Spain: April 1524, 16-30

Pages 341-349

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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April 1524, 16-30

16 April.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. l.
Louis De Praet to Margaret Of Savoy.
I am sending by this bearer duplicates of the letters I wrote the emperor and sent by the courier whom you recently sent me. You will see that the English have not conducted themselves very wisely in the matter I wrote you of in my last letter. I beg you to have the duplicate deciphered by the person whom you trust the most, and to communicate its contents to very few. Forward it, please, to the viceroy along with the packet addressed to him.
The present bearer left Spain the day after Easter, bringing me the emperor's reply to what I wrote him by Cilly and a memoir of his intentions concerning the proposals made by the English ambassadors. The courier has a copy for you, by which you will see what the emperor intends to do about a campaign this year. He orders me to treat on this basis without sending again to him, provided the English accept, and refers me to you for the number of horse and foot to be supplied in Flanders. I shall have to hear from you on this point before I can come to any agreement. Please let me know at once so that the English may have no excuse for delay, and be sure to tell me what auxiliary forces you can furnish if the English invade Picardy, and what if elsewhere, for the king and the cardinal may take it into their heads to invade Normandy, in which case your troops would have to be sent by sea. It would be well for me to be prepared for any contingency, so that I can settle everything at once without a great deal of sending back and forth, since the season is already well advanced. I shall be seeing Wolsey presently and shall keep you informed.
London, 16 April, 1524.
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 2.
18 April.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet to Charles V.
I wrote your majesty on the 15th. Yesterday, April 17th, I visited Wolsey after dinner and delivered to him the messages in your letters brought by Fusil. He appeared much rejoiced by them, especially since your majesty had acknowledged your mistake and stated so frankly your power to the king, his master. He called the duke of Suffolk, the admiral, and some other lords of the council who were then with him, and explained to them my present charge and your majesty's offers. These they found somewhat unreasonable, particularly the first, and they asked me what numbers of cavalry and infantry, and what artillery and munitions Madame could furnish in case the king decided to invade France. I could only reply that I feared it would not be much, in view of the great expenses to which she was put for the defence of your frontiers and other matters. Wolsey said that once their army was in France, your frontiers would be safe, and asked me to write at once to Madame, asking for an immediate reply, so that when Jerningham had arrived and communicated with the king, a decision might be made promptly.
I have written to Madame by Fusil, who left this morning, begging her to consider the matter and inform me accurately of the most she could do, without hesitating over small matters, since everything should be concluded and ready by June 1st. Of the three alternatives offered by your majesty, these lords prefer that mentioned above, and are of a mind to march through Picardy by the same route as last year. If Madame offers them reasonable assistance, it seems to me that they cannot now honourably refuse to do so, and this would be very advantageous for three reasons : such an invasion would be very useful to the common cause ; it would be an acknowledgment that you are doing your part in the war ; and finally, it would bring into the open any intrigue these people may have on foot with France, a point about which I am not yet satisfied, in spite of the cardinal's fine explanation of the reason for the French monk's coming.
In reading over your majesty's letters, two difficulties have occurred to me. First, you do not mention for what period the English army is to remain in France with your assistance, nor how long your army of Italy is to keep the field. Second, you do not say whether your army of Italy is to invade France with the numbers and equipment which it has at present, or otherwise. I am afraid these lords, who are very insistent on details of this kind, may wish to treat and conclude more specifically about your majesty's plans, and I have thought well to warn you of this by the present bearer, so that you may send me instructions which will obviate these difficulties.
We have received good news from Italy as your majesty will learn from the Milanese ambassador at your court, to whom the Milanese ambassador here is writing at length. I am also enclosing herewith letters which I have just received from Beaurain.
London, 18 April, 1524.
