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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H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Charles V to Louis De Praet.
We have received your letters of the 19th of November and the 9th of December. There is no need now to reply to the letter which Aerschot also signed since those matters have changed. Nor is it necessary to rehearse our mistakes in the campaign in Picardy. The failure was in common, and each of us has his share of culpability and of loss, and there is no help for it now. As to the future, there is no way that Madame or we can maintain a force as large as that which took part in the last campaign, and we cannot agree to any army there, beyond what is necessary to guard the frontiers. On this side we have spent so much, uselessly enough, that it will be impossible for us to maintain a new army during this year. All we can do is to continue the siege of Fuenterrabia, in which our army is now engaged, and this we are determined to do as long as we can. We are sending you news of our campaign here to communicate to the king and the cardinal. The weather was so bad after we took Sauveterre that, considering the town to be too far in enemy territory to be defended, we had the fortress razed and abandoned it. Our army also took the town and castle of Bidachen by assault, killed its defenders and burned it. They then retired to Ustaritz which the Germans had destroyed on their arrival. This place is within two leagues of Bayonne, to which we had decided to lay siege, but the enemy, anticipating our intention, had burned and laid waste the whole country side so that after six days the army was constrained by famine to retire to Saint-Jean-de-Luz which they burned. At that place two hundred French men-at-arms and two thousand foot came to encounter them, but seeing our troops drawn up for battle, fled without awaiting them, losing a few prisoners. The army is now besieging Fuenterrabia.
Our principal concern at present is to safeguard our frontiers in Flanders and Spain, for we do not feel strong enough to undertake any invasion this year, and we must husband our resources for the "Great Enterprise" next year . Moreover, the English ambassadors here have said nothing to us of Henry's wishing to invade France in person, if an equal effort can be made by Bourbon and by us, as you write he does, but they have given us to understand that he intends to devote himself this spring to the Scottish war, in which he thinks victory essential, if he is to do anything much against the French. Under the circumstances, then, we see no better means of keeping the enemy weak than to unite Bourbon and his friends with our army in Italy, and to reinforce that army according to what we wrote you before, and in the manner set forth in the copy of Beaurain's instructions herewith enclosed. Discover Henry's decision on this point, and, if you find him favourably inclined, treat with him about it in virtue of the powers you already have from us.
The treaty should include the following points : Before military operations begin, the king of England and we shall each furnish the duke of Bourbon the remainder of the 100,000 crowns which we have promised him, to be used for the reinforcement of the army of Italy and the invasion of France by whatever route Bourbon thinks best. The remainder of the costs of the campaign, the pay of the Spanish and German infantry, artillery, munitions, etc., over and above what Bourbon pays from the money furnished him, and what can be drawn from Milan, Genoa, and the other Italian states, is to be furnished by Henry and ourself in equal shares. If Henry objects to such general terms, you may propose that each of us should furnish at least twenty-five or thirty thousand ducats each month, from the time that the army leaves Lombardy until it has forced the enemy to make peace. If Henry wishes the time of this campaign to be more strictly limited, you may agree that it shall be six months, more, or less, as he seems to prefer. The upkeep of the fleet which we have now ready at Genoa, should be included in the cost of the campaign. Our galleys and their regular crews will serve at our cost alone, and cost Henry nothing, nor will those of Genoa. It will be only necessary to include the cost of reinforcements in men and in ships. To this our contributions should be applied as Bourbon thinks wise. The fleet can be of great service to the campaign, particularly by helping re-victual the army while it is in enemy territory. Provided all this is agreed to, we shall be willing to abandon the "Great Enterprise" if Henry wishes, or, if he prefers, we shall undertake it with him according to treaty, although we think this invasion from Italy will suffice, particularly if Henry and we make some threat against the French frontiers, so as to prevent Francis from concentrating all his forces against the army of Italy.
