Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts in the Archives and Collections of Milan 1385-1618. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1912.
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The commission under which these Calendars are compiled extends to the whole of Northern Italy. To mention only the more important places where Archives exist, this includes Milan, Genoa, Turin, Venice, Mantua, Modena, Parma and Ferrara, and it might be held to embrace Bologna, Florence, Siena, Pisa and Lucca as well. That one Editor should make anything like a thorough examination of the mass of materials contained in these vast repositories, is manifestly impossible. As a matter of fact, the field has not been surveyed, not even in the most cursory manner. When Mr. Rawdon Brown began the series of which this forms a part, in the early sixties of last century, he seems to have had some idea of attempting to deal with the whole area. That the task was impossible must soon have been borne home to him. In his earlier volumes he included papers from the Archives of Milan, Mantua and Modena, but after the fourth, he practically confined his researches to Venice, and his successors have followed his example. That the Venetian papers provide the best historical material to be found among all the manuscript treasures of Northern Italy can hardly be doubted. The Venetian ambassadors, with their acute observation, their impartiality and statesmanship, and because they did not disdain to record matters which others considered beneath the attention of diplomatists, present the most lively picture of the times they lived in and provide historians with a mine of the most invaluable material for their works, a mine which, for the most part, they have most unaccountably neglected.
A choice having to be made, Venice was certainly the right selection, even although it entailed the neglect of much valuable material in other parts of the field. An opportunity, however, occurred for working a portion of it, without unduly interfering with what was already in progress at Venice, and the present volume is the result. Commendatore Fumi, soon after his appointment as Director of the Archives at Milan, began to make notes of all the references to England which he came across. He most obligingly communicated the results to Mr. W H. Bliss, who had some papers copied. Before very much had been done, however, Mr. Bliss, most unhappily, fell ill and died. It seemed a pity not to take advantage of all that Commendatore Fumi had done on behalf of English historical students, and in the spring of 1910, the present Editor went to Milan to make a report. There he was accorded every facility for making researches, and soon discovered, that in addition to the very interesting material which the Director had so kindly made available, the Archives contained a great deal of new matter for English History for a period in which the original authorities are unusually scanty. As there was ample material in hand at the time for the continuation of the Venetian Calendar, it was decided to make this Milanese material available to students in a separate volume devoted exclusively to it.
The originals of the papers here reproduced are all housed at Milan, and, with the exception of a few, at the beginning and a larger group at the end of the volume, they all belong to the Sforza Archives, now kept at the Senate House. These begin in 1450, and run to 1499, just before Ludovico il Moro was driven from the Duchy. For the brief revivals of the Sforza line there are further series of papers in 1513 and 1514; 1526 and 1527; and from 1530 to 1535. The records for the period of French domination are said to have been taken to France. A few papers are given from the first two years of Spanish rule, but after that date an examination of a great number of cases failed to bring to light anything connected with foreign affairs. Limits of space have prevented the inclusion of the large amount of material belonging to the eighteenth century and later.
The Sforza archives have been admirably preserved and contain an exuberant amount of material. For the years 1450 to 1459, and again from 1480 to 1488, they have suffered from the ravages of fire and are comparatively scanty. The Panigarola section, dealing with commerce, yielded no results. It was not possible to examine it in detail, but an adequate index has been made. The various series of autographs, ducal missives, treaties, diplomas and despatches of sovereigns and summaries of advices have all supplied something. But the bulk of the material is naturally drawn from the instructions to ambassadors and their despatches. At Milan, these are, unfortunately, classified at present on two different systems, in the Carteggio Generale, and among the Potenze Estere. In the Carteggio all the general diplomatic material is gathered together promiscuously. There are a large number of cases, usually two or even more to each month, but beyond this arrangement by months there is no further classification. Foreign and internal affairs, instructions, despatches, reports, petitions etc., all loose papers, are gathered promiscuously together in this comprehensive collection. In the Potenze Estere the foreign papers have been taken out of this collection and they are arranged chronologically under the various states. This has not been done systematically or completely for any period or country. Thus one may find a despatch in the Carteggio and the summary of it in the Potenze Estere or vice versa, or the decipherment of a passage may be in one series and the despatch itself in the other. For the earlier years most of the papers relating to foreign affairs have been removed from the Carteggio and placed in the Potenze Estere, though enough have been left behind to make it unsafe to neglect the Carteggio altogether. From 1526 onwards nearly all the foreign papers are still in the Carteggio, though fortunately there are not many domestic papers for that period. Apparently the transfer of all the foreign papers to the Potenze Estere series is contemplated, and it is to be hoped that this will be done without delay, as the existing arrangement not only involves a great loss of time to the student, but vastly increases the risk of damage and even loss to the papers themselves.
Of the 1055 papers printed in this volume, 160 have already been published before, in whole or in part. Where this has been the case, the fact is indicated by a footnote. The majority of these, 128 in all, appeared in the first four volumes of the Venetian Calendar edited by Mr. Rawdon Brown. It hardly seemed worth while to reprint any of these; but it appeared on examination that Mr. Brown had never seen the original documents himself. He was dependent on a copyist (fn. 1) and the transcripts supplied to him were not free from errors. For this reason and for the sake of completeness it was considered best to include them all in this volume. Out of the 128 I have not been able to find nineteen, in spite of the most diligent search. These are Nos. 69, 160, 303, 315, 371, 372, 412, 428, 477, 493, 499, 513, 520, 586, 603, 655, 663, 787, 788, 850. As the majority of these are letters with royal autographs, it is supposed that they have been stolen from the Archives since Mr. Brown's volumes were published. They are published here precisely as Mr. Brown gave them, but without the marginal indication. No. 791, which also appears without the marginal indication, is the same as No. 793, which gives the correct date. It has been included by mistake.
The first paper in this volume is dated July 1st, 1385, and the last Nov. 18th, 1618, but though the range is so extensive, the documents belong to six main groups only, the reign of Edward IV, the earlier years of Henry VII, the campaign in Flanders and the Swiss league of Henry VIII, the negotiations following the battle of Pavia, the divorce proceedings, and the English Catholics. The first thirty papers are on various subjects, an engagement of Hawkwood by Galeazzo Visconti (No. 1); a declaration of Lucia Visconti about her marriage, chiefly remarkable for her expression of attachment to the Earl of Derby, afterwards Henry IV (No. 2); an alliance between Henry V and Genoa (No. 3); correspondence between the Duke of Gloucester and Decembrio (Nos. 6–18); an account of the battle of Châtillon (No. 20); a report from Bruges on the first battle of St. Albans (No. 23); and the manner of the arrival in England of Margaret of Anjou (No. 26).
With the year 1460, the material in hand becomes more coherent. This is chiefly due to the activities of Francesco Coppino, Bishop of Terni. A good deal of light is thrown here upon a remarkable personality though not so much as one could wish. Hitherto our knowledge of Coppino has been practically confined to two passages in the Commentaries of Pope Pius II, where he is represented as having grossly abused his trust, and as being deposed from his bishopric for his crimes. The documents printed here suggest that this may hardly be a fair presentation of his case. According to the pope's account Coppino was sent to England to implore help against the Turks and to bring about peace. It is clear from these letters that he had another object in view, with the connivance if not the active assistance of Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. This object is nowhere set forth explicitly, but it is indicated with sufficient clearness in more than one place. Sforza was committed to support the Aragon dynasty at Naples against the Angevin claimant, John of Calabria, who was backed by Charles VII of France. He hoped to prevent the active interference of France in Italy by inducing the English to invade Normandy and Gascony to recover their ancient possessions. Burgundy was to assist this plan by also attacking France and the Dauphin Louis knew of the idea and favoured it (Nos. 38, 101). Coppino seems to have made up his mind early that this plan could only be carried out successfully by a thorough-going support of the Yorkists, and the establishment of that party in power. In return for the assistance against France, Milan was to provide a naval force from Genoa to secure the command of the sea to the Yorkists (No. 104).
The Vatican Archives alone can reveal to what an extent Pius was privy to this plan. That he was cognisant of it and consented to it can hardly be doubted. He considered himself slighted by the inadequacy of an embassy sent to him by King Henry VI, and he is said to have been very pleased at the news of the Yorkist victory at Towton (No. 102). At the same time it must be remembered that, in supporting the Aragonese against the Angevin claimant to Naples, he had absolutely reversed the traditional policy of the papacy. He did this at the instance of Francesco Sforza, whose faithful support of Ferrante established the Aragonese line at Naples. When that was achieved there was no call for an English invasion of France, where the Dauphin now ruled as Louis XI. The French, recognising that Coppino was no friend, denounced him at Rome as the author of all the troubles in England, but the pope recalled him, not for this, as he alleged, but because of his meddlesomeness and indiscretion in France (No. 123). Coppino himself attributed his fall to lack of influence at Rome (No. 126).
These general considerations must necessarily be largely a matter of surmise, and it is better to return to follow the course of events as here set forth. Coppino seems to have first crossed to England at the beginning of 1460. There the Lancastrians derided him and refused to permit him to exercise his office. Accordingly, he left England in disgust and crossed to Calais. Thither came Warwick after a successful raid upon Sandwich, and dissuaded him from going further away. He promised to take him back to England, where they would drive away the evil councillors from the king's side. They would rule the country in the king's name, Coppino should be recognised as papal legate, and as soon as the country was pacified they would prepare a fleet for the faith. Thus far the Commentaries of Pope Pius. (fn. 2) In these pages Coppino first appears at Bruges on the 22nd March. He expected great things from the coming attack upon England, in which he himself was to take a leading part. All that was needed to make the success of the enterprise sure was the open support of the Church, by which he means that he was to receive the red hat and full powers as legate a latere (No. 31). According to Coppino's own account, when he came to Calais he found the Yorkist lords all ready to start. They declared that they could not wait any longer. Coppino exhorted them to peace and obedience, and they gave him a written pledge of their devotion to the king and that they would do all in their power for the conservation and augmentation of his honour and the good of his realm. They only wished to be restored to their former state and favour from which they had been ousted by the craft of their opponents, and they asked the legate to cross with them and use his efforts to prevent bloodshed.
The expedition crossed the sea on Thursday, the 26th June, and the Yorkists marched straight on London. Their progress was more rapid than even they expected, and the people flocked to them with great eagerness. They entered London on Wednesday, the 2nd July, and from thence, on the 4th, Coppino sent a letter to the king declaring that he could not go to him to fulfil his office of mediator, as he had intended, chiefly owing to the wrangling, murmuring, and designs of those about the king. The Yorkist lords were obliged to come armed for their own safety, but they professed obedience and loyalty to his Majesty. All they wanted was an opportunity to state their cause in safety. Coppino urged the king to open a way for peaceful mediation, otherwise all the bloodshed would be due to him (No. 37). On Saturday, the 5th July, the Yorkists set out from London to go and find the king. The royal forces had taken up a strong position, but owing to the heavy rain they were forced to come out and encounter Warwick, who gained a very easy victory. The success of the Yorkists seemed complete. Somerset scarce had a party left to follow him. There was talk in London of making a son of the Duke of York king, and passing over the Prince of Wales, who was not, they began to say, really the king's son. (fn. 3) An invasion of Normandy and Gascony was contemplated, where the people were discontented with the lordship of France, as since they returned to it they were utterly undone (No. 38).
