Spain: January 1522, 16-31

Pages 28-42

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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January 1522, 16-31

17 Jan.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
We wrote last on January 11th, and we do not doubt that your majesty is well informed of all that has taken place here, especially since Robert Wingfield left to-day to act as English ambassador at your majesty's court. We should advise you that a few days before Wingfield's departure, the cardinal being in council with four or five of the king's most intimate councillors, he sent for us and revealed what the French ambassadors had said and some other information contained in this letter. Apparently Wolsey and Henry expect that you will similarly associate Wingfield with your council. Actually nothing was done at the meeting of the council we attended except to give us the following news.
The cardinal announced the arrival of the French ambassadors, de la Bâtie and Poillot, who had much to say on the part of the king of France. They made four principal points : First, since the king of France wishes to continue the negotiations for a peace or truce begun at Calais, and will not conduct them otherwise than through the king of England and the cardinal, he has sent his ambassadors with full powers to treat under the mediation of the English with any representatives of your majesty having similar powers. Second, the king of France fears that the king of England may have been offended by the delay in paying the English pensions and may take it as a breach of the friendship and alliance between them. Therefore he sends the ambassadors to beg the king of England to take the delay in good part, and he promises to make payment. They are to urge Henry not to be disturbed by so brief a delay, and to say that Francis is confident that Henry will excuse him on account of his great necessity. They say that the money was all ready and about to be paid over when the news arrived of the loss of Milan, on account of which it had to be spent to pay the Swiss and to reinforce the army in Italy. They promise that the delay in payment will be short. Third, the duke of Albany has gone to Scotland without the knowledge or consent of the French king, but Francis fears that Henry may be offended, since this might appear to be a breach of the treaties between them. Therefore the ambassadors are to assure Henry that the duke departed against the will of the French king and without his knowledge, and that Francis will proceed against Albany as against a traitor, even to the confiscation of his French lands and goods. If it seems to the king and the cardinal necessary for their further assurance Francis will pay a subsidy to the Scottish enemies of Albany, and will take any necessary measures to help in his capture or expulsion, in order to show that Albany's adventure was not approved by the French king. (Nevertheless, no one here believes that Albany was so foolish as to go to Scotland without consulting the French king.) Fourth, the French king, for the sake of the tranquility of Christendom, offers a more comprehensive and stricter alliance to the king of England, if he will listen to the proposals of the ambassadors, which will be greatly to his honour and advantage.
Wolsey undertook to reply at once, making it clear, however, that a final answer could not be given until Henry had heard the ambassadors, and taken counsel concerning their proposals. On the first point Wolsey said that your imperial majesty had hitherto shown a sincere desire for a truce, sending ambassadors to Calais for this purpose and afterwards to England, not refusing to hear any proposal for a truce or armistice made through the king of England. His king and he had, for their part, employed all their industry and authority in this cause, since they wished the peace of Christendom and the avoidance of bloodshed. The king of England, however, believed that the king of France had several times attempted to negotiate with the emperor without his knowledge. This the ambassadors denied. The cardinal said that they could not deny that de Moy had written for this purpose to Nassau. The ambassadors replied that Nassau had written first, offering to act as go-between for the king of France with the emperor, and that de Moy offered a duel to anyone who asserted the contrary. Wolsey does not appear to lend much credence to this story.
On the second point Wolsey said that Henry could by no means take in good part the failure to pay the pensions when due. There were many reasons for this, he said, the chief being that since he was a friend and relative of the emperor's and at peace with him, he did not intend to give the emperor the least cause for suspicion such as he might have if, while the emperor was at war with France, Henry remitted the French pensions, or let their payment be delayed ; in which case the emperor might justly suspect that Henry was lending the money to the French to carry on war against him. Therefore, Wolsey solemnly warned the ambassadors to tell their king that Henry would regard any further delay as breaking off friendly relations.
Wolsey said it was apparent that Albany could not have gone to Scotland without the knowledge of the French king, since he did not go in a single ship, but was accompanied by three or four, and not alone, but with troops and munitions and all the provisions necessary for waging war by land and sea, such a power as the duke could hardly have raised secretly. It was impossible, therefore, for denials to conceal the complicity of the French, but they could clear themselves by showing open enmity to Albany, and driving him from Scotland. If they did not do so, Henry would take the arrival of the duke as a breach of the treaty, and would expel him himself.
