Spain: February 1522, 1-15

Pages 42-53

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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February 1522, 1-15

4 Feb.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
On January 28th we wrote your majesty inclosing a copy of ours of the 17th which we learned had fallen into the sea. Your letters of January 22nd arrived just afterwards with the latest intelligence you had received from Rome and Italy. We immediately obtained audience with the cardinal to whom we communicated the contents of your letters. He asked to see the originals, and we gave them to him, since there was nothing in them which might impede the negotiations. The cardinal, having public business to attend to the next day, and wishing to study the letters carefully, asked us to come again on Friday, January 31st, to hear his answer. That day he added only some congratulatory words on the election of the new pope, expressing, however, some doubt of the news in spite of your majesty's letters, since the cardinals often proved fickle, and he himself had as yet received no notice of the election. After some conversation, he said cheerfully that the election would be most useful to the common cause, especially if your majesty should arrange for the pope to remain some time in Spain and hold his court there, by which Spain would be enriched and your majesty's authority increased, as had happened before when the papal court was fixed at Avignon. We replied that we had no instructions on this point, but, submitting to the judgment of the pope and of your majesty, such a course seemed unwise in view of the dangers that might be drawn upon Italy and especially on the kingdom of the Two Sicilies by the pope's absence ; these kingdoms, being already endangered by your majesty's absence, might fall to the French should the pope be absent also.
The following Friday we found with Wolsey the larger part of the council, and sat as equals with them, expecting to hear the reply to your majesty's letters. Wolsey, however, said he would pass over for this time a detailed reply, since he believed all these points had been satisfied in his answer to us and to Sir Richard Wingfield a few days before. "We of the king's council," he said, "whom you see gathered here, have been discussing matters connected with his imperial majesty's visit to England, and certain difficulties have arisen, which we wish to place before you in order that you may consult his majesty. In the first place I am very grieved to tell you that there is now a great scarcity in England, and we fear there may be worse next year. It is most severe in the west, around Plymouth and Falmouth where, according to the treaty of Bruges, his majesty is to go to embark for Spain. We see grave difficulties in such a course, which we wish to refer to you, in order that they may all be submitted to the final decision of his imperial majesty. In the first place, Plymouth is a miserable town, and not capable of extending the hospitality fitting the dignity of the occasion. If our king conducts his majesty thither with a proper escort, it will be impossible to find more than the scantiest victuals, and there will be great discomforts for both sovereigns and their suits. Moreover, we are about to convoke our courts or parliament, where my king and I must appear in person. If time is spent in so long a journey, parliament, which has been called for the sake of the common cause, cannot meet. Also, on account of the famine in those parts, it will be very difficult to find horses, wagons, and other conveyances for the emperor's baggage. For these reasons and many others, may it please the emperor, it seems to us that the emperor, instead of visiting those remote parts, to which a journey by land would require a month or six weeks, should receive his navy at Southampton or Portsmouth, which are almost the same, and that the ships which are to come from Spain to Plymouth toward the end of March should continue to Portsmouth, where they will be joined by our fleet and together convey his majesty wherever he may wish. Having placed the emperor in safety, it is necessary that both the Spanish and the English fleets return to the coasts of England, Brittany and Flanders, lest the enemy, seeing the ports of England and Flanders and all the sea bare of ships, should attempt something to the danger of both lands, especially to Calais, Dunkirk, Nieuport and Flanders. Therefore it is necessary that both fleets return speedily without entering a Spanish port, since, should they do so, they might not find a favourable wind for leaving. Only those ships which are to bring his imperial majesty from Flanders, with his German troops and his household, should enter a Spanish port. The others should keep to sea, and return at once.
