Spain: October 1522

Pages 153-162

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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October 1522

H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
Instructions to Jehan De Le Sauch sent by Margaret Of Savoy, Regent of the Low Countries, to the King of England.
Le Sauch will present his credentials and Madame's greetings and say that he is sent first to inform the king of England about the conduct of the allied army. Since the army took the field, it has besieged the castle of Hesdin, but after fighting there several days without profit, it retired and marched on Doullens and other small towns on the Somme, said to be vulnerable. It has taken and demolished Doullens. Madame is displeased at the failure at Hesdin, but such are the fortunes of war ; this slight reverse can be repaired easily by the king and the emperor by a concerted attack on Guienne and Normandy in the spring.
He will say that Madame is informed that, in revenge for the devastation of the Boulonnais and Artois, the French are determined, as soon as the allied army withdraws, to invade English and imperialist territory and burn what they can. She has written to Count de Buren to discuss with the admiral the advisability of maintaining in Flanders, after the army breaks up, 2,000 foot and a thousand horse. Madame intended that these troops should be of the English nation, but, through a misunderstanding, de Buren proposed to Henry that they should be 2,000 German infantry and a thousand horse from the Low Countries, to be paid by Henry, and this is what the admiral has written to his king. In accordance with her first idea Madame has sent Le Sauch to ask Henry and Wolsey to maintain for the defence of the emperor's frontiers and of their own, after the army breaks up, 2,000 English foot and 1,000 English horse on this side of the sea.
Le Sauch will say that before he left Madame's court on October 9th, she received letters from the admiral of England, M. de Bevres, and her other captains, saying that they had intended, after Doullens had been demolished, to march on Bray, Ancre and other towns of the Somme, but the heavy rains had made it very difficult to move the cannon, and they had lost from three to four thousand men in the army from disease, so that they had been obliged to abandon the field and return to their quarters. Meanwhile the admiral has agreed that, pending further instructions from Henry, he will leave in Flanders a thousand English foot, and will provide payment for a thousand horse until the end of November. Madame is very grateful for the admiral's good will, but she knows he would not have offered to do as much had he not thought that Henry and Wolsey would be pleased. Madame, therefore, thanks the king and the cardinal, and will advise the emperor of their continued good will. Le Sauch will then ask Henry and Wolsey to be good enough to add another thousand English infantry to this force, and to continue to pay the three thousand men until next spring, when the army will again be placed in the field.
Le Sauch will communicate his business to the emperor's ambassadors in England and to Master Guillaume des Barres if he is there, and learn from them the present state of affairs and from des Barres, especially, how he is progressing in the matter he was sent to discuss with Wolsey. Le Sauch will say nothing about the 50,000 crowns unless Wolsey mentions the subject, in which case Le Sauch will reply according to the instructions he received orally. Des Barres has written something about peace. Le Sauch will say Madame has written to the emperor at length on this subject, and is convinced that the emperor will never make peace without the knowledge and consent of the king of England and the particular advice of the cardinal.
Le Sauch will tell Wolsey, casually, of the incident involving the Augustinians at Antwerp and of the remedy adopted. He will tell him also of Franz von Sickengen's attack on the archbishop of Trier and of how he was obliged to retire, also of the war between the archbishop of Mainz and the Count Palatine, and of Archduke Ferdinand's intention to hold an imperial diet at Nuremberg. Le Sauch will mention that the estates of Brabant are delaying a long time in replying to Madame's request for aid to defend the country and that this, in turn, has delayed Madame's departure for Holland. Le Sauch will show Wolsey the letter to Lescano, who commands the Spaniards at sea, and the minute containing Madame's intentions in this matter. She will not, however, decide anything without the advice and consent of the king of England and the cardinal, as she has told Lescano's messenger. If Wolsey agrees that four hundred Spanish sailors in four Spanish ships are to be kept at sea, and the rest to be sent in the other ships to Zeeland and landed, as Lescano asks, Le Sauch will say that Madame is willing to receive these men and place them in the land forces paid by the emperor, and that they will be paid one hundred sous tournois each month of thirty days from the time of their landing. They will have to solicit their back pay of the emperor, but Madame will write in their favour.
Le Sauch will report all news fully.
Contemporary copy. French. pp. 5. (Le Sauch's credentials are dated October 7, 1522—L. & P. III, 1104.)