On the fourth point Wolsey said that, although the former treaties were adequate, nevertheless Henry would hear whatever proposals the French brought, and make suitable reply. The cardinal hopes that, in view of his openness in showing us the substance of the French proposals, your majesty will be equally open with the English ambassador. He promises that your majesty will be informed at once of anything the French may say.
The French ambassadors made several complaints about suspiciously unfriendly English acts. All the English students have recently withdrawn from Paris, which, they said, seemed to indicate an English intention to make war on France. Wolsey replied that the students, seeing the confusion in France, were merely consulting their own safety, and could have no idea of Henry's intentions. The ambassadors complained that Boleyn's daughter, (fn. 1) who was in the service of the French queen, had been called home, and said this was not a sign of continued friendship. The cardinal said that he himself was responsible for her recall, because he intended, by her marriage, to pacify certain quarrels and litigation between Boleyn and other English nobles. Then the ambassadors said the king of France had been informed from very reliable sources that when the cardinal was in Bruges, he had made an alliance with the emperor against the king of France. Wolsey replied that he had made a treaty with the emperor in Bruges, but that it had been rather for the benefit of the king of France than against him. At that time, he said, the emperor was determined to go in person to Italy, and such a journey would not only have greatly disturbed Christendom, but have put the French king in special peril of losing whatever he had in Italy and more besides. To dissuade the emperor from this project, and because the king of England wished to see him in Spain, which is the real seat of his government, the cardinal had made a treaty for his voyage to Spain which Henry had undertaken to safeguard. Nothing in this was in any way contrary to faith and friendship between France and England. Wolsey also declared to the ambassadors that if the king of France or anyone else attempted to interrupt the emperor's passage Henry would assist the emperor with all his forces. The ambassadors said that English naval preparations had greatly disturbed Francis, and wished to know their cause. Wolsey replied that they were for your majesty's voyage, and for possible action against Scotland. The ambassadors made several other minor complaints which Wolsey answered in the same fashion.
Wolsey then told the ambassadors that Francis had given Henry cause not merely to suspect but to believe in his enmity, instancing Albany's adventure, the non-payment of the pension, the plundering of English ships by the French, and the hospitality extended to the English rebel called "The White Rose," (fn. 2) and several other causes of complaint which we omit since your majesty will be fully informed by a person who was present.
Wolsey told us that the duke of Albany had sent his secretary to ask safe-conduct for certain ambassadors sent by him to treat of a new truce or peace. The cardinal ordered this secretary summoned to his conference with the French ambassadors, and requested them to tell him the attitude of the French king, and to warn him that, if Albany did not leave Scotland at once, Francis would proceed against him by force in Scotland and by law in France. A fine argument ensured which, said Wolsey, was extremely ridiculous. Wolsey showed us a letter which Henry is writing to Albany, and which will be sent, not by the duke's secretary, but by the English Herald-at-Arms. It says, harshly, that the king understands the duke to have entered Scotland with the intention of seizing the crown and accomplishing the death of the king, Henry's nephew. Henry says he knows also of the duke's relations with the queen of Scotland, whom Albany is said to abuse. He is warned to leave the kingdom at once, and Henry declares that he will accept neither peace nor truce with Scotland at the duke's hands, but wage war until the duke is expelled or killed. Henry is also sending this message by letters patent, sealed with his great seal, to all the magnates of Scotland, so that they may know his intention of expelling the duke and, seeing that the duke's presence will draw on a war with England to their great peril, and that they cannot obtain truce or peace while he remains, they may be moved to expel him themselves. Great dissention has already been sown among the Scottish nobles, so that savage civil war is expected there before the feast of the Purification, especially after the receipt of Henry's letters. Wolsey promises to keep your majesty advised of Scottish affairs.
On the same day the cardinal was busy about the dispatch of the ambassador to Switzerland, about which we need write nothing, since he will show his instructions to your majesty. We also discussed your majesty's embassy to Portugal, which the cardinal thinks should be sent at once so as not to be prevented by the French. The king of England will aid in every way, and a ship is all ready for the envoy.
