; 3 replied, in his characteristic way of dealing 
playfully with grave concerns, " Choose the Cardinal of 

1 SANUTO, XXXII., 413. 

2 Ibid., 356. 

3 *Ludens ut consueverat et ut videretur rem gratam facere Ces. 
M li que ilium commendaverat. Ordo et Gesta in Chigi Library. Cf. 
HOFLER, 90-91, who remarks : " The proposal might have been nothing 
more than a mere manoeuvre. When it is taken into consideration 
that Adrian as an absentee had not given his consent to the capitula- 
tions, and the disposal of the Papal towns and the benefices, and was 
under no binding oath, it is inconceivable that, by the choice of an 
absent member of the Conclave, the Cardinals should have reduced to 

open questions all the decisions arrived at in the interests of the 
Sacred College. Such an act of infatuation can hardly be attributed to 
that body." 

1 See the Venetian report of January 19, 1522, in SANUTO, XXXII., 
414-415; cf. 377 and 379. Cf. further *Ordoet Gesta in Chigi Library ; 


Tortosa, a venerable man of sixty-three who is generally 
mol tor his piety." 

The proposal may or may not have been an electioneer- 
ing manoeuvre; the result of the voting gave fifteen votes 
apiece to Adrian of Tortosa and Carvajal ; the Medicean 
^ party voted for the nominee of their leader. At this 
moment Cardinal\Cajetan, the commentator of St. Thomas 
Aquinas, and a man conspicuous for learning, gave the 
turning-point to the decision. In eloquent language he 
described the high qualities of the Cardinal of Tortosa, 
whom he had come to know personally during his legation 
in Germany, and announced his accession. This proceed- 
ing on the part of Cajetan made all the more impression, 
as he had always shown himself an opponent of Medici. 
As Colonna also now gave his adhesion to the proposed 
candidate, the final decision could be no longer deferred, 
and Jacobazzi, Trivulzio, and Ferreri declared their 

In vain Orsini shouted to his party, " Blockheads, do you 
not see that this is the ruin of France ? " he was answered 
in like terms. As if driven by some irresistible force, first 
one and then another elector gave in his accession, and before 
the majority had realized the importance of the proceedings 
five-and-twenty votes had been given in. The six-and- 
twentieth whereby the two-thirds majority was secured was 
given by Cupis, a Roman, who said, " I also am for the 
Cardinal of Tortosa, and I make him Pope." For the rest, 
nothing remained for them but to declare their concurrence. 1 
this was the work of a few minutes. Hardly had the 


Cardinals become fully aware that they had helped to crown 
with the tiara a sojourner in a distant land, a German, 
and therefore, from the Italian standpoint, a barbarian, the 
tutor of the Emperor, a personality utterly unknown to 
Rome and Italy, than the windows of the Conclave were 
thrown open, and Cardinal Cornaro, as senior Deacon, 
announced to the expectant crowd outside the election of 

BURMANN, 149; BERGENROTH, II., n. 375; BREWER, III., 2, n. 
1952, 1960, and GATTICUS, 320, as well as the report of the nuncio 
Raince, January 9 (National Library, Paris), already made use of by 
MlGNET (Rivalite, I., 316). The accessions are variously given : I 
follow the excellent account in SANUTO, XXXII., 414 seq. With regard 
to the final scrutiny, there are also discrepancies in the *Diarium of 
Blasius de Martinellis (Secret Archives of the Vatican, XIII., 24, and 
Cod. Barb., lat. 2799, Vatican Library). The remarks of JOVIUS 
(Vita Adriani VI.) on the previous negotiations between the senior 
Cardinals and Medici are as much without corroboration as the 
assertion of Abbatis that Colonna had proposed Adrian (MOLINI, I., 
156). The decisive action of Medici is treated as a matter of general 
knowledge in the instructions for Cardinal Farnese, printed by WEISS, 
Pap. de Granvelle, I., 280, and discussed hereafter under Clement VII. 
Cf. H6FLER, 136. That Farnese, as GREGOROVIUS (VIII. 3 381) 
asserts, received 1 5 votes along with Adrian, is in contradiction to all 
our sources. Medici's declaration in favour of Adrian is purposely 
passed over in silence in the * report of Cardinal Gonzaga (given only 
in part in the Giorn. d. lett. Ital., XXXI 1 1. > 83) to the Marchioness Isa- 
bella d'Este of January 9, 1522 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). *This 
says : " Alhora che io sperava giongere al desiato fine la maggior parte 
degli cardinal! se abbatterono ad dare il voto ad questo tale per gettarlo 
via come si vuol fare che 1' uno non sapeva del altro. Dappoi lecti tutti 
gli voti di ciascuno si ritsovo questo tale havere 15 voti in suo favore, il 
che vedendo il card, de la Minerva e facendo iudicio, che questo era 
santo huomo e buono al papato ricorse col voto suo per accesso," etc. 
Medici's great share in the choice of Adrian is also to be gathered from 
Giberti's letter of January 9, 1522 (see Appendix, No. i). * But it is 
also expressly stated in the * report of a conclavist to the Marquis of 
Mantua on January io, 1522 : *Ed e proposto dal rev mo de Medici. 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua.) 


Cardinal Adrian of Tortosa, titular of the Church of St. 
John and St. Paul. As Cornaro had a very feeble voice, 
Campeggio again announced the result of the election. 

Very few expected to hear the result that day. An eye- 
witness, the Venetian Francesco Maredini, relates how he 
suddenly heard confused cries of " Medici, Palle, Colonna, 
Cortona, Valle," and then saw people singly and then in 
numbers running towards the piazza of St. Peter's. As the 
outcries and tumult increased, there could no longer be )< 
any doubt that the Pope had been chosen, although his 
name was not yet clearly grasped. But in a very short 
time he must appear in person in St. Peter's. On the steps 
of the basilica Maredini heard the incredible announce- 
ment that the new Pope was living in Spain. Full of 
astonishment, he made haste with his companions to the 
cells of the Conclave, which were by this time thrown open ; 
here Cardinals Campeggio and Cibo confirmed the news 
which he had just heard. "When," writes Maredini, " we 
were told all, we were well-nigh struck dead with amaze- 
ment." On his way home the Venetian had an opportunity 
of observing the despair of Leo X.'s courtiers ; one wept, 
another uttered lamentations, a third took to flight ; all 
were agreed upon one thing: it would be at least six 
months before the new Pope arrived, and in the mean- 
time they would be unprovided for; as a Fleming, Adrian 
would certainly give appointments only to his own country- 
men ; perhaps he would live altogether in Spain, or come 
to Rome in the company of the Emperor. " In short," 
Maredini concludes, " no one rejoices ; all lament." l 

Most of the electors were filled with the same emotions. 

1 Letter of January 9, 1522, to G. Contarini, in SANUTO, XXXII., 
380. Adrian is called " Lo card' 6 Fiamengo" in the letters of the 
Bolognese Envoys (A. Pepulus and Laur. Blanchettus) of January 9, 
1522 (State Archives, Bologna). 


A friend of the poet Tebaldeo, who entered the conclave 
immediately after the election had been declared, writes : 
" I thought that I saw ghosts from limbo, so white and 
distraught were the faces I looked on. Almost all are dis- 
satisfied, and repent already of having chosen a stranger, a 
barbarian, and a tutor of the Emperor." 1 After the election, 
says the Venetian envoy, Gradenigo, the Cardinals seemed 
like dead men. 2 They had now begun to see clearly the 
full bearings of their action. [The States of the Church 
threatened to break in pieces unless energetic measures 
were taken at once but months must go by before the 
new Pope could enter Rome. Leo's extravagance and 
his participation in the great struggle between the French 
King and the Emperor had exhausted the exchequer of 
the Holy See ; no one but an entirely neutral Pope could 
arrest the total ruin of the finances. Such impartiality, 
however, could hardly be hoped for in the former instructor 
of Charles and his present commissioner in Spain. So 
intimate was the union between the two supposed to be 
that Cardinal Gonzaga wrote, " One might almost say that 
the Emperor is now Pope and the Pope Emperor." 3 Most 
of the electors had everything to fear for themselves in 
the event of a thorough reform of the Curia. What was 
to be expected if the newly elected Pope were really the 
ascetic personality extolled by Cardinal Cajetan? 4 

1 SANUTO, XXXII., 415. 

2 ALBERT, 2 Series, III., 74. 

3 So bene egli non potrebbe essere piu imperiale di quello che e, 
et quasi si puo dire che 1' imperatore sara papa et il papa lo imperatore. 
Lo amore che e tra 1'uno et Paltro di coso fa una trinita et saranno piu 
persone in uno solo. ^Cardinal Gonzaga to the Marchioness Isabella, 
Rome, January 9, 1522 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

4 Cf. Cajetan's dedication of the third part of his Commentary on 
St. Thomas, which BOTTEMANE has discussed in the periodical De 
Katholiek (Leiden, 1882), LXXXIL, 73~93- 


As soon as the Cardinals, after long consultation, had 
decided to send a letter to Adrian announcing his election, 
the bearer of which was to be Balthasar del Rio, Bishop 
of Scala, a Spaniard, and to despatch three Cardinal^ 
Legates to the new Pope, they quitted the conclave. The 
crowds gathered before the doors received them with loud 
expressions of contempt and mockery, with cries and 
whistling. , The Cardinals might be glad that the hot- 
blooded Romans confined themselves to such demonstra- 
tions and did not do them personal injury. 1 During the 
next few days there was an orgy of scorn and wit. 
Pasquino's statue was covered with lampoons in Italian 
and Latin in which the electors and the elected were 
handled in the basest terms of ridicule. 2 " Robbers, 
betrayers of Christ's Blood," ran one of these sonnets, 
" do you feel no sorrow in that you have surrendered the 
fair Vatican to German fury?" 3 In many of these 
lampoons the Pope was assailed as a foreign " barbarian," 
in some also as a Spaniard. Under one ran the complaint 
of St. Peter that he had been delivered up out of the hands 
of the usurers into those of the Jews, i.e. the Spaniards. 
Another represented Adrian as a schoolmaster chastising 

1 See Blasius de Martinellis in GATTICUS, 320; SANUTO, XXXII., 
380, 415-416; BREWER, III., 2, n. 1960; Jovius, Vita Adriani VI. 
The election was made known at the i8th hour (11 a.m.). The 
Cardinals did not leave the Conclave until 3 p.m. So writes Bartol. 
Argillense to Bologna in a *letter of January 9, 1522 (State Archives, 

- See ROSSI, Pasquinate, XXXVIII. seqq. Cf. the satires in Cx>d. 
Ottob., 2480, f. 101-104. Quite unique is the Pasquillus taxans 
Leonem X. in laudem novi pontificis, which runs : 

" Nunc bene Roma suo mutat cum principe mores 

Nunc Roma est, prius Thuscia Roma fuit." 
*Cod. Ottob., 2381, Vatican Library. 

3 SANUTO, XXXII., 383. 


the Cardinals with the birch; beneath was written, 
"Through their disunion they find themselves in this 
unlucky plight." l 

These gibes were eagerly read by the Romans, and so"] 
threatening was the position of the Cardinals, that for 
many days they dared not leave their palaces. 2 ) Hardly 
anyone was acquainted with the new Pope. All that was 
known of him was that he was a foreigner and therefore a 
"barbarian," a dependent of the Emperor, who lived in 
distant Spain, whither he would probably transfer the 
Curia. In this sense a placard was posted up on the 
Vatican : " This Palace to Let." 3 So strongly were the 
Romans convinced that the Papal Court would be removed, 
that soon hundreds of officials were making ready to 
decamp to Spain, there to seek for places near the person 
of Adrian. The three senior Cardinals, who were carry- 
ing on the Government, endeavoured by stringent pro- 
hibition to check the exodus of officials. 4 Those who^ 
commiserated themselves most and not without reason 
were the numerous curialists, who had bought their 
appointments, or had lived solely on the extravagant 
expenditure of Leo's household. Not merely all the 
persons of this sort, but the largest part of the population 
of Rome would be brought face to face with ruin if the 
Pope's absence from the city were of long duration. Nor 
were the Cardinals unmoved by like apprehensions, and 
the Legates who were appointed to approach Adrian were 
therefore laid under the strictest injunctions to urge him most 
earnestly to begin his journey Romeward without delay, f 

1 SANUTO, XXXII., 415-416; cf. BREWER, III., 2, n. 1995. See 
also Luzio, P. Aretino e Pasquino, Roma, 1890, 9 seq. 

2 BREWER, III., 2, n. 1995. 

3 SANUTO, XXXII., 416. 

4 SANUTO, XXXII., 382 383,411,417. 


The Legates, moreover, were to submit to Adrian a con- 
fession of faith ; in this the Pope was to promise to maintain 
the Catholic Faith and to extirpate heresy, especially as 
spread abroad in Germany ; he was also to pledge himself 
not to change the seat of the Papacy without the consent 
of the Sacred College. Finally, the Legates were further 
commissioned to pray the Pope to confirm the existing 
enactments of the Cardinals and to abstain, for the 
present, from any decisive measures of Government. 1 
Although these stipulations were duly drawn up by the 
1 9th of January i522,Uhe departure of the Legates was 
put off from week to week. The want of money for the 
journey and the difficulty of obtaining ships could not 
have been the only reasons. Probably the Cardinals 
hesitated to leave Italy, in view of the possibility of a 
new Conclave ; for the news that Adrian had accepted 
his election was long waited for in vain. It was re- 

1 The Instruction for the three Cardinal-Legates (Colonna, Orsini, 
and Cesarini), of which there are copious MSS. (Secret Archives of 
the Vatican, V., Polit., VII., f. 285 seqq. ; in the Vatican Library, Ottob. 
25 T 5> f- 334 seq., 3141 seq., 5 seqq. ; Urb., 865, f. 34 seq. ; Cod. Barb., 
lat. 2103, f. ii6 b seqq.', in the Ambrosian Library, Milan, P, 196, 
Sup. ; and in the Communal Library, Ancona. The Instruction in 
Cod. Ottob., the incorrect date, January 29, is given), is printed by 
WEISS, Pap. d'Etat, I., 241 seqq., and GACHARD, Correspond., 10 seqq., 
but often very incorrectly. This is specially the case with the Pro- 
fessio of Adrian appended to the Instruction. Here, in agreement 
with the above-named MSS., we ought certainly to read " reformatione 
morum " instead of " ref. horum." Also the passage : " Juro etiam 
atque profiteer saluberrimam sacri collegii continuare " is corrupt. 
" Saluberrimam " gives no sense: probably we ought to read "salu- 
berrima," with the addition of "decreta." It is important that, 
throughout the above-named MSS., instead of "s. collegii" is found 
"sancti concilii," which has an essentially different meaning. For the 
importance of the Professio required of Adrian VI. see BUSCHBELL in 
the Rom. Quartalschr., X., 446 seq. 


peatedly reported in Rome that the Pope was already 
dead. 1 The French said openly that steps ought to be 
taken for holding a new election. 2 

Perplexity, anxiety, alarm, and fear filled the great 
majority of the inhabitants of Rome ; only the Imperialists 
and the Germans rejoiced. "God be praised," wrote 
Manuel, the Ambassador of Charles, " since there exists no 
living person who is more likely to conduce to the peace 
and prosperity of the Church and the might of the King 
than this Pope, who is a man of holiness and the creature 
of your Imperial Majesty." 3 To a friend Manuel repeated 
his opinion that the new head of the Church was un- 
doubtedly the most pious of all the Cardinals within or 
without Rome, and in addition to that a man of great 
learning. 4 The Netherlander, Cornelius de Fine, long a 
resident in Rome, who evidently had private sources of in- 
formation regarding his fellow-countryman, wrote in his 
diary : " According to the counsels of God, the hitherto 
disunited Cardinals have chosen as Pope, contrary to their 
own intention, Adrian of Tortosa, who was absent from 
the Conclave. He is a man of very simple life, who has 
always been of a God-fearing disposition ; at Louvain he 
lived only for science and learning ; he is a man of solid 
education, a distinguished theologian and canonist, springs 
from a very humble family, and for three years he has 
governed Spain well. Truly, this distinguished man is the 
choice of the Holy Ghost." 5 

1 Cf. SANUTO, XXXII., 403, 417, 425; Clerk in BREWER, III., 2, 
n. 2017; HOFLER, 119 seqq. *Many believe that the Pope is dead, 
reports Bartol. Argillense on February 21, 1522, from Rome (State 
Archives, Bologna). 

2 BERGENROTH, II., n. 376. 

3 GREGOROVIUS, VI 1 1. 3 383. 

4 BERGENROTH, II., n. 381. 

6 CORNELIUS DE FINE, *Diary in the National Library, Paris. 


In Italy the first impression was one of general astonish- 
ment that the thirty-nine Cardinals, although almost all 
Italians, should have chosen a foreigner. 1 The national 
feeling was so strong that this was a matter of the greatest 
reproach. " The Cardinals have incurred the deepest 
shame," wrote a Roman notary, " in bestowing the tiara 
on an utter stranger, a dweller in outlandish Spain." 2 
Most characteristic also is the verdict of the Sienese 
Canon, Sigismondo Tizio, who is obliged, like other 
Italians, 3 to acknowledge that Adrian by his uprightness 
and learning was worthy of the tiara, but cannot refrain 
from blaming the " blindness of the Cardinals," which 
has handed over the Church and Italy to "slavery to 
barbarians" so that the unhappy lot of Italy is to be 
deplored ! 4 

On the 1 8th of January 1522 the despatch announcing 
the Papal election reached the Imperial Court at Brussels. 
Charles V., to whom the missive was handed during Mass, 
gave it to his suite with the remark, " Master Adrian has 
become Pope." Many looked upon the surprising news as 
false, until a letter which arrived on the 2ist set all doubt 
at rest. " He felt sure," so wrote the Emperor on the same 
day to his Ambassador in London, " that he could rely on 
the new Pope as thoroughly as on anyone who had risen to 

1 See Giornale ligustico, 1891, 229. 

- r.ORi, Archivio, IV., 245. Jovius (Hist., XX.) also uses similar 

3 " S. S ta per quanto si intende e molto bene," writes Bartol. Argillense 
on January 9, 1522 (State Archives, Bologna). Cf. also the letter of 
V. Albergati of February 5, 1522, in FANTUZZI, Scritt. Bol., I , 137. 

4 Meretur quidem vir iste pontificatum, vero caeci patres minus 
prospicientes ecclesiam atque Italiam in babarorum servitatem 
coiecerunt. . . . Viri isti iniquitatis in facinus tarn deplorandum ob 
suas discordias inciderunt ut lugenda sit misellae Italiae conditio. 
(Tod. G, II., 39, f. 91, Chigi Library, Rome.) 


greatness in his service." " His own election as Emperor," 
Charles assured the Pope later by the mouth of the envoy 
who conveyed his homage, " had not afforded him greater 
joy than this choice of Adrian." 1 The Imperial letter of 
thanks to the Cardinals was couched in terms of exuberant 
recognition. Charles entrusted to Adrian's friend Lope 
Hurtado da Mendoza his message of congratulation. " It 
is a remarkable circumstance," observed the Venetian 
Gasparo Contarini, then resident at Brussels as envoy, 
" that so large a number of Cardinals should have chosen 
an absentee and one who was unknown to most of them. 
The Pope is said to be very pious, and to be endowed with 
the highest qualities. He says Mass daily, and performs 
all his duties as a virtuous prelate." The same diplomatist | 
thought that Adrian's devotion to the Emperor exceeded 
all that the latter could wish. The Grand Chancellor 
Mercurino Gattinara also was convinced that everything 
would now go as Charles desired, since God's grace had 
called to the Papacy one who had no rival in loyalty, zeal, 
and integrity towards the Emperor. 2 

It is easily understood that, at the Court of France, 
feelings of a quite contrary character should have prevailed. 
Francis I. began by making jests on the election of the 
Emperor's " schoolmaster," and seems even, for a while, to 
have refused to him the title of Pope ; he saw in Adrian 

1 Thus the discourse, not yet printed, in Miscell. polit., n. 75, f. 502, 
in the Royal Library, Turin. 

2 Cf. SANUTO, XXXII., 445, 479-480; DITTRICH, Contarini, 54; 
HOFLER, 122 seq. ; Archief voor de geschiedenis v. h. Aartsbisdom, 
Utrecht, XXVIII., 140. The instruction for Mendoza in GACHARD, 
Correspond., 24 seqq. For the rejoicings in Utrecht on Adrian's 
election, see ANT. MATTHAEI, Vet. aevi analecta, III., Hagae Comitum, 
1738,687 seqq.\ Utrechtsche Volks-Almanak, 1848, 71 seq. ; BOSCH, 
46 seq. ; WENSING, 142 seq.^ 145 ; Dodt van Flensburg, Archief v. 
kerkel. geschied., III., 209 seq. 


only the Emperor's "creature." 1 Hut from Rome, on the 
contrary, came other accounts; Cardinal Trivulzio wrote 
to the King direct that of all who had a prospect of the 
tiara Adrian was the best for him. The French envoy in 
Rome, moreover, thought that if the choice must fall on an 
Imperialist, the Cardinal of Tortosa was to be preferred as 
good and the least likely to do harm, not only with regard 
to the excellent accounts given of him personally, but also 
because six or eight months would have to elapse before he 
could reach the place where he or his pupil (the Emperor 
Charles) would be in a position to put hindrances in the 
King's way. 2 

While princes and diplomatists attached the most varied 
expectations to the new Pope, all those who had the good 
of Christendom at heart broke out into rejoicing. The 
new Head of the Church, said Pietro Delfini, enjoys every- 
where so great a reputation as a pious, God-fearing, and 
pure-hearted priest that in his election the hand of God is 
visible. " It is only thy blameless life," wrote Joannes 
Ludovicus Vives to the newly elected Pontiff, " that has 
raised thee to the loftiest rank on earth." Another summed 
up his judgment in the words : " We have a Pope who was 
neither a competitor for the office nor present in conclave ; 
no better nor holier head could have been wished for 
the Church." 3 

1 Cf. BERGENROTH, II., n. 383; BREWER, III., 2, n. 1994; 
HOFLER, 137. 

2 MiGNET, Rivalite, I., 316. 

3 See RAYNALDUS, 1522, n. 2 ; BURMANN, 457 ; HOFLER, 102-103 ; 
HEFELE-HERGENROTHER, IX., 273. Cf. the opinion of St. Brodaric 
in FRAKN6i, Ungarn, 21. 




THE new Pope was indeed a remarkable man, who 
through untiring diligence and the faithful performance of 
duty had raised himself from a very humble condition. 
Adrian was born on the 2nd of March 1459, in the chief 
city of the Archbishopric of Utrecht. At this date Nether- 
landers, who did not belong to the nobility, had no family 
names; they simply added their baptismal name to that 
of their fathers. Thus Adrian was called Florisse or 
Florenz (i.e. Florenssohn) of Utrecht; 1 his father Florcnz 
Boeyens (i.e. Boeyenssohn), 2 whose occupation has been 

1 Adrianus Florencii a Trajecto. Cf. for the following, along with 
MORIXG-BURMANN, i seqq., especially REUSENS, Syntagma doctr. 
Adrian! VI., Apparat., \.,seqq., and Biogr. nat, II., Bruxelles, 1868, 
546 seyy., as well as CLAESSENS, Adrien VI., in the Rev. Cath., 1862, 
596 sc(/(/. In Utrecht the Huis Brandaa in the Oude Gracht is 
supposed to be Adrian's birthplace. It contains some pictures of a 
later date, mostly of no historic value (Leo X. bestowing the Cardinal's 
hat on Adrian). The house is itself built into the monastery of St. 
Andrew. The Pauszaal indicates the site of the former house. Cf. 
Tijdschrift v. geschicd. v. Utrecht, I., 7 segg., 108 scq., and WENSING, 
85 scy. 

- Bocycn is not a family name, but an abbreviation of the baptismal 
name Bauduinus (Baldwin); see BURMANN, 512 seq. ; REUSENS, 
loc. cit. 



variously stated, died early. 1 His excellent mother 
(intrude laid deep the foundations of piety in her gifted 
son. She also took care that he received solid instruction 
and training, and for this purpose she entrusted him to 

1 Probably he was employed as a ship's carpenter ; BURMANN, 4 ; 
cf. Contarini in SANUTO, XXXI I., 472. The Netherlander CORNELIUS 
DE FINE also says in his *Diary (National Library, Paris): "Pater 
ejus arte mechanica victum quaerebat" ; and later : "natus patre fabro 
lignario." The statement that his father was a brewer is certainly an 
invention. Notes on the family are given by HOGEMAN in Verslag v. d. 
Vergadering der Vereeniging tot beoefening v. Overijsselsch Regt en 
Geschiedenis, October 1892 (Zwolle, 1893). At a later date two noble 
families, Rodenburch and Dedel, claimed a place for the famous Pope 
among their lineage. The claims of the first-named family, however, 
do not call for consideration ; those of the second appear to be better 
grounded; v. STRAMBERG (Rheinisch. Antiquarius, III., Koblenz, 1852, 
i, 52 seq.\ REUMONT (III., 2, 843), GREGOROVIUS (VIII., ed. 3, 383), 
HOFLER, and still more recently RIETSTAP (Wapenbock v. d. Neder- 
landsch. Adel I., Groningen, 1883, 86), consider the Dedel descent as 
undoubted. But the suspicions already raised in BURMANN, 3, have 
not been weakened up to the present day, so that LEPITRE, 8-9, leaves 
the matter undecided. M. Count von Nahuys, of the house of Horst- 
mar-Ahaus, in the Jahrbuch des heraldisch-genealogischen Vereins 
Adler in Wien, IX. (1882), 25 sey., and Dietsche Warande, III. (1890), 
589 segg.j reject the descent from the Dedel, whose arms display three 
lilies and a lion. On the other hand, Adrian's original coat displays 
only three caltrops, as Pope Adrian quartered his shield and added 
the lion. The latter appears on his coins, his tomb, on the gable of 
the college founded by him in Louvain, and on his portrait painted in 
oil-colours in the museum at Amstersdam. The original coat-of-arms 
is to be found in the Paushuis in Utrecht. Since the old family of the 
Schrevel, originally belonging to Dordrecht, bears this coat, and 
Adrian, seventy years after his death, was called for the first time 
filius Florentii Schrevelii Bouens, the author of the treatise cited above 
is inclined to believe in a relationship with that family. But up to the 
present time no contemporary evidence is forthcoming in which Adrian 
is spoken of as bearing the name Schrevel or Dedel ; he is most often 
called Adriaen de Trajecto, Adrianus Florentii de Trajecto, or, after 


the Brothers of the Common Life, 1 whose community 
had been founded in the Netherlands by Gerhard Groot. 
According to some accounts, Adrian first went to school 
with them at Zwolle ; according to others, at Deventer. 
The impressions thus received lasted throughout his whole 
life. He learned to look upon religion as the founda- 
tion of all true culture, and at the same time acquired 
a love for intellectual pursuits. His earnest view of life, 
his high ideal of the priesthood, his horror of all profana- 
tion of holy things, his preference for the study of the 
Bible and the Fathers which he was to display later on 
all this was due to the powerful influence of his first 

In his seventeenth year he entered, during the summer 
of 1476, the University of Louvain, 2 which, hardly touched 
by humanism, enjoyed a high reputation as a school of 
theology. During his first two years he studied philosophy 
with distinguished success and then, for other ten, theology 
and canon law. After thus acquiring a thorough know- 
ledge of the scholastic system, he held a professorship of 
philosophy at the College at Eber, to which he had been 
attached at the beginning of his student period. In the year 
1490 he became a licentiate in theology, and in 1491 took 
the degree of Doctor of Theology. 3 Although from the 

his appointment as Professor in the College of Eber, Meester Adriane 
in't Vercken (cf. E. v. Even in Messag. d. scien. hist, 1856, 257, and 
the essay of Dietsche Warande, 1894, 388 seq., cited below). He 
signed himself Adriaen van Utrecht (as in the letter of June 26, 1514, 
which G. Papenbroch gave to BURMANN [444] ; I found the original 
in the Leyden Library, Cod. 945), or Adrianus de Trajecto ; see the 
autograph letter to the Abbot of St. Hubert in the Ardennes, dated 
Brussels, June 21, 1510 (Royal Archives, Utrecht, Dom. S. 645). 

1 Cf. for this JANSSEN-PASTOR, ed. 1 8, I., 71 seqq. 

2 REUSENS, Syntagma, IX. 

3 I have here followed E. v. EVEN, Adriaan Florisz van Utrecht 


first he had never been in total poverty, and now held two 
small benefices, his means were yet so limited that his 
promotion was rendered possible only through the protec- 
tion of the Princess Margaret, the widow of Charles the 
Bold. 1 Adrian's financial position gradually improved 
as the number of his benefices increased. He saw 
nothing reprehensible in this abuse, which at that time 
was general, and at a later date accepted still further 
preferment. He made, however, the noblest use of the 
income which he thus accumulated, for his alms were 
munificent. It is also worthy of remark that as parish 
priest of Goedereede in South Holland he took pains to 
secure a substitute of sound character, and yearly, during 
the University vacations, undertook the pastoral charge 
of his parishioners. 2 

Adrian's theological lectures, which even Erasmus 
attended, as well as his able disputations, steadily increased 
his reputation ; he helped to form such solid scholars as 
Heeze, Pighius, Tapper, Latomus, and Hasselius. One of 

aan de Hooge school van Leuven (1476-1515), in Dietsche Warande, 
N.S., VII. (1894), 386 seqq., who made use of unprinted sources in the 
city archives, Louvain. The theological degrees are mostly assigned 
to the years 1491 and 1492. 

1 MORING-HURMANN, 17 ; cf. E. v. EVEN, loc. cif., 257, and HENNE, 
II., 78. Also see WENSING, 92 seqq., who wishes to uphold Adrian's 
poverty against Reusens. Cf. on this point also BOSCH, 9, and CRIS- 


2 See MORING-BURMANN, 17-19, 31. Cf. Regesta Leonis X., n. 
2676, 7307 ; DE THEUX, Le Chapitre de St. Lambert, Bruxelles, 1871, 
III., 45 ; Archief voor de geschiedenis v. h. Aartsbisdom Utrecht, XI., 
67; WENSING, 175; CRISSTOFFELS, 16 seqq. ; BOERS, Beschrijving 
v. h. eiland Goedereede, Sommelsdyk, 1843, 100 seq.^ where there is 
a letter of Adrian's of 1496. Adrian afterwards took a different view 
of the exemptions, on account of the abuses they gave rise to, just as 
he had done with regard to the plurality of livings. See Rev. d. hist, 
eccl., I., 481. 


his pupils published in 1515 a selection of his disputa- 
tions, another in 1516 his lectures on the sacraments; both 
works soon went through many editions. 1 Chosen in 1497 
to be Dean of St. Peter's Church in Louvain, Adrian had 
also to fulfil the additional duties of Chancellor of the 
University; twice (in 1493 and 1501) he was appointed 
Rector. In spite of all these official duties his application 
to study was as keen as before ; he even found time for 
preaching, and three of his sermons have been preserved, 2 
which show extensive learning, but are the dry compositions 
of a bookworm. In his enthusiasm for study as well as in 
his strong moral character he showed himself a worthy 
pupil of the Brothers of the Common Life. It is related | 
that he inveighed especially against the relaxation of the 

1 Quaestiones quotlibeticae (10 editions, the first, Lovanii, 1515), and 
Quaest. de Sacramentis sup. quarto Senteniar. (8 editions, the first, 1516). 
REUSENS (Syntagma doctrinae Adriani VI., XXXI. seqq., i seqq.} has 
made use not only of these writings, but also of those yet unprinted, 
especially the Comment, in Prov., and in several places has corrected 
the Quaest. de Sacramentis from Adrian's own manuscript In an 
appendix (155-246) REUSENS gives Anecdota Adriani VI. (also 
published separately, Lovanii, 1862), for the most part from Adrian's 
autograph MS. in the Library of the Seminary, Mechlin : six discourses 
delivered on occasions of receiving theological promotion, four dis- 
courses to the clergy,oneQuaestio quodlib.,the Prologus to the Comment, 
in Prov., and four Consuttationes. For his participation in the reform 
of the calendar see MARZI, 174 seq. For Gallican and Jansenist mis- 
representations of Adrian's attitude towards the doctrine of Papal 
Infallibility see, along with FEA, Difesa del P. Adriano VI. nel punto 
che riguarda la infallibilita, Roma, 1822, and REUSENS, 122-152; 
also Anal, juris pontif., VI., 1560 seqq.^ XL, 267 seqq. \ FEVRE, Papaute, 
VII., 267 seg.j and WENSING, 90, f. 132. Adrian, as Pope, certainly 
did not deny infallibility. It has not much bearing on the subject 
whether, as Professor, he had held erroneous views on this as on other 
points (cf. Archiv fiir Kirchenrecht, LXXXV., 734 seq.}. 

2 Published in REUbENS, ut supra, 209 seqq. 


'rule of celibacy, in consequence of which the mistress of a 
n tried to take his life by poison. 1 The repute of t he- 
unspotted life, the learning, humility, and unselfishness of 
the Louvain Professor continued to extend, and he became 
the counsellor of persons in all ranks of life. Monks, clerics, 
and laymen from all parts of the Netherlands came to him 
for help. It was no wonder that the Court also coveted his 
services; probably as early as 1507 the Emperor Maxi- 
milian chose him as tutor for his grandson, the Archduke 
Charles, the future Emperor, to whom he imparted that 
deep sense of religion which he never lost amid all the 
storms of life. The Duchess Margaret also employed him 
in other capacities, and in 1515 she named him a member 
of her Council. 2 

Alarmed at the growing influence of the learned 
Professor, the ambitious Chievres determined to withdraw 
him from the Netherlands upon some honourable pretext. 
In October 1515 Adrian was entrusted with a difficult 
diplomatic mission to Spain. He was there to secure for 
his pupil Charles the full rights of inheritance to the 
Spanish Crown, and on Ferdinand's death was to assume 
the provisional Government. Ferdinand received the 
diplomatist, whom Peter Martyr accompanied as secretary , :i 
with openly expressed mistrust, but Adrian found a pro- 
tector in Cardinal Ximenes. 

When the King died on the 23rd of January 1516 the 
Cardinal and Adrian entered on a joint administration of 


- Cf. HENNE, I., 267; REUSENS in Biog. Nat, II., 597; LEPITRE, 
38 seqq. In 1515 Adrian was also appointed Commissary to Charles 
V. by permission of Leo X. ; cf. Kist-Roijaards in Archief v. kerkelijke 
geschiedenis, I., 183 seqq., 228 seqq. ; VIII., 447 seqq. See also 
Utrechtsche Volks-Almanak, 1842, 236 seqq. 

3 Cf. BERNAYS, P. Martyr, 26, 161. 


affairs until the arrival of the new King, Charles. 1 Although 
within the sphere of politics differences of opinion were 
not lacking between the two, yet so highly did the 
Cardinal value the pious Netherlander that he used his 
influence to raise the latter to places of eminence in the 
Spanish Church. In June 1516 Adrian was made Bishop 
of Tortosa; the revenues of the see were not great; 
nevertheless, Adrian at once resigned all his benefices in 
the Low Countries, with the exception of those at Utrecht. 2 
Neither then nor afterwards did he contemplate a perman- 
ent residence in Spain. It was long before he was able to 
adapt himself to the conditions of life in that country, so 
entirely different from those he had known before. As early 
as April 1517 he expressed his hope to a friend that the 
coming of Charles might be his deliverance "from captivity," 
since he did not suit the Spaniards and Spain pleased him 
still less. 3 In July 1517 he wrote in jest, "Even if I were 
Pope, it would be my desire to live in Utrecht." At this time 
he had had a house built there, 4 and made no concealment 

1 Cf. GOMEZ, De reb. gest. a F. Ximenio, 148 seqq. ; P. Martyr, 
Op. epist., 565 ; Doc. ined., XIV., 347 seqq. \ PRESCOTT, Geschichte 
Ferdinands des Kath., Leipzig, 1842, II., 540, 588 seqq. ; GACHARD, 
Corresp., 231 seq. ; LEPITRE, 45 seqq., 57 seqq. ; BAUMGARTEN, I., 26 
seqq.) 36 ; HOFLER, Mon. hisp., Prag., 1882, II., 5 seqq. 

2 Cf. WENSING, 136 seq. 

3 Letter from Madrid, April 16, 1517, published in Archief voor 
de geschied. v. h. Aartsbisdom, Utrecht, XXVIII., 130. For the 
mission of Adrian to Spain see also BAUER, Die Anfange Ferdi- 
nands I., Wien, 1907, 30 seqq. 

4 Letter from Madrid of July 16, 1517, in BURMANN, 445. The 
passage refers to the Paushuis still standing in the Niewe Gracht in 
Utrecht. Cf. Utrechtsche Volks-Almanak, 1858, 84 seq. ; Archief voor 
de geschied. v. h. Aartsbisdom, Utrecht, XIX., 254 seq. ; cf. also v. d. 
MONDE in the Tijdschrift v. geschied. en oudheidkunde v. Utrecht, 
I., 152, and GARAMPI, Viaggio in Germania, Roma, 1889, 183. 


of his intention, as soon as his Sovereign's service permitted, 
of returning to his native land in order to devote himself 
wholly to study. 

Very different from Adrian's expectations was the actual 
outcome of events ; he was never to see his beloved 
fatherland again. In the first instance, Spanish affairs 
detained him ; Ximenes and Charles contrived that Adrian 
should be appointed Inquisitor by the Pope in Aragon and 
Navarre on the I4th of November 15 id 1 Adrian's conduct 
of affairs in Spain must have given Charles great satis- 
faction, for, on the occasion of the great nomination of 
Cardinals in the summer of 1517, he was recommended 
by the Emperor for the purple ; Leo X. consented, and 
on the ist of July Adrian received a place and voice 
in the Senate of the Church ; his title was that of 
St. John and St. Paul. 2 He was able to write, in truth,' 
that he had never sought this honour, and that he had 
only accepted it under pressure from his friends. 3 From 
the former tenor of his life, ordered strictly by rule and 
divided between prayer and study, this man of ascetic 
piety and scholastic learning never for one moment 
swerved. J 

During his sojourn in Spain, the pupil of the Brothers of 
the Common Life became closely associated with the men 
who were throwing all their strength into projects for 
ecclesiastical reform. In this connection the first place must 
be given to the famous Ximenes, Cardinal-Archbishop of 
Toledo. Although often of divergent views in politics, the 
Spanish and the Netherlander Cardinal were of one heart 

1 Cf. GACHARD, Corresp., 235-236. See also the *Carta de Roma 
del 1516 al Card. Ximenes in Cod. Barb., lat. 2103, f. n, Vatican 

- Cf, Vol. VII. of this work, p. 204. 

3 Letter to Job. Dedel, dat. Madrid, July 16, 1517, in BUKMXNN, 445. 


and soul where the interest? of the Church were concerned ; l 
like Ximenes, so also was Adrian (who during the contro- 
versy between Reuchlin and the Dominicans of Cologne, 
took the side of the latter z ) of opinion that the religious 
and moral renewal must follow the lines of the old 
authorized Church principles within the strict limits of the 
existing order. 

Around Ximenes, the leader of Church reform in Spain, 
grouped themselves three men of kindred spirit, with whom 
the Cardinal of Tortosa was also on terms of closest 
intimacy: the Dominican Juan Alvarez di Toledo, son of 
the Duke of Alba ; the jurist Tommaso Gozzella of Gaeta ; 
and the latter's close friend, the Nuncio Gian Pietro 
Caraffa. 3 

On the death of Ximenes, on the 8th of November 1517, 
the Cardinal of Tortosa carried on the Government alone 
until the coming of the King, which took place soon after- 
wards. Charles placed the greatest confidence in his former 
master, and often employed him on difficult negotiations, 
and repeatedly lent a willing ear to his counsels. Thus 
Adrian, who since the 3rd of March 1518 had also become 
Inquisitor-General of Castille and Leon, was successful in 
restraining the young King from giving his assent to the 
demands of the Cortes of Aragon that the existing judicial 
procedure of the Inquisition should be essentially altered. 4 

1 The Bishop of Badajoz had written to Ximenes in high praise of 
Adrian (Bull. d. 1. commiss. d'hist, X., 8), and had thus led to their 

2 GEIGER, Reuchlin, 421 seg., 441, 451. 

3 Cf. *CARACCIOLO, Vita di Paolo IV., 18-9. Casanatense Library, 

4 Cf. GACHARD, Corresp., 236; LEPITRE, 162 seqq. Heie also 
Llorente's representation of Adrian as Inquisitor is corrected. Adrian 
appointed the first Inquisitor in America. See I. TERILIO MEDINA, 
Hist, de trib. d. S. Oficio en Chile (Santiago, 1890). 


Against Luther's errors Adrian had pronounced from tin 
first , and when the University of Louvain asked their 
former Rector for his opinion of the teaching newly set 
forth by the Wittenberg professor, he, in a letter intended 
for publication, remarked that his heresies were so crude 
that they would hardly be attributed to a theological 
student. While Adrian encouraged Luther's condemna- 
tion, he at the same time warned the authorities of Louvain 
to take care that Luther's own words were accurately 
quoted. 1 During the Diet of Worms he strongly exhorted 
the Emperor to protect the Church. 2 Where the faith was 
in question Adrian was inflexible in other respects he 
showed exceptional kindness of heart, and he gave proof 
of this in repeated instances. When one of his servants 
fell ill of fever on a journey, the Cardinal gave up his litter 
to him, and in spite of bodily infirmity made the rest of the 
toilsome way on horseback. 3 

Before Charles embarked for the Netherlands and 
Germany, on the 2Oth of May 1520, he appointed the 
Cardinal of Tortosa to be his Viceroy in Spain. 4 Charles 
was justified in thinking that he had chosen the right 
man. Adrian's position as a Cardinal and Inquisitor- 
General was a highly important one ; yet he by no 
means failed to secure affection. His independent spirit, j 
as compared with the intrigues of other Netherlanders 
in Spain, and his unspotted integrity won for him the 

1 BURMANN, 447 ; cf. KALKOFF, Forschungen, 189 seq. See also 
BOTTEMANNE, De Brief v. d. Kard. v. Tortosa aan de Theol. 
faculteit v. Lcuven, in the periodical De Katholiek (Leiden, 1882), 
LXXXII., i seqq. 

2 GACHARD, Corresp., 244 seqq. ; LEPITRE, 167. 


4 Decree of nomination, May 17, in GACHARD, Corresp., 237 seqq. 
Cf. HOFLER, Mon. Hisp., II., 42. 


respect of many. 1 But he was a foreigner ; that no 
Spaniard could overlook, least of all the grandees of the 
' * kingdom. Charles had hardly left before the insurrection 
of the Castilian Comuneros broke out, and Adrian, on 
foreign soil and without money, found himself in the 
greatest embarrassment. His sensitive nature was not 
able to cope with a most difficult situation; moreover, 
as a foreigner, he misunderstood the actual circumstances 
confronting him. 2 The experience was for him a real 
martyrdom, for, now in his sixty-first year, his health was 
shattered by the dangers and excitement of this time. 
The full weight of these responsibilities was still pressing 
upon Adrian when, on the 24th of January 1522, at Vittoria, 
in the Basque country, he heard through Blasio Ortiz, 
provisor of the Bishop of Calahorra, the wholly unexpected 
announcement that a yet heavier burden had been imposed 
upon him. 3 The news seemed incredible, although con- 
firmed by letters from other quarters. Not until the pth 
of February, when Antonio de Studillo, one of Cardinal 
Carvajal's chamberlains, who had been delayed by violent 
snowstorms, entered Vittoria bearing the official despatch 
of the Sacred College declaring the result of the election, 

1 BAUMGARTEN, I., 237. 

2 Cf. HOFLER, Der Aufstand der kastilianischen Stadte, Prag, 1876 ; 
Mon. hispanica, I. ; Korrespondenz des Gobernadors Adrian von Utrecht 
mit Karl V. im Jahre 1520, Prag, 1881 ; and Adrian VI., in seq. 
Here, as in LEPITRE, 99 seqq., 1 10 seqq., 134 seqq., and BAUMGARTEN, 
I., 249 seq., 358 seq., 468 seq., a much too favourable view is held of 
Adrian's endeavours to cope with the revolution. On the other hand 
see HOFLER, Histor. Zeitschr., XCV., 427, 434, who perhaps goes 
too far on the other side. Cf. also VILLA, Juana la Loca, Madrid, 1892, 
312 seq., where numerous reports from Adrian to Charles V. are printed. 

3 Ortiz, Itinerarium, in BURMANN, 258. For the itinerarium cf. 
FOULCHE-DELBOSC, Bibliogr. d. voyag. en Espagne, in the Revue 
Hispanique, III. (1896), 21. 


could all doubt be allayed as to the truth of an event of 
such world-wide importance. 1 

The wish, so often anxiously expressed by the best 
representatives of Christendom, for a Pope in whom piety, 
learning, and sanctity should be combined, was now 
granted. The custom, which since 1378 had become an 
unbroken precedent, of raising only an Italian to the 
Papal throne, was now interrupted. A conclave, com- 
posed almost exclusively of Italians, had, against their 
own inclinations, for the first time after a lapse of 461 
years, elected to this position of great eminence a man 
of German origin, and one who was worthy, on account 
of his virtues, as hardly any other, of so great an honour. 

Immersed in the whirlpool of secular life and of 
political affairs, the Popes of the Renaissance and, above 
all, Leo X., had too often lost sight of the weightiest 
of all duties, those inherent in their ecclesiastical station. 
Now the call had come to one who stood entirely aloof 
from Italian politics, and whose heart was set on the 
defence of Christendom and the restoration of the relaxed | / 
discipline of the Church. A simple, sincerely pious, and 
humble man, who had fled from rather than sought out 
titles and honours, had risen from the rank of a poor 
student to that of University Professor, to become the 
tutor of an Emperpr, a Spanish Bishop, Cardinal, Grand 
Inquisitor, and Viceroy, and finally Chief Pastor of the 
universal Church. / 

On the first reception of the news of his election, 
Adrian had displayed that immovable calm which was 
one of his most prominent characteristics, and was in 

1 As late as January 27, 1522, Charles was informed from Vittoria 
that Adrian awaited more accurate infonnation from Charles or from 
Rome before making any alterations. VILLA, Juana la Loca, 354, who 
wrongly gives the year as 1521. 


keeping with his racial origin, as well as with his deep 
piety. All accounts agree that his elevation, so far from 
being a source of pleasure to him, distressed him, and 
although all the letters announcing the outcome of that 
crisis in his life have not been preserved, yet those known 
to us are sufficient to show the emotions of his soul On the 
2nd of February 1522 he wrote to Henry VIII. lhat he had 
neither sought nor wished for election ; his strength was 
unequal to his task ; did he not fear to injure the cause 
of God and His Church, he would decline the tiara. 1 
In like manner, in a letter to the Emperor, he dwelt on 
the sorrow which his accession caused him when he con- 
sidered how weak and powerless he was ; rest, and not an 
unbearable burden, was what he needed. 2 

Adrian also showed imperturbable gravity when, on 
the Qth of February, Antonio de 3tudillo, as envoy of ^ 
the Sacred College, handed him the official announcement 
of his election. He read the letter without remark, and 
then, in his dry manner, told Studillo, who was fatigued 
by the journey, to go and take some repose. On the 
same day he composed his answer to the College of 
Cardinals ; in this he also reiterated his sense of unfitness 
for his new dignity and his willingness to have declined it ; 
but, trusting in God, whose honour alone was his aim in 

1 BREWER, III., 2, n. 2018. Also in like manner to Wolsey (ibid., 
2019). These letters in full in GACHARD, Corresp., 254 seqq. 

2 The letter in Gachard bears date February 11, Corresp., 26 
seqq., but probably we ought to read 1 1 February ; see BONNER, 
theol. Literaturblatt, 1874, 55. In Cod. Barb., lat. 2103 (Vatican 
Library), which contains a seventeenth-century copy, made in Madrid, 
from the original, of this very letter, which Gachard published from a 
MS. in the town library of Hamburg, also based on the Madrid 
original, the dates, unfortunately, are written sometimes in Arabic and 
sometimes in Roman numerals, so that no certain evidence can be 
adduced in settlement of this question. 


all things, and also out of respect for the Cardinals, he 
;u<]iiiesced in his election; as soon as the Legates arrived 
and the fleet was ready to sail, he would make all haste 
to reach Rome. 1 But the letters written by him to an 
intimate friend in the Netherlands reflect still more 
plainly than these official documents the nobleness and 
purity of his soul. "Dear friend," he wrote on the I5th 
of February 1522 from Vittoria to the Syndic of Utrecht, 
Florentius Oem van Wyngarden, " there can be no one 
who would not have been surprised and who was not 
astonished at the Cardinals' unanimous choice of one so 
poor, so well-nigh unknown, and, moreover, so far removed 
from them as I, to fill the position of Vicar of Christ. 
To God only is it easy thus suddenly to uplift the lowly. 
This honour brings me no gladness, and I dread taking 
upon me such a burden. I would much rather serve God 
in my provostship at Utrecht than as Bishop, Cardinal, 
or Pope. But who am I, to withstand the call of the 
Lord ? And I hope that He will supply in me what is 
lacking, and continue to grant me strength for my burden. 
Pray for me, I beseech you, and through your devout 
prayers may He vouchsafe to teach me how to fulfil His 
commandments, and make me worthy to serve the best 
interests of His Church." 2 

1 SANUTO, XXXIII., 76-77; here 77 seq. are also the later letters 
of the Pope to the Cardinals and Romans. Of these the two briefs of 
the last day of February 1 522 were printed soon after their arrival in 
Rome, by Bladus. I saw a copy of this extremely rare example of 
single-sheet printing in the Borghese Library. On the last day of 
February Adrian VI. also addressed a letter to the cities of the Papal 
States ; see CHIESI, 106. 

2 BURMANN, 398; cf. HOFLER, 129 seq. Adrian spoke out in 
precisely similar terms to another confidential friend ; see PETER 
MARTYR, Op. Epist., 753. Cf. also Adrian's letters of February 14, 1522, 
to Jean de Vignacourt in WEISS ; Pap. de Granvelle, I., 251, and the 


Not until he had received the official notification of his 
election did Adrian resign his Viceroyalty and assume 
the. title of Pope-elect. Contrary to the custom observed 
for five hundred years, he adhered to his baptismal name. 1 
He was determined, even as Pope, to be the same man as 
before. 2 

Although Adrian was now in full possession of his 
Papal prerogatives, he yet resolved, in deference to the 
urgent wish of the Cardinals, to abstain from using 
them until the arrival of the Legates. 3 But in order 
to be secure in every respect, he ordered, on the i6th of 
February, a notarial deed to be executed registering his 
consent to his election. 4 This was done in strict secrecy ; 
the public declaration was reserved until after the arrival 
of the Cardinal-Legates, which was delayed in unexpected 
ways. From day to day Adrian increasingly felt the 
embarrassment of his position, whereby he seemed to be 
reconsidering his acceptance of the Papacy. Nor, until 
he had publicly given consent to his election, could he 
act effectively as Pope, use his influence with the Princes 

briefs addressed to Utrecht in ANT. MATTHAEI, Analecta, III., 690 seqq. 
See further BOSCH, 50 seq. On February 15, 1522, Adrian VI. also 
addressed a *cry for help to the Duke of Mantua. More ^letters were 
sent to the latter on February 28, March 29, and April 27. The 
^originals are all in the Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

1 As before his election (BURMANN, 444) so afterwards the Pope 
always signed himself Adrianus ; cf. the Pope's own signature to the 
* Briefs of March 29, 1522 (National Archives, Paris), and of April 11, 
1523 (State Archives, Vienna). On his tomb there is the curious inter- 
change of Adrianus and Hadrianus. 

2 TiziO lays stress on this, *Hist. Senen ut sup. (Chigi Library, 
Rome). Cf. also GRAADT JONCKERS in the Utrechtsche Volks- 
Almanak, 1857, 175. 

3 Cf. Adrian's letter to Charles V., February 15, 1522, in GACHARD, 
Corresp., 34. 

4 See Ortiz in BURMANN, 161. 


of Europe for the restoration of peace, or for arbitration. 
When, in the beginning of March, there were still no 
tidings of the departure of the Cardinal-Legates, Adrian * 
made up his mind to wait no longer, and on the 8th 
of that month, in the presence of several bishops and 
prelates, and before a notary and witnesses, he made 
the solemn declaration of his acceptance of the Papacy. J 
With emphasis he expressed, on this occasion, his trust 
that the Divine Founder of the Primacy would endow 
him, though unworthy, with the strength necessary to 
protect the Church against the attacks of the Evil One, 
and to bring back the erring and deceived to the unity of 
the Church after the example of the Good Shepherd. 1 

Adrian's biographer pertinently remarks: " It must have 
been a more than ordinary trust in God which led him to 
bend his back to a burden the weight of which was im- 
measurable, and to take over the colossal inheritance of 
all the strifes and enmities which Leo had been powerless to 
allay. In the background, apart from the German revolt, 
lurked also a schism with France, whose King, through the 
Concordat with Leo, had made himself master of the 
French Church and was in no haste to acknowledge the 
German Pope, the creature, as it was asserted, of the 
Emperor." 2 

Not less great were the difficulties presented by the ' 
States of the Church, and in particular by the condition 
of Rome itself. The ferment among the youth of the 

1 The Instrumentum acceptionis electionis in SANUTO, XXXVIII., 
204 seqq., was published in Rome, April 9 ; see ibid., 208 ; cf. Corp. 
dipl. Port., II., 69. The *Mandatum for the procurators of Adrian VI. 
sent to Rome (Enkevoirt, Ingenwinkel and Borell ; cf. SANUTO, 
XXXIII., 209 sey. t and SCHULTE, I., 228), dat. in Civit. Calciaten, 15 
Martii 14, in Cod. Barb., lat. 2428, f. 14 (Vatican Library). 

2 HOFLER in Freiburger Kirchenlexicon, V., ed. 2, 1429-1430. 
VOL. IX. 4 


city and the divisions among the Cardinals, many of whom 
acted quite despotically, gave rise towards the end of 
January to the worst apprehensions. As time went on 
the situation became more precarious from week to week. 1 
The circumstance that the three Cardinals at the head 
of affairs changed every month added to the insecurity 
and brought men into office who were altogether dis- 
qualified. An unparalleled confusion prevailed; 2 above 
all, the want of money was pressingly felt, and the 
Cardinals were reduced to the pawning of the remainder 
of the Papal mitres and tiaras ; this led to the discovery 
that the costly jewels in the tiara of Paul II. had been 
exchanged for imitation stones. So great was their 
financial necessity that on one occasion they could not 
raise fifty ducats for the expenses of an envoy who was 
deputed to ascertain the state of affairs in Perugia : in 
order to make up the amount they were obliged to pledge 
[some altar lights. 3 

On the r8th of February the Sacred College concluded 
a temporary treaty with the Duke of Urbino; they also 
hoped to come to an understanding with the Baglioni in 
Perugia. But in the Romagna, especially in Bologna, 
great unrest was felt ; Ravenna and Foligno showed a 
readiness to throw off the authority of the Regents 

1 See SANUTO, XXXI I., 433 seqq., 447 seqq., 465 seq. ; cf. besides 
G iorn. d. lett. Ital., XXXI., 41 1 seq. See also the entirely one-sided and 
exaggerated reports of Manuel in BERGENROTH, II., n. 384, 385, 386, 
392, 394- 

2 Cf. the ^reports of B. Castiglione of February, 5, 12, 22, 1522. 
Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

3 SANUTO, XXXI I., 442, 474. Cf. BREWER, III., 2, n. 2046, and 
SCHULTE, I., 228. * La difficolta de li denari e tanto grande che non 
po essere maggiore, wrote Castiglione on January 12, 1522. Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua. 


appointed by Leo X. 1 The Marquis of Mantua asked 
in vain for his pay as Captain-General of the Church. 2 
The plague broke out in Rome, in addition to which 
great excesses were committed by the Corsican soldiery; 3 
assassinations took place daily with impunity. Nothing 
else could be expected, since the discord between the 
Cardinals of French and Imperialist sympathies showed 
no abatement. When Cardinals Ridolfi and Salviati 
wished to excuse the Medicean Governor of Loreto, 
Cardinal Grimani remarked : " Leo X. having ruined the 
Church, his relations now wish to bring all that is left to 
the ground." 4 

At the beginning of March little was known in Rome of 
Adrian's movements, the report of his death having often 
been current. 5 At last, on the i8th of that month, Studillo 
arrived with the first authentic information concerning the 
new Pope. He was described as a man of middle height, 
with grey hair, an aquiline nose, and small, lively eyes ; 

1 See SANUTO, XXXIII., 34, 57 seq., 70, 74. Cf. ALIPPI in Bollett. 
Senese, X. (1903), 480 seqq. 

VUTO, XXXII., 484, 492. 

3 Cf. LANCIANI, Scavi, I., 214 seq. ; GREGOROVIUS, VIII. , 3rd edit, 
388 seq. 

4 SANUTO, XXXIII., 74, 76; cf. 8, 115, 131 seq. ; BREWER, III., 2, 
n. 2044, and * letter of G. de' Medici of April 13, 1522, in State 
Archives, Florence. A member of Cardinal Gonzaga's family (Nepos 
Jac. Prot.) reported on April I, 1522, from Rome on the dissensions 
among the Cardinals: *et tanta discordia non fu mai, de sorte che 
per fermo non andando bene le cose de Milano siamo certi di una 
cisma grandissima. Roma sta in arme (murders are committed every 
day). Dio ci adiuta et simo con grandissima guardia et gorni et nocte 
pervigilamo. Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

6 SANUTO, XXXIII., 34. Cf. BREWER, III., 2, n. 2064, and 
BERGENROTH, II., n. 386. See also Castiglione's ^account, March 5, 
1522 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 


his complexion was rather pale than sanguine; he was 
already a little bent, but still vigorous in body, being 
especially a good walker ; he still continued to wear his 
Cardinal's dress, kept only a few servants, and loved 
solitude. In bearing he was extremely reserved, neither 
giving way to impetuosity nor inclined to jocosity ; on 

8 receiving the news of his election he had shown no signs 
of joy, but had sighed deeply; he was in the habit of going 
early to bed and of rising at daybreak. He said Mass 
daily, and was an indefatigable worker; his speech was 
slow and generally in Latin, which he spoke not exactly V 
with polish, but yet not incorrectly ; he understood Spanish, 
and sometimes tried to express himself in that language. 
His most earnest wish was to see the Princes of Chris- 
tendom united in arms against the Turk. In religious 
affairs he was very firm, and was determined that no one 
henceforward should receive more than one ecclesiastical 
office, since he adhered to the principle that benefices 
should be supplied with priests, and not priests with 
benefices. 1 

1 Cf. with Negri's letter in Lett. d. princ., I., 98, Corp. dipl. Port., II., 
70, and Ortiz in BURMANN, 227 seqq., the letter of Fra Vincenzo di 
S. Gimignano to Cardinal Fieschi, dated Vittoria, March 10, 1522, in 
SANUTO, XXXIII., 203-204. He also wrote to Cardinal Cajetan in 
entirely the same sense. This letter is in TIZIO, *Hist. Senen., G II., 
39 (Chigi Library, Rome). Castiglione reported on March 26, 1522, 
* Circa la venuta del papa il collegio ha determinate che li legati non 
vadino piu fora de Italia perche questa andata potrebbe tardare molto 
S. S ta et oltre di questo non avendo il papa cardinale alcuno dal canto 
di Ik estimasi chel debba accelerare la venuta sua molto piu. Qui se 
hanno lettere da diverse che sono con S. S ta Italiani li quali confirmano 
la bonta et il valor suo et il desiderio de la pace universale e de la 
reformazione della chiesa ; confirmano ancor che S. S ta ha deliberato e 
stabilito de non volere dare ne officii ne beneficii se non a persone che 
meritino ; dicono che ogni matina celebra la messa devotissimamente e 
molte altre cose bone fa ; tra 1' altre tutta Spagna gli e intorno e ognuno 


Such reports made no pleasant impression on the worldly 
members of^hfi^CiJ^ia. At first they had flattered them- 
selves with the hope that, out of conscientious scruples, 
the pious Netherlander would have declined election ; then 
the opinion gained ground that he would certainly not 
come to Rome. 1 Now they realized with what a firm hand 
he intended to direct affairs. A total breach with the 
traditions of government as embodied not only in the 
system of Leo X., but in that of all the Renaissance Popes, 
was to be expected. With fear and trembling the coming 
of the stranger was awaited ; everything about him was 
matter of dislike, even the circumstance that he had not 
changed his name. 2 

I Studillo handed to the Cardinals Adrian's letter of thanks 
dated the 28th of February, to the effect that he only 
awaited the arrival of the Legates to begin his journey 
to Rome; the College of Cardinals replied forthwith that 
it was unnecessary to wait for their coming, but that 
he ought to hasten with all possible speed to Rome, 
his true place of residence. 3 Individual Cardinals, such as 
Campeggio, also adjured the Pope in special letters to 
expedite his journey in order to bring to an end the 
confusion and incompetence there prevailing. 4 How much 
the Cardinals still feared that he might not permanently 

li domanda e non e cosa de valuta de dieci scudi che non li sia stata 
dimandata da cento persone e S. S^ rimette ognuno a Roma ne 
vol fare la famiglia perfin che non e in Roma. Li legati anda- 
ranno a ricevere S. S ta in Italia dove la avisava voler disimbarcare, 
estimasi pero de la piu parte che sera a Napoli. Gonzaga Archives, 

1 Cf. BERNI, Rime ed. Virgili, 32. 

- *Cod. Barb., 2103, f. 128''. Vatican Library. 

3 SANUTO, XXXIII., 74, 79-80, 103-107. 

4 Cf. Campeggio's letter in the Zeitschr. f. deutsche Geschichts- 
-ensdi., N.F., I. Vierteljahrshefte, 1896-97, 72 seq. 


establish his court in Rome is shown by their original 
hesitation in sending to the Pope the fisherman's ring. 1 
The longer the Pope's arrival was delayed, the greater 
was the general dissatisfaction and the fear that Spain 
might prove a second Avignon; 2 this last alarm was 
heightened by a forged brief summoning the Cardinals to 
Spain. 3 

P In reality Adrian had never thought of remaining in 
Spain. His repeated assurances that it was his most 
urgent wish to come to Rome have been confirmed by 
unimpeachable testimony; 4 however, obstacles of various 
kinds stood in the way of his departure. Adrian had to 
transfer his functions as Viceroy, and, owing to the voyage 
being insecure on account of the Turkish pirates, it was 
necessary to levy troops for the protection of the flotilla ; 
to secure them he was forced, owing to his poverty, to 
rely on foreign, that is Spanish, support. An overland 
route through France was out of the question, since the 
Emperor would have seen in such a step an open bid for 
the favour of his enemy. 

The difficulty of the Pope's position, confronted as he 
was by two great rival powers, each of whom wished to 
secure the Papal influence for the attainment of his own 
objects, showed itself also in other ways. The Imperialists 
gave the new Pope no rest with their irksome importunity. 
The Ambassador Manuel took a delight in offering un- 
asked-for advice, sometimes tendered in letters which were 
frankly discourteous, while Mendoza made attempts to 

1 SANUTO, XXXIII., 162, 265; BERGENROTH, II., n. 408. Cf. 
* letter of Castiglione, April 14, 1522 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

2 Cf. the * reports of Castiglione, April 19 and May 30, 1522 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

3 Tizio, * Hist. Senen, loc. cit. (Chigi Library, Rome). 

4 Cf. supra, p. 52, n. i, the letter of Fra Vincenzo di S. Gimignano. 

Till-: I'ol'K AND TIIK KM I'l.ROR. 55 

bribe those in Adrian's confidence. 1 Charles V. was 
assiduous in approaching the Pope with a host of wishes 
and business concerns, but mainly with the request that he 
should, like his predecessors, join in the alliance against the 
French. Adrian's dealings with his former lord and master 
were marked by great shrewdness, caution, and reserve ; 
where he could he acted as the father and friend, but never 
at the cost of his high office as head of universal Christendom. 
r After waiting long, and in vain, in Vittoria for the 
arrival of La Chaulx, the Emperor's envoy, Adrian, on 
the 1 2th of March, betook himself by S. Domingo and 
Logrono, in the valley of the Ebro, to Saragossa, which 
he reached on the 29th of March. Many Spanish bishops 
and prelates, with a great number of grandees, had 
assembled in the capital of Aragon to pay homage to 
the new Pope, 2 the first whom Spain had ever seen. As 
well as La Chaulx, envoys also soon arrived from England, 
Portugal, and Savoy 3 whose chief task it was to induce 
Adrian to enter the anti-French League. In one of the 
letters in Charles's own hand which he delivered, the 
Emperor had permitted himself to remark that Adrian 
had been elected out of consideration for himself. In his 
answer, animated by great goodwill, the Pope declared 
with delicate tact that he was convinced that the Cardinals, 
in making their choice, had been mindful of the Emperor's 
interests ; at the same time, he felt very happy that he had 
not received the tiara, the acquisition of which must be 
pure and spotless, through Charles's entreaties; thus he 

1 See GACHARD, 7 seqq., 47 seqq., 55 segq. y 69 seq. Cf. DE LEVA, II., 


- See Ortiz, Itinerarium in BURMANN, 162 seqq. Cf. GACHARD, 
Corresp., 47 seqq. 

3 Cf. with SANUTO, XXX 1 1 1., 302, also GACHARD, Corresp., 78, and 
Corp. dipl. Port., II., 71 seqq. 


would feel himself to be even more the Emperor's ally 
than if he had owed the Papacy to his mediation. 1 

Adrian also showed plainly in other ways that, with all 
his personal liking for the Emperor, he would not, on that 
account, as Pope, follow the lead of the Imperial policy. 
He declined positively to take part in the anti-French 
League. With all the more insistence he called upon 
Charles to forward the cause of peace by the acceptance of 
moderate, reasonable, and equitable terms, and provisionally 
to conclude a longer armistice. Every day made it clearer , 
that he looked upon his Pontificate as an apostolate of 
peace. 2 The interests he was bent on serving were not ( 
those of individual monarchs, but of Christendom in 
general. On this account he had from the beginning 
urged the necessity of restoring peace among the Christian 
states and of uniting them in opposition to the oncoming , 
assaults of the Ottoman power. 3 On behalf of peace it ' 
was decided to send at once special envoys to the Emperor 
and to the Kings of France, England, and Portugal. 4 
Stefano Gabriele Merino, Archbishop of Ban", was appointed 
to proceed as Nuncio to France. Adrian had asked the 
French King to grant the Nuncio a safe-conduct, and at 
the same time exhorted Francis and the most important 
personages of his Court to make for peace. 5 This letter was 

1 LANZ, I.,6i seq. La Chaulx's Instructions in the Denkschriften der 
Wiener Akademie, XXVIII., 250^. 

2 HOFLER, 159. 

3 See the brief to Venice, March 13, 1522, in SANUTO, XXXI II., 
129 seq, Cf. BERGENROTH, II., n. 402. 

4 Cf. SANUTO, XXXIII., 302. 

6 Cf. PlEPER, Nuntiaturen, 63. The briefs addressed to France are 
wanting up to one dated March 29, 1522, which I found, in the original, 
in the National Archives, Paris (L. 357); this is addressed to the 
Archbishop of Sens. See also the brief to Portugal in Corp. dipl. 
Port., II., 76 seq. 


not despatched until after the 8th of March, when Adrian 
had publicly and solemnly accepted the Papal office. 
Francis I. complained of this in very harsh terms, saying 
that the accession of the Pope had been communicated to 
him later than was customary ; it would even seem that he 
went so far as to still address the duly elected Pontiff as 
Cardinal of Tortosa. 1 Adrian replied to this calmly in a 
brief of the 2 1st of April I522. 2 The apostolic gentleness 
of tone disarmed the French King in such a way that in his 
second letter of the 24th of June he evinced a very different 
temper. Francis avowed his inclination to conclude an 
armistice, and even invited the Pope to make his journey 
to Rome by way of France. 3 

Adrian declined this invitation, as he did also that of Henry 
VIII. to pass through England and Germany on his way 
to Italy. He wished to avoid every appearance of sanction- 
ing by a visit to the English King the latter's warlike 
bearing towards France. But he was all the more 
distrustful of the intentions of Francis, inasmuch as the 
improved attitude of the French King was undoubtedly 
connected with his military failures in upper Italy. , 
French domination in that quarter was well-nigh at an 
end ; the defeat at Bicocca on the 2/th of April was 
followed on the 3Oth of May by the loss of Genoa. To 
the strange advice of Manuel, that he should travel through 

1 See HOFLER, 163^. According to Manuel (BERGENROTH, II., 
n. 417), Francis I. was collecting canonists' opinions against Adrian VI. 

- GACHARD, Corresp., 262 seqq. 

3 Ibid., 262 seg., note. The National Archives, Paris, contain un- 
fortunately only a few letters of Francis I. to Adrian VI. In one, 
*dated Paris, December 17, 1522, the King begs the Pope to confirm 
the "statuts et reformations de 1'abbaye et monast. de S. Victor de 
1'ordre de St. Augustin " made by the Archbishop of Sens. Francis 
here signs himself "votre devot filz le Roy de France, due de Milan, 
seigneur de Gennes Francoys." 


the Netherlands and Germany to Italy, Adrian also sent 
a refusal. 1 

Towards the College of Cardinals Adrian maintained 
the same position of independence with which he had en- 
countered the sovereign powers. Through his intimate 
friend, Johannes Winkler, he let the former understand that 
they were in nowise to alienate, divide, or mortgage vacant 
offices, but that all such must be reserved intact for the 
Pope's disposal. 2 

Nor was Adrian long in coming forward as a reformer. 
He set to work in earnest, since, to the amazement of the 
Curia, he did not simply confine himself to bringing the 
rules of the Chancery into line with established usage, but 
in many instances made changes whereby the privileges 
of the Cardinals 3 were specifically curtailed. Jointly with 

1 Cf. HOFLER, 156, 164; LEPITRE, 186. 

2 HOFLER, 162. 

3 The decision, "quod cardinales non comprehendantur sub regulis 
cancell./' fell through entirely. Gomez (Comment in regul. Cancell., 
Paris, 1547) has called attention, under their appropriate titles, to 
important alterations in the rules of Chancery, " De non tollendo jure 
quaesito, de infirmis resignantibus, de subrogandis collitigentibus, de 
triennali possessore, de publicandis resignationibus." The assertion, to 
which Hofler still adheres, that Adrian repealed wholesale previous 
reservations, is incorrect. He renewed all " reservationes generates et 
speciales" named in the first Chancery regulations of his predecessor, as 
well as those in the constitutions "ad regimen" of Benedict XII. and 
" Exsecrabilis " of John XXI I. Even the " revocatis exspectativarum" is 
to be found already in the rules of the preceding period. But it is correct 
to say that Adrian VI. on this very point did make additions of intrinsic 
importance by which She privileges favourable to the Sacred College 
were restricted, and the "facultates nominandi, reservandi, conferendi, 
commendandi " granted by his predecessors were removed along with 
the nominations and reservations which were the result of this plenary 
authority. The removal of the faculties for the sale of curial offices, 
and of all the concessions relating to the latter which had been 


the publication of these regulations, on the 24th of April 
1522 the Pope appointed a special authority to deal with 
the petitions which were always coming in in large 
numbers. 1 

In the first week of May, Adrian was anxious to leave 
Saragossa and to pass through Ilerda to Barcelona, but an 
outbreak of the plague in both cities caused a fresh 
hindrance, and another port of departure had to be found. 
In the meantime the Pope wrote to the Cardinals and 
the Romans on the iQth of May, and at the same time 
enumerated the difficulties with which he had to contend 
before he could get together a flotilla to protect him on his 
voyage to Italy across the Gulf of Lyons, then infested by 
Turkish pirates/ 2 By the 3rd of June he was at last able 
to inform the Cardinals that these hindrances had been 
overcome. 3 

On the i ith of June the Pope left Saragossa, and reached 
Tortosa on the eve of Corpus Christi (June i8th). On the 
26th of June he wrote from there that he intended to embark 
in a few days. 4 As all his vessels were not yet assembled, a 

guaranteed by Leo X. and, scde vacante, by the Cardinals, was an 
entirely new and decisive step, j For these details I am gratefully 
indebted to the co-operation of Dr. Goller. 

1 Ortiz in BURMANN, 167-168. The correct date of the first publica- 
tion has been established by DOMARUS in the Hist. Jahrbuch, XVI., 
76. The second publication followed on September 25, 1522, at Rome, 
as given in the concluding notice of the Roman impression of the 
"Regulae," 1522. Melchior de Baldasinis took part in the redaction 
of the " Regulae" ; see GOLLER in Archiv f. Kirchenrecht, LXXXVI. 
(1906), 21. 

2 See SANUTO, XXXIII., 303 sey., 306 seq. ; cf. 301. GACHARD, 
Corresp., 82 seqq., 92 seqq. ; Corp. dipl. Port., II., 77, 79, 80. 

3 See the *letter in the Secret Archives of the Vatican, Appendix, 
No. 5. 

4 Habemus parata omnia, quae ad navigationem nostram necessaria 


new delay arose^'and not until the 8th of July was the Pope 
able to take ship, in spite of the excessive heat, in the 
neighbouring port of Ampolla. His departure was so 
unexpected that the greater part of the suite did not reach 
the harbour until nightfall. Owing to unfavourable 
weather it was impossible to sail for Tarragona before 
the loth of July. 2 Here again a stoppage took place, a 
sufficient number of ships not being available. At last, 
on the evening of the 5th of August, the fleet put out to 
sea. The hour of departure was kept a secret. \ On board 
were Cardinal Cesarini, representing the Sacred College, 
Mendoza on behalf of the Emperor, and nearly two 
thousand armed men, The galley which conveyed Adrian 
was recognizable by its awning of crimson damask, 
bearing the Papal escutcheon. 3 

In addition to Marino Caracciolo, who was already 
resident at the court of Charles, Adrian VI. had, on the 
1 5th of July, 4 sent to the Emperor another intimate friend 
in the person of Bernardo Pimentel. Charles, who had 
landed at Santander on the i6th of July, despatched to the 
Pope as his representative Herr von Zevenbergen, who, 
among numerous other matters, was to express the Em- 
peror's wish to see Adrian in person before he left Spain. 

sunt et intra paucos dies adjuvante Domino velificaturi sumus. . Letter 
to N. N. (perhaps the College of Cardinals), dated Dertusae, 1522, 
June 26. Copy in the Library, Mantua, Lett, di div. 

1 Cf. *the letter of Girolamo Adorno to the Archbishop of Capua of 
July 10, 1522 (Library, Mantua, loc. cit.\ Adrian's exhortation to 
peace addressed to Charles, July 4, in Compt. rend, de la commiss. 
d'hist, 3 Series, III., 299. 

2 From Tarragona Adrian VI. addressed a laudatory letter to Alb. 
Pio of Carpi ; see SEMPER, Carpi, 14 scq. 

3 Cf. ORTIZ, Itinerarium, 173 seqq. ; HOFLER, 178 seqq., 188. 

4 See Adrian's letter of July 15, 1522, in Compt. rend, de la commiss. 
d'hist., 3 Series, III., 300. 


Adrian, however, on various pleas, evaded the fulfilment 
of this wish. In a letter of the 27th of July he assured 
the Emperor of his great desire to effect a meeting, but 
that he was reluctant to suggest a rapid journey in the 
great heat, and that he himself could not wait longer, as 
his departure for Rome had, in other ways, been so long 
delayed. 1 

Since Adrian, previously, had expressed a repeated wish 
to see the Emperor before he left Spain, this excuse was 
hardly sufficient to explain the fact, 2 which was everywhere 
attracting attention, that the Pope, after a month's delay, 
had embarked at the very moment of Charles's arrival on 
Spanish soil. Reasons were not wanting why Adrian 
should avoid a personal interview. He knew well that 
Charles disapproved of his dealings with France ; he also 
may have feared that Charles would remind him of other 
wishes now impossible to gratify. Among the latter was 
the nomination of new Cardinals, a point urgently pressed 
by Charles, and refused in the letter of excuse above 
mentioned. But of greater weight than all these con- 
siderations was Adrian's regard for that position of im- 
partiality which, as ruler of the Church, he had determined 
to adopt ; he would not give the French King cause to 
suppose that by such an interview he was transferring to 
the side of his adversary the support of the Holy See. 3 
But in order that the Emperor might not be offended, 
Adrian wrote again, on the 5th of August, from on board 
ship, an affectionate letter, containing, together with valu- 
able advice, a further apology for his departure ; letters 
from Rome and Genoa had informed him how necessary 

1 LANZ, I., 63. 

- Cf. letter of Negri of August 15, 1522, in Lett. d. princ., I., 
1 06. 
3 Cf. BAUMGARTEN, II., 218. 


his presence in Italy was. Their different ways of looking 
at the relations with France were also touched upon : he 
knew well that the Emperor was averse to a treaty with 
France until the French King's plumage, real or borrowed, 
was closely clipped, so that he could not direct his flight 
wherever his fancy pleased him ; " but we also take into 
consideration the dangers now threatening Christendom 
from the Turk, and are of opinion that the greater dangers 
should be first attacked. If we protect and defend the 
interests of our faith, even at the loss of our worldly 
advantage, instead of meeting the evils of Christendom 
with indifference, the Lord will be our helper." 1 

Although the fleet on which Adrian was bound for Italy 
consisted of fifty vessels, the coast-line was followed the 
whole way for safety. JAt Barcelona the reception was | 
cordial, but at Marseilles it was impossible to stop owing to 
distrust of the French. The Pope kept the feast of the 
Assumption at S. Stefano al Mare, near San Remo ; at 
Savona the Archbishop Tommaso Riario showed all the 
splendid hospitality of a prelate of the Renaissance. From 
the i/th to the ipth of August Adrian stayed in Genoa 
comforting the inhabitants, on whom the visitations of war 
had fallen heavily. Here came to greet him the Duke of 
Milan and the Commanders-in-Chief of the Imperialists, 
Prospero Colonna, the Marquis of Pescara, and Antonio da 
Leyva. 2 

1 GACHARD, Corresp., 103 seq. ; HOFLER, i&o segg. 

2 See ORTIZ, Itinerarium, 178 segg., 182 segg., 185 segg.; further, 
GACHARD, Corresp., 107 seq. Adrian's letter here published shows 
the incorrectness of the account that the Pope had refused absolution 
to the Imperial Commanders-in-Chief. HOFLER, 185, had already 
called attention to this ; notwithstanding, LEPITRE, 209, repeats this 
false statement. A brief *of Adrian to the Marquis of Mantua, " ex 
triremi," August 11, 1522, relating to his journey, is to be found in the 
original in the Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 


Tlu- pivsa^e to Leghorn was hindered by stormy 
uvather, and the Pope was detained for four days in the 
harbour of Portofino. Amid incessant fear of attacks from 
Turkish pirates, Leghorn was reached at last on the 23rrl 
of August. 1 Here Adrian was received in state by the 
representatives of the States of the Church 2 and five 
Tuscan Cardinals : Medici, Petrucci, Passerini, Ridolfi, and 
Piccolomini. The latter were in full lay attire, wearing 
Spanish hats and carrying arms ; for this the Pope seriously 
rebuked them. 3 When he was offered the costly service 
of silver with which the banquet table in the citadel 
had been spread, he replied: ''Here, of a truth, the i 
Cardinals fare like kings ; may they inherit better treasures 
in heaven." 4 He disregarded the entreaties of Cardinal 
Medici and the Florentines that he should visit Pisa and 
Florence and at first make Bologna his residence, on 
account of the plague. " To Rome, to Rome," 5 he replied, 
" I must needs go." The presence of the plague there 
caused him no anxiety ; 6 with the first favourable wind 
he made haste to embark, without informing the Cardinals, 
who were sitting over their dinner. 7 

Late in the evening, on the 25th of August, Adrian lay 

1 See ORTIZ, Itinerarium, 188 seq. t and report of M. da Silva in 
Corp. dipl. Port., II., 91: 

2 Cf. CHIESI, 107. 

3 CAPPELLETTI, II p Adriano VI. a Livorno, in Miscell, Livorn, I. 
(1894), 3- 

4 TIXIO, *Hist. Senen, loc. cit. Chigi Library, Rome. 

5 See SANUTO, XXXIII., 426, 431. Cf. *letter of T. Campeggio to 
I'.oln-na, Rome, September II, 1522 (State Archives, Bologna). 

G The Florentine envoys were enjoined to make special reference 
to the danger from plague in Rome : see *Instruttione ai m. ambasc. 
deputati a far reverentia alia S ta di N. S. quando sara arrivata ad 
Livorno, deliberata adi 16 di Augusto, 1522. State Archives, Florence. 

' Jovius, Vita Adriani VI. 


off Civita Vecchia, and on the following morning set foot for 
the first time on the soil of the Papal States. A great 
concourse of persons, among whom were many members 
of the Curia, awaited him on the shore ; Cardinals Colonna 
and Orsini were present to represent the Sacred College. 1 
To the greetings of the former the Pope made a short but 
suitable reply. Here, as in all other places visited on his 
journey, he first made his way to the cathedral ; thence 
he proceeded to the Rocca, where he took a midday collation 
and held audiences. By the 27th of August the Pope was 
again on board. To the beggars who pressed around him 
he said : " I love poverty, and you shall see what I will do 
for you.") Head-winds made the landing at Ostia on the 
28th of August a matter of difficulty. Adrian, in a small 
boat, with only six companions, was the first to gain the 
land ; he sprang ashore without assistance, and with al- 
most youthful alacrity. Here also he visited the church 
without delay and prayed. The Cardinals had prepared a 
repast in the Castle, but the Pope declined their invitation. 
He ate alone, and, at once mounting a mule, made his way 
I to the cloister of St. Paul without the Walls. The 
Cardinals and the others who accompained him followed 
in the greatest disorder, through mud and heat, the 
rapid progress of the Pontiff, who was met on his way 

1 G. de' Medici reports from Rome, August 9, 1522: *Hanno li 
prefati r mi [Cardinali] ordinato una intimatione a tutti li cardinali 
absentati da Roma, che si debbino trovar qua e alii r mi Orsino e 
Colonna che come legati debbino inviarsi alia volta di Civitavechia 
per incontrar S. S ta , dove per breve al s. collegio fa intender voler 
venire a di lungo senza far posata in loco alcuno, e di li si deliberera, 
se vorrk andare alia volta di Viterbo o quello vorra fare. On August 
21 : ^Yesterday Cardinal Colonna departed; to-day Orsini is to 
follow. August 25 : Several Cardinals and a great number of the 
Court have gone to Civita Vecchia. State Archives, Florence. 


by sightseers moved by curiosity, and by the Swiss 

guard carrying a litter. Into this he got reluctantly, 

but suddenly quitted it and again mounted his mule. His 

vigorous bearing astonished all who saw him, for during 

the voyage and even after his arrival Adrian had felt so ill f 

that many were afraid he would not recover ; having 

reached his journey's end, he seemed to regain youth and 

strength. He rode in front in animated conversation with 

the Ambassador Manuel. " His face is long and pale," 

writes the Venetian Envoy ; " his body is lean, his hands 

are snow-white. His whole demeanour impresses one with 

reverence ; even his smile has a tinge of seriousness." 1 All 

who saw the Pope for the first time were struck by his 

ascetic appearance. In a letter sent to Venice the writer 

says, " I could have sworn that he had become a monk." 2 

The plague being unabated in Rome, many advised the 1 
Pope to be crowned in St. Paul's. Adrian refused, and 
decided that the ceremony should take place in St. Peter's 
with all possible simplicity; the coronation over, he 
intended to remain in Rome notwithstanding the plague, 3 
since he desired by his presence to tranquillize his /' 
sorely afflicted subjects and to restore order in the city. / 
Owing to the Pope's absence and the outbreak of the , 
pestilence, a majority of the court had left Rome, so that \ 

1 SANUTO, XXXIII., 434-435; cf. 426 seq., 430. *Letter of A. 
Taurelli of August 27 in State Archives, Modena. *Letter of G. de' 
Medici of August 28, 1522, in State Archives, Florence. Ortiz, in 
BUR MANN, 792. BREWER, III., 2, n. 2771. HOFLER, 188 seq. 

2 SANUTO, XXXIII., 432. 

3 On August 23, 1522, G. de' Medici was able to report : *It is not 
yet decided whether the coronation is to take place in St. Paul's or 
St. Peter's ; "nel uno luogo e altro si fa preparatione, la qual sara con 
poco ceremonia e manco spesa ; ancora che la peste vadia continuando 
al far danno, questi ministri di S. S ta dicono fara la incoronatione a 
S. Pietro et che sua B ta si fermera in Roma." State Archives, Florence. 

VOL. IX. 5 


Castiglione compared the city to a plundered abbey. 1 
The state of affairs was utterly chaotic ; while the faithful 
had recourse to litanies and processions, a Greek named 
Demetrius was allowed to go through the farce of exorcis- 
ing the plague by means of an oath sworn over an ox, 
whereupon the Papal Vicar at last interfered, 2 for it was 
understood that Adrian was rapidly approaching, and his 
arrival on the following day was even looked upon as 

On the 29th of August, at a very early hour, the Pope 
said a low Mass as he had never omitted to do even amid 
the difficulties of the voyage and afterwards presented 
himself to the Cardinals in the noble transept of St. Paul's. 
He received them all with a friendly smile, but singled out 
no one for special recognition. Then followed the first 
adoration of .the Sacred College in the small sacristy 
adjoining. 3 { On this occasion Carvajal, as Dean and 
Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia, delivered an address, in which 
he frankly bewailed the calamities called down upon the 

1 Letter of August 16, 1522 : "Roma pare una abatia spogliata per 
esserse partito un numero infinito de persone" (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua). For the bad conditions prevalent in Rome owing to the 
Pope's absence, see *the letter of A. Taurelli, dated Rome, June 7, 
1522, in State Archives, Modena. 

2 Cf., with Negri's letter (Lett. d. Princ., I., io6 b ), the account in 
SANUTO, XXX 1 1 1., 401, 402-403. GREGOROVIUS (VIII., 3rd edit., 
389) has overlooked the latter, and therefore believes BIZARUS (Hist. 
Gen., XIX., 456), who states that an ox was sacrificed to the demons 
in the Coloseum by Demetrius. That Adrian VI. could not, as one of 
his enemies asserts, have sanctioned such superstitions, is shown by 
his, " Sanctio in magos " and his other measures against magic and devil- 
worship. Cf. RAYNALDUS, 1522, n. 15, 1523, n. 87 ; Bull., V., 24 seq. ; 
CANTU, Storia di Como, io5 ; LEPITRE, 318 seq. Cf. SOLDAN-HEPPE, 
I., 515, and HANSEN, Quellen zur Gesrhichte den Hexenwahns, 
34 seq. 

3 SANUTO, XXXIII., 428, 431. 


Church by the election of unworthy and simoniacal Popes, 
iind welcomed Adrian the more joyfully inasmuch as he had 
been chosen by other means. Although in the presence of 
such a Chief Pastor no special exhortations were necessary, 
he would yet ask him to lay seven points to heart: first, to 
remove simony, ignorance, and tyranny, and all other vices 
which deform the Church, while turning to good counsellors 
and keeping a firm hand on those in office ; secondly, to 
reform the Church in accordance with her Councils and 
Canons, so far as the times permitted ; thirdly, to honour 
and exalt the good Cardinals and prelates, and have a 
care for the poor; fourthly, to see to the impartial adminis- 
tration of justice and to confer offices on the best men ; 
fifthly, to support the faithful, especially the nobility and 
the religious orders, in their necessities ; sixthly, the 
speaker touched on the duty of opposing the Turks in 
their threatened attacks on Hungary and Rhodes ; to do 
this an armistice among the Christian princes and the 
levy of money for a crusade were indispensable. In con- 
clusion, Carvajal urged the reconstruction of St. Peter's, 
which to his great grief had been pulled down. If the 
Pope fulfilled these conditions, his glory would shine forth 

]^J)efore God and men. 1 

In his short reply the Pope thanked the Cardinals for 
his election and explained the reasons of his late arrival, 
at the same time stating his agreement with the programme 
of reform so comprehensively unfolded by Carvajal ; he"' 
then asked the Cardinals to waive their right to give asylum 

Lto criminals ; to this all consented. The second adoration 
in the basilica of St. Paul then followed, and in a further 
speech Adrian impressively adjured the Cardinals, prelates, 

1 See HOFLER, 193 seq. He published the original text in the 
Abhandl. der Munchener Akad., IV., 3, 57-62. The codex of the 
Vallicelliana Library, which Hofler more closely follows, is signed J 49. 


envoys, and Roman dignitaries present to help him with 
their prayers. 

The extraordinary strength of character at once exhibited 
by the new Pope aroused attention. Out of the numerous 
petitions presented to him he only countersigned those sub- 
mitted to him by the conclavists. When Ascanio Colonna 
ventured to intercede for Lelio della Valle, who had 
committed a murder, Adrian replied : " Pardons for cases 
of murder will not be given except for very weighty reasons, 
and after hearing the case of the injured parties. We are 
determined to listen to both sides, since it is our intention 
to see that justice is done, though we perish in the 
attempt." Then a palafreniere whom Adrian had brought 
with him from Spain asked for a canonry. " Canonries," he 
was told, "will be given only to those who can be residentiary, 
not to palafrenieri." Even the Bishop of Pesaro, on 
applying for a canonry in St. Peter's, was met with a flat 
refusal ; to Cardinal Campeggio, who expressed a similar 
wish, Adrian replied, " We will see." All sales of dispensa- 
tions the Pope absolutely refused ; the favours which 
were in his power to bestow he preferred to bestow freely. 
When, finally, the palafrenieri of Leo X. thronged round 
him in a body, and on their knees begged to be reinstated 
in their office, he merely gave a sign with his hand that 
they might arise. To the Romans, who intended to set up 
a triumphal arch in his honour at the Porta Portese. he 
intimated his desire that they would discontinue the works, 
since such an erection was heathenish and out of keeping 
with Christian piety. The deputation of the city magis- 
trates was met with words of encouragement in view of the 
prevailing pestilence. " The inhabitants," he remarked, 
" must be of good cheer ; he personally would be satisfied 
i with very little." 1 

1 See SANUTO, XXXIII., 428, 431, 435-436; ORTIZ, Itinerarium, 


Although, at Adrian's express wish, all extravagant dis- 
play was avoided on his entry into Rome, the inhabitants 
would not allow themselves to be prevented from decorat- 
ing their houses with tapestries. Delighted, at the end of 
nine long months, to look once again upon their Pope, they 
went out to meet him with acclamations of joy. Adrian 
was carried as far as the Porta S. Paolo; there he mounted 
a white charger. At the Church of S. Celso he was met by 
a procession of children with the picture of the Madonna 
del Portico, which, during thirteen days, had been carried 
through Rome on account of the plague. Adrian not only 
removed his hat, but also his skull-cap, and bent low before 
the sacred picture, while the Cardinals only slightly un- 
covered. While the cannon thundered from St. Angelo, the 
procession wended its way under the burning August sun to 
the basilica of the Prince of the Apostles. On the following 
Sunday, the 3ist of August, the coronation took place in 
St. Peter's with the customary ceremonial. On account of 
the plague the concourse of people was not so great as 
usual. The festivities, which were carried out with 
economy, passed off quietly, but the coronation banquet, 
without being lavish, was not stinted. On rising from 
table the Pope passed into an adjoining room and 
conversed with the Cardinals ; he then withdrew to his 
own apartments. 

The Pope's first edict proscribed under heavy penalties 

the wearing of arms in the city and banished all disorderly 

persons from Rome. A second ordinance forbade ecclesi- 

I astics to grow beards, a fashion which made them look 


i<;5 scqq.-, BREWER, III., 2, n. 2521 ; NEGRI in Lett. d. princ., I., 
107; **Letters of G. de' Medici of August 29 and 31, 1522 (State 
Archives, Florence) ; Blasius de Martinellis, Diarium in CANCELLIERI, 
>essi, 86 seq. Cf. HoFLER, 194 scq. ; LEPITRE. 210 scq. ; CREIGH- 
TON, V., 


more like soldiers than priests. Such simplicity, piety, and 
determination as were displayed by the new Pope had 
never before been seen by the members of the Curia. 1 
They were in sharp contrast to the excessive display, the 
brilliant secularity, and the refined culture which had 
pervaded the court of Leo X. 

While the Cardinals, prelates, and courtiers of the last 
pontificate murmured in secret, unbiassed observers did not 
refrain from expressing their approval of the new Pope. 
His exemplary and holy life, his great simplicity, piety, and 
love of justice made a deep impression even on those who 
were disposed to -watch him with critical eyes. 2 " Adrian," 
one of this class reports, " is a friend of learning, especially 
theology. He cannot suffer ignorant priests. His time is 
divided with strict regularity between prayer and official 
work. He has only two personal attendants, Netherlanders 
and homely fellows ; in other respects his retinue is com- 
posed of as few persons as is possible." To the Cardinals 
who begged that he would maintain a household more be- 
fitting his rank, he replied that that was impossible until 
he had first discharged his predecessor's debts. When he 
was informed that Leo had employed a hundred pala- 
frenieri, he made the sign of the cross and said that foul- 
would suffice for all his needs, but as it was unseemly that 
he should have fewer than a Cardinal, he would appoint 
twelve. It was the general opinion that the new Pope's 

1 SANUTO, XXXIII., 429, 431, 437-438 ; Blasius de Martinellis in 
GATTICUS, 285 seqq. ; Ortiz in BuRMANN, 195-199 : Lett. d. princ, I., 
io; b ; German accounts in REDLICH, Niirnberg Reichstag, 6; ^Letters 
of G. de' Medici of August 31, 1522, in State Archives, Florence ; *Letter 
of A. Taurelli, August 31, 1522, in State Archives, Modena ; ^Report of 
T. Campeggio to Bologna, September 1 1, 1522, State Archives, Bologna. 

2 See especially, for what follows, Negri's letter in SANUTO, XXXIII., 
429-430 ; cf. Lett. d. princ., I., 108. 


outward appearance was at once dignified and agreeable; 
although he was in his sixty-fourth year he did not look 
more than sixty. He always spoke Latin and, as the 
Italians did not fail to remark, correctly, seeing that he was 
a " barbarian " ; his guttural pronunciation gave less satis- ^- [i 
faction. In contrast to Leo X.'s love of recreation, it was 
observed by all that Adrian did not abate, as Pope, his 
strict mode of living and, as the Venetian Ambassador 
remarked, set thereby a thoroughly edifying example. 

The Spaniard Blasio Ortiz said that he had seen 
nothing bad in the Pope, who was a mirror of all the virtues. 1 
A strict observer of the canonical hours, Adrian rose in 
the night to say Matins, returned again to his bed, and was 
up again by daybreak ready to say Mass and attend that 
of his chaplain. That a Pope should offer the holy sacri- 
fice daily was such an innovation that even chroniclers of 
a later day call special attention to this evidence of 
Adrian's piety. 2 An hour in the forenoon was devoted to 
audiences, which Adrian usually gave in the study, lined 
with books, adjoining his bedchamber. His dinner and 
supper, which he always ate alone, were of the utmost 
simplicity ; a dish of veal or beef, sometimes a soup, 4 . 
sufficed : on fast days he had fish only. On his personal / 
wants he spent as little as possible ; 3 it was even said that 
he ate off small platters like a poor village priest. 4 An old 
woman servant, from the Netherlands, looked after the 
cooking and washing. After his meal he took a siesta, then 

1 BURMANN, 228. 

2 Cf. LANCELLOTTI, I., 423 ; cf. supra^ p. 52. 

3 Gradenigo's saying, that Adrian spent only a ducat a day on his 
meals, is an exaggerated piece of gossip ; see in Appendix, No. 19, 
L. Cati's report of March 21, 1523 (State Archives, Modena). 

' This comparison is found in the rare narrative "Wie der hi. Vater 
I*. Adrianus eingeritten ist zu Rom" (1522). 


finished what remained to be said of his office, and again 
gave audiences. Conscientious in the extreme, circumspect 
and cautious in his dealings, Adrian, suddenly plunged into 
an entirely new set of circumstances, appeared to be want- 
ing in resolution. It was further deplored that he was dis- 
inclined to relax his studious habits, not only of reading but 
of writing and composing, for these, combined with his 
love of solitude, made him difficult of access. Moreover, his 
curt manner of speech was very displeasing to the loquacious 
Italians. 1 Adrian's capital offence, however, in the eyes of 
the Curia, lay in his being a foreigner. All Italians of that 
period prided themselves on their high culture ; they looked 
down with contempt on the natives of all other countries, 
and specially on the coarse " barbarians " of Germany. 
And now in Rome, hitherto the centre of the Renaissance 
of art and letters, one of these barbarians was ruling and 
would settle the direction Italian politics should follow. 

The antagonism of nationality between Adrian and the 
Italians was further intensified by the circumstance that the 
Pope was now too far advanced in years to adapt himself 
to those things around him which were indifferent in them- 
selves and of minor importance. With the speech and social 
habits of those amongst whom he had come to sojourn 
he never became familiar; 2 there was even a touch of 
pedantry in his obstinate clinging to his former way of 
living. His long years of professorial duty had cut him 
off completely from the charm of manner and social 
address on which the Italians set so much value. Even 
in Rome he remained the same quiet, dry scholar, devoted 

1 See the Venetian accounts in ALBERI, 2 Series, III., 74 seq.^ and 
112 ; JoviUS, Vita Adriani VI. 

2 Adrian always spoke in Latin (see ^Report by Bart. Prosperi., 
September 21, 1522), as he was not sufficiently acquainted with Italian 
(see *letter of Enea Pio, October 5, 1522, State Archives, Modena). 


to the seclusion of his study and easily put out of humour 
by the bustle of general society. The homeliness of 
Adrian's person and his austere asceticism compared with 
Leo X., presented a contrast a greater than which it is 
impossible to conceive. This contrast, conspicuous from 
every point of view, was especially noticeable in Adrian's 
attitude towards the culture of the Italian Renaissance. 

All persons of culture were then filled with enthusiasm 
for the art of antiquity. But Adrian, whose turn of mind 
was pre-eminently serious and unimpassioned, was so 
absolutely insensible to such forms of beauty that he 
looked upon them merely as the debris of paganism. To 
his exclusively religious temperament the array of gleam- 
ing marbles set up by his predecessors in the Belvedere 
afforded not the slightest interest. When the group of 
the Laocoon, 1 then considered the most remarkable of 
these works of art, was pointed out to him, he observed in 
his dry manner : " After all, they are only the effigies of 
heathen idols." This might be regarded as merely a bit 
of gossip if the anecdote were not well authenticated. 2 
" I Ic will soon," said Girolamo Negri, Cardinal Cornaro's 
secretary, " be doing as Gregory the Great did, and order 
the antique statuary to be burned into lime for the build- 
ing of St. Peter's." 3 As a matter of fact, he sold some 
antiques, 4 and had all the entrances to the Belvedere 

*Opus omnibus et picturae et statuariae artis praeponendum, says 
Ti/io, *Hist. Senen., loc. cit. (Chigi Library, Rome). 

>t only by JoviUS (Vita Adriani VI.), whose authority would not 
be sufficient, but by G. Negri in his letter, March 17, 1523, Lett. d. 
I'rinc., I., 113. 

3 Lett. d. princ., 113. 

4 I take this from Gabbioneta's *report. On July 27, 1523, he reports 
that he had thanked the Pope "per el dono delle imagine marmoree," 
and that Adrian had replied " Fecimus libenter et libcntissime." On 


walled up save one, the key of which he kept in his own 
custody. 1 

The magnificent art of the Renaissance also seemed to be 
a closed book to Adrian. The continuation of the paintings 
in the Hall of Constantine was stopped, 2 and Raphael's 
pupils had to seek employment elsewhere. 3 And yet 
Adrian was not totally wanting in artistic culture ; 4 but to 
his northern taste the Italian art of the Renaissance was 
unpalatable. He ordered a Dutch painter, Jan Scorel, 5 

October 29 Gabbioneta writes : *Mando per doi garzioni del Furia la 
tavola marmorea, la qual dono papa Adriano (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua). Cf. also GAVE, II., 155. 

1 Cf. the Venetian narrative in ALBERT, 2 Series, III., 114. 

2 A ^Letter of Castiglione's, December 21, 1521 (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua), shows how certainly the completion of this work was 
counted on. 

3 Vasari has many hard things to say of Adrian on this account. 
His statement that the latter had compared the Sixtine Chapel to a 
bathing-place full of naked figures, and had expressed his intention of 
tearing the pictures down, is sufficiently suspect in view of the silence 
of Giovio, who was unfriendly to Adrian VI. Since CROWE-CAVAL- 
CASELLE (VI., 399 seg.) and STEINMANN (Sixtinische Kapelle, II., 231- 
515) give credence to Vasari, I call attention to the fact that none of 
the envoys to the Papal Court mention any such circumstance. The 
Mantuan agents, who showed so much interest in matters of art, would 
certainly have informed their court if the Pope had a design of this sort 
in mind. The whole story is either a fable of Vasari's or an invention 
of Adrian's numerous enemies. 

4 MUNTZ, Hist, de 1'Art, III., 37, seems to believe this. He is also 
wrong in calling Adrian "ennemi des lettres et des livres" in his Bibl. 
du Vatican, 64 ; cf. also Giorn. di lett. Ital., IX., 453. 

6 Cf. HANN, Meister Jan Scorel und das Obervellacher Altarbild, 
Klagenfurt, 1888 ; TOMAN, Studien iiber J. Scorel, Leipzig, 1889; Zeit- 
schrift fur bildende Kunst, XXL, 83 seq. ; GRAVENITZ, Deutsche in 
Rom., 109 ; see JACKSCH, Die Scorelsche Altartafel zu Obervellach, 
Klagenfurt, 1890; JANSSEN- PASTOR, VI., i2th edit, 109^^.5 JANIT- 
SCHEK, Geschichte der Malerei, 521 ; WURZBACH, Gesch. der holland. 


to paint his portrait. 1 Moreover, his interest in the 
icss of the reconstruction of St. Peter's 2 was sincere, 
although here again his point of view was religious rather 
than artistic. Another circumstance which contradicts 
the notion that Adrian held uncivilized views about art 
is the fact that, in spite of his monetary distress, he 
redeemed the tapestries of Raphael which had been 
pledged on the death of Leo X., 3 and restored them once 
more to the Sixtine Chapel on the anniversary celebra- 
tion of his coronation. 4 

Malerei (1885), 62, who, however, is hardly able to adduce proof for his 
statement that Adrian had appointed Scorel "director of his art 

1 ALBERI, 2 Series, III., 205. There is at the present time a portrait 
of Adrian by Scorel in the Senate Hall of the University of Louvain. 
Another, attributed to Scorel, in the Museum, Utrecht. Cf. Zeitschr. 
fiir bildende Kunst, XVIII., 51 seqq. ; see also MOES, Iconogr. Batava, 
I., 4; Jahrb. der preuss. Kunstsamml., I., 197, and the "Adler" 
periodical, 1882, 26, quoted above, p. 35, note i. In the Rijks Museum 
in Amsterdam there is a life-size portrait (No. 539) of Adrian VI. in 
full pontificals. This is a copy of an original portrait in the National 
Museum at the Hague ; see BREDIUS, Catalog, d. Schilderijen in het 
Rijks-Museum te Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 1887, 68. The portrait of 
the Pope presented to the Cathedral Chapter of Utrecht is copied 
in Burmann edited by Moring. That in the gallery of Naples, the 
so-called Adrian, is a picture of Clement VII.; see WlCKHOFF in 
the Kunstgeschichtl. Anz., 1904, 98. Adrian's noble and venerable 
traits are strikingly reproduced in one of his medals. There is 
a fine specimen in the Cabinet of Coins in Vienna. For coins and 
medals of Adrian see ClNAGLl, 89 seq. ; K6HLER, Eine Miinze Papst 
Hadrians VI., Niirnberg, 1730; and ARMAND, II., 114^., III., 144, 
198 seq, 

2 Cf. SANUTO, XXXIII., 438, and *letter of G. M. della Porta, 
October I, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

3 Cf. our remarks, Vol. VIII. of this work, p. 298. 

s This hitherto unknown fact has come to light through a *Report 
of L. Cati, dated Rome, September 2, 1523, part of which, unfortunately, 


Adrian was not at home amidst the splendour of the 
Vatican, and from the first had felt disinclined to occupy 
it. He wished to have, as a dwelling, a simple house 
with a garden. The Imperial Ambassador reports with 
amazement this strange project of the newly elected Pope 
to whom God had given the noblest palaces in Rome. 1 
No small astonishment was likewise caused by Adrian's 
abstention from any signs of favour towards the swarm 
of accomplished poets and humanists with whom Leo X. 
had been so much associated. Although not indifferent 
to the elegance of a fine Latin style, the practical Nether- 
lander thought little of the gifts of the versifiers ; he even 
sought opportunities for evincing his contempt for them. 
On appointing Paolo Giovio to a benefice at Como, the 
Pope remarked that he conferred this distinction upon 
him because Giovio was an historian and not a poet. 
What Adrian took especial exception to in the humanist 
poets of his day was the lax habit of life of the majority, 
and their frivolous coquetry with the spirit of heathen 
mythology. Leo X., in his enthusiastic admiration of 
beauty, had overlooked such excrescences; the serious- 
minded Teuton rightly judged them by a standard of 
much greater severity. 2 Yet his reaction was carried too 
far. He discriminated too little between the good and 
the bad elements in humanism ; even Sadoleto, with his 
excellence and piety, found no favour in his eyes. He 
caused simple amazement by his depreciatory criticism of 

has been destroyed by fire. The following, however, is legible : *N. 
S re cossi come ha facto de 1' altre cose recuperato da quelli mercatanti, 
cossi anche ha voluto mostrar quelle cortine, che fece far papa Leone 
secondo un dissegno di Raphael d' Urbino et a quella proxima capella 
le ha fatto metter fuori. State Archives, Modena. 

1 BERGENROTH, II., n. 392. 

2 JOVIUS, Vita Adriani VI. ; Schulte, I., 230. 


the letters, the theme of general admiration, remarking 
that they were letters of a poet. 1 

Adrian was completely a stranger in the midst of the 
intellectual culture of which Leo's reign had been the 
culminating point. His entrance into Rome was followed 
by an abrupt transition, all the more strongly felt since the 
Medici Pope had flung himself without reserve into every 
tendency of the Renaissance. Loud were the laments over 
the new era and its transformation of the Vatican, once 
echoing with the voices of literature and art, into a silent 
cloister. All Adrian's admirable qualities were forgotten ; 
he was looked upon only as a foreigner, alien to the 
arts, manners, and politics of Italy, and his detachment 
from the literati and artists of Italy was not merely the 
outcome of a want of intelligent sympathy with the 
Renaissance ; the shortness of his reign and his financial 
difficulties hindered him from the exercise of any liberal 
patronage. 2 His contemporaries shut their eyes to this 

1 Negri in Lett. d. princ., I., 113, who sees in this expression a 
"beffeggiare della eloquenza." How little Adrian's earnestness was 
appreciated by the orators of the day is shown by the *Oratio de 
passione Domini in Cod. Vat., 8106, f. 53 seq. (Vatican Library), in 
which the apostrophe "Te dive Adriane" occurs, an expression which 
must certainly have been abhorrent to the Pope. Still more so were 
the unmeasured praises of Balbi (Zeitschr. ftir schles. Gesch., XIX., 
169). An oration and a sermon delivered before Adrian VI. exist in 
very rare copies : I. Earth. Arnolphini Oratio habita in publ. consist, ad 
Adrianum VI. P. M. pro obedientia reipubl. Lucen. ; s.l. et a. 2. Ue 
Christi passione oratio lo. Mariae archiepiso Sipontini habita in sacello 
pontif. ad Hadrianum VI. P. M. ac ampliss. card, senatum 1523, III. 
Non. April. Romae, 1597. The *Oratio Raynaldi Petruccii ad 
Adrianum VI. on the occasion of the homage of the Sienese in Cod. 
Vat., 3578 (Vatican Library). 

- Muntz informed me in 1900 that in the accounts of Adrian VI. he 
had only found one entry of expenditure on art ; but that was one highly 
characteristic of this pious Pope. *In October 1522 he paid a gold- 


impossibility ; they laid all the blame on the " barbarism " 
of the foreigner. 

