Spain: May 1522

Pages 132-140

Calendar of State Papers, Spain: Further Supplement To Volumes 1 and 2, Documents From Archives in Vienna. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1947.

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May 1522

2 May.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
After the departure of Anthoine de Bedia with our letters of the 25th of April, we received your majesty's of the 24th, which is for the most part already answered, either by our letters brought by Anthoine, or by the charge given to Wingfield. Nevertheless, we told Wolsey and Henry of your reply about the naval enterprise, to which they are very much inclined, and all that you had said about your willingness to undertake it provided you did not have to intermit your efforts in Italy. We explained the great charges you were bearing and your need of further financial assistance from Henry for the naval enterprise, but we did not specify 40,000 ducats, since a larger sum had already been granted. Wolsey was very pleased with your majesty's agreement about the naval enterprise. He showed some annoyance when we began to speak of financial matters, apparently thinking that we were seeking another new loan. When he understood the position he was quite satisfied, since he feels sure that your majesty will be entirely content with the offer made by Wingfield.
Wolsey went over with us the figures of your majesty's naval forces, which we reckoned at 18,000 men, and said : "The emperor is behaving toward us with the greatest friendship and frankness, and for our part we wish to spare him as many burdens as possible. Therefore he need not raise the 4,000 men in great Dutch hoys unless he wishes. We shall be satisfied if he will detach three or four thousand German infantry from the six thousand he is taking to Spain, who, since the naval enterprise will only take twenty days to a month, can then return and reach Spain almost as quickly as he. Whatever the emperor decides, we shall add 50,000 ecus au soleil to the 100,000 already granted, which remains ready here at his majesty's disposal. If the emperor decides to raise no new troops, the Germans alone will suffice for the naval expedition, and the forces now on foot will be quite sufficient both for his majesty's escort and for the descent on France, because Henry is sending to Calais 5,000 men of whom 1,000 are mounted archers ; the greater part of these are to be sent at once, the rest afterwards with the ships. Besides these Henry has in the fleet already built, 4,000 fighting men. Thus Henry will have 9,000 men in the field. The emperor will be able to provide 4,000 Spaniards and 4,000 Germans from those he is taking to Spain, so there will be 17,000 troops for the naval expedition, and it will be possible, after the destruction of the French fleet, to land twelve or thirteen thousand, leaving the others to defend the ships. Such an army will be more than strong enough, and there will be no necessity to have a large number of fighting men at sea, since the enemy will have no ships, and thus we will be relieved of great naval expenses. If the emperor prefers, we can land our people at Calais or Flanders, and join with his men-at-arms there in an invasion which will put the enemy in great terror and necessity. In either case, the power of France will be much diminished through the loss of taxes and customs duties, and Francis will be able to smell from Lyons the smoke of his burning ships and provinces. So the emperor may enter Spain in triumph, and the English, Flemish and Spanish be enriched by the destruction of French trade. Besides, there is a Breton count who has a claim to that duchy (fn. 1) and has many friends, so that our descent on Brest may encourage a rising there. But even if this does not happen, Henry's declaration of war ought to be followed by some notable exploit, after which the emperor and the king of England can consult whether they will postpone further operations until the time of the 'Great Enterprise' or hasten that time.
"Wingfield is instructed that, if the emperor wishes to continue negotiations for truce, we shall propose to the French either a truce including all territories except Milan, or the withdrawal of both armies from the Milanese and a general armistice. If the French refuse, we should not permit our forces to be wasted, but so employ them as to give laws to the enemy, and peace to Christendom. I do not know how we could make the emperor a more generous offer than this or do more for him if he were our own son, and we hope that he will take our advice in good part as meant for his advancement."
We thanked the cardinal, and promised to write your majesty at once. All this and more will be duly written to Wingfield, from whom your majesty will learn of it.
Wolsey then showed us letters from Louise of Savoy to the effect that she had dispatched a faithful servant of hers to treat for a truce, promising that whatever was arranged in her name would be ratified by Francis. This envoy is expected in a few days. Wolsey is sending Louise's original letter to Wingfield, who will show it to your majesty, and, as soon as the Frenchman arrives, your majesty shall know what offers he brings. We do not expect any results of this negotiation, however.
Henry has already ordered the arrest of the Venetian galleys. English captains and crews have been provided for them, and there will be no Venetians aboard except a few rowers.
Giovanni Matteo, Medici's secretary, is here and has been honourably received. Wolsey has twice proposed that we should suggest to your majesty the wisdom of having the cardinal de Medici at the pope's side to further your majesty's affairs and those of the king of England, and of the church. He exhorts your majesty to take measures to diminish the influence of the cardinal of Santa Croce with the pope, since such influence will be used to persuade him to break faith with us.