Since the English ambassadors have indicated that Henry is unwilling to contribute to the invasion from Italy, since he could derive no profit from it, you may agree that the first money drawn from this enterprise, either by treaty or otherwise, shall be used to reimburse equally the expenses to which he and we have been put for the campaign, the remainder to be employed according to the treaty of Windsor. If Henry refuses to consider contributing to the army of Italy, find out what he does intend to do against the enemy this year. If you find him inclined to attack Boulogne, or something of that sort, you may say that we shall be satisfied if he puts in the field whatever force he can, and that he may employ it wherever he pleases, but that we cannot be obliged to any contribution, either of infantry or of cavalry, though if he wishes to hire such troops with his own money, we shall give him every facility. For our part, we shall do our best to support Bourbon and the army of Italy, and to provide for his invasion of France, since this seems the best way of bringing the enemy to reason, and since we are both bound to favour and protect the duke of Bourbon. In addition, we shall do what we can here in Spain, but we do not wish to be bound strictly to a particular course, since we do not wish to promise anything that we are not sure of fulfilling.
Acting on the above instructions, treat with Henry if he is willing ; if he is not, inform us at once. We are surprised that Henry has not yet sent his ambassadors here powers to treat with Bourbon, as Wolsey told you he would, and also that he has not sent powers and instructions for the negotiations for a peace or truce. This is a matter in which promptness is essential.
Vittoria, 15 Jan., 1524.
Copy. French. pp. 7.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien, DD Abt. B. f. S.
The Ambassadors in England to Margaret Of Savoy.
Since we last wrote you the cardinal, seeing that the king is now at Greenwich, has moved nearer this town, and, in the hope of obtaining a final decision from him about the mission with which I, Hesdin, was charged, we sought an audience at once. We found him very angry with you, Madame, and with M. de Hoogstraeten. Dr. Knight had written him that you and M. de Hoogstraeten had said that in your opinion the cardinal, seeing the emperor's present necessity, was trying to break off the alliance between the emperor and England, and in doing so, behaving like a loose woman who imputes to her husband the faults she commits herself. Nothing we could say sufficed to calm the cardinal. He said he had always honoured you and served you with all his power, and it was not right that his reward should be your calling him a loose woman.
It is very unfortunate for the emperor's affairs that the cardinal has been angered at present. We have no hope now of getting an immediate decision from him as to what Henry will do in the war this year, although we were very anxious to send the emperor this news. We are afraid that he has gone to his king to complain of you, for he would not take us with him, and we are obliged to await his return. As soon as possible we shall try again to soothe him and I, Hesdin, shall return and make my report.
London, 17 Jan., 1524.
Signed, Louis de Praet and J. de Hesdin. French. pp. 2.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet to Charles V.
By my letters of December 9th, which I hope M. Lurcy has delivered before now, your majesty has been informed of the break-up of the German army under Count Felix, and of that of the allied army under Suffolk, and of the king's and the cardinal's complaints against you on this subject. Madame, having been informed by me of the annoyance of the king and the cardinal, has sent here M. de Hesdin, who arrived January 16th, instructed to explain that the break-up of the army was through no fault of Madame's and not on account of lack of money, but only on account of the bad weather, and by agreement between Suffolk and de Buren. All this is set forth at length in letters which Hesdin is writing you, from which you will also learn of the reply made to him by Henry and Wolsey, which was marvellously bitter and full of high words and reproaches, such as I have several times described to you. It was also full of threats, making it appear that, for very little cause, they will quit your alliance, and tear up all the treaties. In this case, by what the cardinal says, they seem certain that it would be easy for them to deprive you of all your lands in the Low Countries.
To embitter them further, they received, about a month ago, letters from their ambassadors with you, dated November 22nd, saying that you were still at Pamplona with the army, and had been unable to invade France for lack of money and infantry. They wrote that, about six weeks ago, your majesty was very active in pressing forward the campaign, but you had since slackened your efforts, because you had had good news from Italy, and your affairs there being safe, you cared nothing about those of King Henry or about the defence of the Low Countries. On account of this news, which Henry and Wolsey have communicated to a number of persons here, and because of the break-up of the allied army, which is blamed on Madame, your majesty is very ill spoken of in this kingdom, and the king said to me, in the presence of Hesdin, that his people now hated the Burgundians almost as much as the French, and that, if the Netherlands needed his aid, he would have great difficulty in inducing his subjects to give them any assistance.
Your letters also announced the arrival of the archbishop of Bari, bringing a copy of terms offered by the French for peace or truce, signed by King Francis. We have shown Wolsey a copy of these terms and your response. The French offers seem to Henry and Wolsey outrageous and unreasonable. They say they show clearly that Francis will not make terms until he is harder pressed, for if he had defeated your two majesties he ought to be satisfied with less than he now demands, though you have suffered less in the war than he. Certainly, in my opinion, little can come of these terms, for those offering a peace are such that you could not accept them without breaking all your treaties with the English, and those for a truce are impracticable in view of your promises to Bourbon. The king and the cardinal found your reply too short ; they think you should have replied in detail to each article in the French terms. In this I think they are wrong, for to most of the articles no reply is possible, and with people like the French, the fewer words the better.