Nor was less offence taken at his foreign surroundings. 


smith " per fare due angeli et una corona a la nostra donna." I also 
found in *Div. cam., 71, f. 226 b , of the Sec. Arch, of the Vatican, a 
*permit of the chamberlain's to Evangelista de Torquatis civ. Rom. D. 
Romae in cam. apost., 18 Julii 1523, pontif. Adriano VI. pro abstergenda, 
decoranda et siligenda via S. Spiritus de urbe. Cf. the permit of 
July 24, 1523, in Div. cam., 74, f. 34. MOLL, Kerkhist. Archief, II., 
45, mentions an organ sent by Adrian VI. to the Netherlands. The 
arms of Adrian VI. on the fagade of the Palazzo Pubblico at Foligno 
appear to indicate that he had been a supporter of the building in 
some way. Literary dedications to Adrian VI. are not numerous ; 
together with the work of Cardinal Cajetan mentioned above, p. 26, n. 4, 
and the writing of Guillielmus Valla Rhegiensis on the Exarchate of 
Italy, which H. SAUER (Gottingen Diss., 1905) has recently discussed 
(to the MSS. mentioned here, on p. 16, must be added : Ottob. 2521, 
Urb., 813, f. i seq., and 864, f. 273 seqq., Barb., XXXI 1 1., 97), must 
be added a composition of Hochstraten's against Luther (see LAMMER, 
Vortrid. Theol., 17), as well as one of Eck's (H6FLER, 323), Thomas 
Illyricus (Franciscan), Libellus de potest. s. pontificis, Taurini, 1523 
(with dedication of November 12, 1552), Petri Martyris De insul. in 
mari Oceano a F. Cortesio repert. (*Cod. Vatic., 5795), and loh. 
Ant. Flaminii Epistola ad Adrianum VI., dat. Bononiae, 1523, xv. 
Cal. Martii (original dedication copy in *Cod. Vat., 7754, Vatican 
Library). In a letter *dated December 21, 1522, V. Albergati mentions 
the dedication of another book by Flaminio, a defence of Christianity 
against Judaism, and the payment of the author by the Pope (State 
Archives, Bologna). The monk Romulus de S. Cruce (Fabrianen.) 
dedicated to Adrian VI. the Liber Alberti Magni de ordine universi 
(original dedication copy in *Cod. Vat., 3739, Vatican Library). Also 
in Cod. Ottob., 888 : *Gregorii Mutinen monachi opusculum adversus 
negantes Petrum Romae fuisse, dedicated to Adrian VI. See also 
G. Cortesius, de Itinere Rom. S. Petri ad Adr. VI. (Opera Cort., I., 
213 seq.\ For the oration of George Sauermann, dedicated to the 
German Pope, see Zeitschrift fur schles. Gesch., XIX., 167 seq. ; for 
Ferreri's writing see infra, p. 91, note 2. For the Pope's request to 
Pagnini to undertake a translation of the Bible, cf, WETZER and 


Adrian at first recruited his bodyguard 1 from the 
Spaniards as well as the Swiss. 2 The castellan of St. 
Angelo was a Spaniard. 3 The Pope's domestic servants, 
whose numbers were reduced within the limits of strict 
necessity, were also chiefly composed of non-Italians. 
Thus the hopes of Leo's numerous retainers of all ranks 
of continuing in busy idleness were disappointed. The 
chief objects of complaint and ridicule were the Pope's 
servants from the Low Countries, 4 who contributed not a 
little to estrange the feelings of those around them. Even 
before Adrian's arrival in Rome, his court was con- 
temptuously spoken of as a collection of insignificant 
persons. 5 In reality, the Pope's three principal advisers were 
men of excellent character and no mean endowments. 6 

This was especially the case with Wilhelm van Enkevoirt, 
a native of Mierlo in North Brabant, who, attached to 
Adrian by a friendship of many years' standing, had entered 
the Papal Chancery under Julius II. and subsequently 
became Scriptor apostolic, Protonotary, and Procurator in 
Rome for Charles V. In character Enkevoirt presented 
many points of resemblance with the Pope ; like the latter 
he had a warm affection for his native land, his piety was 

WELTE, Kirchenlex., 1 1., 2 edit., 738. Bat. Fiera dedicated his poem *de 
homine to Adrian and received a letter of thanks ; see DONESMONDi, 
1st. eccl. di Mantova, II., 140 seg. ; TIRABOSCHI, VII., 2, 16, and 3, 167, 
208 ; Giorn. d. lett. Ital, XXXIV., 54-55. 

1 Tizio, *Hist. Senen., loc. cit. (Chigi Library, Rome). 

2 Cf. Anz. f. schweiz. Gesch., 1886, 36. 

3 *Letter of T. Campeggio, September 27, 1522, State Archives, 
Bologna. Cf. the ** brief of September 24, 1522, to Ruffo Teodoli, 
Div. cam., LXXIV., 6, in the Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

4 Cf. for this BERGENROTH, II., n. 490, 540. 

*Con S. S ta non intendo sia huomini di molta auctorita ne intelli- 
gentia. G. de' Medici on August 27, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 
See SCHULTE, I., 230. Cf. also SCHMIDLIN, 276. 


genuine, and he was of studious habits and gentle dis- 
position. 1 One of Adrian's first acts was to bestow the 
important post of Datary on this old friend, 2 who was of 
proved responsibility and thoroughly versed in Roman 
affairs. Enkevoirt had before this been described as one 
with Adrian in heart and soul, 3 and with a zeal which 
often overstepped due limits, took pains to assert his 
position as first and foremost of the Pope's confidential 
advisers. 4 Besides Enkevoirt, Dietrich von Heeze, Johann 
Winkler, and Johann Ingenwinkel had free access to the 
Pope. The last named, from the lower Rhineland, was a 
man of great ability, who knew how to retain office and 
confidence under Clement VII.; he died as Datary of the 
second Medici Pope. 5 Johann Winkler was born in Augs- 

1 The earlier literature on Enkevoirt in BURMANN, 44, notes. Cf. 
also the important essay of ROIJAARDS, Kard. Willem. v. Enkevoirt, 
in Archief v. kerkelijke geschied., IX. (1838), 119-231, overlooked by 
HOFLER and SCHMIDLIN, 265 seq., and F. HAUPTMANN in Bonner 
Archiv, IV. (1892), 37, 64 seq., 96 seq. See also Regesta Leonis X., n. 
8285, 8303, 17716; Lib. confrat. de Anima, 20; PICKS Zeitschr., 7-9, 
Heft, 417; GRAVENITZ, Deutsche in Rom., 130 seq.\ SCHULTE, 
Yuggzr, passim-, DUMONT, Gesch. der Pfarreien der Erzd. Koln, XXIV., 
Koln, 1885,335; Zeitschr. des Aachener Geschichts-vereins, XVIII., 320 
seq., XIX., 2, 116; KALKOFF, Aleander, 65, n. i ; PAQUIER, Aleandre, 
285 ; DE WAAL, Campo Santo, 101 ; PETENEGG, Urk. des Deutschen 
Ordens, 620; Archief v. Haarlem, XL, XIII. ; PERICOLI, S. Maria 
d. Consolaz, 119. 

2 "Amicus meus antiquus et precipuus" he is called by Adrian in 
a brief of February 18, 1522; SANUTO, XXXIIL, 79. The above- 
mentioned appointment of Enkevoirt as Datary, which Manuel had 
already recommended on January u, 1522 (GACHARD, Corresp., 8), 
is announced by G. de' Medici in a letter *of August 27, 1522 (State 
Archives, Florence). 

3 "Corculi et animae dimidium." Aleander to Enkevoirt, MAI, 
Spicil., II., 235. 

4 Cf. infra, pp. 87, 122. 
6 SCHULTE, I., 231. 


; he had already, under Leo X., been notary of the 
Rota, and died, at the beginning of Paul III.'s pontificate, 
a rich and distinguished prelate. 1 

If Winkler, like Ingenwinkel, showed an undue anxiety 
to take care of his own interests in the matter of benefices, 
Dirk (Dietrich) van Heeze, on the contrary, was a thoroughly- 
unselfish and high-minded personality. Originally a friend 
of Erasmus, Heeze, at a later period, did not follow the 
great scholar on the path which, in some respects, was so 
open to question, but took up a decided position on behalf 
of reform on strong Catholic lines. Heeze, who was 
extolled by his contemporaries for profound learning, 
modesty, piety, and earnestness of moral character, was 
placed by Adrian at the head of the Chancery as private 
secretary ; it cost him some trouble to make himself at home 
in the processes of preparing and sending forth the Papal 
briefs. 2 After his patron's early death he left the Curia 
and returned to his own country, and died at Liege as 
Canon of St. Lambert's. 3 Apart from these fellow-country- 

1 For Winkler cf. BERGENROTH, II., n. 490, 502; KALKOFF, 
Aleander, 202, n. i. G. M. della Porta announces in a *letter of 
September 23, 1522 (State Archives, Florence) that Adrian had ap- 
pointed "Giovan Vincle" a " referendario," and that the latter had 
influence. Peregrino mentions the death of " Giovanni Vincleer," in 
a *report to the Marquis of Mantua, dated Rome, July 22, 1 535, as 
having taken place on the previous day ; Winkler held many benefices 
and left 20,000 ducats. Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

2 This is evident from the two samples given by G. M. della Porta 
in a *letter of September 23, 1522 ; otherwise Heeze is also here spoken 
of as "bona et santissima persona." State Archives, Florence. 

3 For Van Heeze see BURMANN, 70, note ; Archief v. kerkelijke 
geschied., IX. (1838), 119 seq. ; BERGENROTH, II., n. 540, 543; DE 
RAM in Anmiaire de 1'Universite de Louvain, 1862, 2j^seq. ; REUSENS 
in the Biogr. Nat., IX., 336 seq. ; DE RAM in Bullet, de la Commiss. 
d'hist., 2 Series, XI., 61 seq., XII., 271 ; v. DOMARUS in Hist. Jahrb. 

VOL. IX. 6 


men, however, Adrian also honoured with his confidence 
some Spaniards, such as Blasio Ortiz, and several Italians; 
the Bishops of Feltre and Castellamare, Tommaso Cam- 
peggio, 1 and Pietro Fiori, and especially Giovanni RufTo 
Teodoli, Archbishop of Cosenza. 2 Girolamo Ghinucci 3 
became an Auditor of the Camera. The Italian, Cardinal 
Campeggio, was also frequently selected by the Pope for 
important transactions. 4 All this the courtiers of Leo X. 
entirely overlooked in order to vent their dislike of the 
Netherlanders : 5 "Men as stupid as stones." 6 Almost 
all the Italians were as unfriendly to these trusted 
councillors of the Pope, whose names they could never 
pronounce aright, as they were to the " foreign " Pontiff 

XVI., 72 seq. ; BACHA in Compte rendu de la commiss. d'hist, XVII., 
Bruxelles, 1890, 125 seq., and especially the valuable treatise, almost 
unknown to Germans, of ALLARD, Dirk Adriaansz van Heeze, Utrecht, 
1884. Cf. also ALLARD, Hezius en Erasmus, Utrecht, 1884; PIEPER 
in Hist. Jahrb., XVI., 779 seq. 

1 V. Albergati, in a ^letter of January 3, 1523, calls him a "prelate 
di bonta, virtu et dottrina " (State Archives, Bologna). 

2 Cf. UGHELLI, V., 377 ; VI., 622 ; IX., 259. G. Ruffo Teodoli was 
summoned to the Pope by a *brief, dated Caesareaugustae, April 
2, 1522 (Cod. 1888, f. 21, Angelica Library, Rome). G. de' Medici had 
already announced, in a ^letter of August 27, 1522, that this prelate 
would have great influence (State Archives, Florence). See also 
BERGENROTH, II., n. 502. To Ruffo Teodoli the rare work of Ant. 
Pontus, Rhomitypion Romae (A. Bladus), 1524, is dedicated. 

3 For Ghinucci see Vol. VII. of this work, p. 363, and UGHELLI, I., 
471 ; many considered that for a long time he had the greatest influence, 
next to Enkevoirt and Heeze. See ALBERI, 2 Series, III., 76. 

4 Cf. BREWER, III., 2, n. 2506. 

5 As early as September 26, 1522, G. M. della Porta was complain- 
ing of Enkevoirt's great influence. He gives the Pope " molte mali 
consigli." *Hora tutti due (Enkevoirt and Winkler) sono odiati gia da 
ognuno (State Archives, Florence). 

6 Lett. d. princ., I., 108. 


himself, whose earnestness and moderation they would not 
understand. They distrusted their influence and pursued 
them with their hatred. 1 The poet Berni expressed the 
ml opinion in his satirical lines: 

*' Ecco che personaggi, ecco che corte 
Che brigate galante cortegiane : 
Copis, Vinci, Corizio et Trincheforte ! 
Nome di for isbigottir un cane." 2 

The repugnance to the stranger Pope grew into bitter 
hatred the further Adrian advanced his plans for a thorough 
reform of the secularized Curia. Had it not been for 
this project, his native origin and character would have 
been as readily forgiven him as had once been the Spanish 
traits and Spanish surroundings of Alexander VI. Ortiz 
hit the mark exactly when he fixed on the efforts at 
reform as the seed-plot of all the odium aroused against 
Adrian VI. 3 

1 Cf. the *letter of G. M. della Porta, dated Rome, September 23, 
1522 (State Archives, Florence). Already, on December 29, 1522, 
Enkevoirt and Heeze had been officially honoured by receiving the 
Roman citizenship. Other Netherlander also were made Roman 
citizens at that time ; see Nuova Antologia, 3 Series, LI., 238. 

RNI, Rime, ed. Virgili, 32. Cf. VlLLARl, Machiavelli, III., 118. 

3 See HOFLER, 208. 



BEFORE he reached Italy Adrian had already announced 
by his words and actions his intention of encountering with 
all his energy the many and grave disorders in religion. 
The numerous memorials and offers of advice addressed 
to him immediately after his election show what high hopes 
had been set on him as a reformer, and to what an extent 
his intentions in this respect had been anticipated. A 
number of these documents have been preserved. They 
differ much in their value and their contents; but all 
recognize the existence of grievous abuses. 

The " Apocalypsis " of Cornelius Aurelius, Canon of 
Gouda, is unusually comprehensive and highly rhetorical. 
This strange document outspokenly describes, in the form 
of a dialogue, the scandalous lives of the clergy, especially of 
the Cardinals, the abuses at Rome, with particular reference 
to those of the Rota, and expresses the confident expecta- 
tion that reform would proceed from Adrian, of all men 
the most just, the chastiser of wrongdoers, the light of the 
world, the hammer of tyrants, the priest of the Most High. 
As the essential means of restoring discipline the writer 
calls in burning words for the summoning of a general 
council such as Adrian himself had already advocated when 
a professor at Louvain. 1 

1 Apocalypsis et visio mirabilis super miserabili statu matris ecclesiae, 
etc., in BURMANN, 259-316. 


J. I.. VIVES. 85 

A similar standpoint was taken in the memorial of Joannes 
Ludovicus Vives, the distinguished humanist who, by birth 
a Spaniard, had, through long years of residence in Louvain 
and I>ru;.vs become almost a Netherlander, and was among 
the number of Adrian's friends. With sound Catholic views, 
I, who had distinguished himself by his writings on 
educational and politico-social subjects, was not blind to 
the transgressions of the clergy. 1 In a document issued at 
Louvain in October 1522, he takes as his text the sentence 
of Sallust, that no Government can be maintained save only 
by those means by which it was established. Vives re- 
quires that the Pope shall, in the sphere of politics, restore 
the peace of Christendom, and in that of religion institute 
a radical reform of the clergy. The latter can only be 
reached by a general council wherein all, even the most 
hidden and therefore most dangerous evils, must come to 
light. If other Popes had avoided a general council as 
though it had been poison, Adrian must not shrink from 
one. Even if the existing tempest had not broken loose, 
the assembling of a council, at which the principal matters 
to be dealt with, would not be theoretical questions but 
the practical reform of morals, would have been necessary ; 
the religious controversy could be relegated to profes- 

1 For Vives compare NAMKCHE in Mem. couron. p. 1'Acad. Roy., 
XV.. r.ruxelles, 1841 ; FRANCKEN, L. Vives, Rotterdam, 1853; Vives' 
works, translated, with treatise on his life, by WYCHGRAM, Vienna, 
1883 ; ARNAUD, Quid de pueris institut. senserit L. Vives, Paris, 1888 ; 
HAUSK, Die I'iidagogik des L. Vives, Erlangen, 1891 ; VADIER, J. L. 
Vives, Geneve, 1892; F. KAYSER in the Bibl. fiir kathol. Padagogik, 
VIII., Freiburg, 1896; KUYPERS, Vives in seiner Padagogik, Leipzig, 
1897; BRORIM;, Die Dialoge des J. L. Vives, Oldenburg, 1897; 
Quid de reb. polit. senserit J. L. Vives, Paris, 1898. 
WIRKKKL, Die Schrift des L. Vives uber die Armenpflege (Progr.), 
1'irno, 1902 ; WEISSMANN, Die soziale Bedeutung des Humanisten L. 
-, Erlangen, 1905. 


sional scholars and experts. 1 In giving this advice, Vives 
certainly overlooked the fact that the Lutheran controversy 
had long since passed from the academic to the popular 
stage, 2 that the denial of the most important articles of 
belief would compel any council to declare its mind, and, 
finally, that the new teachers themselves were demanding 
a conciliar decision. The best and the most practical 
advice as regards reform reached Adrian from Rome itself. 
Two Cardinals, Schinner and Campeggio, there spoke 
openly and, with an exhaustive knowledge of the circum- 
stances, explained the conditions under which the much- 
needed reforms could be effected. Schinner' s report, dated 
the ist of March 1522, is, unfortunately, only preserved in 
an abstract prepared for Adrian; 3 this is much to be 
regretted, for in the fuller document his carefully con- 
sidered counsels on the political as well as the ecclesiastical 
situation were imparted in the most comprehensive way. 
Schinner first of all urges a speedy departure for Rome, 
otherwise a Legate must be appointed ; but in no case 
should the Sacred College be allowed to represent the 
Pope. Other suggestions concerned the maintenance of 
the States of the Church and the restoration of peace to 
Christendom. As the enemy of France, Schinner advised 
the conclusion of a close alliance with the Emperor and the 
Kings of England and Portugal, since the French must 
be kept at a distance from Italy, otherwise it would be 
impossible to take any steps against the Turks. To relieve 
the financial distress, Adrian should borrow from the King 
of England 200,000 ducats. 

"If your Holiness," he says further, " wishes to govern in 

1 VlVES, Opera II., 834 seq. ; BURMANN, 456 seqg. 

2 HOFLER, 29 seqq., and 360. 

3 See the text in *Cod. Vatic., 3924, and Appendix, No. 3 (Vatican 


n -ality, you must not attach yourself to any Cardinal in 
particular, but treat all alike, and then give the preference 
to the best. On this point more can be said hereafter by 
uord of mouth, as there would be danger in committing 
such confidential matter to paper." Trustworthy officials 
are to be recommended to the Pope in Rome by Schinner 
and Enkevoirt; for the present his attention is called to 
Jacob Bomisius as Secretary, and to Johann Betchen of 
Cologne as Subdatary. Hereupon follows the programme 
for the reform of the Curia. As regards the reductions in 
the famiglie of the Cardinals, the Pope is to set a good 
example by keeping up as small a Court as possible. The 
sale of offices, especially those of court chaplains and 
Abbreviators, must be done away with; the number of 
Penitentiaries and Referendaries reduced ; and both these 
classes, as well as persons employed in the Rota, have 
fixed salaries assigned to them. The officials of the Rota 
may receive fees not exceeding, under penalty of dis- 
missal, the sum of two ducats ; the same scale to apply 
to the Penitentiaries ; should the latter receive more from 
the faithful, the surplus shall go to the building fund of 
St. Peter's. The Papal scribes are to keep themselves 
strictly within the limits of the taxes as assessed. The 
river tax is to be reduced by one-half, whereby an impetus 
will be given to trade; under no circumstances is this 
tax any longer to be farmed. The numerous purchasable 
posts established by Leo X. are simply abolished. 

The "Promemoria" sent by Cardinal Campeggio to 
the Pope in Spain x called for not less decisive measures ; 

1 Discovered and published by H6FLER in the Abhandl. der Munch. 
Akad., IV., 3, 62-89 ( c f- Adrian VI., 210 seq.\ but erroneously attributed 
to Egidius Canisius. Friedensburg established the real authorship in 
the Zeitschrift fiir deutsche Geschichtswissenschal't, N.F., I. (Viertel- 
jahrshefte, 1896-7), 71 scqg. Hofler also found that the copy contained 


apart from recommendations concerning the States of 
the Church, this document deals exclusively with the 
removal of ecclesiastical abuses ; here, however, the 
advice is so uncompromising that it must be dis- 
tinguished as the most radical programme of reform put 
forward at this critical time. With a noble candour and 
a deep knowledge of his subject, he exposes, with- 
out palliation, the abuses of the Roman Curia. His 
position is that of a staunch Churchman ; the authority 
of the Holy See is based on divine institution ; if, in virtue 
of this authority, all things are possible to the Pope, all 
things are not permissible. Since the source of the evil 
is to be traced back to the Roman Curia, in the Roman 
Curia the foundations of reform must be laid. 

In the first place, Campeggio desires a reform of Church 
patronage. A stop must be put to the abuse of conferring 
benefices without the consent of the patrons ; to the plurality 
of livings, a custom having its origin in covetousness and 
ambition; to the scandalous system of "commendams," 
and finally, to the taxation known as " compositio," an 
impost which had brought upon the Holy See the odium 
of princes and had furnished heretical teachers with a 
pointed weapon of attack. Campeggio points to the 
absolute necessity of a limitation of the powers of the 
Dataria, the officials of which were often as insatiable as 
leeches. The reservation of benefices must be entirely 
abolished, unless some case of the most exceptional kind 
should occur ; those which were already sanctioned, how- 
ever, were to be strictly maintained ; every opportunity 
for illicit profit on the part of officials must be cut off. 
He lays down sound principles with regard to the bestowal 
of patronage. The personal qualifications of a candidate 

in the *Cod. Vatic., 6222, f. 79 seq.^ in the Vatican Library, was better 
than that in the State Library, Munich. 

"PROMEMORIA" 01 < .\MN-:<,<,IO. 89 

should be considered as well as the peculiar circumstances 
ut a diocese; foreigners ought not to be preferred to native 
candidates; appointments should in all cases be given 
to men of wholly virtuous and worthy character. Special 
sorrow is expressed over the many conventions, agree- 
ments, and concordats with secular princes whereby the 
greater part of the spiritual rights and concerns of the 
Holy See have been withdrawn from its authority. 
Although Campeggio in the very interests of ecclesiastical 
dignity and freedom recommends the utmost possible 
restriction of the concessions which earlier Popes had 
made through greed or ignorance, he is yet careful to 
exhort great circumspection and moderation in approach- 
ing this delicate ground. 

In the second place, he denounces the gross abuses 
arising from the indiscriminate issue of indulgences. On 
this point he suggests, without qualification, important 
limitations, especially with regard to the grant of 
indulgences to the Franciscan Order and the special 
privileges relating to confession. The approaching year 
of Jubilee offers a fitting opportunity for sweeping changes 
in this matter. The rebuilding of St. Peter's, a debt 
of honour for every Pontiff, need not be hindered on this 
account ; Christian Princes must be called upon to pay 
a yearly contribution towards its completion. 

In a third section the " Promemoria " considers the 
general interests of the Christian Church ; the return of the 
Bohemians to unity ; the restoration of peace, especially 
between Charles V. and Francis I., in order to promote a 
crusade against the Turks, in which Russia also must be 
induced to join ; finally, the extirpation of the Lutheran 
heresy by the fulfilment of the terms of the Edict of 

Campeggio's memorial also pleads for a thorough reform 


of the judicial courts. In future, let all causes be referred 
to the ordinary courts, without any private intervention of 
the Pope in this domain. The judges of the Rota, where 
bad, should be replaced by good ; the auditors' salaries 
should be fixed, and the charges for despatches, which had 
risen to an exorbitant excess, must be cut down and settled 
at a fixed scale. Similar reforms are recommended for 
the tribunal of the Auditor of the Camera. Supplementary 
proposals are added concerning a reform of the Senate, 
of the Judges of the Capitol, of the city Governors, 
Legates, and other officials of the States of the Church. 
Last of all, means are suggested for alleviating the financial 
distress. The Cardinal deprecates an immediate suspen- 
sion of those offices which Leo X. had created in exchange 
for money, since such a proceeding might shake men's 
confidence in Papal promises; he advocates a gradual 
suppression and their exchange for benefices. Further 
recommendations have reference to the appointment of 
a finance committee of Cardinals, the sequestration of 
the first year's rents of all vacant benefices, and the 
levy of a voluntary tax on the whole of Christendom. 
Other proposals Campeggio keeps in reserve for oral 

Bitter lamentations over Rome as the centre of all 
evil are also contained in another letter through which 
Zaccaria da Rovigo endeavoured indirectly to influence 
Adrian VI. Here the principal abuse inveighed against 
is the appointment of young and inexperienced men to 
Church dignities, even bishoprics ; this paper, composed 
at the moment of the Pope's arrival, also exhorts him 
to be sparing in the distribution of privileges and indul- 
gences. 1 An anonymous admonition, also certainly intended 

1 *Letter of Zaccaria da Rovigo to Carastosa da Agrado (cf. FEA, 
Notizie, 67) in Cod. Vatic., 3588 (Vatican Library). 


for Adrian, singles out, as the most important and necessary 
matter for reform, the episcopal duty of residence in 
the diocese. Henceforth Cardinals should not receive 
bishoprics as sources of revenue. Their incomes should 
be fixed at a sum ranging from 4000 to 5000 ducats, and a 
Cardinal-Protector should be given to each country. The 
author advocates a strict process of selection in appointing 
members of the Sacred College ; their number should be 
diminished, for thereby unnecessary expenditure would be 
avoided and the respect due to the Cardinalate increased. 
The importance of appointing good bishops, intending to 
reside in their sees, is justly enforced. Under pain of 
eternal damnation, says the writer, the Pope is bound to 
appoint shepherds, not wolves. As regards the inferior 
clergy, he lays stress on the necessity for a careful choice 
of priests anxious for the souls of their people, performing 
their functions in person, and not by deputy, and faithful 
in all their duties, especially that of preaching. 1 

By these and other communications 2 Adrian was 
accurately informed of the true state of things and of 
the existing scandals, as well as of the means for their 
removal. Having had experience in Spain of the success 
of a legitimate Church reform, working from within, he 
was determined to bring all his energies to bear in 
grappling with a decisive improvement in Rome itself, on 
the principle of ancient discipline, and extending this 
amelioration to the whole Church. He had hardly set 
foot in Rome before he removed all doubt as to his inten- 
tions of reform by appointing Cardinal Campeggio to the 

*Consilium dat. summo pontifici super reform, christ., in Cod. 
Vatic., 3917 seq., 20 scq. (Vatican Library). 

- The composition of L. Ferreri, De reformatione ecclesiae suasoria 
. . . ad Hadrianum VI., which I only know from MoRSOLIN, Ferreri, 
1 1 6 sey., may well belong to this period. 


Segnatura della Justizia, and nominating Enkevoirt as 
Datary. 1 He also soon addressed the Cardinals in no un- 
certain language. In his first Consistory, on the 1st of 
September 1522, he made a speech which caused general 
astonishment. He had not sought the tiara, he declared, but 
had accepted it as a heavy burden since he recognized that 
God had so willed it. Two things lay at his heart before 
all others : the union of Christian princes for the overthrow 
of the common enemy, the Turk, and the reform of the 
Roman Curia. In both these affairs he trusted that the 
Cardinals would stand by him, as the relief of Hungary, 
then sorely threatened by the Sultan, and of the knights 
of Rhodes, admitted of as little delay as the removal of 
the grievous ecclesiastical disorders in Rome. Going 
more closely into the latter question, Adrian cited the 
example of the Jews, who, when they refused to amend, 
were constantly visited by fresh judgments. Thus was it 
with Christendom at that hour. The evil had reached such 
a pitch that, as St. Bernard says, those who were steeped in 
sins could no longer perceive the stench of their iniquities. 
Throughout the whole world the ill repute of Rome was 
talked of. He did not mean to say that in their own lives 
the Cardinals displayed these vices, but within their palaces 
iniquity stalked unpunished; this must not so continue. 
Accordingly, he implores the Cardinals to banish from 
their surroundings all elements of corruption, to put away 
their extravagant luxury, and to content themselves with 
an income of, at the utmost, 6000 ducats. It must be their 
sacred duty to give a good example to the world, to 
bethink themselves of the honour and welfare of the 
Church, and to rally round him in carrying out the 
necessary measures of reform. 

1 Cf. the ** letter of G. de' Medici of August 29, 1522 (State 
Archives, Florence). 



The Tope, according to a foreign envoy, made use of 
such strong expressions that all who heard him were 
astonished ; he rebuked the ways of living at the Roman 
Court in terms of severity beyond which it would be 
impossible to go. A lively discussion thereupon arose, 
since, as the Venetian Ambassador declares, there were 
a score of Cardinals who considered themselves second 
to none in the whole world. The Pope's strongest com- 
plaints were probably aimed at the Rota, where the 
administration of justice was a venal business. On this 
point it was decided, most probably on the advice of 
Schinncr, to take prohibitive measures at once; any 
Auditor who should in future be guilty of illegality, 
especially in the matter of fees, was to be liable to 
peremptory dismissal. 1 

The Curia realized very soon that Adrian was the man 
to thoroughly carry out his projects of reform. The 
Cardinals in Curia, who had taken up their residence in 
the Vatican, were obliged to leave ; only Schinner, whose 
name was identified with the programme of reform, was 
allowed to remain. 2 To Cardinal Cibo, a man of immoral 

1 Along with the version of the Pope's speech in *Cod. Vatic, 
3920, f. 103 seq., of the Vatican Library, see Acta Consist., printed by 
LAK.MMER, Melet, 201-202 (after moribus, curiae is here omitted), and 
the account in SANUTO, XXXIII., 433, 440, giving important additions 
to this very summary report, as well as in Appendix, 7 and 9, the 
""reports of G. de' Medici of September i, and of G. M. della Porta of 
September 6, 1 522 (State Archives, Florence). See also BLASIUS DE 
MARTINELLIS, * Diarium in the Secret Archives of the Vatican, and 
Cod. Barb., lat. 2799, f the Vatican Library. 

2 Besides BREWER, III., 2, n. 2611, cf. the * letter of G. M. della 
Porta of September 4, 1522: * II papa non ha restituito ad alcun 
cardinale stanze in palazzo salvo che a Sedonense (State Archives, 
Florence). G. Merino, Archbishop of Bari, writes on September 20, 
1 522, ex Puysi non procul a Parisiis, to Schinner : * Gaudeo vehementer 




character, the Pope showed his displeasure in the most 
evident manner; when he presented himself for an 
audience, he was not even admitted to his presence. 1 
Still greater astonishment was caused when Cardinal 
Medici, who had carried the Pope's election, was treated 
in exactly the same way as all the others. To the 
Cardinals it seemed an unheard-of proceeding that the 
prohibition to carry weapons should be at once enforced 
with rigour on members of their own households. 2 A clerk 
in Holy Orders who had given false evidence in the Rota, 
was punished by the Pope with immediate arrest and the 
loss of all his benefices. Unbounded consternation was 
aroused by the steps taken against Bernardo Accolti, who 
had been accused of participation in a murder during the 
vacancy of the Holy See, and had fled from his threatened 
punishment. The favourite of the court circle of Leo 
X., who had given him the sobriquet of "the Unique," 
was cited to appear instantly for judgment, or, in case of 
contumacy, to suffer the confiscation of all his property, 
movable and immovable. " Everyone trembles," writes 
the Venetian Ambassador, " Rome has again become 
what it once was ; all the Cardinals, even to Egidio 
Canisio, a member of the Augustinian Order, have put off 
their beards." A few days later, the same narrator reports : 
" The whole city is beside itself with fear and terror, owing 

D. V. R mo apud S. D. N. in s. palatio residere. Spero enim S tem suam 
ex dominatione V. R a pro illius in rebus gerendls experientia zeloque 
et fide incomparabilia erga S tem Suam et Ap. Sedem maxima servitia 
percepturam. Cod. 1888, f. 2i b , Angelica Library, Rome. 

1 See the ** reports of G. M. della Porta of September 14, 1522, to 
the Duchess Eleanora of Urbino (State Archives, Florence). For 
the case in which Cibo was implicated later on, see STAFFETTI, 
35 seq. 

2 **See the letter of G. Staccoli of December 2, 1522, to the Duchess 
Eleonora of Urbino (State Archives, Florence). 


to the things clone by the Pope in the space of eight^ 
days." ' 

"^Already, in the above-mentioned Consistory, on the 1st 
of September, Adrian had annulled all indults issued by the 
Cardinals during the provisional government, subsequent 
to the 24th of January. Soon afterwards the number of the 
referendaries of the Segnatura, which had been raised by 
Leo to forty, was reduced to nine; 2 in this matter also 
Adrian followed the advice of Schinner. At the same time, 
it was reported that the Pope had commanded the Datary 
Enkevoirt to appoint no one in future to more than one 
benefice. When Cardinal Agostino Trivulzio asked for a 
bishopric on account of his poverty, the Pope asked the 
amount of his income. When Adrian was informed that 
this amounted to 4000 ducats, he remarked : " I had only 
3000, and yet laid by savings out of that which were of 
service to me on my journey to Italy." 3 He also published 
strong enactments, in the middle of September, against the 
laxity of public morals in Rome. 4 In Germany, Adrian 
insisted on the strict observance of the decree of the last 
Lateran Council that every preacher should be furnished 
with a special licence by his bishop. 5 

1 SANUTO, XXXIII., 444-445; cf. Rossi, Pasquinate 112, and 
GUARNERA, Accolti, Palermo, 1901, \\6seg. " Questopapa e homoche 
non parla mai se non di la giusticia " is the *report of G. M. della Porta, 
September 11, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

2 See SANUTO, XXXIII., 445; cf. Ortiz in BURMANN, 199; 
RKUSENS, XXXII. According to T. Campeggio (* Letter of September 
1 1, 1522, in State Archives, Bologna), Adrian VI. only appointed eight 
referendaries to the Segnatura. 

3 See in Appendix, No. 8, the * report of G. M. della Porta of 
September 2, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

4 See the ** account of G. M. della Porta, September 15, 1522,10 the 
Duchess Eleanora of Urbino (State Archives, Florence). 

; ' This decree, on which GUGLIA ^Studien zur Geschichte der 


The wholesome fear which had fallen on the Curia was 
still further increased by the news that Adrian intended 
to suppress the College of the Cavalieri di San Pietro, 1 and 
to recall collectively many of the offices bestowed by the 
deceased Pope. 2 Everyone who had received or bought 
an official place under Leo X. dreaded the loss of posi- 
tion and income. Numberless interests were at stake. 
Thousands were threatened in their means of existence as 
Adrian proceeded to divest " ecclesiastical institutions of 
that financial character stamped upon them by Leo, as if 
the whole machinery of Church government had been a 
great banking concern." 3 In addition to this, the Pope at 
first held himself aloof as much as possible from the 
decision of questions of prerogative, and even in matters 
of pressing importance generally answered with a " Vide- 
bimus " " We shall see." 4 Not less firm were the Datary 
Enkevoirt, the private secretary Heeze, and the Nether- 
lander Petrus de Roma, who was responsible for the issue 

Laterankonzils, N.F., 46) throws doubt, was expressly mentioned 
later by Chieregati ; see Reichstagsakten, III., 446. It was also under 
discussion at the Council of Trent; see MERKLE, I., 63, and *the 
original Acts for the general Congregation of May 21, 1546, in De 
Concilio, 62, f. 227 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

1 The incomes of the Cavalieri were to be spent on the fugitives 
from countries taken by the Turks. * Letter of G. M. della Porta 
of September 4, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

2 Account of **G. M. della Porta of October 9, 1522, in State 
Archives, Florence. 

3 H6FLER, 220. 

* That the "Videbimus" reported by the Venetian Ambassador 
(ALBERI, 2 Series, III., 112) is not mere gossip is clear from the 
* letter of G. de' Medici of August 29, and from the * report of G. M. 
della Porta, October 5, 1522, in State Archives, Florence. The 
expression "Videbimus et cogitabimus " became a catchword. See 
VIRGILI'S edition of Berni's Rime, 36. 


of Papal dispensations. 1 Rome rang with innumerable 
complaints. The verdict on Adrian was that he carried 
firmness to excess, and in all matters was slow to act* / 
Among the few who did justice to the conscientiousness of 
the Pope were Campeggio, 3 Pietro Delfino, 4 and the repre- 
sentative of the Duchess of Urbino, Giovanni Tommaso 
Manfredi. As early as the 2Qth of August the last-named 
had reported : " The Holy Father appears to be a good 
shepherd ; he is one of those to whom all disorder is 
unpleasing ; the whole of Christendom has cause for satis- 
faction." 5 On the 8th of September Manfredi repeats his 
good opinion ; even if Adrian is somewhat slow in coming 
to his decisions, yet, he remarks very justly, it must be 
taken into consideration that, at the beginning of his reign, 
a new Pope has to take his bearings. 6 At the end of 
December the envoy of Ferrara is emphatic in calling 
attention to the Pope's love of justice. Leo is certainly 
aimed at when he says expressly, at the same time, that 
Adrian is a stranger to dissimulation and a double tongue. 

1 Cf. Ortiz in BURMANN, 169. 

2 See the * letter of G. M. della Porta of September 21, 1522, in 
State Archives, Florence. The Venetian Ambassador reports on 
September 7, 1522, that 10,000 petitions had been received, of which 
one only, in favour of Cardinal de' Medici, had been granted ; SANUTO, 
XXXIII., 446. v. DOMARTJS (Hist. Jahrb., VI., 75-76), having in view 
the volumes of petitions in the Secret Archives of the Vatican, treats 
this account as mythical. 

3 Cf. his letter to Wolsey in BREWER, III., 2, n. 2506. 

4 Cf. RAYNALDUS, 1522, n. 18 seq. 

5 Questo nostro beatissimo padre mi pare un bon pastore et e 
persona a chi despiace le cose mai fatte e mi penso che tutta la 
Christianity ne habbi ad rimanere bene satisfatta (State Archives, 

G. T. Manfredi to the Duchess Eleonora of Urbino, dated Rome, 
September 8, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

7 *Letter of L. Cati, December 30, 1522, in State Archives, Modena. 
VOL. IX. 7 


Also, in January 1523, Jacopo Cortese praises in the 
highest terms, to the Marchioness Isabella of Mantua, the 
tenacious conscientiousness, the justice, and the holy life 
of the Pope. 1 

The above opinions, however, among which that of the 
Portuguese Ambassador 2 may, to a certain extent, be 
included, form an exception. The general verdict was 
increasingly unfavourable. This we must connect, in the 
first place, with Adrian's limited expenditure, in order to 
relieve the finances which, under Leo, had become so 
heavily involved. 3 Regardless of the fact that the Pope, 
face to face with empty coffers and a mountain of debt, 
had no other course open to him than that of extreme 
economy, 4 he was soon reviled as a niggard and a miser. 
The prodigal generosity and unmeasured magnificence of 
the Popes of the Renaissance had so confused the general 
standard of opinion that, to an Italian of those days, a 
homely and frugal Pope was a phenomenon none could 
understand. Leo X. was popular because he piled up 
debt on debt ; his successor was unpopular " because he 

1 " Di la timorosita, rectitudine e sanctimonia di S. B ne non se ne 
potrebe predicare tanto quanto e in efecto." *Letter of January 5, 
1523, in Gonzaga Archives, Mantua; cf. also in Appendix, No. 14, the 
* letter of January 12, 1523. 

2 Cf. his opinion in Corp. dipl. Port., II., 121, 153. 

3 Cf. the * reports of G. M. della Porta of September 6 and 9, 
and October 5 and 9, 1522, in State Archives, Florence: see 
Appendix, No. 9. See also the ^letters of B. Castiglione of September 
14 and December 4, 1522, and *that of A. Germanello of December 
21, 1522 (Gonzaga Archives, Manlua). 

4 *N. S re raffermo la guardia delli Suizeri e riducto la de Cavalli 
leggieri a numero di 45. Capitan d'epsi Vincentio da Tigoli ; raffermo 
e Pietro Chiavelluzi di nuovo e li altri cassi. Cosi per ogni verso va 
diminuendo la spesa. G. de' Medici, October 3, 1522 (State Archives, 


neither could make money nor wished to make it." ! The 
sharp break with all the traditions of the Medicean reign 
disappointed the hopes and damaged the private interests 
of thousands, who now bitterly hated the foreign Pope, 
and looked with hostility on all his measures. 2 Even in 
cases where one might with certainty have expected his 
actions to meet with general approval, they incurred 
censure. A nephew of Adrian's, a student at Siena, had 
come to him in haste ; the Pope at once made it clear to 
him that he ought to return to his studies. Other relations 
who had come to him on foot, full of the highest expecta- 
tion, were dismissed after receiving some very slender gifts. 
The same persons who could not sufficiently blame the 
Pope for surrounding himself with Netherlanders, now 
pointed to his sternness towards his own family as the 
very acme of harshness. 3 

What currency was given to the most unfair criticism of 

1 HOFLER, 210, 223. The conduct of Adrian VI. on the death of 
Cardinal Grimani shows how far removed he was from all covetous 
greed. NEGRI acknowledges this ; see Lett. d. princ. I., I I7 b ; cf. also 
Ortiz in BURMANN, 226-227. SCHULTE, I., 229, says appositely, 
"Adrian sought nothing for himself; but still less did he wish the 
Curia to be the great gold-mine from which everyone was to extract 
riches. The difficulties of the political situation demanded the 
strictest economy, and his- predecessor had already squandered his 
share in the lavish stream of bounties. Often, to the blessing of a 
family, the spendthrift is succeeded by the thrifty restorer of its 
fortunes." See also V. DOMARUS in Histor. Jahrb., XVI., 74. 

A good example is given in the * report of G. de' Medici of 
September 8, 1522, printed in Appendix, No. 10 (State Archives, 

3 Jovius, Vita Adriani. Adrian's freedom from nepotism, remarks 

! R > 383, was "an example which few understood and still fewer 

ted, a fact that his contemporaries could not realize. They 

placed the Pope, who thought it necessary to abstain from nepotism, 

m the same category with those who regarded it as a scandal." 


Adrian is shown, not only in the reports of the Imperial 
Ambassador 1 who, on political grounds, was bitterly 
opposed to him, but in those of most of the other envoys. 
Adrian was not turned aside by the general dissatisfaction ; 
with that firmness which had always been one of his 
characteristics, he set himself with determination to carry 
out what he saw to be necessary. His programme con- 
sisted in, first of all, giving help in the Turkish troubles ; 
and secondly, in making headway with his Church reforms ; 
his responsibilities towards the States of the Church he 
placed, for the present, in the background. 2 

The gigantic tasks which he had thus undertaken were 
made more difficult not merely by the hostility of the 
Curia and the want of funds, but by a calamity for which 
also the Pope was not responsible. Early in September^ 
1522 the;plague had broken out afresh in Rome. Isolated 
cases had been reported on the 5th of that month, a season 
always dreaded on account of its unhealthiness. Later on 
the pestilence became epidemic, and on the nth the daily 
death-rate was reckoned at thirty-six. 3 Adrian did not 
delay in taking the necessary measures. He took care that 
the spiritual needs of the sick should be attended to under * 
strict regulations ; at the same time he endeavoured to 
check the spread of the disease by forbidding the sale 

1 Cf. BERGENROTH, II., n. 483, 490, 502, 509, 540. 

2 *N. S re attende sollecitamente ad ordinaire 1' armata sua per 
mandarla al soccorso di Rhodi. Fatto questo attended S. S ta alle cose 
de la Chiesa spiritual!, poi alle temporal! et di le gente d' arme. G. M. 
della Porta, September u, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

3 Cf. the *report of G. de' Medici of 5, 9 (La peste al continue fa piu 
danno), 1 1 (* La peste va impliando ogni giorno piu e ne more trenta 
sei per giorno), 12 and 14 September, 1522. See also the ^letters of 
G. M. della Porta of 9, u, 13 and 14 September 1522 (State Archives, 


of articles belonging to those who had died l of the 

The members of the Curia wished the Pope to abandon 
the city, now plague-stricken in every quarter. 2 They could 
remember how even a Nicholas V. had thus ensured his 
safety. 3 Not so the Flemish Pope : with courage and com- 
posure he remained steadfast at his post, although the 
plague gained ground every day. In answer to represen- 
tations made on all sides that he might be attacked, his 
reply was, " I have no fear for myself, and I put my trust in 
God." 4 Adrian kept to his resolve, although on the I3th of 
September he was indisposed. It is to be noted that, not- 
withstanding his ailment, he did not abstain from saying 
Mass and attending to the despatch of business. The fever, 
however, had so much increased on the I5th that he was 
obliged to suspend his daily Mass. 5 As soon as he felt 

1 See in Appendix, No. 10, the report of G. de' Medici of September 
8, 1522. The statement of Jovius (Vita Adriani VI.), that the Pope 
neglected to take measures against the plague, is also an invention. 

- < >n September 8, 1522, G. de' Medici had already stated that the 
Pope would leave Rome ; but on the nth he had to report : *I1 Papa 
non parla di partirsi (State Archives, Florence). On the spread of 
the plague Stef. Saffa writes, on September 12, 1522 : *La peste qui 
tocca malamente et hormai ha compreso ogni parte di Roma ne mai e 
d\ che non si trovino due et'tre morti per stradi. A Spanish chamber- 
lain of the Pope's also died. (State Archives, Modena.) 

3 Cf. our remarks, Vol. II. of this work, p. 86 seq. 

4 *Le papa mostra non la (sc. peste) temer et dice che si confida in 

G. M. della 1'orta, September 13, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

6 Cf. the detailed ** accounts of G. M. della Porta of September 15 

and 20, 1522 (cf. Appendix, No. 11), and that of G. de' Medici of 

September 14. The latter says, *S. S. hieri hebbe un po di doglia di 

testa e qucsta nocte passata dubitoron d' un po di febbre Hoggi ha 

dato audientia. On September 15 : The Pope keeps his bed from fever. 

< >n Srptember 16, 17, 18, and 19 : The fever continues. On September 

;nd 21 : The Pope goes on better. (State Archives, Florence.) 


better, he devoted himself again to business, although his 
physicians implored him to take some rest. 1 Notwith- 
standing the exertions into which Adrian, in his zeal for 
duty, threw himself, regardless of the claims of health, he 
made such improvement that on the 22nd of September 
his recovery was regarded as complete. 2 He now re- 
doubled his activity, and the audiences were once more 
resumed. " The Cardinals," writes an envoy, " besiege the 
Pope and give him more trouble than all the rest of 
Christendom put together." 3 Meanwhile the plague still 
lasted, and once more the Pope was advised from all 
quarters to secure the safety of his life by flight, but to 
their counsels Adrian would not listen ; regardless of the 
danger, on the 28th of September he visited S. Maria del 
Popolo. 4 The only concessions he at last consented to i 
make were to defer the Consistories, and to permit the : 
affrighted Cardinals to leave Rome. 5 At the end of [ 
September the daily death-rate amounted to thirty-five, 
and the cases of sickness to forty-one. 6 

1 G. M. della Porta, September 20, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

2 *Letter of G. de' Medici, September 22, 1522, in State Archives, 

3 See **the report of G. M. della Porta, September 26, 1522 (State 
Archives, Florence). 

4 *Letters of G. de' Medici, September 25, 27, 28,29, 1522 (State 
Archives, Florence). 

6 *Letter of G. M. della Porta, September 27, 1522, in State Archives, 
Florence. Enea Pio ^reports previously, September 17, 1522 : " Mold 
signori cardinal! si sono partiti et altri pensano partire excusandosi 
sopra la peste, ma in veritate per mal contenteza" (State Archives, 

*Letter of G. de 3 Medici, September 30, 1522, in State Archives, 
Florence. Many of Medici's letters contain the * official lists of the 
dead and sick as registered in the different quarters of the city. Cf. 
also the * reports of T. Campeggio, September 27 and 30, 1522, in the 
State Archives, Bologna. 


Cardinal Schinncr died on the 1st of October of a fever v 
which had attacked him on the I2th of September. 1 His 
death was a heavy loss to the cause of reform, of which he 
had been the eager champion. It was already reported 
in Germany that the Pope had succumbed to the plague. 2 
In the first week of October, under ordinary circumstances 
the pleasantest month in Rome, the mortality made great 
strides; 3 on the 8th the death-roll numbered a hundred. 4 
All who could took to flight ; only the Pope remained^; 
He attended to the Segnatura and even still continued to 
give audiences; not until two inmates of the Vatican were 
stricken did he shut himself up in the Belvedere. 5 The 
Cardinals were directed to apply to the Datary for 
affairs of pressing importance. 6 On the loth of October 

1 * Letters of G. de' Medici, September 12 and October i, 1522, in 
State Archives, Florence. Also Blasius de Martinellis (Secret Archives 
of the Vatican) and T. Campeggio (*letter, October 4, 1522, in State 
Archives, Bologna) report that Schinner's death took place on October i. 
Accordingly, SCHMIDLIN, 294, is subject to correction. 
DLICH, Niirnberger Reichstag, 33. 

3 Already, on October i, 1522, *Bart Prospero reports thirty-two 
deaths (State Archives, Modena). On October 2, 1522, *G. M. della 
Porta writes : " Questa peste e cresciuta et cresce ogni di tanto che tutta 
Roma pensa d' andarsene." On the 5th : *La peste fa grandissima 
strafe. Many fly. "Gli Cardinali fanno grande instanza a N. S. che 
se ne vada fori." On the loth : The plague has appeared in Marino 
and Yiterbo (State Archives, Florence). Cf. also LANCIANI, I., 216 seq. 

1 SANUTO, XXX1IL, 477. 

6 *Letters of G. T. Manfredi, September 29, and G. de' Medici of 
October 7 and 9, 1522 (State Archives, Florence), and *letter of T. 
Campeggio of October 4 (State Archives, Florence). Cf. the reports of 
Saffa of October 7 and 17, *La peste qui fa male et ognuno si fugge 
siche Roma non ha piu quasi faccia di quella era (State Archives, 
M,I), the *Literae de Roma of October 10, 1 522 (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua), and BERGENROTH, II., n. 479. 

6 C/"- % * Lit erae de Roma of October TO, 1522 (Gonzaga Archives, 


Cardinals Ridolfi and Salviati left Rome, followed on the 
1 3th by Giulio de' Medici and on the I4th by the Imperial 
Ambassador Sessa. 1 The members of the Curia were of 
opinion that the Pope ought to do the same at any cost, 
but found Adrian as irresponsive as ever ; he remained in 
the Belvedere and held audiences at a window. 2 In 
November even this was given up ; 3 of the entire College 
of Cardinals only three remained in Rome and, at last, 
: one only, Armellini. The Italian officials had almost all 
taken to flight ; only the faithful Flemings and some 
Spaniards refused to leave the Pope. 4 

No diminution in the plague was observable in October, 
nor yet in November. At the end of the former month 
there were 1750 infected houses in Rome. 5 Baldassare 
Castiglione draws a fearful picture of the misery in the 
city. In the streets he saw many corpses and heard the 
cries of the sufferers : " Eight out of ten persons whom 
one meets," he writes, "bear marks of the plague. Only a 

1 * Letters of G. de' Medici of October 11, 13, and 14, 1522 (State 
Archives, Florence). 

2 SANUTO, XXXIII., 497. According to the registers of deaths 
collected by G. de' Medici, the return on October 1 7 was 60, on the 
1 8th, 59, on the igth, 63. Galeotto de' Medici about this time also 
left Rome. On October 28 he writes from the Vigna del Card. de } 
Medici, "more than 60 deaths are reckoned daily." On October 31 
Sessa gives a still higher figure (150). BERGENROTH, II., n. 496. Cf. 
also Tizio, *Hist. Senen. (Chigi Library, Rome). 

3 G. de' Medici reports "della Vigna dello ill. Medici." On 
^October 30 : The plague continues. On ^November 7 : Many die. 
Cardinal S. Quattro (L. Pucci) has fled in consequence. ^November 
10 : The Pope has ceased to give audience. ^November 13: The 
plague has taken firm hold. (State Archives, Florence.) 

4 See SANUTO, XXXIII., 493 seq. Ortiz in BURMANN, 202. 
*Hanno facto la descriptione delle case infecte e heri eran mille 

septem cento cinquanta. G. de' Medici, October 28, 1522 (State 
Archives, Florence). 


few men have survived. I fear lest God should annihilate 
the inhabitants of this city. The greatest mortality has 
n among grave-diggers, priests, and physicians. Where 
the dead have none belonging to them, it is hardly any 
longer possible to give them burial." 1 According to 
Albergati, the confusion had reached such a pitch that the 
living were sometimes interred with the dead. 2 With the 
arrival of cold weather in the first half of December signs 
appeared that the pestilence was on the wane. On the pth 
of December the daily sum of deaths was still thirty-three, 
on the 1 5th thirty-seven, on the i8th only nine. 3 Since 
the Cardinals hesitated about returning on the loth of 
December only six had been present in Consistory the 
Pope gave orders that they must all return to their places 
in the Curia. 4 The cases of sickness having very greatly 
lessened by the end of the year, 5 the Pope resumed his 

1 Letter of B. Castiglione, October 31, 1522. Castiglione on 
November 6 writes : *Che la peste procede piu acerbamente che 
mai, ch' e miracolo atteso la poca gente ch' era rimasta in Roma. 
Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. See also *letter of V. Albergati, 
November 30, 1522, in State Archives, Bologna. 

- Albergati in HOFLER, 221. 

3 See the *registers of deaths forwarded by G. de' Medici in State 
Archives, Florence. Cf. GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 391. When 
the danger of pestilence was over, the little church, S. Mariae portae 
paradisi liberatricis pestilentiae, on the Ripetta, was rebuilt as a thank- 
offering ; see besides MORICHINI, 145, also FORCELLA, XII., 91, 93. 
The date of the inscription is here given incorrectly as 1522 instead 
of 1523. The latter date is still clearly legible. 

NUTO, XXXIII., 548, 559, 596. *Heri el Papa fece consistorio, 

e intervennero solum li rev. card 11 Jacubacci, S. Sixto, Siena, Hivrea, 

Campezo et Trivulsi. *A. Germanello on December 1 1, 1522 (Gonzaga 

Archives, Mantua). BLASIUS DE MARTINELLIS, *I)iarium (Papal 

Secret Archives), says that seven cardinals took part in the Consistory. 

*Letter of G. de' Medici, December 27, 1522, in State Archives, 



audiences; the fugitive Italians, one by one, returned to 
Rome and the business of the Curia was once more reopened. 1 

While the plague raged four precious months were lost. 
It is indeed worthy of our admiration that Adrian, as 
soon as the greatest danger was over, should have returned 
immediately to his work of reform. As early as the Qth of 
December 1522 there appeared a measure of great import- 
ance and utility in this direction. All indults granted to 
the secular power since the days of Innocent VIII. con- 
cerning the presentation and nomination to high as well as 
inferior benefices were repealed, thus leaving the Holy See 
free to provide for the choice of fit persons. Even if this 
general ordinance were limited to no small extent by the 
concordats entered into with separate countries, still, it was 
made known " that the Pope had no intention of stopping 
at half measures, and that, whenever he found a bad con- 
dition of things, he was determined to replace it by a 
better." 2 On the 5th of January 1523 Adrian reopened 
the Segnatura for the first time. He took this opportunity 
of expressly enjoining that only such persons should 
receive benefices as were fitted for and worthy of them. 3 

An actual panic was caused in the first months of 1523 
by the renewal, in a more circumstantial form, of the 
report that the Pope was busy with his scheme for abolish- 
ing all the new offices created by Leo X. and bestowed 
or sold by him, and for making a great reduction of all 

1 Ortiz in BURMANN, 208 ; cf. LANCELLOTTI, I., 429 ; BERNI, Rime 
ed Virgili, 277. On December 4, 1522, B. Castiglione had still to 
report : *N. S. sta ristretto senza dare audientia a persona del mondo 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

2 Bull. VI., i seq. ; HOFLER, 240. See also the *letter of A. 
Germanello of December 21, 1522, and *that of J. Cortese to the 
Marchioness Isabella, January 5, 1522 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

3 *Letter of A. Germanello, January 5, 1523, in Gonzaga Archives, 


officials, especially of the scribes and archivists. 1 In the 
ming of February a Congregation of six Cardinals 
was in fact appointed in order to draw up proposals with 
(1 to the recently made Leonine appointments. 2 
Adrian had now brought himself into complete disfavour 
with the ecclesiastical bureaucracy of all bureaucracies 
the worst. It gave rise to astonishment and displeasure 
when Adrian, in the beginning of April 1523, dismissed 
most of the Spaniards in his service from motives of 
economy and soon afterwards made further reductions in 
his establishment. 3 If strong expression had before this 

1 Cf. also with SANUTO, XXXIII., 620, the ^letters of G. de' 
Medici, February u and 14, 1523 (State Archives, Florence). 

2 Cerca el papa tuctavia reterare ad se le intrate de la chiesa et 
revocar le cose alienate da papa Leone et ha incommensato con li 
oficii create da lui et deputati sei card 1 ' ad la revisione de epsi, che 
sonno li r mi de Vulterra, Flisco, Monte, Ancona, Jacobasi et Campezio, 
li quali ban facte piu congregation! sopra de questo et par satisfar al 
papa per che inclinino ad la revocatione de dicti officii, ma li sono 
molti clamori de officiali, et quando se facesse serria periculo de 
qualche scandalo per esserli molti brigate intricate et maxiine non 
possendolo fare el papa di rascione ; anchora non e successo altro ; 
laltro di fo facto da tucti dicti card" congregatione ai casa de Vulterra 
dove comparsero li officiali et allegarono suspecti alcuni di dicti 
card" et protestarono che non se procedesse ad ulteriora nisi prima 
discussa la causa de la suspitione et forono dicte de male parole contra 
dicti card 1 '; la cosa resti cost suspesa. A. Germanello, February 13, 
1 523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

*E1 Papa se excusa non haver el modo de posserli far le spese. 

rmanello, April n, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). Cf. *the 
reports of L. Cati of April 14 (If it had been possible, the Pope would 
have dismissed even his Spanish secretary), and May 29, 1523. In 
the latter he says : *La S fa N. S. licentia molti de la sua famiglia che 
ritornano in Spai;na, et a questo proposito gia disse a me, che volca 

> vivere. Et fra gli altri licentia ccrti giovanotti soi ragazzi gentil- 
huomini che havca menati di la (State Archives, Mantua). The latter 

uion was carried out in order to put an end to scandalous reports. 


found vent in the Curia on the subject of Adrian's 
parsimony, or, as they preferred to call it, his miserliness, 1 
now indignation knew no bounds. According to the 
Ferrarese envoy, no Pope had ever received so much abuse 
as Adrian VI. 2 Prelates and Cardinals accustomed to 
the pomp and luxury of the Leonine period found a 
continual stumbling-block in the asceticism and simplicity 
of Adrian's life. The contrast was indeed sharp and un- 
compromising. While Leo loved society and saw much 
of it, delighted in state and ceremony, in banquets and 
stage plays, his successor lived with a few servants in 
the utmost possible retirement ; he never went abroad 
save to visit churches, and then with a slender retinue. 3 
He gave his support, not to poets and jesters, but to the sickj 
and poor. 4 

It was a moment of the greatest importance for the 
Papal schemes of reform when, in March 1523, Dr. John 
Eck, a staunch supporter of loyal Catholic opinion in 
Germany, came to Rome. The cause of his visit was 
certain matters of ecclesiastical policy in the Duchy of 
Bavaria, which were happily settled through the advances 
of Adrian VI. 5 Amid the interests of his sovereign Eck 

1 Cf. in Appendix, No. 19, *the letter of L. Cati, March 21, 1523 
(State Archives, Modena). 

2 "^Supplement to L. Cati's letter of May 29, 1523 (State Archives, 

3 See ^letter of G. de' Medici, April I, 1523: *I1 papa e andato 
questa mattina con poca compagnia alle VII. chiese (State Archives, 
Florence). Cf. *letter of A. Germanello, April 2, 1523 (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). 

4 Cf. PERICOLI, L'osped. di S. Maria d. Consolazione, 73 ; VOLPI- 
CELLA, Studi, 213. 

6 Besides the taxation of the Bavarian clergy up to a fifth of their 
income, the Pope agreed to the appointment of a Commission of Visita- 
tion vested with plenary authority of a comprehensive kind, to the 


UMS not unmindful of the welfare of Christendom ; both 
tin question of the Turkish war and that of reform were 
thoroughly discussed in his interviews with the Pope. 
Eck's notes have been preserved ; l they form an im- 
portant contribution to the history of Church reform at 
this time. 

Eck thoroughly reviews the situation. Not only the 
rapid spread of the Lutheran teaching even in South 
Germany, but also the grievous harm wrought within the 
Church itself, was known to him down to the smallest 
detail. In the existing political situation of Europe he 
did not, in the first place, hope much from a general 
council ; quite as little, he thought correctly, would be 
gained by a mere condemnation of the heretical doctrines. 
In agreement with the most enlightened men of the age, 
above all with the Pope, he calls for comprehensive reform 
in Rome itself. He unsparingly discloses the abuses 
there existing, especially in the matter of indulgences ; 
he points out that there is a crying necessity for a sub- 
stantial reduction in the different classes of indulgence; 

separation of the Bavarian Augustinians from the Saxon province, and 
to means for maintaining the theological faculty of Ingolstadt ; see 
Eichstatter Pastoralblatt, 1869, 176; JANSSEN- PASTOR, II., i8th edit., 
361, note ; H6FLER, 324 seq. ; SUGENHEIM, Volkszustande, 181, 
note ; RIEZLER, IV., 95 seq. 

1 Published by Friedensburg in KOLBE'S Beitr. zur bayr. Kirch- 
engsch., II., 159 seq., 222 seq. ; cf. DlTTRlCH in Hist. Jahrb., V., 371 
seq., and the excellent articles by J. B. GOTZ, Beratungen und Rath- 
schlage des Dr J. Eck in Rom anno 1523, in the wissenschaftl. Beil. 
di-r (iermania, 1902, No. 17-20, of which I have made special use for 
the following pages. In March 1523 Bishop Johann von Meissen, who 
was also in Rome, presented a memorandum to the Pope on the spread 
of the new teaching and the difficulties in his diocese. (Cod. Ottob., 
2366, f. 2ii seq., Vatican Library). Cf. V. DOMARUS in Hist. Jahrb., 
XVI , 8f>, ami POSTINA in the Romischen Quartalschr., XIII., 337 seqq. 


he also wishes to see some limit set to the bestowal of 
faculties to hear confessions. 

Eck draws an equally interesting and repulsive picture 
of the doings of the benefice-hunters and their count- 
less tricks and artifices. He remarks with truth that, 
since many of these men came from Rome, the odium 
they incurred recoiled on the Holy See. On this point 
he implores Adrian without reserve to take decisive 
measures ; the system of pluralities had been the source 
of abuses profoundly affecting the life of the Church. Eck 
especially recommends the diminution of pensions and 
expectancies and the entire abolition of commends and 
incorporations. If Eck's proposals with regard to in- 
dulgences and the system of patronage command our 
entire approval, not so entirely satisfactory are his 
suggestions for a reform of the Penitentiary. The 
complete removal of the taxes on dispensations goes too 
far ; in order to produce an effect he exaggerates in many 
particulars. On the other hand, he speaks to the point 
in dealing with the misuse of the so-called lesser ex- 
communication, the laxity in giving dispensations to 
regulars in respect of their vows and habit, and the too 
great facility with which absolutions were given by the 
confessors in St. Peter's. A thorough reform of the 
Penitentiary officials and of the whole system of taxa- 
tion was certainly necessary. 

Eck made extensive proposals for a reform of the 
German clergy, the need of which he attributes to the un- 
fortunate neglect of the decrees of the last Lateran Council. 
With a minute attention to detail, he here gives his advice 
concerning the conduct of the bishops, prelates, and inferior 
clergy, the system of preaching, diocesan government, and 
the excessive number of festivals. For a realization of his 
projects for the reform of the Curia, Eck hopes great things 


from the German Pope, whom he also counsels to pi- 
himself to convoke a general council. Eck also recom- 
mends the issue of a fresh Bull against Luther and his 
chief followers, the suppression of the University of 
Wittenberg, the appointment of visitors for each ecclesi- 
astical province, furnished with Papal authority and that 
of the ruler of the country, and lastly, the restoration of 
the .indent institution of diocesan and provincial synods, 
for the summoning of which and their deliberations he 
makes extensive suggestions ; these synods are to form 
an organizing and executive centre for the systematized 
struggle with the innovators. 

We have, unfortunately, no authentic information in 
detail as to the attitude of Adrian towards this compre- 
hensive programme of reform, nor as to the more immediate 
course of the conferences on the question of indulgences. 1 
One thing only is certain, that although the capitulations 
of his election afforded Adrian an opportunity for approach- 
ing the subject directly, yet the difficulties were so great 
that he did not venture on any definite step. If he did not 
here anticipate the decision of the council which it was his 
intention to summon, yet, in practice, he proceeded to 
issue indulgences most sparingly. 2 

Not less serious were the obstacles to be met with when 
Adrian began his attempts to reform the Dataria. It was 

1 SARPI'S account (Geneva edition, 1660, 21 seq.} has been so 
thoroughly and admirably refuted by PALLAVICINI, II., 4 sey., that 
even MAURENBRECHER (Kathol. Ref., 401) declares this account to be 
a free invention of the anti-Papal author. For the whole controversy 
cf. also URISCIIAR (overlooked by Maurenbrecker), Beurteilung, I., 
56 seq., and \VENS1NG, 203 seq. 

- The assertion of SCHULTE, I., 233, that Adrian issued no indulgences, 
is incorrect ; cf. SANUTO, XXXIX., 123, 138, and PERICOLI, L'osped. di 
S. Maria d. Consolazione, 119. PALLAVICINI also, II., 6, only says: 
" fu parchissimo nelF indulgenze." 


soon shown that salaries only could not take the place of 
the customary fees without introducing laxity of discipline ; 
besides, the abolition of fees for the despatch of Bulls and 
the communication of Papal favours could not take effect, 
at a time of such financial distress, without great loss to 
the already exhausted exchequer, still chargeable, irrespec- 
tive of these minor sources of revenue, with the remunera- 
tion of the officials. Thus the Pope saw himself forced 
in this department also, to leave things, provisionally, for 
the most part as they were ; nevertheless, he kept close 
watch over the gratuities of the Dataria in order to keep 
them within the narrowest possible limits. 1 

Still more injurious to the cause of reform than the 
difficulties referred to was the growing peril from the Turks, 
which made increasing claims on Adrian's attention. " If 
Adrian, in consequence of the fall of Rhodes, had not been 
occupied with greater concerns, we should have seen fine 
things," runs the report of a Venetian unfriendly to reform. 2 
Excitement in the Curia ran high when Adrian withdrew 
a portion of their income from the Cavalieri di San Pietro, 
the overseers of corn, and others who had bought their 

1 See PALLAVICINI, II., 6, who here accepts Sarpi's account; cj. 
MAURENBRECHER, Kathol. Ref., 401, who is certainly wrong in saying 
that Pallavicini here appeals to papers left behind by Chieregati, for 
the quotation in question refers only to the fate of Chieregati. The 
details in Sarpi's account are very suspicious. He repeatedly invents 
and falsifies them in his work, and mixes up truth and falsehood. (See 
EHSES in Histor. Jahrb., XXVI., 299 seg., XXVII., 67 seq., and Histor. 
Zeitschr., XCVII., 212.) In particular, Sarpi's assertion that the 
opposition to Adrian's plans of reform proceeded from Pucci and 
Soderini is without corroboration ; indeed, Egidio Canisio, a witness of 
high authority, remarks: "Reformation! Anconitanus (Accolti) restitit." 
This evidence, long since published by HOFLER in his Analekten, 52, 
has also been overlooked by Maurenbrecker. 

2 SANUTO, XXXIII. ,620. 


places under Leo X. The Pope excused himself for these 
hard measures on the plea that, in order to satisfy all, he 
forced to a certain extent to make all suffer. 1 The 
charges of greed and avarice were now openly brought 
against him in the harshest terms, and the total ruin of 
the city was proclaimed as inevitable. 2 On the 25th 
of February 1523 one of these officials, whose means of 
subsistence was threatened by Adrian's course of action, 
tried to stab the Pope, but the vigilance of Cardinal 
Campeggio baulked this attempt made by one whose 
mind had become deranged. 3 

Neither by dangers of this kind nor by the piteous com- 
plaints which assailed him from all sides could Adrian be 
diverted from his path. Where it was possible he took 
steps against the accumulation of livings, checked every 
kind of simony, and carefully watched over the choice of 
worthy men for ecclesiastical posts, obtaining the most 
accurate information as to the age, moral character, and 
learning of candidates; moral delinquencies he punished 
with unrelenting severity. He never made any distinction 
of persons, and the most powerful Cardinals, when they 
were in any way blameworthy, received the same treatment 
as the humblest official of the Curia. 4 

In the beginning of February 1523 thirteen Cardinals 
complained of the small importance attached by Adrian to 
the Sacred College, since he limited their prerogatives and 
in all matters consulted only his confidants, Teodoli, 

1 Jovius, Vita Adriani VI. ; H6FLER, 382 seq. 

- See the *letters of G. de' Medici, dated Rome, February 1 1 and 14, 
1523 (State Archives, Florence). 

3 NEGRI in Lett. d. princ., I., 111-112; Jovius, Vita Adriani VI., 
Deutsche Stiidtechroniken, XXV., 189. 

Ortiz in BURMANN, 225 ; Giovio, Lettere ed. Luzio, 28 ; 
no, XXXIII., 592, XXXIV., 30, 93; H6FLER, 225. 
VOL. IX. 8 


Ghinucci, and Enkevoirt. The Pope answered that he 
was far from intending any disrespect towards the 
dignities and rights of the Cardinalate ; the reason 
why his choice of confidential advisers had lain else- 
where than with them was that he had never before 
been in Rome, and that during the time of the plague 
he had not been able to become acquainted with the 
members of their body. 1 

In the despatches of Ambassadors the chief complaint is 
directed against his parsimony and his dilatory method 
of transacting business. As regards the first point, the 
complaints were not justified, but as to the second, they 
were not altogether groundless. Even when allowance 
is made for exaggeration on the part of the numerous 
malcontents, there can still be no doubt that unfortunate 
delays arose in the despatch of business. The officials 
of Leo X. who had most experience in drafting documents 
were either dead or had left Rome. Since Adrian took 
no- pains to make good this deficiency, intolerable delay 
often occurred in the preparation of deeds and papers. 
Moreover, business was often performed in a slovenly 
way; it was expressly stated that the persons appointed 
by the Pope were not only few in number but for the 
most part ill-acquainted with affairs and naturally slow ; 2 

1 *S. Sta rispose, se il s. collegio si tenea offeso dello honore o com- 
modo fussino certi non era di sua volunta, e dello haver facto electione 
di quelle persone, con le quali si confidava questo 1' haveva facto per 
non essere stato in corte e non conoscer lor S. R me . G. de' Medici, 
dated Rome, February 3, 1523 (State Archives, Florence). Cf. also in 
Appendix, No. 15, *the letter of A. Germanello, of February 9, 1523 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

2 See in Appendix, No. 17, the letter of Balbi's of February 23, 1523 
(State Archives, Vienna) ; cf. Ortiz in BURMANN, 197, and the ^letter 
of A. Germanello of February 9, 1523, in Gonzaga Archives, Mantua 
(see Appendix, No. 1 5). Among those who were retained in the service 


in addition, occupants of important posts, such as 
Girolamo Ghinucci, the acting Auditor of the Camera, 
caused delays In an exaggerated scrupulosity. 1 The Knkevoirt also was very dilatory; he often kept 
r.mlinals waiting for two or three hours, and even then 

were not sure of admission. 2 

Adrian's intense dislike of the motley crew of officials 
belonging to his predecessor was undoubtedly connected 
with the fact that many of them were persons of irregular 
life. That such elements should have been expelled from 
the Curia is cause for commendation, but it was a deplor- 
able mistake when Adrian quietly acquiesced in the with- 
drawal of such an eminent man as Sadoleto, an enthusiast 
for reform and one ready to render the cause willing 
service. 3 " The astonishment in Rome," writes Girolamo 
Negri in March 1523, "is general. I myself am not 
astonished, for the Pope does not know Sadoleto." Negri 
on this occasion repeats the saying then current in the 
city, " Rome is no longer Rome." He adds with bitter- 
ness, " Having escaped from one plague, we have run 
into another and a worse. This Pope of ours knows no 
one. No one receives tokens of his grace. The whole 
world is in despair. We shall be driven again to Avignon 
or to the furthermost ocean, Adrian's home ; if God does 
not help us, then all is" over with the Church's monarchy, 
in this extremity of danger." 4 

of Adrian appears Evangelista (Tarrasconio), in the *Reg. brev. Lat., 8 
(1521-1553), of the Secret Archives of the Vatican. 
1 Albergati in H<>i I.I.K, 220. 

*Literae de Roma of October 10, 1522 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 
3 Cf. LANCELLOTTI, I., 383. 

1 Lett. d. princ., I., 113; cf. TIRAHOSCHI, VII., i., 16 scq. ; JOLY, 
It was reported in January 1523 that the Pope intended to 
reinstate Sadnktn as private secretary. *Letter of A. Germanello of 
January 5, 1523 (Conzaga Archives, Mantua). 


In a later letter Negri, like Berni, corrects his at first 
wholly unfavourable impressions. He asserts that the 
Pope raises extraordinary difficulties in conferring any 
graces. This reluctance proceeds from his ignorance 
of Roman life and from distrust of his surroundings, but 
also from his great conscientiousness and fear of doing 
wrong. When the Pope grants favours, though they 
may be few, they are in the highest degree just : he 
does nothing contrary to rule, which, to a court accus- 
tomed to every gratification, is certainly displeasing. 
Cicero's remark on Cato might be applied to the Pope : 
" He acts as though he were living in some republic of 
Plato's, and not among the dregs of Romulus." 1 This 
expression indicates with precision an undoubted weak- 
ness in the character of Adrian. Gifted by nature with 
high ideals, he only too often judged others by himself, 2 
set before them the most lofty vocations, and attributed 
the best intentions even to the least worthy men. The 
many disappointments which he was thus bound to 
experience made him in consequence too distrustful, 
unfriendly and even hard, in circumstances where such 
feelings were misplaced. 

The majority of the Sacred College were men of worldly 
life, and severity towards them in general was certainly 
justified. But Adrian distinguished too little between the 
worst, the bad and the good elements among them. 3 With 

1 Lett. d. princ., I., 114. On July 8, 1523, B Albergati, who after- 
wards was of an entirely different opinion, wrote to Bologna : *I1 modo 
di questa corte al presente e d' andar molto in lungo ne le expeditioni, 
ma al fine le cose pigliano poi tal verso che facilmente si conosce 
questo tardare procedere da summa prudentia di N. S. piu che da 
nessun altra cose. State Archives, Bologna. 

2 BOSCH, 63, brings this out forcibly. 

3 Cf. SCHULTE, I., 2 3 0. 


none of the Cardinals was he on confidential terms ; even 
Schinner, Campeggio, and Egidio Canisio, who as regards 
the reform question were thoroughly at one with him, were 
on an intimate footing. How unnecessarily rough 
tlu- Tope could be is shown by an incident at the beginning 
of his Pontificate which the Venetian Ambassador has 
put on record. It was then the custom to hand over the 
Neapolitan tribute amid great ceremony. Cardinal Schinner 
presumed to call the Pope's attention to this pageant. At 
first Adrian made no reply, and when the Cardinal again 
urged him to appear at the window, Adrian flatly gave 
him to understand that he was not to pester him. 1 If he 
thus treated a fellow-countryman and a man of kindred 
aspirations, it can be imagined how it fared between him 
and the worldly Italians. 

In course of time, however, Adrian seems to have 
perceived that he must come into touch with his Italian 
sympathizers if he was to carry out effectually his ever- 
widening projects of reform. 2 He therefore summoned 
Gian Pietro Caraffa and his friend Tommaso Gazzella to 
Rome with the avowed object of strengthening the cause 
of reform. Both had apartments assigned to them in the 
Vatican. 3 Unfortunately we do not know the precise date 

M 'i<>, XXXIII., 449. Campeggio was appointed Protector of 
,md at Rome. Henry VIII., in thanking the Pope in a *letter of 
February 22, 1523, expressed high praise of Campeggio. Archives of 
Sam' Angelo, Arm., IV., c. 2. 

* In May 1523 it was rumoured that he intended to dismiss all the 

!<>. XXXIV., 194- 1 v5- 

3 Accounts of the summons to Caraffa and Gazzella in Jovius, Vita 

:,i VI. Those in Egidio Canisio (Abhandl. cler Miinchcner Akad., 

IV.. Abt. H, 52), and in the 1st. di Chiusi (TARTINIUS, I., 1024) are un- 

.itely very short. Caracciolo also, *Vita di Paolo IV. (Biblioteca 

Casanater >, c. 10, and BROMATO, I., 87 seq., have nothing 

detailed to give. The statement that Adrian VI. also called 


of this important invitation, nor have we any further infor- 
mation as to the results of the visit; we can only infer 
from Giovio that the summons was sent towards the end 
of the pontificate, when Adrian's plans for the reform of 
the corrupt city were taking a yet wider range ; special 
measures involving the severest punishments were to be 
taken against blasphemers, scoffers at religion, simonists, 
usurers, the " New Christians " of Spain (Marani), and 
corrupters of youth. 1 

That the coming of so strong and inflexible a man as 
Caraffa could only add to Adrian's unpopularity in Rome 
admits of no doubt. 2 The general dissatisfaction found 
utterance in bitter satire and invective. What insults, 
what infamous and senseless accusations were permitted 
is shown by the notorious "Capitolo" of Francesco Berni 
which appeared in the autumn of 1^22? It combines in 
itself all the contempt and rage which the strong and 
upright Pontiff with his schemes of reform, his foreign 
habits, and his household of foreigners provoked in the 
courtiers of Leo X. The talented prince of burlesque 
poets has here produced a satire which ranks as one of 

Gaetano di Tiene to Rome, as given in REUMONT, III., 2, 153, GREGO- 
ROVIUS, VIII., ed. 3, 396, and SCHULTE, I., 232, rests on an unfortunate 
confusion of Gazzella with Gaetano, which PALLAVICINI, II., 4, and 
JENSEN, Caraffa, 41, had already refuted. The combined invitation 
to Rome of Pighius (BuRMANN, 138) and Nicolas von Schonberg 
was also connected with Adrian's plans of reform ; see *TlziO, Hist. 
Senen., loc. tit. Chigi Library, Rome. 

1 Jovius, Vita Adrian! VI. ; cf. HOFLER, 534. The Jewish com- 
munity in Rome was friendly towards Adrian VI. ; see VOGELSTEIN, 

2 It was even said that he was to be made a Cardinal ; see ALBERT, 
2 Series, III., 378. 

3 BERNI, Rime, ed. Virgili, 30-38. For the date of composition 
(August 29 to December 20, 1522) see VIRGILI, Berni, 62 seq. 

l> I'ASQUINO." I?9 

tlu* boldest in the Italian literature of that age. 1 It 
masterpiece of racy mendacity breathing hatred of the 
foreigner, of the savage set down amid artistic surround- 
of the reformer of men and manners. But the 
hatred is surpassed by the studiously displayed contempt 
he "ridiculous Dutch-German barbarian." 

Against such ridicule, deadly because so laughable, the 
Pope was powerless. When he forbade, under the severest 
penalties, the feast of Pasquino on St. Mark's day 1523 and 
its pasquinades,' 2 the measure was useless : for satire is like 
the Lernxan hydra with its crop of heads. The public 
were determined to take the Pope on his ludicrous side, and 
the story ran that Adrian had only desisted from having 
Pasquino's statue flung into the Tiber because he was assured 
that, like frogs in water, he would make a greater noise than 
before. 3 

Almost all contemporary accounts make it clear that 
the mass of public opinion in Rome was very ill-disposed 
towards the foreign Pope. Even critics who recognized 

1 Resides VlRGlLl, Berni, 68 seg., cf. FLAMINI, 209 seg., and Studi 
dedic. a d' Ancona (1900), 190. Berni saw afterwards that he had 
treated Adrian unjustly ; see VlRGILl, 278. 

2 Lett. d. princ. I., I I4 b seg. ; SANUTO, XXXIV., 194. Of the carnival 
A. Germanello reports on February 19, 1523 : * Son state facte mascare 
in Roma solum li ultimi tre di de carnevale, ma macramente, et non e 
stata facta altera festa. Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

Kultur I., seventh ed., 175 seg. ; BERTANI, 30 seg. I abstain from a 
publication of the Satire *Confessione di M. Pasquino a Fra Mariano 
martin- t-t confessore in *Cod. Ottob., 2812, f. i6 seg. (Vatican 
Library), since GNOLI (Nuova Antologia, LI. [1894], 88 seg., 530 s?g.) 
intends to take it in hand. For the pamphU -t, probably composed by 

man courtier: Ein eleglichs Gesprech . . . wider den from- 

men P.ipst Adrinnum, see CR1SSTOFFELS, 79 and 102. This pamphlet 

' d in French : Dialogue et un merveilleux parlament fait 

nig abbe, ung cortisan et ung diable. S. 1. et a. 


his good and noble qualities thought him too much the 
Emperor's friend, too penurious, too little of the man of 
the world. An instructive instance of this is given in a 
letter of the Mantuan agent Gabbioneta of the 28th of July 
1523 in which an exception to the Italian chroniclers 
of those days he to a certain extent does justice to 
Adrian's good qualities. Gabbioneta describes the Pope's 
majestic appearance ; his countenance breathes gentleness 
and goodness ; the impression he gives is that of a 
religious. In tones of grief Gabbioneta deplores the 
change that he has seen come over the animated and 
light-hearted court of Leo X. " Rome is completely 
altered, the glory of the Vatican has departed ; there, 
where formerly all was life and movement, one now hardly 
sees a soul go in or out." l The deserted state of the Papal 
palace is also accounted for in other ways, though the 
change had taken place gradually. For months Adrian 
had been forced, owing to the danger of the plague, to 
seclude himself in the Vatican and keep entirely apart 
from the life of the city. Always a great lover of solitude, 
this " cloistered " existence had so delighted the serious- 
minded Pope that he determined later on to adhere to 
it as much as possible. In this resolve he was strengthened 
by those around him, for they found it to their advantage 
that Adrian should see as few people as possible. 2 Another 
inducement was the fear of poison, by which from the 
first the Pope had been haunted. 3 In January 1523 it 

1 See the phraseology of the characteristic letter (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua) in Appendix, 27. 

2 Ortiz in BURMANN, 207. That Enkevoirt made access to the Pope 
as difficult as possible had already been reported by G. M. della Porta 
on September 26, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

3 See LANZ, I., 64, and Appendix, No. 8, the * letter of G. M. della 
Porta of September 2, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 


was even believed that a conspiracy to murder him had 
been detected. 1 By occurrences such as these Adrian's 
original distrust of most Italians was only intensified.- 
Ik- therefore continued to be waited on, by preference, by 
his own countrymen, whom he was satisfied that he knew 

The complaint of Adrian's inaccessibility was combined 
with another, that of his excessive confidence in those 
about him. There must have been some ground for the 
imputation when it is raised by such an enthusiastic partisan 
of the Pope as Ortiz. Some of those in his more immedi- 
ate circle did not deserve the confidence placed in them by 
Adrian. From the reports of the Imperial Ambassador 
Sessa it is only too plain that many who were nearest to 
the Pope's person were very open to bribes ; this was 
especially true of the secretary Zisterer, a German. What 

1 Lope Hurtado de Mendoza reports on this in a * letter to the 
Emperor, dated Rome, February (day missing) 1523: "El Papa fue 
avisado del governador que tiene en la Marca como venian aqui 
ciertos criados del duque de Camarino a darle ponc.ona y con este 
aviso hizo prender algunos. El que le traia hugo. Los otros non 
confesado ; ahunque creo que no se averigua bien la verdad, ha seido 
obra del duque y non se dize la causa, base hecho secreto lo mas que 
ban podido. Son X. los presos, estan en Santangeli" (Biblioteca de la 
Acad. de Historia, Madrid,-Colec. Salazar, A 27, f. 124). Cf. also Ortiz 
in BURMANN, 218 seg., and Appendix, No. 14, the *letter of J. Cortese 
of January 1 2, 1 523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). The inquiry directed 
against Giov. Maria Varano, Duke of Camerino, who had French 
sympathies, came, however, to nothing, and Clement VII. spoke of the 
Duke as free from suspicion of having taken part in this attempt or in 
the murder of Sigismondo Varano ; see BALAN, Storia, VI., 67 ; 
LE-HERGKNROTHEK, IX., 326; STAFFETTI, Cybo, 37. Further, 
the authorities give no support to the notion of HoFLER, 486, that the 
affairs had a connection with the intrigues of Soderini. 

Corp. dipl. Port, II., 93, and report of Lope Hurtado de Men- 
quoted in the preceding note. 


Sessa also reports concerning the Pope's confidential 
friends, especially his allegation of Enkevoirt's dependence 
on Cardinals Monte and Soderini, is not confirmed from 
other quarters. 1 There is no doubt that Enkevoirt, now as 
always, had the greatest influence with Adrian, 2 and that 
from the beginning this was a cause of friction between the 
former and Ruffo Teodoli. 3 In consequence the latter lost 
for a considerable time his position of confidence ; 4 as, 
however, he was an excellent man of affairs, his absence 
was perceptibly felt, and all the more so because Adrian 
was very often unlucky in the choice of his officials. Blasio 
Ortiz attributes the delays in the transaction of business 
which were so generally found fault with to the slackness 
and dilatoriness of the officials, since Adrian personally did 
more hard work than any other Pontiff before him. That 
in spite of this the despatch of affairs was very protracted, 
was also owing to Adrian's extreme conscientiousness, which 

1 Cf. BERGENROTH, II., n. 490, 496, 502, 540, 544. 

2 Cf. BERGENROTH, II., n. 502; Corp. dipl. Port., II., 93, 132 seq. 
*Letter of Balbi to Salamanca of April 12, 1523 (State Archives, 

3 G. M. della Porta reports to the Duke of Urbino, on September 24, 
1522, a conversation with Ruflfo Teodoli about the "mala satisfactione 
che tutta la corte riceva di questo si confuso et longo negotiar di S. 
S ta ." Ruftb Teodoli describes how Enkevoirt takes everything into his 
own hands "et ha ottenuto di sostituir dui in loco suo da datare le 
supplication!, cosa che mai piu non fu concessa a persona del mondo se 
non in caso di infirmita, et stimase che fra poco spatio di tempo si 
habbiano di scoprir mille falsita, et il povero papa son sa di che 
importanza sia il sostituir datario" (State Archives, Florence). 

4 See JOVIUS, Vita Adriani VI., who unfortunately does not give the 
exact date. The fall of Ruffo Teodoli must have taken place after 
March 1523, for up to that time he was still described as being, along 
with Enkevoirt and G. Ghinucci, the Pope's chief confidential adviser. 
Corp. dip. Port, II., 132-133. Quite at the end of Adrian's reign Ruffo 
regained his influence ; see Ortiz in BURMANN, 217. 


often went the length of pedantry. The Pope attempted 
to attend to all kinds of business in person, especially 
spiritual matters, without discriminating between what was 
important and what was not; This devotion to duty, 
which made him sacrifice himself to public affairs, was so 
great that his early death was thought by some to have 
been caused by over-exertion in one already advanced in 
years and exposed to an unaccustomed climate. 1 

The shortness of Adrian's pontificate it lasted one year 
and eight months was the primary cause why the move- 
ment of Church reform produced such meagre positive 
results. As the period of delay in Spain and of the plague 
in Rome 2 can hardly be taken into account, the duration of 
his actual government was shorter still. Quite irrespective 
of his own idiosyncrasies and his advanced age, it is therefore 
not surprising that, among the new as well as arduous 
conditions in which, by an almost marvellous turn of events, 
he was placed, he was unable to strike any very deep roots. 
He had come to Rome a total stranger, and such he remained 
until his death ; therefore, for the execution of his noble 

1 Ortiz in BURMANN, 207 ; cf. Corp. dipl. Port., II., 93. On Sept- 
ember 3, 1523, the Florentine envoys sent to offer obedience, report: 
* Le S. V. hanno a sapere che questo Papa vuol vedere et intendere 
ogni cosa et non da auctorita a persona (State Archives, Florence). 

- Cf. supra, p. 100 seqq. Since February 1523 the plague had again 
broken out, so that the carnival fetes had to be given up ; see *a 
letter of Albergati, February 14, 1523, in the State Archives, Bologna. 
Cf. in Appendix, No. 16, Acta Consist, of February 11 (Consistorial 
Archives of the Vatican) ; BERNI, Rime, ed. Virgili, 278 ; MAZZUCHELLI, 
I., 1,396; Corp. dipl. Port., II., 139, 143, 169, and * Diary of CORNELIUS 
INK (National Library, Paris). In May only a few cases of 
plague were reported : see *a letter of Girol. Staccoli of May 17, 1523 
(State Archives, Florence). By the beginning of August 1523 the 
plague had entirely disappeared ; see the letter of Giovio in 
BRAGHIROLLI, Lett, inedit, Milano, 1856, 25. 


intentions and great plans he was more or less dependent 
on the Italians with whom he was never able to find 
genuine points of contact. The circumstance that his 
knowledge of their language was always inadequate not 
only led to great misunderstandings, 1 but also made an 
interchange of ideas impossible. A stranger, surrounded 
by intimates of foreign birth, the Flemish Pope could not 
make himself at home in the new world which he en- 
countered in Rome. 2 Just as Adrian was beginning to 
recognize the disadvantages inherent in his isolated 
position, and was making the attempt to ally himself 
with the Italian party of reform, and also to devise some 
improved and accelerated methods of business, 3 he was 
seized by the illness of which he died. But even if his 
reign had lasted longer the Pope would with difficulty 
have reached the full solution of his great tasks. The 
proper machinery for the accomplishment of his measures 
of reform was wanting. Moreover, the difficulties inherent 
in the very nature of the case were too vast, the evils 
too great, the force of deeply rooted conditions which 
in a naturally conservative atmosphere like that of Rome 
had a twofold strength too powerful, and the interests at 

1 Enea Pio reports on October 5, 1523, to the Duke of Ferrara : *La 
lettera di V. E. ho presentato a N. S re , la quale ha molto gratiosa- 
mente acceptato e non la sapendo legere la dete a M. Jo. Vincler, ne 
lui anchor la sapea molto ben legere di modo che io fui lo interprete 
(State Archives, Modena). 

* Cf. REUMONT in his recension of Hofler in the Allgem. Zeitung, 
1880, Beil. No. 149. HEFELE-HERGENROTHER, IX., 280, thinks 
that as Adrian placed more trust in his honest but inexperienced 
Netherlanders than in the Italians, the tactlessness of the former 
often did him more harm than the craftiness of the latter could have 

3 Cf. the *report of Albergati, September 6, 1523 (State Archives, 


stake too various 1 to permit of the great transformation 
which was necessary being accomplished within the limits 
of a single Pontificate. The accumulated evils of many 
generations could only be healed by a course of long and 
uninterrupted labour. 

Adrian, who had sometimes found himself driven by 
exceptional and weighty reasons to relax the stringency 
of the ecclesiastical laws, 2 perceived with grief in hours 
of depression that all his work would be but frag- 
mentary. " How much does a man's efficiency depend," 
he often said, " upon the age in which his work is cast." 3 
On another occasion he said plaintively to his friend Heeze, 
" Dietrich, how much better it went with us when we were 
still living quietly in Louvain." 4 At such times he 
was sustained only by the strong sense of duty which was 
always a part of his nature. Providence, he was strongly 
convinced, had called him to the most difficult post on 
earth, therefore he braced himself unflinchingly for the task, 
and devoted himself, heedless of his failing health, 5 to all 
the obligations of his office until the shadows of death 
closed around him. 

If Adrian is judged only by the standard of success, no 
just verdict will be given. The significance of his career 
lay not in his achievements, but in his aims. In this 

1 A good example in SANUTO, XXXI 1 1., 540. Cf. CANTU, Eretici, 
I., 359 seq. 

2 Cf. MORING-BURMANN, 73 ; HOFLER, 443. 

3 Cf. infra, Chapter V. 

4 This expression, given in a somewhat different form by JOVIUS 
(Vita Adrian! VI.), is thus reported by G. M. della Porta in his letter, 
September 23, 1522, given in Appendix, No. II (State Archives, 

6 Even Adrian's enemy, Sessa, was disturbed by the extent to which 
the Pope's health had suffered under the weight of his duties ; see the 
Report, November 22, 1522, in BERGENROTH, II., n. 502. 


respect it is to his undying credit that he not only courage- 
ously laid bare the scandals in the Church and showed an 
honest purpose of amending them, but also with clear 
understanding suggested the right means to be employed, 
and with prompt determination began reform at the 
head. 1 

1 See REUMONT, loc. cit. 



IN taking in hand the thorough regeneration of the 
Roman Curia, Adrian not only aimed at putting an end to 
a condition of things which to him must have been an 
abomination, but also hoped in this way to remove the 
grounds for defection from Rome in the countries beyond 
the Alps. But as the reform of the Curia was by no 
means a matter of swift realization, no other course 
remained open to the Pope than " to make a qualified 
appeal to the magnanimity of his enemies." 1 This ex- 
plains the mission of Francesco Chieregati to the Diet 
convened at Nuremberg on the 1st of September 1522. 

This native of Vicenza, chosen by the Pope for this 
difficult mission in Germany, where the elevation of a 
fellow-countryman to the Holy See had at once been 
accompanied by the highest hopes, 2 was no novice in Papal 
diplomacy ; already under Leo X. he had been Nuncio in 
England, Spain, and Portugal. At Saragossa and Barcelona 
Adrian, then Viceroy for Charles V., had come to know 
him as a man of learning and earnest moral character, and 

1 H6FLER, 242. 

2 Cf. Hochstratani Ad. s. d. n. pontificem modernum cuius nomen 
pontificate nondum innotuit. . . . Colloquia, pars prima [Coloniae], 
i 522, f. 2. Cf. PAULUS, Dominikaner, 103 seq. 



one of his first appointments as Pope was to present him 
to the bishopric of Teramo in the Abruzzi. 1 Almost 
immediately afterwards he was nominated Nuncio in 
Germany. 2 Chieregati must have entered at once on his 
difficult and responsible mission to the country then in the 
ferment of revolt, for by the 26th of September 1522 he 
had already entered Nuremberg with a retinue. Two 
days later he had his first audience with the Archduke 
Ferdinand. On this occasion he directed himself to 
obtaining measures against the Lutheran heresy, and dwelt 
upon the Pope's serious intention of carrying on the war 
against the Turks and removing ecclesiastical abuses ; at 
the same time he stated, in the Pope's name, that hence- 
forth annates and the fees for the pallium should not be 
sent to Rome, but retained in Germany and applied 
exclusively to the expenses of the Turkish war. 3 

The Diet having at last been opened on the i/th of 
November, Chieregati appeared before it for the first time 
on the ipth, and appealed for the aid of the Hungarians in 
a forcible speech. He wisely avoided weakening the effect 
of his words by any reference to Church affairs. Not until 
the loth of December, when he made a second speech on 

1 For F. Chieregati cf. BARBARANO, Hist. Eccles. di Vicenza IV. 
Vicenza, 1760; PORTIOLI, Quattro document! d' Inghilterra, Mantova, 
1 868 ; MORSOLIN, Fr. Chieregati, Vicenza, 1 873. Cf. also BURCKHARDT, 
I., ed. 7,329; GACHARD, Bibl. Nat, II., 64, and Giorn. d. lett. Ital., 
XXXVII., 240, as well as Cod. Barb., lat, 4907, of the Vatican Library. 

* Stefano Saffa writes from Rome, September 12, 1522, that Chiere- 
gati "in penultimo concistoro" was appointed Bishop of Teramo and 
Nuncio in Germany. *Saffa calls him " homo noto al papa per atto a 
ncgotiare " (State Archives, Modena). According to the *Acta Consist., 
I., f. 1 86 (Consistorial Archives), the Consistory was held on September 


lanitz' account, published by WuLCKER and VlRCK, 201 seq. ; 
REDLICH, 21 seq., and Reichstagsakten, III., 384. 


the Turkish question, did he consider the opportune 
moment to have come for introducing his errand as it 
bore on Church affairs, and then, at first, only cautiously. 
He was commissioned by the Pope to call the attention of 
the States of the Empire to the spread of Lutheran teaching, 
a peril even more threatening than that of Turkish invasion, 
and to ask for the enforcement of the Edict of Worms. 
The Pope also did not deny the existence of many abuses 
in the Roman Curia, but had decided to take steps 
against them with the utmost promptitude. The States 
declared that before they could confer and come to any 
final judgment on these matters they must have the Papal 
proposals put before them in writing ; they had evidently 
little inclination to meddle with this delicate matter. It was 
not until the arrival, on the 23rd of December, of Joachim 
of Brandenburg, who had already fought energetically at 
the Diet of Worms on the Catholic side, that matters seem 
to have come to a head. 1 

On the 3rd of January 1523 Chieregati read before the 
Diet and the representatives of the Empire several docu- 
ments which had been sent after him clearly setting forth the 
intention and proposals of the Pope. The first was a Brief 
of the 25th of November 1522, addressed to the Diet 
assembled at Nuremberg, in which Adrian, after mention- 
ing his assiduous efforts to restore peace in view of the 
danger arising from the Turks, went thoroughly into the 
question of the religious confusion in Germany. The 
originator of the trouble was Luther, who had himself to 
blame if he, Adrian, could no longer call him a son. 
Regardless of the Papal Bull of condemnation and of the 
Edict of Worms, he continued, in writings full of error, 
heresy, calumny, and destruction, to corrupt the minds 

1 See Reichstagsakten, III., 321 seq. t 385, 387 seq., 876 seq. ; 
REDLICH, 42 seg., 61 seq. ; DITTRICH in Histor. Jahrbuch, X , 99 seq. 
VOL. IX. 9 


and morals of Germany and the adjacent countries. It 
was still worse that Luther should have adherents and 
abettors among the princes, so that the possessions of the 
clergy this perhaps was the first inducement to the 
present disorder and the spiritual and secular authority 
were attacked, and a state of civil war had been brought 
about. Thus, at what was perhaps the worst moment of 
the Turkish danger, division and revolt had broken out 
in "our once so steadfast German nation." The Pope 
recalled how, when residing in Spain as Cardinal, he had 
heard with heartfelt sorrow of the disturbance in his beloved 
German fatherland. He had then consoled himself with 
the hope that this was only transitory, and would not long 
be tolerated, especially among a people from whom in 
all ages illustrious antagonists of heresy had arisen. But 
now that this evil tree perchance as a chastisement for the 
people's sins or through the negligence of those who ought 
to have administered punishment was beginning to spread 
its branches far and wide, the German princes and peoples 
should take good heed lest through passive acquiescence 
they come to be regarded as the promoters of so great a 
mischief: " We cannot even think of anything so incredible 
as that so great, so pious a nation should allow a petty monk, 
an apostate from that Catholic faith which for years he had 
preached, to seduce it from the way pointed out by the 
Saviour and His Apostles, sealed by the blood of so many 
martyrs, trodden by so many wise and holy men, your 
forefathers, just as if Luther alone were wise, and alone had 
the Holy Spirit, as if the Church, to which Christ promised 
His presence to the end of all days, had been walking in 
darkness and foolishness, and on the road to destruction, 
until Luther's new light came to illuminate the darkness." 
The Diet might well consider how the new teaching had 
renounced all obedience and gave permission to every man 


to gratify his wishes to the full. " Are they likely," con- 
tinued Adrian, " to remain obedient to the laws of the 
Empire who not merely despise those of the Church, the 
decrees of fathers and councils, but do not fear to tear them 
in pieces and burn them to ashes ? We adjure you to lay 
aside all mutual hatreds, to strive for this one thing, to 
quench this fire and to bring back, by all ways in your 
power, Luther and other instigators of error and unrest into 
the right way ; for such a charitable undertaking would be 
most pleasing and acceptable to us. If, nevertheless, which 
God forbid, you will not listen, then must the rod of 
severity and punishment be used according to the laws of 
the Empire and the recent Edict. God knows our willing- 
ness to forgive ; but if it should be proved that the evil has 
penetrated so far that gentle means of healing are of no 
avail, then we must have recourse to methods of severity 
in order to safeguard the members as yet untainted by 
disease. " 1 

1 The best copy of the Brief is in Reichstagsakten, III., 399 seq. ; 
cf. also REDLICH, 97 seq. This document alone is sufficient to 
establish the incorrectness of the assertion of Gregorovius, VIII., edit. 
3, 403, that Adrian " wished to settle the Lutheran controversy by a 
compromise on matters of. doctrine." Beside this Brief intended for 
the Church at large, Papal letters had also been sent, by the end of 
November, to prominent princes and towns. Some of these are merely 
credentials for Chieregati ; others, such as those sent to Bamberg ; 
Strassburg, Spires, and Constance, prohibitions to print and sell the 
writings of Luther; see WALCH, XV., 2562 seq. ; VlRCK, Korrespon- 
denz Strassburgs, I., 77 ; REMLING, Speier, II., 247 seq., and specially 
Reichstagsakten, III., 404 seq. In the last named see also the Brief 
to the Elector Albert of Mayence, of November 28 (infra, 141, n. 2) and 
also that to the Elector Frederick of Saxony, of December i, 1522, in 
which Adrian exhorts him, in accordance with his promise given 
beforehand to Cardinal Cajetan, to give no longer his protection to 
Luther after the condemnation of the latter by the ecclesiastical and 
secular authorities, but to proceed against him and his followers. This 


He-ides this Brief. Chieregati read an Instruction closely 
connected with it, and then demanded the execution of 
the Kdict of Worms and the punishment of four preachers 
who had spread heretical teaching from the pulpits of the 
churches of Nuremberg. 1 

This Instruction, which Chieregati communicated to the 
Diet, is of exceptional importance for an understanding of 
Adrian's plans of reform, and his opinion of the state of 
tilings. 2 The document, unique in the history of the 
Papacy, develops still more fully the principles already 
laid down in the foregoing Brief for the guidance of the 
German nation in their opposition to Lutheran errors. 

s.-aped KAI.KOKF, who gives (Forschungen, 208 seq. ; cf. 85, 

a text differing in particulars from the Cod. Vat., 3917. The 

r t<> Frederick, often printed and widely disseminated in MS. 

/.in a copy in the Theodosian Library at Paderborn, Lib. 

X.. j>. i -o sfi/.), which begins with the words "Satis et plus quam 

oked on as genuine by RAYNALDUS himself, 1522, n. 73, 

!.'il it is a forgery : see KOLDE in Kirchengeschichtl. Studien, 202-227. 

ular letter to the Archduke Ferdinand, see Reichstagsakten, 

. .;<>4. n.. whore a reference to BALAN, Mon. Ref., 297 seq., is added. 

I >crernbcr 1 8, 1522, Adrian wrote to Hildesheim about the dis- 

< hapter there ; printed in LAUENSTEIN, Hist. ep. 

H,Me-h.. I.. 40. 

/' report. January 4, published by WuLCKER and VlRCK, 

h>tagsakten, III., 385 ; RKDUCH, 103.9^. The doings 

:;oned preachers gave rise to quite exceptional 

<:on<< ming the advance of the heretical teaching; 

Albrryati, dated Rome, January 12, 1523 (State 

A:-h;-.< ,. llf)!o K na). 

-jipts and printed copies of the Instruction see 

391 .svy., where there is also an exact duplicate 

i the plague (see infra, p. 136) points with 

of November as the time of composition ; cf. 

: TI/IO (Hist. Senen., Cod. G, II., 39, f. 179; Chigi 

the Instruction to November 25, 1522, which 


IVsulcs the glory of God and the love of their neigh- 
bour, they are bidden to remember what is due to their 
glorious loyalty to the faith, whereby they have won the 
right to be considered the most Christian of all peoples, as 
well as the dishonour done to their forefathers by Luther, 
who has accused them of false belief and condemned them 
to the damnation of hell. Moreover, they must consider 
the danger of rebellion against all higher authority intro- 
duced by this doctrine under the guise of evangelical 
freedom, the scandals and disquiet already aroused, and the 
encouragement to break the most sacred vows in defiance 
of apostolic teaching, by which things Luther has set an 
example worse than that of Mohammed. On all these 
grounds Chieregati is justified in demanding the execution 
of the Papal and Imperial decrees; yet at the same time 
he must be ready to offer pardon to penitent sinners. 

The objection, which ever gained wider acceptance, that 
Luther had been condemned unheard and upon insufficient 
inquiry, meets with thorough refutation in the Papal 
Instruction. The basis of belief is divine authority and 
not human testimony. St. Ambrose says : " Away with 
the arguments by which men try to arrive at belief; we 
believe in the Fisherman, not in dialecticians." Luther's 
only vindication lay in the questions of fact, whether he 
had or had not said, preached, and written this or that. 
But the divine law itself, and the doctrine of the sacra- 
ments, were to the saints and to the Church an irrefrag- 
able truth. 

Almost all Luther's deviations of doctrine had already 
been condemned by various councils ; what the whole 
Church had accepted as an axiom of belief must not again 
be made a matter of doubt : " Otherwise, what guarantee 
remains for permanent belief? Or what end can there be 
to controversy and strife, if every conceited and puzzle- 


headed upstart is at liberty to dissent from teaching which 
puts forth its claims not as the opinion only of one man 
or of a number of men, but as established and consecrated 
by the unanimous consent of so many centuries and so 
many of the wisest men and by the decision of the Church, 
infallible in matters of faith ? Since Luther and his party 
now condemn the councils of the holy fathers, annul 
sacred laws and ordinances, turn all things upside down, 
as their caprice dictates, and bring the whole world into 
confusion, it is manifest, if they persist in such deeds, that 
they must be suppressed, as enemies and destroyers of 
public peace, by all who have that peace at heart." 

In the last and most remarkable portion of the 
Instruction, Adrian set forth with broad-minded candour 
the grounds on which the religious innovators justified 
their defection from the Church on account of the 
corruption of the clergy, as well as that corruption 
itself. " You are also to say," so run Chieregati's 
express instructions, " that we frankly acknowledge that 
God permits this persecution of His Church on account of 
the sins of men, and especially of prelates and clergy ; 
of a surety the Lord's arm is not shortened that He can- 
not save us, but our sins separate us from Him, so that 
He does not hear. Holy Scripture declares aloud that 
the sins of the people are the outcome of the sins of the 
priesthood ; therefore, as Chrysostom declares, when our 
Saviour wished to cleanse the city of Jerusalem of its 
sickness, He went first to the Temple to punish the sins 
of the priests before those of others, like a good physician 
who heals a disease at its roots. We know well that for 
many years things deserving of abhorrence have gathered 
round the Holy See ; sacred things have been misused, 
ordinances transgressed, so that in everything there has 
been a change for the worse. Thus it is not surprising 


that the malady has crept down from the head to the 
members, from the Popes to the hierarchy. 

"We all, prelates and clergy, have gone astray from 
the right way, and for long there is none that has done 
good ; no, not one. To God, therefore, we must give all 
the glory and humble ourselves before Him ; each one of 
us must consider how he has fallen and be more ready to 
judge himself than to be judged by God in the day of 
His wrath. Therefore, in our name, give promises that 
we shall use all diligence to reform before all things 
the Roman Curia, whence, perhaps, all these evils have 
had their origin ; thus healing will begin at the source of 
sickness. We deem this to be all the more our duty, as 
the whole world is longing for such reform. The Papal 
dignity was not the object of our ambition, and we would 
rather have closed our days in the solitude of private life ; 
willingly would we have put aside the tiara; the fear of 
God alone, the validity of our election, and the dread of 
schism, decided us to assume the position of Chief 
Shepherd. We desire to wield our power not as seeking 
dominion or means for enriching our kindred, but in order 
to restore to Christ's bride, the Church, her former beauty, 
to give help to the oppressed, to uplift men of virtue and 
learning, above all, to do all that beseems a good shepherd 
and a successor of the blessed Peter. 

" Yet let no man wonder if we do not remove all abuses 
at one blow ; for the malady is deeply rooted and takes 
many forms. We must advance, therefore, step by step, 
first applying the proper remedies to the most difficult 
and dangerous evils, so as not by a hurried reform to throw 
all things into greater confusion than before. Aristotle 
well says: 'All sudden changes are dangerous to States.'" 
In some supplementary instructions based on Chiere- 
gati's reports, Adrian also undertook that in future there 


should be no infringement of the concordats already agreed 
upon. With regard to cases decided in the Rota, in which 
a reversal of judgment was desired in Germany, he would, 
as soon as the Auditors, who had fled before the plague, 
were reassembled, and as far as was consistent with honour, 
come to some understanding ; he anxiously awaited pro- 
posals as to the best way to hinder the advance of the 
new teaching, and wished to be made acquainted with the 
names of learned, pious, and deserving Germans on whom 
Church preferment could be bestowed, as nothing had been 
more hurtful to the saving of souls than the appointment 
of unworthy priests. 

The unprecedented publicity which Adrian in this 
Instruction gave to the abuses so long dominant in Rome, 
and the communication of this document to the Diet, 
certainly not in opposition to the Pope's wishes, have 
often been blamed as impolitic acts ; even the Papal 
admission of guilt has itself been questioned as incorrect 
and exaggerated. 1 The charge of exaggeration cannot be 

1 The different objections to the contents of the Instruction and the 
manner of its publication are summarized by PALLAVICINI, II., 7, but 
with courtesy and moderation (cf. WENSING, 223). REUMONT (Allgem. 
Zeitung, 1880, Beil. No. 149) remarks on this point : " Various judgments 
may be formed as to the opportuneness of the Instruction imparted to 
the Nuncio Chieregati at Nuremberg ; there was something lofty- 
minded in the public acknowledgment of shortcomings and sins in 
the very quarter from which amendment ought to have proceeded, 
and Adrian was justified by the subsequent reforms carried out by the 
Tridentine decrees. If the results, at least the momentary results, 
did not correspond with his noble intentions ; if the opposition, 
refusing to take the hand held out to them, showed themselves averse 
to a real and equitable peace and only took advantage of the open 
avowal of wrong-doing to suit their own interests ; if they mixed up 
Church questions with matters foreign to them and proposed measures 
bound to be ineffectual owing to the already altered turn in affairs and 
the opposition to spiritual authority, who, on that account, shall hold 


sustained : the corruption in Rome was undoubtedly as 
great as Adrian described it to be. If there was to be any 
effectual cure, it was necessary that this lofty-minded Pope, 
in his enthusiasm for reform, should lay bare, with heroic 
courage, the wounds that called for healing. 

