Spain: August 1523

Pages 254-268

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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August 1523

H. H. u. St. A. Belgien, D. D. Abt. B. f. 6.
Copy of the articles proposed by the king of England to the Duchess Of Savoy and her reply.
Through his ambassadors the king of England informed Madame that his army will soon land to invade France. It will consist of nine or ten thousand English troops, nine thousand infantry and a thousand or fifteen hundred horse. In addition he will raise, at his expense, three thousand German infantry besides the three thousand cavalry and one thousand German infantry which the emperor has agreed to furnish, and to pay for five months, since the king intends his army to remain in France next winter. He also intends that the army shall not burn, pillage or damage the kingdom and subjects of France, but shall treat them as a people who are to be conquered and whose allegiance is to be won. The king of England requests Madame to provide, by the time the English army lands, three thousand horse and one thousand German infantry, and to inform the emperor that from the day the English invade France he must pay Bourbon's troops. He asks her to appoint persons who will inspect the emperor's artillery in company with the English master of the artillery, and select such as may serve the army. This artillery is to be provided with carriages and wagons, draft animals and drivers. A large number of cannon balls are to be ready in time. Provisions are to be provided and collected for the troops, against their landing.
By the advice of the count de Buren, the emperor's captain-general, and of the emperor's privy council with her, Madame asked the English ambassadors to point out to their master that the kingdom of France was a powerful one, and to say that it would be better if he provided at least ten thousand English foot and a thousand or fifteen hundred horse, and hired two thousand German cavalry and three thousand infantry. They are to tell the king that she will furnish the troops agreed on. Since the five months mentioned will end December 31st, they are to ask the king whether he means that term to begin on the day her contingent takes the field, and whether he intends to maintain it after the expiration of five months. They are to inform the king that according to the treaty, the artillery, munitions, pioneers and transport are to be at his expense. Madame has ordered Jehan de Hesdin, the emperor's master of artillery, to show the artillery to the English master of artillery, and to make ready those which they select. Hesdin is also to see that cannon balls are cast, and to provide for wagons and draft animals. The English ambassadors have agreed to inform the king of England as above and to declare promptly his response, and to inform M. de Hesdin from what day the pay for the horses and wagons for the army is to run.
Madame will do everything possible to collect provisions. She is sending writs for this purpose to the lieutenants, governors, captains, and officers, and to the men of law of the towns and countries of these realms, and she has appointed experienced persons to take charge of the preparation of these provisions and their collection in designated towns and places. Although the English ambassadors will inform the king and the cardinal as above, Madame will also advise M. de Praet.
Copy. French. pp. 4.
3 Aug.
H. H. u. St. A. Eng., f. 2.
Margaret Of Savoy to Louis De Praet.
When Beaurain passed through England you learned from him how he was coming here about a marriage by proxy. You understand what I mean. Yesterday I received letters from the president of Burgundy with a credence for one of his chaplains, and also a credence given me by the chaplain in writing. Copy is enclosed. Inform Henry and Wolsey at once, and ask the king, accordingly, to land his army in France and furnish the necessary money. I understand that the English descent is to be made in Normandy.
Since Beaurain cannot go to the emperor at present, you must advise him at once, in cipher, by this bearer or another, the most diligent you can find, as to what has been decided. Send Beaurain's servant back to the person from whom he has come, so that that personage and the emperor will both be ready to play their part. You know how important the matter is. Write me at once what you have done.
Brussels, 3 August, 1523.
Signed, Margaret ; Countersigned, Du Blioul.
Copy of credence.
Hugues Marmier asks Margaret of Savoy to give credence to his chaplain who brings her news.
Gray, 26 July, 1523.
What the president of Burgundy ordered his chaplain to say to Madame :
Count Felix undertakes to furnish the ten thousand lanzknechts, which Bourbon asks, by August 15th or a week later at latest. Marmier has sent this word to Bourbon ; the messenger has not yet returned. He will keep Madame constantly informed.