"It was first laid down in the treaty of Bruges that 3,000 fighting men should be provided for each fleet so that the two fleets, English and imperial, would be manned by 6,000 combatants, besides sailors. When this was said it was thought that some truce would be concluded, but since, because a truce seemed unlikely and the emperor was at open war, he has offered to augment the number of fighting men. Three thousand men in each fleet, besides sailors, however, is enough to safeguard the emperor's crossing and, indeed, to command the sea, so that we are of the opinion that, on account of difficulties of victualling, his majesty should have with him only 3,000 men as first agreed and we will have as many. Even so there will be 10,000 soldiers and sailors, a sufficient number for safety."
"Moreover," the cardinal said, "when the armada shall have come from Spain at the end of March and joined the English fleet and that which conducts his majesty from Flanders, it seems to us that so great a power should not be assembled in vain, and that, during the time that the emperor is being entertained in England, the fleets should attempt to find and destroy the French fleet, whether at sea or in a French port, if spies can report its position. Otherwise they should make some raid on the French coast, and land forces to capture, burn and destroy. Should such an attempt be made, more English troops can be placed aboard the fleet. Such a force will be in readiness if the emperor approves. There are several reasons for this plan. First, if we keep it secret it ought to be easy to destroy the French fleet. Victory will be half won, if the enemy is unable to hold the sea, and his subjects are cut off from commerce. Moreover, the emperor and our king can thereafter command the sea with a smaller force, since the French fleet, once destroyed, cannot be replaced in less than six or seven years. Another reason is that we shall lose no time or money, since it seems wasteful for these fleets to consume their victuals in idleness and attempt nothing against the enemy."
We, the ambassadors, although we praised the cardinal's spirit and that of the other councillors who were so ready to wage war with the French, nevertheless, with due submission to your majesty's opinion, said we saw two drawbacks to the proposed expedition. In the first place, since the chance of war is uncertain, some disaster might befall the fleets, either because the French were prepared, or by shipwreck, and our fleet might be so reduced that your majesty would be obliged to wait some time in England until it refitted, which would be extremely inconvenient at the present time, since the fleet was prepared especially for your majesty's safe passage to Spain, and any delay would be most harmful. Hence even a naval victory might do more harm than good, since your majesty's arrival in Spain would injure the enemy more than anything else the fleet could do. We said this, however, protesting that we would consult your majesty at once.
Wolsey also spoke vehemently of the necessity of seeing that the fleet was properly victualled, and proposed that all the ships should be provisioned for at least three months, so that they could take the offensive without difficulty. At the expiration of three months, in order that the fleet need not break up to revictual, the council and the cardinal proposed either that they should be supplied at sea by small ships, or that some port in Spain or in England should be designated where the whole fleet could be supplied, at which point provisions should be collected during the first three months, from Spain for the Spaniards, and from England for the English. Wolsey seemed to insinuate that a port in England would be more convenient than elsewhere. We replied that we would inform your majesty of his observations, but that we felt these questions could be more conveniently handled after your arrival, since we should then be better informed of the enemy's power and intentions, and your majesty could discuss complicated questions better in person than by letter. For the present, such great stores of provisions seemed unnecessary, since only the Spanish fleet was intended to keep the sea, the other would merely conduct your majesty to Spain. Wolsey reiterated that the matter of provisions should be looked to at once, in view of the scarcity prevailing in England, in Flanders, and in Spain.
On the day of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin we were called to court, to an audience with the king which we shall relate briefly, not to delay the post. First, the cardinal, with the nuncio of the late pope (fn. 1) and many other prelates, came in procession from a monastery to the king with whom we were, Henry being enthroned in regal state. Wolsey presented a bull signed by Leo X and all the cardinals, and in a beautiful oration declared its contents, which conferred on the king the title of Defender of the Faith. Henry replied in person in a brief and fluent speech, thanking the church for the title, and offering his own blood for the safety and honour of the Roman church. Thereupon, with the greatest pomp, the cardinal celebrated high mass, assisted by a multitude of bishops and abbots. For our part, as your majesty's representatives, we congratulated Henry. Dinner was served, the king remaining, to a multitude of nobles and prelates of the kingdom.