On looking at the Instruction as a whole, we see that the 
Pope did not surrender, even on the smallest point, his firm 
ecclesiastical principles. He draws a sharp and definite 
line between the divine and human elements in the Church. 
The authority of the latter rests on God only : in matters 
of belief it is infallible. The members of the Church, 
however, are subject to human corruption, and all, good as 
well as bad, must not shrink from confession of guilt before 
God, the confession which every priest, even the holiest, 
has to lay on the steps of the altar before offering the 
sacrifice of the Mass. Such a confession Adrian as High 
Priest made before the whole world openly, solemnly, and 

the Pope responsible ? the Pope who, from his first accession onwards, 
had put the peace of Christendom in the forefront of all his pronounce- 
ments, ecclesiastical as well as political, and, on the other hand, had 
stood out against the pernicious violence of hostile writers and the 
obvious illegality of princes in their encroachments on the constitution 
of the Church ? An agreement with the reforming Papacy might have 
saved Germany from the horrible disorders which broke out in the 
struggle between the German nobility and their princes, and in the 
peasants' war, all carried on in the name of the Gospel and the Divine 
Law, disorders of which the final result, after horrible bloodshed, has 
been that worst of all forms of ecclesiastical government, a Caesaro- 
Papism, from which the Evangelical Church, as the outcome of its very 
origin, still suffers to-day. For even after the removal of the worst 
evils of an incongruous relationship, after the most strenuous efforts 
to make its constitution secure, this Church is still always face to face 
with the danger of succumbing to State domination or to anarchy. 
An agreement with this all-reforming Papacy had in itself ceased to be 
a matter of practical consideration, and, besides assuming its possibility, 
was beyond the powers of the leaders of the opposition to carry out." 


explicitly in expiation of the sins of his predecessors and 
as the earnest of a better future. Firmly convinced of 
the divine character of the Church, he nevertheless does 
not shrink one jot from speaking freely, though in 
grief, of the evils and abuses that lay open as day before 
the eyes of the world and brought dishonour on her 
external system of government. 1 

What is to be said of the charge of impolicy brought 
against the Instruction? Was the Pope's uncompromising 
admission of the corruption of Rome a short-sighted 
blunder whereby he sharpened one of the keenest weapons 
of the enemy ? Many staunch partisans of the Church 
have thought so ; but this is a narrow conception, without 
justification. Adrian was right in rising to a much higher 
idea of the Church; moreover, he was too clear-sighted 
a theologian to feel alarm for the true interests of the 
Church from a confession of guilt which was an actual 
matter of fact. It is sin itself, not its acknowledgment, 
which is dishonouring. With genuine German frankness 
and sincerity, which on this very account were unintelli- 
gible to the Romans, Adrian VI., in a magnanimous 
and honourable spirit, had turned to the noble and well- 
loved nation from which he came, with a courageous 
confession of abuses, promises of thorough reform, and 
exhortations to the maintenance of unity, law, and order 
in the Church. " It lay with the nations to reply in the 
same noble temper. But the existing tone was one of 
discord, and the prospect of reconciliation vanished never 
to return ; the gulf grew wider and wider, and no power 
on earth was able to close it." 2 

Had it depended upon the Archduke Ferdinand and the 
Elector Joachim of Brandenburg, the Pope's solicitations 

BUCHOLTZ, II., 17 seqq., and WENSING, 249 seq. 
* HOFLER, 275. 


for the execution of the Edict of Worms would have been 
acceded to. But neither succeeded in having his way. 
Hans von der Planitz, who was devoted to the new teaching 
ami an active and astute champion of the Saxon Elector, 
knew how to procrastinate; the majority determined not 
to commit themselves at first to any definite answer, but 
to refer the whole matter to a consultative committee. In 
addition to the pressure put upon them by the unsettled 
condition of the Empire, they were influenced by an out- 
break of indignation cleverly worked up by the Lutheran 
party on account of Chieregati's demand for proceedings 
against the four preachers of Nuremberg. The town 
council had already, on the 5th of January 1523, decided to 
prevent this, if necessary by force. As Chieregati still 
remained obstinate, this matter also was referred to the 
committee. 1 The Papal Nuncio soon found himself ex- 
posed to such insults, threats, and acts of violence that he 
hardly any longer dared to show himself in the streets. 2 

The preachers, on the other hand, only became more 
vehement ; " If the Pope," declared one of them from 
the pulpit in the church of St. Lawrence, " were to add 
a fourth crown to the three already on his head, he 
would not on that account rob me of the word of God." 3 
This feeling in the city, as well as the critical condition 
of the Empire, had from the first a strong influence on 
the conduct of affairs. The result gave satisfaction to 
neither party. 4 The Lutherans certainly in no way 

1 REDLICH, 106 seg. Reichstagsakten, III., 386; JANSSEN- PASTOR, 
II., ed. 1 8, 290 seq. 

2 Report of Chieregati, January 10, 1523, in MORSOLIN, in seq. ; 
cf. SANUTO, XXXIII., 599. 

3 RANKE, Deutsche Geschichte, II., ed. 6, 38. 

4 REDLICH, 114^.; Reichstagsakten, III., 387 ; JANSSEN-PASTOR, 
II., ed. 1 8, 293 seq. 


derived a complete victory, but the Catholics and the 
Pope were equally unsuccessful in achieving their most 
important object, the execution of the Edict of Worms. 1 
This was postponed as being at the time impracticable; 
simultaneously demands were made on the Curia in a 
more imperative and aggressive form for the removal of 
German grievances 2 and the convocation of a free Council 
on German soil ; until then nothing else was to be preached 
except " the Holy Gospel as laid down in the Scriptures 
approved and received by the Christian Church, and 
nothing new was to be printed or offered for sale unless 
first examined and approved by learned persons especially 
appointed for that purpose." 3 Had the clergy, with their 
decided preponderance in the Diet, fulfilled their duties 
in a corporate capacity, the unsatisfactory result of the 
negotiations would be inexplicable. But both courage and 
good-will were wanting in too many of the prelates. The 
critical condition within the Empire, threatened by an out- 
break of revolution, " put them," as Planitz wrote, " in fear 
of their skins." Had it not been for the determined action 
of the Papal Nuncio, the affairs of the Church might well 
have been entirely neglected. 4 

The prelates were not only weak-spirited, they were 
also steeped in worldliness. Heedless of the necessities of 

1 Cf. BAUMGARTEN, II., 234^?., 247 ; HOFLER, 284 seq. ; HEFELE- 
HERGENROTHER, IX., 308 ; Histor. Zeitschr., LX., iio-iu. 

- In order to avoid the presentation of these demands, Chieregati 
left Nuremberg on February 16, 1523; see Planitz' reports, 383. Cf. 
Reichstagsakten, III., 645 seq., and EHSES in Romischen Quartalschr., 
I 94> 373> note. On Eck's advice regarding the German u grievances " 
see GUTZ' article, No. 18, quoted supra, in note i, p. 109. 

3 Reichstagsakten, III., 447 seq. JANSSEN-PASTOR, II., ed. 18, 
296. For the meaning of the demands of the Council, see EHSES' 
excellent remarks, Cone., IV., xvi. seq. 

4 REDLICH, 147. 



the age, they thought more of worldly enjoyments, the 
banquet and the dance, than of the deliberations of the 
Diet. 1 The earnestness of the Nuncio was displeasing to 
them, still more the frank avowal of general blame and 
responsibility by a Pope who knew only too well the laxity 
of the German hierarchy. 2 Adrian's hope that the 
German prelates would search their own hearts, and even 
now smite their breasts as penitent sinners, was proved to 
be futile. Far from it, these worldly-minded men felt 
themselves affronted and roused to wrath at the bare idea 
of paying attention to the Papal declarations. Such 
small amount of zeal as there was for co-operation in 
Adrian's wishes very soon sank below zero. Moreover, 
among the Catholic secular princes opinion was for the 
most part "out-and-out Lutheran." 3 

The party of the new belief, cleverly led by Planitz 
and Johann von Schwarzenberg, opposed at first a 
discreet silence to the Pope's magnanimous candour, in 
order there and then to bring to the front the demand 
for the punishment of the preachers and afterwards to 
fall upon the Nuncio. Even a man of so refined a 
culture as Melanchthon was not ashamed 4 to describe 
the latter as no better than a weathercock ; still worse 
was the license with which he and Luther inveighed 
against Adrian. In the spring of 1523 they issued a 
foul pamphlet aimed, under allusions to a monstrosity 
discovered in Rome in the reign of Alexander VI., at 
the strictest and most austere Pope ever raised to the 

1 Cf. Chieregati's report, November 28, 1522, in MORSOLIN, 
Chieregati, 108. 

2 Cf. the Brief to the Elector Albert of Mayence, November 28, 1522, 
in the Reichstagsakten, III., 406 seqq. 

3 Cf. REDLICH, 104 seq., 148 ; BAUMGARTEN, II., 234, 244. 

4 Cf. Corp. Ref., I., 605 seq. 


Chair of Peter. 1 Luther did not think it worth his 
trouble even to take notice of Adrian's good intentions. 2 
He saw in him only the Antichrist : the whole " injustice 
and savagery of his polemic" 3 is shown in the gibes 
at "the stupidity and ignorance" ascribed by him to 
this great man. "The Pope," he wrote, "is a magister 
noster of Louvain ; in that University such asses are 
crowned; out of his mouth Satan speaks." 4 

Luther and his associates show thus plainly that their 
object was not the removal of abuses from the Church, but 
its fundamental overthrow. Regardless of the stipulation 
of Nuremberg, they urged on their politico - religious 
agitation. On the 28th of March 1523, Luther addressed 
to the heads of the German religious orders his appeal, 
calling on them to break their vows, contract marriages, 
and divide amongst themselves the property of their 
orders. He continued as before to revile the noble 
German Pontiff as a blind tyrant, a charlatan, even as 
the special minister of Satan. 5 

For this Luther found a pretext on the 3ist of May 
1523 in Adrian's canonization of Bishop Benno of Meissen. 
On the same day the Florentine Archbishop Antonino 
was raised to the altars of the Church. The lavish 
expenditure hitherto associated with such ceremonies 
was prohibited by Adrian. 6 The canonization of such 

1 LANGE, Der Papstesel (Gottingen, 1891), 82 seq., 86. 

2 REDLICH'S opinion, 146. 

3 HARNACK uses this expression of Luther's controversial style, 
Dogmengsch., III., 3rd ed., 733. 

4 See WALCH, XV., 2658 seq. ; DE WETTE, II., 351 seq. ; HOFLER, 
297, 299 seq. Cf. JANSSEN, An meine Kritiker (1891), 74 seq. 

See JANSSEN-PASTOR, II., i8th ed., 298 seq. Cf. Mitteil. fur 
Gesch. von Meissen, II., 130, and LEMMENS, Alfeld (Freiburg, 1899), 
67 seq. 

e See RAYNALDUS, 1523, n. 89-101 ; Bull V., 15 seq. Cf. *Acta 


illustrious examples of the bygone episcopate was in- 
tended to appeal to their less spiritual successors. 1 But 
the Pope's lofty intention of thus uplifting the higher 
clergy was as little understood in Italy as in Germany ; 2 
he also experienced a bitter disappointment in Erasmus, 3 
who had written to his former teacher immediately after 
his election, assuring Adrian of his orthodoxy and 
dedicating to him his edition of Arnobius. In answer, 
Adrian addressed Erasmus on the ist of December 1522 

Consist., May 29, 1523 (Consistorial Archives of the Vatican); 
SANUTO, XXXIV., 244 ; Corp. dipl. Port., II., 170 ; Lett, di princ., I., 
115 seq. ; Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE in the National Library, Paris ; 
Ortiz in BURMANN, 210 seq. ; * letters of V. Albergati, May 13 and 18, 
1523, State Archives, Bologna; * letter of L. Cati, June 6, 1523, in 
State Archives, Modena ; LANDUCCI, 366 ; Mitteil. fiir Gesch. von 
Meissen, 127 seq. ; KALKOFF, Forschungen, 35 ; SCHMIDLIN, 270. 
The canonization of Giustiniani (cf. SANUTO, XXXIV., 285) was not 
carried out. 

1 HOFLER, 302. 

2 Of importance in this respect is a ^letter of Abbadino, May 18, 
1523, who, after speaking of the Consistory in the case of Antonino, 
adds : " Hoggi se fatto un altro consistoro pur publico, nel quale se 
publicato Beato Bennone Alemano. Credo che questo papa habbi 
designate de far santi li morti et cazar disperati a casa del diavolo li 
vivi, maxime che havevano a negociar in questa corte, nella quale non 
si sono altri che disperati e malcontenti." Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 
In a similar spirit of mockery writes *L. Cati, May 29, 1523. State 
Archives, Modena. 

3 Adrian's correspondence with Erasmus is printed by BUR- 
MANN, 493 seqq.) from the: Opera Erasmi, a German translation (by 
Schlosser), Frankfurt-on-Main, 1849; cf. DANZ, Anal. Crit. de Had. 
VI., I., II., Jenae, 1813 seq.; WOKER, De Erasmi studiis irenicis. 
Bonnae, 1872, 25 ; BAUER, Hadrian VI. (Heidelberg, 1876), 107 seq. ; 
MAURENBRECHER, Kath. Ref., 211 seg., 400, where a gross mistake 
of NIPPOLD, Reformbestrebungen Adrians VI. (Hist. Taschenb., 
1875, 205 seqq.} is corrected; HOFLER, 333 seq.> and HARTFELDER, 


in a lengthy and paternal Brief, 1 thanking him for the 
dedication, setting his mind at rest with regard to certain 
accusations brought against him, and at the same time 
urgently entreating him to use his great literary gifts 
against the new errors. This practical Netherlander, now 
seated in the Papal Chair, wished to see Erasmus doing 
something and not merely conveying to him graceful words 
of compliment. He shrewdly remarks that Erasmus by 
such activity would best put to silence those who wished 
to implicate him in the Lutheran business : " Rouse thy- 
self, rouse thyself to the defence of the things of God, 
and go forth to employ in His honour the great gifts 
of the Spirit thou hast received from Him. Consider how 
it lies with you, through God's help, to bring back into the 
right way very many of those whom Luther has seduced, 
to give steadfastness to those who have not yet fallen, and 
to preserve from falling those whose steps are tottering." He 
recommends as best that Erasmus should come to Rome, 
where he would find at his disposal literary resources and the 
society of learned and pious men. Adrian, who was well 
aware of the disinclination of Erasmus to any violent 
treatment of the innovators, very adroitly seizes this 
opportunity of impressing upon him that he also was much 
more desirous of the voluntary return of those who had 
been misled than of their compulsion under spiritual and 
secular penalties ; to the attainment of this end, Erasmus 
would best conduce by engaging in a literary warfare with 
the friends of Luther. In the same spirit and at the 
same time, Adrian also admonished the University of 
Cologne. 2 

1 From Meander's original draft (*Cod. Vat., 3917, f. 16-17 ; cf. 
PAQUIER, 290 seg.) Adrian had removed all terms of recrimination 
and harshness. 

2 This Brief, dated Rome, December i, 1522, is to be found in 


On the 22nd of December 1522, Erasmus himself wrote 
a second letter to Adrian, in which he already makes suffi- 
ciently clear the advice that he purposes to communicate 
to the Pope in a more confidential manner; he only begs 
that there shall be no measures of suppression, no intrusion 
of personal hatreds, to the dishonour of the cause of Christ. 
To this Adrian answered in the most friendly way on the 
23rd of January 1523, again inviting Erasmus to Rome. 
He looks forward with eager anticipation to the promised 
advice, " since he has no greater desire than to find the 
right means of removing from the midst of our nation 
this abominable evil while it is yet curable, not because 
our dignity and authority, so far as they concern us 
personally, seem endangered in the stormy tempests of the 
times for not only have we never set our heart on these 
things, but, seeing that they come upon us without any 
connivance of ours, have greatly dreaded them, and, God be 
our witness, would have declined them altogether had we not 
feared thereby to offend God and injure our own conscience 
but because we see so many thousands of souls, redeemed 
by the blood of Christ and committed to our pastoral care 
souls, moreover, belonging, after the flesh, to peoples of our 
own race led away on the direct path of destruction 
through the hope of an evangelical freedom which, in very 
truth, is a bondage to the Devil." 

The answer of Erasmus to this letter is only preserved 
in part. Enough remains, however, to show what his 
position at this time actually was. He coldly declines 
the enthusiastic summons of the Pope to devote his 
learning, reputation, and influence to the cause of 
the Church ; he has not the adequate knowledge, nor 

a rare contemporary copy : Adrianus Papa Sextus | delectis filiis 
Re | ctori et Universi \ tat. Colonien. | Five printed pages with the 
Papal arms on frontispiece. Copy in the Floss Library, Berlin. 


does he enjoy a sufficient reputation, seeing that both 
parties, the Lutherans and their opponents, tear him in 
pieces. Even if his frail health permitted him to make the 
journey to Rome, he could get through much more work 
in Basle ; besides, if he were to write against Luther in 
measured and decorous terms, he would appear to be 
jesting with him. " If I were to imitate his own style of 
writing and make a hostile onslaught on Lutheranism, I 
should raise about me a hornet's nest." To this excuse 
Erasmus joins a warning against violent measures ; yet, 
in contradiction to this, he expresses the wish that the 
authorities " may beat back the innovations"; further, he 
trusts that the Pope may lead the world to hope that 
some of the things justly complained of may be altered. 
He recommends that incorruptible, moderate, and dis- 
passionate men should be convoked from every country in 
Europe, in order to deliberate on reform. Here the letter 
breaks off. We are left in uncertainty whether Erasmus 
still adhered to his scheme of settling the Lutheran 
question by means of the arbitration of learned men ; in 
any case, the conditions were less favourable for such a 
course than they had been in 1520, when Erasmus exerted 
himself to carry out this favourite project. 1 

Adrian VI. had also made attempts to win back the man 
who, in connection with the Lutheran ideas, had intro- 

1 Cf. our previous remarks, English ed. of this work, Vol. VII., p. 422. 
REDLICH, 65, believes Erasmus to have held fast to his original 
project. This is certainly probable, but not certain as long as the 
close of the letter remains undiscovered. On September 16, 1523, 
Erasmus addressed a letter to Adrian's Sacristan, Petrus Barbirius, 
the sound Catholic sentiment of which is strongly marked ; printed 
by NOLHAC, Erasme en Italic, 112 seq. The letter reflects the 
mental distress of the harassed scholar, urged from both sides by 
the parties in a great national movement to take up a clear position. 


duced into German Switzerland a movement of apostasy 
from Rome. The Pope's position was one of twofold diffi- 
culty in respect of Switzerland, as there remained a debt of 
30,000 ducats due from Leo X. to the cantons. With 
great exertions Adrian VI. succeeded, in the first instance, 
in finding the money required to pay the Zurichers, and 
in January 1523 he handed over to them 18,000 Rhenish 
gulden. 1 In April he sent Ennio Filonardi to the Swiss 
in order to secure their neutrality, and, in case of a French 
invasion of Italy, an alliance; he gave him a letter to 
Ulrich Zwingli promising him rewards if he supported 
the Nuncio. 2 But in the meantime Zwingli had already 
initiated his breach with Rome in his first discourse at 
Zurich on religion. 3 Similar designs occupied the mind 

1 Cf. SCHULTE, I., 235. The reports of **A. Germanello of December 
1 1 and 29, 1 522, give fresh details of the transactions with the Swiss 
Envoys. Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

2 ZWINGLI, Opera, VII., 264. The letter contains no definite 
promise, and Zingg's later assertions, "that every inducement was 
put before Zwingli to keep silence, even the Papal chair itself," is 
wanton exaggeration. Not until Clement VII. became Pope was it 
recognized how dangerous the reformer might be to the Curia, and 
then the latter had recourse not to promises but to threats. Before 
that his influence had not yet been rated so highly. As parish priest 
of Glarus he was simply offered the prospect, in the event of his 
supporting the Nuncio in his political mission, of obtaining a canonry 
at Coire or Basle, and he was made a Papal acolyte a merely 
nominal position, which he accepted. How could anyone for a 
moment suppose that a man who, up to a short time before, had been 
content, even as senior priest of Zurich, with a pension of fifty marks 
for placing his influence at the Pope's service, was so distinguished 
as to be marked out for the purple? WlRZ, Filonardi, 59-60. For 
Zwingli's discreditable distrust of Adrian's crusading energy see 
RlFFEL, III., 43 seq. 

3 Cf. RIFFEL, III., 49.^., and G. MAYER in Kathol. Schweizerbl., 
1895, 51 seq. 


of the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Albert of 
Brandenburg, despite his still repeated asseverations of 
loyalty to the Pope and the Church. He had even 
instructed the Roman procurator of the Order to obtain 
from the Pope a penal edict against any of his knights who 
had joined the party of Luther ! Adrian, who had ordered 
Albert to accept without alteration 1 the reforms of the 
Order already prescribed by Leo X., was spared the 
experience of seeing this German Prince, in violation of 
his vows, obtain the secularization of the lands of the 
Order for which he had denounced in Rome the King of 
Poland. 2 

Next to Germany the countries of Scandinavia repeatedly 
claimed Adrian's attention. The want of determination 
shown by Leo X. with regard to the arbitrary govern- 
ment of the tyrannical Christian II. of Denmark had 
inflicted serious injury on the Church in those countries. 
That under Adrian a stronger conception of duty pre- 
vailed is clear from the transactions of a Consistory 
held on the 29th of April 1 523.3 But before a decree 
against Christian was drawn up, the King had been 
compelled to leave his kingdom, where the government was 
taken over by his uncle, Frederick of Gottorp. 4 On the 
ground of the Union of Colmar, Frederick also claimed 
acknowledgment in Sweden ; but in vain. Gustavus 
Wasa, the gifted leader of the Swedish national party, 

1 VOIGT, Geschichte Preussens, IX., 685 seq.; JOACHIM, III., 45 
seq., 63, 243 seq. ; PASTOR, Albrecht von Brandenburg in, Katholik, 
1876, I., 180. Cf. Hist-polit. Blatter, CXXL, 331 seq. 

* Cf. JANSSEN- PASTOR, III., ed. 18, 79 seq. ; KALKOFF, Capito, 117. 
See KALKOFF, Forschungen, 84, and MARTIN, G. Vasa, 127. 

4 The news reached Rome in the beginning of May ; see better of 
V.Albergati, May 7, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna); cf. Corp. dipl. 
Port., II., 1 68. 


since 1521 administrator of the kingdom, was, on the 6th 
of June 1523, proclaimed in the Diet of Strengnas "King 
of Sweden and of the Goths." 

Luther's teaching had also made its way into Sweden 
through the efforts of Olaus Petri, and during the confusion 
of the war of independence had spread unhindered. As an 
apt pupil of the Wittenberg Professor, at whose feet he 
had sat, Olaus Petri declaimed quite openly in Strengnas 
against the sacrament of penance and the veneration of the 
saints ; at the same time he proclaimed the duty of the 
Church to return to apostolic poverty. He soon found a 
like-minded colleague in Laurentius Andrea. Their anti- 
Catholic agitation was able to make unimpeded progress 
as long as the see of Strengnas was vacant. The state 
of disorder into which the Swedish Church had fallen, in 
consequence of the turmoil of the preceding years, is best 
illustrated by the fact that, with the exception of the 
excellent Johann Brask in Linkoping, and the revered 
Ingemar in Vexjo, there were no other bishops in the 
whole country. 1 

Adrian did not neglect the needs of the Swedish Church ; 
in order to help, he sent, in the person of Johann Magni, 
a legate of Swedish extraction, with whom he had been 
personally acquainted from the Louvain days. 2 Magni 
arrived in Strengnas when the election of Gustavus Wasa 
to the throne was already accomplished. The cunning 
sovereign, at heart estranged from the Church, and covetous 

1 See WEIDLING, 122 seq., 131 ; GEIGER, II., 34 ; MARTIN, G. Vasa, 
164 seq., 222 seq. ; cf. also SCHUCK, Svensk. Litt.-hist., Stockholm, 
1890, and BERGGREN in Upsala Universitets Asrkrift, 1899. 

2 See JOH. MAGNI, Hist. metr. in Script, rer. Suec, III., 2, 75 ; 
WEIDLING, 132 seg. y 138; MARTIN, 172, 174. The latter calls atten- 
tion, rightly, to the discreet reserve of the Brief of March n, 1523, 
announcing Magni's mission (in THEINER, Schweden, II., 5). 


of the rich possessions of the clergy, 1 concealed his real 
feelings and received the Pope's representative with every 
token of honour. Johann Magni's mission resembled that 
of Chieregati: he was to announce Adrian's readiness 
to remove abuses in the Church, but at the same time to 
call upon the government of the kingdom to take steps 
against the Lutheran innovations. In reply, the royal 
council, inspired by the King, first expressed satisfaction 
at the Pope's promises of reform, but immediately went on 
to insist, as indispensable preliminaries for the Swedish 
Church, on the formal deposition of the Archbishop of 
Upsala, Gustavus Trolle "the turbulent," who had been 
sentenced to perpetual exile as a partisan of the Danish 
king Christian II., and the institution of good native-born 
bishops to the vacant sees, and especially of a peace- 
abiding primate. Until this was done it would be a hard 
task to eradicate the many errors introduced into the 
Christian religion the name of Luther being intentionally 
omitted. The question of the Episcopate being settled, 
the Papal Nuncio was to return and undertake the best 
reform possible. 2 

When the Legate on a further occasion made personal 
representations to the King respecting the payments of 
money to the Church, and the Lutheran heresy, he received 
such a very conciliatory answer that he believed his mission 
to have come to a prosperous issue. 3 The too trustful 
Magni seems to have shut his eyes to the fact that the 
King, for all his courtesy, had shirked the essential points, 

1 REUTERDAHL insists that this, and not inward conviction, was the 
cause of G. Wasa's apostasy (Svenska Kyrkan's Historia, IV., 179). 
Cf. MARTIN, 227. 

1 TH FINER, Schweden, II., 7 seg. WEIDLING, 135. 

3 Cf. Magni's letter to Brask in Handlingar rorande Skandin. Hist., 
XVII., 157 seqq. 


and had not forbidden Olaus Petri to preach Lutheran 
doctrine in Strengnas. On the loth of September 1523 
Gustavus Wasa wrote himself to the Pope that, when 
the vacant bishoprics were filled by peace-abiding bishops 
who would be loyal to the Crown, and the Legate returned 
with newly constituted powers, he would then do all in his 
power, after taking counsel with the bishops, to extirpate 
the destructive heresies, and to forward the union of the 
Muscovites with the Church and the conversion of the 
Laplanders. A few days later the King forwarded to the 
Pope the list of bishops chosen by the Swedish chapters, 
with the name of the Papal Nuncio at their head as Arch- 
bishop of Upsala, and asked for their confirmation and 
for the remission of the customary dues. 1 

It was an extremely clever move thus to link the 
personal interests of Magni with the formal deposition of 
Trolle. 2 Magni was on the point of starting for Rome, 
when a Brief from Adrian arrived to the effect that Trolle 
was still to be considered Archbishop of Upsala and to be 
reinstated as such. The Nuncio declared that the docu- 
ment was spurious, but his supposition was wrong : the Pope 
had actually taken this impolitic step. 3 The King now 
dropped his mask. Evidently under the influence of the 
events that had recently taken place at the Diet of 
Nuremberg, and guided by his secretary, Laurentius 
Andrea, a man of Lutheran opinions, he sent to the Holy 
See in the beginning of October a threatening ultimatum ; 

1 THEINER, Schweden, II., 8 seqq. ; BALAN, Mon. ref., n. 131; 
MARTIN, 185 seq.\ WEIDLING, 127 seqq. 

2 WEIDLING, 139. MARTIN (176 seg.) opposes this view of Magni's 
character, but he admits that he \vas too credulous. 

3 " Les termes d'un autre bref ;\ Frederic de Danemark confirment 
que la bonne foi du nouveau pontife s'etait laisse surprendre par les 
intrigues de 1'archeveque depossede." MARTIN, 189. 


that if the Pope did not withdraw his demands respecting 
Trolle, the rebel and traitor to his country, he would, on 
the strength of his royal authority, dispose of the bishops 
and the Christian religion in his territories in such a manner 
as would, he believed, be pleasing to God and all Christian 
princes. 1 To Magni, Gustavus used still plainer language : 
if his patience and goodness were unavailing, he was 
determined to let his prerogative have full play and free 
his people from the intolerable yoke of strangers. A 
royal letter of the 2nd of November 1523 informed the 
Pope, the news of whose death had not yet come, that 
if the confirmation of the proposed candidates for the 
vacant sees was refused or any longer delayed, he, the 
King, had made up his mind to care for the orphaned 
Church in other ways and would enforce the confirmation 
of those chosen by Christ, the highest Pontiff. 2 All doubt 
was removed that the King had determined to sever his 
countries from that Church to which they owed their 
culture and civilization. 

As a consolation amid the sorrow caused to Adrian by 
the dangers and losses of the Church in Germanic lands 
came the reconciliation of Theophilus, the schismatic 
Patriarch of Alexandria, 3 the dawning hopes of a reunion 
with the Russian schismatics, 4 and the spread of Christianity 

1 The letter to the Sacred College of October 10, and to the Pope 
of October 4, 1523, in THEINER, It., 11 seq., 13 seqq., and Gustav d. 
Forstes Registratur, I., 143 seg., 146 seq. ; cf. WEIDLING, 140 seg. 9 
and MARTIN, 187 seg. 

2 Gustav d. Forstes Registratur, I., 172 seq., 181. 

3 RAYNALDUb, 1523, n. 107 ; PAQUIER, Aleandre, 296. 

4 G. M. della Porta announces, on May 21, 1523, the overthrow of 
Sickingen, and adds : *Par pur che Dio voglia aiutar la religione 
Christiana, che in questo tempo medesimo gli Moschoviti offeriscono 
a N. S. voler lasciar in tutto et per tutto le loro eresie et redursi sotto 
la total ubedienza de la sede Ap., dal quale non vogliono di sorte 


in the New World. To promote the missionary activity 
of the Franciscans in America, the Pope conferred upon 
the Order in that continent extensive privileges : they 
were to elect their own superior every three years, to 
possess the full powers of the Minister-General, and even 
to exercise episcopal functions, except those of ordina- 
tion. 1 This new organization encouraged the hope that 
races which, notwithstanding highly developed civilization, 
were yet votaries of a blood-stained heathen worship, 
would soon be delivered from the night of idolatry and 
be won over to the truth of Christianity. 

alcuna altro privilegio salvo chel loro prencipe sia create et nominato 
re. State Archives, Florence. 

1 WADDING, XVI., ed. 2, 136 seq. HOFLER, 173 ; MEIER, Propa- 
ganda, I., 301 seq. ; HERNAEZ, Colec. de bullas rel. a la Iglesia 
de America, I., 332. Adrian VI. gave support to the Franciscans in 
other ways also, and to the Dominicans as well ; see WADDING, XVI., 
2nd ed., 148, 561 ; Bull. ord. praed., IV., 408, 410 seq. A unique 
instance there recorded is the appointment of a lay inquisitor in the 
person of Franz van der Hulst. This, however, was accompanied by 
strict limitations, especially in protecting the rights of the Episcopate ; 
see DE HOOP-SCHEFFER, Kerkhervorming in Nederland (1873), 181 
seq., and FINKE in Hist. Jahrbuch, XIV., 337 seq. 



ADRIAN'S attitude towards the complicated politics of the 
European States, then involved in a dangerous crisis, 
through the rivalry between Francis I. and Charles V. and 
the renewed aggressiveness of the Ottoman power, was 
inspired by that lofty earnestness and magnanimity which 
had directed his treatment of ecclesiastical affairs. As 
Vicar of the eternal Prince of Peace the lofty-minded 
Pope had felt most bitterly the protracted state of war, 
with its menace to the future of Christendom. Since the 
greatest danger came from without, 1 from the side of the 
infidel, he deemed it a twofold duty, towards God and his 
own conscience, to leave nothing undone to procure the 
reconciliation of the two monarchs who confronted one 
another in deadly enmity. 

The pacification and union of the Christian powers in 
presence of the onslaught of Islam, the reform of the 
Church, and the restoration of ecclesiastical unity, so 
especially threatened in Germany, were the three great 
ideas dominating his Pontificate. 

1 The, Epistola D. Marci Maruli Spalatens. ad Adrianum VI. P. M. 
de calami tati bus occurrentibus et exhortatio ad communem omnium 
Christianorum unionem et pacem. Romae, 1522, describes the situa- 
tion in language of great emotion. 



From the first Adrian had shown a firm determination, 
in contrast to his predecessors, not to attach himself to 
any of the contending parties, but by all the means in his 
power to bring about a peace, or at least a truce, so that 
all the united forces of Europe might be turned against 
the hereditary foe of Christendom. In this sense he had 
already written to the Emperor on the 25th of March 
1522, urging him to conclude peace or an armistice with 
the French King ; 1 for identical reasons he despatched 
Gabriele Merino, Archbishop of Bari, from Spain to Paris, 
and Alvaro Osorio, Bishop of Astorga, to England, to 
confer with the Emperor and Henry VIII. 2 

Immediate help was necessary, for it was no longer 
doubtful that the Sultan Suleiman I., following up the 
capture of Belgrade in August 1521, was preparing to deal 
another deadly blow by an attack on Rhodes, the last 
bulwark of Christendom in the south. Held by the 
Knights of St. John, this island, on account of its situation 
and exceptional strength, was as great a hindrance to the 
development of the Turkish sea power as it was for 
Christendom a position of incalculable value. 3 Suleiman 
was determined to capture it at all costs. On the ist of 
June 1522 he sent his declaration of war to the Grand 
Master; at the same time he moved against Rhodes a 
powerful fleet conveying an armament of 10,000 men and 
all the requisites for a siege. The Sultan at the head 

1 GACHARD, Corresp., 50 seqq. 

2 Cf. HOFLER, 169, and Bullet, de la commiss. royale d'hist., 3 Series, 
III., 297 seq. On September 20, 1 522, G. Merino wrote, " ex Puysi non 
procul a Parisiis " to Cardinal Schinner : *In re pacis nihil adhuc factum 
est nee quid faciendum sit facile iudicari potest cum ex aliorum 
principe voluntate pendeat, sed si quid per me fieri poterit, is ero 
semper qui fu et esse debeo. Cod. 1888, f. 2i b (Angelica Library, 

3 See BAUMGARTEN, II., 137-138. 


of 100,000 men proceeded through Asia Minor along the 
coast of Caria. Although the Grand Master had little 
over 600 knights and 5000 soldiers, he was yet deter- 
mined to resist to the last. The preparations for holding 
the strongly fortified and well-provisioned fortress were 
so thorough, the heroism of the defenders so great, that, 
at first, all the assaults of the Osmanli were repulsed, 
but in spite of serious losses the enemy held on. Every- 
thing depended on the arrival of relief for the besieged, 
and for this the conditions of Western Europe were as 
unfavourable as possible. The spread of the religious 
upheaval in the German Empire was the precursor of 
a social revolution, so that men feared the overthrow of 
established order. Things were no better in Hungary, 
torn by party strife ; while Venice, the mistress of the seas, 
seemed now, as always, occupied only in safeguarding 
her own possessions. 1 The great powers of central 
Europe were embroiled in internecine strife ; only an 
immediate cessation of their quarrels could justify the 
hope that they would take part in a defensive movement 
against the Turk. No one worked for this more zealously 
than Adrian VI., for the danger besetting Rhodes occupied 
him as a personal concern. 2 Although there was little 
prospect of his efforts to reconcile the contending Christian 
powers being successful, he tenaciously adhered to his 
purpose ; in spite of all failures he stood firm. 

The Pope's position as the intermediary of peace was 
from the first exceptionally difficult. He had to try and 
convince Francis I. that he was not a partisan of his former 
pupil, sovereign, and friend, Charles. From the latter he had, 
at the same time, to remove the suspicion that he was too 
favourably inclined towards Francis. A further difficulty 

1 ZlNKEISEN, II., 626. 

2 See BAUMGARTEN, II., 250. 


arose from the decisive turn of affairs on the scene of war 
in Italy, when the French, defeated at Bicocca on the 2;th 
of April 1522, soon after (May 3Oth) lost Genoa also. 1 The 
alliance between the Emperor and Henry VIII. was drawn 
even closer than before ; on his journey into Spain, Charles 
paid Henry a visit, during which a joint expedition into 
France was agreed upon ; both monarchs confidently hoped 
to win the Pope as the third confederate against Francis. 
While Adrian's proposals of mediation fell upon deaf ears 
at the English as well as at the Imperial Court, Francis, 
in his humiliation, assumed a conciliatory mien. This 
induced Adrian to make a fresh appeal to the Emperor ; 
but Charles, in a letter of the /th of September 1522, 
declared himself unable to make peace without the King 
of England ; he observed that the French terms of agree- 
ment did not admit of acceptance. 2 Adrian called the 
Emperor's attention to the danger of Rhodes ; adjured him 
in the most impressive terms to help the island, to put his 
private interests in the background, and to consent to a 
truce. If Charles were in Rome, Adrian wrote, and were 
to hear the appeals from Rhodes and Hungary, he would 
not be able to keep back his tears. He, the Pope, was 
doing what he could ; the money he had sent he had been 
forced to borrow. He did not ask Charles to conclude a 
peace without the concurrence of the English King, but 
thought that he might at least induce the latter to consent 
to an armistice. 3 

The Pope sent to England Bernardo Bertolotti, who, as 

1 For the history of the warfare in the Milanese up to the capture of 
Genoa by the Spaniards see BARNHAGEN, Lautrecho, an Italian poem 
by Francesco Mantovano, Erlangen, 1896, I.-LVI. For the battle of 
Bicocca cf. JAHNS, Gesch. des Kriegswesens, 1088 seq. 

2 GACHARD, Corresp., 112 seqq. 

3 Letter of September 16, 1522, in GACHARD, Corresp., 115 seqq. 


well as the Spanish Nuncio, was to work for peace. 1 
Besides this, in respect of the Turkish war, Tommaso 
Negri, Bishop of Scardona, had already, in August, been 
entrusted with a comprehensive mission to the Princes 
of Christendom. He first of all betook himself to 
Venice. 2 

In a letter to Charles V., written in French, on the 3Oth 
of September 1522 an admirable memorial of Adrian's 
lofty and truly Christian disposition the Pope quiets the 
Emperor with regard to the report that he had a greater 
partiality for Francis than for himself; he then declares that 
it is utterly impossible for him to take part in the war as 
a confederate of Charles, since he is totally without the 
material means for so doing. Since his accession to the 
Holy See ce siege plein de misere he has not had enough 
money to meet the current expenses of government ; but 
even had the means been his, let the Emperor himself say 
whether it would become him to sacrifice his exertions for 
the welfare of Christendom in order to hand it over to 
greater turmoil and danger. In a second letter of the same 
date he beseeches the Emperor to come to the help of 
Rhodes ; willingly would he shed his own blood to rescue 
this bulwark of Christendom. 3 On the anniversary of his 
coronation and on the 1st of September respectively he 
had earnestly exhorted the Ambassadors and the Cardinals 
in Consistory to raise funds for the support of Rhodes 
and Hungary, and on the 4th of September a commission 

1 Along with the authorities produced by GACHARD, Corresp., XLV. 
seq., cf. BREWER, III., 2, n. 2607, and the letter *of G. M. della Porta, 
dated Rome, September 13, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

2 SANUTO, XXXIII., 409^. Later (January 1523), T. Negri was 
sent to Poland to work against the Lutherans and bring about a peace 
with the Teutonic Order. Acta Tomic., VI., 222 seq. 

3 GACHARD, Corresp., 122-124, 125-127. 



of Cardinals was appointed to attend exclusively to this 
matter. 1 

By means of rigid economy Adrian collected a sufficient 
sum to provide the equipment of a few ships. 2 He did 
not disguise from himself how little this amounted to; but 
it was impossible for him to do more. 3 A thousand men, 
who were landed at Naples in October, deserted because 
they had received no pay. To the Imperialists the defence 
of Lombardy against the French seemed a much more urgent 
necessity than the relief of Rhodes. The Pope, writes the 
Venetian Ambassador, is in despair, since he sees no possi- 
bility of forwarding to Rhodes the troops he has collected. 4 
To crown all, there was a fresh outbreak of the plague in 
Rome, and the solemn occupation of the Lateran, hitherto 
deferred for want of money, had once more to be postponed ; 5 
in the subsequent course of events it did not take place at all. 6 

Together with the Turkish danger, the quieting of the 
States of the Church claimed the Pope's attention at the 
beginning of his reign. All recognition is due to the 
promptitude with which he met the difficult situation and 
resolutely carried out what seemed to him the necessary 
measures for saving what there was to save. 7 

1 Besides *Acta Consist. (Consistorial Archives of the Vatican), and 
SANUTO, XXXIII., 440, 444 seq.^ see the *letter of Ant. Taurelli of 
September 5, 1522 (State Archives, Modena), and the ^reports of 
G. de' Medici of September 3 and 4, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

2 Owing to adverse circumstances they never reached their destina- 
tion ; see JoviUS, Vita Adriani VI., and H6FLER, 479. 

3 G. M. della Porta lays stress on this in his ^report, September 23, 
1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

4 SANUTO, XXXIII., 523 ; cf. Jovius, Vita Adriani VI. 

6 See *Acta Consist, of January 12, 1523 (Consistorial Archives of 
the Vatican). 

See CANCELLIERI, Possessi, 88. 

7 BROSCH, Kirchenstaat, I., 71. 


Since grave charges were made against the governors 
appointed by Leo X., a general change in every city of the 
Papal States was already under consideration in September 
I522. 1 While Adrian was disposed to leniency towards 
the Dukes of Ferrara and Urbino, and even suffered the 
return of the Baglioni to Perugia, 2 he had determined 
from the first not to recognize the usurpation (hitherto 
vainly opposed by the College of Cardinals 3 ) of Sigismondo 
Malatesta in Rimini. 4 In December 1522 he ordered 
Sigismondo's son to be arrested in Ancona, 5 and at the 
same time despatched the Spanish soldiers who had 
accompanied him into Italy against Rimini. 6 The under- 
taking, which had at first appeared difficult, 7 proved all the 
easier as Malatesta had brought upon himself the bitter 
hatred of those who had submitted to him. 8 

1 *Letter of Enea Pio, September 27, 1522 (State Archives, 
Modena). *I1 papa manda novi governatori alle citta di tutto il state, 
che non e altro se non un levar le legationi, says G. M. della Porta, 
October 12, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). The measures do not, 
however, appear to have been completely carried through. 

2 Cf. Bollett. per 1'Umbria, V., 694. 

3 See the *letter of the Cardinals to Rimini, dated Rome, May 29, 
1522. Copy in the Library at Mantua, I., e. 3-4. 

4 " N. S re desegnia recuperar Armini," *G. de' Medici, " D. vigna dello 
ill. Medici," November 30, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

6 *G. de Medici, D. vigna dello ill. Medici, December 21, 1522 (State 
Archives, Florence), and * V. Albergati, from Rome the same date 
(State Archives, Bologna). 

6 *Letter of V. Albergati, December 6, 1522 (State Archives, 
Bologna). G. de' Medici announces on December 28, 1522, the 
arrival of the Papal troops before Rimini (State Archives, Florence). 

7 It was believed in Rome that Malatesta had the secret assistance 
of one of the Signoria, and had raised the banner of St. Mark. 
*Letter of A. Germanello, dated Rome, December 16, 1522 (Library, 
Mantua, I., c. 3-4). 

8 Malatesta was obliged, after long negotiations, to surrender 


As vassals of the Church both Alfonso of Ferrara and 
Francesco Maria della Rovere of Urbino, now fully recon- 
ciled to the Holy See, gave Adrian their loyal support. 
As early as the i5th of September 1522 Alfonso's son had 
come to Rome, 1 where negotiations had at once been 
opened for his father's absolution and reinvestiture. 2 They 
proceeded with astonishing expedition, and by the i/th of 
October everything was arranged. In the investiture with 
the Dukedom of Ferrara the fiefs of San Felice and Finale 
were also included, 3 and Adrian even showed an inclination 
to reinstate the Duke in the possession of Modena and 
Reggio ; but this did not take effect owing to the opposi- 
tion of the Cardinals. 4 According to Contarini, it was 
also the Pope's fixed intention to restore Ravenna and 
Cervia to the Venetians ; in favour of the credibility 
of this statement is the circumstance that Adrian 
detested the excessive eagerness of the clergy to 
acquire wealth and property; from the standpoint of his 
high ideals an overgrowth of the States of the Church 

Rimini ; cf. *letter of V. Albergati, February 3, 1523 (State Archives, 
Bologna) ; ^Reports of G. de' Medici of February 19 and 25 and 
March i, 1523, as well as a *letter of T. Manfred!, February 23, 
1523 (State Archives, Florence); JoviUS, Vita Adriani VI.; Ortiz 
in BURMANN, 202 seq.\ CARPESANUS, 1340; LANCELLOTTI, I., 427- 


1 ^Letter of G. de' Medici, September 17, 1522 (State Archives, 
Florence), and *Diarium of BLASIUS DE MARTINELLIS (Secret 
Archives of the Vatican). 

2 ^Letter of G. de' Medici of October 5 and 12, 1522 (State Archives, 
Florence). Cf. BALAN, Storia, VI., 64. 

3 THEINER, Cod. dipl., III., 528 seq.\ cf. v. DOMARUS in Hist 
Jahrb., XVI., 73 ; see also SANUTO, XXXIII., 482 seq. 

4 Cf. *letter of L. Cati, December 30, 1522 (State Archives, 
Modena); *Acta Consist., January 23, 1523 (Consistorial Archives of 
the Vatican) ; GUICCIARDINI, XV., i. 

VOL. IX. 1 1 


was an evil likely to divert the Papacy from its true 
vocation. 1 

The transactions with Francesco Maria della Rovere 
lasted longer. He had already, on the I ith of May 1 522, on 
the recommendation of the Sacred College, 2 been absolved 
from all censures, 3 but not until he reached Rome in 
person, 4 on the i8th of March 1523, was the definite treaty 
of peace concluded with him. He was reinstated in the 
Dukedom of Urbino, with the exception, however, of 
Montefeltro; this fief remained in the hands of the 
Florentines, to whom it had been ceded in payment of 
debts incurred by the Apostolic Chamber. 5 

1 BROSCH, Kirchenstaat, I., 72. HERGENROTHER's doubts (Kon- 
ziliengeschichte, IX., 283) are hardly well grounded. 

2 Cf. Adrian's *Brief of May 8, 1522, in Appendix, No. 4 (Secret 
Archives of the Vatican). 

3 SANUTO, XXXI 1 1., 333 seq. In the State Archives, Florence, 
Urb. Eccl., is a *Brief of August 30, 1522, in which the Duke's 
apologies for not coming to Rome, on account of illness, are accepted. 
In two *Briefs of December I, 1522, Adrian had asked the Duke to 
support the undertaking against Rimini. He thanked the Duke for 
his help on December 23, the Duchess on December 24, 1522, and 
renewed his thanks again in *Brief of January 9, 1523. All these 
*Briefs are in the State Archives, Florence. 

4 See *letter of G. de' Medici, March 18, 1523 (State Archives, 
Florence), and another, of the same date, *from Andrea Piperario, in 
the Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. Francesco Maria of Urbino had 
audience on March 20. *Diarium of BLASIUS DE MARTINELLIS 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

6 Cf. the betters of G. de' Medici of March 16, 18, 24, and 26, 
1523 (State Archives, Florence); *Acta Consist of March 26, 1523 
(Consistorial Archives of the Vatican); *Abbadino's letter, March 
26, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua); SANUTO, XXXIV., 54 seq. ; 
GUICCIARDINI, XV, i, and HOFLER, 493 seq. ; a copy of the Bull of 
Restitution of March 27 is in the Colonna Archives, Rome. The 
departure of the Duke of Urbino from Rome on May 8, 1523, was 


Adrian's success in restoring order to the Papal States 1 
could not compensate him for the insurmountable obstacles 
which stood between him and his efforts for the union of 
the chief powers of Christendom against the Turks. 
True to his original plan of undertaking the office of 
peacemaker, he steadily refused to enter into the league for 
offensive purposes, which was the object of the Imperial 
diplomacy. This led to a difference with Charles's repre- 
sentative in Rome and to strained relations with Charles 
himself, between whom and Adrian in other matters (e.g. 
with regard to the retention of Naples as an appanage of 
the Empire) there had always been a good understanding. 2 

Seldom was an Ambassador placed in such an unsuitable 
position as that of Manuel at the Court of Adrian VI. 
This unscrupulous and masterful Spaniard was a man of 
such one-sided political understanding that he was quite 
incapable of comprehending a character such as Adrian's, 
who approached everything from the point of view of his 
religious ideals. 3 In Manuel's estimation the Pope owed 
everything to the Emperor, and was therefore under the 
self-evident obligation to subordinate himself in all respects 
to the wishes of Charles. The more he perceived that 
Adrian was pursuing his own policy, the greater grew his 
displeasure. Before Manuel came really to know the 
Pope, he had convinced himself that he was a weak and 

consequent on the arrival, on that day, of a *letter from Abbadino 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

1 The *Brief addressed to Perugia on December 15, 1522, in the 
Communal Library, Perugia, was directed to maintaining peace and 
order in that city. At the same time the Pope was making similar 
efforts for Osimo ; see *Brieffor "Joanni Casulano, commiss. nost.," 
December 13, 1522 (Communal Archives, Osimo). 

2 See RAYNALDUS, 1522, n. 17. 

3 See BAUMGARTEN, II., 221. 


incompetent personality, and Adrian's part of peacemaker 
filled him with anger and mistrust. In his reports he 
described the Pope as miserly, ignorant of all the affairs of 
the world, and weak and irresponsible as a child ; he even 
denounced him, entirely without grounds, to the Emperor, 
as carrying on secret intrigues with France. 1 

Adrian, who had at first received Manuel with friendli- 
ness, and indeed with confidence, 2 could not disarm his 
hostile feelings. Their mutual relations, already rendered 
acute by disputes concerning the appointment to bishoprics 
in the Milanese, 3 became in a very short time so strained 
that Manuel saw how untenable his position had become 
and applied for his recall. Half in despair he left Rome 
on the 1 3th of October 1522, with the firm resolve to bring 
about a breach between the Emperor and the Pope. 4 He 
at once advised Charles to pay no obedientia* hoping thus 
to force the Pope to relinquish his position of neutrality. 6 

1 Manuel to Charles V. on October 8, 1522, in BERGENROTH, II., 
n. 485. 

2 See in Appendix, No. 6, the report of G. de' Medici, August 27, 
1522. The latter reports, September 9, 1522: *I1 sig. Don Giovanni 
questi dl con bellissima compagnia e andato a palazo a presentar a 
N. S. una achinea molto richamente ornata per il censo di Napoli, al 
quale N. S. fa careze e dimonstrationi assai di confidar in lui. (State 
Archives, Florence.) 

3 *Letter of Manuel to Charles V., dated October 8, 1522, decifrado 
del orig. in Col. Salazar, A, 26 seg., 83 seq. ; Biblioteca de la Acad. d. 
Historia in Madrid. 

4 See NEGRI in Litt. d. princ., I., ic9 b , ii2 b ; GREGOROVius, VIII., 
3rd ed., 397. 

6 Manuel to Charles, October 8, 1522 (Biblioteca de la Acad. d. 
Historia, Madrid, loc. tit.). 

In a *cipher of Castiglione's which certainly belongs to this time, 
although we have not, unfortunately, the exact date, it says : "IIS. Don 
Giovanni va tanto malcontento del papa quanto se possa dire ne dice 
assai male, pur mostra di credere chel Papa bisogni esser imperiale a 


His place was taken in October 1522 by Luis de Corduba, 
Duke of Sessa, 1 who, although he had no hope of success, 2 
nevertheless, in his very first audience, invited the Pope 
to enter into alliance with the Emperor. The Pope replied 
that he had neither the money nor the wish to wage war; 
all his energies were directed to procuring an armistice and 
later on a peace. 3 As Adrian stood firm in his conviction 
that, as Father of universal Christendom, it was his para- 
mount duty to restore peace in Europe, 4 Sessa soon became 
of the same mind as Manuel. 5 In addition, disputes arose 
over territorial claims. 6 The French in their dealings with 
the Pope showed themselves cleverer diplomatists than the 
Imperialists. While the latter incessantly repeated that 
Adrian's love of peace only made the French more stubborn, 
and that his one hope of safety lay in the league with 
Charles, Francis sent the Cardinal Castelnau de Clermont 
to Rome with instructions to praise the Pope's love of 
peace and to assure him that the French King was ani- 
mated by the same dispositions. 7 

Adrian, who had shown great patience towards the 
Emperor's Ambassadors and the Emperor himself, was, 
however, at last put upon his mettle ; this is discernible in 
his two Briefs of the 2ist and 22nd of November 1522. In 

suo dispetto ancorche lui dica voler esser neutrale" (Library, 

1 *Letterof G. de' Medici, October 9, 1522 (State Archives, Florence) ; 
cf. Corp. dipl. Port, II., 98. 

- *Letter of Manuel to Charles V., October 8, 1522 (Biblioteca de 
la Acad. d. Historia, Madrid, loc. cit.\ 

3 BERGENROTH, II., n. 490. 

4 Ibid.) n. 496. 

5 Cf. his reports in BERGENROTH, II., n. 502, 509, 540. 

6 Cf. SAUER, Die Schrift des G. Valle Rhegiens. iiber das Exarchat 
in Italien. Gottingen, 1905, 12 seq. 

7 GACHARD, Corresp., XLVI. seq. t 140. 


these he once more urgently calls on Charles to give help 
to Rhodes, and complains bitterly of the excesses of the 
Imperial forces in the Papal States; the favour shown to 
him by Charles consists in words and not in deeds. 1 
Under these circumstances he felt it strange that the Im- 
perial Ambassador should continue to bring forward an in- 
exhaustible series of fresh wishes and suggestions touching 
ecclesiastical policy and finance ; many of these requests 
Adrian was obliged to refuse from a sense of duty. 2 The 
Spanish Ambassador now had recourse to bribery in order 
to gain the ear of the Papal entourage. He succeeeded in 
learning a good many secrets from the Secretary, Zisterer, 
but concerning the principal point he learned nothing, and 
his surmise that Adrian was a puppet in the hands of his 
confidential servants proved to be quite beside the mark. 

The general opinion formed of the new Pope at the 
Imperial Court was entirely erroneous. There he was 
looked upon exclusively as the former subject of Charles, 
to whom he owed everything, and to whom he was ex- 
pected to give unconditional support in fulfilment of his 
dutiful allegiance. Gattinara presumed to remind the 
Head of the Church of these obligations in the arrogant 
language of his Court. 3 

The tactless pressure of the Spaniards confirmed Adrian 
more than ever in his previous policy of a firm neutrality : 
not until Francis I. attacked Italy, he declared, would he 
take a hostile part against him. 4 About this time the 

1 GACHARD, op. cit., 133 seq. ; HOFLER, 459 scq., 465. Cf. 

2 LEPITRE, 298 seq. ; HOFLER, 460 seq. For Charles's numerous 
requests see a characteristic *letter to Margaret of Austria, August 15, 
1522 (State Archives, Brussels, Pap. d'etat, reg., n. 35, f. 26 seq.}. 

3 BREWER, III., 2, n. 2718 ; cf. BAUMGARTEN, II., 257-260. 

4 HOFLER, 467. 


unscrupulous Manuel intervened in a way which was sure 
to touch Adrian to the quick. Cardinal Castelnau de 
Clermont had provided himself, for his journey to Rome, 
which he reached on the 6th of December I522, 1 with a safe- 
conduct from the Spanish Government as security against 
the Imperial troops. In spite of this Manuel allowed the 
Cardinal's servants to be made prisoners and their property 
to be seized. He thus fell under the penalty of excom- 
munication to which those who put hindrances in the way 
of persons travelling to Rome were liable. Moreover, 
Castelnau was not only the Ambassador of the French 
King, but a Cardinal and Legate of Avignon. Thus a 
direct challenge was offered to the Pope. As an amicable 
settlement proved futile, Adrian pronounced the sentence 
of excommunication against Manuel, and requested the 
Emperor to repudiate the conduct of his Ambassador. 
The transactions over this matter added considerably to 
the Emperor's irritation. 2 

Notwithstanding these occurrences, Adrian persisted in 
his hopes of a change of mind on the part of his former 
pupil. That he might propitiate his interest in the 
common cause of Christendom, the Pope had determined 
to present him with the sword, consecrated on Christmas 
Day, which the Popes were accustomed to send to the 

1 G. de' Medici ^reports this on December 8, 1522 (State Archives, 
Florence). In a *letter of A. Germanello of December 16, 1522, it 
says : " El Card, de Aus e venuto ad habitare ad una vigna del com- 
mendator de S. Spirito poco lontano dal palazo per haver commodita 
negociar con el Papa" (Library, Mantua). 

2 Cf. GACHARD, Corresp., 139 seg., 153 sey. t 160, 185; SANUTO, 
XXXIII., 580 seq. ; Lett. d. princ., I., 109; LEPITRE, 301 seq. For 
Charles's excitement, </. his *letter to Sessa in BERGENROTH, II., n. 
521. From Manuel's *letter to Charles V., dated October 8, i;jj. 
I got the interesting fact that he had advised the Emperor to give no 
letter of safe-conduct to Cardinal Castelnau (Bibl. Acad. Hist., Madrid). 


defenders of the Faith. This solemnity was disturbed by 
an unlucky accident; the architrave of the doorway of 
the Sixtine Chapel fell down and crushed one of the Swiss 
guards standing close to the Pope. 1 Already, on the loth 
of December 1522, Adrian had once more called the atten- 
tion of the Doge to the urgency of the Turkish danger 
and had instructed the Nuncio Altobello to exhort him 
to levy subsidies for the war. 2 

1 Lett. d. princ., I., no; SANUTO, XXXIII., 561 ; BREWER, III., 2, 
n. 2763 ; Ortiz in BURMANN, 205 ; JOVIUS, Vita Adriani VI. (cf. 
STEINMANN, Sixtina, I., 166) ; *letter of L. Cati, December 26, 1522, 
State Archives, Modena ; *letter of A. Germanello of December 29, 
1522, Gonzaga Archives, Mantua (see Appendix, Nos. 12 and 13). The 
Florentine envoys report on June 8, 1522, from Valladolid, *Hier- 
mattina nella chiesa di S. Paolo con solenne ceremonie prese questa 
M te la spada et el capello mandati della S. di N. S. (State Archives, 

2 *Brief of December 10, 1522 (original in the Secret Archives of 
the Vatican), Arch. s. Angeli, Arm., IV., c. ii., n. 31. Ibid.^ n. 32, a 
*Brief to Cardinal de' Medici of December 10, 1522, suggesting that 
he should himself give help to Hungary. On the 2ist of December 
1522 the Pope sent the following Brief to the Marquis F. Gonzaga of 
Mantua : Adrianus Papa VI. Dilecte, etc. Inter varias sollicitudines, 
quae nos ad apostolatus apicem Dei dementia sublimates excipiunt, ea 
praecipua est et esse debet, quae ex periculis christianae reipublicae ab 
impio Turcharum tyranno imminentibus nascitur, qui occupato Belgradi 
propugnaculo, ipsa nimirum ianua ad nos pro arbitrio invadendum, 
nihil non timendum Christianorum capitibus reddidit ; atque ideo 
omni adnitendum esse ope periculi magnitude ac necessitas persuadet, 
ut a tarn formidabili iugo reipublicae christianae cervicem tutam 
reddere studeamus. Implorat auxilium nostrum, qui pro salute nostra 
assidue periclitatur, charissimus in Christo films noster Ludovicus 
Hungariae et Bohemiae rex ill, cui si defuerimus, nobis ipsis nos 
defuisse rerum exitus declarare facile posset. Quis enim defendet 
Italiam, Hungaria in tarn potentis hostis ditionem redacta? Nos 
quidem in summa sedis apostolicae egestate, quam gravi etiam aeris 
ahem summa obstrictam invenimus, et contulimus et nunc denuo 
pecuniam illi conferemus, nihilque omissuri sumus, quod ad sanctam 


On the ist of January 1523 Adrian VI. informed the 
Emperor that Francis I. had given his Ambassador full 
powers to conclude a peace. Before this came to pass an 
armistice was to be entered into for three years, and the 
Pope hoped that Charles would be a consenting party ; on 
account of the Turks the necessity for such a course was 
greater than ever. 1 The letter had hardly been despatched 
before news arrived that the Imperialists had plundered 
the town of San Giovanni in the Papal States and had 
made prisoner the resident Papal Commissary. Adrian, 
usually so mild-tempered, was now roused to an inde- 
scribable pitch of excitement. He summoned at once 
to his presence Lope Hurtado de Mendoza, and informed 
him that nothing but his great regard for the Emperor 
held him back from an immediate alliance with Francis ; 
the authors of this deed of violence, Juan Manuel and 
Prospero Colonna,he would lay under the ban of the Church. 2 

ac pernecessariam hanc expeditionem pertinere noverimus. Idemque 
ut faciant principes et respublicas Christianas hortamur, imprimisque 
te, quem cum nostri et sedis apostolicae observantissimum experiamur, 
christianae religionis et fidei, de ea enim nunc agitur, amantissimum 
non veremur. Rem vero latius explicabit dilectus filius Franciscus 
Sperulus noster de numero participantium cubicularius, quem in hac 
re nuntium constituimus et cui fidem a te ac caeteris cupimus adhiberi. 
Quantum autem per te fuerit in hoc negocio deliberatum, litteris tuis 
ipsi nuntio ad nos datis declarare non pigeat, ut quae reliqua sunt 
celeriori ac certiori consilio maturare possimus. Datum Romae apud 
sanctum Petrum sub annulo piscatoris die XXI decembris MDXXII, 
pontificatus nostri anno primo. T. Hezius. (Original in the Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua.) 

1 BERGENROTH, II., n. 518. 

2 Ibid.,r\. 519 : *Qua e notorio che la S ta di N. S. sta malissimo con 
li ill. s. Prospero Columna et marchese di Pescara per le invasioni, 
incendii et rapine de li castelli de Pallavicini de Piacentino et se la 
venuta di questo s. duca oratore Cesareo non la medica et tempera 
overo attramente si componga per certo si tiene ne habi a 


The Imperialists saw that some steps must be taken 
to appease the Pope. Accordingly, Sessa invited the 
Viceroy of Naples, Charles de Lannoy, who had formerly 
been a friend of Adrian's in the Netherlands, to come to 
Rome. 1 There was meanwhile another reason for bringing 
the Viceroy thither. For some time the most disquieting 
reports of the fate of Rhodes had been coming in, 2 and 
Lannoy brought the announcement that, according to 
credible information from private sources, Rhodes had 
capitulated. On hearing this Adrian burst into tears. 
"Still," he exclaimed, "I cannot believe it." Hence- 
forward, so he informed the Cardinals, he could make 
no more payments whatsoever ; his whole income must 
be spent on the defence of Christendom, even if he had 
to content himself with a linen mitre. 3 

On the 28th of January 1523 a Consistory was held which 
the Pope opened with a speech about Rhodes ; he declared 
himself ready to sell all his valuables for the funds of the 
Turkish war. It was decided to appoint a Commission 
of Cardinals to take measures for the restoration of peace 
in Christendom and the collection of money for the 

seguire qualche demostratione vindicativa. Jac. Cortese to the 
Marchioness Isabella from Rome, January 5, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, 

*Letter of G. de' Medici, January 25, 1 522 (State Archives, Florence), 
and BLASIUS DE MARTINELLIS, *Diarium (Secret Archives of the 
Vatican). According to the latter, Lannoy left "de improvise" on 
January 31. 

2 *Letters of V. Albergati of January 9 and 12, 1523 (State 
Archives, Bologna). 

J SANUTO, XXXIII., 505. *Rhodi certissimamente e perso a patti 
zoe per deditione spontanea. . . . Hozi N. S. ha lachrimato per 
pietate excusandosi non haver potuto tirar li principi christiani 
al suo soccorso. L. Cati, January 27, 1523 (State Archives, 

RHODES. 171 

prosecution of the war against the Turks. 1 The Com- 
mission met on the following day. 2 The alarm caused 
by Lannoy's intelligence was all the greater as it coincided 
with news from Germany announcing a further advance 
of the Lutheran errors. 3 

Subsequently different reports came in, affirming that 
Rhodes still held out, and even Adrian seems for a long 
time to have been loath to believe that the island had fallen. 
On the 3rd of February 1523 he still wrote, in a most 
affectionate letter to the Emperor, " As long as Rhodes 
was in such great danger he could not under any con- 

1 *Die mere. 28. Januarii 1523: S. D. N. fecit verbum de rebus 
Turcarum et de periculo in quo versatur insula Rhodi, et ad hoc 
deputavit nonnullos rev. dominos cardinales ad cogitandum modum 
et formam in quo possit fieri concordia et pax inter principes christianos 
et ad inveniendas pecunias pro manutentione belli contra praefatos 
hostes fidei christianae (Consistorial Archives of the Vatican). Cf. 
BLASIUS DE MARTINELLIS, * Diarium (Secret Archives of the Vatican) ; 
*letter of V. Albergati, February i, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 
It is clear from the report of G. de' Medici of January 28, 1523, that a 
letter from the King of Hungary was also read in the Consistory 
(State Archives, Florence). 

2 *Letter of G. de' Medici, January 29, 1523 (State Archives, 
Florence), and BLASIUS DE MARTINELLIS, * Diarium (Secret Archives 
of the Vatican). 

*Heri giunse la infelice et dolorosissima nova della perdita de la 
isola et citta di Rodi, la quale ha fatto restare tutta questa corte et 
maxime quelli che hanno intelligentia attoniti e supefati. Piaccia a 
i\. S. per sua misericordia pigliare la protectione de sua santissima 
fede, perche da uno lato et Turco, da 1' altro Luttero et tra li principi 
tanta dissensione et rabie fanno che molti secoli sono la religione 
Christiana non si trov6 a maggior pericolo. N. S re per sua somma 
bontk non manchera de fare tutte le possibile provision! per la publica 
salute. V. Albergati, January 27, 1523. Cf. also the *letter of 
January 12, 1523, on the hold of Lutheranism on Germany (State 
Archives, Bologna). 


sideration join the league, as Lannoy had requested." 1 
But the allocution which Adrian addressed to the Con- 
sistory on the nth of February shows that he then looked 
upon the bulwark of Christendom as lost. In this assembly 
the Pope informed the Cardinals that he had determined 
to enjoin on the Christian Princes a truce of three or four 
years' duration, to levy a tithe on them, and to send 
Legates, especially to Hungary. 2 A few days before, 
King Ferdinand's embassy to do homage had laid 
before the Pope in most urgent terms the danger to which 
the country was exposed and had appealed for help 
against the Turks. 3 

On the 2jrd of February another Consistory was held. 
The Pope announced that Francis had declared his readi- 
ness to make peace, but that the answers of Charles V. 
and Henry VIII. were not yet forthcoming; he therefore 
proposed that the Sacred College should again invite both 
these princes to agree to a peace or at least to a truce. 
The nomination of the Legates to the Christian princes 
was entrusted to the Pope, 4 and on the 27th of February 
the first appointment followed, that of Colonna to Hungary. 5 

1 BERGENROTH, II., n. 525. Many others did not even then believe 
in the fall of the island ; see ^letters of V. Albergati of February 6 
and 10, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 

2 See * Acta Consist, in Appendix, No. 16. Cf. SANUTO, XXXIII., 
615 ; Ortiz in BURMANN, 200 seq, 

} See *Acta Consist. (Consistorial Archives) and V. Albergati on 
February 10, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). The Pope had already 
before this counselled the support of Hungary ; for his plans see * letter 
of G. de' Medici, January 23, 1523 (State Archives, Florence). 

See *Acta Consist, in Appendix, No. 18 ; cf. Lett. d. princ., I., in b . 

5 Besides *Acta Consist. (Consistorial Archives) cf. the * letter of G. de' 
Medici of February 27, 1523 (State Archives, Florence), that of A. 
Germanelloof March 5, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua), and*that of 
V. Albergati of the last day of February 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 


Adrian was justified in now concentrating his attention 
on the defence of Hungary. The fall of Rhodes had long 
been disbelieved in Rome ; for the most contradictory 
accounts even such as the repulse of the Turks with 
great loss had been received. Up to the last it had been 
hoped that the island would hold out. 1 All the more 
overwhelming was the effect when the truth became known 
that on the 2ist of December 1522 the Grand Master had 
been forced to capitulate. 2 The Knights had withstood the 
enemy with exemplary valour ; twenty times they had 
victoriously driven back their assailants, and only when their 
last ammunition was expended were the defenders, deserted 
in their extremity by the rest of Western Christendom, 
driven, in spite of Adrian's most earnest exhortations, 3 
to consent to a capitulation, the terms of which, on the 
whole, were entirely honourable. 4 

1 Cf. Lett. d. princ. I., in b . On March 2, 1523, *G. M. della 
Porta still announced that Rhodes was holding out (State Archives, 
Florence). Cf. LANCELLOTTI, I., 437. 

2 The Pope had, as is evident from his letter to Queen Catherine of 
England (GACHARD, Corresp., 273), received, by the 23rd February at 
the latest, the certain intelligence of the loss of this great bulwark of 

3 Nonnunquam Papa Adrianus scribebat in calce brevium ad reges 
et presertim ad imperatorem hanc clausulam : Benedicat te, fili 
carissime, Deus omnipotens tribuatque omne optatum ad defensionem 
fidei sancte sue (Cod. 1888, f. 29, Angelica Library, Rome). 

4 Very complete accounts of the fall of Rhodes in SANUTO, XXXIII., 
and TIZIO, *Hist. Senen. (Chigi Library, Rome). Cf. also Jovius, 
Vita Adriani VI.; VERTOT, Hist. d. Hospitallers, III., 291-396; 
Guerra, I., 217 seq. ; HERTZBERG, 674 seq. ; HOFLER, 477 seq. HOPF, 
Griechenland, 169 seq. ; Ziiricher Taschenbuch, 1888 ; Zeitschrift ftir 
Geschichte des Oberrheins, 1895, 576^.; ROHRICHT, Pilgerreisen, 
2nd ed., 58 seq. The complaints brought against Adrian by his 
enemies in Italy and Switzerland, that he had neglected the affairs of 


When the Venetian envoy was relating fuller details 
of the fall of Rhodes, the Pope exclaimed, with tears in 
his eyes : " Alas for Christendom ! I should have died 
happy if I had united the Christian princes to withstand 
our enemy." 1 

The Pope saw clearly the far-reaching significance 
of the fall of Rhodes and its dependent islands. The 
passage between Constantinople and Alexandria, hitherto 
barred, was now opened to the Ottoman navy and a wedge 
driven in between the islands of Cyprus and Crete, still 
in the possession of Venice. As the Turks were prepar- 
ing to sieze the mastery of the Eastern Mediterranean, 
they had also taken one important step towards the 
conquest of Italy. 2 Rumours had already spread of their 
intention to attempt a landing in Apulia. The Pope, 
reported one of Wolsey's agents, was in mortal anguish, 
and so were all men. When Hannibal stood before 
the gates of ancient Rome the terror was not half 
so great, for now men knew that they had to do with 
the greatest ruler in the world. Many persons of note 
made preparations to leave the city. It was believed 
that the Pope would retire to Bologna, the plague 
having again broken out in Rome, 3 and the dread in- 

Rhodes, are denounced as "false and senseless" by HOFLER, 395. 
Cf. also Ortiz in BURMANN, 204 seq. ; RAYNALDUS, 1522, n. 20, and in 
1523, n. 118, the opinion of Panvinius, as well as HEFELE-HERGEN- 
ROTHER, IX., 284^. 

1 SANUTO, XXXIV., 28. 

2 HOFLER, 482. 

3 Besides the despatches to Wolsey in BREWER, III., 2, n. 2891, and 
those of Miguel da Silva in Corp. dipl. Port, II., 121 seq., cf. SANUTO, 
XXXIV., 28, and * letter of G. de' Medici to the Otto di Pratica, 
dated Rome, March 3, 1522 [st. fl.]. It runs : *Per lettere di Vinetia 
affermono la perdita di Rodi e che in Candia havea cominciato a com- 
parir de cavalieri di Rodi. N. S re benche sempre 1' habbia creduta, ne sta 


creased when several Turkish spies were arrested in the 
city. ' 

The notable loss which had befallen Christendom formed 
a heavy indictment of the negligence of the Western Powers, 
and a proportionately weighty justification of Adrian's 
policy. As to leaving Rome, the Pope had no such thoughts. 
In spite of the dangers from the plague and the enemy, he 
remained steadfast at his post, anxiously endeavouring 
to save from destruction what could be saved. 2 In the 
first place, he took a step of which the secret was so well 
kept that as the Imperial Ambassador, with a watchful eye 
on everything, reports neither the Secretary, Zisterer nor 
anyone else had the slightest knowledge of it. 3 After Adrian, 
in a letter of the 2nd of March 1523, had declined to enter 
into the proposed special league with Charles V., and had 
complained of the misdemeanours of Charles's servants and 
of those of Manuel in particular, he addressed, on the follow- 
ing day, another letter to his former pupil and sovereign, 
not less candid in expression. In it he recalled his hitherto 
fruitless efforts to bring the Emperor and the other princes 
to terms of peace and to take active measures against the 
Turks. There was no doubt that the Sultan, being in pos- 
session of Belgrade and Rhodes, would prosecute his war 
of conquest in Hungary, as well as on the Mediterranean. 

di mala voglia ne si pensa habbia a tenersi sicuro qui per ogni piccola 
novita facessi el Turco in Puglia o le Marche e di gik intendo si ragiona 
di fuggir la peste a Bolognia seguitandoci di far danno (State Archives, 
Florence). See also the *letter of V. Albergati, March 6, 1523 (State 
Archives, Bologna). 

1 See the *report of V. Albergati, March 6, 1523 (*Qui in Roma si 
sono discoperti alcuni Greci spioni di esso Turcho), in State Archives, 
Bologna, and * letter of G. de' Medici, Rome, March 11, 1522 [st. fl.] 
(State Archives, Florence). 

2 See HOFLER, 482 seq. 

3 BERGENROTH, II., n. 534. 


This danger could only be averted by the conclusion of 
peace among the princes. He had been deceived in his 
hope that the Emperor would have been the first to do 
this. If Charles and the Kings of England and France 
were still unwilling at least to arrange a truce for three 
years and to begin a general war against the Turks, 
the Emperor was in danger of being driven out of 
his hereditary dominions, and this danger was all the 
greater because not a few Christian princes ruled their 
subjects more oppressively than the Sultan. He, the 
Pope, in virtue of his office, was compelled to call upon 
the contending princes to make a peace or, at least, a 
truce. 1 

On the same day letters of similar import were sent to 
the Kings of France, England, and Portugal, and soon 
afterwards to other Christian princes, such as Sigismund 
of Poland. The Pope reminded Francis I. of the fate of 
those Asiatic rulers who had been vanquished by the Turks 
because they had lulled themselves into a false security. 
In the name of that obedience due to Christ's representa- 
tive on earth, he adjured him by the vengeance of God, 
before whose tribunal he must one day stand, to give his 
consent forthwith, on the receipt of the letter, to a truce, 
and then to take his part with vigour in war against the 
Turks. The letter to the King of Portugal also was couched 
in most earnest language. "Woe to princes," so it ran, 
" who do not employ the sovereignty conferred upon them 
by God in promoting His glory and defending the people 
of His election, but abuse it in internecine strife." 2 The 
Sacred College was invited to exhort by special letters the 

1 BERGENROTH, II., n. 532-533. 

2 The letters referred to are in CHARRIERE, I., 96 seqq. RYMER, 
XIII., 790; Corp. dipl. Port., II., 116 seq. ; Acta Tomic, VI., 254 seq. 
Cf. Ortiz in BURMANN, 208 seq. 


Christian Kings to do their duty. 1 To Cardinal Wolsey 
Adrian pointed out that Rome would be the most suitable 
place for the truce negotiations. 2 Bernardo Bertolotti 
was also sent back to England as Nuncio, with instruc- 
tions to sound Francis on his journey through France. 3 
With tears in his eyes Adrian addressed to the envoys 
resident in Rome the most urgent representations. 4 He 
already saw the Turks in Italy, 5 for they had, it was 
believed, on their entrance into Rhodes and Constanti- 
nople, shouted "To Rome, to Rome." 6 

Along with these earnest remonstrances to the Christian 
powers Adrian took decisive measures for the collection of 
the funds necessary for the crusade. Owing to the empti- 
ness of his exchequer the Pope was forced, against his will, 
to find means of supply by a levy of tithes and taxes. 
Before the end of January these measures had been discussed, 
and Adrian then told the Cardinals that he was ready to 
sell his silver plate. Before taxing other countries for the 
Turkish war he wished to make a beginning in his own 
dominions. 7 His measures were at once put into execu- 

1 CHARRIERE, I., 103 seqq. BREWER, III., 2, n. 2871. 

2 Ibid.) n. 2849. 

3 See * letter of A. Piperario, Rome, March 16, 1523, in Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua. Cf. also the report of G. de' Medici, March I, 1523 
(State Archives, Florence), and GACHARD, Corresp. LI 1 1. 

4 Corp. dipl. Port., II., 123. 

6 *N. S. sa del certo che il Turco fa una spaventissima et tremenda 
armata a Costantinopoli per la impresa de Italia. V. Albergati, 
March n, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 

6 *In la sua intrata et uscita di Rhodi li Turchi mai fecero altro 
che gridare Italia, Italia, a Roma, a Roma et altre tante hanno fatto 
nel suo triomphante ingresso in Costantinopoli. " The Pope does 
everything, collects money, exhorts to peace." So relates V. Albergati, 
March 16, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 

7 See the report of *G. de' Medici, Rome, January 29, 1522 [st. fl.], 
VOL. IX. 12 


tion. A Bull of the nth of March 1523 laid upon the 
whole body of the clergy and on all officials of the Papal 
States the payment of a Turkish tithe for the next two 
years, Cardinal Fieschi being entrusted with its collection. 
Adrian justified this ordinance by the danger then menacing 
Rome and all Christendom. 1 The immediate publication 
of this Bull was expected, 2 but the Cardinals, it seems, still 
raised objections. They did not give their consent until 
the i6th of March, in a Consistory at which the Ban of 
Croatia appealed to them for help. 3 On the i8th of 
March a second Bull was agreed to in which a hearth-tax 
was levied at the rate of half a ducat throughout the Papal 
States. 4 

By these taxes it was hoped to raise a sum sufficient to 
equip a force of 50,000 men for the Turkish war; the 

in which he says : * S. S ta * ' * disse quando bisogni che vuole vender 
quanti argenti ha et altri che puo per tale impresa ne voler si gravassi 
per ancora altri potenti, ma che li sua subditi fussino li primi a 
cominciar ad aiutar (State Archives, Florence). 

1 Bull "Etsi ad amplianda esclesiarum omnium commoda" in Corp. 
dipl. Port., II., 104 seqq. * lo non fo altro di et notte che fare minute et 
bolle per decime et impositione per tutta la Christianita, etc., writes 
V. Albergati on March 11, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 

*Domani si publicano le decime per tutto il dominio ecc co alii preti 
et qui sopra a tutti li ufitiali. G. de' Medici, March 10, 1522 [st. fl.] 
(State Archives, Florence). Cf. SANUTO, XXXIV., 39. 

3 Acta Consist. (Consistorial Archives). Cf. also the * letter of 
G. de' Medici, March 16, 1523, in State Archives, Florence, and that 
of Andrea [Piperario], March 18 [1523], in Gonzaga Archives, 

" In Consistorio di stamatina e suto publicato la bolla di porre 
mezo ducato per fuoco a tutti li subditi della chiesa." G. de' Medici, 
March 18, 1523 (State Archives, Florence). Cf. Acta Consist. (Consis- 
torial Archives) ; *Report of A. Germanello, March 28, 1523 (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua), and letters of V. Albergati, March 20 and 31 
(State Archives, Bologna). 


chief command was given to the Duke of Urbino. 1 It was 
an indication of the Pope's zeal that, contrary to his usual 
principles, he accepted payments for offices and dignities ; 
he pleaded the needs of Christendom, which made such 
methods permissible. " Adrian," writes one, " is so beaten 
down by anxiety that he almost repents having accepted 
the tiara." 2 But he never relaxed his efforts for the pro- 
tection of Christendom and, before all, of the kingdom of 
Hungary, then exposed to the greatest danger; this 
formed the subject of lengthy deliberation in the Con- 
sistory held on the 2yd of March. The point of chief 
importance was the means of raising the money to be 
supplied to the Legate appointed to Hungary. Full 
power was also given him but under secret instruc- 
tion and only to be used in case of necessity to alienate 
church property for the defence of that kingdom against 
the Turks. 3 In a Bull of the nth of March 1523 Adrian, 
having the same object in view, granted King Ferdinand I. 
a third of the year's income of the whole clergy of the 
Tyrol, secular and regular. 4 

The Portuguese Ambassador, Miguel da Silva, in a 
despatch to his sovereign, advances, together with other 
reasons why he should contribute ships and money for 
the war, the eminently holy life of the Pope, which must 
arouse in every good Christian feelings of love and the 

1 Thus reports Andrea [Piperario] in a *letter, March 18 [1523] 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). Cf. also the *letter of V. Albergati, March 
2 3> ! 5 2 3 (State Archives, Bologna). 

2 BREWER, III., 2, n. 2893. 

3 See * Acta Consist. (Consistorial Archives) in Appendix, No. 20. 

4 See HIRN, Gesch. der Tiroler Landtage von 1518 bis 1525 
(Erlauterungen zu Janssens Gesch. herausgeg. von Pastor, IV., 5, 
Freiburg, 1905), 59, where more details are given concerning the 
opposition to this Bull. Cf. BAUER, Anfange Ferdinands I., 220. 


wish to give him practical help. 1 More impression was 
made on the princes by the concessions which Adrian 
determined to make. Thus he bestowed on the Portuguese 
King for life the command of the Order of Christ ; to this 
were afterwards added other marks of favour. 2 

In order to secure the English King's support of the 
crusade, Adrian made exceptional use of dispensations, 
thus gratifying, in various ways connected with the bestowal 
of benefices, the wishes of Henry's all-powerful minister, 
Cardinal Wolsey ; 3 and even at last conferred on the latter 
Legatine power in England for life. 4 Wolsey thereupon 
succeeded in obtaining from the King the appointment of 
a special envoy, Dr. Clerk, to attend to the negotiations 
with regard to the peace and armistice. 5 Francis I. 
continued the line of action that he had hitherto employed 
in his dealings with Adrian. His attitude was apparently 
most conciliatory, and he gave verbal assurances of his 
inclination to peace and his sympathy with the crusade, 
but, at the same time, declared frankly that, as a first 
step, his rightful inheritance, the Milanese, must be re- 
stored to him. 6 After his receipt of the urgent Brief of 
the 3rd of March, it was rumoured that Francis had given 

1 Corp. dipl. Port, II., 121. 

2 Ibid., 131 seq., 134^., 139 seq., 140 seq. ; SCHAFER, Portugal, III., 
89, V., 151, 159. 


4 Henry VIII. thanked him on February 22, 1523. I found the 
* original of this letter in the archives of St. Angelo, Arm., IV., c. 2, 
n. 26. 

6 Cf. GACHARD, Corresp., LV. 

Cf. the two ^letters of Francis I. to Adrian VI., dated Paris, 
February 5, 1523, and St. Germain -en-Laye, February 28, 1523 (con- 
temporary copies in the State Archives, Vienna). Both letters are 
uncommonly interesting. In the second there is already mention of 
the fall of Rhodes, which Francis I. deplores. He expresses his zeal 



carte blanche for the terms of peace. 1 But at the end of 
that month a letter came from the King again demand- 
ing, in haughty language, the aforesaid restoration of 
Milan. 2 This was all the more painful to Adrian since 
Francis I., on the previous 5th of February, had ex- 
pressed his desire in the humblest terms that the 
Pope would use his authority in taking in hand the 
peace negotiations. 3 The Pope lost all self-control 
when Cardinal Castelnau de Clermont tried to justify 
the proceedings of Francis. The King, said Adrian 
to the Cardinal, was the cause of the obstruction of this 
indispensable peace. The Cardinal, who deplored his 
master's obstinacy to the Pope, kept saying that no 
tree was ever felled at one stroke; Adrian must address 
him in another Brief. 4 This advice the Pope followed, 5 

for the Turkish war in the strongest terms (* Nous qui desirons ne 
porter le titre de tres chretien sans cause), but Milan must be restored 
to him, since "charite bien ordonnee commence par soy." 

1 This important account, which confirms, de Praet in GACHARD, 
Corresp., LIV., is found in a letter of * Andrea Piperario of March 
1 6, 1523: Da Franza se intende che '1 re ha mandate la carta 
bianca al papa de la pace quasi per acquistare la benivolentia 
del papa et irritare S. S ta contra di Cesare (Gonzaga Archives, 

2 Gradenigo on April I, 1523, in SANUTO, XXXIV., 93, and 
BERGENROTH, II., n. 540. See our remarks supra, p. 180, note 6. 

3 * Tres sainct pere nous supplions et requerons encore tres devote- 
ment V tre d. S te qu'il luy plaise prendre en mains le faict de la paix 
universelle ou treve et en usant de son auctorite mectre peinne de la 
conduyre, faire treiter et concluire telle, que nul des d. princes n'ait 
cause de la reffuser. ^Letter, dated Paris, February 5, 1523. Copy 
in State Archives, Vienna. 

4 GRADENIGO, he. cit. 

5 I found this * Brief, missing in Charriere, dated Rome, April 2, 
1523, and beginning with these words : " Litterae M tlb tuae ult. februarii 
(see supra, p. 180, n. 6) proxime praeteriti ad nos datae et paucis ante 


always hoping to bring about a change of mind in the 
French King. 

The Emperor showed more statesmanship. Adrian's 
determination and the circumstance that in Picardy as 
well as in the Pyrenees the war with Francis had not been 
successful, had inclined Charles, before the middle of 
February, somewhat to reconsider his position. He then 
instructed Sessa to make known the conditions under which 
he would be ready to accept an armistice or peace, but 
without letting this come to the knowledge of the French 
or English Ambassadors. By means of this understanding 
Charles sought especially to secure the grant of the 
" Cruzada " hitherto asked for in vain, and the assignment 
to his own use of a fourth of the ecclesiastical revenues in 
his dominions. 1 The fall of Rhodes had unquestionably 
made a deep impression on Charles, but his courtiers were 
of a different mind, and Gattinara advised him to send no 
answer to the Brief of the 3rd of March. 2 Charles, however, 
determined to give Sessa full powers to conclude an armis- 
tice subject to the clauses agreed to by Adrian. At the 
same time he sent a memorandum to Rome intended to 
justify his previous conduct and to bring the Pope round 
to his views. Most of the proposals in this document 
were simply nothing else than a list of conditions laid 
down with a view to Charles's personal advantage. 

diebus exhibitae non modica animi admiratione nos affecerunt," in the 
original in the National Archives, Paris, L. 357. 

1 GACHARD, Corresp., LI., 174; BAUMGARTEN, II., 263-264. The 
instruction for Claude de Bissy of February 14, 1523, quoted here 
from the Vienna State Archives, is also found in the State Archives of 
Brussels (Correspondence de Charles V. avec divers en Italic). Here 
also is the * answer of Adrian VI. to the Emperor, dated Rome, April 

2 BERGENROTH, II., n. 534. 



Simultaneously a wholesale system of bribery was set in 
motion amongst those who were in the Pope's immediate 
confidence. 1 Affairs having gone thus far an event 
occurred to change at one blow the whole situation in 

1 GACHARD, Corresp., LVI., 175 seqq. ; BERGENROTH, II., n. 540; 

H6FLER, 487 seq. 



ON his arrival in Italy Adrian had found the College of 
Cardinals split into factions. The anti-Medicean party 
brought the heaviest reproaches against him, especially 
with regard to the proceedings connected with the con- 
spiracy of Cardinal Petrucci. Adrian found it impossible 
to have the case revised, 1 a step, moreover, which could not 
have led to any result. An attempt to reconcile Cardinal 
Francesco Soderini, whose animosity was exceptionally 
virulent, with the Vice-Chancellor Cardinal de' Medici, 
failed completely ; 2 this was not surprising, for the latter 
had information of Soderini's complicity in the conspiracy 
contrived in Florence. 3 

Medici, who could not console himself for the loss of 

1 Soderini was especially active in this respect ; see ^letters of 
G. M. della Porta of September 13, 1522 (State Archives, Florence). 

" N. S. stringe de metter bona pace et concordia fra mons. rev mo et 
Volterra" reports* G. T. Manfredi on September 29, 1522 ; cf. also the 
report of G. de' Medici of September 29, 1522 (State Archives, Florence), 
and the * letters of A. Taurelli of September 28 and October I, 1522 
(State Archives, Modena). 

3 See for this Giorn. stor. d. Arch. Toscani, III., 121 seq., 185 seg., 
239 seq. ; Giorn. d. lett. Ital., XXXIX., 328 seq.\ PERRENS, III., 89 
seq., and ZANDONATI, La congiura contra il Card. G. de' Medici, 
Rovereto, 1891 : cf. Arch. stor. Ital., $th Series, X., 235. 



his powerful influence in the Curia, had gone back to 
Florence in October I522. 1 This left full scope to his 
opponent Soderini in Rome. Adrian's misunderstandings 
with the Emperor and the crafty temporizing of Francis I. 
proved helpful to Soderini, and the former partisan of 
France gained more and more influence with the Pope. 
He managed successfully to conceal from Adrian his one- 
sided devotion to the interests of Francis. He appeared 
to throw himself eagerly into the Pope's endeavours for 
peace, and warned him against the warlike and Imperialist 
leanings of Medici, whom he even accused of enriching 
himself dishonestly under Leo X. 2 Meanwhile Sessa and 
the Vice-Chancellor were carefully watching the alliance 
of their enemy with Francis I. At the end of March 1523 
Medici succeeded in securing the person of a Sicilian, 
Francesco Imperiale, who had been sent by Soderini on a 
commisson to his nephew, then residing in Venice and 
France; on this man letters of the Cardinal's were found 
to the effect that, if Francis delayed longer his entrance 
in person into Italy, he would alienate the Venetians and 
all his other friends in the Peninsula ; when the cipher, 
used in certain passages of the letters, was interpreted, 
the discovery was made that a plot was on foot to raise 
an insurrection in Sicily against the Emperor, which, when 
it had taken shape with French connivance, was to be the 
signal for the descent of Francis upon. Upper Italy. The 
Pope besides was described in the letters, quite contrary to 
the truth, as making common cause with the Emperor. 
Medici at once made known his discovery to the Imperial 
Ambassador at Rome, who made haste to lay all before the 

1 His departure on October 13 is announced by G. de' Medici (see 
supra, p. 104) and Castiglione in a * letter of October 13, 1522, in 
Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

'-' Jovius, Vita Adriani VI. 


Pope. 1 Medici and the representative of King Ferdinand 
were overjoyed at having in their hands clear evidence of 
French knavery ; they were confident that Adrian would 
now be led to renounce his neutrality, 2 and every effort 
was made to reach this end. 3 

Adrian was, at first, unwilling to believe in the treachery 
of his friend, but soon he had to convince himself that 
Soderini had not shrunk from thwarting his ardent wishes 
for peace and, at the moment when the Turkish danger 
was at its worst, wantonly stirring up the fury of war in 
Italy itself. He determined to unmask the guilty party 
and to visit him with heavy punishment ; it was also no 
longer doubtful that Soderini had deceived him as regards 
Cardinal de' Medici, and before taking any other steps he 

1 Together with the reports of the Portuguese envoys (Corp. dipl. 
Port., II., 143 seqq., 162 seqq.} and those of Venice (SANUTO, XXXIV., 
122 seq.\ see the despatch of F. Strozzi in Arch. stor. Ital., 5th 
Series, XIV., 38 ; CORNELIUS DE FINE, *Diary (National Library, 
Paris); *Balbi's report, April 12, 1523 (State Archives, Vienna), in 
Appendix, No. 21, and the *letter of G. de' Medici, dated Rome, 1522 
[st. fl.], April 10 (State Archives, Florence). The captured messenger, 
Francesco Imperiale, is here mentioned by name. Cf. also the docu- 
ment in BERGENROTH, II., n. 539. See also BREWER, III., 2, n. 3002 ; 
Jovius, Vita Adriani VI., and VON NEUEREN, V. Epifanio, in Atti d. 
congress, internaz. di scienze storiche, III., Roma, 1906, 385 seq. 

2 Many in Rome believed that the whole case against Soderini was 
a cleverly devised Spanish *pratica, per fari saltare questo christianazo 
del papa a pedi gionti in la parte imperiale con questo mezo che non 
potra dire piu de volere essere neutrale. See a cipher "^despatch from 
L. Cati to the Duke of Ferrara, Rome, April 29, 1523 (State Archives, 

3 BERGENROTH, II., n. 544. G. de' Medici writes already, April 10, 
1 523 : *Non so quel che fara il papa per la sua bonta, pure questi 
Imperial! intendo li caricheranno li panni adosso quanto porranno 
(State Archives, Florence). See also Balbi's report in Appendix, No. 21 
(State Archives, Vienna). 


summoned the latter, the head of the Imperial party in 
the Sacred College, to Rome. Medici, who till now had 
been living in Florence, expectant and discontented, 
obeyed the call with great delight. With an almost royal 
retinue of more than a thousand horsemen he made his 
entry into Rome on the 23rd of April 1523; the most 
notable personages, many Cardinals, and even deadly 
enemies of long standing such as Francesco Maria della 
Rovere, met him at the Ponte Molle. He was present in 
Consistory on the 25th and 26th of April; on the latter 
day the Pope received him after dinner in private audience, 
and it was said that they both withdrew to the Belvedere 
and then to a country-house, spending the whole after- 
noon in one another's company. 

On the next day, the 27th of April, about seven o'clock 
in the evening, Adrian sent for Cardinal Soderini, who 
hastened on horseback to the Vatican accompanied by 
his retainers. As he passed through the streets astonish- 
ment was roused that a Cardinal should go to an audience 
at such an unusual hour. Half an hour later his suite 
returned without him, and it was soon understood that he 
had been arrested ; such, in fact, was the case. 

When Soderini came into the Pope's presence in the 
Borgia tower he found there Cardinal de' Medici and 
Sessa. To Adrian's inquiry whether he had written to 
the French King, he answered in the negative ; then the 
Pope at once placed before him the intercepted letters. 
As he even then tried to persist in a denial, Adrian broke 
out into great excitement and pronounced him under 
arrest. Soderini begged in vain to be detained in the 
Vatican, but he was conveyed to St. Angelo, whither none 
of his household were allowed to follow him, and that 
same evening all his papers and valuables were seized. 
At a Consistory held on the following morning the Pope 


explained his action, and entrusted to Cardinals Carvajal 
Accolti, and Cesi the superintendence of Soderini's trial. 
In prison the Cardinal refused food until the castellan, in 
pity, first tasted the dishes in his presence. Even the Pope 
felt compassion for the aged man, and subsequently allowed 
three of his servants to wait upon him and restored to him 
his property. He pushed on the judicial process with all 
the more expedition because it had become known that, 
during Adrian's absence from Italy, Soderini had, with the 
help of France, 1 worked for a schism. 

The fall of Soderini gave at once a commanding 
position in the Curia to the Vice-Chancellor Cardinal de' 
Medici. His palace became a more active centre of life 
than the Vatican, and his antechambers were crowded 
with visitors waiting for an audience. Not a day passed 
without four, or even five, Cardinals coming to see him, 
and before long he was spoken of as the coming Pope. 2 
Henceforward Adrian himself was greatly influenced by 
Medici, and the Imperialists saw with satisfaction a change 

1 Together with SANUTO, XXXIV., 122-123, 137, 149, 221-222 ; 
STROZZI in Arch. stor. Ital., 5th Series, XIV., 39 ; Ortiz in BURMANN, 
209; *letter of A. Germanello, April 27, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua ; see Appendix, No. 22) ; ^letters of V. Albergati, April 27 
and 30, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna); Sessa in BERGENROTH, n. 
545 ; BREWER, III., 2, n. 3002, and especially the very important but 
hitherto insufficiently appreciated despatch of Miguel da Silva in Corp. 
dipl, Port., III., 63 seg., see also P. MARTYR, Op. Epist., 778, and 
Jovius, Vita Adriani VI. HOFLER, 489, is wrong in stating that Sauli 
was on the Commission of Cardinals, for the latter had been long dead 
(see English ed. of this work, VII. p. 200). Later, E. de Cardona and 
G. Ghinucci were associated with the three Cardinals ; see Epifanio, 
he. cit., 401. For the Consistory of April 28, 1523, see Appendix, No. 
23 (Consistorial Archives). 

2 SANUTO, XXXIV, 221 ; cf. 123, and ALBERT, 2nd Series, III., 
no, 125. 



for the better in the Pope's feelings towards Charles. 
But they were deceiving themselves if they believed that 
Adrian had any intention of identifying himself with the 
Spanish party. Even if, in giving his sanction on the 4th 
of May to the permanent incorporation of the three grand- 
masterships of Santiago, Calatrava, and Alcantara in the 
Spanish Crown, he made a remarkable concession, 1 yet in 
the great questions of European politics he continued 
steadfast to the neutrality becoming the Father of 
Christendom, and to his efforts on behalf of peace. 2 With 
this aim in view he issued on the 3<Dth of April a Bull 
enjoining, in the name of his supreme authority, a truce 
of three years' duration for the whole of Christendom, 
compliance with which was demanded from the princes 
under pain of the heaviest penalties of the Church, 
immediate interdict and excommunication. There had 
been enough fraternal bloodshed he said, the sovereigns 
had already indulged too much in mutual enmity ; they 
had every reason for behaving in such a way as not to 
forfeit that power which had been lent to them by God. 3 

For Hungary, 4 now in extreme danger, Adrian did all he 
could. 5 The despatch of the Legates had been delayed, 

1 Bull. V., 13 seq. ; HbFLER, 491. 

*N. Sig re al presente non attende ad altro che a procurare la pace 
trail principi Christian!. V. Albergati, April 18, 1523 (State Archives, 

3 Bull Monet nos in Acta Tomic., VI., 271 seq. ; Bull. V., 10 seq. ; and 
in Corp. dipl. Port., II., 145 seqq. ; in the latter place, 149 seq., see the 
Brief of May I accompanying the former. The Bull of April 26 
(*letter of A. Germanello, April 27, 1523, Gonzaga Archives, Mantua) 
is also in SANUTO, XXXIV., 180 seqq. Cf. RYMER, XIII., 780. 

4 Cf. V. Albergati's *letters of April 24 and May 5, 1523 (State 
Archives, Bologna). 

r> Cf. Panvinius in RAYNALDUS, 1523, n. 119. See also BURMANN, 
67, 125,212,338. 


for the nominees, first Colonna 1 and then Campeggio, 
had declined the post ; 2 the greatest difficulties had 
accompanied the collection of the funds intended for the 
support of that kingdom, and in view of the vivid descrip- 
tions brought to him of the perilous situation there, 3 
the Pope was deeply grieved that he could not give 
immediate help. 

Fear was already felt in Rome that the King of Hungary 
might make peace with the Turk. 4 When at last, in the 
person of Cajetan, a suitable Legate had been found, it 
cost a great amount of trouble to raise the 50,000 ducats 
of which he was to be the bearer, In a Consistory on 
the 8th of May Cajetan's appointment as Legate to 
Hungary, Poland, and Bohemia was announced ; 5 but 
on the 27th of the same month the arrangements for 
getting in the money were still under consideration. 6 
The Romans objected strongly to the payment of the 
Turkish tax. 7 Many were bold enough to say, in their 

1 Cf. *Letter of A. Germanello, April 14, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, 

2 To the many errors in MAURENBRECHER'S Geschichte der 
katholischen Reformation, belongs also the statement that Campeggio 
was, at that time, actually sent to Hungary (232). 

3 Acta Consist., April 24, 1523 (Consistorial Archives). 

4 *Qui sono lettere d' Ungheria e dubitasi forte chel re non s' accordi 
col Turco visto le poche provisione che si sono facte e disengnono da 
farsi per la cristianita. ^Letter of the envoys from Florence to tender 
obedience, dated Rome, April 28, 1523 (State Archives, Florence). 

6 *Acta Consist. (May 8, 1523, Consistorial Archives). Cf. SANUTO, 
XXXIV., 149, and *letter of G. M. della Porta, May 10, 1523 (State 
Archives, Florence). 

*Acta Consist. (May 27, Consistorial Archives) ; see in Appendix, 
No. 24, *letter of V. Albergati, May 30, 1523 (State Archives, 

*Letter of Abbadino, May 24, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 
Cf. Lett. d. princ., I., 114 seq. 


ill humour with the new imposts, that the Pope's project 
of a crusade was a chimera. 1 This lack of self-sacrifice 
distressed the Pope not less than the continuance of the 
plague in Rome. 2 About the igth of May he had himself 
been suffering from fever; by the 27th he had recovered. 3 
On the same day he heard that the ruler of Wallachia 
had already come to terms of peace with the Turks. 4 
"The Turkish trouble," reported the Portuguese Ambas- 
sador, "is the Pope's daily subject of talk." 5 The Con- 

1 Andrea [Piperario] reports in cipher on March i8[i523]: *Qui 
ognuno se trova mal contento per il pessimo governo del papa e se 
dubita che la cosa de queste decime non sia una chimera e che non si 
faccia nulla che vaglia Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. Cf. also TIZIO, 
*H5st. Senen., Chigi Library, Rome. 

2 C. SANUTO, XXXIV., 188; *letter of the Florentine envoys to 
tender obedience, dated Rome, May 22, 1523 (State Archives, Florence), 
and Acta Consist. (May 15, 1523, Consistorial Archives). 

3 The special envoys from Florence who had tendered obedience 
on April 27 (*Acta consist, in Consistorial Archives), report on May 20, 
1523 : *N. S re hebbe hyeri uno poco di scesa e con epsa alquanto id 
febre. Sta nocte passata poso. . . . Questo giorno e stato assai quie- 
tamente in modo si spera che non habbia haver altro e cosi a Dio 
piaccia che sarebbe troppa gran perdita. May 22 : The Pope is better, 
but not yet free from fever. May 27 : *E1 papa questa mattina 
cavalcho a S. Maria del Popolo (State Archives, Florence). Cf, 
*letter of Abbadino, May 24, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). The 
Imperial envoy was already asking for instructions in case of a 
conclave. BERGENROTH, II., n. 553. HOFLER'S assumption (521) 
that Adrian's illness was the result of poison, is not supported by 
any contemporaneous authorities. See infra, p. 216. 

4 *D'Ungheria heyeri ci furon lettere come il Valacho Transalpino 
sera accordato col Turcho, la quale cosa non e di picolo momento e da 
dispiacere assai a tucti quelli che sono fauctori dalla fede Christiana. 
*Letter of the Florentine envoys to tender obedience, Rome, May 28, 
1523. Cf. *letter of G. M. della Porta, May 29, 1523 (State Archives, 

5 Corp. dipl. Port., II., 161. 


sistory was repeatedly occupied with appeals for help 
from Hungary and Croatia. 1 A well-meant suggestion, 
emanating from the Franciscans, that troops should be 
raised from each religious order, had to be dismissed 
by the Pope as fantastic. 2 Adrian was in the extremest 
perplexity, for he could not send out the Legate empty- 
handed. 3 At last, on the 1st of July, everything was in 
order; on that day Cajetan took leave in Consistory, and 
on the following morning set out post-haste. 4 On the Qth 
of July the Pope sent his chamberlain Pietro with fresh 
sums of money to the markets to buy grain for the 
Hungarian levies. 5 For some time longer fear prevailed in 

1 *Acta Consist., June i and 17, 1523 (Consistorial Archives). Cf. 
the ^letters of G. M. della Porta of June 6, 10, and 21, 1523 (State 
Archives, Florence), also SANUTO, XXXIV., 194-195, and the *letter 
of V. Albergati, June 3, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 

2 Ortiz in BURMANN, 213; ^letter of V. Albergati, April 30, 1523 
(State Archives, Bologna); CHARRIERE, I., 102 ; ZINKEISEN, II., 638 
seq. ; Histor. Taschenb., 3, Folge, VII., 575 seq. ; HEFELE-HERGEN- 

ROTHER, IX., 285. 

3 Cf. *letter of A. Germanello, June 25, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, 

4 Acta Consist, in KALKOFF, Forschungen, 134; *V. Albergati, 
July i, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). Cf. Corp. dipl. Port., II., 168 ; 
SANUTO, XXXIV., 193, 292, cf. XXXV., 114 seq. ; Ortiz in BURMANN, 
212 seq. ; FRAKN6i, Ungarn, 22 seq. ; ^letters of A. Germanello of 
July i and 3, 1 523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

5 *N. S. oltre le bone provisone ha fatte et mandate col rev mo 
legato hiersera mando m. Pietro da Roma suo cameriere in la Marca 
per la posta con bona summa de denari a comprare frumenti et altre 
vituaglie necessarie da mandare in Ungheria et Croatia per sussidio 
di quelli paesi. V. Albergati, July 10, 1523 (State Archives Bologna). 
For the support given to Hungary by Adrian VI., detailed information 
is given in a *Brief of Clement VII. to J. A. Pullio, baro Burgii, Rome, 
March 30, 1534. Thus : *Cum sicut accepimus fe. re. Hadrianus VI. 
praed. nost. triginta tria millia et 700 ac 50 ducat, monetae novae 


Ragusa, as well as in Rome, that the Turks, by sending a 
fleet against Italy, might attempt to separate the Christian 
forces and cut off support from Hungary. " The Pope," 
wrote Vianesio Albergati, " has done all that he could 
possibly do to restore peace, but the hearts of Christians 
are hardened. Francis I. will make any sacrifice to get 
Milan, Charles V. Fuenterrabia, and Henry VIII. Brittany. 
Help now can come from God alone." 1 

An event that brought joy to Adrian was the final recon- 
ciliation of Venice with the Emperor. For this, though 
for long without success, he had been labouring directly 
for many months by means of the Nuncio. 2 On the 
1 2th of June he was informed that the reconciliation 
was at hand ; 3 but this report was premature. As late 
as the I4th of July the Papal Legate Tommaso Cam- 
peggio had to use sharp words to the Doge 4 on account 
of the little love of peace shown by the Republic. The 
Pope himself addressed most pressing representations to 
the Venetian Ambassador in Rome and even threatened 
him with a monitorium ; 5 but not until considerable 

ad rationem centum denarior. pro quolibet ducato in Ungariam miserit, 
etc. Min. brev., 1 534, vol. xlviii., n. 140 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

1 Letter of V. Albergati, May 5, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 

2 For this see together with accounts in SANUTO, XXXIV., and 
H6FLER, 512 seg. t the **Briefs to T. Campeggio of January 15, 20, 
31, and February 12 ; that to Ferdinand I. of February 4, and to H. 
Adorno of February 1 2, 1 523 (this Brief is in Spanish), in State Archives, 
Venice, under "Milan." Cf. Libri commem., VI., 172. 

3 *Letter of the Florentine envoys to tender obedience, June 12, 
1523 (State Archives, Florence). 

4 SANUTO, XXXIV., 298 ; cf. 263 seq. 

5 G. M. della Porta reports on June 30, 1523: *N. S. con molta 
instanza sollecita Venetiani alia pace con Cesare ; and on July 3 : *I1 
papa ha parlato all' ambasciatore Venetiano sopra 1' accordo tanto 
gagliardamente che quasi ghi ha chiarito dever esser sforzat di 

VOL. IX. 13 


concessions had been made by the Imperial envoy did 
the situation change. At the last hour, though in vain, 
French diplomacy did all it could to keep the Republic 
firm. It was of great importance in this respect that 
Lodovico di Canossa, who had been sent into Italy as 
early as May, fell ill in Geneva and could not reach 
Venice until the beginning of July. 1 Thence he wrote 
to the French Queen, on the loth of July, that Venice 
was of so much importance that Francis I. should con- 
sent to everything rather than lose such an ally. 2 The 
diplomatic Canossa came too late, for on the 29th 
of July a treaty was made between the Emperor, 
his brother Ferdinand, the Duke Francesco Sforza of 
Milan, and Venice to defend Italy against attack 
from any European power. For this end the Pope 
had co-operated without giving up his neutrality; 3 

publicar contro quel stato il monitorio quando recusi 1' accordo, et 
S. S. si more sanctissimamente per la pace d' Italia. (State Archives, 
Florence.) Cf. also SANUTO, XXXIV., 307. 

1 The accounts in ORTI-MANARA (Lodovico di Canossa, Verona, 
1845), 1 8, of the mission of the Bishop of Bayeux in the year 1523 are 
very unsatisfactory. The above statements are based on Canossa's 
still unpublished correspondence, which I found in the Capitoline 
Library and the Communal Library at Verona, and which will be dealt 
with in another place when considering information very kindly placed 
at my disposal by R. Holland. Cf. especially the ^letters to Francis I. 
of May 1 6, to F. Robertet (cf. BOURRILLY DE VAISSIERE, 34 seq.) of 
May 1 8, 21 (from Lyons), 28 (from Geneva), and of July 2, 1523 (from 
Grezzano). Cf. also the *Brief to the Queen of France, July i, 1523. 