Coppino took to himself all the credit for this success (Nos. 39, 40), and the Yorkist lords are said to have admitted their indebtedness to him (No. 104). Besides bringing the authority of the Church, he had himself collected a force for the Yorkist cause. He now desired two things for the prosecution of his designs, a licence from the pope, giving him power to operate secretly in England, and the cardinal's hat, to increase his influence and standing (No. 40). With this assistance he promised to achieve marvels for the Church and Milan (No. 50). He got King Henry to write to the pope in his favour (No. 48), and induced Sforza also to recommend his advancement to Pius (No. 42). Antonio della Torre was sent by the Yorkist lords to the pope on the affairs of England (No. 41), and was also charged with a mission to the Duke of Milan, in which they spoke of the legate's state as being linked with their fortunes (No. 49). They proposed to move against their enemies in the summer (No. 43), presumably in France. To consolidate their position, a marriage alliance with Burgundy was contemplated (No. 40). The Duke of Milan took up the matter with some enthusiasm; he thoroughly approved of Coppino's operations, and at the end of the year he sent Prospero Camulio as his envoy to the Duke of Burgundy and the Dauphin, to go on to England if the Dauphin advised it (No. 51.)
The triumph of the Yorkists did not prove so complete as they had imagined. The Lancastrians began to raise their heads again in the North, and York, who went to meet them was defeated and slain at Wakefield on the 30th December. The Yorkists were much stronger than their opponents, but they suffered defeat from lack of discipline and because they allowed a large part of their force to go pillaging and searching for victuals (No. 54). On the receipt of the news of this disaster Coppino wrote a letter to Lorenzo di Florencia, a friar and dependant of his, staying with the queen, urging the Lancastrians to make peace, as they might easily do in the moment of victory. He warned them not to be arrogant because of the trifling success they had won, because the people were incensed against them for their cruelty, whereas the Yorkists were not cruel, and they were resisting the authority of the Church. The king was at full liberty, and access to him was open to all, as was not the case before. From his experience of Warwick and his followers he had determined to protect and defend them to the death, because he never had any more loyal (No. 52). The Lancastrians took no notice of this appeal. On the Yorkist side the disaster was attributed largely to the neglect of Coppino at the papal court. Warwick, in particular, was astonished, seeing that the legate had proved his worth, that they took no notice of him at Rome (No. 58). Accordingly, Antonio della Torre was sent on another mission to the pope, asking for his support, and Warwick wrote a letter to Pius especially asking him to confer the red hat on the legate (No. 56).
Meanwhile, it was necessary to prepare to meet the foe. Coppino advised the Yorkist lords not to give battle to desperate enemies, but to remain on the defensive until Easter (No. 53). However, they collected a large army, chiefly from Kent, and, on the 12th February, Warwick set out from London, accompanied by the king (No. 63). Warwick's force encamped at St. Albans, where large numbers left him owing to lack of victuals. Somerset attacked him outside the town and pressed him hard. Warwick made a detour with a portion of his force, and pushed right into St. Albans; but there he found the queen in superior strength, and had to retire, the day being then far spent. As he was retiring, closely pressed by Somerset's men, he heard some shouting from his camp, to the enemy. Fearing some act of treason, he got away as best he could.
During the battle, Henry was placed under a tree a mile away, where he laughed and sang. Two nobles were left to guard him, and when the fortune of the day was decided, the king detained these under his promise. Somerset and the victors then came up and saluted the king, who went with them to St. Albans to the queen (No. 71). 4,500 men are said to have perished in the fighting, which seems to have been of a straggling character. The men of Kent, under the leadership of the Earl of Arundel and the Duke of Norfolk, suffered most severely, though not so badly as was at first feared, because their original strength was over estimated (Nos. 64, 68). After the battle, the usual executions took place, and among those who suffered was one of the nobles who had guarded Henry and received his promise (No. 71). Warwick's brother, Montagu, was among those taken, but escaped the same fate chiefly because a brother of Somerset was a prisoner at Calais, and also because the king expressed his satisfaction with both Montagu and Warwick (No. 65).
When the news of the battle reached London, the mayor at once sent to the king and queen, offering obedience, provided they were assured that they would not be plundered or suffer violence. The gates were closed and a good guard kept in the city, where the shops were shut and business at a standstill, and where men refrained from standing about the streets or going far from home (No. 64). With this mission to the camp went Lady Buckingham and the Countess of Bedford. They did not return until the 20th, three days after the battle. They reported that the king and queen had no mind to pillage the capital, and promised not to, but this did not mean that they would not punish the evildoers. A proclamation was thereupon issued that every one should keep fast to his house and live at peace, in order that the king and his forces might enter and behave peaceably. But less than an hour later, all the people ran to arms and reports circulated that York with 60,000 Irish, and March with 40,000 Welsh, were hastening to the neighbourhood and would protect the city. The mob chose a brewer for its leader, and demanded the keys of the gates from the mayor. For all that day London was in an uproar, but eventually the authorities succeeded in establishing order. The mayor and sheriffs patrolled the city with a strong guard and no one was allowed to carry arms except those authorised. A fresh deputation was chosen to accompany the two noble ladies to the camp to fetch four cavaliers, in whom the king and queen had perfect confidence, to treat with the magistrates in the presence of the people, and come to some arrangement for the king, queen, nobles and leaders to enter the city, without the body of the army. On the 22nd, a party of the king's men came to Aldgate, but the mayor refused them admittance, and they remained outside all night. When the four cavaliers, sent by the queen to enter the city on the 23rd, heard of this, they drew back towards the camp, and only sent two esquires to London (No. 66). But the Lancastrians had lost their opportunity, if they ever had one. March was moving rapidly eastwards with his victorious army. On Friday, the 27th, Edward entered London, accompanied by Warwick, with a force of about 5,000 men (No. 70). He was received with acclaim, and on the 4th of March was made king, practically by force, if we may believe the Bishop of Exeter (No. 78). The Lancastrians returned straggling to the North, rendered reckless by the booty they had taken (No. 79).
While these events were taking place, Coppino had withdrawn to the Continent. The disaster at Wakefield had shaken his nerve. If the Lancastrians completed their victory, he felt sure that they would give him short shrift. They denied his legatine authority and declared that the pope had recalled him and was displeased with the things which he had done (No. 54). They received his denunciations with jeers and derision. They accused him of having refused burial to the dead after Northampton, without his permission (No. 52), and they threatened to hang him if he fell into their hands (No. 95). He had also offended Warwick, because he promised to go into the camp and excommunicate the enemy and bless the earl's followers, but seeing the bad weather and the queen's power and not feeling well, he did not go (No. 76). He left before the battle of St. Albans and arrived in Holland on the 10th of February, after a perilous passage (No. 69). The cruelties of the civil war in England may well have seemed ultra barbarous to a fifteenth century Italian, but by his lack of courage at this crisis, Coppino probably lost what chance he may have had of ecclesiastical promotion. His flight was premature, and the Yorkist successes which followed so soon after showed that they were perfectly able to do without him.
Edward and Warwick lost no time in making the most of their good fortune. The possession of London, as the wealthiest city in Christendom, was an enormous advantage to them (No. 76). Multitudes flocked to their standard, expressing the wish to conquer or die with them (No. 70). They owed their popularity to their temper and moderation (Nos. 76, 91). On the 13th of March, Edward set out from London to seek his enemies in the North. On his road, he passed through a country entirely friendly, fresh recruits flocked to his standard from every part, and he had no difficulty in obtaining provisions (No. 79). The Earl of Warwick had provided a fleet to prevent the queen escaping to the Continent (No. 74).
Events after St. Albans convinced the Lancastrians of the unpopularity of their cause, and it was even reported in the Netherlands that Margaret had induced Henry to abdicate in favour of her son (No. 71), and later, that she had poisoned her husband (No. 75). It was expected that she would remain on the defensive (No. 76). Her father was said to be collecting a large force for her in Provence (No. 73). When the opposing forces met at Towton the Lancastrians had the advantage in numbers. At the beginning of the fight fortune seemed to favour the queen's side, when a change in the wind and the personal prowess of Edward decided the day at a moment when almost all the Yorkists despaired of victory (Nos. 79, 91). The entire kingdom kept holiday for the event, which seemed a boon from above (No. 85). The town of Calais also was en fête for Warwick's victory (No. 93).
On the last day of March Edward entered York without a blow. Lords Montagu and Barnes, who had been prisoners since St. Albans, and had been left in the town when the Lancastrians fled, went to the the king to ask pardon for the citizens (No. 78). The discomfited Lancastrians fled north and took refuge at Newcastle, where they were instantly besieged. The king, queen and prince were all said to be there, with the Dukes of Exeter and Somerset, and Lords de Ros and Rivers (Nos. 83, 84, 85, 94). The king, queen and prince, with Somerset and Ros, got away to Scotland. About 120 persons remained besieged by Warwick, of whom Exeter was said to be one (No. 93). When the place capitulated and Warwick was about to have the duke beheaded, for he was fierce and cruel, a message came to let him off, because he was the husband of Edward's sister. The matter was considered as likely to breed strite between Edward and Warwick (No. 91).
On the Continent the victory of Towton was generally regarded as a great blow to France (No. 101). King Charles VII denounced Edward as a traitor, and ordered him to return to his obedience. Edward replied that he was no traitor, but the rightful king, and if he came to show obedience, he would leave something to be remembered. For this the French king had the messenger beheaded, and Edward, in a fury, promised to have the noblest head from among the king's followers (No. 93). So far as he could, Charles tried to help the Lancastrian cause. At the end of April he sent a force to relieve a castle near St. Omer (? Guisnes), which was holding out for Henry and Somerset, and was besieged by the garrison of Calais (No. 105). A fleet was prepared and left Normandy with a considerable force, largely levied by the Count of Maine. It was expected to enter the Bristol Channel and raise the Welsh, who were thought to favour the queen. Warwick was guarding the Straits of Dover with a fleet, not so much to fight the French one as to prevent a landing and to guard the passage (No. 109). The French fleet sailed before its numbers were complete and struck at the coast of Cornwall. There they got more than they bargained for, lost heavily in men, and retreated in haste to Normandy to repair their damages (No. 115). That seems to have been the end of all French attempts upon England.