After dinner Henry called the cardinal and three other councillors to his private oratory, and, in their presence and ours, swore to observe the treaty of Bruges in the same form used by your majesty, as you may see by the enclosed document. When we wished a notarial attestation of the document, however, Henry said it was unnecessary, since the presence of the council sufficed. In conversation afterwards Wolsey recurred, in the presence of the king and several councillors, to his proposal for a descent upon the French coast. We gathered that Henry disagreed, using among other reasons that it would be impossible to rely on a favourable wind, and that the French ships in only one port could be attacked, which would be a small matter. He said, moreover, that there were many ports in France against which nothing could be done without a land army greater than the fleets could provide, and that an invasion was not feasible. Henry told us, in this connection, he had been informed the previous day by his spies in France, that the French king had issued an edict forbidding all ships now in French ports, for whatever reason, to leave them without license, wherefore there are French ships, warships and merchantmen, now in Brest, Harfleur, Dieppe, and Le Havre. From this fact Henry argued that Francis feared either a fleet from Spain or the English fleet, of which three or four ships ought to be ready within a week for the defence of English ships and ports. When we hear whether this news is verified, we will inform your majesty. Henry said that among other ships, the French king had ten of which the smallest was 500 tons burthen, and he also told us that three of his own great ships were wrecked, two of them being so battered by the wind that they would have to be completely refitted, a task which will take three months. His other ships, he said, were being prepared with all diligence and would be ready by the end of March, among them some great ships, one being that ship called "Secura" which this king had built a few years ago. From our own intelligence, however, it seems unlikely that the fleet will be ready before the end of March, and the cardinal will not send them to sea before we can inform your majesty. I, de Caestres, am soon to go to inspect these ships with the lord admiral, (fn. 2) who has just returned from Ireland. The third of February had been appointed, but the admiral postponed the date until the fourth because of other business.
Wolsey did not give us a copy of the letters he is sending to France, because his secretary is ill, but he promised they would be sent to your majesty at once. We gave him copies of your majesty's letters patent to be sent to France, retaining the originals, so that if your majesty does not approve their being sent to Louise of Savoy we may solemnly present them to the king. We delay doing so by agreement, so as not to irritate this man until your majesty has the money, or can make other dispositions. We beg your majesty to forgive our delay, which we should not have ventured had your majesty been fully informed when he last wrote.
A little French ship, armed, with a crew of about 86 men, came up the Thames in pursuit of a Fleming or Hollander, which, however, was able to make so good a resistance that the Frenchman turned and ran, and was driven ashore, where it was captured by the Flemings, and its crew imprisoned by the English. Henry told us that from this day he is at open war with the Scots who have so far hoped for a truce.
London, 4 Feb., 1522.
Signed, Bishop of Badajoz and Elne, J. de Caestres. Latin. pp. 11.
5 Feb.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
Since our letters in reply to yours of January 17th, Anthoine, our usher, has come with yours of the 24th, concerning Sir Richard Wingfield's mission, and replying to the letters that we wrote you about it. We are glad Henry and Wolsey take our use of their ambassador in good part. We hope they will feel equally free to dispose of all of our servants as their own, since all things should be in common between us. By your letters we have learned the decision of the English on the four main proposals brought by Wingfield. As to the first, about the letters patent to obtain the admonition of the king of France according to the treaty of London, we have read over Wolsey's argument for postponing the presentation of the letters, and we do not find them as cogent as those which we write you. We are astonished that having written to you so many times, ordering you to present the letters and to insist on their execution, you still have not done so. You may excuse yourselves to Wolsey by saying that you do not dare delay longer in view of our instructions. We are willing to believe the cardinal's advice was well meant, and that you thought you were serving us in heeding it, but to tell you the truth, this reluctance to receive our letters patent has given us pause, especially since it could not injure Henry nor impair the force of our common treaties, and would so much advance our affairs at a time when any delay is dangerous. We do not find that the treaty of Bruges alters the treaty of London on this point, especially since there is no necessity for a declaration of war before the date set at Bruges, and the date of that declaration can just as well be fixed by the treaty after the delivery of the letters as before. We are certain the presentation of the letters would not cause the French king to refuse English mediation, but would make him more eager for it as a means of avoiding English hostility. Wolsey can write to Louise of Savoy, as he told you he intended to do, just as well after the presentation of the letters as before. Therefore we order you expressly to present our letters without further consultation or delay, no matter what happens, and to insist upon their execution.