*Solo gli voglio dire che importando li sig ri Venetian! per le cose 
de Italia quanto importano che la M ta del re deve dare ogni cosa per 
non li perdere. *Canossa a Madama la regina di Francia. Venice, 
July 10, 1523 (Communal Library, Verona). 

3 SANUTO, XXXIV., 316 seqq.\ cf. Libri commem., VI., 171 seg. t 
173; BERGENROTH, II., n. 566, 568, 570, 572, 576-577; see BAUM- 

GARTEN, II., 278 ; SlSMONDI, XV., 54 seq. 


this only gave way owing to the violent behaviour of 
the French. 

The French party in Rome, like Francis himself, looked 
upon the arrest of Soderini as an overt act of hostility 
on the part of Adrian, who had unjustly yielded to the 
wishes of Medici and the Emperor's party. Cardinal 
Trivulzio took the liberty of saying to the Pope's face 
that they had not elected him in order that he might 
imprison Cardinals in St. Angelo without cause. 1 Other 
members of the Sacred College also complained of the 
Pope's action, as showing little respect for the dignity of 
their office. 2 These complaints had as little effect on Adrian 
as the menaces of Francis I. ; the trial went on its way. The 
Pope was determined that it should be conducted in strict 
accordance with order. 3 As Soderini at first denied every- 
thing, fell ill in June, and no advocate could be found to 
plead for him, the affair was long protracted. The general 
opinion was that it would end in the deposition of Soderini, 
whose high treason was proved, but that Adrian would not 
permit the death sentence to be carried out. 4 

Although, on his return from his mission, in the 
middle of May, Bernardo Bertolotti brought back very 
unfavourable accounts of the disposition of the Christian 

1 SANUTO, XXXIV. 149. 

2 *Letter of Abaddino, Rome, May 6, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, 

3 ^Reported by V. Albergati, May 21, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 

4 Besides SANUTO, XXXIV., 194, 237, 244, 257, 262, 285, 292, 302, 
359; BERGENROTH, II., n 555; State Papers, VI.: Henry VIII., 
V., 122 ; Luzio, Lett, di Giovio, 25, 29, cf. the letters of the Florentine 
envoys to render obedience : May 28 (*Questo giorno sono stati 
incontanente a examinare mons. di Volterra e tre Cardinali deputati), 
June 4 (L' examina del Card, di Volterra si va continuando. As he 
was ill, he asked leave to see a physician, which was granted), June 
14 (*La examina del Card, di Volterra e di Bernardo d' Averragano 


princes towards union, Adrian persisted in his pursuit 
of peace. 1 The French were willing to suspend hostilities 
for two months at the utmost, while the Imperialists 
wished a truce of at least half a year. The Pope was 
of opinion that it was of the greatest importance that 

non se potuto finire rispecto che 1' uno di loro e 1' altro hanno facto 
ammalato et N. S. non mostra di curarsene molto forse parendoli che 
quello che ha confessato et confirmato sino aqui sia abastanza per 
poterne pigliare ogni deliberatione), July 17 (*La examina di Volterra 
e finita). G. M. della Porta reports very thoroughly, May 16 : *I1 
processo di Volterra si fa et trovase che ha errato gravamente contra 
N. S., la cui S ta par che gli usi troppo clemenza a lasciarlo tanto vivere. 
May 29 : *Gli tre rer mi deputati giudici ne la causa di Vulterra havendo 
prima renuntiati di esser hanno ubediti a N. S., che ha voluto cosi et 
sono stato allo examine, del quale intendo che non ne hanno per ancora 
cavato altro se queste due parole : non so, non mi ricordo. June 3 : 
*Mi vien detto che havendo minacciato la giustizia di dar la tortura 
a Vulterra ha confessato tutto quello che prima havea negate. June 

10 : *Dicesi chel processo contra Vulterra e finito et che dimani gli 
giudici hanno da fare la relatione in consistoro. June 17 : Soderini 
will be condemned (Lett. d. Princ., I., 116). June 24: *I1 processo 
contra Vulterra non si solecita piu con diligenza ; The Pope has given 
him an advocate. June 30 : *N. S. rinova la diligenza nel processo di 
Vulterra. July 4 : Soderini is lying, but still admits some things. July 

1 1 : *Le cose di Vulterra si sollecitano assai ; ello sta di la persona 
peggio assai del solito e N. S. ha commesso agli physici soi che lo 
visitino. July 17: The views taken of Soderini differ greatly (State 
Archives, Florence). Cf. also *letter of A. Germanello, July u, 1523 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). Soderini's trial goes on, writes Sessa 
on July 28, 1523, to the Duchess of Savoy, "y creo sin duda que Su B d 
le castigara conforme a sus demeritos que no- son pequenios " (State 
Archives, Vienna). On July 8, 1523, V. Albergati reports : The Pope 
wished, but in vain, to bring the case to an end before the Cardinals 
left Rome for the summer change of air (State Archives, Bologna). 
On August 8, 1523, Jovius writes: Volterra sta per esser scappellato. 
BRAGHIROLLI, Lett. Ined. Milano, 1856, 25. 

*Letter of the Florentine envoys to tender obedience, May 15, 
1523 (State Archives, Florence). 


at least a beginning should be made ; from the mission, 
already mentioned, of Canossa to Rome he had hoped 
favourable things. 1 But that diplomatist did not come, 
while the negotiations of the Imperialists with Cardinal 
Clermont proved more and more hopeless. The latter, 
in complete despair, went back to Avignon on the 23rd 
of June.' 2 On the I5th of June Adrian had asked the 
French King to open fresh negotiations with the Nuncio; 
he might, urged the Pope, in conformity with his high 
station and with his name of most Christian King, at 
last take the step which was so necessary for the 
protection of Christendom. 3 

The " most Christian " had not the slightest intention 
of giving ear to such representations. The turn in favour 
of Charles which had shown itself in the Curia in conse- 
quence of Soderini's treachery had thrown Francis into 
uncontrollable fury. When Adrian ordered a truce for 
the sake of the Turkish war, Francis exclaimed that the 
real Turk was the clergy. 4 To the Venetian Ambassador 
he remarked in the latter half of June that the Pope 
was forbidden by Canon Law to impose a truce under 
penalty of excommunication. If Adrian persisted in so 
doing, he, Francis, would set up an antipope. 5 

1 *La tregua per dui mesi si pratica ancorche gF Imperial! dicono 
volerla almeno per sei, pur N. S re mclina a darvi in ogni modoqualche 
principio et tanto piu venendo Bayosa, come dicono che vene col man- 
date di prorogarla bisognando et che 1' arivata sua sara al piu alto a 
S. Giovanni. G. M. della Porta from Rome, May 15, 1523 ; cf. also his 
letter, *May 13, 1523 (State Archives, Florence). 

2 SANUTO, XXXIV., 149, 156, 193, 262; * Letter of G. M. della 
Porta, May 17 and June 24, 1523 (* Mons. d' Aus parti hieri), State 
Archives, Florence. 

3 CHARRIERE, I., \o6seqq. 

4 Mantuan report from Rome in SANUTO, XXXIV., 193. 

"' Letter of Badoer, June 24, 1523, in SANUTO, XXXIV., 289. 


To this period must also belong the quite unprecedented 
letter in which Francis threatened the Pope with the 
same fate that had befallen Boniface VIII. in Anagni, 
i.e. the loss of freedom and even of life through violent 
French intervention in the Vatican. 1 At the beginning 
of this threatening letter Francis first recounts the services 
rendered by his kingdom to the Holy See from the days 
of King Pepin down to his own time. The very persons 
who ought to acknowledge those services have denied 
the rights of the French Crown and used their power 
to prevent the restoration of Milan to France. He 
further goes on to remind the Pope in incisive language 
that the Roman Pontiffs had always feared the Imperial 

1 Original draft in the National Library, Paris. MS. Franc., 30x32, 
f. 1-6. Copy (used by LEPITRE, 315) in MS. Franc., 8527, f. i 
seq. The letter, with the wrong address, "to Clement VII.," is 
published with a good many mistakes in Arch. Stor. Ital., App. I., 
396 seq. There is a better, but not quite accurate, copy in the Cabinet 
hist., XIII. (1867), I., 62 seq. : the letter is here antedated to May 1523. 
HOFLER (507 seqq.\ who gives a very good account of the contents of 
the letter of which I have made use in the text, only remarks : " This 
cannot possibly be the same letter of which BERGENROTH says (Intro- 
duct, CLXXIV.) that Adrian received it on March 28, 1523," and then 
subsequently (524) suggests that the right date might be July 4. 
LEPITRE (315) believes that Adrian replied in the friendly letter of 
June 15 to this insolent communication. But this is to attribute too 
much to the Pope's love of peace. But Hofler's surmise is also in- 
adequate. Two * despatches of G. M. della Porta show this and also 
afford evidence that the letter was actually sent. The former says on 
June 25, *Dicesi chel re di Franzia ha scritto al papa mirabilmente 
sopra la liberation di Vulterra. On June 26 : E stato vero chel re di 
Franza ha scritto al papa ferventemente sopra la liberation di Vulterra 
licentiando da la corte sua il nunzio d. S. S ta et revocando Bayosa, il 
quale deve esser a questhora in Venetia et 1' altri che veneano in sua 
compagnia se ne sono ritornati di longo al suo re et parlase del impresa 
de Italia (State Archives, Florence). 


power in Italy and had found protection from it on the 
part of France. The champions of the Papal States 
now suffer loss, and the enemies reap the advantage. 
Even if, at first, he had had fears that Pope Adrian 
would allow himself to be drawn into the policy of 
Leo X., yet he had become more and more convinced 
that the Pope's sense of honour and goodness, as well 
as considerations for the safety of his soul and for his 
dignity and age, would never allow him to lose sight, as 
the common father of Christendom, of impartial justice 
and equity. Unfortunately his former fears had not 
proved groundless, since the arrest of Soderini had only 
taken place because the Pope relied on Medici's in- 
formation that the Cardinal was favourable to France; 
if equal justice prevailed, the enemies of France ought 
to receive the same treatment. Francis I. characterized 
as strange the Pope's proclamation, under ecclesiastical 
censures, of a three years' peace as if he, the King, were 
averse to peace. Yet for this very reason he had had 
an envoy at Calais, he had sent his secretary to the 
Pope at Nice, and then Cardinal Clermont to Rome, and 
when Adrian had called upon him to conclude a truce, 
for the defence of Christendom, he had declared his readi- 
ness to comply provided that Milan, his lawful possession, 
was restored to him. When the Pope found this condition 
excessive, he had sent Ambassadors to Rome to conclude 
a peace or a truce for two months or longer. More he 
could not do. When he became aware that the Pope was 
determined to proclaim an unconditional truce, he had for- 
bidden his representatives to enter into it, and had explained 
to the Pope why he considered one lasting for three years 

If Adrian ordered a truce under ecclesiastical censures, 
without consulting the Christian princes, without making 


any stipulation where the crusading contingents were to 
be sent, the French army would be attacked on its 
arrival in Italy. Adrian had given Bulls to raise money 
to the enemies of Francis ; but Francis himself had been 
forgotten. When it was such an easy matter for Popes 
to excommunicate princes, evil results always followed, 
and this could be no cause of satisfaction. The privi- 
leges of the French Kings would be defended by their 
subjects with the last drop of their blood; moreover, no 
censure could be pronounced against him except with 
the observance of the accompanying forms and cere- 
monies. Adrian's predecessors had always observed this. 
Pope Boniface, to be sure, had taken certain steps against 
Philip the Fair which had miscarried. " You, in your 
prudence, will certainly not forget this." A three years' 
truce would tie his, the King's, hands and hinder him 
from protecting his dominions, while Charles, during this 
time, could enter Italy on the pretext of his coronation 
as Emperor. It was astonishing that the Cardinals, who 
were now recommending such a truce, did not recom- 
mend to the Emperor the course which Leo X. had 
intended, namely, to take Milan from the French, although 
at that moment the Turks were beleaguering Belgrade. 
Adrian's present intentions had certainly the appearance 
of being directed against the Turks, but were really aimed 
at him, the King. May the Pope be preserved from bring- 
ing about, instead of peace, still greater confusion, which 
would ill become the part of a good and wise pastor. 
Ever since the report of the truce had got abroad his 
enemies had done nothing but increase their strength, 
which he would yet humble. On the other hand he 
was ready, if the Turks invaded Hungary or Naples, 
to take the field against them in person ; if, therefore, 
his Holiness were willing to grant him Bulls to raise 


money similar to those granted to his enemies, the 
Pope would only be acting in faithful accordance with 
his duty. 

Simultaneously with this letter of menace the news 
reached Rome that Francis I. had broken off diplomatic 
relations with the Papal Nuncio. 1 What Adrian had 
endeavoured to prevent by his strictly neutral attitude 
he stood, wrote the Ambassador of Henry VIII., as im- 
movable as a rock in the sea now came to pass, an 
incurable rupture with France. 

Nothing could have been more gratifying to the enemies 
of Francis than his brusque treatment of the Pope. The 
Ambassadors of the Emperor and Henry became more 
urgent than ever in pressing upon Adrian the conclusion 
of an offensive and defensive alliance to protect Italy 
against France, the common enemy, and to render Francis 
incapable of continuing the war. Cardinal de' Medici, 
whose influence over Adrian was becoming increasingly 
great, took their side ; the Pope, nevertheless, still refused 
to enter into party combinations of this sort. 2 His convic- 
tion that he was thus doing his duty was strengthened 
by the knowledge that a final breach with France would 
be followed by consequences of incalculable gravity. 
" I shall not declare myself against France," he wrote to 
Charles de Lannoy, the Viceroy of Naples, " because such 
a step would be immediately followed by the stoppage 
of all supplies of money from that kingdom, on which 
I chiefly depend for the maintenance of my Court, and 
because I know on good authority that the French 
King would become a protector of the Lutheran heresy, 

1 Cf. supra, p. 198, n. i, the * letter of G. M. della Porta of June 28, 


2 See Clerk's despatch of June 11 in BREWER, III., 2, n. 3093; cf. 
DELEVA, II., 172. 


and make a resettlement of ecclesiastical order in his 
dominions." 1 

Some of the Cardinals, moreover, who were inter- 
ceding on behalf of Soderini, emphatically pointed out 
to Adrian the danger of some violent display of French 
power, prompted by the youthful energy of Francis and 
his advisers, unfriendly to the Court of Rome. 2 If 
counsels such as these were kept within the bounds of 
a wise moderation, there were not wanting others who 
spoke as open partisans of France. These mischieviously 
represented to the Pope that he could confer no greater 
advantage on his countrymen and those who had helped 
to raise him to the tiara than by the strictest observance 
of his neutrality, otherwise he would make himself con- 
temptible in the sight of the other sovereigns of Europe. 
These same advisers laid it down as an axiom that 
Lombardy must be a French possession. 3 

Although it was known by the beginning of July that 
Francis I. had forbidden all payment of money to 
Rome, 4 Adrian still put off a final decision. He wished 

1 *Lannoyto Charles V., dated Naples, July 15, 1523. Biblioteca 
de la Acad. de Historia, Madrid, A 28. Cf. DE LEVA, II., 172. 

2 We know from SANUTO (XXXIV., 359) that the Cardinals were 
asked to give opinions on the case of Soderini. * Three such opinions, 
addressed to Adrian VI., I found in the Vatican Library in Cod. *Vat., 
3920, f. 60-6 1, i37-i37 b > and I4o-i4o b . I intend to publish them in the 
Actapontif. It is worth noting that these opinions treat the letters in 
which Soderini urged on Francis I. to war as undoubtedly genuine. 

3 Cf. the *Oratio ad S. D. N. Adrianum VI. in Cod. Vat, 3890, 
f. 35-40, and 6559, f. 8 1 -83 b , Vatican Library, v. DOMARUS (Hist. Jahrb., 
XVI., 85) mistakes this document for a speech of the Hungarian envoy. 

*E1 re di Francia ha levate tucte le expeditioni de Francia ad la 
corte di Roma et non vole li ne venga alcuna. Dara gran danno ad 
li officii. A. Germanello to the Mantuan Chancellor, dated Rome, 
July 3, 1 523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 


to hear first the opinion of his friend of early days, 
Lannoy, and in a Brief of the i8th of July he begged him 
to pay a secret visit to Rome without delay. 1 

Lannoy came at once. He, Sessa and Medici, as well 
as the English Ambassadors, 2 urged an alliance with the 
Emperor in the strongest terms. 3 Medici especially, who 
visited the Pope at least once a day, was untiring. 4 The 
Ambassadors were able to show that Francis I. had vast 
forces assembled at the foot of the Pyrenees, in Switzer- 
land, and on the immediate frontiers of Italy, ready to give 
effect to his long-standing and repeated threats and to 
begin the war for the reconquest of Milan. At an oppor- 
tune moment for the Imperialists, a fresh letter from the 

1 *Brief of July 18, 1523 (State Archives, Vienna), in Appendix, 
No. 26. 

2 Hannibal and J. Clerk, who had arrived on June 3 with a repeated 
tender of obedience. See *letter of G. M. della Porta, June 3, 1523 
(State Archives, Florence). Cf. HOFLER, 502 seqq. 

3 Besides the report in BERGENROTH, II., n. 573, cf. the * letter of 
the Florentine envoys to tender obedience, of July 24, 1523. Accord- 
ing to this Lannoy arrived on the evening of the 23rd, " et questo 
giorno decte desinare a mons. ill mo . Dipoi se ne andorno insieme a 
palazzo e con loro el duca di Sessa e li oratori Inglesi, dove sono stati 
infino ad nocte e vedesi che da ognuno e sollecitato forte questa lega." 
On July 25 G. M. della Porta reports that Lannoy leaves by the 
evening : " Dicesi che N. S. fark concistoro lunedi o martedi." See 
also *G. M. della Porta's *letter of July 26, 1523 (State Archives, 
Florence). According to V. Albergati's *letter of July 27, 1523, 
Lannoy did not leave till July 26 (State Archives, Bologna). 

4 *E1 Card, de Medici ogni di una volta almeno e col papa: "They 
discuss what is to be done, if the French invade Italy," report the 
Florentine envoys on July 17, 1523. According to the *letter of the 
Archdeacon Gabbioneta, Rome, July 25, 1523, Medici was then already 
saying that the league of Pope, Emperor, and England would certainly 
be published by Wednesday (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). In a *letter 
to Francis I., July 22, 1523, Adrian refused to confirm the election of 
the Bishop of Sitten. MS. Beth., 8535, f, 65, Natio/ial Library, Paris. 


French King arrived on the i8th of July. This left no 
room for any further doubt as to his utter want of 
conscience in respect of the ever-increasing Turkish 
danger. 1 The Pope now saw that he must give up as 
hopeless the part of peacemaker to which he had hither- 
to clung with such tenacity. 2 In so doing he did not 
believe himself to be untrue to his previous policy, for 
he had already made it plainly known that, in the event 
of an invasion of Italy by Francis, he would be compelled 
to take part against him. 3 

The letter of Francis I. threatening Adrian with the 
fate of Boniface VIII. was present all the more persistently 
to the Pope's mind because the King, in a letter to the 
Cardinals written in June, had expressed himself in 
similar terms. 4 On the i6th of July Adrian appealed for 

1 Cf. the Nuncio's * letter from Hungary, June 25, 1523, transmitted 
by G. M. della Porta on July 16. See also the latter^ ^report, July 22 
(State Archives, Florence). 

2 See M. Foscari's report in SANUTO, XXXI V., 350. G. M. della 
Porta writes on July 13, 1523 : * II papa ha detto have per certa la 
deliberatione della passata de Frances! in Italia, et hieri mando per 
1' homo del s. Alberti di Carpi usandogli queste parole : Gli Francesi 
vengono et tuo padrone e Francese. Noi vogliamo la roccha nostra 
di Reggio. Scrive che subito ne la restituisca, et cosi appresso 
S. S ta gli ne scrisse breve. Hor in tutta Roma non si parla d' altro che 
di questa callata. On July 15 : *S. S ta non ha nova alcuna del suo 
nuncio in Franza, anzi teme, chel non sia in sua liberta. . . . Qua 
dicono bisognando di far duo millia fanti Spagnoli. . . . Al papa era 
stato proposto dal Colonna che in tanta necessitk di denari S. S ta facesse 
la restitution di Modena e Reggio con ducento millia due. et far il duca 
confalloner de la chiesa, la quale non monstra de volervi attendere 
(State Archives, Florence). 

3 Cf. supra, p. 1 66. 

4 SANUTO, XXXIV., 340 seqq. In Cod. *Vat, 6198, f. I seg., the Brief 
is not, as in Sanuto and Cod. Vat., 3890, f. 18, dated the 4th, but $th 
July 1523. 


help to Henry VIII. 1 How much he feared an attack 
from the French is shown by the fact that he took pre- 
cautions for the security of the gates of Rome. 2 He 
openly took measures to ensure his own life and freedom, 
and not until matters had reached an extremity and he 
was compelled to bend before the force of circumstances 
did he quit the neutral attitude he had hitherto observed. 3 
In spite of the hostile conduct of Francis, he was even 
now indisposed to make an offensive treaty such as the 
Imperialists wished. He declared that he was not ready 
to go beyond a treaty of defence ; this attitude he con- 
sidered due to his position as the common Father of 
Christendom. The general well-being of Europe, the 
peace of Italy, and the repulse of the Ottoman power were 
now as heretofore the ruling principles of his policy. 4 

A Consistory was held on the 29th of July; Adrian 
opened it with a speech on the Turkish danger and pointed 
out that the Christian princes, instead of destroying the 
peace of Europe, should take united action against the 
infidels. In proof of the warlike intentions of Francis I., 

1 BREWER, III., 2, n. 3185. 

2 This interesting fact is reported by A. Germanello to the Mantuan 
Chancellor in a *letter of July 22, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 
There was also a suspicion that the outbreak of fire in the Vatican, on 
the night of the nth July 1523, was not accidental ; see in Appendix, 
No. 25, *letter of A. Germanello, July 12, 1523. 

3 HOFLER, 511. 

4 Cf. Ortiz in BURMANN, 214, and the *letter of G. M. della Porta, 
Rome, July 27, 1523, who, discussing Adrian's hesitation in taking 
steps against France, adds : *Dio faccia che N. S. sia degli soi 
desiderii tutti pienamente satisfatto essendo la mente de S. S u dirizata 
al ben de la religion Christiana tanto sanctamente quanto fosse inai 
animo d' altro pontefice (State Archives, Florence). On July 28 
Sessa announces to the Duchess of Savoy the Pope's entrance into the 
League. ^Letter in the State Archives, Vienna. 


the letter, full of threats and complaints, addressed by 
him to Adrian, was read as well as the other in the same 
tone sent to the Cardinals. Opinions were exchanged as 
to the conclusion of an alliance for the protection of Italy 
in view of the threatened French invasion. When the 
final vote was taken only four, out of eight-and-twenty 
present, said " No." They were Monte, Fieschi, Orsini, 
and Trivulzio. 1 

By the terms of the League, 2 signed by Adrian on the 
3rd of August, the Pope, the Emperor, Henry VIII. of 
England, the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, Francesco 
Sforza, Duke of Milan, and Cardinal de' Medici, on 
behalf of Florence, Genoa, Siena, and Lucca, undertook 
jointly to raise an army to prevent the French from 

1 Cf. *Acta Consist. (Consistorial Archives) in Appendix, No. 28 ; 
Sessa in BERGENROTH, II., n. 594; the ^letter of the Florentine 
envoys, July 29, 1523 (*N. S. questa mattina publico nel consistoro la 
lega da farsi. ... Li rer mi da pochissimi infuora aprovarno unitamente 
la lega da farsi, e crediamo si publicherk sollenemente in S. Maria del 
Popolo el di di S. Maria della neve. A Dio piaccia che e sia la salute 
e quieta de la christianita come si desidera), and the ^report of G. M. 
della Porta, Rome, July 30, 1523. Here it is expressly stated that the 
letter of Francis I. to the Pope, as well as that to the Cardinals, was 
read in Consistory. The report goes on to say : *Tra gli Cardinali nel 
votare questa deliberation quatro ve ne sono stati contrarii : Monte, 
Fiesco, Ursino, et Trivulzi ; gli dui Venetiani Grimani et Cornaro non 
vi si sono trovati (State Archives, Florence). That only one Cardinal 
opposed (BAUMGARTEN, II., 280) is incorrect. Cf. also the ^report of 
V. Albergati, July 31, 1523, in State Archives, Bologna, and *that of 
L. Cati, July 31, 1523, in State Archives, Modena, in which Fieschi, 
Trivulzio, and Orsini are named as in opposition. 

2 Cf. *Letter of the Florentine envoys, August 3, 1523 (State 
Archives, Florence), and that of Gabbioneta on the same day (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). See also RAYNALDUS, 1524, n. in, and Ortiz in 
BURMANN, 214 seq. LEPITRE, 317, incorrectly dates the League as 
far back as April 3. 


entering Lombard/; Adrian made himself responsible for 
a monthly contribution of 15,000 ducats and appointed 
Lannoy Commander-in-Chief, Charles V. signifying his 
approval. 1 

The Imperialists were in high glee. The League and the 
agreement between Venice and Charles V. have, wrote 
Sessa, entirely altered European politics. Medici's influ- 
ence, it seemed, was now firmly established. 2 In Rome, as 
well as throughout Italy, the new turn of affairs met with 
almost unanimous approval ; even those who had formerly 
been Adrian's enemies now praised the Pope for the 
excellence of his dispositions and his conspicuous piety. 
His behaviour in the trial of Soderini had also remarkably 
enhanced his reputation, and many now realized that the 
charges of indecision were not justified. 3 It was widely 
believed that the danger of a French invasion was over, and 
that the possibility of a campaign against the Turks was 
secured. 4 On the 5th of August, the Feast of Our Lady of 

1 The text of the treaty is not published, the substance only is known ; 
see especially GuiCCiARDlNl, XV., 2, who produces a clause, among 
others, according to which the stipulations were to be binding during 
the lives of the contracting parties and for one year after the death of 
any one of them ; the contributions in money and troops were to be 
guaranteed at first for three months only. Cf. SlSMONDl, XV., 56 seg., 
and EHSES, Politik Clemens VII., 561. The latter has already 
remarked that Vettori gives the Pope's subsidy at 15,000, and Guicci- 
ardini at 20,000 ducats. The Imperialists wished the appointment of 
the Commander-in-Chief to be entrusted to Charles V. ; see *Responsio 
data per oratores Cesaris duci Albaniae in urbe (Royal Library, Turin, 
Miscell. polit., N 75, p. 242 seqq.\ 

2 *See BERGENROTH, II., n. 502 ; BAUMGARTEN, II., 280. 

3 JOVIUS, Vita Adrian! VI. Tizio belonged naturally to the party 
which viewed Medici's influence with much dissatisfaction ; cf. his 
*Hist. Senen., Cod. G, II., 39 (Chigi Library, Rome). 

4 Cf. the characteristic ^letters of V. Albergati, July 24 and August 
5, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna); that of L. Cati, August 3, 1523 


the Snow, the League was solemnly published in S. Maria 
Maggiore. For this purpose the Pope went very early to 
the Basilica ; he seems to have feared some attempts by 
the French party ; for, contrary to the custom of Julius II. 
and Leo X., he rode thither surrounded by his Swiss guard. 
It was the first time he had ridden through Rome in ponti- 
fical attire; on his return to the Vatican he was greatly 
fatigued. 1 The ride in the blazing August sun, followed by 
a chill, and still more, the mental excitement, brought on 
an attack of illness, and the Pope, whose health for some 
time had not been of the best, 2 had to take to his bed 
immediately after the ceremony. The contest between 
the French and Imperial parties had kept him in a state 
of constant agitation, and, now that a decision had been 
reached, he broke down. 3 It was a heavy burden on his 
soul that, for all his love of peace, he should have been 
forced, even as a measure of necessity, to take part in a 
war against the disturber of the peace of Christendom. 4 
Great as was the rejoicing of the Emperor 5 and his 

(State Archives, Modena) ; and that of G. M. della Porta, August 20, 
1523 (State Archives, Florence). See also JANSSEN-PASTOR, II. 18 , 
332 seq. 

1 The above remarks are founded on an exhaustive ^report of 
Gabbioneta, August 5, 1523, in Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. Cf. also 
the *letter of the Florentine envoys, August 5, 1523, in State Archives, 
Florence, and NEGRI in Lett. d. princ., I., 116. 

2 He had been unwell already in the middle of July in consequence 
of the great heat ; see ^letters of L. Cati, July 13 and 19, 1523 (State 
Archives, Modena). 

3 With BERGENROTH, II., n. 594, cf. the *letter of Gabbioneta, 
August 7, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua), and JoviUS, Vita 
Adriani VI. 

4 See HOFLER, 526. 

6 With Charles's letter, quoted in GACHARD, LXVI., cf. also his 
*letter to Lannoy, dated Burgos, September i, 1523 (State Archives, 
Brussels, Corresp. de Charles V.). 


adherents, they do not appear to have been satisfied 
with a merely defensive alliance. They hoped to have 
been able to bring Adrian to decide in favour of an 
offensive treaty against Francis I., but for the moment 
the Pope's condition made all negotiations impossible ; 
all audiences were deferred, 1 and when the Datary Enke- 
voirt also became unwell, business was for some time at 
a complete standstill. An intolerable heat prevailed, 
causing much sickness; Cardinal Grimani, 2 among others, 
was seriously ill. 

The Pope's condition was said to be the result of a chill 
which had first settled on his neck and then gone down to 
the kidneys. 3 When an abscess in his neck broke, Adrian 

1 "Tutti li aditi sono preclusi," writes Gabbioneta on August 10, 1523 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). See also the report of the Florentine 
envoys, August II, quoted below in note 3. 

2 *E1 card. Grimani ha la febre e se dubita asai di lui, as he was 
weak, and owing to the extreme "caldo et quodamodo insuportabile 
che fa adesso in Roma, quale e tanto che non gli e memoria che mai 
el fosse simile et per questo infiniti caschano amalati. La peste va 
pur picigando ma non fa molto danno." Gabbioneta, August 10, 1523. 
Cf. also his *letter of August 12 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua) and 
SANUTO, XXXIV., 363, 371, 378, 385. *Molti se amalano et moreno 
et gli caldi sono excessivi da pochi di in qua, writes G. M. della Porta 
on August 10, 1523 (State Archives, Florence). 

3 Cf. Ortiz in BURMANN, 2 1 6. The Florentine envoys report on 
August 10, 1523 : *N. S. e stato indisposto 4 giorni d' un poco di scesa 
che ha facto capo, secundo intendiamo, sotto 1' orechio, e questa mattina 
ha rocto di dentro : sperasi che in brevissimi dl sark libero a ogni 
modo. On August 1 1 : *E1 papa va guarendo e domatina ha decto di 
voler dare audientia al m. di Pescara ; e stato 506 giorni che non ha 
dato audientia a persona ne voluto fare faccende di nessuna sorte 
(State Archives, Florence). Gabbioneta also speaks in his report of 
August 10 of the "descesa asai gagliarda nella maxilla destra" from 
which Adrian VI. suffers (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). V. Albergati 
mentions expressly the disease of the kidneys in his reports of August 
5, 9, and 12, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 

VOL. IX. 14 


felt relieved, and on the I2th of August he was so much 
better that he was able to receive the Marquis of Pescara, 
who had come with all speed to Rome on behalf of the 
Emperor. 1 Although the heat continued, 2 the Pope went 
on improving ; he left his bed, said Mass, and did a 
certain amount of business ; although he had become 
very thin and still felt very weak, his complete recovery 
was believed to be at hand. 3 An unexpected legacy 
enabled him at this time to contribute his quota to the 
funds of the League. 4 

Cardinal Grimani died in the night of the 27th of 

1 " Pescara visits the Pope to-day, who is feeling better, as the apostema 
has burst." Gabbioneta, August 4, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

2 Gabbioneta also fell ill of fever; see his ^letter of August 20, 1523 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). Cf. the *letter of G. M. della Porta, 
August 23, 1523 (State Archives, Florence). 

3 Besides the ** letters of the Florentine envoys of the lyth, iQth, 
22nd, 23rd, 25th, 26th, and 3Oth August 1523, cf. the ^reports of V. 
Albergati of the I2th, i6th, and 2ist of August (State Archives, 
Bologna) and the * letters of G. M. della Porta of August 14 : * N. S. 
stabene et promette fra dui di dar undienza ; August 19 : * N. S. sta pur 
ancora un poco indisposto di dolore di renelle, et la discesa che comenzo 
all' orecchia e callata nel braccio, ma del uno et 1' altro S. S ta sta in 
miglioramento ; August 20 : * N. S. sta pur rinchiuso come di molti di 
in qua. Hoggi intendo, che si ha fatto cavar sangue, ma di certo nulla 
si po intendere, chel palazzo sta abondanato et gli medici non escano 
mai de le camare, dove habita S. S ta ; pur credesi chel mal sia poco ; 
August 27 : * N. S. ha cominciato ad negociare qualche poco et puossi 
dir guarito del tutto (State Archives, Florence). Cf. also the letter *of 
A. Germanello of August 20, 1 523. He reports on the 28th : * El papa 
sta meglio, ma e anchora debile e ha quasi perso lo appetito (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). 

4 G. M. della Porta reports on August 23, 1523 : *N. S. va meglior- 
ando, ma fa adagio come fanno e vechii ; e morto un chiericho di 
camera chiamato mons. d' Illermet, chi gli ha lasciato meglio di XX m 
due. d } ufitii, che e cosa da farlo guarire afacto (State Archives, Florence). 
For the amount see VETTORI, 347. 


August 1 Adrian, on the other hand, seemed entirely 
recovered, although he still suffered from loss of appetite.- 
On the 27th of August he granted an audience to the 
Ambassador of Venice; 3 peace and the League had 
been proclaimed there on the Feast of the Assumption. 
Greatly rejoiced, he bestowed on the Signoria two-tenths 
of the clerical revenues of the Republic; 4 at the same 
time he asked the Doge to send troops to places 
threatened by the French. The Marquis Federigo 
Gonzaga of Mantua was ordered to join the Imperial 
army at Piacenza and to undertake the defence of 
Alessandria. 5 On the 3ist, the anniversary of his 
coronation, the Pope held a Consistory in his own 
chamber ; he was still too weak to take part in the 
public function. 6 

On the ist of September, de Lisle Adam, the Grand 

1 G. M. della Porta, who on *August 23 reports Grimani's condition 
to be hopeless, writes on the 27th that the Cardinal is dead (State 
Archives, Florence). Cf. SANUTO, XXXIV., 387, *letter of V. 
Albergati, August 28, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna), and *Diary of 
BLASIUS DE MARTINELLIS (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

2 Cf. reports of V. Albergati of August 21, 24, 28, and 29, 1523 
(State Archives, Bologna). 

3 * El papa . . . non da anchora audientia ; heri solo la decte a lo 
orator Veneto. A. Germanello, August 28, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, 

4 The original of the Brief to the Doge, with the " facultas imponendi 
cleroduas decimas," is dated September 5, 1 523 (State Archives, Venice). 
Cf. SANUTO, XXXIV., 394 seg., 400, 413 seqq., and Libri comm., VI., 
175. The ist September in HOFLER, 528, is a mistake. 

6 GACHARD, Corresp., 227 seg., 279 seq., and in Appendix, Nos. 29-31, 
the Briefs of August 26 and September 8, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, 

8 Cf. Lett. d. princ., I., 118 ; *letter of V. Albergati of September 2, 
1523 (State Archives, Bologna), and *letter of L. Cati, same date (State 
Archives, Modena). 


Master of the Knights of St. John, arrived in Rome. 
Adrian gave him a residence in the Vatican, and showed 
him every kind of honour ; l he took steps to find a new 
home for the exiled Order. From the Grand Master's 
lips Adrian heard all the details of the deplorable fall 
of Rhodes. 2 The narrative could not fail to tell un- 
favourably on the aged and weakly man. Not less 
depressing were the accounts of the war now beginning 
in Lombardy, which threw into the background all his 
noble designs for the peace of Europe, the Crusade, and 
the reforming Council. 3 Feelings of sorrow undoubtedly 
contributed to the fresh attack of illness which declared 
itself on the 3rd of September. 

The report of his death was soon spread through Rome, 
and the Cardinals began to be busy with the prospects 
of a Papal election. 4 Adrian's strong constitution seemed 

1 See the * letter of the Florentine envoys of September i, 1523, and 
*that of G. M. della Porta of same date (State Archives, Florence), as 
well as L. Cati, September 2, 1523 (State Archives, Modena) ; SANUTO, 
XXXIV., 395 ; * Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE (Bibliotheque Nationale, 
Paris) ; Lett. d. Princ., L, 118 ; * Diary of BLASIUS DE MARTINELLIS 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican). "The Grand Master lived in the 
stantie di Innocentio [VIII.]," says V. Albergati on September 2, 1523 
(State Archives, Bologna). Cf. CHARRIERE, L, 1 10. Already, on June 
30, 1523, Adrian VI. had become acquainted with the views of the 
King of Portugal as to a new residence for the Knights of Rhodes, 
Corp. dipl. Port, II., 171 seq. 

2 It is clear, from Luzio in the Lett, di P. Giovio, 29, that Giovio also 
had heard from the mouths of the defenders of Rhodes the interesting 
details of the siege related in his Vita Adriani VI. 

3 SANUTO, XXXIV., 378, 385; GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 411. 
G. M. della Porta reports, September 6, 1523 : *fe gionto un cavallaro 
hoggi, che testifica la venuta del Christianissimo con potentissimo 
exercito (State Archives, Florence). 

4 See Foscari in SANUTO, XXXIV., 398, as well as the ^reports of 
the Florentine envoys of September 3 and 5, 1523; the two * letters 


once more to get the better of his malady ; on the 6th 
and 7th of September he felt decidedly better. 1 He 
then signed the Bull conferring on Charles V. and his 
successors the right to appoint prelates of their own choice 
to the bishoprics and consistorial abbacies of the Spanish 
Crown, excepting only when a vacancy in Curia occurred. 2 
Adrian's improvement was deceptive; in the night of the 
8th of September he became so much worse that he had no 
longer any doubt as to the fatal nature of his illness. The 
next morning he summoned the Cardinals to him and 
asked them to agree to the nomination of Enkevoirt, con- 
secrated on the nth of March 1523 Bishop of Tortosa, 3 to 
the Cardinalate. This request, made by a dying man on 
behalf of a most deserving friend, met with opposition, for 
the Datary was greatly disliked on account of his rough 
and downright ways. In the evening the Pope was so weak 
that he could hardly speak. On the following morning 
(the Qth of September) he was no better, and therefore 

of G. M. della Porta of September 6, 1523 (State Archives, Florence), 
and *that of V. Albergati of September 5, 1523 (State Archives, 

1 The Pope, state the Florentine envoys, is much better : * passeggia 
senza affanno, non ha febre e ha la voce gagliarda et parli sentirsi meglio. 
G. M. della Porta states on September 7 : *N. S. ha continuato, Dio 
gratia, il miglioramento. He has heard with dissatisfaction of the 
negotiations set on foot with regard to the election of his successor 
(State Archives, Florence). Cf. * letter of L. Cati, September 7 
(State Archives, Modena). 

2 Rigant. in reg., I cancell., I., n., 284, 285 ; MARIANA, De reb. 
Hisp., XXVI., 2; HOFLER, 533; LA FUENTE, V., 139; Archiv fur 
Kirchenrecht, X., 16 ; GAMS, III., 2, 155. 

3 *Acta Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor (Consistorial Archives of 
the Vatican). To Enkevoirt and his successors in the see of Tortosa 
Adrian granted the privilege of wearing a red biretta ; see BARBIER 
DE MONTAULT, Le Costume, I., Paris, 1898, 230, and The Burlington 
Magazine, 1905, 287. 


allowed Heeze to make representations to the Cardinals, 
in consequence of which some of them promised to vote for 
Enkevoirt's promotion. On the loth, Adrian once more 
assembled a Consistory in his sick-room. Referring to 
the ancient custom whereby a Pope bestowed his own 
Cardinalitial title on a confidential friend, he asked the 
members of the Sacred College to consent that he should 
confer this grace on a person of goodness and learning. 
When all had given their assent, he named the Datary 
Enkevoirt, who at once, to the vexation of the Court, was 
received into the ranks of the purple. 1 

After the Consistory the Pope took some food ; this was 
followed by a sharp access of fever. On the next day at noon, 
the fever having abated, the invalid could not be prevented 
from again turning his attention, with a touching devotion 
to duty, to the despatch of business. He sent off some 
Bulls and Briefs, attached his signature to petitions, and 
even gave audiences, although speaking was very trying 
to him. 2 This improvement only lasted till the I2th of 
September ; notwithstanding their efforts, the physicians, 
who had been assiduous in their attention, held out no 
hope, since they could do nothing to check the fever and 
rapid decline of strength. Worn out with sorrow and care, 
age and sickness, a life was running swiftly to its end, the 

1 See the important ** reports of A. Germanello, September 12, 1523 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). Cf. also the letter **of Salamanca, 
September 12, 1523 (State Archives, Vienna), and the *letter of the 
Florentine envoys, September 10, 1523 (State Archives, Florence), and 
*those of V. Albergati, September 8 and 10, 1523 (State Archives, 
Bologna). BERGENROTH, II., n., 597; SANUTO, XXXIV., 402, 409- 
410 ; Ortiz in BURMANN, 217 ; Blasius de Martinellis in HOFLER, 532. 

2 See the ** report of A. Germanello, September 12, 1523, the ^letter 
V. Albergati, September 12, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna), the ^letter 
of L. Cati, September 12, 1523 (State Archives, Modena), and SANUTO, 
XXXIV., 4 10. 


preservation of which was of the utmost importance to 
Christendom. 1 With the consent of the Cardinals the 
dying Tope now made his last dispositions, in which he 
once more clearly showed his horror of nepotism. His 
household got only the property which he had brought 
with him from Spain to Rome, but nothing that had 
belonged to him as Pope. His possessions in the Nether- 
lands, particularly in Louvain and Utrecht, Enkevoirt was 
to dispose of for the poor, and for pious purposes for the 
good of his soul ; his house in Louvain he set apart as 
a college for poor students, giving it a rich endowment. 
Being asked about his burial, he forbade any funeral 
pomp; he did not wish more than twenty-five ducats 
to be spent on his obsequies. He received Extreme 
Unction with the greatest devotion ; so long as he could 
speak he comforted his friends. " He died," wrote one 
of them, "even as he had lived in peace, piety, and 
holiness." 2 

1 HOLLER, 534. L. Cati had written on September 11, 1523 : *In 
summa le cose di N. S. vanno peggiorando his condition is hopeless 
per esser extenuato et fiaco et ridotto ad extrema magreza ; piu si 
parla del novo papato che di altro (State Archives, Modena). The 
Florentine envoys report on September 13, 1523: *N. S. ha passato 
questa nocte sanza accidenti e cosi questa mattina, nondimeno e 
molto debole, e si questa febre glia a durare al caso suo non si vede 
rimedio (State Archives, Florence). 

2 See the letter of Wilhelm von Lochorst in BURMANN, 218 seq., 
507 ; cf. also Blasius de Martinellis in GATTICUS, 440 ; Ortiz in 
BURMANN, 218 seq. ; SANUTO, XXXIV., 410, 439, and Corp. dipl. 
Port., II., 174 seq. According to SANUTO, XXXIV., 438, Adrian 
expressed a wish that the case of Soderini should be settled by the 
future Council. For the testamentary dispositions entrusted to 
Enkevoirt and their execution see, Archief v. kerkelijke geschiedenis, 
IX. (1838), 152 seq., 185 ; Kerkelyk Nederlandsch Jaarbock (1848), 
171, and Archief v. h. Aartsbisdom Utrecht, XXVIII. (1902), 141 
seq. For the still existing college in Louvain see BURMANN, 22 seq., 


On the I4th of September, at the nineteenth hour, this 
noble spirit passed away, the last German and last non- 
Italian Pope. 1 The greedy Romans suspected him of 
having hoarded great treasures in his carefully guarded 
study in the Borgia tower. 2 But they found there, 
together with a few rings and jewels of Leo X., nothing 
but briefs and other papers. He left behind him, at the 
highest estimate, not more than 2000 ducats. 3 

As the corpse was disfigured and much swollen, the 
rumour was at once spread that Adrian had been 
poisoned, and the Spaniards accused the Netherlanders of 
carelessness in allowing Frenchmen to come into the 
Pope's kitchen. The autopsy of the body afforded no 
ground for supposing that Adrian had fallen a victim to 
foul play ; nevertheless the suspicion gained ground 
with many, especially as Prospero Colonna had died from 
poisoning. 4 The diagnosis of Adrian's illness affords 
no proof of other than natural death. In all probability 
he succumbed to a disease of the kidneys 5 consequent 

31 seq. ; Annuaire de 1'univ. de Louvain, 1879, and Anal. p. s. a 1'hist. 
eccl. de la Belgique, XVII. (1882), 87 seq. 

1 CORNELIUS DE FINE, *Diary (National Library, Paris), says he 
died at 6 P.M., the Florentine envoys (State Archives, Florence) say 
6.30 P.M. ; Germanello, agreeing with Blasius de Martinellis, says 
Adrian died at 7 P.M. (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

2 JoviUS, Vita Adriani VI. 

3 SANUTO, XXXIV., 410, 430, 439. HOFLER, 536, has already pointed 
out that neither the Venetian despatches nor the diary of Blasius de 
Martinellis know anything of the scene described by Sessa (BERGEN- 
ROTH, II., n. 601). Nor can I find any confirmation thereof in the 
numerous diplomatic papers of which I have made use from other 

4 Ortiz in BURMANN, 219 seqq. 

5 Cf. supra, p. 209 ; SANUTO, XXXIV., 439 ; and the ^reports of the 
Florentine envoys of September 3 and 5, 1523 (State Archives, 



on the exhaustion of a naturally delicate body through 
exposure to a strange climate, 1 and under the pressure of 
care and excitement. The reports of poisoning admit of 
explanation, since the French party and the opponents of 
reform pursued Adrian, even in the grave, with their fierce 
hatred, and since, during his lifetime, there had been talk 
of assassination. 2 

Adrian was laid, provisionally, in the chapel of St. 
Andrew in St. Peter's, between Pius II. and Pius III., 
who had been so closely connected with German affairs. 
The temporary epitaph ran, " Here lies Adrian VI., who 
looked upon it as his greatest misfortune that he was 
called upon to rule." 3 

It was due to the gratitude of Cardinal Enkevoirt that a 
monument worthy of his master was erected. This was 
finished ten years after Adrian's death; on the nth of 
August 1533 the body was taken from St. Peter's and 
transferred to Santa Maria dell' Anima, the church of the 
German nation. 4 The monument was raised on the right 
hand of the choir. Baldassare Peruzzi had prepared the 
plan ; the execution in marble was carried out by Tribolo, 
a pupil of Sansovino, and Michelangelo of Siena. The 

1 Adrian, like a thoroughly unpractical man of learning, never 
thought of adapting himself to the climatic conditions in which he 

2 As late as June 12, 1524, Castiglione wrote to the Marquis of 
Mantua from Rome : *Qui e preggione un fornaro, il quale da certi 
indicii assai manifest! che papa Adriano fosse avenenato (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). Cf. SANUTO, XXXVI., 368. 

3 Cf. Acta caerem. in GATTICUS, 479 scq. ; BREWER, .III., 2, n. 
3464; SCHMIDLIN, 271. See also the inscriptions in MuLLER, Het 
oudste cartularium v. het sticht Utrecht, 's Gravenhage, 1892, 182 
seqq. The funeral sermon of Conradus Vegerius (see GlORDANl, App. 
67) was soon printed ; cf. Serapeum, XXIV., 363. 

4 Cf. GATTICUS, 479 seq. ; SCHMIDLIN, 288 seq. 


architecture of this somewhat clumsy construction is copied 
from the tombs of prelates and Cardinals with which pre- 
vious generations had adorned so many Roman churches, 
especially that of Santa Maria del Popolo. In the central 
niche is seen the over-richly decorated sarcophagus with 
Adrian's coat of arms and the plain inscription, " Adrianus 
VI. P. M."; the supporters are two boys with reversed 
torches. Above the sarcophagus lies the life-size statue 
of the Pope on a bed of state; he is represented in full 
pontifical vesture; as if taking his sleep after exhausting 
labour, with his left hand he holds on his head the tiara 
which had been so heavy a burden. On his noble counte- 
nance, with its expression of reverential awe, are deep traces 
of earnestness and sorrow. In the lunette above appears, 
in accordance with ancient custom, the figure of Our Blessed 
Lady, the mighty intercessor in the hour of death, with the 
Apostles Peter and Paul by her side. On the architrave 
hover two angels carrying branches of palm, and the 
tiara and keys. 

In the side niches, between massive Corinthian columns, 
are the imposing figures of the four cardinal virtues. 
Below the sarcophagus a fine relief represents Adrian's 
entry into Rome, where a helmeted figure symbolizing the 
city hastens to meet him at the gates. A broad marble 
slab on brackets contains the obituary inscription composed 
by Tranquillus Molossus ; on each side, under the niches, 
boys hold the Cardinal's hat and armorial bearings of the 
founder, Enkevoirt. Between the sarcophagus and the relief 
of the entry into Rome a prominent place is given to the 
pathetic inscription, " Alas ! how much do the efforts, even 
of the best of men, depend upon time and opportunity." 1 

1 Proh dolor, quantum refert in quae tempora vel optimi cuiusque 
virtus incidat. Cf. FORCELLA, III., 447. Concerning the tomb and 
its founder, full details are given in SCHONFELD, Sansovino, 19, 54 


Few more appropriate epitaphs have been written than 
these words of resignation and regret to which the dead 
Pope had once given utterance respecting himself. In 
large letters they set forth the life-work of the last German 
Pontiff, one so often misunderstood and despised, who saw 
with his dying eyes the unity of the Church and of his 
beloved Fatherland simultaneously rent asunder. They 
form the best commentary on the destiny of his life, and 
on that short span of government in which misfortune and 
failure followed each other in one unbroken chain. With- 
out ever having sought high place, this humble and devout 
Netherlander rose, step by step, from the lowliest circum- 
stances, until it was his lot to attain the tiara ; he was 
never dazzled by its splendour. The dignity of the Papacy 
came to him at a highly critical moment, and he looked 
upon it as an intolerable burden. Wherever he turned 
his glance his eye met some threatening evil ; in the North 
a dangerous heresy, in the East the onward advance of the 
Turk, in the heart of Christendom confusion and war. 
After an exhausting journey he at last reached his capital, 
there to find an empty exchequer, a Court composed of 
officials animated by national pride, personal ambition, and 
the most unfriendly spirit, and a city ravaged by plague. 
Moreover, as a thorough northerner, he was neither by 

seq. ; GRAVENITZ, Deutsche in Rom, 1 18 seq., and SCHMIDLIN, 281 seq. 
To the copious literary references of the last-named may be added : 
DOLLMAYR in the, Zeitschr. fur bildende Kunst, N.F., I. 295 seq. ; 
L'Arte, 1 1 1. (i 900), 255 seq., and FRASCHETTI in, Emporium (1902), 124. 
Schmidlin is right in pointing out that the early pictures of the tomb 
(in BURMANN, 80, and CIACONIUS, III., 440) show that the ornamenta- 
tion was originally much richer than now ; but he makes a mistake in 
supposing that " the four coins of Adrian were introduced above the 
tomb in order to form a row of medallions." They were introduced 
here and elsewhere by Ciaconius as additions of his own, as he has 
shown in his notes. 


bodily nor mental constitution fitted for the position in 
which Providence had suddenly placed him. Heedless of 
all these difficulties, he did not flinch, but concentrated all 
his powers on coping with the almost superhuman tasks 
set before him. He entered on his work with the purest 
intentions, and never for a moment turned from the path 
of duty, which he followed with conscientious fidelity 
until his wearied eyes were closed in death. 

But not one of the objects which he so honestly pursued 
was he permitted to achieve. Personally an exemplary 
priest, genuinely pious and firmly attached to the ancient 
principles of the Church, he threw himself with courage 
and determination into the titanic struggle with the host 
of abuses then disfiguring the Roman Curia and well- 
nigh the universal Church. Strong and inflexible as he 
was, the difficulties confronting him were so many and 
so great that at no time was he able to carry out all 
the reforms he had decreed, as, for example, the rules 
concerning benefices. 1 His best endeavours were un- 
availing against the insuperable force of circumstances, 
and the upshot of his short-lived efforts was that the 
evils remained as they were before. The generous 
appeal to his own people to make open confession of 
their guilt, which he had addressed by his Nuncio to the 
Diet of the German Empire, was met by the reforming 
party with scorn and ridicule. So far from checking the 
schism brought about at Luther's evil instigation, Adrian 

1 Cf. SANUTO, XXXIII., 481, and TIZIO, *Hist. Senen. The latter 
relates as follows and it is weighty evidence that Adrian was no 
pedantic rigorist, but was open to the lessons of experience : *coepitque 
Italico more atque curialium . . . beneficia confer re, ad tria incom- 
patibilia dispensationem concedere . . . dicebat quidem in hujusmodi 
dispensationibus se exhibuisse difficilem quando putabat Italica bene- 
ficia sicut Hispanica esse pinguiora. 



had, perforce, to realize that the breach was daily growing 

As he laboured in vain for the unity and reform of 
the Church, so did he also for the protection of Christen- 
dom, threatened by the Ottoman power. Although the 
exchequer was empty and the Holy See burdened with 
debt, he was called upon to give help on every side. If 
he saved and taxed in order to help the Knights of 
Rhodes and the Hungarians, he was called a miser ; if 
he spent money on the Turkish war instead of pension- 
ing artists and men of letters, he was called a barbarian. 
In vain he grieved over Rhodes and Hungary; in vain he 
begged, entreated, and threatened the Christian princes 
who, instead of uniting against their common enemy and 
that of Western civilization, were tearing each other to 
pieces in unceasing warfare. The young Emperor, with 
whom he had so many and such close ties, was unable 
to understand the neutral position enforced upon his 
fatherly friend as Head of the Church, if the duties of 
that great office were to be rightly fulfilled. The 
Ambassadors of Charles felt nothing but contempt and 
ridicule for Adrian's actions ; their short-sighted policy 
was exclusively confined to their master's immediate 
advantage. The crafty French King rewarded Adrian's 
advances with treachery, threats, and deeds of violence. 
It was the invasion of Italy by Francis which forced the 
Pope, true to the last to his principle of neutrality, to join 
the Emperor in a league which, although intended by 
Adrian to be solely defensive, at length involved him in 
the war. His death, on the very day on which the French 
crossed the Ticino, freed the most peace-loving of all the 
Popes from participation in a sanguinary campaign. He 
was thus spared from experiencing the shameful ingratitude 
of those for whose true welfare he had been working. 


Few were the Italians who did justice to the stranger 
Pope; by far the greater number hailed his death as a 
deliverance, 1 and looked back on his Pontificate as a time 
of trouble 2 In Rome the detestation of "barbarians" 
went hand in hand with the hatred felt by all those 
whose habits of life were threatened by Adrian's moral 
earnestness and efforts for reform. To these motives 
were added the dissatisfaction caused by the introduc- 
tion of direct taxation and the withdrawal of the outward 
splendour to which the Romans, especially since the 
accession of Leo X., had become accustomed. That 
Adrian's physician 3 should have been hailed as a liberator 
was not by any means the worst insult. The neglected 
literati took atrocious- vengeance in countless attacks 
on the dead Pope. The most venomous abuse was 
written up in all the public places. The dead man 
was assailed as ass, wolf, and harpy, and compared to 
Caracalla and Nero ; Pasquino's statue was decorated with 
ribald verses. 4 

1 Cf. GORI, Archivio, IV., 246 ; ALFANI, 301, and ibid., note 2, 
Bontempi's opinion : " Nihil boni fecit in ejus papata et in ejus morte 
fuit infamatus de haeresi, prout audivi." Guicciardini wrote on 
September 16, 1523, to Modena : "Con piu dispiacere ho inteso li 
Franzesi avera passato il Tesino, che la morte di N. S re , perche di questa 
nuova potria uscire qualche buon frutto, di quella non si vede altro che 
disfavore e danno." Disp. 217. One of the few favourable verdicts of 
his Italian contemporaries is in SANUTO, XXXIV., 410. Some elegiac 
verses in the Coryciana, Rome, 1 524, JJ, 2 b seq. 

2 Tempus Aerumnarum, CARPESANUS, 1353. 

3 Giov. Antracino (see Jovius, Vita Adriani VI.). Among other 
physicians of Adrian's were Garzia Carastosa, a Spaniard, and the 
Italian, Franc. Fusconi ; see MARINI, I., 320 seqq. 

1 See the report of the English envoys in BREWER, III., 2, n. 3464 ; 
cf. LUZIO, Aretino e Pasquino, 12 seq.\ Giorn. d. Lett. Ital., XVII., 
298 ; CREIGHTON, v., 323, and BERTANI, 36. A series of these pas- 
quinades in Tizio, *Hist. Senen., he. cit. (Chigi Library, Rome). V. 


The death of the hated Adrian was acclaimed with 
frantic joy ; every conceivable vice, drunkenness, and even 
the grossest immorality were attributed to one of the 
purest occupants of the Roman See. 1 Every act of the 
great Pope, the whole tenor of his life and all his sur- 
roundings, were distorted by a stinging and mendacious 
wit, and turned into ridicule with all the refinement of 
malice. An impudent spirit of calumny, one of the 
greatest evils of the Renaissance, pervaded all classes ; 
slander and vilification were incessant. A month after 
Adrian's death a Mantuan envoy reported on the mad 
excesses of this plague of wits ; he sent his master one of 
the worst sonnets then in circulation, " not in order to 
defame Adrian, for I dislike those who do so, but in order 
that your Excellency may know how many wicked tongues 
there are in this city where everyone indulges in the worst 
backbiting." 2 J 

Adrian with his piety and moral earnestness had become, 

Albergati mentions others ; see infra, 224, n. 2. Cf. also BESSO, 
Roma e il Papa nei proverbi, 2nd ed., Roma, 1904, 276. 

1 See the letter of C. Batti to Parma in BURMANN, 436-440, and 
WOLF, Lect. II., 191 seq. C/., on the other hand, SCHROCKH, Allgem. 
Biographic, V., 1 14 seq. 

2 *Non per dime male, che mi dispiacquon quelli, che cio fano, ma 
per far che V. Ex. lo veda et comprenda quante malissime lingue sono 
dal canto di qua, dove non e che dicha se non male. G. B. Quaran- 
tine, Rome, October 13, 1523. The sonnet there mentioned begins 

thus : 

*Perfido come il mare Adriano, 

Ipocrito, crudel, invido, avaro, 
Odiosa ad ciascun, a nesun charo, 
Incantator, mago, idolatra, vano 
Rustico, inexorabil, inhumane, 
Falsario, traditor, ladro, beccaro, 
Solitario, bestial e fatuchiaro, etc. 

(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua.) 


in the fullest sense of the words, "the burnt-offering of 
Roman scorn." 1 It was long before the cavillers ceased to 
talk. There were some, especially in the literary world, 
whose hatred was unappeasable. To what extent it was 
carried may be seen from the report of Vianesio Albergati 
on the Conclave of Clement VII. While Leo X. is there 
belauded as the chief mainstay of Italy and the wonder of 
his century, the writer cannot find words enough to depict 
the greed, the harshness, the stupidity of Adrian. There 
was no misfortune, not even the fall of Rhodes, for which 
this barbarian and tyrant was not responsible. 2 Even 
after the visitation of God on Rome, in the sack of the city, 
Pierio Valeriano still reviled the "deadly enemy of the 
Muses, of eloquence, and of all things beautiful, the 
prolongation of whose life would have meant the sure 
return of the days of Gothic barbarism." 3 How deep- 

1 BiiRCKHARDT, Kultur, I., ;th ed., 75. 

2 The report of V. Albergati exists under various titles : Clementis 
VII. P. M. conclave et creatio ; Commentaria conclavis Clementis 
VII. ; Commentarii rerum sui temporis ; Obitus Adriani VI. et con- 
clave Clementis VII.; Historia Adriani VI.; Gesta Romae et Italiae 
abexcessu Adriani VI. ad elect. Clementis VII. I noted the follow- 
ing MSS. : (i) Florence, National Library, Cod. Magliab., XXXVII., 
204, f. 6 seq. (2) Naples, National Library, VI II., B 37. (3) Mantua, 
Capilupi Library. (4) Rome, Secret Archives of the Vatican : Varia 
polit., 8, f. 403, n. 174; Vatican Library: Ottob., 986, Cod. Barb., 
XXXII., 85, and 260, XXXIIL, 45, 92, 163, XXXIV., 13 (cf. RANKE, 
III., 14* seq.}-, Corsini Library, 34, G 13. (5) Vienna, Domestic, 
Court, and State Archives. BACHA in the Comptes rendus de la corn- 
miss, d'hist, 5 Series, I., Bruxelles, 1891, 109-166, gives a by no means 
accurate copy, based on the Roman versions. For Albergati cf. ibid., 4 
Series, XVII., 129 seq., and FANTUZZI, I., 136 seq. Fantuzzi's remark 
on the Bishopric of Cajazzo is incorrect, for Albergati, in his ^letter, 
October 29, 1 522, seq. (State Archives, Bologna), signs himself " electus 

3 De infelicit. lit ed. Menken, III., 382. 


rooted was the abhorrence of the foreigner, how habitual 
it had become to make him matter of burlesque, is best 
seen in Paolo Giovio's biography of Adrian. Written at 
the command of Cardinal Enkevoirt, it ought to be 
essentially a panegyric; but only a superficial reader can 
receive this impression. We have scarcely to read between 
the lines to see that the ungrateful Giovio introduces, when 
he has the chance, piquant and humorous remarks, and 
tries in a very coarse way to draw a ludicrous picture of 
the German Pope, in nervous anxiety for his health, 
interrupting the weightiest business when a meal draws 
near, and at last dying from too copious potations of 
beer. 1 Even those Italians who refrained from the 
general mockery and abuse of Adrian were not sym- 
pathetic. A characteristic instance is the judgment of 
Francesco Vettori, who remarks, " Adrian was undoubtedly 
a pious and good man, but he was better fitted for the 
cloister ; moreover, his reign was too short to enable 
one to form a correct estimate of his government and 
character." - 

At the beginning of Adrian's pontificate the catchword 

1 BURCKHARDT, I., ;th ftd., 176 ; VIRGILI, Berni, 71. For the origin 
of the Vita cf. Denkschriften der Miinchener Akad. Hist. Kl., 1891, 
532. In his writing " De piscibus" Giovio also talks contemptuously 
of the Pope ; see ClAN in. Giorn. d. lett. Ital., XVIII., 298. 

2 VETTORI, 347. See also GUICCIARDINI, XV., 2, and CHIESI, 118. 
With a few exceptions (Foscari in ALBERI, i Series, III., 125 ; PARUTA, 
I., 218 seq.) all Italians, not merely Sannazzaro (cf. BURMANN, 428, 
and GOTHEIN, Kultur-entwicklung, 460), but also ALBERINI (325 sey.) 
and Bembo (cf. ClAN, 19), were thoroughly unjust to Adrian VI. 
Justinian! (Hist. rer. Venet, 1611, 256) certainly recognizes the Pope's 
simplicity of character, but immediately relates a very trivial anecdote. 
How unfair and absolutely inept opinion in Rome concerning him was, 
even in the latter half of the sixteenth century, may be seen from the 
*Vita in Cod. 38, A, 6 (Corsini Library, Rome). 



in political circles was that the Pope was no statesman ; l 
this was now repeated. 2 This kind of criticism was un- 
commonly characteristic of the Renaissance; the men of 
that period had become so accustomed to look upon 
the Popes 3 as secular princes, politicians, and patrons of 
art and letters only, that they had lost the faculty of under- 
standing a Pontiff who placed his ecclesiastical duties 
before everything, and aimed at being, above all, the shep- 
herd of souls. This saintly man from the Netherlands, 
with his serious purposes, his indifference to classical and 
humanist culture, his strict avoidance of Machiavellian 
statecraft and his single-hearted anxiety to live exclusively 
for duty, was to the Italians of that age like an apparition 
from another world, beyond the grasp of their com- 

The difficulty of forming a just and thorough apprecia- 
tion of Adrian was increased to an extraordinary degree 
by the removal from Rome, by his secretary Heeze, of the 
most important documents relating to his reign, his 
correspondence with other princes and with the Nuncios, 
thus withdrawing sources of the greatest value for historical 
research. 4 In this way even Pallavicini, adhering to the 

1 See * letter of G. M. della Porta, September 22, 1522 (State 
Archives, Florence), who brings forward as evidence an instance of 
forgetfulness on Adrian's part. Cf. also the *letter of Castiglione's, 
September 14, 1522 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). Tizio also wrote 
at that time : * De pontifice vero multi judicabant, litteras atque 
bonitatem non sufficere ad regnum ecclesiae, Aristoteles namque in libris 
de regimine " non decet," inquit " bene principari, qui non sub principe 
fuit," Hist. Senen., Cod. G, II., 39, f. 139 (Chigi Library, Rome). 

2 SANUTO, XXXIV., 439, and * letter of V. Albergati, September 14, 
1 523 (State Archives, Bologna). 

3 See Vol. VIII. of this work, p. 460. 

cgoryXIII. tried in vain in 1575 to recover these important 
"scripturae"; cf. THEINER, Annal. eccl., II., 130; DE RAM in Bullet. 


commonly accepted view of the Italians, sums up Adrian 
as an admirable priest, bishop, and cardinal, but only a 
mediocre Pope. 1 

As early as 1536 a fellow-countryman and contem- 
porary of Adrian, Gerhard Moring, had passed a sounder 
judgment in a biography which found, however, little 
circulation. Nor did much success attend the attempts of 
impartial historians in Italy, such as Panvinio, Raynaldus, 
Mansi, and Muratori, to defend the memory of their noble 

de la commiss. royale d'hist., 2 Series, XL, 59 seq., and BACHA in the 
Comptes rendus de la commiss. d'hist., 1890, 125 seq. All the writings 
of Adrian VI. cannot here be meant for, as v. DOMARUS proves in his 
excellent and often quoted article in the, Histor. Jahrbuch., XVL, 75 seq., 
the Secret Archives of the Vatican contain numerous volumes of 
registers, cameral papers, and petitions of Adrian's reign. To these 
must be added the volume of petitions in the Vatican Library (Cod. 
Vat., 8655) and some volumes in the State Archives, Rome, as well as 
the eighth volume of the Regest. brev. Lateran., which did not find its 
way into the Vatican Library until after the appearance of v. Domarus' 
article. In spite of the existence of this important stock of manu- 
scripts, PlEPER (Histor. Jahrb., XVL, 777 seq.) adheres firmly and 
rightly to the statement of Gregory XIII. that Heeze took away with 
him to Liege " ornnes scripturae" of Adrian VI. ; meaning only by this 
expression the foreign correspondence of that Pope. This would 
include the letters of Princes and Nuncios and the Pope's own Briefs, 
thus forming sources of information of the most important kind ; for 
the Regesta in the Vatican are, as v. Domarus, who had gone through 
them thoroughly in regard to German affairs, informed me on January 
20, 1900, "Very important for local research." I can only give this 
opinion for what it is worth. Considering the important character of 
the writings removed by Heeze, I undertook a long journey in Belgium 
and Holland in the autumn of 1896 with the object of their discovery ; 
but all my efforts to trace out these valuable papers in those countries 
were fruitless. 

1 I'ALLAVICINI, II., 9. A protest against this estimate was at once 
raised by J. Launoy (see BURMANN, 360 seq.). It is certainly quite 
incorrect, as HEFELE-HERGENROTHER also points out, IX., 326. 


Pope. In Germany the effects of Luther's contemptuous 
depreciation lasted for a long time. Catholic opinions, such 
as that of Kilian Leib, that the saintly Pope was too good 
for his age, 1 gained no hearing. 2 It was not until 1727, 
when the jurist Kaspar Burmann, of Utrecht, dedicated 
to the Flemish Pope a collection of materials, compiled 
with much industry, and full of valuable matter, that an 
impulse was given to the formation of a new opinion. 
This Protestant scholar, whose work is of permanent 
value, deserves the credit of having initiated a change 
in Adrian's favour. 3 Subsequently, in the nineteenth 
century, the labours of Dutch, 4 Belgian, 5 German, 6 French, 7 

1 ARETIN, Beitrage, IX., 1030 ; cf. also the, Chronik in Archiv fur 
altere deutsche Geschicte, N.F., VI I. , 182. 

2 Cf. the unfair judgment of SPITTLER, Werke, IX., 270. 

3 Burmann's influence is seen especially in SCHROCKH, Allgem. 
Biographic, V., Berlin, 1778, 1-133. 

4 BOSCH, Jets over Paus Adrian VI., Utrecht, 1835 5 WENSING, Het 
leven van Adriaan VI., Utrecht, 1870; CHRISSTOFFELS, Paus Adriaan 
VI., Amsterdam, 1871. 

5 GACHARD(i859); REUSENS (1861), as quoted supra,^> 34, " i, 
and CLAESSENS in the Rev. Cath. de Louvain, 1862, 543 seqq., $g6seqg., 
725 seqq. 

fi HOFLER'S work (Vienna, 1880) combines all the excellences as well 
as the defects of this writer (see my reference in Histor. Jahrb., III., 
121 seqq.}. His book must always be unsatisfactory, as it contains 
hardly any documentary material, although access was then free to the 
archivial sources in Bologna, Mantua, Modena, and Florence of which 
I was the first to make use. NlPPOLD (Reformbestrebungen Hadrians 
VI., in Hist. Taschenb., 1875) and GSELL(Der Pontificat Adrians VI., 
in the Theol. Zeitschr. aus der Schweiz, 1894) are of no value. Some- 
what better, but very far from satisfactory, is BAUER (Hadrian VI., 
Heidelberg, 1876: cf. Lit. Rundschau, 1876, 161). The best Protes- 
tant view is that of BENRATH, whose work is as free from party 
spirit as it is full of matter (Herzog, Realencyklopadie, VII., 3rd ed., 
3" seq). 

7 LEPITRE, Adrien VI., Paris, 1880. 


English, 1 and also Italian 2 students helped to remove the 
long-standing misconception. 

It is matter for rejoicing that on this point difference 
of creed has imposed no limitations. A distinguished 
scholar, of strong Protestant convictions, has recently 
expressed his view of Adrian in the following terms: 
" To a judgment unaffected either by his scanty successes 
or his overt concessions, Adrian VI. will appear as one 
of the noblest occupants of the chair of Peter. He will 
be recognized as a man of the purest motives, who wished 
only to promote the welfare of the Church, and, in the 
selection of means to serve that sacred end, conscientiously 
chose those that he believed to be truly the most fitting. 
He will have claims on our pity as a victim sacrificed to 
men around him immeasurably inferior to himself, tainted 
by greed and venality, and to the two monarchs who, 
caring exclusively for their own advantage, and thinking 
nothing of that of the Church, wove around him the net- 
work of their schemes and intrigues." 3 

The history of Adrian VI. is full of tragic material. 
Yet it confirms the maxim of experience that, in the long 
run, no honest endeavour, however unsuccessful, remains 
unrecognized and barren of result. The figure of this 
great Pope, who had written on his banner the peace of 
Christendom, the repulse of Islam, and the reform of the 
Church, so long belittled, is once more emerging into the 

1 CASARTELLI, The Dutch Pope, Dublin Review, CXXXV., London, 
1904, 1-45. Creighton, unfortunately, moves in the old groove. 

2 Cf. DE LEVA, II., 192 seq. ; CIPOLLA, 875 seq. ; CAPPONI, St. di 
Firenze, III. 2 158 seq. ; MARCHESI, Papa Adriano VI., Padova, 1882. 
The first Italian in the nineteenth century who did justice to Adrian 

Cantu : see P. CAMPELLO BELLA SPINA, Nel centenario di C. 
Cantu, Firenze, 1906, 13. 

3 BENRATH in Herzog, Realencyklopadie, VII., 3rd ed., 135. 


light in full loftiness of stature. He is numbered to-day by 
men of all parties among the Popes who have the highest 
claim on our reverence. No one will again deny him his 
place among those who serve their cause with a single 
heart, who seek nothing for themselves, and set themselves 
valiantly against the flowing stream of corruption. If 
within the limits of his short term of sovereignty he 
achieved no positive results, he yet fulfilled the first condi- 
tion of a healer in laying bare the evils that called for cure. 
He left behind him suggestions of the highest importance, 
and pointed out beforehand the principles on which, at a 
later date, the internal reform of the Church was carried 
out. In the history of the Papacy his work will always 
entitle him to a permanent place of honour. 



IN consequence of Adrian's delicate state of health, 
Imperial diplomacy was already busying itself, in the 
summer of 1523, with the prospects of a Papal election. 
Charles V. knew how much would depend, in his struggle 
with France, on the policy of the new Pope. On the I3th of 
July he sent to his Ambassador at Rome, the Duke of Sessa, 
special instructions concerning the Conclave; their gist 
was that everything was to be done to secure the election 
of the Vice-Chancellor, Cardinal Giulio de' Medici. To the 
candidature of this Prince of the Church, who during two 
pontificates had been his staunch adherent, Charles con- 
tinuously remained steadfast. 1 

This attitude of the Emperor was sure to lessen con- 
siderably the prospects of Cardinal Wolsey, whose position 
and reputation were almost on a level with those of Medici. 
All the lofty expectations of the English Cardinal who, in 
conjunction with Henry VIII., was eagerly canvassing for 
his own election, 2 were nullified by the circumstance that 
the great majority in the Sacred College were more than 

1 GACHARD, Corresp. de Charles-Quint, n. 17, 23 ; cf. BERGENROTH, 
II., n. 562, 604. 

2 REUMONT, Wolsey, 24 seqq. ; SAGMULLER, Papstwahlen, 155 seq.\ 
BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 295 seq. ; MARTIN, 352 seqq. 



ever unwilling to hear of a foreigner and absentee as 
the Pope's successor. But, in spite of the most zealous 
exertions, 1 even Cardinal de' Medici was far from certain of 
his own success, as the entire French party was in decided 
opposition to this loyal champion of Imperial interests. 
Further, the group of older Cardinals were all unfriendly 
to him as leader of the juniors nominated by Leo X. 

The parties in the College of Cardinals were formed on 
the same lines as those in the Conclave of Adrian VI. The 
Mantuan envoy, in a despatch of the 29th of September 
1523, reports that Medici can count certainly on about 
seventeen votes, although he cannot affirm the same of any 
other Cardinal. The chances of Cardinal Gonzaga are very 
seriously considered. 2 This opinion corresponded more 
closely with the actual position of things than the more 
sanguine surmises of the Florentine representative who, on 
the same day, writes of the rising prospects of Cardinal de' 
Medici. 3 It was particularly prejudicial to the latter that, as 
in the last Conclave, Cardinal Colonna, otherwise strongly 
affected towards the Emperor, and in spite of his promise 
given to Sessa, was coming forward as Medici's strongest 

1 Cf. **Lettera del card. Medici al padre del card. M. Cornaro, 
dat. Rome, September 19, 1523, in Cod. Urb., 538, f. 64 seq. 
(Vatican Library). 

*Solum li significo che tra questi r mi card 11 succedono quasi le 
medeseme secte che eramo ad le morte de Leone. El r mo de Medicis 
ha de hi voti circa XVII li quali concurrono in la sua persona, ma 
non li po voltar dove vole come posseva li XV ad lo altro conclave 
per la morte de Leone. II r mo card le de Mantua e anchora lui in 
gran predicamento de papatu, spero che Dio ne adiutara. Angelo 
Germanello to the Marquis of Mantua, dated Rome, September 29, 
1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). Cf. BERGENROTH, II., n. 605 
and 606. 

3 Despatch of Galeotto de' Medici, Rome, September 29, 1523 
(State Archives, Florence). 

TIIK CONCL.V. i . 233 

opponent. He sided with the older Cardinals and even 
with the party of France. 1 It was not less embarrassing 
that Medici's mortal enemy, Soderini, had been freed from 
his imprisonment and admitted to the Conclave through 
the efforts of the older Cardinals, who were threatening 
to cause a schism. 2 In addition to this, Farnese, since the 
27th of September, had come to the front as a dangerous 
rival of Medici. 3 The latter, while making every exertion 
to secure the support of the foreign powers, 4 was resolutely 
determined either to become Pope himself at any cost, or, 
if this was impossible, to assist in the election of one of his 
own party. 5 

Such being the state of things, a long and stormy con- 
clave was looked for when, on the 1st of October 1523, the 
five-and-thirty electors assembled in the Sixtine Chapel, 
while without a heavy thunderstorm was raging. 6 This, 
as well as the circumstance that Medici's cell had been 
erected under the fresco, by Perugino, of " St. Peter's 
elevation to the Primacy," was looked upon as an augury of 
the future. Nor were prognostications in favour of Medici 
wanting in other ways, 7 for the Duke of Sessa worked 

1 Jovius, Vita Pomp. Columnae, 151-152; cf. DE LEVA, II., 196, 
n. 5. 

2 Cf, the reports of V. Albergati, Rome, September 18 and 21, 1523 
(State Archives, Bologna). 

3 SANUTO, XXXIV., 438, 452 seg., 461, XXXV., 35 ; cf. BERGEN- 
Knin, n ej n . 606, and *letter of A. Germanello, September 28, 1523 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

4 Cf. the *letter to the Doge in GREGOROVIUS, VIII., ed. 3,414, n. i. 
1 .UICCIARDINI, XV., 3, and LANCELLOTTI, Cron. Mod., I., .176. 

6 SANUTO, XXXV., 55. ^Despatch of Galeotto de' Medici, October 
! i J 5 2 3 (Questa sera a hora 24, the Cardinals entered into conclave. 
Our Cardinal's hopes are good). Cf. *the diary of CORNELIUS DE 
FINE (National Library, Paris). 

UTOTO, XXXV., 67 seq., and*Conclave dementis VII., "Medici 


for him at fever heat. 1 His opponents were no less 
indefatigable ; they first of all tried to put off any 
decision until the arrival of the French Cardinals ; 2 con- 
sequently, in the meantime only the Bull of Julius II. 
against simony was read. The first scrutiny should have 
taken place on the morning of the 6th of October. But 
this intention was abandoned when suddenly, on that 
very day, to the no small annoyance of the Imperialists, 
the French Cardinals, Louis de Bourbon, Frangois de 
Clermont, and Jean de Lorraine appeared in conclave 
in order to travel with greater speed they had put on short 
laymen's clothes, and entered, booted and spurred, into the 
midst of their colleagues; 3 all business now came to a 

cella obtigit sub pictura quae est Christi tradentis claves Petro, quae 
Julio 2 obvenisse aiunt." Cod. XXXIII., 142, f. 161 (Barberini Library, 

1 Sessa made special efforts to win over the party of Soderini. 
*Lope Hurtado al Emperador, Rome, October 5, 1523. Colec. Salazar, 
A 29, f. 170 seq. (Biblioteca de la Acad. de Historia, Madrid). In 
a *letter to Charles V., April 14, 1524, Clement VII. acknowledged 
Sessa's services in securing his election. Miss, brev., Arm., 40, vol. 8, 
n. 162 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

2 In this sense G. de' Medici reported on October 5, but without 
losing hope of Medici's election : " et ancora che la venuta loro habbi a 
far delle difficulta e ne bisogni dua vocie piu che prima non dubitamo 
ne perdiamo di speranza, ma sol ne dispiacie che la cosa andra piu 
lunga non saria andata " (State Archives, Florence). 

3 BERGENROTH, II., n. 606; BREWER, III., 2, 3464; *Diary of 
CORNELIUS DE FINE (Library National, Paris) ; **Report of 
Gabbioneta, October 7, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). G. de' 
Medici wrote, October 6 : *Questa mattina si doveva far lo squittino. 
Non era finito ancora la messa che le 3 Cardinal! Francesi in poste 
arrivarono ; montarono in palazzo e stivalati e fangosi entrarono in 
conclavi sollecitati dalli loro respecto dubitavano per lo scrutino si 
dovea far questa mattina non venissi facto el papa come facilmente 
posseva lor riuscir. La venuta lor intorbido tutto e sanza si facessi 
scrutino si misono a mangiare (State Archives, Florence). 


standstill. 1 The wooden cells set apart for the electors 
were separated from each other by small spaces and dis- 
tinguished by letters of the alphabet. The cells prepared 
for the Cardinals appointed by Leo X. were decorated in 
red, those of the others in green. The Swiss guards were 
appointed to watch over the Vatican. Fifteen Cardinals 
stood firm for Medici, the Emperor's candidate ; four others, 
also Imperialists, at whose head was the powerful Colonna, 
it had been impossible to win over. Twelve Cardinals 
formed the French party ; six were neutral. 2 Each of these 
three parties had no thought of giving in. On the first 
day of the Conclave were named as Medici's competitors : 
Fieschi, the French candidate; Jacobazzi, who was sup- 
ported by Colonna ; last, and most important of all, 
Farnese ; in Rome it was repeatedly said that he was 
already elected. 3 

Farnese was, in fact, the only one among the electors 
who could measure himself with Medici. He was his 
senior, and a Roman by birth, and he was unquestionably 
superior to his rival in political penetration, in the large- 
ness of his conceptions, and in his understanding of ecclesi- 
astical affairs. 4 It was also to his advantage that he was 

1 See the *report of V. Albergati, October 6, 1 523 (State Archives, 

2 See SANUTO, XXXV., 223-224. The vacillation of some of the 
Cardinals at the beginning of the Conclave is shown by two **lists 
contained in reports of the Mantuan envoys. The first belongs to 
September, the second is in a *report dated October 10, 1523 (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). 

3 SANUTO, XXXV., 66, 77, 88, 90 ; ^Letters of V. Albergati of 
October 5, 6, 8, and 9, 1 523 (State Archives, Bologna) ; *Despatch of 
G. de' Medici, Rome, October 8, 1523 (State Archives, Florence); 
*Report of Giovanni Batt. Quarantine, Rome, October 10, 1523 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

4 Opinion of REUMONT, Wolsey, 42. 


neutral, although his leanings were more towards the 
Emperor than otherwise. 

In the first scrutiny, on the 8th of October, the different 
parties measured their strength: the French candidate, 
Cardinal Fieschi, had eleven votes, and the same number 
were given to Carvajal, an Imperialist. 1 The next scrutinies 
were also without result. All hoped for a speedy end of 
the war in Lombardy, and, on that account, tried to prolong 
the election. 2 Under these circumstances it was great 
good fortune that no serious disturbances took place in 
Rome, which remained as quiet as before the beginning of 
the Conclave. 3 The populace could not be blamed when, 
on the roth of October, they began to complain of the long 
delay. In consequence of these demonstrations, an attempt 
was made on the I2th, by Colonna and the French, to 
obtain the tiara for Cardinal Antonio del Monte, but 
without success. 4 " Our Cardinal," the Florentine envoy 

1 SANUTO, XXXV., 88, and ^despatch of G. de' Medici, October 8, 
1523: *Li rer mi di conclavi hanno facto questa mattina il primo 
scruttino senza accesso e ciascun di lor sig. r me e stato lontano al 
papato (State Archives, Florence). 

2 ^Despatch of G. de' Medici, October 9, 1523, with the postscript: 
" Stamattina li rev mi deputati solid di venir allo sportello non volsono 
si mettesi dentro che una sola vivanda." 

3 See the ^despatches of G. de' Medici, Rome, September 1 5 and 23, 
1 523 : " Le cose qui vanno quietissime e non pare che sia sedia vacante" ; 
October 4 and 8 : "La terra sta pacifica sanza rumor alcuno ; le bottege 
stanno aperte come se non fossi sede vacante" (State Archives, 
Florence). Cf. the ^letters of V. Albergati, September 20 and 23, 
1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 

4 SANUTO, XXXV., 118 ; cf. BERGENROTH, IL, n. 611 ; *Report of 
Giov. Batt. Quarantine, October 13, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua), 
and G. de' Medici, who writes on October 13, 1523 : *In lo squittino 
di hier mattina il rev. Monte and6 avanti a tutti che hebbe sedeci voti 
e tre d' accesso ne per questo si crede il papato habbia di venir in lui 
che ha facto 1' ultimo suo sforzo e evi concorso tutta la faction francese 


reports on the I3th, "is in close alliance with his friends 
and stands firm." Colonna also, in spite of Sessa's repre- 
sentations, relaxed nothing of his opposition to the hated 
Medici. 1 The situation was unchanged. Once more, but 
in vain, the Romans begged that the election might be 
settled quickly. Armellini sent them answer : " Since you 
can put up with a foreign Pope, we are almost on the point 
of giving you one; he lives in England." This gave rise 
to a great tumult The Romans shouted, "Choose us one 
of those present, even if he be a log of wood." 2 

Even in the days that followed, Medici, with his sixteen 
to eighteen followers, stood out obstinately against the 
opposition, now increased from twenty to two-and-twenty 
Cardinals. The closure had become a dead letter. Un- 
interrupted communication was kept up with the outer 
world. 3 On the iQth of October a Venetian reports : 
" Things are just where they were on the first day." " The 
Cardinals," exclaims a Mantuan envoy in despair, " seem 

e Colonna. Vannosi a questo modo berteggiando 1' un 1' altro ne si 
vede segnio si deliberino o convenghino in alcuno (State Archives, 
Florence). Cf. PETRUCELLi BELLA GATTINA, I., 542 seq. 

1 G. de' Medici, October 13, 1523 : *Di conclavi ritrago m or nostro 
ill. si mantiene ben unito con li amici suoi e sta forte (State Archives, 
Florence). Cf. PETRUCELLI BELLA GATTINA, I., 543. 

2 Despatch of the English envoys in State Papers: Henry VIII., 
Foreign, VI., n. 64 ; cf. BREWER, III., 2, n. 3464 ; SANUTO, XXXV., 
135 ; ^despatch of G. de' Medici, October 15, 1523 (State Archives, 

3 SANUTO, XXXV., 1 19 ; BERGENROTH, II., n. 606. *G. de' Medici, 
October 19, 1523 : "In conclavi non si fa ancora resolutione per stare 
obstinati li adversarii cli non voler dar li voti ad alcuno della parte 
nostra. ... La confusione e grande piu che mai perche li adversarii 
non s'accordono a chi di loro voglino voltare il favore. ... Li 
nostri stanno uniti (hopes for the breakdown of the opposition) " ; and 
October 20 : " Li amici di mons. ill. stanno unitissimi " (State Archives, 


determined to spend the winter in conclave." 1 Each 
party watched with anxiety for some turn of events in 
Lombardy. 2 The Romans grew more and more restless, 
and Farnese tried to calm them. 3 Several new candidates 
besides Farnese appeared at this time, such as the Franciscan 
Cristoforo Numai, Achille de Grassis, and, above all, 
Sigismondo Gonzaga. 4 On the 28th of October the Romans 
again made remonstrances, but the Conclave went on as 
before, Medici and Farnese holding the scales between them. 
November came, and, notwithstanding fresh popular im- 
patience, the end of the proceedings was not yet in sight. 
The Court was in despair; fear of a schism was already 
occupying men's minds. 5 Once more a pause in the 
transactions of the Conclave was caused by the arrival, on 

1 SANUTO, XXXV., 135. **Report of Giov. Batt. Quarantine, 
October 21, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

2 *Reports of G. de' Medici, October 22, 23 : " In conclavi sono stati 
dua o tre d\ sanza far scrutino tractando modo d' accordarsi. ... II 
Cardinale nostro con li amici suoi stanno unitissimi e gagliardi e 
vanno acquistando continuamente " ; and 24 : " Credo staranno ancora 
qualche d\ venendo a proposito la dilation a ciascuna della parte per 
veder il successo delle cose di Lombardia" (State Archives, Florence). 
Cf. *report of Giov. Batt. Quarantine, October 25, 1523 (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). 

3 **Galeotto de' Medici, October 25, 1523 (State Archives, Florence). 

4 SANUTO, XXXV., 148; *Galeotto di Medici, October 26, 1523 
(State Archives, Florence). For Gonzaga's prospects see in detail the 
**reports of Gabbioneta of October 17, 21, 28, and November 15, 1523 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

6 Cf. despatch of the English envoys, November 7, in BREWER, III., 
2, n. 3514; Jovius, Pomp. Columna, 152, where there is also a con- 
temporary poem; SANUTO, XXXV., 149, 150, 167, 168; Ortiz in 
BURMANN, 223; *G. de' Medici, November 4, 5, 1523 (State 
Archives, Florence) ; *Report of Gabbioneta, November 7 : " Tutta 
questa corte sta desperata e mal contenta per questa tardita de fare el 
papa "(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua) ; *Letters of V. Albergati, November 
2, 6, 8, 10, and n, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 


the 1 2th of November, of Cardinal Bonifacio Ferreri, whose 
sympathies were French. He brought up the number of 
Medici's opponents to three-and-twenty, and that of the 
electors to thirty-nine. 1 If the Venetian Ambassador is 
to be believed, Cardinal Farnese now succeeded, by large 
promises, in detaching the Duke of Sessa from the party 
of Medici and bringing him over to his own. 2 

Medici, nevertheless, had not the slightest intention of 
giving in ; in fact, he had good grounds for raising his 
hopes even higher than before, since his party stood by 
him firm as a rock. 3 The position of his adversaries was 
very different ; they had only one point of union, the 
determination to prevent Medici from becoming Pope ; 
in other respects they were divided from the first, for 

1 SANUTO, XXXV., 198. *G. de' Medici, November 9, 1523: "La 
venuta del rev. Ivrea dopoi se intesa ha facto fermar in conclavi ogni 
practica e vi stanno le cose nel medesmo modo che il primo d\ 
v' entrarono" (State Archives, Florence). *Diary of CORNELIUS DE 
FINE (National Library, Paris). The number 39 given also in 
a notarial communication in GORI, Archivio, IV., 246, in the *Diarium 
of BLASIUS DE MARTINELLIS (Cod. Barb., lat. 2799), and in the French 
*diary in Cod. Barb., lat. 3552 (Vatican Library), is undoubtedly correct, 
although 38 is given by the *Acta Consist, (both in the digest in the 
Secret Archives of the Vatican and in that of the Consistorial Archives). 
VETTORI, 347, gives 33 + 3+1, and REUMONT, III., 2, 161, follows him 
in part. GUICCIARDINI, XV., 3, puts, incorrectly, the number of 
members at the opening of the Conclave at 36. The difficulty raised 
by GRETHEN, 21, note i, that Clement on December 23 distributed 
his benefices among his thirty-seven electors, is solved, as he had 
already conjectured, by the fact that Grassis had died on November 22. 

2 BAUMGARTEN, Charles V., II., 284; cf. also O. R. REDLICH in 
Hist. Zeitschr., LXIII., 128. 

3 SANUTO, XXXV., 197-198; *G. de' Medici, October 7 and 
November 3, 7, u, and 13, 1523 : "Ogni giorno li rev"" fanno scrutino 
e danno li voti in modo compartiti che nessuno d' epsi passa 10 voti " 
(State Archives, Florence). 


most of them had pretensions to the tiara themselves. 1 
" But," as Guicciardini remarks, "it is difficult to keep up 
a partnership when its chief supports are discord and 
ambition." Medici, for some time past, had built his 
hopes on this state of things, and used all the means in 
his power to produce dissension among his adversaries. 2 
It is especially remarkable that help came to him from, 
of all people, the French Ambassador. 

On the death of Adrian VI., Francis I. wished im- 
mediately to enter Italy in person, 3 but the difficulties 
arising from the desertion of the Constable de Bourbon 
to the Emperor had forced him to give up the idea. He 
was thus obliged to limit his activities to using the influence 
of the French Cardinals, to whom he had named Fieschi, 
Soderini, and Scaramuccia Trivulzio as his candidates, 
and that of the envoys he had delegated. Lodovico di 
Canossa, who was such an active agent on behalf of French 
interests, received the royal commands to go to Italy too 
late, 4 so that only Count Carpi reached the Conclave in 

1 SANUTO, XXXV., 199; BERGENROTH, II., n. 606; *G. de' Medici, 
November i, 3 and 14, 1523 (State Archives, Florence). Cf. the 
**report of Gabbioneta, October 28, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, 

2 Cf. the important "^despatch of G. de' Medici, October 15, 1523 : 
" Mons. nostro ill. per tutte le vie e modi puo va ghodendo il tempo 
judicando li habbia ad esser molto a proposito per andar al continue 
guadagniendo delli adversarii e rompendoli la unione facto non sara 
punto stabile per non esser d' acordo infra epsi che di loro habbi ad 
esser papa per voler ciascuno di loro essere" (State Archives, 

3 RAWDON-BROWN, III., n. 756; SAGMULLER, Papstwahlen, 

4 Cf. the **letters of L. di Canossa to Francis I., dated Gargnano, 
September 29, 1523,10 Bonnivet, the French Admiral, dated Verona, 
September 30, and to Cardinal Trivulzio, dated Verona, October 4 
(Capitular Library, Verona). 


time. 1 " Our enemies," wrote Sessa on the 28th of October, 
" had a triumph at first, since Carpi is openly on the side 
of France, and came, moreover, as the representative of 
King Francis ; but his old friendship with Medici is 
stronger than his party spirit. He has succeeded in 
splitting up our opponents." It was not, however, old 
friendship only which induced Carpi to take up this 
surprising position, but in all probability a promise of 
neutrality from Medici, the hitherto stout Imperialist. 2 

The final decision was reached by Cardinal Colonna at 
last renouncing his opposition to Medici. This change of 
mind was the result of a quarrel between Colonna and his 
French friends, because the latter refused to vote for 
Jacobazzi,-the Imperialist. One of the French Cardinals, 
Francois de Clermont, seeing that confinement in the 
vitiated atmosphere of the Conclave was becoming daily 
more trying to the older Cardinals, now went the length 
of proposing Cardinal Orsini, who was hostile to Colonna as 
well as to the Emperor. Medici pretended to be in favour 
of this old friend of his family. Then Colonna, in great 
alarm, saw that he must give in, a course which he was 

1 GRETHEN, 21, puts the arrival of Carpi too early. He had over- 
looked the Florentine report in PETRUCELLI, I., 543, which gives the 
date as the evening of October 17. 

2 BERGENROTH, II., n. 606; cf. n. 612. According to Venetian 
reports of October 18 and 31, in SANUTO, XXXV., 136, 169, Medici 
made such lavish promises to Francis that they seem in themselves 
incredible ; besides, these promises are absolutely irreconcilable with 
the subsequent attempts of Francis I. to obtain the Papal recognition 
of his lordship over Milan. There is more probability in GRETHEN's 
(p. 22) conjecture, that Medici bound himself to neutrality. Immediately 
after the death of Adrian VI., L. di Canossa tried to enter into negotia- 
tions with Cardinal de' Medici ; but the latter was not drawn into them. 
See Canossa's *letter to Francis I., October 20, 1523 (Capitular 
Library, Verona). 

VOL. IX. 16 


advised to take by his brother, then in the service of the 
Emperor. He joined sides with Medici, who promised him 
the pardon of Soderini l and personal advantages as well. 
This reconciliation of the two enemies, who had so long 
been at strife, took place on the evening of the I7th of 

Colonna immediately drew with him a number of 
Cardinals, first his friend Jacobazzi, followed by Cornaro 
and Pisani, then Grassis, Ferreri, and others. Medici could 
now count on twenty-seven votes, and his election was 
certain. On the same day, the i8th of November, two 
years before, he had entered Milan. The proclamation of 
the new Pope was deferred until the pardon of Soderini 
should be settled and the capitulations signed ; the latter 
guaranteed that the benefices held by the Pope as Cardinal 
should be divided among his electors. The twelve Cardinals 
forming the French party now gave up further resistance 
as useless, and on the morning of the ipth of November, 
the votes having been once more taken for the sake of 
security, 2 Giulio de' Medici was proclaimed as unanimously 

1 Cf. EPIFANIO in Atti d. Congresso internaz. di scienze storiche, III., 
Rome, 1906, 419 seqq. 

2 The best sources are in such thorough agreement, in essentials, as 
to the circumstances that led decisively to the election of Medici, that 
the differing account of Blasius de Martinellis (in CREIGHTON, V., 325 
seq.\ who is otherwise so trustworthy, must here be rejected. Besides 
GUICCIARDINI, XV., 3, and Jovius, Pomp. Columna, 151 seq., cf. 
especially the Florentine reports in Giorn. d. Archivi Toscani, II., 117 
seq., 122 seq., and in PETRUCELLI, I., 550, the Venetian in SANUTO, 
XXXV., 207, 225, the Portuguese in Corp. dipl. Port., II., 178 seq., 180 
seq., 198 seq., the ^letters of V. Albergati, November 18 and 19, 1523 
(State Archives, Bologna), the letter of the English envoys in State 
Papers: Henry VIII., Foreign, VI., 195 seqq., and in BREWER, III., 
2, n. 3592, Sessa's letter in Colec. d. doc. inedit., XXIV., 333, and 
Negri's letter (November 19, not 18) in Lettere di principi (Venetian 


chosen Pope. 1 The victor, on emerging from this hard 
contest of fifty days, assumed the name of Clement VII. 
His first act of government was to confirm the capitula- 
tions, but with the additional clause that they might, if 
necessary, be altered in Consistory. 2 

The respect which Clement VII. had won for himself as 
Cardinal under Leo X. by his statesmanlike efficiency and 
admirable administration in Florence, as well as by his 

edition of 1570, f., the one which is always used in the following notes). 
I., ioo b . To these published accounts two others, confirmatory and 
hitherto unknown, may be added, viz. a **despatch of G. B. 
Quarantine, November 23, 1523 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua), and a 
*letter of Andrea Piperario to B. Castiglione, dated Rome, November 
19, 1523, in transcript in the Town Library, Mantua. With regard to 
the promises said to have been made by Medici to Colonna, there is in 
Giovio only a general statement, while Guicciardini mentions a written 
engagement concerning the Vice-Chancery and the Riario Palace. 
The diplomatic authorities named above say nothing of this. 

1 Blasius de Martinellis in CREIGHTON, V., 326. Gabbioneta, like 
other reporters of news, announced at first that the new Pope had 
taken the name of Julius III. (despatch of November 18, 1523). How 
this mistake, current throughout Rome, arose is explained by Quarantine 
in a **report of November 19 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). The 
official proclamation of the election on the part of the Cardinals (Giorn. 
d. Arch. Tosc., II., 123 seq.\ as well as on that of the Pope himself (in 
a letter beginning : Salvator, etc.), took place on November 26, the 
coronation day. Announcements drawn up in a different form had 
previously been despatched on November 22 to individuals such as 
the city of Florence (see Giorn. d. Arch. Tosc, II., 121 seq.) and the 
Marquis Federigo of Mantua. See the original of the announcement 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). Francis I. also was informed prior to 
the coronation, cf. RAYNALDUS, 1523, n. 128. 

2 The election capitulations published in Giorn. d. Arch. Tosc., II., 
107 seq. ; the conditions in CREIGHTON, V., 326. A comparison with 
the capitulation of Adrian shows a sharper precision in details and a 
number of new provisions (Art. 6, 7, 20-25) in favour of the Cardinals 
and the Knights of Rhodes. 


seriousness, moderation, and avoidance of all frivolous 
pleasures, threw a lustre over the beginning of his pontifi- 
cate. Seldom had a new Pope been welcomed with such 
general rejoicing and such high-pitched expectation. In 
place of an Adrian VI., simple-minded and exclusively 
devoted to ecclesiastical interests, a Pope had arisen who 
satisfied the wishes of the majority in the Curia. He was 
a great noble and an expert politician. The Romans were 
delighted ; a Medici Pope encouraged their hopes of a 
renewal of the happy days of Leo X., and of a long 
and brilliant reign fruitful of results in art and science. 
Their expectations were strengthened when Clement at 
once drew into his service classical scholars like Giberti 
and Sadoleto, 1 showed his care for the maintenance of 
justice, gave audiences with the utmost freedom of access, 2 
was marked in his courtesy to persons of all classes, 3 and 
bestowed graces with great generosity. " He granted 
more favours," wrote the Bolognese envoy, "on the first 
day of his reign than Adrian did in his whole lifetime." 4 
The satisfaction of the electors was not less, among whom 
the Pope distributed the whole of his benefices, representing 
a yearly income of upwards of 60,000 ducats. Cardinal 
Colonna got, in addition, the Riario palace, the Cancelleria, 

1 Cf. along with Lettere di principi, I., ioo b seq., the *Diary of 
CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris), the ^despatch of G. 
de' Medici, November 21, 1523 (State Archives, Florence), and two 
*letters of Piperario to B. Castiglione, Rome, November 19 and 23, 
1523 (Library, Mantua). 

* Despatches of G. de' Medici, November 24 (S. S te sta sana, lieta 
e attende ad ordinar tutte le cose necessarie e maxime della justitia) 
and December 8, 1523 (State Archives, Florence). 

3 Cardinal Gonzaga dwells on this in a * letter to the Marchioness 
Isabella, Rome, November 19, 1523 (Library, Mantua). 

4 Letter of V. Albergati, November 19, 1523 (State Archives, 


and office of Vice-Chancellor, and Cornaro the palace of San 
Marco ; the amnesty granted to Soderini was full and 
complete. 1 The coronation took place on the 26th of 
November with great pomp, and in presence of an in- 
credible concourse of people. On the tribune could be 
read the inscription, "To Clement VII., the restorer of 
peace to the world and perpetual defender of the Christian 
name." "It seems," wrote Baldassare Castiglione, "that 
here everyone expects the very best of the new Pope." 2 

In upper Italy also, especially in the States of the 
Church, the election made a very favourable impression. 3 
Alfonso of Ferrara had taken advantage of the vacancy 
in the Holy See to seize on Reggio and Rubbiera ; he was 
even preparing to advance on Modena, when he heard of 
Clement's election. He at once gave up this design and 
sent a messenger to the Pope, and somewhat later his 

1 Cf. *letter of Piperario to B. Castiglione, November 23 (Library, 
Mantua), and ^"despatch of G. de' Medici, November 29 (State 
Archives, Florence). The division of the benefices is here already 
reported ; the *Bull concerning it (Clem. VII., Secret, IV. [1440], f. 
44, Secret Archives of the Vatican) is dated December 23 ; cf. EHSES, 
Politik Clemens VII., 562, and Appendix, Nos. 32 and 33. 

2 *B. Castiglione to the Marquis of Mantua, dated Ravenna, 
November 30, 1523 (Library, Mantua); SANUTO, XXXV., 235, 243. 
Cf. also BREWER, III., 2, n. 3594 ; Lettere volgari, I., 6 b -7, and *letter 
of V. Albergati of November 26, 1 523 (State Archives, Bologna). On 
December 13, 1523, Giberti received "due. 945 pro expensis factis pro 
coronatione S. D. N." (*Intr. et Exit., 561, in Secret Archives of the 
Vatican). See further *Acta Consist. (Consistorial Archives), *G. de 
Medici, November 27, 1523 (State Archives, Florence), and *Diary of 
CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris). On the coronation 
day Cardinal L. Pucci received the " gubernium " of Bagnorea, 
Cardinal Cesi that of Sutri, Cardinal Pallavicini that of Montefiascone 
(*Regest., 1239, f. 36, 38, 127), Cardinal Jacobazzi that of Pontecorvo 
(* Regest., 1243, f- 8 5> Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

3 *Report of December I, 1523 (State Archives, Bologna). 


eldest son, to tender his homage and prepare the way for 
an understanding ; this was not arrived at, but a truce for 
one year was agreed to. The disturbances in the Romagna, 
promoted by Giovanni da Sassatello in the name of 
the Guelph party, but at the secret instigation of France, 
came to an end at once with the appearance of the name 
of Medici from the electoral urn. 1 In Florence the advan- 
tages of another Medicean pontificate were calculated 
with true commercial shrewdness, and there were many 
who started for Rome in quest of fortune. 2 In Venice the 
expressions of congratulation were exuberant ; the Doge 
wrote that he would send the most illustrious citizens of 
the Republic to honour Clement as a deity on earth. 
" Praised be the Lord for ever," exclaimed Vittoria Colonna 
when she received the news of Clement's election ; " may 
He further this beginning to such ends, that men may see 
that there was never wrought a greater blessing, nor one 
which was so grounded on reason." The thoughts and 
hopes of this noble woman were then shared by many. 
A canon of Piacenza declared that Medici by his skill 
and sagacity would bring the endangered barque of Peter 
safely into harbour. 3 The Marquis of Pescara considered 

1 GUICCIARDINI, XV., 3. The safe-conduct for Ercole, Alfonso's 
son, is dated *Rome, December n, 1523. To the same date belongs 
a *Brief of Clement VII. to Alfonso in which it says : " Nunc autem 
nobilitatem tuam si, ut ipse nobis Franciscus [Cantelmus bearer of a 
letter from Alfonso to the Pope] affirmavit, officium suum debitamque 
observantiam huic S. Sedi praestiterit, omnia a nobis sibi proponere 
atque expectare volumus quae sunt ab optimo pastore amantissimoque 
patre requirenda." (Both of these documents are in the State Archives, 

*Tutta Firenze concorre quk, writes V. Albergati from Rome, 
December 7, 1 523 (State Archives, Florence). 

3 Callisti Placentini [can. regal.] Dialogus ad Clementum VII. de 
rectc regendo pontificate Cod. Vat., 3709 (Vatican Library). 



th;it by the result of the election the wishes of the general 
majority had been met in a measure which was, perhaps, 
unprecedented. "Clement VII.," said Bembo, "will be 
the greatest and wisest, as well as the most respected 
Pope whom the Church has seen for centuries." l Almost 
everyone overlooked the great weaknesses which were 
combined with undeniable good qualities in the character 
of the new Pontiff. 

Unlike most members of his house, Clement VII. 2 was 
a good-looking man. He was tall and had a graceful 
figure ; his features were regular and refined, and only a 
close observer would have remarked that he had a slight 
squint in his right eye. At this time his face was beard- 
less, as Raphael had depicted it in his portrait of Leo X. 3 
Clement's health left nothing to be desired ; being 
extremely temperate and of strictly moral life, there was 
reason to expect that his reign, on which he entered in 

1 SANUTO, XXV., 216 seqq. ; TOLOMEI, 5 ; REUMONT, V. Colonna, 
42 seq. ; BEMBO, Op., III., 54 (letter of December 11, 1523). 

2 For the early life of Clement VII., see Vol. VII. of this work, 
p. 8 1 seq. 

3 The outward appearance and the character of Clement VII. are 
described minutely in the reports of the Venetian ambassadors Foscari 
(1526), Contarini (1530), and Soriano (1531), first printed by ALBERT, 
2 Series, III., in parts more correctly by SANUTO; cf. also the 
notices in GORI'S Archivio, IV., 269, and GuicciARDiNi. Fine 
portraits of Clement VII. were taken by Sebastiano del Piombo 
(Parma gallery ; see HOFMANN, Villa Madama, Dresden, 1900, 
plate i.), Bronzino (from a phot. Alinari in HEYCK, Mediceer, 119), 
and Vasari (cf. GlORDANl, Doc. 129). For these and other portraits 
cf. GOTTI, I., 162, 268; GRUYER, Raphael peint. d. portr., 348 seq. ; 
CROWE and CAVALCASELLE, VI., 401 seq. ; GASPARONI, Arte e lett., 
II., 164 ; NOLHAC in Gaz. d. Beaux Arts, 1884, I., 428 ; KENNER, 145, 
and Giorn. d. lett. Ital, XXXVIII., 178, note. The best busts of 
the Pope are those of A. Lombardi and Montorsoli ; see MuNTZ, 
III., 210, 432. 


his forty-sixth year, would be a long one. 1 Although, as 
a genuine Medici, he was a patron of literature, art, and 
music, Clement was yet by nature essentially prosaic. 2 
Without approaching Leo X. in versatility and intellectual 
resources, he had, on the other hand, none of the frivolity 
and pleasure-seeking, the extravagance and ostentation 
of the latter. It was noticed with satisfaction by sober- 
minded observers that his coronation banquet was arranged 
without the superfluous luxury and the presence of pro- 
fessional jesters which had marked that of Leo X. 3 With 
such empty recreations Clement, who for years had been 
a man of great industry, did not concern himself. Nor 
had he any taste for noisy hunting parties and expensive 
excursions, in which he saw only a waste of time. He 
very rarely visited Magliana, and only saw at intervals his 
beautiful villa on Monte Mario. 4 As a Medici and as 
a statesman of the Renaissance, Clement VII. was far 
superior to Leo X. in caution and acumen. " This Pope," 
Loaysa reported to the Emperor, "is the most secretive 

1 " fc continentissimo ne si sa di alcuna sorte di luxuria che usi," says 
Foscari, SANUTO, XLL, 283. Likewise VETTORI, 381, and Guic- 
CIARDINI, XVI., 5. See also the testimony of Campeggio and Eck in 
EHSES (Concil., IV., cix.). The contrary reports (see GAUTHIEZ, 66) 
are not supported by evidence. Although Clement as Pope led a 
moral life, his youth had not been free from excesses. Soriano's 
remarks (ALBERT, 2 Series, III., 277) are quite clear on this point ; cf. 
also HEINE, Briefe, 378. That Alessandro de' Medici, born in 1510, 
was a bastard of the Cardinal's, as GAUTHIEZ, 62 seg., on the authority 
of Varchi, supposes, is by no means certain. Well-informed contem- 
poraries, such as Contarini in his report of 1530, say expressly that 
Alessandro was an illegitimate son of Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of 
Urbino. REUMONT, one of the best authorities on Medicean history, 
holds the same view (Toscana, I., 20) strongly. 

