Spain: 1521

Pages 7-12

Calendar of State Papers, Spain: Further Supplement To Volumes 1 and 2, Documents From Archives in Vienna. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1947.

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H. H. u. St. A. Belgien D. D. Abt. B. f. 2.
Memoir of what is to be said by the Chancellor Of The Empire [Mercurino de Gattinara] to the Council Of State about the war begun by the king of France.
By treaties sworn to between the emperor and the king of France at Noyon in August, 1516, at Cambrai in March of the following year, in which treaty the late emperor (Maximilian) was included, and in the city of London in 1518, between the emperor, the king of France, and the king of England, these sovereigns promised, among other things, to be friends of friends and enemies of enemies, and to come to each other's assistance against anyone who invaded or injured the kingdoms of any of them.
The emperor has scrupulously observed these treaties.
Although the king of France should have done likewise, he has not ceased to annoy and contemn the emperor and to do many things notoriously contrary to the treaties. First, in seeking election to the imperial dignity, the king of France has caused to be said publicly things false and shameful to the person of his majesty. Afterwards the king of France, when his majesty wished to leave Spain in order to receive his imperial crowns, sent to him demanding three hostages from Spain and three from the Netherlands as surety that he would marry the daughter of France, a demand quite contrary to the treaties. Also the king of France, when the emperor, having received his imperial crown at Aix, was going to the Diet of Worms, wrote into divers quarters of the empire and to various princes and lords, that if the emperor intended to enter Italy with an army to be crowned at Rome, the king of France would prevent him. In this the king of France, who is the vassal of the emperor for his duchy of Milan, an imperial fief, has sought to impose his will on his sovereign, menacing and defying him against right, reason and justice, and in notorious contravention of the abovementioned treaties.
Moreover, the king of France has suborned Robert de la Marck and his children to defy and make war on the emperor, and permitted Lord Robert to raise in his kingdom a great number of men-at-arms from the French service and of French subjects and to procure their artillery, with which he has besieged towns belonging to the emperor and his duchy of Luxemburg. Although the emperor, despite these threats, defiances and invasions, has been willing, in order to keep the peace, to accept the mediation of the king of England, the king of France has refused this offer. He has further sent an army into the kingdom of Navarre, which he surprised and withdrew from the obedience of the emperor, and he has boasted that he will make war on the emperor on all sides and drive him from all his realms, lands and lordships. In pursuit of this design he has assembled a great army on the frontier of this country, with the intention of invading, subjugating and destroying it, as will appear by the report of the prevost [of Utrecht, Philibert Naturelli] who may repeat summarily what he has seen and heard.
Having set forth the substance of these things, and pointed out the many injuries which the king of France has done to the empire, so that it is necessary to take some revenge or to suffer irreparable dishonour and loss of esteem throughout the world, the chancellor will open a discussion of the means whereby the emperor may protect his honour and preserve his lands from total ruin. He will begin by saying that it is incumbent upon the emperor as a generous prince, to prepare for war by reinforcing the troops under the count of Nassau with a large number of soldiers, horse and foot, in order to oppose the French, and that, moreover, the emperor should at once call to arms all his household, his pensioners, servants, vassals and sub-vassals, in order to attack and oppose the king of France. The emperor has not sufficient funds to undertake this without the advice and help of his loyal servants, so that they are asked to advise and assist him, not only with their persons but with loans and with the raising of other money by grants of the estates, borrowings and otherwise.
The chancellor will say that this matter touches not only the emperor but the lords addressed and all his subjects who, he trusts, will not abandon a prince who is ready to expose his person and everything he has to recover his honour and protect his lands. The chancellor will make these proposals as seems best to him, adding to them or subtracting from them at his discretion.
Copy. French. pp. 4.
15 Sept.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien D. D. Abt. B. f. 2.
Fitzwilliam, the English ambassador in France, to Wolsey.
May it please your grace : Last night the king [Francis I] sent for me and said that he had received letters from Mons. de Lautrec who was within five leagues of Parma with 24,000 foot and 2,000 men-at-arms. He said it was true that the Swiss had made some difficulty on crossing the Po, as I wrote you in my former letter. Nevertheless, they did cross. The papal army is retreating, and the king expects that yesterday or to-day Lautrec will have given them battle. I never heard greater praise bestowed than he gave Monss. de Lisque (?) and Pont-Remy who, he said, sustained three assaults in six hours, having with them in the town only 6,000 foot of whom 4,000 fled at the first attack. Only 2,000 foot and 300 lances remained to repel the other attacks. He also said that Venice and the duke of Ferrara had given him great assistance.