As to Wolsey's desire to know the terms for a truce which we would accept : it would be more reasonable, as you have already told him, to hear the French offers first. As we have often written you, however, the simplest and shortest truce will be best, and we are still of the opinion that it ought to be one simply for commerce and intercourse, leaving territories on both sides as they are. It seems very undesirable to make a truce for this side of the mountains and leave Italy in a state of war, since that would put us in danger of losing not only the duchy of Milan, which we have conquered, but also our kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, and our influence in the papal states, Florence, Sienna, Lucca, and Mantua, all of which are entirely at our disposal. We could not avoid these dangers without giving up our journey to Spain, which we should be loath to do, on account of the many questions to be discussed in England.
Nevertheless, if the French cannot be drawn to a simple, general truce, on which you ought to insist as long as possible, as a last resort you may agree to exclude from the truce the duchy of Milan, which the king of France may do his best to recover, and we shall do our best, assisting Francesco Sforza, to defend. All the rest of our lands and lordships, wherever they may be, should be covered by the truce. We should very much prefer, however, a simple, general truce which ought to be so short as not to extend beyond the date for the "Great Enterprise," or at most should not exceed eighteen months or two years. If the French will not agree to a truce under either set of conditions but prefer a peace, as we have been advised they do, Henry and Wolsey should show themselves willing to embrace such an offer. In order to show their good will in this matter, and to avoid embittering matters further, they may propose an armistice of three or four months, during which time both parties may send wellinstructed persons with full powers to treat and conclude a good and sure peace. If the French agree to an armistice, there will be no occasion for us to state our terms, and we may learn from them what they think both sides should do. If they refuse to make an offer, take the advice of the king and the cardinal. If the French refuse both truce and armistice and insist on an immediate peace, we ought not to refuse to negotiate. If they then propose to return to the terms of the treaty of Noyon, about the marriage, about the 100,000 crowns and the rights on Naples, about the business of Navarre and the sovereignty of Flanders, and the aides for Artois, you may reply that as to marriage we intend to remain free, and as to the rest of the treaty of Noyon, seeing that the French have violated it, we hold ourself quit of its other provisions as we represented at Calais. If, however, the French are willing to agree to equal and suitable terms with concessions on both sides, a secure peace could be established such as we would be willing to accept through the mediation of Henry and Wolsey. As we have already advised you, the French have been trying to negotiate such a peace by another channel, and have made more favourable offers than it is likely they will make in England, saying they are ready to yield Burgundy, Tournai, Fuenterrabia, Navarre and the 100,000 crowns on Naples, hoping thus to secure the duchy of Milan and the rest of their estates, and to improve their position further without prejudice to us, for example, by stopping the English pensions. They will try to keep these offers secret, and if we negotiate through Henry and Wolsey they should force the French to unmask by letting them understand that they know about these offers, and that, unless they are willing to make equally advantageous terms under the mediation of Henry and Wolsey, they will give the English just cause for suspicion.
If the French cannot be induced either to a truce or to an armistice or to peace (and, without one of these, or without some other help, it will be impossible for us to carry out our agreements as soon as we had hoped, since we must bear at the same time the whole burden of the war through no fault of ours), we must beg Henry and Wolsey to consider the state of our affairs and their significance for the common good, and, since we are entirely in their hands and have refused all overtures through other channels, to advise us what honest and suitable remedy can avail, so we may make our voyage to Spain without leaving the rest of our realms in danger and sacrificing our honour and reputation. Use your customary prudence and diligence in these negotiations, which you will conduct according to the disposition you find in the French, and keep us constantly advised.