Although, according to what Hesdin tells me, Madame is not so much to blame for the failure of the campaign in Picardy as they suppose, I have refrained from recriminations on the subject, being unwilling further to irritate Wolsey, who has taken this failure even more to heart than has the king. I have tried to convince him that the only cause of failure was the bad weather, but without success. He insists that the whole blame lies at Madame's door, none at that of his own people, and he is always telling me how much the king, his master, and he have done for you, without return, and saying that you never keep your promises ; he cites your failure to pay the indemnity, or to repay the 150,000 crowns, your obligations under the treaty of Waltham, and your more recent promises to Jerningham ; in all these, he says, you have failed to fulfil anything, either in Flanders or in Spain.
I was unable to get any answer to Hesdin's mission. Moreover, I had had no letters from your majesty since those of October 3rd, and this lack of news had a very unfortunate effect here, for these people are naturally very suspicious, and took the lack of news very ill, particularly as they had been informed that you had received offers from France. Therefore, since I wished to inform you by Cilly, the present bearer, of at least some part of their plans, I went to Wolsey, and in a long conversation told him how much confidence you had in his advice, which so far you had found so sound. I said I was sure that you still wished to conduct yourself in accordance with Henry's wishes and his counsel, and begged him to tell me, or to write to his ambassadors, what he thought your majesty and the king, his master, ought to do next summer, how you should make war on the enemy, in what quarters and with what forces. I asked him to do this as your majesty's friend, and in accordance with his customary aid to your alliance with England, and to send the ambassadors full powers and instructions, so that they might agree with you at once in Spain about next year's campaign, and no time would be lost, as had been in the past.
Wolsey showed at once that he found these overtures very agreeable. He said he would speak to the king and tell me their opinion so that I might write your majesty. Moreover, he promised to induce the king to send some gentleman of his household to you at once, with full instructions on this point. In addition, the envoy will be charged to remonstrate with your majesty about your failure to do your part so far, so that the greater share of the expense has been thrown on the English, and, to avoid such misunderstandings in the future, to ask you to declare plainly the state of your affairs, so that if you are really unable to take the offensive this summer, arrangements can be made for defensive warfare until the year of the "Great Enterprise." In Wolsey's opinion it would be better to wait another year, and then make bitter war on the enemy from all sides, than to go on spending a great deal each year, without results, for want of proper preparations and a favourable season. If you are not in a position to wage either offensive or defensive war, Wolsey offers to obtain, with the aid of the pope, honourable terms of truce for several years, so that you may regain strength, and make more formidable war thereafter, if no good peace is arranged meanwhile.
This proposal of Wolsey's seemed to me much to your majesty's advantage, since it gave you a choice of three or four courses. I asked him several times to hasten the dispatch of this envoy, but he put me off until his arrival here in London day before yesterday. At that time I went to him with Hesdin, but he gave me a very different reply than that for which I had been led to hope. It was that, having considered the great expense to which he had been put without any adequate return, and, also, the fact that neither I nor anyone else could tell him anything of the achievements of your Spanish army this year (which he thought had been little or nothing) or of your ability to make war next year, the king had decided to send no message to his ambassadors at present except an order to declare to you his grievances, to ask you to deal more sincerely with him in future, and to send him word what you would or could do this year, so that he might order his affairs accordingly. Wolsey persists in following this course, and I have been unable to persuade him to tell me anything further of Henry's plans. He has only asked me to send this present bearer with the English courier, promising to give me further information later. I cannot understand why he should do this, unless it is because he wishes to conceal from me the instructions being sent the ambassadors, so they may find out your majesty's intentions without revealing Henry's. Otherwise there is no reason why he should not say what he has to say while I have a courier and a zabra ready to take the news. I shall continue to press for a more definite answer, and inform your majesty as soon as possible.
