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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March 1522, 1-10
H. H. u. St. A. England. f. 1.
The Ambassadors in England to Charles V.
We, De Mesa and de Caestres, wrote last on the 28th of February, replying to yours of the 18th, and enclosing Wolsey's draft of a proper commission for the peace negotiations. On March 1st I, Lachaulx, reached London, escorted by Sir Richard Wingfield, who met me some miles outside the city and explained to me the very good will which Henry and Wolsey bear your majesty. The same day Wolsey sent one of his servants to say Henry had granted us audience for the following day. Therefore, that same night, I, Lachaulx, communicated to the resident ambassadors all your majesty's instructions, and learned from them the present state of the negotiations both for the truce and for the loan. They informed me fully of the present state of affairs, and we agreed on what we would say the following day.
On March 2nd we were conducted by Sir Richard Wingfield and other servants of the king and the cardinal to Greenwich, where we awaited the cardinal who had not yet arrived. During this time I, Lachaulx, was graciously saluted by many persons of the court. Wolsey, on his arrival, received us cordially, asked warmly after your majesty's health, and took us to a more private room where I, Lachaulx, presented my credentials and spoke briefly of the reasons for my mission, offering to show him my instructions both for Portugal and for the papal court, declaring that your majesty intended to associate him in all his affairs, and adding that your majesty had such perfect confidence in him that I was instructed to accept any changes he might suggest. I added that, although this point was not included in my letters, having learned from the ambassadors here of the present state of the negotiations, I wished to join them in urging Wolsey to hurry everything forward with the same good will toward your majesty's service which he had previously shown, and, among other things, learning that Henry had promised to lend you 100,000 crowns, which sum, though gratefully to be accepted, was far from enough for your majesty's needs, therefore, in view of the exertions which you had made for the common cause, and the serious inconveniences to which lack of money now exposed you, I begged Wolsey to attempt to obtain some increase in the amount. I said I had also learned from the ambassadors that the negotiation of the truce was proving long drawn out, and that Francis was concealing his real intentions in the matter. This, I said, much perplexed your majesty's affairs, so that it seemed desirable either that the negotiations should be concluded at once, or that Henry should speak more roundly to Francis, letting him know his intention of declaring in favour of your majesty, which, if done, would make Francis not merely willing to accept, but eager to seek a truce. We then gave Wolsey the latest news from Switzerland, Milan, and Rome, and he thanked us on Henry's part as well as his own, for this evidence of your majesty's good faith. He then spoke at some length of the sincere affection which his master and he bore your majesty, and of their zeal to serve the common cause.
Wolsey then read the instructions given to me, Lachaulx, for negotiations with the pope. He said these pleased him very much, and really embraced everything that needed to be discussed at present ; nevertheless, he wished to add to them certain articles to be explained to the pope either by me or by the ambassador whom Henry would send with me, who would either accompany me to Portugal or remain to negotiate with the pope and the nobles of Castile, whichever seemed better for the common interest. Since Henry was nearly through hearing mass, after which we were to be presented, Wolsey deferred reading my instructions for Portugal until another day. In reply to what I had said, he solemnly declared that the king of England was already doing everything possible to advance your majesty's affairs, nevertheless, if on examination it proved that the money granted to the king of England by his subjects more than sufficed for Henry's own present necessities, he would freely share the remainder, and your majesty should have no doubt that he wished to offer all his treasury to the common cause. As to the truce, he said he was well aware how necessary it was, and no one in the world was more eager for it than he ; he had done everything in his power to bring it about, both by writing to Louise of Savoy, as your majesty knew, a letter which he thought would prove most efficacious, and by frightening the French ambassadors here resident with the warning that if they did not accept a truce with reasonable conditions, Henry would be obliged to abandon his neutrality, a risk which the French king ought not to take. He then showed us Louise of Savoy's answer to his letter, a copy of which is enclosed herewith. It seems empty enough, the only hopeful thing in it being the promise to send someone to carry on further negotiations. About even this Wolsey was doubtful, unless the French happened to have good fortune in Milan, in which case he thought they would be more inclined to a truce. Nevertheless, Wolsey thought it better to continue to negotiate through Louise rather than to warn Francis directly by means of the English ambassador ; this course will be resorted to only if the negotiations through the queen fail. He added that all these matters would be settled before Lachaulx's departure.