We have not yet seen the ambassador Henry is sending to Switzerland, and it hardly seems likely he will be in time to be of use, on account of the delay in sending him (because of failure to believe what I wrote at the beginning of this business), on account of the death of the pope and the absence of the pope-elect, and on account of the large sums the French are spending. Things have been so conducted that twelve Swiss cantons have declared for the French, and there remains on our side only Zurich, with one other canton and the League of the Grisons. Sixteen thousand infantry were to leave on the 29th of January by different passes, and to concentrate at Balsano whence they will march by Novara and Lago Maggiore, where they expect to find cavalry, partisans of France. To persuade them to march, the Milanese fuorusciti of the French party have told them that our army has retired, and that there is not a lanzknecht or Spaniard in the whole duchy of Milan. They will find themselves deceived, for we have already provided for 6,000 German infantry who will be mustered in at Trent the 7th of this month, and with 4,000 others which the Milanese have raised in the Grison, and about 8,000 Spaniards and lanzknechts, veterans of our army, there will be collected to oppose them about 18,000 men who, with the gensd' armes we have there, and without counting the papal troops, will be strong enough to give them battle. If our forces prove the weaker, they will remain on the defensive, holding Milan, Pavia and Como until they are reinforced, so the enemy may be forced to retire for lack of payment. The best means, however, of holding the Swiss back, if we could manage it, would be to maintain troops on their own frontiers, and cut off their supplies, which might produce a popular rising, since the common people are on our side in opposition to the governing classes who are pensioned by France. Such a tumult at home, with the danger to them from the empire and from our hereditary estates, would keep them on the defensive, and, if the king is willing to contribute for this cause the sum which he offered to employ in hiring the Swiss and bringing them into alliance with us, this money would be best employed. By such means we are confident the Swiss could be kept at home and entirely withdrawn from the French alliance. It seems to us that Henry, even if he were not so bound to us by treaty as he is, ought still to welcome this opportunity to withdraw the Swiss from the French alliance and lose no time in making use of it. Also, if he wishes the "Great Enterprise" to be as successful as possible and quickly over, Henry ought to help us, at least secretly, to maintain and reinforce the army of Lombardy. For, if our troops win a battle against the French, Swiss, or Venetians as they should easily do if reinforced and if matters are arranged as above, the Swiss will come over to us, the Venetians will listen to reason, and the king of France will be so weakened that, without great cost, Henry can recover his possessions, and we ours. If the king our uncle is willing to employ in this undertaking at most 100,000 ducats, which he will be repaid by the duke of Milan, we hold it certain that, with what we shall do on our side, victory will be ours. Since, on a former occasion Henry risked 300,000 ducats in a similar venture for which there was no foundation, he ought not to hesitate this time, when the greater part of the duchy is already in our hands and the game almost won, especially as we guarantee that he will be reimbursed by the duke in time for the "Great Enterprise." The cardinal, in lending his assistance, will certainly receive some considerable preferment or other present, and it can be all done secretly. If we had the money we should not hesitate to lend it to the duke, and should feel assured of a substantial profit. Success in this affair will afford a thousand means of getting money in Italy, while if we lose, we lose not only the money, but endanger all our affairs and our honour and reputation as well. When the king and the cardinal understand this matter we are confident they will not let us lose so good an opportunity to bring down our enemies, especially since, if we are able to maintain our army until the pope arrives in Italy, we can then, aided by the Spanish fleet which will escort him, capture Genoa and expel the French from Italy, which can then be pacified. This done, the same army may enter France for the "Great Enterprise," in case no truce is arranged. This seems to be the best means to finish with the French. Therefore urge these proposals on Henry and Wolsey at once.