P.S.—The pope's representative here has just received a letter from the archbishop of Capua, who is now in France. Capua reached Blois, where King Francis is, on the eve of Easter. He delivered his charge and asked Francis on what terms of peace or truce he would agree. The king, after complaining of the harm he had received by the taking of Milan, Genoa, etc., replied that, to please the pope, he would be satisfied with a truce for one year from the day of its proclamation, with provision for renewal for three months. During the truce all Christian princes, he suggested, should lay before the pope all their quarrels and claims against their neighbours, for final arbitration. On receiving this reply, Capua left the French court, April 8th, to go to your majesty, after which he will come here. The envoy says that Capua learned certain particulars at the French court which he did not wish to write but which he will communicate on his arrival. I have not yet been able to discuss this matter with the cardinal, but I am certain that he strongly desires the end of this war, provided the king, his master, is offered honourable terms.
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 4.
20 April.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien DD Abt. b.
Copy of the emperor's reply to the proposals for truce or peace drawn up by the archbishop of Capua.
The first article in the document drawn up by the archbishop of Capua says that, in view of the necessity of defending Christendom against the infidel and the heretic, and in view of the great damage and small fruit that have come to the emperor through the war, and of the difficulty that his majesty is finding in prosecuting it, and of the discord in his realms and the distance between them, the pope begs him to agree to a peace, such as can honourably be arranged.
The emperor replied that he was not in such difficulty in prosecuting the war as His Holiness supposed, and that he had gained more and sustained less damage than his enemy, and that since his cause was just, he hoped to do even better in future, especially if his friends and allies did their duty, as he believed they would. He took in good part, however, the persuasions of His Holiness, who, by his office, should consider the good of Christendom, and he wished to comply with them. It was his duty as emperor to consider the good of Christendom and to resist the infidel, and he was willing to listen to any honourable proposals of peace, such as would be satisfactory to the king of England, the duke of Bourbon, and his other allies, as indeed he had always been.
The second article says that His Holiness suggests that a meeting of delegates be arranged, under safe-conducts, with authority to conclude an armistice, and to fix the time and place for an assembly of persons of more importance who are to conclude a treaty for peace and for the defence of Christendom. The emperor replied that he was willing such a meeting should be held in Rome, where he already had representatives with sufficient powers.
The third article says that to bring about such a meeting the pope has ventured to send envoys to Christian princes. The emperor replied that the archbishop's coming was very welcome to him, and that the pope could not have selected a more suitable person.
The fourth article says that the shortest way would be for his majesty to submit these matters to the pope, so that if the other princes do likewise a truce for some years can be arranged. The emperor replied that he had already given powers and instructions to his chancellor, M. de la Roche, on this point, and that he had complete confidence in His Holiness.
The fifth and sixth articles say that the persons whom the emperor is to appoint for the first conference may be sent with sufficient powers and instructions by way of Narbonne and Lyons. They will thus have the latest news of what is going on in Italy, and they will find the queen dowager of France, her son, the king, and the French nobility well disposed to treat with the emperor. The emperor replied that he had persons sufficiently empowered and instructed to treat of these matters in Rome, and that it would be unnecessary for them to go through France.
The seventh article says that it would be well if his majesty were to go to Catalonia, where he could keep in closer touch with these negotiations, and with the war in Italy. The emperor replied that he was grateful for the archbishop's advice but that he would act as the safety of his person and the best interests of his affairs required.
Copy. Italian. pp. 3.
20 April.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien DD Abt. B. f. 8.
Copy of the emperor's reply to the peace proposals of Pope Clement VII, brought by the archbishop of Capua.
The mission of the archbishop is most pleasing to his imperial majesty, and he considers its purpose one fitting the pastoral care of the Apostolic See. The emperor desires nothing more than peace in Christendom, so that he may turn his arm against the Turk, provided that terms are offered satisfactory to him, to the king of England, and to his other allies, and he has already sent powers to Rome for this purpose. Now, to satisfy the pope's wishes, he is sending his chancellor with full powers to treat for an honourable agreement among Christian princes, under the mediation of His Holiness, jointly with the English ambassador. The articles brought by the archbishop, however, are not for peace but for truce, by which the desired result may not be obtained, nor imminent perils forestalled. Therefore the emperor would prefer peace negotiations, and has provided his ambassadors at Rome with powers and instructions sufficient for that purpose. If, for any reason, in the judgment of His Holiness and of the ambassadors, a peace cannot be concluded, the articles brought by the archbishop for a truce may be acted upon with the following additions and revisions.
First, the truce shall be made for whatever time the ambassadors agree ; this truce to begin on the day of its publication, and if, while it lasts, the Turk actually makes war on Christendom, the truce shall continue until the end of that war, and six months thereafter. Second, during the truce all the powers shall retain what they now hold, or what they possess at the time, and the states they occupy up to their proper limits and boundaries, which, in the case of Milan, shall be declared by the common agreement of the pope and the allied ambassadors. Third, if any town or castle be occupied by either side after the proclamation of the truce, it shall be restored within one month or the truce shall be declared to have been broken. Fourth, besides what other guarantees may be devised by the college of cardinals and the pope, it shall be understood that if any signatory violates the truce he will be declared an enemy, and the pope will pronounce against him ecclesiastical censures with the invocation of the secular arm. Fifth, on the proclamation of the truce, both armies in the Milanese shall be disbanded and no foreign troops shall remain there except customary garrisons. Sixth, during the truce the Venetians shall not enter Milanese territory except to defend it according to the form of their alliance with the emperor, and no army shall be assembled in the Milanese other than is necessary for the protection of the persons and places of that state. Seventh, each contracting party may name what confederates and adherents it will before the beginning of the negotiation of the truce, unless such powers are objected to by another contracting power. Once such allies are included, they shall be bound to observe the terms of the truce, and, if it is violated, shall be subject to the same penalties as above. Eighth, no contracting power shall negotiate with the confederates or allies of any other contracting power for the purpose of persuading them to impair agreements entered into before the conclusion of the truce. Ninth, the truce shall not expire at any appointed time, but shall continue until three months after it has been denounced by one of the contracting parties. Tenth, all the parties during the truce shall contribute to the defence of the kingdom of Hungary and the expulsion of the Turkish invaders, and the pope shall be charged with seeing that this is done. Eleventh, benefices belonging to cardinals of either party and situated in the territories of the other, which have been seized during the war, are to be mutually restored. During the truce the subjects of either party are to trade as freely, one with another, as before the declaration of war. Twelfth, the pope shall be the protector and conservator of the truce, and shall have the power to interpret its terms whenever necessity for such interpretation arises. Thirteenth, negotiations for the truce shall not last more than three months nor later than the end of next June.
Besides these articles one more must be expressly added. The emperor and the king of England intend to declare the duke of Bourbon one of their allies, and the king of France shall be bound, for the duration of the truce, not to make war against the duke, or to send against him, or to call him before any of his magistrates, or to proceed against him in any way, directly or indirectly, by force or by law, any more than if the duke was not one of his subjects and vassals. Nevertheless, during this time the duke is to enjoy all the estates and property which he formerly held in France. Also if the Swiss are included in the truce, no signatory is to attempt to take them into his service during its duration. Also, during the truce all disputes and causes of litigation among the signatories shall be suspended until its expiration. Also, whatever conditions shall be laid down by the king of England regarding the Scots or regarding his sister's dowry, or on any other subject, shall be observed as necessary preliminary conditions.
Copy. Latin. pp. 7.
21 April.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Charles V to Louis De Praet.
The plans for our military operations this year are of such importance that we are sending you herewith a duplicate of our last dispatch by Richard, to make sure you are properly informed.
The archbishop of Capua has come here. He gave us a brief from the pope, containing his credentials, and admonishing us to accept a truce. As to the terms of the truce, Capua showed us some which, he said, he had drafted himself, and a document which King Francis had given him when he passed through that court. He begged us to write the pope our opinion of these offers. After consultation with the English ambassador here and by his advice, we have decided to give Capua a simple reply to each of the proposed articles for the truce, in order to convince the pope that King Henry and we have no desire to refuse reasonable offers of peace, and that we are as anxious for the good of Christendom as Francis. We are sending you copies of Capua's draft and our reply.
The archbishop intends to leave here in two days and go straight to England by land, in order to make the same arguments to Henry as he has made to us, and to communicate everything he has done to the king and the cardinal. He is also charged by the pope to see that all the princes concerned send the necessary powers and instructions to Rome for a happy and speedy conclusion.
You will communicate everything we have written to the king and the cardinal, so they may know that we are acting toward them with entire frankness, according to the treaties ; take their advice and inform us. You will also urge them to agree at once to one of the three alternatives which we have proposed for the conduct of the war this year, and do everything in your power to conclude a treaty on the subject, and to hasten the descent of their army into France, so that we shall not lose the favourable season, and the enemy will be constrained to offer more advantageous terms of peace, which will be better than a truce, either long or short.
Burgos, 21 April, 1524.
Draft. French. pp. 3.
22 April.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet to Charles V.
I wrote your majesty last on April 18th, describing my conversation with Wolsey about the three alternatives proposed in your letter of March 26th. I saw him again yesterday, and found him in very good humour. He said, at once, that he had sent the master of the king's artillery to Flanders to make arrangements for the campaign, and to find out what wagons and draft animals would be available. He said Henry was very pleased with the sincerity of your conduct towards him, and had decided to agree to your first proposal, in case Madame was willing to provide a considerable body of horse and foot at your majesty's expense. He asked me to write her, urging her to do so, and said he would write at the same time to the English ambassador to this effect, since without hearing what she could do, it would be impossible to come to any agreement with me. I promised to write at once, and assured him that Madame would do everything she could, although the great expenses to which she had been put by the war with Gelderland, and by the rumour of a French invasion of Hainaut, and the unfortunate death of M. d'Utrecht (fn. 1) made it likely that she could offer very little assistance. Wolsey replied that it was as important to make war on France as on Gelderland, and that the best way to avoid a French invasion of Hainaut was to agree to the conditions necessary if the English were to cross the sea. Wolsey was very insistent on this point, and I wrote Madame at once, asking for a prompt reply. As soon as it is received, Wolsey says, he will be able to tell me Henry's decision without waiting for Jerningham, provided the reply conforms in any way to Henry's wishes. For several reasons, however, I am compelled to doubt his good faith. I think he really wishes to delay matters until he has news of the defeat of the French in Italy, or at least of their withdrawal from Lombardy. He would then be able to agree, or not, to your proposals, according to the success of your troops. If the French have not been driven out of the Milanese already, I see little likelihood of reaching an agreement, since your majesty wishes it stipulated that the English army shall take the field by June first, and this will be impossible, unless either your majesty grants them a longer time, or they agree to content themselves with the number of horse and foot that Madame can supply, and to make up the rest of their army with English troops, in which case there is little hope that the army will do much. They are also likely to raise the difficulties of which I wrote in my last letters, asking for definite stipulations as to the time your army of Italy will remain in the field, and the forces that will compose it, and particularly whether the Venetian and Florentine contingents will cross the Alps, which Wolsey believes they will never do, or so I have been told. So far he has only mentioned the whole subject to me casually, and I replied merely with a personal assurance that your army would not lack either for men or for money. I beg your majesty to give me further instructions on this point, without which I would not dare commit you, although I shall be so bold as to extend the date for the English invasion to the 15th or 20th of June, rather than fail altogether to reach an agreement.