Thereafter we went to the church, and, mass being over, we were introduced into the king's private oratory, Wolsey alone being present. There I, Lachaulx, gave Henry your majesty's letters and greetings, and related in order everything that we had said to the cardinal. Henry asked kindly after your majesty's health, and expressed his thanks for your having ordered my instructions to be communicated to him. All the present negotiations, he said, he left in Wolsey's hands, and Wolsey knew his mind entirely. He went on to say that the ambassadors here resident had pressed him a good deal, both for the augmentation of the loan and for a formal declaration against France, for which purpose they had delivered to him letters patent which had been given them. He hoped in this matter to do whatever he could to content your majesty, and he was glad a new ambassador had been sent in order that I, Lachaulx, might be informed of all the English had done, and of their needs, and might judge whether the offer of 100,000 crowns was not an open and friendly one. As to the truce, he said, he desired it even more than did your majesty, and would do his best to bring it about. He said he would take counsel about our message and hoped everything would be settled, before Lachaulx's departure. We again urged that delay might entail irreparable injury. Henry said he was glad to hear that affairs in Italy were going well, that your majesty's army was being kept in being, and that the Germans were crossing to join the duke of Milan. He thought the news from Switzerland indicated that the Swiss would easily be persuaded to return home, and it seemed to him that not a little of the credit for this belonged to his ambassador, Dr. Knight, since the Swiss had such an opinion of Henry's power that he did not believe they would now throw themselves into the arms of France.
We announced to Henry the arrival of Juan de Barzia to inspect the English fleet and the provision of arms and victuals, and to find out just when it would be ready, so that your majesty could adjust his affairs accordingly. Henry took this in good part, and was pleased to have de Barzia see the entire fleet, especially the Mary. Wolsey is to arrange for the vice-admiral of England to show de Barzia all the equipment so far assembled, and give him lists of the number and size of the vessels, and even of the provisions collected.
Sir Thomas Boleyn joined us, and presented the letters from my Lady Margaret about the matter of the county of Burgundy. I, Lachaulx, explained to Henry how Francis, in spite of the English warnings, had broken faith and confiscated Charolais and other goods belonging to Lady Margaret. Henry was very angry, and it was agreed Wolsey should write at once to France, demanding that reparation be made. We asked that this be done without delay, and the king, since he was himself to ride in the tourney after dinner, terminated the interview for the present, and we all went in to dinner.
After dinner, at the tournament, we were presented by the cardinal to the queen and the princess Mary, and I, Lachaulx, gave the queen your letter and presented your majesty's compliments, taking the opportunity to explain the cause of my coming. Catherine asked affectionately after your majesty's health and the prosperity of your affairs, and said that nothing in the world so rejoiced her as to hear of your health and happiness. Then, after we had saluted the princess, she continued to question me not less sweetly than prudently, about your majesty, and there was much pleasant conversation, especially about the charms of the little princess, who, it should be noticed, wore on her bosom a golden brooch ornamented with jewels forming your majesty's name, which name she had taken on St. Valentine's Day for her valentine, which seems a happy augury.