We told Wolsey what you wrote about the pension and he said, with many compliments which we omit, that he remitted everything to your majesty's good will. I, De Mesa, am writing more at length about this to the chancellor and to Lalemand. We ought to do everything possible to satisfy the cardinal, since his assistance is most necessary in your majesty's affairs. Some time ago I, De Mesa, wrote your majesty on the part of the queen of England, asking for two falcons. I do not know for what reason they have not been sent. Your majesty ought to take this opportunity of gratifying the queen who loves you like a son.
People here wonder a good deal that there is so little news of Italy from your majesty, while the French here get news almost daily. It is said that the French have attacked Pavia and a number of them have been killed, among them Lautrec's brother. The Swiss and Venetian soldiers are said to be unpaid and discontented. So far Wolsey has heard nothing of this from your majesty's court, at which he is surprised. The Scottish war continues ; the English are far superior in strength, are making great preparations, and sending warships to those parts.
Wolsey said to us that the English ambassadors with your majesty wrote that we had your majesty's commission to write to Spain to hurry the fleet. We did not deny this, but said that your majesty wrote daily and was making all preparations. I, De Mesa, however, do not wish to write to Spain about this affair without your majesty's instructions.
It is a singular thing to hear the vehement expressions of love for your majesty on all sides here, from the king and the cardinal, from all the nobility, particularly the admiral, and from the commons as well.
London, 2 May, 1522.
Signed, Bishop of Badajoz and Elne, and Jacques de Caestres. Latin. pp. 8.
10 May.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien D. D. Abt. B. f. 4.
Charles V to Henry VIII.
I have received the messages you sent me by your ambassador, Sir Richard Wingfield. I cannot tell you how much I am rejoiced, not only because the reply is exactly such as I could desire, but also to know from it the great good will which moves you to give me this counsel and assitance. Be assured of my gratitude and of my readiness to do as much for you, as much as a good son should do for a good father. All the proposals brought by Wingfield have been discusesd in his presence, and decisions taken such as you will learn from him. I beg you to believe that I should never allow you to go to war on my behalf without being determined to support the war wholeheartedly, as you will see I am determined to do from the letters in my own hand which have been given to Wingfield. Wingfield has been told my plans for my visit in your kingdom, which I hope you will find reasonable. They are to avoid any unnecessary expense, and I beg you to do the same, in order that the money may be used to advance our common affairs. For my part, I do not deem myself a stranger in your kingdom, and I hope that this visit will not be my last.
I am very glad, and owe you my deepest thanks for having, at my request, honoured Sir Richard Wingfield with your Order of the Garter. I have no dobbt that he has well deserved the honour ; I am more and more certain that he is your good and loyal servant.
Please give credence to him, and to my ambassadors with you. I shall shortly be with you to discuss our great affairs.
Ghent, 10 May.
By the hand of your son and nephew.
Contemporary draft. French. pp. 2.
10 May.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien D. D. Abt. B. f. 4.
Charles V to Wolsey.
I have learned from the letter given me by Sir Richard Wingfield, K.G., and by the message he delivered, the love and good-will you bear me, for which I thank you from my heart, and also for the content of his message which shows that by your means we are like to execute all plans we made together at Bruges, which must be to the honour and profit of the king, my uncle, of you, and of myself. You will find me ready to do my part in recompense of the services offered me through Wingfield, to whom you will please give credence. You will hear from him the decisions reached in his presence about his charge and also about my visit to England. This I hope to make with no unnecessary expense, and I beg that you will likewise spend little. For my part I shall bring as few people as possible. This money can better be employed for our common needs. You may be assured that the friendship and alliance between Henry and me is, as far as I am concerned, a thing perdurable and without end, for which I am willing to hazard my body and my goods. Thank you for having helped Sir Richard Wingfield to have the order [of the Garter] on my nomination. I assure you that I see in him daily great good will in the service of the king, my uncle, and I am happy to know so honest a man. I have charged my ambassadors with certain messages to you ; please give them credence.
Ghent, 10 May.
In the hand of your good friend, etc.
Copy : French. pp. 2. Calendared in L. & P. III, 957 from the original in the British Museum.
10 May.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien D. D. Abt. B. f. 4.
Charles V to Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey, Admiral of England.
My cousin : I have learned from my ambassadors of your good-will and cordial affection for me and my affairs, thus continuing the friendship which your ancestors bore my ancestor, Duke Charles and all my house until now. I thank you from my heart, and beg you to continue in this disposition with the assurance that I wish to do anything in my power that will give pleasure to you and yours.
