Spain: November 1522

Pages 162-166

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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November 1522

6 Nov.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
As you directed in your letter of September 8th from Valladolid, we showed Wolsey all the contents of the letter, and he, having consulted with his king, replied to us briefly on each point. He said that the letters of the pope and of the archbishop of Bari seemed in a Catholic spirit, becoming to the Holy See, and that your majesty's answers were so honourable, and conformed so carefully to the treaties that they could not thank you enough. They begged you to continue to behave thus and promised, for their part, to enter no negotiations without your advice and consent. They are writing as much to their ambassador with you, along with an account of the answer given Bernadino de Bertolloti, who was sent here by the pope on the same errand. In our humble opinion, however, Wolsey would be very glad of a truce or a peace, if the pope can induce the king of France to make the first offers. Wolsey seemed very pleased by your news from France, and not less so by your assurance that you hoped to be ready for the "Great Enterprise" at the appointed time and perhaps sooner, also by the obedience being shown you by your Spanish subjects, and by the good order you are introducing into your affairs there. For the rest, he said only briefly that the "Great Enterprise" was a grave matter which would require long and mature consideration.
Wolsey said also that the answer which you intend to give the Portuguese ambassador about the two marriages seemed to him the best possible, and he thanked you heartily for your scrupulous observance of the treaties. Wolsey is still quite ill, and we were consequently unable to have a long interview or to discuss these points further. He said that your majesty's letters to Henry had not mentioned Rhodes, at which we were surprised, since this is contrary to what you wrote us.
We wrote your majesty by Juan de Granada a full account of our conversations with Wolsey and the Venetian ambassador. We heard nothing more of this matter until the day before yesterday, when Wolsey told us that the Venetian had visited him some days before with the same proposals made us, offering besides to promise that Venice would give no aid to the French in men or money during peace negotiations between your majesty and Venice under the mediation of the king of England. Wolsey is extremely desirous that we should proceed by English mediation ; he expressly asked us to write you, strongly advising the use of Henry's mediation to arrange a treaty with Venice, without which, he thinks, it will be impossible to hold Milan, in view of the present state of affairs in Italy and the probable report that the French have won over the Swiss.
We also wrote you in our last letters of the arrival of the duke of Albany's secretary, asking for an extension of the truce to St. John's Day next (June 24th), for the inclusion of the French, and taking an insulting and haughty tone very different from what Wolsey had told us of the Scottish offers. Nevertheless Wolsey replied to Albany's secretary favourably enough, as you will be able to learn by the copies of Albany's proposals and Wolsey's reply which are being sent to the English ambassadors at your court.
Madame has no doubt informed you of the end of the campaign on land. Wolsey says that the allied armies parted with great good will on both sides, and that the sudden end of the campaign was due to the bad weather, which has continued from the beginning of September until now, so that the roads were so wet it was hardly possible to get the artillery and munitions to Calais, and a great number of the soldiers were dying daily of disease. Six days ago Surrey returned, and the king received him very graciously. Surrey seems to continue in his good will toward your majesty, for he left a thousand infantry and a thousand horse, paid by Henry until the end of this month, to be used in the defence of the Low Countries as Madame wishes. Since this nobleman is one of the grestest in England, and is highly esteemed both by the king and the greater part of the people, we suggest that your majesty write to Henry and to the admiral special letters of thanks for the past campaign, without forgetting of course, similar letters to Wolsey.
Jehan de le Sauch arrived here some days ago charged with Madame's request to Henry and Wolsey for a number of soldiers to be paid by Henry until spring to safeguard the frontier. Since Le Sauch is writing at length to the grand master from whom your majesty may learn the result of this mission, we shall not repeat his dispatch.
There is little news here except that Wolsey told us yesterday he had certain information that Albany has left Scotland for France, so that he hopes the Scots will be brought to see reason more easily. We have heard from Flanders that, in the last ten or twelve days, the French have burned some thirty villages in Artois, and are now threatening the English territory around Calais. There is also a rumour both in Flanders and here, that your majesty has won a great victory not far from Fuenterrabia, in which two or three thousand French were killed, and M. Desloges and other gentlemen taken prisoner. Also that the chateau of Fuenterrabia lacks provisions, and has many breaches in the walls so that it is as good as taken. This news has occasioned great rejoicing here, and we hope it will be confirmed by the first courier.
The king and queen are both in good health. They have not been in the neighbourhood of London for two months, since the plague has been severe this season at Greenwich, Richmond, and in the environs. Henry leads his usual life, leaving all the cares of state to Wolsey, who is so very ill that he is in danger of losing an eye, and the rest of his body seems almost equally affected. There seems little hope of his immediate recovery, especially as he will not abandon the affairs of the kingdom to others and must see many people daily. His burdens are increased by the decision which he and Henry have reached to assemble parliament in order to explain to them the causes of the present war, and to learn what aid they are willing to grant in money and men for its continuance. As soon as the decision of parliament is known Wolsey will inform us, and he will then be able to tell us more about the time for the execution of the "Great Enterprise."