He has just had word from Beaurain at Genoa. Beaurain is sending Bourbon's servant back to Burgundy, to keep him out of danger. Nevertheless this gentleman seems to have preferred to return to his master and has sent the treasurer of Bresse a letter which you will show. Beaurain will do his best to get through, but he begs you, Madame, to ask the king of England to make his descent on the French coast at once and to order payment for Bourbon's troops for a month. Two days ago letters came from Spain to Beaurain by merchants, but it is impossible to reply through the same channels, for all bankers and couriers are now forbidden in France. Therefore it is necessary to advise the emperor of Beaurain's news, since Beaurain himself may not be able to leave Genoa. The president [Marmier] has sent a man to Bourbon to tell him about the ten thousand lanzknechts and to find out whether he is ready. You will be informed at once.
Copy. French. pp. 3.
4 Aug.
H. H. u. St. A. Eng., f. 1.
Louis De Praet to Margaret Of Savoy.
Beaurain's servant, the bearer of this, brought me your letter of July 25th. On receiving it I went at once to Wolsey, who heard the whole matter, and went over it two or three times in the presence of the king, as the bearer will tell you. The king and the cardinal are willing to do their part promptly, without waiting to hear the result of Jerningham's mission, and they undertake to bear expenses equally with the emperor. The English army will be at Calais on August 25th, provided that you furnish three thousand horse, and three thousand foot ; they also ask for the twelve pieces of artillery, if possible. These troops should meet the English army at a village called Mergesin (sic) on the frontiers of Calais and their combined power will invade the enemy in whatever direction seems best. I hope that on this point they will follow the advice of a certain personage, and also that the personage will agree to consider certain articles laid down by the king, which the bearer will show you. The king is sending at once to this personage an honest gentleman, Master Russell, to learn his intentions about these articles. I do not think he will make any difficulty about them, unless it is about the second, which seems to me of greater weight and consequence than it appears at first glance.
The cardinal has asked me to inform you at once of their decision, and begs you to be diligent in doing your part. He and the king have this affair marvellously at heart, and, with God's help, there now seems more likelihood than ever before of finishing this war honourably for these two princes. The English decision to do their part cannot but be to the emperor's advantage, for his majesty has twice expressly written me that even if the king of England would take no part in this affair, he was too deeply engaged to the personage in question to withdraw from it. Therefore, Madame, it seems to me that even though you have no reply from the emperor about Jerningham's mission, you ought to supply everything that the cardinal wishes, for, as I judge from the emperor's letters, he intends to accept the English conditions, unreasonable and costly as they are.
Wolsey has also asked me to beg you to give order that the English army may, on its landing, find wagons and horses for its artillery and munitions at a reasonable price. This seems a request which ought to be granted, and since, as you know, Dr. Knight, the English ambassador, is not now with you, the cardinal has asked me to address you in this matter and to ask for prompt response.
I reported to Wolsey the contents of your letter of July 26th. There is no news here that the Swiss and the Venetians have joined the French, but if it should be so, Wolsey hopes that the emperor and the king, his master, will be strong enough to draw Francis from the Italian enterprise, and give him so much to do on all sides that he will be busy guarding his own kingdom without invading the kingdoms of his neighbours.
London, 4 August, 1523.
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 3.
9 Aug.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet to Charles V.
On July 18th I received your majesty's letters dated from Tordesillas June 21st, and went at once to Wolsey. As soon as he had read what you had written about the fleet, and before he heard me speak, he said that there was no need for your majesty to go to the expense of furnishing this fleet, since King Francis was making no preparations to keep the sea this year, and Henry had decided that, to avoid unnecessary expense on both sides, no fleet should be maintained, and written you this by his last courier. He added that if the fleet did come he would consider where it could be best employed.
I replied that you had already gone to great expense to comply with Henry's request for the fleet, and had sent me a considerable sum of money to re-provision it, all in the hope that the English would put an equal fleet at sea, as they had promised. We decided to inform you at once of the change of plans, and in addition to this letter Wolsey is sending another special courier. This change seems to me much to your majesty's advantage. I beg you to advise me what to do with the 8,140 ducats, in case your fleet remains in Spain, and also what course to take if it has already sailed, for I wish to make the least possible outlay for its re-victuallment. To tell you the truth, I believe that Wolsey, thinking to avoid the expense to which Henry would be obliged, has instructed his ambassadors to give you this message only in case they see that your preparations are complete, and not otherwise, and it is for this reason that he said nothing about it to me or to Beaurain before.