3 Cf. REUMONT, III., 2, 432. 
S'VUTO, XXXV., 243 ; XXXVII., 10. 

4 Foscari in SANUTO, XLL, 283. 


man in the world, and I have never spoken with one whose 
sayings were so hard to decipher." l 

In the discharge of his duties the new Pope was in- 
defatigable; he devoted himself to affairs with the 
greatest punctuality, earnest attention, and an assiduity 
that never flagged. 2 Only at meal-times did he allow 
himself some recreation ; a good musician himself, 3 he 
then took pleasure in listening to motets, 4 and 
engaged in serious conversation with artists and men 
of learning. At his table, which was very frugal, two 
physicians were always present ; save at the chief meal 
of the day, the Pope ate very little, and kept fast days 
rigorously ; but he only said Mass on great festivals. 
His bearing during all religious ceremonies was full of 

1 HEINE, Briefe, 86, 401 ; cf. 195. 


3 SANUTO, LI I., 648 ; cf. ALBERI, 2 Series, III., 278. 

4 See CELLINI, Vita, L, 4 ; cf. PLON, 10 ; see also SANUTO, LVIII., 
6 10. Eleazar Genet dedicated his celebrated Lamentations to Clement ; 
cf. AMBROS, III., 276, and HABERL, Musikkatalog der papstlichen 
Kapelle, Leipzig, 1888, 22, 43. For the singers of the Papal Chapel, 
which Clement had already reorganized in April 1528 at Orvieto 
(SANUTO, XLVIL, 270), cf. SCHELLE, 258 seq. Singers were engaged 
at that time in France and Flanders (cf. * Nunziat. di Francia, I., 
33> 337> Secret Archives of the Vatican). A musician from Cambrai 
also appears in the* accounts for 1524 (S. Maria Novella, 327, State 
Archives, Florence). See also BERTOLOTTI, Artisti Urbinati a Roma, 
Urbino, 1881, where a Cristoforo da Urbino is mentioned as cantorc 
in the year 1529. In December 1524 a Petrus Maler (probably a 
German) et socii musici appear (* Intr. et Exit., 561, Secret Archives of 
the Vatican). The names of twenty-four singers of the chapel are entered 
in the * Mandati, IV. (1529-1530), f. 68, for April 1530; ibid.^ *VI. 
( I 53- I 534)> twenty-three singers are entered, also the magister and 
sacrista (State Archives, Rome). In a *Brief, dated Marseilles, 
November 9, 1533, Clement VII. thanks F. Sforza for sending him 
the " tibicen" Moscatellus. Original in the State Archives, Milan. 


reverence and dignity. " There is no one," wrote 
Soriano, " who celebrates Mass with so much beauty and 
piety of demeanour." 1 If Clement VII. had none of 
his predecessor's strength as an ecclesiastical ruler, and 
showed generally more knowledge and experience in 
political than in spiritual affairs, 2 yet, contrasted with 
the levity of Leo X., he marked a beneficial change in the 
pontifical character. 

The Venetian Ambassador, Marco Foscari, who, during 
his three years' embassy, was able to observe Clement 
VII. closely, considered that "he was full of uprightness 
and piety. In the Segnatura he would do nothing to the 
prejudice of others, and when he confirmed a petition, he 
would not, as Leo did, withdraw his word. He neither 
sold benefices nor bestowed them simoniacally. In con- 
trast to Leo and other Popes, when he conferred graces 
he asked no services in return, but wished that everything 
should proceed in equity." 3 

Clement VII.'s great parsimony gave rise to many 
unmeasured accusations. 4 The extremes to which he 
went in this respect explain, but do not in every instance 
justify, the charge of miserliness brought against him. 
This is clearly shown from the fact that in his almsgiving 
he was as open-handed as Leo X. 5 He deserves praise 

1 ALBERI, 2 Series, III., 278. SANUTO, XXXV., 241 ; XLIL, 27. 
Even during his imprisonment in St. Angelo, Clement kept the fasts ; 
see Histor. Zeitschr., XXXVI. , 168. 

2 Cf. EHSES, Concil., IV., xvii. 

3 SANUTO, XLI., 283. 

4 This charge was raised by Ziegler with great vehemence in his 
Vita in SCHELHORN, Amoenitat, II., 300^., a work which has more 
resemblance to a passionate invective than to a study in history. For 
Ziegler see Vol. VII. of this work, p. 198 n. ; HOFLER, Adrian VI., 408, 
and RIESLER, VI., 410, 521. 

6 Foscari's accounts of Clement's benevolence are fully confirmed 


rather than blame in avoiding the extravagance of 
his cousin, whose debts he was obliged to pay. 1 The 
shadows on Clement's character lay in other spheres ; 
they were closely connected with idiosyncrasies which 
the Venetian envoy, Antonio Soriano, has minutely 
described. Soriano disputes the current opinion that 
the Pope was of a melancholy disposition ; his physicians, 
he observes, thought him rather of a sanguine tempera- 
ment, which would also account for his fluency of 
speech. 2 Contarini also insists on the good reputation 
enjoyed by Clement VII.; great ideas he certainly 
had not, but he spoke very well on any subject brought 
before him. Contarini accounts for Clement's slow- 
ness of decision and lack of courage by the coldness 
of his nature, wonderfully characterized by Raphael in his 

by CIACONIUS, III., 474, and especially by the Papal account-books. 
Certain conventual houses received regular alms ; thus, e.g.^ the nuns of 
S. Cosimato, the abbeys of the Monast. Murat. de urbe, and the Fratres 
S. Crisogoni at Rome (see *Intr. et Exit., 561, Secret Archives of the 
Vatican), as well as the nuns of S. Maria Annunziata at Florence (see 
*Mandati, III., 1527, State Archives, Rome) ; also sums of money for 
the Lateran Hospital. In the *account-books of Clement VII. in the 
State Archives, Florence, there are entries of alms for the years 1524- 
1527 to the principe di Cipri and his daughter, to the frati d' Araceli, 
to Filippo Cipriota, to the frati della Minerva, to the Compagnia della 
Carita, to Madonna Franceschina (figliuola del gran Turcho), for the 
ransom of captives in Turkish slavery, to converted Turks, and to the 
Compagnia della Nunziata per maritar zitelle. In 1525 and 1526 
respectively 300 ducats are booked as Easter alms (S. Maria, Nov. 327). 
In 1528 and 1529, besides gifts to the nuns of S. Maria in Campo 
Marzo, S. Cosimato, Tor de' Specchi and Monastero dell' Isola, others 
appear to the frati of San Giovanni e Paolo, S. Pietro in Montorio, and 
S. Onofrio, as well as to the poveri di San Lazaro (S. Mar., Nov. 329). 

1 See SCHULTE, I., 236. 

2 ALBERT, 2 Series, III., 278. For Clement VII.'s eloquence see 
BALAN, VI., Supplement XIX. 


likeness of the Cardinal in the portrait of Leo X. Soriano 
also speaks strongly of the Pope as very cold-hearted. 1 

Always a procrastinator, Clement belonged to that 
unfortunate class of characters in whom the powers of 
reflection, instead of giving clearness to the thoughts and 
strength to the will, perpetually call forth fresh doubts 
and suspicions. Consequently, he had no sooner come to 
a decision than he as quickly regretted it ; he wavered 
almost constantly hither and thither between contending 
resolves, and generally let the fitting opportunity for 
action escape his grasp. The Pope's indecision and 
instability were bound to do him all the more harm 
since they were accompanied by great timidity. From 
this excessive want of courage, as well as from his 
innate irresolution and a parsimony often most mis- 
chievously employed, Guicciardini explains Clement's 
incapacity to act when the time came to put into 
execution decisions reached after long reflection. 2 

These fatal characteristics had almost escaped notice 
while Giulio de' Medici was Leo's adviser, and had not 
then reached their later stage of development. All men 
then knew that the Cardinal served the reigning Pope 
with untiring industry and the greatest fidelity. Of 
restless energy and the highest reputation, his political 
influence was appraised in those days at a higher value 
than it in reality deserved, and most, indeed, of the 
political successes of Leo X. were ascribed not to himself, 
but to his minister. When at last the latter rose to the 
head of affairs, he showed that he could neither come to 
a decision at the right moment nor, having done so, put 

1 ALBfcRi, 2 Series, III., 265, 278. 

2 GUICCIARDINI, XVI., 5. L. di Canossa, in a * letter to Alb. di 
Carpi, October 6, 1526, also speaks severely of Clement's irresolution 
and timidity (Communal Library, Verona). 


it resolutely into execution ; for, in consequence of his 
over-subtle statecraft, he could never shake himself free 
from suspicion, and a constant dread of real and, still 
oftener, imaginary dangers impeded all his transactions 
and put a stop to any decided and consecutive course of 
action. A letter, a word was enough to upset a resolution 
formed after long balancing and calculation, and to throw 
the Pope back on the previous state of resourceless 
indecision. 1 At first Clement's contemporaries almost 
entirely overlooked these ominous characteristics. All the 
more painful was their surprise when they saw the great 
Cardinal, once held so high in men's esteem, sink into 
a Pope of petty and cheap reputation. 2 

The Imperialists were more disappointed than any, for 
they had indulged in the most sanguine and extravagant 
hopes. At the close of the Conclave, Sessa had written 
to Charles : " The Pope is entirely your Majesty's creature. 
So great is your Majesty's power, that you can change 
stones into obedient children." 3 Sessa, in saying this, had 
failed to see that the election had not been altogether his 
work, and that even during the Conclave, Medici had taken 
up a more neutral attitude than before. Further, he over- 
looked the difference that must arise between the policy 
of Clement as Pope and his policy as Cardinal. The ideal 
evidently present to Clement's mind at the beginning of 
his reign 4 was one of impartiality and independence towards 
the Emperor and Francis alike, in order that he might 
be of service in restoring peace, thereby securing the 
freedom of Italy and the Papacy, for which there was a 
double necessity owing to the Turkish danger and the 

1 GUICCIARDINI,XVI.,5 ;<:/j/ni, Vol. VIII. ofthiswork,p.87J^^. 

2 VETTORI, 348. 

3 BERGENROTH, II., n. 610, 615, 622. 

4 Cf. BAUMGARTEN, II., 287. 


spread of heresy in Germany. Unfortunately, although 
he was fully aware of the grave condition of affairs 
throughout the world, 1 he was entirely wanting in the 
determination, firmness, and fearlessness of a Julius II. 
From the first suspicious signs of weakness were dis- 
cernible. How could it be otherwise when a significant 
circumstance the two leading advisers of the Pope were 
each respectively champions of the two great opposing 
parties ? The one, Gian Matteo Giberti, an excellent and 
blameless man, who became Datary, drew closer to France 
the more he realized the danger to the freedom of Italy 
and the Papacy arising from the world-wide power of 
Spain; the other, Nicolas von Schonberg, was, on the 
contrary, a thorough Imperialist. To the conflicting 
influence of these two counsellors Guicciardini principally 
ascribes the instability of character which Clement, to 
the general astonishment, began so soon to display. 2 

Immediately after his election the Pope entered into 
secret negotiations with the Venetian Ambassador Foscari. 
He opened to him his scheme of joining himself with 
Venice and the Duke of Milan, so as to separate Switzerland 
from France and bring the former at the same time into 
alliance with himself. By these manoeuvres he expected to 
cut off from France all hopes of predominance in Italy, and 
also, in the same way, to thwart the plans of the Emperor, 
showing himself to be a Pope in reality, and not, like 
Adrian, merely Charles's servant. Yet he did not wish to 

1 Cf. the *Brief to Canossa, Rome, December u, 1523 (Secret 
Archives of the Vatican, Arm., 39, vol. 43, n. 36). Tizio, * Hist. Senen. 
(Cod. G, II., 39, Chigi Library, Rome), depicts the state of the world 
in the gloomiest colours. 

2 GUICCIARDINI, XVI., 5. That Giberti was " il cuor del Papa " was 
said already in the autumn of 1524 ; see SANUTO, XXXVI., 619 ; cf. 
EngL Hist. Rev., XVIII., 


push his undertakings against the Emperor further, but 
rather to keep at peace with him. He was not thinking of 
war, but how to arrange an armistice, the Curia at that 
moment being not only without money, but also burdened 
with Leo's debts. As he was beset on the one hand by 
the Emperor's party, and, on the other, by that of France, 
through Count Carpi, he was anxious to know the intentions 
of Venice before he committed himself to any declaration. 1 
Sessa, who saw in Clement VII. only the former adherent 
of Imperial policy, was bitterly disappointed. The Pope 
flatly refused to turn the alliance made with Adrian from 
the defensive into the offensive. He would continue to 
pay the stipulated subsidy to the Emperor's forces, but as 
Father of Christendom his first duty was the restora- 
tion of peace. " Everything I have urged to the contrary," 
wrote another Imperialist diplomatist, the protonotary 
Caracciolo, on the 3Oth of November, " has failed." The 
Pope remarked that he could not declare himself in favour 
of an open league against France, he would much rather do 
all he could to bring about a general armistice among 
all Christian States; 2 to this object all his endeavours 
were now at first directed. This policy of peace, with 
special reference to the Turkish danger, he had already 
emphasized in the letters despatched to Francis before his 
coronation, announcing his election. 3 

Clement hoped to satisfy the Imperialists without taking 
any steps openly hostile to France, 4 since each of those 
implacable enemies, Charles and Francis, wished him to 

1 Foscari to the Council of Ten on November 23, 1523, in BAUM- 
GARTEN, Karl V., II., 287. 

2 BERGENROTH, II., n. 613, 615 ; GRETHEN, 25 seq. 

3 RAYNALDUS, 1523, n. 128. 

4 Despatch of Foscari, December 7, 1 523, in BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., 


become his partisan. Not only were the Ambassadors and 
Cardinals on both sides busy in support of this object, but 
also special envoys from the French King and the Emperor. 
The representative of the former, Saint-Marceau, arrived in 
Rome on the ist of February 1524. Great as his offers 
were, Clement refused to acknowledge the claims of Francis 
to Milan, and was at the greatest pains to avoid even the 
appearance of showing favour to France. 1 But he was just 
as little disposed to add to the concessions already contained 
in the treaty made by his predecessor with Charles V., which 
would not expire until September 1524. In spite of his 
financial distress, he paid the monies agreed upon, but 
secretly, on account of France. 2 Sessa was beside himself 
at the indecision of the Pope, who was the Emperor's ally, 
but was constantly coquetting with France. The more 
Sessa insisted, the more Clement drew back. 3 

1 BROWN, III., n. 800, 804; BERGENROTH, II., n. 617, 619; 
SANUTO, XXXV., 394; BUCHOLTZ, II., 254; GRETHEN, 27 seq. 
G. de' Medici reported on February 10, 1524 : *Mons. di San Marseo 
da buone parole a N. S. chel suo re fara quanto vorra. S. S 4i non 
viene a ristretto. Volentieri fariano una tregua con tener quello hanno 
acquistato in Lombardia. Li Imperial! non la vogliono ascoltare e 
sperono recuperare quello hanno perso (State Archives, Florence). 
The good services of Saint-Marceau are praised by Clement in *a 
letter to Francis I., April 10, 1524, Arm., 40, vol. 8 (Min.), n. 155 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

2 MlGNET, Rivalite, I., 457', note. EHSES, Politik Clemens VII., 563 
In * Intr. et Exit., 561 (Secret Archives of the Vatican), on January 30, 
1524, there is an entry of" due. 24,000 Paulo Victori capit. pro subvent. 
belli in Lombardia." For the financial distress of Clement VII. see 
also the report of Castiglione, March 7, 1524 (Delle Esenzioni, 57), and 
the letter of May 4, 1524, in [P. Rajna] Tre lettere di Alessandro de' 
Pazzi (Per Nozze), Firenze, 1898, 14. On December 26, 1524, Fr. 
Gonzaga reported in the strongest terms of the Pope's urgent needs 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

3 BERGENROTH, II., n. 619. 


Another emissary of Charles, Adrian de Croy, had no 
better fortune. The Pope explained that he could work 
best for peace by being completely neutral, 1 and in this 
he was confirmed, as early as the spring of 1524, by the 
threatening reports of the progress of Lutheranism in 
Germany and the growing danger from the Turk. 2 That 
the Christian powers should be tearing each other to 
pieces in presence of such perils seemed to him intolerable; 
he hoped that his envoys might succeed in securing at least 
an armistice. Clement had already, on the 8th of December 
1523, sent his chamberlain, Bernardino della Barba, to the 
Emperor in Spain with offers of mediation in the cause of 
peace. 3 A discussion on the means of achieving the much- 
needed pacification of Europe, held in Consistory on the 9th 
of March 1524,* resulted in the decision that Nicolas von 
Schonberg should visit the Courts of France, Spain, and 
England. By the nth of March he had started, not over- 
glad of his mission, 5 the difficulties of which he fully under- 
stood, and knowing well that Giberti would now have a 
monopoly of influence. 6 Schonberg's instructions left no 

1 BERGENROTH, IL, n. 617, 624; SANUTO, XXXVI., 19, 27, 42; 
GRETHEN, 30 seq. 

2 Cf. the * despatches of G. de' Medici of February 15, 1524, and 
March 20 (State Archives, Florence) ; SANUTO, XXXV., 435, and 
Acta Consist, in KALKOFF, Forsch., 87. 

3 Cf. EHSES, Politik Klemens VII., 571. The date of Barba's 
departure as given in the * letter of the Viceroy of Naples to the 
Emperor, dated Pavia, December 20, 1523 (State Archives, Brussels, 
Corresp. de Charles V. avec Italic, I.). 

4 Acta Consist. (Consistorial Archives of the Vatican). 

6 Cf. the report in, Notizenblatt zum Archiv fiir osterr. Gesch., 1 858, 1 8 1 . 

6 The date of departure, hitherto uncertain, is ascertained from a 
* letter from B. Castiglione to Maria Equicola, Rome, March 12, 1524 : 
" L' arcivescovo e andato mal volontieri. M. Giov. Matteo resta pur 
patrone d' ogni cosa " (Library, Mantua). 

VOL. IX. 17 


doubt as to Clement's sincere wish to prepare a way for 
peace; he travelled very quickly, and at the end of March 
was in Blois, where he stayed until the I ith of April ; after 
conferring with Charles at Burgos, he returned again to 
Blois, and thence, on the I ith of May, set out for London. 1 
In Rome, where, soon after the arrival of the Florentine 
embassy of homage 2 the plague broke out with fury, 3 
Sessa, Lope Hurtado de Mendoza, and the English envoys 

1 All details concerning Schonberg's mission are in the excellent 
review of, EHSES' Politik Klemens VII., in the Hist. Jahrb., VI., 571 
seq., 575 seg. t which also includes his instructions as given in Cod. 
Vatic., 3924, f. 196-201. Cf. also Rev. d. quest, hist, 1900, II., 
6 1 seq. (I take this opportunity to express my grateful thanks to 
Mgr. Ehses for his kind permission to allow me to make use of his 
numerous excerpts on the history of Clement VII.) In his **letter of 
credence to the Emperor, dated March 10, 1524, Schonberg is thus 
recommended : " fidemque in omnibus adhibere velis perinde ac si 
nos ipsi tecum colloqueremur" (Secret Archives of the Vatican). The 
statement that Schonberg left Blois again on May 1 1 is confirmed by 
a * despatch of G. de' Medici, Rome, May 25, 1524 (State Archives, 

2 The Florentine envoys to tender obedience (see Giorn. degli 
Arch., II., 125) arrived in Rome on February 7, 1524, and were received 
in public audience on the I5th ; see G. de' Medici, February 7 and 15, 
1524 (State Archives, Florence), and *Acta Consist. (Consistorial 
Archives of the Vatican). 

3 Of the outbreak and ravages of the plague, G. de' Medici gives full 
information on February 20, 1524 ; March 18, 19, 21, 28, 31 ; April i, 6, 
8, 1 1, 17, 20 ; May 7, 9, 1 1, 14, 16, 21, 25, 27 ; June i, 3, 9, 12, 14, 17. 
20,22, 25, 28. Not until July 13 was he able to say: "La pesta fa 
pocho danno o niente." All these reports are in the Florentine Archives. 
Cf. also Sanuto, passim ; * letters of M. Salamanca to G. Salamanca, 
dated Rome, June 6 and 16 (State Archives, Vienna); SERASSI, I., 
113 seqq. ; CELLINI, Vita, I., 5 ; Luzio, Mantova, 255 ; the *Diary of 
CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris) ; the despatches 
of Alvarotti from Rome, May 14, 20, 31, and July 10, 1524 (State 
Archives, Modena). 


were actively working on behalf of the Emperor, while 
Saint-Marceau and Carpi, supported by the powerful 
Giberti, worked for Francis. The timid Pope, meanwhile, 
still continued to shirk the decided avowal of partisanship 
desired by the Imperialists; under the influence of reports 
from Lombardy, where Bonnivet, the general of Francis, 
had had reverses, he leant, on the whole, more to Charles, 1 
but without having any intention of openly taking his 
side. On the loth of April Clement wrote strongly to the 
French King saying that, in spite of his great obligations to 
the Emperor, he had honestly tried to carry out his duties 
towards them both impartially. Four days later he laid 
before Charles, in detail, his reasons for being neutral, 
and consequently for declining to renew the league entered 
into by Adrian. The Pope, so ran the strongly worded 
letter, was as much as ever attached to the Emperor, but 
his position as the Father of all Christians demanded from 
him the utmost possible neutrality, so that in mediating 
for the much-needed peace, he should not appear to any to 
be led by party spirit. He would thus find all the readier 
obedience when he should summon his sons to take arms 
against the Turk. 2 

In May the situation of the French in Lombardy had 
gone from bad to worse. The Imperialists in Rome cele- 
brated their successes with festive demonstrations. 3 On 

1 Cf. especially, besides the Spanish and English reports in BERGEN- 
ROTH, II., n. 619, 621, 635, 636, 638, 642, 651, 654, the hitherto un- 
known, and, in parts, very important * reports of B. Castiglione to 
Calandra of April 9, 12, 19, 23, and 26, 1524 (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua). See also the * report of A. Germanello, Rome, April 9, 
1 524 : " lo extimo che sia piu inclinato a li Imperial! cha Franzes!." 

2 RAYNALDUS, 1524, n. 78-80. Cf. EHSES, Politik Klemens VII., 
566 ; see also ibid.^ 574, for the instructions of the English Nuncio, 
Melchior Lang. 

3 *Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris). 


the i;th of May the anti-Imperialist Cardinal Soderini died, 
and at the same time Carpi fell into disgrace with the Pope. 
Clement was still more angry with the Duke of Ferrara, 
who was trying to make discord between him and Charles 
V., and was threatening Modena. But the Pope was also 
in the highest degree dissatisfied with Sessa, who was 
still intriguing against him in Siena. 1 In the beginning 
of June Clement addressed an exhortation to peace 
to Francis, pointing out to him how necessary it was 
to yield under the changed condition of things. 2 By the 
1 6th of June Schonberg was back in Rome. In Sessa's 
opinion, what he brought back with him from France was 
not worth the cost of the journey. 3 

In the meantime Charles V. had determined to enforce 
peace and to pursue the French, now beaten in Italy, into 
their own country, and in July his forces entered Provence. 
At this very critical moment Francis did not lose heart ; 
in the same month Bernardino della Barba brought the 
news to Rome that the King intended, at the head of his 
army, to invade upper Italy in person. 4 Even then the 
Pope kept neutral arid persevered in his efforts for peace. 

On the 1 2th of August the Emperor's new Ambassador, de 
la Roche, arrived in Rome ; 5 supported by Sessa, he tried 

1 **Report in cipher of B. Castiglione to Calandra, of May 25, 1524 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

2 BALAN, Mon. saec., XVI., 23-24 ; cf. EHSES, loc. '/., 570. 

3 SERASSI, I., 122 ; BERGENROTH, II., n. 663 ; cf. 655, 656. See also 
the *reportof G. de' Medici, Rome, June 17, 1524 : " II rev. arcivescovo 
di Capua ariv6 heri sera di notte. . . . Ritragho e tomato senza con- 
clusione ; causa ne e il re de Inghilterra piu che alchuno altro" (State 
Archives, Florence). 

4 SERASSI, I., 126, 138 ; EHSES, loc. cit.> 580. 

6 On August 4, 1524, Castiglione reported to the Marquis; *Fra 
quattro d\ se aspetta mons. della Rocchia e per il camino se li fanno 
le spese et onor grandissimo (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). Cf. the 


to induce the Pope to enter into an alliance, and to grant 
supplies of money. Clement would not give in, although 
he gave his assurances that he would not desert the 
Emperor. 1 He thus gave satisfaction to neither party and 
put himself in an equivocal position. De la Roche, who 
was exceedingly dispirited 2 by the failure of his attempts, 
fell ill on the 25th of August, so that the negotiations with 
him had to be put off. Clement did not, on that account, give 
up his pacific efforts ; he hoped that at least an armistice 
for six months might be arranged, and that another 
mission under Schonberg might carry this through. 3 The 
Imperialists, however, would not then hear anything of 
an armistice. 4 De la Roche died on the 3 1st of August ; 
Bartolomeo Gattinara, a nephew of the Chancellor, who 
was attached to the Embassy, and several of Sessa's 
servants, also fell ill; Sessa himself had to hasten from 
Rome to attend on his dying wife. 5 The Spanish 

printed letters, SERASSI, I., 137. Sessa announces the arrival on the 
1 2th (GRETHEN, 42 ; SANUTO, XXXVI., 535) ; * letter of Schonberg's 
to G. Salamanca, dated Rome, ex palat. Apost., August 1 5, 1 524 (State 
Archives, Vienna), and G. de' Medici in a * despatch of August 12, 1524 
(State Archives, Florence). See also the *Diary of CORNELIUS DE 
FINE (National Library, Paris). 

1 Cf. BERGENROTH, II., n. 675, 677, 679, and the ^reports of G. de' 
Medici of August 15, 17, and 18, 1524 (State Archives, Florence). 

2 Cf. the * report of de la Roche to Charles V., dated Rome, August 
20, 1524 (State Archives, Brussels, Correspondance de Charles V. 
avec Italic, I.). 

3 Besides the ** report of G. de' Medici of August 25, 1524, see 
especially the * letter of Schonberg, August 15, 1524 (State Archives, 
Vienna), quoted supra, p. 260, n. 5. 

4 *Li oratori Imperial! e Inglesi stanno molto alti e sul tirato ad non 
voler alcuno accordo. G. de' Medici, Rome, August 29, 1524 (State 
Archives, Florence). 

I'.ERGENROTH, II., n. 68l, 683; SERASSI, loc. /., I., 140 seg. ; 
SANUTO, XXXVI., 584; *Diarium of Blasius de Martinellis in Cod. 


Embassy being thus deserted, it was impossible to proceed 
with the negotiations. Clement therefore decided to send 
a Nuncio to promote the peace, now especially desirable 
on account of the Ottoman aggression. 1 On the 7th of 
September Nicolas von Schonberg crossed the Alps a 
second time to visit the Kings of France, England, 
and Spain. 2 In itself the Pope's diplomacy gave small 
ground for hope; 3 on this occasion failure was com- 
plete ; amid the wild turmoil of war, his voice was lifted 
in vain. 

The invasion of Provence had miscarried owing to in- 
sufficient forces, and before the walls of Marseilles the Im- 
perialist fortune changed. In France the feeling for King 
and country was running high; all that Francis had 
asked for had been given him. Soon the alarming tidings 
overtook the Imperialists that the French King with a great 
army was at Avignon. Thus the besiegers of Marseilles 
and the invaders of upper Italy were equally threatened. In 
order to save Milan for the Emperor, Pescara, on the 2pth of 

Barb., lat. 2799 (Vatican Library) ; ^reports of G. de' Medici, August 
31 and September i, 1524 (State Archives, Florence). It was said, but 
certainly without grounds, that de la Roche had been poisoned ; see 
*Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris). 

1 Cf. Castiglione in SERASSI, I., 135. 

2 Schonberg did not visit England ; he had previously been recalled 
from Lyons, January 5, 1525. SERASSI, I., 143 ; RAYNALDTJS, 1524, n. 
88 ; EHSES, Politik Klemens VII., 582 ; PIEPER, Nuntiaturen, 66; Rev. 
d. quest, hist., 1900, II., 65. Schonberg's letter of credence, dated 
September 6, 1524, to the Duke of Savoy, Francis I., Louisa of Savoy, 
Henry VIII., Wolsey, and Charles V., in Arm. 40, vol. 8 (Min.), n. 
35 I -35 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). The brief to Charles in 
RAYNALDUS, loc. cit. 

3 Cf. the remarkable letter in SANUTO, XXXVI., 626. In a *Brief, 
October u, 1524, Clement VII. exhorts Schonberg, notwithstanding 
the hopeless condition of affairs, to persevere in his efforts after peace 
(Arm., 40, vol. 8 (Min.), n. 442, Secret Archives of the. Vatican). 


September, raised the siege of Marseilles. He crossed the 
maritime Alps by forced marches into upper Italy. At 
the same time Francis, with a splendid army, pressed 
forward through the Cottine chain. It was a race for the 
most blood-stained spot on earth, the plain of the river 
Po. Milan could no longer be held, for the plague was 
raging there. Pescara, by the end of October, had to fall 
back on Lodi before the superior strength of the French 
army, with his men dispirited and in the worst condition ; 
the star of Charles V. seemed to be on the wane. It was 
a jest of Pasquino in Rome that an Imperial army had 
been lost on the Alps ; any honest person finding it was 
asked to restore it for a handsome reward. Indeed, such 
was the state of things that if Francis had pursued his 
operations with equal swiftness and precaution, upper 
Italy would have been lost to Charles. But instead of 
taking advantage of the sorry plight of the Imperialists 
and falling upon them, the ill-advised King turned aside 
to besiege Pavia, strongly fortified and defended by 
Antonio de Leyva. The historian Giovio relates that 
when Pescara heard of this momentous resolve he cried 
out : " We were vanquished ; in a short time we shall be 
victors." l The fate of Italy hung on the fight around Pavia. 
Francis I. did not understand this sufficiently, otherwise 
he would hardly have determined to detach 10,000 men 
from his army to be sent under the command of John 
Stuart, Duke of Albany, against Naples. 

While the Imperialists and the French were entering 
the lists in upper Italy, the diplomatists on each side 
were competing at Rome for the favour of the Pope. 
Clement had seen Francis enter Italy with the greatest dis- 
pleasure, for together with his disapproval of the King's 
conduct was associated the fear of the victorious arms 

1 Jovius, F. Davalus Pise., 377. 


of France. The Pope seems still to have clung to the 
possibility of a reconciliation between the two deadly 
enemies. Since the issue of the conflict was totally un- 
known, he proceeded with extreme caution. On the 7th 
of October 1524 Baldassare Castiglione, whose appoint- 
ment as Nuncio dated a month before, left Rome. He 
was a true adherent of Charles, and a very experienced 
diplomatist. 1 In order to meet the French King also in 
a friendly spirit, Aleander, recently raised to the Arch- 
bishopric of Brindisi, was appointed as Nuncio to Francis. 2 

1 Already, on July 19, 1524, the Pope had disclosed for the first time 
to Castiglione his intention of sending him to Charles V. (see SERASSI, 
I., 133, and MARTINATI, 43) ; on July 20 the Pope wrote to the Marquis 
of Mantua on the same subject (Brief of July 20, printed in : Delle 
Esenzioni, V., 32-33 ; cf. Luzio, Mantua, 254-255, where there is 
fuller information on Castiglione's embassy from Mantua to Rome), 
who at once gave his consent (^letter of Isabella d' Este to F. 
Gonzaga, August I, 1524, in the Gonzaga Archives). His departure, 
however, was delayed until October 7 ("^despatch of A. Germanello, 
October 7, 1524, loc. tit.}. The letters of safe-conduct for Castiglione 
were ready on September 28 ; see the ^original to the Marquis of 
Mantua in the Gonzaga Archives, and the Concepts in the Min. brev., 
1524, III., n. 412 seqq. (Secret Archives of the Vatican); ibid.^ *Regest., 
1441, f. 8o a -84 b . Castiglione's full powers and faculties are dated 
Rome, 1524, Prid. Cal., Sept., A i. For Castiglione's journey and 
transactions see MARTINATI, 45 seqq. 

2 Cf. matter published for the first time in the work of J. PAQUIER, 
Nonciature d'Aleandre aupres de Frangois Premier (August 8, 1524, 
to February 24, 1525), Paris, 1897, and, Aleandre, 310 seq. GRETHEN 
(45) believes EHSES (Politik Klemens VII., 582, 594) to be mistaken 
in supposing that Aleander's mission was delayed because Francis 
had no settled headquarters, and thinks that it was only a little less 
than accidental that the mission should have coincided with the French 
invasion. It seems more probable that the Curia waited to see what 
turn things would take. As soon as they had definite intelligence 
from Schonberg, over and above what was known in the Consistory 
of October 12, the Nuncio's instructions were at once imparted to him, 


Another extraordinary mission to that King was further 
given on the I3th of October to Count Roberto Boschetti, 
with instructions to seek out Lannoy, the commander- 
in-chief of the Imperial troops in Italy, on his return. 
He was also to do what he could on behalf of peace; 
but owing to illness he was unable to start on his 
journey. 1 

The suspense with which all eyes in Rome were turned, 
in those days, on Lombardy, is clearly seen from the 
diplomatic reports of the time. 2 In Bologna, where calm 
had hitherto prevailed, signs of ferment began to appear ; 
there was bitter jealousy of Ferrara. 3 The news of the 
entry of the French into Milan, which reached Rome on the 
28th of October, made the deepest impression. 4 To the 
Pope this turn of affairs seemed but small compared with 
what was yet to come ; his dread of France now reached 

on the 1 4th. Against this, however, we have in the *Acta Consist, 
of the Vice-Chancellor, about the Consistory : *S. D. N. fecit verbum 
de litteris rev. dom. Capuani d. d. 5 Oct., which report, that Francis I. 
was coming to Italy with his army the Pope's dissatisfaction thereat 
nihil conclusum (Consistorial Archives and Secret Archives of the 

1 Cf. besides EHSES, Politik Klemens VII., 594 ; also BALAN, 
Boschetti, II., 12-13. 

2 Cf. the "^despatches of G. de' Medici for the month of October, 
1524 (State Archives, Florence). 

3 As reported by the Bishop of Pola, Vice- Legate of Bologna, 
to Giberti in a *letter, Bologna, October 23, 1524. On October 20 
the Bishop had already written : " *Questi Pepoli non mi piaccino molto 
perche io li veggho tanto allegri di queste nuove francesche quanto 
se la vittoria toccasse a loro." Lit. divers, ad Clem. VII., vol. i. 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

4 "La nova del entrata de Frances! in Milano e parso strano con- 
siderata la celerita del caso et il modo che havevan gli Imperial! de 
poter gagliardamente diffender esso Milano.' 1 *Despatch of Fr. 
Gonzaga, Rome, October 28, 1524 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 


its highest pitch. 1 Under these circumstances the mission 
of Giberti to Francis I. was decided on ; by the 3Oth of 
October he had left Rome. 2 On the same day Cardinal 
Salviati took his departure, as it was stated, for his new 
legation, Modena and Reggio; it was at once surmised 
that he also was charged with a special communication for 
Francis I. The Venetian Ambassador had long interviews 
every day with Clement, and it was already rumoured in 
Rome that the Pope and Venice had entered into alliance 
with France ; 3 this report was premature, but things were 
tending in that direction. 

Giberti, who appeared, on account of his French sym- 
pathies, to be the most suitable man for the business, 
received instructions drawn up under the impression that 
Francis, by the capture of Milan, having become absolute 
master of the situation, the duty of self-preservation 
called for an agreement with the conqueror. When later 
information announced a pause in the French successes, 
directions were sent after Giberti, telling him to find out 
Lannoy and Pescara first, and, then, on learning their con- 
ditions, to lay them before the King. 4 On the 5th of 
November Giberti proposed an armistice to Lannoy at 
Soncino. The answer was an unqualified refusal ; Pescara 

1 As reported on November i, 1524, by Sessa, who was unwearied 
in trying to draw Clement from his neutrality and to attach him openly 
to the Imperial side. BERGENROTH, II., 692; cf. ibid., n. 693, the 
report of the Abbot of Najera of November 4. 

2 Cf. SANUTO, XXXVII., 147 ; GRETHEN, 46, note i. 

3 SANUTO, XXXVII., 127 ; cf. 147. Salviati's departure on the 
morning of October 30 is also mentioned by Fr. Gonzaga in a ^despatch 
of the same date (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). The appointment of 
Salviati as Legatus de latere to Francis I. was finally settled in the 
Consistory of November 7, 1524. *Acta Consist of the Vice-Chan- 
cellor's (Consistorial Archives and Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

4 EHSES, Politik Klemens VII., 595 seq. ; GRETHEN, 46 seq. 


replied in the same sense. When Giberti met Francis before 
Pavia on the Qth of November, he found him in an even less 
yielding disposition. 1 That Giberti had already, at that 
time, disclosed the terms of a secret treaty between Francis 
and Clement, is not supported by any convincing evidence. 2 
It was not until the peace-mission of Paolo Vettori to 
Lannoy had failed that the Pope held the moment to have 
come when he ought to take this step in order to secure his 
interests. On the 1 2th of December, but still in total secrecy, 
peace and alliance were concluded between Francis I., the 
Pope, and Venice ; 3 this was followed on the 5th of January 
1525 4 by an official agreement between the French King 

1 DESJARDINS, II., 788 seqq. Cf. BALAN, Mon. saec., XVI., 307, 
and EHSES, loc. cit. 

2 Cf, EHSES, Politik Klemens VII., 594, note i, 597, and 554 scg. t 
where there is also a refutation of the absurd assertion of Ziegler (SCHEL- 
HORN, Amoenit., II., 371) that Clement had asked Francis to undertake 
the expedition against Naples and had promised him that kingdom and 
Sicily. BUSCH (Wolsey und die englisch-kaiserliche Allianz, Bonn, 
1886, 62) tries to find in a letter of Lautrec's (in CHAMPOLLlON-FlGEAC, 
Captivite de Francois I., 22 seq.\ dated from the camp of Pavia, October 
10, 1524, an argument against Ehses ; but he forgot to notice that 
this document belongs to the year 1527 ; see EHSES in Hist. Jahrbuch, 
VII., 725, and BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 367 note. GRETHEN, who 
still tries to defend the earlier view that the Papal-French treaty was 
concluded in November, has to admit (49, note 3) that it is dificult to 
bring forward conclusive evidence in support of this. BAUMGARTEN 
(Karl V., II., 369) also thinks "it is impossible to gauge accurately 
the nature of Giberti's negotiations with the French, owing to the 
conflict of contemporary statements." 

3 Cf. Libri commem., VI., 181 ; ROMANIN, V., 406 ; and JACQUETON, 
67 seq. 

4 EHSES' view (Politik Klemens VII., 572), that the treaty was pre- 
pared on the 4th and received the Pope's signature on the 5th, is 
confirmed by a **rcport of Piperario, dated Rome, January 4, 1525, 
and a *despatch of Fr. Gonzaga, Rome, January 5, 1525 (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). 


and Clement In the preamble the necessity of a decided 
step on the part of the Pope was grounded on the French 
successes in Milan and the great dangers to which the 
States of the Church were exposed by the expedition to 
Naples. The Pope bound himself, in his own name and 
that of the Florentines, neither secretly nor openly to sup- 
port the King's enemies ; he assured to the Duke of Albany 
free right of passage and provision in the territories of the 
Church, and indirectly gave his consent to the acquisition 
of Milan. Francis promised the Pope the possession of 
Parma and Piacenza, the Papal salt monopoly in the Duchy 
of Milan, the maintenance of the Medicean rule in Florence, 
and protection against insubordinate vassals (Ferrara). 
Lastly, he made concessions of a political and ecclesi- 
astical nature within French and Milanese territory and 
promised aid against the Turks. 1 Fully half a year before, 
Girolamo Campeggio had foretold to the representative of 
Ferrara that all this would come to pass. " Campeggio," 
wrote that diplomatist on the 2ist of June 1524, "de- 
clares it to be a certainty that, if the Pope and Venice 
can come to terms, we shall soon see a league between 
Rome and France." 2 Nevertheless, it is certain that 
Clement took this most important step " more from com- 
pulsion than from his own free will." It was the influence 
of Giberti and Carpi, who made adroit use of the position 

1 See DESJARDINS, II., 812 seg. SANUTO, XXXVII., 418 seq.\ 
cf. 424 and MENCKEN, 650 seg. ; EHSES (Politik Klemens VII., 572 
seg., 579 seg.) suggests with probability that the treaty of January, 
known hitherto only through the so-called Summariitm published at 
the time, contained other important stipulations in favour of the 

1 See the report of Alvarotti, June 21, 1524, in BALAN, Boschetti, 
II., 12. The passage in question, omitted in Balan, appears in cipher 
in the original (State Archives, Modena). 


of affairs, that gave the impetus to the anxious Pope. 1 The 
promises and expectations opened out by Carpi were 
extremely enticing, but they certainly affected Clement less 
as a Pope than as a secular prince. 2 Mendoza had once 
given as his judgment : " Carpi is a devil ; he knows every- 
thing and is mixed up in everything ; the Emperor must 
either win him over or destroy him." 3 How much to the 
point this remark was, was now seen. There was no intrigue, 
there were no means which the Ambassador of France was 
ashamed to use in order to draw and force into the net of 
French diplomacy the Pope, trembling for the safety of his 
States. 4 Carpi intrigued with the Orsini and, as the 
Mantuan envoy relates in a cipher letter of the 28th of 
November 1 524, offered the Pope the free disposal of Ferrara, 
although Alfonso was supporting the French with all his 
might. 5 Knowing Clement's tendency to nepotism, Carpi 
also about this time proposed a marriage between Catherine 
de' Medici, the Pope's niece, and the second son of the 
French King. 6 In support of Carpi, Francis twice sent 

1 GRETHEN, 54 ; EHSES, Politik Klemens VII., 553 ; BAUMGARTEN, 
Karl V., II., 367. 

2 Cf. EHSES. Politik Klemens VII., 587 seqq. 

3 BERGENROTH, II., n. 612. 

4 The *Acta Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor report on December 19, 
1524, that the Pope set forth the dangers which would arise from the 
march of the French and Imperialist troops on Lombardy, and called 
upon the Cardinals to consult as to the defensive measures to be taken 
(Consistorial Archives and Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

6 See in Appendix, No. 34, the *report of A. Piperario of November 
28, 1524 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

Besides Foscari's reports of December 4, 12, and 15 in BAUM- 
GARTEN, Karl, II., 367-368, cf. BERGENROTH, II., n. 699, and the 
**report of Castiglione of November 29, 1524 (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua). SANUTO, XXXVII., 136, and Castiglione, in REUMONT- 
BASCHKT, 274, mention a marriage treaty made with the Pope through 
Carpi as early as March. 


special couriers to Rome bearing the most comprehensive 
concessions. 1 

Sessa was all the less likely to prove a match for his 
opponents, as he could do nothing before the arrival of fresh 
instructions from the Emperor, and, it is to be noted, 
believed that the English envoys were cajoling Clement, 
who was almost entirely surrounded by French influences, 
when they told him that Henry VIII. had no intention of 
helping Charles in any way against the French. 2 At that 
time the belief was almost general in Rome that the 
victory of the French was assured. 3 Above all, there was 
the serious danger into which the States of the Church 
were thrown by the expedition against Naples under John 
Stuart, Duke of Albany. It now seemed that the speedy 
safeguarding of the Papal interests was demanded for the 
sake of self-preservation, and thus, that which had for so 
long been feared came to pass at last. On the 5th of 
January 1525 Clement informed the Emperor of what had 
taken place in the most conciliatory and the least 
definite way possible ; his affection for Charles was not 
lessened, but the movement against Naples, undertaken 
by Albany contrary to his (Clement's) will, had forced him 
into an agreement with Francis for the security of his own 
interests. 4 Clement VII. evidently still hoped to keep up 
a tolerable understanding with Charles ; in this he was 
completely deceived. 

This step of the Pope's threw the usually cautious and 
moderate Emperor into a bitterness of resentment unknown 
before. He could hardly conceive that this same Medici 

1 WEISS, Pap. d'etat, I., 290; BERGENROTH, II., n. 676; EHSES, 
Politik Klemens VII., 590. 

2 BERGENROTH, II., n. 708, cf. 693 ; GRETHEN, 53. 

3 Cf. SANUTO, XXXVII., 193, 349. 

4 BALAN, Mon. saec., XVI., 48-49. 


who as Cardinal had always been on his side, should as 
Pope have turned over to the French. " I shall go," so he 
expressed himself, " into Italy, and revenge myself on those 
who have injured me, especially on that poltroon, the Pope. 
Some day, perhaps, Martin Luther will become a man of 
weight." In the Imperial Court the election of Clement 
was attacked on the grounds of his illegitimate birth. 1 In 
the council of the Archduke Ferdinand a proposal was 
made that all diplomatic relations with the Holy See 
should be broken off. 2 On the 7th of February 1525 
Charles answered the Papal letter ; nothing in his reply 
betrayed his inward agitation. The Emperor, such was 
its tenor, reverenced the Pope as a father, and was well 
aware that he had been deceived by the French party. 3 
But two days later he wrote a letter to Sessa, in which his 
wrath against Clement, for whose election he had " poured 
out streams of gold," broke out afresh. The Ambassador 
was distinctly told to inform Clement that the Emperor 
would carry his plans through, even if it cost him crown 
and life. The letter closed with the threat, " The present 
situation is not the best in which to discuss the affairs of 
Martin Luther." 4 Thus to the internal confusion and 
warfare of Christendom was added a dangerous strain in 
the relations between Pope and Emperor, and this exactly 
at the opening of the year in which the social revolution 
broke out in Germany. 

1 BROWN, III, 400-402; DE LEVA, II., 233; DITTRICH, Contarini, 
29. EHSES (Politik Klemens VII., 578) doubts the authenticity of the 
sayings attributed to Charles V. 

- *Report of H. Rorarius to Sadoleto, Innsbruck, January 28, 1525. 
Lit. divers, ad Clem. VII., vol. i. (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

! liERGENROTH, II., n. 716. 

4 " En la materia de Luter no es tiempo ahora de hablar," BERGEN - 
ROTH, II., n. 717 ; GACHARD, Corresp., 212-213. 



ON the 24th of January 1525 the Imperialists broke out of 
Lodi ; in the first days of February they appeared before 
the French army, still besieging the stronghold of Pavia, 
with the intention of forcing a battle. 1 Peals of bells and 
beacon-fires from the towers of the old Lombard city 
welcomed the relief in this hour of need. For three weeks 
the hostile forces faced one another. The French camp 
was admirably protected by nature and art ; on the right 
it was covered by the Ticino, on the left by a large park 
surrounded by a high wall, within which lay the famous 

On the 24th of February, the Emperor's birthday, his 
army, composed of Spaniards, Italians, and the dreaded 
German landsknechts, opened the attack. At daybreak 
the battle, which was to decide the " Italian imperium," 
began. In a few hours the murderous fight was over ; the 
gallant troops of Francis were laid low before the onset 
of the German landsknechts and Spanish veterans ; the 
King himself was a prisoner. 2 

1 SANDOVAL, I., 551 sea. 

2 Cf. H ABLER, Die Schlacht bei Pavia, in the Forschungen zur 
Deutsche Gesch., XXV., 513 seq. To the literature of the subject here 
made use of, some important contributions have since been added ; cf. 




The victory of Pavia made the Empire of Charles the 
ruling power in Europe. It is impossible to describe the 
impression everywhere produced by this historical cata- 
strophe. The bloodshed and strife in which France and 
the houses of Spain and Hapsburg had engaged for the 
mastery in Europe, seemed to be brought to an end by 
this unexpected blow. France lay at the Emperor's feet, 
while Italy, and with her the Papacy, were surrendered 
defenceless to his power. In Rome men were dumbfounded 
by the news of the great event. Clement, whose diplo- 
matists were seeking up to the last hour for accommoda- 
tions that might lead to peace, looked to Lombardy with 
indescribable anxiety. 1 His position was in the highest 
degree precarious. The loss of the independence of Italy 
meant also that of the Holy See. 2 With Milan and Naples 
in the Emperor's hands, the Papacy was threatened with 
enclosure in a circle of iron. But Clement, in his anxiety 
and his statecraft, was as incapable of a great resolution, 

i. a. Bolet. d. 1. Acad. de Madrid, 1889 ; Arch. stor. Ital., 5 Series, VI., 
248 seqq. ; Deutsche Zeitschr. f. Geschichtswissensch., VI., 366 seq. ; 
Anz. f. schweiz. Gesch., N.F., XXIII., No. 2 ; Studi storici, X., 347; 
JAHNS, Gesch. des Kriegswesens, 1091 seq. ; Easier Zeitschr. fur Gesch., 
1903 ; Bollet. d. st. pavese, IV., 3 (1904) ; LEBEY, 282 seqq. ; A. BONARDI, 
L' assedio e la battaglia di Pavia, in Mem. p. 1. storia di Pavia, I. (1894- 
95) ; PRATO, II parco vecchio e la battaglia di Pavia, Pavia, 1897. For 
pictorial representations see, Zeitschr. fiir Gesch. von Freiburg i. Br. 
VI. (1857), and the sumptuous publication of BELTRAMI, La battaglia di 
Pavia illustr. negli arazzi del Marchese del Vasto (now in the Museum, 
Naples), Milano, 1896 ; MORELLI, Gli arazzi illustr. la battaglia di 
Pavia, Napoli, 1899. 

1 Cf. Giberti's letter to Aleander, February 19, 1525, in Lett. d. 
princ., II., 66 seq. Aleander was made prisoner at Pavia (Lett. d. 
princ., I., 103), and was not, as Guicciardini relates, at once set at 
liberty ; on the contrary, his ransom was a matter of protracted negotia- 
tion ; see, Arch. stor. Ital., 5 Series, IV., 189. 

2 The opinion of GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 424. 

VOL. IX. 1 8 


such as a Julius II. would have taken, as he was of any 
definite action. 

Persuaded by Giberti and Carpi, Clement had departed 
from his strict neutrality and linked his fortunes, for the 
worse rather than the better, with those of the French 
King, 1 whose superiority at the moment had seemed to 
promise him a lasting triumph. But the fortune of war is 
fickle ; what would happen if Francis were defeated ? At 
the last moment Giberti and Clement seem to have perceived 
their mistake. Hence the exhortations to Francis I. not 
to put his fortune to the proof, to refuse the wager of battle, 
and to have recourse to negotiations instead. As late as 
the i Qth of February Giberti asked Aleander, the Nuncio, 
to represent matters in this way to the French King. He 
added, " As no sailor ever risks the storm of the open sea 
with one anchor only, so the Pope, confident though he be 
in the strength of Francis I., will not stake all upon the 
single throw of his success before Pavia." 2 In saying this, 
Giberti condemned his own policy, and a week later the 
news reached Rome that the cast of war had been thrown 
not in favour of Francis I. and his ally the Pope. 

On the evening of the 26th of February Clement received, 
in a letter from Cardinal Salviati, the first intelligence of 
the Emperor's victory. To him, as well as to all around 
him, the news seemed incredible; 3 but later accounts, in- 
cluding one by an eye-witness, put all doubt at an end. 4 

1 EHSES, Politik Klemens VII., 587. 

2 Lett. d. princ., II., 67. EHSES, loc. cit. On January 15, 1525, 
Fr. Gonzaga reported in a cipher ^despatch : " A me par che S. S ta 
faci poco bon judicio per essi Franzesi." 

3 Cf. the *letter of V. Albergati, February 27, 1525 (State Archives, 

4 SANUTO, XXXVIII., 16; Diarium Blasii de Martinellis in 
CREIGHTON, V., 325 ; Arch. stor. Hal., 5 Series, VI., 255 ; *report of 
Fr. Gonzaga, Rome, February 27, 1525 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 


The Pope was as one dead ; 1 his terror was increased by 
the reaction produced in his household by this event. All 
the Imperialists, the Spaniards, as well as the Colonna, gave 
way to the wildest rejoicing. Such a change of fortune 
surpassed their boldest hopes. Cardinal Pompeo Colonna 
held a brilliant festival in his palace ; throughout the city 
rang the echos of salvoes of congratulation, and the cries 
of rejoicing of " Empire, Spain, Colonna." z The Orsini, who 
were of the French party, had the very worst to fear ; their 
leaders were absent ; they and their levies were with the 
Duke of Albany, who had returned from his march to 
Naples, to the immediate neighbourhood of Rome, and 
there had pitched his camp about the loth of February. 3 

All thought of pursuing his expedition was given up, 
and Albany decided to return. On the 2nd of March two 

1 Rimase morto ; BAUMGARTEN, Karl, II., 419. Cf. SANUTO 
XXXVIII., 48, and Carte Strozz., I., 2, 36 seq. 

2 SANUTO, XXXVIII., 17, 30. *Venit Romae rumor tails, quod non 
humanum videretur sed divinum, quod 26 februarii nuntiatum fuit s. 
pontifici prima hora noctis qualiter rex Franciscus Gallorum esset 
captus et exercitus ejus penitus dissipatus et qualiter multi ceciderunt 
gladio. Ab Imperialibus clamantibus Imperio, Spagna, Colonna 
habitae fuere maximae laetitiae tormentis bellicis et ignibus ; fere ab 
urlpe condita talis rumor auditus non fuerat atque partialium laetitia, 
rumor ad astra tendis. *Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE (National 
Library, Paris). Lett. d. princ., I., 103. *Letter of V. Albergati, 
February 27, 1525 (State Archives, Bologna). 

3 The Duke of Albany came on February 13 to Rome (DESJARDINS, 
II., 827), and visited the Pope the next day ("^despatches of G. de' 
Medici, February 13 and 14, 1525, State Archives, Florence). The 
Pope received him with great friendliness (cf. *letter of V. Albergati, 
February 17, 1525, State Archives, Bologna), because he was a 
brother-in-law of the deceased Lorenzo de' Medici. Clement VII. was 
against the expedition ; the plan, moreover, had originated with the 
French King. Cf. also GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 426 se</., and 
supra, p. 263. 


thousand five hundred men, consisting of Frenchmen and 
the Orsini, began their homeward march. Acting on a 
swift resolution, Colonna, supported by some of Sessa's 
retainers, fell upon them suddenly at the monastery of 
Tre Fontane, and drove them in hasty flight within the 
city. Wherever the Orsini sought refuge, the Colonna were 
at their heels; fighting took place in the Ghetto and on 
Monte Giordano. The whole city was in an uproar; the 
streets rang with the war-cries "Orsini Colonna." The 
terrified inhabitants bolted their doors ; artillery was placed 
to protect the Vatican, and the Swiss stood under arms 
all night. 1 The terror-stricken Pope did all he could to 
restore quiet, and was successful in inducing Albany to 
disband his forces. The Italians were left behind ; the 
foreigners, under the Duke, fell back on Civita Vecchia, 
and at the end of March they were conveyed in French 
galleys to Marseilles. In the meanwhile Schonberg, who 
had returned to Rome on the 5th of March, succeeded in 
pacifying the Colonna. 2 

All these occurrences had made the deepest impression 
on the Pope. The fights, especially between the Orsini 
and the Colonna, engaged in under his very eyes, raised his 
alarm to the highest pitch. 3 While in Rome the ground 
was trembling under his feet, his fears for Florence were 
also aroused, where the ideas of Savonarola were again 

1 Besides Lett. d. princ., I., 107, SANUTO, XXXVIII., 48, and 
ALBERINI, 329, cf. for this first raid of the Colonna the *report of 
J. Recordato, March 2, 1525 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua), and the 
*Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris), who in part 
narrates as an eye-witness. 

2 Cf. SANUTO, XXXVIIL, 97, 155 S eg., and ^despatch of G. de' 
Medici, Rome, March 29, 1525 (State Archives, Florence). For 
Schonberg's return see Giberti's letter in Arch. stor. Ital., 5 Series, VI., 
257 seq. 

3 SANUTO, XXXVIIL, 67, 83, 85, 104. 


springing into life. Still more precarious was the Papal 
rule in the Romagna, where the Ghibellines were rejoicing 
over the victory of Pavia. 1 The Imperialists lost no time 
in taking advantage of Clement's necessity. They held 
the trembling Pope, who in vain urged moderation, 2 in a 
vice of iron. 3 Their troops carried fire and sword ruthlessly 
through the territory of Piacenza ; Lannoy even uttered 
the threat that he would lead his soldiers on Rome. 4 By 
such means Clement was forced first to pay 25,000 ducats, 
and then to make a treaty of alliance. 5 

The most zealous opponent of an alliance between the 
Pope and the Emperor was Giberti, who, supported by 
Lodovico di Canossa, who was in the service of France, 
and by the Venetian Ambassador, was doing all he could 
at this time to unite the whole of Italy, under Papal leader- 
ship, in a league against the Spanish domination, and was 
also trying to bring England, the jealous rival of Charles V., 
into the combination. There were moments when the 
Pope, in torments of indecision, lent such a ready ear to 
his proposals that Giberti believed the desired end to have 
been reached; 6 but at the last moment the Imperialist 
Schonberg upset his plans. 7 The most immediate danger 

1 Cf. PROFESSIONS, Dalla battaglia di Pavia, 6 seq. 
- Cf. the *letter of M. Salamanca to G. Salamanca, February 27, 1525 
(State Archives, Vienna). 

3 Opinion of REUMONT, III., 2, 170. 

4 PROFESSIONE, loc. cit., 10. 

6 For the 25,000 ducats see GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 57. For the 
coercion on the part of the Imperialists see also REUMONT, III., 2, 
170 ; GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 439 ; and GRETHEN, 68. 

6 Cf. Lett. d. princ., II., 74 seg. ; GUICCIARDINI, XV., I ; SISMONDI, 
XVI., 162^. 

~ For the negotiations cf. the *report of Fr. Gonzaga, March 18, 1525 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua), and the *despatches of G. de' Medici, 
Rome, March 27 and 30 (State Archives, Florence). 


undoubtedly came from Charles V., who had it in 
his power to wrest Florence from the Medici. 1 At 
the same time Piacenza was sending pressing appeals 
for help against the unbridled licence of the soldiery. 
Lastly, the news concerning the social revolution in 
Germany and the advances of the Turk was of an ex- 
ceptionally disturbing kind. Clement VII. saw that, 
cost what it might, he must come to terms with the 

On the ist of April 1525 a treaty, defensive and 
offensive, was concluded between the Pope and Lannoy as 
Imperial Viceroy in Italy. 2 The terms of the agreement 
were that both should recognize Francesco Sforza as Duke 
of Milan, and that the Emperor should take the States 
of the Church, Florence, and the house of Medici under 
his protection, Florence paying in return 100,000 ducats. 
Lannoy, moreover, undertook to withdraw his forces 
from the Papal States and to place no garrisons therein 
in future without the Pope's permission. In the event 
of Charles not having ratified these conditions within 
four months, the 100,000 ducats were to be refunded 
by Lannoy. There were besides three other separate 
articles, to the following effect : 

1. The Pope was to hold, in the kingdom of Naples, the 
rights connected with benefices as settled in the Bull of 

2. Milan was in the future to have the salt from the 
Papal salt-pits in Cervia. 

3. Lannoy was to insist on the restoration of Reggio 

1 Cf. SANUTO, XXXVI I L, 172. 

2 See ^despatch of G. de' Medici, Rome, April i, 1525. He states, 
on April 4, that Bartolomeo Gattinara, who had carried on the negotia- 
tions with Sessa and Clerk, would leave on the day following (State 
Archives, Florence). Cf. VILLA, Italia, 33 seqq. 


and Rubbiera to the Church by the Duke of Ferrara ; 
on this restoration being made the Pope was to pay 
100,000 ducats to the Emperor and absolve the Duke 
from all censures. 1 

Without waiting for the Imperial ratification, Lannoy 
had already, in April, published the treaty in Milan. 
The Pope, who on receipt of favourable letters from the 
Emperor's court and from Lannoy had the best hopes 
of Charles's conduct, did the same in Rome in May. 
He combined with this solemnity his official Possesso of 
the Lateran. 2 From the Spanish Nuncio Castiglione 

1 Cf. GUICCIARDINI, XVI., i ; SANUTO, XXXVIII., 157 seq., 160 
seq. ; BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 421 seq. ; HELLWIG, 21, note i. 
Clement wished to include Venice also in the League. At Rome it was 
looked upon at first as certain that this would be brought about (see 
^despatches of G. de' Medici, Rome, April 14 and 21, 1525), but the 
Signoria was alarmed at the amount of money asked for by Lannoy. 
In the Consistory of April 3 the Pope communicated to the Cardinals 
the terms of the League. *Acta Consist. (Consistorial Archives and 
Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

2 See Lannoy's letter of April 15, 1525, in BALAN, Mon. saec., XVI., 
339-340, and Blasius de Martinellis, Diarium, in Cod. Barb., lat. 2799, 
Vatican Library. The favourable reports from the Imperial Court are 
mentioned by G. de' Medici in a ^despatch, Rome, April 22, 1525, in 
which he adds : " Domane si publichera qui la legha novamento facta " 
(Florentine State Archives). The delay, which G. de' Medici had 
already mentioned in a ^despatch of April 25, was caused, no doubt, 
by the combination of the Possesso with the publication of the League. 
For the Possesso and the publication, see, as supplementary to CANCEL- 
LIERI'S scanty information (88 seq.\ the reports in GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 
87, 91 ; VILLA, Italia, 54 ; SANUTO, XXXVIII., 265, 268 ; the Diary of 
CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris), and the detailed 
description in the *letter of G. de' Medici of May i. The latter had 
written previously, on April 27 : " S. S ta andera domenica a S. Janni a 
pigliare la possessione per 1' ordinario sanza far spesa che ne & da 
ciascuno commendata et tanto piu visto con che modestia Ccsare si e 
governato della vittoria havuta" (State Archives, Florence). 


came very reassuring accounts l of the moderation of the 
victorious Emperor, so that on the 5th of May Clement 
resolved to send Cardinal Salviati to Spain as Legate 
in order to work for the restoration of peace, the execu- 
tion of the treaty, the prosecution of the Turkish war, 
and the suppression of Lutheranism. 2 Salviati at this 
moment was still in Parma ; in order to accelerate his 
journey, it was determined on the I2th of June that he 
should proceed by sea instead of going through France, 
as at first intended ; 3 he was also instructed to discuss the 

1 In the Consistory of April 29 the letter which Charles V. had, on 
April 6, addressed to Clement VII. on the subject of the Turkish war 
(printed in BALAN, Mon. saec., XVI., 338-339; ibid.) 337-338, the letter 
of Charles, April 4, and 133-135, the Pope's answer, May 2) was first 
read ; extracts from Castiglione's report of his friendly reception by the 
Emperor (cf. SERASSI, I., 146) and of the moderation shown by the 
latter after his victory, and a letter of Charles's to Germany on the 
affairs of Luther, were then communicated. It was determined to 
give thanks to God for the good disposition of the Emperor. *Acta 
Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor (Consistorial Archives and Secret 
Archives of the Vatican). Cf. KALKOFF, Forschungen, 90 seq. 

1 *Acta Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor for May 5, 1525 (Consistorial 
Archives and Secret Archives of the Vatican) ; cf. MOLINI, I., 194. 
The publication of the appointment was deferred. G. de' Medici 
reports on May 12, 1525 : *Questa matina in consistorio e stato 
publicato legato di la dalli monti il rev. Salviati, la quale legatione 
principalmente 6 facta per andare ad Cesare et bisognando il venira 
in Francia, in Inghilterra e dove sara di bisogno per la quiete e pace 
di Cristianitk. On May 16 G. de' Medici writes : *N. S. molto sollecita 
il rev. legato ad partire per esser in Francia alia madre del re, dipoi 
a Cesare (State Archives, Florence). 

" Consistorium die lunae 12. Junii, 1525 : S. D. N. fecit verbum de 
itinere rev. dom. legati ad Caesarem destinati, et fuit conclusum quod 
legatus, ut celerius applicare possit ad Caesarem, per mare iter arripiat 
cum triremibus S. R. E. et si opus fuerit uti illis quae sunt religionis 
Rodianae." *Acta Consist, of the Vice- Chancellor (Consistorial Archives 
and Secret Archives of the Vatican). Cf. ^despatches of G. de' Medici, 


Kmpcror's coronation and the question of a council. 1 
Accordingly, the Legate left Parma on the 2nd of July 
and embarked at Genoa; 2 on the 23rd of August the 
Pope was able to give very favourable accounts of him 
in Consistory. 3 But in reality the Cardinal's task was 
beyond his powers ; he fell under the fascination of Charles 
and saw everything in the rosiest light. 4 The official 
correspondence also between the Pope and Emperor was 
carried on in the friendliest terms for some time longer; 
the points of controversy were slurred over as much as 
possible, and those of common interest emphasized. 5 

It was impossible, however, that each party should go 
on deceiving the other for ever. In spite of all assurances 

June 14 and July 18, 1525 : Dissatisfaction of the French at the Legate 
for travelling by sea (State Archives, Florence). See also the letter 
of Cardinal Salviati, June 17, 1525, published in, Due Lettere inedite 
del Card. G. Salviati, Vicenza, 1878 (per Nozze). 

1 SANUTO, XXXIX., 101. The *full legatine powers for Cardinal 
Salviati, dated Rome, 1525, III. Non. Maii A 2, in Regest, 1439, 
f. 1-13 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

2 Cf. PIEPER, Nuntiaturen, 69. G. de' Medici reports on July 26, 
1525, that Salviati had reached Marseilles without having met with 
any hindrance from the French (State Archives, Florence). 

3 Salviati reported, as Clement informed the Consistory on August 
23, that the Emperor had received him as Legate in a friendly way, 
that everything tended towards a general peace, and that Charles held 
Clement in esteem : " itaque ex omnibus locis bene sperandum est." 
*Acta Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor (Consistorial Archives and 
Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

4 Cf. his two optimistic reports from Alcala, September 22, and from 
Toledo, October 3, 1525, in MOLINI, I., 191-199. For the scheme 
that Machiavelli should accompany the Cardinal, see DESJARDINS, 
II., 840-841. 

6 See the Pope's letters dated May 7, June 15, 19, 22, July 4, and 
November 13, 1525, in BALAN, Mem. Saec., XVI., 137 seg., 154 seg., 
156 seg., 157 seg., 159 seg., 162 seg., 179 seg., and Charles's letters, //</., 
345 ^Y-j 347 seq. t 350 seq. Cf. EHSES, Concil. IV., XXIII., n. 2. 


of friendship, a breach was bound to come soon, since the 
Pope was becoming more and more convinced that the 
arrogant commanders of Charles's army had no intention 
of carrying out the terms of the treaty of April, and were, 
indeed, often acting in direct contradiction to them. 
Instead of the withdrawal of their troops from the Papal 
States, fresh occupations took place in the territory of 
Piacenza, whereby the country was exhausted and laid 
waste. Lannoy certainly made daily promises to Clement 
that, as soon as the 100,000 ducats were paid in full, the 
restoration of Reggio and Rubbiera would take place ; but 
in secret he had already secured the possession of these 
places to Duke Alfonso of Ferrara. He also urgently 
advised the Emperor not to confirm the additional clauses 
of the treaty. Charles took his advice ; the restoration of 
Reggio and Rubbiera, in which towns Clement saw the 
keys of Parma and Piacenza, 1 the Papal salt monopoly in 
Milan, and the arrangements for Church patronage in 
the kingdom of Naples, were consequently discarded and 
remained a dead letter. Nevertheless, the Imperialists 
refused to repay to the Pope the sums disbursed by him 
for the promised surrender of the towns. The more 
Clement saw that this behaviour had the Emperor's appro- 
bation, the greater became his mistrust and indignation. 
When the Imperial ratification of the principal treaty 
arrived, he declined to accept it, since it had not been 
executed within the stipulated four months, and proceeded 
to demand back the 100,000 ducats paid by Florence. 
This the Imperialists declined, under empty pretexts, to 
refund. 2 Clement, who was suffering from gout, was fully 

1 " Si non havemo Rezo, e perso Parma e Piasenza," said the Pope 
to the Venetian Envoy. SANUTO, XL, 345. 

2 GUICCIARDINI, XVI., 3 ; HELLWIG, 21 ; BREWER, IV., I, n. 1336, 

1418. Cf. GRETHEN, 70 seg. t 72 seq., who acknowledges the justice of 


justified in saying that he had been cheated, 1 injured, and 
insulted. In addition to these grievances came Charles's 
heavy claims on the church patronage of Aragon. " If 
the affairs of the Church are treated in this way," said 
Clement to Sessa, " it were best that I should betake 
myself back to Soracte." 2 

The rumours concerning the intentions of Charles's 
advisers and of his commander-in-chief in Italy were of 
the kind most likely to throw the Pope into fear and 
despair. The proposal which came from this quarter, 
with a view to trampling under foot the independence 
of the whole Apennine Peninsula, aimed at nothing less 
than the total confiscation of the Papal States. Not 
merely were Florence, Siena, and Lucca to come under 
the Emperor's rule, but Modena also was to fall to the 
Duke of Ferrara, and the Bentivogli were to be re- 
established in Bologna. Lannoy, the soul of the anti- 
Papal intrigues, demanded also that Parma and Piacenza, 
Ravenna and Cervia, should be separated from the States 
of the Church ; the first two were destined for the Duke 
of Milan, the two last for the Republic of Venice. 3 
The Pope was aware of these intrigues, but, being 
powerless, had to play a losing game with a cheerful 
countenance; 4 for if the Emperor was able to come to 
terms with Francis at the expense of Italy, then Clement 

the Pope's complaints. The damage done in the Papal territory by the 
Imperialist soldiery was reckoned at 200,000 ducats ; see CREIGHTON, 
V, 259. 

1 GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 118. 

-' Ibid., III., i,n. 134. 

3 Besides GUICCIARDINI, XVI., 3, and DE LEVA, II., 273, cf. an 
account in SANUTO, XXXVIII., 121, of which the value has not 
hitherto been appreciated, 



was lost. 1 This eventuality seemed to be very close at 
hand when the captive King of France was removed to 
Spain 2 (loth of June 1525). 

In Rome, in Venice, indeed throughout the whole of 
Italy, the impression prevailed that the Emperor in- 
tended to become reconciled to his prisoner at the cost 
of Italian independence, and the freedom of Italy would 
be destroyed for ever. The decisive moment seemed to 
have come to run the last risk and throw off the yoke 
of those whom they called "barbarians." In the sphere 
of literature and art the Italian of those days was un- 
questionably entitled to consider himself superior to the 
Spaniard, and indeed to all the other nations in Europe. 
This self-consciousness gave powerful nourishment to the 
revival of the national idea. " All Italy," declared Antonio 
de Leyva, the loyal general of the Emperor, " is at one in 
combining to defend the common interests and to resist 
any further increase of the power of Spain. There is not 
a single Prince among them who thinks any longer of the 
favours received from Charles." 3 

In other respects also affairs were tending more and 
more to the Emperor's disadvantage. After the defeat at 
Pavia, it had at first seemed as if the French kingdom must 
fall in pieces. But afterwards a complete change came 
over affairs. It was the Regent, Louisa of Savoy, the 
King's mother, who held the nation together and became 

1 Cf. the ^despatches of Fr. Gonzaga, May 13, 1525 (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). 

2 Cf. MlGNET, II., 104 seq. ; DECRUE, Anne de Montmorency, 54 
seq. ; GACHARD, Captivite de Frangois I., in Etudes cone. 1'hist. des 
Pays-Bas, I., 1890. 

3 Cf. GUICCIARDINI, XVI., 3; BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 427- 
428 ; VILLA, Italia, 68 seqq. ; PROFESSIONS, Dalla battaglia di 
Pavia, 26. 


its leader. She soothed the disaffected among the nobles 
and generals, reconciled factions, organized the defences 
of the country, and disclosed in all directions a capacity 
for rule which was as determined as it was prudent. She 
it was, also, who succeeded in detaching Henry VIII., 
envious of the good fortune of Charles, frcm the Emperor, 
and in concluding at the end of August a treaty of 
peace and alliance between France and England. 1 

Some considerable time before this, the Regent had 
also entered into communications with the States of Italy. 
Her primary object was to win over the two most powerful 
the Pope and Venice. For this purpose Louisa of Savoy 
employed the services of a man who, although by birth an 
Italian, was yet one of the most fervent adherents of her son. 
This was Lodovico di Canossa, Bishop of Bayeux. He was 
an intimate friend of Giberti, and was also held in great 
esteem at Venice. At the end of 1524 and in the spring 
of the following year he was in Rome, making himself 
personally active, and at that time he believed that he had 
already fully secured the anxious-minded Pope. 2 At the 
beginning of June 1525 Canossa gave out that he had to 
visit his family in Verona ; he really went in haste to 
Venice, which he reached on the I5th of June. 3 Thither 
on the 23rd came the French envoy, Lorenzo Toscano, 
with instructions from the Regent. On the following day 

1 The news reached Rome on September 25, 1525 ; see the ^despatch 
of G. de' Medici of that date (State Archives, Florence). 

2 Cf. Lett. d. princ., II., 76. For the period of Canossa's journey to 
Rome see the rare monograph of ORTI MANARA, Canossa, 37. 

3 In confirmation of GRETHEN'S (73) and JACQUETON'S (203) state- 
ments about Canossa's journey, I refer to the following **letters of 
the latter to F. Robertet : (i) dated Rome, June 2, 1525; (2) dated 
Urbino, June 11 ; (3) dated Venice, June 20: "Zobia passata io giunsi 
in questa terra dove aspecto che mi sia comandato quanto io habia a 
fare " (Communal Library, Verona). 


Canossa laid his proposals before the Signoria, but the 
cautious Venetians declined to give a definite answer before 
the Pope had declared himself. 1 Canossa now worked 
with might and main, and his letters were despatched in all 
directions; while urging the French Government to come 
as quickly as possible to an understanding, he stirred up in 
Italy, wherever he could, the fires of national hatred against 
the Spaniard. 2 But his principal object was to move the 
Pope, who still clung to his old policy of " I will and I 
won't," 3 to declare himself openly. 

The confidant of Canossa's plans and his best ally was 
Giberti, who, with Carpi's support, and with even greater 
perseverance than his friend, was working against the 
Emperor 4 behind Schonberg's back, in France, Switzerland, 
and England, and, above all, trying to induce the Pope to 
come over finally to the side of Francis. On the 25th of 
June 1525 5 Canossa wrote encouragingly: " All points to a 
swift and satisfactory conclusion." But it was precisely at 
this juncture that the two friends met with the greatest diffi- 
culties. "Although the Pope," wrote Giberti to Canossa 
on the ist of July, " is a good friend to the emancipation 
of Italy, yet he will not fling himself headlong into an 

1 Besides Canossa's letter of June 21, which is printed for the most 
part in PROFESSIONE'S Dalla battaglia di Pavia, 10, see also his ^letter 
to Giberti of June 25, that to Louisa of Savoy of June 28, 1525, and 
that to Giberti of July 5 (Communal Library, Verona). 

2 Cf. BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 428; Miscell. d. stor. Ital., III., 
351 seq., and ClPOLLA, 891. 

3 This expression is used by Giov. Maria del Monte in a letter of 
March 3, 1525. Lett. d. princ, I., 107. 

4 BAUMGARTEN, he. tit. For Giberti's concealment of his activity 
from Schonberg, cf. Lett. d. princ., II., 84. See also GAYANGOS, III., 
if n. 135- 

6 Letter to Giberti, dated Venice, June 25 (not 23), 1525, as given 
in PROFESSIONS, Dalla battaglia di Pavia, 28. 


28 7 

affair of such weighty responsibility, and is, in the first 
place, determined to await the arrival of Lorenzo Toscano." 
At the same time, Giberti urged the closest secrecy with 
regard to all their transactions, as success would be easy if 
they succeeded in taking the Spaniards by surprise. 1 In a 
letter addressed on the same day to the Swiss Nuncio, 
Ennio Filonardi, Giberti confirms his account of Clement's 
indecision. In consequence of the misconduct of the 
Imperialists, Giberti here insists, especially with regard to 
their infringements of the April treaty, war might easily 
arise; therefore the Nuncio ought to take secret measures 
to have from eight to ten thousand Swiss in readiness, in 
case of necessity, to fight, not only in Lombardy, but also in 
Naples. 2 Giberti was not less active in other ways as well. 
He told the Pope, in the most emphatic language, that, if 
he let this opportunity go by, he would bitterly repent it, 
and sink into a mere tool of the Emperor's. Still Clement 
was not to be moved to take any open steps, and 
Giberti, in desperation, threatened that he would quit 
Rome. 3 

Canossa did not commit himself as long as the Pope and 
Venice refused to declare themselves openly against Charges. 
On the 25th of June he explained to the Regent that 
both the Pope and Venice were afraid lest France, think- 
ing exclusively of her own interests, should sacrifice Italy; 4 
even Giberti had his misgivings of France in this respect. 5 
It was certainly strange that the agents of France had 
never yet received full powers to conclude an alliance. 

1 Lett. d. princ., II., 83. 

2 Ibid., II., 81. 

3 SANUTO, XXXIX., 174, 176. 

4 *Canossa a Madama la rcgina di Francia, dated Venice, June 25, 
1525 (Communal Library, Verona). 

6 Cf. his letter to Canossa, July 8, 1525, in Lett. d. princ., II., 85. 


Consequently, at Rome as well as at Venice, matters were 
taken in hand with the greatest caution and reticence. 
Under cover of the closest secrecy, Giberti employed 
Sigismondo Sanzio, one of Carpi's secretaries, to treat with 
the Regent, and Gregorio Casale to treat with Henry VIII. 
One object was to ascertain the truth of a report emanating 
from Spain, that the Emperor would probably visit Italy 
in person ; at the same time, clear information was to be 
procured as to the help which "poor Italy" might expect 
to receive. Sanzio and Casale left Rome almost simul- 
taneously (Qth and loth of July). 1 In spite of all precautions, 
Sessa was informed of these movements. But Clement VII. 
managed, by the ambiguity of his language, entirely to 
deceive the Spanish diplomatist. 2 

The shrewd Venetians proceeded with similar secrecy. 
They also put no trust in France. 3 Already, on the loth 
of July, Canossa had described to his friend Giberti the 
hesitation of the Signoria, who awaited the decision of the 
Pope. 4 On the i8th he was able to report that Venice was 
prepared to enter into a league with France on the condi- 
tions put forward by the Pope through Sigismondo Sanzio. 
For the present, however, this determination was to be 
kept absolutely secret The conditions were : Francesco 
Sforza to keep Milan and marry a French Princess ; the 
Pope to receive Naples and Sicily, and France to pay 
monthly 50,000 ducats and supply 6600 land forces and 
10 galleys; the Italians in return to make an alliance, 

1 Lett. d. princ., II., 85, 86; GRETHEN, 76 seq. ; PROFESSIONS, 
Dalla battaglia di Pavia, 35 ; JACQUETON, 211 seq. 

2 GRETHEN, 78 seqq. 

**Canossa a Madama la regina di Francia, dated Venice, July 7, 
1525 (Communal Library, Verona). 

**Canossa al datario. Venice, July 10, 1525 (Communal Library, 


offensive and defensive, with France, and to raise an army 
of 13,000 men for the liberation of the King. 1 

By the month of August the negotiations were at a stand- 
still. Giberti's and the Pope's distrust of France had re- 
vived with increased strength. The attitude of the Regent 
was, in fact, so suspicious that the fear that she might 
treacherously surrender Italy to the Emperor was forced 
on men's minds. She prolonged the negotiations in such a 
way that it became more and more clear that she was only 
making use of Italy in order to obtain the release of Francis 
on more favourable terms. Not merely in Rome but also 
in Venice, where Canossa was long kept waiting with- 
out any tidings from France being received, the worst 
suspicions were aroused. 2 Moreover, there came the news 
that Sigismondo Sanzio had been murdered in the neigh- 
bourhood of Brescia, and all his correspondence stolen. 3 
Among the papers of this Ambassador were some highly 
compromising documents relating to a plot to deprive the 
Emperor of his ablest general. 

The iron hand of the haughty Spaniard lay with all its 

1 **Canossa a mons. datario, and, a Madamala regina di Francia, two 
letters, dated Venice, July 18, 1525 (Communal Library, Verona). 

2 BREWER, IV., i, n. 1563, 1589 ; GRETHEN, 80. Canossa wrote on 
August 5, 1525, from Venice to the Queen Regent : *Qua et a Roma 
per quanto mi e scritto aspettano con gran desiderio di havere qualche 
risoluta risposta di V. M. circa quello che Sigismondo li ha portato, et 
senza la dita risposta non sono per passare piu avanti per cosa che se li 
possa dire. In a *letter of August 18, 1525, Canossa puts plainly 
before the Regent the Venetian distrust of France. He returns to 
the subject again on August 22. Cf. also Canossa's letters to Robertet, 
**August 11, 18, and 22 (Communal Library, Verona). For the 
Pope's anxiety and depression cf. SANUTO, XXXIX., 341, 377, 425, 


3 Cf. GUICCIARDINI, XVI., 3 ; SANUTO, XXXIX., 282, 326, 341, 342, 
343 ; PROFESSIONS, Dalla battaglia di Pavia, 37. 

VOL. IX. 19 


might on young Francesco Sforza. The Duchy of Milan 
had been reconquered in his name, but he now saw himself 
given over to the arbitrary rule of the Imperial governor 
and treated with the most offensive insolence by the very 
men to whom, in their extreme danger, he had been a firm 
support. Milan was under greater oppression than had 
ever been known under French domination. The complete 
subjection of Sforza and the incorporation of the Duchy 
into the Spanish Monarchy seemed now only a question of 
time. To free his native land from the foreigner, the 
Duke's Chancellor, Girolamo Morone, devised a plan as 
clever as it was daring. 1 Pescara, the Emperor's ablest 
general, felt himself ill-used and pushed into the back- 
ground by his master. Morone thus hoped to secure him. 
In deep secrecy, after the most cautious overtures, he 
disclosed to Pescara his plan for delivering Italy from the 
Imperial sway, and, in the event of success, promised him 
nothing less than the kingdom of Naples, which the Pope 
would confer upon him. Although Pescara did not 
commit himself to any definite assent, Morone was under 
the impression that the Emperor's general would yield 
to these brilliant promises. The impetuous Italian believed 
that the game was in his hands, and put himself into 
communication with Venice, Rome, and France. Soon all 
who were initiated into the adventure were filled with the 
most overweening hopes. " I see the world transformed," 
wrote Giberti, " and Italy arising from the depths of misery 

1 For Morone and his conspiracy see DANDOLO, Ricordi inediti d. 
G. Morone, Milano, 1855 ; G. MULLER, Docum. p. la vita di G. 
Morone, in Miscell. d. stor. Ital., III., Torino, 1865; DE LEVA, II., 
281 seqq. ; BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 449 seqq. ; ClPOLLA, 891 seqq. ; 
REUMONT, V. Colonna, 75 seq. ; GIODA, G. Morone e i suoi tempi, 
Milano, 1887; JACQUETON, 215 ; cf. SALTINI, G. Morone, Firenze, 


to the summit of prosperity." 1 Clement VII., who, at this 
time, saw everything through the eyes of his present 
adviser, was of the same mind. 2 But Pescara was at heart 
a thorough Spaniard ; he despised the Italians, and only 
wished to become privy to their plots and to delay the 
crisis of the conspiracy. In secret he betrayed all to the 
Emperor and promised to send him money and troops so 
as to enable him with all possible speed to make peace 
with France. For never had the danger been greater. 
Not only the Pope, Venice, and Milan, but also Genoa and 
Ferrara were united in one common hatred of the Spaniard 
and fear of the Imperial supremacy. 3 

Pescara, being in possession of conclusive evidence, threw 
off the mask. On the I4th of October 1525 Morone, who 
had been lulled into security, was suddenly seized, and all 
important places in the Duchy put under military occupa- 
tion. Against Francesco Sforza, who had taken refuge in 
the citadel of Milan, a charge of felony was laid ; the 
Milanese authorities were bidden henceforward to execute 
their functions in the Emperor's name. 4 

The news of these proceedings reached Rome on the 
1 8th of October. They caused as much perplexity, terror, 
and despondency as the victory of Pavia had done, 
especially among those who were implicated in the 
intrigues. 5 The Spaniards and their partisans at once 

1 Lettera a Ghinucci, in, Lettere di principi (ed. princeps), I., 170. 
RANKE, Deutsche Gesch., II., 2nd ed., 343. 

2 Report of Fr. de Quinones, Rome, August 26, 1525. GAYANGOS, 
III., i, n. 1 88 ; cf. n. 221. 3 BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 455. 

4 ROMANIN, V., 415. On November 14 orders were given to pay 
in all the revenues of the State to the Abbot of Najera. MULLER, 
Docum., n. 243. 

5 GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 224, 240; SANUTO, XL., 133, 137 seq.\ 
*despatch of G. de' Medici, Rome, October 19, 1525 (State Archives, 


took up an aggressive attitude. To Cardinal Colonna, 
who had left Rome a few days earlier, the remark was 
attributed that "with 100,000 ducats he would pledge 
himself to drive the Pope from his capital." 1 By the 2Oth of 
October Mendoza had come upon the scene commissioned 
by Pescara to explain the reasons for Morone's arrest and 
the necessity, arising therefrom, of occupying the Duchy. 
Clement was unable, at first, to conceal his embarrassment ; 
but afterwards he controlled himself, and tried to justify his 
recent conduct : the restitution of Reggio and Rubbiera 
had not taken place, but had been indefinitely deferred; 
in like manner the article concerning the salt monopoly 
had not been complied with ; further, the Imperial forces 
continued to occupy the Papal States, to the ruin of the 
population. To crown all came the removal of the French 
King into Spain and the suspicious visit of the Duke of 
Ferrara to the Emperor. In view of the generally received 
opinion that Charles intended to come to terms with his 
prisoner to the detriment of the Papacy and of the whole 
of Italy, Clement had been filled with the greatest distrust, 
and had taken a share in the movements against the 
Emperor, so as not to be left in total isolation. Since 
the occupation of Milan by the Emperor's troops he was 
fully under the impression that Charles was aiming at 
the complete conquest and subjugation of Italy. Mendoza 
and Sessa laboured in vain, during the following days, to 
convince the Pope that such apprehensions were ground- 
less. 2 Clement was emphatic in declaring that every- 

1 SANUTO, XL., 138. 

2 GAYANGOS, III., n. 224, 235, 239, 240. * Despatch of G. de' 
Medici, Rome, October 21, 1525 : "II Signer Lopez Hurtado arrive 
hier sera, et questa matina e stato lungamente con N. S."; there follows 
a summary of the substance of the conversation. According to a 
*despatch of the same envoy on October 25, Mendoza wished to leave 


thing hung on the possession of Milan, and that he should 
never reconcile himself to Lombardy being ruled by Charles 
or Ferdinand. This possession of Milan clashed with the 
conditions of the investiture of the kingdom of Naples ; it 
gave the Emperor unlimited power in Italy, and rather 
than yield on this point, he would prefer to share the 
downfall of all the princes of Italy. The Pope made no 
concealment of his determination to act on the defensive 
with Venice, France, and England. 1 

The extent of Clement's alarm at this moment is shown 
from the fact that he at once gave orders to provide Parma 
and Piacenza with troops, and that he saw to the fortifica- 
tion of Rome and to the enlistment of additional troops. 2 

There were real grounds for the fears of Clement and 
the Italians. "The only remedy," wrote Mendoza to 
Charles on the 5th of November, " lies in this : to make 
peace with France, to take possession of Milan, and to 
wrest both Parma and Piacenza from our Holy Mother the 
Church." 3 Thus wrote the man who had just been impart- 
on the following day (State Archives, Florence). The Pope viewed 
the journey of Alfonso from Ferrara with displeasure but, owing to the 
occupation of the territory of the Church, maintained the suspension 
of relations for six months. Alfonso, however, never reached the 
Emperor, for, in understanding with Clement, he was not allowed 
to pass through France, Cf. SANUTO, XXXIX., 430, 450, 481 ; 
XL., 201-202, 245. The * Brief of Suspension here referred to, dated 
Rome, September 23, 1525, was found by me in the original, in the 
State Archives, Modena. The discussion in Consistory upon this 
circumstance took place on September 15. *Acta Consist, of the 
Vice-Chancellor (Consistorial Archives and Secret Archives of the 

1 GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 253, 256, 258; SANUTO, XL., 174: 
BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 494. 

2 SANUTO, XL., 220 ; GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 253, 271. 

3 GAYANGOS, III., i,n. 253. Cf, also the letter of Leyva, in Mi LLER, 
Docum., n. 244, and DE LEVA, II., 301 seq. 


ing to the Pope the most pacifying assurances. Can Clement 
and the other Italian powers be blamed if they sought to 
make their own position secure ? " Intrigues are more rife 
than ever," Caracciolo reported to the Emperor on the loth 
of November from Venice. "All depends on separating 
Venice and the Pope : it would be a very easy thing to win 
the latter." 1 Charles V. seems also to have taken this view ; 
hence the distinguished reception given, at the beginning 
of October, to Cardinal Salviati at Toledo. The Emperor 
spoke so convincingly of his peaceful intentions, of his 
plans against Turks and heretics, of his filial reverence for 
the Holy Father, that not the least doubt of his sincerity 
occurred to Salviati. The Emperor also gave tranquillizing 
assurances with respect to Milan, Reggio, and Rubbiera ; 
in reality he meant very differently. 2 But for the moment 
his one object was, while keeping his hold on Clement and 
winning him over by fair words and promises, to crush the 
dangerous movement towards freedom in Italy. For this 
purpose he sent a special envoy to Rome in the person of 
Miguel de Herrera. 

In the meantime the opposite party pressed their suit 
on Clement not less zealously. The Spanish envoys saw 
with special anxiety the strenuous efforts of the Venetians 
to bring the Pope to a final decision. Their fears increased 
as the couriers came and went incessantly between Rome 
and Venice. 3 Clement was as far as ever from any fixed 
determination. The alarm caused by the arrest of Morone 
influenced him powerfully. This procrastination caused 
dissatisfaction not only to the anti- Imperialists but to the 

1 GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 256. 

2 MOLINI, I., 191 seqq. ; GAYANGOS, III., I, n. 246; SANUTO, XL., 
296 ; DE LEVA, 1 1., 302 seq. ; GRETHEN, 88 seq. ; PROFESSIONE, Dalla 
battaglia di Pavia, 57 seq. 

3 GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 260, 271. 


Roman public, 1 who attributed all their misfortunes to the 
Pope's indecision and stinginess. 2 Just at this time a 
powerful impulse was given to the hopes and spirits of the 
Italians; Pescara, the special object of their hatred and 
the Emperor's ablest general, was removed by death in the 
night between the 2nd and 3rd of December, while France 
had made fresh promises. Incessant pressure was now put 
on the Pope to give his adhesion to the League for good 
and all. 3 

The position in the meantime was such that armed inter- 
vention in support of Italy by France and England could 
not be expected with any certainty. To strike single- 
handed would have been foolhardiness. 4 Under such 
circumstances even a man of strong determination would 
have hesitated ; much more Clement VII., whose leading 
characteristics were timidity and indecision. No one has de- 
scribed his strange character so strikingly as Guicciardini. 5 
Always slow in forming his plans as well as in their exe- 
cution, Clement was easily frightened by the smallest 
difficulty. Hardly had he come, by good luck, to a decision, 
than the reasons which had led him fell entirely into the back- 
ground, and it seemed to him that he had not sufficiently 
weighed those on the other side. He often gave way to 

1 *Canossa al conte Alberto di Carpi, dated Venice, November 15, 
1525: "Mi spaventa alquanto la tropo circumspettione di N. S re ." 
The Venetians "benissimo disposti," but as yet have given no definite 
answer. To the same from Venice, November 25 : Venice is ready to 
join the League, when the Pope does so. " Dapoi io hebbi la lettera 
di V. S. per la quale mi scrive che a Roma si trovano de la difficult^ " 
(Communal Library, Verona). 

2 GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 279. 

3 Cf. Canossa's * letters to Giberti, November 25 and December 2, 
1525 (Capitular Library, Verona). 

4 GRETHEN, 90. Cf. BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 495. 


the representations of his advisers without being thoroughly 
convinced by them. If only his ministers had been at 
least of one mind ! But Giberti had always been a strong 
adherent of France, and Schonberg an equally strong 
Imperialist; this made the confusion complete. The 
Pope's attitude depended on which of these two alternating 
counsellors was in the ascendant. 

Giberti's influence was now once more to be thwarted. If 
we may believe Guicciardini, the day for the conclusion of 
the League against Charles V. had been already fixed when 
the news was brought that Herrera had landed at Genoa. 
This was enough to reopen the whole question from the 
beginning. The Pope announced that he must first hear the 
proposals which Herrera was bringing from the Emperor. 1 

Herrera reached Rome at last on the 6th of December, 
bringing with him very friendly letters from Charles and 
drafts of a treaty which had been discussed with Salviati ; 
Schonberg was now at once in the ascendant. Giberti, who, 
on the 5th, still had strong hopes of securing the Pope's 
adhesion on the following day, was now in such despair that 
he threatened to leave Rome. 2 Perhaps, as the opponents of 
Charles feared, an alliance between the Pope and Emperor 
might then have been made, if Herrera's offers had been 
satisfactory. This, however, was not the case, and the 

1 GUICCIARDINI, XVI., 5, whose account is confirmed by the 
Venetian reports in SANUTO, XL, 307, 344 seq., 365, 410-11, 431-432. 
Cf. also GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 284, 286. G. de' Medici states on 
December 3, 1525: *Quk non manchano di continuare le practiche 
da Francia et Inghilterra et Venetian! per tirar N. S. dicono alia 
defensione della libertk d' I talia. S. S ta pare resoluta aspectare 1' huomo 
viene et vedere quello porta et secondo portera governarsi et se 
necessitk non la stringiera non vede che S. Sta sia per mectersi in 
periculo et spesa senza suo proficto per bonificare et assicurare quelli 
d' altri (State Archives, Florence). 

2 SANUTO, XL., 433, 473 seq . 


negotiations took shape with difficulty. The Pope was 
determined that with respect to Reggio and Rubbiera 
something more concrete and tangible than mere promises 
should be forthcoming. Over the Milanese question, the 
turning-point of all, agreement was impossible. Matters 
having reached this point, Sessa and Herrera proposed that 
the negotiations should be suspended for two months, with 
the secret intention of gaining time in which to make fresh 
preparations for war and arouse suspicion among Clement's 
previous friends. Schonberg and Salviati managed to raise 
Clement's distrust of the French and other anti-Imperial- 
ists to such a pitch that he accepted the Spanish proposal. 1 
The Pope, however, expressly declared at the time that if 
the Emperor did not surrender Milan within the appointed 
term of adjournment he would enter the League with France 
and Venice. 2 

The opponents of Charles in Rome, Giberti, Carpi, and 
Foscari, as well as the ministers of the Queen Regent, were 
highly exasperated 3 by this decision ; not less so 
Guicciardini 4 and Canossa. 5 In this respect their com- 

1 For the mission of Herrera cf. GAYANGOS, III., n. I, 299, 300; 
VILLA, Italia, 107 seqq. ; SANUTO, XL., 506 seq. ; BALAN, Mon. saec., 
XVI., 196 seqq. ; DE LEVA, II., 305 seq. ; GRETHEN, 92 scq. ; BAUM- 
GARTEN, Karl V., II., 495 seq. ; JACQUETON, 234 seq. ; HELLWIG, 18 
seg., 22 ; CREIGHTON, V., 267, and PROFESSIONE'S rare monograph, in 
which use has been made of unpublished material, La politica di 
Carlo V. nelle due legazioni del Caracciolo e dell' Herrera a Venezia 
e a Roma, Asti, 1889. The statement that Schonberg and Salviati 
brought about the Pope's decision is in SANUTO, XL., 624. 

2 SANUTO, XL., 507 ; cf. 624, and RAYNALDUS, 1525, n. 90. 

3 GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 299; cf. BREWER, IV., i., n. 1814, 1902; 
BROWN, III., n. 1191, 1201 : SANUTO, XL., 507, 532 seq. ; GRETHEN, 
93-94 ; HELLWIG, 12. 

4 Lett. d. princ., II., 102 ; cf. GUICCIARDINI, Op. ined., VIII., 363 seq. 
6 " Per il tacere suo," wrote Canossa on December 1 5, 1525, to Giberti, 

" ct per altra via ne ho inteso quanto basta. a farmi stare mal contcnto et 


plaints of the Pope were hardly justified. The time gained 
by the adjournment was certainly of advantage to the 
Emperor, but also to the Pope. Clement might well hope 
that in two months' time the state of things, especially the 
attitude of France and England, would have become so 
much clearer that he might more easily make the decision 
charged with such weighty issues. 1 

Before the two months were out, on the I4th of January 
1526, the Peace of Madrid was settled between Charles 
and Francis. By this agreement the captive King of France 
consented to almost all the demands of the victor. He 
surrendered the Duchy of Burgundy, the countship of 
Charolais, and the suzerainty over Flanders and Artois ; 
Bourbon and the other rebels were amnestied ; all claims 
to Naples, Milan, Genoa, and Asti were renounced ; and 
lastly, he promised to supply forces on land and sea to 
accompany Charles on his expedition to Rome, or in 
warfare against the Turk. 2 After inexplicable delays the 

quasi a desperare in tutto la salute d' Italia parendomi assai piu ragione- 
vole il credere." The following is given in PROFESSIONS, Dalla battaglia 
di Pavia, 61. On December 22, 1525, Canossa * wrote to Robertet : 
" Vista la irresolutione del papa et non sperando che S. S ta intri in questa 
liga se non vede forze tale in Italia che lo possi securare del timore che 
ha de lo imperatore mi son sforzato di persuadere a questa Signoria 
che essa si voglia risolvere senza il papa." Cf. also the * letter to 
Louisa of Savoy, December 22, 1525 (Communal Library, Verona). 

1 BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 497. 

2 DUMONT, IV., i, 399 seqq. Capino da Capo, who came to Rome 
on February 20, 1 526, brought a draft of the treaty ; see SALVIOLT, 
XVI., 278. On March 5, Cardinal Cibo, in Consistory, read a letter 
from Charles announcing the conclusion of peace, and on the loth 
Clement VII. congratulated the Emperor, and informed him of the 
peace celebrations in Rome (*Acta Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor, 
Consistorial Archives ; BALAN, Mon. saec., XVI., 223 seg.). These 
celebrations are also described by CORNELIUS DE FINE in his * Diary 
(National Library, Paris). 


Emperor ratified the treaty at last on the I ith of February. 
On the i /th of March Francis was exchanged for his 
two sons, who were to remain with Charles as hostages. 
With the cry : " Me voici roi derechef," " Now I am once 
again a King ! " he set foot on French soil. 1 

The Treaty of Madrid was perhaps the gravest political 
mistake which Charles V. had made. Not without reason 
did his Chancellor Gattinara refuse to declare his agree- 
ment with demands which he knew to be excessive and 
impracticable. The treaty in fact laid upon the van- 
quished obligations of such vast extent that their fulfilment 
from a man like Francis I. could never be expected. Still 
less was it to be supposed that such a nation as France 
would degrade itself to become a power of the second 
rank and own vassalage to the Emperor. Public opinion 
on the whole, so far as such a thing could then be spoken 
of, was now steadily inclining towards Francis, In view 
of the almost brutal way in which Charles was seizing the 
spoils of victory, hardly anyone believed that the King 
would observe the peace. In Italy especially this opinion 
had wide acceptance. 

Although no one had any inkling of the secret protest 
made by Francis before the conclusion of the treaty, he 
was counselled on all sides to break the oath he had just 
sworn. 2 Even Clement VII. , the practical politician, 3 was 

1 BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 474^^,484 seq. ; MIGNET, II., 198^?. 

Dalla battaglia di Pavia, 68. Cf. the ** letters of Canossa to Giberti 
on February 3, to the Regent on February 5 and March I, to Carpi 
on February 19, and to Robertet on February 21, 1526 (Communal 
Library, Verona). 

3 According to the report sent to Wolsey by the Bishop of Worcester, 
Clement VII., on seeing the draft of the Treaty of Madrid, said he 
thought it good, provided that Francis, on regaining his liberty, did 
not observe its conditions. RAUMER, Briefe I., 247. 


in this instance no exception; 1 he considered that treaty 
and oath, if extorted, were not binding. 2 The Pope wished 
in the first place to obtain clear information of the inten- 
tions of Francis. He therefore sent, as Venice had done, 
an embassy to the King, ostensibly to congratulate him on 
his release from captivity, but really to discover his true 
intention and, in the event of his not keeping the treaty 
with Charles, to form an alliance with him. On the 22nd 
of February 1526 Paolo Vettori was entrusted on the part 
of the Pope with this mission. Vettori having fallen ill on 
the journey, Capino da Capo, who was in the confidence of 
Francis, was ordered to go to France on the ist of March 
I526. 3 Yet a further appointment was made on the 2Oth 

1 See SANUTO, XL., 849 seqq. 

2 Francis I. broke his word on the advice of an assembly of notables 
of the three estates; see Rev. d. quest, hist, 1903, I., 114^. That 
Clement VII. dispensed Francis formally from his oath, as Sandoval 
and Sepulveda assert, appears doubtful, and rightly so, to GRETHEN, 
98. The fact that Charles V., in his vehement letter of complaint 
against Clement VII., introduces the subject only with an "it is said," 
is deserving of notice. This, certainly, is not conclusive proof, but the 
formal dispensation still remains open to grave doubt, all the more so 
as Francis I. never appealed to it in his own defence (cf. MARTIN, 73). 
Still less satisfactory is the evidence afforded by remarks of Clement, 
made, according to reports of Mais, in 1529, under very different 
circumstances, to another agent of the Emperor's (BAUMGARTEN, II., 
519). I have sought in vain in the Secret Archives of the Vatican, and 
in the National Archives in Paris, for a document containing the 
absolution from the oath. It is impossible to draw any certain con- 
clusion from this, as the mass of Roman documents is great and they 
have not all come down to us in a perfect state. Cf. also EHSES, 
Concil. IV, XXIV, note 2, and FRAIKIN, XLI. 

262 seq. ; FRAIKIN, 7 ; RAYNALDUS, 1526, n. 27 ; BALAN, Mon. saec., 
XVI., 220-222. The original of the Pope's letter to the French 
Chancellor in the National Archives, Paris, L 357. Fr. Gonzaga 
speaks of the Pope's grief at the death of Vettori in a * despatch, 


of April, when the Florentine Roberto Acciaiuoli was 
nominated Nuncio-in-ordinary at the French court. 1 

Capino could hardly travel quick enough to please the 
Pope ; for safety his letters were addressed to a merchant 
in Rome. 2 By the end of March he arrived at the French 
court, where at the same time Andrea Rosso, the represen- 
tative of Venice, made his appearance. The King received 
Capino most graciously, and assured him that he would 
willingly do all in his power to prevent Charles from 
putting his yoke on Italy ; he would give a full and 
definite answer as soon as the solemnities of Easter 
were over. 3 On Easter Monday, the 2nd of April, the 
formal negotiations began. 4 By the 8th Capino was able 
to announce that France was won for the League ; Venice 
and the Pope had only now to send the full powers to 
conclude the alliance. 5 The news that Francis was 
prepared to support the work of " the liberation of Italy" 
and to come to the help of Francesco Sforza, still 
beleaguered by the Spaniards in the citadel of Milan, 
caused the greatest excitement in all who were privy 
to the scheme. 

The great coalition against the Emperor was now only 
a question of time. I fit did not become an accomplished 
fact until the 22nd of May, this was on account of the gravity 

March 9, 1526. He also reported on April 19 that the Pope had 
received letters from Capino during the night ; Capino reports on 
Francis' friendly disposition, but nothing special (Gonzaga Archives, 

1 Cf. PIEPER, Nuntiaturen, 82 seq., and FRAIKIN, 12 seq. 

2 SANUTO, XLL, 68, 133, 157, 178. 

3 Capino's report in FRAIKIN, 7 seq. It differs from the original 
draft (Lett. del. 1526 al 27) in the Ricci Archives in Rome, dated 
March 29, 1526. 

4 SANUTO, XLL, 190 seqq. ; cf. JACQUETON, 269. 

6 Report of Capino's, April 8, 1 526, in Fraikin, 8 seq. 


of the transaction and the mutual distrust of the contract- 
ing parties. 1 However great was the desire of all the 
Emperor's enemies that he should be vanquished, no one 
wished to take the first and principal part in his overthrow. 
The Italians were still, not without reason, filled with 
jealousy of France ; they wished, therefore, that England 
should enter the League in order to secure them from any 
defection on the part of Francis I. Henry VIII., however, 
wished the League to be ratified in England, a proceed- 
ing which would have meant the loss of much precious 
time. But bold action was called for under any circum- 
stances, for just at that particular moment the Emperor's 
forces were in a critical state owing to the want of money 
and provisions. Since Henry held firm to his demand, 
the accession of England to the League had to be 
renounced. 2 

In Venice decisive measures were pushed on. At a 
very early date movements of troops began, the object 
of which admitted of no doubt. 3 Even the Pope now 
stood firm, although his Spanish Nuncio, Castiglione, 
repeatedly besought him in eloquent language to withdraw 
from an undertaking certain to bring ruin in its train. 4 
" These clever persons," wrote Canossa on the I9th of 
February to Giberti from Venice, " who would persuade 
his Holiness that the league with France involves his own 
ruin and that of Italy, and that no one is bound to sacrifice 
himself in order to give freedom to others, ought simply 

1 Cf. BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 500 : PROFESSIONE, Dal trattato di 
Madrid, 12. 

2 HELLWIG, 14-15 ; BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 482. 

3 PROFESSIONE, Dal trattato di Madrid, 11. 

4 Cf. the letter to Schonberg, and especially the long and candid 
letter to the Pope himself from Toledo, December 28, 1525, both in 
SERASSI, II., n seg. t 19 seq. 


to tell us what ruin can ensue greater than that which 
we have to fear at this present time." 1 The direct 
sovereignty of the Emperor over Milan, in the opinion of 
a Sienese diplomatist, meant for the Pope and Venice the 
total loss of independence. 2 

Thus Castiglione's warnings were unheeded. However 
favourably he and Salviati might represent the Emperor's 
intentions, facts in Italy told another story. The whole 
country cried out for deliverance from the galling yoke of 
the Spaniards, whose soldiery were driving the people of 
Lombardy to despair. " Hunt down these wild beasts 
who have only the faces and voices of men," exclaimed 
Macchiavelli. " Alas ! poor Italy," sighed a poet, " whither 
hast thou fallen ? Thy glory, thy fame, thy strength 
have perished." 3 Guicciardini expressed the opinion of 
all patriotic men when he spoke of the war of deliverance 
as a holy and necessary national event. 4 Clement con- 
curred all the more willingly in the general voice since, 
duped by the Imperialists, he saw the most important 
stipulations of the April treaty still left unfulfilled. 
Parma and Piacenza were still overrun by the troops of 
Charles and their inhabitants subjected to the heaviest 
exactions. If this was a cause of resentment to the Pope, 
not less so were the Emperor's encroachments, not only in 

1 *Vorrei che quelli tanti savi che hanno persuaso a N. S., che 
1' unirsi con Franza fosse la rovina di S. S ta e d' Italia e che non era da 
mettere in preda se per liberare altrui, mi dicessero quale rovina potea 
sequire maggiore di quella che ora si puo e si deve temere. Canossa 
to Giberti, Venice, February 19, 1526 (Capitular Library, Verona). 

2 Report of Carolus Massainus, March 26, 1526 (State Archives, 
Siena), in PROFESSIONE, Dal trattato di Madrid, 5. Cf. also SALVIOLJ, 
XVL, 276, and GUICCIARDINI, XVI L, i. 

3 Cf. DE LEVA, II., 329; FOSSATI-FALLETTI, Clemente VII., 9-10; 
REUMONT, III., 2, 172 seq. ; SALVIOLI, XV I.. 284. 

4 Opere inedite, L, 393. 


Naples but also in Spain, on the Papal prerogatives regard- 
ing presentation to ecclesiastical posts. What turned the 
scale, however, was Charles's unmistakable endeavour to 
secure for himself the sovereignty of Milan and, with it, of 
all Italy. 1 The idea of European dominion was more 
and more inseparably bound up with the possession of 
this noble land. "Let the Emperor," said a Roman 
diplomatist, " rule Italy, and he will rule the world. Vae 
miserae Italiae et nobis viventibus ! " 2 

Thus on the 22nd of May 1526 was brought about 
between Clement VII., Francis I., Venice and Sforza, the 
so-called Holy League of Cognac. By this compact, which 
was for the greater part the work of Giberti, 3 it was settled 
that the Duchy of Milan belonged to Francesco Sforza, 
who, thenceforward, was to pay 50,000 ducats yearly to 
France; all Italian states were to receive back the 
possessions which they held before the war; Asti and 
the suzerainty of Genoa were to fall to France ; Venice 
and the Pope were to decide on the number of the 
retinue of the Emperor on his journey to Rome for the 
coronation, and the sons of Francis I. were to be ransomed 
for a reasonable sum. If these terms were refused by the 
Emperor, the members of the League were to declare war 
against him and also wrest from him the kingdom of 
Naples, to be bestowed by the Pope on an Italian prince, 
who should then pay to the King of France a yearly tribute 
of 75,000 ducats. In the event of the hoped-for inclusion 
of England taking place, further special stipulations were 

GRETHEN, 95 seq. For the Pope's protests against the Emperor's en- 
croachments on the ecclesiastical sphere in Naples, see GAYANGOS, 
III., i, n. 484. 