Wolsey tells us that last summer, when your majesty was at Windsor, you and Henry agreed to terminate the treaty of Bruges and burn the copies. This was not done at the time, he says, because the original had been left with Madame in Flanders. Now he asks us to send for this document and give it to him, offering to give us, in return, the English copy. So far our copy has not been sent from Flanders, since Madame says she has heard nothing from you on this point. Wolsey has asked us to do our best to obtain the treaty but we have temporized, pending your instructions.
London, 6 November, 1522.
P.S.—We have been obliged to detain this courier here seven days since we could not finish our business with Wolsey sooner.
Signed, Bishop of Badajoz and Elne, and Loys de Praet. French. pp. 7.
17 Nov.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We wrote you last by Richard, who left Nov. 4th. Since then the English ambassadors have arrived and declared the rest of their mission, beyond what we had already learned from the instructions sent to Sir Thomas Spinelly. They gave us letters in the hands of the king and queen, and they, and the evidence they brought of the continued health and good will toward us of the king, the queen, the princess, and the cardinal, were gladly received.
The ambassador of the king of Portugal is here, but so far has spoken only of the affair of the Spice Islands, asking us to return the spices found within our boundaries, and to cease in future to send to the Islands for spices, to leave the possession of these islands to the king of Portugal, and to send him, along with the spices which they brought, the men who brought them, to be punished. We answered that the islands where these spices were found had been discovered for us, and were within our boundaries according to the agreements of our predecessors, and that to ask us to permit our subjects to be punished for doing their duty was quite unreasonable. We have had all the facts communicated to the king of Portugal, in the hope that he will recognize he is in the wrong. So far the Portuguese ambassador has said nothing about the marriage of the king of Portugal, or that of his sister, but if he does so, as we think he will, we shall respond as we ought, according to our treaty with Henry. It may be that the ambassador wishes to consult the king, his master, about the matter of the spices before saying anything further.
We are informed that the allied army having retired from Picardy, the king of France has decided to leave only garrisons on his frontiers, and that he is going to Lyons with the intention of invading Italy with the greatest power he can raise, thinking to recover the duchies of Milan and Genoa this winter, during which he expects to find our people too weak either to take the field or to hold the towns. He is, therefore, sending the admiral of France and the Bastard of Savoy to Switzerland, to raise the greatest possible number of Swiss and lead them into Italy. He is sending there a great sum of money to pay his old debts and raise a strong army, and he is getting together all the money that he can borrow at any cost to furnish his enterprise. Since we have not yet closed with the Venetians, who may easily go over to the French, he hopes, with the aid of the Swiss, not only to recover Milan and Genoa, but to make himself master of Italy, and endanger our kingdoms of Naples and Sicily. Against this threat it is necessary to provide diligently. We have instructed Geronimo Adorno to press his negotiations with the Venetians, and if they will not enter an offensive league, to try at least to conclude a defensive one, including Milan and Genoa. If this can be done before the French enter Italy, it will be helpful, but the Venetians have shown themselves so slippery and dilatory that we have little hope of them. It is the Swiss on whom victory or defeat depends ; the French put all their hope in them. Therefore, it has not seemed enough merely to send the cardinal of Sion's secretary to them, and we have decided to send several of our other councillors to represent us directly, with power to raise in Augsburg, Constance, or Trent, 30,000 gold florins. We hope that the English will send a similar sum to win over the Swiss, if possible, and if not, to raise a sufficient number of lanzknechts to be sent to Milan before the Swiss get there. Therefore, since this Italian enterprise is the best means of weakening the French and bringing them to terms, beg Henry and Wolsey to authorize Pace to join our ambassadors in Switzerland with letters of credit for 30,000 florins, or as much as can be managed, and to co-operate with our ambassadors in an effort to keep the Swiss at home, or to raise a German army to oppose them, the money not to be spent except by common agreement. We have also summoned the pope to contribute to the defence of Italy according to his obligations to the league, and have exhorted the duke of Milan and the Adornos to collect men and money for their defence. They will probably be unable to act promptly, however, since the pope has just been crowned, and Genoa and Milan are much weakened by war and disorder. Therefore the best immediate step is to provide this money, which will encourage the Milanese to defend themselves.
This is a matter of the greatest importance in which prompt precautions may save everything, and delay lose everything. Therefore be diligent. If Francis sees that he will be strongly opposed, he may decide against an invasion, in which case we can save our money for other purposes. You may tell the king and the cardinal that we, for our part, are using the greatest diligence in order to encourage the Milanese and Genoese and our own captains and men-at-arms. We are sending our ambassadors to Switzerland by the shortest route, that is to say, by Barcelona, Genoa, and Milan. They will start next week and travel as fast as possible, so Pace should be notified at once if he is to join them.
In these parts, we hold Fuenterrabia in great distress, our army is alert to prevent the French from getting further supplies, and we hope for early success. In Valencia we besieged the rebels in Jativa and Alcira ; they asked for a parley and said that they had not known of our return to Spain and that they were merely resisting the nobles and knights, their enemies, and our lieutenant Don Diego [Hurtado] de Mendoza, who was taking the nobles' part. They offered complete submission, asking not mercy but justice, and sent us six of the chief men of their towns with full power to offer submission. We accepted, and received the surrender of their strongholds, so that now our whole kingdom of Valencia is tranquil and we hope to hear as much of Majorca soon.
We are giving the bearer of this, Wolsey's secretary, a zabra, which is ordered to remain in England at your disposal. Send a courier back in it as soon as possible with an answer to this letter, and to that we sent you by Richard, and also, if possible, with our letters from Flanders.
Valladolid, 17 November, 1522.
Contemporary draft. French. pp. 7.