10 Oct.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 3.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
Although we wrote your majesty fully by Richard, and again by Juan of Granada, nevertheless, on account of the risks of the journey by sea, we are sending you by this courier a copy of the dispatch carried by Granada, along with our more recent news.
The affair of the Spaniards at sea under Lescano goes from bad to worse, both for the reasons in our former letters, and because the provisions sent them for the past month consisted almost entirely of biscuit of which they were in such great need that they were obliged to send some of their captains to this king, who finally agreed to provide them with biscuit at Southampton, on condition that the carrack and the artillery should lie in pawn for it until it was paid for. We would have helped them had we been able, but all our credit had been employed in revictualling them during the past month. It is true that fifteen days ago two Galician ships reached the coast of this kingdom loaded with meat ; the larger went down far from Southampton and all the provisions were lost ; the other reached the Spaniards at the Isle of Wight and was very welcome. As for biscuits, wine and other provisions, however, nothing at all has come from Spain, so that these men have had to live on the money and provisions we have sent them, and if they are not soon helped by your majesty they will break up in great disorder. No money is to be hoped for from Henry or Wolsey, for the reasons we have already written you. Madame has written us several times that she could not pay these charges, and, although we have already sent one of the Spanish captains to explain the urgent need of provisions and payment, we do not know what reply he will bring back.
We informed you in our last letter of the taking of the town of Hesdin. Afterwards the army lay for some days before the citadel, hoping to take it, but the rumour here is that they have failed, and marched off toward Doullens. It is also said that the pest is very severe among them, so that a large number of English, Spanish and Germans have already died. We are unable to inform you more accurately since we have had only one letter from Madame since the two armies joined.
Some days ago there arrived here a young Italian, Bernadino de Bertolloti, a member of the pope's household, who came, riding post, through France. He is charged by His Holiness with a mission, jointly with the bishop of Astorga, to the king and the cardinal, the substance of which is the same as that which the bishop presented to your majesty. In addition, they are to ask the king and the cardinal to induce your majesty to agree to conditions of truce or peace. Since the bishop of Astorga is not here, Bertolloti went alone to Wolsey, showed him his credentials, and advanced pertinent arguments. Wolsey promised to communicate with the king, his master, and to reply shortly. We have had several conversations with Bertolloti ; he tells us that Francis is in the neighbourhood of Paris and pays no attention to public business ; either this is all the news he has or he is concealing the rest. We do understand by what he says that the pope is very much bent on peace or truce, and will not let this matter sleep.
As for Scottish affairs, as far as we can ascertain, the only ambassador who has come from Scotland is a secretary who saw Wolsey several days ago, to ask for a continuation of the truce until St. John's Day next. During this time the Scots wish to discuss a longer truce or peace, in which they wish to include the French. If this information is exact, the Scottish offers are very different from what Wolsey told us. We shall try to find out the truth from Wolsey at the first opportunity, and shall inform your majesty at once.
Yesterday morning a courier from Spain brought your letters dated from Valladolid Sept. 8th. We shall communicate the points contained to the king and the cardinal, and advise you of their reply by this courier on his return. We have sent him on to Madame, ordering him to hasten back to us within ten or twelve days. We beg your majesty not to attribute your failure to receive letters from us to our negligence. The couriers were not kept here longer than a day or two, as no doubt they will confess when they reach you.
London, 10 October, 1522.
Signed, Bishop of Badajoz and Elne, and Loys de Praet. From de Praet's letter book. French. pp. 4.
31 Oct.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien D. D. Abt. B. f. 4.
Charles V to Henry VIII.
We have received your two letters of 6th August and 22nd of September, and thank you for remembering to write us of your good health and of the news from Scotland. Nothing could give us more pleasure than to know that your affairs are going well. We shall continue to support our common cause as we have written more at length to our ambassadors, to whom you will please give credence.
Valladolid, last day of October, 1522.
Copy. French. Calendared in L. & P. III, 1121 from the original in the Public Record Office.