The English ambassador in France writes that Francis is mustering troops, but has so far ordered both knights and footmen to remain in their homes ready to receive further orders. Meanwhile Francis has gone himself to Rouen to inspect his ships, and to ask a great sum of money from the city, which sum was promised him several days ago. The ambassador thinks that Francis will then go to Lyons. He hears that Paris and Rouen alone have promised to find money for thirty thousand infantry. Francis treats the English ambassador very gently, and seems anxious to preserve English friendship.
Wolsey declared, in the presence of the council, that the king was pressing forward the naval preparations. Because these preparations and those for your majesty's reception are very expensive, and will be largely useless unless your majesty arrives in England when expected, and because the king intends to call a parliament, an assembly rarely held in England, which cannot be opened without the presence of the king and the cardinal in person, and because they are anxious that this parliament should not interfere with your majesty's visit, and that the expenditures for your reception by the subjects of this kingdom should not be in vain, they beg your majesty to appoint a definite time for your arrival in England. The cardinal and all the council appear to believe that your majesty cannot be ready before the end of April, nevertheless they wish to be prepared to receive you on fifteen or twenty days' notice at any time, so that it is desirable that the date be fixed as closely as possible. They have already made preparations for your reception at Calais and at Dover, drawn up a list of those who will come to Canterbury, and provided for supplies along the route as far as Falmouth. Wolsey supposes that your majesty will not wish to pass through England with your entire court and army because of the difficulty of obtaining provisions, but only with a sufficient number of your court. The others may go to Falmouth or Plymouth by water and there await your majesty. He expects that your baggage and furniture will be brought by Flemish ships to an appointed English port, and there transferred, for the most part, to Spanish ships. Carts and conveyances have been prepared for the baggage which your majesty and your escort will need in England.
We showed Wolsey the present urgent necessity for the payment of the loan, and the unfortunate consequences both here and beyond the Alps should the enemy not be checked through want of money. We argued that this money was being spent as much for the benefit of the king of England as for that of your majesty. The cardinal replied that the enemy must be checked, but that friends ought not to be hampered at the same time, as would happen if the king of England impoverished himself too much. He also said openly that before Henry broke with France he expected to recover anything that he now lent your majesty. He asked again how much we expected, and when we repeated that it was two hundred thousand ducats he said that was impossible, and that after your majesty understood the state of English finances, you would know Henry was doing everything in his power. Wolsey said he hoped that when the money was paid over, your majesty would apply it towards your voyage to Spain.
At the end of our conversation he said he had had news from Rome. Pace had not yet arrived. The cardinal heard that Don John Manuel, your majesty's ambassador, was doing everything in his power for the election of the cardinal de Medici. He changed colour as he said this. We asked him if he was sure of this news ; he said he was. We said probably Manuel would change his conduct on the arrival of Pace. All the above news will be repeated to your majesty by Sir Richard Wingfield. We beg a reply to our letters of the 4th, 9th and 11th of January. The queen of England is hourly expecting the falcons which your majesty promised to send her.
London, 17 Jan.
Cipher. Contemporary decipher. Latin. pp. 12. The last paragraph printed by Bradford and calendared in Letters and Papers, III, 845.
21 Jan.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We have received your letters of January 9th and 11th but have delayed replying to them until now, because of the movement of the court from Ghent to Brussels, and because, by our earlier letters, and by Sir Richard Wingfield's instructions you were already acquainted with our intentions. We have now heard Sir Thomas Spinelly's message from Wolsey, and shall reply to everything herewith.
First, in reply to what you report of the good will of the king and the cardinal towards us, and to Henry's expressions of solicitude, his declaration that we should have but one aim and one plan between us, and his assurance that he is eager for war with France as soon as he is prepared, you will say that we have always felt confident of the friendship of the king and the cardinal, that we do make common cause with them in everything, and that we have no less affection for Henry than he has for us. This he may know by our deeds, since we have preferred his friendship above all others, placed all our affairs entirely in his hands, and refused to treat on any terms except through him. Nor is our desire to make war with the French less than his, since, though they did not leave us leisure to prepare, we have none the less made such war on them that we have not only repelled their attack, but won honour and prestige in the victory, which will redound to Henry's advantage as well as to our own.
You have done well to persuade Henry that there is still time to send an envoy to the Swiss diet. There is, since the present assembly is merely to hear and refer, and there will be another, after they have been instructed by the authorities of the cantons, to decide. It will be enough if the English ambassador is present to aid in concluding the treaty. Therefore, we were pleased by the sending of the herald with letters, and by the proposal to send Dr. Quemt [Dr. William Knight]. He may do much good if he is diligent, and arrives before the diet breaks up and the delegates return to report to their cantons, but only if he is well provided with money, for there is no dealing with the Swiss on credit.