I wrote you of the departure of Beaurain on July 31st. Since then his secretary, Chasteau [Jacques de Chastel or Chasteau], arrived here with letters for Henry, Wolsey and myself and gave us a full report of Beaurain's activity, according to a note he showed me, the original of which Beaurain has with him to deliver to you. I hope by this time Beaurain has reached you. As soon as I had read Beaurain's letter, and heard Chasteau's report of the conversation between Beaurain and Bourbon, I instructed Chasteau as best I could how to deal with Wolsey and how to present his charge, the first point of which I knew would be little to the cardinal's liking. I then took him to Wolsey, and he delivered the whole course of his business in good order. Having heard him, and read his letters, Wolsey demanded at once if Bourbon refused to delay his declaration, and if he refused to recognize the king of England as his sovereign, advancing many arguments on this latter point, too long to write here. Chasteau replied as I had advised, so that Wolsey seemed satisfied. The whole matter is recounted at length in Chasteau's letter to Beaurain.
Knowing how much Wolsey desired to make an end to the war, I did my best to persuade him that this enterprise should be carried out diligently this season. In the first place, I said, it was impossible to conceal the plan longer, and unless we acted Bourbon would be destroyed, to the great shame of your two majesties. Secondly, even if it could be concealed, it was to be feared that the Turk might attack next year, so that nothing could be done then. Thirdly, if things were pressed diligently now, there was ground to hope that we might finish the war honourably and at little cost, for Francis, not suspecting this conspiracy, had no power ready to resist three such armies as that of your majesty, that of the king of England, and that of Bourbon. The Swiss and the Venetians were not now in his service, and even if they were, he would be attacked so suddenly, and on so many sides, that he would have to risk battle without the help of foreign mercenaries or lose his kingdom. Fourthly, there were so many great lords and gentlemen already of Bourbon's party, and the people of France loved him and hated Francis so much that the French king would lose half his power by Bourbon's declaration alone. If it did him no other harm, it would engender perpetual dissension between Bourbon's partisans and those of the king, so that he would never be able to trust them, whatever peace he made, and consequently neither he nor his successors would dare attack their neighbors for fear of similar risings.
These arguments pleased the cardinal very much, but he said he was still not sure that Bourbon's proceedings were straightforward. I answered that he need have no doubt on this score, since Bourbon had asked for ten thousand Germans, whose captains would be German nobles, your subjects and servants, and who would be paid by your majesty and the king of England. Bourbon had not even asked to handle the money, so that even if he meditated some trick, he would be powerless to accomplish it. After some conversation the cardinal promised to discuss the matter with the king, his master, and give me a reply shortly.
The following day Henry dined with Wolsey, and they sent for Chasteau alone to try whether he would tell the same story in my absence. Wolsey told me next day that, after talking with Chasteau, it was decided to send with him when he returned to Bourbon, an English gentleman, Master Russell, with powers to treat according to certain articles, a copy of which I am sending you. If Bourbon accepts them, Henry will make a binding alliance with him, and contribute to the payment of his Germans. He will also land a good army at Calais able to besiege towns and give battle, and to invade France, by the end of this month, via Picardy or elsewhere. He will do this without waiting for the answer to Jerningham's mission, provided Madame furnishes three thousand horse and a thousand foot to march with his army against the enemy. I am advising Madame of this decision at once.
Since the English articles follow your majesty's wishes exactly, and since your majesty is already obliged by agreement with Bourbon, to march on Narbonne within a month, it seemed to me advisable to send the articles to Bourbon to see if he will accept them. Judging by what Chasteau says, I think he will, although the second and fifth are more important than they seem. I tried to persuade Wolsey to put all the articles in the same language as yours, without using so many words, but he would not agree, saying that Henry himself had drafted them. I do not know whether Master Russell has secret instructions to change or diminish these articles in case Bourbon will not accept them in their present form, but I think he has, for Henry is already beginning to send his army to Calais, and is making such haste that they will have all crossed the sea before Russell can return.