After the tournament had begun, Wolsey drew us apart, and began to speak of the negotiations for the truce. He said he was certain that Francis knew about the treaty of Bruges, through a courier intercepted on his way to Rome, and on this account preferred peace with your majesty rather than truce, lest you use the truce to make yourself stronger, and lest the king of England also prepare for war against him. By what we could get out of the cardinal, and what we could gather from Henry's words, it seems to us that Henry and Wolsey would much prefer a truce to a peace. We, however, explained again the extremity in which your majesty found himself, and said it seemed clear to us that you could not hold out much longer unless either there were some truce or other arrangement, or Henry came fully to your assistance and declared war on France. Therefore we warned Wolsey, as he was your majesty's faithful friend, to bring the negotiations for a truce to a speedy end, unless he wished either to see his king at once involved in war, or your majesty withdrawn from it. To feel out his intentions we asked him what he thought ought to be done in case the French were willing to make peace but not a truce, adding that a truce would not, of course, be considered unless reasonable conditions could be obtained through the mediation of the king and the cardinal. This brought him into the open. He said, vehemently, that a peace was not at all to be considered instead of a truce, to achieve which latter he would exert himself to the utmost. He added that he very much hoped that your majesty would inform him in the greatest secrecy of the final terms which you would be willing to consider. When he knew these, Henry would be able to induce Francis to accept them as coming from him, although the French would proabaly refuse them if they were openly offered. Seeing that we had so far been unable to discover any favourable disposition in the French, and not wishing to prejudice your majesty's affairs, we said merely that we would write what Wolsey said to your majesty, since we were unwilling to disclose the final conditions until we had consulted further among ourselves. So we have advanced no farther with the negotiations for a truce, except by what can be drawn from Louise of Savoy's letter. We hope, however, to have some further decision shortly. While we were speaking of a peace, Wolsey made several observations which we could not consider acceptable, asserting that since the French would not make peace without certain conditions, he would like to know what we were willing to do about the question of Navarre, and whether we would pay the Neapolitan pensions during an armistice, and whether we would ratify the marriage treaty contained in the treaty of Noyon, all of which conditions seemed to us completely unreasonable, and such that your majesty would never accept. Nevertheless, if it does come to negotiating for peace, and an arrangement on these points is essential, we beg your majesty to inform us of your pleasure.
This was the end of our discussion with Wolsey, and I, Lachaulx, and I, de Caestres, on the king's invitation, went with several of the greatest in the court to inspect the royal armoury. I, de Mesa, went home, but having that day received a letter from the pope, together with letters also from His Holiness to Henry and to Wolsey, which I had given them, I asked Wolsey as I was leaving, to keep in mind what the pope had written to him. This was, in substance, that His Holiness highly approved the close union between your majesty and the king of England, was anxious that it should be a lasting one, and would exert himself to draw other princes into it, which he did not doubt could be accomplished when it was seen that your league had the support of the Holy See. He begged Henry and Wolsey, since they had hitherto been so zealous in the cause of peace, to intervene in the present disturbed affairs, to make peace and prevent further bloodshed. If some power should be so wicked as to refuse reasonable conditions of peace, then, he said, the emperor and the king of England should make war on the miscreant as not their foe alone, but the enemy of all Christians. All that His Holiness wrote was very appropriate at the present state of our negotiations. Nevertheless, Wolsey said to me : "I am afraid that when the cardinals get His Holiness to Rome they will persuade him to make peace and that the Holy Father may draw the emperor after him, and thus bring all our present plans to naught." Your majesty should be able to gather Wolsey's frame of mind from this remark.
In view of the urgent state of your majesty's affairs, we intend to press the king and the cardinal as strongly as possible to let us know what is being done about a truce, and if truce or peace fails, what Henry will do to assist you. And so Wolsey may have no excuse for delay on the grounds that he does not know what terms we would accept, we think we ought, unofficially, and as if it were our own idea, to advance the proposal that Milan may be excluded from the general truce. We shall keep your majesty constantly informed.
London, 5 March, 1522.
Signed, Bishop of Badajoz and Elne ; Lachaulx ; Jacques de Caestres. Latin. pp. 13.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien. P.A. f. 2.
Lachaulx to Charles V.
My letters of the 5th of this month have informed you of the fulfilment of your instructions to me concerning the king of England, and you have since been informed by letters which the Bishop of Badajoz, my lord de Caestres, and I wrote you jointly, of further occurrences. I have nothing to add except that Henry said to me with the greatest appearance of good will, that when you two were together you should have from him whatever you wished. Neither he nor the cardinal said anything more on this point, but they show such affection toward you that affairs seem very hopeful, though I would not wish to counsel you to rely on them entirely. I have been very well received here, and the king said to me on my departure that I could assure you on my honour that I found him determined to be your good uncle and father, and to make common cause with you in everything. He is writing you, and will send us the letters to be taken by the courier to-morrow. I am leaving on Wednesday.