We disagree, however, with Henry's opinion that as long as the French are prevented from sending a great power into Italy, it will be unnecessary for him to send a protest and warning to the French until he is ready to declare war on them. His letter will hardly prevent an invasion of Italy, if money can be found for the Swiss, and even if it does, there is no reason to delay the protest which, as we wrote before, is by no means tantamount to a declaration of war. The treaty of London clearly distinguishes, allowing a month after the warning before the verbal declaration, and two months after that before the actual declaration of war. You answered well in pointing out that it is not true that such a warning would give occasion for the French to ask Henry to send a similar warning to us, demanding that we also cease from war and make reparations. Since the French king was the first aggressor and the first to violate the treaties, he has no right to expect that Henry should aid him by word or deed. Therefore, since Henry admits the truth of this, we cannot understand why he says this is not the proper time to declare himself. Delay until he is ready to declare war is directly contrary to the treaty of London, which, by the treaty of Bruges, remains in full force. If the king and the cardinal profess a wish to participate in our counsels on this point, and offer to do whatever is for our honour on hearing adequate reasons, you can satisfy them by the contents of our former letters in which the mature opinion of our council is fully set forth. The chief reasons are three : first, such admonition may incline the French to observe the treaties better than in the past, and make them more disposed to a truce, so that we may undertake our voyage to Spain with safety ; second, either Francis will be impelled by the admonition to cease his attacks upon us, restore Fuenterrabia and the other places he has taken, and make reparation as he ought to do, or, for fear of being attacked by England, he will remain on guard at home and hesitate to send a great power into Italy to recover what he has lost there ; third, the mere fact that Henry has sent the admonition will hearten our friends, and dismay our enemies. Therefore, you will continue to insist on the admonitions being sent. Indeed, if Henry will not aid us in this, which is small trouble and no harm to him, but a great help to us, it is doubtful what he will do in a more difficult case. It does not aid the common cause to keep us thus in suspense on a point so simple and of such importance.
We are glad Henry agrees with our advice about the Venetians, and we think Pace may be useful if he can get there in time. It will be a good move for Henry to open negotiations with the Venetian ambassador in London, so that the Signory may know that he thinks they should join us. We agree that the co-operation of the English ambassador with ours in Switzerland will be an effective means of showing the Venetians where England stands. It will be of little use, however, unless Henry's ambassador is plentifully furnished with money, as ours is, for we cannot now count on the pope, and the French will be amply furnished. If we appear to lack money, neither the Swiss nor the Venetians will think much of us. Therefore Henry should see that Knight has plenty of cash, and letters of credit which will enable him to distribute gifts to those who can help circumvent the French. Otherwise the embassies will come to nothing. The Swiss are not used to eating words or letters, but golden bread.
We agree that, if the Venetians will not listen to reason, it will be easy for us jointly to compel them, as Henry suggests. His and Wolsey's advice to free the Venetian galley arrested in Spain, which bears English as well as Venetian merchandise, and which can be intercepted again in England, if necessary, has been acted upon. In the presence of the Venetian ambassador, we told the members of our council of Castile, here with us, to take such action on the king of England's letters ; thus the Venetians have no just cause for complaint. The councillors pointed out that we had no news from Spain on this point, and did not know why the galley had been detained. They gave the Venetian ambassador a writ, to use at his pleasure, commanding the freeing of the ship and all the merchandise, if there proved to be no just cause to the contrary. If such cause exists, the authorities in Spain are to notify us at once, and meanwhile they are to give order that a complete inventory be made of ship and cargo, and that both be carefully guarded. In addition, we asked our chancellor to say to the Venetian ambassador that, even if the galley had violated its safe-conduct and given just cause for its arrest, nevertheless, if the Venetian authorities would post a sufficient bond, here or in Spain, to submit to judgment and pay the fine called "de judicio sisti et indicatum solvendo," we would send orders for the galley's release. The ambassador said he could not give such a bond, and we are advised that without it, and without knowing the cause for the arrest of the galley, we can do no more than we have done. We do not doubt, however, that should it appear from the manifest in the hands of our officers that the galley carried goods belonging to English merchants or other allies, these will be restored at once. To make sure, on being supplied with the names of the merchants in question, and proofs of ownership, we will give immediate orders for the restitution of their goods.