The Duke of Burgundy attached great importance to his relations with England. Thus he kept in with Warwick, while his son was friends with Queen Margaret, so that whatever happened, he might be on good terms with the English government (No. 91). The duke took good care not to commit himself while the position of the Yorkists seemed still insecure (No. 109). It was expected, however, that he would eventually strike up a treaty with Edward, though some feared that he might have delayed too long, through his innate love of peace (No. 107). Yet he went out of his way to show especial honours to Edward's younger brothers, who had been sent to Flanders for safety, and at Bruges the duke ordered particular attention to be paid to them (Nos. 90, 91).
In Scotland, Queen Margaret hoped to induce the Scots to invade England in behalf of her cause, by handing Berwick over to them and by marrying the Prince of Wales to the late king's sister. The Queen Mother of Scotland was obviously tempted to cross the border, but the Duke of Burgundy, the Duke of Britanny and the Dauphin all wrote to dissuade her (Nos. 107, 109), and she thought better of it. Warwick was guarding the Scottish frontier and an arrangement was made in Ireland that if the Scots invaded England in Henry's behalf, 20,000 Irish should cross to attack Scotland (No. 115).
With the triumph of his friends Coppino at once began to think of returning to England. He thought he should go under colour of reforming the state of the Church, but for the sake of reputation and the gratification of his private ambition, he desired the support from Rome that he had previously requested (No. 86). He considered the moment most propitious for the execution of his secret plans, but was in despair at not being assisted or understood at Rome (No. 96). Camulio wrote that he was much desired in England (No. 104), where the Yorkist lords were prepared to receive him as one of themselves (No. 95). Camulio, indeed, calls him an English Aristotle, as if he had been naturalised (No. 104). The Duke of Milan favoured the idea of returning to England, and wrote letters to the new king and the Yorkist lords, while he ordered his Ambassador Camulio to go with the legate (Nos. 112, 113, 114). He also pressed Coppino's claims upon the pope (No. 106); but Pius excused himself from making any promotions to the cardinalate (No. 103). The neglect and indifference of Rome, and possibly the caution of Camulio, who manifestly did not wish to risk his skin in England (No. 115), prevented Coppino from going, though he was still talking of doing so as late as September (No. 122); but, in the following month the pope determined to recall him, and Coppino's visions of preferment vanished before the grim reality of deprivation and disgrace.
Meanwhile, Edward was consolidating his hold on his newly won kingdom. His victory had been generally popular, though with the slaughter of so many of the nobility, popular aspirations towards liberty began to arise, especially among the Londoners (Nos. 91, 94). But, with Edward and Warwick in power, there was little chance of the realisation of such hopes. The Lancastrian cause seemed beaten under everywhere. Warwick's presence prevented a rising in Yorkshire, where the people were ready to take the field for Henry. Edward, himself, made a progress towards Wales, where Henry and Margaret were supposed to be, to put down any trouble in that quarter. Worst of all, King Charles VII of France died on the 22nd July, an event which had been foretold some time before (Nos. 101, 107). Charles had steadily supported the Lancastrian cause, whereas the new king, Louis, as Dauphin, sympathised with Edward and his party (No. 107). The change put a stop to a concerted movement of the Lancastrians, and Somerset, who had crossed the water to lead a French force against Calais, was stayed by the new king (No. 119). In the South, Edward enjoyed complete ascendancy, and when he travelled from London to Sandwich, the people adored him like a god (No. 120). He had already begun to show his taste for pleasure, but he was also anxious to afford every kind of pleasure, both in female society and in hunting to Warwick (No. 117), to whom he owed his crown (No. 86).
For the next few years the papers are somewhat scanty. There are some particulars of Oxford's conspiracy in 1462 (No. 125). In the following year, the Duke of Burgundy did his best to bring about the truce between England and France (No. 128). Although the truce was arranged and signed in October, the English ambassadors left France in discord, and even laid hands on some Frenchmen near Calais (No. 129). In 1464, from the friendly relations of Edward with the Scots, it was felt that he did not mean peace with France (No. 132). At the same time the Duke of Britanny believed that Louis had bought Edward's help for an attack on Britanny by offering a marriage between his daughter and Clarence, to whom he promised to give Normandy or Guienne (No. 134). In the autumn of 1464, there was a serious outbreak of the plague in London, the king's marriage caused general dissatisfaction, and the notables at Reading tried to find a way to annul it, while the debasement of the coinage caused wide discontent (No. 137). The breach with France continued to widen. Louis was inclined to be jealous of the relations between Ferdinand of Naples and Edward, and took it particularly ill when the former sovereign received the garter (Nos. 141, 142).
Active hostility between Warwick and Edward seems to have begun earlier than is generally supposed. In February, 1465, it was reported abroad that they were actually at war. The hopes of the Lancastrians began to revive, and Queen Margaret wrote to Louis begging him to give her help to recover the kingdom or to allow her to receive assistance from the French lords, who were ready to give it. If he would not do either, she said that she would take the best course she could. “Look how proudly she writes,” remarked Louis (No. 142). The French king was in no position to give help to others at that time, as his own position was seriously threatened by his own great feudatories. Almost exactly two years later he went on a pilgrimage to Bourges, accompanied by Margaret's brother, John, Duke of Calabria. At table, they fell to discussing the Earl of Warwick, whom the duke roundly denounced as a traitor, and the cause of the fall of King Henry. Louis retorted that he had more reason to speak well of Warwick than of many others, not excepting his own relations, as the earl had always been a friend to his crown and had advised against making war on France, whereas King Henry had been a mortal enemy and had waged many wars against them. The duke replied that if Louis was so fond of Warwick he ought to restore Margaret to England, when he would make sure of that kingdom as much as he was at that time and even more so. The king asked what security they would give, and if the Prince of Wales would be given as a hostage. The duke complained that the king had never loved their House, to which Louis retorted that the House of Anjou had given him good cause, and thus in a spirit of banter they continued to say sharp things to each other (No. 146).
In the difficult circumstances of his position, Louis relied upon Warwick to secure him the friendship of England, whatever might happen there. The thing he most feared was an alliance of England and Burgundy against him. To thwart this, he entered upon a secret understanding with Edward. A perpetual peace was to be made between France and England, and the two kings were to become brothers in arms. Edward was to renounce all his claims to France, Gloucester was to marry the second daughter of Louis, and was to receive as her dowry the lordship of Holland, Zeeland and Brabant, while Louis was to have the rest of the dominions of the Duke of Burgundy, upon whom they were to wage a war of extermination. Edward's sister Margaret, for whom the Count of Charolais was negotiating, was to be given to Philip of Savoy (No. 149). Louis informed the Duke of Milan of these transactions, although he denied ever having such dealings to the Burgundian ambassadors (No. 147). Louis did not altogether trust Edward (No. 149), but he pinned his faith upon Warwick. He was going to Rouen to meet the earl and finally arrange everything. If Edward did marry his sister to the Count of Charolais, they talked of treating with Warwick to restore King Henry in England (No. 151). Louis had already sent to Lorraine to fetch Queen Margaret and the Prince of Wales to come and stay at his Court (No. 150).
Of Warwick's negotiations at Rouen, there is, unfortunately, no account in these papers. It was announced in France at the time that his brother had been restored to his office, and that his friends were in great repute (No. 152). But the French ambassadors, on their return from England had a very different story to tell. They found King Edward very hostile to France and Warwick, who had met with much opposition to his plan, and found himself unable to effect what he had promised on his departure. The king and Warwick were constantly at strife, and it was reported that the earl had retired to his estates to collect troops (No. 154). About this time the Count of St. Pol went on an embassy to the Duke of Burgundy, to keep him engaged in negotiation and not let him conclude a league or marriage alliance with Edward until Warwick had made his arrangements (No. 155).
It is remarkable that about a year later there was another embassy to France from Edward, to treat about an understanding and friendship, and for the marriage of the second daughter of France to Gloucester. The initiative came from Louis, who was anxious to prevent help being sent to Britanny from England (No. 163). The attempt was quite futile, because Edward had long since made up his mind to side with Burgundy. The alliance was cemented by a marriage between Charles, who had recently become Duke of Burgundy, and Edward's sister, Margaret. The friendship of England was so essential to the new duke that he had decided to secure it by this means, although the reputation of the lady was so tarnished, that he had to issue a proclamation that no one should speak scandal of her, upon pain of being thrown into the river (No. 162). Efforts were made to prevent the marriage by inducing the pope not to grant the dispensation (Nos. 158, 159), and further delay was caused by Edward's difficulty in finding the money for the dowry (No. 160); but this only postponed the marriage for two months, although Charles was so set on the match that he was greatly incensed even by so short a delay (No. 158).
This alliance caused the greatest anxiety in France. During the summer of 1468, Louis kept a large fleet at sea, though stronger in numbers than in capital ships (No. 162), and, with the approach of winter, they were mostly dismantled. Edward, on the contrary, was at this very time collecting a large fleet, and laying hands on all the vessels he could find (No. 167). Before the end of November his ships were scouring the sea and raiding various parts of the French coast. Louis suspected that his brother Charles had an agreement with the English to go over to their side with all the forces he could collect in Normandy (No. 168). In May of the following year, great alarm was occasioned by the landing, near Bordeaux and Bayonne, of some 2,000 English. They came ostensibly as merchants, but it was suspected that they were the forerunners of a large English fleet, known to be at sea, and that with the connivance of some of the people of the country, they meant to try and recover Guienne for England. Upon this suspicion, Louis sent orders for all these English to be arrested (No. 170). The English fleet actually appeared off the coast and threatened a landing, but the men arrested protested that they were simple traders and knew nothing about the fleet. Louis ordered that ten of them should be sent to Paris to state their justification (No. 171), but as the fleet committed no further depredations the matter seems to have blown over eventually (No. 172).
In the meantime, civil dissension had assumed such proportions in England that France was relieved of all cause for immediate anxiety from that quarter. Even in February, 1468, Warwick was in arms against the king, had drawn over Clarence to his side, and was in communication with France (No. 157). In the autumn Louis announced that he meant to help Margaret of Anjou in her enterprise (No. 165), as if she was already contemplating taking advantage of Warwick's disaffection, in order to raise the Lancastrian flag once more. It was not until the following year that Warwick had fully matured his plans, and before the end of July he had Edward in his power. Warwick kept the king at his side, but Edward was allowed to go where he pleased (No. 173). Edward did not wait long before he took advantage of this privilege. Warwick went north to take possession of the castles and estates of those lords whom he had beheaded, and took Edward with him. The king was allowed to go hunting as he pleased, and one day he rode off for London, where he was beloved and the earl was hated. Clearly, says the Milanese ambassador, the earl did not know the Italian proverb that he who must not be taken must not be let go. Edward at once collected a large force, and Warwick and Clarence set to work to gather all the men they could to go and fight him. Owing to this news, the Lord of Concressault, who was going to Warwick, was sent into Normandy instead, to await events, while the Duke of Burgundy sent Edward the Golden Fleece, and began to make great preparations for war (No. 177).