2 R. Acciaiuoli in DESJARDINS, II., 861. 

3 Cf. Giberti's testimony in PlGHl, Giberti, 23, and App. VI I L 


agreed upon. Two secret clauses were added by which 
Florence was also to enjoy the protection of the League, and 
Clement, in the event of the Emperor complying and retain- 
ing the Neapolitan kingdom, was to receive from the revenues 
of that crown a yearly tribute of 40,000 ducats. 1 " We have 
succeeded," Capino reported on the 24th of May to Umberto 
da Gambara ; " the treaty was concluded the day before 
yesterday ; for God's sake keep all as secret as possible." 2 

1 DUMONT, IV., i, 451 seq.\ SANUTO, XLL, 348 seqq., 383 seqq., 
392 seqq., 400 seqq., 440 seqq., 451 seqq.\ Libri commem., VI., 183 seq.\ 
GRETHEN, 99 seq.\ HELWIG, 15 seq. Cf. also Capino's report in 
FRAIKIN, 16 seqq. 

2 Capino to Gambara, Cognac, May 24, 1526 (Ricci Archives, 
Rome), now published in FRAIKIN, 26 seq. See also the fuller de- 
spatches of Capino and R. Acciaiuoli from copies in the Vatican. A better 
transcript in the Ricci Archives, in Rome, which I was allowed to see 
through the kindness of the late Marchese Giovanni Ricci in 1891, was 
not known to Fraikin, as these archives are no longer accessible. 

VOL. IX. 20 



THE exorbitant demands made by the victor of Pavia 
were followed by a natural reaction ; this took the shape 
of the great coalition known as the League of Cognac. 
To the Italians, in whom thoughts of nationality were 
stirring, the long-wished-for moment seemed to have 
come to grasp their freedom and independence. In the 
opinion of Giberti the war was not undertaken on behalf 
of affronted honour, nor for revenge, nor to establish the 
supremacy of this or that city the stake was the freedom 
or the perpetual slavery of Italy ; never had a more favour- 
able opportunity been given than now to clip the wings 
of the ever-threatening eagle. 1 

The Pope's confidant had deceived himself in a matter 
of the gravest consequence. In the first place, the stipula- 
tions agreed to at Cognac were of such a character that, 
even in case of success, far more influence would accrue 
to France in the affairs of Italy than would be compatible 
with the real independence of that sorely tried country. 
Still more prejudicial was the diversity of personal aims 
among the members of the League. The Italians hoped, 
with the help of France, to shake off the Spanish yoke, 
while Francis I. really only wished to make use of the 

1 Lettere de' principi, II., no, 113. 



Italians in order to set at naught the Peace of Madrid. 1 
Lastly, as regards Francesco Sforza, hard pressed by the 
Spaniards and in extreme danger in the citadel of Milan, 
the conclusion of the League was premature, since the 
forces necessary for his relief were anything but ready; 2 
in Rome these circumstances were completely overlooked. 
As soon as it was known for a certainty that the League 
was settled there was an outburst of strong warlike feeling 
throughout the city. 3 

Orders were given without delay that the Papal troops 
should concentrate at Piacenza, and everything was 
done to hasten the advance of the Venetians and Swiss 
against Lombardy. Arrangements were made as if 
war against Charles had already been declared. In 
the first week of June, Guido Rangoni, Vittello Vitelli, 
and Giovanni de' Medici were enlisted in the service 
of Florence and of the Pope. Francesco Guicciardini, 
who had distinguished himself, under very difficult cir- 
cumstances, as Governor of the ever-restless Romagna, 
undertook the post of Commissary-General with almost 
unlimited powers over the army. 4 In Papal circles the 
most comprehensive plans were proposed for the expulsion 
of the Imperialists from Italy. The first necessity was 
to guarantee the safety of Rome and the Papal States ; 
prisoners were to be confined in the city itself; it was 

1 Cf. GRETHEN, 101 ; BROSCH, I., 91. 


3 " Tutta Roma grida guerra," reports G. Cesano to Giov. de' Medici, 
June 2, 1526; Arch. stor. Ital., N. S., IX., 2, 132. Cf. VILLA, Italia, 
125 seq., and GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 440, 447. 

4 See GUICCIARDINI, Storia, XVII., 2, and Op. ined., IV., 26 seq. 
Cf. BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 204, and CIPOLLA, 901. About Guicci- 
ardini as Governor of the Romagna and the disorder there prevailing, 
see the reports in Vol. VIII., Op. ined. ; also BROSCH, I., 77 set/., and 
GIODA, Guicciardini, Bologna, 1880, 232. 


forbidden to carry arms; the Spaniards were closely 
watched ; no one could travel through the Papal States or 
Florentine territory without special permission ; no one 
was allowed to raise troops for the enemy. As a safe- 
guard against the Colonna there was a scheme for seizing 
Paliano and cutting it off from Naples by the help of the 
Conti and Gaetani. It was taken for granted that actual 
war would begin with the capture of the citadel of Milan 
by Papal and Venetian troops ; this having been successful, 
the Milanese territory would be occupied as thoroughly 
as possible, and there the arrival of the French and Swiss 
would be awaited. But at the same time combined attack 
was to be made on the Imperialists from many other 
quarters: in Genoa by Andrea Doria; in Siena with 
the help of the exiles; in Naples by co-operation with 
the Orsini, and in Apulia by means of a Venetian fleet. 
There were further projects of obtaining aid from Savoy 
and the enemies of Charles in Germany. Moreover, 
to the Venetians was given the task of blockading 
the passes of the Alps so as to prevent the Imperialists 
being reinforced from Germany. 1 By these united efforts 
it was hoped to break down the Emperor's power, and 
to replace Italy in the position which she held prior to 
The Pope, who on other occasions was so extraordinarily 

i cf. **Provisioni per la guerra che disegno papa Clemente VII. 
contra 1' imperatore Carlo V. in Inf. polit., XII., 473-480, of the Royal 
Library, Berlin (cf. RANKE, Deutsche Gesch., II., 2nd ed., 357), in 
Cod. CXXIII. (National Library, Florence), and in Cod. Ottob., 2514, 
f. 96-102 (Vatican Library). A. Doria reached Rome on May 21, 
1526 ; see Arch. stor. Ital., N. S., IX., 2, 130. *N. Raince reported on 
June 12, 1526, that the Pope had prepared a Bull forbidding all vassals 
of the Church to form confederacies among themselves. Fonds frang., 
2984, f. 6 b (National Library, Paris). For Clement's compact with 
Bavaria see SUGENHEIM, 9-10. 


nervous and apprehensive, shared Giberti's warlike spirit 
and his certainty of victory. 1 Both, however, were gravely 
in error concerning friends and foes alike. They rated 
the strength of the former too high and that of the latter 
too low ; neither of them weighed the fact that the 
last thing for which the Papal finances were adequate 
was the cost of a war ; both believed too easily that their 
hopes would be realized, and allowed themselves to be 
drawn into an undertaking the execution of which would 
have taxed to the utmost even the capacities of a 
Julius II. 2 

As soon as Charles V. became aware of the danger 
threatening him he determined to break through the 
enemy's circle. Ugo de Moncada, already distinguished 
in the Spanish service by his craft and boldness, and 
hated for his cruelty towards his foes, was appointed to 
carry out the enterprise. The choice seemed unfortunate 
even to so sympathetic an Imperialist as Castiglione, 
for Moncada belonged to the " Exaltados," whose policy 
aimed at the subjection of all Italy to Spanish military 
despotism. 3 

Moncada first turned to Francesco Sforza in order 
to induce him to desert the League. 4 On the failure 
of this mission he betook himself to Rome, which he 
reached on the i6th of June. He came, "with a barrel- 

1 Cf. the letter of N. Raincc, June 9, 1526, in the Rev. d. deux 
Mondes, LXII. (1866), 17, n. I, and SANUTO, XL I., 466, 483. 
Macchiavelli's statement, that Clement hoped to bring the war to an 
end in two weeks, sounds incredible. On the contrary, the Pope in- 
formed the Duke of Bavaria that the allies hoped to be victors in Italy 
within a year ; SUGENHEIM, 10, n. 14. 

2 Cf. the opinion of GUICCIARDINI, XVII., 3, and VETTORI, 363, 365, 
as well as GRETHEN, 105. 

3 SERASSI, II., 37. 

4 HELLWIG, 32 seq. 


ful of promises," 1 too late, for three days before, the 
College of Cardinals had approved the League of 
Cognac. 2 

Charles had instructed Moncada to try to bring the Pope 
to terms in a friendly way, or else, following the suggestion 
of Cardinal Colonna, to compel him by raising insurrection 
in Rome, Siena, and Florence, and driving him from the 
city. The Imperial instruction, dated the I ith of June 1526, 
closed with the words : " If you are unsuccessful in gaining 
Clement, speak secretly to Cardinal Colonna, so that he 
may set in hand, as if on his own initiative, the matter 
recommended by his agents, and give him privily every 
support." 3 The representations and offers of Moncada 
and Sessa were quite ineffectual, as might have been 
foreseen from the explicit declaration made to the latter 
by Clement on the Qth of June. 4 The Pope, prompted by 
Giberti, insisted on his treaty obligations. Without the 
consent of his allies, he could not come to terms with the 
Emperor. The proud Spaniards had not believed this to 
be possible, and, enraged at the blunt rejection of the 
ample inducements offered by them, they left the Vatican. 

1 Expression of the Secretary of the French Embassy, N. Raince. 
See GRETHEN, no, and Bullet. Ital., Bordeaux, 1901, I., 225. 

2 See Acta Consist, in FRAIKIN, LIV., n. 3, and the report, already 
made use of by GRETHEN, 114-115, of N. Raince to Francis I., dated 
Rome, June 17, 1526 (National Library, Paris, Fonds franc.., 2984, f. 
41). In Rome the first news of the League became current on June 6. 
On the yth (1526) Fr. Gonzaga wrote : *Per Roma si e sparso da heri 
in qua essere fatta la liga fra il papa, Venetiani et Francia et parlasi 
molto affermativamente. Tuttavia N. S. non la afferma. (But he was 
already acquainted with the fact on June 5 ; see GRETHEN, 115.) 
Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

3 Charles V. to Moncada, dated Granada, June 11, 1526. LANZ, 
Correspondenz, I., 216. 

4 Cf. the report of N. Raince in GRETHEN, 108. 


On this occasion Sessa mounted a buffoon behind him 
whose grimaces gave expression to the Ambassador's 
feelings. 1 In accordance with the Emperor's instructions, 
the Spanish envoys began at once to lay the train for a 
revolution in Rome. 

The circumstances were exceptionally favourable to such 
a scheme. The Romans were exceedingly incensed by the 
many taxes necessitated by the preparations for war. 2 
When, in the last week of June, the butchers were laid 
under a fresh impost, they refused to pay and a sufficiently 
significant circumstance took refuge from the threatened 
arrests with the Imperial Ambassador. Sessa, in fact, forced 
the Papal police to withdraw without having attained their 
object. Meanwhile Rome was full of excitement, and two 
hundred Spaniards gathered round Sessa's palace. The 
Government, in consequence, was weak enough to remove 
the tax, but the levy of troops for the protection of Rome 

1 For the mission of Moncada cf. Lettere di principi, II., I2g b seg., 
130'' seq., 135 seq., 136 seq., 137, 138 ; BREWER, IV., I, n. 2262, 2273, 
2274 5 SANUTO, XLI., 664 scqq. ; Carpi's letter in MOLINI, I., 204 seq. ; 
the reports of Raince in GRETHEN, 108 seq., and Bullet. Ital., loc. cit. ; 
letter of G. du Bellay in BAUMGARTEN, Charles V., II., 710 seq. Cf. 
also MIGNET, II., 234^*7. ; BUCHOLTZ, III., 31 seq. ; HELLWIG, J&seqq. ; 
BOURRILLY, 25. The following *despatch of Fr. Gonzaga is in favour 
of Hellwig's view that the rupture of negotiations took place on June 
20. ... Questi dui di passati il s r don Ugo e il s r duca di Sessa sono 
stati al longo con S. S ta la qual per partiti grand! che habbino proposto 
non ha voluto attendere a cosa alcuna, essendose risoluta de non 
puotere ne volere fare altro senza la participatione et buona satisfatione 
de li suoi confederati, et sempre che essi hanno havuto parlamento 
cum lei ha mandato per li oratori de essi confederati, et halli comunicato 
tutti li ragionamenti che li hanno fatto esso don Ugo et duca, come si 
convicne alia adherentia et unione che hanno insieme. Credo che d. 
Ugo partirk de qui in breve. . . . Roma alii 21 di giugno MDXXVI. 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua.) 

2 Cf. the *Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris). 


continued. 1 The Pope also called to his assistance the house 
of the Orsini, 2 for he had not only the Roman populace to 
fear but the great Imperialist family of Colonna. To all 
appearances the latter had hitherto behaved peaceably; 3 
but the ashes were smouldering, and it only needed a puff 
of wind to rekindle them into flame. Cardinal Colonna, 
Clement's old enemy, could not forget that the latter had 
taken from him the tiara. Although this ambitious man 
had received the Vice-Chancellorship and numerous marks of 
favour from Clement, 4 yet he thought himself insufficiently 
rewarded and, indeed, even placed in the background. 
Since the autumn of 1525 the breach between him and the 
Pope had become notorious. The Cardinal, in wrath and 
muttering threats of vengeance, had withdrawn to the 
strongholds of his family and there remained in spite of a 
Papal monition. The anti-Imperial policy of the Pope had 
raised his anger to the uttermost, and he repeatedly pro- 
posed to the Ambassadors of Charles to let loose a revolu- 
tion against Clement in Rome, Siena, and Florence. 5 The 
Emperor had yielded, 6 and his representatives, Moncada 
and Sessa, protected by the right of nations, were now 
proceeding to enter more closely into the arrangements. 
On the 27th of June Moncada went to Gennezzano; Sessa, 

1 This episode is fully described in CORNELIUS DE FINE, *Diary 
(National Library, Paris). 

' 2 Report of N. Raince, June n, 1526, in GRETHEN, 121. Cf. 
SANUTO, XLII., 26 ; SALVIOLI, XVI., 288, and CIPOLLA, 901. 

*Li Colonesi non fanno per anchora dismostratione alcuna anchora 
che si dicha di motte zancie. G. de } Medici, Rome, June 28, 1526 
(State Archives, Florence). 

4 Cf. *Regest. Vatic., 1238, f. 98 seg., 1240, f. 35 seg., 1242, f. 239 
seq., 1269, f. 162, 1275, f. 138 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

6 Cf. SANUTO, XL., 98, 346, 366, 431 ; GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 221, 
253, 333, 363, 364- 

6 See supra, p. 310. 


who had already, on the feast of SS. Peter and Paul, pre- 
sented the palfrey, but without the usual tribute, went 
immediately afterwards to Naples to collect money and 
troops ; both travelled with Papal passports. 1 

While the Imperialists were thus acting secretly against 
the Pope, the latter had entered openly on his contest 
with Charles. His Brief of the 23rd of June 1526 brought 
this about. 2 This document contained a complete account 
of the relations which had existed between the Emperor and 
Clement since the election of the latter. While endeavour- 

1 Lett. d. princ., II., 150, i5i b seq.^ 153 ; SANUTO, XLIL, 27 ; VILLA, 
Italia, 136; ^despatch of G. de' Medici, July 2, 1526 (State Archives, 
Florence); MOLINI, I., 205 seq. ; GAYANGOS, III., I, n. 475, 476; 
*letter of N. Raince, July 5, 1526 (National Library, Paris, Fonds 
franqais, 2984, f. io b ) ; SALVIOLI, XVI., 289 ; cf. 291 for the rejection, 
on SS. Peter and Paul's day, of the tribute of the Duke of Ferrara ; 
the latter still persisted in his negotiations with the Pope, as the issue 
of events could not be foreseen. On July 12, 1526, G. de' Medici 
reports thus : *Egli e comparso iersera nova inbassata del ducha di 
Ferrara e porta tali conditioni a N. S. che per quello ne ritragho sark 
facile cosa che si accordi e unischa con S. S u ; and on July 16 : *La 
pratica di Ferrara si tira avanti (State Archives, Florence). 
1 -^The text of this Brief, beginning " Non opus esse credimus," was 
first published by Charles V. himself in the Libri apologetici duo 9- 
17, and copied from them by LE PLAT, II., 240-246. It is to be found 
also in Miscell. ex MS. Colleg. Romani, Romae, 1754, 475 seqq., and 
in SADOLETI, Epist., IV., Romae, 1759, 161 seqq. Many say that the 
original draft was much sharper in expression; see SERASSI, II., 90. 
There is yet another copy of the Brief in BALAN, Mon. saec., XVI., 
364-371, from Arm., 63, n. 88, in the Secret Archives of the Vatican, 
but it is very inaccurate (see Hist.-polit. Bl., XCV., 297, and EHSES, 
Concil. IV., XXIV., n. 3). The version given by RAYNALDUS, 1526, 
n. ii seg.j from Sabellicus, and by LANZ, I., 222 223, from a MS. 
in the Brussels Library (the text here differs in particulars, and the 
conjectural date October 1526 is wrong), is not authentic. The 
Brief "Quam multa et magna," etc., dated Romae, A 1525, printed in 
the Fascicul. rer. expetend., II., London, 1690, 683, is a forgery. 


ing to justify his own policy he submitted the conduct oi 
the Emperor to a criticism which was not only severe but 
perhaps immoderate. From the beginning of his pontificate 
he had made every reasonable attempt not only to maintain 
the general peace of Christendom, but especially to preserve 
friendly relations with Charles; but since these overtures 
had not been reciprocated, and had even been repelled, and 
the Emperor, either at the instigation of his advisers or 
from personal inclination and ambition, had determined to 
diminish and overpower the states of Italy and the Holy 
See, the Pope had been forced, after long delay and the 
final pressure of necessity, to declare a war of self-defence. 
In order to substantiate this position, Clement produced a 
long array of facts. While Cardinal he had been loyal to 
the Emperor, and had shirked no sacrifice on his account ; 
likewise, after his elevation to the Papacy, although bound 
by his office to observe a strict neutrality, he had supported 
to the best of his power the Imperial interests in Italy, so 
far as was compatible with the due exercise of his functions 
as universal Father of Christians and with the interests of 
the Church. 

The alliance with Francis had become a necessity owing 
to the pressure of circumstances and the strong persuasion 
of many persons. It had also been represented to him that 
by entering into the League he would secure great advan- 
tages. When the victory of Charles seemed to put an end 
to the war, he had at once concluded a treaty with him, 
assuring himself that thereby the greatest blessings would 
accrue to Italy and the whole of Christendom, and had 
given 100,000 ducats for the Imperial army, on condition 
of repayment in case the treaty should in any way be 
received with suspicion. Although the treaty had never 
been fully ratified, and the Emperor had thus left the Pope 
in the lurch, the latter had nevertheless, when informed of 


the secret intrigues concerning Pcscara, apprised and warned 
Charles, thereby giving him evidence of his unchanging 
friendship. Again, when, to his sorrow and that of all 
Italy, Sforza lay besieged in Milan, and the Pope was 
pressed on all sides to take steps against Charles, the 
mission of Herrera had at once aroused the wish to come 
to a good understanding with the Emperor and caused all 
other counsels to be brushed aside. Herrera's proposals he 
had accepted almost without alteration ; and in a letter to 
Charles, written in his own hand, he had adjured him to 
disprove the charge of immoderate ambition by giving 
guarantees of peace to Italy, pardon to Sforza in the case of 
his surrender, and to afford protection to Clement himself. 

In return, however, for all these and countless other 
marks of goodwill, the Pope received at the hands of the 
Imperialists only the most discourteous treatment. 
Clement VII. could point to the calumnies and insults of 
the Imperial agents in Italy, in whose words Charles puts 
more trust than in his ; the violence offered to his adherents 
in Siena, against which he had in vain called to the 
Emperor for aid ; the non-fulfilment of the treaty with 
Lannoy, of which all the articles favourable to Charles had 
been complied with while those of advantage to the Pope 
had been discarded ; the delay in repaying the 100,000 
ducats ; the quartering of Imperial troops on Papal 
territory contrary to the treaty stipulations and accom- 
panied by brutal oppression on the part of the soldiery ; 
the want of consideration shown in concealing from him 
the conditions of the negotiations with Francis I.; the 
unjust treatment of Sforza, who had been condemned with- 
out any preliminary inquiry ; the attacks on the ecclesi- 
astical rights of the Holy See ; the concealment from the 
Papal agents of Lannoy 's dealings with Francis ; the long 
sojourn of Moncada in France ; the attempt to snatch 


Parma from the Pope, and so forth. All these circum- 
stances had, of necessity, filled Clement with deep distrust 
of the Emperor and induced him to transfer his friendship 
from the latter to other monarchs better disposed towards 
him. Therefore, when Moncada, late and after long delay, 
came to him with fresh proposals, their acceptance was no 
longer possible, and nothing was left for the Pope to do 
but to take up arms perforce, not as a personal attack on 
the Emperor, but to beat off a threatening servitude and to 
restore a general peace. Once more he adjured the Emperor 
not to force him into this hard necessity, and no longer to 
be led by the lust of power, but to give back rest and peace 
to Christendom, and so gain for himself praise as the most 
virtuous of princes. 

The Pope at once felt that in this despatch he had gone 
too far. On the 25th of June, before the Cardinals gathered 
in Consistory, he produced the draft of a short letter to the 
Emperor, couched in gentler terms, in which he announced 
that his Nuncio, Baldassare Castiglione, would explain the 
reasons compelling him to protect by force of arms the 
freedom of Italy and the Apostolic See. 1 The Cardinals 
gave their approval to this document, 2 and, in a Consistory 

1 LE PLAT, II., 246-247, and BALAN, Mon. saec., XVI., 233-234. 
HELLWIG'S uncertainty (42, n. 6) whether the date here given (25th) 
or that of the 24th, as stated in other sources, is correct may be 
removed by a reference to the *Acta Consist, quoted in the next note. 
The Brief was drawn up on the 24th, and sent off on the 25th. 

2 *Die lunae 25 Junii 1526 : Card is de Cesis legit litteras apostolicas 
in forma brevis mittendas ad ser. Carolum Romanorum regem in im- 
peratorem electum significantes justificationes belli a S. D. N. suscepti 
contra exercitum Hispanum in Lombardia degentem, et conclusum est, 
quod scribantur etiam literae rev. dom. legato [Salviati] et nuntio [B. 
Castiglione] ibidem existentibus, ut possuit S. M li narrare hujusmodi 
justificationes. *Acta Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor (Consistorial 
Archives and Secret Archives of the Vatican). 


on the 4th of July they resolved that on the following 
Sunday, the 8th, the League should be formally made 
public. After solemn ratification by the Pope on the 
5th 1 the publication took place amid such pomp and 
ceremony that Carpi reported that he had never in his life 
seen such a festival held in Rome. 2 

In the meantime the war in upper Italy had begun. 

At first the position of the Imperialists was one of great 
danger. The Imperial generals, almost wholly without 
money, found themselves opposed to the superior forces of 
their enemies in the midst of a population driven to the 
extremities of hatred and downright despair by the 
cruelties of the Spanish tyranny. Everything turned on 
the use that the Leaguers made of this fortunate moment 
for seizing the citadel of Milan by a sudden assault. No 
one saw this more clearly than the Commissary-General of 
the Papal troops, Francesco Guicciardini. His plan was 
to move the troops swiftly and simultaneously on Milan, 
and to fall without delay on the Imperialists, even if the 

1 **Giberti's letter to Gambara, Rome, July 8, i526(Gioved\ passato, 
che furono celli 5, N. S. in presentia de tutte li ambasciatori confirm6 
la lega come il Christ" 10 adimandava). Lett. d. Segret. di stato, 1 526- 
1 527 (Ricci Archives, Rome). 

2 Die mercurii 4 Julii 1526: S. D. N. fecit verbum de foedere inito 
cum rege christianissimo . . . . et fuit conclusum, quod hoc foedus 
publicetur die dominica in capella palatii et rev. dom. card lis Tranensis 
[de Cupis] prior prybyterorum celebret et Laurentius Grana faciat 
sermonem et publicetur per tibicines in locis consuetis urbis et fiant 
luminaria consueta. Further, measures were decided upon to raise 
money for arms; Acta Consist., loc. cit. Cf. FRAIKIN, LVIII., n. 6; 
BLASIUS DE MARTINELLIS, *Diarium in Cod. Barb., lat. 2799, Vatican 
Library; SANUTO, XLII., 33, 45, 103; GAYANGOS, III., n. 478; the 
*letter of Carpi, July 8, 1526, and *D5ary of CORNELIUS DE FINE, 
both in National Library, Paris. For the financial arrangements see 
also ^despatch of G. de' Medici, July 9, 1526 (State Archives, Florence). 


arrival of the Swiss and French did not take place ; for 
to remain inactive would ruin all. 1 Giberti was also of 
the same opinion, having already begun to feel anxious at 
the non-appearance of French help. 2 

The Commander-in-Chief of the Venetians, Francesco 
Maria della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, took an entirely 
different view ; he found Guicciardini's plan much too 
bold, and would do nothing without the Swiss. In con- 
sequence of this division days were lost when every hour 
was precious. On the 2ist of June Canossa wrote: "Our 
victory was assured, but is now so uncertain that J, for 
my part, have lost hope." 3 

While the allies were making excuses for their inaction, 4 
the Imperialists were able to repress a rising in Milan and 
to take measures for defence ; but their position was still 
very precarious, especially now that Pescara was gone, and 
they had not more than ten or eleven thousand men to set 
against the strong force of three-and-twenty thousand oppos- 
ing them. 5 On the 24th of June the Imperialists lost the 
town of Lodi through treachery. 6 The passage of the Adda 
was now secured to the allies, and the conjunction of the 

1 GUICCIARDINI, Op. ined., IV., 65 seq. ; BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., 

II, 506. 

2 For Giberti's letter see GRETHEN, 115, n. 3. That Giberti's 
anxiety was justified, is shown in the ^report of the French Nuncio 
to Gambara. Cf. especially the letter of Acciaiuoli from Angouleme, 
June 29, 1526, to Gambara (Ricci Archives, Rome). Cf. also FRAIKIN, 

3 See *letter to Giberti, June 21, 1526, in PIGHI, App. XXXIX. 

4 Cf. *Canossa's letter to Giberti, June 25, 1526 (Communal Library, 

6 GUICCIARDINI, XVII., 2 ; BURIGOZZO in Arch. Stor. Ital, i Series, 

III, 453 seq. ; Giberti to Michele de Silva, Lett. d. princ, II, 117. 

6 *GRUMELLO, Cronaca, ed. Muller, Milano, 1856, 406. Cf. MAR- 
cucci, 126. 


and Venetian troops might have taken place by the 
end of June. Giberti rejoiced ; he saw in spirit the country 
of his birth freed from the Spaniard. 1 As a matter of fact, 
no obstacle lay between the army of the League and the 
walls of Milan, where the people awaited them, in the 
anguish of suspense, as deliverers from the inhumanity of 
the Spaniards ; the hapless Sforza still held out in the 
citadel. But the Duke of Urbino obstinately refused 
to give battle before the arrival of the Swiss, therefore 
his advance was very slow. His procrastination gave the 
Constable de Bourbon time to send money and fifteen 
hundred Spaniards to the help of the Imperialists. 2 On 
the /th of July the Duke of Urbino at last ventured on 
an attack ; because he was not at once successful, he gave 
orders to fall back in spite of all Guicciardini's counter- 
representations. His retreat was very like a flight. To 
such a leader might be applied in an altered form the 
saying of Caesar: "He came, saw, and fled." 3 After the 
arrival of five thousand Swiss the Duke made a fresh 
advance, but with extreme slowness. On the 22nd of 
July he took up a strong position before Milan ; on the 
24th he was still considering his plan of action when the 
news came that the garrison of the citadel, reduced to 
starvation, had surrendered to the Spaniards, who had begun 
to think of leaving the city. The strange conduct of the 
Duke of Urbino gave rise at the time to the suspicion that 

1 GUICCIARDINI, XVII., 2 ; Lett. d. princ., 1 1. ,"151 segq. 

2 See the *report of Carlo Massaini, Milan, July 18, 1526 (State 
Archives, Siena). Cf. the rare work of FOSSATI-FALLATI, Clemente 
VIL, io-ii. 

3 GUICCIARDINI, XVII., 2. Cf. Guicciardini's letters in BERNARDI, 
L' Assedio di Milano nel 1526, dappresso la corrispondenza inedita di 
Fr. Guicciardini (Secret Archives of the Vatican) : Arch. Stor. Loinb., 
XXIII., 281 seq. 


he wished to revenge himself on Clement VII. for what he 
had undergone at the hands of Leo X. 1 

Simultaneously with these occurrences an unfavourable 
turn occurred on the scene of war in central Italy. The 
possession of Siena was at stake, a city of peculiar 
importance owing to its situation between Rome, Florence, 
and Lombardy. 2 There, after the battle of Pavia, the party 
friendly to the Pope, after having obtained a position of 
mastery with the help of the Duke of Albany, was over- 
thrown and driven out. The new Ghibelline government 
was entirely on the Emperor's side, who claimed the city 
as his own. 3 On the advice of Salviati, 4 Clement made 
an attempt to recover this important position, and at the 
beginning of July a simultaneous attack from five quarters 
was made on the Sienese territory. The Count of Pitigliano 
advanced from the Maremma, Virginio Orsini through 
the Val d' Orcia, the troops of Perugia and the Florentines 
through the Val d' Arbia ; the remainder of the Florentines 
through the Val dell' Elsa; the seaports being attacked 

REUMONT (III., 2, 223 seg.} is opposed to the view that the Duke of 
Urbino was really a traitor, a view once more enforced by BALAN, 
Clemente VII., 64. " He was," is the verdict of the historian of Rome, 
" a tactician but a very poor commander, wanting altogether in decision." 
That the Duke, in any case, had "no inclination to risk anything on 
Clement's account," REUMONT maintains; he rejects (III., 2, 847) 
the attempts of Ugolini (II., 237 seqq.) and others to rehabilitate the 
Duke. MARCUCCI (134 seg.\ tries to explain the Duke's conduct on 
tactical grounds, but carries his defence much too far. 

2 The importance of Siena was entirely overlooked by Canossa ; cf. 
GRETHEN, 118. Cf. his *letter to Giberti, Venice, August i, 1526 
(Communal Library, Verona). 

3 GRETHEN, 118. 

4 See *Tommasi, Storia di Siena (City Library, Siena, A, IV., 
3-4, f. 203). Cf. FOSSATTI-FALLETTI, Clemente VII., 1 1, 16. 


by Andrea Doria, who succeeded in at once taking 
Talamonc and Porto Ercole. On land also everything at 
first went well ; but afterwards Ugo de Moncada had the 
good luck to delay the march on Siena by introducing 
negotiations for peace. In the meantime, the leaders of 
the expedition fell out among themselves, each one having 
a different object in view. But the fatal error was the 
General's want of forethought in neglecting to make his 
camp sufficiently secure. On the 25th of July the 
Sienese made a sortie, took thirteen cannon and routed 
the besiegers. 1 

The news of the failure of the attack on Siena reached 
Rome at the same time as that of the surrender of the 
citadel of Milan. The consternation was great, and 
Clement VI I. 's grief at these misfortunes in the field 
was proportionate to his previous confidence. He com- 
plained bitterly of the Duke of Urbino, the Venetians, 
and Francis I.; he had been deserted, he declared, by 
those for whom he had placed himself in danger. Among 
the Emperor's friends hopes arose that the Pope might be 
led to abandon the League. 2 

The Pope's complaints were only too well justified. 
The help promised from France had, at this time, not 
yet arrived. The time of year favourable to military 
operations had gone by, and the Italians waited in vain 
for the succour of their French allies. This made a 
deep impression everywhere ; even so blind a partisan 

1 Besides the " Bellum Italianum " published by Polidori in the Arch. 
Stor. Ital., i Series, VIII., App., 257-342,^ GuiCClARDlNl, XVII., 3 
and 4 ; ALFANI in Arch. Stor. Ital., i Series, XVI., 2, 307 ; VETTORI, 
365 seg. 9 and especially FosSATTl-FALLETTi, Clemente VII., 11-18, 
a work of great importance on account of its wealth of unpublished 

2 See GAYANGOS, III., 7, n. 504; cf. 524. 

VOL. IX. 21 


of France as Canossa began to have a glimmering notion 
that his country was being betrayed, by Francis I. His 
position in Venice became intolerable; by the middle of 
July he was urgently asking for his recall. 1 Clement VII. 
thought that one more attempt must yet be made ; on the 
1 9th of July he sent Sanga, a confidant of Giberti's, to the 
French King to remind him, by earnest representations, of 
his obligations, and if possible to move him to give more 
supplies of money, and especially to undertake an expedi- 
tion against Naples. 2 All was in vain ; the fickle King 
seemed to have repented of all his martial zeal and was 
squandering his time and his revenues on the chase, 
gambling, and women. 3 England, moreover, held coldly 
aloof; 4 the Italians and the Pope were isolated. 

The Duke of Urbino had in the meantime begun the 

1 Besides the anonymous writer in Lettere di principi, II., 157-158, 
the letters of Canossa of July 22 and 23, given under his name in 
Lettere di XIII huomini, 20 seq., see above all his ^letter of July 14, 
1526. On August 19 Canossa wrote to F. Robertet that the Italians' 
distrust of Francis was reacting on himself ; he begged to be removed 
from his post ; he wished under any circumstances, even at the risk 
of the royal disfavour, to return to his diocese. This ^letter is also in 
the Communal Library, Verona. 

2 The Colonna would thus be drawn away from Rome ; see SANUTO, 
XLIL, 149, 178, 179, 201-202. For Sanga's mission see the Brief of 
July 19, 1526 (National Archives, Paris). Sanga's mission was practi- 
cally useless. Cf. besides the reports in FRAIKIN, LXII., 127 seq., 
134 seq., 137 seq.; the ^report in cipher from Landriano, Rome, 
October 18, 1526 (State Archives, Milan). 

3 See Sanga's full and important report from Amboise, August 3, 
1526, in Lettere di principi, II., i6o b seq. ; cf. the reports of Acciaiuoli 
in FRAIKIN, 81 seq., 90, 100, 105, 113, 124 seq., 129, 137 seq. The 
copies in the Ricci Archives in Rome, which I made use of in 1891 
and were not accessible to Fraikin, are better than those in the Secret 
Archives of the Vatican, on which his edition is grounded. 

4 See Gambara's letter in CREIGHTON, V., 330 seqq. 


of Cremona, but conducted it with his usual timulity 
and dilatoriness. On the 3rd of September the Marquis 
of Saluzzo at last arrived, bringing with him only four 
thousand five hundred Frenchmen. Guicciardini was now 
urgently calling on the Duke to raise the siege of Cremona 
in order that he might devote himself to the capture of 
Genoa, in Giberti's opinion an object of the first importance. 
Before the city a fleet of Papal, Venetian, and French ships 
had assembled and the siege had begun ; but capture was 
out of the question without the co-operation of land forces. 1 
The distress within the city had reached the highest pitch, 
and the appearance of the Duke's army before the walls 
would certainly have led to the surrender of this strong- 
hold, but he seemed only to seek for pretexts to avoid 
action. When Cremona at last capitulated, on the 25th of 
September, the League gained little thereby. 2 In Rome, 
meanwhile, the certainty of victory had given place to 
fears of defeat ; Giberti himself had well-nigh lost all heart. 3 
The war dragged on while the allies, and especially the 
Pope, were finding the want of money almost insupportable. 
On the 1st of August the secretary of the French Embassy, 
Raince, described the condition of Clement VII.: "I 
was with his Holiness yesterday, and do not think that 
I ever before saw a man so distracted, depressed, and care- 
worn as he was. He is half ill with disappointment, and 
said to me several times that he had never thought he 
could have been treated in such a way. You have no 

1 Cf. Doria's letter in BALAN, Mon. saec., XVI., 375. 

2 GUICCIARDINI, XVI I., 4 ; SISMONDI, XV., 247 seq. ; CIPOLLA, 904 
seq. Canossa hoped that the capitulation of Cremona, then imminent, 
would counterbalance the misfortune of the Colonna raid. *Letter to 
F. Robertet, dated Venice, September 24, 1526 (Communal Library, 

3 Cf. his letter to Canossa, August i, 1526 (Communal Library, Verona). 


idea what things are said about us by persons of high 
standing in the Curia, on account of our delays and our 
behaviour hitherto. The language is so frightful that I 
dare not write it. The ministers of his Holiness are 
more dead than alive. You can picture to yourself that the 
enemy will make use of the situation." 1 

To Moncada, who had never left the Colonna, the 
moment appeared to have come to carry out the Emperor's 
advice, and to take vengeance on the Pope. The way in 
which he set to work betrayed the politician trained in the 
school of the Borgia. His plan was to lull Clement into 
security by means of a reconciliation with the Colonna, to 
bring about the disarmament of his troops, and then to fall 
upon the defenceless Pope. 2 

The enterprise succeeded beyond all expectation. The 
first step of importance was to discover exactly the Pope's 
feelings and position and to deceive him as regards the 
intentions of the Colonna. The sojourn of Moncada in 
the castles of this family was likely to arouse strong sus- 
picion, therefore throughout July the Colonna maintained 
an appearance of perfect quiet. 3 That he might keep in 

1 GRETHEN, 119, gives a German translation of the interesting 
letter, corroborated by SANUTO, XLIL, 437, and VILLA, Asalto, 20. It 
may be permitted to give here the original text of the principal passage : 
*Et ne pense pas avoir jamais veu homme plus trouble, plus fasche ne 
plus ennuye que luy et tant mal content qu'il en estoit a demy malade 
et me diet franchement qu'il n'eust jamais pense qu'on 1'eust traite de 
ceste sorte . . . . et sont les dits bons ministres de Sa S t6 en tel 
deplaisir qu'ils sont plus morts que vifs (Fonds frang., 2984, f. 25, 
National Library, Paris). 

2 Moncada informed the Emperor of his views with perfect frankness 
on September 14, 1526. GAYANGOS, IH., i, n. 545. Cf. VILLA, Asalto, 
24 seq. 

3 *Li Colonesi si stanno senza fare demonstratione e qui si sta pacifico. 
G. de 5 Medici, Rome, July 12, 1526 (State Archives, Florence). 


touch with affairs in Rome, Sessa, who had fallen ill at 
Marino, asked the Pope's leave to return in order to have 
medical treatment. Clement VII., himself a sufferer ;it 
the time, gave his permission. 1 In the Eternal City, where 
the plague was raging, Sessa's illness soon took a fatal 
turn ; but he still had time to show gratitude for the 
favour granted to him by letting the Colonna and Moncada 
know in what straits the Pope found himself, especially in 
his finances. 2 The Colonna had been busily increasing 
their forces, 3 but to outward appearance had kept perfectly 
quiet. On the I2th of August the Florentine envoy 
reported : " No anxiety is felt from the quarter of the 
Colonna nor from Naples. They are much more frightened 
for themselves on account of the Venetian fleet expected at 
Civita Vecchia." 4 On the i8th of August Sessa died. 5 
Shortly before, a fresh Ambassador from Francis had 
presented himself before Clement, the historian, Guillaume 
du Bellay, Sire de Langey. It was soon understood that 
he only brought general assurances of his master's goodwill. 

1 Clement VII. was suffering from a cough, and an " indispositione 
di schiena." ^Report of F. Gonzaga, August 5, 1526. The latter states 
that there was an improvement on August 14 (Gonzaga Archives, 

2 VETTORI, 367. Cf. *report of G. de' Medici, Rome, August 5, 1526 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

3 *I1 sig. duca di Sessa, don Ugo et questi Colonesi sono pur a 
Grottaferrata . . . et ogni d\ augmentano la gente che vene dal 
regno. F. Gonzaga, Rome, August 2, 1526 (Gonzaga Archives, 

4 *Delle gente de Colonesi e del regno si sta senza paura e loro sono 
in grandissimi suspect! per la venuta delle galere. G. de' Medici, 
Rome, August 12, 1526 (State Archives, Florence). 

6 *F. Gonzaga reports on August 14, 1526, Sessa's serious illness 
and his death on the 2ist. *G. de' Medici more precisely reports on 
August 17, 1526, that he had the terzana, and on August 18 : "II 
ducha di Sessa hoggi s' e morto" (State Archives, Florence). 


The Florentine envoy who reports this adds : " Here all is 
quiet, and no suspicions are aroused." 1 Instead of bringing 
the expected help, the French agent produced fresh claims 
on behalf of Francis ; he demanded a tenth of the Church 
revenues of France for his sovereign and a Cardinal's hat 
for the Chancellor Du Prat. This must have put the Pope 
in great ill humour. 2 

Moncada now held that the moment was propitious 
for entering into negotiations with Clement At the same 
time the Colonna were suddenly to assume a threatening 
attitude and take possession of Anagni. Moncada asked 
Clement to give him a free hand in the settlement of the 
affairs of Italy, but afterwards backed out of the transaction, 
leaving it to the Colonna alone to draw the Pope into the 
trap laid for him, since by a settlement of their quarrel 
Clement would not formally violate his pledges to the 
League. 3 Vespasiano Colonna, son of Prospero, played the 
part of mediator. 4 In him, from an early period, Clement 
VII. had placed special confidence ; hard pressed by want of 
money, he listened to the proposals of reconciliation made 
by Vespasiano in the name of his whole house. In spite 
of Giberti's warnings a treaty with the Colonna, to which 
Moncada was a party, 5 was signed on the 2Oth of August 

1 *L' huomo del re christianissimo, che era a Venetia, e venuto qui. 
Jeri fu da N. S. insieme col s. Alberto [Carpi]. Confirrna il medesimo 
ditto per altre a V. S. del buono animo et volunta del re verso le cose de 
Italia. Cosi confirma Ruberto per sue lettere et che presto se ne vedera 
la experientia. . . . Qui la terra si sta quieta et senza suspecto. G. de' 
Medici, Rome, August 17, 1526 (State Archives, Florence). 

2 Cf. GRETHEN, 122, and specially BOURRILLY, 26 seq. 

3 GRETHEN, 122. The report of N. Raince here cited (August 20) 
is now published in Bullet. Ital., I., 226 seq. 

4 *A Brief of July 13, 1526, called Vespasiano Colonna to Rome. 
Arm., 39, vol. 46, n. 209 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

6 *Io don Hugo de Muncada fo fede per la presente sottoscripta de 


1526; they undertook to evacuate Anagni and withdraw 
their troops into the kingdom of Naples. The Pope 
pardoned all past injuries, removed the monition against 
Cardinal Colonna, and guaranteed to the whole house the 
possession of their properties. 1 On the 26th of August 
the secretary of the Spanish Embassy, Perez, wrote in 
triumph from Rome that the Pope, since his treaty with 
the Colonna, felt himself perfectly safe ; he was in great 
want of money, and dissatisfaction in Rome was increasing. 2 
Relying on the treaty, Clement, whose first object was 
to reduce expenditure, notwithstanding warnings of all 
sorts from those around him, 3 cut down the garrison of Rome 
to five hundred men, 4 and resumed his negotiations with 

mia propria mano come lo accordo tractate et concluso da questi 
s ri Colonnesi con la S ta di N. S. a li XX d' Agosto e stato con mia 
saputa et volunta parendomi ben facto per alcune cose concernente el 
servitio de la Ces. M ta (Dat.) Mareni XX. Ag. 1 526. (Signed) D. Ugo de 
Moncada. (Colonna Archives, Rome, II., A 18, n. 10.) 

1 SANUTO, XLII., 481 seq.\ GUICCIARDINI, XVII., 5; Jovius, 
Pomp. Columna, 156; GRETHEN, 123. *The Brief of Absolution for 
the Colonna (a poena rebellionis et crimine laesae majest. propter 
non observatam prohibitionem congregandi milites et occupat. civit. 
Anagniae), dated August 24, 1526, Arm., 39, vol. 46, n. 252-253 (Secret 
Archives of the Vatican). *Die veneris ultima Augusti 1526: S. D. 
N. fecit verbum de induciis factis cum dom. de Columna et mandavit 
ut de cetero non portentur arma per urbem. *Acta Consist, of the 
Vice-Chancellor in the Consistorial Archives of the Vatican. 

2 GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 521 ; cf. n. 504, 519, 521, 526, 536. 

3 Cf. the *Vita di Clemente VII., in Arm., XI., vol. 116, f. 5 b of the 
Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

4 According to CORNELIUS DE FINE'S *diary, Clement VII. had 
only two hundred soldiers in his service besides the customary guard 
(National Library, Paris). This statement is probably correct, bearing 
in view Clement's unfortunate parsimony (JOVIUS, Columna, 1 56). Cf. 
also the despatch of Casella in SALVIOLI, XVII., I. Acciaiuoli, in a 
*letter to Gambara from Blois, September 17, 1526, thus expresses 
himself on the agreement with the Colonna : *Tale accordo non pal 


the Ambassador of France. With a reference to the un- 
trustworthy accounts given by Sanga, he complained bitterly 
that French support was slow in coming, and in order to 
stimulate Francis to some enthusiasm for the war, he 
proposed that the latter should have Milan as his share of 
the booty, thereby totally surrendering all thought of 
Italian independence. 1 

While these discussions were taking place came the 
disastrous news of the total destruction of the Hungarian 
army by the Turks at Mohacs. Clement was profoundly 
shaken, and in a Consistory on the ipth of September 1526. 
spoke of going to Barcelona to treat of peace in person. 
Yet he was still anxious, first of all, to break the excessive 
power of the Emperor, who at that very moment was 
equipping his fleet with all energy 2 and, according to 
reports current in Rome, was threatening to pass over 
into Italy and to renounce his obedience. 3 

Clement had not yet recovered from the alarm 
caused by the Turkish victory when he was prostrated 
by the announcement that the Colonna, with more than 
five thousand men, had appeared at Anagni with the 
avowed intention of marching upon Rome. 4 The Pope, 

molto honorevole per S. S ta , nondimeno viene a posare le spese per 
la guardia di Roma che non erano poche et assicurarsi delle insulte 
loro (Ricci Archives, Rome). 

1 Cf. BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 513 seq.> 709 seq., and BOURRILLY, 
27 seq. See also the ^despatch of G. de' Medici, August 25, 1526 
(State Archives, Florence). 

2 Cf. the ^despatches of G. de' Medici, September 6 and 16, 1526 
(State Archives, Florence). 

3 Cf. the ^despatch of G. de' Medici, August 25, 1526, in Florentine 
State Archives. See also VILLA, Asalto, 20 seq., and BAUMGARTEN, 1 1., 
514. For the Consistory of September 19, 1526, see Appendix, No. 35. 

4 SANUTO, XLII., 681, 700, 724, 727. For the raid of the Colonna, 
the prelude of the sack of 1527, cf. also the ^letters of Giberti to 

HIE COLON N.\ 329 

who had hitherto refused to believe in the treachery of 
Vcspasiano, 1 gave orders that the gates of the city should 
be closed and that troops should be raised on the following 
morning. But it was already too late; the enemy, led by 
Vespasiano and Ascanio Colonna, as well as by Cardinal 
Pompeo, had marched with such furious speed they 
must have covered sixty miles in four-and-twenty hour.^ - 
that in the early morning of the 2Oth of September, 
they were already before the walls of the defenceless city. 
By a stratagem they got possession of the Porta S. 
Giovanni and two other gates and made their way, without 
meeting any hindrance, through the city as far as the SS. 
Apostoli. Their rendezvous was the Colonna palace, 
where they rested for three hours and refreshed themselves 

Sanga and Gambara, September 20, 1526 (Bibl. Pia, 123, g seq., Secret 
Archives of the Vatican); the ^reports of Albergati, September 21, 
22, and 25, 1526 (State Archives, Bologna) ; the ^letters of F. Gonzaga, 
September 21 and 23, 1526 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua; see App. 
36 and 37); Casella's report in SALVIOLI, XVII., 2; the letter of 
Landriano, Rome, September 21, 1526 (State Archives, Milan); a 
passage in DE LEVA, II., 376 seq. ; the report in BUDER, Sammlung 
ungedruckter Schriften, 561 seq. ; Negri's letter (see infra, p. 332 seq.} ; 
du Bellay's account in BAUMGARTEN, II., 713 seq. ; the letters in 
VILLA, Asalto, 27 seq., 30 seq., and GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 571, 
573 ; the *letter of Francesco Bandini to his brother Marco, Rome, 
September 24, 1526, in Tizio, Cod. G, II., 40, f. 251 (Chigi Library, 
Rome); MiglioreCresci, Storiad' Italia (Cod. Ashburnh., 633, Laurentian 
Library, Florence) ; two letters of Acciaiuoli to Gambara of October 
i and 5, 1526 (Ricci Archives, Rome); ALBERINI, 330 seq. ; Attilius 
in BALUZE, Miscell., IV., 517 ; Blasius de Caesena in CREIGHTON, V., 
327; LANCELLOTTI, III., 112 seq., 115, 122; GUICCIARDINI, XVIII., 
5 ; Jovius, Columna, 157 seq. ; Vettori, 368 seq. ; SEPULVEDA, I., VI., 
c. 40. Also a number of interesting points in the Diary of CORNELIUS 
DE FINE in the National Library, Paris. 

1 JOVIUS, Columna, 1 56. 

2 VETTORI, 368. 


with food and drink. On hearing of the raid, the Pope, 
who was in deadly terror, sent two Cardinals to the 
Colonna, and two others to the Capitol to call upon the 
Romans for protection. These messengers effected noth- 
ing; the people, bitterly incensed by the recent taxation, 
attributing every hardship and irregularity of government 
to Clement himself, and hating him besides for his excessive 
parsimony, showed themselves much less inclined to take 
up arms than to allow the Colonna to proclaim themselves 
their masters. The latter had done no one any harm ; it 
was much more likely that they had come to free Rome 
from Papal tyranny. This feeling, indeed, was so wide- 
spread that the cry for freedom found many echoes, and 
the Colonna were hailed with joy. 1 Thus it was that the 
Romans quietly watched the inroad of these marauders as 
if it were a spectacle ; they showed the same inaction when, 
towards mid-day, the wild hordes again set themselves in 
motion and advanced further into the city with shouts of 
"Empire, Colonna, Freedom!" 2 They took possession 
of the Ponte Sisto, moved quickly along the Lungara, 
stormed the Porta S. Spirito, stoutly defended by Stefano 
Colonna, who adhered to the Pope's service, and spread 
themselves in plundering parties over the Vatican quarter. 

1 *S. Pontifex nullum praesidium habuit a Romanis ; fecit edictum, 
ut sumerent arma et renuerunt sumere arma, quia Colonenses venerant 
ad eos magnis persuasionibus, quod venissent ad urbis liberationem, 
quia multum angariebantur a s. pontefice quotidianis insuetis exac- 
tionibus, et ideo Romani potius gavisi sunt quam contristati in tali 
praedatione et vilipendio s. pontificis. *Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE, 
National Library, Paris. 

2 F. Gonzaga in his ^despatch, September 20, 1526 : *In Roma non 
e stato fatto pur un minimo disordine [in GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd 
ed., 468] alcuno, et questi Signori dicono non volere che si faccia 
dispiacere a persone della cittk, e gridasi Imperio, Colonna e liberta 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 


The Pope, who had at first intended, like Boniface VIII., 
to await his enemies seated on his throne, had, by mid-day, 
yielded to the persuasions of those around him and taken 
flight, by the covered way, to the castle of St. Angelo. 
The few Swiss who remained in the Vatican offered no 
serious resistance. Soon the Vatican, St. Peter's, and ,i 
great portion of the Borgo were in the hands of the 
marauders, plundering and destroying unchecked. They 
shrank from no infamy or sacrilege. Relics, crosses, sacred 
vessels, and vestments were stolen, and even the altar 01 
St. Peter was stripped of its costly ornaments and profaned. 
Soldiers were seen wearing the white garments and red 
cap of the Pope, and giving in mockery the solemn Papal 
blessing. 1 " Such deeds of shame," wrote a German, then 
dwelling in Rome, in his diary, " have not been heard of 
for centuries, and are an abhorrence to all Christian 
men." 2 A Venetian recalled a prediction that the altar 
of St. Peter would be plundered, and compared the 
ravages of the Colonna with those of the Turks. 3 

The costliest loot was found in the Vatican, where 

1 *Et chi se montato in una mula adidosso con le veste di raso 
bianco del papa et la sua berettina rossa foderata di armellini et va 
dicendo la benedizione gridando a Fiorenza, a Fiorenza. Bandini in 
the ^letter quoted supra, 328, n. 4 (Chigi Library, Rome). 

*Res a sacculo inaudita, stupenda, inopinata, nunquam ab aliquo 
praemeditata res et non considerata in dedecus s. pontificis et sedis 
apostolicae et totius religionis christianae . . . . Et illi nebulones non 
veriti sunt induere indumenta s. pontificis in derisum illius. Illi qui 
conducebant tormenta curulia erant induti purpureis vestibus s. ponti- 
ficis, alii dabant benedictionem habentes pileum s. pontificis in capite 
in conternptu ejusdem, res a saeculo non audita, nefanda et omnibus 
christianis verecunda. *Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE in the National 
Library, Paris. 

3 Cf. the reports in SANUTO, XLII., 690, 697, 700-702, 723 seq. t 
725, 727 seq. 


Raphael's tapestries and the Papal tiara fell into the 
plunderers' hands. Girolamo Negri, Secretary of Cardinal 
Cornaro, has described in detail and as a spectator the 
havoc wrought in the Vatican and its precincts in the 
late afternoon of that horrible 2Oth of September 1526. 
"The Papal palace," so recounts this eye-witness, "was 
almost completely stripped even to the bedroom and 
wardrobe of the Pope. The great and the private 
sacristy of St. Peter's, that of the palace, the apartments 
of prelates and members of the household, even the 
horse-stalls were emptied, their doors and windows 
shattered ; chalices, crosses, pastoral staffs, ornaments of 
great value, all that fell into their hands, was carried off 
as plunder by this rabble ; persons of distinction were 
taken prisoners. The dwelling and stable of Monsignor 
Sadoleto were plundered ; he himself had taken refuge 
in St. Angelo. Almost all the apartments on the 
corridors were treated in like manner except those of 
Campeggio, which were defended by some Spaniards. 
Ridolfi lost everything ; Giberti had removed some of 
his articles of value, but lost not a few. Among other 
damage, his porcelain, worth 600 ducats, was broken in 
pieces. Messer Paolo Giovio, in his History, will be 
able to recall misfortunes like those of Thucydides, 
although he, with a presentiment of harm, had concealed 
in the city, some days before, the best of his belongings. 
Members of the Emperor's party, such as Vianesio 
Albergati and Francesco Chieregati, found that circum- 
stance availed them nothing as regarded the safety of 
their persons or their property. Berni was plundered out 
and out ; they searched for his correspondence with Giberti, 
which he had carried on as Sanga's substitute, but had to 
desist owing to an alarm. The coffers of all the clerical 
offices, those of the Piombi, of the Secretariat, and so forth, 


were cleared out. Very little, in short, was left uninjured. 
A good round sum for drink money saved the library." 
While all the houses in the Borgo Vecchio uere 
plundered, their inhabitants ill-treated and carried off 
as captives, the plunderers did not venture to molest 
the Borgo Nuovo. That was swept by the heavy 
artillery of the fortress, and everything that showed 
itself there or along the walls of the approach to St. 
Angelo was within range of fire. " At last," says 
Negri in conclusion, " whether the enemy were tired 
out, or had had enough of pillage, or were afraid that 
the Romans might, after all, come to the rescue of the 
Pope, they withdrew in such disorder that a very small 
body of troops could have routed them and taken their 
booty from them. A few lingered behind the others as 
far as the Ponte Sisto, but afterwards betook them- 
selves back to the haunts of the Colonna faction." The 
total damage was estimated at 300,000 ducats. 1 

The Pope had thought, for a moment, of acting on the 
defensive; 2 but since the castle of St. Angelo, owing to 
the carelessness of the castellan, Guido de' Medici, and the 
greed of the treasurer, Cardinal Armellini, 3 was not 
sufficiently provided with either victuals or soldiers, he was 
forced that very evening to confer, through the Portuguese 
Ambassador, with Moncada. The latter, much to the 
disgust of Colonna, who had thought of besieging the Pope 
in St. Angelo, visited the Pontiff, handed back to him his 

1 Lett. d. princ, I., 104 seq. ; cf. REUMONT, III., 2, 179. V. Alber- 
gati estimated the damage at 200,000 ducats. *Letter of September 
22, 1526 (State Archives, Bologna). 

2 Reported by N. Raince ; see GRETHEN, 127. A *I3rief to Perugia, 
September 20, 1526, called for aid in defence of Rome (Communal 
Library, Perugia). 

3 VARCHI, I., 58. 


silver staff and the tiara which had been stolen, and assured 
him that Charles had never sought the supremacy over 
Italy. Nevertheless, their negotiations had no result. 
On the following morning Moncada returned and had a 
long interview with the Pope, while the Cardinals waited 
in an adjoining room. 1 The treaty which Clement, on 
the 2ist of September, in spite of the counter-repre- 
sentations of Carpi and the Venetian envoys, considered 
himself forced to accept, was very unfavourable. The 
terms were : an armistice for four months ; the Pope to 
withdraw his troops and fleet ; full pardon for the Colonna 
and their dependents ; their troops to accompany Moncada 
to Naples; as sureties Filippo Strozzi, the husband of 
Clarice de' Medici, and a son of Jacopo Salviati to be given 
as hostages to Moncada. 2 

On the 22nd of September the Colonna, in great confusion 
and laden with precious spoils, withdrew to Grottaferrata. 
Their leaders, especially the Cardinal, were extremely dis- 
satisfied ; they had hoped to have become complete masters 
of Rome and to have deposed and perhaps killed the Pope. 
Moncada, on the other hand, who had sent the Emperor a 
triumphant account of the success of the raid, considered 
that his object, the disruption of the League, had been ac- 
complished. He deceived himself; neither the Colonna 
nor the Pope intended to keep their treaty. The former 
protested, as they thought that Moncada had overreached 

1 Cf. in App. No. 36 the *report of F. Gonzaga, September 21, 
1526 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

2 Cf. SANUTO, XLIL, 701, 722 seg., 728 ; Jovius, Columna, 158 seq. ; 
RAYNALDUS, 1526, n. 21 ; PROFESSIONE, Dal trattato di Madrid, 39 
seq. ; BOURRILLY, 30. The text of the treaty is in MOLINI, I., 229- 
231 ; cf. LANCELLOTTI, III., 116 seq. Jovius, Columna, 159, goes the 
length of saying that the restitution of the stolen Church property was 
agreed to. There is not a word of this in the text of the treaty. 


them, while the latter could not get over the humiliation 
inflicted on him by his own vassals, and thought it his 
duty to vindicate his reputation by the punishment of the 
guilty on the first opportunity. 1 Clement felt specially 
grieved at the ingratitude and disloyalty of Vespasiano 
Colonna, whom he had treated like a favoured son ; nor 
was he less distressed by the behaviour of the Romans ; 
he even spoke of leaving Rome for a length of time in 
order that the inhabitants might know what Rome was 
without the Pope. The Cardinals, too, were highly in- 
dignant at the unheard-of acts of violence and sacrilege 
that had been committed, and called for summary 
punishment. 2 

In such a state of feeling special representations, such as 
were now made to the Pope by the Venetian envoy, were 
hardly necessary. Domenico Venier pointed out in spirited 
terms that in the matter of cunning Moncada was no better 
than the Colonna ; that preparations for war must be made, 
since the Emperor, on the first possible opportunity, would 
lead his army into Italy, now that he saw how easy it was 
to take possession of the city and bring the head of the 
Church into subjection. 3 In Rome it was said that if the 

n. 572; JOVIUS, Columna, 158.1??.; HKI.I. \\ic-, 58; SlSMONDl, XV.. 
253 ; BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 714. For Cardinal Colonna's views 
see in Appendix, No. 37, the *despatch of F. Gonzaga, September 23, 
1526 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). Clement VII., in his *Bull against 
the Colonna, says himself that the raid had been made with the 
avowed intention of taking the person of the Pope alive or dead ; 
Cardinal Pompeo intended to be elected Pope by force. *Bull : Sacro- 
sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae, dat. Romae, 1526 (st. fl.), X. Cal. Mart., 
A 4, Regest., 1441, f. 50* (Secret Archives of the Vatican), Cf. 
Appendix, No. 45. 

2 Jovius, Columna, 158 ; SANUTO, XLII., 728 ; VILLA, Asalto, 28. 

3 SANUTO, XLII., 730. 


Pope submitted tamely to the unprecedented insult offered 
to him he might as well lay down the triple crown and 
withdraw from the world as a solitary. Guicciardini, the 
Commander-in-Chief of the Papal troops, was, on the con- 
trary, most urgent in his counsels that he should adhere to 
this disgraceful treaty that had been extorted from him. 
Clement, as a matter of fact, soon showed that he had no 
inclination to do so. It was not his intention either to 
leave the Colonna unpunished or to withdraw from the 
League. He certainly ordered Guicciardini to withdraw 
across the Po, but he gave him secret instructions to leave 
as many troops as possible with Giovanni de' Medici, who, 
as he was in the French service, was still a member of the 
League. 1 

In order to get help from France and England, Clement 
sent, by the 24th of September, Paolo d' Arezzo to Francis I. 
and Girolamo Ghinucci to Henry VIII. 2 At the same 
time he addressed personally to the French King, who 
had hitherto confined himself to empty promises, a long 
letter containing a harrowing account of the inroad of the 

1 GUICCIARDINI, Op. ined., IV., 393 seqq.^ 423 seqq. ; VETTORI, 
371. Cf. DE LEVA, 378. 

2 *In questi insulti, li quali sono stati grandissimi e vituperosissimi 
perho che hanno saccheggiato S. Petro, la quale cosa mai fo fatta, il 
papa ha mandate ambasciatori al Imperatore, al Christianissimo et 
al re d' Inghilterra. Paolo Fiessi, Rome, September 26, 1526 (State 
Archives, Modena). Paolo d' Arezzo also went to Spain to see the 
Emperor ; see PIEPER, Nuntiaturen, 70. The letter of credence from 
Francis I. to Clement VII., dated St. Germains [1527], February 13, 
refers to his return ; Lettere d. princ., IX., f. 223 and 225 (Secret 
Archives of the Vatican). In addition to the letter of credence of 
Paolo d' Arezzo published in MOLINI, I., 235 seg., there is another from 
Clement VII. to Antonius Archiepiscop. Senon. mag. Franciae cancell., 
dated Rome, September 24, 1526. Original in National Archives, 
Paris, L 357. 


Colonna, accompanied by the most pressing appeals for 
help. 1 On the 26th of September a monition was published 
against participation in the raid. 2 Two days later the 
Pope assembled the Cardinals in Consistory to discuss his 
own situation as well as that of Hungary. He declared 
himself ready for extremities ; his own wish was to take 
part in the Turkish war or to proceed to Nice to arrange 
a peace between Francis and Charles. The majority, 
especially the older Cardinals, recommended that he should 
take his departure soon and go on board the galleys lying 
ready at Civita Vecchia, "with what ulterior thought 
in their heads, God knows!" remarked the French Am- 
bassador's secretary. Farnese, on the contrary, who was 
considered the cleverest and most experienced of the 
Cardinals, raised objections which gave Clement so much 
ground for reflection that he again gave up his schemes 
of travel. 3 The news from upper Italy also influenced 
him in this decision. 4 

The determination of the Pope to remain in Rome 
necessitated measures to prevent another onset of the 
Colonna ; this appeared to be all the more necessary as 
in the beginning of October they were again arming, 5 and 

1 See the text in FRAIKIN, 128 seq. ; cf. Melang. d'Archeol, XVI., 

2 Cf. LANCELLOTTI, III., ngseq. 

3 Besides ** the report of N. Raince, September 30, 1526 (National 
Library, Paris), cf. GRETHEN, 129 seq.\ GAYANGOS, III., I, n. 574; 
and *Acta Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor of September 28, 1526 
(Consistorial Archives of the Vatican). Cf. also * the letter of Canossa's 
to Alberto di Carpi of October 6, 1 526 (Communal Library, Verona). 
In the solemn *Bull against the Colonna quoted sufira, p. 335, n. i, 
Clement VII. says his plans of travel were frustrated by the raid of the 

4 Cf. supra, page 323, and GRETHEN, 129. 
6 SANUTO, XLIII., 55. 

VOL. IX. 22 


their friends were plundering boldly in the Campagna. 1 
But the task was a difficult one in view of the enormous 
expenses already caused by the war. 2 A sale of seats in 
the Sacred College was proposed ; Clement, however, who 
on this point felt much more strongly than his con- 
temporaries, gave a decided refusal. 3 A committee of 
Cardinals now made other proposals for raising the money 
required ; the Roman and Tuscan clergy were to con- 
tribute; 4 in that way the city would be fortified and 
garrisoned most expeditiously. By the I3th of October 
seven thousand men had been collected in Rome. 5 In 
the presence of these preparations Moncada gave way to 

1 See Casella's ^report (State Archives, Modena), quoted by 

2 Cf. DE LEVA, II., 367. 

3 Cf. the despatch of Landriano, October n, 1526 (State Archives, 
Milan), partly given by DE LEVA, II., 368. 

4 Die veneris 28 Sept. 1526; [S. D. N.] deputavit quinque rev mos 
Cardinales ad cogitandum et inveniendum modum pecuniarum 
pro conservatione status et dominii S. R. E. *Acta Consist, of the 
Vice-Chancellor (Consistorial Archives of the Vatican). A result of 
the conference is to be seen in the *Bull for the erectio of a mons 
fidei(cf. COPPI, 3 seq. ; RANKE, L, 8th ed., 266 seq.}, dated 1526 XIV. 

Kal. Nov. [19 Oct.], Clem. VII., Secreta, 1440, f. 274 a f., in Secret 
Archives of the Vatican. Cf. FRAIKIN, LXVIL, note 2. CORNELIUS 
DE FINE in his * Diary (National Library, Paris) reports on the 
subsidies given by the Cardinals, and the burdens imposed on the 
Roman and Tuscan clergy in October 1526. 

6 Cf. SANUTO, XLIII., 32, 55; VILLA, Asalto, 29, 35; SALVIOLI, 
XVII., 7; Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris), 
and the ^despatch of F. Gonzaga, Rome, October 13, 1526 (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). On October 23 Clement VII. appointed lo. Ant. 
Pulleo, baro Burgii as Commissary-General for all the troops in Rome 
and its neighbourhood raised to prevent another raid of the Colonna. 
*Min. brev., 1526, II., vol. 12, n. 535 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 
Casella reports on October 8, 1 526 : * N. S re continua pur fare fortezze 
e bastioni (State Archives, Florence). 


open threats 1 which only strengthened the Pope in his 
determination to take measures of precaution. One night 
the whole garrison of Rome was given the alarm in order 
to prove with what rapidity the male population could 
assemble in the event of a second raid. 2 

By the end of October Clement thought himself strong 
enough to undertake the chastisement of the Colonna. 3 
New and far-reaching promises of the French King, who 
had expressed his definite intention of entering Italy at 
the head of his forces to protect the Apostolic See, had 
filled him with confidence and courage. 4 On the /th of 
November the Cardinals, assembled in Consistory, deter- 
mined to issue citations upon Pompeo Colonna and the 
other members of his house who had taken part in the 
raid. The Apostolic Chamber opened in due form the 
process against the collective participators in the raid. 
The proceedings against the Cardinal were held before 

1 ^Report of N. Raince, October 9, 1526 : " II vient d'heure en heure 
nouvelles des braves parolles de Don Hugues qui menasse plus que 
jamais N. S. Pere et Rome " (Fonds franc.., 2984, f. 81, National Library, 

2 Cf. besides SANUTO, XL 1 1 1., also VILLA, Asalto, 37 scg., and 
the * Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris), and 
the ** despatches of Casella, October 4, 1526 (State Archives, 

3 Casella * reports, October 29, 1526 : " Qui si fanno preparation alia 
guerra. Tutto 1' giorno giongono fanti novi e 1' artiglieria" (State 
Archives, Modena). See also the * report of Perez to Charles V., 
Rome, October 22, 1526, in the Biblioteca de la Acad. de la Hist, in 
Madrid, Col. Salazar, A 39, f. 50. 

4 Acta Consist, in FRAIKIN, LXVI., note 3. As soon as Francis I. 
received a written account of the raid of the Colonna he sent at once 
on October 5, 1526, a * letter to Clement VII. in which he expressed 
his indignation and announced the dismissal of the S r de Langey. 
Lett. d. princ., IX., f. 267 and 274 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 
Cf. FRAIKIN, 142. 


the Consistory. 1 As Pompeo, who was at Naples, dis- 
regarded the citation, but appealed 2 to a Council, pro- 
ceedings against him were begun on the i6th of November, 
ending, on the 2ist, with sentence of deprivation of all his 
dignities. 3 

1 Die mercurii 7 Novembris 1526: Referente S. Dt N. decrevit 
monitorium de consilio reverendissimorum dominor. Cardinalium 
contra dom. Cardinalem de Columna et alios dominos de Columna in 
monitorio exprimendos [The Monitoria against Pompeo and others of 
his house, published as pamphlets on the 7th and loth of November, 
are in TIZIO, * Hist. Senen., Cod. G, II., 40, f. 266 and 270 (Chigi 
Library, Rome)] ut infra 9 dies compareant *Acta Consist, of the 
Vice-Chancellor in the Consistorial Archives of the Vatican. Cf. a 
^despatch of F. Gonzaga, Rome, November 12, 1526: "il monitorio 
del Card. Colonna fu publicato venerdi sera . . . . e stato attacato 
in palazzo et in qualche altro luogo di Roma" (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua). See also LEBEY, 368, the ^despatch of G. de' Medici, Rome, 
November 8, 1526 (State Archives, Florence), and the recapitulation 
of the whole proceeding (declaration of the invalidity of the extorted 
treaty, citation and trial) in the solemn *Bull against the Colonna, 
dated 1526 (st. fl.), X. Cal. Mart. A 4, in Regest, 1441, f. 47-64 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

2 GUICCIARDINI, XVII., 5. I found in the Cod. 41 (Appendix) of the 
Library of Leyden * the Convocatio concilio generalis super privatione 
Clemen tis VII., per Pomp. Card. Columnam, dated November 13, 
1 526, and, as far as I know, not yet published. Counter to this appeal 
was drawn up the document entitled *Ad sanct. D. N. Clementem 
VII. P. M. Petri Albiniani Tretii j.u.d. Consultatio de concilio generali. 
Copy of the dedication in Cod. Vatic., 3664, Vatican Library. 

*Die veneris 16 Novembris 1526 dom. Marius de Peruschis 
procurator fiscalis unacum dom. Hippol. de Cesis, camerae apost. not. 
accusavit contumaciam rev. dom. Pompei cardinalis de Columna 
S. E. R. vicecanc., et S. D. N. admisit contumaciam et conclusit in causa. 
Die mercurii 21 Nov. 1526: Cardinalis de Columna privatus fuit 
galero et dignitate card, necnon omnibus officiis et beneficiis suis. 
*Acta Consist. (Consistorial Archives of the Vatican). Cf. the report 
of Perez in GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 620, the * despatch of F. Gonzaga, 
November 20, 1526 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua), and the "^despatch 


The campaign against the Colonna had, meanwhile, 
begun before the expiration of the four months' armistice 
agreed upon in the treaty of the 2ist of September. Vitello 
Vitelli commanded the Papal troops, which advanced 
victoriously amidst frightful devastation : Marino, Monte- 
fortino, Gallicano, Zagarolo, and other places were taken 
and partly destroyed. Only Paliano and Rocca di Papa 
withstood all attacks. 1 

The proceedings at the scene of war in Lombardy 
occupied the attention of the Pope no less than the 
fighting in the Campagna ; there the allies, in spite of 
the withdrawal of the Papal forces, were still stronger than 

of G. de' Medici, November 21, 1526 : " Questa matina in consistorio e 
suto private il card. Colonna ne s' e anchora preso deliberatione della 
cancellaria et altri beneficii teneva." In the following week steps were 
to be taken against the Conti di Sarni for his share in the sacco de 
Colonnesi (State Archives, Florence). See also the Milanese report 
in Oesterr. Notizenblatt, 1858, 227 ; Arch. Stor. Ital., 5 Series, XIV., 
50 ; KALKOFF, Forschungen, 32, note, and the * Diary of CORNELIUS 
DE FINE (National Library, Paris). See also the Bull of January i in 
SAGGIATORE, I., 307 seg., which belongs, however, to 1527 and not to 

1 For the war against the Colonna f/, with GUICCIARDINI, XVII., 
5, and Jovius, Columna : Lettere de' principi, I., 105'', II., i9i b ; 
SANUTO, XLIIL, 236, 244 seq. ; GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 615; VILLA, 
Asalto, 47; SALVIOLI, XVII., u ; the letter of F. Gonzaga in Arch. 
Stor. Ital., App. II., 293-294; the * despatch of Capino da Capo, 
employed in the Papal service (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua) (and partly 
made use of by GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 480) ; the *reports of 
Landriano of November 24 and December 8 and 16, 1526 (State 
Archives, Milan), and the following ^despatches of G. de' Medici, 
Rome, November u, 13 (the battle of Paliano), 27th (Pompco Colonna 
very ill. " II campo di N. S. si unir;\ a Valmontone et non forzera 
Palliano ne Rocca di Papa"), December 4 (the Pope had had the 
artillery brought back, as most of the Colonna strongholds had been 
taken), in State Archives, Florence. Lastly, there is an interesting 
description in CORNELIUS DE FINE'S* Diary (National Libi 


the Imperialists ; yet the Duke of Urbino did nothing 
decisive, and the Marquis of Saluzzo maintained a like 
inactivity ; thus time was given to Charles V. to prepare 
himself. Important aid came to him from Germany 
through George von Frundsberg. The famous leader of 
the landsknechts pawned his towns and possessions in 
the Tyrol, even his beloved castle of Mindelheim, the 
cradle of his race, together with the personal ornaments of 
his wife. By this means he was able, it is true, to raise 
only 38,000 gulden; but none the less, when his trumpet 
sounded the rally, there streamed to him from all sides 
young men fit to carry arms, especially those of the new 
creed. " Many enemies, much honour," said George ; he 
was determined with God's help to come to the rescue of 
the Emperor and his people, since it was clear as day that 
the Pope was oppressing Charles, his noble army, and the 
house of Colonna. He held to it that it would be pleasing 
to God and mankind that the Pope, the instigator of the 
war, the Emperor's greatest enemy, should be punished 
and hanged, should he have to do it with his own hand. 
Within three weeks more than ten thousand lusty soldiers, 
eager for plunder, had been gathered in the Southern Tyrol, 
each provided with the fee of a golden gulden. Stout 
and valorous captains such as Schertlin von Burtenbach 
and Conrad von Bemelberg likewise joined him. 

The passes between the Lago di Garda and the Adige 
were held by the troops of the Duke of Urbino. But 
Frundsberg's brother-in-law x pointed out to the wild bands 
of landsknechts a way over the mountains between the 
lakes of Idro and Garda, a breakneck path where the men 
had to clamber like the chamois. By this passage they, 
on the iQth of November, reached the territory of Brescia 
without mishap, and thence, with little molestation from 
1 The Count of Lodron. 

KKUNDSI;I;K<; IN i IAI.Y. 343 

the enemy, into the confines the so-called Serraglio of 
Mantua. Here, enclosed on the west by ditches and a wall, 
on the south by the To, and on the east by the Mincio, 
the landsknechts ought, according to the plans of the 
Marquis of Mantua, to have been entrapped and taken. 

When Frundsberg, on the 23rd of November, reached 
Borgoforte, he found that the ships promised him by the 
Marquis were not there. As he saw that he had been 
deceived, he took care to secure the bridge of Governolo, 
the only egress from the Serraglio. Into what danger they 
had fallen the Germans found out for themselves when, on 
the following morning, the allies, commanded by the Duke 
of Urbino and Giovanni de' Medici, appeared at Borgoforte 
and tried to drive off Frundsberg's troops from the narrow 
causeway leading to Governolo ; " but the landsknechts, 
armed with their hand guns, stood like a wall, turned at once 
to face the enemy, and when the latter drew near, made 
them retreat and drove them back." Thus they reached 
Governolo in safety, where money, provisions, and some 
artillery belonging to Ferrara fell into their hands. Duke 
Alfonso, who had been treating, for a long time, with both 
parties, 1 went over finally to the side of the Emperor. At 
the very beginning of the fight the bold Giovanni de' 
Medici, the leader of the " Black Band," was wounded, and 
on the 3Oth of November the man on whom the League 
and the Pope had placed all their hopes died of his wounds. 
Frundsberg, who had previously, on the 28th of November, 
effected his passage across the Po, now advanced on 
Guastalla ; from this point he threatened the Papal forces 
encamped at Parma and Piacenza.' 2 

1 Cf. CIPOLLA, 902. 

2 Cf. the reports in GASSLER, 50 scq., 56 seq. (letter of Frundsberg'sX 
and Canossa's *letter to Francis I., dated Venice, November 2. \ 
(Communal Library, Verona). See also REISSNER, Historic der Frunds- 


The news of the advance of the landsknechts, the 
accession of the Duke of Ferrara to the Imperialist side, 
and the fatal injuries of Giovanni de' Medici, reached Rome 
in the last days of November, 1 when the city was in 
dangerous agitation owing to taxation, plague, and famine. 2 
Almost at the same time yet another alarming piece of 
intelligence arrived; Charles de Lannoy, with the Imperial 
fleet, was approaching the coasts of Italy. 3 Clement now 
saw himself threatened from the sea, just as on the north 
he was exposed to the landsknechts bent on plunder and 
filled with hatred of the Pope. His fear was greater than 
ever, and he knew not whither to turn. 

berge, 81 seq. ; BARTHOLD, 377 seq., 385-392 ; Osterr. Revue, VIII. 
(1864), 132 seq. ; GAUTHIEZ, Jean des Bandes Noires, Paris, 1901, 315 
seq. For the hopes placed on Giovanni de' Medici see BENOIST, 
Guichardini, Paris, 1862, 44. 

1 The news of the muster of the landsknechts in Bozen reached 
Rome on November 6 in 1526 ; see F. Gonzaga's report in Arch. Stor. 
Ital., App. II., 293. Guicciardini's letters gave information of the 
forward on-rush of the terrified inhabitants ; see the * despatch of 
Galeotto de' Medici, November 30, 1526 (State Archives, Florence). 
For the alarm of the Pope, see the report of N. Raince, November 30, 
1526, in GRETHEN, 131, n. i. For the death of Giov. de' Medici, see 
GUICCIARDINI, XVII., 5 ; VETTORI, 372, and especially the letter of 
P. Aretino in Arch. Stor. Ital., N. S., IX., 2, 136 ; at the end he says : 
" E. Firenza e Roma (Dio voglia che io menta) tosto sapra cio che sia il 
suo non esserci ; e gik odo i gridi del Papa che si crede haver 
guadagnato nel perderlo." This last assertion is a calumny, as shown 
by the Briefs published by GUASTI from the Secret Archives of the 
Vatican in the Arch. Stor. Ital., 5 Series, II. , 200 seq., from which it 
is proved that the news of Medici being wounded reached Rome on 
November 30, and the announcement of his death on December 4. 
Cf. also Arch. Stor. Ital., App. II., 295, and GAUTHIEZ, Jean des Bandes 
Noires, 315 seq. 

2 CyiSALViOLi, XVII., 12. 

3 Cf. the ^despatches of G. de' Medici, dated Rome, November 17, 
19, 28, and 30, 1526 (State Archives, Florence). 


According to the report of the Milanese envoy 
Landriano on the 28th of November, Clement was most 
deeply affected by the desertion of the Duke of Ferrara to 
the Emperor. " The Pope," wrote Landriano, " seemed 
struck dead. All the attempts of the Ambassadors of 
France, England, and Venice to restore him were in vain. 
Unless something unexpected takes place he will make a 
peace or some day take flight. He looks to me like a 
sick man whom the doctors have given up. From France 
nothing is heard, and this drives everyone to desperation." 1 
A few days later the same envoy wrote in bitter derision 
that neither gold nor troops come from France, nor any 
news other than that the King is amusing himself well with 
dancing, "and we are more dead than alive. Here, in 
Bologna and Modena, we are arming in frantic haste, but it 
will avail nothing. The extreme necessity of the hour will 
force us to an agreement with the enemy."' 2 The situation 
was such that even the Secretary of the French Embassy, 
Raince, admitted frankly that without speedy help from 
Francis I., the Pope could make no further resistance or 
stay longer in Rome. Clement himself had done all that 
was possible ; foreign help, in all probability, would now 
come much too late. 3 

1 See in Appendix, No. 39, the *despatch, in cipher, of Landriano, 
November 28, 1526 (State Archives, Milan). 

2 See in Appendix, No. 41, the ^despatch, in cipher, of Landriano, 
December 2, 1526 (State Archives, Milan). 

3 See the * letters of N. Raince, Rome, November 26 and 27, 1526 
(Appendix, No. 38) : " Sire Sa S ta se trouve de plus en plus encourag 
et deplaisant et tant estonne et esbay quil ne scayt de quel cote' se 
tourner." Fonds franc.., 2984, f. 109, 113 (National Library, I 

Cf. the passages in Carpi's letter, November 29, 1526, in GRETHEN, 
137, note 2; and SANUTO, XLIII., 349 seq., 356 seq. See also 
VETTORI, 373, and a cipher * report of Landriano, November 28, 
1526 (State Archives, Milan). 


On the 3<Dth of November the Cardinals consulted what 
was to be done. Three courses were proposed : pardon, 
flight, or an armistice. The opinions were divided ; pardon 
was seen to be impossible, flight was ignominious and full of 
danger; it was determined as the best expedient to open 
negotiations. Quinones, the General of the Franciscans, 
who was much beloved by the Emperor, was entrusted with 
the difficult mission, 1 and by the 2nd of December he had 
started to meet Lannoy. 2 The Pope waited with indescrib- 
able anxiety for further reports. All thought of flight from 
Rome seemed closed to him, for he knew that Cardinal 
Colonna would either summon him before a Council or 
procure his own election as antipope. Schonberg and 
his friends never ceased to work upon the harassed 
Pope by representing to him these dangers, while Carpi, 
Cardinal Trivulzio, Giberti, and the rest of the French 
party exerted themselves in the opposite direction. The 
fate of Florence lay nearest to Clement's heart, for there 
disturbances had broken out and the advance of the lands- 
knechts had caused many to flee, taking with them their 
wives, children, and goods. 

In Rome also a panic of the same kind had arisen on 
the arrival of Lannoy in the harbour of San Stefano, from 
whence he could also march either on Florence or Rome. 

1 Cf. in Appendix, No. 40, the ^despatch of G. de' Medici, Nov- 
ember 30, 1526 (State Archives, Florence), and *Acta Consist, of the 
Vice-Chancellor in the Consistorial Archives of the Vatican. 

2 See the ** despatch of G. de' Medici, December 2, 1526 (State 
Archives, Florence): *Die lunae December 3, 1526; "S. D. N. fecit 
verbum de adventu viceregis in Italiam cum classe Caesaris." The 
Pope, at the same time, announced the mission of Penaloza, who 
delivered a letter from Charles V. in which the latter tried to clear him- 
self in the matter of the excesses committed by the Colonna. * Acta 
Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor in the Consistorial Archives of the 

THE POPE \v.\\! 347 

On the evening of the 2Qth of November Lannoy again set 
sail, and on the 1st of December he reached Gaeta. The 
galleys of the League which had been intended to hinder 
his approach reached San Stefano two days too late. " It 
really seems," wrote the Secretary of the French Embassy, 
Raince, to Montmorency, " that all reasonable calculations 
are miscarrying, and that things could not turn out better 
than they are doing for the Imperialists." 1 

By a special Nuncio the Pope, on the 6th of December 
1526, let Francis know what the dangers were into which 
he had fallen. 2 All, except Giberti, were then advising the 
Pope to come to terms with the Emperor's party. 3 That 
even this partisan of France took the worst view of the 
situation is clear from his correspondence. "We are," 
Giberti wrote on the yth of December to the English 
Nuncio Gambara, " on the brink of ruin ; fate has let loose 
upon us every kind of evil, so that it is impossible to add 
to our misery. It seems to me as if sentence of death had 
been passed upon us, and that we are only awaiting its 
execution, which cannot be long delayed." 4 But with the 
arrival of more favourable news concerning the help to be 
expected from France, Giberti at once changed his mind. 

Clement, a prey to anxiety and impatience, had in the 
meantime sent Schonberg also to Naples to treat with 
Lannoy as to terms. The Pope himself was wavering : on 
the nth of December he told the Florentine envoy that 
his heart was no longer in the war, since the allies were so 
tardy in their support and the conflict only increased the 

1 See the *report of N. Raince to Anne de Montmorency, December 
4, 1526, in the National Library, I'aris, MS. franc.., 2984, f. 117. 

2 Cf. FRAIKIN, 178 seq. 

3 Despatch of Landriano, December 4, 1 526 (State Archives, Milan) ; 
partly in DE LEVA, II., 404. 

4 Lett. d. princ, I., 82 ; cf. II., i;7 b . 


Emperor's power. 1 The conditions offered by Lannoy, 
which Quifiones brought back on the evening of the I2th 
of December, seemed to Giberti very hard and only accept- 
able in the last extremity. 2 Lannoy demanded a six 
months' truce, besides a war indemnity to be agreed upon 
later on, Ostia and Civita Vecchia or Parma and Piacenza 
being in the meantime held as preliminary guarantees ; at 
the same time he seemed inclined to force on this ex- 
ceptional peace by armed force. Still stronger pressure 
was used by Perez, the Secretary of the Spanish Embassy, 
acting probably on an understanding with Lannoy, who on 
the same day, the I2th of December, presented to the Pope 
with all official formality a series of documents setting forth 
with unprecedented harshness all the Emperor's com- 
plaints of the Papal policy, and threatening Clement with 
a Council. 

1 ^Despatch of G. de' Medici, Rome, December 11, 1526 (State 
Archives, Florence). For the Pope's irresolution, see especially 
GRETHEN, 141. Canossa was strongly opposed to any agreement 
between the Pope and the Emperor. Cf. Arch. d. Soc. Rom., XXI II., 
285 seq. 

2 Cf. Lett. d. princ., II., 182. G. de' Medici reported on December 
12, 1526 : *Questa sera e arrivato il generale et ha parlato a lungo con 
N. S. Porta di far una suspensione d' arme per sei mesi con li cautioni 
de P observantia da 1' una banda et da 1' altra, et di piu chiedono una 
contributione di denari durante la suspensione. S. S ta spaccia questa 
nocte al rev. di Capua (State Archives, Florence). 



IN order to form a just estimate of Charles V. in his 
opposition to Clement VII., we must represent to ourselves 
the part played by the Emperor in connection with the 
raid of the Colonna. Before Charles had been more fully 
informed of the Pope's hostile intentions he had already, 
on the nth of June 1526, instructed his Ambassador in 
Rome that if Clement did not show himself compliant he 
should be driven out by means of the Colonna and a 
revolutionary movement set up in the States of the Church. 1 
While the Emperor, in this way, signified his approval of 
the treacherous and piratical manoeuvre so unworthy of 
him, 2 which Moncada carried out by means of the Colonna 
on the 2Oth of September, he was giving the Papal Nuncio 
Castiglione assurances of his filial submission to the Holy 
See. 3 As soon as the raid had successfully taken place, 
Moncada advised the Emperor to express to the Nuncio 
and Clement his great grief at the acts of violence done 

1 Cf. supra, p. 310 seq. Already, on May 10, 1 526, Sessa had advised 
that either concessions should be made, to secure the friendship of the 
Papal party, or that "their wings should be so plucked that they could 
no longer fly." GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 419 ; HELLWIG, 28. 

2 Opinion of GREGOROVius in the Beilage zur Allg. Zeitung, 1876, 
No. 205. 

3 C^SERASSI, II., 53-54. 



by the Colonna and to make known to the princes of 
Christendom how repugnant such occurrences had been to 
his views and wishes. 1 Before the Emperor, then staying 
in Granada, couid give effect to this advice, 2 he had already 
taken a fresh step against the Pope. On the I3th of 
August he announced publicly, for communication to the 
Christian world, that the aggression of the French, the 
Pope, and other Italians forced him to take up arms. 
Moncada was fully empowered to confirm the Duke of 
Ferrara in the possession of all his fiefs held from the 
Empire. 3 

In pursuing his contest with the Pope, Charles had 
recourse also to the advice of learned canonists. The 
latter were to expound to him in particular how far and 
under what circumstances an Emperor owed obedience to 
the Pope, and whether the former would be justified in 
refusing payment of half the annates and in declaring war 
against the supreme Pontiff, if he were called upon to do 
so. Castiglione, who reported upon these consultations, said 
the views differed, yet all had aimed at pleasing Charles. 
In a report in cipher he also observed that most secret 
consultations had been held as to the way in which the 
Emperor could proceed against the Pope, and whether he 

1 MlGNET, Rivalite, II., 244. 

2 Charles V. followed this advice scrupulously and even wrote to 
Perez as if he had been in ignorance of the plan (cf. GAYANGOS, III., 
i, n. 6 1 1-613 5 GRETHEN, 136). The autograph letter of apology to the 
Pope, which was delivered by Cesare Fieramosca, is in LANZ, I., 296- 
298, but is post-dated incorrectly April 1529. The words "Je me 
excuse du sac qui a este fait du saint siege en sacquant Peglise de 
S. Pierre et votre s. palais" show plainly that the sacco by the Colonna 
is meant, and not that of 1527. MARTINATI, 50, aptly calls Charles's 
protestations to Castiglione "una vile commedia" (see SERASSI, 
II., 98). 

3 GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 510, 511 ; GRETHEN, 132. 


was bound to subject himself to excommunication aiul 
crnsmvs and a thousand other evils. 1 

Such was the state of opinion when the severely worded 
Brief of the 23rd of June was handed to Charles. The 
presentation of this all-important document was made on 
the 20th of August by Castiglione, who had not yet 
received the second and milder communication with the 
order to withhold the first. The Brief caused Charles 
deep resentment, especially as there were about him 
those who knew how to fan his justifiable agitation into 
extreme anger; Gattinara, 2 who was sore at not receiving 
the Cardinalate, was active in this direction. Charles 
concealed his inward displeasure ; he spoke, it is true, 
of a council before which he would vindicate himself 
from the Pope's charges, but, on the whole, he remained 
outwardly calm, and used, as he had done previously to 
Castiglione, the most fervent expressions of devotion to the 
Holy See. 3 Meanwhile a bulky state-paper was drawn up 
which exceeded in its language even that of the Brief, and 
opposed to the one-sided statement of the Pope another 
not less one-sided on the part of the Emperor. 4 

1 SERASSI, II., 6 1, 62. Cf. also VILLA, Asalto, 20-21. The judg- 
ment of M. Cano on Charles V., quoted by CANOVAS DEL CASTILLO, 
Asalto, 35, cannot belong to this time, since Cano was still a student 
in 1527 ; he was not ordained priest until 1531. 

2 SANUTO, XLIII., 96. It was even believed among the party of 
the League that Gattinara aimed at becoming Pope himself in the 
event of Clement's deposition by a council; see * letter of Canossa's 
to Francis I., dated V T enice, December 16, 1526 (Communal Library, 

3 Cf. SERASSI, II., 68, 70, 73, 77, 79; BAUMGARTEN, Charles V., 
II., 521. 

4 The state-paper was printed at the instance of the Imperial 
Chancellor (see SERASSI, II.. 145 146), in the spring of 1527, at A 

(cf. SANDOVAL, I., xv., c. 18 ; see also WEISS, Pap. d'Etat, I., 279 sfq.), 


In the opening of this document, dated "Granada, Sep- 
tember 17, 1526," prominence was given to the fact that the 
Brief of the 23rd of J une, handed in by the Nuncio on the 
2oth of August, was couched in language neither becoming 
in the Chief Shepherd of Christendom nor consonant with 
the " filial devotion " which Charles had always shown 
towards the Apostolic See and the Pope. It was necessary 
to reply in some detail, as the Emperor was not conscious 
of blame and could not allow his unsullied reputation to 
be assailed. He had always shown himself to be a great 
lover of peace, and had aimed only at the peace and freedom 
of Italy. Let the Pope consider whether his present 
behaviour was in keeping with his pastoral office ; whether 
he ought to have drawn the sword that Christ had ordered 
Peter to replace in its sheath ; whether he had a right to 
weaken the forces of Christendom and to strengthen its 
enemies, the heretics. When his Holiness, at the beginning 
of his Brief, lays stress on the necessity of pardon, the 
position is not an intelligible one, since no one has injured 
the Pope's honour and dignity. In order to make his state- 
ments more credible, the Brief describes a " long tragedy," 
recounts what is in keeping with the Papal conception, but 

then in the autumn at Mainz by Job. Schoffer (Pro divo Carolo .... 
apologetici libri duo nuper ex Hispania allati, pp. 19-85), and at Antwerp. 
To this last edition, the mistakes in which are censured by EHSES, 
Concil., IV., xxiv.-xxv., belong the extracts in Goldast, Raynaldus, 
and Le Plat. I made use of the Mainz edition, which, although not 
free from errors, is yet much more correct than that of Antwerp. For 
more modern writers cf. GRETHEN, 132 seq. ; HEFELE-HERGENROTHER, 
IX., 486 seg., and BAUMGARTEN, II., 518 seq. Canossa had very 
early intelligence of this Imperial state-paper. In a *letter to Giberti 
from Venice as early as October 27, 1526, he says that he has heard 
"da una lettera o volume dello Imperatore a N. S re piena di molte 
querele, sdegni e minaccie e frale altre di concilio" (Communal Library, 


passes over in silence everything that explains the real 
course of affairs. To show clearly the real sequence of 
facts, the state-paper refers back to the position assumed 
by the Papacy in the question of the Imperial election ; the 
many marks of favour shown by the Emperor to Clement 
when he was Cardinal are stated with clear precision ; the 
events of the most recent years are set forth very thoroughly 
The object of the whole representation is to brand Clement 
VII. with disloyalty, and to justify Charles in his treatment 
of disputed Italian questions (Milan, Reggio, Modena). 
This is done in exceedingly " energetic, compact " language, 
not without an admixture of sophistry. 1 Many passages 
are marked by a refinement of sarcasm ; as when it is 
said that it is incredible that the Vicar of Christ on earth 
should acquire for himself worldly possessions at the cost 
of a single drop of human blood, since this would be in 
direct contradiction to the teaching of the Gospel. In 
another place it is specially pointed out that the Pope 
would not have lost the praise due to a good shepherd and 
father if he had kept himself aloof from plots and alliances 
against the Emperor. In other respects also severe charges 
are brought against Clement. His conduct has not tended 
to protect the safety of Italy and Christendom, nor even 
that of the Holy See, which seeing that no one was coming 
forward to attack it stood in no need of weapons and 
troops. In consequence of this the Pope has destroyed 
the means of protecting the Holy See, has squandered the 
treasure of the Church, and acted in opposition to Christ 
Himself and to the hurt of Christendom. The Pope cannot 
justify his deeds before God or men. It is evident if such 
language may be used that he has only occasioned 
scandal and destruction to the Christian commonwealth. 
Clement VII. might remember that the Curia draws greater 



revenues from the Emperor's dominions than from any 
other countries. If the Pope is as anxious for peace as is 
the Emperor, let him lay down his arms, and it would then 
be easy to combat the errors of the Lutherans and other 
heretics. If, on the contrary, his Holiness disregards the 
Emperor's defence, insists on maintaining war and opposing 
himself to the general peace in which case he is acting 
not as a father but as a party leader, not as a shepherd 
but as a hireling the Emperor will then be forced, seeing 
that no other higher judge can be appealed to, to turn 
to a Holy General Council of collective Christendom, in 
whose hands it shall be left to decide on all questions in 
dispute. At the end of his indictment Charles solemnly 
appeals to the judgment of this Council, which the Pope 
shall summon in some safe and fitting place within limits 
of time to be definitely settled. 

Since the days of Frederick the Second and Louis of 
Bavaria no ruler of Germany had addressed such language 
to Rome. There were many passages in which Charles 
used language " of which no follower of Luther need have 
been ashamed." l It was at one with the notions of the 
draftsman of the paper, Alfonso de Valdes, who was 
steeped in the spirit of Erasmus the humanist. 2 

On the 1 8th of September 1526 the document was offici- 
ally handed over to Castiglione, the Papal Nuncio, who 
entered a protest against such an uncivil reply, and then 

1 RANKE'S opinion, Deutsche Gesch., II., 2nd ed., 389. Cf. supra, 
p. 353, the passage (line 17) where the evangelica doctrina is mentioned. 
EHSES (Politik Clemens VII., 581) says : "The Imperial state-paper is 
perhaps the most violent document addressed in that century by a 
Catholic sovereign to the Pope." 

2 BOEHMER, Bibl. Wiffeniana, L, 84 seq. ; BAUMGARTEN, Charles V., 
II., 520, note i, and 632 seq. ; cf. HOMENAJE A MENE"NDEZ Y PELAYO, 
L, 388. 


went on to point out that it was only in consequence of 
belated instructions that the Brief of the 23rd of June had 
been presented, 1 and that he was most painfully surprised. 
Hitherto Charles, in his conversations with him, had always 
evinced a most conciliatory temper ; even as regards the 
Brief of the 23rd of June he had shown diplomatic self- 
restraint ; the second and more temperate Brief of the 25th 
had, Castiglione felt certain, restored the Emperor to perfect 
composure. 2 Charles, indeed, had solemnly assured him 
that his answer, even if he appealed to a council, would be 
so gentle that the Pope would have no cause to complain 
of it. 3 And now there came this official paper! In great 
anger Castiglione complained to Gattinara and to Charles 
that he had been deceived, and felt it an affront that he 
should have been expected to transmit such a violent and 
insulting reply. 4 It was of really little use that the 
Imperial Chancery, on this very i8th of September, 
drew up an answer, in corresponding terms, to the more 
moderately expressed Brief. 5 The conciliatory and friendly 
words which the Emperor continued to address freely 
to Castiglione 6 and others had quite as little meaning. 
He adhered inflexibly to the standpoint of his paper of the 
1 7th of September. 7 Indeed, in the letter addressed to the 

1 Cf. supra, p. 351. 

2 SERASSI, II., 86 seq. 

3 Ibid., II., 88. 

4 See Castiglione's report from Granada, September 20, 1526, in 
SERASSI, II., 90-93. 

6 Pro divo Carolo apologetic! libri duo, 90-92. RAYNALDUS, 1526, 
n. 44. 

6 SERASSI, II., 98 seqq. 

1 Cf. GRETHEN, 134. According to this author, it was Quinones to 
whom the Emperor caused to be conveyed, on September 26, a reassur- 
ing answer concerning the Council (cf. infra, p. 356, n. I ). But HEI 
(56, note 3) has now shown that Quinones had again left the Imperial 


Cardinals on the 6th of October, he went still further and 
endeavoured to stir up an anti-Papal schism. If his Holi- 
ness, he wrote, will not summon a council, then the 
Cardinals, " in conformity with legal right," must do so. 1 

In thorough keeping with the Emperor's embittered 
feeling was the insulting manner in which Perez, the 
Secretary of the Embassy, communicated to the Pope his 
master's message. Perez had received the document on the 
9th of December. He kept its existence a close secret until 
the 1 2th, when a Consistory was held. On that day he 
appeared unexpectedly with a Spanish notary and Spanish 
witnesses before the Cardinals surrounding the Pope and 
handed to Clement the state-paper, and to the Cardinals 
the letter of the 6th of October. Immediately after leaving 
the hall he had an act to notify their delivery drawn up 
by his notary. Consequently the news of the Emperor's 
demand for a Council was at once spread through Rome. 2 

Court on September 8. Charles's declaration cannot, therefore, have 
been made to him. The correctness of Hellwig's assumption that 
Quinones' departure had taken place much sooner than GRETHEN 
(124, note) supposes, is made clear not only from Farnese's instructions 
(WEISS, Pap. d'Etat, I., 298 seq.\ but also from GUICCIARDINI, XVII. 
6. Cf. also PlEPER, Nuntiaturen, 70, note 4. From a * Brief of 
June 7, 1526 (Secret Archives of the Vatican, Arm., 40, vol. 11, n. 317), 
it is further evident that Quinones was then still in Rome, and that 
there was no intention of sending him to Spain. 

1 The best copy of the letter is in, Pro divo Carolo apologetici libri 
duo, 93-99. For the contents cf. EHSES, Concil., IV., xxv. In a letter 
of September 26, 1526, Charles took a more proper view, with regard 
to the Council, in insisting that it belonged to the Pope and to no 
other to summon the Council. BUCHOLTZ, III., 47, note. 

2 Perez to the Emperor, December 15, 1526. GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 
633 ; cf. Pro divo Carolo apologetici libri duo, 100 seg., and SANUTO, 
XLIII., 494, 580. The accounts of the proceedings in Consistory after 
Perez' departure are contradictory. In SANUTO, XLI 1 1., 494^ it is said 
expressly, in an extract from the report of the Venetian Ambassador of 


Two days later Perez had an audience of Clement VII. 
in order to communicate to him a letter which the 
Emperor had written to Cesare Fieramosca. "Why," 
asked the Pope irritably, " have you not brought a notary 
with you on this occasion as well, so that the delivery of 
this letter might also be certified?" Perez, according to 
his own account, had the audacity to deny altogether the 
notarial act of the I2th of December. "But," so he 

December 19 : "in concistorio ha fatto lezer il protesto li ha mandate 
Cesare, che non si facendo 1' accordo, chiamerk un Concilio general 
contra il Papa." Landriano reports to the same effect in a * despatch, 
found by me in the State Archives, Milan, dated December 12 (see 
Appendix, No. 42). The Emperor's letter of complaint was read in Con- 
sistory on December 12, but not the "letter to the Pope and Cardinals" 
(that is, the letter of October 6). But in contradiction to this we have the 
express statement of Perez, in his report to the Emperor of December 
1 5 (see supra, p. 356, n. 2), that he had exerted himself to have the letters 
delivered by him to the Consistory also read in that assembly. He 
was aware that this had not been done, but that the Cardinals were 
acquainted with the contents of the letters. In agreement with this 
the *Acta Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor, in the Consistorial Archives 
of the Vatican, have, on December 12, only the entry shown below (see 
infra, p. 359, n. 4) ; on the other hand, the entries for Dec. 19 (App. No. 43) 
state expressly that Cardinal Cesi read a letter of twenty-five pages from 
the Emperor to the Pope, dated Granada, September (the day is not 
given) 1526, and a letter from Charles to the Sacred College. Perez, 
in a report of December 24 (GAYANGOS, III., i, n. 642), says that the 
Imperial letter of October 6 was read in a Consistory held on December 
21 ; he then relates that a dispute arose amongst the Cardinals whether 
the Emperor had a right to summon a council, and it was decided that 
an answer should be sent to Charles by a commission of Cardinals. This 
commission met in the beginning of 1527. Perez reported on January 
10, that it was said that the commission was unanimous on all points 
except the question of the Council; GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 3. On 
January 26 Perez reported again on the great difference of opinion 
among the Cardinals as to the Emperor's rights over the Council. 
The Cardinals were displeased with the sharp terms of the Emperor's 
missive ; ibid., n. 9. 


himself relates, "when I perceived that the Pope had 
observed the whole proceeding and had seen the notary, 
whom he knew quite well by sight, and the witnesses, 
I was obliged to admit that I was acting by the 
express command of your Majesty." " In that case," 
answered the Pope, " if you had given me notice before- 
hand, I should not have prevented the letter being read 
in Consistory." Further excuses from Perez he cut 
short by bringing the audience to a close; but to the 
Portuguese Ambassador he remarked that he would, in 
case of necessity, make use of the Emperor's letter in self- 
defence. 1 

That the Imperialists were determined on going to 
extremities is shown by the fact that Lannoy, step by 
step, increased his demands and ordered his troops to 
advance on Frosinone. 2 The acceptance of his conditions, 
which, in their final form, called upon the Pope to give 
up, as guarantees of peace, Parma, Piacenza, Ostia, and 
Civita Vecchia, and demanded the surrender by the 
Florentines of Pisa and Leghorn, would have meant the 
practical abolition of the temporal possessions of the Holy 
See. 3 In great agitation the Pope declared that, since 
they were determined to rob him of everything, it should 

1 Perez to the Emperor on December 15. 1526, in GAYANGOS, III., i, 
n. 633. The passages from the Acta Consist, of December 19, 1526, in 
Appendix, No. 43. 

2 Cf. GRETHEN, 141 seqq. 

3 See the *letter of Canossa to Giberti, dated Venice, December 16, 
1526 (Communal Library, Verona). Cf. DE LEVA, II., 406; GREGO- 
ROVIUS, 3rd ed., 482, and PROFESSIONE, Dal trattato di Madrid, 46 
seq. Carpi and other French agents were afraid, in spite of the open 
breach between the Pope and Emperor, that the latter should come to 
an understanding, and did their best to prevent one ; see the report of 
G. de' Medici, dated Rome, December 15, 1526 (State Archives, 


he done only by force and not under the nn'sf: of fair 
play. 1 

The recruiting of troops for the Papal army was pushed 
on in haste. In Rome, where the inhabitants, with a 
view to taking their share in the defence, were employing 
the best means for the security of the city, the famous 
engineer Sangallo, in whom the Pope placed special con- 
fidence, 2 was active. On the loth of December the warlike 
Legate Trivulzio joined the troops intended to oppose 
Lannoy. 3 Soon afterwards a monition was issued against 
all invaders of the Papal territories. 4 In closest alliance 
with Lannoy were the Colonna, still breathing vengeance, 
who always found strong support among the Imperialists 
in Naples. Perez had already, on the 4th and 5th of 
December, informed the Emperor that, sooner or later, the 
Colonna, with the help of the Viceroy and Moncada, 
would once more make war on the Pope and try to drive 
him out of Rome. 5 

Still greater than the danger threatening in the south 
was the peril slowly drawing nearer from the north. 

It was of the utmost importance for the development 

1 GRETHEN, 143. 

2 Cf. the *despatches of G. de' Medici from Rome, December 2, 4, 28, 
and 30, 1526 (State Archives, Florence); see also Perez' report of 
December 1 5 in VILLA, Asalto, 49 seq. 

3 *Die veneris in festo S. Ambrosii, 7 Decembris 1526 : Referente 
S. D. N. creavit rev. Aug. de Tivultio S. Theodori diac. Card, legatum 
de latere ad exercitum S. R. E. Die dominica, 9 Decembris : rev. 
d. Aug. Card, de Tivultio fuit publicatus legatus ad exercitum . . . et 
die sequent! profectus est ad castra. *Acta Consist, of the Vice- 
Chancellor in the Consistorial Archives of the Vatican. 

4 Die mere. 12 Decembris 1526: fuit decretum monitorium contra 
invadentes terras et subditos S. R. E. eisque dantes auxilium et favorem. 
*Acta Consist., loc. cit. 

6 GAYANGOS, III., 7, n. 628, 629. 


of events in upper Italy that the Pope, in spite of all 
negotiations, was unsuccessful in coming to an agreement 
with the Duke of Ferrara. 1 It was only with Alfonso's 
support that Frundsberg was able, at the end of November 
1526, to make the difficult passage of the Po and to 
carry the ravages of war into the states of Parma and 
Piacenza. Guicciardini, who was stationed here with 
Papal troops, implored the Duke of Urbino, but in vain, 
to come to his aid. The Duke remained on the other 
side of the Po to cover the territory of Venice. "The 
Emperor's luck," said Guicciardini, " is boundless ; but the 
limit has been reached, inasmuch as his enemies have 
neither the wits nor the will to make use of the forces at 
their disposal." 2 

Frundsberg did not seize any of the fortified towns on 
his route, but encamped in the territory of Piacenza, to 
await the arrival of the Constable de Bourbon and his 
army. The latter had the greatest difficulties to surmount 
with his mutinous and savage troops, who were clamouring 
with threats for their arrears of pay. On the 1st of February 
1527 he had been able at last to satisfy at least the army 
in Milan after, so he wrote to the Emperor, he had drained 
the city of its blood. De Leyva remained behind in Milan 

1 GUICCIARDINI (Op. ined, V., 145) considered this one of the chief 
mistakes in Clement's policy. Cf. GRETHEN, 138; SALVIOLI, XVI., 
279 seqq.) 284 seqq., 293 seqq., XVII., 4 seqq. Canossa also had always 
thought that it was of capital importance to win over Ferrara. Cf. 
especially his *letter to Giberti of August 4, 1526 (Communal Library, 
Verona). At the end of November Alfonso had informed the Pope 
that he had joined the Imperialists (HELLWIG, 62). Nevertheless, 
Cardinal Cibo, as late as December 21, 1526, was trying to allay the 
strife with Ferrara. (See the *brief of the above date to Cardinal Cibo ; 
the original is in the State Archives, Modena.) All attempts at a 
reconciliation were useless. See SALVIOLI, XVII., 14 seqq. 

* GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3 rd ed., 485 ; CIPOLLA, 910. 


with twelve thousand men; the remainder wi-nt south with 
Bourbon. In the days between the 7th and I2th of 
February the conjunction of Bourbon's army with that of 
Frundsberg took place not far from Piacenza. The host of 
nearly twenty-two thousand men 1 took, on the 22nd of 
February, the ancient Emilian Way; the advance was slow 
owing to bad weather and the painful scarcity of provisions. 
If the Duke of Ferrara had not sent frequent supplies of 
money and victuals, the highly dissatisfied and to some 
extent mutinous horde would undoubtedly have broken 
up. Never was there such a good opportunity of attacking 
the Imperial forces; nevertheless, the Duke of (Jrbino 
lay idle. Thus the former were able, although amid the 
greatest hardships, to march through Parma and Modena 
and to cross the. Panaro, the old river boundary of the 
States of the Church. On the 8th of March they encamped 
at San Giovanni, hardly a day's journey from Bologna. 2 

1 The data for the strength of the Imperial army are very weak. 
No trust can be placed in Ulloa's figures, reproduced by GREGOROVIUS, 
VIII., 3rd ed., 516 (20,000 Germans, 6000 Spaniards, 14,000 Italians). 
SALVIOLI'S calculation, XVII., 17 (30,000), and that of the writer in the 
Oesterr. Revue, VIII. (1864), 138 (32,000), are pitched too high. 
Ammirato and Reissner are nearest to the truth ; they count on 
about 14,000 landsknechts, 5000 Spaniards, 2000 Italians, 500 hommes 
d'armes, and 1000 light horse (see SISMONDI, XV, 272). This agrees 
with the important statement, hitherto unnoticed, in SANUTO, XLV, 
74 and 218, where the army is computed at about 22,000. In addition 
there were numerous camp followers. VETTORI also says (380) that 
the Imperial troops who entered Rome were not more than 20,000 
strong. M. CRESCI (*Storia d'ltalia, in the Laurentian Library; see 
supra, p. 328, note 4), enumerates : " 1 5,000 lanzi, 400 Spagnoli, 5000 
Italiani." Acciaiuoli, in a *letter to Gambara, gives the strength of the 
landsknechts thus: "17,000 fanti, 800 cavalli," and 12 cannon (Ricci 
Archives, Rome). 

- Cf. BARTHOLD, Frundsberg, 398 seqq., 404^7. ; SISMONDI, XV.. 
270 seqq. ; ClPOLLA, 914 scq. 


In the meantime there had been constant alternations 
in Rome of fear and hope, military preparations and 
negotiations for peace. During the first days of the year 
of misfortune 1527 Clement had addressed to Lannoy 
and the Colonna a solemn admonition to lay down their 
arms under pain of excommunication and, at the same 
time, had released Orazio Baglioni from his three years' 
imprisonment in St. Angelo and taken him into his pay. 1 
On the 4th of January Lannoy's ultimatum was presented 
to the Pope. 2 Four days later the long-expected envoy 
of Francis I., Renzo da Ceri, arrived, but without soldiers 
and without money. 3 " It would not have been so bad," 
thought even a friend of the French, Canossa, " if he had 
not come at all." 4 Instead of the necessary help Renzo 
brought fresh demands from his self-seeking sovereign : 
the cession of Naples to France. 5 The dissatisfaction and 
alarm of Clement were still more increased at this time 
by the growing scarcity of money 6 and the incessant 

1 SANUTO, XLIII., 579, 614, 615 ; VILLA, Asalto, 52 seq. ; BALAN, 
Mon. saec., XVI. , 397 seqq. ; TESEO ALFANI, 309 ; GRETHEN, 144. 
For the Consistory of December 27, 1 526, see FRAIKIN, 424 seqq. 

2 GRETHEN, 145. 

3 GRETHEN (146) is right in maintaining that Renzo came to Rome 
only on January 8, and not previously in December ; for the day 
mentioned is that given by SANUTO, XLIII., 632, *N. Raince, Rome, 
January 9, 1527 (" Le Seigneur Renze arriva hyer soir et fu devers S. 
S te ," National Library, Paris), and *Casella, Rome, January 8, 1527 
("II S. Renzo hoggi e entrato in Roma," State Archives, Modena). 
Giberti wrote to Gambara on January 24 : " Renzo e venuto senza un 
carlino" (Ricci Archives, Rome). 

4 PROFESSIONS, Dal trattato di Madrid, 48. 

6 Cf. GRETHEN, 146, who here describes well the character of the 
policy of Francis I. 

6 See SANUTO, XLIII., 633 seq., and *Min. brev., 1527, I., vol. 14, 
n. 13-15 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 


appeals of the Florentines to come quickly to terms with 
the Imperialists. 1 1 is fellow-countrymen depicted in the 
blackest colours the infernal horrors which might be let 
loose on Florence at any moment by Spaniards and 
landsknechts. Schonberg made similar representations; 
moreover, Clement was daily besought, with tears, by Clarice 
de' Medici, to deliver her husband, held fast in Naples as a 
hostage ; so that, as the Mantuan envoy remarked, the 
poor Pope, assailed thus on every side, was to be compared 
to a ship tossed hither and thither on the high seas by 
conflicting winds. 1 

Cardinal Farnese advised flight from Rome. "Things 
cannot go on thus," said the Venetian Ambassador; "the 
Pope has not a soldo left." Clement openly confessed 
his despair. He even declared that he would like to with- 
draw entirely from politics and confine himself exclusively 
to his ecclesiastical functions. 2 

The Pope's cares were made still heavier by the repre- 
sentations of a member of the Sacred College, who urged 
him to raise the necessary funds by a nomination of 
Cardinals and to anticipate the Emperor by summoning 
a council. The sale of Cardinals' hats had, at an earlier 
date, been decisively rejected 3 by Clement ; and even now 
he would hear nothing of it " from an honourable conscien- 
tiousness." 4 The thought of bringing these important 

1 See the *report of F. Gonzaga of January 10, 1527, in Appendix, 
No. 44 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). " L' Arcivescovo," Landriano 
stated in a cipher report of December 25, 1526, "pinge 1' inferno al 
papa se non si acorda. Non so quello fara S. S ta , sin qui mostra bon 
animo" (State Archives, Milan). 

2 SANUTO, XLIII., 633, 670, 701. 

3 Cf. supra, p. 338. 

4 GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 488; cf. the report of Landriano, 
dat. Rome, January 10, 1527 (State Archives, Milan), used by DE 
LEVA, II., 405. 


affairs into his own hands by means of a council was one 
which in itself pleased him ; yet he held back through 
the fear that his hands would be completely tied in re- 
spect of the nomination of Cardinals. So nothing definite 
was settled, and the plan came to nothing. But the situa- 
tion was one which imperatively demanded that he should 
make himself safe in Rome. On the I4th of January 
1527 Renzo visited the Papal forces encamped to the south 
of Rome and afterwards returned to the city, where the 
citizens were armed and organized on a war footing 
with all possible haste. 1 Lannoy's answer consisted 
in the reopening of hostilities by the siege of Frosinone, 
although the limits of the armistice 2 had not expired. 
Thereupon Clement, on the 23rd of January, called upon all 
the Neapolitan fief-holders to take up arms for the States 
of the Church. 3 At the same time he entered into closer 
communication with the Voivode of Siebenbiirgen, Joannes 

1 Cf. SANUTO, XLIII., 700, 715 ; VILLA, Asalto, 58; SCHULZ, 84- 
85 ; the **reports of F. Gonzaga of January 21 and 29, 1527 (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua), and the "^despatches of Casella, dated Rome, 
January 14, 1527 : "El Signer Renzi heri si transfer! all' exercito di N. 
S re " ; January 16 : " L' artegliaria di N. S., quale e in castel S. Angelo, 
si mette in ordine per cavarla fuori di ditto castello"; January 21 : 
Defensive preparations in Rome ; January 25 : " Qui si fanno fanti a 
furia et cosi come li fanno li mandano in campo" (State Archives, 
Modena). Copious disbursements for the military preparations are 
entered in the Mandata divers, dementis VII., 1527 (State Archives, 

2 Of September 1536 (see supra, p. 334). 

*Die mercurii 23 Januarii 1527: Discussion as to "publicatio 
litterarum apostolicarum contra Columnenses et viceregem, quibus 
hortantur omnes barones et feudatarii regni Neapolitani, ut arma 
capiant pro defensione personae suae [sc. papae] et terrarum S. R. E. 
prout fieri deberet, quia jam moniti non destiterunt, et fuit conclusum 
ut publicarentur." *Acta Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor in the 
Consistorial Archives and Secret Archives of the Vatican. 


Zapolya, who was contesting the crown of Hungary against 
the Emperor's brother. 1 While these warlike measures 
were in progress the negotiations of that strange time went 
steadily on. On the evening of the 25th of January, Cesare 
Fieramosca, accompanied by Schonberg and Quifiones, 
arrived in Rome with proposals for an armistice from Charles. 
They at once went to see Clement in the Belvedere. 2 

Fieramosca brought from the Emperor, who also con- 
tinued to employ very friendly language with regard to 
Castiglione, 3 the best assurances of his good-will towards 
the Holy See, but very hard conditions for the conclusion 
of a three years' peace : the restoration of the Colonna ; the 
payment of 200,000 ducats by the Pope and Florence, and, 
as security, the surrender of Parma, Piacenza, and Civita 
Vecchia into the hands of a third party. In spite of the 
opposition of the Cardinals, Clement VII., in his necessity, 
entered into the agreement on the 28th of January, 4 but the 
ratification of the treaty was postponed in order to allow 
of Venice being asked to give her adhesion ; an eight days' 
armistice was to be observed provisionally. 5 ' 

1 GRETHEN, 147-148; HUBER, III., 551 seq. 

2 See **the despatches of G. de' Medici of January 25, 1527 (State 
Archives, Florence). 

3 Giberti *wrote on January 24, 1527, to Gambara : "II Conte 
Baldassar scrive di Spagna con commissioni amplissime d' accordar 
con N. S. promettendo voler S. S ta per padre et tante buone parole 
che se havesse in animo osservarne la meta saremo felici" (Ricci 
Archives, Rome). 

4 For this cf. *Giberti to Gambara, on January 24 and February 2, 
1527 (Ricci Archives, Rome). 

6 Cf. SANUTO, XLIII., 758 seq., XLIV., 15 seq., cf. 101 ; VILLA, 
Asalto, 59 seq. ; GRETHEN, 149 seq. ; PROFESSIONS, Dal trattato di 
Madrid, 50. G. de' Medici reports fully on the negotiations in his 
^despatches of January 26, 1527. and following days (State Archives, 


Before the latter had run its course the state of affairs 
had undergone a fresh change. The ink of the treaty 
was hardly dry before the news arrived that Rene, Count 
de Vaudemont, the champion of the claims of the house 
of Anjou on Naples, had come from France with 30,000 
ducats, and that the envoy of Henry VIII., Sir John 
Russell, with a like amount, was on his way to Rome. 
This was enough to rekindle Clement's warlike spirit 
who very rightly placed no trust in Lannoy 1 to such an 
extent that Giberti, on the 29th of January, disregarding 
the armistice, gave orders to Cardinal Trivulzio to make 
an offensive movement. 2 On the 1st of February came 
Vaudemont, 3 and on the 2nd the Rector of the University 
of Rome mustered the students, fifteen hundred fine well- 
armed youths eager for service. 4 On the evening of the 
4th, beacons on the hills of Tivoli announced the defeat 
of Lannoy, "the greatest enemy of the Holy See," 5 at 
Frosinone. 6 After so many misfortunes, Giberti and the 
Pope rejoiced at this gleam of sunshine. On the 7th of 
February Andrea Doria arrived, and it was resolved to 

1 Cf. the interesting *report of G. de' Medici of January i, 1527 
(State Archives, Florence). 

2 GUALTERIO, Corrispondenza, 67 ; GRETHEN, 152 ; BROSCH, I., 98. 

3 SANUTO, XLIV., 33 ; GUALTERIO, 77 ; *G. de' Medici, dat. Rome, 
February i, 1527 (State Archives, Florence); ^Giberti to Gambara 
on February 2, 1527 (Ricci Archives, Rome). The ^letter of Francis 
I. to Clement VII., in which he asks that a favourable reception may 
be given to Vaudemont, is dated St.-Germain (1526), December 2. 
Lett. d. princ., IX., f. 292-293 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). Cf. 

4 G. de' Medici on February 2 : * " Hoggi ha fatto la mostra il retthor 
dello studio con piu di mille cinque cento istudianti bene armati et 
bella gioventu" (State Archives, Florence). Cf. Casella's **letter of 
February 2, 1527, in State Archives, Modena. 

6 SANUTO, XLIV., 34. 

6 *G. de' Medici on February 4, 1527 (State Archives, Florence). 


turn the victory to account by attacking Naples ; l and 
yet a conspiracy had first been discovered at Rome which 
ought to have been a warning to use extreme caution ! 

In order to create disturbances on the rear of the Papal 
army, Lannoy and the Colonna had joined themselves with 
the chief of the Orsini, Napoleone, Abbot of Farfa. This 
turbulent man was offered pay in the Imperial service and 
the daughter of Vespasiano Colonna with a dowry of 
30,000 ducats. In return Napoleone bound himself to give 
free passage through his domains to the troops of Charles 
V., commanded by Ascanio Colonna, and to procure, by 
means of an adherent in Rome, the opening of one of the 
city gates. At the same time Orsini was to assemble all 
his troops and to appear with them in the Leonine city 
under pretext of protecting the Pope ; in reality, in order 
to murder him together with eight Cardinals. The attempt 
had all the more prospect of success as Orsini, the traitor, 
enjoyed the full confidence of the Pope. Luckily, however, 
Clement was told of the danger threatening him by the 
Count of Anguillara, whom Orsini had asked to participate 
in the plot. The Abbot was therefore arrested at Bracciano 
on the ist of February, and brought to the castle of St. 
Angelo, where, after a struggle, he made a full confession. 2 

The miscarriage of this plot, the defeat at Frosinone, 
and, lastly, the Papal advance on Naples, made such an 

1 SANUTO, XLIV., 68, 98 seqq. *G. de' Medici on February 7, 1527 : 
" M. Andrea Doria e venuto qui" (State Archives, Florence). *Casella 
reported on February 14, 1527 : "Qui ogni d\ giungon fanti novi." On 
February 24 : The troops have marched ; " heri notte " Paolo d'Arezzo 
returned (State Archives, Modena). A letter of Salviati's to Gambara, 
dat. Poissy, February 18, 1527, in FRAIKIN, 262, shows how much the 
Papal party had overestimated the worth of the victory at Frosinone. 

2 For the conspiracy of N. Orsini cf., along with the short notices 
in SANUTO, XLIV., 38, 46, and GUICCIARDINI, XVIII., i, the full 
**reports of Casella of February 2 (State Archives, Modena), and 


impression on Lannoy that he renounced all his previous 
demands for money payments, the surrender of strong- 
holds, and the restoration of the Colonna. Although the 
envoys of France and Venice were even now still averse 
to an armistice, the arrangements for one might very likely 
have been carried out had not the English representative 
insisted that the opinion of Venice must first be heard. 
For this they had to wait, 1 and in the meantime first one 
and then another messenger of disaster reached Clement. 

The King of France had not fulfilled one of all his 
glittering promises. His auxiliaries arrived late and in 
insufficient numbers ; for the monthly payments of the 
war subsidy the Roman treasury waited in vain ; although 
a tenth of the ecclesiastical revenues of the whole of 
France had been granted him, Francis only sent the 
ridiculous sum of 9000 ducats. Also, the support intended 
for the expedition against Naples was so insignificant in 
men and money that the whole enterprise, started with 
such hopes, came to nothing. This frivolous Prince was 
so absorbed in hunting and other pleasures that no time 
was left to him for things of serious importance. To the 
Italians Francis was as prodigal as ever of fair words, 
but he did nothing, and his indifference threw the Papal 
Ambassador, Acciaiuoli, into sheer desperation. 2 This 

**those of F. Gonzaga of February 6 and 10, 1527 (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua). See also Acciaiuoli's ^letter to Gambara of February 18, 
1527 (Ricci Archives, Rome). 

1 Cf. GRETHEN, 1 53 seqq. The report of Raince, given by GRETHEN, 
154, n. i, is dated in the original, Rome, February 21, 1527; see 
FRAIKIN, LXXIX., n. 2. Cf. also the ^despatch of G. de' Medici, 
February 21, 1527 (State Archives, Florence). On February 20, 1527, 
Clement VII. issued a fresh *Bull against the Colonna ; see Appendix, 
No. 45 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

2 See Acciaiuoli's reports in DESJARDINS, II., 859, 862 seyg. t 868 
seg., 870 segg., 890 seg. t 892 seqq. ; cf. also FRAIKIN, 181 seqq. 


indifference did not grow less as affairs in Italy turned 
more and more in favour of the Imperialists; even so true 
a partisan of France as Canossa had to admit that Francis 
let the Pope's business go to rack and ruin. 1 The be- 
haviour of the Venetians was not much better; they certainly 
did all they could to prevent an agreement between the 
Pope and the Emperor, but showed no sign of procuring 
for the former means to prosecute the war. " Venice," as 
Canossa had written to Giberti on the 28th of November 
1526, "cares for nothing but her own interests: help from 
that quarter is to be expected as little as from France." 2 

Meanwhile the danger from the north was drawing ever 
nearer ; Florence and the Romagna were seriously 

Characteristic also of the conduct of the French Government was the 
manner and way in which they treated L. de Canossa, one of their 
most devoted friends and agents. For a long time he was entirely 
forgotten. This is shown in Canossa's ^letters to F. Robertet On 
May i, 1526, he says : I know not what I shall do. On May 17 : I 
am without news. On June 8 : I have been treated very badly by the 
French Government. On June 13 : I have no news from France. 
On June 14 : The promised money has not come. On September 18 : 
I have no information as to the King's intentions. January 10, 1527 : 
For two months past I have had no news from the French Court, 
which causes astonishment to the Venetians. All these ^letters are 
in the Communal Library, Verona. 

1 *Voglio anche dirvi che per le ultime lettere che io ho di Francia 
io comprendo apertamente che aveano le cose di Roma per disperate 
e pero non e da maravigliarsi se sono anche piu negligenti nelle 
provisioni di quello che la natura loro porta. Canossa to Giberti, 
dated Venice, February u, 1527 (Communal Library, Verona). 
Canossa was not too severe; for on February i, 1527, Acciaiuoli 
summed up to Gambara his complaints of the French dilatoriness in 
the following *\vords : " Sono tarde queste loro esecutioni cos\ di 
denari come delle altre cose, che farrieno crepar 1' anima di Giob " 
(Ricci Archives, Rome). 

2 **Canossa to Giberti, dated Venice, November 28, 1526 (Com- 
munal Library, Verona). 

VOL. IX. 24 


threatened, while Venice and the Duke of Urbino only 
thought of themselves. 1 In the south the advantages 
gained against Naples could not be followed up owing to 
the ever-increasing poverty of the Pope, now left in straits 
by his allies. In consequence the Papal troops were not 
only left without pay, but without that bare necessity of 
life bread. The half-famished soldiers deserted by the 
score; the remainder had at last to make their way 
back to Piperno. At Terracina a plot was discovered to 
deliver the town to Pompeo Colonna. 2 

In these difficulties Clement, on the 6th of March, for- 
warded a safe-conduct to Cesare Fieramosca, 3 and five 
days later this agent of the Emperor entered Rome. Du 
Bellay also arrived on the same day ; he brought many 
fine promises but not the longed-for 20,000 ducats. 4 

1 GUICCIARDINI, XVI 1 1., i ; cf. SANUTO, XLIV., 204, 233, 300. 
*Letter of N. Raince, dated Rome, February 24, 1527 (N. S. Pere ne 
se peut faire que trop mal contenter du mauvais deportement du Due 
de Ferrare et du refus qu'il a faict de ces beaux partits a luy offerts), 
in the National Library, Paris, loc. cil. y f. 148. See also DE LEVA, II., 
410, and Canossa's letter in PROFESSIONE, Dal trattato di Madrid, 
53 seq., 148, 164. 

2 For the poverty of the Papal army: Lettere d. princ., II., 2i3 b ; 
RAUMER, Briefe, I., 253; SANUTO, XLIV., 148, 233, 340; DE LEVA, 
II., 409; GRETHEN, 156; ^letters of F. Gonzaga of March 2 and 11 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua), of *Casella of March 13 (State Archives, 
Modena), and of *G. de' Medici of March 14, 1527 (State Archives, 
Florence). For Terracina see Sanuto, XLIV., 213. 

3 *A Cesare Fieramosca e suto mandato salvo condotto se vorra 
venire a resolver 1' accordo per virtu del mandato mando il Vicere per 
Giovanni della Stupha. G. de' Medici, dated Rome, March 6, 1527 
(State Archives, Florence). 

4 Besides Giberti : s letter of March 12 (Lett. d. princ., II., 218), see 
the "^despatch of G. de' Medici of March u, 1527 : " Mons. de Langes 
e arrivato questa mattina," etc., etc. (State Archives, Florence). Cf. 
Casella's ^despatch of March 11, 1527 (State Archives, Modena); 

Till. ARMISTICE. 371 

According to his wont Clement hesitated for some days ; 
but at last, driven to extremity, nothing remained for him 
to do but to accept the conditions offered by Fieramosca 
and Serenon as Lannoy's plenipotentiaries. In the night 
between the i$th and i6th of March an eight months' 
armistice began, the terms of which were that each party 
should give up their conquests, although the territory 
wrested from the Colonna remained in the Pope's pos- 
session during the truce. On the other hand, Clement 
promised to absolve the whole house from the censures 
passed upon them, to reinstate Cardinal Pompeo, and to 
pay, as ransom for the hostages Strozzi and Salviati, 
60,000 ducats to the Imperialist army, who were, in return, 
to evacuate the Papal States. Lannoy was to come to 
Rome in person to ratify the treaty; the Pope saw in 
that a guarantee that Bourbon also would respect the 
agreement. 1 

Lannoy came to Rome on the 25th of March. The Pope 
received him with great honour and assigned him rooms in 
the Vatican. 2 Charles V.'s opponents tried at the last hour 

SANUTO, XLIV., 277, 300; DESJARDINS, II., 899; VILLA, Asalto, 
72 ; GRETHEN, 157 ; BOURRILLY, $oseq. 

1 GUICCIARDINI, XVIII., i ; SANUTO, XLIV., 310 sey. t 313 seg., 
328, 339, 424-431, 448, 452 ; Lett. d. princ., II., 22O b seq. ; BUCHOLTZ, 
III., 604 seqq. ; GRETHEN, 160 ; BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 532 ; DE 
LEVA, II., 413; FRAIKIN, 435 seq., and the two **dcspatches of G. 
de' Medici of March 16, 1^27 (State Archives, Florence). How im- 
plicitly trustful the Pope was is shown by the release of Nap. Orsini 
from his imprisonment ; cf. the **letters of F. Gonzaga of March 23 
and 25, 1527 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

2 Besides SANUTO, XLIV., 358, 406-407, 419, and VILLA, Asalto, 
87 seq., see the ^reports of Casella of March 25, i 527 (State Archives, 
Modena), of G. de' Medici of March 25 (State Archives, Florence), of 
*F. Gonzaga of March 25 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua), and the *Acla 
Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor : " Die lunae 25 Martii : Carolus prorcx 
Neapolitanus Romam venit compositurus inducias cum S. D. N. Clemente 


to change Clement's mind ; they represented to him how 
dangerous it was to sacrifice himself for the good-will of 
the Imperialists. The whole convention, thought John 
Russell, was only a trick to separate Clement from his allies. 
But Clement, after Lannoy's arrival, held that the execution 
of the treaty would be quite safe ; he repeatedly said in tones 
of decision to the Ambassadors uhen they warned him, 
" Quod scripsi scripsi." 1 On the 27th of March, in a secret 
consistory, he addressed the Cardinals on the state of affairs ; 2 
on the 28th he excused himself to the Doge, 3 referring to 
the failure of all his means of help; on the 29th followed 
the ratification of the treaty. 4 

Trusting to the loyalty of Lannoy, 5 Clement VII. carried 
out his treaty obligations at once in the most conscientious 
manner. There can be no doubt that his pacific intentions 
were serious. 6 In order to put an end finally to all questions 
in dispute, the mission of Giberti to England and France 
was taken into consideration. 7 Although Clement had the 

VII., et in palatio hospitatus est in ea parte palatii, quam Innocentius 
VIII. aedificavit et in capella datus est locus apud pontificem ad 
dextram" (Consistorial Archives and Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

1 SANUTO, XLIV., 338. 

2 Acta Consist, of the Vice-Chancellor ; see FRAIKIN, LXXXI., 
note i. 

3 *Duci Venetiarum, dated Rome, March 28, 1527. Arm., 44, T. 9, 
f. 336 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

4 *SANUTO, XLIV., 419, 432. 

6 Cf. the *reports of G. de' Medici, dated Rome, March 28, 29, 31, 
1527 (State Archives, Florence). 


1 Cf. the ^despatches of F. Gonzaga of April i, 1527 (in part in 
GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 498), in Gonzaga Archives, Mantua ; of 
Casella of April 13 (Giberti's departure was close at hand) in State 
Archives, Modena ; SANUTO, XLIV., 520 seq. ; and the *letter of G. 
de' Medici of April 15 (Mons. de Verona partira domane o altro) in 
State Archives, Florence. On April 16 the credentials were drawn 


advantage in the Neapolitan war, he withdrew his troops 
both by land and sea. lie even went so far, in order to 
save money, as to reduce the total of his forces to a hundred 
light horsemen and two hundred foot soldiers of the so- 
called " Black Band." 1 All these measures show how 
certainly he counted on Bourbon also accepting the treaty. 
In order to settle this Fieramosca had already, on the I5th 
of March, arrived at the Imperialist camp fully empowered 
to take all the necessary steps. It is certain that both the 
Pope and Giberti had not the least presentiment that the 
danger threatening them from the Imperial army was not 
yet fully removed. When the news first reached Rome 
that Bourbon's army refused to accept the treaty con- 
cluded with Lannoy, Giberti saw only a daring attempt to 
extort more money. 2 

Of all the illusions under which Clement VII. and his 
adviser laboured, none was more momentous than their 
attributing to the Imperial generals an influence over the 
army which, for a long time past, had got entirely out of 

On the very first rumour of Lannoy 's negotiations with 
the Pope, the German and Spanish soldiers, who had 
bivouacked at San Giovanni, near Bologna, since the 8th 

up ; FRAIKIN, 338. In consequence, however, of the bad news from 
the north, Giberti's journey, against which Canossa had explicitly 
declared himself from the first, was given up altogether ; see PROFES- 
SIONE, Dal trattato di Madrid, 54 scy. 

1 See SANUTO, XLIV., 453; GUICCIARDINI, XVIII., 7; and the 
*reports of Casella, dated Rome, March 27, 1527 (Per quanto intendo 
N. S. fa distribuir tutti li soi cavalli alle stanze, cassa quasi tutta la 
fanteria), and March 31 in the State Archives, Modena. For the 
return of Cardinal Trivulzio see *Acta Consist, of April 10, i J 

the Secret Archives of the Vatican, and the despatch of F. Gonzaga 
of April u, 1527 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

2 Lett. d. princ., II., 228. 


of March, were thrown into great excitement. The troops 
were in a wretched condition ; they had endured up till 
then four months of poverty, hunger, and cold, and no end 
to their hardships was in sight. Heavy downfalls of snow 
and rain had turned the ground almost into a swamp, where 
in damp, miserable clothing the soldiers were encamped, 
many without shoes to their feet, all without pay and a 
sufficiency of food. 1 The prospect of booty, the riches of 
Florence, the greater riches of Rome, had alone kept them 
together and given them courage amid their misery. It 
can easily be imagined what an impression was made on 
them by the news that they were to be " thrust out of Italy 
like beggars " and the prizes of victory snatched from them. 
As the increasing hurricane lashes the sea into greater 
and greater agitation until the conflicting tumult of the 
waves resembles chaos, so the rumour of a disastrous 
peace, passing from mouth to mouth through the Imperialist 
host, produced a scene of unparalleled excitement and 
passion. The Spaniards, to whom the Emperor owed eight 
months' pay, were the first to mutiny. They flung them- 
selves in fury on Bourbon's tent, demanding payment in 
full with wild uproar. Bourbon had to hide himself in a 
horse-stall ; one of his gentlemen was murdered ; his tent 
was plundered. The Germans, stirred up by the tumult, 
quickly assembled ; they also shouted " Pay, pay," refusing 
to march a step further unless they had their money. 
"All the men were in a kindling temper which burned 
like fire. They were ready to kill the captains and 

An attempt to get sufficient money from the Duke of 
Ferrara failed. Thereupon " Father Frundsberg," on the 
1 6th of March, gathered the Germans together and gave 
them an address " so earnest " in its tone that he " must 

1 See BARTHOLD, Frundsberg, 411. 


have moved a stone." But all the representations of the 
man who, for a generation, by the power of his presence, 
of his will, of his word, and of his successes, had held the 
landsknechts together, were unavailing. " Pay, pay," 
shouted the frenzied soldiers. They even turned their 
pikes against their captains. Then Frundsberg's giant 
constitution suddenly gave way; overcome by grief and 
anger, he fell speechless on a drum. He had been struck 
down by apoplexy. 1 

The party of Clement VII. saw in the unexpected fate 
of Frundsberg the judgment of God on one who had 
presumptuously declared his willingness to lay hands on 
the Pope's person. But if they hoped that the lands- 
knechts, deprived of their leader, would disband, they soon 
found themselves bitterly undeceived. The Germans only 
wished to escape as quickly as possible from the scene of 
misfortune. The whole army was of one mind that, under 
any circumstances, an advance must be made on districts 
that still lay open to plunder and offered a prospect of 
provision and booty. Bourbon had given each soldier a 
ducat and promised him unlimited pillage "the law of 
Mohammed." 2 

Such was the situation when, on the 2Oth of March, Fiera- 
mosca produced the treaty of the I5th and 30,000 ducats, 
but this sum could not satisfy the soldiers ; it was only like 
a drop of water on a hot stone. The reception given to the 
messenger of peace was in keeping with the soldiers' mood ; 
"they were like raging lions," Fieramosca reported to the 

1 Cf. with RESSNER, 81 seq. ; GUICCIARDINI, XVIII., 2 ; BARTHOLD, 
411 se<?., and DE LEVA, II., 413; also the report in SAMIP, XLIV., 
327, 329, as well as GASSLER, 77 seq. ; BAI.AN, Mon. saec, XVI., 410 
seqq. ; VILLA, Asalto, 75 seqq., and LBBSY, 408 seq. 

2 Jovius, Alfonsus, 189; GUICCIAKI>IM, XVI 1L, Ij Ficramosca's 
report in LANZ, I., 231 ; BARTHOLD, 415 seq. 


Emperor, and he only saved his life by taking flight to 
Ferrara. 1 Bourbon had lost all power over his army. 
He stood helpless before the chaos, in which the only 
element of unity was the desire to be let loose. Forward 
at any cost, forward to Florence, forward to Rome! On 
the 29th of March Bourbon sent a message to Lannoy 
that he was forced of necessity to advance ; at the same 
time he informed the Pope of this decision, by which the 
armistice was broken. Soon afterwards he raised his 
demands to 150,000 ducats. 2 "Three things," wrote 
Guicciardini on the 29th of March to Giberti, " remain 
open to you ; to accede to everything by a new treaty, 
to take flight, or to defend yourselves to the death." 3 

After provisions and munitions had come from Ferrara 
the Imperialist army set forward on the 3Oth of March. 
Many thought that the fierce horde would throw itself 
immediately on Florence. But the Apennines were still 
covered with snow, and well protected by troops. They 
therefore went by way of Bologna, plundering and burning 
slowly on the ancient Emilian Way as they drew nearer 
to the Romagna. 4 Guicciardini had, in the meantime, 
succeeded in getting the Duke of Urbino who, hitherto 
solely occupied in guarding Venetian territory, had 
remained near the Po to follow up the enemy, although 
at a considerable distance. This induced Bourbon to turn 
to the Apennines. He chose the road leading over 

1 SANUTO, XLIV., 347, 353, 362, 371, 381, 395, 436 seq., 440 ; LANZ, 
loc. tit., and SALVIOLI, 20. 

2 SCHULZ, 92 seq., 94, 1 73-174- 

3 Op. ined., V., n. 1 52 ; GREGOROVIUS, VI 1 1., 3rd ed., 499. With the 
reports of F. Gonzaga of April 7 here cited, cf. the **despatch of G. de' 
Medici of April 6, 1527 (State Archives, Florence). 

4 SANUTO, XLIV., 382, 394, 409, 450, 451, 453 seq., 462, 467, 499 
seq. t 518 seq. ; BARTHOLD, 418 seg. 


Meldola into the upper valley of the Arno. The rain 
fell in torrents; but on went the army, up into the 
mountains, having to leave behind all their baggage 
waggons. The hope of the " glorious plunder of Florence " 
gave wings to the steps of the soldiers, who on the i6th 
of April reached Santa Sofia, that belonged to Florentine 
territory. 1 

On the entreaty of Clement VII., Lannoy, with 60,000 
ducats from the Pope and 20,000 raised from his own 
resources, had left Rome for the Romagna on the 3rd of 
April to try and persuade the Imperialist forces to return. 
Letters from Bourbon caused him to alter his course and 
to go direct to Florence. Here he succeeded in arranging 
with Bourbon's agents that the Florentines should pay the 
Imperialist army 150,000 ducats; on receipt of the first 
half the army was to begin its return march.- Clement 
VII., meanwhile, had continued to dismiss his soldiers. 
He had hardly had news of the Florentine arrangement 
when, from misdirected economy and disgust at their 
insubordination, he parted with the last of his forces, the 
men of the Black Band. 3 Vaudemont, with his contingent 
at Civita Vecchia, sailed for Marseilles just as if peace had 
been securely concluded; 4 all warnings had been in vain. 


- (1RETHEN, 163^.; ClPOLLA, 916; 1). M Ak/I, II viaggio del 
Vicer di Napoli al campo Cesareo per 1' accordo del Duca di Horbone 
col Papa e coi Fiorentini e 1' aggrcssione a Santa Sofia, 19 d' Aprile 
1527, Dicomano, 1900 (published as a manuscnj 

3 Cf. GUICCIARDINI. XVI 1 1., 2, and the **reports of G. de' Medici 
of April 6, 8, 12, and 13, 1527, in State Archives, Florence. 

4 Cf. GUICCIARDINI, XVI II., 2, ami the *despatch of G. de' Medici, 
dated Rome, April 15, 1527 : " Mons. di Vadamon parti qucsta mattina 
per andare a Civitavecchia per imbarcar se e sue gente sopra una galea 
di N. S. e una di Venetian! per and.u ilia" (State An 


" The imprudence and carelessness, 3 ' wrote Francesco 
Gonzaga on the nth of April, "is too great; before the 
armistice has taken effect the Pope has entirely disarmed 
himself. All this has been done only to save a little 
money. Everyone is astonished at such proceedings. But 
without doubt God's will has so ordered this, that the 
Church and its leaders may be destroyed." 1 

A feeling of uneasiness, such as almost always precedes 
great catastrophes, prevailed in Rome. Old predictions 
of overwhelming judgments on the seat and centre of the 
Church's government 2 revived again with increased force. 
Extraordinary accidents, regarded as portents, a flash of 
lightning which occurred as Lannoy arrived at the Vatican, 
caused disturbance in anxious minds; such things were 
looked upon as a premonition that the wrath of Heaven 
was about to strike the sinful city. 3 

A still more powerful, if momentary, impression was 
made on the Romans by one of those fanatical preachers 
of repentance who even then were constantly trying to 
add to the excitement of the Italian people, terrified 
already by prophecies, 4 and sorely visited by war, plague, 5 

1 Cf. the **letter of F. Gonzaga of April n, 1527 (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua). Cf. also Lett d. princ., I., io6 b . 

2 Cf. DOLLINGER in Histor. Taschenb., 1871, 288 seq. ; GRAUERT 
in Histor. Jahrb., XIX., 282 seq. 

3 JOVIUS, Columna, 356. Cf. the report in VILLA, Asalto, 140-141 ; 
see also L. Guicciardini in MlLANESl, 178 seq. 

4 For the previous predictions of astrologers for the year 1524 see the 
*Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE in the National Library, Paris. Cf. also 
Atti. d. Romagna, 3 Series, II., 432 seqq. \ Sitzungsber. der Wiener Akad., 
LXXXII.,375; ROSCOE,IX.,332; Arch. stor. Lomb.,3 Series, XXIX.,35. 

6 For the plague see supra, p. 344. In January 1526 Rome suffered 
also from an inundation of the Tiber ; see *Diary of CORNELIUS DE 
FINE in the National Library, Paris, and the ^report of the Mantuan 
envoy of January 21, 1526 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 


and other calamities. On Holy Thursday (i 8th April 1527), 
when Clement VII., after the reading of the Hull In Ccena 
1 Domini, was giving the pontifical blessing to a devout mul- 
titude of ten thousand persons, a man with the demeanour 
of a maniac, almost entirely naked, save only for a leathern 
apron, clambered on to the statue of St. Paul in front of St. 
Peter's and shouted to the Pope : " Thou bastard of Sodom, 
for thy sins Rome shall be destroyed. Repent, and turn 
thee ! Ifthou wilt not believe me, in fourteen days thou 
shalt see it." 1 

A prophet of this sort was nothing new to the Romans; 
as far back as the summer of 1525 a hermit had declared 
to them his strange visions. 2 The prophecies of this new 
herald of misfortune, who was known by the name of 
Brandano, surpassed, however, in many respects anything 
of the kind known before. The appearance of this 
enthusiast was a highly characteristic episode of this 
agitated time. Bartolomeo Carosi, called Brandano, 3 was 

1 See the Spanish report on the sacco in VILLA, Asalto, 141. 

- Cf. the **report of G. de' Medici of July 29, 1525 (State Archives, 
Florence). REUMONT, III., 2, 192, is wrong in identifying the first 
prophet with Brandano ; the composer of the " Neuwe zeyttung" (for 
whose credibility see SCHULZ, 44) makes a clear distinction b( : 
the two prophets ; so also does SANTORO, 7. Canossa also speaks of 
the first prophet in a *letter of August 5, 1525, in which he sends to 
the Queen of France "una profetia de uno romita che sta a Roma, il 
quale ha predite molte cose che sono state vere et maxime in le cose 
del re " (Communal Library, Verona). 

3 G. B. PECCI (Notizie s. vita di Bartol. da Petrojo chiamato 
Brandano, 2nd ed., Lucca, 1763) relies, among others, on A. Bardi, 
Storia di Siena (MS.). The conversion of the city is here (5) assigned 
to 1526, which entirely precludes the identification with the prophet of 
1525. Pecci shows that the statement that the Archbishop of Siena, 
in 1614, had permitted the veneration of Hramlano, is an invention. 
This assertion is found, among other fabulous material, in the *Vita of 
Brandano, current under the name of C. Turi as author ; Casanatense 


a native of Petrojo near Siena. After leading for a long 
time an evil life in the world, he was suddenly con- 
verted and gave himself up, as a hermit, to severe acts of 
penance. Later on he quitted his solitude and passed 
through the towns of his native district holding up before 
the inhabitants their sinful manner of life, The wrath of 
God would burst upon them, war, plague, and other visita- 
tions would follow on the general iniquity. This was on 
the whole the substance of his penitential preaching. 
Sometimes in his fiery zeal he gave utterance to more 
concise discourse. 1 Perhaps his outward appearance 
produced more effect than his preachings and prophesyings. 
Clothed only so far as decency demanded, barefooted and 
with long red hair hanging dishevelled to his shoulders, the 
prophet went his rounds. His frame was muscular, but 
emaciated by fasting ; his face wan and deeply furrowed, 
the greenish-yellow eyes hollowed by tears and nightly 
vigils ; his movements were abrupt and uncouth. When 
preaching he held a crucifix in his right hand, in his left a 
skull. 2 Some thought him a crazy fool, others a prophet 
and saint. The common folk had many a tale to tell of 
his severe exercises of penance, his frequent pilgrimages to 
Santiago in Spain, even of miracles he had worked. 3 In 
Siena he had preached in the cathedral ; now, with cries of 
woe, he was announcing in the streets of the Eternal City 

Library, Rome, Cod. 3212. Cf. ibid., Cod. 1205 and 2627. This 
Vita, in a fragment, is also found in Cod Palat, 680, of the National 
Library, Florence ; the author is a fervent admirer of his hero, whom 
be regards as a saint and a true prophet. The author of the document 
produced by MORENI, I., in, takes the extreme opposite standpoint. 
ORANO, I., 247, note, mentions further literary notices of Brandano. 

1 CRESCIMBENI, Comment, intorno alia volg. poesia, II., 195 ; 
TIRABOSCHI, VII., 3, 215 ; RUTH, Poesie, II. 491. 

2 L. Guicciardini in MlLANESl, 177. 

3 Vita, he. cit. 


the certain downfall of its priests and inhabitants and the 
renewal of the Church. 1 

On Easter Eve 1527 Brandano went from the Campo 
di Fiore to St. Angelo, and, like a second Jonas, cried with 
a loud voice, " Rome, do penance ! They shall deal with 
thee as God dealt with Sodom and Gomorrha. " Then 
he said quietly, as if to himself: "He has robbed the 
Mother of God to adorn his harlot, or rather his friend." 
On hearing of this scandalous speech the Pope put an 
end to his doings by ordering Brandano to be placed in 
confinement. 2 He was soon afterwards set at liberty and 
started afresh on a career which brought upon him 
renewed imprisonment. 3 

The destruction foretold by this prophet of evil was 
drawing nearer and nearer with the certainty of fate. 
Notwithstanding the arrangement with the Florentines, 
Bourbon's army continued to march on Rome. After 
extraordinary exertions the crest of the Apennines was 
surmounted ; the eight field-pieces, attached to ropes, had 
to be dragged along by hand. 4 On the i8th of April the 
half-starved troops reached S. Maria in Bagno, on the 
south side of the mountains, and on the 2Oth Bourbon 
encamped at Pieve di S. Stefano in the upper valley of the 
Tiber. Here Lannoy met him. The latter had left 
Florence on the I5th of April, and on the iQth had been 
attacked by the inhabitants of Santa Sofia and forced 

1 L. Guicciardini in MlLANESl, 178 ; cf. 330, and BERNINO, IV., 368. 

2 This is reported on the hearsay testimony of Lanceolinus; see 
infra, p. 396, n. 2 ; see SCHULZ, 66 ; ,_ 51, 54, 69. See also 
L. Guicciardini in MlLANESl, 178, and CAVE, 391. 

3 GUICCIARDINI, loc. cit.\ DOLLINGER in Histor. Taschenb., 1871, 
291. A prophecy then posted up in Rome, which Reissner produces, 
may be attributed, as GREGOROVIUS (VIII., 3rd ed., 512), surmises, to 
the prophet of Siena. 

4 Cf. the letter of R. Schweglcr in HORMAYR, Archiv, 1812, 448. 


to take refuge in the abbey of the Camaldoli, S. Maria 
in Cosmedin. Two days later he suddenly appeared in 
the Imperialist camp. It was soon discovered that he and 
Bourbon were trying to deceive the Florentines, who 
thereupon made energetic preparations for the defence 
of their city. 1 

When Bourbon now raised his demand for money to 
240,000 ducats, 2 this, it was evident, was because he knew 
his enemy was unprepared. His army was in such a 
condition that necessity forced him to go forward. Only 
the hope of plundering Florence held his men together. 3 
Bourbon advanced all the more joyfully as he knew that he 
was thus meeting the Emperor's wishes, whose first object 
was to get hold of money to pay his troops and to wring 
from the Pope the most favourable treaty possible. 4 

Clement VII. was highly indignant at the non-observ- 
ance of the armistice. " To produce 240,000 ducats," 
Giberti exclaimed, "was as impossible as to join heaven 
and earth together." Bourbon replied by raising his 
demand to 300,000 ducats. 5 In the meanwhile the Papal 
and Venetian troops, under the Duke of Urbino, the 
Marquis of Saluzzo, and Guicciardini, had come to the 
relief of Florence, already strongly fortified, so that Bourbon, 

1 According to Marzi's investigations into the special MS. quoted 
supra, p. 377, n. 2. Clement VII. was still unaware, on April 27, 1527, 
that Lannoy was only trying to deceive him ; for on that day he sent 
a * Brief to Lannoy in which he deplored the great danger in which 
the latter \vas placed, and announced the despatch of an envoy. 
*Min. brev., 1527, IV., vol. 17, n. 182 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

- GRETHEN, 164; SCHULZ, 96. 

3 Cf. the remarkable letter (in cipher) of Bourbon to de Leyva, 
dated S. Pietro in Bagno, April 19, 1527, in SANUTO, XLIV., 570-571. 

4 See BUCHOLTZ, III., 58 seq., 66 seq.\ BARTHOLD, 410 seq. 
GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 504 ; DE LEVA, II., 419 seq. 

" GRETHEN, 165. 


having regard for the condition of his necessitous and 
wearied soldiers, felt compelled to renounce his purpose of 
attack. With rapid decision he recalled his troops, who 
were already making inroads in the valley of the Arno, 
disencumbered himself of his last pieces of artillery, and 
on the 26th of April struck the road to Rom 

Not only necessity and the conviction that at Rome he 
would meet with less opposition, but his ambition to become 
Viceroy of the whole of Italy 2 urged Bourbon forward on 
the city. His soldiers, anticipating the plunder of Florence, 
at first showed signs of mutiny, but he succeeded in 
quieting them with visions of Rome, where he would 
" make all of them rich." In hot haste they came to 
Montepulciano and Montefiascone. Neither the slow 
operations of the army of the League, nor the unwonted 
rain-storms, nor the gnawing want of provisions, could 
keep back the Imperialists, who were joined on the way by 
many adventurers eager to have a share in the spoils. On 
the 2nd of May they had reached Viterbo. 3 

Clement, who up till now had almost intentionally shut 
his eyes and refused to see his danger, perceived at last 
that Bourbon had tricked him and that nothing could save 
him except a desperate struggle. On the 25th of April he 
rejoint-d the League. 4 The Duke of Urbino was implored 

1 Cf. BARTHOLD, 421 seq. ; SCHULZ, 98. On April 26 a republican 
rising against the dominion of the Medici had been suppressed. The 
city then joined the League for one month; see PlTTl, I., 135 seq. ; 
SEGNI, Storie fiorent., 4; CIPOLLA, 916 seq.; PERRENS, III., 125 

2 See the letter of Otto di Pratica to R. Acciaiuoli of April 25, 1527, 
in the Riv. storica, 1893,612, note. Cf. VETTORI, 375; SCHULZ, 92 

3 SANUTO, XLV., 231 seq. ; BARTHOLD, 425 ; SCHULZ, 99 seq. 

4 SANUTO, XLIV., 551 seq., 573 seq. ; GRETHEN, 167 ; DE I.r.v \, II.. 
422 ; LEBEY, 417. 


to render help ; l Giovanni Antonio Orsini was appointed 
Commander-in-Chief of the newly organized Papal cavalry, 2 
while to Renzo da Ceri was entrusted the defence of Rome. 
But for this the one thing necessary was lacking money. 
In vain the Pope called upon the well-to-do citizens to give 
voluntary contributions. Greed and infatuation were so 
great, that Domenico Massimi himself, the richest man in 
Rome, only offered to lend the sum of 100 ducats ! 3 

The Pope was besought on every side to raise money for 
the defence of Rome by the sale of Cardinals' hats. But 
Clement, even at this moment incapable of decision, 
refused his assent. But when, on the 3rd of May, he was 
informed that Bourbon had already advanced beyond 
Viterbo, he was driven to take the step so repugnant to 
him. But it was already too late to obtain the payments 4 
from his nominees; these were Benedetto Accolti, Niccolo 

1 Cf. the *Briefs to the Duke of Urbino, dated Rome, April 22 and 
30, 1527, in State Archives, Florence, Urb. eccl. 

2 *Brief to the same of April 30, 1527, Min. brev., 1527, IV., vol. 17, 
n. 183, in the Secret Archives of the Vatican. 


4 For the creation of Cardinals on May 3, 1527, see, besides 
ClACONlUS, III., 477 seq. ; NOVAES, IV., 80 seq. ; EHSES, Dokumente, 
249 ; CATALANUS, Capranica, 303 (instead of Martii read Maii) ; DE 
LEVA, II., 427, and GRETHEN, 168-169 ; also the following ^letters : (i) 
G. de' Medici, April 26, 27, 28, and May 4, State Archives, Florence ; 
(2) F. Gonzaga, April 27, Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. Efforts to 
procure the Cardinalate for Ercole Gonzaga had begun under Leo X. 
(cf. Delle esenzioni, 45 seq.} and were renewed in the first days of 
Clement's pontificate. As early as November 19, 1523, "^Cardinal 
Gonzaga had written about it to the Marchioness Isabella. The 
Marquis of Mantua, in a ^letter of January 22, 1524, asks B. Castiglione 
to further the matter. On February 6 he expresses his pleasure at 
the Pope's favourable answer, and begs Castiglione to urge on the 
affair. In a *letter, dated Bologna, February 12, 1524, Ercole thanks 
the Marquis of Mantua for his exertions in trying to obtain for him, 

THE I- \TKD. 385 

Gaddi, Agostino Spinola, Ercole Gonzaga, Marino Grimani, 
and the French Chancellor Du Prat. The Pope could not 
make up his mind to fly to Civita Vecchia. Quite in 
contradiction to his usual character, he now displayed an 
extraordinary confidence. 1 On the 3rd of May he rode 
through the city, encouraging the citizens, who were deter- 
mined to defend Rome to the uttermost, and on the 
4th he placed Bourbon under the ban of the greater 
excommunication. 2 

If Clement entirely underrated his danger, the principal 
blame must be laid on his blind confidence in Renzo da 
Ceri. The latter, with the utmost assurance, set all fears at 
naught, 3 and declared that the four thousand men he had 
raised were ample protection, for so great a city as Rome, 
against the undisciplined and famished hordes of Bourbon ; 
he went so far as to boast that the city itself could hold 
out, even were the enemy so successful as to possess them- 
selves of the right bank of the Tiber ; he therefore even 
refused to destroy the bridges. That Renzo placed the 
greatest confidence in his hastily organized bands, recruited 
from stablemen, mechanics, and all sorts of persons inex- 
perienced in the ways of war, is shown from the fact that on 
the 4th of May he sent a message through Giberti to Guido 
Rangoni, who had brought more than eight thousand men 
from the army of the League, that Rome was so perfectly 

through the mediation of Castiglione, the Cardinal's hat. On the 
same day the Marquis writes to the latter and bids him thank the 
Pope for his "certa promessa" to give Ercole the first nomination. 
Copies of all these ^letters in the Library, Mantua. In 1526 Capino 
was urging Ercole's nomination ; Lett. d. princ., II., iO3 b . 

1 " Spogliatosi della natura sua," says GUICCIARDINI, XVIII.. 

2 See CAVE, 407 seqq.\ GREGOROVius, VIII., 3rd ed., 506, and 

3 How great these fears were is clear from the *letter of V. Albergati 
of April 29, 1527 (State Archives, Bologna). 

VOL. IX. 25 


secure that from six to eight hundred men, armed with guns, 
would be a sufficient reinforcement ; he advised Rangoni 
to return to the League with the remainder of his forces, 
as he would there be of much greater use than at Rome ! l 

A herald of Bourbon, coming to demand the 300,000 
ducats from the Pope, received no answer. From the 
Vatican Clement VII. could see the enemy advance 
across the Neronian fields ; but even then he saw no 
serious danger, especially as they were not supported by 
artillery. Besides, there was the hourly expectation of the 
arrival of the army of the League. 2 

Clement VII. was confirmed in his mistaken conception 
of the state of things by the defeat of a troop of lands- 
knechts at the Ponte Molle by Orazio Baglioni. The 
Mantuan envoy, who reported this on the 5th of May, 
added, " The Pope is in the best spirits." 3 Yet on the 
4th of May such a panic had broken out in the city that 
it seemed as if the enemy were already within the 

1 GUICCIARDINI, XVIII., 3 ; cf. SANUTO, XLV., 144. For the armed 
rabble prepared for the defence of Rome, cf., along with the authorities 
made use of by GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 509 seq. ; CAVE, 392, 
394; L. Guicciardini in MlLANESl, 173 seqq. ; M. Cresci, *Storia 
d' Italia (Laurentian Library, Florence, Cod. Ashburnh., 633), and the 
^despatches of G. de' Medici of April 26 and 27 and May 4, 1527 
(State Archives, Florence), as well as the *reports of F. Gonzaga of 
April 25 and 28, 1527 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). According to 
a report of Canossa's to Francis I., dated Venice, May 16, 1527 
(published by CiPOLLA, per le nozze Pellegrini - Canossa, Padova, 
1880), "no si trovarono (in Roma) piu che 3 m. fanti forestieri e 
quelli assai tristi per essere fatti tumultuariamente." Cf. the different 
accounts given by others of the garrison in Cipolla's collection, loc. 
tit., 21-22. 

2 SANUTO, XLV., 233. Cf. the letter to Charles V. in MILANESI, 
Sacco, 500. 

3 See in Appendix, No. 46, the ^report in cipher of F. Gonzaga of 
May 5, 1527 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 


walls. 1 Thousands tried to find a safe hiding-place for 
their property. Many, in spite of prohibitions, fled from 

Meanwhile the Imperialist army had surrounded Rome 
as far as the Janiculum. The main body encamped in the 
vineyards behind St. Peter's. 3 In the cloisters of S. 
Onofrio, the headquarters of Bourbon, a council of war had 
decided that the Leonine city should be stormed on the 
following morning without further preparation. The state 
of the army was desperate. Deprived of the necessities of 
life, in an empty and barren country with an enemy in 
their rear, they now saw before them their only means of 
deliverance : this was the capture of Rome by storm, the 
walls of which were defended, as they knew, by only a 
handful of brave soldiers. 4 Victory or death was Bourbon's 
watchword. 5 With longing eyes his soldiers, craving for 
booty, counted up the prize of victory, now, at last, lying 
before them. The goal to which they had pressed through 
so many unheard-of hardships was now reached. The rays 
of that setting sun of the 5th of May lit up for the last 
time all the magnificence of the Rome of the Renaissance, 
then the fairest and richest city in all the world. 

1 See the report of **G. de' Medici of May 4, 1527 (State Archives, 
Florence). Cf. the autobiography of RAFFAELLO DA MONTELUPO, 427. 

2 Cf. Lett. d. princ., I., no, and SANUTO, XLV., 73, 131. See also 
Arch. Stor. Ital., 5 Series, XIV., 57. 

3 See Lannoy's report in LANZ, I., 705. 

4 " Hessendo noi conduti in loco angusto e carestioso et havendo 
dinanzi un Tevere et una Roma," \ smondo dalla Torre, "et 
intendendo che drieto ne cavalchava un grosso exercito, si pens6 esscr 
necessario tentar la fortuna, al che ci faceva piu arditi il saper che in 
Roma non era gran provisione di buona gentc pagata." SANITTO. XLV., 



ON the morning of the 6th of May, Monday after Miseri- 
cordia Sunday, a thick fog covered the low, damp 
levels of the Tiber. In Rome, all through the night, the 
great bell of the Capitol had rung the tocsin and called 
the defenders to their posts. 1 They stood along the walls 

1 " In urbe vero tota nox praecedens expendebatur in clamoribus 
arma, arma, et campana Capitolii tota nocte et die tangebatur ad provo- 
candum Romanes ad arma," are the expressions used by * CORNELIUS 
DE FINE in his Diary in the National Library, Paris. Besides his account 
I have also seen the following unpublished sources relating to the sack : 
(i) a despatch of F. Gonzaga of May 7, 1527, in the Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua ; (2) two reports of May 7 and 27, from the State Archives, 
Modena ; (3) the monastic chronicle of Orsola Formicini in the Vatican 
Library ; (4) an anonymous Italian account in the same collection ; 
(5) the "relatione di diversi casi" of the Angelica- Library, Rome ; (6) a 
letter from Sanga of June 27 in the Ricci Archives, Rome ; (7) a report 
of Cardinal Salviati in the Secret Archives of the Vatican. The 
published documents, reports, pamphlets, and narratives in works of 
history have been diligently collected by SCHULZ, Sacco, 3-75 (cf. 
Schulz in the Zeitschr. fur Biicherfreunde, III., 21 seg.\ and critically 
examined, without concealing from himself that there are special 
publications by Italians which must have escaped his notice. Im- 
portant authorities, overlooked by Schulz, are undoubtedly : a Mantuan 
report edited by Luzio in 1883, Corvisieri's Documenti inediti, and 
the records (published by Armellini in 1886) of the Roman notary, 
Teodoro Gualderonico. It has also escaped Schulz that the letter of 
A. Gavardo, in the Quiriniana Library at Brescia, is not unpublished, 
but was produced as far back as 1877 i n Arch. Stor. Lombardo, IV., 



in fighting order, but tried in vain to discern through the 
impenetrable vapour the movements in the enemy's camp. 1 
Yet, distinctly audible, there rose from the sea of mist 
a wild tumult of sounds mingled with signals of war. The 
Imperialist army was getting ready for the assault. 

Sciarra Colonna, with light cavalry and Italian infantry, 
advanced against the fortifications of the Milvian Bridge, 
while Melchior Frundsberg made an attack on the 
Trastevere at S. Pancrazio. The chief attacking party, 
meanwhile, moved on the Leonine city. 2 The north and 

628 seq. Cf. also GUERRINI, Docum. Bresciani rig. il Sacco di Roma, 
in Riv. d. scien. stor. di Pavia, I., 8, 1904. Since the appearance of 
Schulz's valuable work, the sources of our information have been 
remarkably enriched. In the first place, mention must be made of the 
copious contemporary accounts in the forty-fifth volume of Sanuto ; 
secondly, the French narratives in the Mel. d'Archeol., XVI., and the 
Ricordi of M. Alberini, written about 1547, and given in the Arch. d. 
Soc. Rom, XVIII. (1895). D. ORANO'S work, planned on a great scale, 
on the Sacco di Roma, has not yet gone beyond the first volume 
(Rome, 1901), but it contains, with numerous explanations, the Ricordi 
of Alberini. As the second volume of Orano is to deal with the 
"Sacco nella letteratura," I refrain from a more detailed account of my 
own researches in this direction. Vol. vi. of Orano's work will con- 
tain a description of Rome in the year 1527, from the artistic point of 
view, by Lanciani and Venturi. 

1 The thick mist is dwelt upon by almost all the original authorities 
(cf. ORANO, I., 247 seq.), expressly by CAVE, 396 ; L. Guicciardini in 
III., 237 ; VETTORI, 379; CORNELIUS DE FINE, quoted in/ra, p. 392, 
n. i, and the " lettera da un offiziale dell' esercito di Borbone" in 
MILANESI, 499 (that this was written by C'.ian UartolomeoGattina 
been shown by CORRADI, Gian Hart. Gattinara ed il Sacco di Roma 
(Torino, 1892), and SCHULZ, 5 seq.). Gattinara is expressly named as 
the author in Cod. Regin., 350, f. 119, of the Vatican Library, and in 
Cod. 92 of the Campello Archives, Spolcto. 

2 For the then condition of the fortifications of Rome, which, especially 
on the right side of the Tiber, were conspicuously weaker and different 


west sides, where the Belvedere and the Porta Pertusa lay, 
were attacked at the same time as the south side ; there the 
Spaniards advanced and, on their right, against the Porta 
S. Spirito, the landsknechts did the same. The attack 
on the Belvedere and the Porta Pertusa, where Prince 
Philibert of Orange commanded, was, however, only a 
feint intended to deceive the defenders and turn their 
attention from the south side. Here, at the Porta Torrione 
(now Cavalleggieri) and the Porta S. Spirito, the weakest 
points of the fortifications, the attack was heaviest, under- 
taken without artillery, only with spears, pistols, and ladders 
hastily constructed out of garden palings and bound 
together with withes. 1 It was a rash enterprise, but the 
outcome of counsels of despair. 

The first onset was successfully repelled by the defenders, 
although the latter were firing at random into the fog. 
The Spaniards as well as the landsknechts were forced to 
withdraw with heavy losses ; a second attack also failed. 
Bourbon, who saw that everything was at stake, 2 thereupon 
placed himself at the head of the assailants. He succeeded 
in reaching the walls of the Porta Torrione, near the site, 
in later days, of the Cesi gardens and villa (now the 
Collegio di S. Monica 3 ). Here there was a very badly 
secured position, easily exposed to attack. 4 One of the 

from those of a later date, cf. RAVIOLI in Arch. d. Soc. Rom., VI., 
337 seqq., 345 seqq. CANOVAS DEL CASTILLO, Del asalto y saco de 
Roma (Madrid, 1858), gives a map of the assault ; but this, as well as the 
topographical matter of this author, is not wholly satisfactory. The 
castellan of St. Angelo during the sack was Guido de' Medici ; 
see BENIGNI, Miscell. di Storia, V. (1906), 55 seq. Here also are 
given details of the works carried out in the castle under Clement VI. 

1 Cf. R. Schwegler's letter in HORMAYR'S Archiv, 1812, 448. 

2 Cf. the report of the Abbot of Najera in VILLA, Asalto, 123. 

3 Present entrance Via S. Uffizio, i. 

4 According to D. Venier (SANUTO, XLV., 214) there was even a 

MAI ii (H !.< i n:oN. 391 

first of the storming party to fall was Hourbon himself, who 
had pressed forward with headlong rashness. A bullet 
struck him down ; although mortally wounded, he yet had 
the presence of mind to ask those around him to cover his 
body with a cloak. 1 In spite of this precaution, the fall 
of the Commander-in-Chief became known immediately 
to the Imperialist army. It caused such consternation and 
alarm that the fighting was for a while suspended. But 
the enemy, now breathing vengeance, soon resumed their 
attack on the walls, from which a deadly fire was pouring. 
This time the hazard was successful, being favoured by the 

breach in the wall at this point. In any case the defences here were 
quite inadequate. Cf. Vettori in MlLANESl, 433, and L. GUICCIARDINI, 
ibid.) 183 sey. t 190. 

1 The exact circumstances of Bourbon's death were variously related, 
from the first, by very well-informed contemporaries. Cf. Naselli's 
report of May 14, 1527, in HORM AYR'S Archiv, 1812, 437. Most 
authorities say that the fatal ball penetrated the abdomen (ORANO, I., 
251). I find, however, other statements, that, for instance, of CORNELIUS 
DE FINE (*Diary, National Library, Paris), who says expressly : " ictu 
unius bombardae percussus in capite inter palpebras diem suum clausit." 
The French narrative (published by DROYSEN, Zeitgenossische Berichte, 
2) says he was struck on the forehead ; as also does the *letter of Salviati 
(see App., No. 49, Secret Archives of the Vatican). That Bourbon fell, 
struck by a cannon ball, and not by a musket ball, as many say, is also 
the account given in SANUTO, XLV., 145 ; the latter says : " li port6 via 
la costa sinistra et tutti li intestini." The different statements as to the 
locality of the wound can be reconciled, for an eye-witness affirms that 
he saw three wounds on Bourbon's body ; see SANUTO, XLV., 87. 
It is certain that B. Cellini was not justified in claiming the credit, also 
attributed to others, of this fatal shot ; cf. CANCELLIERI, Mercato, 242 
seg., and the works quoted by ORANO, I., 252 ; see also LEBEY, 428 seq. 
No difference of opinion can prevail as to where Bourbon fell (see 
GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 521, n.). The church where he was 
carried, and where he died, has been variously assigned ; but it was 
certainly the Sistina ; see BARTHOLD, 450, n., and SANUTO, XI A , 


fog, now so thick that it was hardly possible for a man to 
recognize his neighbour ; for the same reason the heavy 
guns on St. Angelo were kept entirely out of action. 1 
About 6 A.M. 2 the Spaniards succeeded in breaking through 
the walls of the city at the Porta Torrione by making skilful 
use of a badly guarded position ; almost at the same time 
the landsknechts scaled the walls of S. Spirito. 3 

Fierce street righting was carried on in the Borgo, especi- 
ally near St. Peter's and S. Spirito. The Roman militia, in 
their desperate resistance, rivalled the loyal Swiss Guards, 
who had taken up their position near the obelisk, then still 
standing not far from the German Campo Santo; these 
troops were nearly annihilated. 4 A testimony to their 

1 Cf. the reports in VILLA, Asalto, 141 ; SANUTO, XLV., 143 seg. t 
165, 167, 186; Jovius, Columna, 165; CELEBRINO, 12 seg., and 
CORNELIUS BE FINE, who, in his * Diary, says that the mist had become 
so dense " ita quod videri vix poterat qui stabat cum alio facie ad faciem 
et Romani non poterant amplius tormentis bellicis hostes laedere, quia 
nihil videbant" (National Library, Paris). 

2 " Initum fuit certamen," says ^Cornelius de Fine, " in aurora ante 
octavam horam (according to Italian time ; according to ours, at 4 A.M.) 
postquam certatum esset ferme per duas horas, Imperiales habuerunt 
victoriam et vi ceperunt Burgam S. Petri continue certantes et inter- 
ficientes Romanos et pontificis satellites, et nulli pepercerunt." *Diary 
in National Library, Paris. 

3 According to the Ferrara report in HORMAYR's Archiv, 1812, 438 
(GASSLER, 81 seg., had already published this document, of which 
Hormayr says nothing ; I quote from Hormayr because his Archiv 
is much better known than the rare work of Gassier), the Spaniards 
were the first to enter Rome ; others, followed by RANKE (Deutsche 
Gesch., II., 2nd ed., 410), say the landsknechts. That they both 
made their way in simultaneously is also the opinion of SCHULZ, 
105 n. 

4 Besides the letters of Buffalini of May 1 1 (Lettere di diversi all' ill. 
Sig. V. Vitelli, Firenze, 1551, 141, and GROLIERIUS, 66), see the 
reports in SANUTO, XLV., 123, 167 ; in HORMAYR'S Archiv, 1812, 438 ; 
in VILLA, Asalto, 123 ; the *Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE (National 

IN Tin-: LBONUI] 393 

valour may still be read to-day in an inscription near the 
Church of S. Spirito, which relates that there the Papal 
goldsmith, Bernardino Passed, fell fighting for the sacred 
cause of the city of his fathers, after having slain many of 
the enemy and captured a standard. 1 

The whole Borgo was soon ringing with the crit 
victory of the Imperialists, who, as they rushed irresistibly 
onwards, cut down all who crossed their path, without 
regard to age or sex. Almost all the sick in the hospital 
of S. Spirito, even the inmates of the neighbouring 
orphanage, were murdered. Blood flowed before the altars 
in St. Peter's. 2 Already in some places plundering was 
set on foot, not indeed by soldiers but by the camp rabble ; 
for commands had been given to refrain from plunder until 
the city was completely taken. These were so strictly 
carried out that the soldiers were under orders to slaughter 
all beasts of burden found in the Leonine city in order to 
prevent the transport of booty, and therewith the dis- 
organization of the bodies of troops. 3 The Imperialists 
were prevented from crossing the bridge of St. Angelo by 
the hail of cannon balls from the guns of the fortress. 

The rush of the enemy into the Leonine city had taken 
place so suddenly, in the midst of the rolling vapours, that 
Renzo da Ceri lost his head and fled distractedly to the 
Vatican. There Clement was praying in his private 

Library, Paris) ; and in Appendix, No. 49, the report of Salviati (Secret 
Archives of the Vatican). The twelve survivors of the Swiss Guards 
entered the landsknechts ; see Anz. f. schwciz. Gesch., 1886, 37. 

1 CANCELLIERI, Mercato, 242 ; TORRIGIO, Grotte, 262 ; Arch. d. 
Soc. Rom., VI., 374 seqq. ; PIERRET, Cenno storico di B. Passeri, 
Roma, 1885. 

- Jovius, Columna, 165; VILLA, Asalto, 134; CAVE, 398; letter 
of Bufialini, KOIIK, May 1 1, 1527, in Lettere al V. Vitelli, 148 ; BUONA- 
ROTTI, 1871, 255 seq. ; and SANUTO, XLV., 133, 167, 186. 

a Naselli's report in HORMAYR'S Archiv, 1812,438. 


chapel, 1 when the approaching sound of the cries of battle 
told him what had happened. The Pope up to this 
moment had trusted implicitly in Renzo's promises. The 
latter had pledged his head that the enemy would not make 
their way into Rome. 2 Nothing but rapid flight could now 
save the chief Pastor of the Church. A Spanish account says 
that if he had lingered as long as the time it takes to say 
three Credos, he would have fallen a prisoner. 3 With sobs 
and lamentations he hastened along the covered way leading 
to St. Angelo ; from the small windows of the castle he saw 
the panic-stricken knots of fugitives cut down in pitiless 
fury by Spaniards and Germans. The historian Paolo 
Giovio was of help to Clement in his flight. He flung his 
violet prelate's mantle over the white clothing of the Pope 
so that the latter should not be an easy mark for his 
enemies as he hurried across the open wooden bridge 
connecting St. Angelo with the covered way. 4 

To the same asylum of refuge fled the non-Imperialist 
Cardinals, also Giberti, Jacopo Salviati, Schonberg, the 
Ambassadors of France and England, the officers of the 
Papal Court, and a throng of men, women, and children. 
Cardinal Pucci, who, in his flight, had been thrown from 
his horse and trampled upon, yet managed to reach the 
castle at the last moment ; Cardinal Armellini was drawn 
up in a basket. 5 When the drawbridge went up and 

1 Not in St. Peter's as many, including GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 
523, assert ; cf. BARTHOLD, 447, n. 

2 Cf. the report in SANUTO, XLV., 418. 

3 Letter of Salazar of May 18, 1527, in VILLA, Asalto, 142. 

4 Jovius, Columna, 165. In Giovio's description of the sack (Sacco 
di Roma, Descriz. di M. P. Giovio, Venezia, 1872, ed. per nozze) the 
circumstance mentioned above is not related. Cf. also the somewhat 
different account in SANUTO, XL VI., 130. 

6 CELEBRINO, 14 ; L. Guicciardini, in MILANESI, 193 seq. ; cf. 


the rusty portcullis fell, three thousand persons were 
computed to have found shelter in the stronghold. Even 
then, many others pressed forward, and fell into the 
moat. " We stood there," narrates the sculptor RafTaello da 
Montelupo, who, like Benvenuto Cellini, was manning the 
castle guns, " and looked on at all that passed as if we had 
been spectators of a festa. It was impossible to fire, for 
had we done so, we should have killed more of our own 
people than of the enemy. Between the church of 
S. Maria Transpontina and the gate of the castle more 
than from four to five thousand persons were crowded 
together, pell-mell, and, as far as we could see, hardly fifty 
landsknechts behind them. Two standard-bearers of the 
latter forced their way through the turmoil with uplifted 
banners as far as the great gate of the castle, but were shot 
down at the head of the bridge." l 

Many inhabitants of the Leonine city sought refuge in 
flight ; so reckless was the rush on the boats that many 
were swamped and sank ; not a few persons flung them- 
selves in despair into the Tiber. 2 The Imperialists were 
forced to withdraw from the Leonine city, where the guns 
of St. Angelo made occupation impossible. The com- 
manders accordingly determined to transfer the attack to 
the second suburb on the right bank of the Tiber, to 
Trastevere, from which three bridges (Ponte Sisto, Ponte 
Quattro Capi, and Ponte S. Maria) led into Rome proper. 
Since the Imperialists could now make use of the captured 
artillery, they quickly attained their object, the resistance 
they encountered being at the same time very much 
weaker. St. Angelo indeed kept up a repeated fire, 

1 Autobiography of RAKI AM.I.O DA MONTKLUPO, 429 43 5 c f- 
GROLIERIUS, 67. The number of those in the castle was reduced, 
later on, to 950 ; see SANUTO, XI A "I .. 

- Blasius de Martinellis in CRMGHTOW, V., 328 ; J. CAVE, 397. 


but the guns had not sufficient range to do serious 
damage to the besiegers and prevent the capture of 
Trastevere. 1 

It was now the chief object of the Imperialists to act 
with the utmost possible despatch before the army of the 
League drew near and the Romans recovered from their 
panic and broke down the bridges. The commanders had 
difficulty in keeping together their men, eager for plunder, 
and ordered the separate divisions to advance on Ponte 
Sisto. It was about seven in the evening 2 when the first 
columns arrived there. Although it sounds incredible, it is 
yet a fact, that the means taken to secure even this 
most important point were utterly inadequate. The 
bridge had not been blown up, and the gate-house was 
only weakly defended. The question may be asked : 
How was this possible? The Roman Marcello Alberini, 
who as a young man had lived through the capture of the 
city, supplies the answer. The defence was organized as 
badly as possible ; from the beginning there was no one 
central command. Apart from this, the defenders, who 
were none too numerous, were dispersed along the entire 
distance of the long line of the city walls and kept watch at 
points where the least danger threatened. Many deserted 

1 Cf. in Appendix, No. 49, the report of Salviati (Secret Archives 
of the Vatican), as well as SANUTO, XLV., 233, the letter of Du 
Bellay in Mel. d'Archeol., XVL, 412, and Autobiography of RAFFAELLO 


2 The 23rd hour (Italian time) is given in most accounts as the 
time of the entrance into Rome proper; see GUICCIARDINI, XVIII., 
3 ; A. LANCEOLINUS, Capture of Rome, translated into German by H. 
von Ependorff (supplement to G. CAPELLA, Von den Geschichten Italic, 
Strassburg, 1536; cf. SCHULZ, 24 seq.) ; ALBERINI, 340; GUMPPEN- 
BERG, 240 j *Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris). 
The 20th and 2ist hours are given in SANUTO, XLV., 145, 219, and 
CAVE, 399, the 22nd in VETTORI, 380. 


their posts because no one brought them their victuals. 
Others paraded the streets pompously with military airs, 
and believed, Alberini adds in bitter irony, that they were 
thus defending their native land. Besides, the Ghibcllincs 
and satellites of the Colonna thought that they had 
nothing to fear if the Imperialists were victorious ; many 
even wished that Rome might come under the rule of 
Charles V. Then, again, the consequences of Bourbon's 
death were greatly exaggerated, and some were convinced 
to a certainty that the enemy's army, having lost its leader, 
would immediately break up. 1 When, at last, the magni- 
tude of the danger was recognized, attempts were made to 
open negotiations which, from the nature of the case, 
could have no result 2 But the populace, as if bewildered 
by fear, ran about the streets, and people of substance tried 
to conceal their property in the houses of Imperialist 
persons. Only a few high-minded and spirited men 
resolved to raise a couple of hundred horsemen to defend 
the Ponte Sisto. But those brave men were not able to 
check for long the inroad of the enemy. From the roof 
of the palace of the Cancelleria, Alberini saw how 
Pierpaolo Tibaldi, Giulio Vallati, and Giambattista Savelli 

Vettori in MILANESI, 435 ; cf. ORANO, I., 241, n. According to Du 
Bellay, Renzo da Ceri had resolved on the destruction of the 
bridges, but met with refusal on the part of the Romans ; cf. Me*!. 
d'Archdol., XVI., 411 seq. A report in SANUTO, XLV., 418. 

that the Pope wished the bridges to be destroyed ; the refusal came 
from Renzo. L. Guicciardini (in MM.ANKSI, 196 seqq.) brings the 
gravest accusations against Renzo, but says that he was not alone to 

2 The negotiations were to be in the hands of the Margrave Gumbert 
of Brandenburg, a resident in Rome; cf. GUMITMNIWRG'S repo; 

seq. ; see also BELLERMANN, Erinnerungen aus Siideuropa, Berlin, 


fell like heroes, whereupon the leaders gave up all for lost 
and fled. 1 

The Imperialists now rushed like a mountain torrent in 
flood through the streets of the capital. " All were doomed 
to certain death who were found in the streets of the city ; 
the same fate was meted out to all, young or old, woman 
or man, priest or monk. Everywhere rang the cry : 
Empire! Spain! Victory!" 2 

Nevertheless, the Imperialists did not yet feel secure. At 
any moment the army of the League might appear before 
Rome. Even if a few, here and there, had begun to plunder, 
the generals were still able to keep control over the nucleus 
of the army in its appointed divisions. The landsknechts 
held the Campo di Fiore, the Spaniards the Piazza Navona, 
while Ferrante Gonzaga watched St. Angelo. These 
measures of precaution proved, however, to be unnecessary. 
Guido Rangoni had, indeed, appeared in the evening at the 
Ponte Salaro with five hundred light cavalry and eight 
hundred musketeers, but on hearing of the fall of Rome 
had immediately fallen back on Otricoli. When the 
victorious soldiery saw that no one disputed their quickly 
won success, their leaders were no longer in a position 
to hold them together. The first to break away in their 
hunger for booty were the Spaniards ; they were soon 
followed by the landsknechts. Twenty thousand dis- 
organized soldiers, to whom a rabble of vagabonds and 
banditti 3 had attached themselves, now spread through the 

1 See ALBERINI, 340, the letter of Buffalini, see supra^ p. 392, n. 4, 
and CELEBRINO, 14. 

2 GUMPPENBERG'S Report, 241. 

3 According to SANUTO, XLV., 218, the number of these vagabonds 
amounted to 10,000, certainly a very exaggerated reckoning. The same 
statement is made by AMASEO, Diario, Venezia, 1884, 90-91. For the 
strength of the Imperial army see supra, p. 361. Jovius, Columna, 
165, exaggerates when he says that more than 40,000 of the enemy 

HORRORS oi TIIK 8A< 399 

streets of the ill-fated capital of the world, to plunder, burn, 
and kill in accnrdanrr with "the rights of war." Carrying 
lighted wax candles in their hands, these savage bands 
passed from house to house in the darkness of the night ; 
they took, however, only gold and silver ; whoever offered 
resistance was at once cut down. 1 

On the morning of the 7th of May, Rome presented a 
spectacle that baffled description. It was, in the words of 
Francesco Gonzaga, a sight that might have moved a 
stone to compassion. 2 Everywhere there was the most 
ruthless devastation, everywhere rapine and murder. The 
air re-echoed to the wailings of women, the plaintive cries 
of children, the barking of dogs, the neighing of chargers, 
the clash of arms, and the crash of timber from the burning 
houses. 3 All accounts, even the Spanish, agree that no 
age, no sex, no station, no nationality, neither Spaniard nor 
German, neither church nor hospital, was spared. 4 

The soldiers began by carrying off from the houses and 
palaces all objects of value ; they then set a price of ransom 
on all those whom they had robbed, on men, women, and 
children, and even on servants ; those who were not able to 

invaded Rome. GUALDERONICO, 91, puts the number at only 18,000, 
CORNELIUS DE FINE at 25,000 (*Diary in National Library, Paris). 

1 *Primi spoliatores erant Hispani et Itali qui tota nocte cum torciis 
cerae albae circumibant civitatem a domo ad domum nil accipientes 
nisi aurum et argentum, si tnmen alia prcciosa non accipiebant. 
*Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris). 

2 I found the despatch of this envoy, written with a trembling hand, 
in the Gonzaga Archives, Mantua ; see the text in Appendix, No. 47. 

3 J. CAVE, 400. Cf. also the report of F. Gonza. 
LUZIO, Maramaldo, 79. 

4 VILLA, Asalto, 124, 135 scq., 143, 164. Cf. MILANESI, 501; 
SANUTO, XLV., 88, 90; GUALDERONICO, 92. Sec also *Relatione di 
diversi casi curiosi success! in Roma nel sacco di Borbonc. R 6, 17, 
Angelica Library, Rome. 


pay were first tortured in the cruellest manner and then 
murdered. But even the payment of their ransom did not 
help these wretched victims ; this only led to fresh exac- 
tions and fresh suffering. Often, when a house was stripped 
clean of its contents, it was then set on fire. " Hell," said 
a Venetian report of the loth of May I527, 1 " has nothing 
to compare with the present state of Rome." In many 
places the streets were covered with dead bodies ; beneath 
them lay many a child under ten years of age who had 
been flung out of the windows by the soldiers. 2 

Still more terrible was the fate of defenceless women and 
maidens. Neither tender youth nor venerable age nor 
noble birth shielded the unhappy victims from brutal ill- 
usage and dishonour. Many were violated and murdered 
before the eyes of their husbands and fathers ; even the 
daughter of the wealthy Domenico Massimi, whose sons 
had been slain and his palace burned, fell a victim. More 
than one contemporary declared that the deeds of the 
Vandals, Goths, and Turks were outdone. Many young 
girls, driven to despair by the dishonour wreaked upon 
them, flung themselves into the Tiber ; others were put to 
death by their own fathers to save them from the extremity 
of shame. 3 Spaniards, Germans, and Italians rivalled one 
another in cruelty towards the unhappy inhabitants ; but all 
accounts coincide in giving to the Spaniards, among whom 
were many Jews and " Marani," 4 the palm for ingenuity in 

1 SANUTO, XLV., 219. F. Gonzaga writes in the same way on May 
9 ; see LuziO, Maramaldo, 81. 

2 SANUTO, XLV., 123, 165. 

3 SANUTO, XLV., 133, 145, 164, 165, 187, 203. F. Gonzaga in LUZIO, 
Maramaldo, 81 ; J. CAVE, 400 seq. ; Zeitgenossische Berichte, 24, 26 ; 
see also ORANO, I., 272, n. Cf. Sanga's letter in Appendix, No. 50. 
For D. Massimi see SANUTO, XLV., 122, 145, 187, 233. 

4 L. Guicciardini in MILANESI, 229; CELEBRINO, 15; and GRO- 
LIERIUS,24. VOGELSTEIN, 1 1., 50, doubts the above facts without grounds. 


unearthing treasure and contriving tortures, although the 
Italians, and especially the Neapolitans, were, on the whole, 
scarcely second to them. 1 

A letter of the Venetian, Giovan Barozzi, written to 
his brother on the I2th of May 1527, describes with 
appalling truth and directness the unspeakable misery 
of the Romans. " I am," he says, " a prisoner of the 
Spaniards. They have fixed my ransom at 1000 ducats 
on the pretext that I am an official. They have, besides, 
tortured me twice, and finished by lighting a fire under the 
soles of my feet. For six days I had only a little bread 
and water. Dear brother, do not let me perish thus miser- 
ably. Get the ransom money together by begging. 
For God's sake do not abandon me. If I do not pay the 
ransom, now amounting to 140 ducats, in twenty-six days 
they will hack me in pieces. For the love of God and 
of the Blessed Virgin help me. All the Romans are 
prisoners, and if a man does not pay his ransom he is 
killed. The sack of Genoa and of Rhodes was child's play 
to this. Help me, dear Antonio ; help me for God's sake, 
and that as quickly as possible." 2 The sufferings here 
spoken of were by no means the most severe ; the French 
physician, Jean Cave, in his account of the sack, remarks 
that no method of torture was left untried ; he gives some 
examples, in illustration, which the pen shrinks from 

1 Italian despatch-writers state this expressly; see SANUTO. XI.V., 
221 ; Jovius, Columna, 1 66, and ALBKRINI, 342. C/. ORANO, I., 199, 
n., and 275, n. According to Blasius de Martinellis (CRK1GHTON, V., 
328) and SANUTO, XLV., 234, Romans themselves took a part in the 
plunder. In the *Litcrac priorum Castri PlebU to Siena, dated **ex 
terra Castri Plebis desolata," May 13, 1527, we read: " Non igitur 
mirandum est quid fecerint Germani et Hispani hostes urbi Romae, 
cum seviora patraverint amici militcs." TIZIO, *Hist. Senen., Cod. 
G. II., 40 (Chigi Library, Rome). 

2 The letter is in SANUTO, XLV., 237-238. 

VOL. IX. 26 


transcribing. Luigi Guicciardini relates things of, if possible, 
even greater atrocity. A form of torture which seems to 
have been especially in favour with the Spaniards was to bind 
their prisoners fast and leave them to die of slow starvation. 1 
The excesses of German landsknechts were not marked 
by such inventive cruelty. They gave way rather to a 
stupid and brutal vandalism. Sots and gamblers, knowing 
nothing of Italy and its language, they were systematically 
overreached by the shrewd Spaniards, who knew how to 
single out for themselves the richest houses. The Germans 
also, in their simplicity, were satisfied for the most part 
with much smaller ransoms. 2 In disorderly companies 

1 J. CAVE, 403. Cf. Histor. Jahrbuch, XII., 752 ; VILLA, Asalto, 
136, 164.9^. ; GUALDERONICO, 92 ; GAVARDO in Arch. Stor. Lomb., 
IV., 630 ; L. Guicciardini in MlLANESl, 224 seqq. ; Cardinal Trivulzio, 
ibid.) 486; SANUTO, XLVL, 140 seq. *Nullum genus tormentorum 
praetermiserunt in eos, alii per testicul[os] pendebantur, alii igne sub 
pedibus torquebantur, alii varia supplicia passi sunt donee solverent 
ea quae non haberent, et quod plus est : postquam liberati essent e 
manibus unius, incidebant in alios nequiores latrones. *Diary of 
CORNELIUS DE FINE in the National Library, Paris. 

2 See Jovius, Columna, 106. GREGOROVIUS, in the Allgem. 
Zeitung, 1876, Beil. No. 205, has justly taken exception to VILLA'S 
assertion (Asalto, 205 seg.}, that the greatest cruelties were committed, 
not by Spaniards, but by Germans. Not only Jovius, but also L. 
Guicciardini in MILANESI, 231, and the Frenchmen, GROLIERIUS, 92 
seq.) and J. CAVE, 404, testify to the conduct of the Germans in a very 
different way, without denying that they committed excesses. That 
they too did many cruel things, and slew in anger those who did not 
at once meet their demands for money, is proved (see SANUTO, XLV., 
1 66, 1 68, 1 88, 262) ; but it is certain that they were not, on the whole, 
the worst and the most cruel. M. CRESCI (*Storia d'ltalia, Laurentian 
Library, Cod. Ashburnh., 633) says the Italians were quite as cruel as 
the Spaniards and the landsknechts. Fabius Areas of Narni says 
truly : " In that destruction of Rome the Germans showed themselves 
bad enough, the Italians were worse, but the worst of all were the 
Spaniards," K. LEIB, Annales, 512. 

THE LANn.SKNF.niTS. 403 

they passed through thr streets of the city, 1 not sparing 
even their own countrymen, 2 dressed up in a ridiculous 
manner in magnificently embroidered silk raiment, with 
gold chains round their necks and precious stones twisted 
through their beards, while their faces were begrimed with 
powder and smoke. 

Since the landsknechts were for the most part Lutheran, 
they did not neglect this opportunity of heaping scorn and 
ridicule on the Papacy. With the red hats of Cardinals 
on their heads and the long robes of the Princes of the 
Church flung round them, they paraded the streets mounted 
on asses and indulged in every conceivable mummery. A 
Bavarian captain, Wilhelm von Sandizell, even dressed up 
as the Pope and bade his comrades, masquerading as 
Cardinals, kiss his hands and feet. He gave his blessing 
with a glass of wine, a salutation which his companions 
acknowledged by drinking to him in return. The whole 
gang then made their way to the Leonine city, to the 
sounds of trumpets and fifes, and there proclaimed Luther 
as Pope in such a way that the inmates of St. Angelo 
became aware of their doings. A landsknecht called 
Griinwald was said to have shouted up to the fortress 
that he wished he could devour a bit of the Pope's body, 
because he was a hinderer of the Word of God. Another 
carried about a crucifix fastened on the point of his pike 
before finally breaking it in pieces. 3 

1 J. CAVE, 400; L. Guicciardini in MlLANESl, 238. 

2 See GESCHEID'S account in Histor. Jahrbuch, XII., 752 ; SCHULTE, 
I., 238 ; SCHMIDLIN, Anima, 274 ; DE WAAL, Der Campo Santo, 87 stq. 

3 J. CAVE, 402 ; Nova in SCHARDIUS, II., 612 ; SANUTO, XLV., 210 ; 
Zeitgenossische Berichte, 27 seq.^ 44 seg. ; Giovo's Descrizionc, 17, 
quoted supra, p. 394. n. 4: I. \M KI I.OTTI, III., 251, l6j] RANKE 
(Deutsche Gesch., II., 2nd cd., 414) sees in the proceeding of the 
landsknechts described above "the sportive (!) expression of their 
evangelical opinions." BARTHOI.K 453, 462 Sfq. 


It is almost impossible to describe the destruction and 
sacrilege wrought by the landsknechts in the churches; 
yet the Spaniards and Italians did not fall far short of 
them. Every church, even the national churches of the 
Spaniards and the Germans, 1 was plundered. What the 
generosity and piety of centuries had amassed in costly 
vestments, vessels, and works of art, was, in the space of a 
few days, carried off by this rude soldiery, flung away on 
play or wine or sold to the Jews. The precious settings of 
relics were torn off; in many instances even tombs were 
broken open and ransacked in the search for treasures. 
Hands were laid on the Blessed Sacrament of the altar 
itself; the consecrated species were flung on the ground 
and desecrated in all manner of ways. " Unbelievers," 
says a Spanish account, "could not have behaved worse." 2 
It was reported that some soldiers clothed an ass in 
bishop's vestments, led him into a church, and tried to 
force a priest to incense the beast solemnly, and even to 
offer him the Sacred Host. The priest, on refusing, was 
cut in pieces. 3 

1 Cf. SCHMIDLIN, Anima, 273 seq., 278 seq. 

2 See the Spanish reports in VILLA, 135 and 136, and the Italian 
in SANUTO, XLV., 133, 166, 203, 221-222 ; XLVI., 142 seq. Cf. 
also GUALDERONICO, 93 ; L. Guicciardini in MlLANESl, 204, 241 ; 
GROLIERIUS, 74 ; SURIUS, Comment., 202 ; TIZIO, *Hist. Senen. in 
Cod. G, II., 40, f. 313 and 314 (Chigi Library, Rome). For the 
robbery of relics see FONTANA, Renata, I., 430, and in Appendix, No. 
50, Sanga's ^letter (Ricci Archives, Rome), and the letter of Salviati, 
ibid., n. 49. 

3 *Un povero sacerdote ma generoso christiano perche non volse 
incensare e communicare un' asino, che vestito in habito di vescovo 
havevano con mitra condotto in chiesa, rest6 crudelmente trucidato. 
*Relatione del Sacco dato a Roma li 6 Maggio 1527 cavata da alcuni 
Mss. di persone trovatesi. Cod. Vatic., 7933 (Vatican Library). The 
*Relatione of the Angelica Library, Rome, cited supra, p. 399, n. 4, 
says the same with more detail. Cf. L. Guicciardini in MlLANESl, 


The desecration of churches was carried to such a pitch 
that they were turned into stables ; even St. Peter's did 
not escape this fate, for there also tombs were violated, 
among others that of Julius II. The head of St. Andrew 
was thrown on the ground, the napkin of St Veronica, a 
relic deeply venerated during the Middle Ages, was stolen 
and offered for sale in Roman hostel ries. A famous 
crucifix belonging to one of the seven principal altars of St. 
Peter's was hidden away in the clothes of a landsknecht ; 
countless relics and costly objects were at this time 
purloined; the Holy Lance was fastened by a German 
soldier to his pike, and carried in derision through the 
Borgo. Although the resting-place of the Princes of 
the Apostles was desecrated, yet the actual tomb of St. 
Peter was left uninjured. The chapel Sancta Sanctorum, 
declared in an inscription to be the most sacred spot on 
earth, 1 was plundered ; happily the special treasure of the 
chapel remained undisturbed in its huge enclosure of iron. 2 

The fury of the captors wreaked itself with special cruelty 
on all persons of ecclesiastical status. A large proportion 
of the priests and monks who fell into the hands of the 
landsknechts were murdered. Many were sold publicly 

229; SANUTO, XLV., 218; the letter of Cardinal Trivulzio ID 
MlLANESl, 484 ; LANCELLOTTI, III., 263, and the narrative of S. Pcrelli 
in SAGGIATORE, I., 313. 

1 Cf. SANUTO, XLV., 133, 166, 168, 192, 435 seq.\ VILLA, 146; 
Arch. stor. Lomb., IV., 635 ; GESCHEID in Hist. Jahrbuch, XII 
Nova in SCHARDIUS, II., 612 ; MILANESI, 484 j<y., 503 ; SANDOVAL, I., 
718 seq. ; SANTORO, n ; GRISAR in the Civ. Catt, 1906, II., 725 scq. ; 
Sanga's letter (Ricci Archives, Rome), in Appendix, No. 50 ; ToRRIGlO, 
(irotu-, 255 seq. For the dispersion of relics see ORANO, I., 271 stg., 
n., and 333, n. OK account of the tomb of St. Peter 

Jahrb., loc. cit.) is an exaggeration due to excitement ; cf. GRISAR, 
Tombe apostol. di Roma, 29 ; see also LANCIANI, I., 238. 

- Cf. GRISAK in the Civ. Catt., hi. at. 


as captives of war ; others were made to put on women's 
clothing and exposed to shocking ribaldry. The Spaniards 
made it their main business to extort money from the clergy. 
The landsknechts declared that they had promised to God 
to murder all priests, and they acted accordingly ; Patri- 
archs, Archbishops, Bishops, Protonotaries, Abbots were ill- 
treated, fined, and murdered. Venerable priests well stricken 
in years were treated with violence. The Bishop of Potenza, 
eighty years of age, being unable to pay his ransom, was at 
once put to death. The Bishop of Terracina, in his nine- 
tieth year, failing to give the 30,000 ducats demanded of 
him, was publicly put up for sale, with a truss of straw on 
his head, like a beast in the cattle market. 1 Other ecclesi- 
astics had their noses and ears cut off, and were forced to 
perform the lowest services. 2 

Still more terrible were the sufferings endured by the 
nuns. Some succeeded at the last hour in securing safe 
places of concealment. More than a hundred and sixty 
who had taken refuge in a convent near S. Lorenzo in 
Paneperna were, on payment of money, protected by a 
company of landsknechts from their own comrades. One 
of the nuns of S. Cosimato in Trastevere, all of whom 
had fled there in a body, describes the deadly agony 
which she and her companions, mostly women of noble 
birth, went through. The same chronicle gives a vivid 
description of the spoliation of the rich church of S. 
Cosimato, where an image of the Infant Christ Himself, 

1 These details are given in the Spanish reports in VILLA, 137, 154. 
Cf. also SANUTO, XLV., 122, 145, 166 seq., 186, XLVI., 139 seq.\ 
GUICCIARDINI, XVIII., 3; DROYSEN, Zeitgenossische Berichte, 43 
(cf. SCHULZ, 50, 54 seq.) ; Sanga's letter in Appendix, No. 50, and 
the *Relatione in Cod. Vatic., 7933. 

2 L. Guicciardini in MILANESI, 239. Cf. LANCELLOTTI, III., 224, 

i ATI. ( >! LM.Kiinrs n 407 

carved in wood, was shattered in piece-,. 1 But what was 
all this compared with tlu- fite of those religious houses of 
women whose inmates had no hope of escape, as, for 
example, the nuns of S. Maria in Campo Marzo, S. Rufina, 
and others ! 2 It can easily be understood that the atrocities 
committed were indescribable. The victims of this bestial 
rapine were to be counted happy who, after being robbed 
of all, were slain ; the majority of those who survived 
were reserved for a fate harder than death. Half-naked, 
or huddled up, in mockery, in Cardinals' robes, they were 

1 See Galetti's *extracts from the *Cronica di S. Cosimato in Mica 
aurea in Cod. Vatic., 7933, f. 55 seg., of the Vatican Library. The 
Suor Orsola Formicini here gives a simple and vivid description of 
the flight of the sisters in the night, of their agony of mind, and their 
marvellous rescue under cover of S. Lorenzo in Paneperna, and of the 
destruction of the church and monastery of S. Cosimato. *Lassarono 
dunque le pavide ancille del Signore il loro monastero pieno di ogni 
bene : la madonna della Chiesa parata et con que' vezzi de' perle 
grossissime di quelle antiche baronesse et un parato di velluto 
cremesino nell' altare maggiore, et era la prima volta che fu mossa. 
Tutta la sacrestia richa et nobile poiche quelle illustrissime signore 
quando si facevan monache tutte le loro cose belle et bone et di 
mettcvano in sacrestia .... ; mi dissero come vi era una croce d' oro 
fino et piena di perle et gioie finissime qual' era di gran valuta ; il 
tutto lassarono senza salvar nientc. In her account of the destruction 
of the monastery the writer says : " Ogni cosa fu persa, ma perche no 
fu perso 1' onore si puo dire che non persero nulla." 

2 According to the *Relatione, quoted supra, p. 404, n. 3, these 
two monasteries suffered the worst outrages ; Cod. Vatic., 7933, of the 
Vatican Library. The same account is found in the *Relatione of the 
Angelica Library (see supra, p. 399, n. 4). Above this section is 
written : *Sacco dato al rione di Campo Marzo c morte di alcune 
signore e parimente sacheggiano il monastero di Campo Marzo e 
stuprano le monache et tolgono 1' onore a molte matrone Romane che 
si credevano salve in detto Monastero. C/. the further section: *Cio 
che fccero alii monasteri e conventi di monache et religiosi. See also 
the minute in SAGGIATORE, I., 314, and ORANO, I 


dragged through the streets to the houses of ill-fame, or 
sold singly in the markets for two ducats, or even less, 
apiece. 1 Here again the Spaniards committed the worst 
abominations. The German landsknechts, at first, were 
content for the most part with extorting ransoms and secur- 
ing precious belongings ; and sometimes they even protected 
persecuted innocence from their own comrades; 2 but later 
on they followed the example of the others, and, in not a 
few cases, tried, indeed, to outvie them in their excesses. 3 

The landsknechts, among whom were many Lutherans, 
had shown no pity, from the first, for the clergy and the 
Cardinals, who, moreover, had been handled badly enough 
by the ruthless Spaniards. Even the Cardinals with Im- 
perialist sympathies did not escape wholesale robbery, savage 
ill-usage, and cruel mockery. For eight days the palaces 
of Cardinals Piccolomini, Valle, Enkevoirt, and Cesarini, 
situated in the Rione S. Eustachio, were spared, their 
owners having secured the protection of Spanish officers, 
who declared that they would take nothing from the 
Cardinals themselves, but demanded large sums from the 
numerous fugitives who found asylum in those palaces. 
At first they asked for 100,000 ducats from each palace ; 
but afterwards were satisfied on receiving 45,000 from 
Cesarini, 40,000 from Enkevoirt, and 35,000 from Valle 
and Piccolomini each. These sums had to be paid in 

1 With VILLA, 138, 146, cf. specially SANUTO, 166, 167, 203, 218, 
435. See also GUALDERONICO, 93 ; Arch. stor. Lomb., IV., 635 ; and 
in Appendix, No. 50, Sanga's letter (Ricci Archives, Rome). 

*Fu osservato pero in qualche caso che li Luterani tedeschi si 
mostravano piu miti, anzi si fecero custodi della pudicitia di alcune 
bastando loro di ottenere robba o denaro, mostrandosi molto piu 
pregiuditievoli alia citta li Spagnoli per le inaudite invention! di 
tormenti praticati con alcuni per farli confessare ripostini e per cavar- 
ne denari. *Relatione, etc., in Cod. Vatic., 7933, Vatican Library. 

3 L. Guicciardini in MILANESI, 232 seq. 


ducats to the full amount ; all other coins and also precious 
stones were rejected. But the landsknechts were now 
also anxious to visit these palaces, and finally the Spaniards 
announced that they could not guarantee any further pro- 
tection. The landsknechts fell first on the palace of 
Cardinal Piccolomini, who thought himself perfectly safe, 
as he and his family were, from old times, friends of the 
Emperor and the Germans. After a four hours' fight the 
palace was taken and plundered. The Cardinal, who had 
to disburse 5000 ducats, was dragged, with his head un- 
covered, amid blows and kicks, to the Borgo. In conse- 
quence Cardinals Cesarini, Valle, and Enkevoirt also felt 
no longer safe, and fled to the Palazzo Colonna. They had 
hardly left their residences before looting and destruction 
began. Not content with the huge booty they found there, 
the landsknechts laid a heavy ransom on every Roman 
who had taken refuge in these palaces. 1 In addition to 
this the three hundred and ninety persons in the Palazzo 
Valle had been fined already, on the 8th of May, by 
Fabrizio Maramaldo, a captain in the Imperialist army. 
The Cardinal and his household on this occasion had 
been mulcted in 7000 ducats ; the other fugitives had been 
rated individually according to their means. The total 
sum raised in this one palace alone of an Imperialist 
Cardinal amounted to 34,455 ducats. 2 

1 Lettera del Card, di Como of March 24, 1527, in MlLANESI, 477 
seq. Cf. SANUTO, XLV., 168, 187; VIM SAGGIATORE, I., 

338 seq. ; SCHMIDLIN, 274 seq. ; OK \v>. I . 289 seq., and the " 
of CORNELIUS DE FINE (National Library, Paris). 

- The notarial instrument by which the refugees undertook to 
repay to Cardinal Valle the sums levied on them has been published 
incorrectly by L. BONAI dc KOMH-, Florence, 1830, 8 1 scq.> 

and correctly by CORVI>IM<I, Document!, 21-31, who also gives ( 
the rates at which each person was inong the latter were eight 

Jews who were valued at 400 ducats. Cf. also VOGELSTi.iN, II.. 


Cardinals Cajetan and Ponzetti were also dragged 
through the streets, fettered, and subjected to ill-usage and 
ridicule. Ponzetti, who was also an Imperialist, had to 
pay a ransom of 20,000 ducats ; he died in consequence 
of the injuries he had received. The Franciscan Cardinal 
Numai, then suffering from serious illness, was carried on a 
bier through the streets by Lutheran landsknechts singing 
dirges. They then took him to a church, where a mock 
funeral service was gone through, and threatened to fling 
him into a grave if he did not pay a ransom. He was after- 
wards carried to some friends who were bound over to be 
his sureties. 1 Cristofero Marcello, Archbishop of Corfu, was 
called upon to pay 6000 ducats ; not having the money, he 
was flung into imprisonment at Gaeta under threats of death. 2 

A heavy ransom was demanded even from the 
Portuguese Ambassador, who was very nearly related to 
Charles V., and on his refusing to pay, his palace was 
plundered. As several bankers had transferred their 
property thither for safety, the soldiers came into possession 
of an exceedingly rich haul. The Florentine banker, 
Bernardo Bracci, was taken by Spanish soldiers to the 
Bank of the Foreigners, where he had to pay down his 
ransom of 8206 ducats. On the Ponte Sisto he met the 
captain, La Motte, who had been appointed governor of 
the city, who threatened to fling Bracci into the Tiber 
unless he laid down an additional 600 ducats ; Bracci 
paid and so saved his life. 3 Even Perez, the Secretary 
of the Imperial Embassy, was in danger of his life at the 

1 Cf. the *Relatione in Cod. Vat, 7933, Vatican Library ; SANUTO, 
XLV., 100, 145; VILLA, 137; L. Guicciardini in MILANESI, 228; 
GROLIERIUS, 75 seq. 

2 See SANUTO, XLV., 493-495 ; cf. 655. 

3 See the reports in MILANESI, 228 seq., 380, 472 seq. ; VILLA, 138, 
145, 165 ; SANUTO, XLV., 133 ; Studi e doc., V., 224 seq. 

ISABELLA or M \\TUA. 4!! 

hands of savage landskm-chts, and suffered heavy losses 
in money and property. 1 The Emperor's procurator, 
George Sauermann, was so completely despoiled that he 
was reduced to beggary, and died in the street from 
hunger and exhaustion. 2 No place afforded safety ; the 
very hospitals, among them even that of the Germans, 
were not spared. 3 

The Venetian Ambassador, Domenico Venier, and the 
envoys of Mantua, Ferrara, and Urbino, had fled to the 
great palace of Isabella, Marchioness of Mantua, at SS. 
Apostoli. This high-minded Princess had also given 
asylum in her fortress-palace to a multitude of men and 
women of noble birth. While it was still night her son, 
Ferrante Gonzaga, came in haste to protect her; he uas 
unable, however, to prevent the sum of 60,000 ducats being 
levied as ransom on those to whom his mother had given 
shelter. Although a watch of Spaniards and landsknechts 
now guarded the house, it was repeatedly threatened by 
turbulent bands of the captors. The Marchioness was in 
deadly fear. On the 1 3th of May she fled to Civita Vecchia ; 
with her escaped the Venetian Ambassador, disguised as 
a porter. In the letter in which Venier announced his 
safety to the Doge, he remarks, "The destruction of 
Jerusalem could not have been worse than that of Rome." 4 

Pompeo Colonna appeared in Rome on the loth of 

1 See VILLA, 157, 163, and SCHULZ, 9 seq. Cf. also CANOVAS DEL 
CASTILLO, Asalto, 18-19. 

2 Cf. BAUCH in Zeitschr. fiir schles. Gesch., XIX., 179 seq. 

3 Cf. SANUTO, XLV., 99 ; *Salviati's letter in Appendix, No. 49 ; 
DROYSEN, Zeitgenossische Ik-rirhtr, 25; I.AKIIKMI., 455. The 
hospitals of S. Giovanni and S. (.iacomo were spared as by a 
miracle, says GUALDERONICO, 92. 

4 Venier's letter of May 20, in SANUTO, XLV.. 214 seq. ; cf. 168, 191, 
208 scq., 217, 220 seq. As to the fate of Isabella, see Lanceolinus's 
account, supra^ p. 396, n. 2; the Chronicle ot Daino in Arch. Stor. 


May. He found his palace sacked, and the streets covered 
with dead bodies ; the scene of cruel desolation moved 
even this hard man to tears. Giovio states that Colonna 
took urgent steps to mitigate the misery and gave pro- 
tection to several fugitives; but with him some thousand 
peasants from the environs had made their way into 
Rome, ready to seize on what had been left over from 
the pillage of the soldiery. Not only the iron railings, 
but even the very nails were wrenched by them from the 
walls of the houses. The Pope's villa on Monte Mario 
was now given to the flames. 1 

The Frenchman Grolier, who betook himself for safety 
to the house of a Spanish Bishop, has described, in striking 
words, the scene that met his eye as he looked, from the 
terrace of his place of refuge, over the city now given up 
to fire and sword : " From every side came cries, the 
clash of arms, the shrieks of women and children, the 
crackling of flames, the crash of falling roofs. We stood 
motionless with fear and listened, as if fate had singled 
us out alone to be the spectators of the ruin of our 
homes." 2 There was hardly a house in Rome at last 

Ital., App. II., 236, and the letter in Luzio, Maramaldo, 81 seq., and 
Mantova e Urbino, 279. Cf. also in Appendices, Nos. 47, 48, 50, 
the letters, discovered by me, of three persons who had taken refuge in 
the palace of the Marchioness, namely : Casella's ^report of May 7 (State 
Archives, Modena), the ^despatch of F. Gonzaga of May 7 (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua), and Sanga's ^letter of June27 (Ricci Archives, Rome). 

1 Cf. Jovius, Columna, 166 seq. ; GUALDERONICO, 92 ; J. CAVE, 
406; GROLIERIUS, 80; SANUTO, XLV., 122, 134, 164, 165, 167. 
There are different versions of the day of Colonna's arrival (cf* ORANO, 
I., 284 note). May 10 is given in VILLA, 128, 163, in the Nova in ' 
SCHARDIUS, II., 611, and in the *Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE 
(National Library, Paris), who says : " Horum adventus maxima urbis 
destructio fuit." 

2 GROLIERIUS, 87 ; GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 541 seq. 


which was not injured. Even the \\ t the 

water-carriers and porters were not spared. 1 " In the 
whole city," ran one account, " there was not a soul above 
three years of age who had not to purchase his safety." 2 
Several paid ransoms twice or even three times over ; 
many were in such bodily suffering that they pref< 
an immediate death to further torture. 3 

It is hardly possible to compute the number of deaths 
with certainty. In the Borgo and Trastevere alone, two 
thousand corpses were cast into the Tiber, nine thousand 
eight hundred were buried. 4 The booty of the soldiers 
was incalculable. At the lowest estimate it must have 
amounted in money and objects of value to more than 
one million ducats, in payments of ransom to three or 
four millions. Clement VII. estimated the total damage 
at ten millions in gold. Many soldiers had plundered 
coin in such quantity that they were not able even to 
drag their booty away ; each vagabond camp-follower 
had as many ducats as he could fill his cap with/' 

With a pitiless coolness which makes one shudder, the 

1 See the reports in MILANESI, 474, 486. 

2 DROYSEN, Zeitgenossische Berichte, 39 ; cf. AI.BERINI, 345. 

3 L. Guicciardini gives examples in MILANESI, 226 seq.\ cf. SANUTO, 
XLV., 192 ; CUMPPENBERG, 236, says many were fined ten times and 
then murdered after that. 

4 SANUTO, XLV., 210; GUICCIARDINI, XVIII., 3, puts the dead 
only at 4000. This is too little ; others (ORANO, I., 275) evidently 
exaggerate. When VOGELSTEIN (II., 47), for the three months after 
the sacco, reckons, after Reissncr, 100,000 dead, his statement is 
wholly incredible, as before the capture Rome had not more than 
55,035 inhabitants ; see Arch. d. Soc K<>m., XVII., 376 seq. 

6 GUICCIARDINI, XVIII., 3; SANUTO, XLV., 146, 203, 218, 436; 
VILLA, 147. Cf. REUMONT, III., 2, 204. The statements in SANUTO, 
XLVL, 382, concerning Clement's ransom are confirmed by the account 
in VILLA, 138. The higher sums mentioned by others (ORANO, I., 274, 
n.) are exaggerated. 