We have already answered your questions about the loan and the payment of the three thousand foot. Follow the instructions which you received by Anthoine. If Wolsey's disposition continues as favourable as you describe, all will, doubtless, go well. Thank him and promise him recompense.
We are grateful for the spirit of mutual confidence in which Wolsey has told you the news about Scotland. The news is distressing, revealing as it does the perfidy and ill will of the French and of Albany ; we trust that God will bring their attempt to naught. Henry's refusal to see Albany's secretary seems wise, also Wolsey's reply about the Scottish ship, although we have no information about that. To Henry's notice that he does not intend to renew the peace with Scotland, and his request that, since he will be at war with them, we should expel the Scots from our territories, you will reply that we do not doubt he will see the wisdom of declaring war on the French at the same time. Then we can each expel the enemies of the other from our lands, according to the treaties. We wish Henry every success in the intrigue with the Scottish nobles through the bishop now at his court.
We have already replied to the proposal that we order the Spanish fleet to hasten and join the English to protect our crossing because of the news Henry's spies have given him of French naval strength. We can not order the Spanish ships to proceed farther than Falmouth, which they will reach about March 30th. We shall provide ships and fighting men here to join the English in guarding our crossing, and we do not think the French will dare meet us in the Channel, however great their strength. We are grateful to Henry for the diligence with which he is equipping his fleet and pressing forward the preparations to receive us. For our part we have given orders to collect provisions and all necessaries for the voyage, although we have delayed selecting the vessels for our squadrons until the arrival of the ships from Spain which we expect daily. The Spaniards are now at sea, sixty-six sail, forty from Andalusia and twenty-six from Biscaya. From them and those assembled here, we shall select the properest fighting ships and have them ready promptly.
We are happy to be of one mind with the king of England concerning the proposals of Michael Abbatis ; before your letters reached us we had already made him precisely the reply which Henry suggests. The French, however, persist in the same tricks. We have just received letters from Burgundy in which you may see by the paragraph in cipher in the enclosed copy that they are attempting to arrange a truce through our cousin, the Princess of Orange. (fn. 3) We have made them the same reply, a copy of which is inclosed. Show all this correspondence to Henry and Wolsey.
Since the French seem so eager for a truce, and their ambassadors newly arrived in England say they have powers to conclude one, and since we are willing to follow the advice of the king and the cardinal and accept one, it ought to be possible for Henry and Wolsey to arrange an honourable truce, whereby we can hold our present possessions until England is ready, and the time shall have come for the "Great Enterprise." If the French ambassadors make difficulties, we hope that Henry and Wolsey will employ all their authority to bring them to reason. For this end, the best means, as we have written, would be to show them at once the letters of admonition, and say that, if a truce is concluded, the letters will not be in effect for its duration.
We are pleased with what Wolsey has told you of the instructions of the English envoy to the Swiss and to the ambassador in France. Since Dr. Knight will show us his instructions in passing, we say no more here of Swiss affairs. If further suggestions seem appropriate we shall make them directly to Knight, notifying you at the same time for Wolsey's information. The four main heads of the instructions to the ambassador to France seem so reasonable that Francis will hardly dare contradict them.
We have read in your last letters Wolsey's promise that Henry will lend us enough money to finish equipping the fleet for our voyage to Spain, and we have heard from our chancellor what you wrote him. We understand that Wolsey fears we may use the money for another purpose, on account of the diversion of the money lent for our former voyage. Yet that money was not so badly spent as he has heard, for, although some of it was used to repel the surprise attack on Holland, it was all paid back, and used for our first voyage. It is not our intention to use the money we ask for now for anything except our voyage, and you may boldly assure the cardinal on our faith as an emperor that we shall apply none of it to another purpose, unless he and Henry so advise. We shall be satisfied with 100,000 ducats now, to get as far as England, provided that we may have the other 100,000 to pay for the rest of the journey, promptly on our arrival. Therefore beg Wolsey to see that the loan is granted, as he can do, and assure him that we shall not be ungrateful. He may keep out of the loan the unpaid balance of his pension of 1,000 angels, which has not been left unpaid for want of good will, but because of the great pressure of our affairs, as he knows. He may also keep out a half year's payment on the pension promised him to recompense his loss of money from France. If he will send us copies or minutes of his letters from France, we shall send at once the necessary papers for this transaction. Thus we shall put an end to his complaints to you about his unpaid pensions, and there will be no need to send back the letters, as he says, for we hope to satisfy him entirely both as to what we owe him for the past and the present, and what we may owe him in future.