This coolness on the part of the English arises, in my opinion, from the news they have had of your Spanish army, which they firmly believe did not invade France at all this year, and also from their resentment at the failure of the allied army in Picardy, for which they blame Madame. They are much annoyed, too, by your failure to send them news, since it seems to them to show that you make no account of them. They are saying that, according to their information, the scarcity of money with you is so great that you have been unable to meet your ordinary expenses, and have no means of raising any more to carry on the war. They say, also, that you are not so well obeyed in Spain as you should be, and that, for this reason, and to punish rebels and secure your person, and the safety of those gentlemen in your household who are not Spaniards, you have been obliged to keep the Germans you took with you to Spain, as a bodyguard. And they add a great deal more gossip not worth writing. It may be that they say all this out of affection and concern for you, but in my opinion, they would do better to mind their own business, without looking so closely into that of their neighbours, and without spreading their opinions among all the council. In that body there are gentry of various leanings, and it is my belief that if the cardinal were not on your side, the king would find persons among them who would not hesitate to set your two majesties at odds. Until now the cardinal has always taken your part, so that one should condone what he may sometimes have said in anger, and make use of his good will, for he is the one of them all who knows the most and can do the most, and I am credibly informed that he has borne many reproaches in upholding your cause. The fact is that this country is not so powerful as many people think. It is true that on his accession this king found a very full treasury, but he has since scattered and spent an infinite amount of money, and he will never completely strip himself of treasure, since it is for his riches alone that many of his subjects and his neighbours respect him. Moreover, the sum recently granted him by parliament has not yet been raised, and it seems to many people that before it is, there will be considerable disorder in this kingdom. Already there has been a kind of mutiny on this account in a town called Coventry. Besides this, this king can never make war without very great expense, because he has to pay his subjects, and he is thereby put to greater costs in war than any other prince. Consequently, war bears hard on all the nobility and gentry, so that it is not surprising if the cardinal has suffered, for the people and the gentry, who attribute this war entirely to the alliance between you and the king, of which alliance they think Wolsey the sole author, now believe that your co-operation has not been what they could wish, and daily cry out against the cardinal. Indeed, sire, if I may say so, your majesty would do well not to promise these lords anything henceforward without keeping your engagements at all points, for if the cardinal be brought to desperation, he may manage things quite contrary to your majesty's interests. You know his ambition, and I need say no more.
The news of Italy which has come in letters from Madame to the king, the cardinal, and several private persons, is that everyone is marvellously pleased with the wisdom of the new pope, and according to common report his greatest wish is to give peace to Italy, and then to all Christendom, and if King Francis makes difficulties, the pope will join your two majesties in constraining him to peace. Recently, however, the English ambassadors at Rome have written that His Holiness seemed inclined to the French party, at which they were much alarmed and astonished. If their conjecture were true, they would have reason to be, but it seems to me ill-founded. It proceeds only from the cordial reception His Holiness accorded the French ambassadors and the great esteem in which he seems to hold Cardinal Soderini. Such matters seem to me insufficient grounds for suspicion, for His Holiness has always shown himself on our side. He sent the Florentine men-at-arms, and money to pay them, under Lannoy's command, to Milan, and gave Lannoy a power to treat in his behalf with the duke of Ferrara, which, according to report here, he did, and then took with him the troops garrisoning Modena for the pope. With these reinforcements, and with the six thousand Germans raised for the viceroy around Innsbruck, which infantry has promised to be in Milan by the fifteenth of the month at the latest, Lannoy has brought to reinforce the troops in Milan eight hundred men-at-arms and twelve thousand good infantry, besides light cavalry. It is to be hoped, therefore, that the French army, which is still resting on the Ticino, and which has commenced to entrench itself around Lodi, Novara, and Vigevano, will be obliged either to retreat or to give battle, since the viceroy arrived at Pavia almost a month ago. I do not think, therefore, that His Holiness has changed toward your two majesties, whatever reception he may have given the French embassy. His cordiality might easily be attributed either to a hope of inducing Francis to abandon his Italian enterprise amicably, or to a fear of declaring himself against the French without knowing what reliance he may place on your two majesties, for, should you not be well prepared for war, he would be in grave danger, and moreover, he would have debarred himself from mediating with the French, in case your affairs required a peace or truce rather than the continuation of the war.