31 Oct.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
Just as we were about to send this courier to you for news, since we had received none from you since we left England, three couriers, one of your servants, Richard, and the courier sent to the bishop of Palencia, arrived together, bearing your letters of the 12th and 31st of August and of Sept. 25th. We commend your diligence. In borrowing 3,584 ducats from Antonio Vivaldi to relieve the necessities of the troops sent from Spain, you have done us good service. We are displeased that the soldiers were so foolish as to gamble away their money ; they were paid for two months. Victuals were sent after them, but were taken at sea by the enemy. The money you have borrowed will be paid at the October fair at Medina del Campo, and you may assure Vivaldi that we shall not forget his services, as you may see we are writing him. If you have arranged for further advances to keep the fleet at sea during the month of October, they shall be paid as soon as we hear of them. We have read the letters from the Spanish captains and answered them as you see.
Wolsey's advice to discharge the fleet at the end of October, except for four warships of Henry's and four of mine, to be kept in commission during the winter months, seems good since a great fleet is useless during winter and expensive to keep up. We have ordered Lescano, therefore, to pick out five or six hundred men to remain at sea in four of the smaller ships. The rest of the ships and sailors are to be sent home, and the remainder of the infantry landed in Flanders to strengthen the Spanish force already there, if Madame wishes them, but not otherwise. If Lescano wishes to return he may do so, leaving in his place an experienced captain. Vivaldi may be directed to provide for the payment and provisioning of the men at sea, and he will be repaid as we have written. Authorize someone to inspect the muster of these troops. Since we have no means of knowing our aunt's intentions, you and Captain Lescano are authorized to act as she directs, either landing the remainder of the Spanish infantry to strengthen the army in Flanders, or sending them back to Spain.
Thank the king, the queen, and the cardinal for their expressions of pleasure at our success, and tell them that our affairs are getting better and better. We now have on the frontier about 8,000 infantry and 900 men-at-arms, besides the ordinary garrisons. Most of these troops make raids into France daily ; they are containing Fuenterrabia so closely that we hope to oblige the garrison to surrender in spite of the winter weather.
Wolsey's secretary, who remained here by our orders after the death of Thomas Spinelly, has communicated to us his king's thanks for being so promptly informed of the French overtures, and his assurances of reciprocal behaviour, together with other matters corresponding to articles one to five in your letter of September 25th. Thank Henry and Wolsey, in our name, for what they have said and for their good advice, and assure them that we intend to adhere exactly to the treaty and to listen to no proposals, through the pope or anyone else, without their knowledge and consent.
In conformity with this tell them that since the departure of the courier we sent on September 12th, there came here the maître d'hôtel of our captain-general in Lombardy, Prospero Colonna. This person travelled through France with a royal safe-conduct. He came to tell us that while Francis and his mother were at Lyon, the queen mother sent for a Florentine merchant, a friend of Colonna's who had once been responsible for his ransom, and asked the merchant to go privately to Colonna and ask him to help make peace between the emperor and the king of France, an act which would be of service to all Christendom and for which Francis would not be ungrateful. Francis, the Florentine was to say, was ready to go to any honourable lengths for the sake of peace. The merchant demurred at undertaking so grave a mission in a private capacity, saying that Colonna would pay no attention to a message of that sort. Thereupon Louise of Savoy gave him letters of credence from herself and her son, setting forth these proposals in full, and authorizing him to say that Francis regretted not having accepted the truce offered him by Henry, in which matter he had been ill advised, that his greatest desire was to make peace, for the good of Christendom and the relief of Rhodes, and that for the sake of peace he was willing to abandon all his claims in Italy, provided only that his honour might be appeased by the bestowal of the duchy of Milan on the duke Massimiliano Sforza, who is now in France, and by the restoration to their estates of the Milanese exiles of the French party. As a guarantee of good faith, Francis offered to turn over to Colonna all the strong places of Lombardy still in French hands, and he begged Colonna to further this matter with us and to intercede with the pope in favour of it. Colonna, feeling that he should not ignore so serious an offer, and glad of an opportunity to advise us promptly of the state of affairs in Italy, asked for and received a safe-conduct for one of his people to pass through France to inform us of this overture. This his maître d'hôtel did, coming directly from Pavia to our court by way of Avigon and Languedoc, without stopping at the French court. On his arrival he gave us Colonna's news of Italy, and the captain-general's advice on measures to be taken there. Colonna, although forwarding the French proposals, advises us against accepting them. He thinks Massimiliano and the exiles should not be allowed to return, but that the present duke, Francesco, should be strongly supported. We sent the maître d'hôtel back with a reply, a copy of which we are enclosing for the information of Henry and Wolsey. We are also forwarding to you a copy of our reply to the papal nuncio who came to us some days ago to exhort us, on the part of the pope, to make peace, and to say that a similar message would be sent to the king of England. Show the copy to Henry and Wolsey, as our treaties provide, and ask their advice.