We are not surprised by the inroads of the French in England, since the coast is unguarded. They will cease as soon as the ships Henry is equipping put to sea. We are pleased by the English good will in preparing a ship for our envoy to Portugal, and their help in forwarding our letters to Spain. The envoy will set out as soon as he is furnished with the requisite mourning.
We are sending extracts of our latest letters from Rome, Lombardy, and Switzerland to be shown to the king and the cardinal. About the election of the pope we hear one thing from Rome, and another, quite different, from Trent. By the Roman letters it appears that no election has been made, and none is likely soon, on account of serious disagreements, and the wish of some to delay until the arrival of the French cardinals. The letters from Trent, on the contrary, say that the cardinal of Tortosa has been elected. We really do not know what to think, and lacking letters from Rome can hardly believe that the election has taken place thus ; in a day or two we should have certain news. We had hoped that Pace would reach Rome in time, and that our letters in favour of Wolsey might have borne fruit in accordance with the wishes of the king, our uncle, and those of the legate, and our own. Nevertheless, if we have all been disappointed and the choice has fallen on the cardinal of Tortosa, we should thank God that his mysterious providence has given this election to the person who, Wolsey alone excepted, will best serve our common cause and the welfare of Christendom, one whom we think we can dispose of, a member of our household from whom we learned what little of letters and morality God has granted us. We believe that, failing to arrive at this dignity himself, Wolsey could not have in it anyone more agreeable to him nor of whom he can hope for more advancement. If this news proves true, we shall notify Henry and Wolsey at once, so as to have their advice on what we should do for the common good. We shall send your our questions in detail.
Brussels, January 21, 1522.
"Signed by His Majesty."
Draft in Gattinara's handwriting. French. pp. 16. The last paragraph printed by Bradford, and calendared in Letters and Papers III, 848.
24 Jan.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
On January 20th we received your letters of the tenth, also the copy of his instructions which your majesty ordered Sir Richard Wingfield to transmit to us. Wingfield arrived that day and went at once to the king and the cardinal, who received him graciously, both as your servant and as theirs, and thanked him for having undertaken a mission in your behalf. They are pleased at your having employed him, and take it as a token of your confidence.
Having read your letters, we immediately asked for an interview with the cardinal, and he, although the king was a guest at his house at the time, granted one for the following Tuesday. On that day after dinner, he gave us a long and gracious audience, in which we showed him all the contents of your majesty's letters and the copies and originals of the correspondence with Michael Abbatis. We found Wolsey as favourably disposed to your majesty's affairs as could possibly be wished, and we wish especially to draw your attention to his firm faith and friendship. Wolsey was already informed of the principal heads of your majesty's letters, for Sir Richard Wingfield had discussed them with him and with Henry the night before. Our conference that day was in the presence of Wingfield and certain members of the privy council. Although Wolsey was able to make us a definite answer ex tempore on some points on which he knew Henry's mind, the council wished to confer further with the king, so their answer was postponed to the following day. In acting thus, the English have behaved with remarkable friendliness and promptness, postponing all their own affairs to consider those of your majesty at once, with as much diligence as if your interests were theirs.
Since your majesty's letters contain many points, some of which have not yet been replied to, we shall write at present only the answers of the king and the cardinal to the four principal points in your letters and instructions to us, and also in those given Sir Richard Wingfield.