I know your majesty has better advice about Roman affairs than I can give you, but I trust you will take what I write in good part. It seems to me that you ought to retain the pope's friendship easily enough, for his two chief councillors, the archbishop of Capua, a German, and Giovanni Matteo, the Datary, are both imperialists, and since they are both ecclesiastics, your majesty can be sure of their services at little cost by giving them benefices. It would be well to do the same for some of the cardinals of your party, like Cardinal Campeggio and others, who, by means of certain benefits, can be brought more and more into your service, thus strengthening your party, not only in Italy, but in the college of cardinals, which may be useful if some day God takes to himself the present pope.
Madame will inform your majesty fully of news from the Low Countries, which, I understand, are in considerable confusion, and the finances in such bad order and so weakened by the war with Charles de Gueldres, and by other expenses that they will be unable to continue the war without help from your majesty.
I understand that M. de Bourbon reached Genoa December 20th, and was provided there with a carack for his passage to Spain, which, for greater safety, will be escorted by Don Hugo de Moncada until it is through the Gulf of Marseilles. Before Bourbon reached Genoa, and while he believed that the allied army was still in France, he sent the Sieur de Penthièvre, an important personage, with messages to the commanders of the army, and also with the duty of explaining to Henry and Wolsey that the break-up of the Germans under Count Felix was not Bourbon's fault. Since the army in Picardy had disbanded, Penthièvre, after passing some time at Madame's court, arrived here three weeks ago. He explained matters to Henry and Wolsey, and spoke to them also of his claim on the duchy of Brittany, and of the chances of doing King Francis grave damage in that quarter. He says that he has friends there who would surrender several ports of the duchy to him if your majesty and the king of England would give him eight or ten thousand men equipped for a naval campaign, and, if you would at the same time invade France from Spain, Italy and Flanders, at the beginning of the summer, he believes that Francis would be in danger of losing his whole kingdom. Henry and Wolsey have so far given him no answer, and the good lord is waiting here, quite at loss as to what to do, and much annoyed, so that, had he known how things were done here, he would never have crossed the sea. I did my best to cheer him up. He seems an honourable person, and very desirous of serving M. de Bourbon, and consequently your majesty. I do not know what answer he will be given, but I expect it will be a cold one, for I have found little affection lately on Wolsey's part for the Bourbon affair. He has recalled Russell, who is to bring back with him the rest of the money, and spoken very harshly recently of Bourbon on several occasions, ordering me expressly to write you that you ought not to place your chief reliance in him and his allies. If he uses similar language to Penthièvre, as indeed several English lords have done, complaining about the failure of the army in Picardy and the lack of co-operation from you, bad results may come of it, Penthièvre may communicate all this to Bourbon, so that the duke will begin to despair of succeeding in his enterprise, and to grow cold toward the common interest. What is worse, those lords now with Bourbon, seeing this, may judge that there is not a good understanding between your two majesties, and endeavour to be reconciled with King Francis by informing him of your misunderstandings.
Considering all these things, it seems to me that the common affairs, and especially those of your majesty, are in evil case, for unless Henry and Wolsey write their ambassadors at once and send them ample powers to carry out some plan for next summer, even if you have all the money you wish, and even if both of you intend to make vigorous war on the enemy, I do not see how you can do so before 1525. You must put both your armies into the field promptly, unless you wish to fall into the same difficulties as have led to failure in the past through faulty co-operation. There is no hope that King Francis will listen to reason unless he is pricked more sharply, and if you wait until the year 1525 to do so, the delay will put your majesty to great expense. You will have to sustain many garrisons on all your frontiers, you will have Bourbon and his allies on your hands, and their friends in France, seeing that the rising has been without effect, are likely to reconcile themselves with Francis. The enemy, taking breath, will probably renew the war in the Milanese, the defence of which is sure to prove costly, for judging by last year's experience, the Italian defensive league will not be strong enough to defend the duchy without help. At present the pope and the Venetians are both allies of your majesty, and as this world goes, one should take the help of one's friends when it is offered, since time always brings changes. For all these reasons, I hope that as soon as your majesty has heard the charge of the English ambassadors, he will inform me of his pleasure. You should be careful, however, I think, to agree to nothing with this king which you are not sure of being able to fulfil ; otherwise it is to be feared that these English lords, who are fickle enough, will, through spite, do something which may result in injury to you both, and perhaps in the total ruin of the common affairs.