As to the payment of the 3,000 infantry, Wolsey knows it is legally due, and he has done well to provide for it. According to what we have written you, we are sending Jehan de le Sauch to Calais with full power to receive the money. As to the loan of 200,000 ducats which the English wish to reduce to 100,000, adding the conditions that security be given for a greater sum in jewels not to be recovered without repayment, and that notwithstanding the treaty of Bruges, Henry shall not be bound to declare war on France until the loan is repaid, you may reply that we have fully considered the reasons advanced and take them in good part. We understand that the "Great Enterprise" will be very expensive, as will the equipment of the fleet and of the army against Scotland. Nevertheless, this money is now in hand and need not be spent all at once, and, since 100,000 crowns is not enough for our voyage, which requires at least 200,000, and since we only ask it for a year so that it can still serve for the purpose for which it was collected, and since the king is getting no interest on this money, it seems to us that he ought not to make difficulties about lending the entire sum of 200,000 crowns, particularly since the money which we should otherwise have used for this purpose is going to maintain the army in Lombardy. As to the conditions, the first seems to us quite reasonable, and we shall give him such pledges as will content him. It seems wise to do this secretly. But the second condition seems contrary to our treaties, and the declaration of war which is to be made when we reach England is worth more than 200,000 crowns to us. It ought to be enough that Henry will get the money back in time for the "Great Enterprise" in '23 without postponing the declaration. Therefore, request Henry earnestly to lend us the 200,000 crowns without altering the form of our treaty.
As to the oath to the treaty of Bruges, which ought to be ready by this time according to your letters, send it to us in form to be put with the treaty. About the expulsion of the Scots, we have already written that we shall observe the form of the treaty, and that such expulsions of mutual enemies should be made reciprocally. We are still of this opinion, and indeed, by the letter of the treaty, such expulsions should not be made until a state of open war exists and has been publicly declared. Therefore we ought not to be asked to make it sooner, especially since these lands of ours, which are founded on commerce and the sea, in making this expulsion in advance may suffer considerable loss, and the Gelderlanders, who are allies of the Scots, and who daily raid our lands in Friesland and Holland, will be the more inclined to trouble them. It would be more reasonable for the king, our uncle, to expel our enemies, against whom we are waging open and public war, than for him to wish us to expel his, against whom he has yet made no public declaration.
Brussels, 5 February, 1522.
Draft in Gattinara's hand. French. pp. 12.
5 Feb.
H. H. u. St. A. England, f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We were for some time anxious at not having received any letters from you after those of January 11th. We have now received duplicates of yours of the 17th, and understand by what you wrote Lalemand that you sent Anthoine, our usher, three days earlier with other letters. We have had no news of him, however, and greatly fear that he has met with some accident. We can, therefore, reply only to yours of the 17th and not to your earlier letters of the 13th.
The letters at hand report Wolsey's account, in your presence, and in that of the most confidential councillors, of the four chief proposals made him by the French ambassadors, and of his reply to each point. Thank Wolsey and the king for this display of confidence, and assure them that we shall reciprocate. You will also convey our comments on Wolsey's replies as follows : First, about the French declaration that they wish to negotiate a truce through the king and the cardinal and not otherwise, say that Wolsey knows we have always been ready to listen to reasonable conditions, and that we are still inclined to take his advice and that of our uncle, so that, if the French really wish a truce, one may be easily concluded. As to their denial that they have attempted to negotiate through other channels, our frequent letters to you witness the contrary. We are also sending you the original of the letter which de Moy wrote Nassau, which you may show Wolsey, and with it a copy of Nassau's reply, so that he may judge who wrote first. Second, Wolsey could not have replied better to the French representations about the payment of the pension. He should persist in this course, for if Francis is as hard pressed as he says, it will be better to increase his needs than to relieve them, and better that the money should be used for us than against us. If he insists on payment, Francis will not dare refuse for fear Henry will regard it as a breach of the treaties. If Henry can get this money and lend it to us, it will be doubly useful, diminishing the power of the enemy and increasing ours. Third, Wolsey could not have acted more astutely than he did in confronting the French ambassadors with the secretary of the duke of Albany, and giving them to understand that he saw through their scheme. Wolsey replied equally well to the fourth point, about the straighter alliance, since that will be the best way to discover their weaknesses (de quel pied ilz clouchent.) Wolsey also replied well to the complaints of the French, particularly about the treaty of Bruges, which he may well say was favourable to France, since without it Henry would have had no excuse for not intervening in our favour against the French. The English complaints against France are much more serious, and show that Henry has the greater causes to complain.