First : We declared to Wolsey the reasons set forth in your majesty's letters for admonishing the French king at once to desist from war. In the judgment of the cardinal such a warning would be tantamount to a declaration of war because, should the French king refuse to stop hostilities and make reparation, as seems probable, the king of England would then be expected to declare war according to the treaty of London. The French, therefore, would regard such an admonition as a declaration. Wolsey listened attentively to the arguments in your majesty's letter, and discussed them fully with Henry. Their mature opinion, which, they insist, is dictated entirely by a consideration of your majesty's interests and without reference to those of the French king, is as follows. The chief thing to be considered is the desirability of a truce or armistice to be arranged by the king of England and the cardinal with the French. Your majesty's Flemish and Spanish subjects concur in the English belief that such an armistice would be to your majesty's advantage for several reasons. But if the king of England should declare himself an enemy to the French he would be unable to act as mediator. Therefore, since according to the treaty of Bruges the king of England must declare war on France on your majesty's arrival here, it seems to Henry and Wolsey safer and more honourable to wait for that time before making an open declaration. They were somewhat persuaded, however, by your majesty's argument that the admonition would be necessary to induce the French to accept reasonable conditions, and also to temper their insolence and put such fear into them that they would not dare new invasions of your majesty's territory to the prejudice of the common cause. After long consideration, the king and the cardinal have devised a means of intimidating the king of France without delivering the admonition, and without Henry's losing his position as mediator. The cardinal will write to Queen Louise, pointing out how much occasion the king of France has given Henry to suspect his friendship, by the arrival of the duke of Albany in Scotland, by the failure to pay the pensions, and by the plundering of English ships by the French. The cardinal will say that he feels himself unable to foster friendship between the king of France and his master unless French behaviour changes, and he will add that your majesty, by letters patent and through his ambassadors, is urging Henry, as his ally under the treaty of London, to admonish the French king to desist from his undertakings, and to make reparation. Should these things alter the former understanding, Wolsey will say he does not know what is to be done, especially since on his return from Calais he was obliged by law and faith to tell Henry some things which he had heard from the ambassadors of both parties, so there is a considerable danger that Henry may change his mind. Therefore the cardinal will urge the queen that, in order to avoid this danger, Francis must behave differently toward England, and must accept a truce or armistice with your majesty, to secure which Henry and Wolsey pledge all their zeal and authority. During this truce Henry and Wolsey will seek to arrange a permanent peace. The king and the cardinal are completely persuaded that this letter will be the best means of realizing your majesty's proposals. In addition, Wolsey will warn the French ambassador here that Henry is more and more inclined towards your majesty, so that the king of France may be cautioned from all sides. If these measures do not lead Francis to accept a suitable truce, it will then, they feel, be time to resort to harsher ones. Therefore Wolsey advised us against presenting your letters patent to Henry at present. We acquiesced, knowing that your majesty wishes us to follow Wolsey's advice in these negotiations, and also that, if this course does not satisfy you, you can easily order us to follow another. We enclose herewith a copy of Wolsey's letter that your majesty may see how zealously he serves you.
Wolsey also wishes to know what he should say to the French about the truce, and what conditions your majesty will accept. We asked him to find out the intentions of the French before we stated our terms. He began to do this at once. The French ambassador here, de la Bâtie, is at present ill in mind and body on account of the harsh answer Henry made him, from which he expects nothing less than war. Wolsey therefore sent one of the king's gentlemen, Bryan, to sound him out, and discover if possible what his instructions were about the truce. Your majesty will be informed at once of whatever is learned. Nevertheless, Wolsey wishes to know your majesty's terms, so he may begin to negotiate as soon as possible. He strongly suspects that the French will not accept a truce which leaves Milan in statu quo ; therefore he wishes to know whether your majesty will accept a truce for this side of the mountains only, letting the war go on in Italy, or whether you insist on a general truce, and are willing to have the negotiations broken off if the French refuse. He wishes to advise your majesty that in his opinion and Henry's, a partial truce, for this side the mountains only, ought to be accepted for the sake of the safety of the Netherlands and of your majesty's voyage.
Second : As for the Swiss negotiations, Wolsey refers your majesty to the English ambassador sent for that purpose, and to our letters. He says that, although according to the strict tenor of his present treaties, Henry ought not to take part in these negotiations before his declaration against the French, nevertheless, in view of the need for haste, and because, should the French seduce the Swiss, it would greatly prejudice the common cause, he has been willing to send the ambassador, thus placing his regard for your majesty's welfare higher than a strict interpretation of the treaties. The ambassador was directed to stop at your majesty's court, and when you have seen his instructions you may freely add or subtract anything you like with the object of retaining the alliance of the Swiss and preventing them from throwing themselves into the arms of the French.
