Spain: December 1522

Pages 166-169

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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December 1522

8 Dec.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
You know of the scarcity of grain last year in the neighbourhood of Andalusia, so that we were obliged to provision our army in Guipuzcoa from around Campos, with great labour and expense. Because the scarcity in Andalusia continues, and on account of the presence of the French in Guienne and Fuenterrabia, we have again been unable to supply our army with grain from that quarter, so that we have ordered the fleet to Campos, and because of the length of the road, and because grain is very dear around Campos this year, and we are put to heavy expense by being obliged to deliver the grain to the troops on the frontier at the same price that it is sold here, the best solution has seemed to be to obtain a quantity of grain from England where it is said to be cheaper.
We are therefore sending Captain Martin with credit enough to buy about 8,000 quarters of wheat, 1,000 of [illegible] and 1,000 of beans. Letters of credence on this subject are herewith enclosed. Ask the king of England to permit the export of the above quantity of grain for the use of our army, and give the captain every assistance.
8 Dec., 1522.
Contemporary extract. French. pp. 2 [not sent?]
8 Dec.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We have written you fully by Richard and again by Wolsey's secretary. Since then, on November 30th the maître d'hôtel of the archbishop of Bari, papal nuncio in France, the same person who was here before, as we have written you, arrived here from France, riding post. He brought letters from the archbishop, the originals of which we are sending you herewith, and a memoir of certain proposals. We are sending you the originals of these also, with a copy of our answer made with the advice of Master Boleyn and Dr. Sampson, the English ambassadors, who are acquainted with the whole affair, as they will write. You will show these documents to Henry and to Wolsey at once, emphasizing our intention to abide by the treaty. You will point out to them that Francis now takes a higher tone than before, a sign that with the help of the Venetians and the Swiss he expects to recover Milan, and that he feels safe on this side the mountains. Two things, therefore, are necessary for our common welfare : to hasten the business with the Swiss, and to come to an agreement with Venice. Solicit the immediate sending of Richard Pace to Switzerland, and insist on having a prompt and full answer to our letter by Richard. Our ambassadors to Switzerland have already left to take ship at Barcelona. We are sending you a copy of their powers and instructions. They are now empowered to raise 50,000 gold florins instead of the 30,000 we spoke of before. Lay this whole matter before Henry and Wolsey, and ask that Pace be sent at once if this has not already been done. From the enclosed extract of news, which we have had recently from France from a source which has never failed us so far, you may see the need for haste. Show the extract to Wolsey and report as promptly as possible, particularly on Henry's reply to the letter sent by Richard and on his decision as to what can be done against the French, both to interrupt their enterprise against Italy now and next spring, and to make them take a lower tone.
We have had letters from our captains, both Spanish and German, around Fuenterrabia, where they have been reinforced by garrisons from the neighbourhood and from Navarre, reporting an encounter with the French from Bayonne who were attempting to revictual Fuenterrabia. They put the French to flight, killed four men-at-arms, captured the provisions, and burned Saint-Jean-de-Luz again. They are blockading Fuenterrabia so closely by land and by sea that, as they write, they hope to defeat any French attempt to provision it, and to oblige a surrender by Christmas. They are in great numbers, both horse and foot, with a good train of siege artillery, and they will shortly be joined by our cousin, the prince of Orange, with a number of lords and gentlemen of our household, so that they will be strong enough to await battle, while at sea we have provided thirty well equipped warships, so that with God's help we shall soon have good news of Fuenterrabia.
Valladolid, 8 December.
Contemporary draft. French. pp. 3.
31 Dec.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Instructions to Jehan De Le Sauch from Margaret Of Savoy.
After presenting his credentials to the king of England, Le Sauch will say to him that Madame is informed that the French king has decided to abandon any attempt to reconquer Milan this winter, and is directing his power against the frontiers of the Low Countries, with the object of waging war there as strenuously as possible to avenge the loss of Milan and the damage done by the English, and to capture, if possible, some towns in Artois, Hainault or Flanders, encouraged thereto by information that the country is unprepared to defend itself. In pursuance of this plan Francis has already come in person to Amiens.
This news has greatly alarmed Madame, who considers it probable, since she has heard it from several sources, and since nowhere else could the French so easily injure the emperor, this frontier being incapable of as stout a resistance as that of Spain. Madame has done her best to strengthen the frontier towns, and she will oppose the French with all her power. But Francis has a great army, and the Low Countries are completely exposed to attack since Madame has not the means to raise a force capable of meeting the French in battle. Madame has thought best, therefore, to ask the advice and aid of the king of England, who will certainly be reluctant to see the French overrun the Low Countries and whose promise to protect them in the absence of the emperor was what encouraged her to undertake their government. She is now sending Le Sauch to ask the intentions of the king of England in this emergency so that she may determine her own actions accordingly.
Madame also needs to know what the king of England and the emperor intend in the next campaign. If word has to come from Spain, it may arrive too late for adequate preparation. Le Sauch will consult with the emperor's ambassadors in England on this point. They may already have ascertained Henry's intentions, as the emperor has instructed them to do, and if they have not, they may be able to assist Le Sauch in doing so. Le Sauch will also seek to learn the attitude of the king and the cardinal toward the recent proposal by the pope for a peace or truce. If they appear favourable toward it, he will try to discover on what terms, and through what channels, peace may come, and whether there is any real probability of it. If there is, Madame is willing to act in the same capacity for our side that Louise of Savoy has assumed for the French, if that is feasible. Le Sauch is relied on to conduct these delicate inquiries in a discreet, dignified, and tactful manner, and to report fully.
He will also visit the cardinal, offering Madame's condolences on his illness, and explaining his whole mission, as far as may be necessary for its success. He will say that Madame's chief hope and refuge is in Wolsey's counsel, and that she wishes to know whether there is anything she can do to hasten his recovery or otherwise to gratify him.
31 December, 1522.
Signed, Margaret. French. pp. 4.