Edward VI: March 1548

Pages 14-19

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Edward VI 1547-1553. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1861.

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March 1548

March 5.
67. Edmond Harvel to Sir William Paget. Introduces the bearer, the Count Bernardo San Bonifacio, who is about to repair to England. By the universal report of men he finds the Count to be of right good fame, as also of much honour and virtue. [One page.]
March 6.
68. Dr. Wotton to Sir William Petre. He trusts that he may soon be recalled home; desires that a copy of the form of ratification and oath of the last treaty may be sent to him as a precedent for the present ones; and mentions the report is everywhere current that the French King is preparing to recover Boulogne. [Printed by Tytler, Vol. i., p. 78.]
March 7.
69. Popyns Sybrant to the Council. Having within the last two or three days gone to Brussels to obtain leave and licence from the Emperor's Council to go to England to serve the King, he found a placard issued prohibiting, under pain of forfeiture of goods and banishment of wife and children, any of the Emperor's subjects from serving foreign princes. Of this he sends an authentic copy, requesting it may serve as his excuse for not coming; nevertheless begs to have the pension and payment promised to him. [One page.]
March 7.
70. Dr. Wotton to same. Giving particulars of his conference, and copies of his correspondence, with the Constable relative to reciprocal complaints of some French and English merchants whose ships had been captured. The Bishop of Rome's Nuntio, who was going to Scotland, is still at Melun, not having yet received his commission or money that he should have with him into Scotland. In Germany the Emperor has caused Sebastian Vogelsperger and two other colonels to be beheaded for raising troops for France, a measure not likely to prevent many from going to serve there. It is reported that Pietro Strozzi has been taken in Lombardy, which, if true, will probably be "occasion of some business." The Prince of Melfi, Governor for the French King in Piedmont, has taken the Marquis of Saluzzo prisoner, and his town of Saluzzo for the King's use. The captain of the French fort, Monsieur de Ruault, has brought thither an Englishman, whom he calls an English captain; much is made of this, as if he had disclosed some secrets of importance; does not yet know what he is, but is informed by one who has talked with him that " he reckoneth him not to be very witty man, and that he speaketh a little French." The Court has left Fontainebleau, and gone to a house of the Constable, called Eston, within four or five leagues from Paris, where they will not tarry long: it is thought that the King will be up towards Champagne for a while. Sends copies of certain things done in the consistory at Rome betwixt the Bishop and the Emperor's Ambassador (missing). Is informed by Harpax that the French Ambassador Ossey (d' Oysel), who was despatched a good while ago to go to Scotland, is still in Brittany, and that a French painter, named Nicholas, has given the French King pictures of all the havens in England, by means of which they may land their men that go into Scotland easily; also that the Marquis de Maine, brother unto the Queen of Scots, goes with this aid to Scotland. The Emperor's Ambassador says that 200 or 300 Spaniards go amongst others to Scotland, and that they make much matter of a reported victory over the English by the Scots at Dundee. [Eight pages. A few of the clauses printed by Tytler, Vol. i., p. 78.]
March. 71. Copy of the Constable's letter and complaints of the French merchants, referred to in the preceding. [Nine pages and a half.]
March 9.
72. Sir Thomas Chamberlain to Sir William Paget. Sends three packets of letters which Mr. Carne delivered to him yesterday at Brussels. The Emperor's success continues, and he is now coming to Frankfort, thence to go against the Duke of Saxony. The Landgrave earnestly entreats and offereth all he hath to the Emperor, desiring to have his life. [One page.]
March 18.