I would have been glad to persuade Wolsey to send an ambassador to Switzerland with forty or fifty thousand crowns, to help withdraw the Swiss from the French service, and I pointed out to him that if Francis were to lose the Swiss, he would be so weakened that he would be unable to give battle. But I spoke in vain. He asked me if I wanted to get still more money from the king and put him to still greater expense, and he did not omit his old story of how all the fruits of this war would fall to you and all the expense to Henry, for he is quite sure that you will conquer Languedoc and Provence this year, as God grant you may. Seeing that nothing further was to be got out of him, I thanked him and promised to inform you of his great services. I cannot tell you how greatly Wolsey seems to fear any expenditure, however small. This is very strange, for according to what he tells me, he is certain that the present parliament will grant the king more than four million crowns for the war.
This is the whole of my negotiations about the Bourbon matter, and I think it may prove a great piece of good fortune if the secret can be kept until the three armies are in the field. The French will be more surprised than they have been for a long time. For my part, I shall do my best to hasten on the English invasion, and I know your majesty will make all the haste you can.
Hannibal, the bearer of this, has delivered all the presents according to his charge. The Sieur de Revel has also been here, bringing the king twelve Neapolitan chargers, and two for Master Carey, very fine and honourable presents. Both gentlemen have been hospitably received here as the bearer will tell you.
Henry and Wolsey have had no news of Italy since they sent their courier last June with the powers to accept the triennial truce, at which they are much surprised. Cardinal de Medici's agent here, however, tells me that his master writes that things are going very well, and the pope is more and more inclined to join you against the French.
The duke of Milan's ambassador is still here, and I give him as much help as I can, in obedience to your instructions. I have told him about the English invasion of France, without, however, telling him the principal reason for it.
As you have commanded me, I have redeemed the three banners which Lescano pledged to buy biscuits. One is a large standard, another middle-sized ; both of these are of damask. The third is very small, of toile quarree. Please tell me what to do with them. I have also recovered some pieces of the meat about which we wrote you, but after spending about twenty ducats on them, found them rotten and spoiled by sea water. The cannon have been raised and are in safe hands. I hope to redeem them shortly, and I shall then send your majesty an account of what I have spent for them. This sum I shall deduct from the 8,140 ducats, for to get money here by letters of exchange, as your majesty directed me to do, seemed inexpedient. It is to be had only with great difficulty, and at marvellously great expense. I am sending your majesty two documents, one sealed with the cardinal's seal, the other signed by two notaries. They contain an account of the ceremonies at Windsor when your majesty and the king of England swore to your alliance.
London, 5 August, 1523.
P.S.—Since writing the above, I have been with Wolsey to have audience with Henry. The king spoke very cordially of the matters mentioned below in cipher, and said that they seemed likely to bear great fruit if you did your part as diligently as he would do his. He said your majesty ought to consider the expense he was undertaking for love of you, for he had already sent his army overseas without knowing what preparations you had made for war, and without any assurance that Bourbon would accept his articles, beyond what he could gather from Chasteau's report and the note I showed him. He also told me that the French had taken one of your majesty's ships coming from the Indies, by which you had lost 800,000 ducats, which was only your share. He said the Spaniards were not what they used to be.
I thanked the king for the affection that he showed toward you, and assured him that you would do everything possible on your part according to your letter of June 21st. I could say nothing of the capture of the ship from the Indies because your majesty had written me nothing about it, so I replied that I hoped his ambassadors had been misinformed, for it seemed unlikely that ships loaded with such treasure would be sailing without a safe escort, which God grant may be true.
Yesterday I received letters from Madame enclosing a letter of credence from the president of Burgundy and a note of the contents of the credence. It concerns the Bourbon affair as you can see by the enclosed copies in cipher. Apparently Beaurain will have great difficulty in reaching your majesty by the road he has taken, and you may not be informed as soon as you should be of the results of his mission, so I am writing you everything I could learn from his secretary.
Beaurain made such speed after he left here that by the first of July he had arrived in Burgundy, spoken to the president, and gone on to Bourg-en-Bresse. He did not enter the town on account of the plague, but passed some days in an abbey which Madame founded, just outside, awaiting the return of Gracien, whom he had sent to find out where he might meet Bourbon. After several days Gracien returned, accompanied by two gentlemen, who conducted Beaurain to a little town called Montbrison, eighteen or twenty leagues in France. Here Bourbon came to talk to him at night in his lodgings, on two occasions, accompanied by M. de Saint-Vallier and de la Clarette and several other of his intimates, and they concluded the treaty and swore to it on the blessed gospel. The articles agreed on were in substance as follows. They are drawn up in two notes in Beaurain's hand and signed by both parties ; Bourbon is keeping one and Beaurain has the other.