Ghent, 10 May, 1522.
Contemporary draft. French.
12 May.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien D. D. Abt. B. f. 4.
Charles V to Lachaulx.
We are sending this courier in haste about the departure of the Spanish ships with 4,000 fighting men. We hope they are already on their way to England. If not, urge their departure with the greatest diligence, and direct that they shall make for Southampton.
Since your departure, Sir Richard Wingfield has come here with very good news. He has brought us 50,000 crowns for our Italian needs, besides the 100,000 to be lent to us in England. We are sending this 50,000 crowns to Milan by our viceroy of Naples, (fn. 2) who is to leave in eight days. We have raised for this purpose, in addition, 100,000 ducats on lands already sold in Naples, and on the Neapolitan customs, and, in order not to lose our present good fortune, we are raising another 50,000 secured on the customs, so that with God's help our affairs will be safe in Italy. The enemy has been pressing us seriously in Siena and in the Romagna and at Bologna and elsewhere in the states of the church, as well as at Milan, but they have been repulsed, as you may see by copies of the letters we have just received. You will understand that without our efforts to protect the states of the church and to support the cardinal de Medici and the marquis of Mantua, the papal states would be in grave case. The cardinal de Medici has been of great service and has behaved loyally, as has the marquis. If you are still with His Holiness, recommend them both to his good graces.
Wingfield was also charged to ask us whether we preferred a truce or, lacking it, Henry's declaration of war. We have agreed with him that we shall still be willing to accept a truce, general, on both sides of the Alps, for two years, including all our allies, of which the king of England is to be the conservator. These articles Wingfield is sending to his fellow ambassador in France by Clarencieux Herald, who will require the king of France to accept and swear to these terms in four or five days. If he refuses the English ambassador will withdraw, and the herald will deliver Henry's defiance. We shall soon know whether Francis will accept or refuse terms.
For several reasons, particularly on account of the death of our former viceroy of Naples and the consequent pressure of Italian affairs, we have been obliged to delay our departure to Spain and shall not be at Calais until the 25th of this month. We shall then cross to England as has been agreed, and embark from there at Southampton. The naval enterprise of which you have heard will be attempted if the war lasts.
We hope daily for news of you. Please remember the matter of a hat for the bishop of Palencia, which we have much at heart. It seems to us that if any are to be given, it is reasonable that it should be at our request.
Ghent, 12 May, 1522.
Contemporary copy. French. pp. 3.
13 May.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We received, by the bearer of this, your letters of May 2nd, and we have also heard from Sir Richard Wingfield the messages with which Henry and Wolsey charged him, all of which we found highly agreeable. We are giving Wingfield letters thanking the king and the cardinal, and containing renewed credence for yourselves. You will repeat our expressions of gratitude as contained in the copies of our letters which Wingfield will give you.
Say to the king of England that, thanks to the aid he has given us and to the good fortune which God has granted us in Italy, we shall no longer have to consider embarking in Zeeland as we suggested in our last letters, in order to save money for our Italian affairs. We have discussed all this at length with Wingfield. In any event, we should have been quite unwilling to omit our visit to England, and had the winds been unfavourable for making Southampton, we intended to remain at sea until we could make some English port and then ride post to Henry's court, rather than forgo the pleasure of seeing our uncle and his people. Therefore, we have now decided to visit England according to our former plans, and we hope our uncle will not make our visit the occasion for superfluous expense, as we have written. For our part we shall travel simply, accompanied by a train which will not require more than four or five hundred horses. This company, of course, will not be at the expense of the English, and we ask only that they may be able to buy what they need at prices fixed by the king. We prefer to visit Henry like a son coming to his father's house, and we hope this will be only one of many visits, and that too great pomp and ceremony will not impede the friendly familiarity which we hope will continue, not only throughout our life, but throughout that of our successors. Say, then, that we shall be at Calais on May 25th without fail, and that for the rest of our journey we shall follow Wolsey's advice, embarking from Southampton rather than from Falmouth.
We have discussed with Wingfield in the presence of our council, the proposals that he brought, both about the truce and about the naval enterprise. About the truce, it was decided that he will send to the English ambassador resident in France a copy of the terms to which we will agree, and a letter which we have pre-dated, as if it has been written to Henry, to prove on his part that we will accept the terms stated. If Francis refuses our terms, the English ambassador, following his instructions, will withdraw, and the herald will deliver Henry's defiance, the form of which we have seen and approved. We are sending you a copy of our letter, and of the articles, and also of the letter from Henry containing his promise of a declaration of war, so that you need say nothing further to him on that point. As to the naval enterprise, our fleet will set sail before the end of this month, so that the enterprise may begin by June 8th. Everything will be ready on our side, and we hope the English will be ready also. The great Dutch hoys of a thousand tons, requested by Henry, will be at Southampton by the end of the month, provided with crews and cannon, and to be furnished with provisions and fighting men by the English, as I have agreed with Wingfield. We are glad Henry has seized the Venetian galleys, which should be very useful.