73. Dr. Wotton to the Council. Has received their letter by Nicholas the courier. Has not been at the Court by reason of the French King's visiting his friends incognito, and not having made his entry yet. At the time of Nicholas' arrival the French King and Council had caused it to be reported that the Governor of Scotland had defeated the Earl of Lennox, who had entered that country with 9,000 or 10,000, partly English and Scots, slaying 3,000 or more, and taking the Earl prisoner. Great warlike preparations are being made, which he thinks are for Scotland. The former reports of Pietro Strozzi appear, not to be true, as he was at the taking of the Marquis of Saluzzo, and is expected very soon at the Court, whither the said Marquis will be brought. Don Ferrante Gonzaga had taken the Marquis de Massa, nephew of Cardinal Cibo and favoured by the Emperor,—"one of them whom they used to call de la bouche,"—who, as he heard, had been corrupted by the French party, and chiefly by P. Strozzi, and would have wrought great feats against the Emperor at Genoa, and even have gone about to poison him. Hears that 1,000 footmen are coming out of Italy in three bands, one to be commanded by Ludovico Birago, and another by P. Strozzi. Ludovico has arrived at the Court already. They are to sail from Brittany. All the veterans of the frontiers are to be sent to Scotland, and the garrisons replaced by other soldiers. Is informed by the Emperor's Ambassador that they send to Scotland 6,000 footmen, 200 men of arms, and 500 light horses; that the King is determined not to suffer such old and firm friends as the Scots to be oppressed by the English, and that he has sent money to the Osterlings of Lubeck, Hamburg, and others for victualling the French army while in Scotland. The Secretary of the Venetian Ambassador has heard that the Emperor had sent articles to Queen Eleanor, his sister, to treat with the French King for him. Details his conversation with the Secretary. The Empire is said to have granted to the Emperor an aid of 40,000 footmen and 4,000 horsemen for six months against the Bishop of Rome and all them that are of his allegiance; but others, that are loth it should be so, say it is against the rebels of the Empire and for its defence only. The Duchess or Lorraine begins to fortify two places on the French frontier. She and her nobles are at variance, for the purifying whereof the Queen Dowager of Hungary takes Lorraine in her way to Flanders. The marriage of the Duke of Vendome with the Princess of Navarre will take place shortly, as will also that of the [Duke of Aumale] with the Duke of Ferrara's daughter. The French King has demanded of the Parisians a loan of 400,000 francs, whereof they have offered a good part. The garrisons, especially towards the English frontiers, continue to be largely reinforced. It is said that they send for Scotland 30 great ships armed and 20 galleys at the least. Harpax tells him that Pietro Strozzi has come to the Court, and La Granerye is sent to the Scottish Queen to apprize her that the navy bringing aid to Scotland will sail within five or six days after him. One La Jaque confirms the report of the defeat of the English near Dunbar, and that the Scots are never better minded to the war against England than now. Gives an account of a newly invented preparation, a sort of Greek fire, intended for destroying the English ships, and recommends very special caution. Twelve persons have been for the last fortnight living secretly in a house in Paris at the French King's charge, suspected to be the leaders of an intended enterprise on Boulogne or the vicinity. Ambassadors have been from the King of Denmark and his brother the Duke of Holstein to obtain the King's good will for the marriage of the Duke with the Queen of Scots; they kept themselves very secretly, and only Brissac communicated with them. Is not aware what answer they received. The French are in the more haste to send into Scotland, as they fear the English may have the start of them. [Five pages. The first clause referred to by Tytler, Vol. i., p. 80.]
March 20.