After I took leave of the king I was conducted by the duke of Suffolk to a large apartment where I found the queen accompanied by the princess and many of her ladies. The queen asked if I was leaving, and when I said yes, she began, in the most affectionate manner to speak of you, and said among other things, that her greatest desire was to see you here and to receive you with the greatest honour and best cheer possible. She then said I should not leave without seeing the princess dance. Princess Mary did not have to be asked twice ; she performed a slow dance, and twirled so prettily that no woman in the world could do better ; afterwards at the queen's command she danced a gaillarde and acquitted herself marvellously well ; then she played two or three songs on the spinet, and indeed, sire, she showed unbelievable grace and skill and such self-command as a woman of twenty might envy. She is pretty, and very tall for her age, just turned seven (fin de sept bonne annees) (fn. 1) and a very fine young cousin indeed.
I have received your letters of the 20th, 23rd, 24th and 27th of February, of which that of the 24th is in Castilian, and in reply I have given Juan de Barzena (sic) the memoir which you sent me, which he has fulfilled as desired. I saw the ships of your escort set sail. The king's great ship is one of them, the finest I think, that there is on the sea. I have also visited the Mary Rose which is intended for you, and is undoubtedly the best that could be found for such a purpose. The master, Mouchique [William Mewe], who knows her better than I do, and also Barzena both say she is the best ship for all purposes they have ever seen. The lodgings prepared for you are just what you would wish. I regret I shall not be able to serve you in them.
I shall do my best to fulfil the missions you have charged me with to the pope concerning cardinals Cesarini and Colonna and also the rest of your instructions, both in the letters written in Castilian and those in French. Since it seemed to me that I could not reach His Holiness as soon as some of your affairs required, I thought it better to send a special courier yesterday with letters to His Holiness and to your viceroys in Castile. I have written the bishop of Palencia fully about this matter, from whom you may inform yourself more at length if you wish.
On my arrival here the king of England and the cardinal both seemed of the opinion that the pope ought not to hasten his departure from Castile, and that when he left he ought to come to England, but on further thought they are agreed he should go to Rome by the shortest route.
I have delivered to the king and queen of England the letters from Hungary which you entrusted to me, and I shall do the same with those for Portugal. (Recommends to the emperor's service the son of Didier Boissot.)
To-morrow after dinner we shall be advised of Wolsey's final decisions, and shall write you again.
London, 10 March, 1522.
Signed, Lachaulx. P.S. Since I took leave of the queen she has sent to ask me to remind you to send her the falcons for hunting herons which she asked before.
French. pp. 4.
H. H. u. St. A. Eng., f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors in England.
We have received yours of the 28th of February to which we shall reply in the customary order.
We are very glad to hear that Wolsey has changed his mind about the pope's staying in Spain, since our common cause and the interests of the Christian religion alike require that he should hasten to Rome. We have therefore ordered the galleys of Naples and those of Sicily and Castile to proceed with all diligence to Barcelona to escort the papal galleys and the other ships necessary to His Holiness' voyage.
We have read all Wolsey's arguments against our sailing from Falmouth rather than Southampton, and it seems to us he is making a great fuss for very little cause. We have always tried to follow his advice whenever possible, in sending our ambassadors to Calais, for example, in accepting the treaty about the fisheries against the will and interests of our subjects, in continuing the negotiations for a truce, in postponing our demand for Henry's declaration against France, and in other things too long to write. Indeed, we have always taken his advice as a father's, and we think he ought not to be offended if, in so complicated a matter as this, we do not follow it precisely, especially because when there are many considerations on both sides, the best thing to do is to follow the letter of the treaties. This is what we intend to do in this case, and you will have to consider means to avoid the difficulties mentioned by the cardinal, and discuss with him the extent to which we should limit our escort, and how it may best be provisioned.