Warwick throughout seems to have relied upon France. While Edward was still in his hands, he had sent an ambassador to Louis to have an understanding with that monarch (No. 174). Early in April, 1470, news reached the French Court that Warwick had defeated and slain the king, and this was joyfully imparted to the Milanese ambassador by King Louis (No. 183). The falseness of the information was speedily proved by the arrival of Warwick and Clarence, in France, as fugitives. The earl had taken to the sea at Bristol, where he carried off some forty English ships. He also took fifty Burgundian ships. One of the lords with him asked for thirty ships to go and capture some wine ships at Southampton. This lord allowed himself to be taken, thus betraying some of Warwick's friends who were on the ships. Five lords sent by Edward to take possession of the earl's lands, were captured by the people and handed over to Warwick, who held them as hostages for those taken on his ships (No. 185).
The failure of Warwick was a great disappointment to Louis, who had expected something quite different. When the news of Edward's defeat and death had reached him, Louis immediately stayed the peace negotiations then on foot with Britanny. Now this news had proved false it was necessary for the king to revise his plans. He was much preoccupied with these during the first part of May, especially as he did not altogether trust Warwick. He strongly urged the earl to return to England, promising to help him with ships and men (No. 184). However, when Clarence and Warwick arrived at Amboise, on the 8th of June, Louis received them with the utmost deference and courtesy, while he exerted himself to entertain them suitably. It seems to have been decided that nothing could be done without a reconciliation with the House of Lancaster. Margaret of Anjou and her son were expected in Touraine in a few days. Clarence went off to the ladies in Normandy, Warwick did not wish to be present until matters had been arranged, and also absented himself. Louis undertook the work of reconciliation, and was very hopeful of the success of the enterprise (No. 188).
Queen Margaret and Prince Edward arrived at Amboise on the 25th of June, but it proved a hard task to reconcile the queen to her old enemy. The French king saw her every day, and used all his arts to persuade her to make the alliance with Warwick and allow her son to go with him to the enterprise of England. Warwick was in Normandy with his troops, having left the king with full powers to promise and undertake whatever he thought fit. Without the prince he seemed unwilling to return to England (No. 189). Louis finally overcame the queen's opposition, and at Angers, on the 22nd July, he presented Warwick to her, and a formal reconciliation took place (No. 191). It was arranged that Warwick should return to England without losing time, accompanied by the Earl of Pembroke. The prince was not to go with them, but would wait to see if they prospered (No. 190). Warwick did not sail from the Hogue until the 9th of September, when he took Clarence with him (No. 195). The Burgundian fleet, under the duke's natural brother, Baldwin of Lille, which had orders to prevent Warwick from landing, failed to intercept him. The duke was so incensed at this failure that Baldwin fled to the French Court (No. 198).
Within a month of Warwick's landing, practically the whole of the England was in his power (No. 196). News reached France that he had defeated the Royal forces in two encounters. A great many had been slain, mostly Flemings. Edward had given up the contest and fled in disguise on a fishing boat. From the moment of his landing, the people had flocked to Warwick, and at London he had the most friendly reception (No. 197).
The delight of Louis at receiving this news may be imagined. He had committed himself deeply to the enterprise. While matters were uncertain in England, he had adopted the most conciliatory policy towards Burgundy. Even when the duke laid hands on the goods of French merchants at Antwerp fair because of the depredations of Warwick's fleet, the king had passed it over, and not only refused to take any retaliatory measures, but forbad Warwick to do any more harm to the Burgundians (No. 190). But he was only waiting for the assurance of Warwick's success in order to make a vigorous attack on Burgundy (No. 194). He at once despatched an embassy to England, which left towards the end of November (No. 198). The ambassadors had the most friendly reception, and the new rulers expressed their willingness to take up quickly and promptly any plan suggested by Louis, especially anything against the Duke of Burgundy, for which they showed the utmost enthusiasm (No. 199). The ambassadors returned home in March, bringing word that 8,000 English combatants were all ready to cross to assist the French king (No. 208).
It has often been wondered why Margaret and her son delayed so long to join Warwick in England, after his easy and rapid success. The explanation seems to be, in the first instance, that Louis detained them as a security that Warwick would fulfil his engagements (No. 198). They were impatiently desired in England, and it was a condition of the promised succour that they should proceed thither (No. 208). With the favourable reports from his ambassadors, Louis let them go, and Queen Margaret, the Countess of Warwick with the prince and princess, their children, set out from Touraine for England about the middle of December (No. 199). Even then Louis may have decided to hold them back. Queen Margaret remained in France until the beginning of April, and then a contrary wind drove her back after she had put to sea (No. 210).
During the spring of 1471, all manner of rumours were current in France about events in England. May was well advanced before they were fully assured of Edward's victory. Even then, Warwick's death was stoutly denied, and they said that he had withdrawn to a secret and solitary place to recover from his wounds (No. 216). Many thought that Warwick's death made Queen Margaret's prospects more favourable, because many lords would take her part who had intended to resist her because they were enemies of Warwick, Northumberland among others (No. 215). Great hopes were still placed upon the success of her venture (No. 217). But, on the 1st of June, Louis received the news of the fatal battle of Tewkesbury, in which the prince was reported as having been taken and slain (No. 218.) The fate of one so young, cannot fail to excite compassion, but the prince's training had been most deplorable, and it is unlikely that he would have made a good king. As a boy of thirteen he had talked of nothing but cutting off heads and making war (No. 146). The news of the battle gave the greatest delight in Burgundy, where the victory was celebrated by processions, the ringing of bells and bonfires (No. 218). In France it excited very different emotions; all the king's projects against Burgundy were shattered; he remarked with a sigh that it was impossible to fight against fortune (No. 227).
Louis had committed himself so far in support of Warwick and the Lancastrian cause, and Edward owed so much to Burgundian support that a joint attack upon France by England and Burgundy was a certainty from the moment that Edward was firmly re-established on his throne. That the actual attack was delayed for so long was due to various causes. The rapid success of Warwick in the preceding year, showed how little remained of Edward's former popularity. The murder of Henry in the Tower caused a popular rising, which was, however, soon suppressed (No. 220). In the following year Pietro Aliprando writes that the people did not love the king, in spite of his efforts to ingratiate himself with them (No. 240). Edward had the art of winning affection, and seems ultimately to have conciliated his subjects, but it was a work of time.
More serious was the lack of naval power. The sea forces of England had been in Warwick's hands and Edward's victories on land did not enable him to regain command of the sea. At the time when he was conquering his enemies on land the narrow seas were swept by the Bretons and Easterlings, both his deadly enemies (No. 217). Edward had no fleet to send out against them, and for at least two years after Barnet the English suffered severely at sea from these enemies and from the French (Nos. 240, 253). Hastings was to have taken out a fleet against the Easterlings, but apparently nothing came of it (No. 240). It was not until the spring of 1474 that Edward began to have a fleet at sea, and not even then in large numbers (No. 240). In the meantime, the Duke of Burgundy had undertaken to bring about a reconciliation with the most formidable naval enemy, the Easterlings (No. 245).
Whenever an expedition was contemplated against France, the possible attitude of Scotland was always a serious question. Edward determined to make himself safe on that side also. In December, 1472, an embassy was sent to Scotland (No. 244). In May, 1473, ambassadors from Scotland were in France offering to wage active war on the King of England if he should attempt an invasion. For this, however, they required a pension of some 60,000 crowns a year such as their kings had been wont to receive from the crown of France. If they did not get this, they protested that they would leave the English safe on their side (No. 249). At the same time Edward was strongly urging a marriage alliance upon the King of Scotland, he moved in person towards the Border and both he and Burgundy kept ambassadors at the Scottish Court (ib.). In the diplomatic contest, Edward came off the victor. Louis would not pay the subsidy demanded, and the Scottish king was deeply incensed with him. James declared that he meant to make Louis have a greater esteem for him than he had (No. 279). In order to prevent an alliance which was felt to be imminent, Louis urged the Duke of Milan to give one of his daughters to the Prince of Scotland (Nos. 270, 271).
Although Edward was a good manager, time was required in order to collect funds for an expedition. A subsidy for the war was granted in 1473, but difficulties arose about collecting it (No. 255), and in the North the people refused to pay it, though they promised that when the king started on his expedition they would supply him with the troops paid at the same rate as the others (No. 254). Edward had a method of his own for charming money from the pockets of his subjects (No. 282). He applied to the pope for permission to exact a fifth of the ecclesiastical revenues in his dominions (No. 279). Lorenzo de' Medici, of Florence, financed the warlike preparations of both England and Burgundy (No. 246).
Almost immediately after the battle of Tewkesbury, Edward began to make preparations for an attack on France (No. 220). For the reasons given very little progress was made. Towards the end of 1472, troops were promised to Burgundy in return for payment (No. 240). In 1474, Edward made an arrangement with Burgundy by which he bound himself to invade France at the end of two years. On hearing of it, Louis remarked that much might happen in that time (No. 260). About the same date, Charles of Burgundy made a truce with France to last until the 1st of May of the following year. He stated that he had done this for the satisfaction of his allies, the King of England and the Duke of Britanny, as it would have suited him better to have made war on France at once, even single-handed. He had secret friends in France who were ready to move the moment he began the war; he had heard that the king's army was ill-ordered, ill-paid and disaffected, and the country in a bad state through scarcity and taxation. He thought he had lost a great opportunity, but he had agreed to the accommodation to please England and Britanny (No. 264).
Louis clearly foresaw the threatened blow and made his preparations accordingly. He thoroughly agreed with the suggestion of the Duke of Milan that it was desirable to keep up disturbances in England, and he arranged to assist the Earl of Pembroke, who was still holding out in Wales, with Scotch help (No. 229). In the spring of 1473 he was rejoiced by the news of a serious revolt in England (No. 247), and in order to keep the flame alive he sent over the Earl of Oxford, who had been in France since Warwick's death, to lead the party and do what he could against the king (No. 251). Oxford sent the names of twenty-four nobles and one duke who had pledged their troth to make war on King Edward, and asked for money to begin this war. Louis did not altogether trust the earl, especially as he heard from other quarters that England was perfectly tranquil (No. 252). However, when he learned that Oxford had captured St. Michael's Mount by stratagem, and was holding out there, he prepared to send assistance (No. 255).