You wrote me on August 18th, ordering me to pay out of the 8,140 ducats you sent me, Wolsey's pension and the other more important ones as far as I could, and my own wages, for the half year which fell due June 26th. I have done as you ordered, and paid Wolsey 4,500 crowns for the half year of his pension due May 1st last year, Suffolk 500 crowns for the half year due June 26th, Surrey 500 crowns for the same term, and Thomas Hennache [Heneage], Wolsey's servant, 100 crowns. In this I have followed Wolsey's advice. The marquis (fn. 1) thereupon sent one of his servants to me to say that he was surprised that others had received their pension before him, and to request payment. Since I had no more money except what I had set aside to pay the bishop of London, Sir Richard Wingfield, and Master Compton, who are all of high standing here, and devoted to your service (moreover the bishop and Wingfield had received none of their pensions), I sent my secretary to the marquis to make my excuses, and to ask him to have patience until I had sent to your majesty for more money to pay the rest. He refused to be satisfied, and insisted on having payment, saying that he had letters patent from your majesty and that you did not esteem him less than others ; he added that he would write you to find out what you thought of this way of doing business. I should be glad to have your majesty's instructions. So far I have paid only Wingfield, who has great credit with the cardinal, and have deferred the payments of the bishop and Compton. I shall not pay them unless your majesty orders otherwise, or unless Wolsey advises it, in which case I shall make payment as far as I am able. I am sending your majesty a list of payments made, and of those still due, including the new half year due December 26th last. Naturally, all the pensioners want to be paid, and it would be greatly to your majesty's interests if you could do so. I should also be glad to have my wages as chamberlain, which now amount to 60,000 livres ; the sum would be very useful to me in helping to maintain a state proper to the dignity of your majesty's representative. I should also like to know from what source I am to be paid, in future, my ordinary wages here of ten livres a day, of which a half year will be due within the next six weeks. Not to burden your majesty further with my little affairs, I am writing more at length about this matter to Lalemand. I am also writing to Lachaulx about some difficulties which have arisen between me and the burgesses of Bruges about my office of bailly.
I am obliged to beg your majesty again to take notice of the affairs of Antonio Vivaldi, the Genoese merchant who lent M. Badajoz and me 4,000 ducats to re-victual your fleet. On account of the bankruptcy of Rinaldo Strozzi, he has not been paid, and now Strozzi wishes to deal with him on the same footing as his other creditors, and postpone payment for five years. Such treatment does Vivaldi great wrong. He is only in his present difficult position because your treasurer Vargas delayed paying him for six months after the date of the letters of exchange which Badajoz and I gave him. Vivaldi has given his power of attorney to a Spanish merchant, through whom I hope your majesty will arrange that he be paid.
London, 27 (sic) Jan., 1524.
P.S.—Since writing the above, Hesdin and I have had audience with the king and the cardinal, who spoke to us much as before, but this time without anger and graciously enough. As I understand it, if they find you intend to press a war strongly this year, in Spain and in Flanders, they have decided to make a great effort. The king will cross the sea in person, provided your majesty will likewise lead an army into France. Since they have had no news from you for so long, however, they are unwilling to state their intentions except in general terms, insisting on knowing what you and Madame will do before being more specific. I have no doubt, however, that they have again taken a fancy to besiege Boulogne, which siege I think will be almost or entirely fruitless. If your majesty wishes to retain this alliance, you should, I believe, see to three points : all of the pensions should be paid in full ; you should send me prompt and frequent news of your affairs, since if these go well it will be much easier for me to negotiate here, and if they are going ill it would be better for me to know it before Henry and Wolsey get the news from their ambassadors ; and most important of all, you should promise nothing which you are not sure you can fulfil.
M. de Hesdin has been present at all these negotiations and will report them to Madame. He is a loyal and honourable gentleman and has done you good service.
London, 25 Jan. 1524.
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 22.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
Penthievre to Charles V.
I have come here to England in accordance with the commands of M. de Bourbon. Had the army in Picardy been in the field, I would have offered my services there in virtue of Bourbon's commission. He gave me permission to offer my services to the king of England, saying that in serving him, I should be serving your majesty and himself. I am still waiting here to know whether I may have leave to return to M. de Bourbon, or whether this king desires my services. M. de Bourbon told me that he would inform you that I was here on his service and would tell you something of my own affairs. These, by the advice of Madame, I am writing to your maréchal de logis, the Sieur de Bissy, and I shall be happy to have your majesty's commands concerning them.
London, 25 Jan., 1524.
Signed, Penthièvre. French.