It is pleasant to hear that Giovanni Matteo has been well received. You may say to the king and the cardinal that we shall follow their advice about the cardinal de Medici, as about other matters, and that we have already taken steps to support him. The intrigues of the cardinal of Santa Croce have been foiled ; His Holiness is not so easy to seduce.
We are sending, signed and sealed, the bonds for Wolsey's pension, which you will give him with the assurance that this is not the last benefit he shall receive at our hands. As for you, Bishop, our secretary Jehan Lalemand has spoken of your affairs, and we replied that we shall have to discuss the point with Wolsey, but that you may be assured your loyal services will be recognized. The Sieur de Praet will leave within two days to act as our ambassador in England, as we have written. Therefore you, de Caestres, will take your leave and return here as quickly as you can, for we are in need of your services, as you shall learn, as you shall, also, of our gratitude and our confidence in you. Reply by this courier as quickly as possible.
Ghent, 15 May, 1522.
Contemporary draft. French. pp. 5.
14 May.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Charles V to Louis De Praet, Instructions.
De Praet will go first to the bishop of Badajoz and Elne and to the sieur de Caestres, our ambassadors, give them our letters, and communicate his instructions. They will then go together to the king and the cardinal, give them our letters and our affectionate regards, and say to each of them separately how eagerly we wish to see them. In this matter we are so diligent that we expect to sleep at Calais May 25th, and be in England as soon as possible thereafter.
Although we have already written of our pleasure at Wingfield's mission, thank them again for the evidences of their affection, and assure them that they may dispose of our realms, our goods, our person and all the friends we have in the world.
The naval preparations go forward, so that we hope the fleet will set sail before the end of the month, and the enterprise can begin on the 8th of next June in case the French king refuses the terms presented by Clarencieux Herald. Say also that we hope Henry will avoid superfluous expense in our reception, since we expect to visit him as simply as if we were going to our own home. The principal reason that we are sending the sieur de Praet to England is that he may reside there as our ambassador, jointly with the bishop of Elne as long as the bishop remains. In passing through England we intend to take the bishop with us to Spain, as he has asked, on account of his illness, which daily grows worse there, and which we hope will be improved by the change. While the bishop is in England, de Praet will be guided by his advice, and the bishop will communicate to him all our affairs, and instruct him fully, in order that he may be better able to perform the duties of this embassy, and to maintain our perpetual friendship with the king, our uncle and father.
Bruges, 14 May, 1522.
Contemporary draft. French. pp. 2.
15 May.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
After we wrote you, we went over the list of the persons of our household who are accompanying us to England, in an effort to cut down the number of horses to 500. We have done everything we could, but we shall have so many notable persons in our company that we cannot reduce the number to less than 700 horses, without counting mules and pack horses which will, however, be only about 400, as you may see by the new list we are sending you. Give Wolsey this list, and tell him it is the best we can do. Say also that when we sent the first list, which came to eleven hundred horses, we thought we were going all the way by land to Falmouth. For this long journey Wolsey advised the restriction to 500 horses, but he also wished us to come with a suite befitting a great prince. Now that we are only going to Southampton, we cannot believe that Wolsey would wish us to curtail our suite so severely, for if we reduce the number to 500 horses, we shall have to leave behind our council, and some of our gentlemen and other officers of state, as you may see by the marked list. We have already deleted from the list our great chaplain and several of our gentlemen, and we have allowed to most of the rest only two horses apiece and to many only three horses for two. We do not expect, of course, that all the persons listed shall live at Henry's expense, but only that they shall be able to have provisions and carts and other necessities for their money, as we have written. We are sending the marked lists so Wolsey may see that we are putting this matter entirely in his hands. With seven or eight hundred horses we shall be able to bring about half our council and half our gentlemen and archers, so that we shall really be slightly attended. There is also a list of ships. You will give both lists to Wolsey and beg him to select whichever he thinks fitting with due regard to our honour, for we intend to follow his advice in everything and not to swerve from any agreement.
15 May, 1522.
Copy. French. pp. 2.


  • 1. René de Bretagne, Count of Penthièvre.
  • 2. Charles de Lannoy, appointed to succeed Ramon de Cardona.