In spite of all that Louis might do, Edward overcame one by one, all the obstacles that stood in the way of the projected invasion. Friendly negotiations had indeed passed between the two kings, which suggested that the storm might be averted. In the autumn of 1471, Louis was negotiating for an understanding and a marriage alliance with England, but it was thought that Edward only listened to those proposals in order to prevent the French king sending help to Pembroke and others in England (No. 231). In August, 1474, Louis sent a present of horses to Edward, though the object was to find out for certain about the preparations that were being made (No. 269). The messenger was not even admitted to the king's presence, from fear of poison (No. 277). It is remarkable that in August of that year Edward sent to Louis a present of two greyhounds and to ask for a safe conduct for a nobleman to go and treat for a marriage between his daughter and the Dauphin, showing some idea of reviving the old designs against Burgundy (No. 267). Yet the preparations for invasion went steadily forward in England. A large fleet was being made ready, and in particular they were fitting out a very old ship on which St. Thomas of Canterbury, was said to have crossed to England, and which was held to possess some particular charm (No. 269). With a more practical intent, Edward paid particular attention to the excellence of his artillery (No. 282). An attack on Gascony was feared, where the English might gain a footing by coming in the guise of merchants to buy wine (No. 269). This was a constant preoccupation of Louis though his fears were groundless. The merchants came as usual, but without any ulterior motives. The people of Bordeaux were indignant at such suspicions and told the king with spirit that they were quite strong enough to guard the land from such dangers (No. 273).
At the beginning of 1475, with war looming ever nearer, Louis made strenuous efforts to protect himself against Burgundy. He did everything possible to keep the war between the duke and the Germans going, promising the latter both money and assistance. He also made great offers to Burgundy in order to obtain a truce. He hoped, seeing that the duke exposed himself so much, that a cannon ball would one day carry off his head (No. 278).
When at last it became apparent that the combined attack from England and Burgundy was inevitable, Louis was in despair and almost out of his mind. Ah, Holy Mary, he exclaimed, even now when I have given thee 1,400 crowns, thou dost not help me one whit (No. 275)! His plight was no enviable one, and many considered him ruined, because of the scant esteem for his person, his lack of money and because he was hated by his people (No. 306). Louis hoped to obtain ships from the Duke of Milan to resist the coming of the English (No. 274), but Sforza had made up his mind to abandon a losing cause and concluded a league with Burgundy (No. 284). But Louis was not the man to abandon himself to despair, and he lost no time in making preparations for defence. He did not mean to meet the enemy in the field, but to garrison the strong towns and abandon the weak ones. He would keep a force of from 1,000 to 1,500 lances to harass the enemy's flanks, and wear them out, so that they would retire discomfited at the end of three months, because the English consisted of sturdy mechanics who did not readily obey their lords (No. 265). Moreover, the king's policy was bearing fruit. In spite of his personal unpopularity and the rumours of dissaffection, France was rousing to a strong national consciousness. In a war with the English there was no longer any fear of secret intelligence between the French nobility and the enemy or with the Duke of Burgundy, and they and all the people would follow the king with better spirit and more courage than was the case in a war against the duke alone (No. 220).
In May, 1475, Edward was ready to cross the Channel. He sent Lord Rivers to the Duke of Burgundy, then besieging Neuss, to importune him to depart from that place, where he had been engaged almost a year, and to proceed to France, otherwise he would not cross at all (No. 285). This seems to have decided Charles, for he made peace with the emperor on the 19th of June, and raised the siege of Neuss on the 27th. He proposed to meet Edward at St. Omer and there arrange their plans. The duke's idea was to invade Lorraine with his army and thence to enter France through Champagne, while Edward invaded through Picardy, and they would meet in the very midst of France (No. 287).
The English troops began to cross in June, and the army was considered the finest and best appointed that had ever left England (No. 289). Edward himself landed at Calais on the 4th of July. He brought with him all whom he had reason to suspect, including Margaret of Anjou (No. 292), and probably the Duke of Exeter. A part of his force was detached to help the Duke of Britanny, who had promised to invade Normandy (No. 293). The main body of the English advanced to the River Somme, and for several days they scoured Picardy. The large towns refused to receive them, the French forces harassed them day and night, and their losses were considerable (No. 298). The Duke of Burgundy went to meet Edward at Calais and there they arranged their plans. He then started off for his camp on the borders of Lorraine. When he had been three days on the road, he learned that the English were negotiating with the French. He at once hurried back to Peronne and put a stop to this. But hardly had he turned his back again than the negotiations were resumed.
The English had not found matters as they expected. The Duke of Burgundy had promised to join them with 10,000 troops, and had not done so. They did not feel competent to make the war alone, because they were new troops, inexperienced in arms, and without good captains. The French were very strong and could take the field with three times the force of their adversaries. Accordingly, Edward sent to the French camp, asking upon what terms the king would make peace. Louis returned answer that to make peace he would marry the Dauphin to Edward's eldest daughter, and bear all the cost; he would pay Edward 75,000 crowns for his expenses for the war, and 50,000 crowns yearly for life, and that two learned men should be chosen by each side to determine the King of England's title, and each King should abide by their decision upon pain of two millions of gold. Upon this reply, Edward assembled all his nobles and captains. He told them that he had engaged them for the space of one year for his wars, whereof three months remained for which they had rendered no service. He asked them to prepare to fulfil their obligations. With one accord they all admitted the obligation, but represented that they could not possibly fulfil it. They alleged their heavy expenses in getting ready their horses and armour, and for their stay on either side of the sea, food being exceedingly dear in Flanders. They spoke of their hardships from continually lying in the fields. Summer was departing and winter approaching, and there was no time to prepare the necessary winter quarters. Without a fresh payment of wages it was impossible for them to continue the war. The king could not carry it on without assistance. The Duke of Burgundy at Calais had promised the greatest assistance, but so far they had seen few or none of his subjects, and many even stated that he was treating with the King of France for peace. The king also thought that the Count of St. Pol would assist, and accordingly took his army to those parts, incurring heavy expenses and no small loss. It was, therefore, resolved to accept the terms offered by Louis. The French representatives met Lord Howard and others and in four days the articles were arranged. To satisfy the English, the two kings were to meet on the Somme at Amiens with their armies and offer battle. After some show of fighting, the two kings were to meet, a banquet would be laid and after the money was paid the English would return home (Nos. 296, 298, 299, 300, 301). Of the celebrated meeting between the two kings at Pecquigny two letters here give particulars (Nos. 308, 313), some of which are new.
That Edward should make an inglorious peace in such haste after so much preparation, excited universal astonishment. Perhaps deeper reasons than those alleged helped to induce him to accept the very liberal terms offered by Louis. The relations between Edward and Charles of Burgundy had never been cordial, in spite of the alliance. It was alleged that Edward's sister had not gone to her husband a virgin (No. 242). When Edward was a fugitive from England the duke had indeed afforded him an asylum and assistance to reinstate himself, but yet had treated him brutally (No. 231). The duke had engaged in intrigues to the detriment of England (Nos. 244, 317), and had excited Edward's ire by his constant incitement of the English people to make war on France and recover their ancient rights, when the indolent Edward was more inclined to peace than war (No. 267). Charles believed that Edward hated him in secret, because he had a much better title to the English throne, and might one day put it in force (No. 322).
The arrangements for the return of Edward's army were speedily made. The Admiral of France accompanied them with a large French force to Dieppe, where they were to embark (No. 310). Another part took ship at Calais (No. 308). At home the English were extremely irritated at the cowardly peace, and Edward took care that his brothers should not proceed to England before him, as he feared some disturbance (No. 313). On his way back he had the Duke of Exeter thrown into the sea (No. 319). (fn. 4)
Upon the arrangement of the articles with France, Edward sent to Namur to inform the duke of what had taken place, and, as a matter of form, to ask his opinion (No. 299). By the terms of the treaty the duke could be included in the peace if he chose to enter within three months. Charles was so enraged when he heard of the agreement that he was reported to have torn up the Garter with his teeth (No. 313). He told the Milanese envoy, Panigarola, that it would cut him to the quick if he had to accept such a vile agreement, made without ever seeing the face of the enemy. If he had not trusted to the backing of the English he would have made other arrangements. If they had carried through the enterprise they had begun, they would undoubtedly have achieved their ends. He proposed to dissimulate for the moment, in order to execute his plans against Lorraine (No. 302). He sent the Bishop of Tournai and others to Edward in the hope of preventing the agreement, or at least of obtaining better terms, but in any case they were to flatter the king and the English as much as they could (No. 301).
The whole of Edward's army did not return home. A considerable number said that they would not go back until they had seen war with France (No. 314). Over 2,000 of them enlisted under the duke, who said that it would be better for them to fight the French than to be cutting one another's throats in England (No. 316). He gladly enlisted all the English who offered themselves, in order to win popularity in the kingdom, where he said he had a strong party and was much beloved. If once he made good his claim to the English crown, that of France would fall to him at a touch (No. 322). In the following year a further force of archers crossed the sea to join the duke's army (No. 324). These English recruits remained with Charles to the end. They were a turbulent lot of men, much suspected of robbery and murder (No. 334). When the duke's army was quartered near Lausanne the English and Italian troops were constantly at feud with each other, and murders took place daily. As the result of a more than usually serious riot, the duke, who seems to have taken the side of the English, had an Italian gentleman beheaded, and punished others (Nos. 330, 331, 332, 333).
The relations of Edward and Charles did not suffer, at least in appearance, from the fiasco of 1475. Within a year it was reported that negotiations were on foot between them for the invasion of Normandy (No. 329). About the same time, Edward sent a most gracious message to the duke at Lausanne, saying he was sending the Lancaster king-at-arms to impart certain matters (No. 335). The king's brother-in-law, Anthony Wydevile, visited the duke's camp before Morat, where Charles made much of him (No. 339). Lord Scales offered to take his place in the line of battle, but when he heard that the enemy was at hand and a fight expected, he found that he had pressing business elsewhere, and departed. The duke made merry at this betrayal of cowardice (No. 340).
For the remainder of Edward's reign these papers are mostly concerned with the relations with France. Louis may have been aware of the negotiations with Charles the Bold, and in the autumn of 1476, in order to ingratiate himself with the people of England, he sent a present of 700,000 butts of wine to Edward (No. 344). With the break up of the Burgundian dominions Edward sent to offer Louis 12,000 combatants whenever he liked to ask for them (No. 347). Louis wanted Edward to join in against the Flemings and to take from them Holland and Zeeland (No. 349). In 1479, we find Edward intervening in conjunction with Louis to reestablish peace in Italy. The French king was glad of this concert, because it let everybody know that he had a good friendship and understanding with the King of England. This depressed his enemies, who might otherwise strike at him through the English, if he waged war against Maximilian and the Flemings (No. 353). In the spring of this same year, Edward had an embassy in France upon three things, a marriage between his daughter and the Dauphin, another marriage with the sister of the Duke of Milan, and the offer of medition between France and the Flemings. Louis was profuse in fair words, but he did not really mean to gratify Edward on any one of these points. He believed that Edward only desired the Milanese marriage because he expected a very large dowry, and Louis feared that Edward's great appetite for accumulating money would in time redound to his hurt (No. 355). Both Louis and the Flemings sent ambassadors to Edward to justify their cause (No. 363), but Louis only wished to keep the English king in a good humour by fair words, while he accomplished his own plan by exterminating Maximilian and the Flemings. Edward probably saw through this and that was why he pressed the matter (No. 366); he had ambassadors in France on the subject both in January and June of 1480 (No. 367).
