In the spring of 1522, Charles left the N etherlands for Castile. He visited England en route, and concluded there an offensive alliance with H enry V III against France (the T reaty of W indsor). In July , Charles disem barked at Santander, setting foot there on Spanish ground for the second time. (See m ap on page 119.)

O n this occasion, though, C harles’s passage inland from the coast was not accom panied by the same sort of festive tourneys and receptions which had greeted his first arrival in 1517. Instead, the mood of the populace was one of sullen resignation and the K ing’s entourage consisted of a troop of mercenaries with seventy-four cannon brought from the N etherlands. The loaded atm osphere and the display of royal m ight both owed their origin to a formidable rebellion which had almost brought down the young H absburg m onarchy of Spain. Although suppressed by the time of C harles’s return, this rising — known as the revolt of the comuneros (Commons) or, more properly, comunidades (towns) of Castile — was to exercise an im portant influence upon both C harles’s governm ent of Spain and the organisation of his European empire.