I assure your grace that he has not talked to me so freely for a fortnight. I asked him about the army of Guienne. He said that the admiral [Bonnivet] had been ill, because, to settle a tumult which had arisen in Bayonne between the troops and the citizens, he had ridden there post haste, but that he was now well. The king said he made no doubt of recovering the kingdom of Navarre, for the Spaniards have been driven back, leaving in Pamplona a count with 2,000 foot and 500 lanzknechts (fn. 1) and they have fortified it, but not strongly. The constable of Castile is at Logroño to reinforce the city, but the king of France cares nothing for that, for, once the king of Navarre has been re-possessed of his kingdom and crowned at Pamplona, the French will go no farther but leave him to defend himself however he thinks best.
The king also said that the rebellion in Castile has never been greater than at present, and that the Constable and the duke of Najera are at swords' points, since there have always been in Castile two factions, and the duke is the chief of one and the Constable of the other. The king thinks that the old quarrel is likely to break out again and cause further disturbance.
Afterwards the king told me that the troops of the emperor, returning past Ardres recently, while the garrison had gone to buy provisions at Boulogne, took it, burnt it, and razed the walls. He asked that Henry be reminded that it was for love of him that the fortifications had been left incomplete ; otherwise it would have been made so strong that it would not easily have been taken. However, he said, that was nothing, for before long he would make it stronger.
At the end he said he had never told me anything but the truth, but the others took a different way, boasting that they would slay all the world, "But," he said, "never trust me if, God being just, I do not make them sing another tune before long." He feels quite certain of Navarre, and is not alarmed by the army here, which he says he will dislodge, as soon as his army is assembled, and force to battle at his terms, for he expects to take up a position between them and their supplies. He has not, however, so large a force as he said at first, not more than thirty-three thousand foot, of whom but eight thousand, at most, are Swiss, and, as he says himself, two thousand lances.
The king leaves to-day for Rheims where he will find Bourbon with his forces and Vendôme with his and the rest of the army. When all are assembled he expects to raise the siege of Mézières, as I wrote before, but as far as I can see, he will not be ready for at least twelve days. As is customary, I asked whether I should go with him or stay with Madame. He replied that I should go to Rheims. On taking my leave, I went to say farewell to Madame, and to ask whether she had any message for the king or for your grace. She said no, and that if anything arose I should communicate with Robertet, unless it was of importance, in which case I should come straight to her. I then said farewell to the duchess, the king's sister. She asked whether I had heard anything of the razing of Ardres. I said the king had spoken of it yesterday evening. She said the king had marched against the enemy, and that she had no doubt, with God's help, he would conquer, for his cause was good and he had dealt justly with all princes, though they had all practised to deceive him. I said I hoped she did not include the king, my master, and she answered frankly, "Don't you see how the cardinal is talking about peace while the battle is at hand, and our enemies gathering to attack us, and Ardres, which my brother stopped fortifying at the request of your master, has been taken in the very presence of the English and razed with their help? What do you say to that? This time the king will fortify it, and put his trust in God." I answered that, as for the treaty with which your grace was busy in the name of the king, my master, I had asked her royal brother for it before war broke out, and at that time the emperor was content and the king her brother was not, and if Francis had agreed then, peace would have been made at once without injury to anyone. As for the long time consumed in negotiating this peace, there was no one who could say truthfully that the king, my master, or the cardinal, had deliberately prolonged it to the prejudice of France, their only purpose being the universal good and tranquillity of Christendom. And, that if she wished to speak of particular persons, I thought that they had taken these pains more for the love of the king, her brother, than for any other living man, and that if there was anyone who said otherwise, I would prove as a gentleman that he said untruly. As for Ardres, I said I did not know whether there were English there when it was razed or not, but I dared say that none were there with the consent of the king nor of your grace, but that there might be some, as there were both in Flanders and in France, banished men, thieves, and murderers, seeking their fortunes. I assured her that the king, my master, did not dissimulate for, if he was displeased, he would not fear to show it to her brother or any other living prince.
Then she began to speak me fair, saying that she believed the king, my master, loyal, and would continue to do so until she found the contrary, which, if she once saw it, she would never trust anyone after. At the end she said, "I beg you write the best of everything that you can, and inform the king and the cardinal that Englishmen helped raze Ardres, and beg them to devise such punishment that all the world shall know their will. As for the plea for peace that you made to the king, my brother, before any harm was done, that is true I know, and I firmly believe that the king, your master, and the cardinal mean well, but you see that meanwhile our enemies do us all the harm they can." And with other good words she bade me good-bye.