*(1) The duke of Bourbon is ready to serve your majesty and will also serve the king of England since he is your ally.
(2) The duke expects to be given one of your majesty's sisters in marriage.
(3) The duke understands that your majesty will invade France before the end of August.
(4) The duke expects that your majesty will give him 10,000 lanzknechts and provide 100,000 crowns to pay them. Provided you do this, he will invade France within eight days after the beginning of your campaign.
(5) If the king of England invades Normandy, the duke promises him the aid of his friends and partisans there.
(6) The duke expects the king of England will contribute 100,000 crowns to pay his troops.
(7) The archduke Ferdinand is included in this alliance and no party to it is to make peace with King Francis without the consent of the duke of Bourbon.
(8) Since it was dangerous to bring in lawyers at this point, Beaurain and the duke are agreed that only this note is to be signed.*
After these articles were signed and sworn to, Beaurain left for Genoa, accompanied by a gentleman whom Bourbon is sending to you, and Chasteau went straight to Madame, told her everything that had occurred, and returned to Bourbon, as I wrote at the beginning of this letter. This is, briefly, everything that Chasteau told me. Since, on reading over the articles, it semed to me that Bourbon was bound to nothing unless the king of England agreed to help pay his troops and to invade Normandy, I asked Chasteau how Bourbon had meant these articles. He replied that all the articles mentioning the king of England had only been put in at a venture to see whether Henry would agree to them, and without any thought of their being essential. Bourbon had expressly declared that he was ready to pursue his enterprise with no other alliance than that of your majesty.
I showed Wolsey to-day the contents of the article in question, about which it seemed necessary to advise your majesty at once. The matter seems so important that I am sending the bearer of this, Hannibal, with the courier Lope d'Ortega, straight to Plymouth where they will take ship at once in one of your majesty's zabras. To be doubly sure, I am sending a copy by a servant of mine in another zabra, which is in a port of this kingdom called Bristol, quite as near to Spain as Plymouth. He will also make the greatest haste to deliver his packet to you so that I hope that one of the two will be with you soon. I have not wished to spare expense in this matter ; it seemed to me only right that your majesty should be first in the field, since to serve you the king of England and the duke of Bourbon are putting themselves, one in great danger, the other to great expense.
I should not omit to say that I am informed by Beaurain that the Sieur de la Motte is a good servant of the duke of Bourbon's, sent to you for a purpose which he was ordered to disclose to you alone.
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 16. The passage marked * .. * is printed by Le Glay, Negociations diplomatiques entre la France et l'Autriche, II, 589, and calendared in the Calendar of State Papers, Spanish, II, 576.
9 Aug.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Margaret of Savoy to Louis De Praet.
I am sending you herewith letters to the king of England, and others to you which have arrived from Germany. I do not know what they may contain. I am also enclosing a copy of a letter from the emperor's ambassador by which you will see that a perpetual peace has been concluded between the emperor and the Venetians. Inform the king and the cardinal of this fortunate event. It has the unfortunate consequence, however, that since the French will probably not invade Italy, they will be in greater force on our frontiers here. It seems, however, that the army of Lombardy might now invade France in the neighbourhood of Lyons and make a diversion. I am writing to this effect to the emperor's captains. Please send me any news you have of Italy.
Brussels, 9 August, 1523.
Copy. French.
16 Aug.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet to Charles V.
I wrote your majesty fully on August 9th. Since that time Martin Nuñes, the courier, and a servant of Jerningham's have arrived with dispatches dated July 3rd, containing the reply which I have waited so long to give the king and the cardinal.
I took your letters at once to Wolsey, and said I hoped we should not be blamed because the couriers had been so slow. He replied amicably that although Henry was not now bound by the treaty which Jerningham had signed, since he had not been notified before August 1st, nevertheless, because of what had been agreed on here about the Bourbon affair, and because of the reports he had of your majesty's preparations, Henry was willing that the English army should cross the sea before the end of the month, by the 25th if possible.
Late yesterday evening I learned by letters from Madame, copies enclosed, that peace had been made with Venice. This is great news. I was anxious that Wolsey should see the copy of the treaty which was sent me ; I shall get it back from him as soon as possible, and send it to your majesty although I suppose you have been informed already. I have also heard from Master Russell, and from Beaurain's servant. They left Brussels on the 8th of this month, and I hope we shall soon have good news of them. Martin Nuñes has gone to Flanders with your letters to Madame and will return in six or eight days. I will not detain him except to give your majesty the reply of [undeciphered, Bourbon?] which I hope will be such as your majesty desires. I firmly believe that, as Wolsey says, your majesty ought to win this season a large part of France in Languedoc and Provence, for although your majesty has promised the king of England that your army will enter France by Guienne, it is not said that it shall not, afterwards, turn toward Languedoc if you prefer. Indeed, from what Wolsey has said recently, I think that would satisfy him very well, for he made no objection to the clause in your treaty with Bourbon in which the army is to advance to Narbonne, and while we were discussing Jerningham's treaty he said that, although your army was in Guienne, it might wheel into Languedoc since the two were contiguous.
Your majesty's affairs could not be going better than they now are, and it only remains for you to take this God-given opportunity to attack the enemy on all sides. I shall do my best to persuade the English to act promptly, and I shall also try at once to persuade Wolsey to send some money to Switzerland to win over the Swiss, or at least keep them neutral. After this treaty with Venice, the Swiss should be easier to manage.
I have already written you fully about your fleet. It seems to me it would do its best service by remaining near Spain.
London, 16 August, 1523.
P.S.—Since writing the above I sent my secretary to Brian Tuke to get a copy (inclosed herewith) of the principal points of the treaty with Venice. I have been unwilling to wait for the complete copy of the treaty, since my courier is about to embark and might set sail before he received it. I am also sending a packet from Madame which she has marked "in haste," and two letters about the punishment of the rebels by the Swabian League.
Signed, Louis de Praet. French. pp. 4.
17 Aug.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
Hesdin to Margaret of Savoy.
I am at Calais but am unable to cross to-day because of unfavourable winds. After dinner I talked with the grand treasurer who is well informed of his master's affairs, and I am sending you a schedule he gave me, which is substantially the same as the memoir given the vice-marshal of Calais for your information. It will be almost impossible to furnish all these things on the date stipulated, particularly since they have been so slow in informing us, but we must do the best we can, for if there is any failure on our side at all, any subsequent failure of the expedition will be sure to be blamed on us, as I told the treasurer.
Doctor Knight has sent me from Ghent a letter Wolsey wrote me which says, among other things, that the vice-marshal is charged by Henry to ask you for my services in this campaign, offering me full payment. I have always done all the service I could for his majesty and his family, but I have never served anyone except my natural prince, and I beg you to excuse me from this. Nevertheless, since their two majesties' cause is in common, I will serve if I am needed. If I am with the English, however, I shall be unable to assist M. de Beaurain, who, I suppose, will have need of me.
You ought to know, in order to act accordingly, that, as far as I can see, very little is ready here at Calais, and it will be at least three weeks before the English can march and therefore before they will need the equipment they ask for. Nevertheless, for our honour, the plans laid by de Buren and Hoogstraeten should be carried out, and we should be ready by the 25th of this month or the end of it at the latest. If I find the English well prepared I shall inform you at once. They have twenty-five or thirty great ships at sea, and the French do not dare show themselves. It seems that the good king is determined to be avenged on them this time and to spare nothing.
Calais, 17 August, 1523.
Signed, Jean Hesdin.
Contents of the schedule above mentioned :
1,000 wagons.
563 horses for the artillery.
60 cannoneers for the great guns.
60 cannoneers for the serpentines.
60 for the falconets.
50 for the iron serpentines.
100 for the culverins.
6 master engineers.
500 pioneer-miners of Namur.
French. pp. 3.
18 Aug.
H. H. u. St. A. Eng., f2.
Charles V to Louis De Praet.
We have received your letters of June 12th, and 21st, and July 3rd, with a full account of your negotiations in association both with Marnix and with Beaurain, but we have so far delayed our reply until we could learn of the success of Beaurain's mission. He has now reached here, and tells me that he was unable to persuade the personage in question to delay his declaration until next spring. Beaurain, not wishing to commit Henry to anything without being empowered to do so, and not being able to wait for the English ambassador, was obliged to choose between thrusting the personage back into the arms of Francis, or of granting him promptly what he asked. He has therefore promised him one of our sisters is marriage and 200,000 crowns to raise and pay ten thousand lanzknechts from August 15th, and also five hundred men-at-arms, and eight thousand foot of his friends and subjects. We are to invade France by August 20th, and the king of England is to do so at the same time. Beaurain is ordered to sign this agreement with Bourbon and give him the money, as Henry may see by a copy of the treaty herewith enclosed. Since so much depends on this declaration, ask Henry and Wolsey to send letters of exchange to Genoa for 100,000 crowns, which is half the sum promised by Beaurain. Our half is ready, and we have already commenced to make the first payments. If Henry refuses to advance the money, ask him for a quittance for this amount against the sums due him for the loan and the indemnity, but do not consent to this arrangement except as a last resort.
Our army will be ready in time to satisfy the requirements of the king of England and the other personage in question. We could commence our invasion on the 20th, but we do not wish to alarm the French and cause them to garrison the principal towns of Aquitaine ; in some of these we have friends and we hope to take these towns by surprise before the end of the month. Once this is done, we are ready to march with our army, which is even greater than the treaty requires. Our captain general, the constable of Castile, is already on the frontier, and we shall leave this town on the 20th, passing through Burgos and Logroño.
If the English army and the troops which are to join it from Flanders are not yet in the field, urge them to hasten, and ask Henry not to waste time before Boulogne or Thérouanne or other impregnable places, for we hope to give the enemy so much to do on all sides, with the help of the personage you know of, that the king will have a clear way to make a great invasion without meeting much resistance.
It is likely that when the French see themselves so hard pressed they will try to arrange a peace or truce, either here, or at Rome, or in England. In that case it would be well to be prepared with sufficient powers and instructions in all three places, so that, if something is offered which satisfies us both, we may seize the opportunity at once. Therefore we are sending you powers and instructions to meet this contingency and are sending similar documents to our ambassador at Rome. If an offer is made in England, you may make use of these powers to treat, jointly with the king of England, subject of course, to our final approval. Ask Henry and Wolsey to send similar powers and instructions to their ambassadors here and at Rome.
In order to satisfy Wolsey and the other pensioners you may use the eight thousand two hundred ducats, which we sent you to buy provisions for the fleet, to pay the sums due for the half year ending last June. You may retain the remainder of this sum towards what is owed you since the departure of Badajoz, and as soon as we can we shall send you the rest. We ask you to accept the transfer of the charge for your back salary to the treasury in Flanders, for there is no way by which it can be paid here promptly. In view of your services, and of the great expense to which you have been put, we have ordered your salary as chamberlain to be continued in your absence ; what is now due you up to the first of August will be sent at once and thereafter it will be paid promptly. When our affairs are in better order you shall see that we are not ungrateful.
Henry has written to his ambassadors about the king of Denmark much what you wrote us. That is to say, it is proposed to send an ambassador to the Danes to induce them to some agreement. For this purpose we are sending our secretary, Hannart, to Germany, ordering him in passing through England to discuss Danish affairs with you. We have also asked our cousin, the Marquis d'Aerschot, to go to England and inform Henry, jointly with you, of our preparations for war, and our acceptance of the pope's bull for a triennial truce. We do this in order to pay some honour to the marquis, and, although you will have already informed Henry of these matters, you will accompany the marquis, and act just as if he brought the first news. You will say nothing to him or to Hannart about our affairs, except concerning their particular missions. Keep all our other affairs secret as you have hitherto done, although you may, henceforward, write freely to Madame, as long as she keeps these matters quite secret. If you perceive that she is not doing so, you may say that you have again been forbidden by us to reveal certain matters.
We are willing that you should take part in the negotiations with Scotland as Henry wishes, protecting our honour and interests in the manner we are writing you. We are arranging the affair of Rinaldo Strozzi and the payment of Anthony Vivaldi, as you request. The Sieur de la Motte is here. We have questioned him several times and it appears he has merely come to offer us his services. To refuse these would be to discourage others who might do likewise ; so we are giving him twelve hundred livres a year. The cortes of Castile assembled here have granted us everything we have asked ; and we are quite satisfied.
Give all this news to Henry and Wolsey.
Valladolid, 18 August, 1523.
Draft. French. pp. 7.