Two circumstances go to show that relations between the kings were not so cordial as they appeared. The embassy of January warned Louis not to make war on the Duke of Britanny, as he threatened to do, because the duke was in good friendship and alliance with the King of England (No. 364). In the autumn of this year, Louis was making trouble for Edward on the Scottish border. The King of Scotland wrote to France that the English had made an incursion into his country, but had been driven out with little harm to the country. He asked for one or two gunners or bombardiers and some artillery, as he had need of both (No. 368).
A large number of the papers of the time of Henry VII. are taken up with the question of the dowry of Lucia Visconti. This lady had married Edmund Holland, Earl of Kent, and it was claimed that her dowry of 70,000 florins, due from the city of Milan, had never been paid. This claim, after passing through various hands, was taken up by one Richard Heron. To recover this sum, reprisals were made against the Milanese merchants trading in England. These reprisals are first mentioned in 1464, and are most probably connected with the dowry, although Lucia is not explicitly referred to (No. 140).
The Milanese merchants suffered great losses on this account, and ultimately were obliged to give up trading in England altogether (No. 203). The duke seized the opportunity of the brief Lancastrian revival of 1471 to send to England to ask for the removal of these reprisals (No. 202.) In 1486, the heirs of Richard Heron wrote to the Duke of Milan demanding payment of the dowry (No. 377). At Milan the claim was denied, because they did not produce Lucia's will and there was no cession to them (No. 381). The executors declared that if justice was not done to them the emperor had granted them letters of reprisal, and they would pursue their reprisals throughout the world (No. 389). Reprisals were exacted in England, and in the autumn of 1489, when Sforza was sending an ambassador to England, he was instructed to ask for their removal (No. 393). Henry at once complied with this request, and granted protection for seven years to all subjects of the Duke of Milan trading in his dominions (No. 399). This did not end the matter, however, for by virtue of the reprisals granted by the emperor to Heron's executors, Milanese goods were seized on the Rhine later on in the year. At the request of the Duke of Milan, Henry wrote letters of remonstrance to the emperor, the Count Palatine and the Margrave of Baden. Of the numerous papers on the subject printed here, the most important are the deed under which the claim was made. (No. 431), and the criticisms of a Milanese official (No. 434).
Among the instructions of Francesco Pagano, who was sent to England from Milan at the end of 1489, were directions to treat for a marriage alliance between the duke and one of Henry's four sisters-in-law (No. 393). This plan came to nothing. Henry did not intend to provide a dowry, and negotiations were already on foot to marry the eldest one to a cousin of the King of Portugal (Nos. 401, 410). Nevertheless, a league was concluded between England and Milan in the year 1490, chiefly in the interests of commerce (Nos. 409, 414).
If a letter from Milan may be credited, the war with France began as early as February, 1489 (No. 379). Early in 1490, there was talk of an invasion of Normandy, where the French were still said to be unpopular (No. 395). The English were eager for the war in Britanny, and the Bishop of Concordia, who had been sent over to try and induce Henry to withdraw his forces from that province, was thought to have undertaken an impossible task (No. 400). In the autumn of 1491, there was talk of a league between England, Spain and the Bretons, which Maximilian was to join (No. 418). Henry was said to be the one chiefly responsible for the marriage of Maximilian and the Duchess of Britanny (No. 439). About 500 English took part in the defence of Rennes (No. 440). An English fleet was at sea in August, 1491, but seems to have done nothing beyond raiding in Normandy and Britanny (Nos. 441, 442). At the beginning of 1492, Henry was preparing a regular invasion of France. He wrote to Milan asking for their co-operation, but Ludovico Sforza replied that he was under obligations to France and could not possibly join in an attack upon her (No. 459). The whirligig of time brought about its revenges, and four years later it was the Italian princes who were eager for Henry to join them in a league against France. English feeling was at its bitterest against the French, and whenever the king wished to cross, he would find no lack of men and as much money as he wanted (No. 490). Henry was not very disposed to join against France, though he sent an ambassador to tell Charles that he must give back the kingdom of Naples, because it was the patrimony of the Church; if he did not he would treat him as an enemy (No. 488). Eventually Henry entered the Holy league, largely because he believed that the French had stirred up the King of Scotland against him (No. 494). At the end of September, a French ambassador came over to try and detach Henry from the allies. Ambassadors from Denmark were at Court at the same time, for the purpose of inducing Henry to join their sovereign in helping Spain and hurting France (No. 511).
But Henry was never more than a half-hearted member of the league. In the summer of 1497 Raymond of Soncino was sent by the Duke of Milan to try and obtain help against France. With him went Andrea Trevisan, sent by Venice on a similar mission. They soon found that they would get very little out of Henry. When they hinted that he might help Italy by creating a diversion the king smiled and replied: You must consider that we are not bound to anything by the articles and that this kingdom has been troubled for a long while, and has suffered very grievously quite recently in the war with Scotland. At the present moment we are enjoying a good peace and alliance with the King of France, in such a way that we wish to rest awhile and keep on good terms with out neighbours. He concluded by saying that the union of Italy would be the end of the war (No. 550). At a later audience he told the ambassadors that to avoid any accession of strength to the French he would do more than he was obliged, but he left them with the impression that he would always wish to have peace with France, though if he saw her up to the neck in water he would put his foot on her head to drown her, but not otherwise (No. 553). He received from France 5,000 crowns a year, either for observing the peace made between Edward IV. and Louis XI. or as repayment of money lent to the Duchess of Britanny. With his knowledge and consent the French also paid pensions to the Lord Chamberlain and others of his leading men (No. 550).
The accession of the Duke of Orleans to the throne of France as Louis XII excited the most lively apprehensions in the breast of Ludovico Sforza, and in spite of the discouraging result of the mission of the previous year he decided to send Raymondo again to England in 1498. He was to show that the House of Orleans had no just claims to the Duchy of Milan, to try and obtain the Garter for the Duke, and to suggest a marriage between the Count of Pavia and Henry's younger daughter (No. 565). This mission proved even more fruitless than the last. Raymondo was kept waiting forty days before he had audience. He found that the changes of Italy had wrought a great difference in the king. Henry was receiving more money from France than in the past, chiefly because of the ransom of Louis' father, and he had a greater regard for Louis than for his predecessor. He told Raymondo that his daughter could not be betrothed before she was seven, and she was only three. The statutes of the Order of the Garter required the brethren to go to the assistance of any member who might be attacked, and it would not be convenient at the moment for him to do this for Milan. It would be better to wait until his daughter was seven, when they might contract the alliance and grant the order simultaneously (Nos. 593, 594). Raymondo found that Henry considered that he had need of no one, while every one needed him. He was like one on a tower looking on at what was passing in the plain. He thought that even if the King of France became master of Italy, which he would not like, he would be so distracted in ruling it that no harm would ensue to England (No. 601). To the pope Henry wrote denying categorically that he had an alliance with any one. He was free and did not want to hear a syllable breathed about the allies, for he knew how little reliance could be placed on them (No. 581). In June he sent ambassadors to France to renew the treaty of peace, which was solemnly sworn at Notre Dame (Nos. 574, 577). The only serious difference with Louis was about his marriage to Anne of Britanny. Henry had endeavoured to prevent this, but with his usual wisdom he accepted the inevitable (No. 602).
In September, 1491, a stately Scottish embassy arrived at Tours, consisting of the Earl of Bothwell, the Bishop and Dean of Glasgow. They came to renew the ancient confederation between the two crowns, to find a wife for their king, and to make trouble for Henry, who was preparing to attack France. Charles was somewhat bored by the society of the ambassadors, thought he gave them good cheer, for the French made more account of the Scots than of any other nation in Christendom (No. 443). The negotiations about the marriage did not go smoothly, because the French king wanted them to have the Princess of Taranto, daughter of Frederick, King of Naples, and in order to persuade the ambassadors to fall in with this view, he showed her to them stark naked. This device did not avail him, as the ambassadors wanted Bianca Sforza, and they told him that if she was not granted to them they would be compelled to make a marriage with England or Spain. This consideration induced Charles to give way, and the Bishop of Glasgow went on to Milan (No. 446).
However, in 1494 Bianca Sforza married Maximilian of Austria and James IV had to look elsewhere for a wife. In September, 1495, an embassy left Spain for Scotland to offer James the hand of Ferdinand's natural daughter. The King of Scotland refused this and asked instead for Catherine the youngest legitimate daughter (Nos. 480, 495), an alliance that Henry VII was supposed to favour (No. 545). This project also came to nothing, and there for the time being James's matrimonial essays ended. In 1496 and 1497 Scotland was at war with England, though nothing of moment was done. Henry was not expected to have any difficulty in defeating the Scots (No. 510). Peace was brought about before the end of 1497 by the intervention of Spain. A Scotch embassy came from London in November to ratify a truce for seven years (No. 549); but before the ambassador had departed a peace had been arranged to last for the lives of the two kings and four months after (No. 550). Yet Scotland continued to be an anxiety to Henry because the king was young and very spirited, and the Scots, who had nothing to lose, were always ready for a war with England. Moreover, there was a French ambassador constantly in Scotland, for no good end (No. 553). In 1498, war between the two crowns seemed inevitable (Nos. 582, 584). One may conjecture that the peril was averted by the offices of the Spaniards. At all events, before three months had passed the King of Scotland was reported to be on very good terms with the King of England, and negotiations were on foot to give him Henry's daughter Margaret (No. 593). James continued to press his suit in the following year. Henry could not make up his mind. The friendship pleased him on every account, although the country seemed over poor (No. 601). He was more drawn to favour the eldest son of Denmark, who was more nearly of an age, and because Denmark was more formidable to England than Scotland (No. 593).
Warbeck's career is mentioned here in several papers. He first appears in December, 1492, when it is stated in connection with him that Maximilian would always be careful not to disturb the peace, though he was evidently quite ready to use him in order to bring pressure to bear upon Henry (No. 465). In France they feared that Maximilian might make the youth King of England and marry him to his rejected daughter, so as to wage perpetual war on France (No. 467). In 1496, Maximilian wrote to Milan that the King of Scotland and the Duke of York had taken the field with 30,000 men against the King of England. This troubled him greatly because he desired to see the realisation of what he had arranged with Henry for attacking France if Charles should make an attempt against Italy (No. 514). Particulars of Perkin's descent on Cornwall, his defeat and capture are contained in three papers (Nos. 541, 545, 548), with some new facts and picturesque details. With regard to his identity the King of Scotland and Maximilian (fn. 5) were taken in. Margaret of Burgundy knew all. The King of France had been put right on the subject a long time before, and wrote a letter to Henry saying it was quite clear that Perkin was a burgess of Tournay. Yet the French ambassador in Scotland advised Perkin to go to France, promising that he should have a safe-conduct and a yearly pension of 12,000 francs (No. 548). After his capture he was shown to the ambassadors, but did not seem to care to be spoken to (No. 549). He was made a spectacle for everybody and led through London every day so that all might know his past error, but he bore his fortune bravely (No. 550). On the 12th of June, 1498, Warbeck escaped through a window from the wardrobe of the palace at Westminster, where he had been sleeping between two warders. He was found the next day in the monastery at Sheen, and after receiving much contumely he was placed in the Tower under better guard (No. 571).
Just before Warbeck landed in Cornwall there had been a rising in that county against oppressive taxation. Henry had no difficulty in putting down this rising, which was much exaggerated abroad. The most remarkable circumstance was the way in which the nobles flocked to his standard (No. 526). The pope added spiritual terrors by excommunicating the rebels, producing a great effect upon the superstitious (No. 540).
A Florentine observer in 1496 stated that Henry was more feared than loved because of his avarice. There was only one who could do anything and that was Master Bray who controlled the king's treasure. The king was very powerful owing to his treasure, but if some lord of the blood royal were to rise and he had to take the field, he would fare badly because of his avarice; the people would abandon him and treat him as they did King Richard (No. 490). Raymondo, who had a great admiration for Henry's wisdom, did not believe that there would be any further disturbances in the kingdom, while he lived. He was a prince to observe his promises to the letter, but he pretended that he had been taken in in the past, and that others had made peace and benefited their own affairs by leaning on his shoulders. He required a great treasure because everything cost incomparably more in England than anywhere else, and a penny was the smallest unit (No. 553). He was said to have accumulated more than six millions of gold, and he put by over 500,000 ducats annually (No. 540).
The papers of 1513 are mostly concerned with the war against France. A letter of the 23rd April relates a naval success against the French, and shows the confidence, which proved sadly misplaced, that a complete victory must soon follow (No. 635). Henry was so eager for the war that no one could put it out of his head, unless it was God Almighty (No. 638). Spain made a truce with France, but Henry dragged the emperor along with him, saying that now he had his subjects in the mood, and the matter in good trim he did not wish to stay his expedition (No. 639). Before crossing, he sent Maximilian 70,000 ducats to help pay his troops (No. 640), and he continued to subsidise him afterwards (No. 656). He arrived at Calais on the evening of the 30th of June, and the main body of his army sat down before Terouenne. The King of France was at Paris, distressed in body and mind. The French no longer had a fleet worthy of the name (No. 646). Louis recognised that he could not venture to encounter his enemies in the open, and decided to defend the towns and abandon the country (No. 643). He made some attempt to relieve Terouenne (No. 648), but found his army utterly unequal to the English. He based all his hopes on the King of Scotland invading England (No. 649). Maximilian, who had been at Frankfort, came up to take part in the siege, and there he and Henry discussed the plan of campaign. Henry was for taking Boulogne, and to proceed gradually. The emperor opposed, saying that Henry had taken up the enterprise in order to win the crown of France, and he should take the shortest way to that end and not lose time and money. This advice was approved and an agreement to that effect was drawn up and signed. Henry afterwards presented the emperor with a magnificent jewel, said to have belonged to Charles the Bold (No. 651).
The siege of Terouenne having been successfully terminated, the princes moved their camp on the 5th September, and on the 10th they sat down before Tournay. Henry passed his time between the camp and the Archduchess's court at Lille, dancing right through the night, playing cards, and indulging in games with his attendants. He astonished all by the magnificence of his display (Nos. 654, 657).
Tournay surrendered on the 21st of September (No. 662). On the 11th of October the victory was celebrated by a tournament, at which Henry won the prize, and which afforded a very brilliant spectacle, in spite of the pouring rain (No. 669).
In the meantime the war in Scotland had been terminated in brilliant fashion. The campaign began with a raid by Lord Home, who was driven back with heavy loss, especially among the nobles (No. 651). After the battle of the Spurs Henry had sent his prisoner, the Duke of Longueville, to the queen, as a present. She now wrote back thanking him and saying that she had shown no less prowess herself, in fighting the Scots. His horsemen had taken mounted enemies, whereas her infantry had routed cavalry, and what was more, a certain English lady had captured three Scottish horsemen. The duke was truly a great gift, but she hoped to surpass him in that also, and instead of a duke to send him a king (No. 654). The King of Scotland, incensed at Home's defeat, determined to take the field in person. Henry had no misgivings, and would not give up his enterprise on that account. The queen had 30,000 men with her, and if necessary, it was arranged to send 12 to 15,000 landsknechts to her assistance (No. 651). The news of Flodden reached the camp before Tournay on the 16th. Surrey, after the fatigues of the day, only sent a brief and modest despatch. The king feared that some mishap had befallen him, and so did not celebrate the event with great rejoicings (No. 656). The death of James in the battle was not confirmed until three days later (No. 659), although the usual reports got about that he was still alive (No. 672). The Queen of Scotland, in her grief, declared that she would continue the war against her brother, but this was not considered likely (No. 669). It was suggested that she would make a suitable wife for Massimiliano Sforza (No. 666).
The capture of Tournay brought the campaign in Flanders to a close, although Henry was as eager for war as a lion (No. 662). His army had distinguished itself by its sobriety, there being no loose women and practically no gaming, except with the king, who played high and enriched those who played with him (No. 657). It was necessary for Henry to return to England to attend to financial matters and to finish the war with the Scots. He was to leave 8 or 10,000 foot and 6,000 horse with the emperor, to keep up the campaign during the winter, together with a good provision of money (Nos. 657, 662).
In spite of the brilliant success of the campaign all was not well between the allies. The Spaniards accused Henry of not keeping his promise to pay 6,000 Biscayan infantry, Henry complained that he was left to do everything. He had 40,000 men under arms in England, 10,000 at sea, and was supporting the entire force in Flanders, amounting to quite 100,000 men, at his sole charge (No. 656). The new pope Leo was cold and they regretted the death of Julius (No. 664). The emperor had no enthusiasm for a campaign in which he was always so much overshadowed. He had tired of the English, though he wanted a little more of their money (No. 671). But the worst blow came from the Swiss. The allies wanted to hire them against France, and promised to give as much as any one else for their troops (No. 667). The Swiss, however, made an agreement with France instead. When the news reached the camp, Henry exclaimed to the emperor, My father, I would give a million angels rather than you should have told me this. It at once cooled Henry's ardour for the war. He sent word to the emperor afterwards by the Bishop of Winchester that that year and the next he did not wish to spend any more money on the war, unless the marriage between his sister and the archduke was completed. If the emperor would do this he would stint nothing in the world to please him (No. 673). With this parting shot the king left for England.
Early in the following year Henry was busy with his preparations for a fresh attack upon France. This time he was safe on the northern frontier. The Scots sent an embassy to make peace. They also sent an embassy to France to excuse themselves, but offering to make war on Henry if the King of France would give them 1,000 lances, 10,000 foot and a quantity of artillery, a succour which France had neither the means nor the power to supply (No. 677). A proposal to arrange a truce, emanating from Spain, was rejected by Henry and also by the emperor (Nos. 681, 683). Louis, who had counted upon this, was so perturbed that no one dared to mention England to him. (No. 684). The army of invasion was to be even greater than the one of the preceding year. This time also the co-operation of the Swiss seemed probable. The Swiss had done an unusual thing in sending an embassy of their own to Henry, which met with a most cordial reception (No. 686). Henry responded by sending an embassy to Zurich. Active negotiations were carried on (Nos. 687, 689, 703). At the beginning of August a definite treaty was arranged. In time of peace the king was to give the Swiss a pension of 15,000 ducats a year; and in time of war 40,000 florins a month. The Swiss undertook to place in the field as many foot as they were able every time that the king declared war on the French. Each should make war on his own account, but neither the Swiss nor the king should make any agreement with France without the knowledge of the other (Nos. 708, 709).
Before these negotiations were completed Henry had made peace with France. It was supposed that he intended this even when he sent his ambassadors to the Swiss, and that he only wished to alarm the French and obtain better terms from them (No. 688). Henry was disgusted with both Maximilian and Ferdinand, against whom he complained to the heavens. In June the General of Normandy went over to England in the hopes of arranging a truce, and possibly a peace, with a marriage alliance to one of Henry's sisters (No. 692). Henry demanded some places in Picardy and also a very large sum of money (No. 704); he is also said to have required a definite engagement that France would leave Italy alone (No. 697). He did not prove obstinate, however, and peace was concluded on much more moderate terms. Scotland, the Archduke and the King of Navarre were included. The King of France was to dismiss the Duke of Suffolk, though he would send him away well content. Henry tried hard to have Sforza included, but seeing that this endangered the agreement, he abandoned the attempt. Ferdinand endeavoured to upset or at least postpone the treaty, but the French king only made game of him. A portrait of his destined bride inflamed the passion of the elderly king. He said he was more pleased to have so beautiful a wife than half his state (No. 711). He was very eager to have her sent to him at once. He himself provided her dowry as well as the million he was paying in twenty years, because her brother had appropriated the 700,000 ducats which Henry VII had left for the dowry of his younger daughter. The young princess wept bitterly at her misfortune as being passed from one extreme to another. The pope declared that he had furthered a truce between the two monarchs because he had misgivings about Ferdinand's negotiations for a marriage alliance, but Henry had made a peace instead, because of his great wrath (No. 715).
This section contains several references to Cardinal Bainbridge, chiefly in his capacity as Protector of the Cistercians about a dispute between the Abbots of Clairvaux and of St. Ambrose, Milan (Nos, 676, 685, 690, 695, 696), and of his illness and death by poison (Nos. 698, 700, 713). The pope allowed him to dispose of all his extensive property by will, and awaited Henry's nomination for his bishopric, owing to his extraordinary respect for the English king and his great confidence in him (No. 700).