We are glad he has come round to our opinion far enough to agree that the fleets should be manned by 5,000 fighting men each, and we hope that on further reflection he will see the wisdom of increasing the strength to 6,000, since, according to the treaty, our crossing to Dover is to be safeguarded entirely by the English fleet, which is required to furnish sufficient ships, guns and fighting men to keep the Channel against pirates or the enemy's fleet. Wolsey's understanding that the English fleet should only come to accompany ours from Zeeland in case ours is equally provided with artillery and fighting men, to inquire into which Henry is sending a person to inspect our preparations, seems quite contrary to the wording of the treaty. According to that, our fleet is to make ready in Zeeland while we are in England, and after the English fleet has guarded our passage there. It is while we are there, and on our way by land to Falmouth, that the English fleet is supposed to go to Zeeland and accompany ours to Falmouth, where we are to embark, as you may see by the appropriate article of the treaty, a copy of which is enclosed. We are trusting entirely to the English fleet to guard the Channel, and you should see that this is understood beyond any possibility of error. We do not doubt that, when Henry and Wolsey have refreshed their memory of the treaty, they will give other orders than at present. This is one of the principal reasons for the impossibility of any descent on the French coast while we are in England, since our fleet will be ready only in time to meet the Spanish ships at Falmouth whither the English are expected to escort them.
What Wolsey and Henry say about the importance of Italian affairs, and the desirability of driving the French out of Italy, after which it would be easier to induce them to accept a favourable truce, is all very true, and we have been, and still are, doing everything in our power in this direction, selling and alienating our goods to supply the army, a heavy expense to bear alone. Since Henry understands the importance of this enterprise, he might perhaps be expected to do more to aid it than he has done so far, both by contributing to the pay of the Swiss, and by lending money to Sforza. It is impossible for us to do much more, and we cannot count on postponing the truce until after we have expelled the enemy from Italy, unless we have help in that enterprise. We must escape from our present difficulties by one means or another, and it is for this reason that you should urge Henry to admonish the king of France according to our letters patent, which is the thing in the world most likely to induce him to accept a truce. Wolsey's generalities to the effect that Henry will use the letters of admonition in good faith for the common good seem unsatisfactory, and likely only to delay the treaty to our great prejudice, and we are astonished that the admonition, which cannot injure Henry or prejudice the treaties, has not been made sooner, in view of the results that may be expected of it. It is hard to see how such an admonition would have delayed the sending of the man whom Francis and Louise have promised with instructions for the truce. We have already sent our powers in a form more ample, and more honourable to the king and the cardinal, than Wolsey has suggested.
De Barzia has reported to us on the present state of the English preparation. It is surprising to learn that they will not be ready before Easter, and that the English excuse the delay by saying we are supposed to notify them a month in advance of our departure. We told you some time ago to say, and we have written in all our letters, that we intended to cross to England at the end of February, according to the treaty, had it been possible. We were obliged to delay somewhat, waiting for the fleet from Spain, but now that it has come, and the ships here are being prepared with all diligence, we are sending our grand escuyer (fn. 2) to direct the disposition of the fleet, and we are determined to hasten on our voyage. Therefore we have written to advise Henry of our decision and to ask that his navy be ready for duty at Calais on April 10th, with the transports to take us and our suite to Dover or Sandwich, in order that we may keep Easter in England, and continue our voyage as speedily as possible. Copies of our letters are enclosed. Urge the English to put this plan in execution, and point out that there is no cause for delay since the conditions of the treaty have been satisfied.
In the matter of the Ostend ships you must do your best to see that Henry, who is the guarantor of the relevant treaty, sees that justice is done, and reparation is made for all violations of the treaty during the time in question.