Protestant hero Sebastian Schertlin von Burtenbach relates 
in his autobiography the misery of the Romans whereby 
their victors were enriched: "In the year 1527, on the 
6th of May, we took Rome by storm, put over 6000 men 
to the sword, plundered the whole city, seized all that 
we could find in all the churches and anywhere, burned 
down a great part of the city, and seldom spared, 
tearing and destroying all copyists' work, registers, letters, 
and state documents." l 

The last clause touches on an aspect of the sack of Rome 
which moves the historian to grief: the destruction, namely, 
of historical documents and literary treasures. 2 The 
library of the monastery of S. Sabina, the precious private 
collections and manuscripts of many learned scholars, 
were scattered or burnt. Six books of Giovio's history 
perished. Cardinal Accolti lost his whole library. The 
remarkable gaps in the private and monastic archives 
of Rome ; the poverty, above all, of the Capitoline records, 
are certainly a consequence of the destruction wrought 
at this time. In many despatches of this period it is 
expressly stated that original Papal documents and valu- 
able manuscripts were lying about the streets, or were 
used as litter for the horses. Cardinal Trivulzio mentions 
in particular the destruction of the Apostolic Camera, 
where many volumes of registers were torn up and the 
leaden seals of Bulls melted down for bullets. Clement 
VII. himself mentions that all the deeds of the Secret 

1 Life of Schertlin von Burtenbach, 7 ; cf. GROLIERIUS, 85. 

Zeitgenossische Berichte, 23, 28, 29 ; SANUTO, XLVI., 137 ; GAYANGOS, 
IV., i, n. 672. Cf. Mel. d'archeol., XVI., 367, where further evidence 
is given; see also GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 534 seq ; JANSSEN- 
PASTOR, III., i8th ed., 141 ; VALENTINELLI, Bibl., I., 94, n. 3 ; Arch. d. 
Soc. Rom., XL, 691, XXIV., 399. 


Chancery fell into the soldi.-! .s 1 hands. 1 The Vatican 
Library, containing the most precious collection of manu- 
scripts in the world, barely escaped destruction ; this 
was saved only owing to the circumstance that I'hilibert 
of Orange had his headquarters in the palace ; neverthe- 
less, it sustained serious losses. 

Orange occupied the Papal apartments. He caused his 
charger to be stabled close to him lest the animal should 
be stolen ; the most beautiful chambers in the Vatican, 
even the Sixtine Chapel, were turned into horse-stalls. 
There is also no doubt that works of art, especially marble 
statues, were destroyed or taken away. Such famous 
antiques, in the Vatican, as the bronzes of the Capitol, 
the masterpieces of Raphael, Michael Angelo, and other 
artists of the Renaissance, luckily suffered no serious 
damage. This can be quite well explained by the 
fact that the soldiery only laid hands, for the most part, 
on those works of art which attracted them by their 
adornments of gold, silver, and precious stones. Thus 
the sack caused irremediable loss among the numerous 
specimens of the goldsmith's and jeweller's craft. The 
gold cross of Constant! ne, the golden rose presented by 
Martin V. to the Church of St. Peter, and the tiara of 
Nicholas V. were stolen. 2 

1 " Essendo venuti in mano di questi soldati tuttc Ic scritturc," etc., 
is the expression in the Instruction for Cardinal Farnese mentioned 
infra, p. 433. A great deal was afterwards restored. Volume 872, for 
instance, of the Vatican Regests containing *Alex. VI., Secret, lib., VI. 
The volume is torn in two, many pages are missing ; in fol. 65 is 
written: Die 26 Aprili, 1532, iste liber fuit reportatus sic lacferatus] 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

2 For the loss incurred by art and learning, besides the references 
sup, p. 414, n. i, see also MUNTZ, < \\ the Bibl. dese'col. Fran<j. 
d'Ath. et de Rome, I. (1877), 263 scq., Bibl. du Va: 1 Les Arts, 
III., 233; Ardi. Stor. d'Arte, I., \7 scq.', \Vi ,252 ; 


For eight days, according to the lowest reckoning, the 
work of robbery and murder 1 went on unchecked. An 
order, issued on the third day, that plundering was to 
cease, was totally disregarded. The want of discipline 
among the pillaging soldiery was such that if the army 
of the League had arrived suddenly, it would have 
hardly met with serious resistance ; the gates of the 
city were never once guarded. 2 Philibert of Orange was 
nominally the Commander - in - Chief; La Motte was 
Governor of the city. If the latter extorted money under 
threats of death, 3 it can easily be supposed that his 

DE Rossi in the Studi e doc., V., 357 seq. ; BARTHOLD, 458 ; HABERL, 
Musikkatalog., 66 ; Rev. d. Bibl., IV., 86 ; LuziO, Maramaldo, 26 seq. ; 
LANCIANI, I., 237 seq. For the removal of antiquities, see specially 
GUALDERONICO, 92 ; L. Guicciardini in MILANESI, 236, and GUICCIAR- 
DINI, XVIII., 6; cf. also INTRA, II Museo statuario e la bibl. di 
Mantova, Mantova, 1881, and Repert. fur Kunstwissensch., XIV., 310. 
The deportation of marble statues from Rome is mentioned by 
Clement VII. himself in the *Brief of Dispensation for Paulus. Card. 
S. Eustachii, dated December 4, 1527, Arm. 39, vol. 47, n. 867, 
of the Secret Archives of the Vatican. Of importance also is a ^report 
of Sigismondo Ferrarese, dated Rome, June 5, 1527, who relates that 
he had himself taken some " testi di marmo " out of the Papal palace 
(State Archives, Modena). For the condition of the Vatican see 
especially the Ferrarese report in HORMAYR'S Archiv, 1812, 438. 
For Raphael's tapestries see our information in Vol. VIII. of this 
work, p. 298 ; DE WAAL, Roma Sacra, Vienna, 1906, 438. 

1 SANUTO, XLV, 215, 221, 234 ; the Ferrarese report in HORMAYR'S 
Archiv, 1812, 439; GUALDERONICO (92) says the confinement of the 
inhabitants lasted 11 days; cf. also SANUTO, XLV., 192. Cardinal 
Trivulzio says 12 days (MlLANESi, 471), GUMPPENBERG (216, 225) 
13, LANCELLOTTI (III., 263), even 15. Trivulzio is in agreement with 
CORNELIUS DE FINE, who *says : " duravere haec spolia et capturae 
duodecim diebus sine intermissione " (National Library, Paris). 

2 SANUTO, XLV., 90, 92, 122, 166. 

3 Cf. supra, p. 410. For La Motte see Bull, de PAcad. de Bruxelles, 
1843, X., 2, 481. 


subordinates would also exact ransom from their captives. 
This form of torture was unending ; many must have 
redeemed themselves six times over. 1 The thirst for 
blood had been quenched, the thirst for money remained ; 
the very sewers were searched, and yet many a hidden 
treasure escaped the robbers. 2 

While dogs were gnawing the corpses around them, the 
soldiers gave themselves up to dice and wine. 3 At the 
Ponte Sisto, in the Borgo, and on the Campo di Fiore, 
relates a Roman notary, gold - embroidered garments of 
silk and satin, woollen and linen cloths, rings, pearls, 
and other costly articles in a confused medley, proceeds 
of the sack, were sold. German women had whole sacks 
of such things, which they traded in at stiff prices; but, 
once sold, all was soon stolen again. " Children and 
beggars were rich ; the rich were poor." " I," says this 
narrator in conclusion, " was taken prisoner together with 
my wife by the Spaniards, and had to pay 100 ducats. 
After losing all my property, I fled first to Tivoli and 
then to Palestrina." 4 The same fate befell thousands; 
the unhappy victims of the sack left Rome half naked, 
and sought in the surrounding districts the means where- 
with to appease their hunger. 5 Among them were citizens 
who, a short time before, had stalled ten horses in their 

Many soldiers made off with their booty at once and 
went to Naples ; others soon gambled it all away, and, as 

1 SANUTO, XLV., 203. 

2 L. Guicciardini in MlLANESl, 233 seq. ; GROLIER1US, Si ; MORONI, 
LIX., 19 ; GRISAR in the Civ. Catt., 1906, Giugno 

3 J. CAVE, 404 seq. 


6 Cf. *Diary of CORNELIUS DE FINE in the National Libr 
J. CAVE, 406; Vettori in MII.ANI si, 439. 

VOL. IX. 27 


Brandano, the prophet of Siena, now set at liberty by the 
Imperialists, had once foretold, " the gains of priests, and 
the plunder of war, quickly come and quickly go." With 
menaces they demanded their pay. Moreover, on the 
1 7th of May, some cases of plague had begun to appear. 
As all provisions had been destroyed in the most wanton 
manner, a food famine threatened to break out ; eatables 
were worth their weight in gold ; an egg cost a giulio, 
a loaf two ducats. Bloody quarrels, also, were of daily 
occurrence between the Spaniards and landsknechts. 1 
Scattered over the whole city, the army was on the verge 
of total disruption. In a case of alarm the officers had to go 
from house to house and seek out their men one by one. 2 

All these conditions must have made Philibert heartily 
anxious to come to terms of peace with the Pope. Clement 
VII., who found his position in the castle of St. Angelo a 
desperate one, 3 had already, on the 7th of May, entered 
into communication with the Imperialists. Bartolomeo 
Gattinara came to the castle, where the Pope, with tears in 
his eyes, told him that he flung himself on the Emperor's 
magnanimity. On the 9th of May a treaty was proposed, in 
accordance with which the fortress of St. Angelo, Ostia, 

1 See SANUTO, XLV., 113, 133, 166, 185, 228, 235 ; F. Gonzaga in 
Luzio, Maramaldo, 81 ; ALBERINI, 347 seq. ; VILLA, 138-139, 153. 

2 GUICCIARDINI, XVI 1 1., 3 ; GROLIERIUS, 98, 101 seq. ; cf. SCHULZ, 

3 Cf. Lett, al Aretino, I., 1 1 seq. The Pope was certainly not cut off 
from all communication with the outer world, but entrenchments were 
begun very soon, and when finished the castle was completely invested. 
Cf. the despatch of G. de' Medici, dated, " in Dyruta," May u, 1527 : 
*Spagnoli hanno comenzato le trinciere intorno al Castello siche 
questi signori ne fanno cattivo concepto in secreto, perche dentro del 
Castello sono 3 m persone (State Archives, Florence). For the state of 
things in the castle cf. the letter, dated thence, May 12, in SANUTO, 
XLV., 163-164. 


Civita Vecchia, Modcna, I'.irma, and 1'i.u < -n/a were to be 
surrendered, 1 5o,cxx> gold scudi paid to the Imperialists, 
200,000 ducats levied on the States of the Church, and the 
Colonna family reinstated ; the Pope and the Cardinals 
were to be conveyed to Naples. 1 But the Germans now 
made difficulties; they announced that they would not 
leave Rome until their arrears of pay, amounting to 
300,000 ducats, were paid. Gattinara was at his wits' end; 
the army of the League might appear at any moment, and 
the whole question would be reopened. 2 

On the night of the 1 2th of May two leaders of the League 
party made an attempt to rescue the Pope ; this bold 
enterprise was baulked only by an accident. New negotia- 
tions now ensued, but Clement was, as always, undecided. 
Du Bellay described the Pope's attitude in the phrase, 
"To-day peace, to-morrow war ; to-day action, to-morrow 
rest" 3 Meanwhile, in the hard-pressed castle of St. Angelo, 
the position grew more difficult day by day. The ar 
of the forces of the League, with whom communication 
had been opened by means of beacon signals, was hoped 
for in vain. 

Clement VII. would have liked best to treat with Lannoy, 
who was lying in Siena; on the i8th of May he asked the 
Duke of Urbino to give the Viceroy a free-conduct to 
Rome. 4 On the I9th, Gattinara, the Abbot of Najera, and 

1 The draft of the treaty was published by HORMAYR in his Archiv, 
1812, 439 seq., but without mentioning that it \\as already to be found 
in GASSLER, 92 seq. C/. also SUDENDORF, Rcgistrum, III., 169. 

2 See Gattinara's report (supra, p. 389, n. i) in MlLANESl, 507 seq. \ cf. 
SCHULZ, 112 seq. 

3 MeT d'Arche"ol., XVI., 413- 

4 *Brief dated on this day in State Archives, Florence, Urb. eccl. ; 
cf. SCHULZ, 1 14, 122 seq. The *Brief to Lannoy, with the request that 
he should come, is likewise of the date of May 18, 1527 ; Min. brev., 
1527, 1., vol. 14, n. 52 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). The "Salvus 


Vespasiano Colonna came again to St. Angelo, where the 
Pope, after long consultation with the Cardinals, decided to 
surrender. Nothing was wanting to the new terms of 
capitulation, which had undergone alteration in some 
particulars, save the signatures, when the news was brought 
that the army of the League was drawing near. Thereupon 
the French party succeeded in bringing the Pope to a 
change of mind. During the night the Imperial council of 
war had determined to begin the actual siege of the 
castle. Entrenchments were at once thrown up, reinforce- 
ments ordered from Naples, and every disposition taken to 
repel any attempt at relief on the part of the Leaguers. 1 
The latter, with a force 15,000 strong, had at length, on the 
22nd of May, reached Isola, nine miles from Rome, where 
Cardinal Egidio Canisio also joined them with auxiliary 
troops. 2 But notwithstanding the eloquent representations 
of Guicciardini and the appeals for help from St. Angelo, 
the council of war decided not to make any attempt at 
relief. The soldiers, many of whom had already gone over 
to the enemy, were not to be trusted, and on the 2nd of 
June the camp was broken up and the retreat on Viterbo 
begun. 3 

The departure of the army of the League, without strik- 

conductus" of Clement VII. for Dinteville, who was to go, in charge of 
Orange, to Charles V., dated May 14, 1527, is published in Bolet. de 
la Acad. de Madrid, XXXL, 81 seq. 

1 See MlLANESI, 510 seq. ; SCHULZ, 115 seq. ; ROBERT, 115 seq. 

2 Cf. SANUTO, XLV., 177, 219. G. M. della Porta wrote *on May 27, 
1 527, from Isola to the Duchess of Urbino : "II card. Egidio e stato 
hoggi qua havendo conduta una banda de fanti pagati da la Marca 
pensando che si havesse d' andar a combatter et diceva voler esser 
nella prima fila, ma veduto le cose pigliar altro camino se ne retira 
dimani a Nepi, dove e signore 1'Unico" (State Archives, Florence.) 

3 Cf. GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3 rd ed., 552 seq ; SCHULZ, 120 seq.; 
ORANO, I., 264 n. ; MARCUCCI, 179 seq. ; ROBERT, 118 seq. 


ing a blow, has been branded by Ariosto in scathing 

words : l 

" Vedete gli omicidii e le rapine 
In ogni parte far Roma dolente ; 
E con incendi e stupri le divine 
E le profane cose ire ugualmente. 
II campo de la lega le ruine 
Mira d' appresso, e '1 pianto e '1 grido sente, 
E dove ir dovria inanzi, torna in dietro, 
E prender lascia il successor di Pietro." 

The Pope's enemies, burning for a fight, 2 planted their 
cannon on Monte Mario and laid mines in order that they 
might, in the last extremity, blow up the Pope and all 
about him. 3 

Such was the situation when, on the 1st of June, Schonberg 
left the castle and approached the Imperialists ; at the same 
time Pompeo Colonna was invited to have audience with 
Clement VII. The two enemies soon stood face to face with 
tears in their eyes. Colonna did all in his power to facilitate 
an understanding. 4 On the 5th of June an agreement was 

1 Orlando Furioso, C. XXXIII., S. 55. Cj. REUMONT, Vittoria 
Colonna, 90 ; where also is the fine letter in which G. Guiddiccioni 
urged the Duke of Urbino to bring succour. 

2 See the letter of K. Schwegler of May 27, 1527, in HORMAYR, 
Archiv, 1812, 445 seq. I found a Latin translation of this letter in the 
State Archives, Modena. 

3 See GUMPPENBERG'S account, 217. 

4 JOVIUS, Columna, 167-168; cf. TlRABOSCHl (Rom. Ausg.). IX., 
276. Clement VII. showed his gratitude by giving the Cardinal and his 
family many privileges and graces. He confirmed these on December 
6, 1527, in a *special deed of appointment in which he says : "Sane 
cum nuper dum nos in arce s. Angeli de urbe dctineremur et tu omnia 
possibilia pro liberatione nostra effecisses." On the same day he con- 
ferred on Cardinal Colonna the Legation of the March of Ancona. 
*Deed of appointment, dated " Romae in arce s. Angeli, 1527, VIII., 


reached ; the conditions were : the surrender of the castle, 
of the strongholds of Ostia, Civita Vecchia, Civita 
Castellana, as well as of the cities of Piacenza, Parma, and 
Modena ; the payment of 400,000 ducats 100,000 at once, 
50,000 within twenty days ; the remainder to be collected 
by means of a levy on the States of the Church. The 
Pope, with the thirteen Cardinals who were with him, was 
still to remain, for the time being, a prisoner in St. Angelo. 
As soon as the 100,000 ducats were paid, the surrender of 
the strong places carried out, and plenipotentiaries appointed 
for the surrender of the cities, he would be allowed to with- 
draw to Naples. As security for the money payments, the 
following were made hostages : Giovanni Maria del Monte, 
Archbishop of Manfredonia, Onofrio Bartolini, Archbishop 
of Pisa, Antonio Pucci, Bishop of Pistoja, Giberti, Jacopo 
Salviati, the father of the Cardinal, Lorenzo Ridolfi, and 
Simone Ricasoli. Further, the Pope was to restore to the 
Colonna all their possessions, to reinstate Cardinal Pompeo 
in all his dignities, and to remove all censures from the 
Imperialists. 1 

On the 7th of June the Papal garrison left the castle 
of St. Angelo, whereupon four companies of Spanish 
and German troops marched in. 2 The Pope was entrusted 

Id. Decemb." A. 5, Regest, 1297, f. 125 and 172 (Secret Archives of the 
Vatican). The deed reinstating Pompeo in the Cardinalatp I have 
sought for in vain in the Secret Archives of the Vatican. 

1 GROLIERIUS, 167-178; BUCHOLTZ, III., 609-613 ; SANUTO, XLV., 
245-249 (with incorrect date) ; cf. ORANO, I., 313, n. The removal of 
censures from the Prince of Orange took place on June 8 ; see FONTANA, 
Renata, I., 427 seq. When the Prince was wounded, Clement VII., 
on June 2, had permitted him to see a confessor; see ROBERT, 119, 
and Lett, et doc., 82 seq. 

" Li Spagnoli stavano alto al loco chiamato el Maschiq alaguardia 
et il lanzichenecchi abasso " ; see the account in Arch. stor. Lombard., 
IV., 635 ; cf. Giovio, Descrizione, 17-18. 

ri.K.IIT o| Tin. !, 423 

to the custody of Alarcon, who had once been also the 
jailer of Francis I. Among the Germans who occupied 
St. Angelo was Schertlin von Burtcnbach, who describes 
with ruthless brutality the sad plight in which he found 
the Pope and Cardinals "in a narrow chamber." "They 
were making a great lamentation and weeping bitterly ; as 
for us, we all became rich." 1 

1 Life of Schertlin von Burtenbach, 7 ; cf. also SCHULTE, I., 237. 
The Spaniard Salazar reported on June u, 1527, to C.attinara that he 
was so moved to compassion on seeing the Pope and Cardinals, that he 
could not restrain his tears, adding that, " even if we are forced to say 
that they have brought this misfortune on themselves, it is still heart- 
rending to see the chief ruler of the Christian Church in such distress 
and humiliation." GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 87. On June 11, Clement VII. 
begged the Archduke Ferdinand to use his influence Tvith the Emperor 
and the army to bring these calamities to an end. The bearer of the 
letter, P. Salamanca, would enter into details. *Original in the Secret 
Court and State Archives, Vienna. 



" THE Pope," wrote Guicciardini on the 2ist of June 1527, 
" is treated as an actual prisoner. Only with the greatest 
difficulty can entrance into the castle or egress from it be 
obtained, so that it is almost impossible to have speech 
with him. They have not left him ten scudi worth of 
property. He is beset daily with fresh demands, and not 
the slightest attention is shown to his wishes regarding 
those of his servants who remain in the city." l 

There was no limit to the rapacity of the Imperialists. 
A Ferrarese agent reports that Bartolomeo Gattinara went 
the length of taking from the Pope's finger a diamond 
ring worth 150,000 ducats and of forcing him to sign a 
paper containing a promise of the Cardinalate. 2 Clement 
himself told Roberto Boschetti that "the Spaniards had 
robbed him before his eyes of the chalice he used at 

1 GUICCIARDINI, Op. ined., IX., n. 28. Cf. SANUTO, XLV, 415; 
Giovio, Descrizione, 18, and a German ^account of June 5, 1527, in the 
Reichstagsakten, XLIIL, f. 23 (City Archives, Frankfurt a. M.). See 
also LANCIANI, I., 243 seq. 

2 Lannoy compelled Gattinara to return the ring and the deed. 
*Report of Lod. Cati to the Duke of Ferrara, of August 6, 1527 (State 
Archives, Modena) ; cf. BALAN, Storia, VI., 132. 



Mass." l Clement could only regain his freedom by consent- 
ing to the hard conditions of the treaty. Hut in respect of 
these very conditions the most serious difficulties at once 
arose. In the first place, the Spaniards only held Ostia. In 
the upper parts of the Papal States not the slightest concern 
was shown for the commands of the captive Pope. Civita 
Castellana was held by the troops of the League ; Andrea 
Doria held Civita Vecchia and refused to surrender the 
town until the 14,000 ducats he was called upon to raise 
were paid. Parma and Piacenza refused flatly to open 
their gates to the Imperial plenipotentiaries, and by the 
beginning of June Modena was in the hands of the Duke of 
Ferrara. 2 The Venetians, "the allied associates" of the 
unfortunate Pope, in their desire to acquire territory, had 
taken advantage of the situation tp lay hands on Ravenna and 
Cervia. Sigismondo Malatesta, favoured by Duke Alfonso, 
had made himself master of Rimini, while Imola had fallen 
to the lot of Giovanni da Sassatello, and Perugia to the sons 
of Giampaolo Baglioni. 3 Not less painful to Clement than 
these losses in the States was the rebellion of his native 

Drawn into the anti-Imperial alliance by the Pope, the 
Florentines had had to make the heaviest pecuniary 
sacrifices. Cardinal Silvio Passerini, who had resided in 
Florence since 1524, a man as inconsiderate as he 

1 See Boschetti's remarkable report in BALAN, Boschetti, Appendix, 
p. 42. 

- This important town was so badly protected that Canossa feared 
that it would fall as soon as Alfonso's advance was reported. *Canossa 
to Francis I., June 3, 1527 (Communal Library, Verona). 

3 Cf. BALAN, Clemen te VII., 68 seqq., 76, 78, and SALVIOU, XVI I., 
29 seqq. Clement's *order to Barth. Ferrantinus (Galliae nostrae 
cispad. vicelegat.), dated June 6, 1527, to hand over Piacenza to A. de 
Leyva, in Min. brev., 15.27, III., vol. 14, n. 98 (Secret Archives of 
the Vatican). 


selfish and avaricious, was not fitted to quell the rising 
discontent. His hardness and lack of understanding em- 
bittered the spirits of all. 1 To the news of the storming 
of Rome the Florentines replied by an insurrection against 
Medicean rule, and on the i/th of May Cardinal Passerini 
was obliged to leave the city, taking with him his wards, 
Ippolito and Alessandro, 2 the cousins of Clement VII. 
This was followed by the restoration of the republican 
government as it existed prior to 1512. Niccolo Capponi 
was chosen Gonfaloniere. He repressed the more serious 
forms of disorder, but was unable to prevent the Florentine 
youth, whose heads were turned by their newly acquired 
freedom, from destroying all the armorial escutcheons of 
the Medici and even the wax effigies of Leo X. and 
Clement VII. in the Church of the Annunziata. 3 

At "this time Bologna also was very nearly lost to the 
Pope. 4 The situation grew worse from day to day. The 
provinces, in Guicciardini's opinion, were virtually without 
government. " Our distress," wrote Giberti to Gambara on 
the 27th of June, "passes all imagination." 5 Nowhere was 
this more felt than at Rome. 

The outlook in the Eternal City, a month after the sack, 
is described by a Spaniard in the following words : 

1 WALTZ in the Histor. Zeitschrift, LXXIL, 210. Here it is shown 
conclusively, as against Ranke, that Guicciardini gave his assistance 
loyally towards the suppression of the first Florentine revolt of April 

26, 1527. 

2 Ippolito was a son of Giuliano ; Alessandro was a putative son of 
Lorenzo. Cf. supra, p. 248, n. i . 



5 "Le calamita et miserie nostre superano tutto quello che altri si 
possi imaginare." *Giberti to Gambara, dated " Castel S. Agnolo," June 

27, 1 527 (Casale was charged with this pressing effort to obtain help), 
Ricci Archives, Rome. 


on everything they find. No one can imagine the cruelties 
that arc committed every day. Without respect of rank, 
age, and nationality, people are ill-used, tortured, and slain 
daily. If a man cannot pay he is sold be he an Italian 
or a German in open market as a slave, and if he does 
not fetch a purchaser, they cast dice for him. The soldiers 
are absolute masters of the city. They obey no man." l 
The landsknechts suffered most in consequence of their 
mad manner of living. " Many of our men die here of 
plague," wrote Kaspar Schwegler on the nth of June. 
" Many drink heavily, become delirious, and so die ; the 
wine here is very strong." 2 

The warm season of the year and the effluvia from 
the many bodies of men and animals, to which the 
hastiest burial had been given, turned Rome into a 
" stinking slaughter-pit." By the 22nd of July two 
thousand five hundred Germans had died of the plague, 
and the streets were covered with dead and dying. 3 The 
pestilence made its way into the castle of St. Angelo and 
exacted fresh victims among the servants of the Pope. 4 

Clement, in the meantime, was making strenuous efforts 
to collect the promised sums of money with which to 
recover his freedom. The Papal tiaras only that of 
Julius II. was spared, after their precious jewels had been 

1 GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 87. 

2 Letter of K. Schwegler, he. cit. 

3 See the reports in BUCHOLTZ, III., 78, and SANUTO, XLV., 434, 
464, 504; XLVII., 132. Cf. also the account in Histor. Jahrbuch, 
XII., 752; GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 93; Bolet dc la Acad. de Madrid, 
XXXIX., 85, and ORANO, I., 253 jey., note. 

4 GUICCIARDINI, XVIII., 4 : S \\iTO, XLV., 505. The foul drinking 
water certainly conduced to an outbreak of plague. The soldiery had 
destroyed the aqueducts systematically. Cf. Repertorium f. Kunst- 
wissensch., XIV., 132. Inscriptions on the graves of Spaniards who 
died in 1527 in FORCELLA, III., 295 stg. 


taken out and concealed, had already been melted down 
by Benvenuto Cellini in a wind furnace hastily constructed 
on the top of the castle near the statue of the angel. Now 
all the rest of the gold and silver plate, even chalices and 
images of the saints, found its way into the melting-pot. 1 
In this way 70,000 ducats were forthcoming in the second 
half of June. But the troops, now completely out of hand, 
demanded with menaces further sums. To obtain them, 
Clement, on the 3rd of July 1527, turned to all the Bishops 
of the kingdom of Naples with prayers for help. He 
bitterly bewailed his necessities. He was bound by the 
treaty to pay 400,000 ducats, but since the assets in gold 
and metals in St. Angelo could only produce 80,000, he 
was compelled to appeal to the benevolence of others. 2 
Meanwhile no time was left to await the success of these 
requests. On the 6th of July Clement was forced, under 
extremely burdensome conditions, to borrow from the 
Genoese banker Ansaldo Grimaldi and the Catalonian 
merchant Michael Girolamo Sanchez. The loan amounted 
to 195,000 gold scudi. It was characteristic of the Pope's 
position that the lenders at once deducted from this 
sum the enormous accommodation charge of 45,000 scudi. 
Clement had, besides this, to pledge as securities the town 
of Benevento, the quit-rents and the church tithes of the 
kingdom of Naples, as well as valuables worth 30,000 

1 CELLINI, I., 7 ; SANUTO, XLVI., 135 ; LANCELLOTTI, III., 270 ; 
MUNTZ, Hist., III., 232 ; MUNTZ, Tiare, 77. For the compulsory 
coinage minted during the period of the "sacco" cf. SCHULTE, I., 
212 seq., 220 seq. 

2 Min. brev., 1527, I., vol. 14, n. 120; cf. Arm., 39, vol. 47, n. 114 
(Forma XXX. brevium ad episc. regni Neapolit.). See ibid, the *full 
powers, dated June 5, 1527, granted to "Jo. Cusent. regis Neapclit. 
capcll. majori et Nicol. Capuan. prael. dom. archiepisc.," to sell the 
town of Benevento, as money had to be raised by all possible means 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican). 


scudi. 1 To pay still further sums immediately was, in 
spite of the Pope's good-will,- impossible, which drew from 
the landsknechts fearful threats. 

Meanwhile hunger and pestilence had reached such a 
pitch in Rome that the city became uninhabitable. 
Those who could not fight for their daily bread at the 
point of the sword had to die of hunger. Men dropped 
down dead in the street like flies. A Venetian report 
put the cases of death on several days at five hundred, 
on others at seven hundred, and even, in some instances, 
at a thousand. The burial of the dead could not be 
thought of. 3 

Under such circumstances the Spanish and Italian troops 
left the city about the middle of June and made for the 
more distant neighbourhood. The landsknechts remained 
and threatened to murder all their officers and reduce 
Rome to ashes. 4 Orange and Bemelberg were in a very 
difficult position, but at last, on the loth of July, they 
succeeded in inducing their utterly disorganized troops 
to cross to the further side of the Tiber and there 
encamp on ground free from plague and wait for the 

1 CORVISIERI, Documenti, 9-19, gives the text of the Act For the 
collection of tithes in Naples see M i >ie Nuntiatur von Neapel 

in Histor. Jahrbuch, XIV., 73 seq., of which, however, GALEOTA, Dei 
Nunzii apost. di Napoli, 23 seg., has not made use ; the Nuntiature of 
Fabio Arcella is here treated of in special detail. 

- Cf. the *full powers given by Clement VII. to Martinus a Portu- 
gallia to levy money on the Portuguese clergy for support of ihe Pope ; 
the Archbishops and Bishops to contribute two whole tenths, and the 
other clergy according to t! '>ility and the assessment of 

Martinus. 1). Romac in arce, 1527, IV.. Id. Julii (=12 July) A 4. 
Regest., 1437, f. 387-389 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

3 See the graphic description in SANUTO, XL VI., 141, and in 
GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 109. 

4 Naselli in BALAN, Mon. sacc.. XVI., 441-442. 


Pope's remittances. Only the garrison of St. Angelo 
remained in Rome. 1 

Orange, with a hundred and fifty horsemen, went to Siena. 
Bemelberg and Schertlin von Burtenbach, with the lands- 
knechts, marched on Umbria. The generals were quite 
powerless to cope with their tumultuous soldiery ; by the 
time they reached Orte there was mutiny in the distrustful 
ranks and the general's tent was destroyed. It was only 
upon the threat of laying down his command that Bemel- 
berg brought the mutineers to their senses. 2 The inhabit- 
ants of the small town of Narni refused to admit the wild 
horde and made a desperate resistance. They were cruelly 
chastised ( 1 7th July). "With two thousand landsknechts 
we made the assault without firing a shot, took the town 
and castle by God's grace, and then put upwards of one 
thousand persons to death; women and men," 3 

Besides the General of the Franciscans, Francesco 
Quinones, 4 who had been appointed previous to the great 
catastrophe, the Pope, under the pressure of his intolerable 
situation, had, by the middle of May, 5 matured his plan of 
sending Cardinal Farnese to Charles V., in company with 
the Portuguese envoy, Don Martin, in order to urge on his 

1 The *safe- conduct for the departing Imperialists is dated 
July 8, 1527, Arm., 39, vol. 47, n. 140 (Secret Archives of the 
Vatican). For Bemelberg cf. the monograph of SOLGER, Nord- 
lingen, 1870. 

2 BARTHOLD, Frundsberg, 477 ; ROBERT, 129. 

3 SCHERTLINS, Leben, 5 ; ALBERINI, 355 ; EROLI, II Sacco de' 
Borboni, in the Miscell. stor. Narn., I., Narni, 1858, 16 seq. ; BALAN, 
Storia, VI., 140. See in Appendix, No. 51, the "Brief of July 23, 1527 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

4 Cf. WADDING, XVI., 2nd ed., 240 seqq., and SANUTO, XLV., 503. 
6 Cf. the*Brief for " August. Card. Perusin (Trivulzio)," dated May 20, 

1527. Min. brev., 1527, I., vol. 14, n. 53 (Secret Archives of the 


HU -ration. 1 Farnese received comprehensive instructions 
drawn up in justification 2 of the Papal policy towards 
Charles. After hearing, on the 24th of June, of the birth 
of Prince Philip, afterwards King, Clement wrote a letter 
of congratulation to the Emperor ; he did not omit to 

1 On June 20 Clement VII. announced the mission of Farnese to 
the Perugians (see the Brief in Cod. Vat, 7955, Vatican Library) ; cf. 
GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 93, 94 ; GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 564. On 
June 26 Clement VII. addressed a *Brief to Quinones in which he 
asked the latter to intercede with Charles V., and informed him of 
Farnese's mission. " Hortamur te, fili in Deo, ut fidem ei plenam in 
omnibus habere tuaque opera et consilio assistere et ubicumque poteris 
adesse .... velis." Min. brev., 1527, I., vol. 14, n. 106. In order 
to produce a favourable impression on the King of Portugal, 
the right was conceded to him of nomination to the abbacies of that 
kingdom, on June 23, 1527; Corp. dipl. Port., II., 284 scq. For the 
reward given to Dom Martin, whose mission is referred to in the Brief 
to Charles V. in Archiv fiir Ref.-Gesch., II., 284 seq., see, besides 
SANUTO, XLV., 414, also the *letter of Canossa of June 30 to Francis I. 
(Communal Library, Verona). 

2 The " Instrutione al card, di Farnese," on account of the many 
important political data contained in them, were repeatedly copied 
before the end of the sixteenth century. This is shown by the 
numerous transcripts in Italian libraries. Besides the MS. in the 
Corsini Library made use of by Ranke may be mentioned : Y 
Library, Cod. Ottob., 2510 and 2514, Urb., 865, Vat., 8335 ; CAPPONI, 
148, II. ; National Library, Florence, Cod. Magliabech. and Capponi. 
1254; Court Library, Vienna, Cod., 6621, pp. 47-77 seq. ; E- 
Library and Secret Archives of the Vatican, Var. 1'olit., X., 313 Sfy. 
PALLAVICINI, II., 13, first made use of a MS. in the Borghese Library ; 
RANKE printed it in the first edition of his History of the Popes (III., 
Appendix, No. 15, p. 241 scq., of the first edition), but afterwards 
omitted it, while \\"<. Pap. dr C.ranvcllc, I., 280-310, published it 
Ranke supposed that the first part, in which the Pope is spoken of in 
the third person, was composed by Gibcrti or some other confui 
servant of Clement ; the second, beginning with the words " Per non 
intrare in le cause," and so forth, by the Pope himself. The co 
Weiss is, moreover, very faulty. 

VOL. IX. 28 


include some references to his distress, and besought 
Charles to show his gratitude to God by giving freedom 
to the Vicar of Christ. 1 

The mission of Farnese was displeasing to the Emperor's 
commanders ; they would have liked better that Schon- 
berg and Moncada should have gone to Spain. But 
Clement had not sufficient confidence in Schonberg, whose 
devotion to Charles was notorious, to entrust him with 
such a charge; 2 therefore, on the I ith and I2th of July, the 
letters of safe-conduct were prepared for Don Martin and 
Cardinal Farnese. 3 The Cardinal started on his journey 
but remained in upper Italy. 4 Cardinal Salviati also, who 
was still resident in France, made pretexts for evading the 
embassy to the Emperor for which the Pope had intended 
him, and threw the burden on Giacopo Girolami. 5 His in- 
structions for the latter, dated the loth of July 1527, are pre- 
served in the Papal secret archives, but they do not exactly 
giveevidenceof Salviati's diplomatic talent. In reading them 
it is especially strange to note how, among other things, 
the Cardinal is at pains to show that Clement and Charles 
had never really been enemies, but rather had worked re- 
ciprocally for each other's interests. Among the negative 
services for which Salviati, quite seriously, gave his master 
credit, is the fact that Clement had never done the Emperor 
all the harm which it was in his power to do. In conclusion, 

1 BUCHOLTZ, in., 80-8 1. 

2 DESJARDINS, II., 974. 

3 The safe-conduct for Dom Martin of July n, in VILLA, 247 and 
249, that of the 1 2th for Farnese in Min. brev., 1527, III., vol. 17, n. 
230 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). To this period also belongs the 
* Brief to the King of Portugal in Corp. dipl. Port., II., 298 seq. 

4 See PIEPER, Nuntiaturen, 74 ; cf. SANUTO, XLVI., 231. 
{'firolami started for Spain on July 11 ; see DESJARDINS, II., 974. 

HERGENROTHER, Konziliengesch., IX., 539, is wrong in supposing that 
Salviati went also. 


Salviati appealed to the magnanimity of Charles, and 
pointed out to him that the liberation of the Pope would 
be to his own advantage, since thereby the Imperial army 
in Rome would be set free and be able to oppose th- 
French forces then advancing into Lombardy. 1 

Francis I. was not the only sovereign then threatening 
Charles V. Henry VIII. also seemed determined to do 
all that was possible to restore Clement to freedom. The 
alliance between the French and English sovereigns, which 
had already found expression in the treaty of Westminster* 
concluded in April 1527, had become still closer under the 
pressure of events in Italy. The English King promised, on 
the 29th of May, to pay a monthly subsidy of 32,000 crowns 
to the French army, and gave Cardinal Wolsey full powers 
to treat with Francis regarding the further steps to be 
taken towards the Pope's release. " The affairs of the 
Holy See," Henry declared, " are the common concern of 
all princes. The unheard-of outrages that See has under- 
gone must be avenged." 3 

Henry's concern for the Holy See was in no way 
interested; for he was afraid that the Pope's captivity 
might impede his contemplated divorce from Catherine of 
Aragon, the Emperor's aunt. Wolsey also had his 
objects to serve in intervening in favour of the Pope. On 
the 3rd of July he left London with a ^rcat retinue on his 
journey to France. 4 In Canterbury he celebrated Mass at 
the altar of St. Thomas, the martyr of ecclesiastical 
freedom, and published, as Papal Legate and representative 
of the King, an edict ordr is and processions during 

1 *Nunziaturadi Fran, in I., f. 14-19 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

2 Cf. BOURRll.i.Y DI V >ss. cle Jean du Bclla>. XII. 

3 RYMI.K, I oedera VI., II., 80; cf. ClACONiUS, III., 467 sty., and 
BOURRILLY DI: V.\i n KI , '4 . //., XIII. 

4 SANUTO, XLV., 553. 


the Pope's captivity. A copy of this ordinance was sent 
to Salviati for promulgation in France, and the same was 
done in Venice. It was hoped that this course of action 
would make a great impression even in Spain, and that in 
this way the Emperor, under the pressure of a popular 
movement, would set the chief ruler of the Church at 
liberty. 1 

Wolsey was welcomed at Calais by Cardinal Jean 
de Lorraine, who conducted him to Amiens to meet 
Francis I. The interview between the French King and 
the English Cardinal took place in that city on the 4th of 
August, with exceptional marks of respect on the part of 
Francis. 2 This meeting was looked forward to all the 
more hopefully because Francis, who hitherto, in spite of 
all warnings, 3 had maintained his light-hearted indifference, 
had, after the sack of Rome, appeared to have become 
a changed man. At the first moment the King had 
been completely dazed ; afterwards he determined to act. 
His chief inducement, however, was certainly less the 
liberation of the Head of the Church, than his alarm at the 
supremacy of the Emperor and his hope of recovering his 
sons, still kept as hostages. Steps were taken, on a large 

1 Cf. the ** letter which one of Wolsey's suite addressed from Calais, 
on July 1 6, 1527,10 the Cardinals Cibo, Passerini, and Ridolfi (Ricci 
Archives, Rome). 

2 SANUTO, XLV., 632 seg. t XLVL, 34 ; DECRUE, Anne de Mont- 
morency, 94; CAVENDISH, Wolsey, 86-103. Cf. also Cardinal 
Salviati's *letter, dated Amiens, August 16, 1527; Nunziatura di 
Francia I., f. 34 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

3 Canossa, as early as November 28, 1526, had expressed his fear 
that the Imperialists would march straight on Rome in a * letter 
addressed directly to Francis I. On January 9, 1527, he wrote with 
reference to Lannoy's enormous demands : " If your Majesty does not 
help the Pope he must either fly from Rome or go into captivity." 
*Copies of these letters are in the Communal Library, Verona. 


scale, to recruit the army. Orders were issued to the 
French fleet in the Mediterranean to prevent, in < 
way, the removal of the Pope to Spain, and Andrea Doria 
was taken into the French service, in command of eight 
galleys. Lautrec was given full powers to carry on the 
war in Italy; he had already, on the 3Oth of June, left 
the French Court in order to join the army then assembling 
in the neighbourhood of Asti. 1 " After all," wrote Salviati 
to Castiglione, who was living as Nuncio at the Court of 
Charles V., " this victory, or rather this massacre of Rome, 
has not been of much use to the Emperor. On the con- 
trary, it has roused the princes to greater activity, and," 
he adds in a tone of vexation, " for all this poor Italy 
must pay the bill." 2 

At Amiens Wolsey discussed matters thoroughly with 
Francis I., Salviati, the English nuncio Gambara, and the 
Florentine envoy Acciaiuoli. "Although," remarked 
the latter, " the Cardinal displays publicly a somewhat 
exaggerated and ostentatious pomp and state, yet his talk, 
bearing, and manner of transacting affairs show a truly 
large and enterprising mind. He is a man of attractive 
character, full of noble and lofty thoughts. I do not 
remember since the days of Alexander VI. to have seen 
anyone who filled his position so majestically ; but, in con- 
trast to that Pope, it must be stated that the Cardinal's 
life is without blame." 3 

1 Cf. DESJ A R DINS, II., 950 seqq., 955 scq^ 965, 974 Anne 
de Montmorency, 91-92. Cardinal Salviati *reported on the French 
military preparations and La UK * s departure, to Jacopo Salviati on 
June 17, 1527, and to Castiglione on July ira di 
Francia I., f. 6-7 and 9 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

2 ^Cardinal Salviati to the nuncio at the Imperial Court, June - 1 - 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican). See Appendix, No. 49, 

3 DESJARDINS, II., 981-982. For the majestic bearing of Alexander 
VI. sec our remarks, Vol. V. of this work, p. 387 stq. 


Wolsey explained the aim of his mission to be the 
liberation of the Pope, the maintenance of the Italian 
States in their independence and integrity, and the over- 
throw of the Emperor's supremacy. He brought with him 
300,000 scudi for the war and made extensive proposals in 
regard to it. 1 Casale was to go into Italy to watch care- 
fully that the monthly subsidies promised by Henry VIII. 
were applied to the right uses, and that Vaudemont, with 
ten thousand landsknechts, took part in the campaign. 
From Francis I. Wolsey obtained a promise that he would 
make no treaty for the surrender of his sons so long as 
the Pope remained a prisoner. On the i8th of August was 
concluded the alliance between France and England which 
was to wring by force from the Emperor the liberation 
of Clement VII. In this treaty of Amiens the allied 
sovereigns bound themselves to refuse their assent to any 
summons of a council as long as the Pope was not free, 
and to offer a common resistance to any attempt to make 
the Papal power subservient to the advantage and interest 
of Charles. 2 

While he was still at Amiens, Francis I. issued strict 
orders that no Frenchman should proceed to Rome on 
business relating to Church benefices, and that no money 
from France should be sent there before the Pope recovered 
his entire freedom. 3 Wolsey made one more special 
proposal : that all the Cardinals who were at liberty 
should assemble at Avignon and, while the Pope's 

1 Cf. UESJARDINS, II., 983 seqq., 985 seqq. 

2 DUMONT, IV., i., 494-495. 

3 See Mel. d'Archeol., XVI., 416, note 2 ; cf. Cat. des actes de 
Francois I., I., 517, VI., 83. The Archbishop of Cologne, Hermann 
von Wied, took advantage of the Pope's imprisonment to appoint to 
benefices fallen vacant during the months assigned to Papal patronage ; 
see VARRENTRAPP, Hermann von Wied, Leipzig, 1878, vp seq. 

INTI.N 1 I- iNfl <)| Wnl.M V. 

captivity lasted, assume the reins of government. "The 
assembly of the Cardinals," such was the opinion of 
Acciaiuoli, "had two aims in view. On the one hand, the 
Emperor would be brought to see that if he transported 
the Pope to Spain or Naples, or kept him a prisoner, the 
government of the Church and the ordering of ecclesia 
affairs in France and England would be cared for by the 
Cardinals ; on the other hand, in the eventuality of 
Clement's death, the Cardinals who were in the Emperor's 
power would be prevented from electing a new Pope, since, 
in such a case, France and England would set up an 
antipope." l Clearly, it would be proved to the Emperor 
that, although he held the Pope, he did not hold the 
Church in his grasp, and that Clement as a prisoner was 
a useless prize. 

" Wolsey," declared one of his confidential servants to 
Cardinals Cibo, Passerini, and Ridolfi, "is acting more 
in the interests of the Church and Italy than of his 
King, for he is mindful of his dignity arid his obliga- 
tions to the Holy See and the house of Medici."- As 
a matter of fact the intentions of the English Cardinal 
were not so disinterested. This did not escape even 
Cardinal Salviati ; in the official correspondence, in 
which he invited Cardinals Cibo, Passerini, Ridolfi, Kgidio 
Canisio, Trivulzio, Numai, and Cupis to assemble at 
Avignon, he only set forth in general terms the ad- 
vantages of such a plan. 3 But in his confidential 
letters to Castiglione and Guicciardini he did not hold 
back his real opinion : " The pretext is not a bad one, 
but the thing itself I dislike. I fear a schism or some 

1 DKSJARDINS, II., 984. 

2 **Letter, da >, Rome). 

3 All these *letters 1 August 6, 1527; Nuniiat. tli Franc ia 
I., f. 22-26 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 


other incurable misfortune." l " Wolsey, during the Pope's 
captivity, might become his substitute for the whole of 
Christendom, or at least for England and France." 2 This 
shows that the English schism was already casting its 
shadow before. The ambitious Cardinal aimed at nothing 
less than becoming, at least for England, the acting Pope ; 
as such he would gratify the will of his monarch by 
declaring his marriage invalid. 

Wolsey's well-known ambition gave rise in many minds 
to the worst suspicions. Sanchez thought that Wolsey 
was certainly aiming at the tiara, in the event of Clement's 
death. 3 Canossa expressed his serious doubts to Francis I. 
whether the assemblage at Avignon was for the good of 
France, as a schism might easily spring from it ; Wolsey 
sought the Papacy, and if the King were unfavourable to 
this scheme, he would incur his enmity ; if the scheme 
succeeded there would be a Pope far more ill-disposed than 
Clement. 4 

Wolsey's ambitious designs encountered at once the 
greatest obstacles. Although the Kings of England and 
France sent most pressing solicitations to the Italian 
Cardinals to meet Wolsey, and promised them every 
conceivable security and even compensation for their 
travelling expenses, 5 yet they were opposed to meeting in 

"^Cardinal Salviati to B. Castiglione, August 14, 1527 ; Nunziat. di 
Francia I., f. 32 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

2 Cardinal Salviati to Guicciardini, September 14, 1527, in EHSES, 
Dokumente, 249. 

3 GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 196. 

4 **Canossa to Francis I., dated Venice, August 26, 1527. Canossa, 
in a *letter to Francis I. of August 9, 1527, had already spoken of 
Wolsey's efforts to obtain the Papacy (Communal Library, Verona). 

5 Lettere di principi, 1 1., 232^^.; EHSES, Dokumente, iseq.^seq.\ 
DESJARDINS, II., 984. Canossa conveyed the letter of Francis I. to 
the Cardinals at liberty ; see his *letter to the King, dated Venice, 


I'Yancc. The Cardinals who were at large had first 
assembled in Piaccn/a, and determined on a congress 
at Bologna, Ancona, or Parma to discuss measures for 
the Pope's liberation. On the loth of August Cardinal 
Cibo informed Henry VIII. of this determination; in the 
beginning of September the free Italian Cardinals met at 
Parma. 1 Clement VII. exhorted them to be firm in their 
opposition to the removal of the conference to Francr 
warned them, at the same time, to go to work with 
caution. 2 

Wolsey in the meantime had carried his plans yet further. 
He was, indeed, so incapable of putting a check on his 
ambition that he had already usurped the coveted functions 
of a Papal Vicar-General before they had been conferred 
upon him. Together with Cardinals Hourbon and de 
Lorraine and the Papal Legate Salviati he came to 
Compiegne and did not hesitate at once to assume 
Papal privileges, since, in spite of Salviati's remonstrances, 
he handed the insignia of the Cardinalate 3 to the Chancellor 
Du Prat, who had been nominated in a Consistory held 
before the sack of Rome. Thus he had at his disposal 

August 26, 1527. On August 30 Canossa told the King that the 
English envoy, Casale, had gone to Padua in order to get the consent 
of Cardinal Egidio Canisio to the assembly at Avignon ; Casale was 
to approach the Cardinals at Mantua with the sunn- *Both 
letters are in the Communal Library at \ For Casale's journey 

to Mantua see also GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 196. 

1 Cf. Arch. d. Soc. Rom., VI., 408 seqq. ; STAFFETTI, Card. Cybo, 
78 seqq. Gattinara called on the Emperor to protest against the 
assembly of the Cardinals in Parma and to oppose to them, with the 
help of Colonna, a counter-assembly of Cardinals ; BUCHOLTZ, 
1 1 1., 96. 

2 Cf. the interesting notice in SANUTO (XLVI., 208) on the mission 
of the Augustinian, Felice. 

3 EHSES, Dokumentc, 251. 


four of the Sacred College, in whose name he addressed, 
on the 1 6th of September 1527, a protest to the Pope, 
which was at once entrusted for delivery to the Proto- 
notary Uberto Gambara. 1 This document set forth, in 
language full of unction, that the signatories, following 
the example of the first Christians during the imprison- 
ment of St. Peter, had assembled themselves in the 
power of the Holy Ghost at Compiegne in order to 
take preventive measures against the manifold evils 
which might accrue from the bondage of the head 
of the Church. Since the Emperor held the Pope in 
his power and every man was mortal, they were bound 
to make solemn protest against any alienation of the 
Church's rights or property, and against any nomination 
to the College of Cardinals during the captivity of 
Clement VII. They declared further that, in the event 
of the Pope's death, they would, without regard for the 
Cardinals now in imprisonment or for any new Cardinals 
appointed by the Pope while deprived of freedom, repair 
to some safe place to choose his successor, and would 
refuse obedience to any Pope who might be elected during 
the present captivity. In conclusion, Clement VII. was 
called upon to delegate his authority during his imprison- 
ment in order that the free government of the Church 
might be firmly maintained. 2 

It must be matter for surprise that Salviati should have 

1 Cf. PIEPER, Nuntiaturen, 83, note 4, as well as EHSES, Die Papstl. 
Dekretale, 222 seq., and Dokumente, 249. See also SANUTO, XLVI., 

2 This important document was published first by GROLIERIUS, 156 
seqq., and then by LE GRAND, Divorce, III., 4-13. EHSES (Dokumente, 
7) gives emendations of this version from the original in the Secret 
Archives of the Vatican. Le Grand certainly made use of the copy in 
the National Library, Paris, MS. de Brienne, V., n. i. 


consented to sign this protest of a minority of the frrc 
Cardinals suggesting to the Pope a temporary abdication 
and containing within it the ^crm of schism. On the 28th 
of September he wrote to Gambara asking him to make 
excuses on his behalf to Clement VII. for his participation 
in Wolsey's action. All had arisen only from his good 
intention of compassing, as soon as possible, the liberation 
of the Pope ; if he had refused his signature, great ill-feeling 
would have been caused and Wolsey's zeal for the Pope's 
deliverance would probably have been chilled or altogether 
extinguished. 1 A private letter addressed to Castiglione 
on the 1 8th of September shows how little Salviati was 
deceived by Wolsey's schemes. In this he describes the 
protest of the i6th as a dangerous move preliminary to 
enfranchisement from obedience to the Church ; he had 
concurred only to avoid greater evils and to gain time. If 
he had opposed, then undoubtedly an English and French 
Patriarchate with Papal authority would have been set 
up, and thereby, perhaps, the unity of the Church for 
ever rent asunder. His action had at least averted this. 
Before the Pope's answer arrived, a long time would elapse, 
during which Clement might be set at liberty. " By this, 
you see," Salviati continues, " I was compelled to agree in 
order to prevent a much greater evil. You know Wolsey's 
ambition and the bold assurance with which he asks 
Clement to appoint him his vicegerent. The French 
agree because he is useful to them. If the Pope refuses, 
Wolsey will find means to attain his object through his 
Bishops, a step bound to bring after it the greatest con- 
ceivable confusion in the Church. But I have hopes that 
in the meantime Quifiones will have returned to Rome and 

1 *Cardinal Salviati to Gambara, dated Compcndii, September 28, 
1527; Nun/iatura di Francia I., f. 62-65 (Secret Archives of the 



Clement been set free. This is the only cure for all 
these evils." l 

At that moment, then, all the efforts 2 of Castiglione, 
Salviati, and the other Papal diplomatists were directed to 
securing the Pope's freedom. What was the attitude of the 
Emperor towards this question ? 

Charles V. first received news of the capture of Rome in 
the latter half of the month of June. 3 His joy at this 
great and unexpected success must have been lessened by 
the accounts, at first inexact, of the unbridled excesses of 
the troops. The unheard-of ferocity with which the 
soldiery had laid waste the city was antagonistic to his 
interests, since it covered his name with shame and reproach. 
He certainly had wished to punish the Pope and to render 
his enmity innocuous ; but destruction such as that wreaked 
by his army on the time-honoured capital of Christendom 
he had not intended. He therefore, in the beginning of 
August, protested to the Christian princes against the 

1 EHSES, Dokumente, 250-251. The assembly at Avignon did not 
take place ; even the French Cardinal Castelnau de Clermont declared 
himself against it ; see SANUTO, XLVI., 451. 

2 For Castiglione's efforts see SERASSI, II., 149 seqq.; for Salviati 
see supra, p. 434, and Guicciardini's **letter to Gambara, dated July 15, 
1527, Florence (Ricci Archives, Rome), as well as the ^letters of Salviati 
to Castiglione, dated October 8, November 6, 19, December 8, 1527, 
to Girol. Ghinucci, November 19, 1527, and to Cardinal Ridolfi, dated 
December 8 and 21, 1527. Nunziat. di Francia I., f. 65 seqq., 76 seqq., 
92 seqq., 96 seqq., 99 seqq., 107 seqq., 122 seqq. (Secret Archives of the 
Vatican). Cardinal Cupis, in a letter to Clement VII., dated Venice, 
October 29, 1 527, gives an account of his exertions to obtain the Pope's 
freedom in Venice and France. Lettere di principi, IV., 218, 222; 
cf. ibid., 178, 187, the recognition of these exertions in *a letter from 
Francis I. to Clement VII., dated St-Germain, February 4, 1528 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

3 Cf. SCHULZ, Sacco, 131, 143. See also BUCHOLTZ, III., 97; 
GASSLER, 121 seq. ; and HORMAYR, Archiv, 1812, 380. 


burden of responsibility for these outrages being laid upon 
him. 1 Hut this declaration did not do away with the fact 
that Charles had allowed his army to fall into a state 
of insubordination from which, if continued, the very worst 
was to be expected. He had also expressed himself so 
ambiguously that it might well be supposed that he would 
see without displeasure his troops requiting themsc 
the plunder of Rome; nor must it be forgotten th.v 
many a long day the enemies of Italy had acted on the 
principle that " war supports itself." 2 Charles had now to 
pay in person for his own shortcomings. The spirit of 
mutiny took hold of the victorious soldiers after the sack 
of the city to such a degree that the Emperor could no 
longer call his army his own. Rome was taken, the Tope 
was a prisoner, but the Imperial army was threatened from 
within with complete disruption. 3 

It soon became evident that the crimes committed in 
Rome were in the highest degree prejudicial to the Emperor's 
cause, for they gave to all his enemies an opportune handle 
for serious accusations which, at the first glance, seemed 
justified. The spectacle of the army of the secular head of 
Christendom, the protector of the Church, carrying murder, 
fire, and outrage into the city of its spiritual head 
turned to account to the fullest extent. Even in the heart 
of Charles's empire, in Spain, a by no means inconsiderable 

1 Lettere di principi, II., 234 seqq. Cf. Melanchthon's opinion in 
JANSSEN- PASTOR, III., i8th ed., 141 seq. 

2 Cf. JESENKO, Geschah die Erstriirmung Roms mit oder ohnc 
Vorwissen Karls V. ? Programm des Gymnasiums m G6rz, 1864, 37. 
See also HEFELE-HERGI . IX., 527 ; ORANO, I., 318 n. ; and 
BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 543. The ^ Ability of Charles V. 
is upheld by DOREZ in Mel. d'Arche'ol.. XVI.. 362 sfq., with whom 
LEBEY, 418 seq., associates himself. Cf. also BURCHARDT, Kultur, I., 
7th ed., 133 seq. 

3 See supra, pp. 427, 43 ' 


opposition was raised to a policy which had ended at last in 
turning him into the jailer of the Pope. 1 

The full recognition of the extremely difficult situation 
brought about by the sack of Rome, and the Catholic con- 
science of the Emperor, were the motives which restrained 
him from taking advantage of his victory to the uttermost. 
That he would have done so was the expectation of 
many, 2 and exhortations even were not wanting directing 
him on this course. Already, on the 25th of May 1527, 
Lope de, Soria had written to the Emperor from Genoa to 
try and convince him that it would be a meritorious and 
not a sinful action to reform the Church, in such a way that 
the power of the Pope should be exclusively limited to 
his own spiritual sphere, and secular affairs placed under 
the sole jurisdiction of the Emperor, since "the things of 
God belong to God, and the things of Caesar to Caesar." 3 

Many wished to go further. A letter of Bartolomeo 
da Gattinara shows clearly that among the Imperialists 
the question was seriously discussed whether Charles should 
allow the seat of the Papal government to remain any 
longer in Rome. Gattinara and others found that any 
experiment of this sort would be too dangerous, since 
England, France, and other countries would then choose 
Popes of their own ; but they advised the Emperor to 
weaken the Roman See to such an extent that it 
should always be subservient to the Imperial Majesty. 4 

Lannoy on his side pressed the Emperor with earnest 

1 Cf. BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 667, and infra, p. 448 seq. 

2 "Gia si diceva infino da plebei uomini che, non istando bene il 
pastorale e la spada, il papa dovesse tornare in S. Giovanni Laterano a 
cantar la messa." Varchi, I., 197. 

3 GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 26 ; VILLA, Asalto, 166. 

4 VILLA, 193 seq,, and MILANESI, Sacco, 517; cf. SCHULZ, 7. For 
the then prevalent feeling among the Germans in Rome there is 


rvprt-sLMitations. It was necessary "that his undcrt;ii 
should be directed towards something else than the ruin of 
in institution belonging both to the divine and human order ; 
the army must not win everything and the Emperor lose all ; 
no more violence must be done to the Pope, with the pro- 
bable result of a schism; the confusion of the spiritual with 
the temporal power must not continue, and the temporal 
must no longer obstruct the spiritual by pragmatic sanctions 
and in other ways ; Rome must no longer be an occasion 
of scandal to the whole world, and heresies and sects ; 
be removed ; in a word, what is God's must be given to God, 
and what is Caesar's to Caesar." Charles should retain pos- 
session of the States of the Church only until such time as 
his affairs with the Pope were put straight and he could put 
trust in his Holiness; only the towns belonging to Milan 
and Ferrara must be claimed as fiefs of the Empire. For 
the rest, the settlement of these points was to be left to a 
general council or to a congress such as that held at Mantua 
under Julius 1 1., and the same tribunal was to decide in detail 
on points connected with the heresies in Germany. 1 

Ferdinand I. also recommended a council in a letter of the 
3 1st of May 1527, in which he urged, at the same time, that 
the Pope should not be set free before order and security 
were restored : " For if he were out of your hands, I fear 
that he might behave as he always has behaved, and as the 

remarkable evidence in the * Testament of Arrigus Theutonicus 
Cameracens. dioc. coltellarius in urbi- in rcgione S. Angeli (A 
Romae in regione S. Angeli ante apothccam ipsius tcstoris), in which 
the date is no longer reckoned from tin- the pontificate ; the 

preamble runs thus : " In noinini, etc., A. 1527 rcgnante screnissimo 
Carolo [indict.] decima quinta mensis Junii die 29." * Lib., I., scriptur 
archiconfrat. b. Mariae [< : ves of the Campo Santo 

in Rome). J. Zeigler in a polemical \\riting of 1527 claims Rome as 
a German city ; see I VI., 521. 

1 HUCHOLTZ, III., 87-88. 


King of France has behaved, only still worse, for he avoids 
and shuns the council. Apart from this and your presence 
here, I see no possibility of finding means to oppose the 
Lutheran sect and the accursed heresies." 1 

Amid the various influences brought to bear upon him, 
the Emperor was long in coming to any fixed decision. 
At first his inactivity was such that it was supposed to 
arise from some strong physical reaction ; 2 this ex- 
tended to all his Italian affairs. After Bourbon's death 
the first necessity was obviously the appointment of a 
new Commander-in-Chief. Charles's council was insistent 
on this point, since the Prince of Orange was too young 
and inexperienced for the post. Charles handed over the 
chief command to the Duke of Ferrara, although the 
latter had already declined the honour in the autumn of 
1526. As might have been foreseen, the Duke, on this 
occasion also, refused to place himself at the head of 
a "gang of mutineers." The consequence was that the 
army, if such it could be called, remained through the greater 
part of the year 1527 without a generalissimo, and shrank in 
numbers more and more from sickness and desertions. 

The Imperial army in Milan was also in the worst 
condition. The faithful Leyva reported "that there was 
not a farthing's worth of pay for the troops." The army 
was more like a swarm of adventurers than a force in 
Imperial service. The commanders were powerless, the 
soldiers did what they liked. 3 No wonder that the 
Imperial troops had to give way on all sides, when 
Lautrec appeared with his army. 

1 GEVAY, Urkunden und Aktenstiicke : Gesandtschaft an Sultan 
Suleiman, 1527, Vienna, 1840, 84. Cf. BUCHOLTZ, III., 90. 

2 Cf. BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., II., 597 and 634, who calls attention to 
a remark of Castiglione's. 

3 LANZ, I., 237 seq. 


Nor did less embarrassment await the Emperor on 
account of the imprisoned Pope, for whom the most active 
sympathy was being shown, not only in France and 
England, but in Spain itself. The deep Catholic feeling 
inherent in the Spanish people had long since expressed 
a growing repugnance to the policy of Charles towards the 
Pope. " All ranks, high and low," wrote Castiglione from 
Granada in November 1526, " are indignant at the raid of 
the Colonna." In his later letters he returns repeatedly to 
the loyal attachment of the Spanish people to the Pope. 
" If he were to come to Spain, he would be worshipped," 
writes Castiglione on hearing rumours concerning the 
movements of Clement VII. In March 1527 it was 
reported that the prelates and grandees had openly 
announced that no more money could be voted, since such 
grants would be spent on waging war against the head of 
the Church. The Chancellor made vain attempts to 
establish the Emperor's innocence by means of printed 
publications, but the opposition to the war against the 
successor of St. Peter increased ; the grandees and bishops 
earnestly urged that peace should be made with Clement. 
" The loyal dependence of the nation on the Sec of P 
Castiglione reported from Valladolid on the 24th of March, 
" is more apparent than ever." l 

What must have been the impression now made by the 
news of the Pope's imprisonment and the sack of Rome ! 
Not only the great ecclesiastics but the grandees of Spain 
as well made known their indignation. Strong reproaches 
were addressed to the Emperor by the Archbishop of 
Toledo and the Duke of Alba. 2 Charles threw all the 
blame on the undisciplined army. " Hut," reported the 
Venetian envoy on the i6th of July 1527 from Valladolid, 

1 Cf. Castiglione's statements in SERASSI, II., 100, 125 

2 " Le nuove d' Italia che 1' esercito Cesareo sia cntrato in Roma et 
VOL. IX. 29 


" these excuses produce no effect here ; the prelates and 
grandees are daily interceding for the Pope with the 
Emperor. There is a great conflict of opinions. Some 
say that Charles must show his abhorrence by setting the 
Pope at liberty; others that the Pope must come to Spain; 
others again, such as Loaysa, the Emperor's confessor, 
maintain that Charles cannot yet trust Clement and must 
hold him prisoner." In the meantime the Emperor gave 
the Nuncio nothing but fair speeches ; but he came to no 
decision. 1 It was credibly reported that Spanish opinion 
was in favour of the suspension of divine worship in all 
the churches of the kingdom so long as the Pope's captivity 
lasted, and also that the bishops in a body, clad in 
mourning, intended to present themselves before the 
Emperor and beseech him to set Clement free. Through 
the influence of the Court these reports were suppressed, 2 
but the general agitation was not abated. 3 

habbi usato la crudelita che si dice et che il pontefice stia assediato in 
castel S. Angelo non si havendo rispetto alcuno alia tregua fatta dal 
sig. vicer& ban parso de qui molto strane et han dispiaciuto somma- 
mente a tutti questi signori si ecclesiastici come altri et i principal di 
loro, come e 1' arcivescovo di Toledo et duca d' Alba et altri simili son 
stati a parlare a S. M ta circa cio pregandolo che vi faccia qualche 
provisione et tali di questi hanno parlato si liberamente et usato tal 
parole cbe a molti ha parso che habbino piu presto detto di piu che di 
meno di quel che bisognava." *Report of Navagero from Valladolid, 
June 17, 1527, in Cod. Vat., 6753, f. 265 b , of the Vatican Library. 

1 Cod.* 6753, f. 265 b (Vatican Library). 

2 Cf. Castiglione's letters of July 22 and December 10, 1527, the 
former in GUALTERIO, Correspond, di Giberti, 247 seq., the latter in 
SERASSI, II., 150. Like the Archbishop of Toledo (see infra, p. 462, 
n. 5), the Bishop of Cordova also wrote a sympathetic *letter to 
Clement VII., dated ex Caesaris aula [1527] July 20. * Lett. d. princ., 
V., f. 208 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

* The grandees and prelates of Spain, reports Cardinal Salviati to 
Jacopo Salviati on August 16, 1527, "si sono doluti et dolgono mirabil- 


Some decided step became more n< day by day ; 

even Lannoy was pressing on this point. On the 6th of 
July he wrote to the Emperor: "The present situation 
cannot go on much longer. The more victories God sends 
you the more embarrassments you have, the domains of 
your kingdoms grow less and the ill-will of your enemies 
grows greater. Some envy your greatness, others hate you 
for the ill-treatment they have received from your sol' 
who have plundered Genoa and Milan, laid waste the 
country, and at the present hour brought destruction on 
Rome." 1 

Quinones, who had reached Valladolid in the last weeks 
of July, 2 after having been held up by pirates, told Charles 
to his face that if he did not fulfil his duty to the Pope he 
could no longer claim to be called Emperor ; he must 
rather be regarded as the agent of Luther, since, in his 
name and under his banner, the Lutherans had committed 
all their infamies in Rome. 3 Quifioncs believed it to be 
his duty to speak thus strongly as he knew that Charles 
was determined to get as much advantage as possible from 
the Pope's imprisonment, and to secure for himself a 
position which would make the independence of the 
Church a nullity. 

mente di queste calamita et come buoni Christian i ohe sono non restono 
sollecitar lo Imperatore et instar perche liberi S. S 1 * come ha promesso 
et promette in modo che da quelle bande si ha ogm cosa favorcvole et 
pero 6 da sperare bene et star di buon.i voglia." N di Francia 

I., f. 34 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

1 BUCHOLTZ, III., 87. 

2 Cf. SANUTO, XLV., 503, and the * letter of Navagero, dated Valla- 
dolid, July 27, 1527, in Cod. Vat., 67 

3 " Tra 1' altre cose che gli ha havuto animo di dire che non fa - 
quel che deve a lui non par che si possi I mperatore, ma 
capitanio di Luthero." * Letter of Navagero, July 27, in Cod 
6753. Cf. R. BROWN, IV., n. 14- 


The Papal Nuncio Castiglione, on whom Cardinal 
Salviati set all his hopes, 1 supported the efforts of Girolami 
with all his energy ; nevertheless, the latter failed to get 
from Charles any definite decision with regard to Clement's 
liberation. 2 The envoys of England were also unsuccessful 
in their endeavours at the Imperial Court, although they 
could not have shown more zeal if they had been the 
Pope's representatives. 3 The representations of Quinones 
made more impression on Charles, but even he made 
little way at first. At the end of July Charles wrote to 
the Roman Senate and people, 4 to the Legate Salviati, 5 
to the Cardinals and Roman nobility, 6 lastly, to all the 
Christian princes, disclaiming all responsibility for the sack 
of Rome, to which he was not accessory, and laying the 
whole blame on Clement VII. At the same time he used 

1 " In te uno praecipere spes nostra est." ^Cardinal Salviati to 
Castiglione, dated Paris, July 10, 1527. Nunziatura di Francia I., f. 21 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

2 Cf. the * letter of Cardinal Salviati to Castiglione of August 14, 
1527. Nunziatura di Francia I., f. 29-32 (Secret Archives of the 

3 Thus Cardinal Salviati reported to Jacopo Salviati in a lengthy 
^despatch dated Amiens, August 16, 1527; Nunziatura di Francia I., 
f. 34 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). Cf. the * letter of Navagero, 
dated Valladolid, July 30, 1527 (Cod. Vat, 6753, Vatican Library). 

4 On July 26; see GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 567, note. There 
was violent opposition in the Senate. HOFFMANN gives the speeches, 
Nova Coll., I., 550. 

6 Salviati, on hearing of Girolami's mission, had written to Charles V., 
on July 10, 1527, in a tone of subjection, that all his hopes rested on the 
Emperor's goodness (*this letter is in the Nunziatura di Francia I., 
f. 21, Secret Archives of the Vatican). Charles's answer of July 28, 
wrongly addressed " to Cardinal Cibo," in the National Library, Paris 
(Ital. 1357), in SANUTO, with correct address, XLVL, 32-33; cf. also 
Arch. Stor. Ital., 3 Series, XII., i, 1-7. 

6 On July 31 ; see SCHULZ, Sacco, 145. 


strong expressions of sorrow and regret for the injuries 
inflicted on the Holy See, and declared that he would 
rather not have won the victory than be the victor under 
such conditions. 1 

About this time Charles was informed of Henry VI 
schemes of divorce ; on the 3 1st of July he instructed Lannoy 
to speak to the Pope on this business, but with caution, 
lest greater complications should arise if the Tope were 
to hold out a bait to King Henry in the matter or enter 
into any mischievous practical understanding with him. 
Charles wished Clement to make any further advance 
in the business of the divorce impossible by the issue of 
Briefs to Henry VIII. and Wolsey. 2 This private affair of 
the Emperor, calling for the full support of the Pope's 
spiritual power, warned the former to act with great 
caution towards Clement, as did also, in no less degree, the 
threatening attitude of France and England, now joining 
in close alliance. 3 

Thus influenced, Charles, who, from motives of self- 
regard had long hesitated before taking any decisive step, 4 
wrote from Valladolid on the 3rd of August 1527 two 
autograph letters to the Pope. 5 In the first of these 
remarkable communications he laid great stress on his 
efforts to secure the general peace of Christendom, to 
reform the Church, and abolish heresy and unbelief. In 
the attainment of these objects all private interests must 

1 Cf. supra, p. 444 seq. 

2 BUCHOLTZ, III., 94-95, note. 

3 Cf. supra, p. 438. 

4 *Navagero's letter, dated Valladolid, August I, 1527 (Cod. 
6753, Vatican Library). 

6 Both letters are in the St.itc Archives, Florence (Innanzi il Princ. 
Miscell.), and have been recently published for private circulation by 
CASANOVA (Lettere di Carlo V., 13-16). 


be put aside and a unanimous course of action pursued. 
On these grounds the Pope would be justified in summon- 
ing a council for the extirpation of heresy, the destruction 
of unbelievers, and the exaltation of Holy Church. Charles, 
in conclusion, pledged his royal word to his prisoner that 
he would not suffer the council to undertake in any way 
the deposition or suspension of the Pope; any attempts 
in that direction, whether they came from a secular or 
ecclesiastical quarter, he would oppose, while protecting 
Clement in every way. 

In his second letter, of which Quinones was to be the bearer, 
Charles reminded Clement of the summons of a council. 
He besought the Pope in the most urgent way to undertake 
the promised visit to Spain ; such a step would strike 
terror into the heretics and at least advance the prospects 
of peace between the Emperor and France. The Emperor's 
projects for a council were without result, for before his 
letters reached Rome, France and England had agreed to 
refuse their consent so long as the Pope was a prisoner. 1 

Over the demand for Clement's liberation Charles 
hesitated still longer. To the Nuncio Castiglione he spoke 
in such a friendly way that the latter was rilled with 
sanguine hopes. 2 But the instructions received at last on 
the 1 8th of August 1527, by Pierre de Veyre, who awaited 
them with Quinones at Barcelona, 3 did not correspond 

1 Cf. supra, p. 438. 

2 SCHULZ, Sacco, 146^., ij$seq. Here is published for the first 
time, from the Secret Archives of the Vatican, Castiglione's report to 
Clement VII. of August 12, 1527. 

3 Quinones and P. de Veyre went on August 15 to Barcelona; cf. 
Navagero's * letter, dated Valladolid, August 17, 1527 (Cod. Vat., 6753, 
Vatican Library), and that of ^Cardinal Salviati to F. Guicciardini, dated 
Compiegne, September 14, 1527 (Nunziatura di Francia I., f. 50, Secret 
Archives of the Vatican). They left Barcelona on September 5 


with these assurances. They were certainly not wai 
in regrets for the misfortunes that had befallen the Pope 
in Rome or in wishes for the peace of Christendom, the 
reformation of the Church, and the uprooting of Lutheran 
errors ; but with regard to the i restoration to freedom, 

it was stated in the most definite terms that under this 
head nothing was to be understood beyond his liberty in the 
exercise of spiritual functions. Moreover, as a preliminary, 
the instructions of the envoys emphatically declared that 
Lannoy must receive securities, as certain as any human 
securities could be, against the possibility of Papal 
treachery or Papal vengeance. Lannoy was left to 
specify the conditions. But Charles indicated what he 
believed himself entitled to demand in this respect, 
namely, Ostia, Civita Vecchia, Parma, Piacenza, Bologna, 
Ravenna and, in exchange for the castle of St. Angelo, 
Civita Castellana. The Emperor demanded besides, in 
return for the restoration of the Pope's spiritual juris- 
diction, nothing less than the surrender of several of the 
more important towns of the Papal States. But he 
insisted, at the same time, that he was not making these 
demands for his own personal advantage, but in order to 
hold guarantees until such time as general peace should 
be attained, a council summoned, and the reform of 
Christendom set on foot 1 

Clement, meanwhile, had passed through a terrible time. 

(*Navagero's letter, dated t'aredes, Septeml> -7, in Cod. Vat, 

6763) and reached Rome in the beginning of October. Cf. SANUTO, 
XLVI., 150, 152, 181, 203, 205, 210, 223, 225. 

1 BUCHOLTZ, III., 97 segg., gives the instructions in epitome; 
he places them three weeks after June 30, about July 21. V 
instructions were kept back by the Emperor until August 18 ; sec 
Navagero's * report, dated Valludolid, August 19, 15.':, ' the Vatican 
Library. Cf. R. BROWN, IV., n. i 


Within the narrow confines of the castle, 1 kept under 
closest watch by a fierce soldiery, he spent his days as in 
a "living tomb." He sought comfort in prayer, 2 trusted 
to the Emperor's magnanimity, 3 then again looked for the 
help held out by Francis I., 4 yet through all preserved his 
calmness of mind. This is shown by the Bull prepared on 
the 1 5th of July 1527, in which the regulations for the 
Papal election in Rome, or elsewhere in Italy, or even in 
some foreign country, were drawn up, in the case of his 
death during imprisonment. The Bull shows that Clement 
took all these contingencies into account ; the object of 
this document was to secure freedom of election and to 
prevent a schism. The Cardinals were empowered to meet 
in conclave elsewhere than in Rome and enjoined to wait 
during a certain time for those of their colleagues who 
should be absent. 5 

The life of Clement VII. was, in fact, at this time seriously 
threatened. It is clear from the reports of Perez that the 
Spaniards and Germans were continually hankering after 
the possession of Clement and the Cardinals; the lands- 
knechts did not wish the prisoner to be taken to Spain, 
but were anxious to carry him off themselves. 6 

1 He was living with the Cardinals in the so-called maschio of the 
castle; see GREGOROVIUS, VIII., 3rd ed., 564. The Pope's bed- 
chamber was guarded by Spanish soldiers ; see Giovio, Descrizione, 18. 

2 Cf. SANUTO, XLVI., 132. 

3 Ibid., XLV.,4i5. 

4 See Francis I.'s letter to Clement VII., written from Amiens in 
August, in Mel. d'Archeol., XVI., 414-416. The Latin translation in 
GROLIERIUS, 131 sey. t is dated from Compiegne, September 14. 

6 CIACONIUS, III., 454-455; GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 184 and 196; 
see SAGMULLER, Papstwahlen, 11-12. 

*See the reports in VILLA, Asalto, 234 seq., and GUMPPENBERG'S 
account, 208 seq. See also GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 155 (Perez to the 
Emperor on August 18). To this time also belongs a *Brief of 

sui IN HO' 457 

Rome was now in the full heat of summer, and the 
plague at its lu-ight. Pestilence and famine made havoc 
among the inhabitants ; churches and streets were soon 
filled with dead bodies. 1 Frightful malaria arose from 
these " shambles " ; if the wind blew from the city, re- 
lates one of the captives, it was impossible to remain on 
the walls of the castle. 2 

The plague had made its way into the fortress long be- 
fore and helped, together with the sufferings and agitations 
of captivity, to thin the ranks of the prisoners. Cardinal 
Rangoni died in August ; he was followed in October by 
Francesco Armellini, broken-hearted at the loss of his 
riches. 3 The situation of the captive Pope became more 
and more unbearable. He waited in vain for the envoys 
of the Emperor as well as for the return of the army of the 
League to deliver him, and his dread lest the Spaniards or 
Germans should carry him away increased every day. When 
Alarcon and Muscettola insisted on his giving adequate 
security for the payment of the promised 250,000 ducats, 
he exclaimed with tears in his eyes, " For the love of God 
do not exact from me promises which must be known to all 
the world and become engraven on the memories of men 
for ever ! So great is my misfortune and my jjovcrty, that 
the three Franciscans who are with me would be in want 

Clement VII. to Camillo Gactani, Lord of Sermoneta, dated 
July u, 1527, bidding him make everything ready for the Pope's 
sojourn in Sermoneta, as the Imperialists intended to carr. 
thither. Min. brev., 1527, IV. . n. 224 (Secret Archives of 

the Vatican). 

1 See GAVARDO'S account in >r. Lomb., IV., 631. 

2 SANUTO, XLV, 595, 655; XLVI.. 141. Cf. the *Diary of 
CORNELIUS DE FINE, in which it is stated that dead bodies lay 
unburied for fourteen days, and that many Imperialists and Romans 
died of plague (National Library, Paris). 

3 Cf. SANUTO, XLV., 701 ; XLVI., 144, 279-280, 299, 


of their daily bread if they were not able to borrow money 
from some compassionate souls. I leave it to you and 
your consciences to say whether such conduct is worthy of 
an Emperor." 1 

In the first days of September it was reported that 
Clement in despair had ordered a Bull to be drawn up 
exhorting the Church to pray for her imprisoned head and 
bidding the Bishops publish the canonical censures against 
her persecutors. The draft, couched in language of extreme 
severity, is preserved in the State Archives of Florence. 
This Bull, however, was never put into official shape and 
published. In the hands of the masterful Popes of the 
Middle Ages such a transaction would undoubtedly 
have been completed, but Clement VII. had not the 
requisite courage. 2 According to one account it was 
Alfonso del Vasto who held the Pope back from this 
extreme step. 3 

When Veyre at last landed at Naples on the I9th of 
September 1527, Lannoy lay ill of the plague which he had 
contracted in Rome. His death (September 23rd) 4 brought 

1 This Perez reported to the Emperor on September 2, 1527. 
GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 184. 

2 VARCHI calls attention to this, I., 178. 

3 The Bull " Considerantes " was published by GUASTI in Arch. Stor. 
Ital., 4 Series, XV., 7 seqq. Guasti was not acquainted with the 
statement about Vasto in SANUTO, XLVI., 54, of which use has been 
made above, and his supposition that the Bull was drawn up in the 
first days of the captivity is opposed not merely by SANUTO, loc. cit., 
but also by GAYANGOS, III., 2, n. 184, both of whom support the 
September date ; cf. VILLA, Italia, 235 seqq. On the other hand, 
GUASTI, loc. tit., 5 seq., is right in maintaining that the Bull was not 
published, in spite of a statement to the contrary in SANUTO, XLVI., 
209. Then, as before, the Pope was incapable of making up his mind. 

4 Cf. the *Brief to H. de Moncada, Viceroy of Naples, of September 
26, 1 527 (condolet de morte Caroli viceregis et congratulatur de eius 
adventu), Arm., 39, vol. 47, n. 499 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

A sr.rnxh ni i 459 

<-VCT\ thii ulstill, as fresh instructions had now 

to be received from the Kmpcror. This was all the more 
necessary since the situation, in other respects, had entirely 
changed from what C'h ;pposed it to be at the 

moment of Veyre's departure. The latter reported to 
Spain that the Pope had paid only 100,000 ducats of the 
400,000 owed by him, while the Florentines had not yet 
paid anything of their 300,000. Alarcon, from scruples of 
conscience, had renounced his plan of bringing the Pope to 
Gaeta. The commanders of the Imperial army had been 
forced to fly, and their mutinous soldiers, instead of being 
on the march to meet the French in Lombardy, were again 
on the road to Rome, where they intended to extort their 
pay by force. 1 They got there on the 2 5th of September, 
and subjected the unhappy city to a second pillage. The 
same horrors which had accompanied their first onslaught 
were now repeated, and in some ways increased. 2 The 
soldiers, according to a German account, did everything 
they could think of, burning, extorting, robbing, thieving, 
and doing violence. The money raised by Clement by 
the sacrifice of his own silver vessels and those of the 
prelates was insufficient to appease the demands of the 
furious horde ; they threatened Rome with utter destruc- 
tion and the Pope and Cardinals with death if they were 
not paid. 

Clement had now to make up his mind to give up 
to the Germans the hostages 3 named in the treaty 
of June. Gumppenberg has described, as an eye-witness, 
the surrender of these unfortunate men. The Pope cx- 

1 Veyre's report of September 30, 1527, in LA^ seqq. \ cf. 
BUCHOLTZ, III., 108 set/. ; Al ! ;? J GAYANGOS, III., 2. n. 2OI. 

2 Cf. SANUTO, XLVI., 178, 186, 210; SCHERTUNS Lebcn, 8; 

Ai.r.KRiNi, 355- 

3 See their names supra, p. 42.'. 


claimed with tears, " There they stand, take them with you. 
I will accompany them." 1 

The account-book of Paolo Montanaro, expeditor of 
Clement VII., 2 now preserved in the Roman State Archives, 
enables us to realize directly the fearful plight to which the 
Pope had been brought. This account-book, which com- 
prises the quarter from October to the 3ist of December, 
shows clearly how scarce and dear provisions were. Since 
the treaty of June the Spaniards, who had at first deter- 
mined to starve out the inmates of St. Angelo, had 
allowed communications to be renewed. It is a peculiar 
testimony to the economical bent of Clement VII. 
that the regular account of expenditure begins again as 
early as the ist of October. With the most conscientious 
exactitude Montanaro notes down the smallest sum spent 
on the table of the imprisoned Pope, and, in like 
manner, the Master of the Household, Girolamo da 
Schio, Bishop of Vaison, submits each office 3 to a search- 
ing examination. 

While the soldiers were robbing in every nook and corner 
of Rome, Veyre and Quinones, in the beginning of October, 
approached the Pope. 4 Like Alarcor^ and Morone, they 
negotiated with a delegation of Cardinals, del Monte, 

1 GUMPPENBERG, 247 seqq. ; cf. also the report of Perez, October 
12, 1527, in VILLA, Asalto, 289. 

2 *Regestro delle spese sono fatte in Castello de sancto Angelo per 
uso de N. S. et sua familia per man del r. mons. Vasionen. mastro 
di casa de S. S ta incominzando dal primo di de Ottobre 1527. 
GREGOROVIUS in the Histor. Zeitschrift, XXXVI., 163^., has given 
a detailed account of these " most precious and, in some cases, unique 
relics of the sack of Rome." 

3 GREGOROVIUS in the Histor. Zeitschrift, XXXVI., 164 seqq. 
For the Master of the Household see MORSOLIN, Girol. da Schio, 
Vicenza, 1875. 

4 Cf. supra> p. 454, n. 3, and EHSES, Dokumente, 13 and 252. 

FURY OF Till us. 461 

Campeggio, and Lorenzo Pucci ; Pompco Colonna, whom 
Clement had won over to his side, 1 did all he could to 
attain a successful result ; but in pitc of these endeavours 
no progress was made. Meanwhile the soldiers became 
more and more furious. In their rage they dragged the 
hostages to newly erected gallows on the Campo di Fiore 
and threatened them with death. At the last moment 
they changed their mind ; they were unwilling to lose the 
last security remaining to them, and the hostages were 
taken in chains to the Palazzo Colonna. 2 

Although in Rome the scarcity of provisions made itself 
felt increasingly every day, 3 and the approach of the French 
troops under Lautrec was a cause of growing anxiety, the 
army could not be induced to leave the city, since the 
soldiers held out for payment of their arrears in full The 
final result of the total " paralysis of the Emperor's 
authority " 4 was the defection of the Duke of Ferrara and 

1 By the promise of the Legation of the marches of Ancona (see 
GUICCIARDINI, XVI 1 1., 5) and other marks of favour (cf. Arm., 39, vol. 47, 
n - 739^ legitimation of "Joh. de Columna, Cleric. Rom.,' dated 
November 3, 1527. " Hinc est quod nos te, qui ut accepimus defectum 
natalium de dil. fil. nostro Pompeio til. s. Laurent, in Dam. presb. 
Card. S. R. E. vicecanc. tune in minorib. constitute et soluto et 
soluta genitus pateris," etc. (Secret Archives of the Vatican). There 
is no evidence in support of the charges made against Colonna in 
Veyre's report (in LANZ, I., 248 seq.}. 

2 Cf. SCHULZ, Sacco, 149 seq. To the sources there made use 
of may be added SANUTO, XLVI., 210, 22- m undated 
(probably drawn up end of October) German *report in the Reich- 
stagsakten, XLIIL, f. 33-34 (City Archives, Frankfurt-on-Maine) ; 
GlOVio, Descrizione, 19 seq., and the *Diary of CORNELIUS DE ; 
who describes the imiudita wsrialitas still caused by the pLv 
September : " All who had hitherto escaped sword and famine were now 
dead" (National Library, Paris). 

s Cf. SANUTO, XLV., 299. 

4 BAUMGARTEN, Karl V., 1 1. ,605. 


the Marquis of Mantua who, in November, deserted the 
cause of Charles for that of France. 1 

At this time a decided reaction set in at the Imperial 
Court. 2 At the end of October the Ambassador of Henry 
VIII., in the name of his King, " the Defender of the Faith," 
presented a solemn protest against the Pope's imprisonment. 3 
In November the Spanish Council discussed the matter; 
no less a personage than the Chancellor Gattinara there 
declared that if the Emperor looked upon Clement as the 
legitimate Pope, he ought no longer to detain him captive. 
Praet called attention to the danger that the French might 
set the Pope at liberty ; it would be better that the Emperor 
should do this and, in so doing, set his troops free ; on this 
ground he recommended that Moncada should be ordered 
to abide, only " as far as was practicable," by the instructions 
of Veyre. The result of the deliberation was that the 
Council of State determined that, in any case, the Pope must 
be given his freedom. 4 

In the meantime the negotiations in Rome had been 
endlessly protracted. In despair Clement VII., on the I5th 
of November, deplored his misery 5 to the Archbishop of 

1 Cf. SUDENDORF, III., 172 seq.' t DE LEVA, II., 450 seq.; BALAN, 
VI., 145 seq. 

2 Navagero reports in a ^letter from Burgos, October 25, 1527, that, 
in spite of this reaction, there were still many who opposed Clement's 
release. Cod. Vat., 6753 (Vatican Library). 

3 SANUTO, XLVI., 314. 

4 BUCHOLTZ, III., 119-120. 

6 RAYNALDUS, 1527, n. 43. The letter here printed is the answer 
to that of the Archbishop of Toledo to the Pope, dated Valladolid, 
July 27, 1527. The Archbishop tries to comfort the Pope with allusions 
to the good dispositions of the Emperor. Now that the Pope had 
entered on the hazards of war, the Archbishop hopes that Clement 
has made such thorough provision for all the eventualities of the 
conflict that he will also be able to meet his present misfortune with 

01 i MI n !:-. 463 

Toledo. Moncada, tin- new Viceroy of Naples, tried to 
exact as much as possible from the Tope. Clement hoped, 
not without grounds, that the approach of the French 
army under Lautrec would force the Imperialists to make 
more favourable terms ; l he also succeeded by promises 
in bringing Quifiones and Morone entirely round to 
his side. 2 

After proposals and counter-proposals 3 had been bandied 
to and fro amid tedious delays, a basis of agreement was 
reached at last, and on the 26th of November the terms 
were settled. In the first place, a treaty was concluded 
between the Pope and the Cardinals on the one hand, 
and the representatives of the Emperor (Veyre, Moncada, 
Quifiones) on the other. It was herein stipulated that 
Clement should be restored to his spiritual and temporal 
rights on condition that he while remaining neutral 
advanced the peace of Christendom and convoked a 
general council for the reform of the Church, the up- 
rooting of Lutheran teaching, and the pursuance of 
the Turkish war. As securities the Emperor was to 
hold six hostages Giberti, Jacopo Salviati, Galeotto and 
Malatesta de' Medici, as well as Cardinals Trivulzio and 
Pisani 4 and the towns of Ostia, Civita Vecchia, ( 
Castellana, and Forli. All the remainder of the Papal 

fortitude and spirit. *Lett. d. princ., IV., f. 202 and 208 (Secret 
Archives of the Vatican). 

1 The services rendered him by Lautrcc's appearance were acknow- 
ledged by the Pope, after his release, in a special letter of December 
14, 1527, in RAYNALDUS, 1527, n. 47. 

2 Quifiones had a promise of the Cardinalate. Moronc's son was 
to receive the Bishopric of Modena. Jovius, Columna, 170; f/. 

3 Cf. SCHULZ, Sacco, 153^7. 

4 In place of his nephews, Alessandro and Ippolito dc' Medici, who 
were absent. 


States, with the exception of the territories ceded to the 
Colonna, was, on the other hand, to be restored as before 
the sack of Rome. The Imperial army would quit Rome 
and the States of the Church as soon as the troops of the 
League evacuated the latter. 1 

No one was named in this treaty to execute the restora- 
tion of the territories severed from the States of the 
Church. As a matter of fact, the restoration of the 
temporal possessions, although conceded in theory, lay 
practically at the good pleasure of the Emperor. 2 On 
the other hand, the Pope was free to fix his own time for 
the convocation of the council. 

A second agreement settled in detail the sums payable 
by the Pope to the Imperialist generals ; in the first 
place, within ten days 73,169 ducats, as the price of the 
evacuation of the castle of St. Angelo, and immediately 
after that 35,000 ducats more, on receipt of which the 
troops would quit Rome. After fourteen days 44,984^ 
ducats were to be paid, and then in three monthly 
instalments 150,000, and again finally, at the same rate, 
65,000. In order to collect these sums the Pope made new 
Cardinals and alienated Church property in the kingdom 
of Naples. On the payment of the 44,984^ ducats the 
Imperialist forces left the Papal States. 3 

1 Text of this treaty in SCHULZ, Sacco, 176-183. Cf. the doubtful 
letter of Cardinal Pisani, November 27, 1527, in SANUTO, XLVI., 348- 


2 Cf. BROSCH, I., 109-110. 

3 In MOLINI, 273-278, and LANCELLOTTI, III., 325 seq., is the 
Italian, in SCHULZ, 183-188, the Latin, text of this treaty. German 
translation in REISSNER, 146 seq. SCHULZ, 159, first called attention 
to the Brief (Secret Archives of the Vatican, Brevi di Clemente VII., 
T. 17, part 4 a , n. 336) in which Clement appointed a commissary to 
accompany the army to Viterbo and to look after their commissariat 
and quarters. 


Since, in spite of the nomination of Cm 
money was not forthcoming,- the landsknechts again 
threatened the hostages with death and rose in mutiny 
against their leaders, who took refuge in the Alban hills 
with the Colonna. At the end of November the hostages 
managed to make their warders drunk and escaped. 8 
On hearing this the landsknechts flung down their arms. 
but order was soon restored. 4 An arrangement was sub- 
sequently made with the Pope that he should pay from the 

1 On November 21, 1527, were nominated, Antonio Sanseverino, 
Vincenzo Caraflfa, A. M. Palmerio, E. Cardona, G. Grimaldi, P. Gonzaga, 
S. 1'uppacoda ; see ClACONlUS, III., 488 seg., who is mistaken in assign- 
ing the nomination of Du Prat and Quinones to the same date. 
NOVAES, IV., 90 seg., makes the same mistake with regard to Du Prat. 
In the *Nomination Brief of V. Caraffa, dated Romae in Arcc, 
November 21, 1527, we read: Clement had created him Cardinal 
" habita cum ven. fratribus nostris S. R. E. Cardinalibus matura de- 
liberatione de illorum unanimi consilio et consensu cum promissione 
ratificandi creationem post liberationem ex arce s. Angel 

vol. 47, n. 814 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). See also SAWrro, 
XLVI., 389-410. The promulgation of the Cardinals created on 
November 21 took place along with that of those nominated on May 
3, 1527, not, as CRISTOFORI (348), supposes, on April 27, but in the 
beginning of February 1528 (certainly before the i ith) ; see SANUTO, 
XLVI., 580, cf. 585, and CATALANUS, 283, 303. See also the *lettrr 
of thanks of Cardinal Sanseverino (dated Rome, February 16, 1528), 
Lett. d. princ, V., 1 10 (Secret Archives of the 

2 It is plain from the *Brief to Schonberg, dated December 6, 1527, 
that the Neapolitan Cardinals refused to pay down the stipulated sums 
" nisi mittantur pilei et apportetur assumptio." Therefore Clement gave 
Schonberg full powers to proceed with the ceremonies of the bestowal 
of the ring and the imposition of the hat. Brev., vol. 47, n. 880 
(Secret Archives of the Vatican). 

3 Jovius, Columna, 169, and Hist., XXV., 28 ; SANUTO, XLVI., 361 
seq., 389; ALBERINI, 358 seq. ; (. '. 261 sty. ; 
SCHULZ, Sacco, 159 ; BARTHOI.D, 485 ; BALAN, Clement VII., 85. 

4 SANUTO, XLVI., 389 ; cf. 362. 

VOL. ix. 3 


ist of December ioo ; ooo ducats to the Germans, with the 
exception of the leaders and those in receipt of double pay, 
35,000 ducats to the Spaniards, and furnish fresh securities. 1 
Accordingly, after Cardinals Orsini and Cesi had been 
handed over to Colonna, and Cardinals Trivulzio, Pisani, 
and Gaddi to Alarcon as hostages, and further securities 
given for the above-mentioned sums of money, the Im- 
perialists left the castle of St. Angelo on the 6th of 
December 1527.2 

With this the hard captivity 3 of the Pope, which had 
lasted full seven months, came to an end. Clement wished 
to leave Rome at once, where Campeggio was to remain as 
Legate ; Alarcon advised him to wait a few more days on 
account of the insecurity of the roads, 4 but this delay 
seemed very dangerous to Clement, who was afraid of the 
soldiers awaiting their pay in Rome, and, moreover, he did 
not trust Moncada. 5 Between the 6th and ?th of December 
he left St. Angelo suddenly, by night, dressed in the clothes 
of his majordomo, but certainly not without previous know- 
ledge on the part of the Imperialist commanders. Luigi 

1 SCHULZ, Sacco, 1 60 ; cf. SANUTO, XLVL, 364 seqq. 

2 Cf. the Sienese account in FOSSATI-FALLETTI, 24-25. 

3 How difficult it was, up to the last, to have communication with 
the Pope is shown from the reports of W. Knight, sent to Rome by 
Henry VIII. in the matter of his divorce ; see State Papers, Henry VIII., 
London, 1849, VII., n. 177. 

4 A. Pisani reported this from Todi on December 1 1, 1527 ; SANUTO, 
XLVL, 375. In a *Brief to the Duke of Urbino and the other generals 
of the League, dated December 3, 1527, Clement VII. announced his 
approaching departure for Orvieto, accompanied by an Imperialist 
guard of soldiers, for whom he asked a safe-conduct ; Min. brev., 1527, 
III., vol. 1 6, n. 1094 (Secret Archives of the Vatican). In Orvieto 
Clement's coming was known as far back as the middle of November ; 
see FUMI, Orvieto, 186 seq. 

6 Cf. JOVIUS, Columna, 70, and the Pope's own account quoted 
below in BALAN. 


Gonzaga waited for him on the Neronian fields with a troop 
of arquebusiers, and under this escort he went in haste to 
Montefiascone, and from there to the stronghold of 
Orvieto. 1 

1 For Clement's flight see, besides GUICCIARDINI, XVIII., 5, and 
Jovius, Hist., XXV., 29, also SANUTO, XLVI., 375, 378-379, 389-390, 
and the Pope's own account (made known recently for the first time) 
in BALAN, Boschetti, II., Appendix, 42. See also GAYANGOS, III., 2, 
n. 259, 272 ; DANDOLO, Ricordi ined. di G. Morone, Milano, 1859, 
230, and FOSSATI-FALLETTI, 25. Guicciardini, followed by most 
modern historians, assigns the flight to December 8 ; but in the 
accounts in Sanuto, as well as in the despatches of F. Sergardi, C. 
Massaini, and J. C. Salimbeni (State Archives, Siena), drawn upon by 
Fossati-Falletti, December 6 is expressly stated ; so also Blasius dc 
Martinellis (quoted by EHSES, Die Dekretale, 226, note i) and the 
Diary in OMONT, Suites du Sac de Rome, 18. The statements in 
BONTEMPI, 325, are also in agreement with the above. To all this 
evidence must be added that also of the Pope himself in a *Brief of 
January 12, 1529, in Arm., 39, vol. 49, n. 31 (Secret Archives of the 
Vatican), first utilized by EHSES, Dokumente, XXVIII., note 4. The 
6th of December is also proved to have been the day of the flight by 
*the Regestro delle spese in the State Archives, Rome (see supra, p. 460, 
n. 2), where on the 7th of December there are no more entries for pro- 
visions; the last entry is made at Galera, a place which the Pope passed 
through in his flight. GREGOROVIUS (Histor. Zeitschrift, XXXVI., 171- 
172) was not aware of this ; his explanation rests on an unnecessary 
hypothesis. For a coin of Clement VII., the Pontiffs face being 
bearded, referring to his deliverance, see REUMONT, III., 2, 849. 
Reumont also has here some critical remarks on Fusco, Di una incdita 
moneta battuta in Roma 1' anno 1528 dall' Imperat. Carlo V., Napoli, 







i. G. M. GIBERTI to N. N. 1 

1522, Januar. 9, Rom. 

Copia de un capitulo di una littera di mes r Jo. Matthio : 
R mo s r mio. V. S. sard gia stata avisata della s* electione dil 
r mo card lc Dertusense in sum mo pontifice, la quale dette piaccrc 
a tucti li homeni da bene per le rare et singular virtu sue, e a li 
amici e s ri del patrone per essere opera e factura sua. Rome 
VIIII Jan. 1522. 

[Cop. Gonzaga Archives, Mantua.] 



1522, Februar. 6, Rom. 

Committitur per collegium rev morum cardinalium rev d. came- 
rario, ut det quaedam vasa argentea rev. d. Ant. Puccio episc. 
Pistorien. in pignus pro due. 2500 auri capit Ivetiorum 

(who served under A. Pucci in Lombardy) dcbitis, and in particular : 

Duo candelabra magna argentea smaltata pond" libr. 47 ac 
valoris due. 550. 

Item duo alia candelabra argentea smaltata ejusdem pond" ct 

Item duo candelabra argentea smaltata ad confecterias pond" 
libr. 66 et valoris due. 700. 

Item unam crucem cum pede magno et armis Eugcnii [IV] 
et Pauli [II] pond s libr. 427* val. due. 450. 

1 Sec supra, p. ^4. * S^ **/* P 3- 



Item duo candelabra argentea aurata cum armis papae Julii 
[II] pond. libr. 28, val due. 300. 

Item unam coppam cum suo tegmine argenteam deauratam 
pond. libr. 5 et unciar. 9. val. due. 60. 

Item unum vas aquae benedictae cum sua asperges et armis 
Pauli papae II pond. libr. 5 et unciar. 10, val. due. 60. 

Et unum aliud vas simile cum suo aspergulo argenti smaltati 
cum armis, card. Ascanii l pond. libr. 3 et unciar. 6, val. due. 30. 

Item unum aliud simile vas sine armis pond. libr. 5 et unciar. 
6, val due. 65. 

Item duo turribula, quorum alterum est deauratum, cum 
navicula et cochleare argenteis pond. libr. 9, val. due. 90. 

Item unum truncum crucis, quae defertur ante faciem pontificis, 
argenteum et in tribus partibus divisum pond. libr. 14 et unciar. 
2, val. due. 150, et sic in tota summa summarum praed. val. 3005 
due. auri ponderantia et valentia in sacristia palatii apost. 
existentia et ad usum altaris pontificii teneri solita in pignus et 
cautelam eorum assignari curet. . . . 

D. Romae in palatio apost. in nostra generali congregat. die 6, 
febr. 1522. ... 

[Cop. in the*Acta consist. 1492-1513 (formerly Miscell. 3), 
f. 65, Consistorial Archives of the Vatican.] 


1522, Mart. I, Rom. 

Sanctissimus in Christo pater et dominus noster dominus 
Adrianus, divina providentia papa sextus, pontifex maximus 
optimusque vive vocis oraculo mandavit michi Bernardo de Lauro 
abbati ac sue beatitudinis familiarium minimo indignoque, ut 
a quodam memoriali per me coram S te Sua lecto transcriberem 
hec que sequuntur : 

Primum de celeri in Italiam adventu. 

Quod B do sua nichil det aut concedat seu dari aut concedi 
patiatur, quod arcium Hostie et s te Marie de Loreta [sic] aut 
aliarum terrarum custodiam concernat, etiam si super hoc 
collegium scribat. 

Insuper quod S tas Sua quantocius scribat collegio, quatenus 

1 A. Sforza. 2 See su p rU) p< 86. 


modis omnibus attendat at<jti- rfi< iat, n, qnj rrarum ct 

dominiorum, quae tcmpore fe. re. domini Leonis [X] recuperatum 
obtentunm- [sic] fucrit, aut aliorum pontificum predeces> 
amittatur sivc aniitti aufcrri aut abalienari patiatur, sed omnibus 
modis ac viis conservare defendere ct protegere curet, et super 
hoc tola sit intontio Sue S tis et citius id fiat. 

Et nisi presto S s D s N r sit venturus, quod facial legatum et hoc 
facial B tl0 Sua et nullo modo hoc remitat collcgio. 

Preterea pacem (quae tamen nichil hubiturusit insidiarum) inti-r 
principes componere curet, et ubi tractabitur caveat de fraudulent.! 

Et quod se confederet cum Cesare atque regibus Anglie et 

Et quod scribat regi Francorum, ut in Italic ab armis abstineat, 
ne ultra sanguine christiano Italia irrigetur. Et etiam Ecclesie 
Romane vasallis scribat, quod nulli in armis versanti favean 
adhereant, presertim illis qui ecclesie confederates contra [sic] 
arma ferunt. 

Insuper sciat Beatitude Sua, quod in Italia malo ingenio multa 
arma costructa sunt, quae et ducatum Urbini et civitatem Pemsam 
tyrannide opprimunt, et, nisi presto obvietur, etiam Bononiam, ut 
in earn Bentivoli reintrudantur, invadent. 

Preterea, quia sedes apostolica ere alieno est gravata et pro 
occurrentibus necessitatibus sunt habende pecunie, idcirco S u 
Sua poterit ab ill" 10 Anglorum rege mutuatos accipcre ducatos 
ducentos mille, quos et duplicates juste habere poterit turn ex 
marranis turn ex aliquibus pretiis defalcandis ex contractibus 
illicitis et usurariis cum aliquibus creditoribus initis ct etiam ex 
rebellious componendis. 

Quod cxcellentissimus dominus dux Mediolani sub alls Sue 
Beatitudinis se commendat. 

Insuper quod ex Turcis habentur timenda nova, ea tamen cum 
fenore aliquo subministrantur a Gallis et a Venutis ea intentionc, 
ut pax preceps fiat ex qua acrius bellum exeat. Et impo 
est Italiam pace frui, dum in . et ex consequent! 

nee in reliquu publica re Christiana pax esse poterit Et est 
notissimum quod, ex quo Galli in Italiam irrupcrunt, plus quam 
duocenta milia hominum gladiis occubuerur 
vires habebunt, nichil boni contra infidelcs fieri pot 


Et si Beatitudo Sua vult vere dominari, quod nulli cardinalium 
adhereat, sed omnes equaliter amet et plus merenti plus etiam 
tribuat. Et super hoc dicetis aliqua que scitis, nam periculosum 
esset omnia scripto dicere. 

Insuper quod Beatitudo Sua non recipiat aliquos in suos oficiales 
nisi illos jam dudum forsan sibi notos et probates donee S tas Sua 
fuerit Rome, ubi sunt aliqui viri digni et incorruptibiles, quos 
Beatitudini Sue nominabunt cardinalis Sedunensis et Guillermus 
Hynchenfort. 1 Et inter nominandos est unus nomine Jacobus 
Bomisius pro secretario aptissimus, et pro subdatario alter qui 
vocatur Johannes Betchen Coloniensis. 

Item quod Sanctitas Sua dum erit Rome oficiales et familiares 
suos habeat ad honestum et redactum [sic] numerum, unde 
sequatur, quod car 165 nunc maxima et superflua familiarium 
Comitiva stipati etiam se reform abunt et familiam suam ad 
honestum numerum reducent. 

Insuper quia ex oficiorum auditoris camere et clericorum de 
camera et abreviatorum de majori et nonnullorum aliorum ven- 
ditione paratur materia ut justicia venalis fiat, idcirco dicta oficia 
minime vendantur, sed gratis dentur personis litteratis. Et quod 
auditor camere et gubernator astringantur ad sindicatum. 

Quod penitentiarii et referendarii reducantur ad honestum 
numerum et tarn ipsis quam etiam dominis de Rota quotannis 
assignentur certi redditus, qui absque conscientie lesione et sine 
patrimonii diminutione poterunt eisdem ac ipsorum unicuique 
assignari ex redditibus aliquorum abbatiatuum magni valoris 
certis congregationibus nuper unitorum. 

Et quod domini de Rota sub ofitiorum ipso facto privatione 
nichil pro propina recipiant nisi tantum quod ad plus valeat duos 
ducatos auri de camera, et pars plus dans ipso facto perdat jus 
quod habet in causa et illud accrescat parti alteri. Et hoc idem 
incurrant dicti penitentiarii. Et si penitentes voluerint gratis 
dare aliquid, illud reponatur in quadam arcula ad opus fabrice 
sancti Petri. 

Et quod scriptores apostolici nihil percipiant quam instituta 
Nicholai [V] in quadam bulla, et si contra fecerint non absol- 
vantur a censuris in bulla contentis et sic precludetur iter 

1 Enkevoirt. 

ATM \: 475 

Et quod gabelle de Ripa diminuuntur pro medictatc et sic fict 
res gratissiina Rnmanis, ct ni< hilominus tantundeni utili'.atis ex 
gabella resultabit, <iuia dum gabdl.i crit diminuta, multo pi u res 
quam nunc venditores per (lumen Tyberi portabunt victualia, + 
quae nunc propter gabelle excessum non vehuntur, et quod dicta 
gabella non arrendetur, sed pro ipsa exigenda ponantur collectores, 
qui de exactis reddant rationcm maestro domus Vestre Beat it u- 
dinis; nam dum gabella arrendatur, illi, qui ipsam arrcndant, 
maxime vexant illos, qui victualia vendenda deferunt. 

Demum multa imposita a Leone [X] decreta et oficia militum 
scutiferorum et preter solitum numerum cubiculariorum ct ofitia 
de Ripa evanescant et dissolvantur, nam fere totum patrimonium 

Et quod fiscus non audeat excedere in suo ofitio quod tantum + 
consistit in denuntiando et instando. 

[Endorsed:] Transcripta a quodam memoriali per rev. dom. 
Matheum card. Sedunens. prima martii Rome ordinato, scripto 
tamen per me abbatem [B. de] Lauro. 

[Orig. Cod. Vatic. 3924, I., f. 204, Vatican Library. 1 ] 


1522, Mai 8, Saragotm, 

Adrianus papa VI. Vener. fratres nostri, salutem et apost 

Sexta huius mensis reddidit nobis litteras circumspect, vestrarum 
dil. filius loannes Maria alumnus et nuntius dilecti filii nob: 
viri ducis Urbini, quibus circumspectiones vestrae ducem ipsum 
et egregia eius erga nos et sanctam sedem apostolicam merita 
diligenter commendant. Non facile dixerimus