This conversation should be considered carefully (estoit chose pour pencer) for Madame was so close that she could hear every word we said.
Troyes, September 15th.
Contemporary copy. French. pp. 5. Fitzwilliam's original letter, of which this is a French translation, is calendared in Letters and Papers, III, 658, but so little of it was found legible, that this contemporary copy is probably nearer to what Fitzwilliam wrote.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien D. D. Abt. B. f. 2.
Charles V to the Ambassadors at Calais.
We have written a separate letter to our chancellor containing what you have to say on our part to Wolsey. As you may see by the enclosed letters and articles, including the reply of Madame, our aunt, giving her advice about the conditions of the truce of which we wrote you before, we are informing you at once, on the receipt of her answer, of our intentions.
Copy. French.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien D. D. Abt. B. f. 2.
Charles V to Mercurino Gattinara.
To the Chancellor : We are writing you separate letters to show Wolsey so that he may not imagine that we are in any necessity, and may take in good part what we are doing about the siege of Tournai, for we hope by these means, with the good will he has for our affairs and the arguments you know so well how to advance, that he will employ himself in obtaining for us a better and more honourable truce if he will take our words to heart. As you know very well, the French will not dare refuse him. For your immediate and secret information as our loyal servant, the truce is necessary to us, and, as the greatest service that you can do us, we hope to hear that you are trying to advance it by every good means, without, however, concluding anything, as we have already written you.
We have sent Madame, our aunt, and the members of our council the ratification of the articles drawn by the king of France, so they may be published formally in the proper places.
Copy. French.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien D. D. Abt. B. f. 2.
Charles V to Wolsey.
My lord legate, my good friend : I have already written you about my affairs and, because I desire to hear news of you often, I have ordered my chancellor to communicate with you on my part. I beg you to believe him, and myself, and to busy yourself in the advancement of my affairs, as I am sure you have both the will and the power to do.
Copy. French.
14 Dec.
H. H. u. St. A. Belgien D. D. Abt. B. f. 2.
Charles V to the Marshal Of Burgundy.
Since your departure we have had instructions drawn for the approaching assembly arranged for January 6th in your presence. Since that time news has arrived of the death of the pope, causing a good many changes as you may imagine, and we have added an article to the instructions, as you may see by the duplicate enclosed herewith.
Because of our complete confidence in you, and our belief that no one can serve us in this matter better than yourself, we have named you in these instructions and now order you to proceed immediately on receipt of this to Zurich for the assembly on the day after Twelfthnight. You will find our ambassadors there, and, in passing through Basle you will have been joined by our maître d'hôtel Mettenye, who will accompany you to Zurich. We have had a bill drawn on Ulm for 16,000 florins to be employed by (blank) ..., who will receive them and disperse them according to the orders you give him. We trust the disbursement of this money entirely to you, and we give you complete charge of the affairs of the embassy, promising further that whatever you agree to, in our name, we shall fulfil.
Your secret and particular charge is to distract the Swiss from this last alliance which they have made with the French. To assist in this we have arranged that the duke of Milan send his ambassador to join you, to assist you with advice and with a considerable sum of money raised on the estates of Milan. It will be better to assign to the Swiss a large portion of the Milanese revenues than to lose it all.
We have already written to England that, because we are on the verge of victory and because the pope is dead, we cannot tarry nor delay our affairs any longer, wherefore we require and solicit the king of England to send someone to the Swiss without delay. If he does so as we hope, you will be advised by courier by which means you will write to us daily from the time you arrive at Basle and we shall write often to you. We are writing also to our ambassador Don Juan [Manuel, at Rome.]. Since we do not doubt that you will remember to assure the safety of the county of Burgundy, it is unnecessary to instruct you on this point. (Signed, etc.)
We are sending you letters addressed to our cousin, the duke of Savoy, which you will forward by this bearer unless you wish to keep him with you or send him back to us, in which case you must send one of your own people to Savoy. If the duke sends an ambassador to the assembly of the Swiss, you may communicate to him the contents of your instructions, if it seems to you and your colleagues that by these means the duke may be drawn into the league of the Swiss with us and our allies.
Copy. French. pp. 3.


  • 1. In the copy "lansquenets"—possibly an error for genettaires, Spanish light cavalry.