We have had no further news of the English ambassador who is to go to Switzerland, beyond the report that he is still at Dover awaiting a favourable wind. Dispatches for Portugal have been drawn up and Lachaulx is ready to leave, and is only waiting for his instructions as to what to say to the newly elected pope. These, and the other instructions about Portugal, Lachaulx will communicate to Wolsey and Henry. It would be a good thing if they would send an ambassador with him to address the pope, and also the king of Portugal, for reasons which Lachaulx will explain. As for the report of the English ambassador in France of the offers of supplies to Francis by Paris and Rouen, it seems to me we should believe that when we see it. What the French say is not always gospel, and the great cordiality of Francis to the English ambassador shows the great need in which he finds himself.
In reply to Wolsey's request that we fix an exact time for our arrival, in order that the English may not lose the expense of their preparations and that they may know when to hold the parliament, and to his remark that, though he does not believe that we shall be ready before the end of April, nevertheless he wishes to be in a position to receive us at any time on fifteen or twenty days' notice, say that we are making all the haste possible in collecting provisions and other necessities for the voyage, but that we cannot, as yet, appoint a definite time for three reasons. First, as we have already written, we have not yet enough ships, and must wait for those from Spain. Second, we shall have to know whether or not there will be a truce before we leave, in order to be sure what provision should be made for the defence of the Low Countries. Third, we need to know how much Henry can lend us for this voyage, and we must have the money in hand before we can make our final preparations. You should, therefore, solicit a decision on these two points of the truce and the loan with the greatest diligence. We have no doubt the ships will be here in time, and since, according to the treaty of Bruges, we must warn Henry a month before our departure, there seems no reason to fear there need be any unnecessary expense on account of premature preparations, and we shall have plenty of time to arrange the details of our departure. As for what Wolsey says about Henry's insistence that the loans be repaid before he breaks with France, we have already replied to this several times that we thoroughly intend to repay the money in time for Henry to use it for the great invasion.
The news which Wolsey says he has from Rome that Don Juan Manuel exerted all his influence in favour of the cardinal de Medici seems unlikely. You may boldly assure Wolsey that Don Juan had no instructions from us to favour the Medici in the election, nor any other instructions except the letters written him in favour of Wolsey himself, which did not reach him. Before the cardinals entered the conclave he had no other charge from us than to ask them to follow their consciences and to elect whoever seemed best for the church and Christendom. Since neither Pace nor the courier with our letters arrived before the election, it seems unlikely that Don Juan solicited for the Medici, particularly since things turned out quite contrary, and a person was elected of whom no one had thought, so that it seemed the work of God rather than of men. Since the dispatches did not arrive in time to help Wolsey, he ought to be glad that the election fell upon him from whom he might expect more favour and advancement than from any other cardinal.
Although we have expressed some hope in our letters of a victory in Italy in case a battle is fought, nevertheless we want you to know as advisers whom we trust, that, by the reports of our ambassadors in Switzerland, it seems likely that the Swiss who have decided to serve the French, will be in much greater numbers than our people. Therefore you will be doing great service in hastening the conclusion of a truce by any means in your power. If it is possible to conclude it at once, without sending to us for further instructions, we shall be content, and if you cannot arrange a truce and proposals are put forward for peace, do everything you can to reach an understanding. Within two days we shall send you the necessary powers. Keep this letter as secret as you can, and reply at once.
5 Feb., 1522.
Signed, Charles. Draft in Gattinara's handwriting with interlinear additions in Charles' own hand. French, pp. 7.
Short extract printed by Bradford, p. 34, and calendared in Letters and Papers, III, 869.


  • 1. Giralamo Ghinucci, papal auditor, bishop of Worcester, nuncio in England of Pope Leo X.
  • 2. Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey.