Calendar of State Papers, Spain: Supplement To Volumes 1 and 2, Queen Katherine; Intended Marriage of King Henry VII To Queen Juana. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1868.
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|1499. 15th January.||
4. The Sub-Prior of Santa Cruz to Queen Isabel The
[Archivo General de Simancas. Patronato Real. Tratados con Inglaterra. Legajo 2. The original is written in cipher. The deciphering is by Almazan, First Secretary of State to the Catholic King and Queen.]
Los dias pasados escrebi a V. A. todo el proceso de mi vida despues que aqui llegue hasta el parto de la Señora Archiduquessa con un secretario de la princesa madama margarita. despues que Su Alteza salio a misa le hable algunas veces en que le dixe todo lo que V. A. me mando con todo lo que mas me parecio que era razon de decirle en que muchas cosas pasaron las quales le dixe lo mas benignamente que pude y con quanto amor V. A. gelo manda decir no en forma de reprehension. Recebiolo muy bien besando las Reales manos de V. Al. por la avissar como guiasse su vida y a mi que me lo agradecia mucho y que habria placer de qualquier cosa que menos buena me pareciesse si gela dixiesse, no se que tanto turara (fn. 1). dixele entre las otras cosas que tenia hun corazon duro y crudo sin ninguna piedad como es verdad. dixome que antes le tenia tan flaco y tan abatido que nunqua vez se le acordava quan lexos estaba de V. Al. que no se hartase de llorar en verse tan apartada de V. Al. para siempre. passo esto vigilia de ano nuevo y cuanto a este articulo yo quede mas contento que de habla que hasta agora le haya fecho y ahun satisfecho de los descontentamientos passados en verla con tanta humildad. hay tanta religion en su casa como en una estrecha observancia y en esto tiene mucha vigilancia de que debe ser loada ahunque aqua les parece el contrario. buenas partes tiene de buena cristiana. todo lo que Vuestra Al. me mando que le dixiesse y otras menudencias que aqua cogi todo va bueno y de bien en mejor cada dia. hay aqua dos quexas principales desta Señora la una que son mal pagados y la otra por que no se entremete en la gobernacion de la casa. yo gelo digo y responde que muchas veces habia hablado a los del conseio sobre la paga de su gente y que le responden que mas se debia a los naturales de la tierra que a los suyos. dixele que por que no lo decia al Archiduque. dixo que luego lo decia a los de su conseio donde le resultaba a ella mucho daño. a lo de la gobernacion dice que no le dan parte della. esta tan cahareña y tan sospechosa de mi que sino con pura importunidad nunqua le he podido sacar una palabra para escribir a V. Al. agora dixele que V. Al. queria saber su vida asi lo bueno como lo menos bueno pues tan brevemente escribia que me comunicase algo para escrevir. dixome que ya queria emendarse y escrebir muy largo y que por tener que escrebir no decia nada por agora. algunas veces he escrito a Vuestra Al. como el Archiduquesa tenia determinado de poner a doña marina manuel por dama de honor de la Señora su hija y con mucha gana que quantas veces en este caso le fable la halle muy puesta en ello y ahun mas dixo queriendome dar parte dello y para aquel tiempo todos entenderemos en ello y quiero que se haga por mano de la Reina mi señora. y turo esta gana desde el mes de agosto que yo vine aqui hasta el parto por que yo le hable sobrello dies o doce dias antes que pariesse y estaba meior en ello que nunqua habia estado y que todavia fuesse por mano de V. Al. yo dixe que ya era tarde. dixo que haria estar el obispado vaco hasta que viniesse el mandamiente de V. Al. escriviole muchas cartas dandole mucha priessa que se viniesse y assi vino con toda su casa y marido de assiento y al tiempo del parto en su mano puso alma y cuerpo y quanto tenia y en el parto con todo su ochavario no la permitio apartarse della sola un ave maria y ahun le dixo que el Archiduque le habia dexado en su mano la provision deste officio, agora cuando le fable halle la tan fuera desto como si nunqua le hobiera passado por el pensamiente. quede tan maravillado de tan gran mudanza en tan poco tiempo y en tal persona que no se que decir. hanme dicho y no lo creo que lo ha fecho muxica y hay algun aparencia para ello por que nunqua vi a Su Al. con gana de facer algo sino solamente esto antes que el viniese y despues que el vino tiene el contrario por que a este da mas credito que a todos quantos tiene. y este es todo de madama de aloyn. y quando yo la aprete diciendo quanto V. Al. desseaba que tobiese cabe si semejantes personas y de buena fama y ella tenia el contrario en la de aloyn dixome que no era tanto como se decia y que la de aloyn tenia a los del Archiduque y a los de su conseio y assi la de aloyn y los del consejo del Archiduque y muxica tienen esta Señora tan atemorizada que no puede alzar cabeza. esta en tanta necessidad que no alcanza un maravedi para dar de limosna que ahun ogaño estando preñada pidio a la tierra que le diesen lo que acostumbran dar a las otras señoras y respondieron le con. lx. florines pagados en tres años y segund se dice no vienen a su poder por que los recibe el receptor del Archiduque mas que en mercedes se reparten que muxica le pidio agora para el principe de simay su caballero de honor mill florines sin que lleva cada año quatro mil de su oficio y ahun se dice que procuran los mil ducados que V. Al. daba al de biebres. V. Al. no han menester conseio mas nunqua vi cosa mas perdida sino en esto que agora passa lo puede V. Al. ver y si esto passa adelante no se como cosa que V. Al. hayan ganasse puede enxerir aqui que ahun el sabado despues de los Reyes importunaban a una persona que suplicasse a la Señora Archiduquesa que escribiesse suplicando a V. Al. que diessen hun obispado al preboste de leja y que serviria mucho a Su. Al. de aqui adelante y ahun el rrey de Ro. le dio agora hun arsobispado y todo no les basta su avaricia para que no destruyan estos Señores y les hagan desobedecer a sus padres que ya se dice que segund el Archiduque es desobediente a V. Al. que no es verdad a lo menos en la voluntad y el Archiduque al Rey de Ro. y que van por madama margarita para casarla en alemaña y que no seria mavilla ser a costa destos Señores. el Rey de Ro. trabaia quanto puede por llevarlos a alemaña por sacarlos de poder desta gente no se lo que podra hacer. el bastardo y doña marina estan aqui con mucha gana de servir a V. Al. y me han fablado juntos y cada uno por si diciendome quantas mercedes V. Al. les han fecho. certifico a V. Al. que al bastardo le saltaban las lagrimas quando me lo decia. la final conclusion fue que ellos estan con mucha gana de facer lo que V. Al. les manden mas dicen que ellos tienen poca renta y no se pueden sustentar en la corte que si V. Al. entienden mandar darles de comer sobre lo que tienen que residiran aqui continuo y sino suplican a V. Al. hayan por bien busquen algun partido con que puedan sustentarse que ahun de cuatro mil florines que solian dar aqui al bastardo le han quitado dos mil y de lo otro no le pagan nada como a todos los otros. y tambien me dixieron de una pension que V. Al. les solia dar que como era merced de gracia que V. Al. les hacia y ellos no la podian servir por no tener en que no la habian osado pedir buena parte de los años pasados y assi estan en mucha necessidad y mas que V. Al. podra bien inferir de aqui que tales pueden estar abatirse a poca presa y estaba ya publico y quedanse personages ahunque ellos lo dissimulan bien pero no puede ser tanto segund la qualidad del caso que no se sienta que ahun el preboste de leja que es su contrario fue a su casa y les dijo que el Archiduque tenia determinado de dar a doña marina este cargo ahunque se le hacia poca cosa para quien ella era y que estaba cierto si por el Archiduquesa no faltase. y respondio que ahunque menos fuesse haria lo que le mandasen y madama de Rebastan su cuñada le dixo que lo ficiesse y que del bastardo no curasse que ella tomaba cargo si enfermase de curarle en su casa. la Señora Archiduquessa tiene tanta gana y necessidad della que no se que torvellino es este que lo estorva como esta Señora no habla comigo claro. se decir a V. Al. que si el diablo no se atravesara ella estubiera aposentada en palacio con su cargo, y como no ha osado poner a doña marina tampoco se atrevio a poner otra. dicenme que dixo mossior de vergas que pusiesen a quien quissiessen. yo le dixe muchas cosas de quan mal se hacia sabiendo quanta gana V. Al. tenia que tubiesse a doña marina consigo y quanta necessidad della tenia. dixo por eso hare por ella quanto pudiere en viniendo el Archiduque que es ido a verse con el Rey de Ro. mas yo no creo ya que haga nada.
doña ana de beamonte se quexa de la poca honra y menos provecho que aqui tiene y ciertamente ella sirve bien que nunqua se quita del Archiduquesa, y es buena muger que salida ella de aqui queda del todo sola esta Señora y V. Al. la debe contentar y ahun proveer en alguna cosa. toda esta gente que aqua esta esta tan perdida que es lastima de ver lo que tan mal se hace con ellos. muchas veces he escrito a V. Al. que para este tiempo yo concluiria todo lo que V. Al. me mando y assi lo tengo fecho y a mi ver mi estada aqua es demasiada daqui adelante y por no tener aqua mandamiento de V. Al. quedo hasta haberle.
A la señora Archiduquessa dixe que le suplicaba que si Su Alteza me mandaba ir que su mandamiento habria por de V. Al. y no quisso. por que ya esto en la ultima y extrema necessidad embio este padre que de alla traxe por compañero por que tenerle aqua es perder tiempo y alla aprovechara y mas principalmente por suplicar a V. Al. me mande ir y con que y ahun en que vaya que antes que el mandamiento venga no solamente las vestias que de alla truxe mas yo y el compañero y mozo estaremos empeñados por que yo vine proveydo por vj. meses y son ya jx. y medio y temo seran mas de xiiijo antes que haya respuesta desta y en esta tierra mas honra facen por bien beber que por bien vivir y con lo que aqui me cuesta la posada podria mantenerme en castilla. a noche bien tarde fue por estas cartas a palacio y me certificaron como el Archiduque habia dicho a esta por que es fija pongale el Archiduquessa el estado quando dios nos diere fijo ponerlo he yo. donde claro parece con la gana y necessidad que tenia que los sobre dichos le ficieron dar la vuelta y bien parece en ello que de solo miedo destos dexo de facer lo que mucho desseaba y con esto pensaba satisfacer a V. Al. las quexas pasadas y todo no basto resistir a estos dos.
tambien supe de otros repartimientos que ficieron sin el Archiduquessa ni lo supo fasta que suplicaron que mexor dixiera mandaron que firmase. y assi lo fizo y callo y despues en absencia osa decir ogaño passe mas para otro año no quiero que hagan mercedes sin mi y assi creo quedara siempre necesitada y los suyos muriendo de hambre, y assi passara fasta que V. Al. provean en ello. suplico a V. Al. esta primera vez que escribiere a Su Alteza haga mincion solamente del principio desta carta y no mas por que piensa Su Alteza que solas sus cartas y mias van y confirmaria su sospecha que en lo otro ya creo no hay remedio.
de bruselas a xv. de Enero de xcjx.
Del Sop~or de Santa
4. Days ago I wrote to your Highness the whole course of my life from my arrival up to the confinement of the Archduchess, and sent the letter by a secretary of the Princess Madame Margaret. After her Highness had been to mass I spoke with her various times, and told her all your Highness had ordered, and, besides, all I thought it was right to tell her. Many things were said, but I stated them in the most gentle way I could, and in that loving manner your Highness has commanded me to adhere to, and not in a tone of reproach. She received it very well, thanking your Highness for your kindness in telling her how she ought to live. She thanked me also, and [said] she should be glad if I would tell her everything I thought was not good. I do not know how long that will last. I told her among other things that she had a hard and pitiless heart, and was devoid of all piety, as is the truth. She answered that she was rather weak and lowspirited, that she could never think of how far she was from your Highness without feeling the desire to cry, because she was so far from your Highness for ever. She passed New Year's Eve in such a manner that, in this respect, I am more satisfied with her than from any conversation I have had with her. Seeing her so humble I forgive her all she has done before. In her house there is as much religion as in a strict convent. In this respect she is very vigilant and deserves praise, although here (in Flanders) they believe the contrary. She has the qualities of a good Christian. In all I told her in the name of your Highness and some other trifles which I learnt here, she is improving every day. Here they have two principal complaints against this lady ; in the first place that they are badly paid, and secondly that she does not occupy herself with the government of her household. I told her, and she answered that she has often spoken with the members of the Council about the pay of her servants, but that they answer that more is due to the Flemings (fn. 2) than to her servants. I asked her why she did not speak to the Archduke. She said, because he tells it directly to his councillors, and she receives great injury from it. As for the government of her household, she says they do not permit her to take part in it. She is so afraid and suspicious of me that, except by pure importunity, I should never have succeeded in getting a single word out of her to write to your Highness. I told her that your Highness was anxious to know her [manner of] life, the good as well as the bad, and as I intended to write very soon, she should communicate to me something I could write. She said that she would now improve and write a long letter, and in order to have something to speak of she would say nothing now. I wrote several times to your Highness that the Archduchess had decided that Doña Marina Manuel should be lady of honour to her daughter. As often as I spoke with her on this subject I found her very decided about it, and, moreover, she said that she would communicate with me, and we should all then occupy ourselves in that affair, "for I wish that it be done by the hand of the Queen, my lady." This intention lasted from the time of my arrival in the month of August until her confinement. I spoke with her concerning it ten or twelve days before her confinement, and she was more decided than ever that it should be done by the hand of your Highness. I said it was already late. She said she would keep the bishopric vacant until the order of your Highness should arrive. She wrote a great number of letters to her (fn. 3) instructing her to make haste to come. Thus, she came with all her household and husband, and during her delivery she gave herself up to her, soul and body and all she possessed, and during the confinement she did not permit her to be absent as much as an Ave Maria, and even told her that the Archduke had left it to her to provide for that place. Now when I spoke with her I found her of as quite different opinion as though the idea had never presented itself to her mind. I was so astonished at such a great change in so short a time, and in such a personage, that I cannot express it in words. I am told, but do not believe it, that Muxica has been the cause of it. There is nevertheless some probability of it ; for I never saw her Highness so much decided to do nothing else but this as [she was] before he arrived, and so decided to do the contrary as [she is] since his arrival. She gives him more credit than all her other servants put together, and he depends entirely on Madame d'Aloyn. When I pressed her, saying how much your Highness wished that she should have about her similar persons (fn. 4) of good fame, and that she had [chosen] Madame d'Aloyn, who was just the contrary, she answered that she (fn. 5) was not so much (fn. 6) as it was said, and that Madame d'Aloyn had the servants of the Archduke and the privy councillors on her side. Thus, Madame d'Aloyn and the councillors of the Archduke and Muxica have so much intimidated this lady that she dare not raise her head. She is so poor that she has not a maravedi to give alms. This very year when she was pregnant she asked the state to give her the same grant as it was the custom to give to other ladies, and they responded to her demands with a grant of 60,000 florins payable within three years, but according to what is said she does not get anything, because the receiver of the Archduke receives them, and they are distributed as favours. Muxica asks now for the Prince of Chimay, her gentleman in waiting, one thousand florins over and above the 4,000 florins a year which he has from his office, and it is even said that they endeavour to obtain for him the 1,000 ducats which your Highness had granted to Monsieur de Bèvres. Your Highness stands in need of no advice, but I have never seen anything more hopeless than what is going on here, as your Highness can see. If this continues, nothing that your Highnesses can do will be of any use here. Only on Saturday after twelfth night they importuned a certain person to beg the Señora Archduchess to write to ask your Highnesses to give a bishopric to the Provost of Liège, who henceforth would render good services. Although the King of the Romans has lately given him a bishopric, all this does not satisfy his avarice, or prevent them from ruining these señores (fn. 7), persuading them to disobey their parents. Although it is said that the Archduke is already disobedient to your Highness, it is not true, at least as far as his wishes are concerned, and the Archduke to the King of the Romans. (fn. 8) They intend to marry Madame Margaret in Germany, and I should not wonder if these señores (fn. 9) had to pay for it. The King of the Romans does what he can to induce them to go to Germany, only to get them out of the power of these people. I do not know what he will be able to do. The Bastard and Doña Marina are here. They are very desirous to serve your Highnesses. They have spoken with me both together, and each separately, telling me how many favours they have received from your Highness. I assure your Highness that the Bastard shed tears when he spoke with me. The conclusion was that they have the greatest desire to do what your Highnesses might command them, but they say they have only small incomes and cannot sustain themselves at court. If your Highnesses would give them wherewith to pay their meals in addition to what they possess they would constantly live here, but if not, they entreat your Highness to permit them to look out for another employment by which they can maintain themselves. Out of the four thousand florins which were formerly paid them, they have deprived them of two thousand, and the remainder they do not pay to them any more than to all the other (Spanish servants). They spoke also of a pension which your Highness was in the habit of paying them, but as that was only a favour they had not dared to ask it for many years past, and thus they live in great poverty, even greater than your Highness can imagine that such persons can live in. They demean themselves to eat humble meals, and that is already public, and yet they remain [in the position of (?)] great personages. (fn. 10) Although they endeavour to conceal, they cannot do it so well that, considering the importance of the case, the truth is not known. Even the Provost of Liège, who is their adversary, came to their house and told them that the Archduke had determined to give this office to Doña Marina, and although that was little for such a person as she, he was sure of it, if the Archduchess did not forsake her. She answered that, even if it were less, she would do what she was commanded ; and Madame de Rabastan, her sister-in-law, told her to do so, and not to be anxious about the Bastard, of whom she would take care, and cure him in her house if he should fall ill. The Señora Archduchess wishes so much to have her, and stands so much in need of her, that I do not know what whirlwind disturbs this. This lady (fn. 11) does not speak with me openly. I can tell your Highness that if the devil did not cross it she (fn. 12) would already be placed in possession of her office in the palace. As she (fn. 13) has not dared to install Doña Marina, so she has not the courage to install another lady. I am told that Monsieur de Vergas (fn. 14) said they may choose whomsoever they like. I told her [the Archduchess] many things, showing her how badly she acted, knowing that your Highness desired that she should have Doña Marina about her person, and how much she stood in want of her. She answered, "Therefore I shall do for her what I can as soon as the Archduke, who is gone to meet the King of the Romans, returns ;" but I believe she will do nothing.
Doña Ana de Beamonte complains that she gets here little honour and less profit. Certainly she serves well, never leaves the Archduchess alone, and is a good woman. If she were to go away, this señora (fn. 15) would be entirely deserted. Your Highness ought to satisfy her, and even bestow some favour on her. All those who stay here are in so entirely hopeless a state, that it is pitiful to see how badly they are treated. I repeatedly wrote to your Highness that by this time I should have concluded all that your Highness has commanded, and so I have done. In my opinion I am no longer wanted here, but as I have no orders from your Highness, I shall remain here until I receive them.
I told the Señora Archduchess that I begged her that if she should command me to go she would give me her orders for your Highness, but she refused. Because I am in the last necessity I send the father whom I took with me as companion ; to keep him here any longer would be a loss of time, and he can render better services there, but especially in order to beseech your Highness to send me the order to go, and the means to go, and even on what to go (fn. 16). For not only the animals which I brought from there, but also my person, my companion, and my servant are pledged. I arrived here provided for six months, and now nine months and a half have elapsed, and I fear it will be more than fourteen months before I have an answer to this letter. In this country they think it a greater honour well to drink than well to live, and on what I pay here for my lodgings I could live in Castile. Last night I went to the palace for letters, and was told that the Archduke had said : the Archduchess may provide for the places in the household of this child, because it is a daughter ; when God grants us a son I shall provide for his household. Considering the goodwill she had, and the need in which she stood (fn. 17), it is clear from this that it was the above mentioned persons who caused her to change her intentions ; and it appears that she was only afraid to do what she much desired, and what she thought would atone for that of which your Highness complained. All this was insufficient to resist these two (fn. 18).
I heard also of another distribution of money which was made without asking the Archduchess. She knew nothing of it until they sent her the paper, asking or rather ordering her to sign it. She did it and said nothing, but when they had left her she had the courage to say, "Be it so for this year, but next year I desire that they do not make grants without my consent." I think it will be always the same thing. Her servants die of starvation, and that will continue until your Highnesses provide for them. I entreat your Highness not to mention in your next letter to her Highness anything except what stands at the beginning of this letter, for her (or your) Highness considers (or may consider) that only her (or your) letters go (fn. 19), and would confirm her suspicion. In all the other things I think there is no remedy.
From Brussels, 15th of January '99.
From the Subprior of Santa Cruz.