Three days ago a courier from the archbishop of Bari reached the Spanish frontier, having passed through France on his way from Rome. He was arrested at San Sebastian and his letters sent to us, since we have ordered our frontier captains to arrest all persons coming from France, whoever they may be. We found the courier was on his way to Caracciolo, the papal nuncio here, to inform him of the death of the cardinal of Sion, and to beg through him of us Sion's bishopric of Catania in Sicily. Among the courier's letters there was only one addressed to us, the original of which we are sending herewith to be shown to Henry and Wolsey, because they may be interested in the news from Rhodes, and because we wish to keep them fully informed of all our affairs.
As we have already written you, if the enemy returns to Italy, our position there will be in great jeopardy. We have neither an army strong enough to resist them, nor money enough to raise a new one. The duke and the estates of Milan have been completely emptied. We have not yet been able to draw the Venetians to our side, and we are informed that it will be difficult to keep the Swiss at home. Therefore you must know the advice of Henry and Wolsey on this point, and discover what they are willing to contribute toward supporting the army in Italy, and holding off the Swiss. Write us at once.
About the recent proposals of the Venetian ambassador in England of which you wrote, say to Wolsey that it appears the Venetians are merely seeking excuses for delay. They do not wish to conclude anything ; their ambassador here has full powers to treat, but he says he dares not do so without further word either from the Signory or from their ambassador in England. We have sent powers to Geronimo Adorno to remonstrate with the Signory about this dilatory policy and, if he finds it possible, to treat with them jointly with the papal nuncio and Master Richard Pace. We shall keep you informed of what may come of this.
We rejoice at the good news of Scottish affairs, and hope that matters will continue thus for the safety of England and the confusion of the common enemy. We are sure Henry and Wolsey will keep in mind their treaty obligations toward us.
It seems too dangerous to send the copies of the treaties you asked for. You may obtain copies without such risk from the bishop of London, Master of the Rolls, who, we are sure, will make no difficulty about giving them to you. You should also obtain from him a copy of the instrument you know of, signed by us and by Henry in Wolsey's presence. Guard these documents carefully. We have ordered the three zabras as you asked. If you wish to write in haste, and none of the zabras happens to be in port, engage an English ship for your courier, and we shall see that it is paid for. Do not spare money, but keep us constantly advised. We are replying in our own hand to the letters of the king and the queen and, in the hand of a secretary, to Wolsey. Copies are enclosed. Our letters ask full credence for you, and we continue to have the greatest confidence in your prudence and dexterity. The English ambassadors have arrived at Laredo, and we have sent officers of our household to expedite their journey. They shall be honourably received, and we shall be glad to have news of the health and prosperity of the king, the queen, the princess, and the cardinal, as you may tell them from us. Tell them also that we are hard at work, especially on our finances, in preparation for the "Great Enterprise," but we are unable to say whether it can be hastened to the coming year or not. It is a grave matter and very difficult to finance. We shall inform Henry in good time, as we agreed in our conversations at Waltham Bishop.
We have already told you of the great embassy sent us by the king of Portugal. When we have heard the ambassadors we shall write you again. If they speak of offering us the king's sister in marriage we shall refuse, since we intend to abide by the treaty of Windsor. The English, therefore, should conceive no suspicion on account of this embassy. We shall seek, however, to bind Portugal to our alliance by every other means. Recently a courier from Portugal bearing letters from the French ambassador there, was arrested in this city. His letters were opened and found to contain matters concerning a proposed marriage between the king of Portugal and Renée de France. These letters we have sent to the king of Portugal in the hope that when he knows of them he will put an end to these French plots. Among these letters there was one written to the admiral of France, which touches nearly the honour of the king of England. We removed this, and are sending you the original which you will give to Henry in Wolsey's presence, so that he may take the necessary steps. Assure them both that we shall always inform them of anything we know touching their honour and advantage as becomes a good friend and ally.
Valladolid, the last day of October, 1522.
Contemporary draft. French. pp. 13.