This section deals with the affairs of Europe, where the balance of power had been much deranged by the battle of Pavia. For this and the section that follows the material from other sources is very copious, instead of being exceptionally scanty, as is the case with the preceding sections. The amount of absolutely new matter is therefore relatively slight, and can be indicated rapidly. The bulk of it naturally concerns the disposal of the Duchy of Milan. Francesco Sforza had an agent in England in the person of Augustino Scarpinello, but he left him not only without supplies, but for a long time without any communications whatever, so that Scarpinello was not recognised in England as a duly accredited ambassador. Henry's ambition was to act as arbiter in Europe, while Wolsey, in addition, earnestly desired a French match. Thus Henry made grandiloquent orations to the ambassadors of the league in favour of peace (Nos. 733, 734). The suggestion to pay Henry a pension from Milan was rejected, as the Council considered it a bait to draw them into the league, which they had no intention of entering (No. 734). The disposal of Milan stood in the way of peace, and Henry and Wolsey wished to have it deposited in their hands, when Sforza's cause could be decided before neutral judges (Nos. 740, 742). We shall never, exclaimed Wolsey, induce Caesar to let Francis Sforza have Milan if he committed rebellion. The ambassadors of the league objected to this plan because they suspected that Wolsey wanted to use Milan to further his own plans, to give it to the Duke of Bourbon, with the Archduchess Eleanora for his bride thus releasing Francis and leaving the way clear for him to marry the Princess Mary. Wolsey had thought so much about this plan that he had even questioned the nuncio about the governors and garrison he would have to send to Milan (No. 747). The French ambassador, Joachim, had already suggested that they should make Sforza a Cardinal and give Milan to Bourbon (Nos. 732, 733). Later on Wolsey abandoned this idea, and in the following year he told Scarpinello that Henry had resolved that his master should be Duke of Milan in any event (No. 789). Scarpinello constantly urged his master to write and express his gratitude to the King and Cardinal. He also thought that some more substantial acknowledgment would not be misplaced. He suggested horses and armour for the king, and for Wolsey a pension of 10,000 ducats in addition to the 4,000 he was already receiving. If the 4,000 were withheld he was sure to be hostile (Nos. 798, 804). Pensions were also paid to More, Brian Tuke and Anztil (?).
Henry was very anxious to act as arbitrator, and at the beginning of 1527 the emperor wrote referring all controversies to his judgment. This flattered the king's vanity, and so won him that he became more confidential with the emperor than with the league (No. 759). He induced the ambassadors of the league to send to their princes to obtain mandates to treat for the peace (No. 762). The pope did not want the peace to rest in Wolsey's hands, but he could not show this openly, because he had recently received help from England (No. 776).
The chief object of Wolsey's manoeuvres was to constrain the King of France to the marriage alliance (No. 759). Partly from the unfriendly feeling between him and the emperor and partly from fear of Caesar's greatness Henry cogitated day and night how he might remove it. If he had been sure of the marriage with France he would already have declared himself the mortal enemy of Charles (No. 763). He was eager for the French match, but adopted a high tone with France. He took great credit to himself for not having taken advantage of the prostration of France to realise his ancestral claims (No. 734). He made the abandonment of his claims the excuse for not offering any dowry with his daughter (No. 785). By his envoy, Russel, he rebuked the King of France, adjuring him in God's name to leave his hunting and ceaseless pleasures and attend to the war, so that the enterprise might not be endangered, as the loss and dishonour would be his alone (No. 771). The completion of the alliance between France and England was finally precipitated by the pope making a separate peace with the Imperialists (No. 796), although Wolsey had written to adjure him not to do so, and had promised strong and immediate assistance from his king (No. 780).
In the early stages of the divorce proceedings the king and queen behaved as if there was no dispute between them. The queen maintained that her lord was acting for pure conscience sake, and not from any wanton appetite (No. 816). The people sided with the emperor and the queen (No. 817). Men of ability thought that the pope would grant the divorce if he could find some colourable way (No. 848). Yet Clement refused to accede to Henry's urgent request to make both the Auditor Ghinucci and the Protonotary Casal Cardinals. The former alone obtained the red hat, and Henry was very indignant, as it seemed as if no attention was paid to his recommendation (No. 843). Henry hoped for the active assistance of France, and pressed for an alliance, but Francis moved cautiously (Nos. 852, 879). Henry wanted Francis to follow his example and deprive the pope of his jurisdiction over the clergy (No. 854), and when the English ambassadors at Rome were advised that the sentence would go against them, they boasted that they would make a new rule in ecclesiastical matters, and urge the Most Christian to do the same (No. 886). It was supposed that Grammont was sent to Rome at Henry's request (No. 862), but the king was not satisfied and complained that neither Grammont nor Albany gave him adequate support (No. 877). In 1534, however, the Bishop of Paris did his best to alarm the pope and cardinals by saying that Henry might join the Lutherans and the infection might easily spread. This only seems to have incited them to issue a ban against Henry and ask the emperor to carry it out (No. 939), and one of the cardinals administered a dignified rebuke to the bishop (No. 941). The proceedings at Rome were conducted with great secrecy, and there was a strict prohibition to speak about the case outside the consistory (No. 938). The final sentence against Henry was published at Rome on the 23rd of March, 1534, after a very lengthy consistory. The French party tried to get the publication postponed until the next consistory, but failed to carry their point. The imperial ambassador lighted bonfires and fired guns at the news, and other Spaniards followed his example (No. 944).
In England, Henry had matters very much his own way, although the Bishops of St. Asaph and Bath spoke boldly in parliament in favour of the queen (No. 861). The queen defended her cause with spirit and declared that the Rota was the proper place for the question to be tried (No. 865). She refused to appear before parliament, and the king sent to Master Sadocho (?) keeper of the queen's crown, demanding the crown for the coronation of the new queen. The official refused to give it up because of the oath he had taken to the queen. The king then went to see him and expressed his desire. At this, Sadocho took off his cap and flung it to the ground, without saying a word. The king asked him what moved him to do a thing like that. Sadocho replied that rather than give up the crown he would suffer his head to lie where his cap did. As he had a son in high position and popular, Henry took no further steps and had another crown made for the coronation of the new queen (No. 911). After Catherine had been put away the king treated her very ill, but she bore all with exemplary patience (Nos. 936, 976). The Princess Mary suffered from some malady of her sex (Nos. 861, 865), and for a time was very ill. She suffered from her mother's misfortunes, but in the spring of 1535 Henry visited her (No. 961), and in the following year he promised to bring her to his Court (No. 971). In 1537, negotiations were on foot to marry her to Don Luis of Portugal (Nos. 980, 981).
The papers referring to Wolsey's fall and death have been printed before except one (No. 836), relating rumours current in France on the subject. So also have those relating to Sforza's desire to obtain a loan, except No. 831. Henry was very insistent in demanding from France the payment of money due to him (Nos. 835, 841). There are some particulars of the meeting of Henry and Francis at Bologne in 1532, although the ambassadors were kept at a distance (No. 900). Another conference was arranged for 1534 and then postponed until the following year, upon which there is a curious exchange of letters between Francis and Queen Anne (No. 962).
At the end of 1531 there was some talk of the King of Scotland marrying the pope's niece, Catherine de' Medici, but the King of France put a stop to it (No. 880). Before the middle of the following year James was asking for the hand of the Princess Madeline of France (No. 891). This alliance involved a dilemma, as Scotland, encouraged by the emperor, desired a reconciliation with England, and the English ambassador in France stated roundly that if the marriage took place the friendship and alliance between the Most Christian and the English king would forthwith be dissolved and a rupture would ensue (No. 904). A means was found, however, of concluding the alliance without giving offence to England (No. 910). In August, 1536, strange reports were current in England of the marriage of the King of Scotland to a private woman and his disappearance at sea (No. 970).
In the summer of 1531 Henry ordered an inspection of the royal ships. They were nearly all leaky. It was proposed to put them in repair and hire them out (No. 865). This is one instance among many to be found here that Henry, with all his love of pomp and display, inherited some of his father's carefulness in money matters. He was lavish however on the buildings at Westminster and Hampton Court (Nos. 865, 866). The account given by Chapuys of the Pilgrimage of Grace is chiefly remarkable for the suggestion that the rebels should receive assistance from abroad (No. 976). Early in 1537 Cardinal Pole was coming on a mission as legate to England. Henry was deeply incensed against his kinsman, and when he sent Sir Francis Bryan to Paris, it was suspected that he meant some mischief to the Cardinal (Nos. 980, 981). In conclusion, mention may be made of the presence of French privateers in English waters, in the summer of 1536, when they inflicted much harm on English shipping (No. 970).
The last 168 numbers in the volume are all drawn from the Ambrosian Library. They come from the Borromeo correspondence and are concerned with the doings of the English Catholics on the Continent, in whom both San Carlo and Cardinal Federigo took a great interest. There is a letter from Mary, Queen of Scots, to San Carlo about the mission of the Bishop of Dunblane to Rome (No. 991), and various letters about that mission (Nos. 992, 994, 996, 997). A long paper describes the experiences of James Leslie, Bishop of Ross, in Germany (No. 1007). This volume contains three autograph letters of this bishop (Nos. 1005, 1006, 1010), one of which relates to his History of Scotland. There are various particulars of Thomas Goldwell, Bishop of St. Asaph, who became suffragan Bishop of Milan, and of Louis Owen, who was eventually consecrated Bishop of Cassano. Extracts from the letters of William Allen contain particulars of the arrest of Edmund Campion, of the persecutions suffered by other Jesuits, and the doings of John Nicholas, an informer (No. 1012). Nine papers (Nos. 1031–1039), relate to the disputes between the Jesuits and Benedictines about the missions of seminary priests to England. A letter of the Spanish Ambassador describes the martyrdom of John Roberts, one of these priests (No. 1040). Three papers (Nos. 1050–1052) give details of the English mission in Flanders.
The various references to commercial matters will be found in the index under trade. The description of Cabot's voyage and projects (No. 552) has already been published. There is much evidence of the appreciation abroad of English dogs and horses; it is more remarkable to find the Duke of Milan anxious to obtain English musicians and singers for his chapel (No. 232). Mention may also be made of the pope sending the golden rose to the King of Scotland in 1486 (No. 376), and the belief of the charming Anglophobe Pietro Aliprando that the English are born with tails (No. 240).
To Commendatore Fumi, Director of the Archives at Milan, I am under very great obligations, for so generously placing at my service the references to English affairs which he had accumulated, and also for allowing me so many facilities for continuing the work. I would also express my warmest thanks to Sig. Achille Giussani of the Milan Archives, who acted as my guide through the intricacies of the Archives, who did everything in his power to assist my work, and who frequently directed my attention to documents which might otherwise have escaped me. I wish further to express my appreciation of the kindness shown me at the Ambrosian Library, especially by Monsignor Ratti, who has made a special study of the English Catholic exiles at Milan. Monsignor Ratti made notes of all the references to these exiles which he found in the Library. He consigned these notes to the late Mr. W. H. Bliss. Mr. Bliss died before half of the papers indicated had been copied, and all efforts to recover the notes have proved futile. Unfortunately Monsignor Ratti had kept no copy for himself, but thanks to his courtesy I hope that the majority of the papers he discovered are to be found here. I am indebted to his Eminence Cardinal Bourne for permission to collate my copies of the papers on the Benedictines and Jesuits with the duplicates existing in the Archives of Westminster Cathedral. Finally, I would thank my friends Prof. A. O. Meyer, of Rostock University and Mr. Chas. Johnson of the Public Record Office, for the help they have given me from time to time upon various points.
Allen B. Hinds.