In my letters of March 26th and April 15th, I wrote your majesty fully of certain suspicions that I had formed about these lords, in spite of all the cardinal's fine words. I still feel obliged to continue to entertain the same suspicions, for which I have since learned three new reasons. First : I have several friends at court among the king's intimates, persons well affected toward your majesty. In the last two days several of them have spoken to Henry about the war this summer, as of their own motion. Each told me separately what the king had said, without knowing that I had other sources of information. They found Henry very cold and with little or no intention of invading France this year. He made many complaints of the ill-treatment which his people had received in former years in the Low Countries, and of the small aid he had received from you. He said that, in his opinion, you only cared about Italy, and added that you had promised him things which you never could perform, since it would be beyond your power to invade France with the army of Italy, even if they defeated the French. In fact, my friends report that Henry is less inclined than ever to the war, which is quite contrary to what Wolsey has been telling me. Second : I see few signs of military preparations here. Sending the master of artillery to Flanders is not necessarily a serious move, and may have been done merely for my benefit, while they wait to see how things turn out in Italy. Third : To-day a worthy man here, who wishes to serve you in his small way, came to me and told me that a merchant, one of his intimate friends and also a respectable person, had just been in the company of an English merchant, a business associate, who trades in France. The English merchant displayed a number of rings and other articles of jewellery, collars, bracelets and the like, set with large stones, which he said he had received at Calais. He said they came from France, and were to be delivered to the cardinal, except for some of the rings which were to be given to the duchess of Suffolk. Indications such as these seem to me not useless in trying to penetrate the intention of these lords.
I should not omit to tell you that Wolsey showed himself very delighted at one point in Beaurain's last letters. Beaurain wrote that the duke of Bourbon felt confident of persuading most of the men-at-arms in the French army to come over to him, if only he had the money to pay them. Wolsey begged me to write Beaurain to assist Bourbon to do so, by all means, adding that rather than see such an opportunity missed, he would pay the money out of his own pocket. I thanked him and said in that case he could not do better than to send the money to Master Richard Pace, who was in Bourbon's camp, and who could see that it was used for that purpose. So far, however, I have had no news that Wolsey has disbursed anything, though he has said that he has written Pace to give Bourbon every assistance, and to tell him that Henry will certainly recompense his services. To speak frankly, sire, I find here too many words and too few deeds, and such dissimulation and strange behaviour as pleases me but little. I should rather advise your majesty to depend on the pope for Italian affairs, for these lords have little care for such matters, and, indeed, little understanding of them.
London, 22 April, 1524.
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 7.
24 April.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. l.
Louis De Praet to Margaret Of Savoy.
I have already informed you of the arrival of Jehan Glannet. I sent him off to you at once, but he was obliged to wait until to-day as he will tell you. I went to-day to Wolsey and delivered my charge, which you may learn from the emperor's letters and those I have already written. Wolsey seemed overjoyed, and raised his arms to Heaven to witness his pleasure that the emperor had declared his heart and power so frankly to the king of England. He then called Suffolk, the admiral, and several other councillors to hear the emperor's proposals. These, the cardinal said, he found unreasonable, particularly the first one. He asked to know at once what number of horse, of foot, and of artillery you would furnish. I was obliged to say I did not know, but I thought it would not be large because of your other responsibilities. He said you need not worry about the defence of the frontier once the English army was landed in France, and asked me to ask you for an immediate reply. Of the three offers, I think Wolsey prefers the above, and intends that the English shall invade Picardy. I beg you, therefore, to let me have immediate response, and not to hesitate over details, since everything must be decided by June first. It seems to me that in furnishing a reasonable assistance to the English, you will be doing the emperor a great service, in three ways. First, if the English can be induced to invade France, that will be a very great assistance to the common affairs. Second, even if they do not, you will have shown that it is not your fault nor the emperor's that the enemy is not vigorously attacked. Third, if you offer the required assistance, these lords will no longer be able to dissimulate their intentions about war or peace, and it will be easy to discover whether they have some secret practice in hand with the French, a matter about which I am still doubtful, since the French monk about whom I recently wrote you, is still here in spite of all Wolsey's fine words.
London, 24 April.
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 2.


  • 1. Philippe de Bourgogne, bishop of Utretch, d. 7 April 1524.