We certainly do not know what may have caused Wolsey's excited language to the effect that we should behave sincerely toward the English and treat them not as subjects but as friends. We find his words very surprising, for we are not conscious of having said or even thought anything which could lead him to impugn our sincerity, or to imagine that we have ever felt toward Henry otherwise than as a good uncle and friend, and even as a father. We have always placed complete confidence in him, and if his ambassadors or others have written that we have said anything to the contrary they have failed in the truth. Judgment should be formed by what we write and what we do, not by idle rumour and hearsay. His ambassadors may, perhaps, have written that we had entered negotiations unknown to Henry, but as a matter of fact we have never been willing to listen to any offers whatever, or to accept any arrangement except at the hands of Henry and Wolsey.
Similarly, you replied very well to Wolsey's remark that he had heard we had changed our mind about going to Spain. We have never swerved from our determination on that journey, and no credence should be given to words that may pass between particular members of our council, since in any council there are always different opinions. We would not deny that some of our councillors have advised us to attend first to Italy, among them the king, our uncle, but our resolution has always been the same, that is to go to Spain via England according to the treaty.
We note what you say about the return of Wolsey's man from France with secret letters of which the cardinal has so far said nothing. It does not seem that either of the reasons you suggest would be an adequate excuse for Wolsey's failing to inform you of the messenger's return. Do your best to get to the bottom of this affair. Thank Henry for offering to share with us the surplus of his treasury, even though he cannot promise more than 100,000 crowns at present. You may say that we are confident that when, on our arrival in England, he learns of our necessities, he will do something to relieve them. In order that we may make use promptly of the 100,000 crowns which he now grants us, please find out at once the place and the time where we may receive them, and send the form of the obligation and security which the English wish in return for the loan. You may assure Henry we are following his advice to raise all the money we can, but this war consumes all we can get together, so we shall have to make an end of it by truce or otherwise.
You replied very well to Henry's suggestion that we should make use of the subsidy granted by the imperial diet for our Italian affairs. The empire will never finance an invasion of Italy unless we lead it in person, since the subsidy was granted specifically for our coronation. Moreover, we cannot anticipate the date set, i.e. next August, unless by turning the subsidy to the war against the Turks. There is great need in that quarter, so that we have already promised to help the king of Hungary with this money, and we are assembling the imperial diet at Nuremburg to persuade it to anticipate its grant so the money may be employed against the Turks for the defence, not only of the kingdom of Hungary, but of Germany as well.
You may tell the cardinal that, in the matter of his two requests to the pope, free confirmation in the abbey of St. Albans, and confirmation of his legatine authority for life, we shall gladly do our best, and in anything else in which we can please him as well. We have already instructed Lachaulx on this point, and we are writing him again to beg His Holiness to advance the affairs of the cardinal as our own, and for this purpose Wolsey may give Lachaulx whatever instructions he likes, and make use of him exactly as if it were our own business.
Brussels, 10 March, 1522.
Draft in Gattinara's hand. French. pp. 11.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien D.D. Abt. B. f. 4.
Charles V to Henry VIII.
As you have been often told by our ambassadors, we greatly desire to visit you in order that we may decide together about all our business, and then, having commended to your protection our lands in the Low Countries, we may depart for our kingdom of Spain in order to fulfil what by treaty we have agreed to do. We have been obliged to wait longer than we had expected for the ships from Spain. These however, have, now arrived and, wishing to fulfil our duties under the treaty of Bruges, we have given order to collect the necessary ships, to equip and provision them, and to raise the 6,000 infantry which we are leading to Spain. Everything else necessary for our voyage is being made ready, and we hope to keep Easter in your realm.
Therefore, since according to treaty it is your part to guard the straits and the English Channel and insure our safe passage, and, because our navy will not be ready in time for such service, we beg you to order your navy to guard the straits, and that you will further send to us, at Calais, on the 10th of April, the ships necessary for our crossing to Dover or Sandwich. None of this is to be at your expense except the payment of the troops, and we ask this only in order that the time of our passage may be kept secret, and that everyone may believe we intend to embark in Zeeland where our fleet is making ready.
Our ambassadors, to whom you will please grant credence, will inform you of everything else.
Brussels, 10 March, 1522.
Contemporary copy. French. pp. 2.