Third : In the matter of the payment of the three thousand foot, Wolsey said the original promise given Madame Margaret was that if the French king was obstinate, and, on that account, no truce was concluded before All Saints' Day, Henry would pay the infantry for two months. Since it might be alleged that the failure to conclude a truce was more your majesty's fault than that of the French, Henry would seem to be absolved from this promise. Nevertheless, to show his sincere friendship, and to prove his intention of fulfilling all Wolsey's promises completely, Henry has ordered the money to be transmitted promptly to your majesty. We considered, however, that should the payment be made to us here, in coin, we would either have to transmit it by sea at the risk of its falling into the hands of the enemy, or through the bankers at a heavy discount ; therefore we asked Wolsey that the money should be paid to some commissioner of your majesty's at Calais. This he freely granted, and promised to give us letters for its immediate payment, provided the person designated by your majesty to receive it should have authority to give full receipt and quittance. We asked the cardinal what form this quittance should take, since there was no mention of it in writing. He answered it need simply say, that because the cardinal when at Bruges had promised Madame Margaret payment for three thousand foot, this payment was now accepted as made in full and receipted for. We calculated the amount of the payment, both in gold florins and in écus au soleil, and found that it amounted to the sum of twenty-four thousand florins, or 17,232 écus, reckoning the gold florin at twenty-eight sous and the écu au soleil at thirty-nine, for which sum quittance should be given. We beg to be sent the necessary letters immediately, otherwise, according to the cardinal, grave impediments may arise.
Fourth : About the loan, Wolsey, having heard your majesty's reasons, and understanding your needs, declared to us that Henry was not less zealous to provide for your majesty's needs than for his own, and that the king, himself, together with Wolsey, would examine in council the schedules of current and impending expenses, and calculate the minimum sum necessary to supply them, in the hope that by diligent examination means might be found to satisfy your majesty's requests. At this meeting of the council we were present, as were the cardinal and Sir Richard Wingfield. The king spoke there in such warm and friendly fashion that all the councillors were converted to his opinion that your majesty's needs should be met as far as possible. Wolsey also was not backward in his good offices. As a result it was decided to grant your majesty a hundred thousand crowns, protesting that if you were Henry's own son no more could be done, nor with greater affection. This sum will be paid over promptly in ready money on condition that your majesty deliver security in pledges worth more than a hundred thousand crowns. The king and cardinal prefer pledges to the bonds of merchants or cities, both for the sake of secrecy and in the interests of your majesty, since, otherwise, you might have to pay interest ; therefore your majesty should have a document drawn up describing the terms of the loan, the jewels and valuables pledged, and the time for their redemption by repayment. Wolsey thinks this time should be after the end of the next fiscal year, and wishes an article inserted to the effect that, notwithstanding the treaty of Bruges, which shall otherwise remain in full force, the king of England shall not be bound to begin actual war against the French until after the repayment of the loan. Therefore, on the receipt of such a document from your majesty, together with the jewels, the sum of one hundred thousand crowns in gold will be paid over. When Sir Richard Wingfield and we urged that the sum be increased to two hundred thousand crowns, Wolsey said that Henry had to prepare an army against the Scots and to make ready the ships with six thousand men for your majesty's voyage. These expenses, Wolsey said, with those of the impending war with France and those necessary for your majesty's proper reception, would practically exhaust the royal treasury ; moreover, Henry intends to furnish his expedition against France so as to fulfil in every respect the terms of his agreement with you. Therefore a larger sum is impossible.
Henry is prepared to take the oath to the treaty of Bruges, and has appointed the day of the Purification for the ceremony. In view of the continued enmity of the Scots, and the certainty of war with them, Wolsey hopes that your majesty will expel all Scots from your territories by a public edict, so the whole world may see that you make common cause with the king of England, and consider his enemies the enemies of all your realms.
All these matters were communicated to us, the ambassadors, and to Sir Richard Wingfield, besides certain other particulars not yet fully decided, of which we shall write by the next post, such as the manner of your majesty's crossing, the rendezvous of the Spanish with the English fleet, and the Flemish fisheries.
London, 24 January, 1522.
Signed, Badajoz, Wingfield, de Caestres. Latin. Cipher, contemporary decipher. pp. 12.


  • 1. Anne.
  • 2. Richard de la Pole.
  • 3. Philiberte de Luxembourg, wife of Philibert de Chalons, prince of Orange.