74. Edmond Harvel to Sir William Paget. On the 16th inst. was invited to sup secretly with Sir Francis Bernard, as these gentlemen are forbidden to resort to Ambassadors. Requested by him to say that until his business was settled he could not write. Also to signify that, as of his own motive, he had spoken to the Duke of Ferrara on the subject of the marriage of his son with the Lady Mary. The Duke gave grateful ear, and expressed his intention to send one of his gentlemen both to mourn for the late, and congratulate for the coronation of the present, King, and who should take occasion to commune upon the said marriage; being in hope to bring the same to effect, will send his Ambassador with full powers. Also told him that the Bishop had required the Venetian Envoy in Rome to write to the Senate that they shall command said Bernard to speak with his legate in Venice, and also to go to Rome if he should need his (torn) for the King of England. The Senate, which will not be seen partial, hath recused to do so, and leaves Bernard to act according to his own free will. Had asked Harvel's advice thereon. Details the conversation, and expresses himself much pleased with Bernard's affection to his King and country. According to reports from Rome and elsewhere, the legates to France and the Emperor are stayed, as there is great discord between the Bishop and the Emperor, because the former will not continue in league against Germany, and will by no means suffer the Emperor to prevail of the fourth part of his spirituality in Spain. Of late there has been great confusion and strife at Trent, because the prelates for the Bishop have, against the consent of the Imperialists, removed the Council to Bologna on pretence of avoiding the sickness in Trent, which is reported to be false. For a long time the Bishop has sought occasion to translate the Council from Trent for important causes; wherefore great protestations have been made in the Emperor's name to annul all previous acts declared in the Council. The Bishop's prelates have departed from Trent in passing great haste. The Senate has named as Ambassador to England M. Dominico Bolani, a man of singular good fame, virtue, and learning. Signor Luis Gonzaga begs to signify to the King and Council the like devoir and fidelity to them as to the late King; hopes to enjoy the order promised to him by his Majesty's most worthy father, and offers to send his son to his Majesty. Incloses letter from said Gonzaga, to which hopes a reply may be sent soon, as he is a person of great fame and estimation. The French King is said to have in pay 16,000 Swiss to go to Italy: this, he thinks, constrains Don Ferrante Gonzaga to raise infantry and cavalry, and he is now in Piedmont supplying the towns and fortresses upon these confines. Letters from Prague report that the Duke of Saxony has broken 3,000 foot and 700 horse of the Marquis of Brandenburg, who came to victual Leipsic, which they reckon is besieged by 20,000 foot and 4,000 horse. This compels the Emperor to go in person to Saxony with his whole army, leaving in Ulm about 2,000 soldiers, and as many in Augsburg. The Imperial camp is said to be greatly diminished by continued sickness. The fate of De l'Armi is still uncertain. Letters of the 12th ult. from Constantinople, and of the 27th from Adrianople, mention that the Turk's preparations greatly increase, and that he intends to send out 200 galleys, and to make passing great expeditions by land. [Three pages.]
75. Acknowledgment by his Majesty of the advance of 129,750 florins by Anthony Fugger and his nephews, of Augsburg, with obligation to repay the same upon the 31st day of March 1548. [Copy. Four pages.]
1548. March 27.
76. The Bishop of Westminster to the Lord Protector and the Council. Having been apprized by their letters of his Majesty's late success in Scotland, had communicated the same to M. de Granvelle, who expressed himself rejoiced thereat, and requested to have extract of the letters, saying the Emperor would take pleasure to read them, and asked how the French did with us. Details their farther conversation. Mentions what had passed between M. de Rie, one of the gentlemen of the Emperor's privy chamber, and M. Bernardine, in regard of the ancient amity between the King's Majesty and the House of Burgundy; the former, considering that they must again unite against the French, urged Bernardine to move the Bishop to persuade the Protector thereto. Thinks the Emperor has a distrust of the French. It is reported that the Regent is to meet with the French in Lorraine. [Two pages. One half printed by Tytler, Vol. i., p. 82.]
March 27.
77. Dr. Wotton to the Lord Protector. Sends very minute details of the naval preparations of the French King, communicated to him by William James, a merchant of Southampton. The French King levies large assessments in Brittany; of this the people say that the Scots are the cause, and curse them. Three English prisoners of war, who should have paid 4,000 crowns, have escaped from Nantes, and therefore the Governor of that town has ordered that every Englishman going there should be detained for them who have so escaped. Four English vessels, coming from Bordeaux laden with Gascoigne wines for the King's provision, have been captured by the Scots and brought into Brest. The French people are very loth and sorry that there should be war with England, and if such should happen, they say Scotland will be the cause of it. Many places are so oppressed by exactions that they desire to be under the King's Majesty. Pietro Strozzi has been at the Court, and gone either to Brittany or Provence, but will soon return. It is still reported that Italians go to Scotland, and that Lorge, having no great mind to go thither, will not be sent. [Three pages.]