31 Oct.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 3.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
You will see by our other letters that we have complete confidence in your prudence and dexterity and in your management of whatever business may arise. Remember that the chief point is to proceed frankly and clearly with the king of England, according to the treaties, as I have no doubt you will. Therefore, since we are at a great distance from each other, and since we know that Christendom has need of peace without too many delays and sendings back and forth, we wish to write you frankly and fully, so that you may conduct yourselves accordingly, especially since you have twice written that Wolsey seemed to be cooling toward the war and inclined to a peace or a truce. You ought to know that we have been informed by our spies of the conduct and retreat of the army which was in Picardy according to the treaty of Waltham. This army did a good deal of damage in the open country, but had little effect on the enemy, who will be able to take a worse vengeance on our lands. The position of our other affairs, also is such that, to deal plainly with you, we ought to wish for peace or truce shortly, especially to succour Christendom against the Turks, and particularly Rhodes, which is in imminent peril. But in spite of these things we do not wish to entertain any offers of peace from the French without the advice and consent of the king of England, our good brother and uncle. Therefore, after you have told the king and the cardinal of the offers of which Prospero Colonna informed us, and heard what they have to say about them, you must judge whether they are somewhat inclined to peace or truce, or whether they would prefer to continue the war. If you see them inclined to peace or truce, say to them that, as they know, we have always wished to follow their advice. Thus you may draw them to declare the means which seem to them honourable and practicable for making a peace or truce. If they have no suggestions, you may be sure they do not incline that way. In that case, say nothing further about it until they raise the question, and continue in your scrupulous observance of our treaties.
If, however, you find them ready to talk about terms of peace, and to say what they and we ought to demand, or perhaps only what they demand, pressing you to state our terms, you will let yourselves be drawn out and say, as of your own motion, only if they ask you after stating their own terms and not otherwise, that Francis should restore to us Fuenterrabia and Hesdin, or place them in the hands of the pope, as he should do likewise with the citadels of Milan and Cremona, all other things to be left as they now are, or will be on the day of the publication of the truce, which is to be for commerce and intercourse and to last one, two, or three years, during which time the above mentioned places are not to be fortified nor provisioned beyond their state at the day truce is declared, providing also that if during the truce no peace can be arranged, these places shall be returned to Francis no more fortified nor provisioned than at the time they were placed in the pope's hands. Also, since, as you know, the English indemnity is at our charge, and since, if the truce is to last for two or three years, we would be foolish to pay the indemnity, insist, as of your own motion, that the cardinal place among the English terms the condition that the pension shall be paid during the truce, into the hands of the pope, or any other person Wolsey prefers, the pope to pay this money to Henry if peace is made, and, if not, to restore it to Francis, though it would be better to ask that payment during the truce be made directly to Henry, were it not that the French might object that their own money would afterwards be used to make war on them. It should be carefully considered also, if the truce is made for as long a term as three years, how much the enemy may recover during that time. If you can come to some agreement with Henry and Wolsey about a truce, try to see that they write to their ambassador at Rome, sending him the necessary powers, and instructing him to join himself with our ambassador. We shall give our ambassador similar powers and instructions so that they may make such proposals to His Holiness as he can undertake to persuade Francis to accept, and thus conclude a truce at Rome before long. We are anxious to learn what course Henry and Wolsey would advise us to take in seeking a truce, and if they will state the means they think desirable, we shall do likewise to their ambassadors here.
If Henry and Wolsey show no disposition to discuss a truce, you will, without mentioning the above proposals, try to ascertain their plans and advice about the conduct of the war during the coming year. It may be the war will continue, either because they do not wish to discuss a truce, or because we can reach no agreement on terms with the enemy ; therefore, we should consider in time what is to be done next spring. We may tell you, in strictest secrecy, that we shall not be ready for the "Great Enterprise" during the coming year, and that it is necessary to shift the war from Italy and Flanders to this frontier where we have the greatest power. We should be glad if Henry and Wolsey were to come to a decision to form a common army to invade Guienne, their hereditary land ; we should assist them with such power that the enemy would be forced to do us reason, and that Henry would gain honour and profit there. On the other side, if we can win over the Venetians, as we still hope to do, we could invade Provence with our army of Italy and thus divide the enemy's power.
Now that you understand what you have to do about truce, about peace or about war, in any circumstances that may arise, you will use your own discretion and inform us of the outcome at once so that we may take the necessary measures here.
Valladolid, the last day of October, 1522.
Contemporary copy. French. pp. 5.