28 Aug.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet To Charles V.
In my letters of August 9th and 16th I wrote you fully of affairs up to that date. Since then, news has come that the pope has declared himself ready to join the defensive league of Italy with your majesty, the king of England, the duke of Milan and others, and to contribute 100,000 ducats a month for the army, to the command of which has been named the viceroy (Lannoy), subject to your majesty's approval. This is excellent news both for the safety of Italy and for the support of your quarrel, as appears by the articles of the league which I suppose you have seen.
The English army is crossing daily to Calais and will be ready there by the end of the month. Madame has sent to say that there will be no failure on her part. Hesdin arrived here yesterday to find out how many horses and wagons will be necessary for the artillery and munitions. He has been urged by the cardinal to assist the English, and has agreed in the hope of doing you service. There is only one obstacle to the success of this expedition, that is that in the last few days Henry and Wolsey have again become fascinated by the idea of besieging Boulogne, moved thereto by the report of one Pierre Prevost, a gentleman of the neighbourhood of Saint-Omer, who was prisoner in Boulogne for a year and a half, and escaped across the walls three weeks ago. If they insist on this, they will have great and fruitless expense, will do little harm to King Francis, and be of no use to Bourbon's rising, which should be the principal object of the campaign. It is useless, however, for me to argue with them, and I do not wish to do anything to delay the crossing of the army. I have warned Madame and Hesdin so that, at the first council of war, M. de Buren in whom they have great confidence, may be prepared to point out to them the difficulty of the siege, and draw them to a wiser plan.
I had audience with Henry a few days ago to thank him for his exertions in aid of the negotiations with Venice, of the papal league, and of the Bourbon affair. He seemed in good humour and very hopeful of success, provided your army is as strong as it should be by treaty. He seemed to think that it would not be ready on the appointed day, according to news he had received of the state of your preparations. He also told me that the young king of Scots and the gentlemen of that kingdom had begun to suspect French treachery and had decided that, unless the duke of Albany brought the promised help within a month, they would abandon the French alliance, and seek peace with this kingdom. Now if the Swiss can be detached, Francis will be quite stripped of foreign aid. I have done my best to persuade Wolsey to help in this, but I have been unable to persuade him to spend any money ; he will only agree to send Pace to Switzerland with the same instructions that I wrote you of last winter.
I must not omit to inform you of Wolsey's complaints against the brother of the late bishop of Palencia. Although Doctor Sampson has several times requested this person to pay the arrears of two thousand ducats due Wolsey for his pension on that bishopric, no payment has been made, and Sampson writes that he is obliged to take legal action. Wolsey also complains that he has been told several times by Sampson and by me that his pensions on Palencia and Badajoz were in future to be charged against the archbishopric of Toledo, and relying on this he had sent his procuration to Rome, where no one was found willing to arrange the matter. He asks me to inform you of these two affairs, so that you may order them as you please. He said, sourly, that he had decided to take no more steps about them, for his services and his merit were such that your majesty should do him right without long suit. He has also given me to understand that he expects to be paid a half year of his pension, 9,000 crowns of which were due last May, though he is not so insistent on this as on the two other matters.
There is no news yet of Russell, though it is hoped that he will bring a good reply back soon, for Madame writes that the ten thousand Germans are ready to march when Bourbon gives the word. I would gladly have kept the bearer of this until Russell returns, but Jerningham's man, who has engaged the zabra is in a hurry to be off.
I have no doubt your majesty is fully informed of the news of Flanders and Germany, of the return of the king of Denmark to Madame's court and his dealings at Cologne with several princes and electors among his relatives, and also of the sailing of Montfort from Zeeland with the Germans. I have several times begged your majesty to order that I be paid my ordinary wages. Some time ago Madame promised that what was due me up to the departure of Badajoz should be paid at Pentecost. But I shall be in evil case unless your majesty can see that I am paid what is due me since that time, which will be 1,840 gros for the period from March 18th to September 18th. In my last letter I asked your majesty to arrange that I should be paid as my predecessors in this post have been, or paid forty-eight sous a day, absent as well as present, for my wages as chamberlain. I beg your majesty to take cognizance of my little affair. As I wrote you, I am enclosing in this letter a copy of the treaty with Venice.
London, August 28, 1523.
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 5.