Spain: July 1524

Pages 365-367

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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July 1524

21 July.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
Louis De Praet to Charles V.
I need not repeat what I wrote jointly with de Courrières on June 29th about our negotiations. I have since received letters from Lannoy, dated June 25th, about Bourbon's advance towards enemy territory, and how he has taken the oath desired by the king of England. Wolsey also has had letters from Pace with similar news. He tells me that Bourbon wishes Henry either to invade France at once, or to send another two hundred thousand crowns in addition to the one hundred thousand brought by Russell, so that the army will be able to achieve something of importance, and time will be allowed for negotiations about its maintenance until the end of the war. This request seemed to me to square with your majesty's wishes, and with what I had agreed with Wolsey, which was that two hundred thousand crowns were to be spent on Bourbon's army before the end of August, as I understand that its upkeep costs 104,000 ducats a month without counting your ordinary gens d'armes, who serve at your expense alone. I therefore went to Henry and Wolsey to back Bourbon's request with the best arguments I could muster.
Wolsey replied that they could not agree to put an army into the field this year unless there was more likelihood of its success than appeared so far. They could not now be ready, he said, to invade France before the middle of September, which was a better time for ending campaigns than beginning them. Moreover, Henry was determined not to trust his army again to a lieutenant, but to command in person, and he thought he ought not to do so unless your majesty also took the field in person. Wolsey raised a number of objections and devious difficulties about a new contribution, with the object, I think, of delaying further payments until it is seen how Bourbon fares. He seems sceptical of his success. Finally he agreed to begin making arrangements for the transfer of another hundred thousand crowns, provided I would oblige your majesty to contribute an equal sum. I offered to sign such an obligation on the spot, but he said it would be time enough after he had arranged with merchants about the payments.
I have written Wolsey's replies to Lannoy and urged him to see that Bourbon pushes on into France at once, and achieves some notable exploit as soon as possible. This seems the more desirable as his army is entirely at your expense until it enters French territory, as your majesty will have seen in the second paragraph of the agreement. I was very reluctant to accept such an arrangement, and should never have done so had I not been assured by Bourbon and the lords with him that they would cross the Alps by June first.
Wolsey will do nothing more about Swiss affairs than send Sanderin as ambassador to assist by his advice without promising any money. Little fruit can come from such action, and I doubt that he will do even that much. All his conduct here is directed towards delaying matters until the results of Bourbon's invasion are known ; according to them Wolsey will regulate his master's affairs.
Two Scots lords have arrived here, named Douglas ; the elder is married to the queen of Scotland, the king's sister. Wolsey tells me that they have escaped from France where they were prisoners for some years. By means of them and their friends in Scotland, the king and the cardinal hope finally to settle matters with that country. These lords have been sent north, accompanied by the duke of Norfolk at the head of a considerable power. Or at least this is the account Wolsey gives of the whole matter. I suspect there is some deception here, and that the Douglases never left France without the knowledge of King Francis. I am also informed that a servant of Louise of Savoy's, one Master Jehan Jockin [Gian Giacomo Passano], was here recently and in communication with Wolsey, although the cardinal has said nothing to me about it in the several interviews I have had with him since I received that report. I shall do my best to get to the bottom of this, and advise your majesty. In my opinion, what these lords are seeking is to get the young king of Scots into their hands and to bring him up here in friendship to this kingdom, so that some alliance between the two kingdoms may be possible in the future. I do not know whether the Douglases and Passano have come here about that, or whether Norfolk's expedition is merely to conceal some secret arrangement and lead your majesty to believe that the king has been surrendered by force. I hardly think Wolsey could accomplish his object without the consent of the French. I would not have your majesty take the above conjecture as a fact, and I will inform you further by Richard Boulangier, whom I am expecting back from Flanders. I suppose your majesty has been informed of the arrival here of the Sieur de Halewin as an envoy of your brother, the archduke.
London, 17 July, 1524.
I have just received your majesty's letters of June 30th and July 3rd, and communicated their contents to Wolsey. He says he will discuss them with Henry and give me an answer ; I fear it will be the same as before, especially since he told me that he had received a letter from Robertet, dated at Blois the ninth of this month, reporting that M. de Lafayette, the French naval commander, fought Don Hugo de Moncada on July 1st, off Marseilles, drove him off, and captured two ships. Moncado's squadron took refuge in the harbour of Mongues [Monaco] and, unless the lord of Mongues protects it, the French hope to destroy it entirely. The letter also reported that the prince of Orange and eight or nine gentlemen of his company have been captured by Andrea Adorno near Marseilles, and that on July 1st Bourbon's army was at Nice and the plague was rife among them, particularly among the Germans. I pointed out to Wolsey that he ought not to credit news from such a source, but, even if it is not true, I fear it will cool the ardour of these English and they will withhold any contribution until they learn the truth.
Wolsey himself spoke to me of the coming here of Jehan Jockin, and the reasons for it, and gave me certain news from Rome, which I will send your majesty by Richard, since I would not wish to entrust it to a less sure courier, even in cipher. I do not know this courier so well, and I understand that he is going in an armed zabra, which will cruise along the coast of France looking for the enemy.
July 21.
Signed, Loys de Praet. French. pp. 7.